Synergetics 1 and Synergetics 2 are separate volumes only because of their bulk and the chronology of their composition. They in fact comprise a single integral work. Each chapter in the first volume has been expanded in the second, and the sequence of paragraphs has been numbered to dovetail and provide a shared context.
It is the essence of synergy to produce unpredicted-indeed, unpredictable-results like the surprise geometrical discoveries of this second volume. Synergetics 2 continues the exposition of Fuller's radical geometrical cosmos with its landscapes of unfamiliar models and metaphors; it amplifies and amends-but does not supersede-the earlier volume published in 1975; it makes more explicit the significance of certain geometrical functions that are only implicit in Synergetics 1; and it introduces the term epistemography to describe Fuller's geometry of thinking. The two books together present descriptions that are explicit as well as contextual.
Buckminster Fuller employs the discipline of a lecturer, recommencing his expositions from the beginning, reviewing the previous experiments and recalls of experiences. His written discourse, like his speech, is replete with sustained narrative sequences that recapitulate the geometrical premises, ever starting back from the beginning . . . as Fuller says, like the pole vaulter who always goes back to the end of the cinder track before repeating his sprint.
Although the apparatus of section numbers is handy as a key to context and essential for indexing and for cross-reference, it tends to obscure the logical continuity of certain passages that merit the reader's sustained attention. For this reason the Table of Contents is supplemented with a Table of Scenarios. The new reader seeking an avenue into the work should choose from the list of Scenarios as a guide; those seeking a specific topic may refer to the Table of Contents.
The index and cross-references in Synergetics 2 refer to both volumes; references to Synergetics 1 are in roman numbers and those in Synergetics 2 in italic numerals.
- E. J. Applewhite
19 February 1979