The isotropic vector matrix (IVM) gives us a description of the symmetry of space. We can think of this matrix as a framework of possible
directions and configurations of ordered space, or more simply, as a frame of reference. It is a network of vectors specifically situated to
model nature's eternal tendency toward equilibrium. Lines are forces, length is magnitude, and all is in balance. The IVM weaves together
a number of synergetics ideas: minimum system of Universe, vector equilibrium (both exhibiting four planes of symmetry), twelve de-
grees of freedom, complementarity of octahedra and tetrahedra, space-filling, and stability (exclusively a product of triangulation). In
so doing, it sets the stage for an energetic mathematics, and systematizes further investigation.
The IVM also provides an alternative to the XYZ system's absolute origin. Every vertex in the IVM can be considered a temporary local origin
, which, as reinforced by Fuller's use of the concept of "systems," is consistent with the requirements of describing Scenario Universe. ["All points in Universe are inherently centers of a local and unique isotropic-vector-matrix domain ... " (537.11).]
There can be no "absolute origin" in a scenario.
Finally, by describing such a wide variety of ordered polyhedra-and thereby clarifying the relationships between different shapes-the IVM supports Fuller's concept of "intertransformability." Countless potential shapes and transformations can be systematically represented within this omnisymmetrical matrix; it is a framework of possibility.
There is a strong temptation to ignore synergetics on the grounds that we feel perfectly able to handle mathematical concepts that
cannot be seen. Academic" sophistication" leaves us with a certain intellectual pride that makes Fuller's observations with their child-
like (but-the-emperor-isn't-wearing-any-clothes) ring to them seem unimportant. Every child is boggled by infinity and surfaces of no
thickness, but these are necessary concepts, natural extensions of philosophical "what-ifs." The human mind is not bounded by the
constraints of demonstrability.
True enough. However, it is also possible to define a system of thought and exploration that is confined to the" facts of experience,"
and moreover such a system is able to reveal additional insights about physical and metaphysical phenomena that would not neces-
sarily be discovered following the traditional route. Such is the case with Fuller's synergetics;
as we shall see, his hands-on approach led
to a number of impressive geometrical discoveries.
Bucky explained that the process of collecting "experimental evidence" starts with children.