The Book of the Machines (Butler): Introduction

Joseph C Fineman (
Sun, 22 Aug 1999 19:08:10 -0400 (EDT)

I am posting separately a remarkable early application of Darwinian ideas to the evolution of machines, which seems not to have attracted the attention of this company. It comprises three chapters of _Erewhon_, a cheerfully satirical utopia published by Samuel Butler (1835-1902) in 1872. In their original form they had been published as articles in a New Zealand newspaper from 1860 to 1864 -- just after the _Origin of Species_ appeared & Butler read it!

The asterisked footnotes are Butler's; I have inserted a few comments in square brackets.

I thank Jim Fehlinger for using his scanner to reduce this text to ASCII.

||: Government is like fire: too useful to do without, too :||
||: dangerous ever to trust. :||