Butler on Machines
02.23.2021 - By Talking Politics: HISTORY OF IDEAS
Samuel Butler’s Erewhon (1872) is a strange and unsettling book about a world turned upside down. Usually classified as utopian or dystopian fiction, it also contains an eerie prophecy about the coming of intelligent machines. David explores the origins of Butler’s ideas and asks what they have to teach us about the oddity of how we choose to organise our societies, both then and now.
Free version of the text
Recommended version to buy
- Samuel Butler, The Way of All Flesh (1903)
- Virginia Woolf, 'Mr. Bennett and Mrs. Brown' (1924)
- George Dyson, Darwin Among the Machines (1997)
- (Video) James Paradis, 'Naturalism and Utopia: Samuel Butler's Erewhon'
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