Aldous Huxley – Chrome yellow

More from Crome Yellow by Huxley

How gay and delightful life would be if one could get rid of all the human contacts! Perhaps, in the future, when machines have attained to a state of perfection–for I confess that I am, like Godwin and Shelley, a believer in perfectibility, the perfectibility of machinery–then, perhaps, it will be possible for those who, like myself, desire it, to live in a dignified seclusion, surrounded by the delicate attentions of silent and graceful machines, and entirely secure from any human intrusion. It is a beautiful thought.””Beautiful,” Denis agreed. “But what about the desirable human contacts, like love and friendship?”

The black silhouette against the darkness shook its head. “The pleasures even of these contacts are much exaggerated,” said the polite level voice. “It seems to me doubtful whether they are equal to the pleasures of private reading and contemplation. Human contacts have been so highly valued in the past only because reading was not a common accomplishment and because books were scarce and difficult to reproduce.

What is Huxley up to here? Prophetic, sarcastic or maximising his own point of view? Whatever, this passage stands out as comment on our current machines.

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