CHAPTER 1: A BIT OF A FLUTTER
I suppose my view of history tends away from the orderly and toward the chaotic, in the sense of that much overused phrase from chaos theory about the movement of a butterfly's wing in China causing storms on the other side of the world. Which is why I decided to have a go at reproducing the butterfly effect on the great web of knowledge across which I travel in these essays.
This thought came to me at the sight of a giant cabbage white in a Lepidoptera
exhibit at the Natural History Museum in London, which reminded me of the other great Natural History Museum, the Smithsonian. Which owes its...