Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Confusion

On two occasions I have been asked, – "Pray, Mr. Babbage, if you put into the machine wrong figures, will the right answers come out?" In one case a member of the Upper, and in the other a member of the Lower, House put this question. I am not able rightly to apprehend the kind of confusion of ideas that could provoke such a question.

-- Charles Babbage, English mathematician, philosopher, and mechanical engineer

 

2 comments:

  1. Although something of a genius, Babbage was also a notoriously nerdy and annoying guy. I have always wondered whether that quotation was actually the result of Babbage's take on someone actually pointing out the flaw in his proposals.

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  2. Babbage was also a notoriously nerdy and annoying guy.

    Those qualities might be mutually inclusive. :o)

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