Charles Babbage on Stupid Questions

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

Passages from the Life of a Philosopher ch. 5 (1864)

Excerpted from: Shapiro, Fred, ed. The Yale Book of Quotations. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2006.

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