The Babbage Conundrum

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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, FRS (1864)

Nearly 150 years later, I continue to be just as confused as the esteemed Mr Babbage.

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