The Babbage Conundrum
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.