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Charles Babbage quotes

It is therefore not unreasonable to suppose that some portion of the neglect of science in England, may be attributed to the system of education we pursue.

On two occasions I have been asked, 'Pray, Mr. Babbage, if you put into the machine wrong figures, will the right answers come out?' I am not able rightly to apprehend the kind of confusion of ideas that could provoke such a question.

The possessors of wealth can scarcely be indifferent to processes which, nearly or remotely have been the fertile source of their possessions.

Some kinds of nails, such as those used for defending the soles of coarse shoes, called hobnails, require a particular form of the head, which is made by the stroke of a die.

Errors using inadequate data are much less than those using no data at all.

A powerful attraction exists, therefore, to the promotion of a study and of duties of all others engrossing the time most completely, and which is less benefited than most others by any acquaintance with science.

The difference between a tool and a machine is not capable of very precise distinction; nor is it necessary, in a popular explanation of those terms, to limit very strictly their acceptation.

In mathematics we have long since drawn the rein, and given over a hopeless race.

The public character of every public servant is legitimate subject of discussion, and his fitness or unfitness for office may be fairly canvassed by any person.

A tool is usually more simple than a machine; it is generally used with the hand, whilst a machine is frequently moved by animal or steam power.

Another mode of accumulating power arises from lifting a weight and then allowing it to fall.

Those from whose pocket the salary is drawn, and by whose appointment the officer was made, have always a right to discuss the merits of their officers, and their modes of exercising the duties they are paid to perform.

Perhaps it would be better for science, that all criticism should be avowed.

I am inclined to attach some importance to the new system of manufacturing; and venture to throw it out with the hope of its receiving a full discussion among those who are most interestedin the subject.

The half minute which we daily devote to the winding-up of our watches is an exertion of labour almost insensible; yet, by the aid of a few wheels, its effect is spread over the whole twenty-four hours.

At each increase of knowledge, as well as on the contrivance of every new tool, human labour becomes abridged.

Telegraphs are machines for conveying information over extensive lines with great rapidity.

The economy of human time is the next advantage of machinery in manufactures.

Whenever the work is itself light, it becomes necessary, in order to economize time, to increase the velocity.

Surely, if knowledge is valuable, it can never be good policy in a country far wealthier than Tuscany, to allow a genius like Mr. Dalton's, to be employed in the drudgery of elementary instruction.