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.
There is, however, another purpose to which academies contribute. When they consist of a limited number of persons, eminent for their knowledge, it becomes an object of ambition to be admitted on their list.
It will be readily admitted, that a degree conferred by an university, ought to be a pledge to the public that he who holds it possesses a certain quantity of knowledge.
That the state of knowledge in any country will exert a directive influence on the general system of instruction adopted in it, is a principle too obvious to require investigation.
The proportion between the velocity with which men or animals move, and the weights they carry, is a matter of considerable importance, particularly in military affairs.
The economy of human time is the next advantage of machinery in manufactures.
The accumulation of skill and science which has been directed to diminish the difficulty of producing manufactured goods, has not been beneficial to that country alone in which it is concentrated; distant kingdoms have participated in its advantages.
To those who have chosen the profession of medicine, a knowledge of chemistry, and of some branches of natural history, and, indeed, of several other departments of science, affords useful assistance.
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.
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.
Another mode of accumulating power arises from lifting a weight and then allowing it to fall.
The fatigue produced on the muscles of the human frame does not altogether depend on the actual force employed in each effort, but partly on the frequency with which it is exerted.
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.
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.
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.