The economy of human time is the next advantage of machinery in manufactures.— Charles Babbage
The most contentment Charles Babbage quotes that are life-changing and eye-opening
Telegraphs are machines for conveying information over extensive lines with great rapidity.
Errors using inadequate data are much less than those using no data at all.
At each increase of knowledge, as well as on the contrivance of every new tool, human labour becomes abridged.
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.
What is there in a name? It is merely an empty basket, until you put something into it.
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.
If we look at the fact, we shall find that the great inventions of the age are not, with us at least, always produced in universities.
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.
Whenever the work is itself light, it becomes necessary, in order to economize time, to increase the velocity.
In turning from the smaller instruments in frequent use to the larger and more important machines, the economy arising from the increase of velocity becomes more striking.
The triumph of the industrial arts will advance the cause of civilization more rapidly than its warmest advocates could have hoped, and contribute to the permanent prosperity and strength of the country far more than the most splendid victories of successful war.
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 errors which arise from the absence of facts are far more numerous and more durable than those which result from unsound reasoning respecting true data.
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.
As soon as an Analytical Engine exists, it will necessarily guide the future course of the science. Whenever any result is sought by its aid, the question will then arise — by what course of calculation can these results be arrived at by the machine in the shortest time?
If we define a miracle as an effect of which the cause is unknown to us, then we make our ignorance the source of miracles! And the universe itself would be a standing miracle. A miracle might be perhaps defined more exactly as an effect which is not the consequence or effect of any known laws of nature.
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.
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.
Trimming consists of clipping off little bits here and there from those observations which differ most in excess from the mean, and in sticking them onto those which are too small; a species of 'equitable adjustment,' as a radical would term it, which cannot be admitted in science.
In England, the profession of the law is that which seems to hold out the strongest attraction to talent, from the circumstance, that in it ability, coupled with exertion, even though unaided by patronage, cannot fail of obtaining reward.
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.
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.
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.
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.
He will also find that the high and independent spirit, which usually dwells in the breast of those who are deeply versed in scientific pursuits, is ill adapted for administrative appointments; and that even if successful, he must hear many things he disapproves, and raise no voice against them.
In mathematics we have long since drawn the rein, and given over a hopeless race.
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.
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.
You will be able to appreciate the influence of such an Engine on the future progress of science. I live in a country which is incapable of estimating it.
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.
It is difficult to estimate the misery inflicted upon thousands of persons, and the absolute pecuniary penalty imposed upon multitudes of intellectual workers by the loss of their time, destroyed by organ-grinders and other similar nuisances.
Scientific knowledge scarcely exists amongst the higher classes of society.
The discussion in the Houses of Lords or of Commons, which arise on the occurrence of any subjects connected with science, sufficiently prove this fact.
I have no desire to write my own biography, as long as I have strength and means to do better work.
In mathematical science, more than in all others, it happens that truths which are at one period the most abstract, and apparently the most remote from all useful application, become in the next age the bases of profound physical inquiries, and in the succeeding one, perhaps, by proper simplification and reduction to tables, furnish their ready and daily aid to the artist and the sailor.
As soon as an Analytical Engine exists, it will neccessarily guide the future course of science.
Forging differs from hoaxing, inasmuch as in the later the deceit is intended to last for a time, and then be discovered, to the ridicule of those who have credited it; whereas the forger is one who, wishing to acquire a reputation for science, records observations which he has never made.
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.
Perhaps the most important principle on which the economy of a manufacture depends, is the division of labour amongst the persons who perform the work.
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.
The possessors of wealth can scarcely be indifferent to processes which, nearly or remotely have been the fertile source of their possessions.
The tastes and pursuits of manhood will bear on them the traces of the earlier impressions of our education. 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.
It can happen to but few philosophers, and but at distant intervals, to snatch a science, like Dalton, from the chaos of indefinite combination, and binding it in the chains of number, to exalt it to rank amongst the exact. Triumphs like these are necessarily 'few and far between.'
Perhaps it would be better for science, that all criticism should be avowed.
Whenever a man can get hold of numbers, they are invaluable: if correct, they assist in informing his own mind, but they are still more useful in deluding the minds of others. Numbers are the masters of the weak, but the slaves of the strong.
An object is frequently not seen, from not knowing how to see it, rather than from any defect of the organ of vision.
The whole of the developments and operations of analysis are now capable of being executed by machinery ... As soon as an Analytical Engine exists, it will necessarily guide the future course of science.
I wish to God these calculations had been executed by steam.
Propose to an Englishman any principle, or any instrument, however admirable, and you will observe that the whole effort of the English mind is directed to find a difficulty, a defect, or an impossibility in it. If you speak to him of a machine for peeling a potato, he will pronounce it impossible: if you peel a potato with it before his eyes, he will declare it useless, because it will not slice a pineapple.