Computers have a mystique. They're magical machines, black boxes into which we put numbers and out of which come more numbers, run through equations that would take us years to do by hand. And the mathematics behind them are deep and beautiful, although you can rarely see that in the real-world implementation.
"On two occasions I have been asked [by members of Parliament], '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."
People abdicate reason around computers. They turn into an alien technology, which somehow doesn't follow the same physical principles as your car and your toaster and your television--there's a reason Tech Support may first ask you if your computer is plugged in. Not just that it's an easy thing to overlook, but computers seem like such magical beasts, able to calculate so quickly and draw pictures on a screen and make little whirring beeping noises like R2D2 from Star Wars, that we start to think they have intelligence, can read our minds, should know what we want them to do or can correct our mistakes.
I have this sort of apathy/nihilism thing going on these days. I wonder if I should care.
That was a joke. You may laugh.
Well, whatever. It happens. I have a life to live.