Thursday, December 16, 2010

Garbage, etc...

I've always been a little annoyed by the phrase "Garbage In, Garbage Out." People tend to say it as if they've come up with something remarkably clever. I never hear actual programmers use it-- it would be like rabbits reminding each other to be careful of predators.  I was pleased to see that Babbage felt the same way, referring to being questioned in Parliament:

"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."

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