Babbage on innovation

April 18, 2009

Further to my post about News and Innovation, my better half unearthed this quote from Charles Babbage:

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.

There’s more on Babbage, in the continuing adventures of Babbage and Lovelace, a must for all steam-punk-archaeo-computing-comic fans.