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"On September 15, 1842, the British Astronomer Royal, Sir George Biddell Airy, K.C.B., M.A., LL.D., D.C.L., F.R.S., F.R.A.S., responded to a query from the Chancellor of the Exchequer. The government was considering funding an invention of one Charles Babbage. Should Parliament support the construction of the analytical engine--the first mechanical calculator and predecessor to digital computers? What would be the value of such a device?
The learned astronomer's one-word reply: 'Worthless.'"
Return to the Epilogue of N. Negroponte's "Being Digital".