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Computer Stupidities

Computer Stupidities

“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 to rightly apprehend the
kind of confusion of ideas that could provoke such a question.”

— Charles Babbage (1791-1871)

The following is a large collection of stories and anecdotes about clueless
computer users. It’s a baffling phenomenon that in today’s society an
individual, who might in other circumstances be considered smart and wise,
can sit down in front of a computer screen and instantly lose every last
shred of common sense he ever possessed. Complicate this phenomenon with a
case of “computerphobia,” and you end up with tech support personnel having
phone conversations that are funny in retrospect but seem like perfectly
valid motives for wild machine gun shooting sprees at the time.
And yet, amidst the vast,

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