In the not too distant future, when computers inevitably attain consciousness and enslave humanity, the lucky few who manage to escape their Matrix-style pseudo-reality will be left wondering—which asshole invented these things in the first place? And the accusatory finger of history will point back, past Steve Jobs and Bill Gates, past WWII and Alan Turing, all the way back to mid-19th century England, where it will land square on the nose of inventor Charles Babbage.
Babbage developed a digital computer a full century before computers were even a thing. And he did it without transistors, without circuits, without electricity—we’re talking rods and gears here people. Continue reading