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Douglas Hofstadter – Gödel, Escher, Bach (1979)

The first human to conceive of the immense computing potential of machinery was the Londoner Charles Babbage (1792-1871). A character who could almost have stepped out of the pages of the Pickwick Papers, Babbage was most famous during his lifetime for his vigorous campaign to rid London of “street nuisances”—organ grinders above all. These pests, loving to get his goat, would come and serenade him at any time of day or night, and he would furiously chase them down the street.

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