c.1225, "failure, failure to act," from O.Fr. defaute, from M.L. defalta "a deficiency or failure," from L. dis- "away" + fallere "to be wanting." The financial sense is first recorded 1858; the computing sense is from 1966.
How I see it, all the word 'default' means is the state an object is in if you don't mess with it. e.g. the default position of a football is on the centre of the playing field, until one of the players kicks it. They didn't need computer science for that.
Please keep your rants to your blog.
If A = B and B = C, then A = C, except where void or prohibited by law. -- Roy Santoro