Our cuisinart is of a particular vintage, probably several decades old (its heavier than any other one I've ever handled) and doesn't have any switches or pulse-levers like newer models do. Rather, it starts whenever the components are locked in. More recently, it starts up whenever the bowl is locked in, regardless of where exactly the lid happens to be.
You can imagine this being a bit of a problem, particularly in the case of making something with flour like pie crust, say. Or something wetter like hummus. The potential for mess and danger is really infinite. So, we unscrewed the motor and took a look under the hood. I'd never speculated over what the guts of a Cuisinart might look like but here you are:
Curiosity answered. We fixed it right up with some oil on the internal switch and for now, its working like a charm.