In a discussion at another question, rajah9 mentioned that default is used to mean to fail to repay a loan, but that in the computer world we now use it to mean a value used when no value has been explicitly set.
Somewhat closer to the IT meaning, default can also mean to lose a game or a lawsuit by failing to show up, as in lose the baseball game by default. At least, I can see a similarity between this is what you get if you don't say what you want and this is what you get if you don't show up.
Is there any context outside of IT field where default is used to mean what you get if you didn't say what you want?
Particularly, is there such a usage before IT people started using the word in this sense?