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Remembering Alan Turing On His 99th Birthday

CmdrTaco posted more than 3 years ago | from the your-machines-confound-me dept.

Education 146

Blacklaw writes "Today marks the 99th anniversary of the birth of Alan Turing, a noted polymath and cryptanalyst who is regarded by many as being the grandfather of modern computing."

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Thank you (5, Insightful)

Haedrian (1676506) | more than 3 years ago | (#36540568)

Thank you mister Turing. Sorry about the whole anti-gay thing.

Sent from my physical implementation of Turing Machine.

Re:Thank you (0)

Hazel Bergeron (2015538) | more than 3 years ago | (#36540708)

The man was an intelligence analyst in the fledgling intelligence community, and succeeding there means being political as much as technical. Unfortunately, he was not political. It was therefore right (in the sense of the community he was working in/for) to get rid of him. Remember Martin and Mitchell, America? damn traitorous... homosexuals!

English public schools are and always have been full of faggotry. If you didn't shout from the rooftops about it, no-one cared or cares. But "faggot!" has, until 30 years ago, been an excellent excuse to get rid of someone you don't like - just as "terrorist!" is used today. (Remember, the difference between a freedom fighter and a terrorist is that the former is on your side.)

Re:Thank you (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36540730)

Hey, in the US we did the same thing with our World War II scientist-hero, only we started calling Oppenheimer a "communist" instead.

Oppenheimer and Turing won that fucking war, and this is what they got for it.

Re:Thank you (1)

syousef (465911) | more than 3 years ago | (#36540870)

So the ultimate way to get rid of a person in any era is to call them a communist terrorist faggot with an English public school education?

Re:Thank you (1)

Tsingi (870990) | more than 3 years ago | (#36541312)

So the ultimate way to get rid of a person in any era is to call them a communist terrorist faggot with an English public school education?

If he is a middle aged white male as well, you can, with impunity, shoot him down in the street.

Re:Thank you (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36541420)

Not if you're in a middle class white neighborhood. If you do, prepare for your lynching.

not goatse, honest! (1)

Thud457 (234763) | more than 3 years ago | (#36541472)

think different [revealyourbeauty.com] ?


what, too soon?

Re:Thank you (2)

mbkennel (97636) | more than 3 years ago | (#36542844)

Oppenheimer probably was a socialist or communist politically, but still he never cooperated with the USSR or was there any suggestion he ever would.

The issue of being homosexual was a problem when they had to stay in the closet---you were susceptible to blackmail, e.g. from foreign intelligence services who didn't have a problem finding this stuff out or using it.

Re:Thank you (5, Insightful)

Mr. Slippery (47854) | more than 3 years ago | (#36540866)

It was therefore right (in the sense of the community he was working in/for) to get rid of him.

You are either ignorant of what happened to Turing, or a total asshole.

Turing was not just let go from an intelligence related job, which would be bad enough. He was convicted of "indecency" and made to undergo chemical castration via estrogen injections. There is nothing "right" about what happened to him.

Re:Thank you (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36540886)

View -> Reveal sarcasm tags.

Re:Thank you (-1, Troll)

operagost (62405) | more than 3 years ago | (#36542016)

You are either a troll, or simply have poor reading comprehension. What happened to Turing was, unfortunately, expected due to the laws in effect in the UK at the time. The GP poster tried to point out that he was not sympathetic with the words you actually quoted (emphasis mine), "It was therefore right (in the sense of the community he was working in/for)".

Don't feel too badly about your mistake; you're still not as foolish as the people who modded you up to +5.

Re:Thank you (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36540900)

The man was an intelligence analyst in the fledgling intelligence community, and succeeding there means being political as much as technical. Unfortunately, he was not political. It was therefore right (in the sense of the community he was working in/for) to get rid of him.

Spoken like someone who has no fucking idea what happened to the guy in the first place.

Re:Thank you (3, Informative)

Haedrian (1676506) | more than 3 years ago | (#36540958)

English public schools are and always have been full of faggotry.

Not sure whether you chose that word by accident - but "Fagging" (same root) was common in english public schools and it had nothing to do with homosexuality.

https://secure.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/wiki/Fagging [wikimedia.org]

Re:Thank you (1)

Hazel Bergeron (2015538) | more than 3 years ago | (#36541028)

Yup. My old school rules even included the tongue-in-cheek, "There is no tradition of fagging." And it almost has nothing to do with homosexuality ;-).

Re:Thank you (1)

LongearedBat (1665481) | more than 3 years ago | (#36542014)

"Fagging" (same root)

In a sense, that is exacly what it means today.

Re:Thank you (2)

ArcherB (796902) | more than 3 years ago | (#36540994)

If you didn't shout from the rooftops about it, no-one cared or cares. But "faggot!" has, until 30 years ago, been an excellent excuse to get rid of someone you don't like - just as "terrorist!" is used today. (Remember, the difference between a freedom fighter and a terrorist is that the former is on your side.)

Terrorist: a radical who employs terror as a political weapon; usually organizes with other terrorists in small cells; often uses religion as a cover for terrorist activities.

"Freedom Fighters" do not try to invoke fear in a civilian population. Freedom Fighters do not target civilian populations. Terrorists do both.

To get back on topic, Turing ended his life before his lifestyle was deemed acceptable. It is a real shame. If he could have stuck it out for a few more years, he could have been an example that who one likes to bed with has no effect on their professional competency.

Re:Thank you (1)

Hazel Bergeron (2015538) | more than 3 years ago | (#36541224)

Freedom Fighters do not target civilian populations.

What was Mandela when leading Umkhonto we Sizwe?

Re:Thank you (1)

Tsingi (870990) | more than 3 years ago | (#36541370)

"Freedom Fighters" do not try to invoke fear in a civilian population. Freedom Fighters do not target civilian populations.

So there you have it, Israel is a terrorist nation.

Re:Thank you (1)

Denogh (2024280) | more than 3 years ago | (#36541520)

"Freedom Fighters" do not try to invoke fear in a civilian population. Freedom Fighters do not target civilian populations.

So there you have it, Israel is a terrorist nation.

If we simply must derail this topic with politically divisive, completely unrelated stuff then I suppose we must also call out their Palestinian opponents [wikipedia.org] as terrorists.

Re:Thank you (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36541714)

Why did you feel the need to make this post, Denogh?

Re:Thank you (1)

mcvos (645701) | more than 3 years ago | (#36542300)

If we simply must derail this topic with politically divisive, completely unrelated stuff then I suppose we must also call out their Palestinian opponents [wikipedia.org] as terrorists.

One big difference: Palestinian attacks do not come from the Palestinian Authority. Israeli attacks do come from the Israelian government.

Re:Thank you (1)

Eponymous Hero (2090636) | more than 3 years ago | (#36542888)

sounds like we've read some chomsky along the way down this tangent. except that no one has mentioned the united states' terrorist acts on central america via the funding of death squads with money from weapons sold to iran to stir up shit with iraq, whom we also gave weapons. thanks ollie and ronnie!!

Re:Thank you (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36541518)

Hmm..."do not try to invoke fear in a civilian population". But what if they do? Despite freedom fighters' intentions, does it still make it right to strike fear in a civilian population but it's ok because you weren't "trying to"? What about collateral damage??? If you happen to be on the other side of the freedom fighters war, collateral damage is the same as terrorism. Doesn't matter if you weren't trying to; what matters is what happened. Therefore, if I got the logic right, I would have to agree that the definition of a freedom fighter and a terrorist depends on which side of the fight one is on.

Re:Thank you (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36541278)

I agree up to a point. "Freedom fighters" with any honor usually don't rape/kill/maim women and/or children. That being said, "terrorist" is definitely the new "communist." Also, it's unfortunate that being good at what you do isn't nearly enough to protect you from people with power. I swear, some of them probably get off on squishing people smarter than they are.

Re:Thank you (1)

Hazel Bergeron (2015538) | more than 3 years ago | (#36541500)

it's unfortunate that being good at what you do isn't nearly enough

Being good at what you do should be irrelevant - it's just more obvious when a celebrity is mistreated. If only the mentally/physically mighty get treated well, then, you know...

Re:Thank you (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36541612)

Yes, the fledgling intelligence community, fledgling in the 40s and 50s, because it's not as if the likes of MI5 had been around since 1909 or anything.

No sorry, your comment is retarded, they'd had 45 years experience by the time they fucked Turing over.

Homosexuals gave their blood, sweat and tears to fight for freedom in World War II like everyone else- this wasn't some pissy war in Iraq over oil, this was a truly fundamental fight for freedom, the difference between Europe and potentially large parts of the rest of the World ending up under a dicatorship that makes North Korea look like a nice pleasant holiday camp and being the place it is today. It doesn't matter how you try and spin it, the treatment of homosexuals post war was simply unacceptable- it doesn't matter what's perceived to be wrong with people when they've done so much for not just their country but for much of the world, you just can't treat them like that. It wasn't right then, and it's not right now.

"It was therefore right (in the sense of the community he was working in/for) to get rid of him."

By that logic it's right to get rid of ignorant twats from the Slashdot community, so fuck off.

Re:Thank you (1)

Hazel Bergeron (2015538) | more than 3 years ago | (#36541876)

Yes, the fledgling intelligence community, fledgling in the 40s and 50s, because it's not as if the likes of MI5 had been around since 1909 or anything.

The interwar intelligence community was nothing like post-WW2, and MI5 was not in a fit state for much in 1939. But you probably wanted to argue that GCHQ was just a renamed GCCS, which would be news to everyone.

By that logic

Read the bit in brackets. Just because something's judged right/wrong by you it doesn't mean it will be judged right/wrong by someone operating from a different set of principles. For GCHQ, Turing was wrong - not because he was gay but because he was not politically malleable. You can't study history by dismissing contemporary motivations and substituting your own.

Re:Thank you (1)

causality (777677) | more than 3 years ago | (#36542072)

Read the bit in brackets. Just because something's judged right/wrong by you it doesn't mean it will be judged right/wrong by someone operating from a different set of principles. For GCHQ, Turing was wrong - not because he was gay but because he was not politically malleable. You can't study history by dismissing contemporary motivations and substituting your own.

Ah this old argument. Man. It's so easily shot down, it's a miracle it still persists. But okay, I'll indulge you.

So there is no absolute truth, right? Are you absolutely certain? You see, it defeats itself trivially and is therefore worthy of no more attention.

Not only should we compare history to our standards, it's one of the most important functions of history. Stop making this all about personal attacks (against those who hated Turing) and look at the big picture. What have we learned, if anything, from past injustices? Are we truly more advanced than those who came before us, or are we decaying into our own brand of decadence, our own ready excuses for mistreating and abusing others? Are we just "making nice" to cover that up with outward behavior? At the same time we see how wrong our ancestors were, do we have our own wrongs we prefer to deny? These are worthy questions. Your relativism would sweep them under the rug.

It's fucking shameful that history is taught in our schools in terms of "ok, memorize that so-and-so won X War on Date Y". It completely trivializes what could be understood from it.

Re:Thank you (1)

mcvos (645701) | more than 3 years ago | (#36542430)

Not being politically malleable is no reason to drive someone to suicide. Not now, not then. Fire him and then knight him for his tremendous work.

Re:Thank you (1)

Hazel Bergeron (2015538) | more than 3 years ago | (#36542738)

Or drive him to suicide and eliminate a liability. It certainly worked with David Kelly only a few years ago.

It's not like they're thinking, "Shit, in 40 years' time people will be cool with gays and we might be looked upon badly."

Re:Thank you (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36540744)

This. Sorry - no mod points. Straight and Geeky not narrow.

Re:Thank you (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36540862)

I was wondering why you never see the name "Turing" anywhere else unless it refers to this one man.

Ever notice the more unique the name the more you can invent? Not too many John Smiths revolutionizing computing. Or physics. Or anything else.

Maybe being a queer can explain why HE didn't personally propagate the family name. But that can't be a real explanation he's just one man.

Re:Thank you (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36540950)

You forced me into searching Wikipedia for John Smiths. Here are a couple of notable results:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Smith_(explorer)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Maynard_Smith

Re:Thank you (2)

dkleinsc (563838) | more than 3 years ago | (#36540918)

Sent from my physical implementation of Turing Machine.

Ok, I'm impressed - where do you keep your infinitely large memory tape?

But seriously, that guy was probably as much a part of the Allied victory as General Patton was, and proof that homophobia hurts all of us.

Re:Thank you (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36541286)

But seriously, that guy was probably as much a part of the Allied victory as General Patton was, and proof that homophobia hurts all of us.

Proof that if he wasn't such a faggot he wouldn't have had any of those problems.

Can't you understand this? Two lesbians = woohoo can I watch?! Two gay men = disgusting. Damn. Gotta spell it out for some people.

Destroy the Computer! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36542358)

Destroy Turing's invention! Who cares if he cracked the german Enigma-code and won World War II, IT'S A HOMO'S DEVIL-MACHINE!

Re:Thank you (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36542476)

Sent from my physical implementation of Turing Machine.

Your implantation fails the Turing Test in an obvious way. It should be easy to fix...

And shamefully treated too. (4, Insightful)

Gandalf_the_Beardy (894476) | more than 3 years ago | (#36540592)

I always wonder what more he would have gone on to if he hadn't been branded a pervert - one of the UK Govt's more shameful episodes.

As it was, the Turing machine remains an excellent means of terrorising computing undergraduates. I've never seen such confusion when we saw the concept for the first time in class.

Re:And shamefully treated too. (1, Funny)

donscarletti (569232) | more than 3 years ago | (#36540864)

I always wonder what more he would have gone on to if he hadn't been branded a pervert

As a mathematician over 30? Probably he could have done some teaching, hung out at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton for a while, get tenure somewhere, smoke a pipe and so forth.

Re:And shamefully treated too. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36541196)

Charles Babbage's major contributions came after age 30. A little cynical to assume everybody mentally retires at that age.

The true test (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36540594)

is whether this frosty was computer generated

If he is the grandfather... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36540630)

who is the father then?

Re:If he is the grandfather... (-1, Troll)

grub (11606) | more than 3 years ago | (#36540648)


Turing and his life-partner adopted a boy. You didn't know?

Re:If he is the grandfather... (1)

royallthefourth (1564389) | more than 3 years ago | (#36540668)

bill gates obviously

Wow! 99? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36540662)

Old guy is old.

Why 99 (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36540680)

Thought 100 would be the more "special" occasion.

Re:Why 99 (2)

mr1911 (1942298) | more than 3 years ago | (#36540742)

We will get to that in about a year.

Re:Why 99 (3, Insightful)

agentgonzo (1026204) | more than 3 years ago | (#36540874)

Slashdot is trying to atone for its past history of posting news stories months after they happen by being a whole year early for this particular one. Also, expect three threads on the subject next year.

Re:Why 99 (1)

BeShaMo (996745) | more than 3 years ago | (#36540906)

I take it you missed the 98th birthday commemoration last year?

Re:Why 99 (2)

jonescb (1888008) | more than 3 years ago | (#36541408)

We start counting from 0 here.

Re:Why 99 (1)

Lord Lode (1290856) | more than 3 years ago | (#36542166)

You can't celebrate him enough!

If he's so smart how come he's dead? (2)

bazmail (764941) | more than 3 years ago | (#36540698)

Yeah go ahead.....

Re:If he's so smart how come he's dead? (1)

stardaemon (834177) | more than 3 years ago | (#36540808)

Ok, I will:) He isn't smart any more. Comes with being dead.

Re:If he's so smart how come he's dead? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36540814)

Yeah go ahead.....

Because no matter how smart you are and how well you may present your argument, people will almost always react from their irrational beliefs and prejudices.

I've read some of Turing's accomplishments during WWII; especially the lives he directly and indirectly saved and the fact that his English comrades hung him out like they did disgusts me to no end

Re:If he's so smart how come he's dead? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36541048)

This was meant to be modded Funny, right?

Polymath? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36540704)

Stupid question: What is a polymath?

Re:Polymath? (4, Funny)

Hazel Bergeron (2015538) | more than 3 years ago | (#36540728)

Cockney rhyming slang for a bath. The man was a large iron/enamel basin. And basins give a ringing sound when you strike them. Two strikes, turings. Whence the Turing machine.

Re:Polymath? (1)

Inda (580031) | more than 3 years ago | (#36541002)

lol. Highly unlikely. Fair play for the +5.

Been racking my brain and I cannot think of RS for bath... but it has never been polymath. It doesn't even rhyme in Norf Landan.

Re:Polymath? (3, Informative)

Gandalf_the_Beardy (894476) | more than 3 years ago | (#36540748)

Someone who is skilled in multiple different disciplines like Leonardo da Vinci, (Painting, sculpture, engineer, physicist, astronomer, anatomist, geologist, architect) or perhaps Jefferson, (author, lawyer, musician, botanist, diplomat)

Re:Polymath? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36540856)

You forgot "pitcher" and "catcher".

Re:Polymath? (1)

syousef (465911) | more than 3 years ago | (#36540902)

Someone who is skilled in multiple different disciplines like Leonardo da Vinci, (Painting, sculpture, engineer, physicist, astronomer, anatomist, geologist, architect) or perhaps Jefferson, (author, lawyer, musician, botanist, diplomat)

And here I thought Polymath was the name of any parrot who could add. The ones that can't are called PolyWantACracker.

Re:Polymath? (0)

nedlohs (1335013) | more than 3 years ago | (#36540818)

Get dictionary that is less than 400 years old.

Re:Polymath? (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36541066)

Stupid question: What is a polymath?

Proof that idiots will ask stupid questions before using Google.

If you're here it's not like you don't have net access... Being too helpless to get off your ass and find your own answers is why you are and shall remain a fucking imbecile.

You're like the morons who wait on hold for 30 minutes for tech support just to ask questions that are in Page 1 of the FAQ, in the Web site, in the README file, in the help file, in the manual, and on the jacket the CD comes in. Yes they are literate. Hand-holding is what they want. They want somebody to come and hand them an answer even if that's hundreds of times less efficient than using their own resources. They are sheeple and they are followers and they are mindless.

Now, see if you can follow along. What happens when you get a whole nation like this? What authority do they start looking to, to do all their thinking for them? Oh, right, government. Fear this and be scared of that, and oh was that your Constitution we just shredded, oh well, you won't miss it. You think it's just a little intellectual laziness and you think anybody who doesn't like that is just an asshole. God dammit sometimes the asshole has a compelling point. Are you really so stupid and immature that you can't separate the correctness of the point from your feelings about it?

Seriously quit helping helpless people. It's ultimately the best thing you can do for them.

And Google forgot this... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36540746)

They put a Doodle for every stupid thing and forgot this anniversary :(

Re:And Google forgot this... (5, Interesting)

Hazel Bergeron (2015538) | more than 3 years ago | (#36540764)

However. [google.com]

Too Soon... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36540816)

Wait a year and I imagine we'll have nerds calling in sick with Turing-itis or taking a day to celebrate his accomplishments.

And yes I could build a thought experiment touring machine that works, I just elect not to because modern computers work just fine.

Turing, victim of hypocrisis (4, Insightful)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 3 years ago | (#36540872)

While we're in dire need of your skills, we'll look past your "oddities", but as soon as the fag did his part he can as well go to hell.

How many good people do we have to lose due to hypocrites and stupid laws influenced by religion before we notice that the Gallileos and Turings did more to our progress as humans than all the bible thumpers together?

Re:Turing, victim of hypocrisis (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36540966)

> How many good people do we have to lose due to hypocrites and stupid laws influenced by religion before we notice that the Gallileos and Turings did more to our progress as humans than all the bible thumpers together?

Why do you think he was hated? Racist people love black people who fail, because it validates their beliefs. They despise the President because the message is plain and clear: This BLACK man is BETTER than YOU! He's smarter than you, he's more successful than you, he makes more money than you, he's more respected than you, he has more power than you...

Gays are ok as long as they are terrible people. But once a gay person actually starts to save lives, and shows that he is BETTER than YOU... well, we can't have that, now can we?

Re:Turing, victim of hypocrisis (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36541058)

I call BS:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Christian_thinkers_in_science

Just because you would like to believe that all "bible thumpers are idiots does not make it true, and just because some people (the church) have made bad decisions does not make them all wrong. Please remember that "the Church" was also the same group that pushed for public education, health care reform, communcation and peace.

Re:Turing, victim of hypocrisis (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36541418)

Let's see, just from that list: Nicholas Copernicus - book put on the Index. Giordano Bruno - burned at the stake for denying the divinity of Jesus. Galileo Galilei, held under house arrest for last 9 years of his life. Descartes, whose teachings were banned in his lifetime in some universities on religious grounds. So keep in mind that the Church was not really one group, but many groups; even individual entities within the Church - for instance, the Society of Jesus - have been schizophrenic about science over the centuries.

Also, to the fellow below: Galileo was convicted in 1633. The printing press was invented in 1439, and literacy had already advanced quite far in order for the printing press to give a good return on investment. Erasmus sold 750,000 copies of his books by 1536, and there were 200,000,000 books in Europe by 1600. So no, "shortly before Galileo" the monks were not just about the only literate persons, unless by "shortly" you mean "only 200-300 years earlier"...

Re:Turing, victim of hypocrisis (1)

royallthefourth (1564389) | more than 3 years ago | (#36541074)

Gallileos ... did more to our progress as humans than all the bible thumpers together

Remember that shortly before Galileo the monks were just about the only literate persons and wrote all of the literature in their time. The church was huge and its right hand often offered a blessing while the left destroyed. It was part of a larger social order that by constant warfare between tiny states (among other savage means) prevented anyone else from gaining education, be it accidental or intentional. Of course, the world isn't arranged by feudalism anymore and its last remnants (the church, monarchy) are only influential in the most backward places.

Re:Turing, victim of hypocrisis (1)

WillAdams (45638) | more than 3 years ago | (#36541128)

Well, the Bible thumpers have had their moments:

http://www.amazon.com/Irish-Saved-Civilization-Hinges-History/dp/0385418493 [amazon.com]

And Galileo _was_ a devout Catholic (which makes his story all the more poignant).

At least you got Turing's situation right. What we really need is for someone to make the explicit statement that ``Civil Unions'' should be accorded _all_ the legal rights, privileges and status as marriage and we could move on to solving real problems as opposed to arguing over labels. At least the UN got on board in a recent resolution:

http://articles.cnn.com/2011-06-17/world/un.lgbt.rights_1_gay-rights-human-rights-gay-pride-event?_s=PM:WORLD [cnn.com]

Re:Turing, victim of hypocrisis (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36542310)

The government could recognize only "Civil Unions" and each social group can choose to call it marriage if it pleases them.

Re:Turing, victim of hypocrisis (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36541234)

Then too there was Anthony Blunt who was gay, a Soviet spy, worked in MI5 during the war (and passed on Enigma translations which originated with the group where Turing worked) and who ended up working as an art historian (in part for the royal family, I believe) and who did quite well for himself.

Wait... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36541290)

Are you calling Galileo a fag???

Re:Turing, victim of hypocrisis (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36541390)

the Gallileos and Turings did more to our progress as humans than all the bible thumpers together?
 
Yeah, Newton was a chump!

Re:Turing, victim of hypocrisis (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36541626)

You do realize that almost all of Galileo's work was done on The Church's dime right? But keep believing the fairy tale that bible thumpers aren't also patrons of science.

Re:Turing, victim of hypocrisis (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36542820)

How many good people do we have to lose due to hypocrites and stupid laws influenced by religion before we notice that the Gallileos and Turings did more to our progress as humans than all the bible thumpers together?

High-tech is a relatively safe place to be "different", but it hasn't always been so. One example that's close to my heart is the way IBM threw Lynn Conway [lynnconway.com] out on her ear. So she went on to invent all sorts of cool shit at places like Xerox PARC instead.

Alan Turing should be Knighted (1)

FlipperPA (456193) | more than 3 years ago | (#36541190)

There's a campaign that was start to Knight Alan Turing, which would be an appropriate honor bestowed by the government which treated him so horrifically. More information is available here:

http://news.pinkpaper.com/NewsStory.aspx?id=1704 [pinkpaper.com] ...or just Google it. If it were to happen a year from today, that would be wonderfully appropriate, though I doubt Turing would care too much about a number stuck in base 10.

A Toast to Alan! (1)

paulsnx2 (453081) | more than 3 years ago | (#36541270)

Alan Turing demonstrated (through what was a thought experiment) the very nature of computation. His contributions stand head and shoulders over any other computational theorist, ever.

Turing machines model computation while striping away all the artifacts required to really build a computer system. At the same time, they demonstrate and prove that there isn't any difference between the results of a computer, and a computer simulating a computer. In one paper he provided us with the model to understand how to build computers, and how to write really fun movies (Matrix, Total Recall, and many others)

A toast to you, Alan! You are loved, and you are missed!

Re:A Toast to Alan! (1)

smallfries (601545) | more than 3 years ago | (#36541840)

Dude, I know that it is Alan's birthday, but you shouldn't use it to diss the Church like that.

Re:A Toast to Alan! (1)

glwtta (532858) | more than 3 years ago | (#36542230)

His contributions stand head and shoulders over any other computational theorist, ever.

Well, Alonzo Church had a bit to do with it, too.

An Apology (1)

assertation (1255714) | more than 3 years ago | (#36541304)

Has anyone ever suggested that the British government issue an apology (torturing him because he was gay) to his family or the gay community as well as doing something to commemorate him?

Re:An Apology (1)

Gandalf_the_Beardy (894476) | more than 3 years ago | (#36541354)

Already been done...

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/technology/8249792.stm [bbc.co.uk]

"Gordon Brown has said he is sorry for the "appalling" way World War II code-breaker Alan Turing was treated for being gay."

Re:An Apology (1)

assertation (1255714) | more than 3 years ago | (#36541720)

Good to hear that the right thing has been done.

Re:An Apology (1)

Stoobalou (1774024) | more than 3 years ago | (#36541410)

http://www.thinq.co.uk/2010/3/25/government-gives-250000-to-bletchley-park/ [thinq.co.uk] PM Gordon Brown said sorry for all the chemical castration and that back in March. And coughed up £250,000 for the park's upkeep

Re:An Apology (1)

assertation (1255714) | more than 3 years ago | (#36541552)

Nice to hear about the decent thing being done for a change.

Re:An Apology (1)

Xest (935314) | more than 3 years ago | (#36541672)

Yes, we finally got the cunts to do this just the year before last.

I say finally because many attempts for such a thing had been rejected so many times before, even since the millenium which shows how utterly fucking pathetic governments are at accepting that sometimes they didn't do the right thing.

It's shameful that it took so long, it's shameful that even in recent years it was still rejected, but at least they finally did it.

As for commemorating him, that's really gone ahead without the government, there are numerous ways in which he's commemorated around the country, generally funded by private or academic institutions.

Re:An Apology (1)

assertation (1255714) | more than 3 years ago | (#36541752)

That is one thing I respect about the German government. They gave apologies for WWII and I believe the Holocaust.

I still think the government should do something to commemorate him. A statue, a memorial or at least a postage stamp

Google missed a fine opportunity (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36541468)

Google missed a fine opportunity on their home page to honor Alan Turing on his
99th birthday in our gay pride month of June. Maybe next year when he would
have been 100.

Someone remind Google (1)

Sparky69 (537855) | more than 3 years ago | (#36541514)

Of all the days that Google should have a custom search page today would be it. They've had it for people a lot more obscure than Turing who is ultimately responsible for any of them having jobs. Just sayin!

Re:Someone remind Google (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36541820)

I'm guessing they're waiting for the 100th birthday

Horribly sad story. (2)

bodland (522967) | more than 3 years ago | (#36541710)

I learned about Turing many years ago, but his personal story was only made aware to me recently.

I am glad to see that apologies have been made but it doesn't make up for the tragedy of a brilliant man...a brilliant gay pioneer.

Speculation on if he committed suicide fails to mention that a dramatic side effect of estrogen use in males is the development of female secondary sexual characteristics, a "second pubery". Two years on estrogen injections that no doubt were at quite a high dosage to supress testosterone, Turing more than likely developed noticeable breasts accompanied by fat shifts and loss of muscle mass...not to mention the atrophy of the genitals...

One could speculate it was extremely difficult for a sexually active healthy gay man in his early 40's to undergo a "forced transition". After two years Turing was probably seeing his body turn quite female as subcutaneous fat settled into female patterns on his body and muscle tone gives way to a more smooth appearance, and body hair reduces to a terminal stage and become less vigorous. Other effects include reduction in stamina and aggression as well as physical strength. His sexuality and attractiveness to other gay men was being taken away from him. It was likely too much...add to it the extreme effects on emotions caused by the influence of estrogen if his dosage was not maintained consistently it would result in wildly shifting levels of testosterone and estrogen resulting in more emotional instability.

It would not be surprising that he could no longer live himself. In the end his story ends as another example, in a long string, of cruelties society has inflicted on gay people throughout history.

It is funny how we treat the dead (1)

harrytuttle777 (1720146) | more than 3 years ago | (#36541808)

Living today, in the political climate that we do it is easy to say he was a hero. I wonder what percentage of people here would have been calling him a fagot, and want him locked up for his crimes if this were 1950. I am guessing it would be close to 98%.

It is indeed fortunate that we are all living today, and can all make fun of those people who were living in the past who were all wrong in their thinking. We are not racists, because we do not live in the South. We are not Nazis because we do not live in Germany in the 30's. We are not pedophiles because we do not live in Ancient Greece. In short we are all blessed to be alive at this one moment in time, when humanity is thinking the proper things about the proper set of people. In the future our children might not be so lucky. They might end up doing something wacky like giving emancipation to all animals. In the past our grandfather's were all forced by societal pressure to carry on their racist bigoted ideas.

We should all feel pretty smug to be alive at this time.

Now I am going to make fun of some southerners because they are all prejudiced.

Logicomix (1)

Evtim (1022085) | more than 3 years ago | (#36541976)

Hey, let's write to the creators of the Logicomix [http://www.logicomix.com/en/] - they were planning for a second book that would follow Von Neumann and Turing! What better occasion than the 100th anniversary!

I though their work about Russell, Whitehead , Godel and so on was simply superb!

Thank goodness... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36542384)

... that the British government saw sense in giving him a posthumous apology.

It's the only good thing Gordon Brown ever did for this country.

Shame (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36542840)

It's a shame he didn't live to see the true fusion of computation and homosexuality in the form of Apple.

celebrating bdays of dead folks... (0)

uncledrax (112438) | more than 3 years ago | (#36542848)

Do we really need to celebrate the birthday of every person that was a remote genius, and more importantly dead?

True, he was a great person (I had to build a Garden to get that 25% bonus to produce him, i'll have you know!), but there were at least thousands of others.. do we celebrate de Vinci's birthday? Babbages? Lady Ada?.. no.. so maybe we can get over this whole bday thing? kthx.

PS: I celebrate Turing every day by using crypto in my daily computing anyway..

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