Skip to comments.Alan Turing Biography: Computer Pioneer, Gay Icon
Posted on 05/12/2013 7:56:36 PM PDT by EveningStar
Alan Turing was a British scientist and a pioneer in computer science. He is well-known for breaking the German Enigma code during World War II. His suicide after being convicted of homosexual acts has made him a martyred hero of the gay community ...
Turing made it his goal to crack the complex Enigma code used in German naval communications, which were generally regarded as unbreakable. Turing cracked the system and regular decryption of German messages began in mid-1941. To maintain progress on code-breaking, Turing introduced the use of electronic technology to gain higher speeds of mechanical working. Turing became an invaluable asset to the Allies, successfully decoding many German messages ...
(Excerpt) Read more at livescience.com ...
Bright guy. What they did to him was wrong.
How do you think Turing himself would want to be remembered? For his world changing concepts in computer architecture or his sex habits?
Whether hero or not, he was a martyr. He was being treated with drugs, you know.
As I recall, he called the cops on some guy he had up to his apartment who stole something from him. That's how naive he was. That was the end of him, brilliant man that he was.
His homosexuality is terribly unimportant. By the time of his death, he was in a dry spell and had made no significant breakthroughs in several years. His homosexuality did not help him find his discoveries, and his suicide probably did not deprive the world of much in the way of additional discoveries. He did what he did, and he contributed quite a lot. The homosexuality is an insignificant detail.
Maybe a German lover game him the crack.
Maybe a German lover gave him the crack.
Of course Oscar Wilde went through something similar. Maybe if we, as a society, had continued to see homosexuality as the aberrant behavior that it is we might have been able to cure it by now.
Oscar Wilde returned to the Church on his death bed!
Turing had genius enough to conceive of the machine...Flowers had the engineering skills to actually construct it.
I’ve never used the gay icon on my computer. Didn’t know I had one.
When one is dying, it has a way of making one think about God and the afterlife.
There’s absolutely no doubt he contributed to the world of computing. However, without him, would we have computers? Yes.
Without Oppenheimer, we would still have had the bomb, maybe a little later but that cat was already out of the bag.
Saying that Turing broke the Enigma code reduces what really happened to a sound bite. http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/worldwars/wwtwo/enigma_01.shtml
Visited Bletchley Park in 2007 when I was in London. Took the train out there. Met an elderly woman who was there during the war, and a British WWII veteran while on the walking tour.
Yes, he was a gifted cryptographer.
“When one is dying, it has a way of making one think about God and the afterlife.”
Certainly I imagine but even prior to that he had showed a softness towards the Church and an understanding of his own personal faults - I have often thought that was the basis for The Picture of Dorian Gray. Even in that book Dorian visits a Church and his friend begs him to consider his immortal soul.
He was not so much an antagonist towards God/church/society as much as he was of those who individuals who ran said three.
Turing was a true genius whose accomplishments had a profound effect on world history. Therefore the details of his character and biography are of interest. Obviously the fact that he was homosexual and was hounded by the authorities because of this are very significant details of his character and biography, as they would also be if true of any other famous person.
God Bless them both. We will never know how many lives these men saved.
From your tagline. “Jolly swagman”
What in the world is a swagman?
To start with a swag is your bedding roll etc - usually wrapped in canvas. A Swagman was someone who lived out of their swag (that they rolled up and carried in their travels). Many of them in early Australia would have maybe been shearers or farm workers that walked from job to job, from sheep station to sheep station. Either that or they were what we would call bushies who basically just like to live free and would live in the bush and only come into town when they needed supplies.
They could be a bit free with other people’s possessions. In the Aussie song ‘Waltzing Matilda’ the Swagman steals a Jumbuck (sheep) and ends up committing suicide in a Billabong (watering hole) when the cops catch up with him.
Thanks for the info...
Watch this short youtube clip.
Excerpt of “Waltzing Matilda” from “On the Beach” (1959)
He IS cute! I miss the days when parents dressed children up nicely.
What a great film ‘On the Beach’ was. I had not remembered that version of the song though - Australian’s do not normally sing it as a Negro Spiritual but rather an Aussie(see Irish) ditty.
Love the version though - initially thought it might be Paul Robeson but it gets a bit too light at the end for him - Who sings it?