"If we had known about Alan Turing's homosexuality from the beginning, we might have lost the war."
-Jack Good-

Jill has a post up about the Turing test, which made me remember the above quote.

Alan Turing was a mathematician. He was pretty much the guy who invented the computer, and actually worked on a few of the early ones, and many of the earliest conceptual problems. He was also probably the most successful codebreaker during WWII. Because of him, and some material from Polish intelligence, the Allies were able to crack the ENIGMA machine's codes, thus giving them access to a lot of information on German troop deployment. In effect, he was probably one of the ten most important men in the Allied forces, and quite possibly the only one the Allies couldn't have won the war without.

After the war, in '52, he was convicted of "gross indecency" (i.e. homosexual sex) and forced to take hormonal treatment to decrease his sex drive. This led him for a period to develop breasts. If this had happened 10 years earlier; if some overzealously Christian bureaucrat had suddenly decided to act on Turing's (supposedly rather flagrant) homosexuality, who knows what might have happened?

He later killed himself by eating an apple laced with cyanide. Supposedly, the Apple logo, with a half-eaten apple, is a homage to him.


Blogger mrtn said...

What the hell was that all about? I can understand the whole google spam thing, but why the hell would you want that particular photo to be seen? I don't get it.

October 17, 2005 12:50 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

October 17, 2005 12:54 am  
Blogger mrtn said...

Completely. But I'd like to know what the deal was with the photo. Seriously. I'm curious about spammers. Stop and talk. What's your game?

October 17, 2005 12:55 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What the hell do you have against Alan Turing?


October 17, 2005 12:56 am  
Blogger Mikkel said...

Det er bare mig der driller. Billedet er af rotorerne inde i ENIGMA-maskinen.

October 17, 2005 12:57 am  
Blogger mrtn said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

October 17, 2005 12:57 am  
Blogger mrtn said...

Det var faktisk jævlig morsomt.

Jeg skjønte det med enigmamaskinen
ha ha.

October 17, 2005 12:58 am  
Blogger Mikkel said...

Desuden er det sjovt at jeg ikke bestod Turing-testen. Jeg må være Collossalt dum.

October 17, 2005 12:59 am  
Blogger mrtn said...

Ja, ikke? Jeg skulle lige til at sige det. Det var jo enormt morsomt, og vanvittig meta og pomo.

Dessuden så er der vel en slags Turingtest med de der bogstaver, så jeg skjønte at du ikke kunne være en bot. Trodde du var en linkspammer som sad på technorati og søgte på Alan Turing.

October 17, 2005 1:04 am  
Blogger Gaute said...

What are you two on about? This exchange makes no sense.

Still: The Other Turing Test

October 17, 2005 3:14 pm  
Blogger Mikkel said...

Det er fordi der er flere huller i utvekslingen.

Det startet med at jeg la en kommentar til Martin som gikk: "Great blog - really nice work! By the way, if you're interested in ALAN TURING and other ALAN TURING related information..." osv.

Martin slettet den prompte. Hehe.

October 17, 2005 5:01 pm  
Blogger Gaute said...

Hehe. Clever.

October 17, 2005 9:02 pm  

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