Linked by Eugenia Loli on Tue 11th May 2004 18:27 UTC
Geek stuff, sci-fi... The Cambridge University mathematician laid the foundation for the invention of software. As part of its anniversary celebration, BusinessWeek is presenting a series of weekly profiles for the greatest innovators of the past 75 years. Some made their mark in science or technology; others in management, finance, marketing, or government. In late September, 2004, BusinessWeek will publish a special commemorative issue on Innovation. Elsewhere, there is also a special article for Turing.
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Mathematician into Martyr
by Aidan Mark on Wed 12th May 2004 06:45 UTC

Michael, your objection to the Turing test is ripped from Daniel Dennett. So there is no need to keep on about it in the hope we'll be impressed with you genius. Read Turing's original paper and be impressed with his - even if you see flaws in his argument.

Xerces: pure historical relativism. Those bloody english authoroties (curiously British authorities are always English when they are being bloody) were, by the standards of the time, trying to be tolerant (however low those standards appear today). Turing was not imprisoned but offered medical treatment instead. That was as liberal as the UK law allowed in 1952. Swedish law prosecuted thousand for the same activity and even after liberalization, social attitudes where little different.

So, appart from exhibiting your dislike of English people, your point is?

Nkour: Turing was not "forced" to take hormones. He broke the law, was offered medication an alternative to prison, and chose to take it. No an easy choice I'm sure, but he was hardly strapped to a chair and forced to grow breasts.

Captain Pinko: whist you believe that it is important that Alan Turing committed suicide after having his life ruined by being revealed as a homosexual., nobody else does.

Everyone who knew Turing, knew he was a homosexual. Turing was always "out". His mother knew, all his colleagues knew. Without doubt the military knew. What we don't know is why he apparently took his life over 2 years later in a bizare echo of Walt Disney's "Snow White".

It may well have been more to do with his lack of recognition and direction after the war together with loosing his security clearance - which, as a man with a head full of state secrets in the middle of the cold war had as much to do with a disregard for security and inappropriate foreign trips, as with his sex offense conviction.

Since he isn't here to tell us, and hence we don't know, it's a slur to say his life war ruined so he took the cowards way out. It didn't happen like that and it accords him no honour to paint him as a gay martyr when he clearly wasn't.

Smashit: What has Konrad Zuse got to do with it? Nobody is claiming Turing built a computer before Zuse. His achievements are in the mathematical arena. Take a look at or read Hodges' bio.

Anonymous: IBM? Huh?

Jack: A sane comment. Thank you.