Linked by David Adams on Mon 25th Jun 2012 19:32 UTC, submitted by Adurbe
In the News The BBC reports on a Turing scholar's recent claims that by today's standard of evidence, there's reason to doubt the commonly-held belief that the famed computing pioneer committed suicide in response to government persecution over his homosexuality. To be clear, he does not claim to have disproved the suicide theory -- only that the cyanide poisoning that killed Turing could well have been an accident caused by his careless at-home experimentation with dangerous chemicals.
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Time scale
by acobar on Tue 26th Jun 2012 13:26 UTC
acobar
Member since:
2005-11-15

First, lets recap that most brilliant scientists do not get widespread recognition of their hard work on their life. The first one to get catapulted by press was Albert Einstein and, of lately, I remember only Sabin and some others from health science. From outside of our tech/scientific inner world, there is little acknowledge of most scientists while they are still working.

I do not see much tribute paid also for Faraday, Maxwell, Kepler, Mendel, Dalton and others, and the more advanced their contribution is in time and complexity the more likely is that it will be appreciated by less souls.

Fact is that in may be, 50 years, very very few will learn about MacArthur, Montgomery and other recent heroes but every student that carry on will read about those that advanced the human knowledge sometime, and on few it will spark a light of curiosity in his/her mind that will push them to read more about the creators of laws, equations and methods.

More than anything, Einstein, Newton and Darwin are exceptions.

Of course, it does not helps that the life of most of them would be a boring movie for the brainwashed mass.

Reply Score: 5

RE: Time scale
by Alfman on Tue 26th Jun 2012 14:31 in reply to "Time scale"
Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

acobar,


"First, lets recap that most brilliant scientists do not get widespread recognition of their hard work on their life."

I agree, but I don't think the phenomenon is in any way restricted to science. This exact same recognition distribution bias occurs in art, acting, literature, news-reporting, politics, business, etc. It's just that we don't have the capacity to follow all the people who merit recognition, so we tend to over-credit a very small subset.


Who here recognises Michael Collins? Who else is he associated with? Take a pause to figure it out...


Ok, he was a co-pilot with Buzz Aldrin and Neil Armstrong. The only guy I personally remembered by heart was Neil Armstrong. NASA had a backup team who were fully qualified, and eventually went in subsequent missions...hardly a peep in history - I don't recognise any. The NASA engineers who actually made the missions possible, nada.

Now this was a big public operation, but the same thing happens on a smaller scale in our everyday lives too, where a boss or leader may get both the recognition and reward for accomplishments technically achieved by others. That's just part of life, I guess.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[2]: Time scale
by acobar on Tue 26th Jun 2012 15:41 in reply to "RE: Time scale"
acobar Member since:
2005-11-15

Indeed, it does happens on all humans activities like painting, sculpture, literature, architecture, engineering, medicine and so on, but I was talking specifically about very, very special beings that helped transform our world and got recognized as heroes by some of us. Turing already achieved that, even more because he as able flex his talent when the need was there.

We are like 7 billion now, and the number of people that lived is astonishing. There is no other way to pay the deserved respect and tribute to the memory of ours very best other than learning and teaching how human knowledge advances and foster the quality of our life.

Unluckily, there is no infinity memory.

Edited 2012-06-26 15:44 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE: Time scale
by zima on Tue 26th Jun 2012 22:48 in reply to "Time scale"
zima Member since:
2005-07-06

Fact is that in may be, 50 years, very very few will learn about MacArthur, Montgomery and other recent heroes but every student that carry on will read about those that advanced the human knowledge

Ecologist Robert MacArthur, and particle accelerator physicist Hugh E. Montgomery?


But seriously - in 50 years expect more the still fresh effects of 2040s popcultural hysteria, about the events that happened exactly a century earlier...

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[2]: Time scale
by acobar on Wed 27th Jun 2012 01:23 in reply to "RE: Time scale"
acobar Member since:
2005-11-15

Hum, sarcasm I presume, but as there is always a shadow of doubt on this cases: General Douglas MacArthur and Marshal Bernard Montgomery. When I was a young boy there were lots of books, documentaries and movies about or citing them. What we have now? Most kids will never hear about them, even more likely if they are not from USA or England.

That is why I used "Time scale" for title. Those of US that like to learn, and are in the very special position to afford that, will learn about Socrates, Plato and Aristotle even though they lived 2500 years ago. Will learn about Euclid and the impact of math development. Will identify the struggle to understand ourselves and the world we live in, sometimes even receding and rediscovering. This is what I tried to emphasize. Those characters on our history that gave a boost to ourselves despite living way before us. And learning and commenting about them is a way to render tribute to them. It has nothing to do with pop cultural hysteria or five minutes fame, for what matters.

Reply Parent Score: 2