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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RE[3]: Time scale
by zima on Tue 26th Jun 2012 23:01 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Time scale"
zima
Member since:
2005-07-06

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

Sometimes it seems like we don't really care that much about the dead... we just like to think we do
(quick, tell me something about your great-g-g-g-g-g-g-grandmother! The one from the side of your father, grandmother, great-grandmother, great-g-grandfather, 3g-grandfather, 4g-grandmother, 5g-grandmother, 6g-grandfather - something basic, like in which century did she live, on which continent, what language did she speak, how long did she live to the nearest decade; and that's a very recent ancestor)

The best / saddest is the popular myth "more of us live now than have ever lived" ...who cares about the likely 100+ billion dead homo sapiens.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[4]: Time scale
by acobar on Wed 27th Jun 2012 00:42 in reply to "RE[3]: Time scale"
acobar Member since:
2005-11-15

I was talking about our very best on humanity advancements.

It is not reasonably to expect any of us to remember most of our grand grand parents, even though their decisions had a direct impact on our very own existence. To honor them is enough to be the best world citizen you can and to help improve those around us, specially the ones we love at most and that are more affected by our choices. If we all could achieve that the world would be a way better place.

Answering your question (?), I do care about who lived on the extent I explained, and also care about who advanced our society by trying to learn as most as I can about their achievements way more than about their life, even thought is its easier to grasp the extension of their findings under the light of the way they lived.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[5]: Time scale
by zima on Wed 27th Jun 2012 12:04 in reply to "RE[4]: Time scale"
zima Member since:
2005-07-06

Well it wasn't really a question; or at most a rhetorical one.

Yes, a bit extreme with "grand grand" ...but a) objectively, not really - such time periods are ultimately still a blink of an eye b) it's usually not that much better with just grandparents - it seems that, after a while, we can rarely recollect reliably even two basic things about who they were: where and when they were born and lived at first (assuming the latter is not as easy as "here" - and even then, it's not quite exact enough: city districts made a big difference; we also tend to make a big deal even of a mere year or two age differences, during our two most formative decades)

Anyway, the point was, we barely care even about our ancestors to the extent we like to think we do (of course the other issue is, how much of our ancestors they really are, how much our name is really ours, with the typical levels of human infidelity & only very recent emergence of reliable paternity tests); and we seem to prefer cherishing myths about our importance (not having the decency to remember even about the rough number of the dead; or, in different sphere, Lake Wobegon effect and such) ...so just don't expect too much WRT people remembering some dead strangers.

BTW, not sure if a species doing this http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Human_welfare_and_ecological_foot... can be described as really caring about a better world (but we like to say to ourselves that we do, oh yes)

Reply Parent Score: 2