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[5]: Time scale
by zima on Wed 27th Jun 2012 12:04 UTC 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)

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