Linked by Thom Holwerda on Sat 15th Dec 2012 19:11 UTC
In the News "Peers and scientists including Professor Stephen Hawking are once again pushing for an official pardon for codebreaker Alan Turing. Turing's death from cyanide poisoning in 1954 was ruled a suicide, coming after his conviction for gross indecency at a time when homosexuality was illegal." The fact that he still hasn't been pardoned is an utter disgrace.
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RE[6]: No
by kwan_e on Sun 16th Dec 2012 08:59 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: No"
kwan_e
Member since:
2007-02-18

I realise what your saying is intended to give respect the whole group, but if a major event happened and a celebrity happened to have been involved, would you be annoyed that the media inevitably focuses on the celebrity over everyone else? Because that's kind of how things play out in the world.

I think he should be pardoned symbolically, but I'm also well aware that the main motivation for pardoning him individually is his fame, most similar cases will not be high profile enough to garner much attention and may even be forgotten.


Yes, that's why we should use this as an opportunity to get attention to those who suffered like Turing. The way to go is not to chuck a sour-grapes tantrum and deny this motion because we don't get what we want - which is what several people have actually said.

The main motivation is what the people make it, not just the spokesperson's motivation. But Alan Turing is still a good figurehead because of his achievements.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[7]: No
by Alfman on Sun 16th Dec 2012 09:33 in reply to "RE[6]: No"
Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

kwan_e,

I hear that loud and clear, but I'm not even sure I'm in favour of using figureheads to drive a movement in principal. People should believe in a cause because it is important in and of itself, not because a VIP is involved.


I know that's an overly cynical view for something with innocent intentions, but I honestly ask myself if Turing's fame is a driver for this movement rather than the persecution itself.

These are just my thoughts, I'm not claiming it's the right way to see things.

Edit: It doesn't affect my opinion that he ought to be pardoned in one way or another.

Edited 2012-12-16 09:49 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[8]: No
by kwan_e on Sun 16th Dec 2012 09:50 in reply to "RE[7]: No"
kwan_e Member since:
2007-02-18

kwan_e,

I hear that loud and clear, but I'm not even sure I'm in favour of using figureheads to drive a movement in principal. People should believe in a cause because it is important in and of itself, not because a VIP is involved.


I know that's an overly cynical view for something with innocent intentions, but I honestly ask myself if Turing's fame is a driver for this movement rather than the persecution itself.


My attitude in all this is whatever gets things done. Everything is going to have its good points or bad points but if we wait for everyone to be perfectly motivated, nothing would get done.

It's the principle worse is better.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[7]: No
by WereCatf on Sun 16th Dec 2012 09:45 in reply to "RE[6]: No"
WereCatf Member since:
2006-02-15

Yes, that's why we should use this as an opportunity to get attention to those who suffered like Turing. The way to go is not to chuck a sour-grapes tantrum and deny this motion because we don't get what we want - which is what several people have actually said.


You're acting like this was some sort of a larger political movement that needs a figure head. I just do not see it that way: this move does not directly benefit or help anyone as the law doesn't exist any longer, the effects would be secondary, and pardoning Turing or pardoning them all doesn't change the fact that it would still all be symbolic. However, a request for pardoning them ALL sends a completely different kind of a symbolic message than requesting for the pardoning of a single person, and that is the whole point of why I am against this: make a big ruckus about it, get it on the papers, show all the everyday heroes and their lives destroyed, and make the general populace actually get an emotional connection instead of just focusing on a single person whom they don't know and whom they can't relate to -- if you want to send a symbolic message which one method would actually reach the audience better? The point with my "all or nothing" comment is that it doesn't matter if the government itself makes some sort of a public announcement about this, it's the fight itself that should be the focus; by making the fight about everyone, by making it about these everyday heroes and your average man you're giving people a strong connection to relate to and failing or not failing at getting a public apology from the government will still leave a much longer-lasting impression in their minds, hopefully provoking some deeper insight into their motivations.

I assume you're still going to disagree and that's fine, but atleast I have explained my view on this and I am not changing my stance.

The main motivation is what the people make it, not just the spokesperson's motivation. But Alan Turing is still a good figurehead because of his achievements.


The motivation is about sending a message, apparently, but the message itself is the part I don't agree with.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[8]: No
by kwan_e on Sun 16th Dec 2012 10:03 in reply to "RE[7]: No"
kwan_e Member since:
2007-02-18

You're acting like this was some sort of a larger political movement that needs a figure head.


No, I'm saying we could turn this into one.

I just do not see it that way: this move does not directly benefit or help anyone as the law doesn't exist any longer, the effects would be secondary, and pardoning Turing or pardoning them all doesn't change the fact that it would still all be symbolic.


Children and teenagers still get bullied at school for being gay and are driven to suicide.

I would like for those children and teenagers to go to history class and learn about how society fought for the rights of a gay person even though he's dead, and how being gay is not a barrier to being loved and acts of heroism.

What I would not like for those children to learn in history is that only a few people in society tried to do anything, even if it was just symbolic. That society couldn't even be bothered to pressure their own government into making a symbolic gesture.

Would anyone want to make an "It Gets Better" video and tell them the current state of the Alan Turing story?

However, a request for pardoning them ALL sends a completely different kind of a symbolic message than requesting for the pardoning of a single person, and that is the whole point of why I am against this: make a big ruckus about it, get it on the papers, show all the everyday heroes and their lives destroyed, and make the general populace actually get an emotional connection instead of just focusing on a single person whom they don't know and whom they can't relate to -- if you want to send a symbolic message which one method would actually reach the audience better? The point with my "all or nothing" comment is that it doesn't matter if the government itself makes some sort of a public announcement about this, it's the fight itself that should be the focus; by making the fight about everyone, by making it about these everyday heroes and your average man you're giving people a strong connection to relate to and failing or not failing at getting a public apology from the government will still leave a much longer-lasting impression in their minds, hopefully provoking some deeper insight into their motivations.


Turing IS an everyday hero. Most people still don't know who Turing is, but if they did, they could surely relate to him. This kind of action is needed to make Turing more widely known. People can relate to being persecuted, even if they aren't personally persecuted.

This is similar to the thread about Neil Armstrong a while back. People felt like he was someone they could relate to as well.

I don't presume to know the mind of the public so well as to think they are incapable of being motivated by him.

the message itself is the part I don't agree with.


There isn't just one message. Not doing anything about it is frankly just a worse message.

Reply Parent Score: 3