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[8]: No
by kwan_e on Sun 16th Dec 2012 10:03 UTC 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

RE[9]: No
by WereCatf on Sun 16th Dec 2012 10:14 in reply to "RE[8]: No"
WereCatf Member since:
2006-02-15

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.


And that's exactly what I am arguing for, don't you understand? I would want children to learn that even if the government doesn't care the people themselves do instead of that the government cared about one, famous one and the rest were then forgotten. The fact is that giving Turing a pardon would steal the thunder away from the rest and given how short a public memory is people wouldn't anymore have the motivation for them; "you already got your pardon!"

Any message that the government says is simply too easy to forget or ignore, you need peers to make a long-lasting impression. Appeal to people themselves and you'll get a better result than you could ever get with a formal apology from a faceless government.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[10]: No
by kwan_e on Sun 16th Dec 2012 10:27 in reply to "RE[9]: No"
kwan_e Member since:
2007-02-18

And that's exactly what I am arguing for, don't you understand? I would want children to learn that even if the government doesn't care the people themselves do instead of that the government cared about one, famous one and the rest were then forgotten.


But this isn't the government coming out with this plan apropos of nothing. It is the people pressuring the government, a government which had knocked back the plan before.

We need to get this fact straight.

The fact is that giving Turing a pardon would steal the thunder away from the rest


No, that is not a fact. Not a fact at all.

and given how short a public memory is people wouldn't anymore have the motivation for them; "you already got your pardon!"


And the same would happen if it happened your way:

"Well, they couldn't even give Turing a pardon. What's the point in doing anything further?"

We can all come up with fantasy scenarios and they prove exactly nothing.

Any message that the government says is simply too easy to forget or ignore, you need peers to make a long-lasting impression. Appeal to people themselves and you'll get a better result than you could ever get with a formal apology from a faceless government.


I don't buy into this "everything the government does is always bad" argument. I have no time for libertarian scaremongering.

Reply Parent Score: 3