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Alan Turing


Sep 16 2009, 5:00pm

Views: 469
Alan Turing [In reply to] Can't Post

As a computer scientist, I am a great admirer of Turing (who is responsible for many of the basic foundations of CS, in addition to the code breaking work; I noticed the Tolkien article called him "the gay codebreaker", which I found kind of odd but I guess that's what he's best known for). His story is indeed sad. If you're interested, there was a play called "Breaking the Code" which the BBC did a TV version of. It's mostly about his personal life, not really any of his math or cryptography. Derek Jacobi, a favorite actor of mine, plays Turing and puts in a good performance.

There's also Neal Stephenson's book Cryptonomicon, which is about many things (and is also about 1000 pages), but includes a fictionalized Turing, and touches on some of the math work.

For instance, on the planet Earth, man had always assumed that he was more intelligent than dolphins because he had achieved so much -- the wheel, New York, wars, and so on -- while all the dolphins had ever done was muck about in the water having a good time. But conversely, the dolphins had always believed that they were far more intelligent than man, for precisely the same reasons. -- Douglas Adams

Subject User Time
JRR Tolkien trained as British spy News from Bree Send a private message to News from Bree Sep 16 2009, 2:47pm
    This is a fascinating article. silneldor Send a private message to silneldor Sep 16 2009, 4:35pm
        Alan Turing acheron Send a private message to acheron Sep 16 2009, 5:00pm
            I'm an admirer of Turing too. Aunt Dora Baggins Send a private message to Aunt Dora Baggins Sep 16 2009, 8:41pm
                I really liked my undergraduate computability class acheron Send a private message to acheron Sep 17 2009, 2:18am
    I'm wonder if the Tolkien Estate was approached... Snaga Send a private message to Snaga Sep 16 2009, 7:12pm
    Some of this has been public knowledge for at least 28 years. N.E. Brigand Send a private message to N.E. Brigand Sep 16 2009, 7:31pm
    I cannot read the fiery letters. Sauron must have been using a four-rotor Enigma./ L. Ron Halfelven Send a private message to L. Ron Halfelven Sep 16 2009, 7:35pm
    After they parachuted into Berlin by night, Tolkien was appalled when Turing blew their cover by mincing down the Unter der Linden... squire Send a private message to squire Sep 16 2009, 9:19pm
        Well said entmaiden Send a private message to entmaiden Sep 16 2009, 10:22pm
            It's a pity that some journalists feel like they must do this to sell a story Ainu Laire Send a private message to Ainu Laire Sep 17 2009, 1:05am
        on the other hand, you have different fingers acheron Send a private message to acheron Sep 17 2009, 2:30am
            Thanks for those details squire Send a private message to squire Sep 17 2009, 3:15am
            completely off this subject: I love your subject line! a.s. Send a private message to a.s. Sep 18 2009, 12:28am
                lol acheron Send a private message to acheron Sep 18 2009, 3:32am


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