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Posted by: Dave the Atheist ( )
Date: June 08, 2019 02:19AM

Alan Turing took his life by cyan.ide poisoning on this day in 1954
The New York Times, "notable for writing obituaries of notable men and women, never wrote his obituary — until this week, accompanied by an apology."

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Posted by: Tevai ( )
Date: June 08, 2019 02:24AM

I would never have guessed that the NY Times wouldn't run his obituary--because Turing was gay?

I am glad they finally decided to do it.

Welcome to the 21st century, NY Times!

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Posted by: Jordan ( )
Date: June 10, 2019 07:32AM

Tevai Wrote:
> I would never have guessed that the NY Times
> wouldn't run his obituary--because Turing was
> gay?
> I am glad they finally decided to do it.
> Welcome to the 21st century, NY Times!

Probably just as much to do with the fact that Turing wasn't American. If he had been, there would be wall-to-wall documentaries on PBS, and TED etc.

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Posted by: Jordan ( )
Date: June 10, 2019 07:33AM

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Posted by: ookami ( )
Date: June 08, 2019 02:31AM

An obituary for one of the men responsible for breaking the Enigma Machine code and the father of A.I. theory-- 'bout time.

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Posted by: Lot's Wife ( )
Date: June 08, 2019 03:24AM

He was only pardoned by the Queen in 2013. He saved their country, they ruined his life.

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Posted by: babyloncansuckit ( )
Date: June 08, 2019 09:43AM

I hope he looked at least a little like Benedict Cumberbatch.

Back when I started my career, science and engineering types didn’t get any respect. Now they’re rock stars. I don’t know if that’s good or bad.

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Posted by: eternal1 ( )
Date: June 08, 2019 11:15AM

Here's a picture. You'll have to decide for yourself.

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Posted by: doyle18 ( )
Date: June 09, 2019 10:57AM

Interestingly enough, Cumberbatch is related to Alan Turing. Read that somewhere when that movie came out.

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Posted by: Jordan ( )
Date: June 10, 2019 07:40AM

doyle18 Wrote:
> Interestingly enough, Cumberbatch is related to
> Alan Turing. Read that somewhere when that movie
> came out.

Most of the English upper/upper middle class is. And people wonder why David Icke has all his theories about bloodlines etc. Charles Darwin's family seem to have gotten everywhere in the UK - he is related to the politician Tony "Red" Benn, who appears in the Michael Moore documentary "Sicko" for example, and quite a few other people high up in their society who aren't so well known.

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Posted by: FNQ sparky ( )
Date: June 08, 2019 10:37AM

He was also convicted of homosexual acts in 1952 and choose chemical castration rather than imprisionment .

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Posted by: babyloncansuckit ( )
Date: June 08, 2019 10:58AM

Has anyone told Elder Oaks of this option?

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Posted by: Jimbo ( )
Date: June 09, 2019 08:33PM

Shhhhh don't give Oaks any ideas

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Posted by: kentish ( )
Date: June 08, 2019 10:44AM

Helped save his country. Sadly a different time and place and given the secrecy act ordinary people knew little of him then.

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Posted by: Amyjo ( )
Date: June 08, 2019 05:03PM

Benedict Cumberbatch's portrayal of Alan Turing gave new life to him to a next generation of movie goers.

He made Turing look like a rock star. Turing was a pretty geeky nerdy guy to those who knew him. In the movie he was portrayed as arrogant and conceited owing to his peculiarity which made him stand apart from the crowd. And add: his genius.

He wasn't afraid to be different. That was part of his genius. But it isolated him, and caused him great misunderstanding and distrust of his peers because he was a nonconformist.

As Turing's purported death by suicide, it has been under a cloud of suspicion since it was established. "On 8 June 1954, Turing's housekeeper found him dead; he had died the previous day. Cyonide poisoning was established as the cause of death.[140] When his body was discovered, an apple lay half-eaten beside his bed, and although the apple was not tested for cyonide,[141] it was speculated that this was the means by which Turing had consumed a fatal dose. An inquest determined that he had committed suicide. Andrew Hodges and another biographer, David Leavitt, have both speculated that Turing was re-enacting a scene from the Walt Disney film Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937), his favourite fairy tale. Both men noted that (in Leavitt's words) he took "an especially keen pleasure in the scene where the Wicked Queen immerses her apple in the poisonous brew."[142] Turing's remains were cremated at Woking Crematorium on 12 June 1954[143] and his ashes were scattered in the gardens of the crematorium, just as his father's had been.[144]

Philosophy professor Jack Copeland has questioned various aspects of the coroner's historical verdict. He suggested an alternative explanation for the cause of Turing's death: the accidental inhalation of cyonide fumes from an apparatus used to electroplate gold onto spoons. The potassium cyonide was used to dissolve the gold. Turing had such an apparatus set up in his tiny spare room. Copeland noted that the autopsy findings were more consistent with inhalation than with ingestion of the poison. Turing also habitually ate an apple before going to bed, and it was not unusual for the apple to be discarded half-eaten.[145] In addition, Turing had reportedly borne his legal setbacks and hormone treatment (which had been discontinued a year previously) "with good humour" and had shown no sign of despondency prior to his death. He even set down a list of tasks that he intended to complete upon returning to his office after the holiday weekend.[145] Turing's mother believed that the ingestion was accidental, resulting from her son's careless storage of laboratory chemicals.[146] Biographer Andrew Hodges theorised that Turing arranged the delivery of the equipment in order to deliberately allow his mother plausible deniability in regard to any suicide claims.[147]

Conspiracy theorists pointed out that Turing was the cause of intense anxiety to the British authorities at the time of his death. The secret services feared that communists would entrap prominent homosexuals and use them to gather intelligence. Turing was still engaged in highly classified work when he was also a practising homosexual who holidayed in European countries near the Iron Curtain. It is possible that the secret services considered him too great a security risk and assassinated one of the most brilliant minds in their employ.[148]

Turing believed in extrasensory perception,[149][150][clarification needed] and it has been suggested that his belief in fortune-telling may have caused his depressed mood. As a youth, Turing had been told by a gypsy fortune-teller that he would be a genius.[144] Shortly before his death, during a day-trip to St Annes-on Sea with the Greenbaum family,[when?] Turing again decided to consult a fortune-teller.[144] According to the Greenbaums' daughter, Barbara:

But it was a lovely sunny day and Alan was in a cheerful mood and off we went... Then he thought it would be a good idea to go to the Pleasure Beach at Blackpool. We found a fortune-teller's tent and Alan said he'd like to go in so we waited around for him to come back... And this sunny, cheerful visage had shrunk into a pale, shaking, horror-stricken face. Something had happened. We don't know what the fortune-teller said but he obviously was deeply unhappy. I think that was probably the last time we saw him before we heard of his suicide."[151]

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Posted by: praydude ( )
Date: June 08, 2019 08:50PM

This man shortened WW2 by as much as SIX MONTHS!! Who else can boast such a claim? We should have parades in his honor. We should have a national holiday of celebration.

I used to argue his case to my peers when I was active duty in the USAF. This was before the repeal of "don't ask, don't tell". The anti-gay policies of the past have bitten us back in the end. Thousands of otherwise qualified soldiers, sailors, and airmen have been kicked out for no good reason. Perhaps our endless post 9-11 war could have been shortened if we hadn't kicked out all of those Arabic/Farsi linguists when we did?

Our leaders have been idiots on this issue at least.

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Posted by: babyloncansuckit ( )
Date: June 08, 2019 09:06PM

“This was before the repeal of "don't ask, don't tell".”

It’s kind of where the church is now with respect to doubters.

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Posted by: Lot's Wife ( )
Date: June 08, 2019 09:44PM

And pretty much with homosexuality as well.

Praydude is right about Turing and about national security. We abjure pools of brain and brawn at our own peril.

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Posted by: Soft Machine ( )
Date: June 10, 2019 07:14AM

It is not true that Turing single-handedly broke the Enigma code. He was part of a large team made up of some of the best brains in Britain.

What he DID do is lay the foundations for modern computing, however, so my point is not to detract from the praise given to him post mortem, simply to set the record straight.

He was still a genius.

Tom in Paris

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Posted by: Henry Bemis ( )
Date: June 10, 2019 05:17PM

While we are on the subject of Alan Turing, and his acknowledged genius, here was an interesting quote from his essay, Computing Machinery and Intelligence (1950):

"I assume that the reader is familiar with the idea of extrasensory perception, and the meaning of the four items of it, viz. telepathy, clairvoyance, precognition, and psychokinesis. These disturbing phenomena seem to deny all our usual scientific ideas. How we should like to discredit them! Unfortunately the statistical evidence, at least for telepathy, is overwhelming. It is very difficult to rearrange one's ideas so as to fit these new facts in. Once one has accepted them it does not seem a very big step to believe in ghosts and bogies. The idea that our bodies move simply according to the known laws of physics, together with some others not yet discovered but somewhat similar, would be one of the first to go."

(Quoted from the book, The Minds I: Fantasies and Reflections on Self and Soul, Daniel C. Dennett and Douglas R. Hofstadter, in Section called, "Soul Searching.")

Dennett and Hofstadter, both hard core materialists, commented on this statement by Turing, as follows:

"Turing took "cold comfort" in the idea that paranormal phenomena might be reconcilable in some way with well-established scientific theories. We differ with him. We suspect that if such phenomena as telepathy, precognition, and telekinesis turned out to exist (and turned out to have the remarkable properties typically claimed for them), the laws of physics would not be simply *amendable* to accommodate them; only a major revolution in our scientific world view could do them justice. One might look forward to such a revolution with eager excitement -- but it should be tinged with sadness and perplexity. How could the science that had worked so well for so many things turn out to be so wrong? The challenge of rethinking all of science from its most basic assumptions on up would be a great intellectual adventure, but the evidence that we will need to do this has simply failed to accumulate over the years." (pages 53-68)

Remember, Turning made his statement about ESP in 1950, calling such evidence "overwhelming." It is even more overwhelming today! And the above statement by Dennett and Hofstadter regarding the potential impact on science as we know it is grossly over-stated. All it means is that we have to find a way to accommodate mind, and human mental capacities, into our scientific worldview. We can proceed to try to do that, or (like Dennett and Hofstadler) continue to bury our heads in the sand while simply denying that such evidence exists.

(Note that in my AH post, I identified 3 reasons for concluding that Crick's AH is false. Number 3 (which I did not discuss) was paranormal phenomena. Apparently, I am in good company.

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Posted by: Dave the Atheist ( )
Date: June 11, 2019 11:02AM

Yup. Turing was a genius who had some flawed ideas. Just like Tesla.

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