Remember Alan Turing


Hats off to Alan Turing and his memory and his legacy. We call ourselves civilised but we commit heinous crimes against those who serve humanity well and decently and beyond the call of duty. We have made some progress on the LGBTQ front but we are still far from achieving the right to call ourselves civilised. We are still often ignorant, fearful, hateful and bigoted. We still too often use our prejudices as weapons to divide people and to punish people for being different. We think we have changed since 1954, but right now we are persecuting Chelsea Manning for being brave and principled and serving her country well. And for being different.

Alan Turing was a genius who helped the Allies win WW2, but he had a boyfriend, so he was hauled into court, publicly shamed and ordered to undergo chemical castration – a pointless process administered in utter fucked-up medical ignorance, driven by ignorant fear.

He committed suicide at age 41.

Genius? Mathematician, computer scientist, logician, cryptanalyst, philosopher and theoretical biologist, Turing was highly influential in the development of theoretical computer science, providing a formalisation of the concepts of algorithm and computation with the Turing machine, which can be considered a model of a general-purpose computer. Turing is widely considered to be the father of theoretical computer science and artificial intelligence.

We stamped out his life sixty five years ago today. Because he was different.


epilogue paraphrased from AKALib on dailykos – thanks!


Tom’s headmaster committed suicide. At the school. He was found by a caretaker. It has rattled my two profoundly.

Aitch had befriended Eugene when his wife was also suffering from cancer, and then more so when she died, about two years before Aitch died. They were in a home bible study class with the Methodist dominee Ian Howarth.

Tom & Jess both asked me “What would happen if you died, Dad?” and Jess asked me “Dad, would you ever commit suicide?”

Shit! shitshitshit!

I have told them how much I love them and all about what I have arranged for the house and live-in care and so on, and also re-assured them no way I would do myself in. We had some good chats.

What a bliksem. Eugene was a more mature man than many of the teachers at Tom’s school, and a steadying hand. I fear Tom will catch more flak at school for a while.