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View Full Version : A fitting tribute to an incredible genius



DuckHook
March 26th, 2021, 07:41 PM
https://nakedsecurity.sophos.com/2021/03/26/alan-turings-50-banknote-officially-unveiled/

Were it not for this incomparable figure of history, we might not have the computing landscape that exists today. I remember studying him well back in the last century before encryption was a big deal (or any deal at all). It's hard to conceive of the world today without the encryption technology founded on his theories. It's also possible that history would have turned out to be far worse had it not been for the otherworldly achievements that he and his team pulled off during the war.

A brilliant but ultimately tragic life.

QIII
March 26th, 2021, 08:17 PM
An utterly amazing mind -- and a good man.

The world suffered a great loss in June of 1954. And I will withhold comment about the period between then and August 2009.

Dennis N
March 26th, 2021, 08:34 PM
If you have Roku Channel, there is a free-to-stream movie on Turing's breaking the Enigma encoding, currently available: "The Imitation Game".

DuckHook
March 26th, 2021, 08:50 PM
If you have Roku Channel, there is a free-to-stream movie on Turing's breaking the Enigma encoding, currently available: "The Imitation Game".
For those of us on KODI and without ROKU, it's also available on tubitv.

I watched that years ago when it first came out. Like most popular fare, it focused on his personality and personal life with well done but manufactured drama about his code breaking during the war and the horrific final episode of his life. Popular drama doesn't do the technical aspects of genius proper justice, but how can it, I suppose?

QIII
March 26th, 2021, 09:11 PM
The part about his engagement to Joan Clarke was a bit melodramatic and contrived, too. But it got Turing in front of a wider audience.

DuckHook
March 26th, 2021, 10:15 PM
…it got Turing in front of a wider audience.
I suppose it's a trite complaint by now, but I'll say it anyway: It's an outrage—and an indictment of our society's sad values—that people like Alan Turing are practically unheard of while Kim Kardashian is famous because… she's famous.

A note of optimism: there have been a few dramatizations of mathematical geniuses of late:


"The Imitation Game" (Alan Turing)
"A Beautiful Mind" (John Nash)
"The Man Who Knew Infinity" (Srinivasa Ramanujan)
Numerous biopics, but my favourite dramatization has to be "The Theory of Everything" (Stephen Hawking)
Too many Einstein references to list, but then, he's Einstein

If anyone knows of others, I'd love to see them. I'm fascinated by mathematicians—and this, coming from a guy whose knowledge of mathematics is at best sophomoric.

DuckHook
March 26th, 2021, 10:37 PM
I forgot to mention another recent gem: "Hidden Figures"

Really, really good film, that one.

The Cog
March 26th, 2021, 11:01 PM
It's an outrage—and an indictment of our society's sad values—that people like Alan Turing are practically unheard of while Kim Kardashian is famous because… she's famous.
Alan Turing's name will still be known and respected in a hundred year's time.

DuckHook
March 26th, 2021, 11:03 PM
Alan Turing's name will still be known and respected in a hundred year's time.
↑ This ↑

grahammechanical
March 26th, 2021, 11:18 PM
Anyone heard of Tommy Flowers? I thought not. Have you heard of the man who lead a team of British General Post office engineers who were working on electronic telephone exchanges to replace electro-mechanical telephone exchanges and ended up designing and building the world's first programmable electronic computer called colossus? That's who Tommy Flowers was! And he was the son of a bricklayer from the East end of London. How about that for extraordinary?

http://www.computinghistory.org.uk/det/1078/Tommy-Flowers/

Regards

DuckHook
March 27th, 2021, 12:08 AM
…That's who Tommy Flowers was!


Thanks for the link.

It's an immeasurable loss to posterity that these extraordinary machines built by the most extraordinary of people were almost all broken up and sold for scrap. The powers that be never had any sense of these people's or their inventions' places in history. Both machines—the biological as well as the electronic—were treated as useful tools and their contributions largely ignored and forgotten after the fact. It didn't help that they worked on projects considered at the time to be top secret and therefore unmentionable and unacknowledgeable.