Wednesday, June 23, 2021

Bigotry Harms Us All

Alan Turing, born 109 years ago today, was one of the most important figures in early computing theory and design. To this day all general purpose computers (which most are now, but were not in the early days) are said to be Turing complete, a critical concept which basically means that, given the right software, all computers are capable of performing the same, highly-complex tasks with only the need to support a small set of basic instructions.

During WWII, Turing was an critical part of the team of code breakers, working at Bletchley Park (UK), who gave the Allies the crucial advantage of being able to read the Nazi’s encrypted messages.

In 1952, for the crime of being homosexual, Turing received the punishment of chemical castration. Sadly for Turing’s family and for the world which would have benefited from the continued work of such a brilliant man, two years later, persecuted by the country he helped save from tyranny, much of his work classified and unrecognized, Alan Turing, OBE, FRS, visionary, pioneer, war hero, homosexual, committed suicide by taking a bite of poison apple.