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Utopia Talk / Politics / Alan Turing on 50 Pound Note
Dukhat
Member
Tue Jul 16 05:59:58
About time he was recognized. Probably saved tens of thousands of lives directly and millions indirectly for his work cracking ENIGMA.

jergul
large member
Tue Jul 16 06:09:29
Truth.
CrownRoyal
Member
Tue Jul 16 07:29:32
"As a gay man in the early 1950s, at a time when homosexual acts were illegal, Turing faced a demeaning choice when a burglary at his home brought Turing’s relationship with a man to police attention.

He was found guilty of gross indecency and had to decide between going to prison or undergoing chemical castration. He chose the latter, a horrifying treatment that involved hormonal injections.

Turing died in June 1954, aged 41, at his home in Wilmslow, near Manchester, in an apparent suicide. On Christmas Eve in 2013, the Queen signed a posthumous pardon for him."

---------------
good old times, when normal people were not discriminated against by militant gays
Sam Adams
Member
Tue Jul 16 13:34:13
A WHITE MAN!!! racism!!!

-seb, aoc
Rugian
Member
Tue Jul 16 13:41:48
Why was Benedict Cumberbatch allowed to portray Turing in The Imitation Game when hes not a gay man himself? Fucking bigoted homophobic Hollywood in action yet again.
RugianLovesTheCock
Member
Tue Jul 16 14:03:04
Need cock
Rugian
Member
Tue Jul 16 14:08:34
Well if you're going to make fun of me for standing up for LGBTQIATMFOH+ people, I'm just not going to do it any more.
Nimatzo
iChihuaha
Tue Jul 16 14:26:31
I was always dumb struck by the fate of his man. He was instrumental in defending his country against arguably the biggest existential threat it ever faced. That is how bad it was to be gay in one of the more civilized places on earth, you may have helped save the country old chap, but your faggotry is unforgivable.
RugianLovesTheCock
Member
Tue Jul 16 14:26:45
Who is making fun of you for needing cock. How insensitive
Forwyn
Member
Tue Jul 16 15:21:43
Due to the compartmentalized nature of security, and the leviathan scope of Western government, it's easy for an individual of even monumental importance to fall through the cracks.

All it takes is some backwards law, some inbred local cops, a judge with virtually no reins on his discretionary power, and a few Sebs to handwave it away.
Cherub Cow
Member
Tue Jul 16 15:57:30
“Due to the compartmentalized nature of security”

This may be what you meant here, so yeah: Turing’s WWII contributions were kept classified during his lifetime, so the police and judge had no idea what he’d done for the war effort. The government probably should have stepped in to protect him, but they may not have for a few reasons (e.g., didn’t care because they didn’t need him anymore, weren’t made aware of it through the proper channels, agreed that he should be prosecuted, couldn’t step in because it would reveal his classified status, etc.).
Nimatzo
iChihuaha
Tue Jul 16 17:04:19
Hmm yes, you both raise good point I didn't think of. People didn't know and those that did, just didn't give a fuck

"Turing's conviction led to the removal of his security clearance and barred him from continuing with his cryptographic consultancy for the Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ), the British signals intelligence agency that had evolved from GC&CS in 1946, though he kept his academic job."
obaminated
Member
Tue Jul 16 21:29:18
" That is how bad it was to be gay in one of the more civilized places on earth"

yeah it is quite a bummer. same shit happened to oscar wilde.
McKobb
Member
Wed Jul 17 00:13:20
That's a bummer.
Seb
Member
Wed Jul 17 07:47:18
Forwyn:

My literal entire job in Government was handling edge cases and stupid decisions to ensure we did the right thing.

It's depressing that by explaining to idiots like yourself how these stupid decisions are almost always cockup rather than malevolent (or indeed, in navy cases not stupid at all) based on my experience, you've decided I do the reverse.

But good to see at some level you've internalised the message.


Seb
Member
Wed Jul 17 07:52:34
CC:

I think I recall in the dim and distant past reading that his immediate minders did know, but didn't care to get involved. Hatred of homosexuality probably would lead to mid level individuals hanging him out to dry without adequate oversight from higher ups that would feel personal gratitude having worked with him during the war or appreciate his potential for being a future asset.

Also, the UK govt was stupidly myopic about Turing: they dismantled a lot of the machinery, stopped doing much to develop it further and tried to cover up the tech because enigma machines started to be used everywhere after the war. They may well have thought Turing a liability (Gay = compromisable) and past his usefulness.



Seb
Member
Wed Jul 17 07:53:58
Turing had to basically reinvent computer science after the war due to his war time work being both classified and also being pursued half arsed by the defence establishment.
Forwyn
Member
Wed Jul 17 11:03:00
"cockup"

How is it a cockup? He broke a regulation and was punished. You are frequently the law and order jackboot defending punishments for breaking regulations.

We, as uninvolved commenters knowing his contributions with hindsight, might comment that it was unjust that someone who contributed so much was so negatively affected by a ridiculous. Some of us might note that there were thousands of individuals undoubtedly punished by the same law that were not gifted with high intelligence and sterling wartime contributions, and are equally as unjust. You, as the mindless government bureaucrat, must not give preferential treatment to individuals. He broke the law, after all!

I don't give a shit about your job, and I've never cared to ask. Any message you see is coincidental.
Seb
Member
Wed Jul 17 11:39:07
Forwyn:

Gosh you are terrible at reading comprehension.

I was addressing solely your gratuitous swipe at me.
Seb
Member
Wed Jul 17 11:40:55
I mean how could Turings conviction and enforced "treatment", a singular event, possibly be described "almost always" anything? Are we discussing many worlds theorem?

Forwyn
Member
Wed Jul 17 11:52:40
Yeah, I was swiping at you by saying a 1940s Seb would defend this, not that it would specifically involve your job.

How could the enforcement of a law, the 100% predictable consequence of any law ratification, be described as a "cock up"? Was he not punished according to the letter of the law?
Seb
Member
Wed Jul 17 13:42:27
Forwyn:

A 1940s version of me would be the guy that would be finding the handler, and explaining that he was being a fuckwit and to sort it out.

To be honest, 1940s me would be the one drafting the sub to Churchill explaining why rather than burrying colossus and making sure the guy that built it (not Turing, forgotten his name) never worked on computer stuff again, that actually we wanted to get this into the public domain asap and own the industry.

"How could the enforcement of a law, the 100% predictable consequence of any law ratification, be described as a "cock up"?"

1. I didn't describe it as such.
2. Arguably, the failure of the security estate to protect him from the law (when others had been protected) was a cockup; albeit to do so would be rank hypocrisy. But not what I was referring to.
obaminated
Member
Wed Jul 17 13:44:58
haha, well done forwyn. seb claiming he would go against the government's rule is pretty hilarious to read.
Sam Adams
Member
Wed Jul 17 18:15:23
Ya, seb would tow the government line without thinking, just like now.
Rugian
Member
Wed Jul 17 18:16:28
Sam,

Civil service, not government. Otherwise you're correct.
mexicantardnado
Member
Wed Jul 17 18:17:02
duuur I like duur sucking duuur forwyn's duuuur cock...up duuuur
Forwyn
Member
Wed Jul 17 18:19:55
lol @ finding the handler

"1. I didn't describe it as such."

"these stupid decisions are almost always cockup"

Again, enforcing the law is not a cockup, or an edge case.
Forwyn
Member
Wed Jul 17 18:25:06
In Time Traveler's Wife II, Seb teams up with black 007 to track down the handler of Alan Turing, noted mathematician, cryptologic analyst, and groundbreaking computer scientist, in order to save him from the clutches of...local police! Seb will attempt to subvert the law and the Crown in order to further British supremacy in the field of technology. Will they succeed? Tune in next week to find out!
Seb
Member
Wed Jul 17 18:26:48
Rugian:

Same thing. The Civil Service serves the government of the day.

Forwyn:

"these stupid decisions are almost always cock-up"

Yes, the meaning of that sentence is that "stupid decision like [prosecuting Turing] are nearly always cock-ups". Logically, one can infer that I think prosecuting Turing is a stupid decision, but not necessarily a cock-up.

Rugian
Member
Wed Jul 17 18:27:59
"The Civil Service serves the government of the day."

ROFL. Okay.
Seb
Member
Wed Jul 17 18:29:48
Forwyn:

Oh you poor naif. Do you seriously think that in the 1950's the security services weren't leaning on the police not to prosecute all over the bloody shop?

I mean half of MI5 and SIS were well known to be gay. It was publicly admitting it that was a problem.
Seb
Member
Wed Jul 17 18:31:44
"subvert the law and the Crown"

This is a really silly way of saying "convince the police that it would not be in the public interest to prosecute in this instance".


Forwyn
Member
Wed Jul 17 19:50:56
"albeit to do so would be rank hypocrisy"
Seb
Member
Thu Jul 18 02:29:31
Forwyn:

Hypocrisy is far from the worst crime and part of day to day life; particularly when you start to get into spooky areas: GCHQ wondering around lecturing everyone on security through CESG and lately NCSC while at the same time sitting on a pile of unpatched zero days with no idea if the other side have figures them out too and are busy hacking our banks.

So yeah, I think a govt in the 50s should totally have yanked plods bosses bosses boss into a wood panelled room in Whitehall and strongly made the case with menaces that prosecuting Turing was not in the public interest. Boo boo, some law from the 1850s is being ignored - but it was being ignored everywhere. Turing, unfortunately, decided to admit it to a policeman openly rather than using codes language. Oh Noes! SuBvrT teh cRoWn!

chuck
Member
Thu Jul 18 06:52:52
> the guy that built it (not Turing, forgotten his name)

Wiki says it is the memorably named Tommy Flowers.
Seb
Member
Thu Jul 18 07:05:36
Yup that's him.

"After the war, Flowers received little recognition for his contribution to cryptanalysis.[21] The government granted him £1,000 payment which did not cover Flowers' personal investment in the equipment; he shared much of the money amongst the staff who had helped him build and test Colossus. Flowers applied for a loan from the Bank of England to build another machine like Colossus but was denied the loan because the bank did not believe that such a machine could work.[citation needed] He could not argue that he had already designed and built many of these machines because his work on Colossus was covered by the Official Secrets Act."


Long slow handclap for the idiot post war governments that managed to fail to invest in rebuilding British industry and squandered the Marshall plan funds on various white elephants.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/history/british/modern/marshall_01.shtml
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