Tuesday, 24 December 2013

Alan Turing

Just one quick brief post today, Christmas Eve. Alan Turing has been given a 'Royal Pardon' for his conviction for 'homosexual activity'. Much good may it do him; he's been dead a long time. Not that such pardons should not be given; they pardoned Timothy Evans many years after they hanged him for murders he didn't commit. But pardons don't exonerate the people who, and the state which, fitted up poor daft Timothy Evans and hounded Turing (who was naively open and honest about his homosexuality) to probable suicide. No-one should feel smugly that 'Justice has been done.'
It has been calculated (God knows how) that the work of the people at Bletchley Park, notably Turing, shortened WWII by several years. It was they who broke first the Enigma code and later more complex codes; work which led to the development of computers.
If anyone wants to know how an Enigma machine works, I'll make it the subject of a future post. Up to now, I have been highly impressed by the intellectual acumen of my readers: not one of them had the slightest difficulty understanding that poem about people waiting to get into heaven, and I fully expect no-one to write in to say they don't know how an Enigma machine works.

Happy Christmas!

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