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Sunday, 08 January 2012


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The Wiki article gives lots of memorials to him, in the form of statues, University buildings, and computer labs. And Gordon Brown did voice a government "apology" for the way he was treated.

But you are right. It would be great to see a statue of him in central London. A memorial to the fact that we can in this country do things brilliantly; including, unfortunately, prejudice and persecution.

What did Rupe send you, and why?
He never sends me anything and he used to be Australian.

For goodness sake, Andra, I explained all that in bang-up-to-date techie-speak. He sent me a 'magi-recording-playback-thingie'. Honestly, trying to get you girlies to understand high tech is really difficult!

'W', yes, I meant that it was time for a national monument, perhaps outside the National Science Museum might be a suitable spot.

I STILL don't know what that is.
Oh, don't worry about it.
I'll ask somebody who knows about those things.

"Si monumentum requiris, circumspice".

There is actually a physical memorial to him, in the form of a rather nice slate statue, near the reconstructed bombe at Bletchley Park.

The sculptor's perspective on it is here:

I do agree, though, that a statue in London would be a good idea. On the 4th plinth in Trafalgar Square for a while, maybe?

There is also a Turing home page here:
and there is a petition for him to receive a posthumous pardon here:

Mr. Nerd, welcome to D&N where I think you will fit in very well!

I am delighted that there are more examples of memorials to Alan Turing than I had realised - and I think the slate one is terrific. I have signed the Turing pardon petition, a futile gesture perhaps but sometimes, carefully chosen, they are worthwhile.

Andra, it's just the latest sort of Sky recorder which, being serious for a moment, is terrific not least because it's easy enough for a moron like me to work. 'Rupe' sends them out 'free' if you sign on for certain channels.

No matter is so grave that it can't be made frivolous by some prat demanding a posthumous pardon.

By and large, DM, I quite agree with you which is why I describe it as a "futile gesture" but like all rules there are occasional exceptions - and I think Turing is one of them.

Honestly, you Jocks are so unforgiving!

So you'd pardon Turing because he was clever enough to do sterling service at Bletchley. What about some dim homosexual who nonetheless did sterling service as a rifleman? Why no pardon for him?

Well, I suppose in a sense, they have all been pardoned already because the law has been changed and what they did then is no longer considered illegal now. So perhaps a pardon for Turing would stand as a symbol for all of them. I don't pretend that it's logical but one should never underestimate the power of symbols even if, on close examination, some of them turn out to be somewhat tatty and tarnished.

I humm-ed and ha-ed for some time over whether to sign the petition, as I was aware that it was projecting 2011 values onto the legal system of 1954.

In the end, though, it was the sheer scale of Turing's contribution that persuaded me to override my historical scruples and sign.

Was that decision logical? No, not really. Did it feel like the right thing to do? Yes.

But it would also, IMHO, be quite consistent to disapprove of the petition yet still seek a memorial in central London.

Maybe if I win the Lottery I'll fund it.

Well said, Mr. Nerd, couldn't have put it better myself - and pay no attention to DM, crusty old bugger, he's a Cambridge swot and tends to take things to their logical limit!

My personal view is that a statue should be erected near to Churchill opposite Parliament.

Aha- it all makes sense now. I'm an Oxford swot, and know when not to take things to their logical limit!

I wouldn't argue, Jimmy, although I think that outside the Science Museum might be more appropriate.

Crikey, Mr. Nerd, the intelligence quotient of this blog just went up - two Oxbridge swots. I will have to watch my step.

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