“A Great science fiction detective story” – Ian Watson, author of The Universal Machine
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Days to Centenary: 5
5… 4… 3… 2… 1…!
Just 5 short days to the Turing Centenary!
Self-help publishers and magazine editors delight in lists that purport to be able to help you improve your life.
Everything I Need to Know I Learned from Sudoku!
5 Days to Bigger Dimples!
10 Ways to Cheat Death!
In the article — I can’t wait for the book version, of which a mock-up is pictured below — they share the closely guarded secrets that will let you to Turing-ify yourself until you are more Turing-esque.
Follow all 7 steps and become Turing complete!
Be More Like Alan Turing in 7 Easy Steps!
- Try to see things as they are
- Don’t get sidetracked by ideologies
- Be practical
- Break big problems down into smaller tasks
- Just keep going
- Be playful
- Remember that it is people who matter
Joking aside, the article does manage to examine Turing’s life through a different lens than other accounts I’ve seen, giving us a new portrait by adjusting the lighting in the room so that our focus falls elsewhere than in the usual places.
For example, the many biographical sketches that are circulating in this centenary year sometimes descend into caricature, with Turing the eccentric genius entirely eclipsing the real human being with real human connections. Yet Turing was not simply Sheldon Cooper of The Big Bang Theory writ large (YouTube compilation here to brighten your day). He was connected with others and valued those connections — a side of him which comes through here.
Once you’re done reading that, you might enjoy catching up on Turing’s legacy through some of Ars Technica’s other computer-related offerings, like their articles on:
- the Department of Energy’s 16 petaflop supercomputer
- the auction at Sotheby’s at which one of the world’s last functioning Apple 1 motherboards sold for $374,500, and
- Intel’s new mini motherboard.