Eric Raymond’s down-playing of Turing’s life(outside of his scientific accomplishments) and what he endured is simply disgusting. From the article :
Yes, yes, repression, anti-gay prejudice, I know all right-thinking people are supposed to be horrified by such things – but the man who (more than any other single person) cracked the Enigma code and unified computer programming with mathematical logic deserves to be remembered for those things, not for the accident of his sexual preferences or a myth of final martyrdom later forcibly grafted onto his life.
I’m ashamed that this guy represents “hacker culture”. Eric, you are morally wrong to say that Turing’s achievements in science are more important than his moral struggles. Yes, Turing helped unify computer programming like no-one else(previously) but standing for what is right in the face of overwhelming persecution is magnitudes more important than any scientific achievements will ever be.
Alan Turing was a human being who’s life needs to be seen as a whole. The article(and the BBC piece that it refers to) treat the facets of his life like a cheap buffet. No, you don’t get to gorge on dessert first, you have to eat your vegetables first and then only dessert if you aren’t obese. Eric Raymond you are no authority on ‘how Alan Turing would want to be remembered’. The notion is itself ridiculous. His whole life should be remembered.
It is articles like “Abusing Alan Turing” that summarize what is horribly wrong with the hacker culture(and the larger industry) in how they are so quick to elevate technology and progress over morality and philosophy (Facebook and kin are other contemporary examples).
Programming(or any other mental masturbation) will never be as important as preventing the oppressive persecution of real human beings. Jon maddog Hall on the other hand has written an article about Turing that honours his life and shows just what kind of torment he might have endured for so long.
Fuck the Eric Raymond’s and BBC reporters of the world for trying to say otherwise !