Friday, 25 February 2011


I read today with great pleasure that notes and papers belonging to Alan Turing have been bought for the nation to be put on display at Bletchley Park, the old wartime code-breaking site and now museum.
Last year they were up for auction but despite $100,000 from Google (sometimes they do nice things, credit where it’s due) enough money couldn’t be raised, but now thanks to continued pressure from an active group of scientists and journalists leading to a donation from the National Heritage Memorial Fund, basically distributing lottery money, the papers have been secured.
For now I’ll just celebrate it worked out and ignore questions of why it took so long when lottery money seemingly funds so much other stupid and trivial nonsense or the morality of papers like this falling into private ownership.
Many people won’t have heard of Turing, yet he was one of the founding fathers of computer design and a leading figure, when working at Bletchley Park during world war II,  in the breaking of German wartime radio codes. Were it not for him, and the people around him, we might not be sitting round now at our keyboards able to foist our opinions on the world, or we might be doing it in German.

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