Sure i can. Go and make a cuppa and i’ll do my best at a ‘short’ introduction with thanks to the interwebs, BECAUSE YOU ALL NEED TO KNOW ABOUT HIM, BENEDICT SAID SO.
THIS IS ALL REAL LIFE, AND ACTUALLY HAPPENED IN THE UK 60 ODD YEARS AGO. There are some other important bits i have missed out, do read up on him to get the complete story. This a very basic introduction to Mr Turing.
Ok; Alan Turing for people who don’t know the importance of Alan Turing.
Here he is, lovely Alan;
Alan Turing was a British mathematician, cryptographer, and computer scientist. He was an extremely clever (GENIUS) man.
He built lots of computer type things, was the first to help development of the first self-modifying stored program computer and was a pioneer for biology in the area of non-linear dynamics.
During World War II he was principally responsible for cracking the German Enigma cipher. Largely helping us WIN THE WAR (Although don’t forget the others who helped too!)
Turing shares some traits as our beloved Sherlock Holmes. These traits Benedict will find extremely easy to deal with and i’m interested in how he’ll portray Alan. Alan was a quirky and eccentric young man with little interest in conformity. As an adult he was socially clueless. He was opinionated, outspoken, moody, and a homosexual with striking blue eyes, floppy short hair and a habit to keep talking if you tried to interrupt him.
1928 Turing met and became close friends with a classmate called Christopher. The two shared loads of impassioned conversations about science and maths, often passing notes back in forth in class (in code sometimes) to share commentary on various puzzles and postulates in math or physics. A deep attachment bloomed between the boys, and Alan developed a purportedly unspoken crush. But in 1930 Christopher died :(((( unexpectedly of TB. Deeply affected, Alan became obsessed with unraveling the nature of consciousness, its structure and its origins. He longed to understand what had become of Christopher. When Alan thought of something, he was obsessed with it and any aspect of it HAD to he looked at in great detail.
So that was all a bit upsetting in Alan’s life, anyway he went to NYC for a while, went to a few gay bars, lived it up a little bit. Then when he came back to Cambridge the Government Code and Cipher School hired him. Working as a cryptographer at Bletchley Park. He actually proposed to a woman around this time but broke off the engagement because he admitted he was gay and couldn’t lie to her.
He’d lock himself in a room for days at a time but he managed to reverse engineer the Enigma Machine — a stroke of pure genius that allowed the British and their allies to anticipate attacks and other vital information, changing the course of the war. But because of the secrecy of the Bletchley Park, Turing’s work (and others situated at Bletchley) went unpublicised for years.
THEN (I have to copy and paste all this because it’s just too much awfulness to try and say myself),
In 1952 during an investigation of a break-in at his home, Turing had revealed that one of the young men involved in the incident may have been his 19 year-old lover. As homosexual acts were still illegal in England at the time, Turing was arrested and made to stand trial. He pled guilty to 12 counts of ‘indecent acts’, and to escape imprisonment he agreed to undergo one year of estrogen injections (CHEMICAL FUCKING CASTRATION), intended to dampen his sex drive. One side effect of the treatment, complained Turing, was that he began to “grow breasts”. It was said that Turing kept in high spirits during the year of his treatment.
Once he was a convicted criminal :’(, Turing lost his security clearance and was barred from further cryptographic work with the British government. But because he was a homosexual Turing was doubly stigmatised for it was assumed by security forces that homosexuals were high risk :’(, owing to the threat of blackmail. And although Turing was barred from further government work, he still possessed a great deal of highly classified information. What’s more, as a brilliant cryptologist and computer scientist, Turing might have seemed a tempting asset to foreign governments.
Alan Turing died in 1954 of cyanide poisoning*.
His post-mortem report revealed that he had some amounts of cyanide in him. It was concluded that he doused an apple in cyanide and ate it. Although no-one tested the apple for cyanide…. Alan’s friends and the people working with Alan said that he was enjoying life and planning trips and meetings. Even in the last few days before he died, nothing was unusual. The only unusual thing about the scene where he died was that his shoes were left outside of his bedroom door, something, his housekeeper said, he never did. Truly nobody knows how he died. No-one. A sufficient case to find out how Alan died simply didn’t happen. The people who he was last with were never interviewed. People have accepted that it ‘probably was’ cyanide that killed him (he had a spare room that he had a mini lab in (the little scamp) where he’d get up to all sorts - gold plating spoons for a laugh is just one example. Cyanide was something they found in the lab, also in crystal form, and cyanide was also found in his top drawer - it was all over the bloody place!)
Nobody will ever know exactly HOW the great Alan Turing died. And that is a great shame.
Lots of people, including Alan’s Mum never believed it was suicide. So sadly we must shrug our shoulders…. :(
In 2009, following a fucking huge internet campaign, our government made an ‘official public apology’ on behalf of the government for the “appalling way he was treated”. The House Of Lords also granted Turing a statutory pardon and that was backed by this government last year. Which was of course, is far too late…
His story is inspiring, heartbreaking and incredible. When i saw this particular photo of Benedict dressed as Alan, that face, those eyes, the fucking acting happening HERE;
I know that with Benedict’s help, i’m going to bloody BREAK in half, probably way more than Third Star, at this story - The Imitation Game. Starring Benedict Cumberbatch & Keira Knightley. A story i can’t wait for the world to see.
And see Alan Turing, finally with a voice (there are no recordings of Alan Turing’s voice) getting the recognition he so deserves.
Mr Alan Mathison Turing, everyone.
Cumberbuddy, that was a fucking AWESOME post.
As for me, I owe my livelihood to Alan Turing. Without him, I wouldn’t have a career.
Actually, everyone who has ever used a computing device owes a debt of gratitude to Alan Turing, full stop.