originally written, circa 2015
It is a shame what happened to him, stated my boss as he moved his finger across this photograph of the Cambridge Ratio Club. I looked at him quizzically, he said nothing else.
The man was Alan Turing seated on the ground at the far left of this photograph. My boss, in 2003, was Thomas Gold. On the second day of my work helping Professor Gold with his memoirs, he proudly showed me the photograph of The Ratio Club and instructed me to type the names of all the members in the caption.
He enjoyed telling me how Turing broke the enigma code and other stories of other men in the photograph. I wondered what happened to Alan Turing but felt that it was somehow inappropriate to ask of my aged, British boss. Not so much that he would not have told me, but that it was somehow so sad he did not want to discuss it.
Tonight, I learned Alan Turing’s story. It was heartbreaking to see a genius brought down by the same barbaric, inhumane treatment that he stopped. I paid especially close attention because of that day, long ago now, when Alan Turing came to my attention and felt so real.
Below, is an excerpt from Thomas Gold’s book….
“But still I knew nothing about this when Turing came to visit me. (Referring to breaking the German secrecy.). What impressed me was firstly how….extremely shy and modest, and yet apparently immensely knowledgeable and imaginative. He discussed with me how electronic computers would take over not only mathematical computations but most of the commercial administrative work. Payrolls, bank accounts, all this he realized already then, in 1944, would become the prerogative of the computer.”
What unfortunately has not happened with the advancement of technology is the human ability to grow beyond an archaic interpretation of Our emotions so that they can be translated for the betterment of all.