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« Happy 100th birthday, Alan Turing | Main | Getting from Hay to Blankfein »

June 23, 2012

Breaking the Code — "My love of my country"

More on the great Alan Turing on his 100th birthday. In the above scene from Breaking the Code, Derek Jacobi as Turing defends himself from a British bureaucrat (who is taking away his security clearance for being gay) by describing the day he figured out how to break the Nazi Enigma code. Jacobi's performance, which I saw live many years ago at the Kennedy Center, is quite moving. The courage required for such a ferocious self-defense in such an era, when such a person had no one to back him up, is almost beyond imagining. It brings to mind Frank Kameny's similar encounters with American bureaucrats five decades ago. Here's to our pioneers.

"It's not breaking the code that matters. It's where you go from there."

Update: NYT reports on renewed efforts to win a pardon for Turing.

Update 2: Here's a link to documentary footage on the death of Turing.

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