Thursday, March 15, 2007
Towleroad points out: “Incidentally, plenty of people did call Turing ‘immoral’ at the time, and he killed himself with a cyanide apple a year after being convicted of ‘gross indecency’ after it was discovered he was in a homosexual relationship. Following that conviction he was ordered to undergo hormone therapy or go to prison.”
In World War II, a British mathematician named Alan Turing led the effort to crack the Nazis’ communication code. He mastered the complex German enciphering machine, helping to save the world, and his work laid the basis for modern computer science. Does it matter that Turing was gay? This week, Gen. Peter Pace, chairman of the Joint Chiefs, said that homosexuality is “immoral” and that the ban on open service should therefore not be changed. Would Pace call Turing “immoral”?