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Life Arts    H4'ed 6/24/11

Happy Birthday Alan Turing !

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Message GLloyd Rowsey
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Because it's Alan Turing's birthday we should all celebrate our genders.   And please, nobody worry about your chromosomes.   There are a finite number of the sex chromosome combinations, true, and the most common are XY and XX, widely called male and female (respectively).   But androgen and estrogen are added to our mothers' fetuses continuously, and they also determine our sexual orientations (genders).  


So, we're born into a world of infinitely variable gender possibilities, determined by infinitely small, not discrete, biological differences, and this despite the two choices which most human societies throughout history have seemed compelled to prefer.


But who was Alan Turing, other than a man named Alan who was born on June 23?  


Turing was one of the 20th century's greatest mathematicians, a scientist recognized as his peer by Albert Einstein, a predecessor of John Von Neumann's who did seminal early work on computers.    


He also headed up the Bletchley Park code-breaking group that cracked Enigma before the end of 1940.   Enigma was the coding machine the Germans used to send orders to their military units in the field, and throughout the whole of World War II, they never tumbled to the fact that the Allies had broken it.   Consequently, it is simply incalculable how many Allied lives Turing and his group saved during World War II.


Turing was born on June 23, 1912.  


And he killed himself on June 7, 1954 because he feared being "outed" as a homosexual. 




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I have a law degree (Stanford, 66') but have never practiced. Instead, from 1967 through 1977, I tried to contribute to the revolution in America. As unsuccessful as everyone else over that decade, in 1978 I went to work for the U.S. Forest (more...)
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