Story Teller, OUTWEST show, printed zine handout

March 2020: In 1999 this was an HTML sort-of rendering of the xeroxed handout for the OUTWEST show. The original was a capture of the ITA2 fixed-width, 72 column output of a 1950's Model 28 teleprinter. Well HTML that "worked" in 1990 doesn't, in 2020, so it is re-rendered below as <pre> preformatted text with a "teletype" font. Good luck with that. The images were intentionally grayed out in low-res for the handout; better images are elsewhere on this site.

A brief story about

Alan Mathison Turing, 1912 -- 1954

As told by the WPS Story Teller System

World Power Systems

1 September, 1999

Publication 45-63A

67 cents

A lan Turing's life remains disturbingly obscure, considering his accomplishments. At age 24, he wrote a paper defining one of this century's most important concepts, now called the Turing Machine; the theoretical basis for all modern computers.

A secret hero of World War Two, his wartime work remained a military secret until 1979. More than any other single person, his work led directly to Germany's defeat.

In 1945 he designed the world's first electronic, stored-program, digital computer, building upon his wartime work, and wrote papers foreseeing future decades of computer development.

By 1950 he was pursuing machine intelligence, and in a brilliant and witty paper defined what is now called the Turing Test for intelligence, which remains basic to artificial intelligence today. He devoted his last years to finding a mathematical basis for morphogenesis, the beginnings of life; his work in this area still considered pioneering.

M ost amazing of all is that he was openly homosexual. Naively honest, his personal integrity worked against him: personally shunned and professionally undermined for his disregard of convention (as a classic "absent-minded professor", and a homosexual), he lacked ambition to promote his ideas, and was finally prosecuted in Cold War England for "gross indecency", for his affair with another man. At age 42, he took his own life.

T uring may now get the attention he deserves; in his substantial biography, ALAN TURING: THE ENIGMA, Andrew Hodges, (a British homosexual mathematician himself) has brought Turing to life in fantastically researched detail, and has spawned, amongst other things, a Broadway play (BREAKING THE CODE), and recently, Turing as a fictional character in Neal Stephenson's novel CRYPTONOMICRON.

Alan with friends, 1939.

The Story Teller is a system of obsolete, technological forgeries; leftovers from a Cold War that never, really, existed. It is an open-ended system for telling stories, via printed text, machine-uttered speech, drawings and words on phosphor screens, pen on paper, though only printed text and uttered speech are seen here. The stories are composed ahead of time, and stored as rows of tiny holes in a paper tape, an inch wide and tens or hundreds of feet long; a fabulously tactile, wonderfully obsolete machine-storage medium from another century. The resulting tapes are "played" on the Story Teller, similar to reel to reel magnetic recording tape.

The Model 31 Vocalizer (left)

speaks English phonemes, words, sentences, and programmatic gibberish. In oak, bakelite and brass, it utters speech and sounds in a clear but often unintelligible voice. The sole controls are for volume and speed, the latter controlling how slowly each phoneme is spoken. Glass-jeweled lamps decode each phoneme ("HEH-ELL-OW"); and with the speed control, allow for disturbing deconstruction and destruction of communication.

The Model 3 Tape Reader (right)

plays the perforated tape and sends the information on to other devices that speak or print. A tape is mounted on one side, and spools to the other as it is read. It is a pleasure to use; small, dense, dark oiled oak and bakelite, it makes a soft clucking noise as it reads a tape; you can literally feel the data on your finger tips, as the tape pulls through your fingers.

The Model 28 teletypewriter (left)

made by the Teletype Corporation in 1964, prints inky text onto cheap roll paper, and contains as many moving parts as a modern automobile. "Teletypes" are fantastically reliable and fascinating to watch and hear, a miniature locomotive of the printed word. It contains embedded intelligence to work in the Story Teller system. Teletypes in one form or another were the terminals, as they were called, of the world's original inter-net; telegraphy.


Alan Turing              WPS Story Teller                  August, 1999
-----------------------------------------------------------------------









                                        -,JJ666J6/-
                                 ,/RO&MHMHRM6M6M6MHM#o.
                            ,oH1&6M96MHMHHHMH6MRMMMMMMMH6.
                         .dMHHHMHHM9H6MHM9MM6MRMMHMHMMRMMM#.
                        dMMMMRMMHMHMHHHMHMHRM6MMRMM9MHMRMMMM:
                       dMHMHMM6HM9HRMHHH9H6HHHM&99HHMMMMMMHMM?
                      /MM6MRMH&'PZ((??(///:??!:)HM6MHMHMHMMMMMH.
                     .MMMM&":-::::::::./(:://:?:S9RMMM9MM9HMMHMH
                     /MRM::: /./.-::::/;:/:S::?:SSMHHMMMMMMHMMMML
                     /MR!/".::.-:::::S:::)://)/?(DMMHMHMHMMMMHMMk
                     "M).:::."-:.-/:/:(/:S::/SSS&H&MM9M9M6MHMMRM6
                      R.-:..: :-:;.:/%/(?i:((%%FF6H&MMHM6M9M6MMM)
                      b??/::::::?J/&&R&&D&)S%ZFSS&&H&6MMHRMMHMHM)
                      H9MHHd::)6MHRMHHHRH6M&FS1%(&SH&9H6HH&HMMMM-
                       HH6M&::?&9MHMHRHMHHHRMH&&SZSF&DkRRS(SbSH!
                       "&!::.?/?)94S/9)1&PDPSS&/Z()SS&6S?)M&S&Mb
                       ::."::/:/(://::(::::Si(S?TSS1S&%k&6b)SS&&
                       -::"::///%::/(:/:/:;:///&(k&SkHS/&&SRS1&"
                       :.//H(/(:?://:(:.//(?/SZ&S&&Z&&:/PSS)6)"
                       :::?)RHRHd/:%%/i?:)?/SSS&S&SkSL/'?(d6'
                        ::::::?:));:)?S(/SS/&S/14?F1SSS:S)7"
                        :::/::///S////?(SSSSS9%)&ZSFk&H1HM-
                        :&S,Sb&&kMHH&1S/Z&(k&SF1%F1S&&FMDM-
                        :./1'/d&HSSS&&F&%FS1TSFSSHSSM&&M&9#-
                         i/:???'??//ZSHSZ&S&SS&SF&H&H&HSZS&M?
                         -):::::::/?S&/&S911&Sk6MHHHHSSZ/;&MMb.
                         "/:((//S)Z(SH&F6H&HHH9H&M&Fk%//:?HHRMMb-.
                          ",bS6H9&6M&HRMDM9HHHHHHHS//?:(?6M9HHRM9M#bo-
                               ::S/&H&6DM96M9RMSR?S::-iS&kMRHHHMH6MMRM
                         ...)?:?"S::/&&&R6H&M&(S:(./::?HHRHM9MD6MRMHMM
                     ,,//SS?/:?&:"//-/T&&&S))S"::::-:SMRMHkMD6MH6MH6MH
                .//SS/ZZZS/!:,)R) -:/)::S("/:::".: :)M&M&H&HHHRMHMMMMM
            .,/?Z/J?H&)S/?"):/(9) -..":/.:-.-: ::.)S&RHHHHHHHH6MM9HMMH
         dM(//??&&H9MH:):;??.%M9/: --?HH:.. :.":-::F&6M&96MZM&RH9HMHM9
       ,MMS?/?ZHHMMHHM):::/::/SM- ."-kM6HL-::"."./7&&H&FH&&HHH1HHHMMHR
      iSMD/J%S96MMH)P7//:::.S(ZH : :H&HH&HL. :/Z&/S&Sk&4SRH&SR&6MM9HHZ
     dSMMR&(&HMMR&%Z/7?(:?:)/)&L:od9HHH!:.:/-/?(/)SS?ZZH?6&)19&RMH&&&%
    oS(9MH/)&MHMS?S/?//?(:;:S76M9?RH6M9:/.-:: :?Z&4SS&S&&S)SZ)/DHH&97/
   :&b&HM&:4&HMM/:)/)::?i:)/)9R:/1HRHMHk:-.-.")kS&S)&SRS(pSSk/T&96M)SS
  S?SS/9R//&1M&&!/(:/)//::/(1&R:;H&RHHHH::. -?SSH%&S7&/&Z)Z//SS&H&S7JS
 SHZ):7H/))H19S((::::S:S?:??&HH:(996HM96M:::,SS4?/SF1&Z1%S?/&496RTSSJ4
i:)9HS/M::??&///SS.?:::/:::H&H9)&6HH&6HMH/.:H?H/&(/S(4Sr%T/S/&RS)7Z:?&
-/:/#HHS/?//::/SS;;S,/:/??SSRHMSRMH9RHM&H?/&)ZSFSS?SS/b)//S&HHT??i/T/Z
/.S:&HMr:://///7Z(:-/?i(:S9&SMH9RDM&6&HH9bM&S/S7S///S//?:/6&H&???//Z/(
://%HHM(/:/?::b/:)(????:)/&RHHRMHRMH9RMHHH&)?S////))/://&HH&S:(S)%SS1&
::?H&9M:)///%?/:/.?/??:/S1&1HH9HHH&H&&HH&R)/S?/?//?Z?(?S&M1&?:)SS1?Skk
.//&HHM/////////S/:/:?(/b&&HHRH6M6HFM&HH&)/)S/S///(:S%ZH&/1???1//S/SSS
-:?&6MF)?:/:?:%?4i?)S//ZSM&H&RHHHH96HH9&R/S?S?//::%/(&SH&1//?TS/??RH&1
!:&H6MP/&SSJS////?)Z???/&SMH6H&M&6DHH&HH//S//(/:/:/%S9(S&1()//S/FSHS&Z
?S/HMMR///S%(:?/SkS?/;S&H&1H9HH&9&9R6R6R//:////://SSR&SSS&Z?((S%ZDZHZ&
/??SHHk??/(%%/k7SS):))%S)&9HH9&HH&H9&&H:SS?/::"/(-F)S///&SSZ%/SS&&&&SR
/&(?kMR?SSS//SSS/%Z///S?RS&RH9HH&RH&HHS//?/%/////&S//SS&&SS//%S&/&&&&S





      Hyperboloids of wondrous Light
      Rolling for aye through Space and Time
      Harbour those waves which somehow Might
      Play out Gods holy pantomime.

      -- in a postcard to Robin Gandy




The world of Alan Turings time didnt know quite what to make

of him; it would be much easier if someone else had done these

things, instead of messy and embarrassing Alan.


Alan was ahead of his time, but trapped in an Edwardian past;

unapologetically homosexual in a world where it was still a crime,

brilliant and sensitive, awkward and clumsy, "a brain" in

school and an Olympic-class runner, Alan just didnt fit in,

anywhere he went.




He was quite conscious of his plight, and lived his life as

he chose, with high standards for himself and the world.

However much of the world, then as now, worried more about

appearance and authority to be anything but embarrassed with

Turing.



In his work, as in his personal life, he chose to be self-

contained, to work things out from the most basic facts,

sometimes to his own detriment.




As it turned out, Turings accomplishments didnt disappear,

despite his indifference to history, a Cold War society unable

to deal with an atheist out-of-the-closet homosexual

mathematician.  Even today its hard to grasp the extent of

what he did half a century ago.


I.

--

Alan Mathison Turing was born on 23 June, 1912, in Paddington,

England into a middle class family of marginal success. Neither

he nor his brother John were model boys; bookish and quiet,

and uninterested in toy guns and mock fighting.



As a child Alan was bright and precocious, and would engage


strangers with his high-pitched voice, but he was also willful and

stubborn, and unwilling to follow rules

that "didnt make sense", a trait that           Leaving on a trip, his

would follow him through life.                  mother said to three

                                                year old Alan, "Youll

Not too well off, the Turings could afford      be a good boy, wont

one thing for their boys: public school         you?" to which Alan

(U.S. translation:  private school).            replied, "Yes, but

British public school is basic-training         sometimes I shall

for the Empire; individuality and               forget!"

intelligence rate second place to

tradition, structure and hierarchy. Alan was doomed from the

start.




He found his own solutions to math problems, shunning standard

solutions provided in school books, just as he worked around

school requirements and systems. Reading

Einstein, he identified the crucial point:      "He appears self-con-

Einstein doubted the axioms of Newtonian         tained and is apt to

physics, just as Alan was now learning to        be solitary."

doubt the axioms of normal society.              -- SHERBORNE HOUSE-

                                                 MASTER




At 15, Alan fell in love with another boy at school, Christopher

Morcom. Alan arranged things to be near him in classes and activities.

As it turned out, Chris was as smart as Alan,

but handsome and confident. Alan "worshipped        "I wanted to look

the ground he trod on" and Chris "made everyone      at his face, as

seem so ordinary". They had many interests in        as I felt so

common; mathematics, astronomy, chemistry, and       attracted."

constantly shared ideas and challenged each

other. This was Alans first (unrequited) love, and it was to change

his life forever.




Alans now-year-long friendship with        Alans notes on

Chris was starting to show in              Einsteins General

improved grooming and penmanship           Theory of Relativity:

(the latter bad enough to hurt            "Now he has got his

his chances for college).                  axioms, and is able to

                                           proceed with his

Insecure, Alan tests Chris; walking        logic, discarding the

back from the cinema, he hung back         old ideas of time,

and was rewarded: "evidently I looked      space, etc".  1928,

rather lonely as Chris beckoned to         16 yrs old.

me (mostly I think with his eyes) to

walk beside him. Chris I think knew how well I liked him but

hated me shewing it." Alan never spoke to Christopher of

his love for him, probably realizing it would not be returned.



Alan didnt know that Christophers frequent illnesses had a

cause; as a child he had contracted tuberculosis from the

family cow, and in 1930, when he was 18, Chris died from its

complications. It was a major blow to Alan.



In his last years at Sherborne finally Alan began to gain some

acceptance from his improved confidence and image that showed

in his schoolwork (certainly Chris/s inspiration), and acceptance

for his increasingly obvious brilliance in math. By graduation

he had won substantial scholarships, a medal for math, and

was accepted to Kings College at Cambridge, for the year 1931.


II.

---

    Mathematics knows no

    races... for

    mathematics, the whole

    cultural world is a

    single country"

    --DAVID HILBERT, 1928




Kings College, Cambridge, was an ancient, feudal place, with

an 11pm curfew, gowns after sunset, and an obsession with

social status, gentlemen and servants; but it came with the

freedom to spend time as one chose, very high standards of

learning, and an unprecedented social tolerance.



Alan was amongst the top rank of math students, where status

was gained by accomplishment rather than money or birth; maths

greatest figures, Gauss and Newton, were born farm boys.



It was at this time, 1931, that Hitlers gang was stirring

trouble in Germany, and England talked of war; but with fresh

memories of cynical World War One many Britishers were wary

of another greed-driven war. Alan joined an anti-war council

as did many students, but he did not side with the pro-soviet,

socialist groups; a champion of all that was honest and logical,

he would not go along with dogma of any kind.



In 1933 he met another Cambridge student, James Atkins. They

immediately became friends, and eventually lovers. James

sexuality and self-image was not as

well-developed as Alans; he initially            Cambridge was an

made some homophobic rebuffs, but                island of sanity

eventually warmed to Alans advances.             in an insane world.



Alans sexual openness got him and an unnamed friend some

scurrilous mentions in a school magazines crossword puzzle

hints.



Contemporary ideas on sex were at their most oppressive

throughout most of Alans life, liberation of any kind still

decades away.  Utter unmentionability was

still the norm, a hidden horror; the only     "I had rather give

mentions were the ancient world, the Oscar     a health boy or a

Wilde trial, and rare exceptions like          healthy girl a

Havelock Ellis and Edward Carpenter.           phial of prussic

Otherwise, there was a complete denial of      acid than this

existence of homosexuals.                      novel." -- SUNDAY

                                               EXPRESS, 1928,


As Alan and his friends studied, people        review of "WELL OF

were fleeing the prospect of horror            LONELINESS"

growing in Germany, scientists and

mathematicians mainly moving to America

and England; Einstein moved to Princeton         "You may call it non-

in 1933.                                          sense if you like,


                                                  but Ive heard non-


   "A number of mathematicians met recently       sense, compared with

    at Berlin University to consider the place    which that would be

    of their science in the Third Reich. It       as sensible as a

    was stated that...the Germanic intuition      dictionary."

    which had produced the concept of infinity    -- RED QUEEN, in

    was superior to...French and Italians...      THROUGH THE LOOKING

    Mathematics was a heroic science which        GLASS

    had reduced chaos to order. National

    Socialism had the same task and demanded the same qualities..."


    -- as reported in THE LONDON TIMES, 10 November, 1933




After attending a course of lectures on the methodology of

science, Alan, skeptical as always, didnt accept the lecturers

explanation of the "normal curve" of statistical science. In

increasingly-typical fashion, Alan set out to find an exact

solution, and from rigorous pure-mathematic principles. In a

vaccuum, Alan re-invented the Central Limit Theorem, already

proven in 1922, because Alan did no research before setting out

on his work.




At age 22, in 1934, Turing was elected to a fellowship. In

addition to his existing scholarships, the post increased

privileges, and included a substantial salary. His re-invention

of the Central Limit Theorem, regardless, was a signifigant

piece of work and showed he was capable of great things.


His work put him at the forefront of the arcane and "useless"

mathematical logic. Hilberts unanswered third question and

Godels Unprovability Theorem, and remarks by Newman about

"mechanical processes" led Alan to write "ON COMPUTABLE NUMBERS

WITH AN APPLICATION TOWARD THE ENTSCHIENDUNGSPROBLEM".



As part of his solution to Hilberts third question, he imagined

an abstract, hypothetical machine, consisting of a table of

instructions and an infinitely long tape upon which it could write

and read symbols. The table would tell the machine what to do

when it examined a square on the tape; move left or right,

read or write a symbol, depending on what was on the tape. With

this hypothetical machine he defined problems that could not

be solved from within mathematics.




Alan had "mechanized" something that was considered innately

human, creating a hypothetical "universal machine", that could

perform the equivalent of human mental activity.  While the

immediate subject of the paper remains part of arcane

mathematics, the Universal Machine (today called the "turing

machine") idea was to later start entire new mathematical sciences.






     An example UNIVERSAL MACHINE configuration to add two

     binary numbers stored on tape as strings of "X"s:



1. The tape.




  - ----------------------------------------------------------------- -

      1     1     1     1     1     1     1     1     1     1     1

      1     1  X  1  X  1  X  1  X  1     1  X  1  X  1  X  1     1

      1     1     1     1     1     1     1     1     1     1     1

  - ----------------------------------------------------------------- -

         A

        AAA

      AAAAAAA



     (scanner)



2. The table of instructions.




                      if SCANNER reads a ...




                       BLANK            X

      ------------------------------------------

      I           II             I             I

      I  STATE-1  II  MOVE R,    I  MOVE R,    I

      I           II GO STATE-1  I GO STATE-2  I

      I           II             I             I

      ------------------------------------------

      I           II WRITE "X",  I             I

      I  STATE-2  II  MOVE R,    I  MOVE R,    I

      I           II             I             I

      ------------------------------------------

      I           II             I             I

      I  STATE-3  II  MOVE L,    I  MOVE R,    I

      I           II GO STATE-4  I GO STATE-3  I

      I           II             I             I

      ------------------------------------------

      I           II             I   ERASE,    I

      I  STATE-4  II  NO MOVE,   I  NO MOVE,   I

      I           II GO STATE-4  I GO STATE-4  I

      I           II             I             I

      ------------------------------------------

III.

----




Alans "COMPUTABLE NUMBERS..." paper, with its "universal

machine" became a quiet revolution in mathematics, and probably

helped him get the fellowship he applied for at Princeton

(USA).  Alan left for Princeton in the fall of 1936.



Princeton was quickly becoming the center of the universe of

mathematics and physics; its already substantial local talent

was attracting refugees from Europe.

Einstein, von Neumann, Courant, Hardy,       Upon arrival in New

Lefschetz were there; Godel and other        York: "...Passing the

notables had visited within the year. This   immigration officers

trend was to increase as the war worsened.   involved waiting in a

                                             queue for two hours

But Alan was miserable. He pined for his     screaming children

sheltered British life, and he wasnt yet     round me... I had to

confident enough to be social in an alien    go throug the initia-

culture.  The culture shock of foreign,      tion of being swindled

plain-speaking Americans and open            by a taxi driver..."

competition were too much for him.



Adding to his culture-shock was that he was living the charade

of a homosexual in the foreign and sexually more-rigid American

culture. He wrote to James Atkins that he was depressed and

described a complicated way to kill himself with an apple and

electrical wiring.



With his British friend Maurice Pryce, also at Princeton,

Alan visited relatives in rural Rhode Island.  His country

cousin put Alan and Maurice in the same bed. Maurice was amazed

at Alans "advance", and Alan apologized -- then lashed out

with a deeply embarrassing outburst of anger and self-pity.

(Cut Alan some slack here; its 1937.)




Alans time at Princeton was hardly wasted however; he attended

lectures by Alonzo Church, John von Neumann, and others, and

in his own way mixed with many

accomplished people. He wrote some minor

papers, one of some note, with von              "I think of people as

Neumann, and expanded his thoughts on            pink-colored collec-

using his "universal machine" on codes           tions of sense data"

and cyphers.  Alan built an electric relay       Alan once joked.

multiplier, to see if it would work.  He

had to make the relays himself, as they were unavailable to him

in wartime. It was utterly unheard of for mathematicians to have



At the end of the school year, spring 1938, Alan headed home

to an increasingly fearful England; Germanys union with Austria

was foreboding, war was in the air, a new kind of war.

Czecho-Slovakia was invaded by Germany, England made a pact

with Poland. War was very close to home.




Cambridge had already extended Alans fellowship, so his academic

future seemed assured, but the war was to change everything.

In 1938, while still at Cambridge, he was recruited by "GC and

CS", the Government Code and Cypher School, should war come

and his be skills needed. That day came on 3 September 1939;

Alan reported to GC & CS the next day, his reservations about

a "selfish" war set aside by the new reality.  Alan was assigned

to the Bletchley Park facility.

!!!

IV.

---




Bletchley Park was charged with intercepting and analyzing

enemy communications, mainly radio morse code messages.

Messages were encrypted with a machine called "ENIGMA", commonly

used by banks for financial communications.  However the German

military had their own version, with extensive improvements

that made it much more secure. Nearly all German radio

communications used ENIGMA, and the sad state of British

intelligence, its left-over 19th century brain-dead bureaucracies,

incapable of cooperating, utterly without modern technology

(the Admiralty recorded the locations of German ships in huge

centralized notebooks, updated once per month) meant that

England was completely without any sort of intelligence data

on German whereabouts -- none whatsoever.



Not one German message had been decoded for months.  Worse,

Commander Denniston, head of GC & CS, was overheard saying to

the Head of the Naval Section, "You know, the Germans dont mean

you to read their stuff, and I dont expect you ever will."

This was the state of affairs when Alan and his fellow

recruitees arrived. Alan volunteered for the hardest and

most important work, the Naval ENIGMA decodes, saying,

"No-one else was doing anything about it and I could have

it to myself."




The only glimmer of hope in this mess was the work of some

brilliant Polish mathematicians who had managed to work out

a scheme for cracking the ENIGMA codes used for a days

encryption (the codes changed daily). It involved making

100,000 cards with holes corresponding to the innards of the

ENIGMA machine, and relied on a particular usage of the ENIGMA.

And they had done so with ENIGMA parts smuggled out of France

in a shockingly complicated scheme.  Even more fantastic, the

Poles had created electrical machines, which they called

"BOMBES" (after the ticking noise they made) to run through

the thousands of possible combinations. Even so, it took months

of hand-work to decode a days messages, but it was all they

had.




Alans first contribution, in 1939, was a major one, and typical

of his peculiar mixture of theoretical and practical skills.

With historically "useless" number theory he designed an

electrical machine that exploited weaknesses in the german

ENIGMA crypto machine, building on the work of the Poles

Bombes.  His earlier work on the relay multiplier certainly

helped.



When Bletchley Park started on the decrypts in 1939, it took

as long as four months to decode one ENIGMA message; by June

1941, using the new Turing-designed Bombes, they were breaking them

almost as soon as they were received.  That same year Churchill

visited Bletchely and met with a very nervous Turing. Churchill

called Bletchley, and Turing, "the goose that laid the golden

eggs and never cackled."



Alan met Joan Clark, a math professor, hired as a lowly

"linguist" by the stodgy civil service (though treated as a

peer in the progressive Cambridge-like atmosphere). After a

few dates they decide to marry (more a social obligation than

a sexual one).  He told her bluntly of his homosexuality,

expecting her to call off the marriage; but he underestimated

her, she wanted to continue on.



Bletchley Park found itself overwhelmed with demands for more

and faster decryption, but couldn't get the people and resources

needed to complete the work. Alan, in typical fashion, broke

all the rules of hierarchy, and wrote directly to Churchill,

co-signed by team mates. Churchills reply was immediate, to

his staff:




       ACTION THIS DAY: Make sure they have all they

       want on extreme priority and report to me that

       this had been done.



Eventually Alans inner turmoil over his sexuality and the

marriage to Joan became too much for him, and after much

indecision he calls it off.  He quoted Oscar Wildes

closing lines from The Ballad of Reading Gaol:




    Yet each man kills the thing he loves,

    By each let this be heard,

    Some do it with a bitter look,

    Some with a flattering word,

    The coward does it with a kiss,

    The brave man with a sword!




Joan realized that Alan loved her, and that she had not been

rejected as a person. Though they remained friends, things

were somewhat touchy, so they arranged to not work in the same

section.



By early 1942, Bletchley Park was decoding up to 3000 messages

a day. A few months later, the Germans improved their entire

ENIGMA system, by increasing the complexity of the codes by

a factor of millions; Bletchley Parks enormous success ended

over-night.  Late in the year however,

some progress was made on the theoretical      Alan protected his tea

front, code-named "FISH". Once again the       cup, irreplaceable in

most important breakthroughs was from          wartime, by chaining

Alan; his coworkers named it                   it to a radiator; to

"Turingismus".                                 tease him, his friends

                                               picked the lock.

An entirely new type of machine was

designed to handle the fantastic speeds necessary to decrypt

Fish; instead of electrical/mechanical relays, the new machine

would be all electronic.  And further, the data that it operated

on was going to be stored electronically, inside the machine.

The new machines were to be called COLOSSUS.  While not true

computers, they contained most of the basic concepts of

computers, and in fact a COLOSSUS was later "programmed" for

things far beyond what it was originally designed for.  (The

existence of these machines was not known until declassification

in 1978.)


Wartime work was highly compartmentalized; few knew the purpose

of their own work, or of the work of others. Turing was one

of extremely few with overview-access to the entire process;

this would later prove to be an enormous burden in his life.


It also made him the obvious liaison to the U.S. for crypto-

analytic work, not exactly Alans cup of tea, but utterly

necessary. Alan left for the U.S. in the fall of 1942, to visit

the AT&T Bell Laboratories.



There Alan met Claude Shannon, his complement in terms of

brilliance and breadth.  Shannon worked on information theory

and communications theory, but gave a lot of thought to logical

machinery, a good match for Alans major interest in math and

mathematical/logical machinery, and his study of information

theory (of which cryptology is a practical aspect).



At Bell Labs Alan was shown the prototype "X system", an

extremely large and complex speech encipherment system,

undergoing tests.  After a brief description of a particular

problem, Alan said "That ought to give you 945 codes. Its only

9 X 7 X 5 X 3." They were impressed; it had taken a Bell

Lab technician a week to figure that out.



Shannon was also interested in the idea of a machine emulating

a brain, a thinking machine; a burning interest for Alan. But

Shannon also talked of feeding a "brain" cultural data! Alan

was most impressed.



At lunch in the Bell cafeteria, filled with men in suits

grooming for promotion, Alan blurted out, "No, Im not interested

in developing a powerful brain. All Im after is just a mediocre

brain, something like the President of the American Telephone

and Telegraph Company." The room went silent, while Alan

continued blithely with his story.



After two months in America, Alan returned to England on the

troop transport ship "EMPRESS OF SCOTLAND". He was the only

civilian on the ship.  He bought a copy of the RCA RADIO TUBE

MANUAL to read on the trip; he wanted to invent a new, better

way to encipher speech.





V.

--




By 1943 the COLOSSUS machines were in use.  Though containing

over 1500 electron tubes, they became more reliable than the

previous electrical machines. Each was the most complex

electronic device ever built.  Though they were in part based

on his Turingismus work, Alan wasnt involved in their

construction.



Alan, after getting Bletchley Parks methodologies started,

and after returning from his liaison work in America, found

himself outside of the day to day work. He transferred himself

to Hanslope Park in 1944, another secret GC & CS facility,

where he embarked on a project of his own, a system of speech

encipherment he called Delilah (the biblical "deceiver of men")

after having seen the complicated American "X system" at Bell

Labs.



Working with a young technician, Donald Bayley, Alan designed

a secure speech encryption system that used only 30 electron

tubes, as opposed to the X systems nearly 1000. It fit on a

desk top in a single cabinet, and was mathematically secure.

The British hierarchy showed no interest, sticking with the

American system, and it was never used.



During casual conversation with Donald Bayley, Alan mentioned

his homosexuality.  Donald, a rather sheltered young engineer,

was appalled at Alans unapologetic attitude.  Worse, rather

than dropping the subject in expected embarrassment, he

continued to argue logically, the argument becoming quite

heated.  They eventually reached a mutual agreement, Donald

ultimately chalking it up to yet another

Turing eccentricity, and weighing it             Alan told Donald

against NOT working with Turing. It              from the start that

almost jeapordized the Delilah project.          he wanted to "build a

                                                 brain".

Nearly complete, he left the details of

Delilah to Bayley, and started working on his ideas for a

"brain".



Alan assumed that the brain did what it did due to its logical

structure, by the functioning of physics and chemistry; rather

than reducing the brain down to its components, he wanted to

emulate one, to do what a brain does, irregardless of what it

was made of.



And as Turings biographer states so well: "...And thus it was

that in this remote station of the new military intelligence

empire, working with one assistant in a small hut, and thinking

in his spare time, an English homosexual atheist mathematician

had conceived of the computer".  The year was 1945.




VI.

---




John von Neumann, and some of the builders of the ENIAC (a

giant American wartime calculator) had come up with the idea

of an automatic computer too, but with vast resources and

far more indirectly; the desire to build fast calculating

machinery to solve mathematical problems.



Throughout the 1940s nearly everyone, except Turing, thought

of the new automatic computers as giant calculators; where

Turing filled his designs with instructions for manipulating

symbols, the Americans machines performed mathematics; where

Turing designed his machines to specifically modify their

own programs as they ran, the Americans ensured that theirs

could NOT "accidentally" modify their instructions (revised,

in a limited fashion, in 1947).




In late 1945, Alan got a phone call from the new Mathematics

division of the National Physical Laboratory. They were looking

into the idea of scientific computing. Alan found himself with

a new job.




But there were problems from the start, of a more typical

bureaucratic kind.  The head of the NPL, Sir Charles Darwin, a

descendent of Charles Darwin, was an unimaginative, block-headed

bureaucrat.  The Mathematics division head, and Turings boss,

J.R. Womersley, was enlightened, intelligent and a political

player, recruited Alan to write a proposal for a design of an

automatic computer.  Alas, Alan hardly helped his own cause,

and managed to clash even with his ally Womersley.




In 1946 Turing produced his report, "Proposed Electronic

Calculator", now called "The ACE report", ACE being the

name Womersley coined for it, the Automatic Computing Engine,

a nod to Babbages work of 100 years earlier.  A brilliant

design, it called for a simple "mechanism" and a large memory,

trading off complexity in hardware for

increased complexity in software, exactly     It was common for Alan

the opposite of contemporary designs,         to bicycle or walk for

essentially the concept as the "RISC"         15 miles at a time. He

designs of the mid-1990s.  The ACE REPORT     had been running

remains readable today, and its modern-       casually for years,

appearing instruction set not too far         and recently taken up

removed from today"s, though the              long-distance running,

nomenclature may be alien today.              as a serious amateur,

                                              running 2 or 3 hours

The "ACE REPORT" goes further, and            a day. It also, as his

describes and predicts the entire computer    mother put it, "put

environment that would develop in the         him in contact with

coming decades:  the art of computer          men in all walks of

programming, the use of sub-routines and      life."

subroutine libraries, floating point

arithmetic libraries. He describes the methodology that people

would use to solve problems on computers; loading standardized

tape, debugging programs, program "checkpointing".  He describes

skilled programmers as separate from mathematicians, who would

design algorithms for the programmers to implement. He foresaw

the need for software librarians, and amusingly, that a

"priesthood" of programmers would appear, and resist the later

automation of their arcane programming jobs.



No magic, it was a combination of Alans vision and his vast

experience in setting up similar large organizations at

Bletchley Park, coordinating hundreds of people, complex

machinery producing results requiring intermediate checking,

and an army of thousands to assimilate the information produced;

none of which could be mentioned in the report, due to secrecy.



Wartime secrecy and his innate poor "team player" politics,

did not help him when the report was presented to the NPL;

worse, Darwin was no visionary, and simply never understood

the breadth and profound implications of what he was told, no

matter how much people like Womersley talked it up.




Huskey, the project head, stripped Turings design of all the

logical/symbolic instructions (saying they were "not needed

in most computing programs" -- how could

he know? no one had written any until         "...found Turing very

then except Alan Turing.) and cut the          opinionated and his

memory to a tenth its proposed size, and       ideas widely at

named the machine the "Pilot ACE".             variance with what the

                                               main stream of

With diminishing influence on the new          computer development

machine, Alan phases himself out of the        was going to be."

project, to persue his ideas on machine        -- CHARLES DARWIN

intelligence.




Robin Gandy borrowed a book from Alans room, and out flutters

magazine pictures of royal-court page boys; Turing said, "You will

find nice "pages" like that in my books."




One day Alan invited Neville Johnson, a third-year math student,

to tea; he stayed for tea, and indeed stayed many times. Not

a particularly good math student, he was

however Alans "type"; somewhat tough and        "Sometimes youre

down to earth.                                   sitting talking to

                                                 someone and you know

The NPL "ACE" project now on a path of           that in three quarters

its own, Alan quits, and moves to                of an hour you will

Manchester University, already at work on        either be having a

their own computer, where Alan was made          marvelous night or you

Deputy Director of the new Royal Society         will be kicked out of

Computing Laboratory, May 1948.                  the room."



F.C. Williams designed the Manchester computer, "without

stopping to think about it too much", he said. It was a tiny,

minimally functional machine with just over 1000 memory

locations ("bits"), deemed just enough to get the job done;

a race was on to have the first working machine.  Turing was

uninvolved in its development; he came too late, and more

aggressively career-driven people like Woodger, F.C. Williams

et al took the project as their own.



The Manchester "baby machine" ran the worlds first working

program on 21 June 1948, factoring integers using brute force

trials, after weeks of errors and problems.  Though Alan was

nominally Deputy Director he was so removed from the project

that one of the engineers, G.C. Tootill, mentioned "theres a

chap called Turing coming here, hes written a program".



Alan remained "free-lance" within the NPL, as the resident

programming expert, and he started on the path to becoming a

user of computers. (This may have been his intent in moving

to Manchester, all along.)



Manchester wasnt the comforting intellectual environment of

Cambridge, and was less tolerant of oddness in general. His

schoolboyish appearance, shaggy, messy hair and clothes, stood

out too much. He had little social life at Manchester, and

maintained ties to his friends at Cambridge. He lived in a

lodging house on the edge of town, where he could run in the

country-side and bicycle to work. He never purchased a car saying

dramatically "I might suddenly go mad and crash."




Alan wrote the "PROGRAMMERS HANDBOOK" for the Mark 1, just

as the machine was to go into production in October 1949. It

makes clearer the problems Alan had communicating his

then-far-fetched ideas about computers; while most saw the

contents of programs and memory as "numbers" Alan clearly saw

them as symbols, devoid of inherent meaning, that anyone was

free to employ with any symbolism they wanted.  This wasnt

conventionally recognized for decades.



Using a computer in 1948:

   "...required considerable physical stamina. Starting in the

    machine room you alerted the engineer and then used the

    hand switches to bring down and enter the input program.

    A bright band on the monitor tube indicated that the

    waiting loop had been entered.  When this had been achieved,

    you ran upstairs and put the tape in the tape reader then

    returned to the machine room.  If the machine was still

    obeying the input loop you called to the engineer to switch

    on the writing current, and cleared the accumulator

    (allowing the control to emerge from the loop).  With

    luck, the tape was read.  As soon as the pattern on the

    monitor showed that the input was ended the engineer

    switched off the write current to the drum. Programs which

    wrote to the drum during the execution phase were considered

    very daring. As every vehicle that drove past was a

    potential source of spurious digits, it usually took many

    attempts to get a tape in -- each attempt needing another

    trip up to the tape room."

-- Cicely Popplewell, 1948




Alan got Geoff Tootill interested in a scheme for computer

character recognition, with a television camera to transfer

an image directly to the program store, but it was too

impractical on the limited machine.



As an example of his advanced thinking, and of his basic social

problems, Alan gave a talk in 1949 titled "Checking a large

routine", and described a sophisticated system of tracking

the contents of memory.  But to illustrate, he drew numbers

on the blackboard in base-32 teleprinter code, reversed left

to right as the Manchester computer required, utterly losing

his audience in the mind-boggling details.  Wilkes said that

he was certain Alan wasnt trying to be funny, and just couldnt

understand that such a trivial thing could matter.



Back at NPL, the Pilot ACE, based upon a truncated version of

Alans 1946 design, was completed. Though only a shadow of

Turings design, it was the fastest machine in the world, with

its distributed operations (as opposed to the "centralized"

model of the Manchester machine).




Turings old NPL boss Womersley re-wrote the official history

of the ACE project by re-ordering events, such that in Womerleys

history Newman developed the ACE and Turing joined later. By

1950, Turing was already a non-person in the computer

"revolution". It may have ended as Alan wanted; while everyone

was competing to make newer, faster machines, Alan became a

full-time user of computers and persued his machine-intelligence



David Sayre, am American biologist at Manchester to use the

computer, got along unusually well with Turing, and they worked

on a basic X-ray crystallography problem, for a little over

two days:




    ... before we had finished (Turing) had re-invented by

    himself most of the methods which crystallographers, up

    to that time, had worked out.  He had, for this purpose,

    a breadth of knowledge greatly surpassing that of any

    crystallographer I have known, and I am certain he would

    have advanced the crystallographic situation very decidedly

    if he had worked at it seriously for a time. As it was,

    he may have had hold of one line which in 1949 had not

    yet appeared in crystallography, concerned with establishing

    quantitatively how much information is necessary to have

    on hand at the outset of a search to ensure that a solution

    can be found. -- DAVID SAYRE



Turing continued to write papers and give and attend lectures,

mainly on machine intelligence. He gave a talk titled "Educating

a digital computer" in 1950, attended by influential cybernetic

researchers, including Grey Walters, who made "tortoises" that

recharged themselves when their batteries got low.



Alan was initially interested in Norbert Weiners "cybernetics"

movement, a major fad amongst intelligentsia at the time but

quickly considered the pontificating empire-builder "a

charlatan".



He continued to attend meetings, and found them

entertaining. (Cybernetics faded away when it was clear it

offered no solutions to real problems.)




It was in this environment that Turing wrote "COMPUTING

MACHINERY AND INTELLIGENCE", in the philosophical journal

"MIND", October 1950. In it he laid out his test for machine

(or human) intelligence, now called the "TURING TEST", formulated

as a guessing game.



The point of his game was that there is no way to tell what

other people are thinking -- or that they are thinking at all

-- except by a comparison with themselves, and he saw no reason

to treat machines any differently.




    I believe that in about fifty years time it will be

    possible to program computers, with a storage capacity of

    10 to the 9th, to make them play the imitation game so

    well that an average interrogator will not have more than

    70 per cent chance of making the right identifications

    after five minutes of questioning.


    -- from "COMPUTING MACHINERY AND INTELLIGENCE"




It was the end of the "pioneer" period of computers, where people

such as Turing, von Neumann, Shannon and others brought vast

experience and insight, in science and philosophy, to bear on

the basic problems of automated computing. From now on it would be

the era of the machine and empire builders, and the "hardware"

race to build bigger and faster machines.



"COMPUTING MACHINERY AND INTELLIGENCE" is a final landmark in

Alans interest in computing itself. It is still an interesting

read, showing the excitement of the dawn of the computer age,

when accomplishments were limited only by what could be imagined.



Alans hypothetical guessing game, with its human or machine

locked in a room, communicating with the world only via

teleprinter, was an idealized version of the life Alan tried

to live; fully self-contained, dealing with the world only

via rational argument.  He was fully conscious of the outside

world, with its rules and codes and ettiquetes, but he chose

to obey few of them, as they all directly threatened his

freedom.





VI.

---


In 1950 Alan bought a house in Wilmslow, 10 miles south of

Manchester.  It was furnished in typical Turing style; his

homemade brick pathway incomplete,

experiments in teetering pots on tables,        "Brilliant but unsound"

books and papers everywhere.                     -- Alan's mother




A short walk from his house was the city center, Oxford Street,

where a homosexual culture had flourished since early in the

20th century (and where Wittgenstein had cruised nearly 50 years

before), with its active street, pub and theatre life. It is

almost certain that Alan took part in this clandestine culture.



Alan became fascinated with embryology, an area of biology

where no progress had been made in determining just how one,

two,... many cells differentiated and became an organism.



He wanted to know: just how does a symmetrical sphere of

identical cells suddenly gastrulate, eg. suddenly develop a

groove that becomes the head and tail of an animal? It was

just the sort of clean-slate, "unsolvable" problem Turing liked

(and which caused the likes of the philosopher Michael Polanyi

to declare life to be guided by mysteries outside the human

realm).




Turing wrote a seminal paper, "THE CHEMICAL BASIS

FOR MORPHOGENESIS", applied-mathematics par excellence, and

created a mathematical model for gastrulation; under certain

circumstances waves of chemical molecules would form stationary



    ... a mathematical model of the growing embryo will be

    described.  This model will be a simplification and an

    idealization, and consequentially a falsification. It is

    to be hoped that the features retained for discussion are

    those of greatest importance in the present state of

    knowledge.


    -- from "THE CHEMICAL BASIS FOR MORPHOGENESIS"




At the Manchester computer lab, over the next few years all

that Alan had predicted came true; programmers, support

staff, a library of standard programs.  Alan remained

uninvolved with computer development, and stayed with

his fundamental research. It was hard to believe that

in fact he was being paid to "direct" the laboratory.




He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society, a very high

honor given to those of immense accomplishment.  To his friend



    (it was) very gratifying to be about to join the Olympians

    (referring to other FRS electees). I am delighted to hear

    that Maurice Pryce is also in the list...he was quite

    my chief flame at one time.



In the letter he included a mathematicians in-joke: "I hope

I am not described as "distinguished for work on unsolvable

problems."




Alan gave a talk about computers on the BBCs "Third Programme"

radio show, on 15 May 1951, titled "Can digital computers

think?", and he talked mainly about the universal machine and

the imitation idea. He ended with this justification:



    The whole thinking process is still rather mysterious to

    us, but I believe that the attempt to make a thinking

    machine will help us greatly in finding out how we think

    ourselves.




He was working more or less full-time on his biological problems

now, using the Manchester computer, where he formed the classic

nerd/hacker convention of using a computer; he worked overnight

to have the machine to himself, using the "hooter" to signal

when a new tape or other input was needed, displaying results

on the visible cathode-ray memories, and using the computer

to keep track of his experiments, a novel idea at the time.



Never predictable, Alan wrote a short story, a barely-disguised

story about himself, his work and his sexuality.  While it is

fiction, it describes some Manchester street life that strongly

implies he/d taken part in it before. It was never published,

and only a few pages survived in his notebooks.



    ...


    Alec (Alan) had been working rather hard until two or

    three weeks before. It was about interplanetary travel.

    Alec had always been rather keen on such crackpot problems,

    but although he rather liked to let himself go rather

    wildly to newspapermen or the Third Programme when he got

    the chance, when he wrote for technically trained readers,

    his work was quite sound, or had been when he was younger.

    This last paper was real good stuff, better than he"d done

    since his mod twenties when he had introduced the idea

    which is now becoming known as "Pryces buoy".  Alec always

    felt a glow of pride when this phrase was used. The rather

    obvious double-entendre rather pleased him, too.



    He always liked to parade his homosexuality, and in suitable

    company Alec could pretend the word was spelt without the

    "u". It was quite some time now since he had "had" anyone,

    in fact not since he hadmet that soldier in Paris last

    summer. Now that his paper was finished he might justifiably

    consider that he had earned another gay(#) man, and he knew

    where he might find one who might be suitable.

    ...




# Alan Hodges explains: "Was this plain text, or cypher text?

At least since the 1930s in America it had been in use amongst

homosexual men as a code word with plain meaning; from

D.W. Corys 1951 book THE HOMOSEXUAL IN AMERICA:  "Needed

for years was an ordinary everyday, matter-of-fact word, that

could express the concept of homosexuality without glorification

or condemnation... Such a word has long been in existence...

That word is GAY.". Alan used the word "homosexual", or amongst

friends, "queer".  But he certainly could have know of this

American usage, and would have approved of D.W. Corys

rationale." (Paraphrased for brevity)





VII.

----




In 1951, Alan met Arnold Murray, 19, an unemployed, lower-class

youth, while walking along Oxford Street. Alan asked Arnold

to have lunch, rather than the customary quick tearoom or

alley visit.  Each met the others needs in some way; Alan

was someone to look up to, Arnold was full of life with a

good sense of humor, and a lost lamb. After a furtive start

they began an ongoing sexual affair.



Alan continued to work on his biological projects, and again

spoke on the BBC, on whether machines could think, in January,

1952. Alan again argued in his "if it imitates intelligence

we might as well call it intelligent" mode convincingly, if

somewhat far-fetched to a contemporary audience.



Alan and Arnold continued their affair, with many sleep-overs

at Alans; though they had little in common, Arnold picked up

on Alans need to communicate, and so things continued.



There were problems with money, in that Arnold was clearly

broke, and Alan clearly well-off.  It came to a head when

Alans house was broken into, and it was determined it was

done by an acquaintance of Arnolds, though Arnold was not

involved.




Alan reported the burglary to the police, who, ever sensitive

to social convention in Cold War England, determined the "true"

crime, that of Alans involvement with

Arnold. When asked what his relationship       "When I recall some

was to Arnold, Alan stated bluntly that         past epoch, I think

hed had a sexual affair with him.               of whoever I was in

                                                love with at the time."


He clearly underestimated the seriousness

of his "offense", and was shocked at how much the police

dwelt upon the sexual aspect rather than the burglary.

Homosexuality brought a penalty of up to two years imprisonment.



Poor Alan; his timing was poor. The tenor of the times was to

change in the coming decade, but not in time for Alan. Over

the previous 20 years, prosecution of homosexuals had increased

five-fold.  He became one of those criminals, and was sentenced

to the "modern" "cure" of organotherapy: a years chemical

castration via female hormone injections.



The trial forced Alans life into the public eye. His mother,

brother, all his co-workers past and present found out about

his sexuality, either from him directly or from the papers.

This caused great embarrassment at Manchester University, but

it was generally considered "typical Turing".  Most people

simply didnt refer to it; those that avoided him had been

avoiding him anyways. He showed no fear or embarrassment,

and went about his business cheerfully.



He had many strong supporters. Max Newman and others came to

his defense, one even going as far as bringing quotes from

the brand-new "Kinsey Report" to the Vice Chancellor as

argument.  Alan kept his job.  He did not let it affect his

work; the day after his arrest he spoke at a conference, and

completed papers as scheduled.




For Arnold, the trial was less damaging; he was put on

probation, moved to London, became involved with Colin

Wilson and others in the coffee-bar world there, and

eventually became a muscian.



And some people saw in Alan a new person. Lyn Newman, Max

Newmans wife, found him much more human and interesting, and

started plying him with books such as "ANNA KARENINA" and "WAR

AND PEACE", the latter of which became a major influence on

Alan, seeing himself and his own problems in it.



Despite his fears, the estrogen didnt affect his intellectual

performance, only his sexual.  He continued to broaden and

deepen his biological work.  His earlier work was starting to

be recognized; the botanist C.W. Wardlaw describing in

biologists words Turings "CHEMICAL BASIS FOR MORPHOGENESIS".



He was becoming quite famous for his 1936 "COMPUTABLE

NUMBERS..." paper; while having lunch with Robin Gandy, Alan

suddenly launched out one door just as a particularly boring

logician was heading for him from another.



While his sentence probably stifled Alans cruising activities

in England, it didnt apply outside the country -- and Alan

took numerous over-seas vacations, notably to Norway, and

learned to speak a little Danish and Norwegian.



On the proto-liberation front, Alan wrote a letter to a titled

politician, arguing for de-criminalizing homosexuality, but

unpoliticly informing them of the homosexuality of the

politicians son.  He received only a disclaimer from the

politicians secretary in reply.




Alan started seeing a Jungian psychoanalyst, Franz Greenbaum,

who was comfortable with Alans sexuality. This probably fit

in with his continuing interest in the human brain, and Alan

continued to debate and attend lectures with Manchester

philosophers on the human mind.  He filled three notebooks

with dreams.

                                              (An amusing resonance;

Alan wrote a letter to Robin Gandy            Alans letter was rendered

using a program he wrote on the               on a teleprinter similar

Manchester computer, a fragment of            to the one in front of

which is shown here:                          you, so in fact it looked

                                              exactly as follows.)

....


LD/BE/NO/POSSIBLE/OBJECTION/TO/MAKING/IT/SAY/:FOUR/THIRTY/IF/YOU//
FIND/THIS/MORE/CONVENIENT/HR/IS/PROBABLY/THINKING/OF/YOUR/GETTING/
BACK/THE/SAME/DAY/////////////////IF/YOU/REALLY/ARE/GOING/SKIING/N
O/DOUBT/IT/COULD/BE/DELAYED/TILL/APRIL/OR/MAY//THOUGH/I/MAYBHAVE/F
ORGOTTEN/ABOUT/IT/BY/THEN/MOSTLY////////////////////////////////YO
UR/LAST/LETTER/ARRIVED/INTHE/MIDDLE/OF/A/CRISIS/ABOUT/"DEN//NORSKE
/GUTT"//SO/I/HAVE/NOT/BEEN/ABLE/TO/GIVE/MY/ATTENTION/YET/TOTHE/REA
....

While hard to read it is a sight better than Alans handwriting,

and far easier to read than the computer-edited letter he wrote

to David Champernowne -- delivered on a strip of punched tape

(as used here by the Story Teller).  If not the first, these

are certainly amongst the first computer-edited letters.



Alans trips to Norway continued, and from correspondence with

Robin he seemed to have opened up socially. Probably in

connection with his psychotherapy, he apparently decided that

self-exploration and self-revelation were worthy goals, and

pursued them in typical Turing fashion.  (Of course seeing a

therapist was another source or social embarrassment to anyone

but Turing. That he was foreign, and Jewish, only made it

worse.)



At the Manchester computer laboratory, a young man Alan found

attractive arrived to use the computer. Alan immediately asked

Tony Brooker "Who is that beautiful young man?", who explained.



In April 1953 his chemical sentence ended; for the final three

months an implant was used, which Alan suspected was designed

to last more than three months; he removed it.  At this time

Manchester University created a special "Readership in the

Theory of Computing" post for him, and with it came a pay

raise; his professional future was secure.



That summer, Alan visited the Greek island of Corfu, and

returned with several names and phone numbers; he must have

got more than that, as his biographer wrote of the visit:

"As at school, he made mistakes with the French, but still

did better than with the Greek."



During this period, in spite or because of the Cold War, the

general diversification of culture, and particularly sex, was

changing for the better. Novels with homosexuals of covert

intent were appearing, though mainly of the "tragic ending"

sort; it was becoming obvious that homosexuals muddled through

life just as anyone else.



But just when it seemed Alan was becoming more comfortable in

the world, he killed himself, on 7 June 1954.





VIII.

----


Everyone who knew him was shocked; it seemed so pointless. He

had always been a tense, unhappy person, and the Arnold affair

wold have been a major blow to anyone, but the trial was two

years old, the hormone treatments ended a year before, and he

seemed to rise about it all in his typical fashion.



His housekeeper found him, lying in bed; the coroner determined

he died from cyanide poisoning. A half-eaten apple was by the

side of his bed, and he had jars of potassium cyanide in his

kitchen, for his many experiments.  Presumably the cyanide

was on the apple, though it wasnt tested, deemed an obvious

suicide.  There was no evidence of any kind to the contrary.



He left no note, and his house was its usual mess of papers

and books; and he had scheduled time on the computers a few days

later. He had however made a new will only months before; his

estate went to his mother and his friends.  He had also reached

a peak in much of his current biological work, not exactly

complete, but he had told Robin Gandy that he felt he had gone

as far as he could at the time. He had been working also on

a number of mathematical logic papers and had published small



Alans work (and saw that some of the unfinished work was

published in subsequent work).




-----------------------------------------------------------------------




As Turings biographer Andrew Hodges says, there is amazingly

little information available on such a world-historic person,

and not all of it is due to taboos on homosexuality or state

secrets. Little was saved about the ACE machine, for example,

and most of what exists was saved by participants personally.



A large part of the problem is Turing himself; he didnt live

his life like a "world figure"; he tried to be an ordinary

mathematician, who generally remain obscure. He made no effort

to preserve his work or writing.




Appropriately enough, he achieved a modest immortality in the

expression "turing machine", increasingly used uncapitalized,

a sort of mathematical canonization.



Not until the 1970s was Turings profound understanding of the

capabilities of computers generally appreciated, as machinery

capable of anything that can be expressed symbolically.

Only with the spread of minicomputers, and later microprocessors,

did the world begin to understand the nearly limitless use of

the machines that Alan helped build.



He may be finally, nearly a half-century later, coming into his

own:




 # A play entitled "BREAKING THE CODE", by Hugh Whitemore,

   opened in London, in 1986. It played in New York in 1987.

   I was lucky enough to see it in San Francisco around 1989

   or so. See SOURCES for more information.



 # A made-for-TV version of the play was first screened in

   Canada in 1986 by SHOWCASE TELEVISION.



 # And this year (1999) Neal Stephensons novel CRYPTONOMICRON

   has a decent rendering of Alan Turing as a fictional

   character; a fitting adaptation if his life (though Neal

   has him smoking cigarettes.).




 # Finally, Andrew Hodges is writing a work of fiction, titled

   THE UNWELDING, that has Turing as a fictional character.




-----------------------------------------------------------------------




My interest in Alan Turing began in 1981, while reading "A HISTORY

OF COMPUTING IN THE 20TH CENTURY". I dont recall what I knew

of him at that time, certainly not much, but he came up in

just about every essay in the book, at the most fundamental

level of theory and construction of machines, and seemingly

everywhere in between. And then I.J. Good wrote in his essay

"PIONEERING WORK ON COMPUTERS AT BLETCHLEY":



   "It was only after the war that we learned that he was a

    homosexual.  It was lucky the security people didnt know

    about it early on, because if they had known, he might

    not have obtained his clearance and we might have lost

    the war."




As a young homosexual myself I was instantly fascinated --

but I could turn up no information beyond the most basic

biographical information.




But in 1983 I found the just-released "ALAN TURING: THE ENIGMA",

by Andrew Hodges, a British homosexual mathematician, turned

author, who brought together a phenomenal amount of information

in spite of Turing's indifference to history, wartime secrecy,

and a world unwilling or unable to acknowledge an open

homosexual.



This book was essentially my sole source of information on Turing.

This isn't out of laziness; there simply isn't any other

substantial works; and with a few exceptions, finding Alan's

original work is very difficult.




I strongly recommend Hodges book to anyone at all interested

in Turing or this part of history.




-----------------------------------------------------------------------




This paper document is ephemera from the performance of the

"ALAN TURING" story as told by the World Power Systems "STORY

TELLER" system, and stored on approximately 650 feet of punched

tape.  It takes about 8 hours to perform, assuming the tape

doesn't break.



                    A B C D E F G H

                    I J K L L M N O

                    P Q R S T U V W

                    X Y Z 1 2 3 4 5

                    6 7 8 9 0 - S ,

                    : ( ) " # ? & .

                    / ;



Tom Jennings

19 August, 1999





SOURCES & REFERENCES

--------------------




ALAN TURING: THE ENIGMA by Andrew Hodges, 1983. ISBN 0-671-49207-2, out of print. 

     A new edition is expected in 2000.




ALAN TURING: THE ENIGMA by Andrew Hodges, 1992. ISBN 0-09-911641-3, UK publication. 


     Same as above but new preface and documents found since 1983.




A HISTORY OF COMPUTING IN THE 20TH CENTURY, 1980.

     ISBN 0-12-491650-3, out of print.




TURING, Andrew Hodges, 1997. ISBN 0-75380-192-2.


     Subtitled "A natural philosopher", a brief (60 page) essay on


     Turings philosophy of mind, showing more of his wit and


     brilliance, and some of the results of his discussions with


     Wittgenstein.  Obtainable from AMAZON.CO.UK.




ALAN TURING: THE ARCHITECT OF THE COMPUTER AGE, by Ted Gottfried, 1996. 

     ISBN 0-531-11287-X.


     A brief biography intended for young students; what it lacks


     in depth is made up for in its frank and enlightened treatment


     of Alans sexuality.  It does a decent job of explaining Alan"s


     work. An excellent stealth book to sneak into libraries.


     Gottfried appears to be a prolific writer of biographies.




THE ALAN TURING HOMEPAGE http://www.turing.org.uk/turing/




ANDREW HODGES HOMEPAGE http://www.turing.org.uk/



AMAZON.COM http://www.amazon.com




AMAZON.CO.UK http://www.amazon.co.uk A better source of Hodges work. 


     Purchase/shipping to the U.S. not a problem with a credit card.




THE INTERNET BOOKSHOP http://www.bookshop.co.uk


     Online, overseas ordering not a problem.




BREAKING THE CODE http://www.turing.org.uk/turing/scrapbook/btc.html


     A play by Hugh Whitemore, is described here.



THIS DOCUMENT,http://www.sr-ix.com/projects


     This document and these URLs can be found on my web page:

             




All quotations not attributed taken from Hodges book


"ALAN TURING: THE ENIGMA". "Universal machine" table


from Hodges. Otherwise, entire contents copyright

Tom Jennings, 1999.