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Gay codebreaker Alan Turing remembered in stamp series

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  1. Your article has an error in it. The Turing machine was a hypothetical device which led to the development of modern computing. Colossus was what helped crack the Enigma code. There’s this wonderful website called Wikipedia where you can check things like this…

    See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Turing_machine and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Colossus_computer and I’m not just being geeky – it matters, otherwise Turing’s remarkable achievements in computing will not be better known.

  2. Whilst the stamps are wonderful and a great tribute to Turing and his work … I would still urge there to be a pardon. Those who agree can use either (or both) of the following petitions:

    http://www.change.org/petitions/prime-minister-grant-a-pardon-to-alan-turing

    http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/23526

    (The second petition is for UK citizens only, the first will take signatures from across the globe)

    1. Signed it.

      I had never seen a photo of Alan Turing with such a brilliant smile. :)

    2. David Myers 4 Jan 2012, 8:06am

      Thank you Stu for posting both petitions. I had gone to the second one and was disappointed to not be able to sign it because I am a dual US/Canadian citizen. I have signed the first petition. Thanks again for posting both.

  3. Does anyone know what this stamp looks like?

  4. Jock S. Trap 3 Jan 2012, 11:15am

    A nice tribute to a worthy man. Prehaps now they could also take his conviction into account and remove.

    1. Spanner1960 3 Jan 2012, 8:51pm

      You can’t change what happened. What is done is done.

      1. Try telling that to someone who has been exonerated by the Court of Appeal …

        1. Spanner1960 4 Jan 2012, 11:18pm

          Appeals are based on new evidence. The evidence is still the same, only the law has changed.

      2. David Myers 4 Jan 2012, 8:11am

        Wrong! If the Catholic Church can “forgive” Galileo then the British Prime Minister can pardon Alan Turing. What “is done” was wrong.

  5. Robert in S. Kensington 3 Jan 2012, 12:28pm

    Done! Thank you for the link, Stu. Happy New Year!

    1. Happy New Year, Robert

      Hope you had good holidays

  6. George Broadhead 3 Jan 2012, 2:22pm

    On behalf of the the UK gay Humanist charity the Pink Triangle Trust (PTT), warmly welcome the news that this famous mathematician and second world war code breaker is to be celebrated on a special stamp as an online petition calls for a posthumous pardon to quash his conviction for gross indecency.

    This is richly deserved and the PTT fuly supports the call for a posthumous pardon.

    It is well known that Turing was gay, but perhaps not so well known that he was a staunch atheist. There are many other famous gay atheists past and present – Christopher Marlowe, Maynard Keynes, Stephen Fry and and Michael Cashman among them – but Turing is probably the most notable since his breaking of the Enigma Code went such a long way to saving the UK from defeat in the last war. The treatment meted out to him by the authorities was despicable and almost certainly led to his suicide.

    To mark the 100th anniversary this year of Turing’s birth, the Turing Centenary Advisory Committee (TCAC) is coordinating the Alan Turing Year, a year-long programme of events around the world honouring Turing’s life and achievements.

    LGBT Humanists will certainly be participating in this programme to honour a man who, to them, is great hero.

    A number of articles about Turing were published in Gay & Lesbian Humanist magazine and can be read at:

    http://www.pinktriangle.org.uk/glh/turing.html.

  7. GingerlyColors 3 Jan 2012, 2:26pm

    As a postal worker I can look forward to seeing a lot of Alan Turing in the coming year!

    1. You won’t have much to look forward to in the post, if this is anything to go by:-

      http://www.bfdc.co.uk/2012/britons_of_distinction/resources/stamps/6140.html

      1. George Broadhead 3 Jan 2012, 5:26pm

        No, it seem a pity that they couldn’t have used a photo.

      2. David Myers 4 Jan 2012, 8:14am

        Disappointing that they couldn’t use a portrait.

  8. Atheist, Christian, Not sure. No matter. Every honour should be given to such a great man. Have you never wondered at the bite from the Apple apple.

  9. George Broadhead 3 Jan 2012, 5:22pm

    This account from Wikipedia describes how Turing became an atheist:

    “Turing’s hopes and ambitions at school were raised by the close friendship he developed with a slightly older fellow student, Christopher Morcom, who was Turing’s first love interest. Morcom died suddenly on 13th February 1930, only a few weeks into their last term at Sherborne, from complications of bovine tuberculosis, contracted after drinking infected cow’s milk as a boy. Turing’s religious faith was shattered and he became an atheist. He adopted the conviction that all phenomena, including the workings of the human brain, must be materialistic.”

  10. If this first day cover site is accurate, it doesn’t seem the stamp is much to celebrate. In fact the faceless bland Turing stamp looks more like a calculated insult –

    http://www.bfdc.co.uk/2012/britons_of_distinction/resources/stamps/6140.html

    1. yes, totally out of order- it has to be the least interesting stamp on there.

      1. The stamps of Pugin, Spence and others are illustrated by pictures of their achievements, and celebrating such matters is surely the purpose of this issue. Isn’t Turing’s greatness revealed in the Enigma creation, rather than his sexual orientation (a not unusual personal feature for which, incidentally, men were not prosecuted, even in the benighted 50s!)?

  11. Spanner1960 4 Jan 2012, 11:19pm

    Stamp out philately, that’s what I say.

  12. Wiki:

    Anthony Cave Brown’s book, “C”: The Secret Life of Sir Stewart Menzies, Spymaster to Winston Churchill, states:

    Menzies had known that Turing was a practicing and aggressive homosexual; this had emerged soon after his employment at Bletchley. But since he caused no offence to his colleagues at Bletchley, and since he was perhaps the only man in Menzies’s service who might have been called ‘indispensable,’ his services were retained… Early in 1944 a suspicion arose that he might have been the man responsible for molesting schoolboys at the main public library in Luton, a large industrial town not far from Bletchley. While no proceedings arose, it was decided that the need for good order and discipline required his removal – but not before he had done his finest work.[67]

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