October 03, 2010
Rudy Rucker posts quotes from Andrew Hodges' biography of Alan Turing (well, he did a month ago). My favourite:
1942, age 30. Turing joined the Home Guard so he could learn to shoot. "[Turing] had to complete a form, and one of the questions on this form was: ‘Do you understand that by enrolling in the Home Guard you place yourself liable to military law?’ Well, Turing, absolutely characteristically, said: There can be no conceivable advantage in answering this question ‘Yes’ and therefore he answered it 'No.' ... And ... he was duly enrolled, because people only look to see that these things are signed at the bottom. ... He learned to shoot, but he refused to attend parades, and the apoplectic chief officer confronted him, and Turing said, "You know, I rather thought this sort of situation could arise... If you look at my form you will see that I protected myself against this situation."