Turing centenary

The Alan Turing Year was celebrated worldwide in 2012. Multiple Turing events were held in several cities. I attended quite a few of those events myself and audio recorded the speeches. My objective here is to compare and contrast claims that computer professionals, historians, and others have made about Turing and our field.

Computability Unplugged?


16 September 2022

Scrutinizing the history of mathematics and computer science has led me to the following illustration & line of argumentation, followed by two typical responses and then a question which I pose to my readers. Perhaps the sequel contains a few insights for the reader too; alas, some sections are peppered with nonsense (most of which I have labelled accordingly).


Turing Machine as Boundary Object

Here's an abstract, entitled: The Turing Machine as a Boundary Object: Sorting Out American Science and European Engineering, co-authored by Erhard Schüttpelz, featuring Marvin Minsky and Edsger Dijkstra in the late 1960s and early 1970s. To be presented this summer in London at the 11th British Wittgenstein Society Conference: Wittgenstein and AI

Update 2022-August-1:

Vindicating Turing and von Neumann?


17 January 2020

Thomas Haigh & Mark Priestley have written a `historical reflections' column entitled “Von Neumann Thought Turing's Universal Machine was 'Simple and Neat.' But That Didn't Tell Him How to Design a Computer” (CACM, January 2020). The negation of the previous sentence is clearly false: That Did Tell Him How to Design a Computer.


Chapter 1 of Turing Tales

The first chapter of my 2016 book Turing Tales is made available here. I explain my methodological stance on the history of computer science, and introduce the topic of "conflations," which I believe is key to understanding the history of science and technology.


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