The Man Who Knew Too Much: Alan Turing and the Invention of the Computer (Great Discoveries)
The story of the persecuted genius who helped create the modern computer.To solve one of the great mathematical problems of his day, Alan Turing proposed an imaginary programmable calculating machine. But the idea of actually producing a "Turing machine" did not crystallize until he and his... show more
The story of the persecuted genius who helped create the modern computer.To solve one of the great mathematical problems of his day, Alan Turing proposed an imaginary programmable calculating machine. But the idea of actually producing a "Turing machine" did not crystallize until he and his brilliant Bletchley Park colleagues built devices to crack the Nazis' Enigma code, thus ensuring the Allies' victory in World War II. In so doing, Turing became a champion of artificial intelligence, formulating the famous (and still unbeaten) Turing Test that challenges our ideas of human consciousness. But Turing's postwar computer-building was cut short when, as an openly gay man in a time when homosexuality was officially illegal in England, he was apprehended by the authorities and sentenced to a "treatment" that amounted to chemical castration, leading to his suicide.With a novelist's sensitivity, David Leavitt portrays Turing in all his humanity—his eccentricities, his brilliance, his fatal candor—while elegantly explaining his work and its implications.
Publish date: 2006
Publisher: W. W. Norton
Pages no: 319
Edition language: English
This is a tough book for me to review, because at least 50% of it went in one ear and out the other. Don't get me wrong, it was interesting, it's just that I couldn't follow a lot of it.Part of the problem was the diagrams. I'm pretty sure there were a lot of them, especially in the first half of th...
Reviews are, of course, subjective. So, when I give it three stars, it is mostly because I don't feel I was the right audience for this book, and not because I think it was inherently bad. One who really has a fascination with mathematics and/or the development of computers would probably really e...
I found this a fascinating book, even though the mathematical concepts in the middle chapters were a bit of a hard slog. Still, even if I didn't fully follow the explanations, it was entirely helpful to get a sense of the territories in which Turing's mind was working. And the bit about the Enigma m...