I just read about this: the British government pardoned Alan Turing this week! I was super surprised for this because, wtf did the father of modern computer programming do wrong? I’d never heard a peep about him having a ‘criminal’ side –although I’ve often read of the Turing test and his many other accomplishments that have made this digital age possible. Such as the concepts of algorithms and computation. He is the father of Artificial Intelligence. And he helped win WWII by breaking the Enigma code.
So what did Turing do that was so wrong? This links back to my posts on Sex and the Law… and how governments have no goddamn right to interfere with human sexuality. Well, it turns out that Turing was convicted of being a homosexual! Again, wtf? That’s no crime. But his punishment was: chemical castration. Yes, the father of modern computing was chemically castrated by the fascist British penal system. And the result? He committed suicide less than 2 years later.
But at least they pardoned him…way the fuck after the fact and way too late– but I am still disgusted. Seriously, chemically castrating someone is unforgivable. And doing so because he preferred men is obscene and perfect example of how the morals of the day can blind us to what is actually right and wrong.
The ‘justice’ system killed one of the brightest minds of the 20th century by castrating him and labeling him a criminal. Imagine all the contributions we denied ourselves because we couldn’t stomach the fact that he liked men. Sure, breaking the enigma code brought world war two to an end much quicker but a war hero or not, he was convicted of homosexuality in 1952.
So I say it again: the government has no place in the bedrooms of the people.