Talk:Alan Turing

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Good article Alan Turing has been listed as one of the Mathematics good articles under the good article criteria. If you can improve it further, please do so. If it no longer meets these criteria, you can reassess it.
High traffic

On June 23, 2012, Alan Turing was linked from Google, a high-traffic website. (See visitor traffic)

Turing and Telepathy[edit]

In his essay on artificial intelligence where he posits the famous Turing test (I don't have it to hand, but I'm sure of this) Turing affirms his belief in telepathy. Can we put this in in the passage about his religious/nonreligious beliefs and views on life after death? I don't want to do it now as I don't have the source for reference, but anyone who does can check that I'm right.89.100.155.6 (talk) 20:38, 18 May 2014 (UTC)

Alan Mathison Turing Esq OBE[edit]

"Turing would go on to be honoured by the British state. In a supplement dated Tuesday 18 June 1946, Gazette number 37617 reports that Alan Mathison Turing Esq ‘employed in a Department of the Foreign Office’ is to be promoted to become an officer of the civil division of the British Empire."
issue 37617, page 3124 of the London Gazette


Xb2u7Zjzc32 (talk) 22:42, 16 June 2014 (UTC)

Autism?[edit]

I see nothing in the article about Turing being autistic. An editor has just added a WikiProject Autism tag, and the article is already included in three autism related categories. I submit that unless something well sourced on this is added to the article, those categorisations and the project link are inappropriate. HiLo48 (talk) 22:06, 1 August 2014 (UTC)

WikiProject banners don't categorize an article; they're just a note that the article is of interest to the WikiProject. I suppose the WikiProjects are entitled to be interested in anything they like. In this case, it makes sense; given that there has been speculation, however possibly ill-founded, that Turing was somewhere on the autism spectrum, WPA members have an interest in making sure that anything that is said about it reflects the understanding in the field. --Trovatore (talk) 22:10, 1 August 2014 (UTC)
Yes, I can understand the speculation. Speculation is a difficult area for Wikipedia. We cannot directly include it in articles. It just seems odd to have such speculation displayed around, if not in, an article on someone. I suspect our BLP rules would prohibit it for a living person unless it was very well sourced. And it's a bit of a teaser. If there is real, well publicised speculation, from appropriately qualified people, that Turing was autistic, it should probably go in the article, not just be hanging on the ends of this Talk page. HiLo48 (talk) 22:19, 1 August 2014 (UTC)
The main point is that it's up to WikiProject Autism to decide where they want their banners. They don't have to justify it. At least that's how I look at it. --Trovatore (talk) 22:24, 1 August 2014 (UTC)
If their reason's a good one, I'd like to see it in the article. HiLo48 (talk) 22:43, 1 August 2014 (UTC)
(ec) Well, depends. If the reason is of the form "there are reliable source that show that people who know what they're talking about have proposed that Turing may have had an autism-spectrum condition", then sure, that should go in the article. If it's more along the lines of "it's reasonably forseeable that a discussion of autism-spectrum disorders may appear in the article, and if so, we want to be aware and make sure that any information is of high quality", well, I think that's still a pretty good reason, but it doesn't mean anything needs to go in the article. --Trovatore (talk) 23:06, 1 August 2014 (UTC)
See Retrospective diagnoses of autism for the appropriate sources. Historical speculation is questionable as a reliable source, and in this case is the only source to use since Alan Turing lived before autism diagnosis was widespread, and for the most part, before it even existed. However, the criteria for adding a WikiProject banner are far more lax than for in-article information. Just because Turing is not categorized in Category:People with Asperger syndrome for example, does not mean he is of no interest to WikiProject Autism. The talk-page categories of GA-Class Autism articles, High-importance Autism articles, and WikiProject Autism articles are automatically generated by adding the WikiProject template. Muffinator (talk) 23:03, 1 August 2014 (UTC)
Hmmmm. All seems a bit doggy to me. And obviously speculative. Not a good look. HiLo48 (talk) 23:09, 1 August 2014 (UTC)
I completely agree and think we shouldn't add anything in this regard to the article page unless a better source is found. Muffinator (talk) 23:15, 1 August 2014 (UTC)

Autism project tag on Alan Turing when there is no evidence he was autistic[edit]

I removed the autism project tag and was reverted. So I have asked a question about this at Wikipedia:Biographies of living persons/Noticeboard to find out if the biographies of people can be put in the autism project when there's no evidence in his biography that he was autistic. Thanks, Parabolooidal (talk) 21:19, 5 August 2014 (UTC)

I have removed it as well until there is consensus for inclusion. --Malerooster (talk) 21:19, 5 August 2014 (UTC)
Alan Turing is in no way the only historical (or living) figure whose neurotype is questioned, so please centralize this discussion at Talk:Retrospective_diagnoses_of_autism#WikiProject_Autism_banners_on_biographical_articles - it has been suggested that Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Autism would be a better place to centralize. Muffinator (talk) 22:18, 5 August 2014 (UTC)
... looking forward to neurotype(?) Martinevans123 (talk) 22:21, 5 August 2014 (UTC)
... neurotype(?) Me too! Let's have it. What is a neurotype? Parabolooidal (talk) 02:01, 6 August 2014 (UTC)
I think people who want to remove the tag are completely misunderstanding what the tag is about. Inclusion of the tag does not in any way mean that Turing was autistic, so there doesn't need to be any evidence that he was.
It means that WikiProject Autism wants to keep an eye on the article. That's all it means. --Trovatore (talk) 22:52, 5 August 2014 (UTC)
Inclusion of the tag, and interest in the wikiproject should be based upon concrete data, the majority of scientific/historic opinion/evidence, or sufficient controversy. It should not be based upon the opinions of two scholars who never met him, and having read the parts of the chapter that I can, in the book by Ioan James, the evidence seems very circumstantial. wrt. the tag and wikiproject:Autism, it is not for wikiprojects to dictate where their tags go, but for consensus of the community. There are multiple editors complaining about the inclusion, so consensus needs to be reach for inclusion based upon such speculative evidence. Martin451 23:41, 5 August 2014 (UTC)
It is extremely arrogant to try to dictate to a WikiProject where it should put its tags. The purpose of the tags is for bots to keep track of the articles on behalf of the WikiProject. It doesn't really concern anyone else.
Now, there is some question in my mind whether the members of that WikiProject, in general, really want to keep track of articles like this one, but if they do, they should be allowed to. --Trovatore (talk) 23:54, 5 August 2014 (UTC)
A wikiproject is a collaboration, and should work in consensus with the rest of the community. Is there support from the entire wikiproject, or just one editor from that project? Turing is claimed to have had Aspergers/Autism spectrum disorder based upon one very hearsay reference, and another locked behind a paywall (about children). This is not the way we should categorise and wikiproject wikipedia, especially when there is nothing suitable to put in the article. Martin451 00:47, 6 August 2014 (UTC)
I don't know whether there's support in the project in general. I am not associated with that project.
However, surely wikiprojects are entitled to choose what they're interested in, however they wish. "Consensus" on this page is irrelevant. --Trovatore (talk) 00:58, 6 August 2014 (UTC)
"Consensus" on this page is irrelevant. That is a pretty big statement considering WP:CON is one of the core principles. One member of wikiproject Autism, plus yourself, against multiple people questioning this inclusion. Martin451 01:44, 6 August 2014 (UTC)
The only official guideline about when not to tag with a WikiProject template is when the article is only tangentially related to the project. That principle is difficult to apply here: Alan Turing was either autistic or not autistic. If he was, he's certainly not tangential. To make a generalized resolution to this dispute, it would be necessary to amend the guideline. Muffinator (talk) 01:18, 6 August 2014 (UTC)
Considering there are no reliable sources to verify that he was autistic, I'd say it's a very speculative rewriting of history to diagnose him with this condition retrospectively and therefore doesn't even reach the threshold of being tangential. Parabolooidal (talk) 01:29, 6 August 2014 (UTC)
"Turing was either autistic or not autistic." No, like many mental disorders, Autism is a spectrum, from those really bad, to those with Aspergers and those who show no symptoms. Tagging this talk page like this borders on WP:OR given the references that back that up. Martin451 01:44, 6 August 2014 (UTC)
You're right: Autism is a spectrum, a spectrum that every person in the world is either on or not on. I'd advise against trying to weasel your way out of the logical absolutes. Muffinator (talk) 03:43, 6 August 2014 (UTC)
Have you read the article on Aspergers? It "is an autism spectrum disorder (ASD) that is characterized by significant difficulties in social interaction and nonverbal communication, alongside restricted and repetitive patterns of behavior and interests." That doesn't sound like a persons "who show no symptoms". If there are no symptoms, how is is a disorder? Parabolooidal (talk) 02:01, 6 August 2014 (UTC)
It would be OR if it were in article space, no doubt about it. So what? Look, I can't say this strongly enough, the tag per se does not assert anything whatsoever about Turing. --Trovatore (talk) 01:48, 6 August 2014 (UTC)
Saying something, even in bold, doesn't make it "true", just saying. --Malerooster (talk) 02:01, 6 August 2014 (UTC)
(ec)That's true, but irrelevant. In bold or not, whether I say it or not, the tag still does not assert anything whatsoever about Turing. --Trovatore (talk) 02:12, 6 August 2014 (UTC)
Of course it does. It asserts that there is speculation about him having been autistic. I guess we disagree on this point :) --Malerooster (talk) 02:19, 6 August 2014 (UTC)
It does not assert there is speculation about him having been autistic. It asserts that the members of WikiProject Autism would like to keep an eye on the article. That's all it asserts, and that says nothing whatsoever about Turing per se. --Trovatore (talk) 02:23, 6 August 2014 (UTC)
Why, exactly, are they "keeping an eye" on the article?? --Malerooster (talk) 02:33, 6 August 2014 (UTC)
Surely that's up to them. --Trovatore (talk) 02:43, 6 August 2014 (UTC)
Boom. Looks to me like this debate has been unambiguously won. I'm not even taking credit for agreeing; it's all Trovatore. Good job. Muffinator (talk) 03:43, 6 August 2014 (UTC)
Look at the number of categories this article is already in - mind boggling. And the proposal is to add more? (The bolding makes mind boggling true.) Parabolooidal (talk) 02:11, 6 August 2014 (UTC)
No, there is no proposal to add the article to any categories. The tag adds the article talk page to some categories. They should be exclusively talk-page categories, not article categories. --Trovatore (talk) 02:14, 6 August 2014 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Just curious Trovatore, though I think I know the answer. Would you feel differently if this was a living individual? Thanks, --Malerooster (talk) 02:22, 6 August 2014 (UTC)

More care is always needed when talking about living persons. --Trovatore (talk) 02:24, 6 August 2014 (UTC)
I am not letting you off the hook that easy :) Would you be ok with having the banner on the talk page of a BLP who was only suspected of having autism. And don't say it "depends" the way I like to do :) Cheers, --Malerooster (talk) 02:32, 6 August 2014 (UTC)
I would be more concerned about it in that case. The concern would be that readers unfamiliar with the nuances of our tags might draw unintended conclusions from them, and that that could be construed as defamation. This is not a concern, at least legally, in the case of someone no longer living. --Trovatore (talk) 02:43, 6 August 2014 (UTC)
ok, what about Prince Azim, a member of the royal family of Brunei born in 1982, who attended two autism-related events in Brunei and therefore is tagged with the "autism" banner? Parabolooidal (talk) 03:04, 6 August 2014 (UTC) What does Prince Azim have to do with Alan Turing? Try not to derail the discussion. Muffinator (talk) 03:46, 6 August 2014 (UTC)
This is more problematic. I have not come to a conclusion on that issue. However, the BLP issue does not affect the current question, because Turing is not an LP. --Trovatore (talk) 03:06, 6 August 2014 (UTC)
The vast majority of our readers will be unfamiliar with the nuances of our tags. To such readers, the existence of the autism tag is likely to tell them that Wikipedia says Turing was autistic. It's a very poor practice. HiLo48 (talk) 03:10, 6 August 2014 (UTC)
The tags are not for our readers. --Trovatore (talk) 03:12, 6 August 2014 (UTC)
Keep in mind also that readers (meaning non-editors) typically don't bother with talk pages at all. --Trovatore (talk) 03:13, 6 August 2014 (UTC)
Perhaps the cloud of tags needs a heading saying "Readers - please ignore these. They don't mean anything.". This suggestion is not a joke. HiLo48 (talk) 03:19, 6 August 2014 (UTC) If it's not a joke, I encourage you to propose it at Wikipedia:Village pump. Muffinator (talk) 03:50, 6 August 2014 (UTC)
It should be noted that it is very typical of biographical articles to be relevant to many different WikiProjects. Take a look at Talk:Nikola Tesla: We have a tag for Belgrade, Serbia, Austria, Yugoslavia, Croatia, and New York City, on top of all of the work he's known for, because guess what, he lived in all of those places. "Too many WikiProjects" is not a valid argument. Muffinator (talk) 03:43, 6 August 2014 (UTC)
But WHY is it relevant? Don't tell me to ask the project. The answer should be here, where the tag is, where some curious readers might see it. They may actually be interested in the reason. It could be a good reason. Right now it's a mysterious, suggestive, tasty hint of something that somebody knows, or thinks, but that hasn't been properly fleshed out in the article. Actually, I am curious! HiLo48 (talk) 04:17, 6 August 2014 (UTC)
Popular speculation most notably by Tony Attwood and Ioan James. If you think that's not a good enough reason, I suggest you take it up with the project members on the project page, or propose a change of policy, because the current policies suggest that consensus outside of the project is mostly irrelevant. Muffinator (talk) 04:33, 6 August 2014 (UTC)
I'm not even looking for consensus. Just some explanation here as to why the tag is here. Right now, with no mention of autism in the article, it sits there all alone like a shag on a rock. If it was the Blue Eyes Project, it would hardly matter, but autism is often seen as a major negative attribute. (Not saying that's right. Just that it's how it's seen by many.) For such a negative factor, an explanation is needed. HiLo48 (talk) 05:43, 6 August 2014 (UTC)
By negative factor, you mean that it is likely to result in discrimination. Not only is the template still not a statement of any kind, but WP:AVOIDVICTIM doesn't apply since Alan Turing is not a living person. Muffinator (talk) 17:29, 6 August 2014 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Muffinator, you suggest we take it up with the project members, on the project page. Well perhaps you should look at section 4.2 of WP:OWN. In this case the founder and main contributor of wikiproject autism seems to be yourself, so we would just be moving this conversation there. Placing a tag on a talkpage, with no explanation of why that tag is there seems very strange to me, and a bit of flaky speculation by a couple of scholars is not enough IMO. Martin451 17:37, 6 August 2014 (UTC)

I posit that moving this discussion to the project talk page would make it easier for the other project participants to become aware of the dispute and offer their input. Section 4.2 of WP:OWN does mention WikiProjects, but if you look at the top of the page, you'll notice that it says "This page is about control over an article's text." It says nothing whatsoever about talk pages. Muffinator (talk) 19:01, 6 August 2014 (UTC)
Muffinator - You are behaving like a classic bureaucratic, hiding everything behind rules that don't rationally apply here. Doing something stupid, just because the rules say you can, is not a very smart thing to do. You are ignoring a lot of very sensible comment here by hiding behind rules that clearly aren't in touch with the reality of situations like this. In effect, you are saying "We'll have Wikipedia do this really dumb thing because nobody thought of situations like this when they made the rules." How about you actually try to discuss the points made by others without saying the rules say we can do it? HiLo48 (talk) 20:47, 6 August 2014 (UTC)
While I'm not involved in this debate, I do have this page+talk on my watchlist. The latest edit summary caught my eye as it is abusive. Please avoid creating abusive edits and edit summaries as per WP:Civility and WP:No personal attacks. To everyone involved, please consider allowing this conversation to cool off by stepping away from it for a day. Thanks and happy editing. —Waldhorn (talk) 22:19, 6 August 2014 (UTC)
You just did get involved in the debate by excusing the bad behaviour of an editor on one side of it. I don't apologise for that edit and Edit summary. To me, they ARE dumb rules. (Is it rude to say so?) An editor here has avoided actually discussing the issues raised by others by saying "...but the rules allow it". It's non-productive and confrontational behaviour. Too much real incivility here is couched in broader, bad mannered behaviour without using stronger words. HiLo48 (talk) 23:09, 6 August 2014 (UTC)
HiLo48, you are explaining the behavior of editors in an inaccurate and biased way. I am not WP:Wikilawyering, but rather responding to other editors' reference to guidelines by saying "actually, those rules aren't applicable to this situation." We must discuss this dispute on its own merits, or propose an addition of new policy that this dispute would be in the scope of. Muffinator (talk) 18:35, 7 August 2014 (UTC)
I disagree. I could paraphrase your position here as "What has been done isn't against the rules. The opinions of editors here don't count for anything, so I won't discuss them." That's very poor manners. HiLo48 (talk) 21:06, 7 August 2014 (UTC)
Quite. The consensus opinion of the editors here—and at Talk:Albert Einstein, Talk:Isaac Newton, and perhaps more—seems to be that the project tags do not belong on this talk page. That, per our consensus policy, should have ended this discussion a while ago already . - DVdm (talk) 21:20, 7 August 2014 (UTC)
To me, the tracking templates are more or less the equivalent of an individual editor's watchlist (albeit slightly enhanced with the "quality" and "importance" fields). I don't need to get consensus for what to put on my watchlist, and I don't think a Wikiproject should need consensus (except in-project) for what it puts on its. Perhaps the banners could be made less obtrusive, though. --Trovatore (talk) 21:24, 7 August 2014 (UTC)
That's a wise suggestion. Especially since I also made it myself earlier in the discussion, but my ego doesn't need the credit. Can we progress something in that direction? HiLo48 (talk) 22:05, 7 August 2014 (UTC)

I think it's worth noting here that Muffinator has now been indefinitely topic banned from all articles and talk pages related to Autism. HiLo48 (talk) 22:07, 11 August 2014 (UTC)

Is "burgle" formal written British English?[edit]

This isn't the most important issue ever, but might as well have it out. I reverted a recent new editor's BrE -> AmE changes, on WP:ENGVAR grounds, but I let the change from burgle to burglarize remain.

Is that correct? I know that burgle is more used in the UK than in the US, but it still strikes me as a bit informal for an encyclopedia. Really I always thought it was sort of a joke, a play on words.

On the other hand, burglarize is qualified as "chiefly North American" in Wiktionary. Is there burglarise instead? Or is there some more formal word, that doesn't have this jocular quality I hear in burgle? --Trovatore (talk) 22:46, 9 September 2014 (UTC)

Australian here, but been reading and hearing UK English all my life. Burgle seems fine. Burgalise is horrible. Reminds me of the less nice word buggerise. (To reading and hearing above, I could add singing, having performed the above ditty on stage some 40 years ago. Maybe it still influences my judgement.) HiLo48 (talk) 23:08, 9 September 2014 (UTC)
Well, I think it's probably influencing my judgment too, but in the opposite direction — I can't help hearing it as a G&S play on words. Wiktionary dates burgle to 1872, albeit without an attestation until 1892; Pirates of Penzance came out in 1879. So probably the word was not invented specifically for Pirates, assuming the 1872 date is reliable (not sure where it came from). But in any case they weren't far apart. --Trovatore (talk) 23:16, 9 September 2014 (UTC)
Never heard the term burglerise(d) in the UK, but burgled is quite common. Martin451 23:29, 9 September 2014 (UTC)
So one thing is "common", and another is "sufficiently formal for an encyclopedia". Is there a more formal word, or can we rephrase? It still sounds jocular to me. --Trovatore (talk) 23:31, 9 September 2014 (UTC)
The Guardian uses it. HiLo48 (talk) 04:04, 10 September 2014 (UTC)
Uh huh. Not exactly the gold standard, is it? --Trovatore (talk) 04:09, 10 September 2014 (UTC)
(My reaction is only partly specific to The Grauniad. Even if it were The Times, I'm not sure I'd be that impressed. It's still a newspaper. Journalism is about conveying information quickly; it's not a terribly formal register of language.) --Trovatore (talk) 04:11, 10 September 2014 (UTC)
OK, the Oxford Dictionary, a British gold standard if ever there was one, gives a straightforward definition with no hint of it being a slang word, or one used only by the lower classes. Think more about that song above, the word "burgling" is where Gilbert stretched the language beyond normal usage. It isn't mainstream, but "burgled" is. HiLo48 (talk) 06:01, 10 September 2014 (UTC)
Hmm, but OED aims to be comprehensive rather than prescriptive, I think. "Not slang or lower class" isn't really the standard. Encyclopedic writing is one of the highest registers there is, second maybe only to diplomatic or society nonsense.
If you found it used (not mentioned) in Brittanica, that would satisfy me, I suppose. --Trovatore (talk) 07:53, 10 September 2014 (UTC)
As a Brit I can tell you that the formal British word is burgle - burglarize is American and is never used in the UK. Google burgle and you will find a number of different dictionaries that give you the definition. The OED is considered the standard for British English in the same way that Websters is the standard for American English. We don't need anything more authoritative than that. Richerman (talk) 18:22, 10 September 2014 (UTC)
So I respect your report. However, as a general rule, note that certainly not every word in Webster's is the best choice in encyclopedic writing, and the same holds for OED. If there is really no hint of the humorous origin that hangs on burgle, then fine, I suppose. But if there is, then we should probably find other wording. (I'm not suggesting to use "burglarize", but rather to reword the sentence entirely.) --Trovatore (talk) 18:47, 10 September 2014 (UTC)
You've now had British people and people familiar with British usage saying it's fine. To change the wording to suit your usage in a different language variant doesn't make sense to me. HiLo48 (talk) 20:17, 10 September 2014 (UTC)
They're saying it's fine but they're citing irrelevancies like its occurrence in a dictionary. I would feel more comfortable that they understood the point if they didn't cite the dictionary, but instead asserted (ideally with citation, but I'd take their word for it even if not) that the word indeed has no further jocular sense to it. --Trovatore (talk) 20:34, 10 September 2014 (UTC)
But you haven't anyone who agrees with you. I think our consensus requirements would demand that you find at least one British person who does. HiLo48 (talk) 20:55, 10 September 2014 (UTC)
The word "burgle" is commonly used in British English, but particularly in a court-room setting. But this article doesn't even use this word. It uses "burgled", which is even more commonly used, and has next to no "jocular" association. In contrast. the word "burglarize" is never used in British English (unless it's in quoting US usage). Martinevans123 (talk) 21:04, 10 September 2014 (UTC)
I had no idea of the G&S connection. But nowadays burgled seems to be commonly used. Definitely not burglarise (never used in UK) but I wouldn't object to rewording of sentence - his house was broken into or something. I think there might be another problem with burgled - apparently before a 1968 law burglary was technically a night-time crime and I am not sure that the crime was carried out at night. Does anyone know what the person who did it was actually convicted of? Southdevonian (talk) 11:55, 11 September 2014 (UTC)
All the accounts I've read suggest that the police, Wills and Rimmer, gave up on "Harry", even though they had his fingerprints, as charging Turing with “Gross indecency contrary to Section 11 of the Criminal Law Amendment Act 1885” looked more inviting. So I don't think the burglary was ever fully investigated, or brought to court. Martinevans123 (talk) 12:31, 11 September 2014 (UTC)
Just to add my 2p worth the US word burglarize sounds rather comical to the British ear. This is perhaps ironic as our verb to burgle is actually a back derivation from burlgar. Brits would generally assume it was an unnecessary ending like saying transportation for transport (transportation in British means the historical punishment of sending criminals to Australia). No one in the UK would say burglarize rather than burgle unless they were deliberately trying to sound American. Billlion (talk) 09:37, 13 September 2014 (UTC)
or booglarize, of course. Martinevans123 (talk) 09:55, 13 September 2014 (UTC)
There is absolutely no reason to change a word because it sounds comical to American ears any more than we would change burglarize because it sound comical to British ears. It is the correct term and it is the one used by a number of sources see [1],[2], [3], [4]. Richerman (talk) 10:17, 13 September 2014 (UTC)
Intrigued to see Gerard O'Regan (2012) there say "at the criminal trial allegations of homosexuality were made against him", which I am sure is wrong. Martinevans123 (talk) 10:38, 13 September 2014 (UTC)

World-class athelete[edit]

According to this well-referenced site - http://www.turing.org.uk/scrapbook/run.html - Alan achieved very high standards in cross country and distance running and I think the inclusion of a section about this would increase the understanding of the man. He said running was very important for him to de-stress from his work and without the release and energy vigorous exercise gave him he may not have been such a successful computer scientist. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 86.4.162.153 (talk) 21:04, 8 October 2014 (UTC)

I think this aspect is being overplayed. Although it hasn't historically received much attention, it isn't a major part of his notability either. He was not a world-class athlete – he was a national-class athlete. Had he achieved times of 2 hours 46 mins forty years earlier, he would have a world record, but by 1946 he was twenty minutes behind the best runners (not an insignificant period of time). See the patchily assembled 1952 rankings for instance, in which he would not feature with his personal best. If he was truly world-class, why did he fail to gain selection at even national level by several placings? He was a top class club runner and a national level marathon runner, yes, but saying anything more than that is stretching the truth a little. SFB 21:31, 8 October 2014 (UTC)
That's a fair comment SFB, but you really only addressed the title of the thread, not the rest of our OP's post. The source quotes him as saying "I have such a stressful job that the only way I can get it out of my mind is by running hard." Non-runners may not understand, but it's a common comment from runners. It can be a powerful stress relieving activity. And was apparently important to Turing. His interest in running is mentioned in the article, but it's hidden in the section called Cryptanalysis. Maybe this should be moved to its own section, or somewhere else? And maybe we can add the above quote as an explanation for his love of running. HiLo48 (talk) 22:14, 8 October 2014 (UTC)
Fully agree. An excellent suggestion. Martinevans123 (talk)

Turing as war hero[edit]

As we all know Turing is a lot of things and he is also being described by numerous publications as a "war hero" as he arguably saved millions of lives by breaking the Enigma code. I'm not confident to put it in the lead paragraph and I just want to know your stands regarding the matter first so here I am. Thoughts?AlanTuringFan (talk) 08:04, 18 October 2014 (UTC)

It already says in the lead: "Winston Churchill said that Turing made the single biggest contribution to Allied victory in the war against Nazi Germany. Turing's pivotal role in cracking intercepted coded messages enabled the Allies to defeat the Nazis in several crucial battles." I don't think we need any more than that. Richerman (talk) 14:02, 18 October 2014 (UTC)

Turing was aware of Church's work[edit]

I just corrected a sentence that stated that Turing was not aware of churches work. Turing states in his paper [1] that he is aware of Church's work. I quote the paragraph (the last one in the introduction) here:

"In a recent paper Alonzo Church has introduced an idea of "effective calculability", which is equivalent to my "computability", but is very differently defined. Church also reaches similar conclusions about the EntscheidungsproblemJ. The proof of equivalence between "computability" and "effective calculability" is outlined in an appendix to the present paper."

You mean you are the same anon ip who removed a sentence and it's supporting cite, with no edit summary and no counter-supporting source, about five hours ago? So what does Hodges (1983) actually say on page 111 about Turing's knowledge of Alonzo Church's work at that time? (Would you care to create an account, or to at least sign your edits here?) Thanks. Martinevans123 (talk) 23:21, 12 November 2014 (UTC)

Inconsistent dates in lead (poor style)[edit]

″At the moment, ignoring the standard birth and death dates, there is a large inconsistency with the accuracy of dates used in the lead. Historical dates are given correct to the year (1948, 1952, 1954), yet modern dates are given correct to the day (10 September 2009, 24 December 2013). This is a good example of recentism: the exact dates arose from when editors added the information to the article as the news 'broke' [5] [6], whilst it would be unusual to do the same if we were writing the article in ten years' time. Waldhorn has reinstated the inconsistency twice [7] [8]. Instead of reverting, I would like to ask for a second opinion from others. I am struggling to see any benefit with the current layout. 131.111.185.66 (talk) 18:51, 21 November 2014 (UTC)

In addition, Waldhorn deleted a useful link to The Queen [9]. What is the reasoning behind this? There are many queens and the current phrasing could be ambiguous, particularly to non-British readers. 131.111.185.66 (talk) 18:52, 21 November 2014 (UTC)

Update. I have not received any kind of reply from Waldhorn. I have been bold and made the changes because they clearly represent an improvement to the article: we should not have to wait for a reply that might never come. 131.111.185.66 (talk) 16:56, 24 November 2014 (UTC)

Semi-protected edit request on 22 December 2014[edit]

change "organisation" to "organization". This is located in the Cryptanalysis section, 1st sentence of the 2nd paragraph: "From September 1938, Turing had been working part-time with the GC&CS, the British code breaking organisation." 24.29.53.92 (talk) 05:09, 22 December 2014 (UTC)

X mark.svg Not done. Article is in British English (see WP:ENGVAR, especially WP:TIES and WP:RETAIN), and I don't see any indication that it's in the "Oxford" version (which uses the -ize endings). --Trovatore (talk) 06:01, 22 December 2014 (UTC)

Picture deleted[edit]

I give notice I have deleted the picture, that appears in the section University work, of his statue in Sackville Gardens, Manchester, on the grounds that it is repeated in the section under Tributes, which describes the erection of the Turing memorial.Cloptonson (talk) 13:45, 27 December 2014 (UTC)

What is the actual source for the Churchill on Turing 'single biggest contribution' statement?[edit]

What is the actual source for the statement in the lead "Winston Churchill said that Turing made the single biggest contribution to Allied victory in the war against Nazi Germany.[7]" The source given is this BBC News profile. And I see the same claim repeated in various places on the web and in recent books. But what is the actual, direct source to something Churchill said and when and where he said it? None of these places that repeat the statement give the actual details behind it.

I'm asking because it doesn't seem likely that Churchill would have said something like this. I don't see it anywhere in the Hodges biography. Churchill only met Turing once, during a summer 1941 visit to Bletchley Park (Hodges p. 205), and then there is the letter that autumn that Turing and three others wrote to Churchill asking for more administrative resources (Hodges pp. 219-221). Other than that, what contact did they ever have? Now, Churchill may well have thought Ultra made the single largest contribution to winning the war. But why would he had singled out Turing's role, as distinct from the many others working on it? Would he even have remembered who Turing was? And to whom would he have made such a remark? And when was it published? It certainly wasn't published by Churchill during his lifetime, since Ultra was still fully under wraps.

I will be happy to be proven wrong, but I have the feeling that this is one of those cases where one book or news piece makes a mistake somehow and then it just gets picked up and repeated over and over. Wasted Time R (talk) 22:50, 27 December 2014 (UTC)

  1. ^ http://www.cs.virginia.edu/~robins/Turing_Paper_1936.pdf.  Missing or empty |title= (help)