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MoEnzyme
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Saint Alan Turing
« on: 2010-01-30 17:15:15 »
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Our third saint. Google. Wikipedia. Bing. search. cut, cut, explain, paste, discuss. More to come . . .

Consensus forecast in one week.

I'll be checking in until then.

Love,

-Mo
« Last Edit: 2010-01-30 17:17:37 by MoEnzyme » Report to moderator   Logged

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(consolidation of handles: Jake Sapiens; memelab; logicnazi; Loki; Every1Hz; and Shadow)
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Re:Saint Alan Turing
« Reply #1 on: 2010-01-31 15:28:05 »
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Reminds Mo that there is a non finalized process http://www.churchofvirus.org/wiki/Illumination (infra),  and a process http://www.churchofvirus.org/wiki/WikiAffirmed to Affirm policies.  Perhaps that should be your next order of business.


The cited Wiki page has links

Virian Illumination is the process used to establish Virian Saints.

The Church of Virus establishes Virian Saints as examples of what a Virian should strive to be or do.

Any VirianVector may propose the Illumination of a Virian Saint and the proposer is expected to create a wiki page supporting the Illumination of their nominee, and containing the text and links to images to be used on the Church of Virus website (example: http://virus.lucifer.com/saints.html)

This wiki page may be edited by other VirianVectors and when the proposer is satisfied that the nomination is ready, the nomination, with a link to the Wiki, shall be posted to the BBS/List and a vote established.

Should the Nomination be accepted with a minimum decisiveness of 50%, the Virian Saints web page will be updated to reflect the Illumination of the new Virian Saint.
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With or without religion, you would have good people doing good things and evil people doing evil things. But for good people to do evil things, that takes religion. - Steven Weinberg, 1999
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Re:Saint Alan Turing
« Reply #2 on: 2010-01-31 19:40:44 »
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You have no disagreement on Alan Turing from me, indeed, I have proposed him a saint before. I still like Emilie du Chatelet as the defining spirit of the opposite end of long stretch of darkness before the brief fire of humanism illuminated the world for a little. Following the same chain of thought, perhaps Turing is a good symbol for the end of the age of humanity.



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With or without religion, you would have good people doing good things and evil people doing evil things. But for good people to do evil things, that takes religion. - Steven Weinberg, 1999
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Re:Saint Alan Turing
« Reply #3 on: 2010-02-08 01:56:53 »
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We are sexual social animals and most of our joys involve relating with others. Rejoice and relate. My thinking is that who or what you relate with really shouldn't be any business of anyone outside of the relationship. This applies to Turing. I can't for a moment imagine why you want to raise his sex life outside of the fact that some other people have the crazy idea that there is a perverted god thingy out there that cares very deeply about what the billions of human apes do with their bodies.
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Re:Saint Alan Turing
« Reply #4 on: 2010-02-08 14:41:49 »
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I didn't say don't bring it up. He lived, he had lovers, he died. He probably committed suicide because he was put into an impossible corner, legal and ethical, by people with bizarre ideas flying in the face of all evidence, about what they imagined that their imaginary god-thingies wanted with respect to hot-ape-sex (which can be even hotter than hot-monkey sex).

This doesn't mean that we need to make an issue about it. It wasn't Alan Turing who was a sick fuck, but the society in which he lived. Want to comment on that, blast away. A "gay man before his time,"? How pathetic. Apes have had sex and possibly fallen in love since long before man speciated from his ancestors and if we somehow don't blow up our planet or eliminate ourselves in even more efficient ways, our descendants will be doing the same things long after the last human has died. No big deal. And there will probably still be some brain damaged delusionals around who imagine that someone or something has given them control of telling other people what to do - or not do. Hopefully they will be in a minority, but history shows that that is certainly not guaranteed.
« Last Edit: 2010-02-08 14:47:52 by Hermit » Report to moderator   Logged

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Re:Saint Alan Turing
« Reply #5 on: 2010-02-09 04:23:26 »
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I simply don't think that it is fair to dig Alan Turing up in order to use him as a charger to take you into your battles. While I am pretty sure that he would have loathed any society that persecuted people for their sexual alignment or activities; I am absolutely certain that he would have hated being the poster boy for any kind of sexual rights movement no matter how important somebody else thought that his support might be. In fact he chose to die rather than live with what society was choosing to do to him, and I have always thought that respecting the memory of people also implied not misrepresenting them.

Still, he is dead so you can't do him any harm. I just wouldn't really want to be a part of it.

Shrugs.
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Re:Saint Alan Turing
« Reply #6 on: 2010-02-09 14:58:50 »
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I think you are entirely missing what I am trying to say.

Alan Turing had relationships. They were very significant in his life. Write about them if you like, but if you do, recognize that this does not begin to scratch the surface of his significance to the world or to us. Turing excelled in multiple areas, including intellectual, sports and culture. If you write about his contributions to computer science you are recognizing, as I and others do, that this is what made him who he was to us, and why he, rather than thousands of other people penalized by the hypocrisy of the  Abrahmic religions, is significant today.

After taking all the above into account, recognize that even though Turing was effectively killed by an intolerant society because of his sexual orientation, when you write exclusively about that, you are not writing about anything that Alan Turing was about or why he is significant. If he had been enamored of fieldmice and committed suicide due to having been "outed" having relationships with them, or because the law imposed chemical castration on him to protect the fieldmice, if you wrote more than three pages about it in an entire biography you would still probably be paying such a penchant more attention than it deserves. So too with Turing's gayness. As I read Turing, were he alive today he would not be standing waving posters demanding equal rights for gays, nor marching in gay pride parades although he probably would subscribe to petitions requesting the release of gay intellectuals penalized by delusional societies - as he would any intellectual penalized by delusional societies. In other words, the gayness of the intellectual would not be the measure by which he would evaluate the situation.

So if I read you correctly and you wish to tilt at gay windmills, bearing Turing's name emblazoned on your shield, you need to recognize that Turing hardly noticed these windmills - at least not until one of them fell and squashed him. Which is why I am trying to suggest you find your own horse to carry you into your battles on this front, because they are yours, not his.
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With or without religion, you would have good people doing good things and evil people doing evil things. But for good people to do evil things, that takes religion. - Steven Weinberg, 1999
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Re:Saint Alan Turing
« Reply #7 on: 2010-02-12 07:47:19 »
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I think with the last you set fire to your strawman, so I'll let the cold grey ashes speak for themselves.
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Re:Saint Alan Turing
« Reply #8 on: 2010-02-12 15:14:02 »
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if we are to have a gay icon for cov, i'd like to nominate liberace.

will there be a vote?
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Re:Saint Alan Turing
« Reply #9 on: 2010-02-12 23:07:18 »
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if we are going to have cov saints on the basis of their sexuality, i'd rather pick liberace over turing as a gay icon..thats all i am saying.
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Re:Saint Alan Turing
« Reply #10 on: 2010-02-13 01:00:54 »
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[MoEnzyme] I had some inkling that Alan Turing was going to force us to take a stand on homosexuality - and hence GLBT cultural issues in general. And I certainly haven't been disappointed, I've heard Alan described as a gay man before his time, someone out of the closet when that had dangerous and criminal consequence.

[MoEnzyme] PS. seriously if he'd just shut his trap he'd have probably had ...

[Hermit] Less commentary.

[Hermit] The fact that Turing was gay has nothing to do with my support for him. The fact that he was persecuted for being gay, and ultimately driven to suicide depriving him of his life and the world of the benefits of his capabilities has absolutely everything to do with my support.

[Hermit] Mermaid has a point. If you want a gay hero in tights, any one of these would do much better than Alan Turing (from http://www.cassavafilms.com/list9_2006/list9_061306.html - and I suggest Sir John Travolta as a tenth).


THE NINE GAYEST MEN OF ALL TIME Last Sunday was the annual Gay Pride Parade here in West Hollywood, the city with the highest percentage of openly homosexual citizens in the world. And in the midst of all the continued controversy over gay marriage, as well as this recent brouhaha over including historical figures' sexual preferences in school textbooks, I thought I'd pay a little tongue-in-cheek tribute to the nine gayest men through the ages.
    1. Plato. Sexuality in ancient Greece was a lot more fluid than it is today; it was not seen as a taboo for an Athenian gentleman to cavort publicly with teenage boys. So while it's a toss-up between choosing between Socrates and Plato as the "gayest" man from this era, I'll go with Plato. Many of his writings are based on his theories of homosexual love, and even to this day, for a man to love a woman platonically means that he has no sexual interest in her.
    2. Hadrian. Ancient Rome also had more tolerance for homoeroticism than later societies, but while the sexual preferences of most Roman emperors remain matters of dispute (the general belief was that most were, in modern parlance, straight - with a boy on the side), it's universally accepted that Hadrian, a kindly ruler, was first and foremost a lover of men. His relationship with the young Antinous was openly celebrated. After Antinous' untimely death, the lad became a legend throughout the empire. Hadrian even had him named a god. Now that's pretty gay.
    3. Michelangelo. The problem with the past is that nobody remembers it very well. So while there remains only murky written evidence as to the sexuality of the great painter/sculptor/architect Michelangelo (ditto for Leonardo da Vinci), the answer is obviously in his work: Could a heterosexual really make that statue of David? Or use such spectacular color in that famous Sistine Chapel fresco? It's felt that Michelangelo so disliked women that he used male nudes to pose for him, adding breasts on later. (Look at any of his paintings and you'll agree.) Though it's said that morals of the time prevented respectable ladies from posing nude, that didn't stop a lot of prostitutes from posing for hetero artists. Michelangelo just liked the boys.
    4. Christopher Marlowe. One of the other great names from the Renaissance, Marlowe, whose modern use of tragedy and blank verse paved the way for his contemporary William Shakespeare (whose own sexuality is hotly debated), is also widely accepted as having been gay: one of his plays, Edward II, about England's doomed gay king, was the first English play to openly deal with homosexuality, and many of his other writings contained homoerotic elements. It is said that he was due to be arrested for sodomy before he was murdered during an argument.
    5. Caravaggio. Art's other great Michelangelo, Caravaggio's paintings, despite frequently violent themes, are about as gay as they come. Like Marlowe, he was murdered, though this was less surprising due to his notoriety as a wild, belligerent lowlife.
    6. Oscar Wilde. Academics would point out that the first five men on this list don't technically count as gay, since homosexuality as a sexual preference wasn't defined until the mid-1800's. Before that, one never identified as "gay," "straight" or "bisexual;" there were only varying degrees of homoeroticism. But as gayness became defined in the 19th century, it's quite possible that writer Oscar Wilde invented contemporary gay male culture, with his love of theatre and poetry, his dandyish wardrobe, and above all, his cutting, bitchy commentary. He was also among the first notable artists to be publicly outed as a homosexual, during a time when this newly-defined homosexuality was classified as a crime against both nature and the law. He went to jail for sodomy, his career - and life - ruined.
    7. Cole Porter. Who best to represent early 20th century gay maleness - Noel Coward? Jean Genet? Christian Dior? James Whale? The list goes on and on, but I'll choose songwriter Cole Porter, not only for his voracious homosexual appetite and talent for throwing "decadent" parties, but for writing lines like "Kick her right in the Coriolanus" in Kiss Me Kate - I mean really - and also for writing musicals with winking titles like Fifty Million Frenchmen, Gay Divorce and Something for the Boys.
    8. Liberace. If there were a contest for Gayest Man Ever, the honors would inarguably go to Liberace. In retrospect, it's astounding that he managed to win a libel suit against a gossip magazine that outed him in the 50's. How could anybody not believe that Liberace, with his spectacular stage shows, his elaborate, jewel-encrusted costumes, his mincing demeanor, and his swimming pools full of naked boys, was as gay as a birthday cake? [Hermit] And just for shitz & gigglez Noel Coward, another wise, witty and wonderful gay entertainer commented at Liberace's death (of AIDS related complications), "perhaps his estate should have to repay the award.")
    9. Freddie Mercury. Of all the British pop stars of the 70's and 80's to choose from - Elton John? George Michael? Boy George? - I have to go with Mercury as the gayest. For his flaming stage name (he was born Farrokh Bulsara), his macho moustache, his chest-exposing leotards, his love for opera, the fact that he called his band Queen for crying out loud, and finally, and sadly, for succumbing to that grim rite of passage for so many gay men in the 80's: AIDS.
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Re:Saint Alan Turing
« Reply #11 on: 2010-02-14 13:06:35 »
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[Blunderov] That Turing was persecuted and prosecuted for being gay is true, and much is made of this, but this accounting of Turing has failed to look beyond the merely facile and made a momument of his homosexuality where none should be. I recall reading that he was an outsider at school long before his homosexuality became an issue. Even most of his teachers did not take to him. He was a strange, brilliant child who was not interested in the concerns and activities of his peers, or for that matter, the curriculae of most of his teachers. He went his own way, pursued his own agenda, and he was disliked for it.

So, it being the case that we are who we are at the CoV, a collection of fairly to extremely bright people, it seems to me that we can all probably identify with Turing's much deeper alienation. I would be suprised if there were any here who have not experienced schoolyard politics of much the same sort in even their adult lives.

Consequently, I think Turing would be a very appropriate saint. I don't think we are under any obligation to buy into the mainstream notion of what Turing was about. But it is possible we do have an obligation to challenge it because of UTism. Turing was tormented not because he was gay, but because he was other.

Is this not where we are at?





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Re:Saint Alan Turing
« Reply #12 on: 2010-02-14 17:21:05 »
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[Blunderov] Is this not where we are at?

[Hermit&Co] Applause
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Re:Saint Alan Turing
« Reply #13 on: 2010-02-15 04:45:23 »
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On-line discussion in the GLBT and IT communities points to the discussion of Turing's sexuality being a marker of a significant cultural divide.

The USA apparently makes a big issue out of sexual identity. Most of the rest of the developed world, and definitely anywhere in Europe (and South Africa), sees sexuality as something that is nobody else's business. If somebody announced some obscure sexual proclivity in discussion around the coffee machine, others might shrug or assert TMI. Nobody is likely to react negatively to it unless it involves children (and what a child might be depends heavily on the country and culture) or other species - and even then the degree of reaction probably depends as much on the particular listener as anything else. One day the USA might catch up, in the meantime it seems to the Hermits that the USA is still stuck in the 1950s - even, or maybe even especially, those "fighting for equality." Our perspective, shared with all the Europeans we found on-line, was that Brown's "apology," was only equitable if far too late to help Turing. A small necessary thing that has little particular significance to anyone, even in the GLBT community, even when they are aware of Turing's significance. It is a part of the past. Europe has moved on, there are other issues (recognition of marriages, equality of benefits) that are of far more significance today, all of which simply take the fact that society recognizes a broad range of sexual identities and behaviours for granted.

Which probably explains the reaction to Mo's attempts to make an issue out of Turing's "homosexuality". Come on Virans, any "natural born" (or unnatural born) Americans watching this thread that care to comment?
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Re:Saint Alan Turing
« Reply #14 on: 2010-02-15 12:00:05 »
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The differences and similarities between Hypatia and Turing are significant. The similarities are that both of them were recognized in their own time as having made great contributions to human knowledge and technology, of adhering to the Virian virtues and eschewed the Virian sins, and that both of them died violently, likely as a consequence of violations, by others, of Virian ethics. The differences are that we don't know much about Hypatia and what we do know comes only through her enemies - who practically unanimously acknowledge that she was "virtuous" - for what that was worth, I don't remember speculating about her sex life, though I did speculate on whether she was married or not, based on the fact that while she was accused of witchcraft and of being uppity she wasn't accused of being "loose", a charge levied at many emancipated women by men through the ages. This being so, I see the speculation, was she perhaps married, which might have prevented such accusations, as perfectly logical, completely appropriate and utterly unexceptional - particularly as this is one of the few inferences we can make about her private life and the speculation (about a possible marriage), for what it was worth, was a tiny piece in a very long article. To the contrary, we do know an awful lot about Turing, much of it from his own writings. Turing was, by most modern standards, and certainly by my standards, quite probably "virtuous," despite a prosecution and conviction on the basis of the brutally primitive laws of the time, which laws, although they penalized many, are now long struck (at least in the UK). We also know that Turing was unabashedly gay, and although that was not particularly significant in his life, it probably played a major role in his death. You seem to want to make this a primary reason for his canonization, and claim to see it as "force[ing] us to take a stand on homosexuality" something which I see as bizarre and unnecessary.

My personal position ought to be clear by now. People are entitled to their own sexuality however they interpret it, and it is no business of anyone else, least of all a supposedly dogma free organization, to tell them how to act or be. I think that empathy demands that we grant others the freedom to do or be whatever they wish to do or be so long as it does not cause involuntary or lasting injury to others. Far from apathy, I see anything more or less than that as an unconscionable imposition, which is why I said that you were welcome to define your own sexual cavalcade any way you like, as, Turing being long dead, cannot be harmed by anything you might choose to say or do, but I am not interested in participating. Why not show me the same degree of tolerance? Instead you fly the banners of your crusade, apparently determined to brand me a villain for disagreeing with you.

That fascinated me. So I discussed this further and wrote what seemed to me to be the consensus from an two international, smart communities, one predominantly gay, inviting other American Virians to comment. Your response seems completely disproportionate. You appear to me to be taking my attempt to invite other Americans, possibly less "primitive and homophobic" (to borrow your description), to comment - having already established to my own satisfaction that there appears to be a gaping divide in perception between Europe and the US, with the US quite blatantly stuck in a similar past to that which condemned Turing and where society does still to a very large degree mandate how sexuality "ought to be perceived" (think of Don't Ask Don't Tell, the ongoing furor over "gay marriages", the large number of gay-bashings that occur, the comparatively recent decriminalization of "sodomy" or indeed, mere non-prosecution of laws still on the books, the use of gays as an UTic target by hypocritical politicians, etc)  and pretend shock and horror or possibly are shocked and horrified at this invitation. Let me make it quite clear that turning a difference in perception into your own little persecution party is all your own work. Just because you are living in a swamp doesn't necessarily mean that you are muddy, no matter how muddled you may be. Other people may disagree with you, or with me. To me it is a matter of curiosity, no more. From the way you are responding,it appears a matter of great import. Would you care to try to explain why this is so important to you? If you do so, would you care to consider the question of whether your answer isn't perhaps supporting the observation I made, that there is a difference in perception on this issue.
« Last Edit: 2010-02-15 12:16:26 by Hermit » Report to moderator   Logged

With or without religion, you would have good people doing good things and evil people doing evil things. But for good people to do evil things, that takes religion. - Steven Weinberg, 1999
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