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Showing posts from November, 2014

Alan Turing: Torturing a Gay Genius to Death

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In writing a blog post about Alan Turing, it’s difficult to know where to start.His accomplishments were great enough that Time Magazine listed him as one of the 100 most important people of the 20th century, a nationwide BBC poll in 2002 ranked him 21st of the “100 Greatest Britains,” he is widely considered the father of the modern computer (the computer world’s equivalent of the Nobel Prize is aptly called the “Turing Award”), and his personal story is tragic in the extreme. 
His musings about computers began in 1935 when he took a break from his usual run (he was a long distance runner through much of his life) to take a rest in an orchard under an apple tree (shades of Isaac Newton!).He began musing about whether a mechanical process could be created to think logically, mimicking intelligence.This thought guided his life.
Turing’s activities during World War II resulted in breaking the German’s "unbreakable" code and allowed the Allies to read German messages at will, …

Gay Marriage, The 6th Circuit, Jeffrey Sutton, and the Supreme Court

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A few months ago liberal Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg was asked what the Court was going to do this year about lower federal court cases striking down gay marriage bans enacted by many states throughout the country.She gave the cryptic reply that observers should pay attention to what happens in the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals.Court watchers knew what she meant: what would Judge Jeffrey Sutton do?
Judge Sutton [pictured in the first photo above] is one of the most respected jurists in the country.Appointed by the last President Bush to the 6th Circuit he has rapidly become a bellwether for how conservative causes will fare in major cases.One example was his surprising opinion upholding the key elements of Obamacare (which disappointed his conservative fans), a stance subsequently echoed by the Supreme Court itself [see http://douglaswhaley.blogspot.com/2012/07/obamacare-john-roberts-and-supreme.html].Jeff Sutton is a friend of mine, dating from when he was one of my s…