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10:54pm on Tuesday, 10th July, 2012:

Dead Loss


I had the afternoon free in London, between a meeting that finished at 12:30 and a book launch (not mine) at 6:00. I decided to spend it fruitfully by going to the Science Museum to look at their Turing Centenary exhibition.

I wasn't impressed. They had no original photos, no original documents, but a lot of multimedia of a kind that the Internet does very well. The physical objects they did have were sometimes only rather tangentially to do with Turing, for example there was a piece of wreckage from a Comet aeroplane that went down in the 1950s for which the accident assessment (metal fatigue in the area around the windows) used computers that Turing had part-designed. There was a model of some biochemical that had a structure worked out using something similarly tangential. There was a computer made out of Meccano that didn't really have much to do with Turing at all, plus a light-seeking robot called a turtle that Turing had seen when he visited the Science Museum in 1951.

I was only there for perhaps 20 minutes before I gave up. I went to the V&A and got lost there instead.

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Copyright © 2012 Richard Bartle (richard@mud.co.uk).