Tuesday, 19 June 2012

Being Alan Turing

Slightly late, but it was recently the 100th Birthday of Alan Turing, a personal hero, and a man who's contributions to the computer age are often under estimated. Ars Technica have a great writeup of his life which include his 7 "productive habits".

  1. Try to see things as they are
  2. Don't get sidetracked by ideologies
  3. Be practical
  4. Break big problems down into smaller tasks
  5. Just keep going
  6. Be playful
  7. Remember that it is people who matter 
It's interesting how many of these deal with trying to see the world as it actually is, rather than as our preconceptions might suggest that it is. Turing was a true futurist, able to see how the "Universal Computing Engine" would change the world long before the first computer was built at Bletchley Park.

Almost all of us struggle with at least some of the above concepts, and it impacts deeply on our ability to make accurate decisions. In order to be effective in life we all need to be able to discover better ways to deconstruct our own thinking, to understand the subtle biases which occur at the most basic level, whatever the source of those biases is.

I highly recommend reading the whole article, as it contains some wonderful insights into the life of a man who history is only starting to give his due.

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