How I befriended Alan Turing

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While Leon has been learn­ing about arts, and he as been writ­ing about it, I caught up with a hobby of my own as well, but I have been silent about it. I befriended Alan Turing. And it’s time I talk about it.

Let me keep it short so I can get to the point. Some time ago, while Leon was writ­ing to me that he wanted to get into arts, and I was writ­ing about arts for him, I was hav­ing jobs I was not enjoy­ing. At one of them, I had to do too many repet­it­ive tasks, and I dis­covered that some­body before me had left so called scripts to help auto­mate some of it. I saw it as a sal­va­tion, quickly googled everything about it, got into StackOverflow, Coursera, Edx, and what­not, and decided I could finally have some fun at work explor­ing how not to work and still get paid. Things escal­ated, I took it too ser­i­ous (not without some help from they guys at Buffalo or Jorge), I real­ised how little I knew, how fas­cin­at­ing everything I didn’t knew was, how related to my best times back in Mathematics in col­lege it all is, and how much was out there to learn, dis­cov­er, devel­op, and in gen­er­al, do. So I made it offi­cial at some point among my closest circles: I wanted to become a pro­gram­mer. Not just a pro­gram­mer: I wanted to become The One, The Informatics Man.

So, what have I learnt? I’m a man of his­tory, that likes to think about the chro­no­lo­gic­al series of events, influ­ences and responses, that built the cur­rent status quo. The same way some artists believe that to do art you don’t need to know about old artists, while oth­er artists firmly believe that his­tory empowers you, I’m a man of the second cat­egory. There’s also my back­ground hav­ing a big role in my path today: I stud­ied math­em­at­ics. Even if I aban­doned uni­ver­sity (very proudly so), not lov­ing maths was not the reas­on: I love maths. I have all the habits I already had and strengthened dur­ing col­lege, those of abstrac­tions and pat­terns, that con­sist­ent habit of look­ing under the hood. I dis­covered that, essen­tially, this new sci­ence is built onto two pil­lars: the lan­guage you’re using, and the hard­ware that runs it. It’s what every­body talks about. So more than how to make pretty web­sites or pretty games, I was curi­ous about how can people make them. They all need a lan­guage, and some hard­ware, to begin with. And in the lin­guist­ic world, math­em­at­ics are shin­ning. Just what I wanted.

I always thought that people shouldn’t speak about what they don’t know (take note world), and that, com­bined with how much bril­liant people there is out there talk­ing about com­puters, made me very reluct­ant to try to talk about my dim ideas. Besides, I was too busy read­ing about it to find any time to write about it. But I’m build­ing a thought of my own, and it’s time I talk a bit about it.

Wait for my thoughts, they’re com­ing out of the oven as I write. There will be form­al logics, com­pu­ta­tion­al the­ory, ana­lys­is of aca­demia pub­lic­a­tions, lambda cal­cu­lus, type the­ory, and what­not. It’s all com­ing.

One Reply to “How I befriended Alan Turing”

  1. […] Last time, I men­tioned to have befriended Alan Turing. Who? You might fairly ask. Why? Those who already know him might add. Let me answer those ques­tions. […]

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