[lit-ideas] Re: The Code Breaker

  • From: Donal McEvoy <donalmcevoyuk@xxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Wed, 29 Sep 2004 16:59:23 +0100 (BST)

> All in all, the art of code-breaking (and the enigma) is a fascinating one,
> and I wonder where Turing learned to much about it (somewhere in the Home  
> Counties, I understand).
> Hodges's book was turned into a play with Derek Jacobi playing Turing. 
> Cheers,
> JL

I posted on this story - The Bletchley Park Story - on the old list: but,
without now repeating the details, may I remind everyone that, when
approached to get their best men on the job, Oxford in its infinite wisdom
decided the cleverest of the bunch were those with a First in
Greats/Classics, and put them on the code-cracking task. Only people with
their head at least slightly up their arse could fail to see it was a job for
logicians and mathmos. 

As Bryan Magee further explains - 'Confessions of a Philosopher' - because
'philosophy' was then only a subject appended to 'Greats', this kind of
deluded self-importance of the 'literary man' - as against the 'scientific' -
seeped its way into 'Oxbridge philosophy'.

Maybe JL, for example, can - Wittgenstein excepted - name the philosophers in
this school who had more than a passing acquaintance with 'science' (Strawson
has, I think, confessed his ignorance, notwithstanding his confidence that he
has something interesting and analytic to say about 'induction')? (And
Wittgenstein's philosophy of science is, of course - in Popperian terms,
quite mistaken. Very badly mistaken, and largely 'positivist' - insofar as
any clear meaning can be attached to what he says, of course).

Expecting to be passed over in silence

___________________________________________________________ALL-NEW Yahoo! 
Messenger - all new features - even more fun!  http://uk.messenger.yahoo.com
To change your Lit-Ideas settings (subscribe/unsub, vacation on/off,
digest on/off), visit www.andreas.com/faq-lit-ideas.html

Other related posts: