Discussing software, the web, politics, sexuality and the unending supply of human stupidity.

Visiting Bletchley Park

Yesterday, I visited Bletchley Park properly. I’d previously been there for Over the Air but didn’t get to go and look at the estate properly. It’s well done and although the entrance fee is pretty steep (£16.75 each). We only had an afternoon there: you really need a full day to be able to take in the whole of Bletchley Park, not to mention the National Radio Centre and The National Museum of Computing, which we didn’t get to visit.

Turing tribute at Bletchley Park

The tribute to Turing was well done and didn’t downplay either his intellectual contributions to mathematics and computer science (his papers building computability theory on the work of Bertrand Russell and Alonzo Church are displayed and contextualised in such a way that someone who doesn’t have a Ph.D in category theory can grasp what he’s doing) and the tragic cruelty of the homophobic persecution Turing faced—along with so many others—after the war.

I heartily recommend visiting Bletchley Park. I’ll certainly be going back at some point to see what I didn’t get to see, along with visiting TNMOC.

I got a leaflet through the post this morning from the UKIP candidate in my area (so far: one Tory leaflet, one UKIP, zilch from anybody else) going on about how they’d like to massively cut Britain’s foreign aid budget. Because why would a country need the power of soft diplomacy in an era where standing armies representing nation states fighting one another have been replaced with dispersed terrorist groups that subdivide faster than any intelligence agency can keep track of them, fighting over the subcultural identification of disenfranchised teenagers off Twitter? Pure unadulterated stupidity.

Telegram is everything I like about iMessage (but it works on Android), is open source and (unlike WhatsApp) has a desktop version (the WhatsApp desktop version is a nasty hack that only works with Android).

Using WhatsApp a lot recently has made me how aware I rely on my computer: having to use my phone rather than my laptop feels like having one hand tied behind my back. The whole mobile-only thing really needs to die. Desktops and laptops rock too.