Blog de la Bibliotecade Matemàtiques i Informàtica

Article a Jot Down: “Norman Routledge y el silogismo de Alan Turing”

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Jot Down MagazineJot Down Magazine ha publicat un interessant article de Rubén Díaz Caviedes (a Twitter @ruben_caviedes), sobre la relació entre els matemàtics britànics Norman Routledge i Alan Turing.

Ambdós van coincidir, durant el transcurs de la Segona Guerra Mundial, a la base de l’exèrcit de l’aire de Hampshire, treballant per desxifrar els missatges encriptats que transmetien els sistemes de comunicació nazis.

Norman Routledge era el destinatari de la carta que Turing va escriure el 1952, i que tant cèlebre es faria en vaticinar el sil·logisme que, afortunadament, no s’ha esdevingut:

My dear Norman,

I don’t think I really do know much about jobs, except the one I had during the war, and that certainly did not involve any travelling. I think they do take on conscripts. It certainly involved a good deal of hard thinking, but whether you’d be interested I don’t know. Philip Hall was in the same racket and on the whole, I should say, he didn’t care for it. However I am not at present in a state in which I am able to concentrate well, for reasons explained in the next paragraph.

I’ve now got myself into the kind of trouble that I have always considered to be quite a possibility for me, though I have usually rated it at about 10:1 against. I shall shortly be pleading guilty to a charge of sexual offences with a young man. The story of how it all came to be found out is a long and fascinating one, which I shall have to make into a short story one day, but haven’t the time to tell you now. No doubt I shall emerge from it all a different man, but quite who I’ve not found out.

Glad you enjoyed broadcast. Jefferson certainly was rather disappointing though. I’m afraid that the following syllogism may be used by some in the future.

Turing believes machines think
Turing lies with men
Therefore machines do not think

Yours in distress,


Routledge va ser professor d’un altre matemàtic cèlebre, Stephen Wolfram, creador de Mathematica i de Wolfram Alpha. Wolfram comentava sorprès al seu blog que Routledge mai li va parlar de la seva relació amb Turing i ho atribuïa al fet que, aleshores, Turing no era la celebritat que és avui dia. L’autor sosté, però, que Routledge no va parlar mai de Turing fins a la vellesa, quan va reconèixer la seva condició sexual, segurament per no aixecar sospites sobre ell mateix.

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