Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Which Kind of Homo's Devil Machine? Mac or PC? Who Cares?


As batshit-insane religious fanatics go, you could do worse than the creator of this sign, who at least shows a slight penchant for turning a phrase. Dear reader, you are experiencing these words thanks to a homo's devil machine.

But I didn't come here to praise this fanatic but to highlight her astonishing stupidity. Her contempt for the homo devil machines and all they have wrought -- declining readership of newspapers, digital photography, labor-saving abbreviations such as UR for your / you're, edifying videos of sneezing pandas and lusty parrots, the MP3 format, whole new classes of insufferable nerds, bytes of porn that may soon exceed the total count of atoms in the known universe, unprecedented access to the complete works of Homo sapiens -- is so vast and far-reaching that she explicitly allows that it cancels out Turing's more proximate contributions to today's status quo:

During the Second World War, Turing was a main participant in the efforts at Bletchley Park to break German ciphers. Building on cryptanalysis work carried out in Poland by Marian Rejewski, Jerzy Różycki and Henryk Zygalski from Cipher Bureau before the war, he contributed several insights into breaking both the Enigma machine and the Lorenz SZ 40/42 (a Teletype cipher attachment codenamed "Tunny" by the British), and was, for a time, head of Hut 8, the section responsible for reading German naval signals.

Since September 1938, Turing had been working part-time for the Government Code and Cypher School (GCCS), the British code breaking organisation. He worked on the problem of the German Enigma machine, and collaborated with Dilly Knox, a senior GCCS codebreaker.[20] On 4 September 1939, the day after the UK declared war on Germany, Turing reported to Bletchley Park, the wartime station of GCCS.[21]
Who cares about Alan Turing's significant contributions to stopping the Nazis, she shrugs. He committed thought crimes defined in Leviticus and the epistles of Paul!

I wonder. Had Turing volunteered for a Bible-mandated death-by-stoning rather than for the British war effort against Germany, would this sign-wielder's life be measurably better or worse? Maybe she would say it doesn't matter, in keeping with a fellow Christian's recent observation (Cf.) that
[t]he problem is who we are. The state of our world is proof of who we are. What we do is just a symptom of who we are. The fact is, there are no good people or right hearts, for all of us are corrupt and fall short of God’s expectations for us.
So whether you're roasting in a German-made oven for having been born to the wrong grandparents or walking around freely, who cares?

Update: An alert commenter notes that I might quite possibly just maybe have overlooked the parody in the 'homo's devil machine' sign. I did notice the rainbow flag, but reasoned the person brought it so as to defile it under the approving gaze of heaven.

Beyond that, it did occur to me that this protest might not be in earnest, but ultimately I sided with the more-interesting-to-me direction of taking it straight.

After all, we do live in a world in which religious nuts will say anything, no matter how patently idiotic, if they think it will put them on their favorite god's side of sexual propriety (e.g.); and we certainly live in a world in which large numbers of people emphatically rank any transgressions against good sense, common decency, or humane conduct below the acceptance of their favorite god's various money- and soul-saving offers (e.g.).

Last and not least, the world has been far too late in appreciating the work of Alan Turing, and for no better reason than for his sexual inclinations. After this bigotry is finally reduced to a regrettable memory, he will be rightly remembered as a towering figure in computer science, mathematics, and philosophy.

But really, whatever else is true, the term homo's devil machine for computer must live on or all my blogging as been in vain. A blogger has certain responsibilities.



(via PZ Myers)

4 comments:

Elizabeth said...

I can't tell if you're being satirical, but she definitely is.

She's wearing a red "I agree with the SJC" sticker, which is duplicated on the sign: she's in favor of Massachusetts same-sex marriage. (SJC is the Supreme Judicial Court, who ruled that same-sex marriage must be offered under the Massachusetts constitution.) And even if you don't know what the sticker means, anti-marriage protesters avoid rainbow flags like the plague, and she's got two.

Dale said...

Elizabeth, thanks. I shall issue a correction shortly.

Montag said...

Definite satire, and very effective.

The proof is the sentence "Who cares if he cracked..." which, on the face of it, is clearly insane......unless...unless it provides her audience with the background history they need to understand the dilemma she is posing to them.

She knew she had to add this, since most people haven't any notion who Turing was.

MandyinTX said...

Don't feel bad Dale. I fall for stuff like this all the time.
rofl @ Homo's Devil Machine (and thanks to the HDM for rofl)