Working on the video for the upcoming Enigmatic Patterns kickstarter! Alan Turing changed the world, and in return was convicted and sentenced to chemical castration for being an openly gay man. In one of his final letters, he wrote:
I fear the following syllogism may be used by some in the future:
Turing believes machines think
Turing lies with men
Therefore machines do not think.
Where do a zebra’s stripes, a leopard’s spots and our fingers come from? The key was found years ago — by the man who cracked the Enigma code.
“Like all the best scientific ideas, Turing’s theory was elegant and simple: any repeating natural pattern could be created by the interaction of two things — molecules, cells, whatever — with particular characteristics. Through a mathematical principle he called ‘reaction–diffusion’, these two components would spontaneously self-organise into spots, stripes, rings, swirls or dappled blobs.”
In 1952, Alan Turing took a little break from computers to publish the mathematical theory of embryology. You know — in his spare time.