After this post last week, about coded messages in slave songs, I received a comment pointing out that quilts were also used to deliver secret messages; this led me to a nice article on the subject. I love this sort of thing (and thanks to the anonymous commenter!).
On a sort-of related note, last week saw an important chunk of code-breaking history saved for the nation, with Bletchley Park’s purchase of Alan Turing’s papers. Turing’s something of an under-appreciated national hero, being a key figure in decrypting Nazi cyphers, worked out a test to judge artificial intelligence, and (allegedly) may have been the inspiration behind the Apple logo. His story ends tragically, in state persecution over his sexuality and his eventual suicide; let’s hope his contributions to science and the country as a whole continue to gain further recognition.
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