I was riveted to the TV today for Wimby and as every other commercial was for the iPhone it occurred to me there might be more to the Apple logo. After a brief search, there’s been a thread but no definitive answer (and a final post that seems to raise more questions than it answers, “gay rainbow logo” and all).
After Alan Turing was outed as a homosexual he turned up dead, apparently from eating a poisoned apple. One story is that a housekeeper found his lifeless body and next to it was a ripe Macintosh missing a single bite. (byte?)
Is this homage or is it something macabre – or nothing at all?
As to Alan Turing, it’s highly likely he deliberately chose the apple as his method of suicide, since he reportedly had great admiration for Disney’s Snow White.
While I don’t know how true that is, the idea that the Apple logo bite comes from this has never been substantiated. The detail with the Macintosh seems pure fabrication, since despite it being the most familiar Apple brand item, the Macintosh came years after the logo re-design.
Off topic, but it should be pointed out that there is some dispute whether Turing’s death was a suicide or a homicide.
Given that homosexuality per se was more than enough reason to label someone a security risk, and given that Turing had access to (and supreme knowledge of) the most sophisticated codes in the world, and given the extreme, irrational paranoia of the Cold War in the 50’s, it is reasonable to entertain the notion that he was murdered (by the CIA or related organization).
This is the first I’ve heard of any rumour that he was murdered. The story, as told by his family, after his death, was that Turing often liked to play with chemicals, and his death was an unfortunate accident.
What evidence is there that he was murdered, other than there was a motive?
It is not reasonable, it is foolish speculation, with no evidence to support it at all!
The security risk was that an enemy might find discover a secret homosexual, and force him into betraying secrets by threatening exposure. As Turing was openly gay since about age 20, some 25 years earlier.
And his security clearance had already ended some 4 years earlier, when he left the cryptographic field and went to Manchester University. There he spent 3 years on studying biology, particularly studying number theory in the pattern formation of plants, such as the Fibonacci numbers in the spirals of sunflower seed heads. Why would the CIA care about this?
If it’s reasonable, give us some cites for it. Citing evidence, not just somebody speculating.
Turing’s rather unusual method of suicide was designed to allow his family (primarily his mother) to choose to believe that it was somehow an accident, and not a suicide. It’s really flimsy evidence, and a highly improbable accident, but if you really want to believe in an accident, evidence doesn’t matter much. The coroner had no such feelings, and flat-out declared it a suicide.
Well, I’m definitely not alone in saying that homicide should be considered. For example, the possibility is mentioned in David Leavitt’s “The Man Who Knew Too Much”, in which it is apparently discussed in more detail.
I’ve also now had the chance to look through Hodges’ massive biography of Turing. I cannot find an explicit cite therein with words to the effect of ‘Turing was murdered’. On the other hand, from pages 496 to 510, a whole platform of reasons is presented as to why it made sense for a CIA-like organization to get rid of him, and on how similar cases had evolved. In my opinion, it is clearly evident that Hodges is building a case such that an inference of murder, while not inevitable, is certainly plausible.
I thought he lost his security clearance in 1952 because of his conviction for being a homosexual (which only came out during a police investigation of a break-in at his house). The punishment was either prison or hormone treatment, he chose the hormones and this ultimately led him to suicide.