Home > book review > A Madman Dreams of Turing Machines by Janna Levin

A Madman Dreams of Turing Machines by Janna Levin

I’m a huge Kurt Gödel fan. And Alan Turning is one of the fathers of modern computing.

I never realized what difficult lives these two people led.

The author acknowledges that this story is not completely historical. But it’s not completely fiction, either.

Turning’s run-in with the British government for his homosexual offenses is well-documented.

Gödel’s mental health issues and self-starvation are not as widely known.

I loved this book. But if you don’t already care about Gödel’s Incompleteness Theorem or Turning’s theoretical and practical work in computing, then this isn’t the story for you.

You won’t learn any new mathematics. But you’ll get some insight into the relationships among members of the Vienna Circle and what led to the early deaths of two of the greatest minds of the 1900s.

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