“I’m afraid that the following syllogism may be used by some in the future.
Turing believes machines think
Turing lies with men
Therefore machines do not think
Yours in distress,
I can’t wait for The Imitiation Game, because so, so often Turing’s homosexuality goes unmentioned in stories about his work in artificial intelligence and computing. It’s frustrating, because questions of gender and identification are right at the heart of the Turing Test: the “Imitation Game” is itself a test of the ability to think based on the ability to know gender. In “Computing Machinery and Intelligence” (1950), Turing explained the game:
"(It is) played with three people, a man (A), a woman (B), and an interrogator (C) who may be of either sex. The interrogator stays in a room apart from the other two. The object of the game for the interrogator is to determine which of the other two is the man and which is the woman….It is A’s object in the game to try and cause C to make the wrong identification." (That is, the man must make the judge think that he is a woman.) “‘What will happen when a machine takes the part of A [the man] in this game?’ Will the interrogator decide wrongly as often when the game is played like this as he does when the game is played between a man and a woman? These questions replace our original, ‘Can machines think?’"
So the “imitation” in the imitation game, the proof of thought, depends on the simulation, one could say the performance, of heteronormative gender roles.
This is terrifically simplified, but it suggests a tragic implication of Turing’s story: if a machine must be able to identify gender in order to think, then “Turing lies with men, therefore machines do not think” implies that because Turing cannot properly determine gender (that is, who he should be fucking), Turing cannot quite think—is, therefore, not quite fully human.
Excuse me, I’ll be over here crying.
(There’s a good overview of these issues in “The ‘Sinister Fruitiness’ of Machines: Neuromancer, Internet Sexuality and the Turing Test” [x])
I’ve been doing some thinking, and I just realized just how much this scene said about Sherlock’s past. It always used to confuse me, but now it makes perfect sense. Because there are so many ways that Sherlock could blow off the press, and he has explicitly stated earlier in the show that he was completely indifferent to the press. He could have just said ‘no, because you’re an idiot’ or ignored her and flounced off without a word, but he didn’t. He stepped in close, looked her right in the eye and said “You. Repel. Me.” There is blatant disgust and hatred being shown here, and I used to be baffled by it; he doesn’t even know her, where did this come from? But I’ve figured out why. It’s all in the scene.
First, she tried to trick him. That alone is an insult to his genius. But it’s how she tricked him. She could have dressed up as anything, but what did she pick? A fan. She pretended to be a fan. She pretended to be someone who liked him, who adored him. When really she saw him as her meal ticket. She wanted to use him to further her career, and she was ready to pretend to like him to do it.
After he sniffed her out, what did she do then? She still tried to feed him affection. “You’re going to need someone on your side” (aka. You’re going to need a friend to help you out.) When she knew that she had absolutely no pull. She never expected to hold up her end of the bargain.
How many people do you think have done this over the years? We know Sebastian Wilkes did. In his email, it was all “Hey buddy, how are you?”, but when Sherlock showed up, he told John about how much he hated him at Uni. About how they all hated him. And Sherlock flinched and looked away, but he didn’t look surprised. He knew. Add to the fact that Sherlock calls him ‘Seb” instead of ‘Sebastian’ or “Wilkes’. He still tried to be his friend. Still tried to cling to that.
And how many times did he let them? How many times did he think ‘I’m not someone who can be loved, so this is the closest I’ll ever get.’ But then John came along, and he realized that he could have friends. That he was someone who could be loved. And so when Kitty Riley came up to him and tried to pull the same shit that everyone else had tried to pull on him, and he got to say what he had bottled up for how many years. He got to say ‘No. Fuck you, I don’t need your scraps of affection, because I have John and Lestrade and Mrs. Hudson.’
He got to walk right up to her, look her in the eye and say to her and to Sebastian Wilkes and to everyone else who had ever done that to him “You. Repel. Me.”
great analysis! think you’re right.
Hi-Res ! 2013 05 21 - ’ Sherlock ’ Season 03 Filming by Zed Jameson
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Caption : Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman filming the fourth season of “Sherlock” in London, England on May 20, 2013.
[ Karin says : ] If only. It was, of course, only the third season they had been filming.