The Shallows


Nicholas Carr

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Alan Turing was a British computer scientist and logician. He rose to prominence when he cracked ENIGMA, the code used by the Nazis during WWII to direct their armies. Today Turing is best known for his Turing test, which evaluated the limits of computer intelligence. For Carr, Turing is important as a forefather of the modern computer. He created a blueprint for the modern all-capable computing device with his concept of the Turing machine, an imaginary device that could be programmed to do any sort of task. Today, the Turing machine is a real technology: the modern computer.

Alan Turing Quotes in The Shallows

The The Shallows quotes below are all either spoken by Alan Turing or refer to Alan Turing. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
The History of Technology Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the W. W. Norton and Company edition of The Shallows published in 2011.
Chapter 5 Quotes

The way the Web has progressed as a medium replays, with the velocity of a time-lapse film, the entire history of modern media.

Related Characters: Alan Turing
Page Number: 83
Explanation and Analysis:
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Alan Turing Character Timeline in The Shallows

The timeline below shows where the character Alan Turing appears in The Shallows. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 5
The History of Technology Theme Icon
Efficiency, Speed, and Relevance  Theme Icon
Carr opens this chapter with Alan Turing and hisTuring machine, an imaginary device that anticipated the modern computer. Turing’s machine would be... (full context)
The History of Technology Theme Icon
...less and less of this text is in paper form. Carr brings it back to Turing, stating: “Once information is digitized, the boundaries between media dissolve.” Things like cassettes, spools, phonographs––tools... (full context)
Chapter 10
The History of Technology Theme Icon
Value, Depth, and Intelligence  Theme Icon
Scientific Context Theme Icon
...become “emotionally involved with the computer.” Engaging with ELIZA was like a variation on Alan Turing’s “Turing test,” in which a person is engaged through the monitor with one computer and... (full context)