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[Computational Complexity] International Spy Museum

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  • GASARCH
    I went to the International Spy Museum recently. I recommend it. However, there were two things I spotted that I know were incorrect. This makes their
    Message 1 of 1 , Apr 29 11:35 AM
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      I went to the International Spy Museum recently. I recommend it. However, there were two things I spotted that I know were incorrect. This makes their credibility as a source of information suspect. This is too bad--- as we'll see later.
      1. The museum has the story of Nathan Hale. He was a spy for the Americans during the Revolutionary War. He was hanged and his last words were I regret that I have but one life to give for my country. In reality his last words were probably AAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHH. Actually they were never recorded, though some serious historians think he was the kind of guy who would say I regret ... . Not the same as saying it.
      2. The museums had an exhibit of the Enigma machine. They were trying to make the (true) point that the story of cracking the Enigma was a secret for many years, and hence Turing didn't get credit until later. They phrased this as
        If the story of cracking the Enigma was known earlier then Turing would have won a Nobel Prize.
        A Nobel Prize? In what? Chemistry? Physics? Literature? Medicine? Peace? Economics? Peace (maybe its shortened the war)? The statement is clearly false. What they should have said was
        If the story of cracking the Enigma was known earlier, and if the Turing Award had been established, then Turing would have likely won a Turing Award.
      Having gotten these two items wrong I now turn to a question for which I do not know the truth.
      Did the Nuclear Secrets that Julius Rosenberg gave to the USSR speed up the building of the USSR's nuclear bomb?


      I have read YES and NO for this question. The NO that I have read says that the biggest nuclear secret that the USSR ever got was the fact that the bomb could be built. Hence the person who leaked our biggest nuclear secret was... President Harry Truman. The YES that the Spy museum said was that the USSR bomb design was very close to the American one. What is the truth? That's just it- I don't know! If the spy museum had not made those other mistakes I would believe them on this. (My believe may still have been wrong.)

      Wikipedia says the secrets were not valuable. Are they more credible?

      --
      Posted By GASARCH to Computational Complexity at 4/29/2009 01:34:00 PM
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