Turing's Delirium

Turing's Delirium by Edmundo Paz Soldán

Book: Turing's Delirium by Edmundo Paz Soldán Read Free Book Online
Authors: Edmundo Paz Soldán
Tags: Fiction, Literary
Dismantle them...
    You have to know how to read the words hidden behind the words. That's what I want for you. Future Turing ... To help me keep this government in power. With so many conspirators around. We need the military and the paramilitary. People trained to kill ... But we also need cryptologists ... People trained to think. Or to decipher the thinking of others ... The ideas hidden in the mist of words ... It was raining. I could see that my speech was convincing. I could see that the future Turing would never leave my side.
    I spit up blood. I sleep with my eyes open. I shake during the night. My body is rebelling ... Can immortals die? Did I come to Rio Fugitivo to die?
    I must have done something terrible to have been sent to this country. After having been in the great centers of civilization... Deciding the fate of the planet. I wind up on the periphery of the periphery ... But you don't argue. You do what you have to do. And I did it well ... I did it well ... I can continue on my way in peace. This country has an admirable secret service ... There is democracy today. But whoever wants to could try to remain in power ... The infrastructure is solid. Whoever wants to tell secrets behind the government's back. Has his days numbered...
    And meanwhile. I spit up blood.
    I'd like to know how it was that I thought what I thought. How it was that I decided what I decided. It's very hard to imagine how you thought.
    You chase your own tail.
    The letters between Babington and Mary were ciphered using an index that consisted of twenty-one symbols corresponding to the letters of the alphabet ... Except for
j, v,
and
w
. And thirty-six more symbols that represented words or phrases.
And. For. With. Your Name. Send. Myne.
Et cetera. Unfortunately for them ... Walsingham believed in the importance of cryptanalysis. Ever since he came across a book by Girolamo Cardano ... That great mathematician and cryptographer ... Author of the first book on the theory of probabilities. Creator of a steganographic device arid of the first autokey system...
    Walsingham had a school for code decipherers in London. Any self-respecting government should have had one at their disposal ... Phelippes was his cipher secretary. This I told the future Turing ... I was his cipher secretary. He was short. Bearded. His face pocked by measles ... His vision poor. He was about thirty years old. A linguist. He knew French. Italian. Spanish. German ... He was already a famous cryptanalyst in Europe. Phelippes. I told the future Turing as the storm rained down ... It was difficult for me to speak in the third person. But that's the way my life was. That's the way my life is. First and third person at the same time. Always.
    The messages between Babington and Mary could be deciphered using a simple analysis of frequencies ... Babington and Mary. Confident that they were using a secure system of communication. Spoke with increasing frankness about their plans to assassinate Elizabeth ... The message on July 17,1586, sealed Mary's fate. It spoke of the
design
... She was worried about being freed before or at the same time that Elizabeth was killed. She was afraid that her captors would kill her. Walsingham had what he wanted. But he wanted more ... To tear the conspiracy out by its roots ... He asked Phelippes. He asked me ... To forge Mary's handwriting and ask Babington to give her the names of the other conspirators...
    Phelippes was a great forger. He could forge anyone's handwriting. I was a great forger. I could forge anyone's handwriting ... So I did. That's how they fell. Poor Babington and Mary ... If they had communicated without codes. They would have been more discreet ... But they lived at a time when cryptanalysis was advancing more quickly than cryptography ... A magic time in which decipherers surpassed encrypters. My kingdom for an analysis of frequencies.
    On February 8, 1587. Mary. Queen of Scots ... Was executed. Decapitated. In the great

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