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The prestigious A.M. Turing Award is given out annually to recognize “contributions of a technical nature made to the computing community.” The award is of course named after Alan Turing, whose life’s work paved the way for computer science, artificial intelligence, and a potentially Oscar-nominated performance by Benedict Cumberbatch in the movie “The Imitation Game.”  The first recipient of the award was Alan Perlis, in 1966, for his pioneering work in the development of the ALGOL programming language. (This is not to be confused with the ALGORE internet.)

It was recently announced that the monetary component of the award has gone up to an impressive $1 million, from the previous amount of $250,000. This fourfold increase was made possible by Google. The quarter of a million previously came from both Google and Intel.

The Turing Award is given by the Association for Computing Machinery, and ACM President Alexander Wolf notes that the million bucks will escalate the honor to “the monetary level of the world’s most prestigious cultural and scientific awards and prizes.”

Here at V+CO, we worry about what will happen now that Google has sweetened the pot. Will there be increased competition in the field of computing?

As we all know, the true masters of capitalism are reality TV stars. These parasites of society have learned how to deliberately cultivate their own dysfunctional behavioral patterns, uttering meme-worthy quotes and launching fragrance lines at every possible opportunity. Yes, many reality TV stars are merely forgettable people whose eyes blaze with the yearning for a two-minute pop cultural legacy, but the true masters of the form know how to monetize anything. So we ask you this: What’s going to happen once a voluntarily self-starved, otherwise privileged American leaves a reality show island, only to realize that he can make a cool million by contributing to computer science? What happens when a Kardashian tells her management team to start an artificially intelligent product extension of her personal brand?

It’s only a matter of time before Kimberly “Kim” Kardashian West reprograms a My Pal 2 from the early 90s and forces it to say things such as: “Love our Tan Extender with Bronzers…it helps keep my color on the days I don’t tan! #KardashianSunKissed”*

*Source: Kim Kardashian Twitter feed (https://twitter.com/KimKardashian/status/532587007763963904)

Google, we realize that your aim was to provide a greater incentive for unique achievements in the field of computing, to better the science, to inspire all talented minds to make that extra push towards genius; but what if, in the process, the integrity of computing is lost? There was a time when televisions were used to broadcast images of the first moon landing, disseminating a universal pride in the power of human accomplishment, and spawning a global sense of intellectual curiosity and wonder. Monetary incentives, however, caused TV to become an instrument of the following capitalists:  Damn it, Google. Computers, previously the pinnacle of intelligent human achievement, were on the verge of becoming artificially intelligent and contributive in their own right; but now… now computer science is just another prize to be won. The Turing Award monetary increase has corrupted our once pure state of nerdom.

You maniacs. You blew it up! Ah, damn you! God damn you all to hell!

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