Bletchley Park – a moment in time perfectly preserved

Encryption Wheel at Bletchley Park, originally uploaded by juic3boy.

I recently went on a visit to Bletchley Park after a new business meeting in Milton Keynes.

Now, I’ve read a lot about Enigma, Turing et al, probably the best being Neil Stephensons Cryptonomicon. The prequel to his Baroque Trilogy – a fanatstic read.

There’s some obvious things to be said about Bletchley Park – it’s lack of funding and the scandalous treatment of Alan Turing, all of which seem to be taking a turn for the better.

But what really struck me is that Bletchley Park captures a moment in time that is pivotal in the develpoment of the modern world.

Nowhere can the link between the world of cogs and gears and the world of switches and tansistors be so clearly visualised.

I still spend a lot of time in my role trying to de-mistify computers – removing fear, suspicion and a luddite desire to simply not understand.

Why? – because I firmly believe that at the heart of ‘doing good digital’ is a deep understanding of how it all works….and this combined with an understanding of how people work,  delivers digital excelence.

It’s impossible to come up with innovation without a combination of both.

So, I found Bletchley Park moving and enlightening, but the best thing is – go now, before it gets corporatised and sanitised. See the piles of cogs and wires and oil stains, smell the wartime dust, feel the draughts coming through the pre-fab walls. And be amazed at what was achieved in this place and how, without knowing it, a small army of people changed the world.

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