Hi, I’m Manu.

I used to have a blog a couple of years ago. I have to admit that I missed it a little, so I decided to go back at it in 2014. I write about a bunch of different topics.

Why “plothole.net”? As defined on wikipedia,

a plot hole, or plothole is a gap or inconsistency in a storyline that goes against the flow of logic established by the story’s plot, or constitutes a blatant omission of relevant information regarding the plot, sometimes even contradicting itself. These include such things as unlikely behaviour or actions of characters, illogical or impossible events, events happening for no apparent reason, or, statements or events that contradict earlier events in the storyline.

This definition suits my life pretty well.

Here are a couple of links if you want to know more about me:

And last but not least, here is my resume.

Thanks for reading.

N.B. this site has been tested on the most recent versions of Safari and Chrome on Mac OS X, as well as Safari on iOS. If something seems broken on one of those browsers, shoot me an email. If you’re using another browser, I’m sorry. I don’t find fixing browser quirks very interesting, I do enough of it professionnally.

The Imitation Game

The other day I watched The Imitation Game. It obviously wasn’t because of Benedict Cumberbatch, and I honestly don’t understand the thing about him. For me he looks like a Troll from Lord Of The Rings. No, I wanted to watch a hopefully interesting story about Alan Turing and Enigma’s decryption.

I think every kid likes simple forms of “encryption”, like the Caesar cipher, or substitution ciphers in general, where you replace each letter with another letter. I always liked the subject. Many years ago, I bought and read a book called The Code Book – The science of secrecy from ancient Egypt to quantum cryptography. I loved it. It was very clearly written, you didn’t need any kind of maths knowledge. Then I had a class about cryptography at EPFL and I lost complete interest in the matter. It somehow all became too abstract for me.

I also struggle with remembering anything about the books I read. But while watching The Imitation Game, I knew that I had once read something about Enigma, the machine the Germans used to encrypt all their military communication. So last week, I went back to The Code Book and indeed, there is a whole chapter in it that covers basically the whole story of The Imitation Game. And more!

ISBN-13: 978-0385495325
ISBN-13: 978-0385495325

Here is a list of facts that the movie omits and that I find notable:

Amazing stories. Back in 2004 I also read a book about Turing, Alan Turing – L’homme qui a croqué la pomme. Again, I don’t remember much of it. I was interested in the character because Turing played a huge part in creating computers and computer science theory. Turing machines, the Turing test (alluded to in the movie) etc. are all subjects that are part of any computer science curriculum. There are also speculations that there is a connection between Apple’s logo and Turing. He committed suicide by biting into an apple poisoned with cyanide, supposedly like Snow White. This all made it even more interesting for me.

ISBN-13: 978-2213671963
ISBN-13: 978-2213671963

While reading again sections of both books, I realized that Alan Turing – L’homme qui a croqué la pomme actually quotes The Code Book. I’m not sure I noticed this the first time I read it. Rejewski is mentioned too! Also, The Code Book was written by Simon Singh, the author of The Simpsons and Their Mathematical Secrets, a book that is on my to-read list since it came out in 2013. Small world I guess…

ISBN-13: 978-1620402788
ISBN-13: 978-1620402788