The University changed its logo on February 4th 2008;
both the chip and the dolphin have been retired.    University of Southampton, Electronics and Computer Science (we're now an Academic Unit, not a School)

Denis A Nicole (picture)
High Performance ComputingHigh Performance Computing  


It is in the long run essential to the growth of any new and high civilisation that small groups of men can escape from their neighbours and from their governments, to go and live as they please in the wilderness...
Freeman Dyson, 1958

Denis is a Reader in Electronics and Computer Science at the University of Southampton and is a member of the new Electronic and Software Systems research group. You can also still find useful information in the Web pages of his old research group, variously known as High Performance Computing, Parallel and Distributed Computing or Concurrent Computation.

A snapshot of his diary can be found here.

Denis' office is on the fourth floor (room 4041) of the new Mountbatten building, building 53. You will find his secretary Jo Axtell's office (room 4036) near the north-east corner; you have to ask her to ring me. If her office is locked (she works part-time), go back to the telephone opposite room 4028 and dial 22703. If you cannot even get into the building, dial 22703 from any campus phone—although there isn't a convenient one—or call 023 8059 2703 from your mobile.

Please do not attempt to tailgate or blag your way through the door, and do not ask anybody in 4036 to let you pass without speaking to Denis by phone first. He routinely waits for scheduled appointments while working elsewhere in the building; if you do violate our security and come to the lab on your own, you are likely to be disappointed.

His office phone number is +44 (0) 23 8059 2703. Faxes should be sent to +44 (0) 23 8059 3045. His secretary, Jo Axtell, can be contacted on +44 (0) 23 8059 4506.

His Email address is dan@ecs.soton.ac.uk.

On a good day, if the technology is working correctly, you can find out exactly where he is by clicking on this link. Or you can uses the FindU service to search for APRS GPS reports from a 144.8MHz beacon transmitter (an Icom IC2AT with TinyTrak3+ which he often carries when out and about. The callsign you need is M0CYJ-7. The GPS doesn't work well indoors

In the second semester last year, he taught the first year module

the third year modules

the fourth year module

Denis occasionally contributes to his blog at http://blogs.ecs.soton.ac.uk/dan/ or to the ECS Wiki at https://secure.ecs.soton.ac.uk/wiki/ (only visible internally).

It seems Denis has an Erdős number of 3:

There is also a gender-balanced route (via a Microsoft employee) of Erdős number 4:

An alternative path is via Assa Auerbach, Lawrence S. Schulman and Leonard J Schulman.

Recent Publications

Refereed

Jeremy Morse, Lucas Cordeiro, Denis Nicole, Bernd Fischer,
Applying Symbolic Bounded Model Checking to the 2012 RERS Greybox Challenge.
To appear in International Journal on Software Tools for Technology Transfer, Springer-Verlag, 2014.

Morse, J., Ramalho, M., Cordeiro, L., Nicole, D. and Fischer, B.
ESBMC 1.22.
In Intl. Conf. on Tools and Algorithms for the Construction and Analysis of Systems (TACAS), LNCS 8413, pp. 405-407, Springer-Verlag, 2014 (won the Gold Medal in the SequentializedConcurrent category of the Third Intl. Competition on Software Verification).

Jeremy Morse, Lucas Cordeiro, Denis Nicole, Bernd Fischer.
Model Checking LTL Properties over C Programs with Bounded Traces.
To appear in Software and Systems Modeling, Springer-Verlag, 2013.

Morse, J., Cordeiro, L., Nicole, D. and Fischer, B.
Handling Unbounded Loops with ESBMC 1.20
.
In Intl. Conf. on Tools and Algorithms for the Construction and Analysis of Systems (TACAS), LNCS 7795, pp. 619-622, Springer-Verlag, 2013 (won the Bronze Medal in the overall ranking of the Second Intl. Competition on Software Verification).

Cordeiro, L., Morse, J., Nicole, D. and Fischer, B.
Context-Bounded Model Checking with ESBMC 1.17
.
In Intl. Conf. on Tools and Algorithms for the Construction and Analysis of Systems (TACAS), LNCS 7214, pp. 533-536, Springer-Verlag, 2012 (won the Bronze Medal in the overall ranking of the First Intl. Competition on Software Verification).

Morse, J., Cordeiro, L., Nicole, D. and Fischer, B.
Context-Bounded Model Checking of LTL Properties for ANSI-C Software.

In Intl. Conf. on Software Engineering and Formal Methods (SEFM), LNCS 7041, pp. 302-317, Springer-Verlag, 2011.

Fairman, Matthew J., Price, Andrew R., Xue, Gang, Molinari, Marc, Nicole, Denis A., Lenton, Timothy M., Marsh, Robert, Takeda, Kenji and Cox, Simon J.
Earth system modelling with Windows Workflow Foundation.
Future Generation Computer Systems, 25, (5), 586-597, 2009.

Talks

Software Vulnerabilities,
at the South East Cyber Crime Workshop, 30th January, 2014.

ESBMC,
Joint ESS/Cybersecurity seminar, 20th November, 2013.

Abstract: I describe recent progress in developing our bounded model checker ESBMC for (potentially concurrent) C and C++ Programs. Topics include: verifying LTL specifications; obtaining (some) information about liveness properties; limit cycles in infinite programs; inductive proofs; what to do when a loop is unpredictable, or too big; performance and realism improvements from adopting the C11/C++11 memory model.

Living in the Panopticon,
Joint ESS/Cybersecurity seminar, 23rd October, 2013.

Abstract: There has been a lot of recent interest in the data collection methods adopted by various security services. I will discuss the history of "crypto wars" that led us to the current situation and the hazards of a "hacking" approach to data collection, both technical and constitutional. I will also take a technical look at our current best guesses as to the security of widely deployed internet technologies.

The Dark Side of the Moon,
GCHQ Cybersecurity Centre of Excellence seminar,  25th June, 2013.
I gave the talk a second time at Fucapi, Manaus, to an audience of about 300, on 9th October, 2013.

Abstract: The recent defection (an alternative reading is "whistle-blowing") by an NSA contractor has received widespread attention. While the speaker has never had access to secret information, he is old enough to have been reasonably close to a variety of "cold war" activities.
The seminar will draw attention to related now-public information and will hopefully entertain and illuminate. It probably won't do much to help you fill the vacancy at Booz Allen Hamilton on Hawaii, but there is plenty of similar work on offer here in the UK.

Stress: The most important Health and Safety Issue,
at Southampton UCU General Meeting, 24th April 2013.

Fun with Chip&PIN,
at SoTech Barcamp Southampton, 22nd November 2010.

Issues in Distributed Computing,
DSSE seminar 15th November, 2010. This talk is not about classical distributed computing; it is about parallel computing.

Combinatorial logic with loops,
DSSE seminar 4th November, 2009.

Robots that don't suck,
at Higher Education Academy workshop on Robots in the Curriculum (Invited Presentation), Southampton, 20th November 2008.

Not-so-smart cards and not such close proximity: the cost of a cashless society,
DSSE seminar 9th May, 2007. Since this talk, at least three things have changed:

Posters

Our student Max Barraclough, funded through an iCASE studentship with Imagination Technologies,  presented his poster at an internal workshop on 16th June, 2014:
Enabling High-Performance Applications of Machine Learning on MIPS and PowerVR.

ESBMC: Model-checking C programs, at the GCHQ Cybersecurity Center of Excellence launch, 22nd November 2012.

Other (Older) Publications

Denis has a publication list on the University's rather broken institutional repository.

Robots and other activities for young people


The University Arms
Argent a Hart trippant Gules on a Chief Azure an open Book proper edged and bound Or and for the Crest on a Wreath of the Colours a Dragon rampant Or supporting a Staff proper flying therefrom to the sinister a Flag per fesse Argent and Gules charged with three Roses counterchanged barbed and seeded also proper. The Motto Strenuis Ardua Cedunt may be translated:
The Heights yield to Endeavour.


Personal Links

Contents

Blogs I read

Conference Venues

Before your boss persuades you to go and present Dilbert et al, On the choice of colour for an SQL database, you should probably check the UK and USA official lists to see if you will be coming back...and what pills to take.

Bureaucracy

If you aspire to be a professional paper-pusher, you'd better learn how hard it needs to be pushed.

Scouting

Currently, I am a Skills Instructor with Hampshire County.

Over time, I have also been associated with the 2nd Potters Bar (St Mary's), 5th Cambridge (Perse School,) 29th Southampton (Immaculata) and 25th Southampton (Northam) Sea Scout troops in the United Kingdom and with Troops 646 (Tree of Life) and 25 (Church of the Redeemer) in Allegheney Trails Council, USA as well as the Cambridge University Scout and Guide Club, the Lochearnhead Scout Station and the Bentley Heath (née Gannocks) Guide campsite near Potters Bar, north of London.

Canoeing and Walking

I sometimes get out and about with

Continuing the theme of catching up with things I should have done in my teens or twenties:

Outdoor Gear

Maps

Solent Sailing

We now have a share in a Westerly 21, Pandora, moored at Hamble.

 

Travel

Other generally useful stuff

Land Rover parts

When I'm not cycling, I have an ex-Camel TDi 200 Defender LWB station wagon. It's currently waiting for a bulkhead swap. Local places: Mail Order:

Links:

Local History

Computing

WLAN nodes

The local free network is SOWN.

Windows Tips

C Programming

Lets eliminate those malloc/free bugs...

Low Level Hacks

These notes are mainly to support students and colleagues who are modifying PC kit.

PC Diagnostics

Craig Hart has written some good diagnostic routines. There are local copies of

BIOS Setup

Most PCs make it pretty obvious how to get into the BIOS setup, they tell you to press DELETE during boot. The Compaq Deskpro/Prolinia machines are a bit more subtle; you need to press f10 while there is a flashing rectangle in the top right of the screen.

You can remove/change CMOS passwords with cmospwd15a.zip.

Microsoft Systems Journal has published some code for getting into ring zero on Windows 95/8. Here is part of Matt Pietrek's article from MSJ May 1993.

Low level hard disk manipulation

Dmitry V Stefankov has produced a suite of tools for examining and manipulating IDE drives:

If you need to manipulate the partition maps, there are several tools:

You can dump LILO (Linux boot) passwords with lilopwd.exe.

Security

Eddy L O Jansson and Matthew Skala wrote a really good essay on reverse engineering, based upon their work on Cyber Patrol. You should read it. It led to a big court case, which seems to have finally been resolved in favour of publication of the essay.

I try to stick to using industry-standard technology:

File Systems

A good general site: http://penguin.cz/~mhi/fs.

Linux ext2 file system drivers for:

File system drivers running under DOS:

Windows programming sites

Freedos

In case you don't have a legal copy of DOS to hand, you can use FREEDOS instead. There are local copies of  BETA 8: here is the boot image, the DOS program to write the boot image to a floppy, a Windows program for writing the floppy. and the base set of commands. There is also a copy of the unzip utility.

Useful sites for (my) Handhelds

Old DOS stuff: still needed for WindowsME

Electronics

Local Shops

Closed Shops (Local Ex-Shops)

Simulation and Design Software

Manufacturers

Distributors and Mail Order

 

See also Secondhand Test Equipment and other stuff below.

Personalities

News etc

Secondhand Test Equipment and other stuff

Test Gear

Clubs and Societies

Other Amateur Radio pages

P C B Manufacture

Almost everybody I know now goes to PCB-POOL or PCBTrain to have boards made. Why try to make your own?

The local Spirit Circuits in Waterlooville have an outstanding Go Naked deal.

I have not tried Circuit Technology myself, but they look like good value.

If you do want to give it a try, good web pages are at MEGA Electronics and Mike Harrison's page. MEGA Electronics also do a good range of PCB materials and tools. Usually, however, getting into wet chemistry is just a distraction. I use Veroboard for lots of straightforward stuff; it's fine for basic digital or audio using DIP chips. For RF or SMD, CPC sell some useful boards:

PIC Microcontrollers

8051 Embedded Processors

If a PIC isn't quite big enough for you, a fairly standard industry choice is the 8051 architecture. Phillips do a quite reasonable flash-based one, and there are various tools:

G P S

At the end of May 1998, I purchased a Garmin GPS12, mainly because of the good net-based support. It's a lot cheaper than the 12XL but lacks a 12V regulator and an aerial socket, both of which are easy to get around. You might find the following links useful:

R D S

The Radio Data Service gives station information on (analogue) VHF broadcasts.

Light Engineering

2003 London Model Engineer exhibition

I saw these at the exhibition; At the time, I was mainly looking for #0MT tooling for my father's old lathe:

2005 Sandown Model Engineer Exhibition

NB: Please don't Email me about models; I don't make models.

Local shops

Local in this context means within an hour or so's drive…

Boat Stuff

Other useful links

Quotes

The poorest man may in his cottage bid defiance to all the forces of the Crown.
It may be frail—
    its roof may shake,
    the wind may blow through it,
    the storm may enter,
    the rain may enter
    —but the King of England cannot enter
all his force dares not cross the threshold of the ruined tenement.
Lord Justice Judge, judgement in July 2000 quoting Pitt, the Elder

I really like the Lord Chief Justice of England and Wales (Baron Igor Judge):

  1. In our judgment Eady J, notwithstanding his very great experience, has erred both in conflating these two elements of the claim and, more particularly, in treating the first of them as an issue of verifiable fact.
  2. The present case is not in this class: the material words, however one represents or paraphrases their meaning, are in our judgment expressions of opinion. The opinion may be mistaken, but to allow the party which has been denounced on the basis of it to compel its author to prove in court what he has asserted by way of argument is to invite the court to become an Orwellian ministry of truth. Milton, recalling in the Areopagitica his visit to Italy in 1638-9, wrote:

    “I have sat among their learned men, for that honour I had, and been counted happy to be born in such a place of philosophic freedom, as they supposed England was, while themselves did nothing but bemoan the servile condition into which learning among them was brought; …. that nothing had been there written now these many years but flattery and fustian. There it was that I found and visited the famous Galileo, grown old a prisoner of the Inquisition, for thinking in astronomy otherwise than the Franciscan and Dominican licensers thought.”
    That is a pass to which we ought not to come again.
  3. in the Court of Appeal, between the British Chiropractic Association and Dr Singh.

But if we keep on trying
Though our purpose isn't clear
We just may move the universe
We'll learn to really care
Eventually the whole facade
Becomes more than a whim
By starting to build on the outside
We're going to fill up the walls within
Melanie Safka, "The Good Guys"

Someone's always playing corporation games
Who cares they're always changing corporation names
We just want to dance here, someone stole the stage
They call us irresponsible, write us off the page

Marconi plays the mamba, listen to the radio
Don't you remember
We built this city,
we built this city on rock and roll

Starship, "We Built This City"

When rats leave a sinking ship, where exactly do they think they're going?
Douglas Gauck in ISBN978-1592236893.

To celebrate Summerhill School passing its Ofsted inspection in November 2007:
No one is wise enough or good enough to mould the character of any child. What is wrong with our sick, neurotic world is that we have been moulded, and an adult generation that has seen two great wars and seems about to launch a third should not be trusted to mould the character of a rat. A. S. Neill

Did you see the CBBC/BBC4 production Summerhill in January 2008, dramatizing the school's struggle against closure? Margaret the Slitheen—regressed to an egg by the Tardis—finally achieves redemption when Ofsted Inspector Myrtle, played by Annette Badland, defects from Mr Grenyer's team to stay at Summerhill.

 

IN THE MATTER OF AN INDEPENDENT SCHOOLS TRIBUNAL
AND IN THE MATTER OF SUMMERHILL SCHOOL
STATEMENT

The Tribunal had convened to determine the Appellant's appeal in respect of three specific complaints in the Notice of Complaint. Following the commencement of a hearing on 20th March 2000 of the Independent Schools Tribunal the parties have agreed that the Complaints 4 and 6 of the Notice of Complaint are annulled and therefore invite the Tribunal to refrain from deciding the issues arising from a Notice of Complaint served on Mrs Zoë Readhead ("the Appellant") by the Secretary of State ("the Respondent") in June 1999 and the Appeal do stand withdrawn.

Complaint 2, relating to toilet facilities and labelling was annulled by the Tribunal on 20th March 2000.

As to complaints 4 and 6, the Respondent produced evidence about the issues in the Notice of Complaint, and the 1999 OFSTED Report which led to the Notice of Complaint, including oral evidence to the Tribunal at the hearing, which was subjected to cross-examination. In essence, it was confirmed on behalf of the Respondent that there was not a desire on his part to have Summerhill struck off the Register, or to compel children there either to attend lessons or to engage in formal self-supported study, or to prevent the school from putting into effect the educational philosophy of its founder, AS Neill. These assurances, given on the Respondent's behalf under oath, have now been accepted by the Appellant.

The Respondent acknowledged that the evidence produced by the Appellant in the course of this appeal, including evidence supportive of Summerhill by the ex-pupils, parents and independent evaluation of experts demonstrates that there does not now exist a factual situation, which would entitle the Respondent to serve a Notice of Complaint.

In these circumstances, the Tribunal is now asked to annul Complaints 4 and 6 upon the parties having agreed the attached Statement of Intent.

Statement of Intent

  1. The Respondent recognises that this independent school, based as it is on the writings and systems of AS Neill, has a right to its own philosophy. He also recognises that any inspection of Summerhill should take into account Summerhill's aims as an international free school.
  2. This statement of intent is on the understanding that the Secretary of State cannot and does not fetter his own discretion nor that of Her Majesty's Inspectors of Schools to exercise their statutory functions in relation to schools.
  3. The Appellant recognises that the school should continue to provide a stimulating learning environment, taking into account views expressed at the Meeting, both within and outside of timetable lessons, including amongst other things, suitable class based lessons and self-supported study programmes, thus continuing to provide opportunities for pupils to study a curriculum tailored to their individual needs aiming at standards of attainment consistent with the potential, expectations, desires and personal objectives of the pupils.
  4. The Appellant will use her best endeavours to achieve the objective referred to in paragraphs 1 and 3 above, by amongst other things, maintaining and implementing the measures identified by her evidence in the appeal and particularly in the statement of Mr Warder. The Appellant will use her best endeavours to extend equivalent measures as appropriate throughout the range of subjects available at the school.
  5. The Respondent will review the status of Summerhill as a school marked "TBW" forthwith. It is intended that the usual programme for OFSTED inspections will now apply to the school. In the absence of exceptional circumstances, this means that the next full inspection will occur no earlier than 2004, or in such years as will conform with the normal cycle of full inspections, if that were later. OFSTED propose an inspection to monitor progress on the issues raised in this case in 2001 or 2002.
  6. The parties agree that in order to facilitate the resolution of any issues which may from time to time arise between them and to assist the school, in particular in respect of any future inspections, each shall appoint an expert to liaise with the other with the assistance, if the school so wish, of a lay person.
  7. The school shall be entitled to submit its own expert report to the Respondent at the same time as the OFSTED report of any inspection is submitted. The Respondent undertakes to take any report so submitted into account.
  8. The Respondent and the Appellant agree the following:
    1. The views of the school as expressed in the Meeting and submitted to the Inspectors at the time of the inspection and the aims of the school will be taken fully into account on that inspection;
    2. The views expressed in the current reports of Professors Stronach, Thomas, Cunningham will be taken into account;
    3. The pupils voice should be fully represented in any evaluation of the quality of education at Summerhill;
    4. Learning is not confined to lessons and inspections must consider the full breadth of learning at Summerhill;
    5. The freedom of children to attend classroom lessons or not in accordance with Neil's philosophy is acknowledged;
    6. Levels of attendance at lessons should not form the only basis for judgements of the suitability and efficiency of instruction and education at Summerhill.
  9. The Respondent will make a contribution to the costs of the Appeal respect of complaint number 2.

Independent Schools Tribunal 23 Mar 2000

The land, the land, 'twas God who made the land,
The land, the land, the ground on which we stand,
Why should we be beggars with the ballot in our hand?
God made the land for the people.
Chorus from "The Land", from the Liberator Songbook

Education for Leisure
Today I am going to kill something. Anything.
I have had enough of being ignored and today
I am going to play God. It is an ordinary day,
a sort of grey with boredom stirring in the streets
I squash a fly against the window with my thumb.
We did that at school. Shakespeare. It was in
another language and now the fly is in another language.
I breathe out talent on the glass to write my name.
I am a genius. I could be anything at all, with half
the chance. But today I am going to change the world.
Something's world. The cat avoids me. The cat
knows I am a genius, and has hidden itself.
I pour the goldfish down the bog. I pull the chain.
I see that it is good. The budgie is panicking.
Once a fortnight, I walk the two miles into town
For signing on. They don't appreciate my autograph.
There is nothing left to kill. I dial the radio
and tell the man he's talking to a superstar.
He cuts me off. I get our bread-knife and go out.
The pavements glitter suddenly. I touch your arm.
Carol Ann Duffy. This poem was removed from the 2008–9 AQA School GCSE anthology after complaints by Pat Schofield.

Mrs Schofield's GCSE
You must prepare your bosom for his knife,
said Portia to Antonio in which
of Shakespeare's Comedies? Who killed his wife,
insane with jealousy? And which Scots witch
knew Something wicked this way comes? Who said
Is this a dagger which I see? Which Tragedy?
Whose blade was drawn which led to Tybalt's death?
To whom did dying Caesar say Et tu? And why?
Something is rotten in the state of Denmark - do you
know what this means? Explain how poetry
pursues the human like the smitten moon
above the weeping, laughing earth; how we
make prayers of it. Nothing will come of nothing:
speak again. Said by which King? You may begin.
Carol Ann Duffy was appointed Poet Laureate (the UK's Royal poet) on 1st May 2009

22 Reasons for the Bedroom Tax
Because the Badgers are moving the goalposts.
The Ferrets are bending the rules.
The Weasels are taking the hindmost.
The Otters are downing tools.

The Hedgehogs are changing the game-plan
The Grass-snakes are spitting tacks.

The Squirrels are playing the blame-game.
The Skunks are twisting the facts.

The Pole-cats are upping the ante.
The Foxes are jumping the gun.
The Voles are crashing the party.
The Stoats are dismantling the Sun.

The Rabbits are taking the biscuit.
The Hares are losing the plot.
The Eagles are kicking the bucket.
The Rats are joining the dots.

The Herons are throwing a curveball.
The Shrews are fanning the flames.
The Field mice are sinking the 8-ball.
The Swans are passing the blame.

And the Pheasants are draining the oil from the tank-
but only the Bustards have broken the bank.

Carol Ann Duffy

Politics
How it makes of your face a stone
that aches to weep, of your heart a fist,
clenched or thumping, sweating blood, of your tongue
an iron latch with no door. How it makes of your right hand
a gauntlet, a glove-puppet of the left, of your laugh
a dry leaf blowing in the wind, of your desert island discs
hiss hiss hiss, makes of the words on your lips dice
that can throw no six. How it takes the breath
away, the piss, makes of your kiss a dropped pound coin,
makes of your promises latin, gibberish, feedback, static,
of your hair a wig, of your gait a plankwalk. How it says this—
politics—to your education education education; shouts this—
Politics!—to your health and wealth; how it roars, to your
conscience moral compass truth, POLITICS POLITICS POLITICS.
Carol Ann Duffy's first poem (13th June 2009) as Poet Laureate

What is life if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare.
No time to stand beneath the boughs
And stare as long as sheep or cows.
No time to see, when woods we pass,
Where squirrels hide their nuts in grass.
No time to see, in broad daylight,
Streams full of stars, like skies at night.
No time to turn at Beauty's glance,
And watch her feet, how they can dance.
No time to wait till her mouth can
Enrich that smile her eyes began.
A poor life this if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare.
William Henry Davies

Once I spoke of the sea to a brook,
and the brook thought me but an imaginative exaggerator;
And once I spoke of a brook to the sea,
and the sea thought me but a depreciative defamer.
Kahlil Gibran, "Sand and Foam"

All that is needed for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing.
Attributed to Edmund Burke, probably based on:
When bad men combine, the good must associate;
else they will fall one by one, an unpitied sacrifice in a contemptible struggle.
in "Thoughts on the Cause of Present Discontents"

I went to the Garden of Love,
And saw what I never had seen:
A Chapel was built in the midst,
Where I used to play on the green.

And the gates of the Chapel were shut,
And Thou shalt not writ over the door;
So I turn'd to the Garden of Love
That so many sweet flowers bore,e,

And I saw it was filled with graves,
And tomb-stones where flowers should be:
And Priests in black gowns were walking their rounds,
And binding with briars my joys & desires.

William Blake, Songs of Experience

Auferre, trucidare, rapere, falsis nominibus imperium, atque, ubi solitudinem faciunt, pacem appellant.
(To robbery, slaughter, plunder, they give the lying name of empire; they make a solitude and call it peace.)
attributed by Tacitus, 98AD [Agricola XXX] to Galgacus

Your religion was written on tablets of stone by the iron finger of an angry God, lest you might forget it.
The red-man could never remember nor comprehend it.
Chief Seathl translated by Dr Henry Smith,
Seattle Sunday Star, 29th October 1887.

Now, when I talked to God I knew he'd understand
He said, "Stick by my side and I'll be your guiding hand
But don't ask me what I think of you
I might not give the answer that you want me to"
Peter Green

Freedom, and not servitude is the cure of anarchy;
as religion, and not atheism, is the true remedy for superstition.
Edmund Burke, "On Conciliation with America"

If the King's English was good enough for Jesus, it's good enough for me!
Attributed to Miriam "Ma" Ferguson, Governor of Texas

When I give food to the poor, they call me a saint.
When I ask why the poor have no food, they call me a communist.
Dom. Hélder Câmara. See also Spiral of Violence.

As a military man who has given half a century of active service I say in all sincerity that the nuclear arms race has no military purpose. Their existence only adds to our perils because of the illusions which they have generated. .
There are powerful voices around the world who still give credence to the old Roman precept—if you desire peace, prepare for war. This is absolute nuclear nonsense and I repeat—it is a disastrous misconception to believe that by increasing the total uncertainty one increases ones own certainty.
Louis Mountbatten, 1979-05-11

First they came for the communists,
    and I didn't speak up, because I wasn't a communist.
Then they came for the Jews,
    and I didn't speak up, because I wasn't a Jew.
Then they came for the Catholics
    and I didn't speak up, because I was a Protestant.
Then they came for me,
    and by that time there was no one left to speak up for me.
Martin Niemöller, reported in Time magazine 1989-08-28

Stop this! Ultimate weapon! Can you still pretend to believe in such a thing? There never has been one and there never will be. All this means is that from the very start we'll be going into space with one thought. War! Don't you seewe are on the edge of a new dimension of discovery. It's the great chanceto leave our vices behind. War first of all. Not to go out there dragging our hatreds and our frontiers with us. [QUATERMASS]

Simple, yesbut don't you see, it's what they'd never allow for! That even a scrap of knowledge like that should be in the possession of minds free to use it! [RONEY]
Nigel Kneale, "Quatermass and the Pit", 1960

But the plans were on display...
On display? I eventually had to go down to the cellar to find them.
That's the display department.
With a torch.
Ah, well the lights had probably gone.
So had the stairs.
But look, you found the notice, didn't you?
Yes, said Arthur, yes I did. It was on display in the bottom of a locked filing cabinet stuck in a disused lavatory with a sign on the door saying Beware of the Leopard.
Douglas Adams, "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy"

'This is what Dumbledore sends his defender! A songbird and an old hat! Do you feel brave, Harry Potter? Do you feel safe now?'
Tom Riddle

We learned more from a three minute
Record than we ever learned in school
Bruce Springsteen, "No Surrender"

Come mothers and fathers
Throughout the land
And don't criticize
What you can't understand
Your sons and your daughters
Are beyond your command
Your old road is
Rapidly agin'.
Please get out of the new one
If you can't lend your hand
For the times they are a-changin'.
Bob Dylan, "The Times They Are A Changin'"

I think
I think I am
Therefore I am
I think

Of course you are my bright little star
I've miles and miles of files pretty files of your forefather's fruit
and now to suit
our great computer
you're magnetic ink

I'm more than that
I know I am
At least, I think I must be

There you go man
Keep as cool as you can
Face piles of trials with smiles
It riles them to believe that you perceive the web they weave
And keep on thinkin' free
Graeme Edge, "In the Beginning" from The Moody Blues, "On the threshold of a dream"

 

Than syr bedwere cryed a my lord Arthur what shal become of me now ye goo from me
And leue me here allone emonge myn enemyes
Comfort thy self sayd the kyng and doo as wel as thou mayst
for in me is no truste for to truste in
For I wyl in to the vale of auylyon to hele me of my greuous wounde
And yf thou here neuer more of me praye for my soule

Yet somme men say in many partyes of Englond that kyng Arthur is not deed
But had by the wylle of our lord Ihesu in to another place
and men say that he shal come ageyn & he shal wynne the holy crosse. I wyl not say that it shal be so
but rather I wyl say here in thys world he chaunged his lyf
but many men say that there is wryton vpon his tombe this vers
Hic iacet Arthurus Rex quondam Rex que futurus
Syr Thomas Malory, "Le Morte Dartur", Book 21 Chs 5, 7

One of the most difficult tasks for any social system is figuring out what to do with its young males. These are invariably the most lurchy, impressionable, energetic, socially exigent, and politically inept members of any group. They cause trouble for their elders and ruthlessly hassle each other. (See the Sharks and Jets of West Side Story and the Bloods and the Crips of the West Coast story.) They pose chronic danger to public order when they drive, drink, and drug.
Lionel Tiger is Darwin Professor of Anthropology at Rutgers University.

If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you
But make allowance for their doubting too,
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about, don't deal in lies,
Or being hated, don't give way to hating,
And yet don't look too good, nor talk too wise:

If you can dream—and not make dreams your master,
If you can think—and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build 'em up with worn-out tools;

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it all on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breath a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: "Hold on!"

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with kings—nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you;
If all men count with you, but none too much,
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds' worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it,
And—which is more—you'll be a Man, my son!

Rudyard Kipling, "If". This was, in 1995, voted the Nation's favourite poem.

Prologue
I thought it would last my time—
The sense that, beyond the town,
There would always be fields and farms
Where the village louts could climb
Such trees as were not cut down;
I knew there’d be false alarms

In the papers about old streets
And split-level shopping, but some
Have always been left so far;
And when the old part retreats
As the bleak high-risers come
We can always escape in the car.

Things are tougher than we are, just
As earth will always respond
However we mess it about;
Chuck filth in the sea, if you must:
The tides will be clean beyond.
But what do I feel now? Doubt?

Or age, simply? The crowd
Is young in the M1 cafe;
Their kids are screaming for more
More houses, more parking allowed,
More caravan sites, more pay.
The pylons are walking; the shore,

 
 
 
 
 
 

When you try to get near the sea
In summer…
        It seems, just now,
To be happening so very fast;
Despite all the land left free,
For the first time I feel somehow
That it isn’t going to last,

That before I snuff it, the whole
Boiling will be bricked in
Except for the tourist parts
First slum of Europe, a role
It won’t be so hard to win,
With a cast of crooks and tarts.

And that will be England gone,
The shadows, the meadows, the lanes,
The guildhalls, the carved choirs.
There’ll be books; it will linger on
In galleries; but all that remains
For us will be concrete and tyres.

Most things are never meant.
This won’t be, most likely: but greeds
And garbage are too thickly strewn
To be swept up now, or invent
Excuses that make them all needs.
I just think it will happen, soon.

Going, going
I thought it would last my time—
The sense that, beyond the town,
There would always be fields and farms,
Where the village louts could climb
Such trees as were not cut down;
I knew there’d be false alarms

In the papers about old streets
And split-level shopping, but some
Have always been left so far;
And when the old part retreats
As the bleak high-risers come
We can always escape in the car.

Things are tougher than we are, just
As earth will always respond
However we mess it about;
Chuck filth in the sea, if you must:
The tides will be clean beyond.
But what do I feel now? Doubt?

Or age, simply? The crowd
Is young in the M1 café;
Their kids are screaming for more
More houses, more parking allowed,
More caravan sites, more pay.
On the Business Page, a score

Of spectacled grins approve
Some takeover bid that entails
Five per cent profit (and ten
Per cent more in the estuaries): move
Your works to the unspoilt dales
(Grey area grants)! And when

You try to get near the sea
In summer…
        It seems, just now,
To be happening so very fast;
Despite all the land left free,
For the first time I feel somehow
That it isn’t going to last,

That before I snuff it, the whole
Boiling will be bricked in
Except for the tourist parts
First slum of Europe: a role
It won’t be so hard to win,
With a cast of crooks and tarts.

And that will be England gone,
The shadows, the meadows, the lanes,
The guildhalls, the carved choirs.
There’ll be books; it will linger on
In galleries; but all that remains
For us will be concrete and tyres.

Most things are never meant.
This won’t be, most likely: but greeds
And garbage are too thick-strewn
To be swept up now, or invent
Excuses that make them all needs.
I just think it will happen, soon.

Philip Larkin, 1972. Prologue appeared in the HMSO report Human Habitat: How do you want to live. Going Going is the ninth poem in his collection High Windows, 1974.

But if--which heaven forbid--we should refrain
As you would have us, how is Peace induced?  [CALONICE]

By the two Goddesses, now can't you see
All we have to do is idly sit indoors
With smooth roses powdered on our cheeks,
Our bodies burning naked through the folds
Of shining Amorgos' silk, and meet the men
With our dear Venus-plats plucked trim and neat.
Their stirring love will rise up furiously,
They'll beg our arms to open. That's our time!
We'll disregard their knocking, beat them off--
And they will soon be rabid for a Peace.
I'm sure of it.

SO, grasp the brim, you, Lampito, and all.
You, Calonice, repeat for the rest
Each word I say. Then you must all take oath
And pledge your arms to the same stern conditions--
To husband or lover I'll not open arms [LYSISTRATA]
To husband or lover I'll not open arms
Though love and denial may enlarge his charms.
Though love and denial may enlarge his charms.

O, O, my knees are failing me, Lysistrata!

But still at home, ignoring him, I'll stay,
But still at home, ignoring him, I'll stay,
Beautiful, clad in saffron silks all day.
Beautiful, clad in saffron silks all day.
If then he seizes me by dint of force,
If then he seizes me by dint of force,
I'll give him reason for a long remorse.
I'll give him reason for a long remorse.
I'll never lie and stare up at the ceiling,
I'll never lie and stare up at the ceiling,
Nor like a lion on all fours go kneeling.
Nor like a lion on all fours go kneeling.
If I keep faith, then bounteous cups be mine.
If I keep faith, then bounteous cups be mine.
If not, to nauseous water change this wine.
If not, to nauseous water change this wine.
Do you all swear to this?
We do, we do. [MYRRHINE]
Aristophanes, "Lysistrata", ed. Jack Lindsay

I met a traveller from an antique land
Who said:—Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
Stand in the desert. Near them on the sand,
Half sunk, a shatter'd visage lies, whose frown
And wrinkled lip and sneer of cold command
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
Which yet survive, stamp'd on these lifeless things,
The hand that mock'd them and the heart that fed.
And on the pedestal these words appear:
"My name is Ozymandias, king of kings:
Look on my works, ye mighty, and despair!"
Nothing beside remains: round the decay
Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare,
The lone and level sands stretch far away.
P. B. Shelley, "Ozymandias of Egypt", another of the Nation's favourite poems.

Today we have naming of parts. Yesterday,
We had daily cleaning. And tomorrow morning,
We shall have what to do after firing. But today,
Today we have naming of parts. Japonica
Glistens like coral in all of the neighboring gardens,
And today we have naming of parts.

This is the lower sling swivel. And this
Is the upper sling swivel, whose use you will see,
When you are given your slings. And this is the piling swivel,
Which in your case you have not got. The branches
Hold in the gardens their silent, eloquent gestures,
Which in our case we have not got.

This is the safety-catch, which is always released
With an easy flick of the thumb. And please do not let me
See anyone using his finger. You can do it quite easy
If you have any strength in your thumb. The blossoms
Are fragile and motionless, never letting anyone see
Any of them using their finger.

And this you can see is the bolt. The purpose of this
Is to open the breech, as you see. We can slide it
Rapidly backwards and forwards: we call this
Easing the spring. And rapidly backwards and forwards
The early bees are assaulting and fumbling the flowers
They call it easing the Spring.

They call it easing the Spring: it is perfectly easy
If you have any strength in your thumb: like the bolt,
And the breech, and the cocking-piece, and the point of balance,
Which in our case we have not got; and the almond-blossom
Silent in all of the gardens and the bees going backwards and forwards,
For today we have naming of parts.
Henry Reed, Lessons of the War, Part I. "Naming of Parts", yet another of the "favourite poems".

The nation itself, with all its so-called internal improvements, which, by the way are all external and superficial, is just such an unwieldy and overgrown establishment, cluttered with furniture and tripped up by its own traps, ruined by luxury and heedless expense, by want of calculation and a worthy aim, as the million households in the land; and the only cure for it, as for them, is in a rigid economy, a stern and more than Spartan simplicity of life and elevation of purpose. It lives too fast. Men think that it is essential that the Nation have commerce, and export ice, and talk through a telegraph, and ride thirty miles an hour, without a doubt, whether they do or not; but whether we should live like baboons or like men, is a little uncertain. If we do not get out sleepers, and forge rails, and devote days and nights to the work, but go to tinkering upon our lives to improve them, who will build railroads? And if railroads are not built, how shall we get to heaven in season? But if we stay at home and mind our business, who will want railroads? We do not ride on the railroad; it rides upon us. Did you ever think what those sleepers are that underlie the railroad? Each one is a man, an Irishman, or a Yankee man. The rails are laid on them, and they are covered with sand, and the cars run smoothly over them.
Henry David Thoreau, "Walden"

Justum perficito nihil timeto
(Act justly and fear nothing)
Motto of the Black Dyke Mills Band.

Nullius in verba
(Take nobody's word for it)
Motto of the Royal Society, originally from  Horace's Epistle.

If you tell the truth you don't have to remember anything.
Mark Twain, Notebook, 1894

Truth is the most valuable thing we have. Let us economize it.
Mark Twain, Following the Equator

People that are really very weird can get into sensitive positions and have a tremendous impact on history.
Dan Quayle

Mathematics may be defined as the subject in which we never know what we are talking about, nor whether what we are saying is true.
Bertrand Russell, Mysticism and Logic

If you give me a fish you have fed me for a day.
If you teach me to fish then you have fed me until the river is contaminated by the shoreline seized for development.
But if you teach me to organize, then whatever the challenge, I can join together with my peers and we will fashion our own solution.
Ricardo Morale-Levins

太上,不知有之;其次,親而譽之;其次,畏之;其次,侮之。
信不足焉,有不信焉。
悠兮其貴言。功成事遂,百姓皆謂「我自然」。

The best rulers are scarcely known by their subjects;
The next best are loved and praised;
The next are feared;
The next despised:
They have no faith in their people,
And their people become unfaithful to them.

When the best rulers achieve their purpose
Their subjects claim the achievement as their own.
Lao Tze, "Tao Te Ching", translated by Peter A. Merel.

The boy stood on the burning deck
Whence all but he had fled;
The flame that lit the battle's wreck
Shone round him o'er the dead.

Yet beautiful and bright he stood,
As born to rule the storm;
A creature of heroic blood,
A proud, though childlike form.

The flames roll'd onhe would not go
Without his father's word;
That father, faint in death below,
His voice no longer heard.

He call'd aloud"Say, father,say
If yet my task is done!"
He knew not that the chieftain lay
Unconscious of his son.

"Speak, father!" once again her cried
"If I may yet be gone!"
And but the booming shots replied,
And fast the flames roll'd on.

Upon his brow he felt their breath,
And in his waving hair,
And looked from that lone post of death,
In still yet brave despair;

And shouted but one more aloud,
"My father, must I stay?"
While o'er him fast, through sail and shroud
The wreathing fires made way,

They wrapt the ship in splendour wild,
They caught the flag on high,
And stream'd above the gallant child,
Like banners in the sky.

There came a burst of thunder sound...
The boy-oh! where was he?
Ask of the winds that far around
With fragments strewed the sea.

With mast, and helm, and pennon fair,
That well had borne their part;
But the noblest thing which perished there
Was that young faithful heart.
CASABIANCA by Mrs. Felicia Dorothea Hemans
Young Giocante Casabianca, a 12-year old boy, was the son of Luce Julien Joseph Casabianca. Casabianca was the commander of Admiral de Brueys' flagship, l'Orient at the Battle of the Nile. Casabianca and his son were on board the flagship during the battle. Casabianca remained at his post during the battle, even after the ship had caught fire and all the guns had been abandoned. The boy refused to save himself and both he and his father died when the ship exploded after the flames reached the powder.

The Liberal Party exists to build a Liberal Society in which every citizen shall possess liberty, property and security, and none shall be enslaved by poverty, ignorance or conformity. Its chief care is for the rights and opportunities of the individual, and in all spheres it sets freedom first.
Preamble to the Constitution of the Liberal Party, ISBN 1 85187 021 0 (1985)

But the annual revenue of every society is always precisely equal to the exchangeable value of the whole annual produce of its industry, or rather is precisely the same thing with that exchangeable value. As every individual, therefore, endeavours as much as he can both to employ his capital in the support of domestic industry, and so to direct that industry that its produce may be of the greatest value; every individual necessarily labours to render the annual revenue of the society as great as he can. He generally, indeed, neither intends to promote the public interest, nor knows how much he is promoting it. By preferring the support of domestic to that of foreign industry, he intends only his own security; and by directing that industry in such a manner as its produce may be of the greatest value, he intends only his own gain, and he is in this, as in many other cases, led by an invisible hand to promote an end which was no part of his intention. Nor is it always the worse for the society that it was no part of it. By pursuing his own interest he frequently promotes that of the society more effectually than when he really intends to promote it. I have never known much good done by those who affected to trade for the public good. It is an affectation, indeed, not very common among merchants, and very few words need be employed in dissuading them from it.
An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith (1776)

Why are the cattle on a common so puny and stunted? Why is the common itself so bare-worn, and cropped so differently from the adjoining enclosures? No inequality, in respect of natural or acquired fertility will account for the phenomenon. The difference depends on the difference of the way in which an increase of stock in the two cases affects the circumstances of the author of the increase. If a person puts more cattle into his own field, the amount of the subsistence which they consume is all deducted from that which was at the command, of his original stock; and if, before, there was no more than a sufficiency of pasture, he reaps no benefit from the additional cattle, what is gained in one way being lost in another. But if he puts more cattle on a common, the food which they consume forms a deduction which is shared between all the cattle, as well that of others as his own, in proportion to their number, and only a part of it is taken from his own cattle. In an enclosed pasture, there a point of saturation, if I may so call it (by which, I mean a barrier depending on consideration of interest) beyond which no prudent man will add to his stock. In a common, also, there is in like manner a point of saturation. But the position of the point in the two cases is obviously different. Were a number of adjoining pastures, already fully stocked, to be at once thrown open, and converted into one vast common, the position of the point of saturation would immediately be changed. The stock would be increased, and would be made to press much more forcibly against the means of subsistence.
Two Lectures on the Checks to Population by William Forster Lloyd (1833)
reprinted in Population, evolution and birth control, edited by Garrett Hardin (1969)

岀る釘は打たれる
Deru kugi wa utareru
(The nail which sticks up gets hammered down)
Traditional Japanese Kotowaza  

Excessive vanity proves the undoing of many experts. The temptation to show off is great. He has become a past master in his profession. He can laugh at luck and defy the law of chance. His fortune is literally at his finger ends, yet he must never admit his skill or grow chesty over his ability. It requires the philosophy of the stoic to poses any great superiority and refrain from boasting to friend or foe. He must be content to rank with the common herd.
S W Erdnase

We should take care, in inculcating patriotism into our boys and girls, that it is a patriotism above the narrow sentiments which usually stops at one's own country, and thus inspires jealousy and enmity in dealing with others. Our patriotism should be of the wider, nobler kind which recognises justice and reasonableness in the claims of others and which leads our country into comradeship with ... the other nations of the world.
The first step to this end is to develop peace and goodwill within our own borders, by training our youth of both sexes to its practice as their habit of life; so that the jealousies of town against town, class against class and sect against sect no longer exist; and then to extend this good feeling beyond our frontiers towards our neighbours...
Robert Baden-Powell, 1929

The Ministry of Magic has always considered the education of young witches and wizards to be of vital importance. The rare gifts with which you were born may come to nothing if not nurtured and honed by careful instruction. The ancient skills unique to the wizarding community must be passed down the generations lest we lose them for ever. The treasure trove of magical knowledge amassed by our ancestors must be guarded, replenished and polished by those who have been called to the noble profession of teaching.
Every headmaster and headmistress of Hogwarts has brought something new to the weighty task of governing this historic school, and that is as it should be, for without progress there will be stagnation and decay. There again, progress for progress's sake must he discouraged, for our tried and tested traditions often require no tinkering. A balance, then, between old and new, between permanence and change, between tradition and innovation…because some changes will be for the better, while others will come, in the fullness of time, to be recognized as errors of judgment. Meanwhile, some old habits will be retained, and rightly so, whereas others, outmoded and outworn, must be abandoned. Let us move forward, then, into a new era of openness, effectiveness and accountability, intent on preserving what ought to be preserved, perfecting what needs to be perfected, and pruning wherever we find practices that ought to be prohibited.
Dolores Umbridge

Passive acceptance of the teacher's wisdom is easy to most boys and girls. It involves no effort of independent thought, and seems rational because the teacher knows more than his pupils; it is moreover the way to win the favour of the teacher unless he is a very exceptional man. Yet the habit of passive acceptance is a disastrous one in later life. It causes man to seek and to accept a leader, and to accept as a leader whoever is established in that position.
Bertrand Russell, Conquest of Happiness, Ch 1, 1930

We are in a fragmenting culture, where our certainties of even a few decades ago are questioned and where it is common for young men and women who have had years of education, to know nothing about the world, to have read nothing, knowing only some specialty or other, for instance, computers.
What has happened to us is an amazing invention, computers and the internet and TV, a revolution. This is not the first revolution we, the human race, has dealt with. The printing revolution, which did not take place in a matter of a few decades, but took much longer, changed our minds and ways of thinking. A foolhardy lot, we accepted it all, as we always do, never asked "What is going to happen to us now, with this invention of print?" And just as we never once stopped to ask, How are we, our minds, going to change with the new internet, which has seduced a whole generation into its inanities so that even quite reasonable people will confess that once they are hooked, it is hard to cut free, and they may find a whole day has passed in blogging and blugging etc.
Doris Lessing, On not winning the Nobel Prize, Nobel lecture, 2007-12-07

For when the One Great Scorer comes
To mark against your name,
He writes—not that you won or lost—
But how you played the Game.
Grantland Rice, Alumnus Football, 1908
 


dan@ecs.soton.ac.uk