Hamish Cunningham

Research Professor,
Computer Science,
University of Sheffield

(personal page)

I used to hope that as time passed I would become older and wiser, but it seems that I just become odder and wider.




(previous; life blog; work blog)

  • "Without realizing it, societies around the world have drifted from market economies into market societies. ... The problem: ... aspects of life are damaged, degraded, or corrupted if they are commoditized." The Moral Limits of Markets, Michael Sandel, Professor of Government, Harvard.

My work:
(work blog; twit/ identi.ca)


Thought(s) for the day.
  • If privatising the NHS is such a good idea, why not privatise the Queen?
  • Your car is German. Your vodka is Russian. Your pizza is Italian. Your kebab is Turkish. Your democracy is Greek. Your coffee is Brazilian. Your movies are American. Your humour is Jewish. Your tea is Tamil. Your shirt is Indian. Your oil is Saudi Arabian. Your electronics are Chinese. Your numbers are Arabic and your letters are Latin. And you complain that your neighbour is an immigrant? Pull yourself together! Copy and paste if you're against racism.
  • "A mighty, wealthy family-run organisation that can effectively buy up politicians and police officers: we feel we have a word for that, and it originates in Sicily rather Sydney." Freedland
  • The House of Commons investigation into Climategate "found no evidence Professor Phil Jones, whose e-mails were hacked and published online, had manipulated data. It said his reputation, and that of his climate research unit, remained intact." BBC News. So the glaciers have started rolling again then.
  • Apparently a couple of phrases buried in someone's email mean we're all safe from climate change, and anyway a bit of snow in the UK means the planet isn't getting warmer after all. Well that's a relief then. I'll sleep well tonight. (Mmmm, how much does a climate change denier website cost? Of the 10 biggest corporations in the world, 6 are oil companies and 3 are car companies...)
  • Look out of the window in the UK and you can see that climate chaos is already with us. Meanwhile the Leaders of the Free World are still looking for Nero's fiddle. The US offered a 4% reduction in Copenhagen and called it 17%. The standard is to quote relative to 1990 levels, and we need a 40% cut to have a chance of staying below 2 degrees warming. The "17%" was relative to 2005 so in fact meant 4%. Proposing 4% is an insult and to call it "17%" is a bare-faced lie. The US then blamed China for the eventual 2% deal. Business as usual, then. Time for a real change.
  • If it is not economically viable to save the planet, then the economic system must be wrong.
  • Boycott Israel goods and Universities. ("As Professor Hilary Rose put it, the academic area is to Israel what Rugby Football was to Apartheid South Africa.")
  • Does anyone remember WMD? Weapons of Masses Distraction.
  • What do the former head of the American Jewish Congress, this Israeli army veteran, and this Jewish history professor all have in common?
  • They all think Israel is telling us a pack of lies that much of the US and UK media are repeating verbatim, including the BBC :-(.
  • What made the Gaza attacks launched on 27 December different from the main wars fought by Israel over the years was that the weapons and tactics used devastated an essentially defenceless civilian population. The one-sidedness of the encounter was so stark, as signalled by the relative casualties on both sides (more than 100 to 1..), that most commentators refrained from attaching the label "war".. Critics described the attacks as a "massacre". Le Monde.
  • Sheffield student bombed by Israel. (Israeli soldier: "I call it murder".)
  • HSBC's chief economist says Marx was right!
  • Saying that Israel is justified in assaulting Palestine because of Hamas' rockets is like saying the UK should have bombed Belfast when the IRA was active. Who do our media belong to that they repeat this nonsense?!
  • Two wrongs don't make a right: the holocaust can't excuse stealing people's land and killing their children. (Note to US and UK: there are simple answers why we're targets.) An Israeli army veteran view. Protest!
  • As someone who has had "scientist" in my job title, I feel entitled to question the assumptions behind the following: today (29/9/2008) I came across a recent government-approved estimate of the funds needed to achieve the next milestone in child poverty reduction. It was £4 billion. Now, pick some recent headline figure about the money that "we" need to inject into the finance industry to save "ourselves". How many multiples of £4 billion do you get to?
  • Worried that our leaders don't take climate change seriously? Of the 10 biggest corporations in the world, 6 are oil companies and 3 are car companies...
  • "...do you know why I think George W. Bush is so pissed off at Arabs? They brought us algebra. Also the numbers we use, including a symbol for nothing, which Europeans had never had before. You think Arabs are dumb? Try doing long division with Roman numerals." Kurt Vonnegut, A man without a country
  • Blair's legacy: bomb Seattle? Why Iraq? Stop the war.
  • The London bombing and the Iraq war; but see also Media Lens.
  • War crimes in progress a few hours away: Baghdad burning.