Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Genuine Random Number Generation

 Random Numbers: Hard Times Ahead for Hackers
Researchers from the University of Geneva have developed a new quantum method for generating random numbers
Universite de Geneve, May 31, 2017

Whenever we need to communicate in secret, a cryptographic key is needed. For this key to work, it must consist of numbers chosen at random without any structure - just the opposite of using the birthdate of our favourite pet. But, for a human, it is extremely difficult to choose without creating any bias, even by hitting the keyboard chaotically. To solve this problem, researchers from the University of Geneva (UNIGE), Switzerland, have developed a new random numbers generator based on the principles of quantum physics. This physical theory, full of phenomena that run counter to our common sense, shows that certain physical events occur perfectly at random, making them impossible to predict. Unlike previous methods, the new system allows the user to verify the reliability of the random numbers it generates in real time. This work, to appear in the scientific journal Physical Review Applied, will greatly complicate the tasks of hackers who can no longer exploit bias resulting from human fallibility or possible imperfections in existing devices.

To generate a good cryptographic key, one must alternate randomly between 0's and 1's, the values of the so-called bits which form the basic unit of information in digital devices like computers. However, when we humans try to generate a sequence of numbers which we believe to be random, it always ends up being partly predictable, as revealed by behavioural studies and statistics. In addition, apart from having a poor grasp on randomness, the human brain is also much slower than machines, which can output millions of numbers per second. This gives hackers an opportunity to crack passwords, which the user thought to be safe.

Quantum physics as key to security

For the past twenty years, researchers have turned to quantum physics, characterised by its completely random and unpredictable processes, for developing new cryptographic techniques, and in particular the generation of random numbers. "Send a photon (a particle of light) onto a semi-transparent mirror. Either it gets transmitted through the mirror, or it gets reflected. But it is impossible, even in principle, to predict beforehand which of these two behaviours it will adopt. This is the basic idea behind quantum random number generation" explains Nicolas Brunner, professor at the Department of Applied Physics at the Faculty of Science of UNIGE and responsible for the theoretical aspects of the new research.

Powerful quantum random number generators are today available commercially. However, one limitation of existing devices is that it is impossible for the user to independently verify that the numbers generated are in fact genuinely random and not, for example, composed of digits of π. The user must trust the device (and so its manufacturer) to function correctly, even after years of use. So, it makes sense to ask if current systems could be improved from this point of view.

A new self-testing random number generators

"We wanted to create a device which can be continuously tested to ensure it functions correctly at all times and thus guarantee that the random numbers generated are reliable" says Nicolas Brunner. To achieve this, the UNIGE physicists have developed a "self-testing" quantum random number generator, which allows the user to verify in real time that the apparatus performs optimally and delivers unbiased random numbers. "The generator should solve a tasks for which we have calibrated it. If the tasks is solved correctly, the output numbers are guaranteed to be random. If the apparatus does not find the correct solution, randomness is not guaranteed, and the user should then recalibrate the device. This avoids the risk of using numbers with little (or no) randomness for example to generate passwords, which hacker could then crack" professor Hugo Zbinden enthusiastically points out. He has been responsible for the experimental aspects of the research. Indeed, the new generator allows to measure precisely the quality of the output random numbers. Perfectly random numbers can then be distilled and used for security applications, such as generating passwords which are safe against hacking.

The self-testing quantum random number generator will allow the security of passwords and cryptographic protocols to be increased yet another notch. Here, security is guaranteed by the laws of physics themselves, and not by the hackers' technological limitations. This research, conducted by physicists at the UNIGE allows for a better understanding of quantum randomness as well as its use in information technology.

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

"Beat" Writer William Burroughs

William Seward Burroughs II (February 5, 1914 – August 2, 1997) was an American writer. Burroughs was a primary figure of the Beat Generation and a major postmodernist author whose influence is considered to have affected a range of popular culture as well as literature. Burroughs wrote eighteen novels and novellas, six collections of short stories and four collections of essays. Five books have been published of his interviews and correspondences. He also collaborated on projects and recordings with numerous performers and musicians, and made many appearances in films. He was also briefly known by the pen name William Lee.

He was born into a wealthy family in St. Louis, Missouri, grandson of the inventor and founder of the Burroughs Corporation, William Seward Burroughs I, and nephew of public relations manager Ivy Lee. Burroughs began writing essays and journals in early adolescence, but did not begin publicizing his writing until his thirties. He left home in 1932 to attend Harvard University, studied English, and anthropology as a postgraduate, and later attended medical school in Vienna. In 1942 Burroughs enlisted in the U.S. Army to serve during World War II, but was turned down by the Office of Strategic Services and Navy, after which he picked up the drug addiction that affected him for the rest of his life, while working a variety of jobs. In 1943, while living in New York City, he befriended Allen Ginsberg and Jack Kerouac, and out of their mutual influence grew the foundation of the Beat Generation, which was later a defining influence on the 1960s counterculture.

Much of Burroughs's work is semi-autobiographical, primarily drawn from his experiences as a heroin addict, as he lived throughout Mexico City, London, Paris and Tangier in Morocco, as well as from his travels in the South American Amazon. Burroughs accidentally killed his second wife, Joan Vollmer, in 1951 in Mexico City with a pistol during a drunken "William Tell" game; he was consequently convicted of manslaughter. Burroughs found success with his confessional first novel, Junkie (1953), but he is perhaps best known for his third novel Naked Lunch (1959), a highly controversial work that was the subject of a court case after it was challenged as being in violation of the U.S. sodomy laws.

                                               Burroughs in 1977

In 1983, Burroughs was elected to the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters, and in 1984 he was awarded the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres by France. Jack Kerouac called Burroughs the "greatest satirical writer since Jonathan Swift", a reputation he owes to his "lifelong subversion" of the moral, political, and economic systems of modern American society, articulated in often darkly humorous sardonicism. J. G. Ballard considered Burroughs to be "the most important writer to emerge since the Second World War", while Norman Mailer declared him "the only American writer who may be conceivably possessed by genius".

Burroughs had one child, William S. Burroughs, Jr. (1947–1981), with his second wife Joan Vollmer. William Burroughs died at his home in Lawrence, Kansas, after suffering a heart attack in 1997.

Monday, May 29, 2017

Character Actor Claude Rains

William Claude Rains (10 November 1889 – 30 May 1967) was an English film and stage actor whose career spanned 46 years. After his American film debut as Dr. Jack Griffin in The Invisible Man (1933) he played in classic films like The Adventures of Robin Hood (1938), Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (1939), The Wolf Man (1941), Casablanca (1942, as Captain Renault), Notorious (1946), and Lawrence of Arabia (1962).

He was a Tony Award winning actor and was a four-time nominee for the Best Supporting Actor Academy Award, but never won. Rains was considered to be "one of the screen's great character stars" with an extraordinary voice who was, according to the All-Movie Guide, "at his best when playing cultured villains".

                                    Rains in Now Voyager, 1942

During his lengthy career he was greatly admired by many of his contemporaries such as Bette Davis, Vincent Sherman, Ronald Neame and Albert Dekker all of whom became close family friends. Rains also inspired many younger actors such as John Gielgud, Charles Laughton and Richard Chamberlain.


Rains began his career in London theatre, achieving success in the title role of John Drinkwater's play Ulysses S. Grant, the follow-up to the same playwright's Abraham Lincoln. As well as Faulkland in Richard Brinsley Sheridan's The Rivals, presented at London's Lyric Theatre in 1925, aged 36. Rains returned to New York in 1927 to appear in what would be nearly 20 Broadway roles. He moved to Broadway in the late 1920s to act in leading roles in such plays as Bernard Shaw's The Apple Cart and the dramatisations of The Constant Nymph and Pearl S. Buck's novel The Good Earth (as a Chinese farmer).

Although he had played the single supporting role in the silent, Build Thy House (1920), Rains came relatively late to film acting and while working for the Theatre Guild, he was offered a screen test with Universal Pictures in 1932. His screen test for A Bill of Divorcement (1932) for a New York representative of RKO was a failure but, according to some accounts, led to him being cast in the title role of James Whale's The Invisible Man (1933) after his screen test and unique voice was inadvertently overheard from the next room. His agent though, Harold Freedman, had a strong connection with the Laemmle family, who controlled Universal Studios at the time, and Whale himself had been acquainted with Rains in London and was keen to cast him in the role. According to his daughter, this was the only of his films he ever saw. He also did not go to see the rushes of the day's filming "because he told me, every time he went he was horrified by his huge face on the huge screen, that he just never went back again."

Rains signed a long term contract with Warner Bros. on 27 November 1935 with Warner able to exercise the right to loan him to other studios and Rains having a potential income of up to $750,000 over 7 years. He played the villainous role of Prince John in The Adventures of Robin Hood (1938). Roddy McDowall once asked Rains if he had intentionally lampooned Bette Davis in his performance as Prince John and Rains' only reply was "an enigmatic smile." Rains later revealed to his daughter that he'd enjoyed playing the prince as a homosexual, by using subtle mannerisms. Rains later credited the film's co-director Michael Curtiz with teaching him the more understated requirements of film acting, or "what not to do in front of a camera." On loan to Columbia Pictures, he performed the role of the corrupt American senator in Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (1939) for which he received his first Academy Award nomination as Best Supporting Actor. For his home studio, Warner Bros, he played the murderer Dr. Alexander Tower in Kings Row (1942) and the cynical police chief Captain Renault in Casablanca (also 1942). On loan again, Rains played the title character in Universal's remake of Phantom of the Opera (1943).

His only singing and dancing role was in a 1957 television musical version of Robert Browning's The Pied Piper of Hamelin, with Van Johnson as the Piper. The NBC colour special, broadcast as a film rather than a live or videotaped programme, was highly successful with the public. Sold into syndication after its first telecast, it was repeated annually by many local US TV stations.

Rains remained active as a character actor in the 1950s and 1960s, appearing in films and as a guest in television series. Two of his late screen roles were as Dryden, a cynical British diplomat in Lawrence of Arabia (1962) and King Herod in The Greatest Story Ever Told (1965), his last film. In CBS's Rawhide, he portrayed Alexander Langford, an attorney in a ghost town, in the episode "Incident of Judgment Day" (1963).

Jessica Rains remembered her father's work ethic:

He was interested in the process (of film). He loved acting. When he came to California to do a film and I had to "hear him his lines" as he drove me to school every morning, 10 miles. He knew everybody's part. He knew the whole script before he came out (to film it). I don't think many people did that.

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Nations with Nuclear Weapons

There are eight sovereign states that have successfully detonated nuclear weapons. Five are considered to be "nuclear-weapon states" (NWS) under the terms of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT). In order of acquisition of nuclear weapons these are: the United States, the Russian Federation (the successor state to the Soviet Union), the United Kingdom, France, and China.

Since the NPT entered into force in 1970, three states that were not parties to the Treaty have conducted nuclear tests, namely India, Pakistan, and North Korea. North Korea had been a party to the NPT but withdrew in 2003. Israel is also widely known to have nuclear weapons, though it maintains a policy of deliberate ambiguity regarding this (has not acknowledged it), and is not known definitively to have conducted a nuclear test. According to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute's SIPRI Yearbook of 2014, Israel has approximately 80 nuclear warheads.

According to Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists Nuclear Notebook 2014, the total number of nuclear weapons worldwide is estimated at 10,144.

South Africa developed nuclear weapons but then disassembled its arsenal before joining the NPT.  Nations that are known or thought to have nuclear weapons are sometimes referred to informally as the nuclear club.

Five states are known to have detonated a nuclear explosive before 1 January 1967 and are thus nuclear weapons states under the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, they also happen to be the UN Security Council's permanent members with veto power on UNSC resolutions.  These nations are the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Russia and China.

From a high of 68,000 active weapons in 1985, as of 2016 there are some 4,000 active nuclear warheads and 10,100 total nuclear warheads in the world. Many of the decommissioned weapons were simply stored or partially dismantled, not destroyed.

It is also noteworthy that since the dawn of the Atomic Age, the delivery methods of most states with nuclear weapons has evolved with some achieving a nuclear triad, while others have consolidated away from land and air deterrents to submarine-based forces.

States with “Weapons of Mass Destruction”

Such weapons include nuclear or chemical or biological agents:

Albania, Algeria, Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, China, Egypt, France, Germany, India, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Japan, Libya, Mexico, Myanmar, Netherlands, North Korea, Pakistan, Philippines, Poland, Romania, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, South Korea, Sweden, Switzerland, Syria, Taiwan, Ukraine, United Kingdom, and the United States.


Saturday, May 27, 2017

Zbigniew Brzezinski Dies

Zbigniew Kazimierz Brzezinski (March 28, 1928 – May 26, 2017) was a Polish-American diplomat and political scientist. He served as a counselor to President Lyndon B. Johnson from 1966 to 1968 and was President Jimmy Carter's National Security Advisor from 1977 to 1981. Brzezinski belonged to the realist school of international relations, standing in the geopolitical tradition of Halford Mackinder and Nicholas J. Spykman.

                                   Zbigniew Brzezinski in 1977

Major foreign policy events during his time in office included the normalization of relations with the People's Republic of China (and the severing of ties with the Republic of China on Taiwan); the signing of the second Strategic Arms Limitation Treaty (SALT II); the brokering of the Camp David Accords; the transition of Iran from an important U.S. ally to an anti-Western Islamic Republic; encouraging dissidents in Eastern Europe and emphasizing human rights in order to undermine the influence of the Soviet Union; the arming of the mujahideen in response to the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan; and the signing of the Torrijos-Carter Treaties relinquishing U.S. control of the Panama Canal after 1999.

Brzezinski served as the Robert E. Osgood Professor of American Foreign Policy at Johns Hopkins University's School of Advanced International Studies, a scholar at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, and a member of various boards and councils. He appeared frequently as an expert on the PBS program ,The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer, ABC News' This Week with Christiane Amanpour, and on MSNBC’s Morning Joe, where his daughter, Mika Brzezinski, is co-anchor. He was a supporter of the Prague Process. His eldest son, Ian, is a foreign policy expert, and his youngest son, Mark, was the United States Ambassador to Sweden from 2011 to 2015. On May 26, 2017, Brzezinski died at age 89.

Early Years

Zbigniew Brzezinski was born in Warsaw, Poland, on March 28, 1928. His family hailed from Brzeżany in Galicia in the Tarnopol Voivodeship (administrative region) of then eastern Poland (now in Ukraine). The town of Brzeżany is thought to be the source of the family name. Brzezinski's parents were Leonia (née Roman) and Tadeusz Brzeziński, a Polish diplomat who was posted to Germany from 1931 to 1935; Zbigniew Brzezinski thus spent some of his earliest years witnessing the rise of the Nazis. From 1936 to 1938, Tadeusz Brzeziński was posted to the Soviet Union during Joseph Stalin's Great Purge. Israel later praised his father for having helped Jews escape from the Nazis.

In 1938, Tadeusz Brzeziński was posted to Montreal as a consul general. In 1939, the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact was agreed to by Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union; subsequently the two powers invaded Poland. The 1945 Yalta Conference between the Allies allotted Poland to the Soviet sphere of influence. Some sources suggest this meant Brzezinski's family could not safely return to their country. The Second World War had a profound effect on Brzezinski, who stated in an interview: "The extraordinary violence that was perpetrated against Poland did affect my perception of the world, and made me much more sensitive to the fact that a great deal of world politics is a fundamental struggle."

Brzezinski attended Harvard University to work on a doctorate with Merle Fainsod, focusing on the Soviet Union and the relationship between the October Revolution, Vladimir Lenin's state, and the actions of Joseph Stalin. He received his doctorate in 1953; the same year, he traveled to Munich and met Jan Nowak-Jezioranski, head of the Polish desk of Radio Free Europe. He later collaborated with Carl J. Friedrich to develop the concept of totalitarianism as a way to more accurately and powerfully characterize and criticize the Soviets in 1956.

As a Harvard professor, he argued against Dwight Eisenhower's and John Foster Dulles's policy of rollback, saying that antagonism would push Eastern Europe further toward the Soviets. The Polish protests followed by the Polish October and the Hungarian Revolution in 1956 lent some support to Brzezinski's idea that the Eastern Europeans could gradually counter Soviet domination. In 1957, he visited Poland for the first time since he left as a child, and his visit reaffirmed his judgment that splits within the Eastern bloc were profound. He developed his ideas he called "peaceful engagement." He became an American citizen in 1958.

During the 1960 U.S. presidential elections, Brzezinski was an advisor to the John F. Kennedy campaign, urging a non-antagonistic policy toward Eastern European governments. Seeing the Soviet Union as having entered a period of stagnation, both economic and political, Brzezinski correctly predicted the future breakup of the Soviet Union along lines of nationality (expanding on his master's thesis

Carter Administration

Jimmy Carter announced his candidacy for the 1976 presidential campaign to a skeptical media and proclaimed himself an "eager student" of Brzezinski. Brzezinski became Carter's principal foreign policy advisor by late 1975. He became an outspoken critic of the Nixon-Kissinger over-reliance on détente, a situation preferred by the Soviet Union, favoring the Helsinki process instead, which focused on human rights, international law and peaceful engagement in Eastern Europe. Brzezinski has been considered to be the Democrats' response to Republican Henry Kissinger.

Brzezinski, acting under a lame duck Carter presidency—but encouraged that Solidarity in Poland had vindicated his style of engagement with Eastern Europe—took a hard-line stance against what seemed like an imminent Soviet invasion of Poland. He even made a midnight phone call to Pope John Paul II (whose visit to Poland in 1979 had foreshadowed the emergence of Solidarity) warning him in advance. The U.S. stance was a significant change from previous reactions to Soviet repression in Hungary in 1956 and Czechoslovakia in 1968.

Brzezinski developed the Carter Doctrine, which committed the U.S. to use military force in defense of the Persian Gulf. In 1981 President Carter presented Brzezinski with the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

Later Years

Brzezinski argued against the 2003 invasion of Iraq, later calling President George W. Bush foreign policy "catastrophic". Brzezinski was a leading critic of the George W. Bush Administration's conduct of the War on Terror. In 2004, Brzezinski wrote The Choice, which expanded upon The Grand Chessboard but sharply criticized George W. Bush's foreign policy. He defended the book The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy and was an outspoken critic of the 2003 invasion of Iraq.

In August 2007, Brzezinski endorsed Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama. He stated that Obama "recognizes that the challenge is a new face, a new sense of direction, a new definition of America's role in the world." – also saying, "What makes Obama attractive to me is that he understands that we live in a very different world where we have to relate to a variety of cultures and people." In September 2007 during a speech on the Iraq war, Obama introduced Brzezinski as "one of our most outstanding thinkers," but some pro-Israel commentators questioned his criticism of the Israel lobby in the United States.


Brzezinski died at Inova Fairfax Hospital in Falls Church, Virginia, at the age of 89 on May 26, 2017.


Friday, May 26, 2017

A Transactional Analysis Primer

Transactional Analysis (or TA as it is often called) is a model of people and relationships that was developed during the [late 1950s and early] 1960s by Dr. Eric Berne. It is based on two notions, first that we have three parts or 'ego-states' to our personality, and secondly that these converse with one another in 'transactions' (hence the name). TA is a very common model used in therapy and there is a great deal written about it.

Parent, Adult and Child

We each have internal models of parents, children and also adults, and we play these roles with one another in our relationships. We even do it with ourselves, in our internal conversations.


There are two forms of Parent we can play.

The Nurturing Parent is caring and concerned and often may appear as a mother-figure (though men can play it too). They seek to keep the Child contented, offering a safe haven and unconditional love to calm the Child's troubles.

The Controlling (or Critical) Parent, on the other hand, tries to make the Child do as the parent wants them to do, perhaps transferring values or beliefs or helping the Child to understand and live in society. They may also have negative intent, using the Child as a whipping-boy or worse.


The Adult in us is the 'grown up' rational person who talks reasonably and assertively, neither trying to control nor reacting aggressively towards others. The Adult is comfortable with themself and is, for many of us, our 'ideal self'.


There are three types of Child we can play.

The Natural Child is largely un-self-aware and is characterized by the non-speech noises they make (yahoo, whee, etc.). They like playing and are open and vulnerable.

The cutely-named Little Professor [of Psychiatry!] is the curious and exploring Child who is always trying out new stuff (often much to their Controlling Parent's annoyance). Together with the Natural Child they make up the Free Child.

The Adaptive Child reacts to the world around them, either changing themselves to fit in or rebelling against the forces they feel.

Communications (transactions)

When two people communicate, each exchange is a transaction. Many of our problems come from transactions which are unsuccessful.

                             P A C means Parent Adult and Child ego states
Parents naturally speak to Children, as this is their role as a parent. They can talk with other Parents and Adults, although the subject still may be about the children.

The Nurturing Parent naturally talks to the Natural Child and the Controlling Parent to the Adaptive Child. In fact these parts of our personality are  evoked by the opposite. Thus if I act as an Adaptive Child, I will most likely evoke the Controlling Parent in the other person.

We also play many games between these positions, and there are rituals from greetings to whole conversations (such as the weather) where we take different positions for different events. These are often 'pre-recorded' as scripts  we just play out. They give us a sense of control and identity and reassure us that all is still well in the world. Other games can be negative and destructive and we play them more out of sense of habit and addiction than constructive pleasure.


Complementary transactions occur when both people are at the same level (Parent talking to Parent, etc.). Here, both are often thinking in the same way and communication is easier. Problems usually occur in Crossed  transactions, where each is talking to a different level.

The parent is either nurturing or controlling, and often speaks to the child, who is either adaptive or ‘natural’ in their response. When both people talk as a Parent to the other’s Child, their wires get crossed and conflict results.

The ideal line of communication is the mature and rational Adult-Adult relationship.

So what?

Being a Controlling Parent invites the other person into a Child state where they may conform with your demands. There is also a risk that they will be an Adaptive 'naughty child' and rebel. They may also take opposing Parent or Adult states.

Be a Nurturing Parent or talking at the same level as the other person acts to create trust.

Watch out for crossed wires. [These occur when an exchange appears to be adult-to-adult but psychiatrically is parent-to-child, so the ego states "cross" each other].  This is where conflict arises. When it happens, first go to the state that the other person is in to talk at the same level.

For rational conversation, move yourself and the other person to the Adult level [both socially and psychiatrically].


Eric Berne, (1964), Games People Play: The Psychology of Human Relationships, Balantine Books

Thomas Harris (1996), I'm OK-You're OK, Avon books

Muriel James and Dorothy Jongeward (1971), Born to Win: Transactional Analysis with Gestalt Experiments, Da Capo Press Inc

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Current Mindanao Uprising

Marawi crisis, also known as Marawi clash and Battle of Marawi, is an ongoing armed conflict in Marawi, Lanao del Sur between Philippine government security forces and militants of the Maute and Abu Sayyaf groups that started on 23 May 2017.

The Philippine government claims that the clashes began when they launched an offensive in the city to capture Isnilon Hapilon of the Abu Sayyaf group, after receiving reports that Hapilon was in the city, possibly to meet with militants of the Maute group.  A deadly firefight erupted when Hapilon's forces opened fire at the combined Army and police teams and called for reinforcements from the Maute, an armed group that has pledged allegiance to the Islamic State group and who are believed to be responsible for the 2016 Davao City bombing, according to military spokesmen.

Maute Group militants attacked Camp Ranao and occupied several buildings in the city, including Marawi City Hall, the Mindanao State University, a hospital and the city jail. The group also occupied the main street and torched Saint Mary's Church, Ninoy Aquino School, and Dansalan College run by the United Church of Christ in the Philippines (UCCP).


The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) stated that the fighting in Marawi was due to an operation conducted by the military in coordination with the Philippine National Police, contrary to earlier reports that the clash was initiated by the militant groups. Government security forces received reports that a group of Abu Sayyaf fighters led by Isnilon Hapilon were in Marawi to possibly meet with their Maute group counterparts. The US Department of Justice has listed Hapilon as among the world's most wanted terrorists with a reward of up to US$5 million for his capture.

Residents of Marawi reported the presence of an armed group within their locale and after the AFP verified the information, the military launched a "surgical operation."

Philippine Government Response

Following the clash, President Rodrigo Duterte declared martial law in Mindanao at 10:00 in the evening (UTC+8) of 23 May 2017. As per the 1987 Constitution, the state of martial law will initially last for 60 days. President Duterte also decided to shorten his diplomatic visit to Russia.

Vice President Leni Robredo called for unity as government troops continue to engage in a firefight against a local terrorist group in Marawi.

International Reaction

Malaysia began to tighten its border with the Philippines shortly after the President announced martial law. The country Inspector-General of Police Khalid Abu Bakar said they had “taken precautions, and are always beware of what is happening in neighbouring Philippines”.

Russian President Vladimir Putin offered his condolences to the victims of the Marawi attacks as President Duterte cut short his state visit in Moscow. During their bilateral meeting at the Kremlin, Putin told Duterte that "my colleagues and myself definitely understand quite well that you do have to come back to return to your motherland" and expressed hope that the conflict "will be resolved as soon as possible and with minimal losses and casualties."

The British government warned its nationals to avoid traveling to western Mindanao, including Marawi where clashes are still ongoing between government troops and Maute group terrorists.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Zero Emission Fossil Fuel Plant

The plant produces electricity as it burns natural gas with pure oxygen and transfers energy with CO2 as a supersaturated liquid.  No smokestacks.  No net carbon emissions.  Under construction near Houston.  Reported by Science magazine at:

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

EPA and Risk Analysis

Risk analysis is vital to proper environmental stewardship and has been mandated for use by the Environmental Protection Agency, which may resist implementation of risk analysis as is often done in Europe.  See:

Monday, May 22, 2017

Third Child Personality

Family Dynamics and the
Third Child as Outsider
by Peter Morrell

This essay on the behavior of social groups is based upon considering the family situation and the group dynamics impinging upon the first three children. It arises partly from recently contemplating the meaning of the phrase ‘social identity’ and also from considering my own family and childhood. It also derives from observing the behavior of my own children. Fundamentally, as a third child myself, it springs from considering some elements of my own personality, feelings and impulses and their possible origins.

Relationships begin at home. It is in the family where we are first tested and where we receive the first rude elements of our own identity. Or at least of our social identity, upon which so much of our later, more mature ‘sense of self’ depends. The eldest or only child has only his/her parents to please and apart from that can please him or herself. Their identity therefore stems from only one, narrow, relatively guaranteed and usually uncomplicated relationship. As a result, a rather headstrong, self-centered, determined, assertive and uncompromising, possibly arrogant sense of self [personality] tends to characterize the eldest or only child. Natural leaders by virtue of birth, and unused to compromise, they are rarely challenged.

With the arrival of the second child a new power dynamic is established: they must not only please their parents, whose affection they crave, but they must also deal with their elder sibling; inevitably this means some compromise. They fight a lot and vie with each other for the affection of their parents. They are rivals much of the time and fight playfully, falling in and out of love constantly like small kittens. While the first child was born into a completely new situation requiring few demands or compromise and more or less guaranteeing a continuous supply of undivided affection, all the later children have a diluted sense of worth and gradually command reducing amounts of attention and affection from their parents. Both are also divided to some degree between them all.

From the perspective of self-image and social identity, the third child is born into an even more complex and compromising environment. He or she arrives into a ready-made family with pre-formed complex relationships and power dynamics, about none of which he/she was consulted or involved. He or she not only wishes to gain affection of the parents (upon whom sanity depends) but must also negotiate with the other siblings and establish tolerably harmonious relationships with them. They stand in his/her way and between the third child and the parents whose affection and approval they crave. Thus there is a potential ‘zone of discomfort’ standing between the third child and their parents, occupied by the two older siblings. They feel more distant, a stranger almost, coming into this cozy environment with its own power structures already formed, and in which they feel excluded very easily and any little upset or challenge to their identity is upsetting and lonely. In any rivalry with the two older children, the third child feels especially threatened and insecure; nervous to some degree and at times even paranoid. The older siblings can appear to the third child like enemies blocking his/her access to and contact with the parents. They potentially threaten his/her supply of affection.

To the third child, the older siblings can at times seem like an uncomfortable barrier which cuts him her off from natural affection. Thus they may feel cooler towards their parents and more sensitive of any threat to their natural affection, to which they feel entitled by birthright. The parents at times also seem at times to be colluding with the older siblings and acting against the interests of the third child. This gives the impression of being 'ganged up against', cut-off and excluded, of an unfair three-against-one situation. Thus they can often feel lonely, excluded and left out. Feeling so marginalized can affect their identity. They tend to feel more distant and aloof, detached even and emotionally neutral to most of what happens. At times they may seem hesitant, confused, unsure and ambivalent. They cannot ‘take sides’, for to do so threatens some power relationship on one side or the other, which amounts to a non-option which will leave them all alone and excluded. Probably nothing terrifies the third child more than being excluded, left-out and lonely. They are constantly being forced to compromise, be diplomatic and to negotiate for any territory. Thus they develop a new sense of identity based not upon brash assertiveness but upon guile, quiet diplomacy and trying to please everybody. To some extent they seek and take refuge in friendships formed outside the home, as they have a little more control over them than those existing within the family.

They are thus often the most intelligent, sociable and subtle members of the family group. Rather than being innate, they probably develop these skills out of a need to do so; it arises from the situation they are in. They acquire subtle diplomatic and social skills in order to maintain their position in all the conflicting power dynamics of the family group. Thus they feel impelled to reason and communicate, plead with others and to operate shuttle diplomacy with everyone. They shuttle between parents and older siblings and their own friends and the friends of their elder siblings constantly moving around and maintaining a neutral position. Needs must they work hard at this. In order to develop any lasting and satisfying self-identity, they must labor hard and think up new strategies to help everyone to get along harmoniously, for in doing that they gain some personal comfort and security.

Experience teaches the third child that dogged assertiveness never gets them what they want: that is a ‘trail of tears’ they become familiar with at a very early stage. Essentially, they have entered a power structure completely constructed by others; they must fit into it and are not really allowed to dictate terms. They have an input, but cannot change things very much. That is the essential nature of their situation. But through quiet diplomacy, sharing things with others and long-reasoned schemes which please everyone, therein lies their greatest strength. Their identity therefore, does not, like child one, rest on any natural authority bestowed at birth, nor like child two, upon a special, cozy, one-to-one relationship tacitly condoned by parents and which excludes all newcomers. Thus the third child is forced to adapt to these grim realities and to ‘find a place at the table’ which suits everyone. For, in suiting everyone, they indirectly suit themselves. Like a pecking order. The third child must develop their own distinctive identity, and sound and happy self-image based mostly upon sharing things, accepting others as main power-holders and thus negotiating, shuttle diplomacy and pleasing others first before oneself. It is thus a life of service. Thus the third child must eventually accept or choose a life of fitting-in, blending, subtle camouflage and a realization that much more can be attained by these techniques than by sheer willpower alone. The unthinkable alternatives are friction, exclusion and hence unhappiness and loneliness

The first child merely clicks their fingers and people come running to heed their call. The second child gets their way through exclusive one-to-one contacts, forming a team of two, excluding all others. But the third child has to get by on the sidelines, by helping everyone first before himself or herself. A very happy and successful identity can thus be built up in this way. There is thus a huge contrast between the selfish, arrogant pushiness and ‘natural authority’ of the first or only child and the adaptive, subtle diplomacy of the third child. They are poles apart and cannot really relate to each other very well. They have a very incomplete grasp of each other’s situations. Problem is how they fare later in life, and it is my hunch that the third child fares much better as he/she is pre-adapted to how the rest of the world actually operates day by day. The world does not come running when you click your fingers; you must get off your ass and do things for yourself. Most people refuse to be treated like slaves and so the first child has a big lesson to learn, mainly about a big ego and how to deal with its shortcomings.

The first or only child is not used to giving way to others or people refusing to do what they say. Such behavior upsets them as they have never dealt with it that often. Challenges to their power position are very upsetting to them. Their whole identity, since birth, has been based upon holding power, getting others to do what they say and of being in charge. Any other type of situation is alien to them, which they avoid and find distinctly uncomfortable. They also like to be the centre of attention soaking up all the praise going. They operate through sheer willpower and coercing or intimidating others to carry out their wishes. Thus they tend to become ‘control freaks’ unwilling to delegate power to anyone else. This creates enormous frictions in their work and personal lives. They are incapable of the subtle give-and-take realities of social interactions. They can thus be expected to give up or throw a tantrum rather than work at a situation and find a compromise. They are thus pre-adapted to falling out with people, to massive disputes with others, to stand-offs and warfare of one form or another, and to marriage and relationship upsets of every description. Frequent divorce, few true friendships and general unhappiness await them in their future life. Maybe that is the true birthright of being born an only or first child?

By comparison, the third child is almost the exact opposite. Pre-adapted for many diverse friendships, a happy family life and with experience in working hard at difficult relationship problems, they come sort-of ready-made to deal with all sorts of diplomatic issues and relationship hassles. Thus they make good parents, counselors, marriage guidance persons, diplomats, social workers, anthropologists and psychologists. They understand how people operate in social groups fairly intuitively because that is pretty well what they have been forced into doing since birth. They have sound intuition, understand clearly how groups operate, fit in well in teams and work well with others. They are also good neutral observers and sensitive and diplomatic in how they handle the problems of others. What we have been saying about the third child also applies to all subsequent children in a family.

Much of what I have written above assumes that the third (and subsequent) child will in general terms be compliant, docile, well-balanced and wishing to live in harmony with the group norms of the elder siblings. This is by no means always the case. It is merely the portrait of an idealized common type. Of course, there do exist ebullient, headstrong and assertive third and fourth children in families and I would be a fool to claim otherwise! But in my opinion they are likely to be far less numerous than ebullient, headstrong and selfish first and only children. And even if some third and fourth children are like that for some of the time, yet they will also be thoroughly familiar with the ‘rules of social engagement’ I have depicted, even if they choose to apply them only some of the time.

We have considered the social advantages of being a third child. Now we must also examine some of the negative aspects. The chief disadvantage of being a third or fourth child is a possible over-willingness to surrender their own needs and identity in order to cater for the needs of others. Developing social camouflage and operating always with group norms are fine social strategies, but this can lead to a slavish mentality and to being too easily duped, put-upon or dominated by others. So the positive, the unique and the beneficial social aspects of being the third child, which we have explored in detail, should also be carefully balanced against a possible tendency to become ambivalent, ambiguous, hesitant, indecisive and easily enslaved by others. But if they are happy with themselves and well-balanced, good-natured and creative people, does this really matter?

Based upon considerations given here I would expect first and only children to excel in the higher echelons of the business world, in the military and police, in medicine and in sports much more than in service professions. I would also expect third and fourth children to excel more in the arts, theatre, social sciences, teaching, research, office work and general unskilled trades. There seems to be a good match between the characteristics of the first child and those careers indicated above, just as the features typical of the third child more closely match the careers in the second category. It is therefore very enriching to know that the subtle dynamics inherent in family life, and how they impinge upon the children, have real and lasting impacts upon the personality, social skills and ultimate career success of people as they grow up and go out into the world. And back to those dynamics can be traced many of the features of personality and disposition which distinguish one person from another.

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Primer on Unintended Consequences

In the social sciences, unintended consequences (sometimes unanticipated consequences or unforeseen consequences) are outcomes that are not the ones foreseen and intended by a purposeful action. The term was popularized in the twentieth century by American sociologist Robert K. Merton.

Unintended consequences can be grouped into three types:

  • Unexpected benefit: A positive unexpected benefit (also referred to as luck, serendipity or a windfall).
  • Unexpected drawback: An unexpected detriment occurring in addition to the desired effect of the policy (e.g., while irrigation schemes provide people with water for agriculture, they can increase waterborne diseases that have devastating health effects, such as schistosomiasis).
  • Perverse result: A perverse effect contrary to what was originally intended (when an intended solution makes a problem worse). This is sometimes referred to as 'backfire'.


The idea of unintended consequences dates back at least to John Locke who discussed the unintended consequences of interest rate regulation in his letter to Sir John Somers, Member of Parliament. The idea was also discussed by Adam Smith, the Scottish Enlightenment, and consequentialism (judging by results). However, it was the sociologist Robert K. Merton who popularized this concept in the twentieth century.

In his 1936 paper, "The Unanticipated Consequences of Purposive Social Action", Merton tried to apply a systematic analysis to the problem of unintended consequences of deliberate acts intended to cause social change. He emphasized that his term "purposive action... [is exclusively] concerned with 'conduct' as distinct from 'behavior.' That is, with action that involves motives and consequently a choice between various alternatives". Merton's usage included deviations from what Max Weber defined as rational social action: instrumentally rational and value rational. Merton also stated that "no blanket statement categorically affirming or denying the practical feasibility of all social planning is warranted."

More recently, the law of unintended consequences has come to be used as an adage or idiomatic warning that an intervention in a complex system tends to create unanticipated and often undesirable outcomes. Akin to Murphy's law, it is commonly used as a wry or humorous warning against the hubristic belief that humans can fully control the world around them.


Possible causes of unintended consequences include the world's inherent complexity (parts of a system responding to changes in the environment), perverse incentives, human stupidity, self-deception, failure to account for human nature, or other cognitive or emotional biases. As a sub-component of complexity (in the scientific sense), the chaotic nature of the universe—and especially its quality of having small, apparently insignificant changes with far-reaching effects (e.g., the butterfly effect)—applies.

Robert K. Merton listed five possible causes of unanticipated consequences in 1936:

  1. Ignorance, making it impossible to anticipate everything, thereby leading to incomplete analysis
  2. Errors in analysis of the problem or following habits that worked in the past but may not apply to the current situation
  3. Immediate interests overriding long-term interests
  4. Basic values which may require or prohibit certain actions even if the long-term result might be unfavorable (these long-term consequences may eventually cause changes in basic values)
  5. Self-defeating prophecy, or, the fear of some consequence which drives people to find solutions before the problem occurs, thus the non-occurrence of the problem is not anticipated


Unexpected Benefits

The medieval policy of setting up large hunting reserves for the nobility has preserved green space, often as parks, throughout England and other places in Europe. Likewise the creation of "no-man's lands" during the Cold War, in places such as the border between Eastern and Western Europe, and the Korean Demilitarized Zone, has led to large natural habitats.

The sinking of ships in shallow waters during wartime has created many artificial coral reefs, which can be scientifically valuable and have become an attraction for recreational divers.

In medicine, most drugs have unintended consequences ('side effects') associated with their use. However, some are beneficial. For instance, aspirin, a pain reliever, is also an anticoagulant that can help prevent heart attacks and reduce the severity and damage from thrombotic strokes. The existence of beneficial side effects also leads to off-label use—prescription or use of a drug for an unlicensed purpose. Famously, the drug Viagra was developed to lower blood pressure, with its main current use being discovered as a side effect in clinical trials.

Unexpected Drawbacks

The implementation of a profanity filter by AOL in 1996 had the unintended consequence of blocking residents of Scunthorpe, North Lincolnshire, England from creating accounts due to a false positive. The accidental censorship of innocent language, known as the Scunthorpe problem, has been repeated and widely documented.

In 1990, the Australian state of Victoria made safety helmets mandatory for all bicycle riders. While there was a reduction in the number of head injuries, there was also an unintended reduction in the number of juvenile cyclists—fewer cyclists obviously leads to fewer injuries, assuming all else being equal. The risk of death and serious injury per cyclist seems to have increased, possibly due to risk compensation. Research by Vulcan, et al. found that the reduction in juvenile cyclists was because the youths considered wearing a bicycle helmet unfashionable. A health benefit model developed at Macquarie University in Sydney suggests that, while helmet use reduces "the risk of head or brain injury by approximately two-thirds or more", the decrease in exercise caused by reduced cycling as a result of helmets laws is counterproductive in terms of net health.

Prohibition in the 1920s United States, originally enacted to suppress the alcohol trade, drove many small-time alcohol suppliers out of business and consolidated the hold of large-scale organized crime over the illegal alcohol industry. Since alcohol was still popular, criminal organizations producing alcohol were well-funded and hence also increased their other activities. Similarly, the War on Drugs, intended to suppress the illegal drug trade, instead increased the power and profitability of drug cartels who became the primary source of the products.

In CIA jargon, "blowback" describes the unintended, undesirable consequences of covert operations, such as the funding of the Afghan Mujahideen and the destabilization of Afghanistan contributing to the rise of the Taliban and Al-Qaeda.

The introduction of exotic animals and plants for food, for decorative purposes, or to control unwanted species often leads to more harm than good done by the introduced species.

  • The introduction of rabbits in Australia and New Zealand for food was followed by an explosive growth in the rabbit population; rabbits have become a major feral pest in these countries.
  • Cane toads, introduced into Australia to control canefield pests, were unsuccessful and have become a major pest in their own right.
  • Kudzu, introduced to the US as an ornamental plant in 1876 and later used to prevent erosion in earthworks, has become a major problem in the Southeastern United States. Kudzu has displaced native plants, and has effectively taken over significant portions of land.

The protection of the steel industry in the United States reduced production of steel in the United States, increased costs to users, and increased unemployment in associated industries.

Perverse Results

In 2003, Barbra Streisand unsuccessfully sued Kenneth Adelman and for posting a photograph of her home online. Before the lawsuit had been filed, only 6 people had downloaded the file, two of them Streisand's attorneys. The lawsuit drew attention to the image, resulting in 420,000 people visiting the site. The Streisand effect was named after this incident, describing when an attempt to censor or remove a certain piece of information instead draws attention to the material being suppressed, resulting in the material instead becoming widely known, reported on, and distributed.

Passenger-side airbags in motorcars were intended as a safety feature, but led to an increase in child fatalities in the mid-1990s as small children were being hit by deploying airbags during collisions. The supposed solution to this problem, moving the child seat to the back of the vehicle, led to an increase in the number of children forgotten in unattended vehicles, some of whom died under extreme temperature conditions.

Risk compensation, or the Peltzman effect, occurs after implementation of safety measures intended to reduce injury or death (e.g. bike helmets, seatbelts, etc.). People may feel safer than they really are and take additional risks which they would not have taken without the safety measures in place. This may result in no change, or even an increase, in morbidity or mortality, rather than a decrease as intended.

The British government, concerned about the number of venomous cobra snakes in Delhi, offered a bounty for every dead cobra. This was a successful strategy as large numbers of snakes were killed for the reward, but eventually enterprising people began to breed cobras for the income. When the government became aware of this, they scrapped the reward program, causing the cobra breeders to set the now-worthless snakes free. As a result, the wild cobra population further increased. The apparent solution for the problem made the situation even worse.

Theobald Mathew's temperance campaign in 19th-century Ireland (in which thousands of people vowed never to drink alcohol again) led to the consumption of diethyl ether, an intoxicant much more dangerous due to its high flammability, by those seeking to become intoxicated without breaking the letter of their pledge.

It was thought that adding south-facing conservatories to British houses would reduce energy consumption by providing extra insulation and warmth from the sun. However, people tended to use the conservatories as living areas, installing heating and ultimately increasing overall energy consumption.

A reward for lost nets found along the Normandy coast, offered by the French government between 1980 and 1981, resulted in people vandalizing nets to collect the reward.

Beginning in the 1940s and continuing into the 1960s, the Federal Canadian government gave the Catholic church in Quebec $2.25 per day per psychiatric patient for their cost of care, but only $0.75 a day per orphan. The perverse result is that the orphan children were diagnosed as mentally ill so the church could receive the larger amount of money. This psychiatric misdiagnosis affected up to 20,000 people, and the children are known as the Duplessis Orphans.

Abstinence-only sex education has been shown to increase teenage pregnancy rates, rather than reduce them, when compared to either comprehensive sex education or no sex education at all.

There have been attempts to curb the consumption of sugary beverages by imposing a tax on them. However, a study found that the reduced consumption was only temporary. Also, there was an increase in the consumption of beer among households.

The New Jersey Childproof Handgun Law, which was intended to protect children from accidental discharge of firearms by forcing all future firearms sold in New Jersey to contains "smart" safety features, has delayed, if not stopped entirely, the introduction of such firearms to New Jersey markets. The wording of the law caused significant public backlash, fuelled by gun rights lobbyists, and several shop owners offering such guns received death threats and stopped stocking them In 2014, 12 years after the law was passed, it was suggested the law be repealed if gun rights lobbyists agree not to resist the introduction of "smart" firearms

Footnote from the Blog Author

It is at least a little bit surprising that the Wikipedia authors did not mention the enormous problem in the motion picture industry of maintaining continuityj, itself a subject discussed in detail in the online dictionary.  There are famous, high budget horse opera historical movies like Spartacus in which the lead actors wear modern wrist watches throughout the filming.  Nobody caught it on the daily reviews or film editing.  The perfect movie with respect to continuity may not exist except in animation.

Intellectually in the 20th and 21st centuries, a furious argument has been ongoing about whether mankind is perfectible through its institutions.  The stories of unintended consequences and the inability to make a movie free from continuity errors argue strongly for imperfectability.

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Gene Protects Against Malaria

Natural Resistance to Malaria Linked to Variation in Human Red Blood Cell Receptors
First study to identify protective effect of glycophorin gene rearrangements on malaria

May 18, 2017 -- Some people in East Africa carry a particular gene rearrangement - GYPB-A hybrid, known as Dantu - that confers a 40 per cent reduced risk of severe malaria, a study of volunteers from East and West Africa has shown

Researchers have discovered that protection from the most severe form of malaria is linked with natural variation in human red blood cell genes. A study from the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, the Wellcome Trust Centre for Human Genetics and their collaborators has identified a genetic rearrangement of red blood cell glycophorin receptors that confers a 40 per cent reduced risk from severe malaria. 

Published in Science, this is the first study to show that large structural variants in human glycophorin genes, which are unusually common in Africa, are protective against malarial disease. It opens a new avenue for research on vaccines to prevent malaria parasites invading red blood cells.

More than 200 million people a year are infected with malaria and the disease caused the deaths of nearly half a million people worldwide in 2015. Transmitted by mosquitoes, the most widespread malarial parasite in Africa is Plasmodium falciparum; it is also the most dangerous.

Plasmodium parasites infect human red blood cells and gain entry via receptors on the cell surface. Previous studies on natural resistance to malaria had implicated a section of human genome near to a cluster of receptor genes. These receptors – glycophorins – are located on the surface of red blood cells and are amongst many receptors that bind Plasmodium falciparum. However, it is only now that they have been shown to be involved in protection against malaria.

Researchers investigated the glycophorin area of the genome in more detail than before using new whole-genome sequence data from 765 volunteers in the Gambia, Burkina Faso, Cameroon and Tanzania. Using this new information they then undertook a study across the Gambia, Kenya and Malawi that included 5310 individuals from the normal population and 4579 people who were hospitalised from severe malaria. They discovered that people who have a particular rearrangement of the glycophorin genes had a 40 per cent reduced risk of severe malaria.

Friday, May 19, 2017

After Iceland Went Broke

The Icesave dispute was a diplomatic dispute that began after the privately owned Icelandic bank Landsbanki was placed in receivership on 7 October 2008. As Landsbanki was one of three systemically important financial institutions in Iceland to go bankrupt within a few days, the Icelandic Depositors' and Investors' Guarantee Fund (Tryggingarsjóður) had no remaining funds to make good on deposit guarantees to foreign Landsbanki depositors who held savings in the Icesave branch of the bank.

When Landsbanki was placed into receivership by the Icelandic Financial Supervisory Authority (FME), 343,306 retail depositors in the UK and Netherlands that held accounts in the "Icesave" branch of Landsbanki lost a total of €6.7bn of savings. Because no immediate repayment was expected by any Icelandic institutions, the Dutch and British national deposit guarantee schemes covered repayment up to the maximum limit for the national deposit guarantees – and the Dutch and British states covered the rest.

The Icelandic state refused to take on this liability on behalf of the guarantee fund. Originally this was because the state lost funding access at credit markets due to the Icelandic financial crisis, but later proposed bilateral loan guarantees for repayment were rejected by Icelandic voters.

The dispute centred on the demand by the British and Dutch states that the Icelandic state should repay the Icelandic minimum deposit guarantees (up to €20,887 per account holder), equal to £2.35bn (€2.7bn) repaid to the UK and €1.3bn repaid to the Netherlands.

The Icesave bill 1 was the first negotiated loan agreement, attempting to define the repayment terms for these two loans. It was enacted on 2 September 2009 but was not accepted by the governments of UK and Netherlands, due to a unilaterally attached term added by the Icelandic parliament which limited Iceland's repayment guarantee only to 2024, with automatic cancellation of any potential owing still existing beyond this year. Instead, UK and Netherlands then counter proposed a new version of the loan agreement, referred to as Icesave bill 2, where no time limit was included for the Icelandic state's repayment guarantee. This was at first accepted by the Icelandic parliament, but the Icelandic president refused to enact the law and referred approval to a referendum being held on 6 March 2010, where voters subsequently rejected the law.

After the rejection of Icesave bill 2, renewed negotiations started on the terms for the repayment agreement. The negotiations resulted, in December 2010, in an adjusted agreement named Icesave bill 3, with better terms for Iceland. This included the removal of a previous creditor priority issue, a lower 3% interest rate, an interest moratorium until 1 October 2009, and a possible extension of the "repayment window" up to 30 years. When the Icesave bill 3 was put to a referendum in April 2011, it was again rejected, by 59% of Icelandic voters. After analysing the election result, stakeholders decided not to attempt negotiation of a further improved Icesave bill 4, but instead to refer the case to the EFTA Court as a legal dispute.

On 28 January 2013, the EFTA Court cleared Iceland of all charges, meaning that Iceland was freed from the disputed obligation for deposit guarantees worth €4.0bn (ISK 674bn) plus accrued interest to UK and the Netherlands. This caused shock, as some legal experts had suggested the ESA would win.

The repayment claim still existed as a claim on the Landsbanki receivership, who one year earlier had been ordered by the Supreme Court of Iceland to repay confiscated deposits (including minimum deposit guarantees) as priority claims, totaling ISK 852bn (£4.46bn, €5.03bn) to the UK Financial Services Compensation Scheme and ISK 282bn (€1.67bn) to De Nederlandsche Bank. By January 2016, the Landsbanki receivership had, through liquidation of assets, repaid all the priority claims.

If either of the proposed deals with the UK (and Netherlands) had been implemented, Iceland would still be paying, because of high interest costs, for the Icesave guarantees