Beyond Intractability in Context Blog

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Posts ordered from most recent to earliest.

  • The Atlantic shares surprising statistics reminding us again of the need to take the risk of conflict catastrophes seriously: a human is five times as likely to die in an extinction event as in a car crash.
    Human Extinction Isn't That Unlikely --
  • In the New York Times, Thomas Edsall shares great statistics illuminating the emergence of class as the central political fault line in the United States.
    How the Other Fifth Lives --
  • The Atlantic shares a provocative video emphasizing the shortcomings of simple empathy by itself, and the need for sophisticated problem-solving.
    Is Empathy Bad? --
  • IZA shares an interesting window into the complex calculations of gender pay equity in the United States.
    The Gender Wage Gap --
  • Pew Research shares interesting statistics on the sharply more optimistic views of emerging societies, contrasted with their rich, developed counterparts.
    Developing Economies are More Optimistic --
  • The Atlantic explains that there are declining birth rates among millennials - is this enough to threaten the "sustainability" of the next generation?
    The Childless Millennial --
  • This great TED talk explains the dangers of "single-story" stereotypes and strategies for overcoming them.
    The Danger of a Single Story --
  • Pew Research shares interesting statistics about how the United States really is exceptional in views and values.
    When Americans Stand Out --
  • Pew sheds light on another key to understanding United States' big conflict: the relationship between education and politics.
    Education Causes an Ideological Gap --
  • The New York Times sharse another reason why democracy is in trouble: the growing unwillingness to accept the legitimacy of political defeat.
    The Cult of Sore Losers --
  • The Washington Post shares a new way of understanding gun violence in their high-tech window into when, where, and how often guns are actually fired.
    A New Way to Measure Gun Violence --
  • The Intercept gives those ready to ask hard questions about the role that the US has played in the Middle East a good place to start.
    The Long, Misguided War --
  • The New York Times offers one explanation for US complacency about climate change: the weather in the US has been getting better. How are we to respond?
    Global Warming Feels Quite Pleasant --
  • Every liberal should read Vox's argument that the "smugness" problem is making our problems much tougher.
    American Liberals are Smug --
  • The Washington Post shares two fascinating statistical snapshots illustrating enormous cultural changes in how the US thinks about marriage.
    Cultural Changes in Finding a Spouse --
  • The Atlantic shares a great essay on "concept creep" in psychology, and the costs and benefits of a field's efforts to expand its scope.
    Sensitivity and Concept Creep --
  • Moyers and Company discuss the need for limiting the risk of nuclear war. Murphy was right, if anything can go wrong it EVENTUALLY will!
    Murphy's Law an Nuclear War --
  • The New York Times gives a persuasive explanation of how diminished competition (and antitrust enforcement) are undermining the economy.
    Robber Baron Recessions --
  • Vox presents a big study of the negativity of campaign coverage, showing that Clinton's coverage is more negative than Trump's.
    Who Gets the Most Negative Media Coverage? --
  • TED shares great stories of people who figured out how to do important things cheaply, a big key to making things better in the world.
    Making Expensive Things Cheap --
  • Commentary offers a tough challenge that merits serious consideration of supporters of the US sponsored peace process.
    The Peace Process Is an Obstacle to Peace --
  • Data USA has a really great collection of visualizations of U.S. Public Data, for those who have trouble being moved to tears by statistics.
    DataUSA Visulaizations --
  • FiveThirtyEight challenges climate activists (and anyone else pushing for changes in human behavior) to "walk the talk."
    Advice from and to Climate Scientists on Flying --
  • TED shares about the doomsday seed bank, where seeds are stored in case of plant extinction. The need for this project tells us a lot about the precariousness of the human condition.
    Doomsday and the Keeper of Seeds --
  • Foreign Affairs offers a thoughtful exploration of the conflict between "solutionism" and "anti-solutionism" in the Israeli context, where decisions are not rushed.
    Solutionism --