Beyond Intractability in Context Blog

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Posts ordered from most recent to earliest.

  • In considering Palestinian perspective, the Jewish Magazine Mosaic asks a hard question worth considering: Might Oslo’s failure stem from a misunderstanding of Palestinian goals?
    What are Palestinians' Goals? --
  • The New York Times came out with a major article on arbitration, explaining that there is a problem with sugarcoating injustice in the United States.
    Arbitration and Justice --
  • The Atlantic's analysis of Russian histpry and contemporary Russia explains that in order to understand a rival or an adversary, it’s important to understand their core interests.
    Understanding Interests --
  • The Washington Post shares a sad case of an activist's murder in Israel, highlighting the role that social media is playing in fomenting hate, and causes us to ask what can be done.
    Spreading Hate through Social Media --
  • In discussing experimental thinking in the CIA, Foreign policy gives an interesting example of how to institutionalize “outside-the-box” thinking.
    Transformative Thinking in Intelligence --
  • The Washington Post provides a good overview article with excellent links on the debate over “microaggressions” and larger social justice efforts, exploring recent debates around the concept.
    Microagressions and a Culture of Victimhood --
  • The Atlantic explains the surprising progress that the 2010 Plain Writing Act has made in the war against inscrutable, jargon-laden writing in government - something that would be good to extend to academia, as well.
    Needlessly Complex Writing --
  • Thomas Edsall shares a hopeful story of how Citizens United is leading to innovative efforts to address the problem of money in politics in the New York Times, describing the current state of campaign finance in detail.
    A Silver Lining to Citizens United? --
  • As the Arms Control Association explains, the ongoing modernization of the “triad,” or the strategic nuclear arsenal, demonstrates that nuclear weapons are not just a relic of the Cold War.
    A Modern Nuclear Arsenal --
  • The New York Times shares disturbing stories of law schools exploiting students through exorbitant costs of education - something everyone in higher education should fight against.
    The Law School Debt Crisis --
  • As the New York Times describes, the security of undersea cables is another area exacerbating old superpower tensions between Russia and the United States.
    Data Cables Cause Superpower Tension --
  • As the Washington Post describes, recently declassified documents reveal how close we came to nuclear war in the early 1980's, emphasizing our need to learn to learn from past mistakes so as to not come so close to disaster again.
    When We Came Close to Nuclear War --
  • The Atlantic provides a good explanation of the problems associated with the term “inequality.” Inequity would be better term to use.
    Equality or Equity? --
  • NPR's Hidden Brain podcast explains “switch tracking” (responding to feedback by changing the subject) - another cognitive dynamic with big conflict implications.
    Switchtracking --
  • For those worried about Ukraine and Russian expansionism, this enlightening Foreign Policy article on the difficulties Russia is facing will provide good perspective.
    The Difficulties of Russian Expansionism --
  • The Atlantic makes the interesting argument that US public schools ought to be teaching about, rather than avoiding, religion, espcecially given the misconceptions surrounding the practice and surrounding many religions.
    The Misplaced Fear of Religion in Classrooms --
  • Quartz shares a powerful arguing technique, and gives good advice for those who realize that persuasion is the best way to resolve conflict.
    Smart Conflict Resolution --
  • This Daily Beast article is a good primer on the differing ways in which Palestinians and Israelis are thinking about conflict, explaining the conflict from the perspective of both a Palestinian and an Israeli.
    Inside the Mind of Israel/Palestine --
  • The Daily Mail shares an excellent essay that explains the widely misunderstood Israeli perspective on the current crisis in light of recent violence.
    An Israeli Perspective --
  • The New York Times explains that if we want a chance of solving our big problems, we have to defend the acquisition of basic data on those problems, as is made apparent by Angus Deaton's recent Nobel Prize in economics.
    Nobel Prize for Data --
  • NPR's informative interview with Rolling Tone's Tim Dickinson helps those seeking to understand the motivations of the “Freedom Caucus.”
    The Freedom Caucus --
  • The New York Times' David Brooks explains that we need to get beyond our instinct for partisan impartiality and ask hard questions about to GOP extremism and its limits.
    Impartiality for Extremism? --
  • The Washington Post shares great infographics on the growing use of coal for electricity generation, and the difficulties this poses as are energy deamnds steadily increase.
    Infographing Coal in Electricity --
  • The Washington Post gives us a worrying new look at one of the complexities of climate change and the scientific challenge to understanding it: ocean ciculation appears to be slowing.
    The Challenges of Climate Change --
  • In discussing the recent attack on peaceful protesters in Turkey, the Washington Post shares another demonstration of the need to find better ways of protecting peacemakers from violent assault.
    Protecting Peacemakers --