Discover more from Beyond Intractability
Colleague and Context Posts for the Week of January 15
Newsletter 70 -- January 15, 2023
New Format As we explained in Newsletter 68, we are tentatively shifting our Substack newsletters to a shorter and more frequent format. Please let us know what you think.
With our shift to the new newsletter format, we will, for the first time, be devoting entire newsletter issues to the Colleague Activities and Beyond Intractability in Context sections of Beyond Intractability.
In the Colleague Activities section, we will continue to highlight some of the many things that those in the conflict and peacebuilding fields are doing to apply and extend our collective insights. These links also provide a window into things that people are doing that give us confidence that, at a societal level, a massively parallel approach to intractable conflict can really work. Feel free to send us suggestions about organizations and projects that we should include.
The Beyond Intractability in Context section links to fascinating stories that have helped us better understand the extraordinary complexity of today's big intractable conflicts and the many contributions that those outside of our field are making to more constructively address those conflicts. In order to be effective, it is imperative that those in conflict fields understand this broader context and learn from and incorporate these insights into our work. Again, we would appreciate hearing about links that you find valuable and should be included.
Highlighting things that our conflict and peacebuilding colleagues are doing that contribute to efforts to address the hyper-polarization problem.
Effective Communication Strategies
Constructive Dialogue Institute — CDI seeks to repair our civic culture by spreading the practices of curiosity, critical thinking, and constructive dialogue across our nation’s education systems and workplaces.
Effective Communication Strategies
Confronting Controversial Issues in the Classroom — Discussions of controversial issues are frequently prescribed by theorists, professors, and civic organizations, but most school systems are reluctant. Here's how to do it well.
Restoring the Guardrails of Democracy — This initiative brings together America’s leading constitutional scholars and thought leaders of diverse perspectives to identify reforms that could preserve the institutional guardrails on which democracy depends.
Escalation Limiting Projects
What’s your ‘red line’? | Jonathan Haidt with Mónica Guzmán — Does engaging bad ideas across the divide make you a bad person? Renowned psychologist and author Jonathan Haidt talks with Monica Guzman in this Braver Angels video.
Beyond Intractability in Context
From around the web, more insight into the nature of our conflict problems, limits of business-as-usual thinking, and things people are doing to try to make things better.
Pursuing a Unifying Common Vision
A Love Letter to America — An honest and affectionate look at what makes US society and its democratic institutions something to celebrate and nurture despite their deep flaws -- flaws that are deeply intertwined with its virtues.
Improving Problem Assessment
How ChatGPT actually works — Amid the many reasonable and exaggerated worries about ChatGPT and the dangers that it may or may not pose to society, a challenging and illuminating, explanation of what, exactly, it does and how it works.
Launching a Third Party Takes More Than Good Intentions — A friendly critique of the Forward Party and its efforts to offer voters a moderate alternative to the "us-vs-them" politics that dominates the two major parties with lots of ideas about what it takes to be successful.
Fables of the Deconstruction — A lighter and very illuminating inquiry into the many ways in which our society discriminates against left-handers (with important lessons about what we should and shouldn't be doing to help all disadvantaged groups).
Lessons for the Next War — The continuing horror and destruction in Ukraine is just the latest reminder of why developing and pursuing realistic strategies for avoiding war ought to be near the top of our priority list. As we think about this, here are some ideas to consider.
Improving Problem Assessment
Reason To Believe -- How and why irrationality takes hold, and what do to about it. — An in-depth look at the role that rational thought plays in human society, how it has made us so successful, and the many dynamics that are undermining our ability to think (and deal with conflict) in rational ways .
In Search of Authority — A thought-provoking exploration of the nature of "authority," what determines whether it is trusted and trustworthy, and what happens to society's ability to work together for the common good when it collapses.
Why Some Students Are Skipping College — Even stronger reason to really do something about the continuing and rapid increases in the cost of higher education -- it is solidifying the class divide by locking ever more students out of the chance to develop their talents.
Understanding The Issues That Divide Us
America’s True Divide: Pluralists vs. Zealots — A perceptive look at what is arguably a more important political divide -- one that separates those who are absolutely convinced that their side is in the right and those who see value in reconciling competing perspectives and insights.
About BI Newsletters
Once a week or so, we, the BI Directors, share some thoughts, along with new posts from the Hyper-polarization Blog and and useful links from other sources. We used to put this all together in one newsletter which went out once or twice a week. We are now experimenting with breaking the Newsletter up into several shorter newsletters. Each Newsletter will be posted on BI, and sent out by email through Substack to subscribers. You can sign up to receive your copy here and find the latest newsletter here or on our BI Newsletter page, which also provides access to all the past newsletters, going back to 2017.
NOTE! If you signed up for this Newsletter and don't see it in your inbox, it might be going to one of your other emails folder (such as promotions, social, or spam). Check there or search for firstname.lastname@example.org and if you still can't find it, first go to our Substack help page, and if that doesn't help, please contact us.
Thanks for reading Beyond Intractability! Subscribe for free to receive new posts and support our work.