MBI Newsletters

MBI Newsletter

Newsletter #7

September 20, 2017

Frontiers Seminar Unit 4: Moving Toward a Complexity-Oriented Paradigm, Completed.

Note: There has only been one new post since the last newsletter, but we thought it might be helpful to include the entirety of Unit 4 here:

Fundamentals Seminar Unit 5: Examining Causes of Intractable Conflicts: Overlay (or Complicating) Factors, Continued

  • Siege Mentality - North Korea's siege mentality is particularly dangerous as the US is exhibiting a siege mentality too! (August 12, 2017)
  • Delegitimization - Delegitimization drives escalation and violence—but how is it reversed?  (August 17, 2017)
  • Victimhood - Victimhood has a dual nature—people can be both ashamed and proud of their victim status at the same time. (August 23, 2017)
  • Cognitive Dissonance - : Cognitive dissonance, too, can escalate or de-escalate conflict depending on how it is used. (August 24, 2017)
  • Interpersonal Communication - We take it for granted, but so much can go wrong with our communication. In conflict, care is essential! (August 29, 2017)
  • Misunderstandings - Even if the misunderstandings do not cause conflict, they can escalate it rapidly once it starts. (Sept. 1, 2017)

Recent Posts from the Additional Resources Blog

  • Losing The Information War -- Review and link to an important new paper that looks into the reality of the information war (which is going badly) -- 09/10/2017
  • Trump & Evangelicals -- More trying to understand the other side: "Why most evangelicals don't condemn trump." -- 09/10/2017
  • Outlawing War? It Actually Worked -- A surprising look back at the long shadow of the Kellogg-Briand Pact of 1928 and the delegitimization of conquest. -- 09/10/2017
  • Prospects Of Janitors In The 80s Vs. Now -- A Labor Day "then and now" comparison of the lives of janitors in high-tech companies, and the rise of inequality. -- 09/10/2017
  • Moral Trauma -- A provocative account of how the events in Charlottesville influenced the thinking of one person who was there. -- 09/09/2017
  • Humor In The Face of Nazis -- An alternative, clown-based strategy for preventing white supremacists from achieving the goals of their rallies. -- 09/09/2017
  • Zapatista Rebels Venture Into Politics -- In hopeful news, "In a Mexico 'Tired of Violence,' Zapatista Rebels Venture into Politics" and forsake violence. -- 09/07/2017
  • The Potential Damage of Five-Hundred-Year Flooding -- Adapting to climate change, graphics showing how hard it will be to live in a world of frequent, 500 year floods. -- 09/07/2017
  • Fascism, American Style -- A succinct and persuasive summary of the issues that make the Arpaio pardon so disturbing. -- 09/06/2017
  • Mattis, Trump and North Korea -- Foreign Policy's assessment of the increasing risk of war with North Korea: "Mattis Just Out-Trumped Trump." -- 09/06/2017
  • America's Deadly Divide -- An increasingly relevant summary of events leading to the American Civil War (with important lessons for today). -- 09/05/2017
  • Forest Service Fire Watch -- For those focused on hurricanes, horrifying graphics showing how much of the West is literally burning down. -- 09/05/2017
  • We Need To Start Befriending Neo-Nazis -- An argument for challenging neo-Nazism by befriending and then persuading it's adherents to change their minds. -- 09/04/2017
  • 'Intersectionality': A Code Word For Anti-Semitism -- The disturbing implications of the new concept of "intersectionality." We need a better way to fight for justice. -- 09/04/2017
  • What Kills Inequality -- The Great Leveler - a long-term look at the violent history of efforts to reduce inequality. We need to do better. -- 08/31/2017
  • The Science of Snobbery -- Another big driver of inequality: "The Science of Snobbery: How We're Duped Into Thinking Fancy Things Are Better". -- 08/31/2017
  • On Saving the Far-Right Protestor -- An inspiring story of the kind of courage that blocking the violent escalation of political conflict requires. -- 08/30/2017
  • Cyberwar: A Guide -- Cyberwar: A guide to the frightening future of online conflict as seen from the techie perspective of ZDNet. -- 08/30/2017
  • Many Shades of the U.S. at War -- A provocative essay on the diversity of the US military, the fragmentation of Iraq & Syria, & Trump's divisiveness. -- 08/29/2017
  • Most Shortsighted Attack on Free Speech -- A timely reminder of the importance of protecting free speech, even at the expense of allowing hate speech. -- 08/29/2017
  • Trump Vote Regret -- From a prominent (& now regretful) Trump supporter, an explanation of his initial support & why he changed his mind -- 08/28/2017
  • Combating Online Radicalization -- An update on efforts to combat the online radicalization of violent extremists (including domestic US hate groups). -- 08/28/2017
  • How to Make Fun of Nazis -- How to Make Fun of Nazis -- a confrontation strategy that is less likely to lead to violent escalation. -- 08/27/2017
  • Hamilton 68 -- From the German Marshall Fund, a real-time dashboard for tracking Russian influence operations on Twitter. -- 08/27/2017
  • The Chilling Effects of Openly Displayed Firearms -- Welcome to the dangerous new world of political protest in the era of open carry laws, long guns, and flak jackets! -- 08/26/2017
  • What Trump Gets Wrong About Antifa -- Realistic comparison of the influence and threats presented by fascist movements on the right & the left's "Antifa" -- 08/26/2017
  • Our House Divided -- A somewhat reassuring essay on the likelihood of current political tensions leading to large-scale violence. -- 08/25/2017
  • Charlottesville Through A Different Lens -- Provocative food for thought: "What if Western media covered Charlottesville the same way it covers other nations?" -- 08/25/2017
  • Godfather of a Democratic Renaissance -- A Thomas Edsall update on successes of the "Democratic Renaissance" and the considerable challenges it still faces. -- 08/24/2017
  • What Moderates Believe -- For our polarized society, a welcome effort to outline and defend the core beliefs of political moderates. -- 08/24/2017
  • How to Hate Each Other Peacefully in a Democracy -- A thoughtful exploration of one of today's big questions: how can we hate each other peacefully in a democracy? -- 08/23/2017
  • Trump’s Threat of War With North Korea -- A somewhat persuasive & reassuring argument: "Trump's Threat of War With North Korea May Sound Scarier Than It Is". -- 08/23/2017
  • Effective Arms Against North Korea -- Sometimes there are no military solutions: North Korea's missiles are secure from everything but a nuclear attack. -- 08/22/2017
  • A New Democratic Platform -- A hopeful story about "New Democracy" and its efforts to chart a middle ground between our two political extremes. -- 08/21/2017
  • The Massacre That Ended the Arab Spring -- The story of the Rabaa Massacre, for folks (like me) who did not understand how the Arab Spring ended. -- 08/20/2017
  • The Alt-Right and Russia -- Don't read too much into this. Still, the connection between the Russians and the alt-right is part of the story. -- 08/19/2017
  • Division in the Democratic Party -- Sometimes going for the big win can lead to catastrophe. Is the Democratic shift to the left such a case? -- 08/18/2017
  • A New Kind of Fight in Charlottesville -- A reminder that we are struggling to do something that's never been done: build a diverse society that really works -- 08/17/2017
  • Trump, Obama and the Politics of Evasion -- A provocative comparison of the way in which the left and the right respond to violent extremism. -- 08/16/2017
  • Checking Privilege Checking -- An argument that calls to "check one's privilege" undermine (don't support) efforts to address to social inequities -- 08/15/2017
  • Trump Knows How To Push Our Buttons -- An assessment of Donald Trump's tactic of pushing the left's buttons, & the Democratic Party's "Better Deal." -- 08/15/2017
  • A Party In Denial -- Republican reform will have to come from the right, not the left. A welcome call for change from Sen. Flake. -- 08/14/2017
  • The Three Paradoxes Disrupting American Politics -- Three paradoxes that opened the door to fake-news-based politics (paradoxes that will also probably outlast Trump). -- 08/14/2017
  • A Nuclear North Korea -- Sensible thinking on the tough choices posed by North Korea's rapidly advancing nuclear arsenal. -- 08/13/2017
  • The Risk of a Nuclear Catastrophe Under Trump -- Alas, it's again time to think about the unthinkable: "The Risk of Nuclear Catastrophe under Trump." -- 08/13/2017
  • Trump’s Russian Laundromat -- Explanation of how international money laundering makes corruption possible (and the alleged role of Trump, Inc). -- 08/12/2017
  • Killing Obamacare Softly -- Killing Obamacare "Softly"--heartbreaking explanation of the rationale for preventing the government from working. -- 08/12/2017
  • Empathy Gadgets -- Empathy gadgets for helping caregivers better understand patients. We need something like this for conflict. -- 08/11/2017
  • The Kremlin & The Magnitsky Act -- Eye-opening explanation of the relationship between the Magnitsky Act, corruption, and US/Russia relations. -- 08/11/2017
  • A.I. Dystopia -- Maybe one of the the A.I. dystopias is already here: conflicts driven by battling, trolling, bots. -- 08/10/2017
  • Battle of the Botnets -- Case study: Battle of the Botnets – Trump's fans and foes go head-to-head with Twitter bots. -- 08/10/2017
  • Faster than a Speeding Congressman -- An exploration of the implications of the rise of inexperienced political leaders, on both the left and the right. -- 08/09/2017
  • Trump Boomerang Effect -- Trump and Kenneth Boulding's Law of Political Irony: things you do to help people often hurt them (& vice versa). -- 08/09/2017
  • How to Make Congress Bipartisan -- A genuinely promising and realistic strategy for fixing Congress. Something worth fighting for? -- 08/08/2017
  • Tunisia, a Success Story? -- A reasonably upbeat update on the most successful of the Arab spring revolutions – Tunisia. -- 08/08/2017
  • Why Don't the 1 Percent Feel Rich? -- Useful new acronym: HENRY (high earning, not rich yet)--part of why the 1% is driven to accumulate even more. -- 08/07/2017
  • Who Hasn't Trump Offended -- Understanding the United States' changing relationship with the world: those who Trump has and hasn't offended. -- 08/07/2017
  • New Technology and Fake Videos -- The astonishing capabilities of the new world of fake video technology. How will we be able to tell what is real? -- 08/06/2017
  • Trump's Trolls and America's Civil Servants -- Internet trolls are waging war on America's civil servants--yet another front in the battle to save democracy. -- 08/06/2017
  • The Closing of the Republican Mind -- An exploration of the implications of the terms: cognitive elite, creative class, cosmopolitan class, & plutonomy. -- 08/05/2017
  • Trump’s Flirtation with Violence -- A reflection on the dangers of Trump's flirtation with political violence. What happens if Trump is impeached? -- 08/05/2017
  • The Left’s Inversion of Anti-Semitism -- From Israel, a controversial but provocative exploration of the implications of two recent cases of anti-Semitism. -- 08/04/2017
  • Shariah's Winding Path Into Modernity -- For those wanting to go beyond superficial demonization, a description of "Sharia's winding path into modernity." -- 08/04/2017
  • Israel & The Iran Nuclear Deal -- From a former head of Shin Bet, a hopeful argument that the "Iranian nuclear deal has been a blessing for Israel." -- 08/03/2017
  • Why Russia Would Help Trump -- For those trying to understand motivations, an explanation of why Russia wanted to help Trump. -- 08/03/2017
  • Saudi Arabia's Botched Campaign -- Saudi Arabia's campaign against Qatar, another example of how ill-considered threats can backfire. -- 08/02/2017
  • The 'Witch Hunt' Russia Narrative -- From the conservative National Review, an explanation of why the Russia story is not business-as-usual politics. -- 08/02/2017
  • War Ravaged Mosul -- Photographic evidence of the destruction of Mosul--another reminder of the enormous tragedy of war. -- 08/01/2017
  • Trump's Enablers -- Six profiles trying to understand the motivations of those who could, but don't, challenge Trump's excesses. -- 08/01/2017
  • Nourish Your Political Soul -- A summer project to nourish your political soul: pick a problem, look at it from all sides, think it through. -- 07/31/2017
  • Gathering Storm vs.Crisis of Confidence -- The promise & perils of trying to understand today by looking at historical parallels from the 1930s & 1970s. -- 07/31/2017
  • Words As Violence -- An argument worth considering: Why it's a bad idea to tell students words are violence. -- 07/30/2017
  • The Right Versus Academia -- We must constructively address the right's distrust/hatred of academia (or risk losing the benefits of expertise). -- 07/30/2017

BI Newsletters - General Announcements

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