I just came across this awesome website: Beyond Intractability. It contains a huge knowledge base on the topic of “intractable” conflicts – ones which seem impossible to resolve. They also offer online, self-paced courses using the materials available through the site. I’m not sure I want to pay for a course – it seems the main thing you get are questions you have to write answers to, and an instructor who will evaluate your responses (and, I suppose, to whom you can ask questions throughout the course) – but I’m thinking about trying to read through some of the material on my own in a structured manner. I spend a lot of time thinking about peace and conflict resolution, but I haven’t spent much time following a structured program of learning more about these topics (I do read related non-fiction books but those are usually quite different from reading a series of articles the way one would in a college course). I think it would therefore be useful for me to be disciplined about studying a topic in depth, and this seems like a good place to start. I’m hoping it may also help me determine if peace and conflict studies is something I would like to pursue a formal education in someday (an idea I have toyed with, but I don’t think I am nearly at a point where I am willing to commit the time and money to more schooling. For one thing, I’d need to figure out what I’d do with such schooling first. For another thing, the memory of homework and tests from college is still a bit too recent. And for a third thing, I seriously dislike writing papers for classes).