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Thread: Are US-Americans dumb?

  1. #1

    Default Are US-Americans dumb?

    http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/n...icans/2935909/

    You've probably already heard about how 1 in 5 Americans can't find the U.S.A. on a map.

    why? I teach Americans favorite subject to hate, so I know, but I'd still like to check my answer with others'.
    "The good man is the man who, no matter how morally unworthy he has been, is moving to become better."
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  2. #2
    Praefectus Fabrum Senior Member Anime BlackJack Champion, Flash Poker Champion, Word Up Champion, Shape Game Champion, Snake Shooter Champion, Fishwater Challenge Champion, Rocket Racer MX Champion, Jukebox Hero Champion, Cub Shoot 2 Champion, My House Is Bigger Than Your House Champion, Funky Pong Champion, Cutie Quake Champion, Fling The Cow Champion, Treasure Diver Champion, Tiger Punch Champion, Virus Champion, Solitaire Champion, Worm Race Champion, Slack Man Champion, Japanese Baseball Champion, Rope Walker Champion, Penguin Pass Champion, Skate Park Champion, Super Mario Mushroom Champion, Watch Out Champion, Lawn Pac Champion, Weapons Of Mass Destruction Champion, Skate Boarder Champion, Fish Kill Champion, Lane Bowling Champion, Bugz Champion, Makai Grand Prix 2 Champion, KF 9000 Champion, White Van Man Champion, Parachute Panic Champion, BlackJack Champion, Stans Ski Jumping Champion, Smaugs Treasure Champion, Sofa Longjump Champion Seamus Fermanagh's Avatar
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    Default Re: us Americans dumb?

    I've taught for years at the college level and sold insurance in peoples homes.

    All in all, I have met very few people who I thought were unintelligent. I suspect our melting pot of mutts is pretty smart overall, certainly no worse than human average.

    However, the level of self chosen ignorance is staggering.
    "The only way that has ever been discovered to have a lot of people cooperate together voluntarily is through the free market. And that's why it's so essential to preserving individual freedom.” -- Milton Friedman

    "The urge to save humanity is almost always a false front for the urge to rule." -- H. L. Mencken

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  3. #3
    master of the pwniverse Member Fragony's Avatar
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    Default Re: us Americans dumb?

    Nah. Merkel couldn't even point out where Berlin is on a map.

  4. #4
    has a Senior Member HoreTore's Avatar
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    Default Re: us Americans dumb?

    Quote Originally Posted by The Lurker Below View Post
    http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/n...icans/2935909/

    You've probably already heard about how 1 in 5 Americans can't find the U.S.A. on a map.

    why? I teach Americans favorite subject to hate, so I know, but I'd still like to check my answer with others'.
    This is basically the same as the situation in every other country except Finland.

    I believe the cause is mostly due to media and politician's inability to properly read statistics.
    Still maintain that crying on the pitch should warrant a 3 match ban

  5. #5
    Banned Kadagar_AV's Avatar
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    Default Re: us Americans dumb?

    I think USAnians, by and large, trust others to do the thinking for them.

    This, coupled with an absolutely rampant media climate and churches that aren't exactly bastions of enlightenment, of course have a sad impact on the society at large.

  6. #6
    master of the pwniverse Member Fragony's Avatar
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    Default Re: us Americans dumb?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kadagar_AV View Post
    I think USAnians, by and large, trust others to do the thinking for them.

    This, coupled with an absolutely rampant media climate and churches that aren't exactly bastions of enlightenment, of course have a sad impact on the society at large.
    Rampant media climate, Sweden was where you are from right. If you look at the list of top 50 of universities Sweden isn't even in it.

  7. #7
    has a Senior Member HoreTore's Avatar
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    Default Re: us Americans dumb?

    Quote Originally Posted by Fragony View Post
    Rampant media climate, Sweden was where you are from right. If you look at the list of top 50 of universities Sweden isn't even in it.
    Frags is wrong as he always is, Karolinska Institutet is number 42.

    EDIT: And well above the top dutch uni, Leiden, which is at #64 by the way.

    Not that any of this is relevant anyway, since it's a centralize/decentralize-thing.
    Last edited by HoreTore; 10-09-2013 at 15:54.
    Still maintain that crying on the pitch should warrant a 3 match ban

  8. #8
    Liar and Trickster Senior Member Andres's Avatar
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    Default Re: us Americans dumb?

    Quote Originally Posted by HoreTore View Post
    Frags is wrong as he always is, Karolinska Institutet is number 42.

    EDIT: And well above the top dutch uni, Leiden, which is at #64 by the way.

    Not that any of this is relevant anyway, since it's a centralize/decentralize-thing.

    I'm not sure if having one or several of your elite institutions in such a ranking is a good indication about the general education level of the population
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  9. #9
    Praefectus Fabrum Senior Member Anime BlackJack Champion, Flash Poker Champion, Word Up Champion, Shape Game Champion, Snake Shooter Champion, Fishwater Challenge Champion, Rocket Racer MX Champion, Jukebox Hero Champion, Cub Shoot 2 Champion, My House Is Bigger Than Your House Champion, Funky Pong Champion, Cutie Quake Champion, Fling The Cow Champion, Treasure Diver Champion, Tiger Punch Champion, Virus Champion, Solitaire Champion, Worm Race Champion, Slack Man Champion, Japanese Baseball Champion, Rope Walker Champion, Penguin Pass Champion, Skate Park Champion, Super Mario Mushroom Champion, Watch Out Champion, Lawn Pac Champion, Weapons Of Mass Destruction Champion, Skate Boarder Champion, Fish Kill Champion, Lane Bowling Champion, Bugz Champion, Makai Grand Prix 2 Champion, KF 9000 Champion, White Van Man Champion, Parachute Panic Champion, BlackJack Champion, Stans Ski Jumping Champion, Smaugs Treasure Champion, Sofa Longjump Champion Seamus Fermanagh's Avatar
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    Default Re: us Americans dumb?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kadagar_AV View Post
    I think USAnians, by and large, trust others to do the thinking for them.

    This, coupled with an absolutely rampant media climate and churches that aren't exactly bastions of enlightenment, of course have a sad impact on the society at large.
    Actually, they don't trust others to do their thinking for them. Sadly, that doesn't always translate to attempting to do their own. In the gap lies ignorance and poor decision making -- of which the USA has no shortage whatsoever.

    I concur with you as to the rampant media climate, but disagree with churches/enlightenment. There are so many faith groups in the USA that actively seek enlightenment as a means of coming closer to the deity and/or as a means of spiritual growth. The fundamentalists and literalists get a lot of press, but they are nowhere near a majority of the churched in this country and it is only those subsets that might be viewed as anti-enlightenment.

    Unless you are defining anything other than Popperian rationalism as being unenlightened.
    "The only way that has ever been discovered to have a lot of people cooperate together voluntarily is through the free market. And that's why it's so essential to preserving individual freedom.” -- Milton Friedman

    "The urge to save humanity is almost always a false front for the urge to rule." -- H. L. Mencken

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  10. #10
    Liar and Trickster Senior Member Andres's Avatar
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    Default Re: us Americans dumb?

    We Europeans like our stereotypes and cliches.

    An American mentioning Popper should be locked up in a cage and put in a museum or a zoo, as a curiosity. You cannot possibly be a normal American.
    Andres is our Lord and Master and could strike us down with thunderbolts or beer cans at any time. ~Askthepizzaguy

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  11. #11

    Default Re: us Americans dumb?

    Hyperspecialization?

    E.g. Sherlock Holmes not knowing of the heliocentric model.

    For this to be the case, it need not imply that most members of the hyperspecialized masses have very deep knowledge in any one conceivable area.

    Zoom out far enough and I'm sure that a spectrogram of one individual's knowledge would look identical to everyone else's.

    Shock or ridicule: the root of it is the perception that another or many others are ignorant of what seems to the one a very fundamental or trivial (i.e. "obvious") fact or concept, e.g. that every citizen of a given country should have familiarity with the geographies of at least their country at large.

    Compulsory education: its basic purpose is to inculcate some facts and concepts that are deemed by society to be fundamental or trivial, along with tools of critical thinking and continual acquisition/absorption of new information. The problem is, there are just way too many fundamental or trivial things to learn: long-term retention is unreliable, cognition under-equipped, and life short and busy. And this is even sidestepping the problem of evaluation.

    It is a truism to say that if one is reminded or made newly aware of something that they then consider or have considered to be fundamental or trivial, they will almost never find fault with others' ignorance of the same.

    TLDR: All these reports on selected ignorances are pretty much just there to amuse you and to boost your self-satisfaction. What sort of vegan is a vegan who delights in the flavor of "vegetarian meat"?
    Vitiate Man.

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  12. #12
    Bureaucratically Efficient Senior Member TinCow's Avatar
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    Default Re: us Americans dumb?

    Most Americans are not dumb. The problem is that most dumb Americans are loud.

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  13. #13
    Praefectus Fabrum Senior Member Anime BlackJack Champion, Flash Poker Champion, Word Up Champion, Shape Game Champion, Snake Shooter Champion, Fishwater Challenge Champion, Rocket Racer MX Champion, Jukebox Hero Champion, Cub Shoot 2 Champion, My House Is Bigger Than Your House Champion, Funky Pong Champion, Cutie Quake Champion, Fling The Cow Champion, Treasure Diver Champion, Tiger Punch Champion, Virus Champion, Solitaire Champion, Worm Race Champion, Slack Man Champion, Japanese Baseball Champion, Rope Walker Champion, Penguin Pass Champion, Skate Park Champion, Super Mario Mushroom Champion, Watch Out Champion, Lawn Pac Champion, Weapons Of Mass Destruction Champion, Skate Boarder Champion, Fish Kill Champion, Lane Bowling Champion, Bugz Champion, Makai Grand Prix 2 Champion, KF 9000 Champion, White Van Man Champion, Parachute Panic Champion, BlackJack Champion, Stans Ski Jumping Champion, Smaugs Treasure Champion, Sofa Longjump Champion Seamus Fermanagh's Avatar
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    Default Re: us Americans dumb?

    Quote Originally Posted by TinCow View Post
    Most Americans are not dumb. The problem is that most dumb Americans are loud.
    I said not dumb but ignorant.

    Sadly, we are both correct.
    "The only way that has ever been discovered to have a lot of people cooperate together voluntarily is through the free market. And that's why it's so essential to preserving individual freedom.” -- Milton Friedman

    "The urge to save humanity is almost always a false front for the urge to rule." -- H. L. Mencken

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  14. #14
    has a Senior Member HoreTore's Avatar
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    Default Re: us Americans dumb?

    Quote Originally Posted by Andres View Post
    I'm not sure if having one or several of your elite institutions in such a ranking is a good indication about the general education level of the population
    It's not, I just felt like pointing out that Frags is dead wrong once again
    Still maintain that crying on the pitch should warrant a 3 match ban

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    Moderator Moderator Fisherking's Avatar
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    Default Re: Are US-Americans dumb?

    Quote Originally Posted by Gelatinous Cube View Post
    Americans are ignorant, not dumb. You can fix ignorant.

    Oh yeah?

    You should try it some time. Anything that smacks of book learning or high culture is anathema to about 85% of the population and another 10% pretend that they know less than they do.

    I would agree that it is ignorance and not stupidity but it is self imposed and they have strong opinions on it too.

    Just think of RVG…


    Education: that which reveals to the wise,
    and conceals from the stupid,
    the vast limits of their knowledge.
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  16. #16
    master of the pwniverse Member Fragony's Avatar
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    Default Re: Are US-Americans dumb?

    RVG is Syrian..

  17. #17
    Moderator Moderator Fisherking's Avatar
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    Default Re: Are US-Americans dumb?

    I hate to tell you, but there is a great deal of what you speak of in the large suburban areas of the Pacific Northwest too, and the rest of the country to boot.

    I don’t think you would have to go to far to find it in Eugene too.


    Education: that which reveals to the wise,
    and conceals from the stupid,
    the vast limits of their knowledge.
    Mark Twain

  18. #18

    Default Re: Are US-Americans dumb?

    So I'm thanking every response that apportions some measure of fault to ignorance. Ignorance in and of itself is not evil, it's just a matter of fact. I will forever be ignorant in the field of rocket science, and I'll never be ashamed of it. Our problem lies in the cause of the ignorance. I would argue that the cause is apathy. Most of us simply don't care. I have seen two reasons for the apathy.

    first - I got mine and am set, don't care if you have yours or not, don't need to know.
    second - the man is holding me down and I have no chance, so why should I care.

    Most Americans are apathetic. Until we get hungry again we will have no reason not to be. You hungry people in the rest of the world can go ahead and fight over who will host the next success story (current American Dream).

    edit - not capitalizing us in the title was purposeful. I suppose my play on us ignorance wasn't that amusing though. So no matter.
    Last edited by The Lurker Below; 10-09-2013 at 19:19.
    "The good man is the man who, no matter how morally unworthy he has been, is moving to become better."
    John Dewey

  19. #19

    Default Re: Are US-Americans dumb?

    Well f me if somehow I managed to make Americans apathy an ideological issue. I sure didn't mean for that to happen.

    It is pointless to discuss the causes for the poor Americans. We will not agree. Thread after thread after thread breaks down into this argument and nothing is proven from that, no minds are changed. Can't we just let it go at that?
    "The good man is the man who, no matter how morally unworthy he has been, is moving to become better."
    John Dewey

  20. #20

    Default Re: Are US-Americans dumb?

    Americans are complacent.
    Vitiate Man.

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  21. #21
    Banned Kadagar_AV's Avatar
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    Default Re: Are US-Americans dumb?

    Let's face some VERY simple facts here...

    USAnians coming to Europe are generally seen as stupid and unsophisticated.
    Europeans coming to the USA are generally seen as intelligent and sophisticated.

    We can play the "blame shift" game all day long, but this kind of IS how it IS, no?

    I'm sure many USAnians have empirical evidence of other situations, but cultural views are there for a reason.

  22. #22

    Default Re: Are US-Americans dumb?

    I'm sure many USAnians have empirical evidence of other situations, but cultural views are there for a reason.
    Er, you can't just make up "cultural views" on the spot...
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  23. #23
    Banned Kadagar_AV's Avatar
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    Default Re: Are US-Americans dumb?

    so just did.

    But I have empirical evidence to support it!

  24. #24
    Nobody expects the Senior Member Lemur's Avatar
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    Default Re: Are US-Americans dumb?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kadagar_AV View Post
    I have empirical evidence
    FWIW, "empirical" is not a synonym for "anecdotal," which is clearly what you meant to say.
    "Those are my principles, and if you don't like them ... well, I have others." — Groucho Marx

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    Banned Kadagar_AV's Avatar
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    Default Re: Are US-Americans dumb?

    Quote Originally Posted by Lemur View Post
    FWIW, "empirical" is not a synonym for "anecdotal," which is clearly what you meant to say.
    Empirical evidence (also empirical data, sense experience, empirical knowledge, or the a posteriori) is a source of knowledge acquired by means of observation or experimentation

    No?

    FWIW I honestly thought I used it right? If you want to you can educate me in PM and delete these last, not to derail :)

  26. #26
    Bureaucratically Efficient Senior Member TinCow's Avatar
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    Default Re: Are US-Americans dumb?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kadagar_AV View Post
    Europeans coming to the USA are generally seen as intelligent and sophisticated.
    That depends entirely on where they go. Anyone coming to NYC is generally seen as an idiot yokel by the locals, regardless of their nation of origin.


  27. #27
    Banned Kadagar_AV's Avatar
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    Default Re: Are US-Americans dumb?

    Quote Originally Posted by TinCow View Post
    That depends entirely on where they go. Anyone coming to NYC is generally seen as an idiot yokel by the locals, regardless of their nation of origin.
    Including, of course, USA

    Even a broken watch is right two times a day
    Last edited by Kadagar_AV; 10-09-2013 at 21:29.

  28. #28
    Old Town Road Senior Member Strike For The South's Avatar
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    Default Re: Are US-Americans dumb?

    Quote Originally Posted by TinCow View Post
    Most Americans are not dumb. The problem is that most dumb Americans are loud.
    You rang?
    There, but for the grace of God, goes John Bradford

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    I am tired and sick of war. Its glory is all moonshine. It is only those who have neither fired a shot nor heard the shrieks and groans of the wounded who cry aloud for blood, for vengeance, for desolation.

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  29. #29
    Moderator Moderator Fisherking's Avatar
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    Default Re: Are US-Americans dumb?

    Quote Originally Posted by Gelatinous Cube View Post
    Most Americans don't care what Europeans think. Delusions of superiority won't last too long after we default and drag your weak dependant economies with us.

    Jingo-bells, jingo-bells, jingoism all the way…


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  30. #30

    Default Re: Are US-Americans dumb?

    How dare you not accept that Europeans are your intellectual superiors?

    You must be a jingoist! You must think that America is superior to everyone else!

    Vitiate Man.

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