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mimartin
03-25-2011, 10:58 PM
Newsweek had an interesting story on Americans' knowledge (yes I originally saw the story on Real Time with Bill Maher. Find it really funny that one of the number one hit list on many states budget right now is education when surveys like this just proves that should be the very last thing we cut).

Story (http://www.newsweek.com/2011/03/20/how-dumb-are-we.html)

The Quiz (http://www.newsweek.com/2011/03/20/take-the-quiz-what-we-don-t-know.html) I missed question #3 (so I'm pretty stupid, not surprising considering I’m an American. Guess I’m at home. ) For some reason I thought Thomas Jefferson was involved.

The following part pretty much killed my faith in the intelligence of the American people. A 2010 World Public Opinion survey found that Americans want to tackle deficits by cutting foreign aid from what they believe is the current level (27 percent of the budget) to a more prudent 13 percent. The real number is under 1 percent. A Jan. 25 CNN poll, meanwhile, discovered that even though 71 percent of voters want smaller government, vast majorities oppose cuts to Medicare (81 percent), Social Security (78 percent), and Medicaid (70 percent). Instead, they prefer to slash waste—a category that, in their fantasy world, seems to include 50 percent of spending, according to a 2009 Gallup poll.


:patriot:God Bless this country because if there isn't a God we are.....:toilet1:

JediAthos
03-26-2011, 12:11 AM
I'm not really surprised by the numbers presented in the article which I guess is really kinda sad. At the same time I don't think we're going to implode any time soon either. One of the things prominent in our history is that Americans have always managed to adapt when we've had to. Many of the world's most useful inventions have come from Americans as well so I haven't lost all hope.

I'm not delusional, I know our education system needs serious help, but I suppose I'm also optimistic that we can get it fixed. Perhaps a little overly optimistic...

Darth InSidious
03-26-2011, 12:34 AM
Stupid? No. Misled by a combination of abysmal journalism (paradoxically, for a country where journalism is a respectable career), a binary political system in which party affiliation infects all aspects of life, and an education system that manages to combine the unreformable cluster**** of union-dominated public-sector schooling with the free-wheeling, free-marketeering, I-want-my-money's-worth nightmare of a privatised higher education sector.

Then on top of this you have an oligarchic plutocracy pushing your news media into the shape it is, and altering the information you get in order to keep you in your current state: woefully under-informed, and perpetually paying into the best interests of big business, not your own.

The rest of your culture takes place in between cocktail lounges in Manhattan, amongst those who feign disdain for the system they've worked to get to their comfortable if whingy lives.

But don't worry - the UK is right behind you, and catching up fast. ;)

Addendum: For the record, I got 8/20 questions correct. Or more properly, 7/20, since as WCH points out below, they got the date wrong (knowing the year counts for a foreigner, right? :p )

Working Class Hero
03-26-2011, 12:34 AM
They got one of their own questions wrong. :indif: The declaration of independence was adopted July 2, not July 4.

mimartin
03-26-2011, 12:49 AM
They got one of their own questions wrong. :indif: The declaration of independence was adopted July 2, not July 4.

My understanding was July 2nd was the date independence was approved, but it wasn’t until July 4th that the actual final document was approved.

Even the date on the Declaration of Independence shows July 4, 1776.

http://www.debrajeandean.com/constitution/Declaration.jpg

Still don't blame Newsweek if you believe the date is wrong. The quiz is from the Federal Government. It the same questions given to immigrants to obtain citizenship.

Working Class Hero
03-26-2011, 01:03 AM
Yeah, they acually voted on it before it was written out. :wonder: The document was voted on and approved July 2, but they signed a copy 2 days later. The act itself was declared July 2, but the document wasn't actually filed until August 2 in Philly.

I think it's a bit of a trick question.


The quiz is from the Federal Government. That explains it perfectly. :xp:

mimartin
03-26-2011, 01:43 AM
Yeah, they acually voted on it before it was written out. :wonder: Not what I wrote. The final draft was not done on the 2nd. They approve independence and what would be in the document, but the finished product still had to be put onto paper. Too bad they did not have the same edit and printing equipment we have today or perhaps they could have had the finished product as soon as it was approved. :rolleyes:

Personally I don’t consider a letter to be complete until it is signed.

Sabretooth
03-26-2011, 01:55 AM
I got 11 right (taking some answers liberally, for eg. my answer to "What was the US' greatest concern in the Cold War" was "To prevent the spread of influence of the USSR", when their answer said "Communism")

Inshallah I will get my green card soon and I will work in the wonder of the West, the Amreeka

Working Class Hero
03-26-2011, 02:14 AM
Not what I wrote. The final draft was not done on the 2nd. They approve independence and what would be in the document, but the finished product still had to be put onto paper. Too bad they did not have the same edit and printing equipment we have today or perhaps they could have had the finished product as soon as it was approved. :rolleyes:

Personally I don’t consider a letter to be complete until it is signed.I wasn't intending that to sound sarcastic. It was supposed to convey that I didn't agree with their decision to ratify something before the final draft was written out. If the question was when was the declaration first signed, you could say July 4. But it was adopted July 2, which is what Newsweek asked. The letter was just the physical copy of what they had already agreed upon, not the act itself.

Totenkopf
03-26-2011, 03:39 AM
Well, it is kind of sad that when you ask people on the street to identify a pic of the vice-president (Biden) they draw a blank (and not necessarily just the younger kids), but they know who people like Beiber and the "sitch" are. Wonder what the results would be if you seperated public school kids from parochial/private ones.... Still, if you dumb down the masses sufficiently and throw them enough scraps to keep them distracted, they're probably easier to control.

urluckyday
03-26-2011, 10:28 AM
Perfect. These kinds of quizzes give people the idea that pushing more money into education is the solution. I don't think this shows the sad state of journalism (however broken it may be), it shows the sad state of the education system.

How about instead of pushing more and more money into education (because statistics have proved that more money =/= better education), we get rid of that thing we call TENURE and protecting teachers who have a terrible track record of teaching. That's why colleges are so effective (or at least the one I go to). At the end of every semester, we fill out evaluations on the teacher, and the feedback is not only reviewed by the teacher but also the administration. Even if it doesn't lead to the "firing" of a teacher immediately, those reviews at least HELP the teacher to improve if they see a pattern of complaints. Isn't it weird that through all of these statistics about low test scores and lack of intelligence in the US, they never seem to actually TALK to the kids to see what's wrong. You can't just quantify things like that.

Most Americans aren't stupid because in the scheme of things...I'm sure plenty of other people in their own country don't even know their cultural backgrounds.

Ping
03-26-2011, 12:01 PM
Being a high school student, my classmates and I are feeling the effects of the budget cuts, and some guys are planning to protest it at a school board meeting (it does make me wonder how many people supported budget cuts before, actually). Sports programs are being cut, and after-school programs aren't getting funding. Honestly, raising taxes is the only "good" solution, but Americans don't want to sacrifice anything. You can either have less money but more benefits, or more money and less benefits. We should be doing the former, but the latter is being done, and quite frankly, it makes me feel like society is turning into survival of the fittest.

Also, I did good on the first half of the quiz, but pretty darn awful on the second half, with the exception of the last four or five questions.

urluckyday
03-26-2011, 01:18 PM
Sports programs are being cut, and after-school programs aren't getting funding.

Your school should adopt a pay-to-play format that is gaining popularity around the country. Each student who participates in athletics has to pay like 200 bucks (I think per year) with a limit of like 400 bucks (if you have more than 2 kids in athletics). It makes a lot of sense to me because being a student comes before being an athlete.

Tysyacha
03-26-2011, 01:33 PM
Ping,

I'm an American, too, and I'm rather ashamed to admit that I got 2 questions wrong. "The Federalist Papers?" The title of that document brought up a shadow of a trace of a vaguely blurry memory of learning about that, but the WRITERS? Come on. I also thought that a certain illustrious co-author of the Declaration of Independence was involved. I also misnamed the president of the United States during World War I. 8/10 isn't bad, though, if I do say so.

At your school, what do you think of the quality of the teaching there? You're pretty darn intelligent (excuse my Redneckese (tm)), so what's your perspective on the education system today? I'm 31, and haven't been "in the loop" for years when it comes to schools, However, my inquiring mind wants to know! :)

mimartin
03-26-2011, 01:47 PM
Your school should adopt a pay-to-play format that is gaining popularity around the country. Each student who participates in athletics has to pay like 200 bucks (I think per year) with a limit of like 400 bucks (if you have more than 2 kids in athletics). It makes a lot of sense to me because being a student comes before being an athlete.

Sound like a good way to cut out the poor out of athletics to me or another way add the same problems with college sports into high schools and junior highs. Not to mention it does real damage to the pass to play rule. I know some parents would be really upset to pay and have their kid not play.

urluckyday
03-26-2011, 03:17 PM
Sound like a good way to cut out the poor out of athletics to me or another way add the same problems with college sports into high schools and junior highs. Not to mention it does real damage to the pass to play rule. I know some parents would be really upset to pay and have their kid not play.

Since when was it considered a RIGHT to play high school athletics for anyone? It's a priviledge plain and simple. (Also, I'm pretty sure that fee is waived for people that also have to get subsidized lunches, so I wouldn't worry about the poor). To me, it seems like a perfectly reasonable way to not only KEEP sports teams (rather than cutting them as someone mentioned) but also keep the money where it supposedly belongs...in the classroom (although that part still bewilders me).

mimartin
03-26-2011, 03:38 PM
Like I wrote before this will only open up the same problems we have today in college sports. So much for amateur sports in this country. Also guess there is no value in teaching kids discipline, teamwork or sportsmanship.

Personally I learn more, that I use every day, on the Junior High/High School field/court than what I use from Jr/High School classrooms.

Working Class Hero
03-26-2011, 04:12 PM
Pretty soon kids will have to pay for their art supplies and lunch, too.
Oh, wait....

Primogen
03-26-2011, 05:23 PM
Art class is the most pointless thing in the world anyway.

Liverandbacon
03-26-2011, 06:00 PM
Personally I learned more, that I use every day, on the Junior High/High School field/court than what I use from Jr/High School classrooms.

Same here, though for me it was river/gym, and was a non-school team, but nonetheless during my time in HS.

Getting used to working with a team, dealing with pain, getting stronger, managing time effectively, and having dubiously sane former Soviet (and a token American) Olympians shouting at me to pull harder has done a lot for me.

The same can not be said for most of the learning I did during HS. It made me hate subjects I had previously been interested in, and once I got to university, I found out that, within the scope of my major at least, almost all of what I had learned was at best a gross oversimplification (even some stuff that had been presented as fact).

Since I'm really not in a debating mood right now, I'm not going to weigh in on where our budget should or shouldn't be allocated. I will say however, that cutting down on the oft-rampant misspending within each sector would help. But that's a pipe dream that'll have to wait until politicians and inexplicably high-level bureaucrats stop thinking they know better than everyone else. Read: Never.

Edit: And yes, Art class is pointless. If a kid likes art, they'll know it, and can learn better outside a high school classroom. For the others, it's just a waste of time. I probably turned against art class during elementary school (I was 8 I think) where we had to draw an elf, and the teacher said "Why are you drawing it like that? That isn't what elves look like." I told her that since there's no such thing as elves, I figured we could draw how we envision an elf. I also mentioned that we were always told to use our imaginations in art, that her idea of an elf was no more valid than mine, and that if we really had to draw a 'real' elf, we'd need to burn the paper so that there was nothing left, because elves are nothing.

She sent me to the principal's office with a note saying that I "disrespected her authority". He was a pretty cool guy though, laughed at her when I explained, and I got to chill for the rest of the period instead of being 'taught' art. She later objected when we had to draw what we wanted to be when we grew up and I drew a terminator (I'd just seen the second one). Apparently I couldn't be a cyborg because the technology didn't exist (I told her it might when I grew up). That bitch hated me.

Primogen
03-26-2011, 07:08 PM
Well, no matter how far technology advances, you're never going to be able to be a Terminator - Terminators are robots, not cyborgs. The only human element is vat-grown skin and flesh coverings to conceal their metal skeleton.

urluckyday
03-26-2011, 09:34 PM
Like I wrote before this will only open up the same problems we have today in college sports. So much for amateur sports in this country. Also guess there is no value in teaching kids discipline, teamwork or sportsmanship.

What problems do we have in college sports right now that would be created by doing it this way? There are MUCH bigger issues in college sports (like student athletes essentially getting free rides even if they have the intelligence of a 5 year-old), and I don't see how this even relates to something like that.

Also, they teach discipline, teamwork, and sportsmanship in gym if they do it right. See, it doesn't take a whole lot of money to fix the education system...it just takes a little creative thinking which I think people are sorely lacking in this day and age.

Edit: And yes, Art class is pointless. If a kid likes art, they'll know it, and can learn better outside a high school classroom.

And the same can be said for athletics. If a kid needs athletics and refuses to pay for it through the pay-for-play model, join a recreational team (which usually costs like $30-$100 a season depending on the sport).

I'm as athletic as a nerd comes because I absolutely love sports, but you know, people really need to look hard at what school is really about. Since when is playing a sport more important than getting a well-rounded education and going to college? Cutting the "arts" is usually what happens at the first sign of budget woes, and I've never understood the reasoning other than people just being ignorant.

There shouldn't be any excuse as for why people need to play athletics over getting a good education. Only about 6% of high school athletes end up going on to play sports on a varsity level in college, so I don't understand why people don't actually pay MORE attention to the education of students...rather than their athletic abilities.

JediMaster12
03-26-2011, 11:13 PM
Yeah, they acually voted on it before it was written out. :wonder: The document was voted on and approved July 2, but they signed a copy 2 days later. The act itself was declared July 2, but the document wasn't actually filed until August 2 in Philly.


You are actually right and when the copies were distributed for the 4th only John Hancock and Mr. Charles Thompson's signatures were on it. It took unilt I believe 1871 for the last signature to be obtained.

Cutting the "arts" is usually what happens at the first sign of budget woes, and I've never understood the reasoning other than people just being ignorant.

I don't know about ignorance. I would rather say stupidity. The hype I've seen on TV adverts is that science and math are important. Well the other stuff is important too.

I noticed that there was a spiel on college athletics and to be honest I really think that people have forgotten that when it comes to student athletes, student comes first. urluckyday made a point about the percentages of athletes going pro and I honestly believe that we here in the United States place WAY too much emphasis on team sports. I have seen how parents act at their kids' team events and I am appalled by it. Maybe we are getting stupider in certain areas and it is apparent we haven't learned the lesson yet.

mimartin
03-27-2011, 12:28 AM
What problems do we have in college sports right now that would be created by doing it this way? Really need to ask this?

Boasters and alumnus paying elite athletics to play sports at their school, pretty sure it has been in all the papers. :xp:

Don't really care one way or another. Football, basketball makes money for most Texas high schools. However gender equity makes it so schools have to field unprofitable sports too.

Lord of Hunger
03-27-2011, 05:07 AM
America's a big place constantly being bombarded by information tech and entertainment news. If Americans are stupid, it may be that we are assumed to be so all the time, and that includes of each other.

In fact, I'd say America has a major self-fulfilling image problem. Relatively, our situation could be far worse in regards to available resources and opportunities. Our politicians don't lead us either.

Working Class Hero
03-27-2011, 08:55 AM
You are actually right and when the copies were distributed for the 4th only John Hancock and Mr. Charles Thompson's signatures were on it. It took unilt I believe 1871 for the last signature to be obtained.
Are you attempting to embody this thread's title? John Adams, who actually was there, wrote: "The second day of July 1776 will be the most memorable epoch in the history of America. I am apt to believe it will be celebrated by succeeding generations as the great anniversary festival."

If you feel that the declaration wasn't valid until signed by all 13 colonies, that didn't happen until July 9. (New York abstained from the July 4th signing)

urluckyday
03-27-2011, 12:14 PM
Really need to ask this? Boasters and alumnus paying elite athletics to play sports at their school, pretty sure it has been in all the papers.

How does this relate to the pay-for-play high school athletes?

Ping
03-27-2011, 01:52 PM
Ping,

I'm an American, too, and I'm rather ashamed to admit that I got 2 questions wrong. "The Federalist Papers?" The title of that document brought up a shadow of a trace of a vaguely blurry memory of learning about that, but the WRITERS? Come on. I also thought that a certain illustrious co-author of the Declaration of Independence was involved. I also misnamed the president of the United States during World War I. 8/10 isn't bad, though, if I do say so.

At your school, what do you think of the quality of the teaching there? You're pretty darn intelligent (excuse my Redneckese (tm)), so what's your perspective on the education system today? I'm 31, and haven't been "in the loop" for years when it comes to schools, However, my inquiring mind wants to know! :)

My school is ranked second in the county, and I feel like the quality is great, but could be better. For example, the calculus teachers are not exactly competant. Two of them can't teach, and the one I have grades so harshly that my dad even commented that his college professors never graded that hard. Most of the teachers I've had, however, can teach well, are respectful towards the students, and know exactly what their job is. I've also felt like the higher-ups are (or at least, were) putting sports before education. I mean, they built a stadium that most likely costed a million or so (the excuse being we were the only school in the county without one), and yet some of the textbooks we've been given are graffitied, falling apart, and occasionally have half a page missing (my biology textbook had all three of the above listed). Which do you need to spend money on?

As for my opinion on the education system, it needs Improvement. After taking the quiz, I'm postive we need to teach more about the government and the laws. The only time I can remember learning about that was in 8th grade, and even then, I don't think we were ever told how many Reps there were in the house. I also don't remember being taught what the Federalist Papers were. We do have have courses about Government and Law in high school, but they're optional, and several (myself included) opt to take AP classes (like European History or Macroeconomics) instead. Therefore, there has to be a way where classes like that are mandatory so we actually know about our country. Also, not to sound ethnocentric or anything, but I think American values, to some extent, needs to be taught. Despite the fact the USA says you can have whatever opinion you want, my classmates, and, to a lesser extent, my friends, continually berate me for not doing or thinking what everyone else does (I'm introverted and a soccer fan, and people think it's okay to mock me or treat me differently for not going to homecoming and/or prom, and for the fact I'm just not into football or baseball).

We also need to teach about foreign countries to some extent. The only time I remember learning about other countries is when they got involved with the U.S., and in European History, which was the entire course. This way, we eliminate ethnocentrism (maybe not the best term), which I continually see in school. I've yet to meet someone that hasn't taken something in America for granted; in Macroeconomics, for example, people expressed surprise that the US has rather low taxes compared to other countries.

Totenkopf
03-27-2011, 02:52 PM
I mean, they built a stadium that most likely costed a million or so (the excuse being we were the only school in the county without one),

Well, if you're still in hs, that sounds like a blatant load of horse**** they were feeding everyone.

Despite the fact the USA says you can have whatever opinion you want, my classmates, and, to a lesser extent, my friends, continually berate me for not doing or thinking what everyone else does (I'm introverted and a soccer fan, and people think it's okay to mock me or treat me differently for not going to homecoming and/or prom, and for the fact I'm just not into football or baseball).

But you do understand that their berating you for not engaging in "groupthink" doesn't actually violate that concept, right? That really only applies to the govt forcing you into a way of thinking. While I agree that the system needs reforming, throwing $$ at the problem solves nothing. We typically spend more per capita than almost any other country and have little to show for it. Instead of demanding more money, more should be done to demand accountability for how the money has been spent before anyone loosens the purse strings.

Ping
03-28-2011, 04:18 PM
@Totenkopf: Yeah, a couple people are starting to find out the BS about the stadium. As for the second part, what you say is true, but all's I ask for is respect, that's all. And you're right about the money, but I can't exactly think of or know of a better solution.

Totenkopf
03-28-2011, 04:32 PM
@Totenkopf: Yeah, a couple people are starting to find out the BS about the stadium. As for the second part, what you say is true, but all's I ask for is respect, that's all. And you're right about the money, but I can't exactly think of or know of a better solution.

Well, one starting place would be teacher competency testing and the ability to fire bad or worthless teachers. If the unions want to find them an internal union job, that's their business. Rid the schools of social promotion, whereby kids who can't pass 5th grade are held back till they can. If they want to claim some kind of stigma......well, embarrassment at the prospect of failure has been sufficient motivation in the past for many to at least pass. Parents also need to make the time to see that their kids are doing their school work. If that means less time in front of a tv/computer for mindless entertainment or less time in the local pub/club and helping their kids.....so be it. A good teacher can only do so much for your kids, a bad one merely exacerbates all the other problems. just a few ideas.....

JediMaster12
03-28-2011, 04:39 PM
Are you attempting to embody this thread's title? John Adams, who actually was there, wrote: "The second day of July 1776 will be the most memorable epoch in the history of America. I am apt to believe it will be celebrated by succeeding generations as the great anniversary festival."

If you feel that the declaration wasn't valid until signed by all 13 colonies, that didn't happen until July 9. (New York abstained from the July 4th signing)

Maybe so but in an interesting book that I found called Signing Their Life Away, there was an interesting bliplit in there that basically said everything I just said. All 56 signers did not sign it July 4 or what have you. It took them quite a bit of time to get their signatures on the paper. So it isn't stupidity but historical fact that I was giving. There's a difference ;)

BTW I wasn't talking about validity either.

SITH LORD 872
03-28-2011, 05:51 PM
Honestly by them calling us "Americans" Stupid is just another way to separate themselves from the rest kind of like there better than the rest, We all know there are two types of Americans Rich And Poor no in betweens!!. Maybe if they weren't so power hungry and greedy America might be better than before, But instead the politicians decide to waste lives and money on war when they should be worrying about Health and Education.

Seriously it's time for new order get the ones that have been in office since dirt was discovered and let some fresh blood in and get this country back on it's feet.

I watch a lot of late night news programs and i laugh at how they sugar coat everything with lies!!

Working Class Hero
03-28-2011, 06:27 PM
Honestly by them calling us "Americans" Stupid is just another way to separate themselves from the rest kind of like there better than the rest, We all know there are two types of Americans Rich And Poor no in betweens!!I suppose you think grammar/knowledge of English is for rich folks only?

Seriously it's time for new order get the ones that have been in office since dirt was discovered and let some fresh blood in and get this country back on it's feet.Where is this fresh blood?

Primogen
03-28-2011, 06:34 PM
We should elect urban youths with no concept of how the system works to high office. That'll fix all our problems.

SITH LORD 872
03-28-2011, 06:37 PM
No not saying for rich folk only we as a country need to put money towards more important things such as Education English courses being one of them. In my opinion if they spent more on education then our kids would be able to advance in grammar which is one of the most important things to have in life!

As for the new blood i really don't know all i know is our politicians are being more corrupt the older they get!

Sabretooth
03-28-2011, 10:38 PM
No not saying for rich folk only we as a country need to put money towards more important things such as Education English courses being one of them. In my opinion if they spent more on education then our kids would be able to advance in grammar which is one of the most important things to have in life!

I can put my weight behind this sentiment.

Qui-Gon Glenn
03-28-2011, 10:48 PM
*looks at the last 5 posts*

:ugh:

Grammar....

Greater age != (does not equal) greater corruption.... Greater Age => (implies) less caring about hiding yourself, corrupt or not.

Sabretooth.... you devil :)

Answer to the question of the OP: Many are incredibly stupid beyond explanation or metric.

Sabretooth
03-29-2011, 05:09 AM
Sabretooth.... you devil :)

I hope you will forgive me for not mocking someone's grammar without telling them where they are going wrong. :)

@Sith Lord 872: Commas. Use lots of them.

SITH LORD 872
03-29-2011, 01:08 PM
I hope you will forgive me for not mocking someone's grammar without telling them where they are going wrong. :)

@Sith Lord 872: Commas. Use lots of them.

I know my keyboard sucks!!!

Astor
03-29-2011, 01:56 PM
Since when was stupidity exclusive to Americans? :p

Sabretooth
03-29-2011, 02:03 PM
Always the same with Americans, they just think they own everything. :xp:

mimartin
03-29-2011, 02:08 PM
Since when was stupidity exclusive to Americans? :p
People here believe and watch FoxNews. nuff said? :xp:

JediMaster12
03-29-2011, 05:08 PM
People here believe and watch FoxNews. nuff said? :xp:

OMG my ears exploded when they heard the network that shall not be named. Oye, mimartin I think your quote about sums it up.

Totenkopf
03-29-2011, 06:13 PM
FOX FOX FOX FOX.......just checking to see if JM's ear stumps are bleeding or her eyes have sunk into her skull. :xp:


People here believe and watch FoxNews. nuff said? :xp:

Well, I'dve gone for people here voted for and still believe in Obama, nuff said. :devsmoke:

Q
03-29-2011, 09:23 PM
People here believe and watch FoxNews. nuff said? :xp:
And even more people watch and believe MSNBC.

Liverandbacon
03-29-2011, 09:48 PM
I feel bad for dragging us even more off topic, but I'm of the opinion that many journalists (especially those of Fox and MSNBC, though I'd be hard pressed to think of a news organization without fairly obvious leanings) couldn't be made to report plain, unbiased, non-spun facts even with a gun at their head. They are mentally and physically incapable of not running facts through the filter of their biases.

Qui-Gon Glenn
03-29-2011, 11:03 PM
I know, my keyboard sucks!!!
Fixed :)

I don't think Americans have the market cornered on stupid. I do think that American educational value has slipped a great deal, and so the kids are not learning as much as they could, not being pushed enough, etc. That is ignorance though, not stupidity, and ignorance has a cure although some will not take their medicine. The stupidity in American people is trusting and relying on any authority with a voice to do the thinking for them, because that is easier. That sounds like laziness, but the results are stupid.

mimartin
03-29-2011, 11:04 PM
I hope everyone knows by "here" I meant the USA and not people on the forum. I had my aunt in mind as I wrote that and it was an attempt at humor. A bad attempt, but an attempt. :)

urluckyday
03-30-2011, 01:55 AM
I feel bad for dragging us even more off topic, but I'm of the opinion that many journalists (especially those of Fox and MSNBC, though I'd be hard pressed to think of a news organization without fairly obvious leanings) couldn't be made to report plain, unbiased, non-spun facts even with a gun at their head. They are mentally and physically incapable of not running facts through the filter of their biases.

And that's why they're hired. People like hearing from people on TV what they want to hear.

btw, nice avatar - GREAT show!

Tommycat
03-30-2011, 10:43 AM
And even more people watch and believe MSNBC.

That would be a lie. Far fewer people watch MSDNC than Fox News. Kinda for the same reason Air America fell flat. Conservatives chose not to listen to it because all they heard was "You're stupid, heartless and evil." Liberals watch Fox so they can look for the one or two stories that have a factual error. Conservatives don't watch MSDNC to hear the next time their journalists make a backhanded comment at them, because it happens so often, they don't have to watch long enough to matter. 10 seconds after a commercial break. Okay, lets switch back to Fox.

Back to the topic: Actually, I think we spend far too much time on things outside of the scope of what schools should be teaching. Reading, Writing, Mathematics, history and science. My granddad only attended up to the 4th grade(until he had to work on the farm more than attend school), and was better at math than most kids in high school today(and a fair writer too). They fill the schools with so many extraneous things that the actual learning takes a back seat to social interaction. So teachers give parents the task of teaching their kids stuff the parents have no clue on. Or they give the kids piles of homework that doesn't get done. They dumbed down the learning to the point that kids can fail the tests and still pass the course by turning in the homework(I was the opposite, I was failing classes because I refused to do homework, even though I would get 100% or more on the tests).

Of course kids today have a whole bunch more distractions. TV, Video games, the intarwebz, Phones, texts, all contribute to kids not learning(no not blame, because parents are kinda to blame). Then we have the two income families. It used to be that one parent was home to help the kid with their homework(please note I am not saying go back to just stay at home moms, as I think it's possible that a guy could do it too). It would be nice if we had that again, but the proverbial genie is out of the bottle on that one.

Totenkopf
03-30-2011, 12:04 PM
That would be a lie. Far fewer people watch MSDNC than Fox News.

Actually, Q can correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe the key word in his statement is here.....as in LF. Might be the reason that mim put a qualifier on his jab from a few posts earlier.

As to OP, I think that Astor is essentially right to point out that stupidity isn't exclusive to just the US.....only you mostly don't see the other countries (or at least hear about it) report on how "stupid" their own people are.

mimartin
03-30-2011, 12:38 PM
1. I don't watch MSNBC.
2. I don't watch FalseNews to see the one or two that have factual errors per story.

Tommycat
03-30-2011, 12:44 PM
As to OP, I think that Astor is essentially right to point out that stupidity isn't exclusive to just the US.....only you mostly don't see the other countries (or at least hear about it) report on how "stupid" their own people are.

Actually, we do have a pretty dumb population. Go to a high school and ask them these three questions.

How many senators does the state have?
What are the three branches of government?
If I use a $10 bill to pay for an item that cost $6.36, how much change should I get back?

Heck people are more likely to label a picture of Obama as Tiger Woods than as the president...

JediMaster12
03-30-2011, 12:49 PM
Actually, we do have a pretty dumb population. Go to a high school and ask them these three questions.

How many senators does the state have?
What are the three branches of government?
If I use a $10 bill to pay for an item that cost $6.36, how much change should I get back?

Heck people are more likely to label a picture of Obama as Tiger Woods than as the president...

Sadly I would agree with you on your astute questioning. My mom teaches second grade and half of the kids...well, let's just say my mom loves to wallow in buckets of tea when she gets home. Education here in the States is way different than it was back when my generation was just an idea.

But as others have pointed out, stupidity isn't exclusive to the US. It is glamorized.

Tommycat
03-30-2011, 01:57 PM
But as others have pointed out, stupidity isn't exclusive to the US. It is glamorized.

Actually, we seem to almost idolize it. We put it up on a dang pedestal. We slam the smart kids in school, and as a society tend to stigmatize those that are intellectuals, while the complete morons are raised to celebrity status....

Totenkopf
03-30-2011, 03:15 PM
Actually, we seem to almost idolize it. We put it up on a dang pedestal. We slam the smart kids in school, and as a society tend to stigmatize those that are intellectuals, while the complete morons are raised to celebrity status....

Snooki and Sitch come to mind (nevermind Paris Hilton, the late Anna Nicole Smith, ad nauseam...). Every society has it's stupid, we're just very open about exposing (but not sufficiently chastizing/shaming) it.

@mim---noticed your smiley (:xp: )......just figured you for taking the obligatory LF shot at Fox and its audience. ;)

JediMaster12
03-30-2011, 04:52 PM
Actually, we seem to almost idolize it. We put it up on a dang pedestal. We slam the smart kids in school, and as a society tend to stigmatize those that are intellectuals, while the complete morons are raised to celebrity status....

I agree. I thought we sunk to an all time low with reality tv series like Survivior. Seems to me that even if those are staged, it brings out the worst in people.

Liverandbacon
03-30-2011, 11:01 PM
To be fair, I'd say that the UK is at least on par with the US when it comes to turning stupidity into celebrity. Visiting some people I know there reminded me of the trashiness of many of the newspapers, and some UK television makes Jersey Shore look positively classy.

Tommycat: Someone who learned the way you did, not doing homework but still understanding the material very well, would probably prefer the UK system of education. No grades matter except tests, and by tests I pretty much mean final exams only (at least that was my experience in university, and my native friends there gave me the impression that high school worked the same way). Of course, that does mean that if you screw up on one of them, it's very hard to end with a good average.

Tommycat
03-30-2011, 11:08 PM
Tommycat: Someone who learned the way you did, not doing homework but still understanding the material very well, would probably prefer the UK system of education. No grades matter except tests, and by tests I pretty much mean final exams only (at least that was my experience in university, and my native friends there gave me the impression that high school worked the same way). Of course, that does mean that if you screw up on one of them, it's very hard to end with a good average.

Heh. when I was going through school, I slept through the classes until they told me it was test time. I usually already understood the material before the teacher was presenting the information. I tried AP classes, and they fell into the same trap of overloaded homework... So I got by helping my older sisters with their college level work and slept through my regular classes. I loved challenges, but the teachers were just throwing mountains of busy work at me.

Sabretooth
03-31-2011, 03:56 AM
Tommycat: Someone who learned the way you did, not doing homework but still understanding the material very well, would probably prefer the UK system of education. No grades matter except tests, and by tests I pretty much mean final exams only (at least that was my experience in university, and my native friends there gave me the impression that high school worked the same way). Of course, that does mean that if you screw up on one of them, it's very hard to end with a good average.

Or alternately, India: it doesn't matter whether you get the material or not, you memorise it ("by-heart it" in Indian English) and replicate it word-for-word in the exam paper.

Final exams matter only and every element of the educational institution is geared towards getting a good score on those exams, hook or crook. Studies for the 10th grade exam start two years in advance, for some entrance exams, 3 years.

After school, head to a cram school where you study for 3 hours on weekdays, and 6-8 on weekends. On vacations, cram schools with the 6-8 shift everyday including weekends. Topping exams is fetishised thanks to cram schools, with your photo appearing in newspapers, on bus banners, hoardings and being gifted cars, laptops, phones and other goods.

Answers are marked out on your textbooks, often dictated, cramming and memorisation is key (hence why you have people passing with flying colours, but having absorbed practically nothing). Often, sums in the question papers will be lifted as they are from the textbook, so solving textbook sums over and over to memorise them is a bright idea. Exam preparation tips are nothing short of a marathon guidebook, with instructions on time management, which questions to drop, which to solve first and so on.

The course material itself will often be filled with grammatical mistakes, inaccuracies and outdated information. The better teachers may correct these on their way, but will remind you to write as per the textbook in the exam. Writing in your own words is discouraged, writing exactly as given in the textbook, with proper formatting, is a mark of brilliance.

No lockers in schools and long schooldays means your schoolbags will be demonically heavy, your notebooks will be checked regularly and you will be punished for being behind in your schoolwork or not doing your homework. Corporal punishment is acceptable. Humiliation is even more acceptable.

You'll see now why I thought it was endlessly amusing when Obama said he wants the American education system to be more like China's and India's. American schools look more or less utopian to Indian students: no uniforms or restrictions, emphasis on projects and problem-solving, no evil teachers or corporal punishment, lockers, etc. etc.

Q
03-31-2011, 03:54 PM
And even more people watch and believe MSNBC.
By this I meant "In addition to". I probably should have worded it differently. ;)