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BS: Americans are truly stupid

josepp 03 Jan 11 - 12:16 AM
The Fooles Troupe 03 Jan 11 - 12:26 AM
josepp 03 Jan 11 - 12:38 AM
Ron Davies 03 Jan 11 - 01:14 AM
GUEST,David E. 03 Jan 11 - 01:20 AM
Gurney 03 Jan 11 - 01:26 AM
framus 03 Jan 11 - 01:30 AM
The Fooles Troupe 03 Jan 11 - 02:35 AM
freda underhill 03 Jan 11 - 03:17 AM
DMcG 03 Jan 11 - 03:40 AM
Will Fly 03 Jan 11 - 04:30 AM
Richard Bridge 03 Jan 11 - 04:47 AM
DMcG 03 Jan 11 - 04:49 AM
GUEST,Grishka 03 Jan 11 - 04:54 AM
GUEST,PeterC 03 Jan 11 - 04:56 AM
Richard Bridge 03 Jan 11 - 05:01 AM
alanabit 03 Jan 11 - 05:03 AM
Richard Bridge 03 Jan 11 - 06:37 AM
artbrooks 03 Jan 11 - 07:33 AM
Ed T 03 Jan 11 - 07:43 AM
Brian May 03 Jan 11 - 08:00 AM
Bee-dubya-ell 03 Jan 11 - 08:24 AM
Bobert 03 Jan 11 - 08:31 AM
VirginiaTam 03 Jan 11 - 08:41 AM
Bat Goddess 03 Jan 11 - 08:51 AM
GUEST,Shimrod 03 Jan 11 - 08:52 AM
Richard Bridge 03 Jan 11 - 08:54 AM
GUEST,kendall 03 Jan 11 - 09:19 AM
Jim Dixon 03 Jan 11 - 09:41 AM
Ed T 03 Jan 11 - 09:46 AM
John MacKenzie 03 Jan 11 - 09:49 AM
SINSULL 03 Jan 11 - 10:06 AM
VirginiaTam 03 Jan 11 - 10:13 AM
DMcG 03 Jan 11 - 10:16 AM
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Amos 03 Jan 11 - 10:24 AM
Mrrzy 03 Jan 11 - 10:25 AM
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Don(Wyziwyg)T 03 Jan 11 - 10:36 AM
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DMcG 03 Jan 11 - 11:05 AM
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GUEST,kendall 03 Jan 11 - 11:45 AM
JohnInKansas 03 Jan 11 - 12:12 PM
josepp 03 Jan 11 - 12:28 PM
DMcG 03 Jan 11 - 12:34 PM
Ed T 03 Jan 11 - 01:02 PM
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Bill D 03 Jan 11 - 01:17 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 03 Jan 11 - 01:39 PM
artbrooks 03 Jan 11 - 01:51 PM
Bill D 03 Jan 11 - 01:57 PM
Ebbie 03 Jan 11 - 01:59 PM
JohnInKansas 03 Jan 11 - 02:25 PM
John MacKenzie 03 Jan 11 - 02:32 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 03 Jan 11 - 02:34 PM
gnu 03 Jan 11 - 02:52 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 03 Jan 11 - 03:07 PM
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gnu 03 Jan 11 - 03:40 PM
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olddude 03 Jan 11 - 07:36 PM
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Ed T 03 Jan 11 - 09:00 PM
Smokey. 03 Jan 11 - 09:06 PM
Bobert 03 Jan 11 - 09:51 PM
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mg 03 Jan 11 - 10:05 PM
Amos 03 Jan 11 - 10:12 PM
Ron Davies 03 Jan 11 - 10:31 PM
Ron Davies 03 Jan 11 - 10:35 PM
Smokey. 03 Jan 11 - 10:41 PM
Don Firth 03 Jan 11 - 11:12 PM
Slag 04 Jan 11 - 02:24 AM
mousethief 04 Jan 11 - 03:33 AM
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Don(Wyziwyg)T 04 Jan 11 - 06:14 AM
GUEST,Patsy 04 Jan 11 - 06:17 AM
Don(Wyziwyg)T 04 Jan 11 - 06:25 AM
MGM·Lion 04 Jan 11 - 07:30 AM
GUEST,kendall 04 Jan 11 - 08:20 AM
Bobert 04 Jan 11 - 08:37 AM
GUEST,Grishka 04 Jan 11 - 09:26 AM
GUEST,Patsy 04 Jan 11 - 09:26 AM
GUEST,Kendall 04 Jan 11 - 10:20 AM
Bobert 04 Jan 11 - 10:24 AM
artbrooks 04 Jan 11 - 10:57 AM
Ed T 04 Jan 11 - 11:22 AM
josepp 04 Jan 11 - 12:27 PM
Ebbie 04 Jan 11 - 12:31 PM
GUEST,mg 04 Jan 11 - 03:58 PM
GUEST,Grishka 04 Jan 11 - 04:12 PM
Midchuck 04 Jan 11 - 05:00 PM
ollaimh 04 Jan 11 - 05:27 PM
josepp 04 Jan 11 - 06:08 PM
Bobert 04 Jan 11 - 06:45 PM
josepp 04 Jan 11 - 07:11 PM
Bill D 04 Jan 11 - 07:18 PM
Bobert 04 Jan 11 - 07:54 PM
GUEST,mark-s (on the road) 04 Jan 11 - 08:00 PM
Bobert 04 Jan 11 - 08:35 PM
josepp 04 Jan 11 - 08:51 PM
Ed T 04 Jan 11 - 08:57 PM
kendall 04 Jan 11 - 08:59 PM
Bobert 04 Jan 11 - 09:30 PM
josepp 04 Jan 11 - 09:54 PM
mg 04 Jan 11 - 09:59 PM
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frogprince 05 Jan 11 - 09:57 PM
Ed T 05 Jan 11 - 09:58 PM
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Ed T 06 Jan 11 - 09:21 AM
Greg F. 06 Jan 11 - 09:27 AM
mousethief 06 Jan 11 - 11:49 AM
GUEST,Doug Saum 06 Jan 11 - 01:31 PM
Slag 06 Jan 11 - 05:33 PM
Bobert 06 Jan 11 - 07:52 PM
Ed T 06 Jan 11 - 10:25 PM
Ebbie 06 Jan 11 - 10:48 PM
framus 06 Jan 11 - 11:09 PM
Donuel 06 Jan 11 - 11:14 PM
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Ebbie 07 Jan 11 - 03:27 AM
Ed T 07 Jan 11 - 09:44 AM
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kendall 09 Jan 11 - 11:47 AM
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Ed T 10 Jan 11 - 08:29 AM
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Subject: BS: Americans are truly stupid
From: josepp
Date: 03 Jan 11 - 12:16 AM

Somebody posted this on another thread--the subject of which has been done to death in here and so I'll use it to start a new thread on a subject I am more interested in:

•58% of the US adult population never reads another book after high school.
•42% of US college graduates never read another book.
•80% of US families did not buy or read a book last year.
•70% of US adults have not been in a bookstore in the last five years.
•57% of new books are not read to completion.
http://www.parapublishing.com/sites/para/resources/statistics.cfm

I was watching "60 Minutes" tonight and they did a piece on Wynton Marsalis. At one point, the interviewer asked him about why so many American kids don't know anything about people like Charlie Parker--have a complete ignorance of him. Marsalis said it was indicative of our education system. He also said that not only do far too many kids know nothing about Charlie Parker, neither do adults. He said this is our cultural heritage and it doesn't pay to be ignorant of it. It doesn't say much for us as a country.

As Mao once said, "An army without culture is a dull-witted army and a dull-witted army cannot defeat the enemy."

It's so bad that assigning certain novels and what not to students to write essays on them doesn't open them up to new things--it makes them hate that novel and that author. I've seen it time after time after time. "Oh, they made me read Mark Twain in school--god, I HATE Mark Twain!" And instead of learning how to analyze a novel, they simply decide they will never read another.

Now I understand we're all different. I don't read a lot of novels myself but I have read many of the classics because they are the classics. When I decided to read "Moby Dick" I decided to take a vacation along the Massachusetts coast and I went to New Bedford and then I went Provincetown (where I learned it was the lesbian capital of the US just as San Francisco became the gay male capital on the other coast). I then went to Hyannis and caught a ferry to Nantucket. The following year, I read "House of Seven Gables" and then vacationed in Salem and actually saw the house the novel is based on. Right now I'm reading about the Delta bluesmen and it's making me think about going to the Delta. People tell me there's not much out there and it's very hot and humid. That's okay, I'd just like to see it so I know what the region is really like. It brings what i read to life--makes it personal.

When you do these things--you're just that much better for having done it. Marsalis said the same thing in his interview. I'm paraphrasing but he something like, "When you know about Mozart, when you know about Beethoven, you're a better person than you were before." And that's really true.

It blows my mind when somebody asks what's the point of learning this or that? Learning it IS the point. You learned about--that's what the point is. "What can I do with it?" Anything you damn well want to but you sure as hell can't do anything with it when you're ignorant of it, can you?

And, yes, there are a number of mudcatters who are just that way. "Why should I care about this?"

"Why shouldn't you?" That's my answer. You're here, you're reading, you opened the thread and now you ask why you need to know the info in the thread. Just shut up and read.

The idea of having to explain to adults that learning is its own reward, an end in itself, is pretty pathetic. Imagine a great scholar sitting there asking,"Why do I even need to know this anyway? What good is it to me?" None, if you don't know it. That's why scholars are voracious readers because there isn't much of anything they don't consider worth knowing.

I remember reading a book on Satanism and this dork was giving me a hard time about it. "Why shouldn't I read it?" I asked.

"It's against god. It's against decency!"

"Actually, it's not against either. Jerry Falwell is more against decency than this book is."

"I'd rather follow Falwell than that."

"Well, then follow him! I didn't say I was a follower of Satanism, I'm just reading about it so I know what it's about. If you can't understand that then we're done talking."

And we were. He never spoke to me again. Which suited me just fine if that's how he's going to be about it. But that's what I mean. Americans are just plain stupid. Like all these assholes whining about how evil socialism is. It's not that I disagree or agree, it's that I know goddamn well not one of them has EVER cracked open a book on socialism and read page of it much less cover to cover and so have no idea what socialism even is and would be the first to give you a hard time if they saw you reading such a book.

We've turned into a country of know-it-alls who don't know shit. That's why we have to have Chinese and Indians immigrate here to be our engineers. Then we complain that they stole our secrets and went back to their home countries. Well SURPRISE! SURPRISE!!!!


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Subject: RE: BS: Americans are truly stupid
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 03 Jan 11 - 12:26 AM

What took you so long to work this out? - we Aussies have known this since WWII, when the Yanks were 'Over paid, over sexed, and over here'!


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Subject: RE: BS: Americans are truly stupid
From: josepp
Date: 03 Jan 11 - 12:38 AM

What took me so long? Well, golly gee, you fucking genius, I wasn't alive in World War II. Australians live in a very fragile glass house, so I wouldn't talk.


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Subject: RE: BS: Americans are truly stupid
From: Ron Davies
Date: 03 Jan 11 - 01:14 AM

And there are lies, damned lies, and statistics.   An observation often attributed to
Disraeli.   Perhaps you've heard of him?


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Subject: RE: BS: Americans are truly stupid
From: GUEST,David E.
Date: 03 Jan 11 - 01:20 AM

The dumber people are the easier they are to control and if you can keep them distracted and poor as well as dumb...well, you could probably get away with just about anything. Not that that could ever happen of course.

David E.


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Subject: RE: BS: Americans are truly stupid
From: Gurney
Date: 03 Jan 11 - 01:26 AM

You may be preaching to the converted, Josepp. I've met a lot of folkies, from several countries, and none of them, none, could be described as stupid.
Don't know about the accuracy of your quoted American statistics, and I'm not entirely trustful of statistics in general, and it seems from the results you document that they were gathered for book publishers, who certainly have an axe(ax?)to grind. There is no mention of libraries, nor from which groups the answers to the statistical questions came, nor the percentage of 'unread' books that were 'vanity publishing.'

Not that I disagree with the thrust of your post, in 'western' countries, (not specifically America, I don't live there) the trend of education seems to me to be active in avoiding history, or selectively avoiding some history. Avoiding patriotism, too, in some cases.

By the by, in the aftermath of WWII, there were reportedly people in the uniform of American Army officers touring Germany and removing research documentation and other industrial paperwork, which was never returned. I read that in an English history book. So are those Eastern industrial thieves you mention just following the American dream?

This is a philosophical musing, not a personal attack.   Chris.


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Subject: RE: BS: Americans are truly stupid
From: framus
Date: 03 Jan 11 - 01:30 AM

Some very touchy people here. Hi foolstroupe.
Dave.


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Subject: RE: BS: Americans are truly stupid
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 03 Jan 11 - 02:35 AM

I wasn't alive in WWII either ...

Thank you acknowledging my Genius! (IQ SD +5)


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Subject: RE: BS: Americans are truly stupid
From: freda underhill
Date: 03 Jan 11 - 03:17 AM

Some of the smartest people can't read and write - literacy is not an indication of intelligence, but of opportunity.


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Subject: RE: BS: Americans are truly stupid
From: DMcG
Date: 03 Jan 11 - 03:40 AM

Whatever the accurate statistics are after taking libraries and so on into account, I doubt if the results for most Western countries are very different. I've been pondering this a fair bit in the UK as a result of the University fees changes, when many students have taken to the streets concerned that they will now be priced out of education. Now the way the economy is set up, its damned hard to get a good job without a University qualification so I don't blame them at all for the protests, but I'm sure all that the majority want is a job, and getting (what passes for) education is just something the system forces on them to get the job. If that's the situation, those sorts of statistics would not be surprising. But don't be misled: the relationship between literacy and education is far more complex than such simple statistics would reveal.   For example, here is a quotation from a biography of Tom Paine on the reception given to 'Common Sense':
... in the year 1776 alone over four hundred such pamplets were published... The first edition was sold out within two weeks ...[An enlarged edition was produced] "Several hundreds," Paine added, "are already bespoke, one thousand for Virginia"..
If that number of pamphlets are being sold at that rate, the level of literacy must be quite high. Conversely, go to the library of most stately homes and it is obvious from the orderliness and condition of the volumes that the majority of the books were never there to be read.


Finally to explain my remark about 'what passes for education', (and it is not the usual Daily Mail rant!). The root of the word 'education' hangs on in the relatively uncommon word 'educe', which is one of the induce/deduce/educe family of words. 'Educe' is the drawing out of abilities, skills, properties and so forth that were already there. Induction is the reverse, forcing in behaviours and properties that some outsider desires. This why so many firms have 'induction manuals' and the like for new joiners. So we don't really have an education system in the UK (or the US): we have an induction system. It is not surprising that when, as Alex Glasgow put it "They've filled him full of kings and things designed to let him grow up/As a proper man" that the reluctant recipients are not very inclined to continue it when the pressure stops.


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Subject: RE: BS: Americans are truly stupid
From: Will Fly
Date: 03 Jan 11 - 04:30 AM

So we don't really have an education system in the UK (or the US): we have an induction system.

A bit of both, wouldn't you say? Whether it's "education" or "induction" probably depends on what part of the liberal arts/hard science spectrum the student is placed. If you really want to be an engineer or a doctor, for example, then there are certain hard facts you have to assimilate. If you don't assimilate them then you build an unsafe bridge or kill a patient. And - yes - a good university education is more than knowledge. It can develop better social skills, better research skills, etc.

Because of the changes to the ways in which students are funded in the UK - with more students paying their own fees - there's an increasing tendency to treat students as "customers" or "clients". They're paying, so runs the mantra, therefore they can pick and choose this and that - and demand this and that. However, there's a subtle difference between a customer with money to spend in a shop and a student with money to spend on a university course: knowledge. If I walk into a shop to buy a TV, the sales assistant can advise me until he's blue in the face. I may know absolutely nothing about TVs but, because I have the money, I can buy what I want. I can make a wise purchase or a stupid one. My choice. A budding student, however, doesn't know what he/she doesn't know - and there's a huge difference there. The student, in many cases, can't pick and choose what to learn or what not to learn. There's a curriculum to be gone through - a curriculum, in very many cases, which is regulated by professional bodies outside the university itself. I've sat on enough course validation committees to know the complications that this can bring to the process.


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Subject: RE: BS: Americans are truly stupid
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 03 Jan 11 - 04:47 AM

The university curriculum is often designed not to educate but to tick the right boxes for exemptions from further examinations by professional bodies.


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Subject: RE: BS: Americans are truly stupid
From: DMcG
Date: 03 Jan 11 - 04:49 AM

So we don't really have an education system in the UK (or the US): we have an induction system.

A bit of both, wouldn't you say?


Well, yes I would, and it also depends what stage in the process you are. As a very rough guide, an MA/MSc will be less of an induction than a BA/BSc, which are in their turn less than A levels. But I would say that concepts such as a National Curiculum and multiple choice exams are firmly on the induction side of the fence.

I'd also say that society requires a fair amount of inductive training to maintain order, so I'm not adopting a 'education-good, induction-bad' mentality. But I would say that reading for the joy of it depends upon education in the sense I was trying to draw out and can be damaged by bad experiences from induction.


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Subject: RE: BS: Americans are truly stupid
From: GUEST,Grishka
Date: 03 Jan 11 - 04:54 AM

josepp, I can easily relate to your emotions. However, a stupid person is someone who has a goal and does not achieve it due to lack of intelligence. If you want to convince the heathen, you have no choice but to offer a prospect that they already regard as desirable. Jobs (like glass beads) are an attractive reward, but also a temptation to "cheat" the humanistic ideal.

Politics may be the best lever, if handled prudently.

If we just tell them how much pleasure we have from our hobbies - well, the masochists tell them the same.


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Subject: RE: BS: Americans are truly stupid
From: GUEST,PeterC
Date: 03 Jan 11 - 04:56 AM

So we don't really have an education system in the UK (or the US): we have an induction system.
That is certainly what employers seem to want. We now see complaints that schools and universities are not providing the training that used to be given "on the job" 20 years ago.


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Subject: RE: BS: Americans are truly stupid
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 03 Jan 11 - 05:01 AM

Many university students on courses I have taught are incapable of writing grammatical English. I have heard that much the same is true of numerical abilities.


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Subject: RE: BS: Americans are truly stupid
From: alanabit
Date: 03 Jan 11 - 05:03 AM

I do not know America, but it is only in Britain that I have actually heard people proudly declare things like, "I don't want to be clever like no f***ing foreigner..." It was also the British who came up with the expression, "Too clever by half". We are a culture which often shows an inbuilt resistance to culture and education. Any teacher will tell you that it is only possible to educate people with the students' permission. I have met thick Americans, for sure, but it is only in the UK that I have met people who take pride in the fact that they have barely progressed past the first stages of evolution!


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Subject: RE: BS: Americans are truly stupid
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 03 Jan 11 - 06:37 AM

Certainly it is true that in France "intellectual" is a term of praise whereas in England it is one of abuse, but is the latter not also true of most of the USA? US political commentators invented the abusive term "wonk" for anyone who understood policy and its details.


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Subject: RE: BS: Americans are truly stupid
From: artbrooks
Date: 03 Jan 11 - 07:33 AM

Odd - I've always thought that 'wonk' was an import from the UK. But to return to the original rant, I also wonder about the origin and validity of the statistics quoted. Numbers in this context are really meaningless without also including data on trends. I spend a lot of time in public libraries and bookstores, and they are always crowded and there is always a line at the cashier. A very quick Google search brings up articles that indicate both that library usage is increasing and that it is decreasing. I read recently that more than half of the books sold in the past year by Amazon were e-books, and certainly many of those I've bought recently have been virtual.


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Subject: RE: BS: Americans are truly stupid
From: Ed T
Date: 03 Jan 11 - 07:43 AM

IS THE WORLD IS GETTING SMARTER?


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Subject: RE: BS: Americans are truly stupid
From: Brian May
Date: 03 Jan 11 - 08:00 AM

What a sad reflection of life.

I cannot imagine not reading, what a huge loss . . .


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Subject: RE: BS: Americans are truly stupid
From: Bee-dubya-ell
Date: 03 Jan 11 - 08:24 AM

I don't think Americans are stupid. I think many of us are simply overstimulated by shallow pop culture and commercial media which cater to short attention spans and instant gratification. We've grown accustomed to having easily absorbed bits of information and entertainment fed to us in easy to swallow bite-size packets. Reading a book requires a longer term committment than many Americans are used to taking on.

The only way many Americans would be willing to read a book would be if someone were to shoot their televisions.


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Subject: RE: BS: Americans are truly stupid
From: Bobert
Date: 03 Jan 11 - 08:31 AM

Well, Mao was entirely correct... When we study war, for instance, we find that most successes on the battlefield were the result of someone being able to think out of the box...

The operative word is "think"...

That's where our educational system is failing... Thinking is not longer something that is considered important... It's no wonder that books are foreign to a population that has been educated in a "rote memory" system... I mean, if you can't think then there is no curiosity... If there is no curiosity then why the heck read books...

The sad part about this is that this is the exact population that Huxley talked about in "Brave New World" and, yeah, we have become the Epsilon Nation...

B~


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Subject: RE: BS: Americans are truly stupid
From: VirginiaTam
Date: 03 Jan 11 - 08:41 AM

overstimulated by shallow pop culture and commercial media which cater to short attention spans and instant gratification

It starts with Sesame Street and the tiny bytes of information. No chance of developing an attention span in the early years.

Today's post was brought to you by the letter "N" (for numpty) and the number "0" (for this is your future).


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Subject: RE: BS: Americans are truly stupid
From: Bat Goddess
Date: 03 Jan 11 - 08:51 AM

Just listened, on my way home from work yesterday, to a story on NPR's "All Things Considered" -- "Military Recruiting: Are We Passing the Test?".

They said, "Nearly one of every four high school graduates can't pass the basic military entrance exam, a new report shows. Combine that with high obesity rates and a rise in criminal records, and the pool of potential military recruits is getting very shallow." And that the only thing keeping military recruitment levels up is the sucky economy.

I couldn't wait to learn to read (circa 1954), learned quickly, and have read extensively for over 55 years. I have very eclectic tastes, but run towards biographies, history, mystery and historical fiction, science fiction, poetry, and science. Most of my friends (folkies, in particular) are prodigious readers as well. I HAVE found that many of the people I've worked with over the decades never read anything other than a newspaper or, perhaps, a romance novel.

I remember once, twenty-some years ago, where the only other person at the printing company where I worked, who knew who Luther Burbank was (and got the reference in the original "Little Shop of Horrors") was an elderly man working in the bindery. My boss, the owner of another printing company, didn't see the humor of a paper color named "Dorian Gray". A former dentist had no idea that a ladyslipper was a wild flower or what it looked like.

I don't understand people who don't read, as I'm compulsive -- I read to get into the day and I read to get out of the day. I keep a book (usually poetry) in the car, for the odd moment. Because I have a busy life, I'm reading less these days -- averaging about 130 books a year (down from when I was younger). Yes, I keep a book list (since November 1, 1972). And that's not counting newspapers, magazines, newsletters, free local publications, online research etcet etcet.

But, yes, I think the government would prefer we be mindless, illiterate and easily manipulated.

Linn


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Subject: RE: BS: Americans are truly stupid
From: GUEST,Shimrod
Date: 03 Jan 11 - 08:52 AM

There's a world of difference between 'stupidity' and 'wilful ignorance'.


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Subject: RE: BS: Americans are truly stupid
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 03 Jan 11 - 08:54 AM

There you go about criminal records. Everything is Simon Cowell's fault.


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Subject: RE: BS: Americans are truly stupid
From: GUEST,kendall
Date: 03 Jan 11 - 09:19 AM

By the by, Moby Dick is one of my favorite stories.
The problem, as I see it, is that education is wasted on the young. I was not ready for the Tale of Two Cities in high school, had no use for Shakespeare, didn't give a damn what the capital of Mali was.
Only after growing up did I come to realize how important education is.
Now, when I talk to people, I don't usually see their eyes glazing over as I go on and on about what I had for lunch yesterday, or what my cat did, or who is shagging who!


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Subject: RE: BS: Americans are truly stupid
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 03 Jan 11 - 09:41 AM

I have some relatives that fit the profile. I'm thinking of one family in particular. There is nothing to read in that house except a few women's magazines. I think the wife buys them for the recipes. She likes to make fancy hors d'oeuvres for parties (but I doubt that she could spell "hors d'oeuvre").

I like to browse in other people's bookshelves, especially when I'm visiting for an extended time, such as a weekend. You can't be talking all the time—at least, I can't. I need a little downtime, a little quiet time, to clear my head. I can find something of interest in almost anybody's house, but not this one.

They don't even subscribe to a newspaper. Once, while visiting them, I went out early in the morning to buy a paper. Sometime during the morning, I discovered my paper was missing. While my back had been turned (I can't remember why, or for how long), the wife had gathered it up and put it in the trash. "I thought you were done with it," she said.

I remember once when their kids were little, discussing with their mother what we might buy the kids for Christmas. "Are there any books they'd like?" we asked. "No," she said. "If they want to read books, they can go to the library." I don't recall ever seeing any library books in their house either.

They do have a 42-inch digital plasma TV, however.


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Subject: RE: BS: Americans are truly stupid
From: Ed T
Date: 03 Jan 11 - 09:46 AM

An interesting, thought provoking, perspective:

Are people smarter?


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Subject: RE: BS: Americans are truly stupid
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 03 Jan 11 - 09:49 AM

Students are not educated, they are taught how to pass exams.


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Subject: RE: BS: Americans are truly stupid
From: SINSULL
Date: 03 Jan 11 - 10:06 AM

I average two books per week as do most members of my family, including the youngest, age 2. I do have one brother who brags that he has never read a book since he quit high school.
Sad, I think.
The key I think is to give children books they want to read rather than forcing Moby Dick (one of my favorites) down their throats. It should be a pleasure not an assignment.
Just a thought.


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Subject: RE: BS: Americans are truly stupid
From: VirginiaTam
Date: 03 Jan 11 - 10:13 AM

I took my uni degree in my mid 30s, while running a business and family. I loved every minute of it, everything I read, every lecture, every paper written. If I could earn a living as a student I would do it in a minute.

I was also very annoyed by youngsters (typical college age students) mucking things up. Disrupting classes with juvenile behaviour, etc. In some cases education is wasted on the young. Make them do community service for a year or 2 so they can really appreciate what is being offered.

I don't read as much now because holding a book hurts my arthritic hands and I can't see the text very well even with new glasses. I really should get an e-reader.


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Subject: RE: BS: Americans are truly stupid
From: DMcG
Date: 03 Jan 11 - 10:16 AM

Books are certainly important, but actually its much wider than that. I recently had to revise my understanding of some EU legislation when I read the label on a jam jar over breakfast ("Made with 186g of fruit per 100g"). I'm also a compulsive reader of plaques in streets, on houses and in churches...


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Subject: RE: BS: Americans are truly stupid
From: Bobert
Date: 03 Jan 11 - 10:20 AM

Sins... "I think"...

There ya'll have it...

Thinkin' is becoming obsolete...

B~


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Subject: RE: BS: Americans are truly stupid
From: Amos
Date: 03 Jan 11 - 10:24 AM

It takes a certain stupidity to start a thread with such a sweeping, negative generality, including the misuse of the term "stupid".


A


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Subject: RE: BS: Americans are truly stupid
From: Mrrzy
Date: 03 Jan 11 - 10:25 AM

Not to mention all the bible-trumps-reality crap. If we were educated we wouldn't have to put up with that, either.

But there is a difference between stupid and ignorant. Unfortunately, willful ignorance is stupid...


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Subject: RE: BS: Americans are truly stupid
From: GUEST,Alan Whittle
Date: 03 Jan 11 - 10:28 AM

How come all these bookstores like Amazon are doing well. Don't we all go to bookstores as a last resort nowadays - having looked for a knockdown price on e-bay and Amazon. That's why people don't go in bookstores, they buy books online.


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Subject: RE: BS: Americans are truly stupid
From: Don(Wyziwyg)T
Date: 03 Jan 11 - 10:36 AM

""•58% of the US adult population never reads another book after high school.
•42% of US college graduates never read another book.
•80% of US families did not buy or read a book last year.
•70% of US adults have not been in a bookstore in the last five years.
•57% of new books are not read to completion.
http://www.parapublishing.com/sites/para/resources/statistics.cfm
""

Nobody else has asked, so here goes:-

Sample size, demographic details, exact format of survey and exact questions posed?

No, just statistics from a publishing organisation interested primarily in increasing its own income.

Does nobody else see a possible conflict of interest and ulterior motive here?

Don T.


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Subject: RE: BS: Americans are truly stupid
From: katlaughing
Date: 03 Jan 11 - 11:00 AM

Have NOT read most of the above. Lost me when it was a travesty that mainstream kids don't know about Charlie Parker. There's nothing new about that and that means there are a bunch of us who are just fine including my kids and some of my siblings. Good grief...let's all tear our hair out now!


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Subject: RE: BS: Americans are truly stupid
From: DMcG
Date: 03 Jan 11 - 11:05 AM

Does nobody else see a possible conflict of interest and ulterior motive here?
Yep. But it's more interesting because of that. Generally speaking, people feel comfortable if they are with groups who behave as they do (so I understand). If that's the case, the publishers could be doing themselves a disservice with this!

"57% of new books are not read to completion" - I've never measured it, but this could be true of my books. On the other hand, my library is heavily biased towards dictionaries, encyclopedia, concordances, and other reference books that are not things one sits down and reads through. But as a slightly amusing example, a Christmas or two ago I was was given "The Road to Reality" by Roger Penrose which claims it appeared on "The Sunday Times Top Ten Bestseller" list. If there are more than 100 people in the UK outside of Universities who have read it cover to cover I'd be astonished. Opening it at random, I see:
The Dirac equation can then be written as an equation coupling these two 2-spinors, each acting as a kind of 'source' for the other, with a coupling constant 2-1/2M describing the strength of the 'interaction' between the two.

There then follows an equation the complexity of which is beyond my HTML skills and involves nablas and other characters for which I don't think there is a html equivalent.

So I wonder how (and why) did this get onto a top ten bestsellers list?   Stephen Hawking jokes in "A brief history of time" that he had been told that each equation he put in a book would halve the number of purchasers. Starting with some 6 billion people, it takes a mere 24 equations to be less than one person - or by the end of chapter 2 of the 34 chapter Penrose book. (Of course, those were the lighter chapters)


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Subject: RE: BS: Americans are truly stupid
From: Charmion
Date: 03 Jan 11 - 11:09 AM

What is "parapublishing"?

The site from which the above statistics came offers (for a price) advice on being your own publisher. I imagine that the stats are provided to convince would-be authors that a vast, untapped market exists for those manuscripts that keep getting rejected by the commercial publishers.

Books literally sell by the ton -- I've seen the trucks backed up to the loading dock at Chapters, and the queues at the cash desks. What proportion of them contain information that readers find useful or even entertaining? Good question. Today's Great Canadian Novel is tomorrow's unreadable pulp, and today's dynamic self-help tome is tomorrow's pack of lies.


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Subject: RE: BS: Americans are truly stupid
From: GUEST,kendall
Date: 03 Jan 11 - 11:45 AM

How many educated intelligent people would know who Charlie Parker was? And what would it matter if they didn't?
One of the things that turns kids off history is all those dates. Does it really matter what year Columbus didn't discover America? Or that it wasn't even America at the time?


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Subject: RE: BS: Americans are truly stupid
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 03 Jan 11 - 12:12 PM

A typical exhibition of stupidity appears on a large billboard that I pass on nearly every trip to town, advertising the "advanced imaging" system at a local hospital as "having," in some way, "three hundred percent less radiation."

Ignoring that it doesn't say less than WHAT, it would appear to me that a 100 percent reduction in anything means it's all gone. I suppose that the "taking away" of the remaining 200 percent means that it "sucks radiation out" at twice the rate that something else "puts it in."

It is necessary to assume that they're advertising that theirs is twice as damaging as "someone else's" since the radiation flux exposure must be at least double that of competing machines - and in the wrong direction? Their examining area must be littered with the radiation sucked out of their victims and quite probably left splattered around on the floor. Do they sweep it up with lead mops?

Of course maybe they mean that they just turn you upside down so it's going in the other direction and give you a double dose for good measure?


Do I really want to receive my medical care from a bunch of illiterate idiots?

It's by no means an isolated example; but it's a very big billboard, and quite annoying.

John


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Subject: RE: BS: Americans are truly stupid
From: josepp
Date: 03 Jan 11 - 12:28 PM

////Many university students on courses I have taught are incapable of writing grammatical English. I have heard that much the same is true of numerical abilities.////

As George Bush once said, "Too many students aren't literate in math."

But that's what I'm talking about. How could we have elected somebody that stupid and uncouth? To 2 terms, no less.

As for those stats, all I can say is, I knw a guy who has one book in his house: a dictionary. That's it.


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Subject: RE: BS: Americans are truly stupid
From: DMcG
Date: 03 Jan 11 - 12:34 PM

Given the likelihood of some person or company suing for misrepresentation and the consequences thereof, there are usually some weird leaps of logic or peculiar circumstances under which claims like that make sense of a sort, if not quite in this world. My guess is that this device uses x amount of radiation and the less advanced kind uses 4x; this one then 'clearly' uses 300pc less.


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Subject: RE: BS: Americans are truly stupid
From: Ed T
Date: 03 Jan 11 - 01:02 PM

Don(Wyziwyg)

What I posted earlier was for another thread, with a different topic/discussion. It was moved over here, not by me.

If you can find a better source of stats, they may answer some of your questions?

I suspect this is the source for some stats on books, though dated.
Facts about the book publishing industry


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Subject: RE: BS: Americans are truly stupid
From: Ed T
Date: 03 Jan 11 - 01:10 PM

BTW, if you click on some of the links on the site I provided above, some more up-to-date information could be found.


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Subject: RE: BS: Americans are truly stupid
From: Bill D
Date: 03 Jan 11 - 01:17 PM

Shimrod & John McKenzie and Amos have it abot right... it's not a matter of 'stupid', but of 'ignorance'...and ignorance has various causes.

There was an old joke about a kid who brings home his report card with a 'D' in History.
His father says, "You got a 'D'? I always got 'A's in history!"
"Yeah", say the kid, "but there was a lot less OF it when you were in school!"

Well, there's a 'bit' of truth in that joke. There IS so much data and information available today that merely trying to keep up with events, discoveries amidst all the distraction is daunting! Technology & medicine are growing geometrically, and reading 'books' is crowded out by texting and TV and CDS & mp3s...etc. It takes work to gain any perspective about what is even worth becoming educated about.(to end a sentence with a preposition...which in itself requires effort to realize the context & implications!)

There ARE many who 'take to' learning, education and comprehension...and we have a pretty good bunch here. And there ARE schools which do a decent job of instilling both the value of education and the means of acquiring it....and they are often expensive.

Amos is right when he says that the title and premise of the thread are "... a sweeping, negative generality, including the misuse of the term "stupid"."....but perhaps josepp went to the wrong schools... ;<)


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Subject: RE: BS: Americans are truly stupid
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 03 Jan 11 - 01:39 PM

Hmmm. The "facts" about U. S. reading habits come from a British wholesale paper handler, the Jenkins Group. Now where did they get them? Thanks for the link, Ed T.

I know a lot of intelligent, creative people who don't know who Charlie Parker is. I like good jazz, so have some recordings of his work, but not everybody knows jazz. This has nothing to do with education.


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Subject: RE: BS: Americans are truly stupid
From: artbrooks
Date: 03 Jan 11 - 01:51 PM

It really doesn't surprise me that much that "kids", which I assume means people under 18, don't know much about a person who was a member of their great-grandfather's (or even great-great-grandfather's) generation. Hell, I'm a grandfather, and Charlie Parker died when I was 9!


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Subject: RE: BS: Americans are truly stupid
From: Bill D
Date: 03 Jan 11 - 01:57 PM

I know VERY little about Charlie Parker... but I know basically who& what he was. I LIKE knowing enough to have a context for comprehending what is being discussed, whether I can comment meaningfully about it or not.... that is called having **perspective**, and if I were in charge of education, it would be sneaked/snuck into classes beginning about the 4th grade.


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Subject: RE: BS: Americans are truly stupid
From: Ebbie
Date: 03 Jan 11 - 01:59 PM

Ah ha! This gives me a chance to post something that gave me a chuckle when I heard it a concert last night:

A rock and roll performer uses about three chords and plays to 20,000 people. A jazz performer, on the other hand, uses about 20,000 chords and plays for three people.


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Subject: RE: BS: Americans are truly stupid
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 03 Jan 11 - 02:25 PM

Which rock and roll performer knows 3 chords?

Or are you confusing "chords" with the observed prevalence of "songs" with only three words, repeated ad infinitum.

John


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Subject: RE: BS: Americans are truly stupid
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 03 Jan 11 - 02:32 PM

We won't even mention their lack of a sense of humour!





[I'll get me coat, it's cold in that cellar.]


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Subject: RE: BS: Americans are truly stupid
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 03 Jan 11 - 02:34 PM

Or does any folk' musician know more than three? Or am I thinking of rappers who know only one?

Duh!


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Subject: RE: BS: Americans are truly stupid
From: gnu
Date: 03 Jan 11 - 02:52 PM

Ahhh... I have seen two posts (the same) disappear. Is a bad taste joke not allowed?


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Subject: RE: BS: Americans are truly stupid
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 03 Jan 11 - 03:07 PM

gnu, wait till the current censor goes off duty, then try again.


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Subject: RE: BS: Americans are truly stupid
From: GUEST,Alan Whittle
Date: 03 Jan 11 - 03:10 PM

Americans aren't stupid.
But there's one thing I can never understand about Republicans.
And that is their leaders.

I mean you can understand how wise ass characters like Clinton, Obama, Blair, Cameron, even Gordon Brown get to climb the greasy pole in politics - but the younger Bush.....Reagan.

Neither of them seemed able conduct a sensible conversation. Do you think they lost trust in education when an intelligent bloke like Nixon turned out to be not as good as he should have been?


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Subject: RE: BS: Americans are truly stupid
From: gnu
Date: 03 Jan 11 - 03:40 PM

Q... twere not my posts. I just happened to see them.


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Subject: RE: BS: Americans are truly stupid
From: Amos
Date: 03 Jan 11 - 04:36 PM

It's also obvious the OP was not interested in making a coherent proposition when he did his silly business; it would have been a LOT more true to say that some people in America can be truly stupid some of the time.


A


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Subject: RE: BS: Americans are truly stupid
From: josepp
Date: 03 Jan 11 - 04:48 PM

No, it is LOT more ture to say ALL Americans are stupid some of the time. Some spend a lot more time at it than others.

You can't live in this country without being stupid to some degree simply because everything has been dumbed down to the lowest common denominator.

The difference is that some people fight against the stupidity that will take them over if they let it. The rest don't try. But if you think living in this excuse for a culture hasn't made you stupid in some way or other then you truly ARE stupid. And you'd better wake up and wise up, rube.


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Subject: RE: BS: Americans are truly stupid
From: Bill D
Date: 03 Jan 11 - 04:57 PM

?? sounds like a self-fulfilling hypothesis, josepp


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Subject: RE: BS: Americans are truly stupid
From: Acorn4
Date: 03 Jan 11 - 05:06 PM

And the diet of endless US and US influenced TV in the Uk has helped the rise to superstar status of the British Chav.


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Subject: RE: BS: Americans are truly stupid
From: gnu
Date: 03 Jan 11 - 05:08 PM

josepp... hehehehee... that is quite a post.


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Subject: RE: BS: Americans are truly stupid
From: GUEST,KP
Date: 03 Jan 11 - 05:24 PM

Going by the list of Nobel Prize Winners
there would seem to be more truly clever people from America than any other nationality?


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Subject: RE: BS: Americans are truly stupid
From: Smokey.
Date: 03 Jan 11 - 05:49 PM

We've turned into a country of know-it-alls who don't know shit.

Josepp, that's probably your funniest line to date..

"Oh wad some Power the giftie gie us
To see oursels as others see us!"


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Subject: RE: BS: Americans are truly stupid
From: Ed T
Date: 03 Jan 11 - 05:56 PM

"Going by the list of Nobel Prize Winners
there would seem to be more truly clever people from America than any other nationality?"

I always thought of the US of A as a peace loving lot (minus the few encounters outside its borders, that is, and the fact that they are armed to the teeth) Heck, Obama can even get one of those "coveted" peace prizes for being at war :)


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Subject: RE: BS: Americans are truly stupid
From: Slag
Date: 03 Jan 11 - 06:25 PM

When handing out prizes for stupidity, let's be generous and include all peoples and all nations. You get a much clearer picture that way. In case you missed statistics 101 you would realize that standard distribution is at work here and, as per IQ, it all falls neatly into the great bell-shaped curved.

Now, as for Mudcatters, whether I happen to agree with the opinions exprssed here or not, I find Mudcatters on the whole, to be quite intelligent folks. We all read, voraciously, it seems and most of us use correct grammar and know wide areas of many various topics, some expertly. But our numbers are small and when compared to the general population we statistically do not make a difference.

However it is the little differences that make the difference. It is just fractions of a second that separate the winner from the also-rans. So, if you do fall into the upper per centile, make a difference. Let your lights shine forth.

Josepp, I take it that the Mao quote is not from Mao's Little Red Book. I can't find it. What is your source?


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Subject: RE: BS: Americans are truly stupid
From: Dave MacKenzie
Date: 03 Jan 11 - 06:30 PM

The stupidest person I knew personally was a fellow-Scot with a PhD from Cambridge.


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Subject: RE: BS: Americans are truly stupid
From: Ed T
Date: 03 Jan 11 - 06:36 PM

An army without culture is a dull-witted army, and a dull-witted army cannot defeat the enemy.


"The United Front in Cultural Work" (October 30, 1944), Selected Works, Vol. III, p. 235.


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Subject: RE: BS: Americans are truly stupid
From: josepp
Date: 03 Jan 11 - 06:43 PM

////It really doesn't surprise me that much that "kids", which I assume means people under 18, don't know much about a person who was a member of their great-grandfather's (or even great-great-grandfather's) generation. Hell, I'm a grandfather, and Charlie Parker died when I was 9!////

But what Marsalis is saying is that enough time has passed that Parker's musical legacy has been firmly established but what good is it if kids today don't know what that legacy is or even who Charlie Parker was?

I think by about 5th grade, every American student should know what blues is,how it is structured, how it evolved, who the major players were and have some experience actually playing it. They should know if it's 12-bar, 8-bar or 16-bar. They should know what key it's in. They should know what I-IV-V means. They should know what AAB refers to. They should know the differences and similarities between blues and jazz.

And why should they know this? Because blues is the basis of our musical traditions. I mean, there were other influences but blues is a huge part of it, the biggest part by far. How can we have this cultural identity and yet be so abysmally ignorant about it? We can't. What you don't use, you lose.

In Japan, they teach children to develop perfect pitch. I read that the highest rate of perfect pitch in a population is in Japan. We should be teaching that here. Do you think Mozart or Beethoven or Bach could have achieved what they did with our present educational system? I don't. So how many Mozarts or Bachs or we likely to turn out? I would say none.

I remember watching an old black man on TV once playing and singing blues for these black kids. He actually clawhammered a banjo and sang some old, old stuff. When he was finished, he asked, "How many of you would like to learn the banjo--the black man's heritage?" These kids just stood there and looked at him like he was a complete idiot. You could see the sneer in their eyes. Of course, I would have been like Arnold Horshack with my hand up going, "OOOO OOOO OOOO OOOO OOOO OOOOO OOOO!!!!" But I wasn't there.


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Subject: RE: BS: Americans are truly stupid
From: gnu
Date: 03 Jan 11 - 06:45 PM

Ed... so, the USO won the war?

Yes, I know that is soooo bad on so many levels. It's a joke.


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Subject: RE: BS: Americans are truly stupid
From: Dave MacKenzie
Date: 03 Jan 11 - 07:04 PM

"In Japan, they teach children to develop perfect pitch."

That can be a bit of a disadvantage if you play with instruments that aren't in 440.


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Subject: RE: BS: Americans are truly stupid
From: akenaton
Date: 03 Jan 11 - 07:11 PM

I wouldn't say that Americans in general, are stupid at all; a bit naive perhaps, but they seem to have many sterling qualities which cannot be aquired from "book learnin'".

Many of your "stupid" Americans, have a very "educated" distrust of government and organisation, only the imbeciles still believe these have any virtue, they see the dark looming shape approaching, gathering up our freedoms, our joys, the lives of our children and devouring them, while they welcome it with open arms.


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Subject: RE: BS: Americans are truly stupid
From: Ed T
Date: 03 Jan 11 - 07:13 PM

What war gnu, the "price war" at Walmart :)


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Subject: RE: BS: Americans are truly stupid
From: Bill D
Date: 03 Jan 11 - 07:17 PM

Not Japan... China.

In Japan and several other Asian countries it is higher than here, but China has a tonal language, and people learn almost automatically to reproduce pitch.... it's not a matter of their educational system...except in so far as the Cultural Conservatory in Bejing emphasizes it.


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Subject: RE: BS: Americans are truly stupid
From: Don(Wyziwyg)T
Date: 03 Jan 11 - 07:17 PM

""Do you think Mozart or Beethoven or Bach could have achieved what they did with our present educational system?""

You're on a sticky wicket here, since general organised education for children didn't exist at the time those to whom you refer were learning from their parents and other role models paid for either by said parents or by patrons.

Under the current systems in use around the world they might well have been more prolific creators.

Don T.


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Subject: RE: BS: Americans are truly stupid
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 03 Jan 11 - 07:20 PM

That, Dave, is why perfect pitch has to be a contradiction in terms. It can only be learned, not innate.


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Subject: RE: BS: Americans are truly stupid
From: Dave MacKenzie
Date: 03 Jan 11 - 07:27 PM

And can be pain in the arse if eveybody's tuned to 443, then somebody with "perfect pitch" turns up, especially if you're all tuned to a squeezebox.


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Subject: RE: BS: Americans are truly stupid
From: Ed T
Date: 03 Jan 11 - 07:34 PM

quiz


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Subject: RE: BS: Americans are truly stupid
From: olddude
Date: 03 Jan 11 - 07:36 PM

I don't understand the question :-)


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Subject: RE: BS: Americans are truly stupid
From: Bobert
Date: 03 Jan 11 - 07:51 PM

I agree with josepp that by the 5th grade every child should know what the blues is all about but...

...then again, I'm a bluesman...

B~


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Subject: RE: BS: Americans are truly stupid
From: josepp
Date: 03 Jan 11 - 08:05 PM

////Not Japan... China./////

I checked a couple of on-line sources shown below but I first read it in a book I have somewhere but I'd have to dig it out from wherever I put it.


"It is said that - in Europe and USA - about 3% of the population are AP possessors. When one selects persons who are professional or semi-professional musicians (e.g., students at music conservatories), about 8% AP possessors are found in that group [57], [62]. Most remarkably, however, in Japan nearly 70% of students at music conservatories are AP possessors (Miyazaki, 1988a )."

http://www.mmk.ei.tum.de/persons/ter/top/absolute.html

Other research has shown that the prevalence of perfect pitch is higher in Japan [than China or Vietnam], where the language is not tonal, but where many young children receive Suzuki music training.

http://www.perfectpitchpeople.com/language.htm


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Subject: RE: BS: Americans are truly stupid
From: josepp
Date: 03 Jan 11 - 08:09 PM

////That can be a bit of a disadvantage if you play with instruments that aren't in 440.////

Japanese children learn about pitch at a very young age. Research has shown that when kids start musical training at under age 4, about 40% will develop perfect pitch. It goes down as the age rises. I find it absurd that the brain naturally adjusts in a way that makes it harder to learn music than easier the younger you start learning.


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Subject: RE: BS: Americans are truly stupid
From: Smokey.
Date: 03 Jan 11 - 08:10 PM

Absolute and perfect pitch are two different things. Absolute is much rarer than perfect.


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Subject: RE: BS: Americans are truly stupid
From: josepp
Date: 03 Jan 11 - 08:12 PM

///since general organised education for children didn't exist at the time///

I'm not sure what you mean. Johannes Kepler taught geometry class for kids. They had schools then.


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Subject: RE: BS: Americans are truly stupid
From: josepp
Date: 03 Jan 11 - 08:14 PM

////Absolute and perfect pitch are two different things. Absolute is much rarer than perfect.////

I was just on several sites that all say it is pretty much the same thing. Scientists call it absolute pitch and musicians call it perfect pitch.


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Subject: RE: BS: Americans are truly stupid
From: josepp
Date: 03 Jan 11 - 08:17 PM

////Many of your "stupid" Americans, have a very "educated" distrust of government and organisation, only the imbeciles still believe these have any virtue, they see the dark looming shape approaching, gathering up our freedoms, our joys, the lives of our children and devouring them, while they welcome it with open arms.////

You're folling yourself. The people most vocal against the govt right now absolutely genuflected at its feet when Bush was in office. Those screaming that Obama's war will ruin us were ready to kill anyone who dared speak out against Bush's illegal invasion of Iraq. Those who have more benevolent view of the govt now under Obama utter distrusted and detested it under Bush. It's all relative.


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Subject: RE: BS: Americans are truly stupid
From: Amos
Date: 03 Jan 11 - 08:51 PM

You're speaking in swooping generalities that are a lot more heat than light, Joseph. Why not throttle back and see if you can put some accurate propositions together that are not based on hysteria, which is, after all, not an intelligent way to communicate?

Unless, of course, you LIKE screaming at your own reflection...


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Subject: RE: BS: Americans are truly stupid
From: Ed T
Date: 03 Jan 11 - 09:00 PM

On reflection, Amos spelled backwards is Soma.

"I don't understand anything," she said with decision, determined to preserve her incomprehension intact. "Nothing. Least of all," she continued in another tone "why you don't take soma when you have these dreadful ideas of yours. You'd forget all about them. And instead of feeling miserable, you'd be jolly. So jolly,"

Soma, Oh, the Soma


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Subject: RE: BS: Americans are truly stupid
From: Smokey.
Date: 03 Jan 11 - 09:06 PM

On pitch: there is absolute pitch and there is relative pitch. Either can be perfect, but perfect absolute pitch is much rarer than perfect relative pitch. I'm not sure perfect absolute pitch can be taught, save where there is a natural ability to be nurtured. Most people have some sense of relative pitch, and that can usually be improved upon with training. 'Relative' is a more accurate term for what I was calling 'perfect'.


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Subject: RE: BS: Americans are truly stupid
From: Bobert
Date: 03 Jan 11 - 09:51 PM

I like the "heat", Amos... He's got US down... Not you and me, but US in general...


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Subject: RE: BS: Americans are truly stupid
From: Don Firth
Date: 03 Jan 11 - 10:04 PM

I watched that particular 60 Minutes program, and although Wynton Marsalis lamented the recent neglect of the arts in public education, he didn't put it quite as harshly as josepp would have us believe. Morley Safer was the interviewer, and here is that part of the conversation (cut-and-pasted from the CBS website):
"Does it sadden you that, for the most part, young people may not even know who you're talking about when you say Charlie Parker or Duke Ellington?" Safer asked.

"It saddens me that people my age may not know that. And it's a comment on the failure of our education system to deal with cultural education. Not just Duke Ellington. Walt Whitman. The list goes on and on. So, it saddens me for us as a nation. Because we have such a rich cultural heritage and we would be so much better for it and we would make such better decisions if we understood what brings us together," Marsalis replied.

Jazz at Lincoln Center does its part to keep the heritage alive, bringing high school bands to New York for classes with the pros and for a chance to strut their stuff. But they are the lucky ones - across most of the country, cultural programs in the schools range from spotty to non-existent.

"The arts are our collective human heritage. You're a better person if you know what Shakespeare was talkin' about. If you know what Beethoven struggled with, if you know about Matisse. If you know what Louis Armstrong actually sang through his horn, you're better. Because it's just like, you get to speak with the wisest people who ever lived," Marsalis said.
Josepp has rather a habit of overstating whatever case he is trying to make.

By the way, not everyone can develop perfect (absolute) pitch. That's when someone taps a wine glass and can say, accurately, "That's an F#." Most people, if started early enough, can learn to do it, but some can't. I understand that it's a genetic thing.

To be able to make any kind of practical use of having absolute pitch (precisely accurate tonal memory), one must learn that a particular note is called C#. Or G natural. One must learn what the notes are labeled.

There are certain disadvantages to having perfect pitch, however. When I was going to the Cornish School of the Arts in Seattle, I met a fellow with perfect pitch who said that he was going to have to move to a new apartment. In the one he was in, the refrigerator buzzed in A and the busses went by in Bb, and it woke him up at night. It was driving him crazy!

Most people CAN, however, develop relative pitch. That's when someone plays two notes together and although the person with relative pitch may not be able to tell you which notes they are, he or she can say, accurately, "That's minor 3rd."

This is a matter of ear training, and almost anyone with normal hearing can learn to do it.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: BS: Americans are truly stupid
From: mg
Date: 03 Jan 11 - 10:05 PM

I was hoping someone would tell me who Charles Parker was and thank heavens someone just did..I guess a jazz musician. I don't tend to be up on jazz musicians as it hurts my ears so I would never seek out information on them, but if it is information I should know, why has no one until now told me this? mg


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Subject: RE: BS: Americans are truly stupid
From: Amos
Date: 03 Jan 11 - 10:12 PM

Charlie Parker, a.k.a. "Yardbird"


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Subject: RE: BS: Americans are truly stupid
From: Ron Davies
Date: 03 Jan 11 - 10:31 PM

Well, let's see.   In the sweepstakes of absurdly meaningless and questionable assertions, let's try this.

In the US we now have turned our backs on 200-plus years of racism to enough of an extent that we have elected a black man to the highest office--and he is trying--against powerful forces-- to better the condition of most citizens, including those whose interests have not been taken into account for quite a while.

In the UK the brilliant voters there have elected a coalition including a party which, unsurprisingly, now promises to cut about 25% across the board in the budget, and tells UK citizens that the "Big Society" can step in--i.e. you have to do progressively more for yourself that the government used to do for you--like it or not.

So I wonder where the larger number of stupid people are. Seems fairly obvious--and it's not the US.


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Subject: RE: BS: Americans are truly stupid
From: Ron Davies
Date: 03 Jan 11 - 10:35 PM

Of course I don't mean "larger number" but "higher percentage".


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Subject: RE: BS: Americans are truly stupid
From: Smokey.
Date: 03 Jan 11 - 10:41 PM

Be fair, Ron, we didn't have a great deal of choice..

Though it should be noted that the statistics on which this thread is based are quite meaningless without similar statistics from elsewhere for comparison.


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Subject: RE: BS: Americans are truly stupid
From: Don Firth
Date: 03 Jan 11 - 11:12 PM

mg, (may I be so informal as to call you "m?"), having heard you sing on many occasions, and having heard some of the excellent songs you've written, I'd say that you could probably manage to struggle through life quite well without knowing who Charlie Parker is.

By the way, Charlie Parker is a well-known (by jazz aficionados) jazz saxophone player.

Rejoice! Now, your life is complete!!

Charlie Parker bears the nickname "the Bird." There was another jazz musician named Charlie Byrd (d. 1999), with whom I am much more familiar. He played jazz on a nylon-string classical guitar, using classic technique. I'm forever getting saxophonist Charlie ("the Bird") Parker and guitarist Charlie Byrd mixed up. Forgive me, josepp, but I honestly don't think that makes me "stupid."

After all, I'm familiar with most classical works, I know the plots of many operas, I can sing several hundred folk songs and ballads, both British Isles and America (including Canada), and although I'm not really a blues aficionado, I have heard in person, met, and talked with blues singers Lightnin' Hopkins, Mance Lipscomb, and Mississippi John Hurt (at three different Berkeley Folk Festivals).

m (being informal), I've always enjoyed your singing. I wish I were more mobile than I am presently and could get to such events as Sunny Camp and Rainy Camp so I could hear you again.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: BS: Americans are truly stupid
From: Slag
Date: 04 Jan 11 - 02:24 AM

Some folks, if they play cards long enough, can tell if the deck be shy one card. I can, but not everybody can. So it is with pitch. When you can tell a 440 A from a 443 A or a 444 A, I'd say that is absolutely perfect pitch.

PS Don't correct my grammar. I wrote what I intended to write.


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Subject: RE: BS: Americans are truly stupid
From: mousethief
Date: 04 Jan 11 - 03:33 AM

The problem with these "by the time they're in 5th grade" pronouncements is that they're like assholes: everybody has one. There's no way we can teach all the things all the people want to teach children before they're in 5th grade. Decisions have to be made and things get pared down. Charlie Parker isn't the only great jazz musician that you might want children to know about. And jazz musicians aren't the only great musicians. And musicians aren't the only great artists. And art isn't the only great ....

No, it's not sad that kids don't know who Charlie Parker is. Pick any one star in the constellation that defines your taste and knowledge, and ask the same thing. Kids could do nothing but memorize names, rough dates, and one or two biographical tidbits about famous people, and spend the entire time from their 5th to 18th years, and not memorize everyone that every Wynton Marsalis equivalent would like them to. It's not reasonable.

Alanabit said, I do not know America, but it is only in Britain that I have actually heard people proudly declare things like, "I don't want to be clever like no f***ing foreigner..." It was also the British who came up with the expression, "Too clever by half". We are a culture which often shows an inbuilt resistance to culture and education. Any teacher will tell you that it is only possible to educate people with the students' permission. I have met thick Americans, for sure, but it is only in the UK that I have met people who take pride in the fact that they have barely progressed past the first stages of evolution!

This is true in America, too. In our last presidential election supporters of the pig in lipstick were loudly proud that they weren't no stinking edumacated intellekshuls. Educated people are "the elite" and are to be avoided and denigrated and shunned. And our kids feel it too: kids that excel, that really want to learn and be smart, are more and more the objects of derision and even physical assault. We're beating ourselves back into the stone age, and even when we get there the ones that can actually make clovis points will be beat up for being too smart and "elitist". God help us.


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Subject: RE: BS: Americans are truly stupid
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 04 Jan 11 - 05:06 AM

In the US list of Nobel prize winners quoted earlier in this thread, 25% were born outside the US. Considering the population of the US, maybe the percentage of winners is lower than most?


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Subject: RE: BS: Americans are truly stupid
From: GUEST,Shimrod
Date: 04 Jan 11 - 05:08 AM

It seems to me that wilful ignorance, in much of the English speaking world, is connected with the concept of 'coolness' - especially, of course, among the young. Many people seem to regard education, books etc. as 'uncool' (not fashionable) and, therefore, as things to be avoided.

I'm aware that I'm on shaky ground here but I would venture that sociologists might describe 'coolness' as a 'meme' i.e. the social equivalent of an infectious virus (feel free to tell me I'm talking rubbish!). If I'm right, do we need to be looking for ways to 'vaccinate' our society against this virulent plague?


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Subject: RE: BS: Americans are truly stupid
From: akenaton
Date: 04 Jan 11 - 05:33 AM

People are the children of their society, our society is built on greed and selfishness and as a result our driving forces are not education and knowledge, but avarice and materialism.

If "education" is such a wonderful thing why did the finest minds in the world not recognise what was happening within our economic system.

Of course many of them did, and were happy to contribute to the disaster as long as they were benefiting personally.


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Subject: RE: BS: Americans are truly stupid
From: GUEST,Grishka
Date: 04 Jan 11 - 06:00 AM

"We doe need no edukishen" is the anthem of the pubescent of all nations and times, and never fails to shock their teachers. Sadly, some youngsters actually take it for serious, and some parents refuse to be shocked. "Australia got no culcher" is another boast (!) I heard from people who were frequently caught reading books.


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Subject: RE: BS: Americans are truly stupid
From: Don(Wyziwyg)T
Date: 04 Jan 11 - 06:14 AM

""I'm not sure what you mean. Johannes Kepler taught geometry class for kids. They had schools then.""

Of course they did, but only for the children of rich people.

The rest were up chimneys, out in the fields, or pinching silk hankies and purses.

Hardly likely to find out, let alone achieve, their potential.

Today, every child with a talent has at least a good chance of utilising it.

Remember that for every Beethoven, Mozart etc, there may have been dozens as good who went unrecognised.

Don T.


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Subject: RE: BS: Americans are truly stupid
From: GUEST,Patsy
Date: 04 Jan 11 - 06:17 AM

Same here in UK 'We doe need no edukishen' is the anthem here but more the 'Just another brick in the Wall' bit and I did wonder what that had to do with the student fee issue, because eduation is what they are after isn't it?


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Subject: RE: BS: Americans are truly stupid
From: Don(Wyziwyg)T
Date: 04 Jan 11 - 06:25 AM

In my not too humble opinion, anybody who seriously proposes that a whole nation of human beings are stupid (no matter what the evidence put forward in support), is telling more about his level of intelligence than theirs.


Don T.


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Subject: RE: BS: Americans are truly stupid
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 04 Jan 11 - 07:30 AM

Remember that for every Beethoven, Mozart etc, there may have been dozens as good who went unrecognised.
==========

Right, Don. And, as I have posted before, it was at least in part the recognition of something salvaged from all that terrible waste that first attracted me to folk.

~Michael~


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Subject: RE: BS: Americans are truly stupid
From: GUEST,kendall
Date: 04 Jan 11 - 08:20 AM

The ability to tell if a deck of cards is shy one card is easy if you can count.


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Subject: RE: BS: Americans are truly stupid
From: Bobert
Date: 04 Jan 11 - 08:37 AM

Good points, mouse...

Yeah, ever since Daddy Bush began his class warfare by demonizing educated people seems that there are way too many people, my neighbors included, who are not only ignorant (uneducated) but ***damned proud*** to be so...

Until we turn this around we will continue to slip down the slippery slope of ignorance...

(That sound's purdy "elitist" on yer part, Boberdz...)

See what I mean???

B~


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Subject: RE: BS: Americans are truly stupid
From: GUEST,Grishka
Date: 04 Jan 11 - 09:26 AM

In a thread named "Ignorant Old People" we have been told that "ignorant" is colloquial for "rude". In the same logic, "stupid" seems to mean "ignorant" here. I think we are mainly talking about lack of education, learning, and appreciation of arts etc.

Most young people are actually very keen to learn what their future world is likely to be about. However, "education" is usually defined to be what those in power want the young ones to learn, including manners that do not question the power structure. So youngsters have two points of criticism about the system: a) it may prevent them from gaining a higher social status than their parents ("The Wall"), and b) since the times are a-changing, it may even let them fall off the ladder.

Times change rapidly now, and the sense of social stability is crumbling everywhere. Student protests tend to be somewhat inarticulate, but I clearly hear "Give us an eduction that is worth our time, sweat, and money!" It is up to the whole society, notably the mass media, to discuss what this may be and to convince our youth of it.

Leave Charlie Parker and Luther Whatshisname to those who really care for them. (Nothing wrong with good potatos though.)

Grishka (who has lived in many countries and witnessed similar phenomena; Down Under in the 1980s)


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Subject: RE: BS: Americans are truly stupid
From: GUEST,Patsy
Date: 04 Jan 11 - 09:26 AM

I think it is foolish to label a nation as stupid. I can't speak for the USA but there was concern here in the UK that children were not reading enough (according to statistics) therefore reading skills were so say way below what they were a couple of decades ago so the schools started a campaign to nudge children into reading more. But in some towns here i.e. Bristol sadly not all families have the social skills to follow that through.

My parents criticised my generation too because we were learning a varied range of new subjects that they hadn't touched on like the sciences and languages instead of just concentrating on to their way of thinking the 'essential' subjects things like reading, writing and arithmetic. To them all the other subjects were a waste of time not to mention the typing lessons which did actually benefit me greatly with the advancement of the computer age little did I know then keyboard skills would lead to IT skills. I wonder if perhaps people just don't have the time to set aside to read a good book. It could possibly be that the way of life has changed not intelligence.

Mozart is questionable although a boy prodigy gifted and talented there is a suggestion that he might have leaned towards Asperger's syndrome which could have contributed to making him so musically perfect and ordered. If this is a fact composing might not have been so difficult for him in comparison to another who it might have taken night after night to finish.


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Subject: RE: BS: Americans are truly stupid
From: GUEST,Kendall
Date: 04 Jan 11 - 10:20 AM

I read somewhere that an old Redneck said, "English was good enough for Jesus, so it's good enough for me."


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Subject: RE: BS: Americans are truly stupid
From: Bobert
Date: 04 Jan 11 - 10:24 AM

And yer point, Capt'n???

***grin***


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Subject: RE: BS: Americans are truly stupid
From: artbrooks
Date: 04 Jan 11 - 10:57 AM

He's from Maine - what's he know about English?


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Subject: RE: BS: Americans are truly stupid
From: Ed T
Date: 04 Jan 11 - 11:22 AM

Would it have been more appropriate to post the word stoopid?
Just wondering:)


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Subject: RE: BS: Americans are truly stupid
From: josepp
Date: 04 Jan 11 - 12:27 PM

The general consensus that I'm seeing on this thread is alarmist and that everything in our education is just fine.

Would that be a fair assessment?


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Subject: RE: BS: Americans are truly stupid
From: Ebbie
Date: 04 Jan 11 - 12:31 PM

My father was born on the North Dakota plains in 1901. He finished eighth grade and was proficient in arithmetic and 'figuring'.

He died in 1995, still sturdy and healthy, except for a too-slow heartbeat.

For almost all of his life he mocked higher education- we kids grew up knowing that 'he went to college was a definite clue to a man's lack of good sense and judgment and the ability and humility to work with his hands. "He never worked a day in his life" was the ultimate put down.

I was practically 30 years old before I was brave enough to point out to him that hiring an educated - as in trained - plumber or mechanic or electrician saved a great deal of time and money and anxiety. So why not an educated mind? He didn't buy that- as far as he was concerned, an 'intelligent' mind learned everything necessary through his own experience and from the people around him.

Having been exposed to that kind of thinking all my life I kind of understand where this new 'thought' is coming from. It is mind-boggling to me, though, that it is still around and seemingly more prevalent than a hundred years ago.


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Subject: RE: BS: Americans are truly stupid
From: GUEST,mg
Date: 04 Jan 11 - 03:58 PM

Everything about our education is not just fine. However, learning who Charles Parker is is not going to raise the general quality by a 10th of a percent.

There is education and there is training for job skills, which is urgently needed. So is education. Both are needed. Both are failing many students. For everyone who ridicules an intellectual, there is an intellectual ridiculing (with perhaps more sophistication) the kids in shop class, if you can find shop classes any more.

Start with occupational education for each and every student, so that students will either have employment upon graduation, some of whom will pay for further education through these skills, or will at least have skills to barter in a bad economy. Let them know that they really need exposure to Charles Parker etc., provide as much as they can absorb, and tell them that if they don't learn things now, they really should make an effort to in the future...

Read Stuff White People LIke..or perhaps its sequal...it talks about the Cycle of White Life..and it is the most profound observation on USA education I have seen..ENglish teachers preparing students to work in law, media, something else and to become English teachers..the Cycle of White Life..or was it the White Cycle of Life or something..too profound to be funny. mg


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Subject: RE: BS: Americans are truly stupid
From: GUEST,Grishka
Date: 04 Jan 11 - 04:12 PM

josepp 04 Jan 11 - 12:27 PM, I don't see anyone writing that. If you ask me what should be done, I cannot be too specific for the USA, but my general idea is the following (directed at all of us):
  • don't panic

  • choose your arguments to convince both politicians and kids, don't give them the impression that you are complaining selfishly

  • be aware that education is embedded in society and youngsters react to both, so both must be improved simultaneously

  • study other countries and societies, their achievements and failures

  • demonstrate the value of education by giving a good example, in particular

  • visibly strive for good judgment

  • argue in a fair manner, allowing others to convince you

  • keep the (distant) future in mind

  • don't be discouraged if it doesn't work immediately, or the kids don't say thank you (they will have noticed what you said anyway!)

  • etc.
Can we make a better world? Yes, we can contribute, and should.


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Subject: RE: BS: Americans are truly stupid
From: Midchuck
Date: 04 Jan 11 - 05:00 PM

I was offended when I saw the title of this thread.

I am now convinced that it is so.

From Yahoo news this evening:

Acclaimed by critics, scholars, and -- of course -- readers, Mark Twain's "The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn" is one of the great American novels. The book has been reprinted countless times, adapted into movies, and translated into just about every language under the sun. But should it be updated for today's times?

News that the manuscript would undergo some changes sent shockwaves through the Search box. According to Publishers Weekly, NewSouth Books plans to release a version of "Huck Finn" that cuts the "n" word and replaces it with "slave." The slur "injun," referring to Native Americans, will also be replaced.


I've lived too long.

Peter


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Subject: RE: BS: Americans are truly stupid
From: ollaimh
Date: 04 Jan 11 - 05:27 PM

its not stupidity it's ignorance. american culture has been effectively militatized for the last fifty years, and even going back to the first world war. the massive military industrial complex creates a corporate atmosphere that stiffles ridicules and attacks any critique. that has created an anti intellectual culture. people educated and trasined to think critically cannot just swallow the lies and contradictions of american militarism whole.

there are genuine american critics , like noam choamsky but they are totally marginalized even thought they are the thinkers of our age.

this is part of anglo culture in general. xsince the elizabethean age britain has been on a world wide imperialist campaign. this militarizes the culture. class becomes the civialian rank system and criticism of any intelligent nature is destroyed. after the decline of the british empire and its laissez faire capitalist beliefs the ideas were passed to america. its all about makin money for the military industrial elite. again the once extensively egalitarian american culture has been subverted to become class stratified like britain. this is the militarization of a society which continues to put most of its creative energy into capitalist expansion exploitation and military comntrol of those ventures.

in the old days lord salisbury was at least open about it. he used to say of the conservatives"we are the stupid party" all i need to know is god king and country". the spin is a little better now but the tradition is the same.

in canada we have the same thing with the tories. they ran an ad campaign against the liberal leader because he had attended and taught at harvard and the sorbonne--proving him to be an intellectual.

they don't want people to think. people who think might notice that alberta(the tory heartland) will be a toxic waste land inthe nrothern half and a deseret in the south within fifty years due to massive oil extraction. they are helping the take the money and run capitalists and don't want anyone realizing whats at stake untill its too late and they take their money elsewhere.

just as american right wingers don't want anybody noticing the massive profits in iraq to contractors like haliburton, while the amount of money spent on the iraq war could have easily put america into a path of sustainable alternative energy. however self susstainable energy doesn't make haliburton rich, and doesn't bail out little george w when his oil company went broke.

but we can't talk about that or we are commies


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Subject: RE: BS: Americans are truly stupid
From: josepp
Date: 04 Jan 11 - 06:08 PM

///choose your arguments to convince both politicians and kids, don't give them the impression that you are complaining selfishly///

Well I am complaining selfishly!! That's exactly what I'm doing. I don't want to change things selflessly because I'm doing this for your own good--what kind of dipshit would I have to be to think that way?

I want to change the way this country educates its citizens because I am personally embarrassed to be an American and seeing this stupid shit.

Do we really need to know about Charlie Parker?

Hell no, of course, we don't so just shut up, sit the hell down and read your "Pride, Prejudice and Zombies" because I'm certain you will find that way more interesting than anything Charlie Parker ever did.

We deserve the education system we have, we deserve the TV programming we have, we deserve the popular music we have, we deserve the political system we have, we deserve the celebrities we have. And if we're settling for that then, sorry, but we ARE stupid.


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Subject: RE: BS: Americans are truly stupid
From: Bobert
Date: 04 Jan 11 - 06:45 PM

No, ****we**** don't deserve either the educational system we have or the TV programin'...

What has slowly occurred since the 60s when education was revered is a deterioration of our culture... It has effected everything...

But it is be design... The industrialists have gone about doing everything in it's power to never ever allow the people to think... They have manipulated our government, our schools and our art in order to create a less dangerous population to them... In ot5her words, Huxley's Epsilon Nation...

But we don't deserve this... IT's just what is being shoveled into *US*...

B~


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Subject: RE: BS: Americans are truly stupid
From: josepp
Date: 04 Jan 11 - 07:11 PM

This is a capitalist system--money talks. Nothing is presented to us on a constant basis unless we buy it. If we buy it, they will keep selling it to us until we stop. If we claim we want more variety, they chop the shit up and repackage it and claim it's new and if we buy it then they will continue selling it.

It is up to us to stop buying it. Justin Bieber isn't the best new artist of the year just to annoy the shit out of me--it's because stupid asses are buying into him. I have a coworker whose daughter wanted him to buy some Bieber crap for her and he said no. That's all it takes--NO! But most of us give in and we buy the crap. Then we say, "Well, don't blame me--my kid wants it!" I'm not blaming you because your kid wants it, I'm blaming you only if you gave into the demand. JUST SAY NO! Kids have to understand that they can't just have everything they want. It's up to you as a parent to decide whether they really need that dose of crap.

It's just like when I go out for lunch everyday. The McDonald's drive-thru always has a line of cars going out into the street. Who in their right mind would sit there that long to get shitty McDonald's? And who should be blamed for that? McDonald's? Or the dummy who decides to spend his money there to shove the worst crap in the world into his face?

It's only shoved down our throats because we keep swallowing. When we stop--they stop because the money isn't there. Whatever you demand, they will obey if they can make their money. So let the dirtbags make their money but make clear they're only going to make it by selling you something of substance and value. But if you give in and buy this vapid, mindless crap then I hold you responsible not the system. You're part of the system--we all are. So let's make it work for us, not on us.


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Subject: RE: BS: Americans are truly stupid
From: Bill D
Date: 04 Jan 11 - 07:18 PM

You have a LOT of complaints, josepp...you got a plan? What WOULD you teach kids in school? (in the various grades)

(you mind telling us what part of the country you are in?)


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Subject: RE: BS: Americans are truly stupid
From: Bobert
Date: 04 Jan 11 - 07:54 PM

Righto... Justin Beiber ain'[t nuthin'... Nuthin'!!! But that what they want ***US*** to have... They are just shovelin' shit down our throats...

Now I know that folks like Bill D and most of the folks here are way above Justin BarbiDoll and McDonalds because we came up in a time where thinkin' was not the enemy...

Those days are G.O.N.E.!!!

As for what I would teach in schools... The truth, fir starters... Here in Virginia the history books are filled with revisionist crap... And are we teaching art anymore??? Not likely... Music??? Not really unless you call the monkey-can-learn-it marching band stuff... And literature??? Nope... Really, we aren't educating our kids... We are training them... Not much more... Just like Skinner's rats... Not much more...

And to top it off we are now in our 3rd decade of right winged bashing of "elites" (i.e. educated)... Here tonight on the news is this Tea Party Repub "car dealer" comin' to D.C. as an elected Congressman... Just what we need... A fucking car salesman thinkin' he can run the show... Great... What next???

Beam me up, Scotty... The inmates are running the show...

B~


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Subject: RE: BS: Americans are truly stupid
From: GUEST,mark-s (on the road)
Date: 04 Jan 11 - 08:00 PM

Right on, josepp, right on.

Reduce the demand for crap and there will be less crap.


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Subject: RE: BS: Americans are truly stupid
From: Bobert
Date: 04 Jan 11 - 08:35 PM

And back to education...

I fully understand what Ebbie was talkin' about here but then again I know more than most about her family... And I knew folks like her father... I worked with them in the 60's building houses... That was/is a cultural thing that has nuthin' to do with the bashing of educated people that the right wing has lived by for 30 years now...

We have to stop bashing folks for being educated... If we don't we will end up destroyed by China... I mean, destroyed!!! We have to stop this bleeding... We have to impress upon people that it is their "patriotic" duty to get themselves educated... We have to stop re4warding folks who think it's cool to drop outta school...

Are we stupid??? Not yet but headed there at warp speed... There comes a time when you have abused yourself so long that it's too late... The country is "ourself" here and we are beatin' it like a dog right now...

B~


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Subject: RE: BS: Americans are truly stupid
From: josepp
Date: 04 Jan 11 - 08:51 PM

////And to top it off we are now in our 3rd decade of right winged bashing of "elites" (i.e. educated)... Here tonight on the news is this Tea Party Repub "car dealer" comin' to D.C. as an elected Congressman... Just what we need... A fucking car salesman thinkin' he can run the show... Great... What next???////

In America, it's unmanly to be intellectual. A real man goes out everyday and gets his hands dirty. He's drivin trucks and fixin engines and unloadin cargo and shootin at terrorists while faggy little pantywaists sit around reading books and pontificating in little snobby voices on the human condition while sipping tea.

My ex-brother-in-law was pissed off that his son became a professional artist and musician because he came right out and said it is "not manly."

It might be rooted in Christianity which holds that a common fisherman became the first pontiff. Never mind that it is impossible that a common fisherman could have fulfilled such an office. "Peter wasn't some book-learned, elitist snob--he was a blue-collar working class man and that's why Jesus chose him!" And they really believe that shit.

////Reduce the demand for crap and there will be less crap.////

Right. It means we the consumer hold the real power in this country. The greedy bastards at the top will give us anything we want if we show them we are willing to shell out for it. So we must take that initiative. They're going to make ungodly amounts of money no matter what so we have to make that work for us. Stop watching reality TV, stop buying McDonald's and Justin Biebershit. Stop crowding into theatres on weekends to watch over-produced crappy-ass Hollywood carrion. It is up to us. We are the deciders.


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Subject: RE: BS: Americans are truly stupid
From: Ed T
Date: 04 Jan 11 - 08:57 PM

Stop shopping in corporate owned "big box stores" that decide on what you buy and where it is made. Start shopping in independantly owned stores, while there are a few of them left.


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Subject: RE: BS: Americans are truly stupid
From: kendall
Date: 04 Jan 11 - 08:59 PM

Ebbie, what do you suppose your Father would have said if you had asked him how many Farmers would it take to put a man on the moon?

If I had my way, every A and B student in America would go to college paid for by the government, as long as they kept their grades up.
Oh, and I would also forbid invading countries that didn't do squat to us.


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Subject: RE: BS: Americans are truly stupid
From: Bobert
Date: 04 Jan 11 - 09:30 PM

I can answer that question for Eb fir ya, Capt'n...

First of all, we don't need to go to the moon and second, remember back when they said we went to the moon??? That was filmed out in the
dessert... Never happened... I mean, I was livin' in a rural county in Virginia then and that's what all the farmers were sayin'...

But, yeah, all we are doing is penalizin' kids for going to college... You hear it every day... Kid's rackin' up college loans and then graduate and the only jobs out there fir them is workin' at McDonalds??? What the fuck is that all about??? Either we'rfte gonna compete or we ain't... Right now??? We ain't...

B~


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Subject: RE: BS: Americans are truly stupid
From: josepp
Date: 04 Jan 11 - 09:54 PM

It all ties together, bobert. Kids can't find jobs because we allow corporations to ship them overseas. Then the merchandise comes back here for us to buy--most of it so substandard that you know the corporations engaging in this crap aren't paying these people shit to make the stuff.

Then we buy it which convinces the corporations to keep shipping jobs over there. They are making so much money paying shit wages for cheap, shoddy crap.

Meanwhile, our best and brightest can't find work which means we are not putting our best minds to work even at menial jobs which means, of course, that we cannot be competing effectively.

But if we say, "We are not buying this cheap, shoddy crap that you paid a slave wage for and are now set to reap a 700% retail markup," then they have to stop doing it because it isn't profitable. And we need to do it now because it has gotten to the point where every goddamn thing you see these days comes from China. It didn't help that Bush put us so far in debt to China that they pretty much own us now. If China gets a viable middle class that can buy the shit, it won't matter what happens to our middle class over here. So we had better start making our voices heard and right now. Right now.


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Subject: RE: BS: Americans are truly stupid
From: mg
Date: 04 Jan 11 - 09:59 PM

Am I reading this right that you respect neither used car salesmen or common fishermen? Or just that they could not be fit for office? mg


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Subject: RE: BS: Americans are truly stupid
From: Bobert
Date: 04 Jan 11 - 10:43 PM

Yeah, jozz, you on to it...

It's all about a bunch of Mao's kids 'n Boss Hog gettin' under the sheets together...

...and when Boss Hog need a little "strange"??? There's always the workin' man... Heck, he used to bendin' over backwards...

And the beat goes on...

B~


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Subject: RE: BS: Americans are truly stupid
From: Ron Davies
Date: 04 Jan 11 - 11:34 PM

"Fairness" doesn't enter into it. I make no claim to validity for my broad-brush assertion --which is to say, it's as valid as the title and thesis of this thread.

Can you say "agent provocateur"?


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Subject: RE: BS: Americans are truly stupid
From: Ebbie
Date: 04 Jan 11 - 11:36 PM

"Ebbie, what do you suppose your Father would have said if you had asked him how many Farmers would it take to put a man on the moon?" Kendall

Bobert has it about right, Kendall- Dad would probably have said something to the effect that the world's troubles started when people became so proud they tried to play God.

On the other hand, in his defense, Dad got a lot less bellicose and sure of his opinions as he got older. Even though most of us didn't turn out the way he'd hoped and anticipated, he was very proud of his kids. He often asked us questions about technology and modern thinking and I sometimes heard him quoting things we told him.

He was a nicer man when he was old, mostly because he was less fearful, I think.


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Subject: RE: BS: Americans are truly stupid
From: GUEST,Guest from Sanity
Date: 05 Jan 11 - 01:34 AM

Ebbie and Bobert: "Bobert has it about right, Kendall- Dad would probably have said something to the effect that the world's troubles started when people became so proud they tried to play God."

You two have finally got one right!!...Take a bow!!

In the beginning God created man in His own image...and ever since, man has been trying to return the favor!

GfS

P.S. (Unless you're Steve Shaw..nothing exists!)


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Subject: RE: BS: Americans are truly stupid
From: Slag
Date: 05 Jan 11 - 01:54 AM

By weight, Kendall, by feel. You really didn't get that?

I am impressed by the self-proclaimed intelligencia's propensity to designate their particular political view and bias the "correct" one and any other point of view "stoopid". Any logicians out their care to take a stab at which informal fallacy is being committed by said elitests?


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Subject: RE: BS: Americans are truly stupid
From: Ebbie
Date: 05 Jan 11 - 03:16 AM

sheesh Guest from sanity, who appointed you arbiter?


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Subject: RE: BS: Americans are truly stupid
From: Kweku
Date: 05 Jan 11 - 08:20 AM

Josepp, I may not agree with you on the title of your thread, maybe some Americans and indeed the general world population are indeed stupid beyond redemption.

I have lived in Ghana all my life and i can tell you that we are also suffering from this so-called information age where people know nothing. the most unfortunate aspect is that most teachers are more useless than their students. But unfortunately the current world economic system is pushing students in Africa to just grab a certificate for employment and forget about everything else.

we have so-called graduates who do not even know how to write official letters. this information age is no-information age at all and it is a world full of stupid minds.


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Subject: RE: BS: Americans are truly stupid
From: artbrooks
Date: 05 Jan 11 - 09:45 AM

Do any of you "experts" think that this is all new, that it has all happened since we (most of us) got old enough to be curmudgeons? Each generation, at some point, comes to the conclusion that the world is going to hell, and can come up with facts and statistics to prove their point.


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Subject: RE: BS: Americans are truly stupid
From: GUEST,999
Date: 05 Jan 11 - 10:42 AM

``What took you so long to work this out? - we Aussies have known this since WWII, when the Yanks were 'Over paid, over sexed, and over here'!``

If I recall correctly, that was attributed as exchange between a British soldier and an American soldier. The American said, ``Yes, and you are under paid, under sexed and under Eisenhower!``

///////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////

As to my American cousins, they do about as well as other nationalities when it comes to those questions concerning their own countries. A similar sample of the one posted at the top has been floating around the internet for over 15 years.


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Subject: RE: BS: Americans are truly stupid
From: Donuel
Date: 05 Jan 11 - 11:05 AM

America is full of shanty towns. Even NYC is mostly a ninteeth century town with a bit of the 20th century.
ITs not that Americans are not modern of forward thinking enough to be a modern country but it is a corporate culture focused on sort sighted profits in lieu of any future develpment of infrastructure.

The most modern thing about America now are the Interstate highways...
and that is a result of Eisenhower!


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Subject: RE: BS: Americans are truly stupid
From: Jeri
Date: 05 Jan 11 - 11:34 AM

EVERYBODY is stupid sometimes, and frequently it has to do with the Internet. U.S. Americans also tend to coordinate our "stupid" to election time. Some of you citizens of other countries have been catching up in the politically stupid department though.

The most stupid of all are the ones who slap labels on entire nationalities, races, sexes, religions or generally, lumps of people. Of course, when a person's bitching about his own particular lump, as I believe josepp was, it's different than bitching about someone else's.

When I was in the UK, our briefing upon arrival included something about the habit of making jokes about the royal family. They told us the British people loved to do it, but as American outsiders, DO NOT DARE TO DO IT. It's mostly common sense... one would think. Some of the stupid among us have gone there, but this is, after all, the Internet.

Anyway, I think it comes down to survival. When times are hard, people tend to learn to settle for what's available. When times get better, they dream about possibilities. It's hard to see possibilities when life sucks, but some folks do that, because that's part of surviving too.


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Subject: RE: BS: Americans are truly stupid
From: Donuel
Date: 05 Jan 11 - 11:42 AM

not sort sighted

SHORT SIGHTED


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Subject: RE: BS: Americans are truly stupid
From: Bill D
Date: 05 Jan 11 - 12:03 PM

Jeri makes a good point... the internet, aided by Google....makes it easy for stupid people to congregate. Of course, it also makes it easy for SMART people to congregate.

The difficulty is that, with Google, it also makes it easy for stupid people to find and invade congregations of smart people.


..add your own corollaries .... (for the stupid people, that means 'related rules derived logically from the original rule')


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Subject: RE: BS: Americans are truly stupid
From: Bobert
Date: 05 Jan 11 - 12:23 PM

Geeze, Brucie... I thought it was Mamie that was under Eisenhower;~)


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Subject: RE: BS: Americans are truly stupid
From: Slag
Date: 05 Jan 11 - 06:17 PM

Right Bobert, except when it was someone else.


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Subject: RE: BS: Americans are truly stupid
From: Ed T
Date: 05 Jan 11 - 06:20 PM

If Americans aren't stoopid, how do you explain "Toys 'R Us", a Kids toy company whose name I can't even accurately type on my keyboard?


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Subject: RE: BS: Americans are truly stupid
From: DougR
Date: 05 Jan 11 - 07:45 PM

So the intelligence of the American people is judged by whether or not one knows who Charlie Parker is.

Very astute.

DougR


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Subject: RE: BS: Americans are truly stupid
From: gnu
Date: 05 Jan 11 - 07:53 PM

Well, God Bless America. Call that stupid if ya want but I think that would be stupid. At least from a historical viewpoint over the past 70 years in the Western World.


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Subject: RE: BS: Americans are truly stupid
From: Ed T
Date: 05 Jan 11 - 09:26 PM

Is it political?


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Subject: RE: BS: Americans are truly stupid
From: mousethief
Date: 05 Jan 11 - 09:32 PM

Slag: I am impressed by the self-proclaimed intelligencia's propensity to designate their particular political view and bias the "correct" one and any other point of view "stoopid". Any logicians out their care to take a stab at which informal fallacy is being committed by said elitests?

It rather depends on whether they're right or not. What's the fallacy of determining somebody's wrong before even considering their arguments? Ah yes, poisoning the well.

Ed T: If Americans aren't stoopid, how do you explain "Toys 'R Us", a Kids toy company whose name I can't even accurately type on my keyboard?

Look, your inability to type accurately doesn't say anything about how stupid Americans are. :P But seriously it's just a silly advertising prank. Since when do we expect genius from advertising? Advertisers win Clios, not Nobels.


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Subject: RE: BS: Americans are truly stupid
From: Jeri
Date: 05 Jan 11 - 09:45 PM

I detect some undiscovered irony in Ed T's post.
We can spell Я correctly, even if it's backwards.


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Subject: RE: BS: Americans are truly stupid
From: Ed T
Date: 05 Jan 11 - 09:54 PM

I failed the arse-backwards section of spelling class in the school I attended. It was a correspondence course from Kwik Copy school of spelling.

Never could pick up on the concept of arse-backwards Mass Marketing either. Guess that's why I have a modest income:)


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Subject: RE: BS: Americans are truly stupid
From: frogprince
Date: 05 Jan 11 - 09:57 PM

My income's not just modest, it's flat-out embarassed.


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Subject: RE: BS: Americans are truly stupid
From: Ed T
Date: 05 Jan 11 - 09:58 PM

mousethief :)

Stoopid does not = stupid in the US of A urban underground. Check it out in the much revered USA Urban Dictionary...it could even be a compliment.


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Subject: RE: BS: Americans are truly stupid
From: mousethief
Date: 05 Jan 11 - 11:26 PM

Urban dictionary definitions of stoopid (first page only; couldn't be arsed to flip the page):

  1. Having the quality of being really, really, really, stupid

  2. Stoopid is a word which can define the good quality of something.In a way like sick or ill,but mainly used for something more amazing or cool (mainly use to describe the good of something not the bad)

  3. Stoopid is the quality of being stoned.

  4. When someone uses this word and spells it incorrectly, you can tell that the subject they are referring to is so utterly moronic that it kills their brain cells at the very thought of it.

  5. Extremely foolhardy, yet quite impressive if executed successfully.

  6. Just a bit worse than stupid. when something is just so dumb and lacking any common sense that "stupid" just doesnt seem to cut it. It can be summed up as "stoopid".

  7. Stupid to the extent that you can't even spell the word itself.



Hmm. On the whole it's not terribly positive, but I guess one of the meanings is good and one is sort of half-n-half. 1.5 for 7 for an average of .214. Not bad for a National League pitcher.


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Subject: RE: BS: Americans are truly stupid
From: Ed T
Date: 06 Jan 11 - 08:14 AM

There is many conflicting definitions for Stoopid in Urban dictionary, and it is hard slugging to read,(though I find some sections humourous).

The US "urban" word Stoopid (if it is a word) may be considered more negative than positive...but IMO, much better than stupid, would it not. It even looks stupid?

A few I was thinking of earlier:

Stoopid:

Someone, or something that is hilarious or silly without it having to be an insult.

Extremely funny though absurd.

To be really cool or awesome.

(BTW, I don't recall ever calling someone stupid, let alone all the people in any country)


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Subject: RE: BS: Americans are truly stupid
From: Ed T
Date: 06 Jan 11 - 08:15 AM

(BTW, I don't recall ever calling someone stupid, let alone all the people in any country)...except, possibly while intending humour:)


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Subject: RE: BS: Americans are truly stupid
From: Ed T
Date: 06 Jan 11 - 09:21 AM

I found this article interesting:
Valuing education


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Subject: RE: BS: Americans are truly stupid
From: Greg F.
Date: 06 Jan 11 - 09:27 AM

there is an intellectual ridiculing (with perhaps more sophistication) the kids in shop class,...

Not THIS intellectual- and I recommend Shop Class as Soulcraft by Matthew B. Crawford (2009)


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Subject: RE: BS: Americans are truly stupid
From: mousethief
Date: 06 Jan 11 - 11:49 AM

ElvisPitt: I don't think the problem is what we're doing to the children, but what they are doing to themselves by making learning and education "uncool" and in effect opting out of knowledge and thinking ability. Although doubtless many get this from their parents. (Why can't they choose THAT to rebel against?!)


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Subject: RE: BS: Americans are truly stupid
From: GUEST,Doug Saum
Date: 06 Jan 11 - 01:31 PM

I think it is more true that Americans seem "ignorant" [stupidity implies an intrinsic deficiency of intellectual ability] because the mechanisms of social control - especially including that FOXY Australian billionaire's propaganda machine - make it hip to be a no-nothing. As an American I can assure you that we face plenty of ignorance in our public discourse almost always designed to promote greed and demogoguery, but rest assured that there is a significant population of American readers who are, unexpectedly, pragmatic idealists. They are endlessly lampooned by selfish interests that time will show to be enemies of the people's best interests.
DOug Saum


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Subject: RE: BS: Americans are truly stupid
From: Slag
Date: 06 Jan 11 - 05:33 PM

Gee, Ed T, Do you really not get that Toy's R Us is a clever little way to show that they are all about the children who just might be the ones with the incorrect spelling and the backward "R"? Do you not get that? And also that when that store came on the scene, dinosaurs were a popular thing among children? I would include myself in that crowd. Thus they get a double meaning out of the "R Us" part of the name. Come on Ed T, I kow YOU aren't stupid.

Mousethief, I just asked a question. There are ignoramouses on both sides of that question.

PS No need to bother with the "ignoramouses". There is already another thread to that effect.


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Subject: RE: BS: Americans are truly stupid
From: Bobert
Date: 06 Jan 11 - 07:52 PM

Entirely correct, Doug Saum...

Daddy Bush perfected the art of puttin' down folks who bothered to get education and we've had it ever since... So now we have an entire generation of kids who think education is for "sissies and queers"... Problem is that the rst of the world doesn't have this problem and we are about to have out lunch money stolen by people who fully understand the link between education and the ability of a country to compete...

Take away the US's nuclear arsenal and we'd be, ahhhhhh, in the words of the prophet...

...fucked!!!

B~


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Subject: RE: BS: Americans are truly stupid
From: Ed T
Date: 06 Jan 11 - 10:25 PM

Slag, we know the parents buy the kids (the little tots) the toys, not vice versa. The marketing would be directed at them, of course, Are you say'in they are stupid? (I note you have not mastered the art of typing the arse backeard R:)

"Come on Ed T, I kow YOU aren't stupid."

So, where's your evidence to that statement?


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Subject: RE: BS: Americans are truly stupid
From: Ebbie
Date: 06 Jan 11 - 10:48 PM

"Gee, Ed T, Do you really not get that Toy's R Us is a clever little way to show that they are all about the children who just might be the ones with the incorrect spelling and the backward "R"? Do you not get that? And also that when that store came on the scene, dinosaurs were a popular thing among children? I would include myself in that crowd. Thus they get a double meaning out of the "R Us" part of the name. Come on Ed T, I kow YOU aren't stupid." Slag

Golly gee, it appears that you are really up there with the intellkshuls, Slag. For sure you know a whole lot more than stupid me. For instance, it never occurred to me that Toys Are Us was had such a clever marketing ploy. But do tell me when children were NOT popular among children.


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Subject: RE: BS: Americans are truly stupid
From: framus
Date: 06 Jan 11 - 11:09 PM

Bloody colonials.


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Subject: RE: BS: Americans are truly stupid
From: Donuel
Date: 06 Jan 11 - 11:14 PM

Liberals are stupid regarding the use of the Japanese model of responding to econmoic collapse.

Conservatives are stupid regarding their disbelief in climate change as taught by Fox news and big oil.

Which is worse?


It doesn't matter since we are basicly well beyond the tipping point for the climate as well as our attempt to unravel the 140 trillion dollar wall st. ponzi scheme, 70 trillion dollars of which belongs to the USA alone.


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Subject: RE: BS: Americans are truly stupid
From: Don Firth
Date: 06 Jan 11 - 11:32 PM

The idea, as expressed in the thread title, is most ill thought out on a number of levels.

Considering that we're talking about over 300 million individual people here, a blanket statement like that demonstrates more of an emotional state on the part of the original poster than any use of intellect. It demonstrates a form of lazy, collectivist thinking on a par with "All Indians walk in a single file. At least the one I saw did."

I recall an acquaintance of mine some time back bemoaning the idea that "There are no more Renaissance men around, people with really wide knowledge. You know, people who had read just about every book there was, and who thought deeply about things." I pondered this for awhile and it occurred to me that in this modern age, it would be pretty difficult to be a Renaissance man in the same manner as someone in the fourteenth or fifteenth century.

For one thing, there weren't that many books back then. And how many tens of thousands of books printed per year these days? Impossible to read all the books there are. For another, not all that many people, including many aristocrats who could afford books, were literate. So Renaissance men were really few and far between.

And these days, it's pretty difficult, even for a very well educated person (who continues to read constantly after graduating summa cum laude from a good university), to know something about everything.

So, with all due respect to Wynton Marsalis, for a person who is up on early music, classical music, opera, contemporary musicals, and, yes, even folk music, not to be familiar with Charlie Parker hardly means that "Americans are truly stupid."

To say so would be truly stu—

Oh, well!

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: BS: Americans are truly stupid
From: Donuel
Date: 07 Jan 11 - 02:08 AM

Most things are ill thought out at the beginning. It is our job to give and by giving find meaning to improve each other.

They say there is no cure for stupid but the word itself is often said when the word ignorance is usually the better choice.

A well thought out thread might begin with the title,

"What can we teach each other?"

The athiest can teach the religious that we all hold life sacred, and that even a benificent all seeing God is no substitute for another flesh and blood person to joyously share life, be they family or a stranger.

The religious can teach the athiest that brotherhood is easily shared when a common framework is understood.

The suffering teaches us that our need to feel empathy is fullfilled by sharing moments as time goes by.
We can teach the suffering that their pain uncovers deeper levels of life and the human experience.

The homeless can teach people with homes that they have a heart and soul, they have plans and that they simply do not have a home.

The conservatives can teach liberals of their need to feel a respect for thier families is threatened by people who arrogantly feel that they know better or feel they know more. Be they humble or well to do they want to preserve the things that may have worked well for their families.

Liberals can teach conservatives that they do not think conservatives are fools but rather they are being fooled by large corporations that may feign compassion but treuly only care for their own bottom line.

Men can teach women that they want to feel they are needed. Women can teach men how they best feel needed and loved.

The ignorant teach us what it is they need to know. The well educated can teach how and where to learn.

The hateful can not be tought until they find and feel the love they are missing. The vengenful can learn that their true enemy is the fear that entered their life.

The prophets can learn that no one can handle the full blown truth of the future. Cognitive dissonance overwhelms people to the point they can not bear to think of the future if it is too challenging.

Those who seek guidance can teach prophets that they want certain mysteries to remain mysterious.

The young can teach the old that giving is a reward. The old can teach the young to guard against theolest tricks in the book.

The talented can teach us how to sing a song. We can teach them how it makes us feel.


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Subject: RE: BS: Americans are truly stupid
From: Ebbie
Date: 07 Jan 11 - 03:27 AM

Remind me not to post when I'm irritated.

This post: "...it never occurred to me that Toys Are Us was had such a clever marketing ploy. But do tell me when children were NOT popular among children." should have read: "...it never occurred to me that Toys Are Us had such a clever marketing ploy. But do tell me when dinosaurs were NOT popular among children."

Back in the moment: Frankly, I thought that Toys R Us was doing a takeoff on a common assertion, and inverted the R as an attention getting device. Like a bee farm I once knew- they kept their big roadside sign proclaiming HONEY! upside down.


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Subject: RE: BS: Americans are truly stupid
From: Ed T
Date: 07 Jan 11 - 09:44 AM

Donuel -That was nice and thoughtful.

As to kid toy marketing, directed at parents, I remember a comedian had a related, but funny comment.

The comedian said, what's with the "Kids eat free" advertisements I see at food shops? This is nothing new. Kids have always eaten free. It's the parents that pay:)


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Subject: RE: BS: Americans are truly stupid
From: ollaimh
Date: 08 Jan 11 - 02:54 PM

you have to keep the masses ignorant to keep them going over seas to fight wars for profit. if you ruin thier job hopes at home and then convince them the join up for wars to profit hasliburton oil and becktel to name a few it enriches who? follow the money.

if the trillions lost in iraq had been invested in development and infrastructure for alternative energy average americans would be free of dependance on foreign energy and have jobs to boot, but that would be "big governemt" and socialism. all thw while putting the nations wealth into wall street bail outs and massive military over spending isn't socialist big government>

people have to be kept ignorant and rewarded for ignorance to make the oil companies and other military industrialist complex rich and keep average joes poor afraid and compliant.

chriss hedges calls it inverted totalitarianism, i prefer corporate totalitarianism, how many out there have lost personal freedoms in this system--almost everybody, right down to seattle northwest folklife buskers on a recent thread. they are losong their constitutional rights to a corporate "folk group" running the festival. this is happening in all walks of life

ignorance is good for the rich and powerfull as milan kundera said
"the struggle to remember IS the strugglkel against tyrany'


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Subject: RE: BS: Americans are truly stupid
From: josepp
Date: 08 Jan 11 - 03:19 PM

I thought it was hilarious how fast Congress put Toyota on the hotseat over a bunch of allegations I am still not convinced ever had anything to back them up but how many years has it been since contractors looted the American taxpayers in Iraq of billions while untold thousands of Iraqis and Americans like died or were horribly mained? And how many of them have been put on that hotseat much less been sent to prison where they belong. Some should convicted of treason and executed, quite frankly.


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Subject: RE: BS: Americans are truly stupid
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 08 Jan 11 - 08:49 PM

Executing people makes a country very stupid.


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Subject: RE: BS: Americans are truly stupid
From: josepp
Date: 08 Jan 11 - 10:45 PM

What's the matter Shaw? Nobody bothering to listen to you whine about the injustices of your religion anymore?


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Subject: RE: BS: Americans are truly stupid
From: Slag
Date: 09 Jan 11 - 04:56 AM

Uh, Ebbie, you might want to go back and read my post. That is NOT what said. If you want to take off on the typo "kow" for "know" I have no defense against that: guilty as charged, TYPO! :P

And Ed T, How do I know you aren't stupid? I have read enough of your posts! You are a very bright and informed fellow. And correct, I have not mastered the backward "R" on this keyboard. I thought about using the cyrillic alphabet but I don't know how to make it come out in the reply box. I'm too lazy and unmotivated to learn that little skill although it would have been some sort of minor coup to have done so. Therefore I am willfully ignorant and that is really stupid!

Donuel, thank you! Very cogent and sensitive. Best post in the thread.


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Subject: RE: BS: Americans are truly stupid
From: kendall
Date: 09 Jan 11 - 11:47 AM

On the matter of the companies shipping jobs out of the country and foreign goods coming in; Some years ago there was a survey that showed the Toyota cars that were assembled in America were every bit as good as the ones that were made in Japan. This proved that it is not the American worker, but the designers of our cars that are responsible for the junk they produced in the 80s.
We had a Hundai with which we had no trouble at all. We traded for a Chevy Impala and here is what we have seen so far: Traction control died. Water pump died, both head gaskets crapped out, this is a common flaw in GM cars, and when I shift from reverse to drive, even with a delay, it slams into forward. They say it doesn't, and as long as it's under warranty I say fine, you fix it.
The factory warranty expires in December and I don't know if I want to keep it after I have to pay for all repairs.
So, GM has head gasket problems, ($1500.00 if it is out of warranty) Chrysler had transmission problems for years and won't admit it, Ford had power steering problems, unless they have cured it.
Tell me what is the advantage in buying American?
I prefer to buy American when I can, but I have a hard time with the aforementioned problems with American goods.


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Subject: RE: BS: Americans are truly stupid
From: josepp
Date: 09 Jan 11 - 12:14 PM

Even worse, when Chysler announces they are closing a plant down and then the workers there find out it's because they are actually moving it overseas, that makes it hard to want to buy American too.

I believe the most patriotic buy for a car is the Honda Accord made in Ohio from 70% American parts. Yet, I know people who turn livid when you tell them that. It has a Japanese name therefore it's bad.


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Subject: RE: BS: Americans are truly stupid
From: kendall
Date: 09 Jan 11 - 12:58 PM

It is written that everything carries the seeds of its own destruction. Might ours be greed?


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Subject: RE: BS: Americans are truly stupid
From: Ed T
Date: 09 Jan 11 - 01:00 PM

Tid bits from the site I link below:

"Canada and the USA have a unique friendship, similar democratic and historic roots."

""The relationship between the United States and Canada is the closest and most extensive in the world. It is reflected in the staggering volume of bilateral trade--the equivalent of $1.5 billion a day in goods--as well as in people-to-people contact. About 300,000 people cross the shared border every day".

""The U.S. and Canada share the world's largest and most comprehensive trading relationship, which supports millions of jobs in each country.""

""Canada is the leading export market for 36 of the 50 U.S. States, and ranked in the top three for another 10 States. In fact, Canada is a larger market for U.S. goods than all 27 countries of the European Community combined, whose population is more than 15 times that of Canada.""

""The U.S. and Canada enjoy the largest energy trade relationship in the world. Canada is the single largest foreign supplier of energy to the U.S.--providing 17% of U.S. oil imports and 18% of U.S. natural gas demand.""

If you ask most USA citizens about (aka, aboot) Canada, most know little.

Most know more about countries that are trivial, when it comes to USA daily relationships/interests.


I was once asked in Boston if Nova Scotia, east coast Canada is ""above the tree line"", (BTW, Boston is very close to Nova Scotia latitude-wise). A recent episode of CSI Miami referred to a "Glacier Park" being in Nova Scotia? LOL

Now, isn't it just stoopid/stupid, of citizens of the USA? Or, are Canadians just lucky about that?

Canada-USA, a huge relationship


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Subject: RE: BS: Americans are truly stupid
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 09 Jan 11 - 03:34 PM

What's the matter Shaw? Nobody bothering to listen to you whine about the injustices of your religion anymore?

Heheh. Sorry if my popping up makes you feel uncomfortable, young man (it should). Care to defend your assertion that you know of people who haven't even been tried yet but who should be executed anyway? Or to defend the death penalty anyway? I won't be holding my breath. Careful what you try to get away with!

And if you can tell me what religion I belong to I promise to look it up. Tee hee!


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Subject: RE: BS: Americans are truly stupid
From: Ed T
Date: 10 Jan 11 - 08:29 AM

On this site there is some related information on science awareness, with comparisons:Public Knowledge About S&T


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