mudcat.org: BS: Americans are truly stupid
Lyrics & Knowledge Personal Pages Record Shop Auction Links Radio & Media Kids Membership Help
The Mudcat Cafeawe

Post to this Thread - Printer Friendly - Home
Page: [1] [2] [3] [4]


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
Bobert 03 Jan 11 - 10:20 AM
Amos 03 Jan 11 - 10:24 AM
Mrrzy 03 Jan 11 - 10:25 AM
GUEST,Alan Whittle 03 Jan 11 - 10:28 AM
Don(Wyziwyg)T 03 Jan 11 - 10:36 AM
katlaughing 03 Jan 11 - 11:00 AM
DMcG 03 Jan 11 - 11:05 AM
Charmion 03 Jan 11 - 11:09 AM
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
Ed T 03 Jan 11 - 01:10 PM
Bill D 03 Jan 11 - 01:17 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 03 Jan 11 - 01:39 PM
Lyrics & Knowledge Search [Advanced]
DT  Forum
Sort (Forum) by:relevance date
DT Lyrics:






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!!!!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

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'!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

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.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

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?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

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.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

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.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

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

Some very touchy people here. Hi foolstroupe.
Dave.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

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)


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

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.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

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.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

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.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

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.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

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.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

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.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

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.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

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.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

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!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

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.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

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.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

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

IS THE WORLD IS GETTING SMARTER?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

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 . . .


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

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.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

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~


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

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).


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

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


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

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'.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

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.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

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!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

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.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

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?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

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.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

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.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

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.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

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...


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

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~


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

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


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

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...


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

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.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

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.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

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!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

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)


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

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.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

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?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

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


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

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.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

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.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

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


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

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.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

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... ;<)


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

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.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate
Next Page

 


You must be a member to post in non-music threads. Join here.


You must be a member to post in non-music threads. Join here.



Mudcat time: 22 October 5:42 PM EDT

[ Home ]

All original material is copyright © 1998 by the Mudcat Cafι Music Foundation, Inc. All photos, music, images, etc. are copyright © by their rightful owners. Every effort is taken to attribute appropriate copyright to images, content, music, etc. We are not a copyright resource.