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DPChallenge Forums >> General Discussion >> Why People Believe Americans Are Stupid
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Showing posts 51 - 53 of 53, (reverse)
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01/13/2007 08:07:14 AM · #51
Haha, reminds me of the time I visited Boston and a guy asked where I was from, I said Iceland and he thought I had just made that name up on the spot and no such country existed. He actually got very excited and for a while I thought he might have a go at me!

Several people asked the same igloo question and if we used dogsleds to get around and yet another guy (store clerk in a shop I bought something from) asked if I was european. I said yes and he said aha, he could tell from the sunglasses I was wearing, they were very european. The sunglasses were Oakley and the only thing made in America that I was wearing at the time :)

That last part isn´t really stupid, just thought it funny that he picked the only American design clothing/accessory that I was wearing at the time.

These are not the typical americans though in my experience, I have met lot´s of them and they generally seemed pretty well informed of global affairs but I would have to agree that on average they could do better :)

Message edited by author 2007-01-13 08:11:11.
01/13/2007 08:26:57 AM · #52
I was thinking back to the time when I first moved over to Oz from the UK and a girl I spoke to in the first few days I was there(she was about 16). She said that she could tell that I was Londonish(???)by my accent and what language did we actually speak in London? Well I was at a bit of a loss as to how to answer her as I am a northern lass and had, at that time, never been to London, so I told her that we spoke Chinese, with that she complemented me on my English telling me she understood nearly every word I was saying!!
01/13/2007 08:27:27 AM · #53
We'd probably be less stupid if we had an education system that worked instead of being obsessed with end-of-year testing and statistical improvement. Teachers are much more concerned about keeping their jobs - which is largely based on statistical information that they have no control over - than they are in really educating the kids. That's not because they're bad teachers, it's because that's what the educational system is obsessed with.

Another problem is motivation. At a certain level in America, being intelligent leaves one with no friends. It's a difficult cultural thing to jump. In addition, the power of a drug culture and a "party ALL THE TIME" mentality has really begun to affect the situation.

In my years in America's public and private schools, I was almost a pariah because my grades were higher than normal. None of the "cool" people were my friends. By no means was I "Joe Cool", but I had to really dumb myself down to have friends. If I had concentrated on my education, really concentrated, I could have gone a lot further than I did. However, it's no fun to be "friend-less". So, thus, I devoted some time to being cool and devoted my intelligence to learning how to cheat so that I didn't have to study as hard. Was that right? Heck, no, it wasn't right, but I was 17 years old and hormones drove more than one of my decisions.

My point is that the American system in general - and I suspect some other systems too, but I don't have any evidence at all - downplays intelligence and the importance of education. We're more concerned with cultural direction - should I get piercings? my girlfriend is pregnant! is marijuana really addictive? why are the police always after me? that's racial profiling, man! - than we are knowing how to write good computer programs, design quality machinery, invent alternative fuel automobiles, or create beautiful architecture. That stuff takes WORK, and work isn't "cool".

Calling "us" stupid is unfair generalization. Picking on Texans is also unfair generalization, but it is a natural thing when one wishes to poke a barb at President Bush.

Those people aren't necessarily stupid - they're just highly uneducated according to the standards that some wish to impose. Some of them could possibly break into and steal your $50,000 SUV in about 20 seconds, though, so don't be so quick to discount either their intelligence or their ability to learn.

Let this be a lesson to us all - anybody's kids could wind up this way without proper direction, care, and REAL education.
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