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  1. #1
    Queen hunter Virtual ghost's Avatar
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    Default Knowing of geography

    I will not going to lie/hide to anyone that there is a stereotype of a dumb American in Europe.

    But what strikes me that by default when someone wants to prove that this stereotype is true they take Geography as a testing ground.

    What I am asking here: Do people in the US trully and totally suck in geography or this simply is not the truth ? Or is it around 50:50?

  2. #2

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    Quote Originally Posted by Antisocial one View Post
    I will not going to lie/hide to anyone that there is a stereotype of a dumb American in Europe.

    But what strikes me that by default when someone wants to prove that this stereotype is true they take Geography as a testing ground.

    What I am asking here: Do people in the US trully and totally suck in geography or this simply is not the truth ? Or is it around 50:50?
    I think there is some truth to it. And I think geography is often used as an example for this sort of thing because it's common to everyone.

    While admitting that there is some truth here, I do wish to mildly defend my fellow Americans. I think that part of our provincialism (which ignorance of geography springs from) is that our country is so large. A good percentage of Americans don't travel abroad simply because it's quite a distance for some of them. I think having several foreign nations close by raises your awareness of geography and international geopolitics.

    That said, we need to do better.
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  3. #3
    Lallygag Moderator Geoff's Avatar
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    Default

    There's some truth in it, but it's not a unique American problem. I know plenty of people here in the UK who couldn't tell you which coast California, or Florida are on.

  4. #4
    Queen hunter Virtual ghost's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Geoff View Post
    There's some truth in it, but it's not a unique American problem. I know plenty of people here in the UK who couldn't tell you which coast California, or Florida are on.
    I know, since I have met people like this in my environment myself and I am from Europe. However I am curious about from where this stereotype is coming from.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Moiety's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Antisocial one View Post
    I know, since I have met people like this in my environment myself and I am from Europe. However I am curious about from where this stereotype is coming from.
    Probably due to being self-centered (which isn't necessarily a bad thing, when you're good). I've had numerous discussions with Americans (and Brits too actually) that were surprised to hear about certain realities outside of their country. The often have a grim idea of what's beyond their boarders as if it's all third-world countries or simply too strange to relate to.

  6. #6
    IRL is not real Cimarron's Avatar
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    I think it's mostly true. The source? It's pretty easy to spend your whole life living in the United States and not knowing where everything else in the world (or even on the other side of the country) is. There's not much necessity for it. So plenty of people don't even bother. I'm kind of biased because I'm a geography nerd.
    Last edited by Cimarron; 01-30-2009 at 02:15 PM. Reason: forgot a word
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  7. #7
    IRL is not real Cimarron's Avatar
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    In summary, most people I meet know very little about geography. :sad:
    You can't spell "justice" without ISTJ.

  8. #8
    The Unwieldy Clawed One Falcarius's Avatar
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    Falcarius does not think Americans are any worse in particular than anyone else at geography, but rather that their country is such a tremendously big geographically diverse country, and that has a very high number of people for western standards that do not have passports. It is not surprising really, because if a American wants to see tropical they go to Hawaii or Florida, polar they go to Alaska, and for a gorge they go to the Grand Canyon.

    Another thing, Falcarius is pretty sure he could name more capital cities and countries than most Americans, as he like football (soccer) so he knows where most of the large cities where football is popular around the world, a country that is a member of a economic and political union made up of over twenty five different countries, and also he is from a country that had the largest empire ever. On the other hand, most Americans should be better at knowing geographic features; for example, like why different climates occur and why hurricanes happen.

    What Falcarius is trying to say in short is that he thinks Americans are better at different things in terms of geography than people from other countries.
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  9. #9
    Queen hunter Virtual ghost's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sytpg View Post
    Probably due to being self-centered (which isn't necessarily a bad thing, when you're good). I've had numerous discussions with Americans (and Brits too actually) that were surprised to hear about certain realities outside of their country. The often have a grim idea of what's beyond their boarders as if it's all third-world countries or simply too strange to relate to.
    I agree, since I had similar experiances. I think that many people in the US have outdated picture of the world.

    Some 50-60 years ago they trully had the best standard of living in the world.

  10. #10
    Reason vs Being ragashree's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Antisocial one View Post
    I agree, since I had similar experiances. I think that many people in the US have outdated picture of the world.

    Some 50-60 years ago they trully had the best standard of living in the world.
    Good point. In my experience a lot of the more parochial Americans have some pretty strange beliefs on this subject. I have actually been asked by Americans I have met there *admittedly they weren't generally the brightest sparks in the bonfire, but they still considered themselves middle-class 'cos they had A Job* whether we had such things as articulated HGVs, broadband internet service, social security and a minumum wage in deepest darkest Britain. :rolleyes2: Telling such people we actually have free healthcare too (yes, even ours) appears to blow their minds completely.
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