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z06z33

Wow is my generation really this dumb?

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There was a poll taken a few years ago of high school students in the US, and almost 50% stated that during World War II, the Americans fought with the Germans against the Japanese and the Russians!

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There was a poll taken a few years ago of high school students in the US, and almost 50% stated that during World War II, the Americans fought with the Germans against the Japanese and the Russians!

 

Borg_zps5faa8d8e.png

WHAT??? I don't believe you. You are kidding, right?

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The ignorance of most people of all cultures is pretty underwhelming. It's not just Americans. I have spent the last 40 years of my life traveling the world and can tell you that there are people in Malaysia that do not know where New York is, Japanese that do not know where Perth is located, and countless others that do not know history beyond their very narrow horizons. Though this story relates to an American, it is a story that any country and citizen can repeat at some level.

 

My father was Navy and we were stationed in Japan. We returned to the US and were stationed in Southern Maryland. I remember the first day in school there. I was standing behind a very big kid who waiting in line with me in the cafeteria for his lunch, turned to me and asked; "you are the guy from Japan, right?". I said yes, we just arrived. He then responded with; "I have never met a Japanese before". I was floored and proceeded to explain, no, I am an American and I am not Japanese. He finally accepted that and we moved on.

 

The end of the story? We became good friends, and he ended up serving two tours in Vietnam. After two tours he came home to run his father's farm. Less than a year after his return, he was killed when his tractor overturned on him. Up to the time of his joining the Army, he had never traveled outside of St. Mary's county; the place of his birth and death.

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With feral crime on the increase and the obsession with reality shows/z-list celebrities what would anyone expect?

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The end of the story? We became good friends, and he ended up serving two tours in Vietnam. After two tours he came home to run his father's farm. Less than a year after his return, he was killed when his tractor overturned on him. Up to the time of his joining the Army, he had never traveled outside of St. Mary's county; the place of his birth and death.

 

This is a telling as anything, Tom. Outside of the loss of your friend, people get cloistered, they get fixed in their ways, they remain isolated, whatever. The end result is that they are very unaware of the "greater world" - the tiller is in hand, the nose is upon the grinding wheel, and that is all they see. 

 

I remember traveling to Hawaii on my honeymoon, many moons ago, and talking to an elderly shop keeper on Kauai. She had NEVER left the island. I was flabbergasted, as I was already suffering from rock fever!

 

That being said, there are many studies that indicate 'Muricans are more ignorant of the world than most. Your referenced Malaysians and Japanese. That is not an apt comparison, as both are relatively closed societies. If you compare Americans to Europeans, where the "western culture" and knowledge base is more even, Americans are woefully ignorant in comparison. I have traveled as well, and always ace the PEW Research quizzes, but when a bartender in Munich can speak four languages fluently and understand American political issues, I feel ... inadequate.

 

And I fear the situation is not getting any better, but is indeed getting worse.

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There was a poll taken a few years ago of high school students in the US, and almost 50% stated that during World War II, the Americans fought with the Germans against the Japanese and the Russians!

 

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Saw a poll that 30% of Louisiana republicans blame Obama for post-Katrina response. Of course Katrina was 3 years before he was president.

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Old news but still, I give up on my generation.... How can people not be interested in history I dig through mud and endure mass attacks of insects to recover Paleo Indian artifacts to learn about their culture but most won't even watch a TV program about history.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/1577511/Winston-Churchill-didnt-really-exist-say-teens.html

Yup the rest if our generation is this dumb.

 

It's fine to say they're ignorant, but I'm guessing they're learning some of this in school so there's really not many excuses on that front. Okay so they're not up to date with their 13th century military history but still not knowing who Churchill is is pretty bad. We learned about him in Canada, because he was important!

 

I live in a city of around 55000 in northern Alberta Canada and sometimes I wonder if its just because its here or people in general. I'm leaning to its mostly rural Canada, and some other smaller cities. Or maybe North America? I don't know.

 

But if I get asked if Africa is a country one more time I don't know what I'll do. Somebody asked my sister that in her political science masters course as well...

 

My mom is from South Africa wait for these:

 

"Oh your moms from South Africa?"

"Yes"

slight pause with a confused look..." And she's white?"

"Yes there's all sorts of people in South Africa!!"

Usually said in my head. And this has happened to all my siblings while they were in university as well

 

"Oh South Africa, where is that?"

Jeez I don't know. I'd tell you to go look at an atlas but I understand the amount of work that would take would be far more then your attention span would allow.

 

 

That's before people even know I'm Jewish, my families basically the only Jewish family around here. It's very hard for people (around here) to fathom that someone doesn't have to believe in *******, I'm not exaggerating.

 

Its geography that annoys me too. Is it rare for someone to not have to look at a map? Do I know my geography better then most? Do people not think its an important thing to know about?

 

Shouldn't people know some of the countries that make up the continents? I'm not saying you should know where Equatorial Guinea is, or Nepal is on the map instantly but we need to learn about other places. If I asked someone where Everest is, or the Andes, I'm not sure if I would get an answer out of 90% of the people around here. Kids or adults. Great Barrier Reef anyone?

 

It's not everyone of our generation, but if we're honest, most could care less about this stuff. Unless its on Facebook or twitter or snapchat who cares? It's not important.

 

Ok, now that that is off my chest....

 

Lee

 

Edit: the whining that went on when we did Shakespeare was pretty bad. Why do we have to learn about him? He's only one if the most important authors of the English language so it's no biggie.

 

Same with history/social studies class too.

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Also a daily diet of Candy Crush and Angry Birds.

True and people with their eyes glued to their "i" devices and smart phones, constantly tweeting, facebooking, and playing mindless games, while consuming energy drinks to stay awake. Young kids following the likes of Justin Beiber and Miley Cyrus wanting to be just him/her.

 

The younger generation is in trouble. The division between the upper class and middle/lower class will become greater as the ones who choose to learn and better themselves will be making all the money and mosy likely have better quality of lives, while the ones who choose to play games and work minimum wage jobs will be helpless and at the mercy of the folks with all the money, education and power.

 

Dont even get me started at the lack of discipline, manners, attitudes, and sense of entitlement a lot of the younger generation display these days.

 

A lot of people would be surprised at the amount of young 20 somethings i've talked to who dont even know the capitals of some of the larger states, sometimes not even the capital of the state they live in.

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The younger generation is in trouble. The division between the upper class and middle/lower class will become greater as the ones who choose to learn and better themselves will be making all the money and mosy likely have better quality of lives, while the ones who choose to play games and work minimum wage jobs will be helpless and at the mercy of the folks with all the money, education and power.

 

Right up to the point where they take to the streets rioting because they can't see a difference between buying something with money that's been earned & looting it out of a shop window. As happened here in the UK a couple of years back.

 

I clearly remember back in 2000, when the 60th anniversary of the Battle of Britain was being remembered, a survey showed that the majority of youngsters didn't even know what it was - let alone who won it & what would have happened if we hadn't!!

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Glad I'm not the only one noticing this trend.  It's stunning really.  I've seen core curricula in schools dumbed down to the lowest levels while schools focus less on education and more on nanny agendas.  It's staggering.  Sadly, these are the leaders of our future.  Of course, I'm sure that Tom and a few others who have a few years on me (just a few, lol) would say the same about my forty-something generation.  It seems that every generation has a paradigm changing evolution in technology which results in a directly proportional degradation in society.  For us, it was television, and later, the advent of the PC.  For this generation it's the Internet.  All technologies that could have been utilized to further education for everyone, provide a conduit for greater societal awareness and generally improve the human condition, but which have, sadly, been co opted by less than savory control freaks hell bent on taking advantage of the less educated.  Say what you want about technology; one thing is clear. As a society, technology has made us lazy and ignorant.

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I recall reading that these same arguments were being made 100 years ago. Is it worse today? I have no idea. I've seen trends I like, and trends I don't.

 

Hook

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Part of the reason for that is that school curriculum can be cut and dry so students don't become engaged, I remember learning about the pilgrims and the revolutionary war year after year in grade school until we finally moved on to WWI and beyond starting in the 7th grade. Don't get me started in high school, one of the most boring 4 years of my life.

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There was a poll taken a few years ago of high school students in the US, and almost 50% stated that during World War II, the Americans fought with the Germans against the Japanese and the Russians!

 

Borg_zps5faa8d8e.png

Well of course, it was the United States being led by Dwight D Eisenhower, the Germans were led by Winston Churchill(to which many UK teens believe is fictional, probably half of US teens believe that), The evil N@Z! Russians were led by H!tler, and Emperor Stalin led the sneaky Japanese. However if the Russians being led by H!tler had not bombed Pearl Harbor, we would not have gotten into the war which was started by France and England who ended up losing.

 

Sadly this satiric play on WWII history would most likely be believed as truth by many under-educated public school morons who think that the MTV show Jersey Shore is the best show ever made, "and all hail SNOOKI". *FACEPALM*

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Been living in New Zealand for 3 years now and the kids here are pretty bright. Education here was just ranked 7th in the world and the schools here everyone has to wear a uniform that consist of school blazers, their is no violence, very dedicated teachers.  This is where we will stay to raise our kids. Put a poll like that in New Zealand and you will have a very different result.

 

What I have noticed from being abroad is most of these other countries are just setting up trade relations with each other and are more and more leaving the USA out. USA is becoming too difficult to do business with so it is becoming more insular. Rest of these countries just move on.

 

Most recently our banks have begun to lock out US Citizens and have told them to take their money and close their accounts due to the U.S. Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act. More of this stuff keeps happening. It is near impossible for a US Citizen to open a bank account living overseas anymore. Reason is our banks refuse to disclose information to the IRS or any foreign governments.

 

Times they are a changing.

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Are things getting better or worse? Who knows, and I am not going to belittle young people. I was young once myself. The generation gap is as old as humanity and dumbness goes both ways. We are all cognitively biased, coloured by our political and religious views, not to mention lack of scientific knowledge to back up our arguments.

 

People might still be interested in history, not just the kind of history "we" might find significant and important. It is hard for anyone to make sense of anything these days with the torrent of information avilable through all kinds of media.

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The most worrying thing is, Kids these days have an access to knowledge via the internet that previous generations could only have dreamt of and they still do not seem to absorb any of it.

 

Pretty much anything you could want to know about any subject and Google will find it for you before you have finished typing. and that is on a smartphone you can carry in your pocket.

 

It could be that it is too easy for them, why bother learning anything if that knowledge can be Googled instantly ?

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The most worrying thing is, Kids these days have an access to knowledge via the internet that previous generations could only have dreamt of and they still do not seem to absorb any of it.

 

Pretty much anything you could want to know about any subject and Google will find it for you before you have finished typing. and that is on a smartphone you can carry in your pocket.

 

It could be that it is too easy for them, why bother learning anything if that knowledge can be Googled instantly ?

 

They have easy access to information yes, but how do they know if that information is credible? How do they separate the wheat from the chaff so to speak? Once upon the time people were spoon fed "the truth" (or sombodies version of it). That isn't the case anymore. The church, gouvernments and schools do no longer have information monopoly. That is a development in the right direction, but leads to a lot of confusion. The paradox is that you need a lot of knowledge to aquire more knowledge, and as Sokrates said, the more you know, the less you know!

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Simmerhead and others, I'm glad you guys are around. :smile:

 

Differentiations to be made on the topic. Media rarely reports about people getting smarter or schools 'just' achieving their goals. They actually pick the opposite for reasons given in this very thread. Lets call it the 'to get upset about' value.

 

Second, intelligence can't be measured by asking people about who Churchill was. Education can. Education doesn't equal intelligence. Intelligence is potential waiting to be unlocked or given a chance.

 

Education takes place all the time, even now. But it's largely influenced by a) who teaches you, b ) who/what distracts you from it and c) how interested you are in getting to know new things, especially the ones being outside of the confirmation bias scope. So there's quite a task to reach out to young individuals which are, intentionally, set up to be good consumers in the first place.

 

While I'd agree to saying that nowadays youngsters are differently motivated than former ones, I have no doubt that the human factors are just the same, while the distractions now reach from the XBOX One over to the right clothes or just the latest movie getting heavily promoted.

 

You are fighting wars out there, the ones for attention. And it takes a good and motivated teacher to get the message across. Guys like (for example) Sagan or, now, Neil deGrasse Tyson really mean what they say when they state that you have to ignite a spark in an individual. That's a thing not taking place because somebody says 'listen up, this is important' but when someone shows you that it really is. Learning because you want to vs. learning because you are told to learn.

 

Complains about the youth not being interested/as smart/as noble as their predecessors are very old. To be honest, the grown up folks stating that women can shut something down in the event of rape or that evolution 'is just a theory' are far more worrisome than a 13 year old not knowing about the capital of Japan. You can look up the latter.

 

In short, 'your' generation most likely is as smart, dumb or gifted as the one before it and the next one to come. There's no scientific evidence showing something different.

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You can tell Americans are a bunch of dumba****. Look at the lousy standard of living that we must endure. Look at all the diseases of epidemic proportion we must live with. Oh and look at the lack of freedom we have. Look at how the rest of these brilliant countries count on us for protection against their enemies. You want to bash the U.S., go for it. Have a field day. I have better things to do. Have a good day. I'm going to one of my four wretched golf courses and play golf.

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Complains about the youth not being interested/as smart/as noble as their predecessors are very old. To be honest, the grown up folks stating that women can shut something down in the event of rape or that evolution 'is just a theory' are far more worrisome than a 13 year old not knowing about the capital of Japan. You can look up the latter.

 

+1. Dogma is being dispensed more and more as vested interests move to protect "their" way of life.

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I cannot speak too much about other countries, but as to the US...I am 45, and have a son who is a junior in a well regarded suburban public high school, as well as 9th grade and 8th grade daughters. My son has had nothing less than an a- since 5th grade, and has had nothing less than an A all thorough high school. (Had to brag a little, but there is a point). I suspect his math and science education is comparable to anywhere in the world - he's taken classes early on that I took in college. Where education is lacking, imo, is in history, particularly our own. It's this moral relativistic, politically correct BS. And there's little emphasis on history's importance. Couple that with a media that cares more about the size of a movie star's bum than it does world events, and I believe we are creating a generation of culturally illiterate and politically naive youth. They believe they are living "at the end" of history, as opposed to part of it, and the things that happened more than 20 years ago have no bearing on what is, or will, happen.

 

 

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