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Some Americans are so DUMB!

Discussion in 'Non-Vegas Chat' started by Joe, Jul 9, 2014.

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  1. Joe

    Joe VIP Whale

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    One of our friends in Vegas is a Canadian and last year she took the test to become an American citizen. She got 100% of the questions correct. I stumbled across this video asking Americans the same questions. There are 100 questions total, but you are asked ten and have to get 6 right to become a citizen.

    Full disclosure: I got two wrong. Number of amendments and the year the Constitution was written.

    http://www.upworthy.com/what-happens-when-people-born-in-the-usa-try-the-same-test-as-people-who-want-to-become-citizens?c=hpstream

    My favorite answer was that JFK was President during WWI.:bang:
     
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  2. techie223

    techie223 High-Roller

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    As a proud Canadian, I'd like to agree with you wholeheartedly. :wink2:

    But to be honest, unfortunately there are very similar reports on the results that people taking Canadian citizenship tests attain, and what a typical Canadian scores. Let's face it, many non-immigrant citizens of countries don't know a lot about the history of their countries, or about history in general these days.
     
  3. makikiboy

    makikiboy VIP Whale

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    Well, what about driver license tests? I remember taking it decades ago but if I took the test again I would probably flunk it (how many feet from.....?). To pass many of these tests a person would have to study up on it, something that people like us who are already US citizens don't have to worry about. Being a US citizen by birth, we didn't have to read or study up on all that info, plus we didn't have to take a pledge that new citizens have to do.
     
  4. ken2v

    ken2v This Space For Rent

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    Americans are stunningly ignorant. And our knowledge of our own past and institutions borders on brilliant compared to what we know about the rest of the world.
     
  5. nineroller9

    nineroller9 Newbie

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    I would point out that most of us had to learn "all that info" in elementary school and/or junior HS.
     
  6. flyguyfl

    flyguyfl Low-Roller

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    Correct.
     
  7. jerseyguy

    jerseyguy VIP Whale

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    We live in the "age of google" ,what do we have to remember? If we dont know it we can google it.
    Case in point,the other day I needed to replace a bathroom exhaust fan. Simple really,but I forgot how since its been at least 15 years since I replaced one.
    I googled it and theres a video on how to do it. Whats todays biggest focus,knowing things or knowing how to find out things?
    May be slightly off topic ,but the point I'm trying to make is that most people dont retain things like history,civics and geography cause it's right there in your cell phone.or I pad.
     
  8. UTE

    UTE Plastics

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    In general, Canadians are an impressive bunch. Every one of 'em I've met can describe our political system and even name major politicians. Ask most Americans about Canadian politics and you get a blank stare - they can't even name the Canadian PM or say which city is the capital.

    Bill
     
  9. smerrian

    smerrian Low-Roller

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    Canada is a much smaller country than the US when dealing with population size. It has a much smaller imprint on the world stage and it's influence is much smaller. Of course more Canadians know more about US politics as it affects them both directly and indirectly. Most US citizens are rarely affected by Canadian politics so it is not important to them. A more even match would be to ask a Canadian about a State that is roughly about 1/10 the population of Canada and has little effect on their lives…let's say New York or Texas for arguement's sake. Now ask them questions about New York State or Texas government…Governor? Capital? That would bare more of where Canada stands in relation to the US.
    US citizens ARE generally stunningly ignorant because they can be. It is easy to get by in this country. You don't have to know a damn thing past what your eyes can see. Of course, if you want to live a better life, it helps to be aware and educate yourself. But, that's an option, not a necessity. People don't realize just how easy life is in this country compared to the rest of the world…not how good, how easy…nothing is expected of you, it's up to you if you want to improve yourself.
     
  10. zamboni

    zamboni VIP Whale

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    Ottawa. But don't know the PM.
     
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  11. ken2v

    ken2v This Space For Rent

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    We read up on and studied that stuff every day in school. That's what school was all about.

    As for the DL, I'd put everyone through the vision and written test every 10 years and the driving portion every 15 or 20, or at least at some regular interval. Driving is a privilege and with 3000 lb. hunks of metal and speeds, I don't see anything wrong with making sure drivers can still drive, see, react and be somewhat conversant in the rules.

    Our collective ignorance wasn't found overnight, so brain leakage owing to instant access to facts really can't be blamed. And I'd rather my fellow citizens understand something like the electoral college and its implications rather than where it might be found following an iPhone search. Being able to cogently discuss the circumstances and consequences of Japanese internment as we struggle today with basic questions of civil liberties? That would be nice. Don't expect it. When I figured out school and study and readying were not about facts rather concepts and threads and cause/effect, learning took on a whole new light. I'm not impressed if someone can google the "Reconstruction Amendments" and rattle off the numbers. Now if they can put them in historic context, that's what we need.

    As for our world illiteracy ...

    This is what I've experienced with my Canadian friends and associates, and when hanging out up that way.
     
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2014
  12. maxnew40

    maxnew40 Low-Roller

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    It all comes down to how much time and effort you want to take to memorize facts that you will either never need to know or need so infrequently that it more efficient to just look it up that one time in your life you may need it.

    Being smart or dumb has absolutely nothing to do with memorizing random facts. Being smart or dumb is more about solving puzzles and recognizing complex relationships.

    -Max
     
  13. Joe Strummer

    Joe Strummer VIP Whale

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    I didn't know Ottawa......don't know Canada's PM.
    I don't follow "politics".....don't care for politicians.......I couldn't tell ya who our VP is ?.....don't care about politicians.
    I can tell you who played 3rd base for the '61 Pittsburgh Pirates.
    It all depends what you've been trained for + where your interests lie.
    I can demo + remodel a house, can read a Cat Scan + X-ray, and tell you where Frankie Vallie's voice is Double Tracked in the song "Sherry".
    But Not sure who is the USA's VP is though ?
    *
    I asked a H.S. student to check my calculations for "Area" ----
    I was trying to figure how much paint I needed for walls,ceilings, etc
    She looked at me w/ a blank stare and said "We use calculators in school."
    She couldn't do simple multiplication....didn't know her "times tables"......WOW !!!????
    *
    I agree w/ Ken........we should ALL be tested once in a while for DL.
     
  14. ken2v

    ken2v This Space For Rent

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    Plenty of generations still alive who think it as bad that younger folks don't understand grammar, can't diagram a sentence or even speak or write in full, complete sentences.
     
  15. makikiboy

    makikiboy VIP Whale

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    I worked for a Canadian company about 20 years ago. Overall they are a smart bunch and I met a lot of nice Canadians but I also met a few idiots and buttholes and bigots also. One was so anti American, putting Americans down every chance he got, grumbling, etc. He was one of the only people who was transferred to Hawaii (for the project) that hated Hawaii and his stay in Hawaii. All the other Canadians in the group loved it, living in Hawaii for a year or more, rent and expenses paid for, etc. For them they just took it as a paid work/vacation in Hawaii, enjoying their stay to the fullest (and putting in some work in between, lol). But this one guy was such a wet blanket (other Canadians said he was like that even in Canada) that most of the time we just ignored him or avoided him, no sense trying to talk to him.
     
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2014
  16. makikiboy

    makikiboy VIP Whale

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    I was born in Chitown and moved to Hawaii when I was in grade school. Unfortunately one thing I noticed was the excessive use of pidgin English and inability to speak or use complete sentences. For the first few years I was the stranger, kids couldn't understand what I was saying (I kept saying "pardon me?") and wondered why the local looking kid "talked" like a "haole". Eventually I got into the pidgin language but unfortunately that also resulted in bad English at times. I do notice that many kids in America use "lazy" English; not needing to speak in complete sentences and not able to switch off the "lazy" English back to proper English when needed but I think that is because they don't have to use proper English all the time so like a foreign language that skill disappears with time.

    While we had to learn all that in school that didn't mean that we had to retain the knowledge. I remember we had to learn world history (world what?). We crammed to remember history for the tests but after that most of the info just went out the door.

    As for the DL, Hawaii used to administer simple tests when renewing our driver's licenses every 4 to 6 years. I always told others when taking the test to think what they normally do on the road and answer the opposite! Not sure why but they discontinued the simple tests (now just go in and renew your license, no written or road test required). They still make you take the vision test (oops, I think for my next renewal I might need to wear glasses as I barely passed the vision test this time around) so that is a good thing but as you mentioned, some of the drivers as they get older seem to cut corners or take unnecessary risks when driving so a refresher road test might be a good thing.


    I hate to say it but sometimes we Americans can be full of ourselves, as if the world revolves around our lives and nothing else matters, that all other countries aren't as good as us and when other people/countries criticize us it starts getting personal. I learned a lot of this when I worked for the Canadian company so at the time it was an interesting wake up call.
     
  17. parallax

    parallax Low-Roller

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    Canadians are very smart except for the GMs of the Canadian hockey teams. What has it been, 20 years since a Canadian team won the Stanley Cup?:peace:
     
  18. bardolator

    bardolator Lifelong Low Roller

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    I can think of numerous types of licenses that are obtained or retained too easily, and add to that other activities which are unlicensed but ought to require an intelligence test, personality profile, factual test, and/or proof of financial responsibility. Having children would be near the top of my list.
     
  19. RockyBalboa

    RockyBalboa VIP Whale

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    Someone asked me today "where is Oakland"?

    I am saddened when I realize how many of my fellow American's struggle with basic American geography or historical facts.

    I mentioned Valley Forge to someone and got a blank stare....really?!
     
  20. MikeOPensacola

    MikeOPensacola VIP Whale

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    I've always felt that a lack of knowledge is proportionately related to a lack of curiosity. Of course a lot of the fundamental building blocks we attained in grade school and high school were only a start. College of course helps. However, the vast majority of the useful and interesting things that most people are conversant in are more often than not a result of reading up on what they are interested in. Keeping up on current events, knowing about any of the endless array of historical periods, science, art etc. takes an investment in time. Google and Wikipedia are certainly a good start. But at the root of it all is the desire to explore what we don't know but wish we did.
     
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