I don’t know about stupid, but I will say we seem to bet against our own self interests because we are to lazy to do our own research. Not just here. Some countries are a little bit more self aware.
We are lazy, and chose ignorance because it’s easy.
Stupid means we are not able to learn. Most can. Many just chose not to and some simply are too busy trying to survive to bother to learn something beyond their own little world.
So I don’t think it’s that black or white. We are an overfed society that wants instant gratification and like the junk food we swallow, our society swallows the most hideous lies to make themselves feel good about their poor choices. It is also easier to remain blissful when you ignore the world.
Not stupid exactly but America is being swept by disturbing currents of irrationality and emotion where reason takes a back seat. When the American flag is draped over all this passion you get the illusion there is something to be proud of.
False, You can walk around with a video camera all day long until you get enough ignorant people answering to string a click bait video together.
The average IQ in th US is 98 for those of you who put any weight on IQ
Plenty of Americans are, indeed, both stupid and proud of it, but I’d hate to think that this is “in general.” I live among intelligent, highly-educated people who question their own opinions and are sensitive to the world around them, and I get to interact with such people every day. I also know that I’m in a very atypical part of the country, and that my perceptions might be heavily skewed.
“Popular” press plays to the issue. TV shows, reality shows, etc. play to the population segment that needs to be entertained with non-intellectually challenging “information”. These folks have, in large measure, very high Dunning-Kruger index levels and would rate high on usage levels of “motivated reasoning”.
These same population segments could be characterized by Isaac Asimov’s quote—
Anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that ‘my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.’
Something to consider as we move into the morass of Trumianism.
The U.S. does not do well in the PISA tests, so we do not come out looking too bright. I would not say that Americans are proud of their ignorance so much as distrustful of academia. Americans have always been highly pragmatic and have always admired people who do well in business. Since the U.S. has done quite well industrially and not too bad when it comes to Nobel prizes, we must be doing something right.
I am too quick to conflate stupidity and ignorance. The 2 words are not interchangeable. To my mind, it becomes ever more difficult to counter the argument that we are collectively stupid. But that must be wrong, since it is clearly irrational for anyone to choose to be stupid. Being
“proud of it” assumes that stupidity might desirable, and even the stupid won’t buy that one. We behave stupidly simply due to ignorance. America dumbing down is about the perception that profound levels of ignorance surface ever more frequently here in the land of the free. But that’s probably wrong as well. The more likely situation is that ignorance concentrates in pockets geographically as the more astute and better informed flee for better opportunities.
It’s an interesting contradiction. We live in a place that churns out college graduates like nobody’s business. But let’s ask ourselves, which class in the country stands to benefit most from an ignorant electorate? There are “educated people” willing to accept “We’re gonna build a wall & Mexico will pay for it”.
I don’t think American’s are stupid. I think they have been systematically sold a bad bill of goods and are simply trusting, good-hearted, well-meaning, but, ultimately, left ignorant and abandoned by the powers they entrusted.
One time I bought something in a store on July 4, and the cashier was wearing a tee shirt with a large Union Jack on it. I joked with her that this might not have been the best choice for Independence Day. I don’t think she had any idea of what I was saying.
I think Americans are way too self absorbed. Part of this is due to the educational system which doesn’t foster awareness and understanding of other nations—very dangerous for a superpower. But mostly, their media and entertainment industry, which represents 1/7th of their economy, produces so much product that it crowds out everything else. (Most countries are necessarily international in their viewer consumption due to economic restraints —it’s cheaper to buy second-hand foreign product and sub-dub it, than it is to produce one’s own of similar quality.) This results in an ignorance that may not be necessarily willfull, but sustained by the environment around them.
But, like @rojo, I don’t let my countrymen off lightly. We’re rich as hell, extremely powerful as a nation, and opportunities for self-education abound. Our defense budget for 2011 alone was greater than the annual GDP of 147 other nations. Because of this, I feel we each have more of a responsibility to be aware of the world around us, moreso than other countries.
And there is the added effect of being a family member. We are more critical of our family members than those outside of the family. I identify as an American and fellow Americans are my family. Therefore, I am very critical of them, a lot more critical than I am of other nationals. I expect more of them.
If the next door neighbor’s kid gets in trouble with drugs, I feel bad for the neighbors, but that may be the extent of it. If my little brother gets in trouble with drugs, it is everything I can do to not go ballistic.
@Espiritus_Corvus I still maintain it is up to the individual to make it or epic fail in a stupid man-on-the-street video. My oldest a junior in college studying business in college told me how he recently turned down a $75,000 a year job as a head bowling alley mechanic at an alley in Pittsburg. I’d like to think he did so knowing a Sheepskin was within reach, but I suspect a big part of his decision was because of his GF and knowing if Pittsburg wants me that bad…so will another company where we can be together. Straight A’s all 3 years and we as parents honestly played a small supporting role in his academic success in our OK public school system.
you once again completely miss the meaning.
Putin’s response was bait for Trump.
And Trump’s response, praise for Putin after it is all but certain that Russia is guilty of the hacking, signals to Putin that he can walk all over Trump and his ‘administration’ in the future.
As I said before, Putin plays Trump like a fiddle.
@ragingloli I respectfully disagree….I added the respectfully in an effort to overcome your disdain for me and Mr Donald. Read the entire link…Putin is playing Obama like a fiddle while at the same giving Trump a reach around. If you cannot see this, then I don’t know what else will open your eyes to how badly Obama has dropped the egg on Russian/US relations. Read the fable Humpty Dumpty as an allegory to get an idea just how irreversible the damage Obama has inflicted upon our country.
@Cruiser No. That was just Russia throwing a temper tantrum because Obama levied sanctions against him, for a damn good reason. Putin knows Trump would be too chicken to do something like that.
I don’t agree with @ragingloli very often, but I agree that Putin knows that ”… he can walk all over Trump and his ‘administration’ in the future.”
You have to understand the context. When the soviets ruled and were preaching worker’s rights and equality and no religion, the Russians were evil incarnate. Now that they are friends with the church and anti-gay and doing the bidding of big business, they are good friends of the right wingers.
@janbb First of there has been no empirical proof presented that there was malicious intent by the Russians to hack whatever and manipulate the outcome of the election. That narrative is an easy sell by the losers of the election…time to get over it. FYI, the Russian, N. Koreans, China, Japan, India, Iran etc are all and have been hacking away at our most protected data since computers were invented. We reciprocate in an equally robust fashion. We know it and so do they. Shame on them or shame on us??? All is fair in love and war. If the Russian hacking was such a serious infraction back in June when we allegedly discovered said hacking efforts by Russia….why did not Barry and friends immediately respond when it happened over 6 months ago? Please someone give me a reasonable explanation here.
Holy WOW @ragingloli I never in a million years would have imagined Russia to ever attempt to hack our electrical grid just in case they wanted to royally fuck us up the ass with shutting down parts if not all of our electrical grid! Thank you so much for letting us know….I am running out right now to buy a car load of candles.
And by the way, after much contemplation and consideration, since it is the new year, and because of my new year’s resolution to become a better, wiser person:
That so-called “apology” you sent me, you can shove it up your arse. :D
‘Respectfully’, of course.
The point did not go over my head. There was no point, period. Just the inane ranting of someone who’s upset that his guy is the least popular, lowest-approved, president-elect in the history of our nation.
I’ve made my stance on the Electoral College clear. I oppose it on principal, regardless of whether it works or not, because it is, by design*, an undemocratic system that negates the will of the people in deciding their nation’s leader.
(*Which, for that matter, doesn’t even operate as the Founding Fathers intended anymore. If it did the people of each Congressional district would vote for their district’s elector, rather than the party leaders in each state appointing party loyalists to the, by now effectively ceremonial, role.)
@Cruiser There is no proof that you’ve been privy to. I’m pretty damn sure that you don’t have all the information that the president has, and I’m certain he wouldn’t have taken the action that he did if he wasn’t sure. And the fact that Putin just kind of waved, “Ha ha!” in response to the sanctions should be another hint that it really happened.
@Dutchess_III That is my whole point…I don’t have Jack shit proof neither do you neither does the press yet you are so eager to gobble up what ever the media sends your way that sounds appealing to you yet has zero basis in proof. No offense but hearsay evidence does not cut in for me.
@Cruiser How the hell do you expect us to have proof of Russian hacking? We have intelligence services to do that on our behalf and they are pretty sure that the Russians tried to meddle with the election. I’m surprised that you, as an American, are happy to dismiss accusations of foreign interference which strike at the heart of American democracy.
Hey lets get back on topic just a touch only two of you admitted to watching the video I posted in this question,where you said it was funny but does it answer the question as well, are Americans stupid and proud of it?
@flutherother I am not and would not be happy if or when the Russian’s hack our internet highway….but I am smart enough to know they have done so every day since the internet was invented and I am OK with that knowing we are hacking there servers just as fervently. Trying to blame Hillary’s election loss on Russian hacking is beyond the pale….get over it already!
Whether or not Russian hacking cost Clinton the election is beside the point. The fact that this hacking happened is the point, and it’s foolish to dismiss it. Dismissing it makes us appear weak. Yes, they’ve done so for ages, yes they will continue to do so. Yes, we’ve done the same and will continue to do the same. Nevertheless, when such acts are found out then we need to act on it. Just as I would expect Russia to act when they catch us in the act. Not doing so weakens us and undermines our security, our stability and our standing in the world.
@SQUEEKY2 I saw the video which was quite amusing. Not all Americans are as detached from reality as those that were interviewed and the kids that didn’t know or gave wrong answers were at least embarrassed rather than proud of their ignorance. It is when people are convinced they ‘know’ but lack any real knowledge that there is a problem.
OK @Darth_Algar I will leave it at that the Russians have been hacking us forever…we have been hacking them forever…please tell me why it is such a big deal now? Why did not WE wave our hands and jump up and down when we got a clue Russia was up to no good in June last year?? Anyone????
@janbbIF the FBI and the CIA corroborated said evidence then can you please tell me why they (our President) did not rain holy hell down on the Russians when it was first revealed back in June 2016? Why then AFTER the election?? Somebody anybody??
@janbb You made my point for me…This hacking…messing with our election (if it really happened) is everything about attacking our sovereignty as a nation…IF Russia did what some suggest they did…said hacking is on the level of bombing Pearl Harbor and for 6 months we did NOTHING! and we retaliate by kicking 35 Russian diplomats out of our country?? Please tell me how this makes any sense? If the Russians truly did what the White House alleges the Russian did…IMO something more than a time-out would be in order.
The media plays a big part in why it’s important now.
Same reason you only hear about dog attacks if the dog was a pit bull. Same reason any negative police altercation between white officers and black citizens is so broadly casted.
The media’s job is to make sure that the people are informed. But too often, they focus on subjects that get ratings. Things people are passionate about garner more attention.
Trump is an easy,and unpopular target. The media is playing it up to keep people watching / reading. I think that the pressure the media has put the country under by revealing the weight of the hacking has forced Obama’s hand.
There is also of course politics. The Obama administration is making sure that the ordeal is seen as a huge issue (which it is.) They want to portray the Russians as really bad. That way if Trump overturns the sanctions, he’ll be seen as laying with the enemy, and not supporting his country.
The whole thing is going to get real messy if Trump continues his current rhetoric about Putin. It’s starting to have a conspiracy theory feel to it. People are going to say Putin got Trump elected so they could work together for their own agendas.
I’m certainly not ready to make those assertions.
I am guilty of being lulled by the media too. If I see a story about Trump, I usually read it… Probably the same as Obama haters, insatiable thirst for bad news about Obama…
People like to have their opinions validated. If they are passionate about something, and there’s a article, or report cementing their own opinion on the subject, it gives them self gratification.
@Cruiser is wise to be suspicious of the timing of the uproar. I smell politics at work.
@SQUEEKY2 That’s a funny “documentary” on Americans, but of course it isn’t an accurate depiction of American ignorance regarding Canada. It would be interesting to know just how many people that comic had to talk to before he could actually find someone who actually would believe Canada holds plutonium mining rights to Mt Rushmore. Everyone knows there’s no such thing as a plutonium mine.
I agree @stanleybmanly t would be nice to know his stats was it 1 in 10 or 8 out of 10 it would be nice to know.
My personal experience with the states that once you go further than say about 100 miles from the border the Americans know little to nothing about Canada,but that 100 miles and closer they do know a great deal about us.
“But Obama insinuated other retaliation would follow” Seriously @MrGrimm888?? Can you be more delusional? I think you had more than your fair share of Kool-Aid last year. Do yourself a favor and switch to water. I am none too happy Trump will be our next President but I am damn glad Obama will soon no longer run our country.
@Cruiser“Why did not WE wave our hands and jump up and down when we got a clue Russia was up to no good in June last year??”
Some folks were. Some media was reporting it (not cable news, mind you, but sometimes it’s helpful to step outside of the echo chamber and listen to what others are saying). Some members of Congress were trying to get an investigation launched.
@Darth_Algar I am not biting. Today “they” FBI, CIA are trying to make the appearance they are certain Russia was behind the hacking 6 months ago yet provide not concrete proof. Yes the CIA and FBI, NSA have fumbled the ball before, but to now come out and say Russia affected our election and hand out lame as lame can get sanctions 6 months later….seriously? Do you really believe this nonsense? If so why?
Of course both agencies could follow Trump’s lead in making shit up, but I challenge anyone here to devise a more effective and cheap route to screwing the United States than planting Trump’s behind in the Oval Office. For the effort and expense involved when presented with such an unprecedented opportunity, othe Russians would be damned fools and the joke of the intelligence business had they passed on the chance.
Thank you! But seriously put yourself in Russian shoes, and try to argue the logic in passing up so cheap, easy and unheralded a chance. If at the very minimum, they can now point to us and say to the world “you see what you get with democracy?”, it’s a big win at a cost of pennies. I mean if state sponsored doping of athletes is everyday routine, why not diddle in our elections? Of course they did it! Wouldn’t you?
@Cruiser Don’t get me wrong. I’m not making any claim that Americans require Russian assistance when it comes to rampant displays of monumental stupidity. Those who backed him are entitled exclusively to the “credit”, and should not be allowed an inch of an excuse for the blunder.
Seriously, @Cruiser have the FBI or CIA EVER provided proof to the people of ANY single THING that they have investigated? Pretty sure we both know the answer is no. It only goes to those people who fall into the “need to know” category and you and I are not on that list. Trump is now and he does not give a fuck whether the proof is there or not; he know better than they do. Just like he was smarter than the generals in charge of Iraq/Syria.
@rojo That in my world pushes us into the innocent until PROVEN guilty category that the foundation of our justice system is built upon. I could very easily rally a legion of peeps who would support me with my accusation you hacked my emails…facebook etc accounts and are ready to use them against me….you heathen…traitor, vile evil person!! How dare you! I accuse you of the most heinous egregious attacks on my personal confidential information!! Prove your innocence or meet me at high noon and we will settle this matter by a thumb wrestle duel.
I understand that from you or I but how do you explain Trumps attitude? He is privy to the same information as Obama (we are not) and yet blows it off as inconsequential. One of them is lying (Ok, Ok maybe both). In my mind it is Trump. He has the most to lose by exposing the Russians.
@rojo Yes exposing Russia’s involvement in the hacking of the DNC and Podesta’s emails would raise serious questions. Julian Assange again is coming forward and is adamant the source of the Emails Wikileaks leaked is not the Russians or any other “state” agency for that matter.
Again, Omama and the DNC all knew about this alleged hacking 6 months ago and did nothing about then all because they were convinced they had the election in the bag. It ‘s wasn’t until Comey said he was reopening his investigation into Hillary’s server scandal did the Russians did it narrative become front and center to attempt to deligitimize the election and provide a smoke screen to their bungling Hillary’s campaign. Plus Obama knows Trump is going to turn his legacy into Swiss cheese by taking apart his signature legislation the AC and also overturn many of his executive orders. So at this point in time, Trumps reaction to the alleged Russian hacking IMO is reflective of what he does know about the hacking which again strengthens the argument that if was other entities than Russia
@Cruiser The election is over bud and Trump won. It’s not about the last election anymore it’s about elections in future. We don’t want Russia or any other country interfering with the democratic process for any reason. Obama had to take this seriously and Trump should too.
Obama tossed them out to show that he knew what the real deal was. Trump now has to face a choice. Does he leave them out, because of what was PROVEN they did, or does he let them back in, because he KNOWS what they did and doesn’t care. If Trump lets them back, it is VERY telling in his complacency. That is what the rest of the world knows.
@flutherother All fine and good but the Dems knew all that they know about the hacks back in June and did nothing then. Why now? Why is this hacking issue so serious to them 6 months after it happened? If the Russian were behind it…they knew this much then and did nothing till they realized HOLY SHIT we may not win this thing. So throw the big bad Russians under the bus to try and delegitimize the results of the election and now Trumps presidency. Where’s the proof? I will leave you with this quote…
“In intelligence, as in other callings, estimating is what you do when you do not know. (Sherman Kent)”
Raising the hacking issue before the election would have been seen by some, maybe by you, as an attempt to unfairly influence the vote. That may be why they held back from making it public. Nothing is going to stop Trump from being inaugurated later this month and if I am appalled at the prospect it isn’t because of what Putin did but because of what I fear Trump will do.