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 Post subject: Dumb things Americans believe
PostPosted: Sat Dec 04, 2010 11:50 pm 
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http://www.newsweek.com/photo/2010/08/24/dumb-things-americans-believe.slide1.html

I think the one that scares the crepe out of me is the fact that 1 in 5 Americans think the sun revolves around the earth.


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 Post subject: Re: Dumb things Americans believe
PostPosted: Sun Dec 05, 2010 12:13 am 
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Tax cuts for the rich result in more jobs and an improved economy.

Was that on the list?

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 Post subject: Re: Dumb things Americans believe
PostPosted: Sun Dec 05, 2010 12:15 am 
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How have these people never heard of Copernicus or Galileo in school?

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Last edited by Jigglypuff on Sun Dec 05, 2010 1:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Dumb things Americans believe
PostPosted: Sun Dec 05, 2010 12:18 am 
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"Obama's a Muslim" is nothing. What about the poll (from this past summer?) that found that half of all republicans believed Obama supported the imposition of Sharia law?

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 Post subject: Re: Dumb things Americans believe
PostPosted: Sun Dec 05, 2010 12:21 am 
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So is this a firm he's not Muslim, then?

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 Post subject: Re: Dumb things Americans believe
PostPosted: Sun Dec 05, 2010 1:12 am 
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Fee wrote:
So is this a firm he's not Muslim, then?

Well, I don't see why that matters... his birth certificate was obviously faked.


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 Post subject: Re: Dumb things Americans believe
PostPosted: Sun Dec 05, 2010 5:27 am 
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It is scary, but I also think that there is an argument here for saying:

"OK, so we have some things here that people believe that are not true, where is that information coming from and how do we improve it, to give everyone access to the same quality of information?"

I think it is slightly different in the UK because the BBC has to be impartial so we have at least one unfiltered news/information source, maybe it's time for a similar model in the US?

Mat.

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 Post subject: Re: Dumb things Americans believe
PostPosted: Sun Dec 05, 2010 6:49 am 
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41 percent believed Saddam was involved in 9/11.... even though President Bush said otherwise

Oh boy. Yep, I saw those WMD... didn't you?
matwinser wrote:
I think it is slightly different in the UK because the BBC has to be impartial so we have at least one unfiltered news/information source, maybe it's time for a similar model in the US?

I think this is a great idea, but I don't think that impartiality would solve issues like pop culture v legislature/governing bodies/how our country works/geography. Admittedly, I know less about things I should know more about (the latter) and sadly know more about the former because it's so in my face. I have to seek out the latter and don't as much. Though I will say that my schooling and the PPK helps a lot. Seriously. The Parlor rules.


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 Post subject: Re: Dumb things Americans believe
PostPosted: Sun Dec 05, 2010 8:46 am 
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starrynight87 wrote:
http://www.newsweek.com/photo/2010/08/24/dumb-things-americans-believe.slide1.html

I think the one that scares the crepe out of me is the fact that 1 in 5 Americans think the sun revolves around the earth.

Well, 'Murica's on the Earth, ain't it?
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 Post subject: Re: Dumb things Americans believe
PostPosted: Sun Dec 05, 2010 10:07 am 
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matwinser wrote:
It is scary, but I also think that there is an argument here for saying:

"OK, so we have some things here that people believe that are not true, where is that information coming from and how do we improve it, to give everyone access to the same quality of information?"

I think it is slightly different in the UK because the BBC has to be impartial so we have at least one unfiltered news/information source, maybe it's time for a similar model in the US?

Mat.


I think there are good news sources here, I just don't think very many people pay attention.

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 Post subject: Re: Dumb things Americans believe
PostPosted: Sun Dec 05, 2010 10:50 am 
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matwinser wrote:

I think it is slightly different in the UK because the BBC has to be impartial so we have at least one unfiltered news/information source, maybe it's time for a similar model in the US?



We have NPR (which, at least on my local station, plays 2 hours of BBC world news every day). The problem is that people on the right call everything that is not Fox "News" the "liberal media," implying that the only news source that is reliable is Fox, which is arguably the worst perpetrator of misinformation within the news circuit. NPR has recently come under attack by those recently elected to congress, as they claim that a "left-leaning" news source should not be subsidized by the government.

So, basically the problem is that the most watched new source in the world, which actively perpetuates the misinformation of its watchers/listeners, tells everybody that the few impartial news sources that exist have a liberal bias, and because people apparently never learned how to be critical thinkers, they believe it.


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 Post subject: Re: Dumb things Americans believe
PostPosted: Sun Dec 05, 2010 11:06 am 
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I believe in ghosts although not sorcerers/conjurers. Just saying.

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 Post subject: Re: Dumb things Americans believe
PostPosted: Sun Dec 05, 2010 11:34 am 
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linanil wrote:
I believe in ghosts although not sorcerers/conjurers. Just saying.

I believe in conjures and root workers but then I know some. Then again, I also tend to believe in a lot of supernatural stuff that some of my friends just facepalm at.

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 Post subject: Re: Dumb things Americans believe
PostPosted: Sun Dec 05, 2010 12:03 pm 
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A lot of those things can be argued that they're believed fairly widely in the wide world. Witchcraft and ESP, etc. mainly. And there's the Flat Earth Society (Which isn't about heliocentrism but still a little wacky), which was founded in Britain I believe. Lots of Canadians I meet don't know our branches of government, and the list goes on.

I'm not saying some of the beliefs were crazy, but the article represents them as if that makes America dumber as a nation, and I don't really think that's fair...

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 Post subject: Re: Dumb things Americans believe
PostPosted: Sun Dec 05, 2010 12:57 pm 
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Well, if the supreme court members had word names based on things they always did, it would be a lot easier to remember them.

"Which is the one that's always grumpy?"
"Grumpy."
"Which is the one that's always sneezing?"
"Sneezy."

As opposed to:
"Which is the one that's really conservative?"
"Uhhh...."

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 Post subject: Re: Dumb things Americans believe
PostPosted: Sun Dec 05, 2010 1:09 pm 
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joyfulgirl wrote:
Well, if the supreme court members had word names based on things they always did, it would be a lot easier to remember them.

"Which is the one that's always grumpy?"
"Grumpy."
"Which is the one that's always sneezing?"
"Sneezy."

As opposed to:
"Which is the one that's really conservative?"
"Uhhh...."


This is awesome.

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 Post subject: Re: Dumb things Americans believe
PostPosted: Sun Dec 05, 2010 1:15 pm 
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joyfulgirl wrote:
As opposed to:
"Which is the one that's really conservative?"
"Uhhh...."

ScaliaAlitoThomas

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 Post subject: Re: Dumb things Americans believe
PostPosted: Sun Dec 05, 2010 1:24 pm 
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mushroom slave wrote:
linanil wrote:
I believe in ghosts although not sorcerers/conjurers. Just saying.

I believe in conjures and root workers but then I know some. Then again, I also tend to believe in a lot of supernatural stuff that some of my friends just facepalm at.


I think I'm irked by any article that will list a belief in magic and ghosts as being a dumb thing but make no mention at all of people who believe in angels or that jesus rose from the dead. It's all equally unfounded, so either it's all dumb or none of it's dumb.


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 Post subject: Re: Dumb things Americans believe
PostPosted: Sun Dec 05, 2010 2:30 pm 
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Who needs an article to tell you when you can just walk outside..
I like the geography one. People can't find a country that we've been in for 9 years now. Yet I'm absolutely sure they have an opinion or 5 about the war.

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 Post subject: Re: Dumb things Americans believe
PostPosted: Sun Dec 05, 2010 2:38 pm 
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Ridiculing alleged American ignorance is pretty rife over here in Germany. (A close friend of mine, who spent some time in the States, was once asked whether we had thunderstoms in Germany.) Then again some of those questions Newsweek lists I certainly couldn't have answered. I wouldn't have a clue about the insitutions representing judicative, legislative and executive in Germany. And place Afghanistan on a map? Be lucky if I hit the right continent. I used to believe for an embarrassingly long time that Chile was situated in Asia (China, Chile - how could they be so misleading). What you know you know I guess...


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 Post subject: Re: Dumb things Americans believe
PostPosted: Sun Dec 05, 2010 3:16 pm 
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Well sometimes the geography amazes me but I have to admit our school system doesn't emphasize geography or even world history very much unless you mean western european history. So I can find Iraq on a map or at least the general area (not sure if you gave me a world map with outlines of countries/no names if I could pinpoint the right one but I'd be close) and same for Afghanistan. Although was Afghanistan part of USSR? I don't think so right? Many of the former USSR countries are difficult because I remember the geography was basically: "this big blob is USSR aka Russia"

And forget Africa, I think we were also given Africa as a big blob as well, maybe certain countries such as Egypt were pointed out but most of the individual countries were largely ignored.

Oh and many people don't know our own US states either. So forget world geography, what about US geography?

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 Post subject: Re: Dumb things Americans believe
PostPosted: Sun Dec 05, 2010 3:48 pm 
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The maps in my high school were seriously out of date (one of them still had Rhodesia, in the late nineties). Actually, the class where I remember learning the most geography was French class -- our teacher made sure we knew all the countries bordering France, the general locations of the major cities in France, and a bunch of Francophone countries. So I can locate Algeria! Also Belgium, which I would bet most Americans would fail at.

I remember, around 1993 or so, I saw an ad for a globe that was a blank magnetic sphere with flexible magnets to put on for all the countries and oceans and everything. When you bought it, you registered with the company, and any time countries changed around, they'd send you the new magnets to replace the old ones.


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 Post subject: Re: Dumb things Americans believe
PostPosted: Sun Dec 05, 2010 4:38 pm 
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pandacookie wrote:
joyfulgirl wrote:
As opposed to:
"Which is the one that's really conservative?"
"Uhhh...."

ScaliaAlitoThomas

I love you.

eta: Scalia always dissents!


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 Post subject: Re: Dumb things Americans believe
PostPosted: Mon Dec 06, 2010 11:12 am 
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Quote:
In September 2009, Public Policy Polling found that a quarter of Democrats suspected Bush had something to do with the attacks.


If that's a stupid thing to believe, then consider me Bristol Palin.

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 Post subject: Re: Dumb things Americans believe
PostPosted: Mon Dec 06, 2010 4:11 pm 
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Larisa wrote:
I remember, around 1993 or so, I saw an ad for a globe that was a blank magnetic sphere with flexible magnets to put on for all the countries and oceans and everything. When you bought it, you registered with the company, and any time countries changed around, they'd send you the new magnets to replace the old ones.


WANT

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