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starkid
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24 Dec 2017, 10:42 pm

Question for people who have lived most or all of their lives outside the United States:

Do people from the U.S. seem particularly stupid to you?



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24 Dec 2017, 11:05 pm

They aren't really stupid. They've just been given the wrong information.

Smart people can believe stupid things when the TV news media is controlled by the wealthy and has a strong pro-billionaire bias.


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bunnyb
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25 Dec 2017, 2:34 am

I don't know about stupid per se but I do think citizens of the United States often don't seem to know much about the rest of the world. When I have come across them around the world, they have often surprised me with the things they say. In Rome I overheard some expressing amazement that Italy has pizza :roll: and in a bar in turkey one guy was getting worked up because they weren't showing the World Series on the television. The barman asked him which countries were in this World Series. The American said America like the barman was stupid but I think the barman had a point. How can it be a World Series with only one country :? .
My observation has been that many seem to have lived sheltered lives rather than global ones. This link cracked me up. Apologies to more educated US'ers.

http://mashable.com/2017/08/09/north-ko ... gpc4fmlqq3

But having said all this, some of my fellow countrymen shouldn't be allowed out of the country because they behave rather badly especially in Bali :evil:


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25 Dec 2017, 8:11 am

People from the US isn't smarter or dumber than anyone else. But I think a reason they may seem a bit dumber to some, is because their culture values feelings more than intelligence. They're just really passionate, to a degree that to me, as a European, is even overwhelming. Their last election is a pretty good example. People didn't choose a candidate based on facts, but rather on emotion. Trump's voters didn't care much about the things he said and did, just about how he made them feel. And that's what made the rest of the world wonder "what the hell is wrong with those people?"

It also seems to me that there's a habit over there to frown upon smart or highly educated people. There's a lot of talk about elitism, which is something we have as well, but we only project that onto the rich, and not on the highly educated. The two doesn't have a strong connection here.
Over here, intelligence can be taken for arrogance too, but it seems to have bigger impact over there. Where I'm from, something that would make people say "Wow, you really know a lot about that!" might in USA get the response "You think you're so smart, huh?".
This is only based on the few Americans I've met and on American media, so this last part is more of an opinion than a fact.

I definitely agree with DarthMetaKnight on the misinformation. Not only is the media extremely partisan, but even the education system is. Red states will teach red values, and blue states teaches blue values. The fact that teachers in certain parts of the country aren't allowed to discuss homosexuality, or that some schools teach evolution while others teach creationism, that Columbus is portrayed as the hero who discovered America... Again, seems to be very much based on emotion rather than facts.



Drake
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25 Dec 2017, 9:10 am

Stupid is a strong word, and certainly not all Americans, but yes, comparitively speaking as a mass of people vs. that of any other first World nation imo, and by some margin.

I don't however hold the election of Donald Trump against Americans in the slightest.



funeralxempire
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25 Dec 2017, 1:28 pm

They don't seem stupid so much as uninformed or misinformed, emotionally immature and lacking in the ability to engage in critical thinking. The worst part is that this isn't just the ones I disagree with, even a significant portion of Americans who express agreeable opinions do so in ways that my initial criticism feel applicable to.

The good news is it's not universal, otherwise I wouldn't be dating one. :heart:


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shlaifu
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25 Dec 2017, 8:41 pm

From the other side of the Atlantic ocean, the American credo appears to be "My stupidity feels better to me than your knowledge".

You're lacking the ruins of Nazi Germany built on top of ruins of the Christian middle ages built on top of the ruins of the Roman Empire.
But we all admire how you're living so free of the ghosts of the past.


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naturalplastic
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26 Dec 2017, 3:11 pm

bunnyb wrote:
I don't know about stupid per se but I do think citizens of the United States often don't seem to know much about the rest of the world. When I have come across them around the world, they have often surprised me with the things they say. In Rome I overheard some expressing amazement that Italy has pizza :roll: and in a bar in turkey one guy was getting worked up because they weren't showing the World Series on the television. The barman asked him which countries were in this World Series. The American said America like the barman was stupid but I think the barman had a point. How can it be a World Series with only one country :? .
My observation has been that many seem to have lived sheltered lives rather than global ones. This link cracked me up. Apologies to more educated US'ers.

http://mashable.com/2017/08/09/north-ko ... gpc4fmlqq3

But having said all this, some of my fellow countrymen shouldn't be allowed out of the country because they behave rather badly especially in Bali :evil:


That's funny, but embarrassing. The thing about my fellow Americans who were amazed that "Italy had pizza". The Turkish bartender should have asked him "how many planets do you think are represented in the "Miss Universe Pageant'?" :lol:



funeralxempire
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26 Dec 2017, 3:16 pm

bunnyb wrote:
In Rome I overheard some expressing amazement that Italy has pizza :roll:


They were either totally uninformed, or better informed than average.

Pizza as is known to Americans was invented in the US, finding American-style pizza in Italy might be shocking if so far you've only encountered authentic Italian style pizza.

Spaghetti with meatballs and General Tso's chicken are two other American dishes that aren't found in Italy or China respectively. :wink:


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naturalplastic
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26 Dec 2017, 3:29 pm

General Tso's Chicken was invented in Taiwan by the chef to Chiang Kai Chek shortly after the Nationalists fled the mainland of China in 1949.

But the real General Tso was a statesman and general from n19th century Canton. And the dish is not Cantonese style cuisine. The folks in Canton don't even like General Tso's Chicken because its too sweet. And ofcourse the general had as much to do with inventing the dish as Julius Caesar had to do with inventing the Caesar Salad.

Or that's what I read in Wiki.



funeralxempire
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26 Dec 2017, 4:13 pm

naturalplastic wrote:
General Tso's Chicken was invented in Taiwan by the chef to Chiang Kai Chek shortly after the Nationalists fled the mainland of China in 1949.

But the real General Tso was a statesman and general from n19th century Canton. And the dish is not Cantonese style cuisine. The folks in Canton don't even like General Tso's Chicken because its too sweet. And ofcourse the general had as much to do with inventing the dish as Julius Caesar had to do with inventing the Caesar Salad.

Or that's what I read in Wiki.


The later take is closer to what I've read. For what it's worth it's derived from Hunan cuisine, not Cantonese cuisine. Multiple American restaurants claim to have invented it, and there likely was an intermediate form from Hong Kong since a few of the restaurants who claim to have invented it were founded by Hunan Chinese who fled via Taiwan.

Chop suey might have made a better example since it's American origins are better attested.


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The_Walrus
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27 Dec 2017, 5:11 am

Americans are no stupider, or even less informed, than other Westerners. It's just that America has a larger population, as well as very insular bubbles where stupidity is the norm. That means that you get more stupid, confident Americans than you do for other populations.

If you take a probability-based approach to the definition of "Western" (what is the probability that individual X would be considered Western by a random person they met?) then I'd guess that about half of all Westerners live in America, which means that about half of all stupid Westerners live in America. That means if you encounter a stupid person on the internet, about half the time they're going to be American.

Furthermore, Americans are often ignorant about basic facts about the rest of the world. This makes them seem stupid to foreigners. But while the average American is bad on European capitals, they can quite often name all 50 state capitals. The average European could probably name two or three at best. To be fair, we should compare Americans' knowledge of Europe with Europeans' knowledge of America.



naturalplastic
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27 Dec 2017, 7:16 am

The_Walrus wrote:
Americans are no stupider, or even less informed, than other Westerners. It's just that America has a larger population, as well as very insular bubbles where stupidity is the norm. That means that you get more stupid, confident Americans than you do for other populations.

If you take a probability-based approach to the definition of "Western" (what is the probability that individual X would be considered Western by a random person they met?) then I'd guess that about half of all Westerners live in America, which means that about half of all stupid Westerners live in America. That means if you encounter a stupid person on the internet, about half the time they're going to be American.

Furthermore, Americans are often ignorant about basic facts about the rest of the world. This makes them seem stupid to foreigners. But while the average American is bad on European capitals, they can quite often name all 50 state capitals. The average European could probably name two or three at best. To be fair, we should compare Americans' knowledge of Europe with Europeans' knowledge of America.


That's stupid: equating European national capitals to American state capitals. Even we Americans consider the state capitals to be trivia, but Americans are taught European national capitals in middle school. And newspaper headlines are written with the assumption that readers know certain national capitals (London and Moscow exchange harsh words today).

The equivalent ignorance would be for Europeans to not know things like (a) the US had a civil war, or (b) other more basic basics of US geography than state capitals.

Europeans of my parents' generation tended to think that the whole USA outside of Manhatten looks like Monument Valley Utah because they would assume that the US only has two regions: New York City, and the Wild West!

I remember a conversation right here on WP years ago when a Brit asked "why did they put the US capital where it is in Washington DC?" We all had to explain to him that at the time the US was founded our whole country only consisted of the "original 13 colonies" that formed a narrow bacon strip of land along the eastern seaboard. So DC was more-or-less at the geographic center of the new country at that time, and further, that the whole rest of what is now the USA was just an empty wilderness, and that the civilized settled land ended at the Appalachians (in fact we didn't even control the territory west of the Mississippi yet- the western two thirds of what is now the contiguous US was ruled by European powers still). And further we had to remind him that the US was founded by colonists from a particular other country- and that we became our own country by rebelling against this same other country, and that that country was....HIS country!



ASPartOfMe
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27 Dec 2017, 12:04 pm

The_Walrus wrote:
Furthermore, Americans are often ignorant about basic facts about the rest of the world. This makes them seem stupid to foreigners. But while the average American is bad on European capitals, they can quite often name all 50 state capitals. The average European could probably name two or three at best. To be fair, we should compare Americans' knowledge of Europe with Europeans' knowledge of America.


American mainstream news heavily cut back on covering foreign affairs decades ago and have generally added a lot more entertainment news and gossip.

I also think and Americans in general, and I have been guilty of this myself vastly underestimate the importance people in other countries place on American politics.


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28 Dec 2017, 2:11 pm

Only when you're literally obsessed with Jesus this and Jesus that like an inbreed welfare-grabbing hick, then yes. I find it disgusting. People who have "faith" are mental and also have sex with their own relatives because they're excessively rural. What's the point in looking all superstitious and dumb in front of the whole World when you conquered the Moon? You're much better than that, America. Get finally rid of the old conservative Christians who would rather defend Israel than their own country because Jerusalem is more important to them than Washingotn DC. You should simply deport these people instead of the Mexicans, think about it.

Don't "tolerate" weird unecessary cults that obviously keep you down. What if humanity had never listened to Galileo?



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28 Dec 2017, 2:29 pm

Kovu wrote:
Only when you're literally obsessed with Jesus this and Jesus that like an inbreed welfare-grabbing hick, then yes. I find it disgusting. People who have "faith" are mental and also have sex with their own relatives because they're excessively rural. What's the point in looking all superstitious and dumb in front of the whole World when you conquered the Moon? You're much better than that, America. Get finally rid of the old conservative Christians who would rather defend Israel than their own country because Jerusalem is more important to them than Washingotn DC. You should simply deport these people instead of the Mexicans, think about it.

Don't "tolerate" weird unecessary cults that obviously keep you down. What if humanity had never listened to Galileo?


Ironically, most of the people who support the religious right are the most anti-Middle Eastern people around. Yet where is Israel located as well as the birthplace of Christianity? The Middle East! :roll: