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Dec. 2nd, 2013 @ 08:09 pm Stupid Americans
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So, there's this idea that Americans are only interested in what goes on in the US, and don't know anything about the rest of the world. And time and again, there's a nice way to reinforce that idea. Such as what happens if you ask Americans to fill in the names of European countries on a blank map -- note that the account is named 'mapfail'.
Sure, hahaha, look at the stupid Americans being stupid!

So, let's turn this around. European friends, would you be able to correctly label all the 52 US states on a blank map of the US? I know for certain that I would not. Heck, I'm not sure I would be able to fill in the map of Europe correctly. I'm not sure I would know which Balkan state is which. Which one is Romania, which one is Hungary? I don't think I could point them out reliably. And yet I do not consider myself stupid (and, I hope, neither do others).
Let's go a bit further afield. Could you correctly label African nations? Countries in Asia? Point out Kyrgyzstan on a blank world map? (Though I'm reasonably sure that nwhyte and blacksearoamer could pull that last one off.)

Let's not kid ourselves. It's good to be aware of what happens in other countries. Not being able to point them out precisely on a map does not automatically mean you're stupid or dis-interested.
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WTF!?
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From:starkodama
Date:December 2nd, 2013 11:44 pm (UTC)
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There was a similar challenge where British people were asked to fill in the states of America on a map. I guess I was supposed to look at their attempts and think "Ha ha, they're stupid!", but instead I was very impressed that they could write any of the states at all! If someone had asked me to fill in the countries of Europe on a map, I wouldn't do well, I'm afraid. :(
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From:fub
Date:December 3rd, 2013 07:04 pm (UTC)
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I think I could put California, Oregon and Washington on the map correctly. Also Texas and Florida. After that? Not so much...
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From:babarage
Date:December 9th, 2013 07:54 am (UTC)
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I can do the US no problem, I'll even get the names of a lot of US capitals. I will fail miserably on Europe and will feel lucky if I can even find Asia and Africa on a map (ok I'll find them but that's about it). it irritates the heck out of me when Jan is able to name the capitals of some very obscure countries and seas and what have you.
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From:fub
Date:December 9th, 2013 04:19 pm (UTC)
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If Jan is telling you about the capitals of seas, then maybe you should take his words with a grain of salt. :P
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From:sbslink
Date:December 3rd, 2013 08:42 am (UTC)
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I hadn't thought of it like that. But I haven't really been thinking about it at all because I absolutely suck at geography myself. I managed to get a 2 for the Netherlands (and all the little towns and cities) and a 1 for the entire world. I probably would make a jumble out of America as well.
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From:fub
Date:December 3rd, 2013 07:05 pm (UTC)
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The thing is that we shouldn't take geographical knowledge as the be-all and end-all of "smartness".
...except when you're vacationing in Spain and point to Sweden when you're asked to point where you are. Then you're just an idiot. :P
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