December 2nd, 2013


Stupid Americans

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.