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May 03, 2006

Young Americans, Geographically Incompetent

A perennial bit of fun-- young people are stupid. And not just high school teenagers; we've come to expect them to be stupid, as we were stupid at that age ourselves.

A new study ups the ante a little bit and demonstrates that 18-to-24 year olds -- post-HS, post-college -- are dumb as stumps too.

After more than three years of combat and nearly 2,400 U.S. military deaths in Iraq, nearly two-thirds of Americans aged 18 to 24 still cannot find Iraq on a map, a study released Tuesday showed.

The study found that less than six months after Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans and the Gulf Coast, 33 percent could not point out Louisiana on a U.S. map.

Some findings:

Fewer than three in 10 think it important to know the locations of countries in the news and just 14 percent believe speaking another language is a necessary skill.

Ummm... a "necessary" skill? For crying out loud; it's *not* "necessary" for most of us. It can be very *useful,* if you're in a business with foreign-speaking customers, whether here or in another country. But "necessary" just because we want to "experience other cultures"?

Typical stupidity that sort of makes one wonder about the rest of the poll. But let's assume it's not cooked.

Two-thirds didn't know that the earthquake that killed 70,000 people in October 2005 occurred in Pakistan.

Six in 10 could not find Iraq on a map of the Middle East.

That's pretty bad. If you see ten stories about Iraq, you see its basic shape and it sinks in. This means that six in ten 18 to 24 year olds haven't seen ten stories about Iraq.

Forty-seven percent could not find the Indian subcontinent on a map of Asia.

Well, it's not like it's a big country with a pretty obvious location or anything.

Seventy-five percent were unable to locate Israel on a map of the Middle East.

In fairness, Reuters reporters seem to have the same problem, though they are able to locate a nation called "that shitty little country."

Nearly three-quarters incorrectly named English as the most widely spoken native language.

Six in 10 did not know the border between North and South Korea is the most heavily fortified in the world.

Thirty percent thought the most heavily fortified border was between the United States and Mexico.

Hah. We wish.

Thanks to Darwin's Moustache.


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posted by Ace at 12:48 PM

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