July 18, 2018, 05:21:14 AM


Learn new things. Meet new people. Be inspired.
Check out a KOTESOL chapter event near you!
koreatesol.org/nc2018

Author Topic: American's Knowledge of World Affairs and History  (Read 10112 times)

Offline nschenk512

  • Super Waygook
  • ***
  • Posts: 294
  • Gender: Female
Re: American's Knowledge of World Affairs and History
« Reply #20 on: September 19, 2014, 02:17:54 PM »
Blah blah blah everyone just admit that you want to feel superior to someone. There are stupid people everywhere. Ignorance of other countries is not unique to Americans.

Offline Gaikoku.org

  • Expert Waygook
  • ****
  • Posts: 915
Re: American's Knowledge of World Affairs and History
« Reply #21 on: September 19, 2014, 02:18:49 PM »
You wrongly inferred that I meant Scotland was irrelevant to the entire world. I was highlighting my actual words to clarify that I was not suggesting that Scotland is irrelevant to the entire world. I was merely stating the measurable and readily observable level of knowledge among Americans.

I didn't infer anything about what you said about Scotland because that specific example didn't matter at all to me and I never addressed it.

You've said its a weak argument, but, barring semantic ambiguities that may or may not even be present, you haven't really explained how it's weak. In fact, I think it almost goes without saying. The substance of my argument is that not everyone cares about everything and to take a degree of knowledge on one subject as a representation of a person's entire worldview is not appropriate.

I explained exactly why I think it's a bad argument. When someone says "Americans are all ignoramuses who don't know anything about [wherever]" responding with "Your country isn't important enough for me to know about" makes you look exactly like the kind of arrogant ass that people who say dumb things like the above are looking for. Confirming the dumb assertions of dumb people instead of disproving them is the sign of a bad argument. Especially because your line of reasoning leaves massive gaps. If a Chinese person said "You don't know **** about my country." you can't respond with "China is not an important place" without looking like a fool.

We both agree that singling Americans out as being ignorant is wrong and unfair but your defense is just not particularly good. It looks very arrogant even if part of it is true.

Offline kyndo

  • The Legend
  • *****
  • Posts: 4317
Re: American's Knowledge of World Affairs and History
« Reply #22 on: September 19, 2014, 02:22:40 PM »
It's a very new concept to "be aware" of the world, only in recent history have we had such a grasp of what is going on EVERYWHERE around us. This of course being proliferated by the media and news 24 hours a day. There's so many places that i don't know any real facts or information about that i can't help but agree with the OP, although i perhaps wouldn't have said it like they did.
No, it isn't.
Let's just say that our "sphere of relevancy" has only recently expanded from continent-wide to world-wide.
Back in the day, most people in Europe couldn't give a rat's @$$ about what was happening in Asia, so long as the tea kept coming. Now, what with global markets, export/imports, disaster events etc etc, information from absolutely everywhere is being blasted at us in a constant flow.
South African racial tensions escalate to the point of social breakdown? Platinum prices quadruple, making high end electronics more expensive for the average consumer.
North Korea lobs a few rockets into Seoul? Your brother in law and your second cousin are sent into the resulting conflict.
Scotland secedes? Those damn Quebecois get all noisy again.
etc etc etc.
We keep ourselves informs of worldwide events because they affect us to a much greater extent than ever before.

Offline Hot6^

  • Hero of Waygookistan
  • *****
  • Posts: 1759
  • Gender: Male
Re: American's Knowledge of World Affairs and History
« Reply #23 on: September 19, 2014, 02:27:52 PM »
James Monroe was also of Scottish heritage.

And about another 15 US presidents are of Scottish ancestry.

Scottish history is literally intertwined with your own.

Being ignorant of your own countries history as well as others, does not make it "irrelevant", it just means you didn't study.

Maybe even a bit on the thick side.

OMG OMG AND AND
WE ALL ARE FROM THE SAME PEOPLE> SO LIKE UNLESS I KNOW EVERYTHING ABOUT EVERYONE ON THE ****** PLANET< I AM AND IGNORANT FOOL WHO DOESN"T KNOW ANYTHING ABOUT MY PEOPLE AND CULTURE>

Don't nit-pick. It doesn't help you prove a point, at all.
What you put into Korea, is what you will get out of Korea; it will not spoon feed you.

Offline jwharrison30

  • Hero of Waygookistan
  • *****
  • Posts: 1714
  • Gender: Male
Re: American's Knowledge of World Affairs and History
« Reply #24 on: September 19, 2014, 02:35:27 PM »
James Monroe was also of Scottish heritage.

And about another 15 US presidents are of Scottish ancestry.

Scottish history is literally intertwined with your own.

Being ignorant of your own countries history as well as others, does not make it "irrelevant", it just means you didn't study.

Maybe even a bit on the thick side.

OMG OMG AND AND
WE ALL ARE FROM THE SAME PEOPLE> SO LIKE UNLESS I KNOW EVERYTHING ABOUT EVERYONE ON THE ****** PLANET< I AM AND IGNORANT FOOL WHO DOESN"T KNOW ANYTHING ABOUT MY PEOPLE AND CULTURE>

Don't nit-pick. It doesn't help you prove a point, at all.

Well the first step in recovery is admitting you have a problem  :P

Offline aklimkewicz

  • Hero of Waygookistan
  • *****
  • Posts: 1647
Re: American's Knowledge of World Affairs and History
« Reply #25 on: September 19, 2014, 02:41:34 PM »


I recommend this book for learning more about Moldova. The author made a drunken bet that he could beat all the players on the Moldovan national soccer team at tennis. He didn't know anything about the country, but traveled there to track down all of his tennis opponents and learned a few things along the way . . .
Dropbox is the BEST way to coordinate files between home and school. Click here to get it --> https://db.tt/JSMXsrdm

Offline jwharrison30

  • Hero of Waygookistan
  • *****
  • Posts: 1714
  • Gender: Male
Re: American's Knowledge of World Affairs and History
« Reply #26 on: September 19, 2014, 02:42:38 PM »
Once again, and to be crystal clear, I did not say Scotland is not important. I said, truthfully and irrefutably, that it is not important TO EVERYONE AT THE INDIVIDUAL LEVEL.  Of course it's important in the sense that it is a global player and has historic and modern ties to many other places and industries. As for normal, average people, it's not an important subject to be well versed in. I can't imagine how that is so contentious to you... That's exactly why I mentioned those other countries as examples. 

If I say that Scotland isn't important to ME, and therefore I don't invest a lot of time learning about it, that is not arrogance. Again, how much do you know about Moldova? If you say that Moldova isn't important to YOU, that does not in any way suggest that you are arrogant. It simply means Moldova isn't important to you.

Yet again, my point is that the subject of Scotland, or anything else really, may not be of paramount importance to many or most people. If that's the case, they shouldn't be labeled as arrogant any more than you should be for not knowing about Moldova.

I'm really struggling to see how any of this is contentious.

This thread only exists because of the independence vote thread.

They are discussing people voting for the future of their country and for their children.

You post a thread saying some people don't care.  Why did you do that?  I wonder really.

(Sorry if I was flippant about Americans, I actually don't believe anything I wrote, I was just joking around...)

Offline sejongthefabulous

  • Hero of Waygookistan
  • *****
  • Posts: 1433
  • Gender: Male
Re: American's Knowledge of World Affairs and History
« Reply #27 on: September 19, 2014, 02:44:32 PM »
I learned if it wasn't for America the Scotch would be speaking English instead of Scottish.

I guess a lot of those 15 presidents were Scotch-Irish which means they are from Britain/ Northern Ireland/Low countries and not Anglican. It doesn't actually mean they need to study Scotland.

Offline gtrain83

  • Hero of Waygookistan
  • *****
  • Posts: 1757
Re: American's Knowledge of World Affairs and History
« Reply #28 on: September 19, 2014, 02:47:47 PM »
I watch that drunk history show so id say im pretty well versed with history.

Offline Gaikoku.org

  • Expert Waygook
  • ****
  • Posts: 915
Re: American's Knowledge of World Affairs and History
« Reply #29 on: September 19, 2014, 02:48:43 PM »
Once again, and to be crystal clear, I did not say Scotland is not important. I said, truthfully and irrefutably, that it is not important TO EVERYONE AT THE INDIVIDUAL LEVEL.  Of course it's important in the sense that it is a global player and has historic and modern ties to many other places and industries. As for normal, average people, it's not an important subject to be well versed in. I can't imagine how that is so contentious to you... That's exactly why I mentioned those other countries as examples. 

If I say that Scotland isn't important to ME, and therefore I don't invest a lot of time learning about it, that is not arrogance. Again, how much do you know about Moldova? If you say that Moldova isn't important to YOU, that does not in any way suggest that you are arrogant. It simply means Moldova isn't important to you.

Yet again, my point is that the subject of Scotland, or anything else really, may not be of paramount importance to many or most people. If that's the case, they shouldn't be labeled as arrogant any more than you should be for not knowing about Moldova.

I'm really struggling to see how any of this is contentious.

We agree that the dumbass American stereotype is unfair and unfounded. Your original phrasing of your point was bad and watching you scrambling to refine it into the truism that "not everybody can know everything because they have things to do" isn't much of a topic.

Offline Gaikoku.org

  • Expert Waygook
  • ****
  • Posts: 915
Re: American's Knowledge of World Affairs and History
« Reply #30 on: September 19, 2014, 02:55:53 PM »
If my friend, Gaikoku, is genuine in his criticisms of me, I'm sure I can thank you mom his behalf for the book recommendation. He'll no doubt be having a fresh copy shipped straight away, as not reading it could be considered an act of high arrogance.

All you took from my posts is that I think you're an arrogant dick for not wanting to know about Scotland? I'm not trying to make friends with you but if you think I was actually trying to attack you or your core position you could've just said "shut up troll" 10 posts ago and saved me the time of even interacting.

Offline jwharrison30

  • Hero of Waygookistan
  • *****
  • Posts: 1714
  • Gender: Male
Re: American's Knowledge of World Affairs and History
« Reply #31 on: September 19, 2014, 03:06:51 PM »
To jw:

I stared the thread as a response to what appears to be yet another opportunity for non-Americans to openly ridicule Americans' lack of knowledge about a particular subject. As I'm sure you'll agree, the open and unapologetic ridicule of Americans is a province of discourse reserved for Americans.

Seriously, though, I am deeply critical of my home country as I would likely be about any place I had a vested interest in. I like to be rational, though. I try to parse the hype from the substance and criticise at a level that actually opens a dialogue as opposed to name calling and generalising. I hope many people here would agree that it's possible to be critical and honest about a place without completely throwing it under the bus. Unfortunately, what I see quite often is a giddy enthusiasm on the part of non-Americans to do just that.

I would make the same arguments in favour of any people who found themselves being cast unfairly in a negative light. None of us is a stranger to Korea-bashing on here and it's just as inappropriate. Constructive dialogue (or at least interesting dialogue) should be held on a higher plane. I've met numerous Korean people whose entire concept of the United States seems to have been gleaned from a Lady Gaga music video. I don't interpret that as a reflection of their intelligence, but a reflection of their priorities. Those same people likely know infinitely more than me about Japan, China, and obviously Korea. Because they don't know (or particularly care) about a place that is important to ME, I can not just write them off as ignorant or arrogant. I certainly wouldn't walk around expecting every Korean to know the intricacies of any one political issue that doesn't immediately impact their lives.

The fact that most (or close to all) Koreans don't know a ton about your country may say more about the relevance of your country than it says about the Korean people.

Offline Gaikoku.org

  • Expert Waygook
  • ****
  • Posts: 915
Re: American's Knowledge of World Affairs and History
« Reply #32 on: September 19, 2014, 03:10:51 PM »
I really haven't been scrambling to refine anything. My original post can stand entirely in its own as a full and accurate representation of my opinion. Any clarification that has come after that was in response to what appeared to be a total failure in your part to read it objectively.

Several times, you have tried to label me as arrogant for making a point that I didn't even make. It only existed in your head.  I've been trying, for your sake, to simplify the language to point at which you might be able to see it for what it always was.

Should I have posted "IN A GENERAL SENSE" in every single post over and over since it somehow wasn't obvious I wasn't calling you personally an arrogant ass? I mean, you're clearly demonstrating you're an ass of one kind or another but I don't think you're particularly arrogant.

Offline Rumbledy Hump

  • Super Waygook
  • ***
  • Posts: 370
  • Gender: Male
Re: American's Knowledge of World Affairs and History
« Reply #33 on: September 19, 2014, 03:13:02 PM »
But how do I know what to lick and what not to lick?

Offline Hot6^

  • Hero of Waygookistan
  • *****
  • Posts: 1759
  • Gender: Male
Re: American's Knowledge of World Affairs and History
« Reply #34 on: September 19, 2014, 03:14:53 PM »
To jw:

I stared the thread as a response to what appears to be yet another opportunity for non-Americans to openly ridicule Americans' lack of knowledge about a particular subject. As I'm sure you'll agree, the open and unapologetic ridicule of Americans is a province of discourse reserved for Americans.

Seriously, though, I am deeply critical of my home country as I would likely be about any place I had a vested interest in. I like to be rational, though. I try to parse the hype from the substance and criticise at a level that actually opens a dialogue as opposed to name calling and generalising. I hope many people here would agree that it's possible to be critical and honest about a place without completely throwing it under the bus. Unfortunately, what I see quite often is a giddy enthusiasm on the part of non-Americans to do just that.

I would make the same arguments in favour of any people who found themselves being cast unfairly in a negative light. None of us is a stranger to Korea-bashing on here and it's just as inappropriate. Constructive dialogue (or at least interesting dialogue) should be held on a higher plane. I've met numerous Korean people whose entire concept of the United States seems to have been gleaned from a Lady Gaga music video. I don't interpret that as a reflection of their intelligence, but a reflection of their priorities. Those same people likely know infinitely more than me about Japan, China, and obviously Korea. Because they don't know (or particularly care) about a place that is important to ME, I can not just write them off as ignorant or arrogant. I certainly wouldn't walk around expecting every Korean to know the intricacies of any one political issue that doesn't immediately impact their lives.

The fact that most (or close to all) Koreans don't know a ton about your country may say more about the relevance of your country than it says about the Korean people.

Hmmm really? That's why the whole world watches to see what president gets elected in the United Sates, and many countries around the world know something about their political platforms.
Oh wait, that's interesting, most of the world could give crap about other global politics etc... (except wars and whos on whos side.)

Seriously... just stop trying to argue semantics.
What you put into Korea, is what you will get out of Korea; it will not spoon feed you.

Offline mikeD

  • Super Waygook
  • ***
  • Posts: 417
  • Gender: Male
Re: American's Knowledge of World Affairs and History
« Reply #35 on: September 19, 2014, 03:19:18 PM »
I know this idea mainly arises in Canada because many Americans do not seem to know much about their neighbors. Some don't even know the capital. However, if most people don't know a simple fact like this, its not their fault, it the education system. People are people anywhere in the world and get molded by their surounding and education they receive.

Offline Rumbledy Hump

  • Super Waygook
  • ***
  • Posts: 370
  • Gender: Male
Re: American's Knowledge of World Affairs and History
« Reply #36 on: September 19, 2014, 03:22:51 PM »
I know this idea mainly arises in Canada because many Americans do not seem to know much about their neighbors. Some don't even know the capital. However, if most people don't know a simple fact like this, its not their fault, it the education system. People are people anywhere in the world and get molded by their surounding and education they receive.

Maybe when you people stop jumping our fences and stealing our jobs I'll give a bottle of syrup about your "country"
But how do I know what to lick and what not to lick?

Offline kyndo

  • The Legend
  • *****
  • Posts: 4317
Re: American's Knowledge of World Affairs and History
« Reply #37 on: September 19, 2014, 03:25:31 PM »
Maybe when you people stop jumping our fences and stealing our jobs I'll give a bottle of syrup about your "country"
Might be you're confusing your hat (Canada) with your pants (Mexico), mate!
 :wink:

Offline oatmealkooky

  • Hero of Waygookistan
  • *****
  • Posts: 1865
Re: American's Knowledge of World Affairs and History
« Reply #38 on: September 19, 2014, 03:30:28 PM »
If Mexico is our pants, then they obviously don't fit 'cause we've still got our Florida hanging out.

Offline BigEaredHylian

  • Super Waygook
  • ***
  • Posts: 449
  • Gender: Male
Re: American's Knowledge of World Affairs and History
« Reply #39 on: September 19, 2014, 03:31:40 PM »
I've noticed that people only get upset when Americans don't know their politicians or history. Is it because everyone knows our president but we don't know their's? Maybe that's why people get upset? By saying that knowledge of a country is related to its relevance, it implies that the US is more relevant than other countries. I don't know...I don't really care. Knowledge is wonderful but useless knowledge won't do me any good. What would knowing about Scotland's politics actually do for me? Perhaps mold me as a person and give me a wider worldview? I don't know...I'm just waiting for 5:00. I guess I should brush up on Scotland...it's what everyone's going to be talking about tonight over drinks...wouldn't want to look like a dumb American. okay bye