America the Ignorant...on topic for this forum


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The Warbler

the edge of America
Dec 29, 2012 - 11:01pm PT
The immigrants I know are often very intelligent and motivated. Leaving your homeland and finding your way to America calls for a certain level of drive and willingness to work hard and suffer that is sorely missing in modern American society.


Trad climber
Dec 29, 2012 - 11:01pm PT
You can't compare the top 1% (who understand science, win Nobel prizes, go to MIT, Stanford, Caltech, etc, or who are great tech innovators) with the 99% who have no clue. For every Steve Jobs there are a lot of Homer Simpsons. The best few % of anything in the US is the tops in the world but the rest of the country is mediocre at best.
Canada is not much better except we are not as religious.

Social climber
north vancouver, B.C.
Dec 29, 2012 - 11:10pm PT
Get with the times, it's not creationism anymore it's
Intelligent Design . Creationism is certainly not based on science nor does it sound scientific but intelligent design sure does so it must be more credible now. Next they will probably call it I-design to convert all the apple users in America.
I'm curious how the christian universities deal with the intelligent design vs evolution conflict. I assume they just bury their head in the sand like they have for the last 800 years, ask Galileo.
The Warbler

the edge of America
Dec 29, 2012 - 11:17pm PT
Spelling Bees don't involve reasoning.

Maybe not for the audience....

Social climber
the Wastelands
Dec 29, 2012 - 11:20pm PT
next to the boobs thread, this one is one of the best yet and just getting started
Ricky D

Trad climber
Sierra Westside
Dec 29, 2012 - 11:22pm PT
I just wonder how the hell the generation that so embraced "enlightenment" ended up defining that concept as meaning 15,000 watts of custom lighting in their private vineyard estate home with built in sauna and 25 big screen TVs with integrated Internet access.

True - all of their construction workers were certified organic Vegans who drove Bio-diesel pickups - so I guess it's cool in the end.

Social climber
An Oil Field
Dec 29, 2012 - 11:32pm PT
I just finished a contract with a really big oil company, in the geoscience division. About a quarter of them were foreign, and very smart.

Other countries really want to improve math and science education because that is where the future is headed. Even muslim countries put regular ads in the oil publications looking for good geoscientists. You are quite free to believe in the geologic time scale.


Trad climber
Ouray, Colorado
Topic Author's Reply - Dec 29, 2012 - 11:36pm PT
I am a great fan of the geologic time scale, it doesn't make me feel quite so old.
Jim Clipper

from: forests to tree farms
Dec 29, 2012 - 11:41pm PT
Cool thread! Just want to say thanks for a country that can incubate an original like Jim D. Maybe it's borders were a bit too confining considering the climbing to get done. Hope the treatments go well.


in case you feel old:

Credit: Jim Clipper

I posted this on another thread, but thought it deserved more coverage. It belongs on a climbing shirt, or on the cover of a training book.

Trad climber
Mancos, CO
Dec 29, 2012 - 11:41pm PT
American has no monopoly on ignorance. What nation is any less ignorant? How would we know?

On a personal level, who has any reason to be so proud of their own knowledge/lack of ignorance? I've never met a single person (myself included) who isn't pathetically inadequate/ignorant about entire spheres of human knowledge, experience and existence.

I suggest a lot of compassion and humility about human ignorance, including our own, is well in order. Smug confidence with one's own state of knowledge and state of grace, so rife amongst all humans, is just hubris and hot air.
Peter Haan

Trad climber
San Francisco, CA
Dec 29, 2012 - 11:44pm PT
A list of books in the last four years by Chris Mooney, the prolific and highly regarded science writer.

The Republican Brain: The Science of Why They Deny Science- and Reality

The Republican War on Science

Unscientific America: How Scientific Illiteracy Threatens our Future

Storm World: Hurricanes, Politics, and the Battle Over Global Warming

Amazon link:

and while we are on the subject of USA population, don't miss this incredible dotmap of every person in the US:
Jim Clipper

from: forests to tree farms
Dec 30, 2012 - 12:18am PT
"Once more unto the breach, dear friends, once more;
Or close the wall up with our English dead.
In peace there's nothing so becomes a man
As modest stillness and humility:
But when the blast of war blows in our ears,
Then imitate the action of the tiger;
Stiffen the sinews, summon up the blood,
Disguise fair nature with hard-favour'd rage;
Then lend the eye a terrible aspect;
Let pry through the portage of the head
Like the brass cannon; let the brow o'erwhelm it
As fearfully as doth a galled rock
O'erhang and jutty his confounded base,
Swill'd with the wild and wasteful ocean.
Now set the teeth and stretch the nostril wide,
Hold hard the breath and bend up every spirit
To his full height..."

Maybe a little hyperbole, but probably not quite that much. Best wishes...
Bruce Kay

Gym climber
Dec 30, 2012 - 12:24am PT
I think there is two things worthy of comment so far:

Sure America dosn't have a monopoly but for decades or more the whole world has been told that America is the leader of the free world and represents the hieght of all civilized advancement.
This has been very true but it has for the past decade or so become increasingly doubtful that this is deserved. This is very unfortunate as power vacumes will be filled with something else, maybe something much worse. There is a profound loss of moral faith in America right now and it has to do almost entirely with demonstrated willful ignorance. For al those who wonder why myself and other damn uppity foreigners express our opinions here it is for this reason.


I can't speak for JD but I can only restate my opinion on this - Generally speaking, the lower down the sh#t pile the less willful the ignorance, thus the less guilty of sin. Anybody in the middle class and up sure dosn't get a total pass however. Instead of flipping on hate thumping propagandists for your diet of knowledge there are many other options, and even a pea brain is still a brain. The most basic tool for sifting away garbage is logic. everything, including morality must pass logical analysis.

Ideally, blind dumb allegience to Dogma should be marched in front of a firing squad and shot.

Unfortunately that dosn't work too well for tribal hierarchy, where blind dumb allegiance to dogma is a virtue. Authoritarianism loves stupidity and I'm sure there is a link with how america has evolved recently, most notably in the republican party.

Dec 30, 2012 - 12:36am PT
Ideally, blind dumb allegiance to Dogma should be marched in front of a firing squad and shot.

That would be 99 percent or even more of the world population ......


Dec 30, 2012 - 12:43am PT
Now that you mention it, he does seem to be watching TV.

Bruce Kay

Gym climber
Dec 30, 2012 - 12:49am PT
Hey werner, you should work at Fox News - you'd fit right in.

Ya know, perhaps even you have a certain allegience to dogma huh? Well don't sweat it. We all do for the most part. Its the blind and dumb part that is the problem.

Anyway, you quoted me out of context, just like your buddies at fox. As I said, dogma becomes the tool of authority, again no huge problem unless us shmoes are either too ignorant or are actually willfuly ignorant of our duty to challenge it on terms of reason and morality. Authority is cool if its deserved and earned, and the only way to know that is challenge it.
Jim Brennan

Trad climber
Vancouver Canada
Dec 30, 2012 - 01:07am PT
This is like shooting kneecaps on a ski trip:

Are you insinuating someone's Karma ran over their dogma ?

Ice climber
chingadero de chula vista
Dec 30, 2012 - 01:09am PT
Latest Gallup Poll shows that:

Sorry Mr. Donini (still can't bring myself to call you Jim), I do not believe in the Gallup Poll.


Trad climber
Toshi's Station, picking up power converters.
Dec 30, 2012 - 01:09am PT
I self learned myself.

(humorous interlude)

I suppose the older I get, the more interested I am in living in the moment. kinda zen. the rest, I really just don't know about. doesn't really seem to affect me either way in the long run.

Bruce Kay

Gym climber
Dec 30, 2012 - 01:10am PT
I can only hope they gave you lots of lovely dogma at the hostpital.... er, I mean morphine!
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