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How scientifically stupid is the average American? Options
rvw
Posted: Friday, September 5, 2014 8:45:03 AM
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Comments about a wall clock on Amazon:

Quote:
Q: Is this electric
A: No it is battery only
See all 7 answers


All 7 were in this vein.
reinsalkas
Posted: Friday, September 5, 2014 9:07:51 AM
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What is an average American?
Alice M Toaster
Posted: Friday, September 5, 2014 9:21:29 AM

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Is this post scientific?
Epiphileon
Posted: Friday, September 5, 2014 9:40:15 AM

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I do not think stupid would be the right word here, Ignorant or illiterate would work better.
Trying to extinguish a fire with compressed oxygen, that would be scientifically stupid
Elorac
Posted: Friday, September 5, 2014 10:20:44 AM
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I really don't like generalisations. They are usually unfair, unfounded and based on opinion only.

I was always taught that if you judge, you will be judged.

When you point your finger at others, you will see 3 of your own pointing back at yourself...

Unless of course, you do not have all your fingers. Not talking
rvw
Posted: Friday, September 5, 2014 10:23:32 AM
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I was using definition #3, although "ignorant" may have worked better.

Quote:
stu·pid (stpd, sty-)
adj. stu·pid·er, stu·pid·est
1. Slow to learn or understand; obtuse.
2. Tending to make poor decisions or careless mistakes.
3. Marked by a lack of intelligence or care; foolish or careless: a stupid mistake.
4. Dazed, stunned, or stupefied.
5. Pointless; worthless: a stupid job.


What's wrong with putting out a fire with compressed oxygen? Once everything is oxidized, it will go out.

Regarding "scientifically stupid," it's funny how adjectives and adverbs allow what might be called redirection of their targets. For example:

numerically challenged
hot temperature (The temperature is not hot; the air is.)
horizontally gifted (of a wide person)
a perpetual calendar


It seems that the modification function of adjectives and adverbs may be different for every word. What do you think?
MelissaMe
Posted: Friday, September 5, 2014 11:24:08 AM

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Isn't Amazon's audience worldwide?
IMcRout
Posted: Friday, September 5, 2014 11:24:21 AM
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Yes.

Edit. My elaborate answer was directed at rvw's question, but then Melissahad had to barge in. Whistle Not talking
CatCat
Posted: Friday, September 5, 2014 1:49:45 PM

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"When you point your finger at others, you will see 3 of your own pointing back at yourself..."

Love that line, Elorac!


As for these people being stupid or illiterate or ignorant, I doubt very much if this is the case. It's very common for people to use battery vs. electric when they mean electricity with or without a cord that plugs into an outlet. I'm sure all of these people are well aware that batteries use electricity.

Trivium_Discipulus
Posted: Friday, September 5, 2014 1:58:11 PM
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rvw wrote:
Comments about a wall clock on Amazon:

Quote:
Q: Is this electric
A: No it is battery only
See all 7 answers


All 7 were in this vein.


“Intelligence” is a complex matter. At one extreme, you have someone who can hear music for the first time and play 95% of it from memory on a piano, but he can’t hold a conversation and probably wouldn’t be able to take an IQ test, let alone score well on one.

Here’s a twist, how intelligent can a person be who thinks they can boil down “intelligence” to a single number?

I’d argue that person isn’t very smart. Nor is the person who uncritically and unwittingly accepts the assertion because someone else said it and it is promoted by the establishment.

“What we've got here is failure to communicate”
~The Captain, Cool Hand Luke

The problem appears to be a failure to communicate in a precise way. Given the limited information, and acknowledging that this assessment could be wrong based on limited information, the question could have been phrased concisely as “Does this clock run on batteries or does it have a cord and require an outlet?”

Even using the phrase “run on electricity” makes no more sense than does “the ball will fall due to physics” due to the varied and contradictory definitions of “electricity.”

Unfortunately, precise communication IS NOT taught in most operant conditioning schools and it surely isn’t promoted in American culture.

The less precise one’s understanding of communication and communication the more one can be sold ideas and products that benefit certain special interests that exert control over society’s major institutions.

Communication is so important, the Greeks had it down to a literal science included in the core education (not schooling!) of the people they considered “elite” in their era. It was called rhetoric and it consisted of the “how to learn and communicate” foundation of their classical Trivium education system (the first three of the seven liberal arts).

I highly recommend “Thank You for Arguing” for a good introduction to rhetoric using more modern cultural examples of rhetoric.
rvw
Posted: Friday, September 5, 2014 2:04:52 PM
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Here are some definitions of "scientific" from Collin's Dictionary, as quoted in TFD.

Quote:
scientific (ˌsaɪənˈtɪfɪk)
adj
1. (prenominal) of, relating to, derived from, or used in science: scientific equipment.
2. (prenominal) occupied in science: scientific manpower.
3. conforming with the principles or methods used in science: a scientific approach.
ˌscienˈtifically adv


So if I say "scientific stupidity," I could mean a methodical, testing- and evidence-based kind of stupidity. It's hard to imagine, but possible.

But more likely I mean ignorance of science. It seems to me that this second type of usage is part of our language, but it stretches the way adjectives are usually used.

In school I learned that adjectives modify nouns and adverbs modify verbs, adjectives, and other adverbs. I would like to see a definition of "modify" that fits all cases!
Marshal Tenner Winter
Posted: Friday, September 5, 2014 2:24:51 PM

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Once again, some jerk in another country trashes America. And once again I have to ask, if you hate America so much, why do you send your people here to get their education? Oh that's right, the sewer you live in can't educate their own people.

You hate America but can't wait to be just like us.

F You.
rvw
Posted: Friday, September 5, 2014 3:21:55 PM
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QED
Gary98
Posted: Friday, September 5, 2014 3:30:12 PM

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rvw wrote:
Comments about a wall clock on Amazon:

Quote:
Q: Is this electric
A: No it is battery only
See all 7 answers


All 7 were in this vein.


Well the question is really about how it is powered, battery, or electricity from wall socket. Not a very precise question, got answered perfectly. Will not call this stupidity.
MelissaMe
Posted: Friday, September 5, 2014 5:50:16 PM

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IMcRout wrote:
Yes.

Edit. My elaborate answer was directed at rvw's question, but then Melissahad had to barge in. Whistle Not talking


Well, the gist of the question seemed somewhat on the illogical side, and left me confused. But then again, I'm like Piglet, small and easily confused. Sometimes. I didn't intend to barge in. I'd make a pretty tiny barge! Anxious

I'm uncertain how many versions of Amazon exist!
L.Rai
Posted: Friday, September 5, 2014 7:43:18 PM

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Bashing Americans seems to be a sport for the rest of the world to engage in. It's fairly easy given that we do tend to put ourselves out there and invite such bashing. I've lived in China now for 7 years, and I can honestly say that some of the most ridiculous questions and practices I've ever seen happen here. However no one I know ever bashes the Chinese. I wonder why?? Could it be that we need their strong economy to continue? And unlike the easy going, laid back Americans, if we were to start bashing them they might not be so kindhearted about it. (BTW it's called "losing face" here)

If you really want to hear a stupid comment this one came from a fellow foreign teacher, I won't even say which country, he wanted to know when the Chinese had changed the calendar to create only 28 days in February. He was dead serious!

Drag0nspeaker
Posted: Friday, September 5, 2014 7:58:07 PM

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I think that it is just so easy to 'bash Americans' - as it is with the English.

You will find American people and news-sites pointing out the stupidities of American culture - all a foreigner has to do is repeat what these people say.

Just look at this site - we have one member from California, who regularly points out that the majority of Americans are stupid, ignorant and criminal (the majority who voted differently from the way he voted - or had their ancestors come from anywhere outside of Western Europe).

It is the same with England - you will find hundreds of English news articles about how ridiculous 'this' or 'that' is in England.

I bet you do not find many Chinese news-sites pointing out the 'ridiculous practices' of China!
L.Rai
Posted: Saturday, September 6, 2014 9:34:17 AM

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DragOnSpeaker:

You are very right, you'll never find any site in China that allows anything negative to be said about China. The most sanitized news you can read is the English version of the China Daily. It's actually rather amusing to be honest.

Also, I just want to be clear that although I'm from California and a native Californian, I haven't voted since I moved abroad. I'm not the person you are referring to...LOL Living abroad my voting options are severely reduced which is why I've decided to opt out of the process.
Drag0nspeaker
Posted: Saturday, September 6, 2014 3:26:03 PM

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Hi LRai!

No, definitely not someone who has ever left California.

I must admit though, that (friendly) America-bashing is rapidly overtaking French-bashing in popularity.
Maryam Dad
Posted: Saturday, September 6, 2014 7:00:03 PM

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I think I know a certain white male member from California. Think
He is quite old.
leonAzul
Posted: Sunday, September 7, 2014 9:34:58 PM

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Location: Miami, Florida, United States
rvw wrote:
Comments about a wall clock on Amazon:

Quote:
Q: Is this electric
A: No it is battery only
See all 7 answers


All 7 were in this vein.


The first might have been an unfortunate accident, but I strongly suspect the following answers were intentionally mocking.

This is a trend I have noticed recently on Amazon.com. Many of the reviews and answers to questions are intentionally absurd or humorous. This might be an attempt to disrupt trust in the rating and support system as a reaction against responses that are obviously from paid supporters of the product. The intent is to cause consumers to be more critical of what they read and not take everything at face value, just as you have, rvw.
Maryam Dad
Posted: Sunday, September 7, 2014 10:55:54 PM

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Maryam Dad wrote:
I think I know a certain white male member from California. Think
He is quite old.


My post sounds racist and sexist, Mod, please delete it.
pedro
Posted: Monday, September 8, 2014 6:02:41 AM
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Epiphileon wrote:
I do not think stupid would be the right word here, Ignorant or illiterate would work better.
Trying to extinguish a fire with compressed oxygen, that would be scientifically stupid





[image not available]
Romany
Posted: Monday, September 8, 2014 7:13:05 AM
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(For LRai)

"You are very right, you'll never find any site in China that allows anything negative to be said about China."

Having also spent 7 years in China teaching (amongst other subjects) Journalism at Chinese universities, I'm not sure I agree with your assessment. Chinese chat-rooms and social sites abound with negative comments about China. OK, these aren't main-stream: but they are there. In the public forum.

The introduction of China-smack in 2008 provided a site which HAS become mainstream and which is quoted in many overseas publications. The idea of gathering together input from many different sites and translating them into English was a deliberate move to allow non-Chinese-speaking people access to both the negative and the positive opinions current in to-day's China.

Their mission statement (http://www.chinasmack.com/about) explains and clarifies this.

As the articles, comments and quotes are translated from different Chinese-language publications - both radical and conservative - I don't think one could qualitatively assert one would 'never' find opinions that give negative views on China on any sites within China.

As to the China Daily. C'mon, seriously now: how many of your students saw this as anything other than a gung-ho party mouthpiece? It must be admitted, surely, that within China it's as notorious as CNN or any other biased mainstream media source in any other country and provides a lot of laughs for many modern Chinese?

PS: I'm neither pro- nor anti- China. Just sayin'.....


TheParser
Posted: Monday, September 8, 2014 10:05:36 AM
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LRai wrote:
I'm not the person you are referring to.



No, LRai, I am the member to whom he is referring.

Someone kindly directed my attention to this thread.

Ever since I joined this forum, I have found DragOnspeaker to be a model forum member. He has never mocked, insulted, or lied about other members' views. Without doubt, he is one of the most respected members of these forums. Personally, I consider him to be the dean of these forums.

I am very disappointed (not angry), therefore, that he has MISrepresented my views.

This is not the appropriate thread to discuss what he said.

In any case, it would be beating a dead horse.

It does not matter what DragOnspeaker thinks.

It does not matter what I think.

The only thing that matters is the brutal truth. Eventually, the truth will out.

I shall definitely continue to read DragOnspeaker's posts (I put only deliberately nasty members on my
persona non grata list), but I shall wait for his apology before ever replying to him again.



James (who has never left California in his 77 years of life)
early_apex
Posted: Monday, September 8, 2014 1:14:05 PM
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I once worked at a place where they replaced all of their wall clocks with atomic clocks. The idea was that the increased accuracy in time-telling would make the workers less likely to cheat on their break times.

In this case, atomic clock is a colloquial term, as they are battery powered, just like the clocks they replaced. These particular clocks also have a radio receiver and a mechanism to adjust the time according to the signals sent out by the National Institute of Standards and Technology, so they reference an atomic clock.

Wall clocks that plug into a wall outlet lost popularity after battery-powered clocks were introduced, I think mainly because the power cord was unattractive, compared to cordless.

There is an interesting story (interesting to me, anyway) from the time before California was connected to the Western U.S. power grid. At the time, California electric power was 50 Hertz, and plug-in wall clocks were quite popular. The electric utility in California hired and trained a large number of workers to open and replace the gears in every model of clock on the market, so everyone's clock would still keep time with the new 60 Hertz system. None of these workers ever went on to become clockmakers, because each was trained on just one make and model of clock. The consumers sent their clocks to this makeshift factory and some days later received their modified clocks. Once this task was completed, the utility made the switch to 60Hz power.
early_apex
Posted: Monday, September 8, 2014 1:17:17 PM
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TheParser wrote:

James (who has never left California in his 77 years of life)


James, that reminds me of the story of the lawyer questioning the witness on the stand:

Lawyer: Have you lived in this town your entire life?
Witness: Not yet!

:-)
L.Rai
Posted: Monday, September 8, 2014 9:21:36 PM

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Dear Romany:

The introduction of China-smack in 2008 provided a site which HAS become mainstream and which is quoted in many overseas publications. The idea of gathering together input from many different sites and translating them into English was a deliberate move to allow non-Chinese-speaking people access to both the negative and the positive opinions current in to-day's China.



I do know that on the "net" some sites do exist where Chinese bash their own...but what I was referring to was the main stream Chinese media where that would never be allowed. I am well aware that many of my students have awakened to understand that their country has issues.

Thanks for your insight.

Dear Pedro:

Love it...that's what makes living here so much fun...the Chinglish keeps me going. I will add that photo to my ever growing list of Chinese "funny" moments.
Sick
TheParser
Posted: Tuesday, September 9, 2014 5:47:09 AM
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Thank you, Early Apex.
mollyfer
Posted: Wednesday, December 31, 2014 12:27:36 AM
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Another study as a special report by ABC showed that in scientific and mathematical skills, an average Belgian kid scored better than a “skilled” American. By age fifteen Americans fell behind 25 countries in this test. They scored worse than countries which spend much less in education. The report also states that in US, mediocrity is encouraged by monopoly of public school and opportunity based scholarships, which is hurting the academic ability of Americans when compared to the rest of the world. Yes, monopoly hurts because there is no competition to better oneself against, but when it comes to countries with lesser quality of education it says something. Those countries are not well off either but in spite of that they do better than US.
rvw
Posted: Wednesday, December 31, 2014 9:32:32 AM
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Thanks for the info Mollyfer. A sad commentary!

My ideal education system would be private tutors for every child. Then the child would go at his/her own pace, and avoid the emotional pressure cooker of public schools. It may not ever happen, but it's something to aim for.
ithink140
Posted: Wednesday, December 31, 2014 11:02:44 AM
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Comments about a wall clock on Amazon:


Quote:
Q: Is this electric
A: No it is battery only

The answer reflects more a lack of attention to the exact nature of the question rather than ignorance.

Most who answered this way were taking the question to mean, ‘is it driven by mains electricity.’ It beggars belief that the difference is not known by the ‘average' American.
MANJUICEBUBBLES
Posted: Thursday, January 1, 2015 12:07:25 PM

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This topic might be a bit too partisan..
Romany
Posted: Thursday, January 1, 2015 2:08:51 PM
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It isn't "America-bashing" however, to agree that the USA education system is currently lagging behind. It's simply a truism. And only if it's acknowledged can it be addressed.

No country is Utopia: there are things in every single country in the world which need addressing. It isn't "bashing", it's just discussion of a particular problem. Those of us who live in the E.U are all fully aware of our own problems...because the other countries around us are always telling us!Dancing

But I love rvw's dream of a tutor for every child! Perhaps more and more, I think, computers are going to be performing this function as ever more sophisticated software comes into the public domain.

Currently, there are many ESL schools which provide this service - the actual locations of both students and teacher being immaterial. But I think that already, these are not quite as popular as they were some years ago: while new software continues to advance and be taken up.

But what will replace the lessons one learns by being part of a kid=community? School also contribute to our socialisation skills in a way computers cannot (as yet) hope to do.
Barnacle Barney Bill
Posted: Thursday, January 1, 2015 6:43:53 PM

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This forum is place for uncensored discussion. There are some angry and mean spirited posters who make sweeping negative generalizations on all topics. Some of the posts are so ridiculous that wonder, can the poster really believe this? This is not a place for the thin skinned. It is interesting, sometimes funny and educational. For instance, I just learned who Daemon is.
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