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View of americans

y2kbgy2kbg New
edited February 2007 in Vanilla 1.0 Help
Just wondering what people of intelligence in technology that don't(or do for that matter) live in the usa think of Americans. I here alot of people say that other countries have generalizations of America and wanna see if it is true.


  • edited February 2007

    nothing personal here, y2kbg (and everyone living in the us).. but i do have something to say..

    not only i live in a european country, but it is also a post soviet country, which means that historically we have been enemies in the cold war... of course, now ukraine stands miles away from this heavyweight silent wrestiling between russian and us, but still the traces of the past are very evident here, especially with the older population...

    as to the opinioin about americans,,,, here it is... this is the general opinion of most slavic population (at least from my experience).. the first thing is that americans have no cultural heritage, which leads to lower cultural and moral development.. this is mostly based on the facts that european and eastern cultures have been developeing for thousands (!!!) of years, and the us as an independent country is a little over 200 years...

    the second general opinion is the illiteracy... ok, i don't mean that americans are stupid, but check the literacy rates at wikipedia, and note that there 36th position is secured for the us (check page history, there should be note saying that according to CIA its lower).. and btw cia fact book says "Literacy: [...] total population: 99%; male: 99%; female: 99% (2003 est.)" .. and believe me, 99% is pretty low for a developed ecomonic giant like the us... i am not generalizing, but when i asked about where the ww2 was in some chat, most american teens said it was on the territory of the us, at pearl harbor...

    and truly,,, it is wellknown fact (at least for me) that public education level in the us is at lower level compared to most european countries... many friends of mine and i myself, when visited us public schools noticed that they (or rather you) solve problems in highschool, which we (ukrainian or russian students) have solved in 6 grade.. that was a shock for me... plus, i have noticed that most adult americans most often are prone to mastering one skill or field, and are not interested in any other science or doctrine (i am interested in american history, and i know a lot about american life and history; this is because your economy has never been (significantly) regulated , which is a unique phenomenon in the world).. .. ... in eauropean, or at least eastern eauropean slavic culture, we strive to know as much as possible.... so, for example, besides my BBA degree in management, I am deeply interested in math and statistics, I love web-development, I know much about american history, and i always try to learn as much as possible... maybe its the trace of Lenin's motto, "learn, learn, and once more learn, comrades" (rus: учиться, учиться, и еще раз учиться, товарищи) and another local wisdom, "live for age, learn for age" (rus: век живи - век учись). ...

    so i don't want to look fun or stupid, or anything (if i am, then please understand that this message is sincere, couse i love this comunity, and value candor).. but look here.. do you know the 4 compounds of human blood? or what is the name of the estate where american civil war started AND ended? or what is the major reason why Grant is on 50 bucks? what is the largest city in eurasia? the application of golden section (or mean) in real life? do you know 60 digits after decimal sign in PI constant (anyone from alabama)? or about 30 digits in phi? or do you know what is a phi constant at all? or who are the beefeaters (longlive the queen)? or that google is owned by a russian? or that americans owe canada a part of their land? or that AMERICANS HAVE NOT DEFEATED THE BRITISH EVEN ONCE, DURING THE INDEPENDENCE WAR? i know this may sound like nonsense, but its true!! the british crashed all american armies, whenever they encountered them, but, after the war was over, and the official note about it was in the road, americans desparately and with huge losses did defeat once, ,, but the war was already over, and the notice to americans have not yet been delivered yet,,, anyway.. ... all this was from my head, meaning i know the exact answers without reading or peeping anywhere (although i was tempted, i confess)... and all i want, is that you say that "hey, this is all piece of cake" and provide answers immediately from your head, without looking up anywhere.. if you do it, ill be very glad.. ... (im not mentioning the fact that my mothertongue is russian, and english i learned)..

    and ok, i understand, that everyone knows something according to your diploma or degree, but what about the general knowledge, which is simple literacy, erudition, and intelligence?... and what about the desire to know more? here, we all have it... the general opinion about americans, is that they they (you) don't... which leads to another fact that people here think that most americans are naive (and probably dumb)... now, i udnerstand that people who have created such a powerful (no flatter, plain objective facts) country simply cannot be bumb,,,, but as for naive, part of it i think is true... again, no offence... i believe, that due to a higher economic position and better living conditions, americans adapt worse to life basics (although better to business problems)... this is because of the aforementioned narrow spacialization..

    again guys,,, im not boasting here or anything, and i don't want to look bad, stupid, or anything... i only express the public opinion, and demonstrate as much as i can.. and remember, that what is ok for you, might be totally unaccaptable in other culture, so keep that in mind... (i guess it was president Truman who came to a foreign country, and waved peace signs to the public,, but for them it was like showing the middle finger.. lol.. ).. so, i am from a different culture that most of you vanillers,,, so please keep that in mind... ..

    ok,,, i hope i made it clear, y2kbg, that the general impression of americans in slavic world is negative, mostly because of the traces of the cold war.. ..

    p.s. from my head: pi=3.141592653589793238462643383279502884197169399375105820974944 correct me if im wrong :)

  • *nods* Our education system isn't of quality anymore, that's for sure. I learned more on my own and by trying to figure stuff out vs what was in school. I had to have the drive to want to get knowledge. It wasn't necessarily taught in school like it should have been.
  • I think the world's view of "America" is shaped mostly by a) your president and b) the movies - meaning that we don't really know much about real "Americans" and are left with cliched stereotypes of who you really are.
  • I guess what I get tired of, and I'm speaking as an American, is that we don't focus enough on our own problems and are more concerned about saving the world.

    I read an article on the other day that basically highlighted the fact that we've had a Bush in power for almost 20 years. Bush #1 as VP from 1980-1988, as president from 1988-1992 and George #2 from 2002-2008. Now we're running the risk of having another Clinton in office for another potential 8 years... that would make the past 30 years of American policital culture directed, in large part, by just two families. There's even an outside chance that Bush's younger brother Jeb might run for President... hell no!

    That is why I'm really leaning toward a candidate like Obama who I really think will shake things up and get America firing on all cylinders again. For all our faults and miscues, there's still no place I'd rather call home.
  • Very impressive Crash. I'll agree the American education "system" is not very efficient. My parents recognised this, so I was "home schooled"--mostly self-educated. I doubt many americans even know who is on the $50, or the fact that two american bills do not even have a former president on them. I always regret not learning more when I had the time and opportunity.

    You posted an impressive collection of facts, and only two I can answer. But it was Nixon who waved the peace sign :-)
  • edited February 2007
    thanks, WallPhone,,,, thanks for correction,, note, i said "i guess" there, couse i wan't sure..

    edit: may i ask which two you answered, plz
  • Its the same way for every country I would imagine.
  • - 'nuff said :-)
  • America, hmmm, Democracy comes to mind, freedom of speech, they may completely disagree with what you say but value and actively defend your right to say it.

    I've been there a few times, east coast, west coast, Chicago. I found Americans very patriotic but very ignorant of the world around them. Talking to a New Yorker about Tasmania she said "...Ain't that where Dracula lives? Sounds spooky..."

    Posted: Monday, 12 February 2007 at 7:26AM (AEDT)

  • edited February 2007
    i sure understand that these people from the movie are not the ones that move USA forward and i sincerely hope that this reporter cut out the correct answers.... damn, it hurts...

    i understand that cultural differences are important and bla bla, and something which is normal for a certain people is freaking for me... BUT......

    from the basics of statistics: the most important thing to remember after watching the movie is to avoid hasty generalization logical fallacy.... even though that sample (which i hope was not random) allegedly represents the entire american population, ther are 300 million people more... so basing the impression of the entire nation on these 20 or so people is incorrect.. but still it does provide an impression of these 20 at least, and it is damn horrible :(..
  • I always get the impression of extremes with America. Nothing is done by halves.
    This is good and bad.
  • ""*nods* Our education system isn't of quality anymore, that's for sure. I learned more on my own and by trying to figure stuff out vs what was in school. I had to have the drive to want to get knowledge. It wasn't necessarily taught in school like it should have been.""

    Same here
  • short and painless:

    the medal has two sides, the amercian and also the slavic or any medal in this world.
    so its not an "oh yes sure, look those americans there "- problem.
  • and this blows the theory that non-Americans are necessarily more 'smart'

  • fery, could you be more specific?... i made a clear point, and what is yours?
  • yea when i read that i was like WTF
  • US foreign policy has been fairly shameful and electing Bush as president reflects very badly on Americans. I think most educated people see that not all Americans are like Bush but there does seem to be mass US ignorance of other countries. Their foreign policy is conducted without any understanding or respect for culture and background. Some Americans actually think they are saving the world when in fact they are making enemies and creating more 'terrorists' as a result. In particular most Republican views are seen as extreme here in the UK, especially as they tend to be closely linked with old-fashioned religious beliefs. Religion and politics should be kept separate.

    As a Brit it's embarrassing to see the UK agree with everything the US does and Tony Blair also has terrible foreign policy. He doesn't reflect the views of the general population and the sooner both Bush and Blair are gone the better for everyone.

    There's no doubt the US has lots of positive qualities too, but the actions of those in command undermines everything.
  • Blair is a blight on the UK.
  • America is full of good people, just like every other nation. Sadly, big business has long since ruled the country. And this is extremely obvious when the Republican neocons are in power. Over here in the UK, we have started to go that same road, under Herr Bliar.

    Outside it's borders, America is seen as a big bully. The end of the cold war, and the demise of the USSR, has allowed the USA to flex it's muscles. It's ironic, that after 911, the world cried for America, and now a few years later, under Bush's misguided foreign policies, the world largely despises the USA.

    I think that the west, most notably USA and the UK, need to redefine what 'democracy' is. The spin, deceit and downright lies of our present governments are threatening to leave people totally alienated. The Bush and Bliar governments have brought shame to our respective nations. I just hope that the decline in democratic institutions can be arrested.
  • @crash: I don't really see how knowing pi to 60 digits is really that useful, considering that "computing the circumference of a circle the size of the Milky Way with a value of pi truncated at 40 digits would produce an error margin of less than the diameter of a proton."1 and you'll have to excuse any ignorance, but I was under the impression blood consists of just cells (+ fragments) and plasma (were you perhaps refering to the composition of the plasma?).
  • [deleted a long diatribe]

    Let me just say that it never ceases to amaze me HOW DIFFERENT the world view of Canadians is...
    and I suspect it's partly due to the media, and party due to the perception of its place/role in world
    politics. It's time for some introspection...
  • I suspect that knowing pi to 60 digits is useful as little more than a party trick, especially since any calculator you put it into will likely only give you a 9 digit answer anyway (and anything spewing more than 9 digits will almost undoubtedly know what pi is)...then again, I suspect there arent a huge number of people who know it to 5 or so..
    And then ofcourse there are the people in America who think that England is a state, or Scotland is part of England, or so on. But considering one of my posts in another discussion where I got mixed up thinking that Maine was in Boston, which was nowhere near MIT or Harvard, I suppose I'm not one to talk :D
  • blood is made of plasma white blood cells and red blood cells. I think that what he was asking. I wish i knew pi that high.
  • >fery, could you be more specific?... i made a clear point, and what is yours?

    you said with other words that you have so many bright heads there in your country (ukraine)... now look what the ukrainians have in comparison to the u.s. and you can answer the question 4urself :D

    to make this in a funny way clear ....this is your other side of the medal (j/k)
  • ok... as for the pi, i think its more of the self-actualization issue... just that i know, and that's it... i sincerely hope that one day i can use it... then blood,,, it consists of 4 elements, 3 of which are cells, and the 4th one plasma... and finally, fery, and the rest of you.. yes, ukraine is very far from usa in the lsit of countries by gdp or any other economic indicator, and i accept it...i am not going to mention history here, which has many objective reasons for this, but i would like to mention the people... i talked much about the morality and erudition,, but the other side of the medal in this erudition stuff is that people here grab whatever they can when they get acces to the national budget... this is the greatest peoblem, i think,,, ,and the very horryfying tax system, which makes everyone (including... guess who) do business illegally... .... we are growing, however, financially,, there are many indicators of healthy financial growth,,,

    and there is a saying amongst the slavs here that we are stupid as a crowd, but smart as separate persons... which is i think totally true,,,,

    this movie is real funny, i wish you understood all the "beauty" of it... i even have it in my mobile phone... here is the conversation fro you all:
    m=miner, r=reporter;

    m:the last sallary we received on 6th of march for the .... novebrish month (he did make a mistake...real funny)
    r: and when was the last day you worked?
    m: the last month in november... 17th of november
    r: it appears you have been waiting for your salary for half a year?
    m: yeee
    r: why have you decided to arrange such a strike in here?
    m: couse they don't pay
    r: you think it will help?
    m: ... i don't know... hope on you...

    and the guy at the back is the personification of desparate miners, who work like hell and receive nothin,,, they were quite rich in soviet times though.... these miners are treated so badly now (unless in private mines), and their toil is worth tens of thousands of dollars... the government is stealing all the money couse everyone here is corrupt, which leads to such poor conditions.... the older population, with soviet mentality are still there in the ussr,, the younger ones, like me and others, are doing something, and work towards the market economy... so i think in about 20 years we will be doing fine...

    i understand that i live in a country, which is at the lowest step of economic and probbly moral development than all of you guys, and i accept it.. you are all from western europe and north america,,, so i should probbly get quiet....

    p.s. who is fidel castro? without peeping in google or wiki plz
  • Quote: crash_D.
    picyou are all from western europe and north americapic
    And Australia!

    Posted: Tuesday, 13 February 2007 at 11:31AM (AEDT)

  • Let me ask the non-Americans this...

    if the US closed its borders, pulled back all military presence around the globe and cut off all aid... would you feel better off?

    I guess I'm saying, as an American, that I definitely WOULD feel better off as those dollars and other expenditures, monetary and otherwise, would fix a lot of internal issues.

    But I'm just wondering if America became ambivalent toward the world, would anyone miss us?
  • Quote: u2wedge
    picBut I'm just wondering if America became ambivalent toward the world, would anyone miss us?pic
    The politically correct answer to that question is: "No, the world would be a better place!"

    But I suspect the playground for terrorists and dictators would expand. No we are not naive enough to think America's motives are pure and oil-free but perhaps the end justifies the means.

    Without getting into a Bush-is-bad, Bush-is-good debate, it's an unquestionable fact that Iraq is a better place without its dictator. I said better which is not necessarily good.

    Keeping in mind our Prime Minister (Australia) backs Bush in Iraq, we can easily spout statements against this backing, but I suspect there are issues we're unaware of.

    So to answer your question; no, I don't think the world would be a better place if Americans (or Australians or British) just pulled their heads in and simply ignored world events.

    Posted: Tuesday, 13 February 2007 at 2:48PM (AEDT)

This discussion has been closed.