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    @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?).
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    [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...
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    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
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    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.
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    >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)
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    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
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    Quote: crash_D.
    picyou are all from western europe and north americapic
    And Australia!

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

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    yes...sorry, Wanderer :)
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    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?
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    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)

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    Knowing a bunch of unconnected facts isn't the same thing as being smart. But even if you believe that the U.S. is less "smart" than other nations, it's a mistake to put all of the blame on the U.S. public education system. A big part of the problem is the anti-intellectual sentiment that has become disturbingly common in U.S. culture. Being a geek was not a bad thing immediately after WWII or during the Apollo program, when the U.S. needed all of the smart engineers it could get. Today it can be a fighting insult, and it's not hard to see how attitudes have changed. I'm a pretty smart engineer (public school + state university, thanks) and after bouncing between five different companies in five years, even I'm starting to wonder why the hell I even went to school at all.

    Allow me to be blunt now. This part is not directed specifically at anyone in this thread, it's just stuff that's been building up in me for a while.

    As an American not currently living in the U.S., I'm getting tired of listening to people from other cultures try to make themselves feel superior by bashing on the U.S. The business of trying to make Americans look stupid is annoying but I actually don't mind so much because it's fairly harmless. What I'm really sick of is hearing people from other countries blame the U.S. for everything that's wrong in the world, as if somehow their own cultures and governments have no responsibility at all for what happens in their backyard. Give me a break.

    If the U.S. is so destructive to the world then let's see the world stop buying American products. Just close all the borders so that everyone else can be happy eating their organically grown food driving their non-polluting electric vehicles powered by free renewable energy. I hear North Korea is doing a great job with that.

    If the U.S. is so stupid then let's see more countries start out-competing America's companies in the global marketplace. It can't be too hard; Japan seems to be doing pretty well with half as many people and practically no natural resources of their own. So what's the rest of the world's excuse?

    I'm oversimplifying of course, but anyone who tries to tell me how much the U.S. sucks in between sips of Coke has immediately lost my attention.
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    US is the only superpower on the planet, and yes of course its great in many repsects, but just like any other people, they have their own flaws... our flaw, for examaple, is that we base everything (including business) on personal relationships.. and a bunch of others, actually.. :)

    squarrel, you sounded sarcastic.. at least thats' what i thought.. what is smart? iq? 120 when i was drunk... and if i sounded like a geek, than everyone is a geek in this country, couse those were just common knowledge... if knowing something makes a person a geek, let it be.. only i am not a geek or erudite accodring to general unwritten standards here.. its normal for people to know capitals of all major countries here, which i don't know...

    and my opinion is that, given the fact that americans "rule the world" the logical conclusion is that they should know a much greater "bunch of unconnected facts" and be much more erudites than other nations.. at least that would be rational, fair, and objective...
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    y2kbgy2kbg New
    edited February 2007
    "its normal for people to know capitals of all major countries. "

    Man i wish America was like that. it really sucks because i know what all you guys are saying, like here i am consider an uber geek and in your country i am average or maybe even less than that.
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    Squirrel, as a long-time guest of your native country, I too get sick and tired of non-Americans bashing the USA, but at the same time I'd really REALLY like to urge Americans to learn a little more about the world around them from sources other than the US media. There's more to Afghanistan than rocks & rubble. There's more to Africa than poor people in mud huts. There's more to Palestinians than suicide bombers. There is, and was, more to Iraq than a dictator. People live in all those places, within the confines of their circumstances, not unlike 50% in this country live with a president they did not vote for and whose actions they do not support. What's doing America in these days is the never-ending talk of superiority of its capitalist system and/or army WITHOUT public introspection. That... and religion.
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    America *used* to be an internal-looking nation, that minded it's own business.....but that seemed to change during/after the second world war. The big american military industry that grew as we tried to defeat Hitler, suddenly didn't want to go away. And since the 50's, in order to justify it's own continued existence, the american military industry has had to find (and often exaggerate) supposed major threats across the world. We saw that with korea, vietnam, grenada, panama, communism (eg mccarthism), the cold war, iraq, etc, etc. I wonder will they now start to use china as the next exciuse to expand - e.g. weapons in space. Rather than spend 100's of billions of dollars fighting the bogey man in iraq, I'd much prefer that money to have been instead used on a real and genuine threat to my life - i.e. cures for cancers and heart disease. To answer the question raised by a few people above - yes, I'd like to see america pull back and focus on it's own ills, rather than bullying the planet.
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    edited February 2007

    ""*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.""
    Heck, I'm still that way in college. We've become too "smart" for our own good. I have read books by top educators in which they complain that our education system is run mostly by psychologists rather than experts in the field. The only reason I am still going to school here is to get that stupid little piece of paper (a degree) so if I need to get a job, I can more easily. I learn more off of the Internet than I ever could from *MOST* teachers. There are few really good teachers out there, but it seems to me that as a society we do not value our teachers and so many of the bright people go elsewhere.

    As far as the US "bullying" everyone else - every country bullies each other to some extent. It just so happens that the US is currently in one of the best positions to do it. We do throw away a lot of money in useless wars, but we do a lot of good that is rarely focused on in any media (whether local or abroad). I hate it just as much as the next person, but having troops in other countries has done a lot of good as well.

    And about the diseases: really, it's mostly our own dang fault. Instead of taking care of our health, most of us just party hard and forget about things like eating right and exercising and then expect a doctor to "cure" us when we start to fall apart. Add this to the fact that we put tons of toxins in our air and water through things like cleaning products, industrial processes, and the fact that just about everyone and their dog owns a car (putting tons of pollutants into the environment, collectively) and it's no wonder there are so many of us that are sick. Did you know that heart attack rates go up dramatically as air pollution does?
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    this american topic reminds me on this ultra boring and tripple winnie: ..a german? ah u must be an nazi!

    really, all americans are bad and criminals plus all germans are nazis and all chinese ppl are ninjas and i am a cheeseburger.

    ahww c'mon guys please -.-
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    i wish i was a cheese burger? What about a Chinese cheeseburger Nazi. Like the soup Nazi on Seinfeld.
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    i guess it depends on the sauce (smoked bbq or classic steaksauce with the ugly rosine flavor ) :D
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    TomTester, "There's more to Afghanistan than rocks & rubble" afghanis. Rubles are in russia only. And that's totally true about the world.

    we were sitting in the bar drinking beer,

    i asked 4 questions after i recalled this discussion;

    1. what is the longest country (relative to its width)?
    2. who is fidel castro?
    3. what is the largest city in europe?
    4. who is the father of electric resitance (meaning, after whom the unit measure is named)?

    I got all the answers from around the table. and asked, "why the hell we live so badly (compared to say, western europe)?" and then i realized the answer:

    we were sitting in the bar drinking beer..

    and I agree Fery. there are many stereotypes. the question is, where do these stereotypes come from? and what is the degree of self-reliance to remain resistant?
This discussion has been closed.