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wow Americans are stupid... and so is the whole world!
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praton3030



Joined: 07 Aug 2002
Posts: 235
Location: frederick, Md
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Reaon why we are not geographically smart is because we are not too concerned about it, and i for one don't personlly care about geography, at least not at the moment for the time being August Spies.


Peace,
Brian aka Praton3030
Post Sat Nov 23, 2002 7:42 pm
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August Spies



Joined: 09 Aug 2002
Posts: 1979
Location: D.C.
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futuristxen:


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But you didn't really say anything about our military right now. I doubt we could win a war against any other major power if it came right down to it, fact of the matter is China would probably kick our ass


I completely disagree. OUr military is gigantic. Look at it this way. We spend over 300 billion dollars on our military. THe most ANY other country in the history of the world has spent was the USSR at the peak of the cold war. They only spent 80 billion then. We spend more money than something like the next 20 biggest countries combined. So yes, I think we could defeat a major power.... (if we are barring things like the problems of nuclear warfare from the picture)

EDIT: yes you are right we might a problem conquering china.... but as Veitnam shows, most anyone can kick a completely foreign power out. But as someone else said in a proxy battle it would neve be a contest. And we would be much more likly to conquer china than for china to conquer us.


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We're a country, or we've always been a country, of idealistic dreamers. we've fallen behind, especially in human rights to canada and much of europe.


Firstly im honestly not sure how much modern americans resemble our founders, I would sya not much at all. As for us being idealistitc dreams? honestly I think we are not. At least compared to europeans. They have always done much mroe and risked much more for idealistic dreams. Americans are veyr complacent it seems.
Secondly, we have almost always been behind europe on things like human rights (europeans stopped slavery first, let women vote first, etc...)

anyway as the title of my thread should indicate I wasn't imply americans are stupid compared to the rest of the world...but that educational standards in general are sad.





Quote:

i have to agree with futuristxen that amerika really does have something intangible that every other nation lacks.


I really have no idea what you guys are talking about. Have you spent time in other countries? What does america have that other countries don't? (i can think of many things other countries have that we don't, but just based on their longer existence)
Post Sat Nov 23, 2002 7:52 pm
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Petrouchka Rasputin



Joined: 30 Jun 2002
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That intangible quality of the USA is your patriotism. If you could think of another country as your own, you would feel the same way about it. It's all in your perception.
Post Sat Nov 23, 2002 7:54 pm
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futuristxen



Joined: 01 Jul 2002
Posts: 19374
Location: Tighten Your Bible Belt
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So basically...If I understand you correctly...the united states is a pile of smoldering shit and you have no explanation as to why we are a world power.(and not just a world power--THE world power.)

I personally think Califunky hit the nail on the head bringing up our century of invention. And that taps into the intangible thing of which I am speaking. It's not just patriotism. In fact, it's not patriotism at all.

Okay, so we have military might. But it doesn't really serve a large purpose aside from defense, because as stated, we aren't going to be conquering nations with it--at least not on the level most of europe did when it decided the rest of the world belonged to it.

The tangible thing that actually seperates this country from the rest is oddly enough the land. We are able to be fairly self-suffiecient, especially in comparison to the rest of the world. There is such a diversity across the continent that we really have a pretty good machine going here. From industrial centers, to agricultural areas, to media centers--really there is no country even close to the same level. You'd be looking at a place like argentina as a place that has that potential, but because of us influence and just bad organization was unable to turn the corner at the begining of the 20th century.

It really doesn't matter too much what we know about geography, because it's all happening here. We are pretty much in control of our own destiny--which is not something most countries can say.
Post Sat Nov 23, 2002 8:18 pm
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August Spies



Joined: 09 Aug 2002
Posts: 1979
Location: D.C.
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If I understand you correctly...the united states is a pile of smoldering shit and you have no explanation as to why we are a world power.(


I never said it was a pile of shit. Don't assume so much. However there is nothing America has or america has done that others did not do before us...


Quote:

I personally think Califunky hit the nail on the head bringing up our century of invention.And that taps into the intangible thing of which I am speaking.


Well not to sound like an american basher but we reallky haven't invented that much. Europe has invented much more of our modern technology, and Japan is at least as inventive as us. We made more money... we did not invent more.


Quote:

Okay, so we have military might. But it doesn't really serve a large purpose aside from defense, because as stated, we aren't going to be conquering nations with it--at


This is incorrect. We may not colonize countries like Europe did, but we have epended JUST as much energy/might/money on enforcing our policies around the world. Our military and intelligence agencies have spent countless dollars on crushing resistance movments, mudering enemies, assasinating democratically elected leaders, backing brutal dictators.

NOTE: I am not pretending other countries have not done this as well. And personally id bet that most other countries in our position would do the same thing. However, the fact remainst aht our tremendous military helps us to stay in power and such plenty.


Quote:

We are able to be fairly self-suffiecient, especially in comparison to the rest of the world From industrial centers, to agricultural areas, to media centers--really there is no country even close to the same level.


um... how about any industrial country? THey all have that... diversity. The difference between southern italy and northern italy, or southern france and northern france is JUST as big a difference (if not more because of their long history) than the United States. Personally I think, having spent time in different areas of the U.S., the U.S. is strangely homoginized.



Quote:

It really doesn't matter too much what we know about geography, because it's all happening here. We are pretty much in control of our own destiny--


well WE have virtually no control of our destiny. But if you mean the United states is the super power... so its different than other countries..., well yes this is true.
Post Sat Nov 23, 2002 8:28 pm
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August Spies



Joined: 09 Aug 2002
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Futurist I really don't mean to sound arrogant or pretentious here... buthow much time have you spent in other countries? have you ever spent time discussing the divertisty of people in other countries. Cause (agian not to soudn arrogant) it seems like you just don't know that much about other countries, or are basing your views on third hand information.

it just seems like a really uninformed view of the world... ( I mean if you are judging it on size there are plenty of other huge countries... and there are many many more populated countries. There are countries with much more diverse populations. Really I agree that americas ethnic/racial/religious diversity is one of the best things about it.... but its not some outlier)
Post Sat Nov 23, 2002 8:34 pm
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weedy420
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why is everyone worried about stats when there is a lot more to be concerned about. like the fact that GEORGE BUSH DID NOT WIN THE PRESIDENCY!!!!!!!!!!!! i mean did everyone forget that he is not the real president. there is a good book out by micheal more, however its spelled, he also did the movies bowling for columbine and roger and me. very interesting about bush and what he did to steal the election. then we have the economy. there are more ads for houses in the classifieds than jobs, dosent that worry you guys at all. when one percent of the rich have all the money, i find that to be a little worrysome. also we may not be the world power for much longer considering that russia and china signed a pack together. wounderful and we are worried about how many kids dont know were the us is, which takes it to how fucked up the school systems are now. if kids are acting up in school they go through and kick out all the "bad" kids. even if they are a little disruptive it still dosent fit into the "schedule" of actually teaching kids. this does not mean that all schools are that way but around philly and dc they are. i could go on and on about school systems, they are about as fucked up as the court systems. our government works but for how much longer??? considering that the economy is almost gone, we are back into world debt again, george is changing actually adding all kinds of acts to our civil rights, the "oil war", dont even get started on the new pollution standards, oh yeah the fact that cars now dont have to get cetain gas mileage, thanks to who, GEORGEY. the governent was working on much higher gas mileage and i think there was a deadline for when this was suppose to come into act, but who changed it ??? we are suppose to be in a technological era and we are still doing things like we are in the fucking fifteenth centurty. i mean what ever happened to solar power, and the cars that could run off grease and the other hippie who made the car that ran off water??? where are they?? nah we gotta keep those gas guzzling hogs out there, cause u know that fourty year old suburban mom needs a vehicle to suck up 9 miles to the gallon just to go to the super market But she needs all that room to fit groceries into them, dosent she?? doesn't anybody remember what a station wagon is???? why do we need vehicles that just fucks up more shit when it crashes. cause car crashes weren't enough without all of these suv's. so yeah i guess you could say george bush is working his ass off, to screw the american people. shit thats probably why we are so dumb, we have an illeterate for president. does everyone remember when george was asked his favorite childhood book and he said the name of a book that wasnt written untill he was like 24. and how come he almost never uses big words but when he does it reminds me of a kindergardner, you can actually see him sounding it out. all i have to say is read the micheal moore book Stupid White Men it will just piss you all off. what about taxes?? like the american public dosent pay enough in traffic court?? shit thats probably enough money to feed africa and cure the aids problem. how about taxes??? were do they all go, other than the roads that never get finsished. how about all the money on the drug war, cause we really need to keep all the drugs outta the us. i understand heroin and cocaine but how often do you see that kinda shit getting busted when georgy porgy is in. whats up with all of these fucking pot commercials, what ever happend to parents the anti drug, there was no singeling out but now there is. do you people understand not only the money, but the lives yes human lives that are taken is this "war". gotta love it, fight drugs even though we have a new terrorism alert once a month at least. And dont worry about us cause we are compromisable when it comes to us dying, if it helps the rich get richer then dont worry about it. thanks for letting me rant and rave about our wounderful government and george bush the most hard working american ever!!!!!!!
Post Sat Nov 23, 2002 8:48 pm
 
futuristxen



Joined: 01 Jul 2002
Posts: 19374
Location: Tighten Your Bible Belt
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August Spies wrote:
Futurist I really don't mean to sound arrogant or pretentious here... buthow much time have you spent in other countries? have you ever spent time discussing the divertisty of people in other countries. Cause (agian not to soudn arrogant) it seems like you just don't know that much about other countries, or are basing your views on third hand information.

it just seems like a really uninformed view of the world... ( I mean if you are judging it on size there are plenty of other huge countries... and there are many many more populated countries. There are countries with much more diverse populations. Really I agree that americas ethnic/racial/religious diversity is one of the best things about it.... but its not some outlier)


Yeah I have no firsthand knowledge of any country, sadly. It just hasn't worked out yet where I have been able to do so as much as I want to.

Thus I am trying very hard to learn something here, but you are honestly proving very frustrating to get anything useful out of. I'm not trying to be insulting, but you have just gone on and on about how bad the United States is, but you haven't offered any explanation as to why america is the super power it is. The closest you've come is saying it's been because of military might--but you have yet to actually just come out and say that, you've just hinted at it. And I don't think that is the answer anyhow. Our military might is the result of something, that it serves to protect and promote.

As far as other countries, specifically France and Italy having the resources, I mentioned that Argentina had the resoucrces as well--but it's not ORGANIZED. Italy has never really functioned properly from what I understand--it took mussolini to get them to run the trains on time. Frankly, a lot of the european countries have been fairly unorganized. The EU does legitimitely pose a threat to our supremecy once it functions properly. Because it is a step towards organization that has been lacking in a lot of the european countries. England has organization, but lacks the resources. The USSR had organized--but you see the importance of organization as soon as communism left--then the country fragmented and fell into dissarray.

I dunno. I'll admit I know fuck all about anything. But I do know that your analysis of the situation is incomplete, and because of that it comes off as hipster US bashing. You need an explanation of why america works before you can start ticking off it's problems; and i don't think you've communicated that, yet.
Post Sat Nov 23, 2002 8:55 pm
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califunky



Joined: 06 Jul 2002
Posts: 225
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ok, this is gonna be long, i apologize

let me start by agreeing with August Spies on a a couple things...

i think the horrendous geography ability of amerikans is very troubling. when i was 10 and my aunt was 20, she could find fucking China on a map. do not dismiss Geography so easily, it is the first and most symbolic step to understanding what lies beyond your shores, who those people are, the struggles they face, they lives they live. it is a very difficult thing to attempt to get your mind around but an important one nonetheless. i think the lack of knowledge on the part of amerikans belies our egotistical nature, which is, i think, the main problem people have with amerikans (we just like to walk into the place swingin our dicks like we own the motherfucker)


Quote:

Our military and intelligence agencies have spent countless dollars on crushing resistance movments, mudering enemies, assasinating democratically elected leaders, backing brutal dictators.



tru dat...the amerikan government, especially in the last 50 years or so has done what hegemons do, namely, brutally imposed our will upon those weaker than us. but that is not a decision of the people, that is a process of government elites doing what they think is best to secure their power (and money) structures. and for the most part these things are propogandized or covered up from the public...but this brings us back to geography: "we bombed some brown people where? oh...where the fuck is that? oh...who the fuck cares!"

so i think your point August is that we do bad shit, we do lots of bad shit and the ignorance of the average american makes it possible for the bad shit to continue...

that being said i dont think you are one to talk about an uniformed worldview

...look at my location...right...this is country number 4 for me...thanks...

a couple questions, to help me better form my worldview-

please tell me the ccountries that are much more diverse than us. more specifically please tell me the countries with populations in excess of 250 million that are more diverse than us...(cause there are bigger countries geographically, like china, india, russia...but those countries all have VERY homgenous populations)


Quote:

there is nothing America has or america has done that others did not do before us...



popular democracy (and dont say the greeks)


Quote:

Well not to sound like an american basher but we reallky haven't invented that much. Europe has invented much more of our modern technology, and Japan is at least as inventive as us. We made more money... we did not invent more.


you have got to be kidding me, i mean honestly. it is possible that europe roughly approximated our rate of invention between 1800 and 2000, but we still produced far more inventions and innovations with a much smaller population...and as for the japanese...

[to rant: the japanese dont really invent things. what the japanese are best at is taking things from other cultures and countries and japanifying them. this also includes taking american inventions like vcr's, cdplayers, mass produced cars, televisions...and building them more effieciently and sometimes better- the most notable exception to this is Sony- who did invent the walkman, discman, minidisc, and betamax aside from lots of other stuff...mostly based on american patents]


Quote:

um... how about any industrial country? THey all have that... diversity. The difference between southern italy and northern italy, or southern france and northern france is JUST as big a difference (if not more because of their long history) than the United States. Personally I think, having spent time in different areas of the U.S., the U.S. is strangely homoginized.


i dont even know what the hell you are talking about here...no italy, england, france, and germany are not anywhere near as self suffiecient as we are, china is getting there and will be soon, but get real. amerika geographically is blessed with an abundance of natural resources and a great diverstiy of climate and fertile zones...one thing that most people fail to realize is that much of Amerikas power is based on our agriculture...like the fact that we export more food than anyone else in the entire world cuase we grow it so goddamn easily

final rant: there IS something unique and special about amerika. namely the fact that we are a nation created. basically every other nation on this planet (especially in the Old World) is fixated around some sort of ethnic identity. when ethnicity and nationality mix together to make french people french or germans german then you have a society that is inherently tradition-bound. there is a lack of stimulus. But america is not built that way, we are built to be inclusive of anyone who is willing to try their luck and ingenuity at a new life and because of that we attract people who would be stifled in a more tradition bound atmosphere. because of that america continually feeds off new stimuli, it is never stagnant...

now the retort to this is that we are nation created by white men for white men, and the US still has a big soft white middle...but i think culture originates in the cities. we live in an era shaped by edge culture, the culture of the urban, and those places in america are as diverse as you can get (yeah yeah, toronto, vancouver...we have 30 of those) and it is from those places that the strength of opportunity and porsperity arrises.

my point is, we are not the hegemon because we have big military. we are the hegemon because our peculiar institution allows us to be ultimately flexible and ultimately driven. it is easy to look at recent history and call america a land of monsters and idiots, insular and egotistical. what is difficult is understanding and accepting that countering this is an ethos of compassion, adventure, ingenuity and determination which DOES make us special, which IS the origin of our power.
Post Sat Nov 23, 2002 9:31 pm
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califunky



Joined: 06 Jul 2002
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weedy420  Reply with quote  

is that you warren?

c
Post Sat Nov 23, 2002 9:35 pm
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futuristxen



Joined: 01 Jul 2002
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muchos gracias califunky for taking the time.
Post Sat Nov 23, 2002 9:46 pm
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Petrouchka Rasputin



Joined: 30 Jun 2002
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It hardly matters, but Brazil is just as diverse as the USA.

"white (includes Portuguese, German, Italian, Spanish, Polish) 55%, mixed white and black 38%, black 6%, other (includes Japanese, Arab, Amerindian) 1%" (http://www.cia.gov/cia/publications/factbook/geos/br.html)

I'm a huge fan of the Human Development Index (www.undp.org). Everyone should be required to pore over the data it contains before making any declarations about which countries are great and which are not.

"an ethos of compassion, adventure, ingenuity and determination which DOES make us special, which IS the origin of our power."
-Califunky

A huge factor that has made the US into the superpower it is today was the horrible war waged on Amerindians as the nation expanded to the west, in its attempt to take control of the continent as people thought god willed. Yes, every country in the Americas did this to some extent - I'm not going to deny that it was the norm. However, I think in light of that, you can hardly call the US "compassionate" in its origins. Ditto for slavery in the country, and for its failure to adopt The Universal Declaration of the Rights of Man. I won't argue against the other things, because they are undeniable, although not exactly noble. That's particularly true of "determination," for determination is what drives innovators, religious zealots, and political fanatics alike.
Post Sat Nov 23, 2002 11:03 pm
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duck_shoe



Joined: 15 Sep 2002
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To put it simply: Todays empire is tomorrow's ashes. No empire lasts forever, especially one that angers the rest of the world with a complete disregard for their rights and privileges. America fucks over the entire world in the name of the almighty dollar, and that kind of attitude can only go on for so long before everyone else pulls the condom out of their ass and realizes what's been going on. After 9/11, America was able to pull of the innocent victim thing for a while, but I don't think it will be so easy next time, especially since it's become public that America broke their promise to Afghanistan after bombing the shit out of it. People are starting to realize what's behind America's foreign policy(the next thing to [re]surface in the media will be American oil interests behind their military action in Somalia, I suspect) and I don't think they like it one bit. No one likes a bully. Eventually there will be enough backlash against the bully that no one will have to sneak up behind him and kick him in the balls like Bin Laden did; either that, or the economy will just collapse as the American way of life is only sustainable for so long.

Yeah, that was going to end up being too long, I'ma shut up now.
Post Sun Nov 24, 2002 12:29 am
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darianluv



Joined: 08 Oct 2002
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o shit! canada's turning on us!
Post Sun Nov 24, 2002 12:31 am
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August Spies



Joined: 09 Aug 2002
Posts: 1979
Location: D.C.
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futuristxen

I'm not trying to be insulting, but you have just gone on and on about how bad the United States is, but you haven't offered any explanation as to why america is the super power it is.

well im sorry, I did not realize this was what the thread has turned into. However I think ive given a much better explanation than you have... which basically is you hint at an intangible quality that has something to do with the "great west" attitude."

America was a nothing country until WWI and WWII. After those wars all the superpowers collapsed and America filled the void. Of course the USSR filled the void too. But the USSR or State Capitalism... being Capitalisms weaker brother... eventually collapsed and left the U.S. as the sole super power. America got lucky basically. THis is not to say the U.S. is bad (which is not what ive been saying), but its basically the same as other capitalist pseudo-democracies. Meaning that if the United States had been devestated by WWII and and England had no been involved it might have filled the vacuum.

After the U.S. became the sole superpower it was relativly easy to keep this status. Although, as you will note, the playing field among powerful countires is being equlized pretty quickly.

Think of it this way: the United States has been a world power for 50 years. This is a puny amount of time compared to past empires/world powers. the U.S. will have to stay a superpower for a long time before id abscribe magical qualities to it.

EDIT: Oh of course America haven't such a large area, which allows for lots of natural resources and agriculture helps us be a great power. This is not to the credit or discredit of america though really.


Last edited by August Spies on Sun Nov 24, 2002 3:03 am; edited 1 time in total
Post Sun Nov 24, 2002 2:35 am
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