The less Americans know about Ukraine’s location, the more they want U.S. to intervene
Mark Twain once said that "God created war so that Americans would learn geography."
"On March 28-31, 2014, we asked a national sample of 2,066 Americans (fielded via Survey Sampling International Inc. (SSI), what action they wanted the U.S. to take in Ukraine, but with a twist: In addition to measuring standard demographic characteristics and general foreign policy attitudes, we also asked our survey respondents to locate Ukraine on a map as part of a larger, ongoing project to study foreign policy knowledge. We wanted to see where Americans think Ukraine is and to learn if this knowledge (or lack thereof) is related to their foreign policy views. We found that only one out of six Americans can find Ukraine on a map, and that this lack of knowledge is related to preferences: The farther their guesses were from Ukraine’s actual location, the more they wanted the U.S. to intervene with military force." [more inside]
posted by MisantropicPainforest
on Apr 8, 2014 -
I, Too, Am Harvard.
A photo campaign highlighting the faces and voices of black students at Harvard College. 63 students participated, sharing their experiences with ignorance and racism. "Our voices often go unheard on this campus, our experiences are devalued, our presence is questioned-- this project is our way of speaking back, of claiming this campus, of standing up to say: We are here. This place is ours. We, TOO, are Harvard." [more inside]
posted by zarq
on Mar 5, 2014 -
I was Wrong and So are You. I needed to retract the conclusions I’d trumpeted in The Wall Street Journal. The new results invalidated our original result: under the right circumstances, conservatives and libertarians were as likely as anyone on the left to give wrong answers to economic questions. The proper inference from our work is not that one group is more enlightened, or less. It’s that “myside bias”—the tendency to judge a statement according to how conveniently it fits with one’s settled position—is pervasive among all of America’s political groups. The bias is seen in the data, and in my actions. [more inside]
posted by storybored
on Dec 3, 2011 -
Anger, Politics and the Wisdom of Uncertainty
- "If there's somebody or even some institution to blame, it turns out people are much more likely to get angry... anger tends to inspire individuals to engage in more political activities than they would otherwise... Without someone to blame, respondents mostly just grow fearful and anxious... A particular danger of anger seems to be closed-mindedness. Research finds that when citizens get angry, they close themselves off to alternative views and redouble their sense of conviction in their existing views. Fear and anxiety, on the other hand, seem to promote openness to alternative viewpoints and a willingness to compromise." (via
) [more inside]
posted by kliuless
on May 18, 2011 -
Buying a new bed for your daughter?
. How about this little number, with a cheeky, precocious, contemporary culture-aware name. And pull-out desk, did I mention the built-in cupboard?
Mothers aren't concerned about the pull-out desk; they're concerned about the young girls' bed being called "Lolita". [more inside]
posted by NinjaTadpole
on Feb 1, 2008 -
We hold that the New York Constitution does not compel recognition of marriages between members of the same sex.
By a 4 to 2 margin, the New York Court of Appeals
, New York's highest court, upheld (70 page pdf) the state's Domestic Relations law
that bars same-sex couples from getting married in New York
and denying same-sex couples the hundreds of family protections provided to married couples. The court accepted the justifications advanced by Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Attorney General Eliot Spitzer for the state law barring marriage by same-sex couples. "Pointing out that stable relationships between parents are important for children, that straight couples can conceive children by 'accident,' and that gay couples can only have children with advance planning, Bloomberg and Spitzer argued that straight couples need the stability of marriage, but gay couples do not." The ruling was denounced by the ACLU
, criticized by Howard Dean
as based on "outdated and bigoted notions about families," and applauded by the Marriage Law Foundation
pleased by the "superb and straightforward legal analysis." Background from NPR.
posted by three blind mice
on Jul 7, 2006 -
Eighth grader Anthony Soltero shot himself on Thursday, March 30,
after the assistant principal at De Anza Middle School told him that he was going to prison for three years because of his involvement as an organizer of the April 28 school walk-outs to protest the anti-immigrant legislation in Washington.
The vice principal also forbade Anthony from attending graduation activities and threatened to fine his mother for Anthony's truancy and participation in the student protests."
Anthony was learning about the importance of civic duties and rights in his eighth grade class. Ironically, he died because the vice principal at his school threatened him for speaking out and exercising those rights," ...
posted by amberglow
on Apr 7, 2006 -
Clueless about History Britain is a nation of history dunces with many even believing Adolf Hitler never existed, according to a new survey.
A quarter of those interviewed were not sure if the Battle of Trafalgar was a real historic event, while one in seven did not know the Battle of Hastings really took place.
Sadly, it gets worse. Apparently the Battle of Endor actually happened in some people's minds.
posted by Coop
on Apr 5, 2004 -
College Students Speak Out
, and just 14% can identify the president of Pakistan, 37% would likely try to evade the draft, and 71% "do not believe American values are superior to the values of other nations." Is your local college breeding ignorant anti-Americanists?
posted by dack
on Jun 21, 2002 -
"Islam was founded by Muhammad, a demon-possessed pedophile who had 12 wives..."
The Rev. Jerry Vines slams Islam while speaking to delegates at the Southern Baptist Convention this week. The group's newly-elected president, the Rev. Jack Graham, refused to denounce the comments since "his statement is actually a statement that can be confirmed." Hmmm... since when is 'demon-possessed' an emperical statement?
Anyone want to guess what the reaction would be if a Muslim leader denounced Jesus with this much venom?
posted by Dirjy
on Jun 14, 2002 -
Isolationist information and international ignorance
-- Whenever I visited my sister in Hong Kong over the past five years, I was always impressed with how much I didn't know about what was going on in the world. This link is a commentary on the feedback to an interview with a CNN Afganistan correspondent who said something similar, and got lambasted for it. Maybe if something good comes out of 9/11, it'll be a shift from celebrity news to real news. Ignorance can be dangerous.
posted by fpatrick
on Sep 24, 2001 -
A hero for the 21st century.
Brilliant or just possessed of plain ol' common sense? In today's world, perhaps having the latter qualifies someone for the former adjective. One has to admire a relatively high profile person who doesn't shy away from telling the truth despite the pressures to hedge and equivocate.
posted by rushmc
on Jun 25, 2001 -
USA's new popular export: Their ignorance. A comedian who specializes in political and cultural satire, Mercer's most popular schtick is "Talking to Americans" -- a "Candid Camera"-esque routine in which he travels the United States asking people ridiculous questions to exploit their ignorance about their northern neighbor.
posted by adnan
on May 28, 2001 -
The Flintsons: Based on a True Story
According to a recent survey, half the adults surveyed didn't know that the Earth revolves around the sun, and 42 percent said they thought early humans lived side by side with dinosaurs.
Seems like we hear about some survey of this nature every year ("87% of high school children can't find the US on a map of the US!"), although this article at least has a citation. I couldn't find any mention of said survey on the CAoS
website. (Although if you take a look at their masthead, you can see why some people may be confused about scientific issues, as it seems to show fish revolving around the DinoWorld ...)
posted by Shadowkeeper
on Apr 27, 2001 -