Wading in a pool of abstraction © Robert Sommers 2023

Sunday, October 3, 2021


National Stupidity Index

It is practically a ten year old survey but I have no delusions that things are now any better; two thirds of Americans can't name a single Supreme Court Justice. I saw this statistic cited the other day and went down a cerebral rabbit hole, thoughts of Jimmy Kimmel street tests where young Americans couldn't find Mexico, Texas or Africa on a map.

The level of stupid ignorance that exists out there is just staggering, and to think we share the roads and oxygen with these people frightening. I am confident that my regular blog readers will know the entire roster of the supreme court, down to a member or two. The more pointy headed of you will also know what schools they attended.

I was thinking about this as I went to bed last night and am thinking that I will create my own test for you, part i.q., part civics, part constitution and history, part geography, when I get a moment. Will be interesting to see how you score.

Something like:

Which one of these people has never been a Supreme Court Justice?

a. Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr.
b. John Cameron Swayze
c. Harry Andrew Blackmun
d. Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Which country is not located on the African continent?

a. Mali
b. Equatorial Guinea
c. Gabon
d. Guyana

Obviously if you have three names you are a cinch for the court. Anyway, who knows when I will get to it, if ever. In the meantime, you might want to read or listen to these pieces.

Robert Strong - Dumb and Dumber Americans.

In a widely reported 2017 survey, 7% of adult Americans agreed with the statement that chocolate milk comes from brown cows. That is “udder” nonsense. But more than 16 million people thought it was true. Maybe schools should offer better instruction in nutrition and agriculture; or maybe the ingredient labels on cartons of chocolate milk need a larger type.

The comical cow survey result belongs to a tradition of pollsters posing the burning question: Just how dumb are the American people? Their findings are not reassuring. Surprising numbers think that vaccines are not safe (45%) climate change is not real (20%) dinosaurs and people lived at the same time (14%) the moon landing was faked (7%) crystal healing has efficacy ( 6%) and the earth is flat (2%).

Psychology Today - Are American voters just stupid?

Tom Shipka - Are American Voters stupid?

Steven Nadler - How to fix American stupidity.

You have to wonder why our country is a repository for such ignorance and why we seem to revel in it so? Perhaps it is our relative geographic insularity. Go to most countries in Europe, places like Holland, people typically speak three or four languages and have a much higher grasp of global events. The majority of the people who are multilingual in the United States are the "stupid immigrants" that we like to revile. Guatemalan that works around my ranch speaks English, Spanish and at least two native Indian dialects including Quecha. How many native born Americans do you know that can speak four languages?

From: Valuation of knowledge and ignorance in mesolimbic reward circuitry

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Grace Slick interview with Frank Zappa 2/11/84

Grace: What amazes you most about people in general?
Frank: The stupidity does not amaze me. It's when they're smart. That amazes me.