0850: "World According To Americans"

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ThemePark
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Re: 0850: World According To Americans

Postby ThemePark » Fri Jan 21, 2011 6:14 am UTC

koipen wrote:
bcdm wrote:That's the joke, yes. I found it funny. Of course, even the smart Americans apparently think that Finland is part of Scandinavia... :lol:


What? I live in Finland and have always learned that it is part of Scandinavia. Well, technically Fennoscandia but they are all Nordic countries which translates in most peoples minds to Scandinavia.

Nope. Scandinavia consists of Denmark, Norway and Sweden, while the Nordic countries is Scandinavia plus Iceland and Finland. And I'd assume that Greenland and the Faeroe Islands are also part of that.

On a different note, is the statement about there only being two doubly landlocked countries in the world true, them being Liechtenstein and Uzbekistan?
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Re: 0850: "World According To Americans"

Postby CorruptUser » Fri Jan 21, 2011 6:14 am UTC

Wait, so is Nebraska triply-landlocked, because all its neighboring states are doubly-landlocked? Not counting the Great Lakes as connected to the ocean...

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Re: 0850: "World According To Americans"

Postby Sulfi » Fri Jan 21, 2011 6:16 am UTC

What I find interesting is the absence of Singapore and Hong Kong, Singapore is a sovereign state after all and Hong Kong has its kinda special status. Plus they are pretty easy to demarcate.

I'm questioning my own worldview here, cause I thought they were internationally significant.....

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Re: 0850: "World According To Americans"

Postby Sasha S » Fri Jan 21, 2011 6:20 am UTC

I really have to say that I find this refreshing. I spent a year in Canada and got to hear regularly from classmates who felt it was their duty to belittle my homeland and its people. If I had a Loonie for every time I head 'Oh, you're from the United States? Don't you just love it so much better, here?" I was so very happy when they challenged me to name and place every state on a map (I did, successfully) and then was able to name and place Canadian provinces/territories with only one error (and better than half the Canadians in the class). Every nation and nationality has its faults and virtues, and it's kind of nice to see that someone looking (yet again) to expose faults in Americans was humorously disappointed!

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Re: 0850: "World According To Americans"

Postby VelociraptorEvader » Fri Jan 21, 2011 6:36 am UTC

Poor Hawaii and the other small islands that miss out.
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Re: 0850: "World According To Americans"

Postby EduardoLeon » Fri Jan 21, 2011 6:36 am UTC

As far as I remember, Mongolia only borders with China and Russia. There is a small land strip belonging to China, between Mongolia and Kazakhstan. Also, the Xinjiang and Tibet autonomous regions were lumped together as "Tibet." The so-called "China proper" is roughly correctly drawn, but actual China is rather disfigured in the map.
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Re: 0850: "World According To Americans"

Postby leveldeaded » Fri Jan 21, 2011 6:41 am UTC

Not even the serious pedants have mentioned the lack of Hawai'i thus far? This is a travesty.
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Re: 0850: "World According To Americans"

Postby existentialpanda » Fri Jan 21, 2011 6:43 am UTC

BlitzGirl wrote:Isn't world geography a mandatory part of the curriculum these days in the U.S.?


Not at any school I went to....we did have to memorize a map of Europe in seventh grade, but that's the extent of it. And my teacher was the only one who did that.



A couple of summers ago I attended a summer school program in Spain, which was about 50% American students and 50% Spanish students. The instructors did a trivia competition one day, and one of the questions was the number of provinces in Spain. The Spanish guys in my group spent a long time on it, scratching their heads and writing down the ones they knew so they wouldn't count them twice. I don't think they ever agreed on a number. The instructor, highly amused, then asked how many states there were in the US and the rest of us yelled out the answer in unison.

Glass houses, and all that.


Also, my 42nd post. Huh.
Last edited by existentialpanda on Fri Jan 21, 2011 6:45 am UTC, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: 0850: "World According To Americans"

Postby big boss » Fri Jan 21, 2011 6:45 am UTC

Is anyone else having trouble reading it? the words are kinda small and I cant zoom in :(
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Re: 0850: "World According To Americans"

Postby mafaraxas » Fri Jan 21, 2011 6:56 am UTC

Lazar wrote:For pedantry's sake, let me point out some errors I notice:

Spoiler:
- they forgot Greece
- the western Mediterranean is quite poorly drawn
- they put the Cyrenaican peninsula in Egypt, instead of Libya
- they misplace Cape Horn as being in Africa, instead of South America
- they left out one of the larger Philippine islands - what's it called? - Palawan
- Uruguay, Bolivia and Peru seem quit compressed against Brazil, as does Guatemala against Mexico
- they forgot to excise Lesotho and Swaziland from South Africa - I thought that was rather common trivia-knowledge
- they give Karelia, and the St Petersburg and Murmansk oblasts to Finland - Continuation War Redux
- Sinkiang/East Turkestan has been squished out of existence between Tibet and Mongolia
- they seem to be mistakenly using "Virgin Islands" to refer to all of the Lesser Antilles
- they misidentify the northwestern part of India as being predominately Muslim
- as 4=5 indicates, they totally forgot about Vancouver Island and all that jazz
- Quebec should be larger in the west, as should Russia in the North Caucasus
- they left out Cyprus, which would quite disappoint a Cypriot friend of mine
- they left out Timor, which has been a rather newsworthy place in the past
- they got the shape of eastern Germany and Austria totally wrong
- northeastern India is quite poorly drawn, with no Bhutan


You forgot Poland.
Last edited by mafaraxas on Fri Jan 21, 2011 6:58 am UTC, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: 0850: "World According To Americans"

Postby Midnight » Fri Jan 21, 2011 6:58 am UTC

I laughed so hard at the obvious, clever joke.


also, if you're complaining 'bout the map, kind of the point is that it's not perfect.
It's just more perfect than the rest of the world expects it to be (?)
Somehow, the geography-bee jokes are almost clever, but simultaneously eliminate the whole joke of the comic. Cause duh geography bee-ers are gonna know their shit. (<= I think I won a geography bee once)
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Re: 0850: "World According To Americans"

Postby Malingo » Fri Jan 21, 2011 7:14 am UTC

Clearly they misspelled "Philippines" and "Papua" just to prove they're real humans and not geographobots.

Obviously.

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Re: 0850: "World According To Americans"

Postby AllTheVI » Fri Jan 21, 2011 7:18 am UTC

In 1979, ABC News incorrectly reported that St. Vincent was one of the U.S. Virgin Islands. (St. Vincent was then still part of the U.K., and is now part of the independent country St. Vincent and the Grenadines.)

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Re: 0850: "World According To Americans"

Postby brinhe » Fri Jan 21, 2011 7:21 am UTC

Phecon wrote:i am disappointed that this map utilizes more than four colors


Ah, graph theory. <3

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Re: 0850: "World According To Americans"

Postby Rhazes » Fri Jan 21, 2011 7:24 am UTC

North-West India being "mostly muslim" is wrong, but would have been true 63 years ago when Pakistan and India were part of British India. Also, many Pakistanis would be offended to be lumped with Afghanistan, but I guess since 9/11 and the coining of the term AfPak that is how the 24/7 news cycle in the US view these countries. While we are on the subject of South Asia, Bhutan and Maldives are also missing.

And shouldn't the area marked as rain-forest be extended to include more of Central and South-Central Africa? Countries like Botswana and Kenya should be included too.

Can anyone read what is written below Aral Sea, Greenland and Tibet? Wish there was a higher resolution version.

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Re: 0850: "World According To Americans"

Postby PeterP » Fri Jan 21, 2011 7:27 am UTC

Phecon wrote:i am disappointed that this map utilizes more than four colors


Yes, my biggest question is indeed the same...
Why not just four colours?

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Re: 0850: "World According To Americans"

Postby musashi1600 » Fri Jan 21, 2011 7:28 am UTC

leveldeaded wrote:Not even the serious pedants have mentioned the lack of Hawai'i thus far? This is a travesty.


The map isn't of sufficient resolution for us to appear on it, because we're that small.
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Re: 0850: "World According To Americans"

Postby StClair » Fri Jan 21, 2011 7:30 am UTC

That's pretty accurate.
(Not the map itself - rather, it matches up pretty closely with my level of geographic knowledge, a little better in some places and worse in others.)

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Re: 0850: "World According To Americans"

Postby Dthen » Fri Jan 21, 2011 7:40 am UTC

Am I allowed to not find this funny?

It seems like the joke is that we're meant to expect the Americans to make an awful map, but then they make an okay map, but still with plenty of mistakes, which just seems... not exactly ant-climatic, but something like that.
Also, if I'm meant to be able to read that commentary, then I'm afraid I can't.
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Re: 0850: "World According To Americans"

Postby Thadlerian » Fri Jan 21, 2011 7:46 am UTC

Kamchatka Peninsula but I admit I only know this one from Risk

So true :)

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Re: 0850: "World According To Americans"

Postby KeithM » Fri Jan 21, 2011 7:51 am UTC

If you think this map is meant to be faultless I think you're kind of missing the point.
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Re: 0850: World According To Americans

Postby floreal » Fri Jan 21, 2011 7:54 am UTC

ThemePark wrote:
koipen wrote:
bcdm wrote:That's the joke, yes. I found it funny. Of course, even the smart Americans apparently think that Finland is part of Scandinavia... :lol:


What? I live in Finland and have always learned that it is part of Scandinavia. Well, technically Fennoscandia but they are all Nordic countries which translates in most peoples minds to Scandinavia.

Nope. Scandinavia consists of Denmark, Norway and Sweden, while the Nordic countries is Scandinavia plus Iceland and Finland. And I'd assume that Greenland and the Faeroe Islands are also part of that.


Actually Greenland must be part of scandinavia, since Greenland is a part of Denmark (even though they are home ruled or whatever thats called)

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Re: 0850: "World According To Americans"

Postby DVC » Fri Jan 21, 2011 7:56 am UTC

He used more than 4 colours to do the map!

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Re: 0850: "World According To Americans"

Postby Dewalq » Fri Jan 21, 2011 7:58 am UTC

As a South African it is nice to see my country is at least on the right place. Although it seems that Namibia, and Botswana has lost independence as SA begins to conquer Africa.. Of course Swaziland and Lesotho got swallowed up as well

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Re: 0850: "World According To Americans"

Postby Steve the Pocket » Fri Jan 21, 2011 7:58 am UTC

Sasha S wrote:If I had a Loonie for every time I head 'Oh, you're from the United States? Don't you just love it so much better, here?"

My answer to that would have been "All except for one thing ... there sure are a lot more nationalistic pricks than I expected."

(I wouldn't have brought up the weather because I'm from Ohio.)
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Re: 0850: "World According To Americans"

Postby Quicksilver » Fri Jan 21, 2011 7:59 am UTC

Hmmm... Not bad, but it wasn't a Boxing Day "quake" it was a Tsunami. Killed 238,000 people :(

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Re: 0850: "World According To Americans"

Postby JHobbs » Fri Jan 21, 2011 8:01 am UTC

superglucose wrote:Finally, I turned around and asked her a fateful question:

"Name as many states as you can."

I missed fewer European nations than she got states.


I'm British, and something of an Americanophile, I pride myself on being able to name and locate every US state, as well as name every state Capitol (although I can't yet locate whereabouts in each state the Capitol is). My knowledge of US geography is much better than my European and probably better than my knowledge of my own country's geography, both of which I had little time for in school.

As for the map, it's much better than I could draw but if I was given a blank map and asked to label it I think I'd do a better job.
Last edited by JHobbs on Fri Jan 21, 2011 9:19 am UTC, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: 0850: "World According To Americans"

Postby keppla » Fri Jan 21, 2011 8:02 am UTC

existentialpanda wrote:
BlitzGirl wrote:Isn't world geography a mandatory part of the curriculum these days in the U.S.?

A couple of summers ago I attended a summer school program in Spain, which was about 50% American students and 50% Spanish students. The instructors did a trivia competition one day, and one of the questions was the number of provinces in Spain. The Spanish guys in my group spent a long time on it, scratching their heads and writing down the ones they knew so they wouldn't count them twice.


Which may be another example of the "not relevant to daily life"-variety. I dont know how it is in spain, but as far as i know the level of independence of the federal states from the union is in general far lower in european nations than in the USA, leading to less significance.

For example: in all german federal states there is the same VAT, the same age of consent, and the same social security. In most US states, these differ (afaik).
The most common relevance for knowing about federal states in germany is to discriminate against the bavarians or east germans ;)

Glass houses, and all that.

as the original map came out, i used to ask the bashers the name of the prime minister of china and the currency used there.

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Re: 0850: "World According To Americans"

Postby Red Hal » Fri Jan 21, 2011 8:05 am UTC

KeithM wrote:If you think this map is meant to be faultless I think you're kind of missing the point.

I agree. There are very few people in the world who, when presented with a pencil and a blank sheet of paper could draw an accurate world map (even in mercator) with all boundaries, countries and major areas correctly delineated.
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Re: 0850: "World According To Americans"

Postby ExplodingHat » Fri Jan 21, 2011 8:23 am UTC

4=5 wrote:I can tell that the map was drawn by people from the east coast by the way they draw the west coast.


^This. Yes.
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Re: 0850: "World According To Americans"

Postby lesmith11 » Fri Jan 21, 2011 8:34 am UTC

Immediately made me think of this:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/alphadesig ... 8/sizes/o/

Now THIS is the world according to America! :D

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Re: 0850: "World According To Americans"

Postby filecore » Fri Jan 21, 2011 8:36 am UTC

unus vox wrote:Maybe it's just me, but am I missing something here? I see a semi-decent world map. Yes, Americans are supposed to be ethnocentric, and this is opposite of that. I dunno. Maybe there isn't a joke?


Sheesh, I can't believe how many people said this. It is explained in the text box above the map, for goodness' sake! Read it again: "World according to a group of Americans who turned out to be unexpectedly good at geography, derailing our attempt to illustrate their country's attitude toward the rest of the world". That's so blatant that you can only possibly miss the joke if you don't know what the stereotype is regarding 'merkins geographical knowledge...

TheSkyMovesSideways wrote:
bcdm wrote:That's the joke, yes. I found it funny. Of course, even the smart Americans apparently think that Finland is part of Scandinavia...

I come here to post that, and find myself beaten by the first to respond to this thread. *sigh*


Heh. That's why I came here too, and I also found it amusing that it was the first reply. However, since neither of you explained it (because 99% who come here won't get it), here's the whys and wherefores:

Scandinavia refers to the Scandinavian mountains which run between Norway and Sweden, down the centre of the Scandinavian Penninsula (the 'penis' if you look at the Europe map on a euro coin; here's a link if you've never seen one). While Denmark isn't in this penninsula, the mountains technically would continue down and under, plus the historical, social and political links to Norway and Sweden, which mean that these are 'Scandinavia'. Finland - while at some point part of the Kingdom of Sweden - was mostly dirty swampland used as a buffer zone against the Russians. In modern days, the Nordic countries are comprised of Scandinavia, plus Finland and Iceland.

Scandinavian = Denmark, Sweden, Norway
Nordic = Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Finland, Iceland

(This is very similar to the UK/GB thing which more of you have probably heard: Great Britain is Scotland, England, Wales while the UK is those plus Northern Ireland. Isn't it a complicated world?)

Hypoon wrote:Somebody do a handwriting analysis to see if this was actually a group of people or just Randall. There are definitely attempts at differences handwriting, at least, but some expert should satisfy our/my curiosity (other people want to know too, right?).


I suspect all of the handwriting is his, because I don't think those people actually drew this particular finished piece. What I think is that he actually conducted a small survey of his own, maybe just as a joke, and this was more or less the result, and he has now reproduced it in his own careful style, adding comments in different handwriting to represent the discussions happening between different members of the survey while the original map was being created.

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Re: 0850: "World According To Americans"

Postby smonos » Fri Jan 21, 2011 8:37 am UTC

Must've been SOUTH Americans, ey?

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Re: 0850: "World According To Americans"

Postby Almost in register » Fri Jan 21, 2011 8:39 am UTC

Red Hal wrote: There are very few people in the world who, when presented with a pencil and a blank sheet of paper could draw an accurate world map (even in mercator) with all boundaries, countries and major areas correctly delineated.

I can't do the world, but I can draw a pretty good United States (showing all 50 states) freehand from memory.

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Re: 0850: "World According To Americans"

Postby TheoGB » Fri Jan 21, 2011 8:45 am UTC

Ha! They missed out the Welsh-speaking bit of South America.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Y_Wladfa

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Re: 0850: "World According To Americans"

Postby PeterP » Fri Jan 21, 2011 8:47 am UTC

Phecon wrote:i am disappointed that this map utilizes more than four colors


Or maybe that's the joke?
Last edited by PeterP on Fri Jan 21, 2011 12:23 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: 0850: "World According To Americans"

Postby RebeccaRGB » Fri Jan 21, 2011 8:47 am UTC

filecore wrote:Scandinavian = Denmark, Sweden, Norway
Nordic = Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Finland, Iceland

(...Great Britain is Scotland, England, Wales while the UK is those plus Northern Ireland. Isn't it a complicated world?)

Awesome, thanks for explaining all that. I'll admit I learned something new today. :)

I knew that Finnish was in a different language family, but not the distinction between Scandinavian and Nordic. Now things make more sense. :)
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Re: 0850: "World According To Americans"

Postby filecore » Fri Jan 21, 2011 8:52 am UTC

RebeccaRGB wrote:
filecore wrote:(...Great Britain is Scotland, England, Wales while the UK is those plus Northern Ireland. Isn't it a complicated world?)

Awesome, thanks for explaining all that. I'll admit I learned something new today. :)


You might enjoy this, it's the sort of thing that Randall might well make an xkcd of - the difference between UK, GB, British Isles, etc: http://howbritishareyou.com/wp-content/ ... am.svg.png

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Re: 0850: "World According To Americans"

Postby Joeldi » Fri Jan 21, 2011 8:52 am UTC

I think the point is that this is about as well as the average xkcd reader in any country would do. Although how 'they' managed to miss labeling Spain, France, Italy and Greece is a mystery to me.

leveldeaded wrote:Not even the serious pedants have mentioned the lack of Hawai'i thus far? This is a travesty.

Uhh, actually, I'm pretty sure two or three did on page one...not sure how you missed that...

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The country on half the island.
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Look at the spelling...

superglucose wrote:Finally, I turned around and asked her a fateful question:

"Name as many states as you can."

You see, it's kinda ethno-centric to consider being able to name US states as important as being able to name countries.

That said, in the order that I think of them in:
Spoiler:
New York, New Mexico, North Dakota, South Dakota, North Carolina, South Carolina, West Virginia, Virginia, Maine, Rhode Island, Delaware, Kentucky, Nebraska, Arizona, Alaska, Hawaii, Maryland, Oregon, Nevada, California, Florida, Illinois, Michigan, Washington, Montana, Utah, Ohio, (That one that looks like Queensland. uhh Idaho, that's it) Idaho, Kansas, Louisiana, Texas (wow, didn't think it would take me that long to think of Texas), Arkansas, Mississippi, Washington DC (I think...), New Jersey, Wisconsin...Okay, 36/50...Thought I'd do better than that, but It's almost most. I guess...

The Yukon, The Northwest Territories, Quebec, Saskatchewan, Vancouver, Labrador/Newfoundland (Are these one province or two? Labrador ALSO looks a hell of a lot like my own state of Queensland), and I can't for the life of me remember the province that Toronto and Ottawa in :(.


drixoman wrote:
superglucose wrote:
As for Africa: snip

papua new guinea is NOT in africa lol...

Yeah, you're thinking of Equatorial Guinea.
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Re: 0850: World According To Americans

Postby Arakun » Fri Jan 21, 2011 8:55 am UTC

ThemePark wrote:Nope. Scandinavia consists of Denmark, Norway and Sweden, while the Nordic countries is Scandinavia plus Iceland and Finland. And I'd assume that Greenland and the Faeroe Islands are also part of that.


Don't forget the micronation of Ladonia. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ladonia_(micronation)


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