0850: "World According To Americans"

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Re: 0850: "World According To Americans"

Postby SpringLoaded12 » Fri Jan 21, 2011 5:25 pm UTC

michaelyw wrote:I'm just shocked at the amount of discussion. Five pages already? Sheesh!

Same, especially the level of misunderstanding. Unless I'm the one misunderstanding it and everyone I thought was wrong was actually right.
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Re: 0850: "World According To Americans"

Postby zombie_monkey » Fri Jan 21, 2011 5:36 pm UTC

filecore wrote:Right. Now, without looking it up, name a British prime minister of the 20th century who isn't Churchill, Thatcher, or Blair.

Bonus point for all the Finns that seem to be lurking here: without looking it up, name a Finnish president of the 20th century who isn't Ryti, Kekkonen, or Halonen.

Major, Chamberlain, Lloyd George.

Also, I'm not Finnish, but Ahtisaari. I'm not sure if Mannerheim was president.

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Re: 0850: "World According To Americans"

Postby mzanders » Fri Jan 21, 2011 5:50 pm UTC

[Never quoted before -- appears you can only quote from the last page?]

But...

diauaehi wrote:
I think Greece should be labeled as Western Europe. That's the only blatant error I spotted at first sight. Good job, Americans, good job.

If you think Greece is in Western Europe, you've either never been there or you're Greek. Eastern Europe is plausible, southeastern Europe is better, but a better classification would be Balkan, along with the former Yugoslavia, Bulgaria, and part of Romania. Or it could be classified from a different point of view as Mediterranean.

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Re: 0850: "World According To Americans"

Postby filecore » Fri Jan 21, 2011 5:53 pm UTC

paulrowe wrote:I distinctly remember being taught in grade school that there were five nations that were a part of "Scandinavia": Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, and Sweden. Furthermore, these five countries have one interesting feature that they all share: their flags are crosses unlike any others in the world. (Switzerland's flag is a simple cross, but the design is quite different from the one shared by the "Scandinavian" flags.) I was taught "Scandinavian", not "Nordic". How do you tell someone that what they were taught in fifth grade geography was incorrect when the distinction is hardly relevant to them?


The same is true anywhere; in Finland, they are taught that UK = England and England = UK, which offends all the Scots, Welsh and Northern Irish. But that's also true for Americans, and people from most other countries too. Personally I reckon it's because of the football - you only ever hear about "England" and nobody (apart from die-hard fans) realises that there are four national teams in every sport except the Olympics (which is the only time there is a "GB" team). It's just that the other three are almost totally worthless at everything!

Disclaimer: although I live in Finland and just bashed the Scots, Welsh and Northern Irish sporting prowess, I am in fact an ex-pat Scot myself.

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Re: 0850: "World According To Americans"

Postby mzanders » Fri Jan 21, 2011 5:59 pm UTC

Monika wrote:The US is still playing world police man and doesn't look like it's stopping any time soon, also not with finally having a sane president again.


A decent post regarding fairness, Monika, marred only by your rude and ill-advised commentary on other people's political leaders. Would a significant number of Germans take offense at a snide aside from me that fortunately Germany no longer has a corrupt lackey of the Russians as Bundeskanzler?

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Re: 0850: "World According To Americans"

Postby handiangel » Fri Jan 21, 2011 6:00 pm UTC

It is generally thought that most Americans don't know the world map very well but of course, not all Brits (in my case) will know a world map very well. Stereotyping runs deep in every culture...

I learnt the majority if the geography I know now fromhttp://sporcle.com lol! That's certainly where I learnt the US states. For me, learning the US states was just an exercise in "sure, why not?". I've found that for most Brits/Europeans I've talked to that knowing states is generally useless. We know where the big cities are. To us, that's all we need. Learning states is like learning all the counties in England - pub quiz trivia.

With a map with the outlines, I can normally name all but 2, and the 2 change every time. European countries, I can name all but 2 again. Haven't tried capitals on sporcle yet. And I can name over half of the world's countries too if I try. Though I can generally place each country if you gave me a name.

Don't ask me about Prime Ministers or Presidents, completely useless at them...

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Re: 0850: "World According To Americans"

Postby Monika » Fri Jan 21, 2011 6:03 pm UTC

filecore wrote:in Finland, they are taught that UK = England and England = UK, which offends all the Scots, Welsh and Northern Irish.

"taught"? I doubt that. More likely the schools teach very much that the UK also includes Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. But in colloquial speech everybody still says "England" for "UK". The same is true in Germany. Well, sometimes wie say Großbritannien. But Vereinigtes Königreich just sounds strange, nobody says that except in really official contexts - or school books / lessons. Sorry, Northern Irish!

Personally I reckon it's because of the football - you only ever hear about "England" and nobody (apart from die-hard fans) realises that there are four national teams in every sport except the Olympics (which is the only time there is a "GB" team). It's just that the other three are almost totally worthless at everything!

I don't think it has much to do with football. People for whom football plays no role in their life still say England.
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Re: 0850: "World According To Americans"

Postby Shadowman615 » Fri Jan 21, 2011 6:08 pm UTC

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


I see. And was it caused by the Great Tsunami Fairy when she dunked her wand at the spot on the map?

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Re: 0850: "World According To Americans"

Postby Ovaler » Fri Jan 21, 2011 6:12 pm UTC

Was this supposed to be funny?

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Re: 0850: "World According To Americans"

Postby Potmos » Fri Jan 21, 2011 6:17 pm UTC

Joeldi wrote:
That said, in the order that I think of them in:

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 :(


Vancouver is actually a city in the province of British Columbia. The capital of British Columbia is Victoria. Victoria is on Vancouver Island. Vancouver is on the mainland and is not on Vancouver Island. This has caused a fair bit of confusion to many eastern Canadians.

Newfoundland and Labrador is a single province making up the island of Newfoundland and the mainland area of Labrador. In the past the province was just called Newfoundland which led to confusion (especially to western Canadians) about whether one was referring to just the island portion or both the island and mainland areas.

Toronto and Ottawa are in the province of Ontario. Ottawa is the capital city of all of Canada. Toronto is the provincial capital of Ontario. Many people in Toronto believe it is the centre of the known universe (with regards to Canada) and, as such, are confused about the eastern and western regions of the country.

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Re: 0850: "World According To Americans"

Postby filecore » Fri Jan 21, 2011 6:18 pm UTC

Monika wrote:
filecore wrote:in Finland, they are taught that UK = England and England = UK, which offends all the Scots, Welsh and Northern Irish.

"taught"? I doubt that. More likely the schools teach very much that the UK also includes Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. But in colloquial speech everybody still says "England" for "UK".


Yes. You're taking me far too literally - of course they're taught about the UK as a whole in schools (although perhaps not to such an extent as to differentiate UK from GB, and so on). I was meaning in a cultural context, where they learn from their peers and elders. Everybody says "England" when it's incorrect to do so, and nobody sees anything wrong with it. So they learn that it's okay to do so, that it's an acceptable substitution and "it means the same thing anyway". This is what they learn as they grow up, and the same in other countries, and it's wrong. What they learn in schools? Pah, who remembers that stuff? :)

Personally I reckon it's because of the football - you only ever hear about "England" and nobody (apart from die-hard fans) realises that there are four national teams in every sport except the Olympics (which is the only time there is a "GB" team). It's just that the other three are almost totally worthless at everything!

I don't think it has much to do with football. People for whom football plays no role in their life still say England.[/quote]

It was a lighthearted quip. See the cultural explanation above.

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Re: 0850: "World According To Americans"

Postby aljohnso » Fri Jan 21, 2011 6:36 pm UTC

I didn't read the many pages of comments... 'cept the first two and the last...

But lots of people seem to miss if you click on the map you get zoomed.

And I think the map is basically a Risk map... which may also be the joke. Foreshadowed by the Kamchatka comment.

Although the Peters verses Robinson verses... projection jokes seem very Randall.

Have fun.

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Re: 0850: "World According To Americans"

Postby koipen » Fri Jan 21, 2011 6:45 pm UTC

@UK taught as England. Atleast I was always taught that UK consists of Nor Ireland, Wales, Scotland, and England, and GB is the same without Nor Ireland. And British Isles include all the islands.

And yes, Mannerheim was a president during 1944 - 1946 at the end of WW2. He also was the overlord of Finish army during WW2.

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Re: 0850: "World According To Americans"

Postby jrhindo » Fri Jan 21, 2011 6:50 pm UTC

The artist has a fetish for sulawesi, that island is present in every map (the 2 online communites maps plus this one).

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Re: 0850: "World According To Americans"

Postby Lazar » Fri Jan 21, 2011 6:51 pm UTC

handiangel wrote:Learning states is like learning all the counties in England - pub quiz trivia.

Oddly enough, I just finally got around to memorizing all the English counties (my family is a bit Anglophilic, after all). But I only care about the traditional ones, not the crazy redrawn administrative ones that they use today. :P
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Re: 0850: "World According To Americans"

Postby Diadem » Fri Jan 21, 2011 6:52 pm UTC

purpleriot wrote:
jules.lt wrote:
purpleriot wrote:Turkey is a particularly confusing case, as it is partially in Europe and partially in Asia, like Russia is. Also, with regards to Mt Elbrus, I suppose that's because of the indecision among people about where Russia stops being in Europe and starts being in Asia. As Mt Elbrus is far west of the Ural Mountains, I'd say it's definitely in Europe, but then Mont Blanc is chosen because it's somewhere that everyone can agree is in Europe.

Well...
wikipedia wrote:The European portion of Turkey, known as Thrace (Turkish: Trakya), encompasses 3% of the total area but is home to more than 10% of the total population.

I went and checked that because I find it so utterly ridiculous that people can say that Turkey is partly in Europe like it's a significant part of it. I was genuinely surprised by the 10% share of population bit.
But it's still largely a middle-east country (near-east or whatever if you like) as far as I'm concerned, and the EU has to stop somewhere.

Bah, there must be a dozen discussions about that in Serious Business, I guess. [/pet peeve]

I generally regard it as a part of Asia, but because of Thrace, it's not so bad that it's part of European organisations. And historically it's been quite significant in Europe.

I agree that the relationship between Turkey and Europe is historically quite important. However that relationship for the past two and a half millenia consisted of them trying to conquer us, with a few brief interludes where we were trying to conquer them. So yeah, those are close historic ties. But hardly grounds for inclusion in Europe.

Schumi wrote:
A pedantic point not brought up so far is that the yellow bit at the top of South America where they say "French, and I think Dutch and English" only has an area belonging to France these days - French Guiana. Also, after managing to get "British Isles" right, they managed to suggest that there could be "English" land in that area of South America, though England itself has no overseas territories due to its being a part of the UK. Being Scottish, I notice these things. ;)
I think that relates to the language spoken, see Portuguese and Spanish in Brazil and the rest of South America.

Ah, perhaps. Hard to be sure though, because French Guiana is actually a province of France, and I think the UK did have territory there at some point. Not sure about the Netherlands. I'm rambling on a bit now.

Surinam used to be Dutch, but it no longer is. The Netherlands has no territories within mainland South America (though ties between The Netherlands and Surinam are still special, if extremely strained).

We do have territories in the Antilles though. Specifically Aruba, Curaçao, Bonaire, Saba, St. Eustatius and Sint Maarten (half the island, the other half being French). Don't ask me about the exact political status of those islands though, they are all different and all change every few years. I think currently Aruba and Curaçao are autonomous regions while the rest is in the past they were some are autonomous regions while others are direct Dutch muncipalities. Will look it up after making this post, but I'm kind of curious how much I get right about my own country from memory :)

[edit]Sint Maarten is also an autonomous region. Otherwise I got the currect situation in the Dutch Antilles correct. Not bad :)
Last edited by Diadem on Fri Jan 21, 2011 7:02 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: 0850: "World According To Americans"

Postby rovingardener » Fri Jan 21, 2011 6:53 pm UTC

Also, where's Hawaii? I would think Americans would have remembered that one...


The Polynesian Islands have been expropriated from Earth.

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Re: 0850: "World According To Americans"

Postby mc-kreef » Fri Jan 21, 2011 7:12 pm UTC

whats the second double land blocked country? lichtenstein?

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Re: 0850: "World According To Americans"

Postby Steve the Pocket » Fri Jan 21, 2011 7:22 pm UTC

JHobbs wrote: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).

I don't have an atlas handy, but to my understanding, you can aim for dead center and come pretty close almost every time. The main exceptions probably being the ones on the eastern seaboard, which were around before they decided to start founding capitals out of geographical convenience.
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Re: 0850: "World According To Americans"

Postby Shotglass » Fri Jan 21, 2011 7:32 pm UTC

this is sparta:
Image

at least according to that map

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Re: 0850: "World According To Americans"

Postby Chasryan » Fri Jan 21, 2011 7:48 pm UTC

A few people have mentioned sporcle... I used that site to learn (aka memorize) all of the countries in the world. If given a blank map and a quantity for each continent, I can name every country easily. Without a quantity, I can probably name 98% of the countries. Without a map but with a quantity, I can probably hit upwards of 95%. Without a map or a quantity, I could probably name over 90% of the countries from memory.

For those that want to learn the countries, try these links:

In order of difficulty:
Africa: http://www.sporcle.com/games/africa.php
Oceania: http://www.sporcle.com/games/oceania.php (I bet 75% can't name more than 3 countries on this quiz)
Asia: http://www.sporcle.com/games/asia.php
Europe: http://www.sporcle.com/games/europe.php
North America: http://www.sporcle.com/games/northamerica.php
South America: http://www.sporcle.com/games/southamerica.php

Do each of those quizzes at least once a day, and in 2 weeks you will be able to get 100% on all of them.

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Re: 0850: "World According To Americans"

Postby Sunidesus » Fri Jan 21, 2011 8:04 pm UTC

gopher65 wrote:I know you forum people were joking when you said (paraphrased) "cable news wouldn't report on anything other than celebrity deaths even if their studio was on fire", but wasn't their a gunman in CNNs headquarters a few years ago? And didn't they go right on reporting celebrity deaths with only the occasional update as to the status of the gunman situation?

So yeah, cable news is pretty bad:P.


That's not a cable news thing. That's a news thing. If the fire alarm goes off at work sales/HR/IT/etc all go outside. Production/anchors/producers/etc... we keep working. Sometimes people in the newsroom who aren't directly involved with the show that's on the air right at that moment will go outside, but even that is pretty rare.

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Re: 0850: "World According To Americans"

Postby jasc15 » Fri Jan 21, 2011 8:10 pm UTC

I've been an xkcd reader for about a year and half now, and occasionally read the forums (fora for the pedantic folks) if I want to find out what folks are saying about particular comic. I joied to post this link, since there has been some discussion here about ethnocentrism. I came across this a month or so ago on a wikipedia binge. It compares a Eurocentric map to a Korea-centric map both from the 1400's.

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/f/fb/KangnidoVsFraMauro.jpg
Last edited by jasc15 on Sat Jan 22, 2011 2:48 am UTC, edited 8 times in total.

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Re: 0850: "World According To Americans"

Postby roona » Fri Jan 21, 2011 8:15 pm UTC

filecore wrote:Right. Now, without looking it up, name a British prime minister of the 20th century who isn't Churchill, Thatcher, or Blair.

Bonus point for all the Finns that seem to be lurking here: without looking it up, name a Finnish president of the 20th century who isn't Ryti, Kekkonen, or Halonen.


John Major to the first, Mauno Koivisto to the second.
Also, Halonen, technically, is not a 20th century president. But I guess that might depend on your definition of when a new century starts. She was elected, and took office, in 2000.

If we're done being childish, I'd like to say I loved the comic, although it's not my favourite xkcd map =)

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Re: 0850: "World According To Americans"

Postby nevetS » Fri Jan 21, 2011 8:27 pm UTC

Here. Fixed it.

Image

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Re: 0850: "World According To Americans"

Postby ironmagma » Fri Jan 21, 2011 9:02 pm UTC

They also misspelled "Scandinavia". :P

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Re: 0850: "World According To Americans"

Postby BioTube » Fri Jan 21, 2011 9:05 pm UTC

Steve the Pocket wrote:I don't have an atlas handy, but to my understanding, you can aim for dead center and come pretty close almost every time. The main exceptions probably being the ones on the eastern seaboard, which were around before they decided to start founding capitals out of geographical convenience.
A number(most?) of the original colonies had open-ended boundaries on at least one side, so putting the administrative center in a geographically central location was impossible, not to mention the fact they were probably placed with more concern about populace than land(a fact that influenced the placement of Houston, though that only lasted until Sam left office and the records never left Austin).
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Re: 0850: "World According To Americans"

Postby bmonk » Fri Jan 21, 2011 9:25 pm UTC

Guest15 wrote:
But yeah, American states are pretty much irrelevant from the other side of the ocean. States do not have individual foreign policies. I do not know how relevant European nations are to the US, but they gotta be more relevant than states are to us. For example some European nations support the US in Afghanistan, some don't. That kind of things should make news headlines in the US, right?


I'll grant you foreign policy, though in my experience that actually has little effect on day to day life over here. In terms of GDP and population, many of our states can compare to entire countries. For instance, Finland and Minnesota are actually fairly similar and not just because I'd never want to visit either in winter. In terms of culture, I wouldn't argue states are as different as countries, but entire regions of the US might be.


It also can matter to tourists. Some German tourists to Western North Dakota once wanted to visit Yellowstone National Park and thought they'd be back that evening. It's only about a half state away, isn't it? Well, it takes a very long day just to drive there--probably more like two. Some of these states are bigger than most European nations--especially the western states. Heck, we have counties bigger than the smallest states, and certainly bigger than whole nations in Europe.

I do know all ten Canada provinces, plus a fair idea of the territories, even though they cheated and changed them a few years back (can anyone else not from Canada id Navanut?). Earlier this week, someone challenged me to name the seven "'-stans", and I got them, although the last one (Tadjikistan, IIRC) took me a few minutes. I also know several of the non-nation areas that would qualify, like Sistan, or Kurdistan, or Waziristan. OTOH, I'm not sure I could name more than about half the capitals of the US states. Do I qualify as a geography nerd?

Maybe a history nerd too?:
filecore wrote:Right. Now, without looking it up, name a British prime minister of the 20th century who isn't Churchill, Thatcher, or Blair.

Harold Wilson. John Major. Neville Chamberlain. Clement Attlee. Herbert Asquith. Lloyd George. Herbert Gladstone. Enough?
Last edited by bmonk on Fri Jan 21, 2011 9:44 pm UTC, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: 0850: "World According To Americans"

Postby melthengylf » Fri Jan 21, 2011 9:28 pm UTC

I'm argentinian, and this map turned inexpectedly good. Anyway, I bet it is not the medium american, but anyways.

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Re: 0850: "World According To Americans"

Postby Solandri » Fri Jan 21, 2011 9:36 pm UTC

jules.lt wrote:
Joeldi wrote:
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.

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

This. I mean, seriously.
Coming from a European who went to the trouble of learning American states for the sake of culture.

As it happens, The Economist just ran a story on this. Before you belittle the relative importance of the individual U.S. states, you might want to see how they compare in economy and population to various countries around the world:

http://www.economist.com/blogs/dailychart/2011/01/comparing_us_states_countries

If you expect someone from the U.S. to know where, say, Finland is, I think he's pretty justified in expecting you to know where Tennessee is, considering it has a larger population and GDP than Finland.

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Re: 0850: "World According To Americans"

Postby mzanders » Fri Jan 21, 2011 9:55 pm UTC

bmonk wrote:
(can anyone else not from Canada id Navanut?).


It's Nunavut. Yes, I can, it's one of the most interesting parts of Canadia.

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Re: 0850: "World According To Americans"

Postby Superisis » Fri Jan 21, 2011 10:06 pm UTC

Solandri wrote:
If you expect someone from the U.S. to know where, say, Finland is, I think he's pretty justified in expecting you to know where Tennessee is, considering it has a larger population and GDP than Finland.


People expect you to know where Finland is because of culture and history, not because of how many pairs of trousers can be bought by the population of that area in a year. If economic and demographic (populationwise) was the important factors we should study a whole lot more Japanese, Chinese and Indian cities/provinces than we do.
Last edited by Superisis on Fri Jan 21, 2011 10:23 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: 0850: "World According To Americans"

Postby stan42 » Fri Jan 21, 2011 10:08 pm UTC

Still typical Americans - can't spell Philippines or Papua New Guinea. Also fail that some "smart ass" commenting thinks that finland isn't part of scandinavia! It's ok that Americans can't figure the geography of Europe, but being so arrogant as to say a blatant untruth thinking you're correcting someone ... oh my days ...

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Re: 0850: "World According To Americans"

Postby JHobbs » Fri Jan 21, 2011 10:09 pm UTC

Solandri wrote:If you expect someone from the U.S. to know where, say, Finland is, I think he's pretty justified in expecting you to know where Tennessee is, considering it has a larger population and GDP than Finland.


What, no. Unless you actively attempt to learn countries the way you acquire knowledge about them is from the news, and the news generally reports foreign policy stories. The Finnish news is unlikely to report a story coming out of Tennessee unless it was huge news, e.g. the recent Arizona shootings were reported in the foreign press as being from Arizona, not just the US. The US news, when reporting a Finnish story is more likely to specify Finland than Europe or the EU than the Finnish press is to specify Tennessee when reporting about a US story.

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Re: 0850: "World According To Americans"

Postby stan42 » Fri Jan 21, 2011 10:11 pm UTC

Tyrannosaur wrote:
dnbguy wrote:"Paupa" New Guinea?

The country on half the island.

they play risk, remember?


The point is the spelling mistake, not the existence of the country. Fail.

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Re: 0850: "World According To Americans"

Postby Andromeda321 » Fri Jan 21, 2011 10:18 pm UTC

As an American who travels a lot (6 continents so far) this comic is greatly appreciated. After all, one of the most important things anyone should learn is that there are idiots in every culture so it doesn't do to buy into stereotypes.

When it comes to being an American what most people don't believe is in my travels everyone has been if anything even kinder and more interested upon learning I was an American- the only exceptions to this were occasional European backpackers who turned out to be idiots (see the above paragraph). Distances are also not understood- Europeans like to disparage Americans for never leaving their own country until I point out my friend in Missouri can drive two days in any direction and still be in the US whereas where they are two days driving would take you through countless countries if you wanted. Oh, that and I've never met an American who sewed a Canadian flag on their backpack so I have no idea where that myth came from! :)

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Re: 0850: "World According To Americans"

Postby zAlbee » Fri Jan 21, 2011 10:25 pm UTC

Linux0s wrote:So what's the deal about the map not being in 4 colors?


Map-colouring theorem. You never need more than 4 colours to colour any map (2D).

Potmos wrote:Vancouver is actually a city in the province of British Columbia. The capital of British Columbia is Victoria. Victoria is on Vancouver Island. Vancouver is on the mainland and is not on Vancouver Island. This has caused a fair bit of confusion to many eastern Canadians.

Newfoundland and Labrador is a single province making up the island of Newfoundland and the mainland area of Labrador. In the past the province was just called Newfoundland which led to confusion (especially to western Canadians) about whether one was referring to just the island portion or both the island and mainland areas.

Toronto and Ottawa are in the province of Ontario. Ottawa is the capital city of all of Canada. Toronto is the provincial capital of Ontario. Many people in Toronto believe it is the centre of the known universe (with regards to Canada) and, as such, are confused about the eastern and western regions of the country.


These are true facts. This Torontonian approves.

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Wnderer
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Re: 0850: "World According To Americans"

Postby Wnderer » Fri Jan 21, 2011 10:33 pm UTC

The correct answer for the map of Europe is one of those 'Excuse us, Work in Progress' signs. The lower 48 of the US was finished off about 99 years ago in 1912 and a little over 50 years ago Alaska and Hawaii were added. How many times has the map of Europe changed in that time. For a political structure more important than a US state, the European nation seems to be an ephemeral thing. It seems to based on the concept that after the Tower of Babel fell, God gave all the peoples of the world a language, a type of cheese, a soccer team and a plot of land they wouldn't have to share with anyone else. Someone always seems to be being unfairly deprived of one of these things. But don't worry. We'll get around to learning the map of Europe once the paint dries on the thing.
Last edited by Wnderer on Fri Jan 21, 2011 10:34 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: 0850: "World According To Americans"

Postby BlitzGirl » Fri Jan 21, 2011 10:34 pm UTC

aljohnso wrote:I didn't read the many pages of comments... 'cept the first two and the last...

But lots of people seem to miss if you click on the map you get zoomed.


The click-to-zoom recently began to work. It wasn't working yesterday, thus the comments.


Superisis wrote:
Solandri wrote:
If you expect someone from the U.S. to know where, say, Finland is, I think he's pretty justified in expecting you to know where Tennessee is, considering it has a larger population and GDP than Finland.


People expect you to know where Finland is because of culture and history, not because of how many pairs of trousers can be bought by the population of that area in a year.


This may just be my own ignorance talking here, but might one* of the reasons that Europeans/Asians are supposedly "better" at naming countries be simply because they are in closer proximity to said countries? If you drew a circle with a certain radius around the location of a European city, and the same-sized circle around a U.S. city, naturally a larger number of countries would be included with the former, and perhaps just portions of the American continents with the latter.

* (There are many, many reasons why a person from the U.S. could be terrible at world geography, not denying that.)
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Re: 0850: "World According To Americans"

Postby BioTube » Fri Jan 21, 2011 10:48 pm UTC

Wnderer wrote:The correct answer for the map of Europe is one of those 'Excuse us, Work in Progress' signs. The lower 48 of the US was finished off about 99 years ago in 1912 and a little over 50 years ago Alaska and Hawaii were added. How many times has the map of Europe changed in that time. For a political structure more important than a US state, the European nation seems to be an ephemeral thing. It seems to based on the concept that after the Tower of Babel fell, God gave all the peoples of the world a language, a type of cheese, a soccer team and a plot of land they wouldn't have to share with anyone else. Someone always seems to be being unfairly deprived of one of these things. But don't worry. We'll get around to learning the map of Europe once the paint dries on the thing.
It doesn't help that most of those countries who can't keep their borders straight also have inpronunciable(am I the only one who thinks that ought to be a word?) names.
Frédéric Bastiat wrote:Government is the great fiction through which everybody endeavors to live at the expense of everybody else.


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