|I've always known that to most of the world, Americans are stupid. But I always thought that it was just prejudice based on their personal experience with American tourists. Some people have the same experience in the US with overseas visitors.
Recently, however, I have begun to wonder. Despite the statement of Agent K (Tommy Lee Jones) in "Men in Black" that "A person is smart, but people are stupid",
I am beginning to believe that we have a higher percentage of stupid people in the US than we used to - at least the ones that make it to air in the "man in the street" interviews (a la Jay Leno). Of course, these are edited so it is quite possible that the perception is being skewed. However, even if it is being skewed, those people are really out there. Take a look at this: Link
Then, of course, are the television networks. Have you ever noticed that any time there is a national news story about something in West Virginia, Kentucky, or Tennessee it is geared to highlighting stereotypes? They must search high and low to find someone with greasy hair, an accent so thick you could cut it with a knife, and one tooth left in their head to interview.
The Internet also allows us to see a higher density of stupid people. I don't know where this photo was taken:
Perhaps the problem is that we are too concerned about safety. With all of the regulations on product safety and product safety labels, maybe we are enabling more stupid people to survive to influence the gene pool. [To the humor impaired: I'm being facetious. However, we do take these warnings to an extreme.]
While statistically students in many other nations continue to out perform US students scholastically, the US seems to be more concerned about political correctness, social issues, and feel good performance evaluations than in teaching even the basics - let alone more advanced concepts and disciplines.
When I was in high school, I wasn't a particularly stellar or motivated student. In fact, I tended to "float" through and yet was able to get good grades. In particular, I disliked history and social studies (That's what they were called back then.). I don't feel that I am particularly well educated in those areas. But as poorly prepared as I feel I was, based on interaction with people who have graduated from high school since then, I am a Rhodes Scholar.
So, do we have a intelligence crisis, or are we just more exposed to stupidity?