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Wednesday, September 15, 2004

Why the bad geography

In the comments to this post of mine speculates about why people are regularly so bad at basic geographical questions. As he says, it doesn't take that much effort to get a basic idea of the world's geography.

I don't know where to give responsibility for this particular state of affairs. One attitute, self-defeating though it is - is simply to accept a high-level of general ignorance in the population, as something that cannot be helped. I don't accept that, because I tend to think people are more intelligent than they are given credit. I've discussed some quite complicated historical topics with folks who have spent 20-30 years not really thinking of themselves as being capable of academic discussion. But they were, and often they knew far more than then realised. Both education and parenting must share responsibility for this, and society at large that somehow makes learning suspect.

Blogging has not yet really caught on yet in the UK the way it has in the US, but when it does I for one hope it will enable millions of people to start expanding their mental horizones. Then perhaps the tale of ignorance can start to be addressed.

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