Where in the World Is … ?
Globalization has arrived. We hear about it every day.
The world is becoming a smaller place, they say. People all around the globe supposedly know more about other countries and other cultures than previous generations could even imagine.
Maybe other countries are like that. But not the United States.
The National Geographic-Roper Public Affairs 2006 Geographic Literacy Study, released last week, revealed that the “Internet” generation of 18-to-24-year-old Americans remains woefully ignorant of the world. Here are a few shocking results:
-- Around three-quarters of respondents could not locate Israel on a map.
-- Almost 90% failed to point to Afghanistan.
-- More than half of those surveyed were unable to find Ohio.
This is rather embarrassing for the world’s lone superpower. Finding out where we’re going as a country is hard enough; making our way without even knowing the game board … well, that borders on the tragic.
It does explain a few things, however.
Many Americans still go to bed without food. That’s because they can’t locate Turkey. (Not to mention Greece.)
We also are increasingly out of shape. More and more people have been saying, “I sat on the couch” instead of “Iran.”
No wonder it took so long to sort out the 2000 election ballots in Florida: Americans just can’t find Chad.
Well, one thing’s for sure. It’s high time for us all to become more familiar with geography. Surely there’s something we can do to improve our education about the world, a way to ensure future generations are better players at this global board game.
I’ll Czech it out.