Mapquest, GPS, Tom-Tom: in the information age we don’t have any excuse for getting lost, but sometimes we still do. At least my husband is one of those enlightened males who will stop and ask directions … eventually.
Even more disturbing is the total lack of geographical knowledge among young people ages 18 to 24. At an age where they can enlist for military service, only about 13% know where Iraq is on the map. The percentage is the same for Iran and Afghanistan.
70% could not find New Jersey on the map; 49% could not find New York; and 11% could not find the United States. Fully 30% could not identify the Pacific Ocean on a map.
“How can this possibly affect me?” you might ask. It means that the pizza that you ordered 3 hours ago is currently being delivered to an eighty year-old man in Idaho. You probably shouldn’t have asked for the jalapeño peppers.
We’ve all heard the depressing statistics on the state of political ignorance. 31% of Americans of all ages can’t name the current Vice President. 34% don’t know their current State Governor. 69% believe that “Scooter” Libby is a model of the Hoverround Chair.
Perhaps the most surprising statistic I found was political knowledge level by a person’s primary news source. The media source that provided the largest percentage of highly knowledgeable people was (drum roll, please) The Daily Show / Colbert Report: a duo of fake news shows produced by Comedy Central channel. Second to the last on the list was Fox News Channel. _______________________ (insert your own Fox News joke here, so that I don’t get sued for libel.)
What does this mean for the Nation? That depressing statistics are a way for the rest of us to feel smart. It was also easy for me to research – another plus. In the course of my research, I learned that “Scooter” Libby has recently published a novel with sexually explicit content. This is the perfect Christmas gift for that hard to shop for person on your list.
You can thank me later.