detroitflyer
Topic Author
Posts: 369
Joined: Fri Oct 27, 2006 11:01 am

10 Things About America Today

Fri Jul 13, 2012 7:57 am

Boiler Up!!!
 
StarAC17
Posts: 3400
Joined: Thu Aug 07, 2003 11:54 am

RE: 10 Things About America Today

Fri Jul 13, 2012 9:50 am

Generally true and you can even scale this down within America itself with some of the points such as people from rural areas of the US being nervous about being robbed in LA or New York and people is some states are potentially more paranoid that others. Also not all of this is bad by a long shot, it is the observations of one guy.

1 and 2 are simple facts there is nothing inherently impressive about any country and the US in no different and yes you are not as hated as made out. Most of our gripes about Americans lie with your government and number 3. There are just as many idiots in other countries but ignorant Americans tend to talk more and when I know nothing I say nothing.

My ex who is Australian though the Melbourne is the classiest city in the world and you were nothing if you weren't spending every dime you had on fashion and looking good (she also has no money), don't get me wrong Melbourne is a great city but like all cities there is a place for most people.

Number 4 is not limited to the US but I agree with the point, if you feel a certain way then say it.

Numbers 5 and 6 very true.

Already touched on number 7

8, 9, and 10 not limited to the US, I have met people in many places who are the same

Quote:
You know when you move out of your parents’ house and live on your own, how you start hanging out with your friends’ families and you realize that actually, your family was a little screwed up?

I read this in the article and found my family to be actually a lot more realistic and sane compared to others.
Engineers Rule The World!!!!!
 
smittyone
Posts: 1336
Joined: Thu Feb 09, 2012 12:55 am

RE: 10 Things About America Today

Fri Jul 13, 2012 11:14 am

I agree with a lot of what the author says, but the silver lining in my opinion is that (I believe) there is a nucleus of really squared away people in the US who will always thrive and produce excellence. The trick is to make sure that they are not dragged down and suffocated under the masses of sheeple aspiring to #10 above all else.
 
mbmbos
Posts: 2568
Joined: Sat May 27, 2000 4:16 am

RE: 10 Things About America Today

Fri Jul 13, 2012 1:07 pm

Interesting essay. And I think each of his ten points speak directly to a form of cultural narcissism that embodies our country. It's all about us. We're exceptional. We're special. Nobody else is advanced as us, as free as us, as rich as us, etc. It's a dangerous and simplistic way to view ourselves in relation to other cultures.
 
fr8mech
Posts: 6672
Joined: Mon Sep 26, 2005 9:00 am

RE: 10 Things About America Today

Fri Jul 13, 2012 1:16 pm

1. Few People Are Impressed By Us
Agreed.

2. Few People Hate Us
Agreed.

3. We Know Nothing About The Rest Of The World
Yup, I'll give you that one. One reason I feel this is true is because of the geographic and demographic size of the country. Many (too) Americans vacation in the United States. They are not exposed to other cultures. And no, visiting Chinatown (NY or San Fransisco doesn't count). Oh, and I certainly blame our dated education system.

4. We Are Poor At Expressing Gratitude And Affection
I see where he's going with this, but the examples he brings forward imply a 'political correctness correction' that we have factored into our actions and vocabulary. But, again, I can understand him...I grew up in a Greek household and the first time a friend of mine saw me hug another male in greeting, with the requisite cheek kissing, made for some interesting discussion.

5. The Quality of Life For The Average American Is Not That Great
Yup, I'll give him that. But, as he noted, it's the price that most have chosen to pay.

6. The Rest Of The World Is Not A Slum-Ridden Shithole Compared To Us
I haven't traveled to too many of the world's shitholes in over 20 years...so I won't comment on current developments.

7. We’re Paranoid
With good reason, sometimes. But, yeah, we tend to overthink some situations.

8. We’re Status-Obsessed And Seek Attention
Nope. I don't buy this one.

9. We Are Very Unhealthy
I won't touch healthcare because it is a can of worms and I have been exposed to more 'progressive' healthcare systems. But, I'll agree that our lifestyle (foods, activities (or inactivities), norms, etc), definitely impact our overall health.

10. We Mistake Comfort For Happiness
It's an expectation problem. A couple of weeks ago I spent some time with a friend in D.C. She had just gotten in new job with AARP after being unemployed for about 2 years (96 weeks to be exact, but that's a different story). She had lost her home in Tampa and had been staying with friends and family through her sabbatical. She said that she thought it was expected of her to buy as big a house as she could. She was expected to buy a new car every 3 years. She was expected to have the newest fashions and gadgets and gizmos. She was comfortable but unhappy. Now, she lives in a ~600sq ft townhome, drives a 'something puny' and appears a lot happier because she has shed those expectations. Though, I fear, living in Sodom on the Potomac, the expectation problem is creeping back in.
When seconds count...the police are minutes away.
 
Flighty
Posts: 7716
Joined: Thu Apr 05, 2007 3:07 am

RE: 10 Things About America Today

Fri Jul 13, 2012 1:26 pm

Only read the headlines. Agree with them. It might shock us to learn that Persians in Iran are more sophisticated, balanced people who eat a healthier diet, have a healthier work/life balance, etc compared to us. We believe everyone who does not participate in the American status system is sub-human, similar to apes. In reality, we are an adolescent culture (largely under 150 yrs old) in a world with a number of fully developed cultures -- which are, in some respect or another, greater than we are, not lesser. Just don't tell anyone I said this.
 
StarAC17
Posts: 3400
Joined: Thu Aug 07, 2003 11:54 am

RE: 10 Things About America Today

Fri Jul 13, 2012 2:10 pm

Quoting fr8mech (Reply 4):
8. We’re Status-Obsessed And Seek Attention
Nope. I don't buy this one.

Really??

I think this one is true for a lot of countries and not just the US, we are told that if we don't have the latest toy or adopt the latest trend then we are losers. On an individual basis it may not be true but in terms of a society it is, it has created the consumerist society we live in today where we think being "with it" gets us more positive attention.
Engineers Rule The World!!!!!
 
User avatar
AirPacific747
Posts: 9316
Joined: Mon May 19, 2008 9:52 am

RE: 10 Things About America Today

Fri Jul 13, 2012 2:14 pm

I think most of this is way too stereotypical. Hong Kong making Manhattan look like a suburb? Not really.

Also, a lot of countries think they are the best in the world. Not just an American thing.

[Edited 2012-07-13 07:15:39]
 
smittyone
Posts: 1336
Joined: Thu Feb 09, 2012 12:55 am

RE: 10 Things About America Today

Fri Jul 13, 2012 2:47 pm

Quoting StarAC17 (Reply 6):
I think this one is true for a lot of countries and not just the US, we are told that if we don't have the latest toy or adopt the latest trend then we are losers. On an individual basis it may not be true but in terms of a society it is, it has created the consumerist society we live in today where we think being "with it" gets us more positive attention.

Agreed...this is carefully cultivated by the marketing machine.

But what is ironic to me is that a lot of those who profit from it - either by direct employment or their stock portfolios - are probably the same people who bitch about how shallow society is or how disrespectful and selfish 'the kids are today".

The ideas of valuing age and experience, rewarding merit and hard work etc. are incompatible with marketing today because these virtues don't translate to excess consumption as cleanly as youth and narcissism.
 
mt99
Posts: 6166
Joined: Wed May 26, 1999 5:41 am

RE: 10 Things About America Today

Fri Jul 13, 2012 3:32 pm

Just a few items  

1. Few People Are Impressed By Us
Yes and no. I was recently in Vancouver on the Harbour Center tower and as fantastic the view to the North, the main view from the European tourists was to the south looking towards Washington and the United States. I found that interesting.

Have you ever been around an airport food court around the time flight to Europe are leaving? Its fascinating to see all the European scarf down McDonald and KFC like there is not tomorrow

8. We’re Status-Obsessed And Seek Attention

Quoting StarAC17 (Reply 6):
I think this one is true for a lot of countries and not just the US, we are told that if we don't have the latest toy or adopt the latest trend then we are losers

No one is forcing anyone in New Zealand to buy Apple products, or watch the latest's Batman movie. You guys do that all by yourselves  
Step into my office, baby
 
fr8mech
Posts: 6672
Joined: Mon Sep 26, 2005 9:00 am

RE: 10 Things About America Today

Fri Jul 13, 2012 3:51 pm

Quoting StarAC17 (Reply 6):
Really??

Yes, really. I answered a very narrow charge as spelled out by the author. I didn't read it as wanting the mostest and bestest stuff.

I read his charge as Americans, in general, wanting to 'one-up' each other. Now, while true in some of our bigger cities (on both coasts) and quite possibly the entire state of Texas, I think the vast majority of Americans could really give a rat's ass where I live, how much I make, who I'm married to, what beer I drink, what car I drive, etc. With the exception of those who have a political agenda or axe to grind.
When seconds count...the police are minutes away.
 
canoecarrier
Posts: 2569
Joined: Sat Feb 14, 2004 1:20 pm

RE: 10 Things About America Today

Fri Jul 13, 2012 4:14 pm

Quoting fr8mech (Reply 4):
6. The Rest Of The World Is Not A Slum-Ridden Shithole Compared To Us

The rest of the world should keep this vision alive. We provide far and away more development assistance to foreign countries than any other nation in the world.

Quoting fr8mech (Reply 4):

7. We%u2019re Paranoid
With good reason, sometimes. But, yeah, we tend to overthink some situations.

I agree. There are too many instances where the person with an American passport was pulled off a plane and shot or targeted overseas to ignore this. We do overthink some domestic situations but we haven't quite reached the level of paranoia we are now seeing in the UK.

Quoting fr8mech (Reply 4):
9. We Are Very Unhealthy

This really depends on where you live in the US. The hiking trails near where I live are packed with healthy people every day. Go to Houston and it's an entirely different story.

Quoting mt99 (Reply 9):
1. Few People Are Impressed By Us
Yes and no. I was recently in Vancouver on the Harbour Center tower and as fantastic the view to the North, the main view from the European tourists was to the south looking towards Washington and the United States. I found that interesting.

I've seen that as well. I spent months traveling through western Canada and almost every European I ran into couldn't wait to visit points south. It really is interesting how many foreigners come to visit our National Parks and cities like New York.

One thing I don't understand the European view of the US is why we aren't more fluent in other languages. We live on and adjacent to a continent(s) where there are predominately only 3 languages spoken. I've known Danish people that spoke 5 or more languages, but that is out of necessity and none of them spoke Spanish. I could travel from Canada to Chile and only need to speak English and Spanish. I know that's a little off topic but the article reads a little critical of US culture.
The beatings will continue until morale improves
 
Mir
Posts: 19107
Joined: Mon Jan 05, 2004 3:55 am

RE: 10 Things About America Today

Fri Jul 13, 2012 4:39 pm

Quoting fr8mech (Reply 4):

8. We’re Status-Obsessed And Seek Attention
Nope. I don't buy this one.

We're the world capital of reality TV, Facebook, Twitter, etc. We want people to know what we're doing. Oh yeah, we're definitely status-obsessed, and we love attention.

-Mir
7 billion, one nation, imagination...it's a beautiful day
 
User avatar
AirPacific747
Posts: 9316
Joined: Mon May 19, 2008 9:52 am

RE: 10 Things About America Today

Fri Jul 13, 2012 6:11 pm

Quoting canoecarrier (Reply 11):
The rest of the world should keep this vision alive. We provide far and away more development assistance to foreign countries than any other nation in the world.

Without knowing the facts, I would imagine that the EU provides at least just as much develop assistance to foreign countries.
 
canoecarrier
Posts: 2569
Joined: Sat Feb 14, 2004 1:20 pm

RE: 10 Things About America Today

Fri Jul 13, 2012 7:10 pm

Quoting AirPacific747 (Reply 13):
Without knowing the facts, I would imagine that the EU provides at least just as much develop assistance to foreign countries.

Is the EU a "nation"?
The beatings will continue until morale improves
 
User avatar
DeltaMD90
Posts: 8245
Joined: Tue Apr 15, 2008 11:25 pm

RE: 10 Things About America Today

Fri Jul 13, 2012 9:26 pm

Quoting AirPacific747 (Reply 7):

I think most of this is way too stereotypical.

I agree, I honestly didn't fit into any of the 10 points...  
Ironically I have never flown a Delta MD-90 :)
 
Bongodog1964
Posts: 3090
Joined: Wed Oct 18, 2006 6:29 am

RE: 10 Things About America Today

Fri Jul 13, 2012 9:39 pm

Quoting canoecarrier (Reply 11):
Quoting fr8mech (Reply 4):6. The Rest Of The World Is Not A Slum-Ridden Shithole Compared To Us
The rest of the world should keep this vision alive. We provide far and away more development assistance to foreign countries than any other nation in the world.

You may outspend us in foreign aid, but per capita we give away nearly three times more than the US

Quoting canoecarrier (Reply 11):
7. We%u2019re Paranoid
With good reason, sometimes. But, yeah, we tend to overthink some situations.
I agree. There are too many instances where the person with an American passport was pulled off a plane and shot or targeted overseas to ignore this. We do overthink some domestic situations but we haven't quite reached the level of paranoia we are now seeing in the UK.

Paranoia in the UK, I can't work out what you are on about, compared to the US we are generally very level headed.
 
canoecarrier
Posts: 2569
Joined: Sat Feb 14, 2004 1:20 pm

RE: 10 Things About America Today

Fri Jul 13, 2012 9:53 pm

Quoting Bongodog1964 (Reply 16):
Paranoia in the UK, I can't work out what you are on about, compared to the US we are generally very level headed.

Don't you have surface to air missiles on apartment buildings around the Olympic venue and surveillance cameras on every street corner? I'd say that's paranoid.
The beatings will continue until morale improves
 
Gingersnap
Posts: 824
Joined: Sun Aug 29, 2010 9:09 pm

RE: 10 Things About America Today

Fri Jul 13, 2012 10:00 pm

Quoting canoecarrier (Reply 14):
Is the EU a "nation"?

The US is also a huge country, and the EU in size and all that comes with it can be compared with the USA nation or not. Plus if some are to be believed, the EU will be a single nation one day.
Flown on: A306 A319/20/21 A332 B732/3/4/5/7/8 B742/4 B752 B762/3 B772/W C152 E195 F70/100 MD-82 Q400
 
User avatar
Francoflier
Posts: 3727
Joined: Wed Oct 31, 2001 12:27 pm

RE: 10 Things About America Today

Fri Jul 13, 2012 10:14 pm

Those ten facts are true for most western countries, even some developing ones.

I doubt it's based on any serious research or study. Just the usual '10 things that [insert pseudo-provocative facts]' format, in the usual pseudo-intellectual trendy magazine...
I'll do my own airline. With Blackjack. And hookers. In fact, forget the airline.
 
TheCommodore
Posts: 3458
Joined: Tue Dec 25, 2007 2:14 am

RE: 10 Things About America Today

Fri Jul 13, 2012 10:22 pm

Quoting canoecarrier (Reply 11):
The rest of the world should keep this vision alive. We provide far and away more development assistance to foreign countries than any other nation in the world.

LOL LOL

You must read this.... The US is way down the list of donor countries.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_governments_by_development_aid

Quoting canoecarrier (Reply 17):
Don't you have surface to air missiles on apartment buildings around the Olympic venue and surveillance cameras on every street corner? I'd say that's paranoid.

And doesn't the US have the same, if not greater security around venues, especially after 9/11 !

My god, the security one has to go through, just get into the US is mind blowing. So what if there are a few missiles around Olympic venues, they will only be there for the duration of the games, unlike the high levels of security in the US which will be there forever more .  Wow!
Quoting canoecarrier (Reply 17):
I'd say that's paranoid.

Well then, if you feel like that, I'm sure if you and your fellow Olympic team members, could always stay in accommodation that is outside the Olympic village, in a hotel with no protection.... But somehow, I don't think that will be an option do you.
“At first, they'll only dislike what you say, but the more correct you start sounding the more they'll dislike you.”
 
cmf
Posts: 3120
Joined: Sun Jun 12, 2011 11:22 pm

RE: 10 Things About America Today

Fri Jul 13, 2012 10:26 pm

Quoting canoecarrier (Reply 11):
The rest of the world should keep this vision alive. We provide far and away more development assistance to foreign countries than any other nation in the world.

I hear this argument a few times a year. All I can say is that if a developed country with 300+ million people don't give more in absolute money than a country with half or less that population then something is wrong. You need to use a reasonable yardstick when you compare. Per capita seems the right yardstick to me.

I also think that US is very quickly being replaced by China as the biggest supporter in a lot of growing countries. It is part of what will change global political balance.

Quoting canoecarrier (Reply 11):
This really depends on where you live in the US. The hiking trails near where I live are packed with healthy people every day. Go to Houston and it's an entirely different story.

This is about generalizations. On average every (or just about) developed country is unhealthy. Plenty of exemptions but more bad than good.
Don’t repeat earlier generations mistakes. Learn history for a better future.
 
lewis
Posts: 3578
Joined: Thu Jul 08, 1999 5:41 am

RE: 10 Things About America Today

Fri Jul 13, 2012 10:49 pm

Quoting cmf (Reply 21):

This is about generalizations. On average every (or just about) developed country is unhealthy. Plenty of exemptions but more bad than good.

Correct. On average, I think most countries are at similar levels.

Quoting TheCommodore (Reply 20):
And doesn't the US have the same, if not greater security around venues, especially after 9/11 !

I was surprised that I had to go through a full-on security inspection - minus the nude-o-scope, in order to enter the Ground Zero memorial in NYC - which was basically a park surrounded by sealed-off construction areas. If that is not "keeping the paranoia alive", I don't know what is.

Quoting fr8mech (Reply 4):
6. The Rest Of The World Is Not A Slum-Ridden Shithole Compared To Us

Not only speaking of developing countries but of the western world as well. I have met people who really think that cars, telephony and air conditioning are a thing unique to the US, but such "observations" come from people who obviously haven't left the state they were born in.
 
User avatar
Dano1977
Posts: 475
Joined: Wed Jun 25, 2008 2:49 pm

RE: 10 Things About America Today

Fri Jul 13, 2012 10:52 pm

Quoting canoecarrier (Reply 17):

That's rich...

In November 2011 the USA was preparing to send 1000 security agents to the Olympics, including 500 FBI agents.

(not that they would be able to carry their standard issue firearms anyway)

Paranoia?

For the record, on the street I live in, there are no surveillance cameras  
Children should only be allowed on aircraft if 1. Muzzled and heavily sedated 2. Go as freight
 
canoecarrier
Posts: 2569
Joined: Sat Feb 14, 2004 1:20 pm

RE: 10 Things About America Today

Fri Jul 13, 2012 10:58 pm

Quoting TheCommodore (Reply 20):
You must read this.... The US is way down the list of donor countries.

Not sure what you're on about, from your link:

According to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, the countries giving the highest amounts of money (in absolute terms) are as follows:[1]

#1 United States – $28.67 billion
#2 France – $12.43 billion

Quoting TheCommodore (Reply 20):
And doesn't the US have the same, if not greater security around venues, especially after 9/11 !

I don't see surface to air missiles on rooftops here in the US (unless you live in the White House) or security cameras everywhere.

Quoting cmf (Reply 21):

I hear this argument a few times a year. All I can say is that if a developed country with 300+ million people don't give more in absolute money than a country with half or less that population then something is wrong. You need to use a reasonable yardstick when you compare. Per capita seems the right yardstick to me.

I really don't see a reason to compare. We give when we can and we don't when we can't. Just like the rest of the world. When there's a major catastrophe like the Haiti earthquake or the tsunami in Sumatra we were there with the largest aircraft carrier in the world. We don't do these things because we want a pat on the back. I certainly don't expect one.

My wife spends 2 weeks a year traveling to countries like the Ukraine, Russia, China and Pakistan to do open heart surgeries on kids. She's been to all 4 of those countries. She and I couldn't care less if someone in Australia used a yardstick to compare our country to theirs in "humanitarian giving".
The beatings will continue until morale improves
 
PHX787
Posts: 7881
Joined: Thu Mar 15, 2012 7:46 pm

RE: 10 Things About America Today

Fri Jul 13, 2012 11:03 pm

my opinion:

Quoting fr8mech (Reply 4):
1. Few People Are Impressed By Us

hmm It really depends. Japan seems to love us a lot. Same with South Koreans.

Quoting fr8mech (Reply 4):
2. Few People Hate Us

That is true. I asked a lot of my foreign friends about this and none of them really had anything negative to say about us.

Quoting fr8mech (Reply 4):
3. We Know Nothing About The Rest Of The World

Well, partially true and partially false. I'd say 1/2 are clued into the world, the other half isnt, and that half is the whole pop culture jackoffs who are ruining our country.

Quoting fr8mech (Reply 4):
7. We’re Paranoid

agree 11110%  
Quoting fr8mech (Reply 4):
9. We Are Very Unhealthy

Not true anymore. People are so much more health conscious these days.

Quoting fr8mech (Reply 4):
10. We Mistake Comfort For Happiness

Hmm I'd have to disagree
Follow me on twitter: www.twitter.com/phx787
 
cmf
Posts: 3120
Joined: Sun Jun 12, 2011 11:22 pm

RE: 10 Things About America Today

Fri Jul 13, 2012 11:41 pm

Quoting canoecarrier (Reply 24):
According to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, the countries giving the highest amounts of money (in absolute terms) are as follows:[1]

#1 United States – $28.67 billion
#2 France – $12.43 billion

There is that unreasonable yardstick again.

I'm sure you will be happy with US receiving the same absolute amount of CO2 emissions as Monaco.
Don’t repeat earlier generations mistakes. Learn history for a better future.
 
smittyone
Posts: 1336
Joined: Thu Feb 09, 2012 12:55 am

RE: 10 Things About America Today

Sat Jul 14, 2012 1:08 am

Quoting canoecarrier (Reply 11):
One thing I don't understand the European view of the US is why we aren't more fluent in other languages. We live on and adjacent to a continent(s) where there are predominately only 3 languages spoken. I've known Danish people that spoke 5 or more languages, but that is out of necessity and none of them spoke Spanish. I could travel from Canada to Chile and only need to speak English and Spanish. I know that's a little off topic but the article reads a little critical of US culture.

True. I personally have little or no need or opportunity to speak any language other than English. And I'm not going to go out of my way to practice foreign language skills (accosting random/stranger Spanish speakers for example) just so I can impress a European visitor 'someday'. I spend my free time doing things that are more immediately useful or enjoyable to me...I don't think that is being ignorant.

On the other hand if I was planning to visit another country I would do my best to learn some of the basic necessities in that language so not to be the guy who expects everyone to cater to him. And if I were looking to emigrate I would strive to become fluent ASAP!
 
canoecarrier
Posts: 2569
Joined: Sat Feb 14, 2004 1:20 pm

RE: 10 Things About America Today

Sat Jul 14, 2012 2:10 am

Quoting cmf (Reply 26):
I'm sure you will be happy with US receiving the same absolute amount of CO2 emissions as Monaco.

I model CO2 emissions for a living and this comment makes absolutely no sense at all.

[Edited 2012-07-13 19:14:13]
The beatings will continue until morale improves
 
aa757first
Posts: 3140
Joined: Sun Aug 03, 2003 11:40 am

RE: 10 Things About America Today

Sat Jul 14, 2012 2:15 am

I found this piece to be pretty laughable. It seems as though he has trouble separating his personal beliefs from facts.

1. Few People Are Impressed By Us
I wasn't he really meant by this. Of course people aren't astounded when they meet Americans. What nationality does impress people?

2. Few People Hate Us
Agreed.

3. We Know Nothing About The Rest Of The World
This is such a sweeping generalization. America is home to many of the world's best universities, the UN headquarters, a huge foreign service and defense infrastructure and yet no one knows anything about the rest of the world? Are there many Americans that are very ignorant about the world? Yes, and I think there are too many of them. But I'd imagine there are similar numbers of misinformed people in other countries. I've met plenty of well educated, well traveled Europeans who seem to believe that anyone can buy a gun in America and that victims of horrible car accidents are routinely asked for their MasterCard before anyone in an ER will look at them, both of which are gross distortions of the truth.

Statistics wise, apparently a third of young Germans believe the U.S. government was responsible for the 9/11 attacks, which is a bit like believing the sky is green. My belief is that there many people in the world that are disinterested in topics that don't directly affect them. As such, they don't know much about the rest of the world.

4. We Are Poor At Expressing Gratitude And Affection
I mostly disagree with this. I'd imagine that Americans fall around average in this regard. Of course, this is highly suggestive.

5. The Quality of Life For The Average American Is Not That Great
He's inventing his own metric of happiness and then applying to the rest of the world. Yes, Americans spend more time commuting. But there's a reason why -- Americans love living in suburbs, where effective public transportation is a intrinsically challenging. They also prefer bigger, more expensive houses and cars. Is that wrong? I don't necessarily think so.

If you want to work less in America, it's possible. You just have to live differently. It's a cultural norm that affects individual people who have the power to change their decision making, not some tremendous flaw with our country.

6. The Rest Of The World Is Not A Slum-Ridden Shithole Compared To Us
Would I like to live abroad at some point? Yes. If I could only live in one country in the world for the rest of my life, though, it'd be the US. I imagine thinking your country is the most "liveable" to be fairly unexceptional, since your standards are set by where you are raised.

Of course, people in rich countries like America, Canada, most of Europe live abnormally luxurious lives compared to most people in the world. About a billion people in this world are malnourished and few are living in London or LA. If you're reading this website, especially if you're reading on your own computer in your own residence, chances are most people in the world would consider you fantastically wealthy.

7. We’re Paranoid
Again, this is a huge generalization that I could frame around most countries. The Swiss banned minarets. The French banned burqas. The Greeks elected anti-immigrant neo-Nazis to parliament. In India, you go through metal detectors before you go into a mall. In Israel, airline security can take up to six hours. I'd imagine our paranoia to be fairly normal.

8. We’re Status-Obsessed And Seek Attention
Again, this is hugely relative. It is far more prevalent in Asia, I think, where knowing the right people is absolutely essential to success. Also, it seems like a lot of the world's most prestigious luxury brands are not American -- think Prada, Gucci, Porsche and BMW.

9. We Are Very Unhealthy
The health care argument was very simplistic. For one, a major reason why drugs cost so much more in America is because of price controls found in other countries. The higher prices in the US pay for research and development costs not fully paid for by people living in other countries. Some of the other is just market based price discrimination. A vaccination in Colombia is going to cost less than it does in America because most Colombians make less money.

As far as gushing over foreign hospitals, I don't doubt there are excellent hospitals abroad. I, however, would never participate in medical tourism after visiting a highly ranked private hospital in India. Comparing that hospital to almost any in the US would be like comparing a thrift store to Neiman's.

Yes, the American diet is awful. How astute.

10. We Mistake Comfort For Happiness
Again, wildly subjective. My guess is that if you took a poll of Americans, most would say that their family and friends give them more happiness than anything else. I'd also imagine that these results would be similar to those found worldwide.

Ironically, he ends the article with a criticism of self-absorption. I'd say this article is probably the most self-absorbed one I've read in quite sometime. He takes a handful of statistics, coupled with some interesting personal experiences and beliefs and makes vast generalizations about one of the world's biggest countries.
 
cmf
Posts: 3120
Joined: Sun Jun 12, 2011 11:22 pm

RE: 10 Things About America Today

Sat Jul 14, 2012 2:56 am

Quoting canoecarrier (Reply 28):
I model CO2 emissions for a living and this comment makes absolutely no sense at all.

You model data and suggest to compare on absolute numbers   

You need to adjust for population size, GDP, or similar. Everything else is dishonest.

It is as stupid as suggesting US should not emit more CO2 than Monaco.
Don’t repeat earlier generations mistakes. Learn history for a better future.
 
canoecarrier
Posts: 2569
Joined: Sat Feb 14, 2004 1:20 pm

RE: 10 Things About America Today

Sat Jul 14, 2012 3:58 am

Quoting cmf (Reply 30):
You model data and suggest to compare on absolute numbers   

You need to adjust for population size, GDP, or similar. Everything else is dishonest.

It is as stupid as suggesting US should not emit more CO2 than Monaco.

Your still not making much sense on a regulatory basis. In fact you still don't make any sense. There is no absolute number when it comes to CO2 emissions the US allows as a nation regardless of population size, GDP, or similar. We didn't sign onto the Kyoto Protocol. If you want to discuss this further open another thread. This is way off topic.
The beatings will continue until morale improves
 
AA7295
Posts: 457
Joined: Fri Aug 03, 2007 8:19 pm

RE: 10 Things About America Today

Sat Jul 14, 2012 10:27 am

Urghhh!

Another privileged American who is ungrateful with his plate!

I think his article pretty much sums up the modern generation. Come to Australia... same sh!t, different flag.

For someone who has travelled, I find it shocking he didn't pick up on it.
 
cmf
Posts: 3120
Joined: Sun Jun 12, 2011 11:22 pm

RE: 10 Things About America Today

Sat Jul 14, 2012 11:41 am

Quoting canoecarrier (Reply 31):
Your still not making much sense on a regulatory basis. In fact you still don't make any sense. There is no absolute number when it comes to CO2 emissions the US allows as a nation regardless of population size, GDP, or similar. We didn't sign onto the Kyoto Protocol. If you want to discuss this further open another thread. This is way off topic.

The issue at hand is that your comparing countries contribution without adjusting for population, GNP, etc. If not you're using statistics to lie.

I hope you apply more integrity in your modeling.
Don’t repeat earlier generations mistakes. Learn history for a better future.
 
canoecarrier
Posts: 2569
Joined: Sat Feb 14, 2004 1:20 pm

RE: 10 Things About America Today

Sat Jul 14, 2012 6:27 pm

Quoting canoecarrier (Reply 31):
Quoting cmf (Reply 33):
The issue at hand is that your comparing countries contribution without adjusting for population, GNP, etc. If not you're using statistics to lie.

I hope you apply more integrity in your modeling.

There's a difference between policy making and modeling a large project for projected mtCO2e. I'm not comparing the contribution of a nation against another.
The beatings will continue until morale improves
 
blink182
Posts: 5278
Joined: Mon Oct 18, 1999 3:09 am

RE: 10 Things About America Today

Sat Jul 14, 2012 11:23 pm

Quoting AA7295 (Reply 32):

Urghhh!

Another privileged American who is ungrateful with his plate!

I think his article pretty much sums up the modern generation. Come to Australia... same sh!t, different flag.

For someone who has travelled, I find it shocking he didn't pick up on it.

   For someone who claims to be so worldly, the author's level of ignorance astounds me. We all know that everybody outside the United States is so incredibly worldly, and that all Americans are dumb and ignorant yokels who sit around watching Jersey Shore with Big Macs all day. I bet he is amazed by how well the Tokyo natives speak Japanese.

The author almost fits into the stereotypes he criticizes.

[Edited 2012-07-14 16:25:27]
Give me a break, I created this username when I was a kid...
 
User avatar
kasimir
Posts: 231
Joined: Wed Jun 01, 2011 2:07 pm

RE: 10 Things About America Today

Sun Jul 15, 2012 3:55 am

I had to reply to this topic, since I also had my fair chance of seeing the world, living in different countries and also know the US and the culture pretty well...

When I describe the US and its culture, I would say its a country of extremes and there is where I come back to the points of the blog article:

3. We Know Nothing About The Rest Of The World:
I think the author is wrong, but again its a country of extremes. Either you have the absolute dumb and ignorant Americans who don't even have a passport or you have the Americans who travel a lot, know much more about the rest of the world than most average and intellectual Europeans and sometimes I'm even surprised how much some Americans know about the world and other cultures...

But the whole point of Americans not knowing about the world has more to do with the US being such a huge and integrated country. You also see this phenomenon with other big and developed countries. But the opposite is also true, the smaller a country is, the more open minded and global thinking the people are.
Just compare Germany with The Netherlands and then you get my point...

4. We Are Poor At Expressing Gratitude And Affection:
In my opinion a high developed country problem, but the US is only going a step further and everything is/must be extremely politically correct...

5. The Quality of Life For The Average American Is Not That Great:
True that, but Europeans are coming very close to that lifestyle too...
The point about Americans working a lot and having less time to enjoy life is very easy to pick up on, but to be fair, I see more older Americans (the silver generation) enjoying life, traveling the world and making the most of their retirement. Where as lots of Europeans in their older years just get old in front of their TV's and wait till death comes to get them...

6. The Rest Of The World Is Not A Slum-Ridden Shithole Compared To Us:
Yeah, its true, but Europeans (especially Germans) aren't that much better. Especially when I hear Germans talk in a very ignorant way about how good their life and country is and others should be more like us.

7. We’re Paranoid:
Thats absolutely true when it comes to national security (except for Israel), but the USA is just the same with other developed countries when it comes to personal safety!
I really hate traveling to the USA as a non-US citizen, you have to go through things that are absolutely ridiculous! When I tell US citizens through what sh*t I have to go after a 10+ hrs intercontinental flight (1-2hrs in line for immigration, taking picture and ALL fingerprints, stupid questions, extra screenings, the general rudeness at the airport and worst of all the idiot TSA), they are shocked and frankly wouldn't accept it if they had to go through that.
On the other hand, if I have to go through LHR, DXB, FRA or any other major airport, I'm 95% of the time treated as a human being and out of it in no time...
Example (my usual experience):
- time spent waiting at immigration in major US airports: 1-2 hrs (with a European Passport)
- time spent waiting at immigration in major non-US airports: 1-15 minutes (at airports all over the world!)

I already try to avoid flying through US airports if its not necessary and willing to pay up to 10% more on tickets if I can achieve that.

8. We’re Status-Obsessed And Seek Attention:
All developed countries are nearly the same when it comes to this. It also has a lot to do with peer and social pressure. Only difference in the US is and where it goes to extremes is that a lot of people are willing to suffer to reach these status (go into debt for example).
One of the extremes that I saw in December 2007 was when 6 year old kids where already running around with iphones and other extremely expensive things that were bought by the parents. That is just a good example where I go in my head: "Only in the USA"  
But again, the Europeans are catching up quite fast when it comes to this...

9. We Are Very Unhealthy:
No, not really... But here is a good example of extremes... On one side you got a lot of health obsessed Americans who put a lot of time and energy into these issues and on the other hand you have these whale-like obese Americans who aren't able to walk anymore...

10. We Mistake Comfort For Happiness:
Just a developed country phenomenon and not necessarily a bad thing...

But what I really would like to say is that I could write such a top 10 list for every country after I moved to another country and probably would create the same responses  
Every country has its pros and cons and from experience most of the time they level each other out so that in the end it comes down to personal preference what you like or not...

My message to the USA:
Be more like the US in the 80s and 90s, where you were more pragmatic not so politicized and basically a no-nonsense country with a big "can do" attitude!
 
ozglobal
Posts: 2524
Joined: Tue Nov 09, 2004 7:33 am

RE: 10 Things About America Today

Sun Jul 15, 2012 6:41 pm

1. Few People Are Impressed By Us
Agreed.

2. Few People Hate Us
Agreed.

3. We Know Nothing About The Rest Of The World
About 10% of American's are extremely urbane, well informed and could rival anyone on general knowledge, global politics and most other topics. About a third have some curiosity and some good areas of knowledge of other countries. The other 60%, in my experience, have no knowledge or interest. What is unique is this proportion, not the fact that some people are like this.

4. We Are Poor At Expressing Gratitude And Affection
Wouldn't necessarily agree. I would describe it more as 'scripted'; anything off the script is in the 'danger zone'. Affection between males etc is another topic, more related to the 'gender of culture'; This requires a dedicated thread!

5. The Quality of Life For The Average American Is Not That Great
That seems clear and is a major election issue. Plus, poverty rates, infant mortality, healthcare outcomes and education do not put the US near the top of the list.

6. The Rest Of The World Is Not A Slum-Ridden Shithole Compared To Us
I recently met a well dressed and friendly retired couple in an upscale Paris restaurant. We had a very friendly conversation, but then I was shocked and in disbelief at some of their conservative and 'exceptionalist' views: "We set the standard in EVERYTHING". "Others look to us; we can't learn from them. " Paris to them was a very pleasant ride at Disneyland, not a real place. I think American exceptionalism (or any other) is an intellectual disease.


7. We’re Paranoid
Say no more.


8. We’re Status-Obsessed And Seek Attention
I think the adolescent girl image is a good way to describe the adolescent tendencies in New World (including my own native Australia), especially, American culture in relation to wealth, celebrity, attention, misfortune, etc.
.

9. We Are Very Unhealthy
I think the jury is in on this.


10. We Mistake Comfort For Happiness
A Western disease in general, not just American.
When all's said and done, there'll be more said than done.
 
aa757first
Posts: 3140
Joined: Sun Aug 03, 2003 11:40 am

RE: 10 Things About America Today

Sun Jul 15, 2012 10:39 pm

Quoting OzGlobal (Reply 37):
That seems clear and is a major election issue. Plus, poverty rates, infant mortality, healthcare outcomes and education do not put the US near the top of the list.

You can pull statistics out of anywhere, but the fact of the matter is Americans have abnormally luxurious lifestyles. Of course, that's also true of most of the Western world.

Quoting OzGlobal (Reply 37):
I recently met a well dressed and friendly retired couple in an upscale Paris restaurant. We had a very friendly conversation, but then I was shocked and in disbelief at some of their conservative and 'exceptionalist' views: "We set the standard in EVERYTHING". "Others look to us; we can't learn from them. " Paris to them was a very pleasant ride at Disneyland, not a real place. I think American exceptionalism (or any other) is an intellectual disease.

This is very typical. Most Europeans I talk to are shocked that our first amendment protects the rights of neo-Nazis, that health care isn't guaranteed by the federal government, the restrictions on abortion, the cost of private universities, etc. People generally think their way of doing things is best -- just really human nature.
 
ozglobal
Posts: 2524
Joined: Tue Nov 09, 2004 7:33 am

RE: 10 Things About America Today

Sun Jul 15, 2012 11:05 pm

Quoting aa757first (Reply 38):
Quoting OzGlobal (Reply 37):
I recently met a well dressed and friendly retired couple in an upscale Paris restaurant. We had a very friendly conversation, but then I was shocked and in disbelief at some of their conservative and 'exceptionalist' views: "We set the standard in EVERYTHING". "Others look to us; we can't learn from them. " Paris to them was a very pleasant ride at Disneyland, not a real place. I think American exceptionalism (or any other) is an intellectual disease.

This is very typical. Most Europeans I talk to are shocked that our first amendment protects the rights of neo-Nazis, that health care isn't guaranteed by the federal government, the restrictions on abortion, the cost of private universities, etc. People generally think their way of doing things is best -- just really human nature.

Uhm, no. I've never met other people on the planet that have said to my face: "We set the standard in EVERYTHING". "Others look to us; we can't learn from them. " Nothing typical about this in my experience. Even French chauvinists would never go to that extent.
When all's said and done, there'll be more said than done.
 
ozglobal
Posts: 2524
Joined: Tue Nov 09, 2004 7:33 am

RE: 10 Things About America Today

Sun Jul 15, 2012 11:07 pm

Quoting aa757first (Reply 38):
Quoting OzGlobal (Reply 37):
That seems clear and is a major election issue. Plus, poverty rates, infant mortality, healthcare outcomes and education do not put the US near the top of the list.

You can pull statistics out of anywhere, but the fact of the matter is Americans have abnormally luxurious lifestyles. Of course, that's also true of most of the Western world.

I'm relying on the OECD reports 2000 - 2011 and Pew.Org. Please check these sources. What are yours, please?
When all's said and done, there'll be more said than done.
 
AA7295
Posts: 457
Joined: Fri Aug 03, 2007 8:19 pm

RE: 10 Things About America Today

Sun Jul 15, 2012 11:14 pm

Quoting OzGlobal (Reply 39):
Uhm, no. I've never met other people on the planet that have said to my face: "We set the standard in EVERYTHING". "Others look to us; we can't learn from them. " Nothing typical about this in my experience. Even French chauvinists would never go to that extent.

It's DEFINITELY a Western thing, not exclusive to Americans.

Australians definitely do it when abroad. The only difference is probably the manner when declaring it. Americans may declare it with a stronger fist and say it to your face. Australians do it with a "looking good" mentality and would say it behind your back.

Afterall, it's human nature to reject change, especially when you're aborad, and overseas for such a short time that you don't see the benefits of the "other way".
 
ozglobal
Posts: 2524
Joined: Tue Nov 09, 2004 7:33 am

RE: 10 Things About America Today

Sun Jul 15, 2012 11:19 pm

Quoting AA7295 (Reply 41):
Quoting OzGlobal (Reply 39):
Uhm, no. I've never met other people on the planet that have said to my face: "We set the standard in EVERYTHING". "Others look to us; we can't learn from them. " Nothing typical about this in my experience. Even French chauvinists would never go to that extent.

It's DEFINITELY a Western thing, not exclusive to Americans.

Australians definitely do it when abroad.

Let me get this straight: Australians genuinely believe that they "set the standard in EVERYTHING" and can learn from no one when abroad? You must know different Australians from me....
When all's said and done, there'll be more said than done.
 
AA7295
Posts: 457
Joined: Fri Aug 03, 2007 8:19 pm

RE: 10 Things About America Today

Sun Jul 15, 2012 11:49 pm

Quoting OzGlobal (Reply 42):

Let me get this straight: Australians genuinely believe that they "set the standard in EVERYTHING" and can learn from no one when abroad? You must know different Australians from me....

100%...but in a not so obvious way. Our media does it to us. Constant headlines... Australians overtaking Hollywood, Australia the only country not to be affected by the GFC, Australia: World's most resilient banks, Australia - shortest ER wait time amongst OECD nations. Etc.

I love how you are willing to group 300million people into one declaration, but find it strange when someone groups 23 million.
 
ozglobal
Posts: 2524
Joined: Tue Nov 09, 2004 7:33 am

RE: 10 Things About America Today

Sun Jul 15, 2012 11:54 pm

Quoting AA7295 (Reply 43):

I love how you are willing to group 300million people into one declaration, but find it strange when someone groups 23 million.

No, I gave a pertinent example only. The 'grouping' of entire populations started with your post. Re-read and 'love it' less.
When all's said and done, there'll be more said than done.
 
YokoTsuno
Posts: 319
Joined: Tue Feb 01, 2011 1:21 pm

RE: 10 Things About America Today

Mon Jul 16, 2012 2:10 am

Quoting AA7295 (Reply 41):
It's DEFINITELY a Western thing, not exclusive to Americans.

There's nothing typical American nor Western about the article, but human. In fact it is just a reflection of how one sees his/her own culture and the rest of the world (in a totally distorted way).

Our homes here have alarms, peepholes, 2 or even 3 huge main door padlocks, a 20cm steel-rod main door grill and if this wasn't enough we've no problem forking out $200 a month on security guards, yet we make ourselves believe that this is the safest place on earth and the galaxy. Many believe an overseas trip is basically asking to get robbed.

I travel a lot to Europe and Canada neither have I seen the things I mentioned nor did I ever get robbed.

And that just reason 7. Don't get me started on the rest.
 
aa757first
Posts: 3140
Joined: Sun Aug 03, 2003 11:40 am

RE: 10 Things About America Today

Mon Jul 16, 2012 3:14 am

Quoting OzGlobal (Reply 39):
Uhm, no. I've never met other people on the planet that have said to my face: "We set the standard in EVERYTHING". "Others look to us; we can't learn from them. " Nothing typical about this in my experience. Even French chauvinists would never go to that extent.

That statement is clearly not true. Americans obviously don't set the standards in, say, pastries or luxury cars. However, I think most people in rich countries believe their country sets the standard in living. In a way, that's very true -- my standards are set to those found in America because that's where I grew up.

Quoting OzGlobal (Reply 40):
I'm relying on the OECD reports 2000 - 2011 and Pew.Org. Please check these sources. What are yours, please?

"Standard of living" cannot be measured in a data set. It is far too subjective.

For example, we could say that Americans enjoy a higher standard of living because not only do they own larger, more powerful cars, but we own more of them. Not only that, but they're far cheaper to own and operate. In turn, however, we have less developed and more expensive public transit networks. This is a place where Europe shines and public transportation is, as the phrase indicates, more accessible to poorer people.

Therefore, in an individualistically oriented ranking, America would win. In a collective oriented ranking, Europe would win. The reality is that comparing the standard of living in rich countries is a lot like comparing Coke and Pepsi -- they're both pretty much the same, it's just which one you prefer.
 
ozglobal
Posts: 2524
Joined: Tue Nov 09, 2004 7:33 am

RE: 10 Things About America Today

Mon Jul 16, 2012 6:32 am

Quoting aa757first (Reply 46):
Quoting OzGlobal (Reply 40):
I'm relying on the OECD reports 2000 - 2011 and Pew.Org. Please check these sources. What are yours, please?

"Standard of living" cannot be measured in a data set. It is far too subjective.

Sorry, but poverty rates, infant mortality, healthcare outcomes and education are objective measures; you can add to that Life Expectancy. If you're undereducated, poor, sick or dead early, it's difficult to enjoy cheaper cars and gas. Standard of living sure CAN be measured at this level and currently the US fall pretty far down the scale.
When all's said and done, there'll be more said than done.
 
aa757first
Posts: 3140
Joined: Sun Aug 03, 2003 11:40 am

RE: 10 Things About America Today

Mon Jul 16, 2012 7:02 am

Quoting OzGlobal (Reply 47):
Sorry, but poverty rates, infant mortality, healthcare outcomes and education are objective measures; you can add to that Life Expectancy.

But there are so many variables that go into these statistics that it's very hard to pinpoint. For example, Americans eat too much of the wrong things and then lead sedentary lifestyles -- we have significantly more obese people than even the second most obese country. That leads to hypertension, dyslipidemia and diabetes and, as a result, a lower life expectancy. Now you'd also have to account for differences in the prevalence of binge drinking, drug use, smoking, unprotected sex, traffic accidents, violent crimes, suicides, etc. A demanding analysis that I think demands far more from statistics than the field can provide.
 
zhiao
Posts: 441
Joined: Fri Jan 21, 2011 4:52 am

RE: 10 Things About America Today

Mon Jul 16, 2012 7:24 am

Quoting OzGlobal (Reply 47):
Sorry, but poverty rates, infant mortality, healthcare outcomes and education are objective measures; you can add to that Life Expectancy. If you're undereducated, poor, sick or dead early, it's difficult to enjoy cheaper cars and gas. Standard of living sure CAN be measured at this level and currently the US fall pretty far down the scale.

Not in terms of income:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_household_income

And in education, when you looks at percent of people with higher education, it does do pretty well, and not to mention it has most of the best universities in the world. Poverty rates are relative to the country, and not on an absolute scale, fyi.

The U.S.’ infant mortality rate is not higher; the rates of Canada and many European countries are artificially low, due to more restrictive definitions of live birth. There also are variations in the willingness of nations to save very low birth weight and gestation babies. Definitions of a live birth, and therefore which babies are counted in the infant mortality statistics very considerably. The U.S. uses the full WHO definition, while Germany omits one of the four criteria. The U.K. defines a still birth “a child which has issued forth from its mother after the twenty-fourth week of pregnancy and which did not at any time after being completely expelled from its mother breathe or show any other signs of life.”1

This leaves what constitutes a sign of life open and places those born before 24 weeks in a gray area. Canada uses the complete WHO definition but struggles with tens of thousands of missing birth records and increasing numbers of mothers sent to the U.S. for care.2 France requires “a medical certificate [that] attests that the child was born ‘alive and viable’” for baby who died soon after birth to be counted, which may be difficult to obtain.

[Edited 2012-07-16 00:29:23]

[Edited 2012-07-16 00:29:44]

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: jetwet1, moo and 15 guests