American Experience: Changing Your Mind.

I have always been trying to be observant and curious while residing in the US if for not other reason than to have something to tell my compatriots in the unlikely event of my deportation.  It is an ultimate narcissistic exercise because it makes me recount certain events that I encounter to myself as if I was telling a story to my distant and intrigued descendant. A kind of self-reflection that inevitably leads to self-importance and arrogance, but I am willing to take the risk. Continue reading

The Closeted American Mind: Intellect? Shhh…

Nicholas Kristof has written an interesting column in today’s NY Times about America and anti-intellectualism:

Then there’s this embarrassing fact about the United States in the 21st century: Americans are as likely to believe in flying saucers as in evolution. Depending on how the questions are asked, roughly 30 to 40 percent of Americans believe in each. A 34-nation study found Americans less likely to believe in evolution than citizens of any of the countries polled except Turkey. President Bush is also the only Western leader I know of who doesn’t believe in evolution, saying “the jury is still out.” No word on whether he believes in little green men. Only one American in 10 understands radiation, and only one in three has an idea of what DNA does. One in five does know that the Sun orbits the Earth …oh, oops.

Kristof quotes Susan Jacoby (author of The Age of American Unreason):

“America is now ill with a powerful mutant strain of intertwined ignorance, anti-rationalism, and anti-intellectualism,” Susan Jacoby argues in a new book, “The Age of American Unreason.” She blames a culture of “infotainment,” sound bites, fundamentalist religion and ideological rigidity for impairing thoughtful debate about national policies. Continue reading