Monday, November 22, 2010

Pew Hates America


The people at Pew Research are at it again -- shaming Americans with our splendid ignorance of what's going on in the world. I found the quiz mostly easy, though as you can see, I did miss one of the questions. I'll just say I'm surprised it turned out to be wrong; the incorrect answer I gave is one that cuts against my own American left-liberal instincts (if you will), so I am pleased, in a way, to be proven right in those instincts, but in a deeper, truer, sense, I am appalled at the truth of the matter.

If I read the chart correctly, 58% of American respondents received a failing grade of  five or fewer correct answers out of twelve. While a handful of these questions did give me pause, I can't come up with a list of seven that moderately aware, not-living-in-cave American adults should have gotten wrong.

11 comments:

Laura said...

I got 9 questions right, which surprised me as I'm not exactly the brightest bulb in the chandelier. I missed the national inflation rate, the TARP question, and the smartphone question.

So now I'm terrified because that means there is a vast swath of the voting population who knows even less than I do!

Brian Moon said...

I, too, got 1 in 12 wrong. Mine was about the national inflation rate.

Dale, was yours the one on government spending?

Dale said...

@Laura, it turns out you are one of the brighter bulbs in the chandelier -- well done.

@Brian, yes, I missed the one about which program costs most.

Sheldon said...

Gasp! I cannot believe it, but I am only in the top 4%.

Dale you out elited me!

In my defense, who gives a shit what the Google operating system is, unless you are in the market for a smart phone, I am not, and can't afford it!

And I answered incorrectly on things I really did know, but was just going for a different answer because I was thinking they were stumpers. For example, it is my natural inclination to complain about the money we are wasting on "national defense" (Orwellian term, should be "foreign military interventions"). But I had that little right-wing devil whispering in my ear "its the entitlements stupid". For some reason I discarded the advice of that little right wing devil and chose the "deficit is pretty much the same", but actually against my better judgment and knowledge!

Dale said...

@Sheldon, I made exactly the same mistake on the spending one. My embittered left-liberal instincts told me "national defense." And then they said, sarcastically, "duh. national defense, dumbass." Then I hear my l'il Hannity beckoning me to decry entitlements, and I chose Medicare. Boom! Wrong answer from li'l Hannity, as usual.

Sheldon said...

Dale,
Maybe this means that we are less dogmatically certain of what we believe and willing to reconsider?

Sean G said...

I managed to get 12/12, although I almost messed up and chose "interest on debt" as higher spending than "defense." If they had put in more realistic options for the UK PM, I probably would have gotten that one wrong as well, for instance I would have gone with Gordon Brown had he been an option.

What I don't get is, how did 30% of the country get 3 or less correct? Some of those were ridiculously easy. I mean, I know I'm up on current events, but I didn't think I was that far ahead.

Thanks for the link!

Dale said...

Sheldon, In principle, I'm ready to reconsider damnnear everything, including my longstanding rule against eating kittens.

Well done, Sean.

Charles Pergiel said...

I got ten right. The more I think about it, the more I think the information in the test is useless. I hear people complain about how screwed up things are, and it seems like things just keep getting worse, not better. All this news and discussion is just something to keep people occupied while the powers that be scheme behind closed doors for own devious ends. Or maybe I'm just in a bad mood.

Samuel John Klein Portlandiensis said...

I got 12/12.

Yay ... me.

Of course, all this knowledge and I still have to spend $1.50 for a cup of coffee at Dennys.

Still, I rule … in some yet-to-be-determined way.

Dale said...

Well done, SJKP. If I were you, I wouldn't mention this quiz result at Denny's. Some of the people there don't like the kind of people who do well on quizzes like this.