So this morning, my sister learned at work that Egypt is NEAR Africa. This came as quite a shock of course, because her entire life, she had thought the country was IN Africa. Needless to say, her boss was also unable to point out Afghanistan on a map. I wonder what would have happened if he was asked to also point out the United States.
Americans are not dumb. We are a country known for Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Sam Walton, and of course, Henry Ford. But when it comes to the world, particularly geography, we are incomparably ignorant.
Why? We don’t have maps in our schools. I recall taking political science courses in undergrad for three years in a building that did not have a single map. So of course whenever we discussed far-flung places like Mogadishu or Tehran, professors couldn’t just point to the map on the wall, reminding us of where Somalia and Iran are located.
What about Smartboards? Of course the technology makes calling up Google Maps quite simple. But with professors wedded to PowerPoint, this would require them to divorce themselves from their beloved technology for a few moments. That would be outright sinful.
Considering our ignorance, the uprisings in NORTH AFRICA over the last several weeks have led to a lot of chatter (both around the office and on the 24-hour news cycle) about instability in the MIDDLE EAST.
I’ll leave you with this classic viral video: