Just for fun, here’s yet another incarnation of the not-at-all-new story that we Americans don’t know much about stuff, and don’t really want to.

My favorite quote from the whole (quite lengthy) article (actually it’s a book excerpt):

In 2003, the Strategic Task Force on Education Abroad investigated Americans’ knowledge of world affairs. The task force concluded: “America’s ignorance of the outside world” is so great as to constitute a threat to national security.

A threat to national security? Try a threat to world security. It’s the rest of the world that pays for our ignorance at the moment.

Just how not new is this story? Well, the study they cite in the first paragraph as a hook was conducted two years ago – I think I may have even done a segment on it at my old job at Mobuzz. You’d think they could find something a little more timely or at least mentioned Susan Jacoby’s recent book about America’s history of not knowing stuff: The Age of American Unreason (which is languishing on my amazon.co.uk wishlist). Here‘s an interview she did with Bill Moyers on the subject. Hers is a slightly different focus, more on anti-intellectualism, but it goes hand in hand – if you don’t like folks that know stuff, you’re not likely to go learn stuff yourself.