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Debates Forum

  1. Standard membervivify
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    14 Mar '18 04:291 edit
    For the average person who doesn't have a profession where geography is needed, is it really useful to learn geography? What advantage is there for a layperson to do so?

    For example, how does knowing where Iraq is on a map change their ability to have an informed opinion on it? Do I need to be able to find Iraq on a map in order to believe that invading was wrong and based on a lie?

    I suppose I should mention that I'm able to find any nation in the world on a map, quickly. I'm even pretty good at finding countries on maps without the borders drawn.

    I also know the capitals of every European nation (except for a small few island nations), as well as every capital city in South America, and lots of other places. I'm also pretty well-versed in the major land areas and major seas of the world.

    I mention this so no one assumes I'm starting this thread to excuse any lack of knowledge on my part. (P.S.: I'm also down to prove it if anyone wants to challenge me in a geography game; preferably one that's timed [like Trivia Crack] so that players don't have enough time Google answers). Just challenge me right on this thread, and let me know the name of the app. We can even post the results.

    So back to the OP, I've never once felt that my knowledge of geography has been really been useful in debates. I think historical knowledge seems much more important when discussing world events. It seems to me that the only benefit in having world map skills (outside of job-related reasons) is to feel superior to others.

    In a world where anyone can simply Google a countries location in an instant, what's really the point of learning geography?
  2. Standard memberwolfgang59
    Mr. Wolf
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    14 Mar '18 05:22
    Originally posted by @vivify
    In a world where anyone can simply Google a countries location in an instant, what's really the point of learning geography?
    If I was reading a news article and it mentioned
    a country which I knew little about, I'd google it.

    That is what is important. Wanting to know.
    It is not necessary to actually know (but it is satisfying).
  3. Seongnam, S. Korea
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    14 Mar '18 06:02
    Oh geez, I don't even know where to start on this. Why would you suggest it isn't advantageous to have a mental map of the world in yoru head that is pretty accurate.

    I can't imagine what it would be like to hear "Greece" or "Congo" or "Malaysia" and not immediately know where it was and who its neighbors were, and some of the relevant history there.

    I understand that technology is now at our finger tips... but people often misunderstand that the learning process in elementary school and beyond isn't just to fill the minds with knowledge but is also to teach the appreciation of knowledge and the process of learning.
  4. Standard membershavixmir
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    14 Mar '18 08:25
    Originally posted by @vivify
    For the average person who doesn't have a profession where geography is needed, is it really useful to learn geography? What advantage is there for a layperson to do so?

    For example, how does knowing where Iraq is on a map change their ability to have an informed opinion on it? Do I need to be able to find Iraq on a map in order to believe that invading ...[text shortened]... simply Google a countries location in an instant, what's really the point of learning geography?
    Geography, history, religion... it’s all to do with the grander scope of things, so that when you hear, watch or read something, that you can roughly place it.

    By doing so, it becomes more real and touchable. It enables you to comprehend the setting.

    I drove down from Rotterdam to Paris, last weekend.

    By knowing where Rotterdam is and where Paris is, you know it’s roughly a 5 hour drive. You know it’s not a mountainous drive and if you know which time if year, you’ll have a good clue to the weather conditions.

    If you celebrate Xmas in Sidney, you’ll think of a beach BBQ and if you talk about a Xmas BBQ in Moscow, you’ll think it’s in a restaurant.
  5. Joined
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    14 Mar '18 08:42
    The thought of hearing the name of a country and not knowing where it was, the capital etc makes me quite panicky. I don't understand how other people are okay with not knowing this stuff. What goes through their heads when they hear a country and don't know where it is?
  6. Joined
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    14 Mar '18 09:47
    Originally posted by @vivify
    For the average person who doesn't have a profession where geography is needed, is it really useful to learn geography?
    Of course not. All you need to know is America Good, Europe Baa-aa-aaad! And even within the Good Ole' Country, all you need to know is Deep South and Mid-West Good, West Coast and Nortj East Baa-aa-aaad!

    All the rest of geography (topology, really, but that's a hard word and therefore un-American) is communist, and therefore to be avoided, and therefore unnecessary.
  7. Joined
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    14 Mar '18 09:56
    Originally posted by @vivify
    For the average person who doesn't have a profession where geography is needed, is it really useful to learn geography? What advantage is there for a layperson to do so?

    For example, how does knowing where Iraq is on a map change their ability to have an informed opinion on it? Do I need to be able to find Iraq on a map in order to believe that invading ...[text shortened]... simply Google a countries location in an instant, what's really the point of learning geography?
    no. geography should be replaced with a course in using google maps. when you can successfully program your gps, you pass
  8. Joined
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    14 Mar '18 10:00
    there have been some thoughts on this subject that one shouldn't teach geography/history/whatever in school.

    Instead, one should teach, for example, things like European Union. That means you teach it as a whole, covering geography, history, economics, civics and how they are intertwined.
  9. Joined
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    14 Mar '18 10:03
    Originally posted by @ashiitaka
    The thought of hearing the name of a country and not knowing where it was, the capital etc makes me quite panicky. I don't understand how other people are okay with not knowing this stuff. What goes through their heads when they hear a country and don't know where it is?
    answering assuming you're not being sarcastic:

    i would hope that they think "hmm, i heard something i don't know, maybe i will google it"

    we have devices that store information. we don't need to store data in a much crappier way than computers. we need to be taught skills to use computers and the data stored within
  10. Standard memberwolfgang59
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    14 Mar '18 10:07
    Originally posted by @ashiitaka
    The thought of hearing the name of a country and not knowing where it was, the capital etc makes me quite panicky. I don't understand how other people are okay with not knowing this stuff. What goes through their heads when they hear a country and don't know where it is?
    I'm really shakey on countries without coastlines - can't place them.
    But there are people who don't know what continent a country is in!
    That's bad. Not sure why - but it feels bad.

    btw How many of the Caribbean islands you have visited can you name? 500 or so? lol
  11. Joined
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    14 Mar '18 10:17
    just to be clear, we're talking about forcing children to absorb data they don't need and could get instantly off their smartphones that they will instantly forget once the final test for the course is over.

    we should be engaging children into critical thinking. to develop learning skills, not regurgitate facts that a computer could do better.
    we have computers. we don't need more, crappier, computers.
  12. Standard memberwolfgang59
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    14 Mar '18 10:26
    Originally posted by @zahlanzi
    just to be clear, we're talking about forcing children to absorb data they don't need and could get instantly off their smartphones that they will instantly forget once the final test for the course is over.

    we should be engaging children into critical thinking. to develop learning skills, not regurgitate facts that a computer could do better.
    we have computers. we don't need more, crappier, computers.
    This is similar to the short debate I had about learning times tables.
    No need to learn things by rote.
    Forget a capital city? No problem - Google.

    But for F's sake get an awareness of the big
    picture - process the information you receive.
    Be interested in your fellow man, the fauna
    and flora of our fragile planet and your fellow
    Man.
  13. Joined
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    14 Mar '18 10:282 edits
    Originally posted by @zahlanzi
    just to be clear, we're talking about forcing children to absorb data they don't need and could get instantly off their smartphones that they will instantly forget once the final test for the course is over.

    we should be engaging children into critical thinking. to develop learning skills, not regurgitate facts that a computer could do better.
    we have computers. we don't need more, crappier, computers.
    So, basically you are saying that we need not bother learning anything that you can find the answer online. That there's no need to know that Germany is in Europe or that world war I started on July 28th 1914. The same can be said of anything factual.

    Are you advocating for us to become historical and geographical ignoramuses and rely solely on computers?

    That's not going to work.
  14. Standard memberwolfgang59
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    14 Mar '18 10:45
    Originally posted by @ashiitaka
    So, basically you are saying that we need not bother learning anything that you can find the answer online. That there's no need to know that Germany is in Europe or that world war I started on July 28th 1914. The same can be said of anything factual.

    Are you advocating for us to become historical and geographical ignoramuses and rely solely on computers?

    That's not going to work.
    Why not?
  15. Standard memberwolfgang59
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    14 Mar '18 11:00
    Just been reading whodeys posts!
    😞
    Yes - some rudimentary understanding of geography is necessary.
    (Like knowing Greece is not on the equator!)
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