Thursday, August 07, 2014

2284 DC of Knowledge

I'm surprised sometimes by people's lack of the most basic knowledge. And, need I say, worried that the smartphone revolution has made us even dumber.

The recent stories of people getting totally lost in not-so-wilderness areas because their smartphone's battery died illustrate the point. In true battery fashion, there are two poles of thought on what to do about it. One side has researchers even now working hard to prevent future such recurrences by developing greater device battery life. The other side is educating folks in basic geography and wayfinding. 

There's probably a dispute about which is positive and negative. Which wouldn't surprise me, our country is in polar opposition on everything else. 

But a little knowledge couldn't hurt. Especially if you're in a sensitive government job tasked with the important duty of protecting us from terrorists. You'd expect such a person to have a rudimentary knowledge of our nation's geography. You know, like capitals and such. 

Hey, you say, you can't expect everyone to know the capital of North Dakota is Bismarck. Or South Dakota is Pierre. Who would care that the Dakotatites have been Frenching and Germanifying the places anyhow?

Fair enough, but what about the capital of the whole US of A? Turns out a TSA agent recently refused to let a resident of Washington D.C. through the checkpoint in Orlando airport. He asked the resident to produce I.D. proving he was American. Perhaps thinking the District of Columbia was in, um, South America. Or possibly a section of British Columbia. 

The TSA now says they'll show pictures of the D.C. license to agents so they'll know how recognize it. 

I suggest they just equip their agents with a smartphone app.

Maybe National Geographic has one. They're based in Washington D.C.

America, ya gotta love it. 

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