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Old 11th February 2014, 13:09   #1
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Default Tim Cook betrays his ignorance, says `Europe' is a term made up by Americans

Here is the article:

http://www.dailytech.com/Apple+CEO+T...ticle34296.htm

Here is the WSJ Interview:
http://blogs.wsj.com/digits/2014/02/...nal-interview/

Specifically Tim Cook states:
```...Android is like Europe. Europe was a name that somebody came up with for Americans who didnít understand that Europe was a lot of countries that werenít like U.S. states. They were very different. Android is many things. How many people who use a Kindle know that theyíre using Android? And you see what Samsung is doing by putting more and more software on top. I think itís night and day. The compare is so off..''

A rebuttal in the comments to the DailyTech Article:
Europe was a term used all the way back in ancient Greece; not something invented in the past 100 years because of American ignorance.
I can confirm this. She (Evropa) is mentioned in the Iliad, and that's from the 700 BCE period in greek antiquity.
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Old 11th February 2014, 16:37   #2
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Default Re: Tim Cook/Apple Betrays his Ignorance, says `Europe' is a term made up by American

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Europe was a term used all the way back in ancient Greece; not something invented in the past 100 years because of American ignorance. [/i][/indent]
I can confirm this. She (Evropa) is mentioned in the Iliad, and that's from the 700 BCE period in greek antiquity.
I like the above statement! Having said that, sometime we accuse Americans of ignorance and I'm not always sure if we are much better.

Many "Europeans" would smile at the above statement and say; "too true. Ask any American to point out and name a few countries in Europe on a map an they would fail."

It's probably true. Having said that, ask the same Europeans to point out several states in the USA and they would most likely be equally challenged or ignorant, take your pick.

We lived in the USA for several years, and I have adjusted my "European cliche way of thinking about ignorant Americans" a lot. They are far less ignorant and shallow (another type cast) as we give them credit for. They are just very different, with very different values in life and a different outlook on society. That's not good or bad, it is just different.

Having said that, we absolutely need to pick on them, because they're an easy target and great fun. Besides, anybody claiming that the USA is the greatest nation in the world needs to brought down to earth immediately!

Jeroen

Last edited by Jeroen : 11th February 2014 at 16:39.
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Old 11th February 2014, 17:06   #3
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Default Re: Tim Cook/Apple Betrays his Ignorance, says `Europe' is a term made up by American

I think what he meant was right that Americans cant point out to different countries in Europe and that they think its one thing.
Not that big a issue for me.
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Old 11th February 2014, 17:11   #4
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Default Re: Tim Cook/Apple Betrays his Ignorance, says `Europe' is a term made up by American

The point is being missed here. Cook said that `Europe' is a term made by Americans. What it means that before there were white Americans from the early 1500s, Europe as a term did not exist. Unless we include native Indians in the term Americans who made up the term `Europe'.

The bottomline: Americans invented the term `Europe'. Prior to that, the landmass was named something else.
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Old 11th February 2014, 18:29   #5
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Default Re: Tim Cook/Apple Betrays his Ignorance, says `Europe' is a term made up by American

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Originally Posted by vasudeva View Post
The point is being missed here. Cook said that `Europe' is a term made by Americans. What it means that before there were white Americans from the early 1500s, Europe as a term did not exist. Unless we include native Indians in the term Americans who made up the term `Europe'.

The bottomline: Americans invented the term `Europe'. Prior to that, the landmass was named something else.
The etymology of the word goes back nearly 2000 years, Tom Cook makes no sense with that example. Why would it take white Americans for a continent to get a name?
Tim Cook's example is probably the only thing worse than the iPhone pricing strategy (India).
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Old 11th February 2014, 18:45   #6
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Default Re: Tim Cook/Apple Betrays his Ignorance, says `Europe' is a term made up by American

Apple and Tim Cook have demonstrated that they remain at the forefront of innovation, whether in geography or in history.

An innovation is something original, new, and important—in whatever field—that breaks in to (or obtains a foothold in) a market or society"

While the IOS/maps story highlighted the need for Apple employees to take a course in geography, this shows they can also add history.
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Old 11th February 2014, 19:11   #7
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Default Re: Tim Cook/Apple Betrays his Ignorance, says `Europe' is a term made up by American

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It's probably true. Having said that, ask the same Europeans to point out several states in the USA and they would most likely be equally challenged or ignorant, take your pick.
It is hard to argue on this point one way or another. Anyway, OECD regularly conducts PISA test. The Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) is a triennial international survey which aims to evaluate education systems worldwide by testing the skills and knowledge of 15-year-old students.

http://www.oecd.org/pisa/keyfindings...12-results.htm

Anyway what the PISA 2012 showed about US and Europe:
1. Maths: 24 European countries showed better results than the US. 3 lagged US but the difference was not statistically significant.
2. Reading: 12 showed better results than the US, while 6 were statistically equal.
3. Science: 16 were better than the US, and 8 were statistically equal.

Please this is not arguing one way or the other about the skills/ignorance of Americans or Europeans.
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Old 11th February 2014, 23:18   #8
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Default Re: Tim Cook/Apple Betrays his Ignorance, says `Europe' is a term made up by American

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Originally Posted by vasudeva View Post
It is hard to argue on this point one way or another. Anyway, OECD regularly conducts PISA test. The Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) is a triennial international survey which aims to evaluate education systems worldwide by testing the skills and knowledge of 15-year-old students.

http://www.oecd.org/pisa/keyfindings...12-results.htm

Anyway what the PISA 2012 showed about US and Europe:
1. Maths: 24 European countries showed better results than the US. 3 lagged US but the difference was not statistically significant.
2. Reading: 12 showed better results than the US, while 6 were statistically equal.
3. Science: 16 were better than the US, and 8 were statistically equal.

Please this is not arguing one way or the other about the skills/ignorance of Americans or Europeans.
I always find it very difficult to draw any real conclusions from these test. There is interesting information on each country test results, but even so.
I'm no expert, by any stretch of the imagination, but my thoughts are that educational systems are a reflection of society at large and politics. So school curriculums are probably a good summary of what a society wants and what politicians decide what gets funded. If you compare the US to some other countries with a similar score you will find:

Quote:
mathematics (rank 26 ), comparable with Hungary, Italy, Lithuania, Norway, Portugal, the Russian Federation, the Slovak Republic, Spain and Sweden.
That's a bit of an odd group and it makes you wonder what mathematical skills mean for society and the economy at large. I mean, other than Sweden and Norway all these countries have been facing huge economical problems for a long time. So being able to do sums doesn't necessarily translate into macro economics advantages.

If I go purely by my own experiences and observations I would say the following: American educational systems are far more practical then in Europe. You get taught what is needed to do the job, not much more. A good example is flying, I obtained my private pilot license in the USA. The training, theoretical knowledge and practical test is very different from Europe. Europe requires a huge amount of theoretical detailed knowledge, whereas in the USA they focus more on the application of some basic knowledge and take it from there. Two different educational system, but they both produce very good pilots.

I had the privilege and honor to lead a fairly large organization in the three years we lived in Kansas City. I was always impressed by how enthusiastically and without any hesitation people stepped into new projects. There were never problems, challenges or issues, only opportunities. A project kick off meeting was one big go-and-lets-do attitude display. In Europe we'd still be wondering about the risk inventory and the challenges and what have you before we even got going.

Give the Americans a mission they can identify to and they will execute, never mind the collateral damage! My wife and I found their general approach very refreshing compared to how this is in Europe. Americans are far more self propelling and take ownership of everything they find on their way. We always thought it was still a bit of the old West / Pioneering days mentality. You just have to make do, just get going and work your way through until you are where you want to be. Don't expect any handouts, you have to make it yourself, with your team.

Very refreshing and very effective. Could be a bit tiring, when everybody was talking about opportunities and when I was thinking, uh uh, this is a real problem guys, a major road block.

Although I would not want to live in the USA permanently I would pack up tonight if I was asked to spend a few more years there. Still, I love making fun of Americans too!

Jeroen

Last edited by Jeroen : 11th February 2014 at 23:23.
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Old 12th February 2014, 01:17   #9
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Default Re: Tim Cook/Apple Betrays his Ignorance, says `Europe' is a term made up by American

Dear Jeroen

I appreciate and largely agree to your views.
I never intended to open the thread and to post the PISA test as an American vs European issue.
I only opened the thread about Tim Cook's statement and that is what it is.
Sorry if I have implied otherwise.
No prizes for guessing which country is now growing (and is surprisingly one of the global engine of growth in 2014) and which continent is still in a funk with unemployment exceeding 12% overall and >25% in some countries.
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Old 12th February 2014, 06:39   #10
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Default Re: Tim Cook/Apple Betrays his Ignorance, says `Europe' is a term made up by American

Isn't this a bit of a storm in a teacup?
While it is indeed a fact that many Americans are ignorant about many things geographic and historic, preferring to remain looking at their own world as the be all and end all of life, this sort of condition also applies to different people in different countries all over the world.
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Old 12th February 2014, 07:41   #11
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Default Re: Tim Cook/Apple Betrays his Ignorance, says `Europe' is a term made up by American

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Originally Posted by vasudeva View Post
I never intended to open the thread and to post the PISA test as an American vs European issue.
Thats fine, no problem. I'm not sure why you seem to be apologizing?

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Originally Posted by shankar.balan View Post
Isn't this a bit of a storm in a teacup?
Well, its not causing me any lack of sleep. I find it amusing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by shankar.balan View Post
While it is indeed a fact that many Americans are ignorant about many things geographic and historic, preferring to remain looking at their own world as the be all and end all of life, this sort of condition also applies to different people in different countries all over the world.
Fact??? Well, facts are only facts in the eye of the beholder. I don't think it is appropriate to call a whole nation ignorant because of perceived facts.

There is no scientific measure to quantify ignorance as far as I'm aware?

Its fine to call Americans, or any other nation for that matter, ignorant if purely for fun.

On a slightly different angle, as they say, ignorance is bliss!

Jeroen

Last edited by Jeroen : 12th February 2014 at 07:42.
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Old 12th February 2014, 09:51   #12
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Default Re: Tim Cook/Apple Betrays his Ignorance, says `Europe' is a term made up by American

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Isn't this a bit of a storm in a teacup?
This thread has limited directional momentum except if it diverges into 2 directions:
1. Americans vs Europe
2. Apple vs the proletariat

Guess that is it.

Another thing: Surely there is one thing about ignorance on the part of the general public anywhere in the world. Then there is an entirely different matter of ignorance on the part of the CEO of (is it) the most valuable company on earth and a company that is an icon. Maybe he got his words wrong or whatever.

Last edited by vasudeva : 12th February 2014 at 09:56.
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Old 12th February 2014, 11:19   #13
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Default Re: Tim Cook/Apple Betrays his Ignorance, says `Europe' is a term made up by American

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Well, its not causing me any lack of sleep. I find it amusing.



Fact??? Well, facts are only facts in the eye of the beholder. I don't think it is appropriate to call a whole nation ignorant because of perceived facts.

There is no scientific measure to quantify ignorance as far as I'm aware?
On a slightly different angle, as they say, ignorance is bliss!

Jeroen

Yes indeed. I lived on a Tea Estate in the Southern Indian Nilgiri Hills (The Western Ghats) during my "growing up years" and this brings to mind some of our house helpers/ attendants. I used to talk to them a lot and learned a lot about plants and animals etc from them.

Some of them had never left the environs of that particular district ever in their whole lives. They had, at the maximum, been to the main town of that district, which was situated some 55 kilometres away. They had no concept of the "Ocean" or "Capital City of the State or the Country" and indeed anything similar which was even remotely away from or alien to their simple lives.
They used to literally marvel at some of the pictures we brought back of New Delhi and the Marina Beach in Madras and other such things!

This situation may be construed as one born of a certain "ignorance" in a sense.
Perhaps it might have been better to refer to it as a "lack of exposure".

Leaving the semantics aside for a moment, this kind of thing is what I was referring to in my earlier post.
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Old 12th February 2014, 11:58   #14
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Default Re: Tim Cook/Apple Betrays his Ignorance, says `Europe' is a term made up by American

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This situation may be construed as one born of a certain "ignorance" in a sense.
Perhaps it might have been better to refer to it as a "lack of exposure".

.
The definition of ignorance is according to Webster, for instance, exactly that:

Quote:
lacking knowledge or information
According to Wikipedia:

Quote:
The word ignorant is an adjective describing a person in the state of being unaware and is often used as an insult to describe individuals who deliberately ignore or disregard important information or facts
So it tend to have a negative/ insulting overtone to it.

The way I see it you can not hold somebody responsible for lack of knowledge, especially if it is due to lack of exposure. Where ignorance in the true sense of the definition becomes an issue if people don't acknowledge they lack information, or worse think they know it all. That leads to stupid uninformed bad decisions and opinions.

Coming back to the Americans; as I said their school curriculum is very different from the European one. So they will have a diferent knowledge base and way of approching things. Again, not necessarily better or worse, just different.

I have found Americans always to be very inquisitive and curious. We were asked endless questions about Europe, any topic, it just went on and on. The refreshing thing is they were just asking a trillion zillion question, but never became judgemental. In Europe people tend to be very judgemental. We think we know it all, so even when we do ask a question, once we heard the answer it is immediatley labelled good/bad/black/white etc.

Those who have received/enjoyed a more classical field transcending academic-style type of education will know how important it is to keep asking questions rather than making up your mind and getting stuck in a rut.

I've been on a few excellent courses where I got to meet various experts in a wide range of topics, from ministers, to scientist, to artist. There was only one rule: you can't debate or argue with them. They are here to tell their story, you need to pick their brain, experience, insights, so you need to ask question only. You gain insights, become less ignorant by asking questions. The more the better, the more diverse topics you ask questions about, even better yet. etc.

So, I don't think being ignorant is a big thing. How open minded you are in gathering new information/knowledge is what counts.

Calling a nation ignorant as an insult is plainly stupid and is probably more telling about the individual who does so then the nation he or she is insulting.

Jeroen
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Old 12th February 2014, 12:46   #15
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Default Re: Tim Cook/Apple Betrays his Ignorance, says `Europe' is a term made up by American

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I have found Americans always to be very inquisitive and curious. We were asked endless questions about Europe, any topic, it just went on and on.

In Europe people tend to be very judgemental. We think we know it all, so even when we do ask a question, once we heard the answer it is immediatley labelled good/bad/black/white etc.

Calling a nation ignorant as an insult is plainly stupid and is probably more telling about the individual who does so then the nation he or she is insulting.

Jeroen
Those Americans with whom I have come into contact have all been pretty good blokes - always interested in things around them and nice to interact with. Same goes for most Aussies and Europeans and South Africans too, whom I have had the pleasure of meeting.

There are of course those odd ones who have chips on their shoulders but heck, no nation is absolutely perfect now is it?

I understand what you say about people being "judgemental" in Europe. I have seen this in the UK and indeed, I have seen a lot of it here in India as well, in varying degrees irrespective of community and/or education levels. This fault is a glaring one right here in India and sometimes manifests itself in all of us here on TBHP as well - perhaps unwittingly or unintentionally or as a corollary of circumstance, if one wishes to be mealy-mouthed about it!

I also don't think that anyone has any right to call anyone else or indeed a whole nation ignorant. Such general sweeping statements do reflect the ignorance and intolerance of the person making them.
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