And not in the sense that Friedman meant it. It might as well be flat, when one lives in a pre-Copernican pre-Darwinian world!
An excerpt from an article this weekend by Nicholas Kristof to get an idea of what I mean:
What? There's no Santa even? Surely you believe in your name-sake! What about the elves? You must be with the terrorists, Nicholas. Or must be a liberal grinch who wants to steal Christmas from us. :)
Then there’s this embarrassing fact about the United States in the 21st century: Americans are as likely to believe in flying saucers as in evolution. Depending on how the questions are asked, roughly 30 to 40 percent of Americans believe in each. A 34-nation study found Americans less likely to believe in evolution than citizens of any of the countries polled except Turkey.
President Bush is also the only Western leader I know of who doesn’t believe in evolution, saying “the jury is still out.” No word on whether he believes in little green men.
Only one American in 10 understands radiation, and only one in three has an idea of what DNA does. One in five does know that the Sun orbits the Earth ...oh, oops.
I always say that ignorance mixed in with a dash of arrogance will be the doom of America. To be ignorant is one thing... to be ignorant and arrogant that others are ignorant and your way is the right way ...well..that's just the very popular Faux News. :)
“America is now ill with a powerful mutant strain of intertwined ignorance, anti-rationalism, and anti-intellectualism,” Susan Jacoby argues in a new book, “The Age of American Unreason.” She blames a culture of “infotainment,” sound bites, fundamentalist religion and ideological rigidity for impairing thoughtful debate about national policies.A related book: The Deliberate Dumbing Down of America by Charlotte Thompson Iserbyt (Reviews) and some articles - 1, 2, 3.