Saturday, April 2, 2016


In the blogroll you will find the Big Think site, which has interesting or quirky stories about scientific discoveries, history, the arts and whatnot. Not all of its articles are any good, though. Sometimes they represent dumb to a degree unimaginable to an everyday person.

Such an article is this, by one Paul Ratner, who says that since the name "America" is full of icky bad history, we should change the name of our country. We can leave aside the reality that none of Mr. Ratner's c.v. indicates he has made any study of history. We can leave aside the fact that the name of the country is technically "The United States of America," because it is only one country on one of two continents with "America" in its name. We are in the minority of nations on our very own continent, let alone the entire hemisphere, and unless we were to persuade these other nations to also agree to rename these continents, our own name change would mean little.

We can leave aside the fact that if we were to do as Mr. Ratner suggests and change our name, we could very well be seen as forcing our identity on other nations not as powerful as we. This is the kind of behavior to which Mr. Ratner seems to object, except, it appears, when he suggests it.

It was at first in my mind to be angry at Mr. Ratner for writing his article, given that reading it took up four or five minutes of my life which I shall never get back. Then I realized that he probably spent much longer than that writing it, which is time he shall never get back, and my lust for vengeance was sated.


fillyjonk said...

My reaction to these kinds of stories is to sigh heavily and move on.

Never mind that I usually refer to my nation as "The US" or "The United States" and most people I know do, as well.

Friar said...

I have only myself to blame for reading it.

CGHill said...

I like Borat's name for it: "U. S. and A."