Maps and map-making and the like have played a powerful role in shaping states and shaping states up, in STS research and elsewhere; however, a shocking and not-at-all-new statistic indicates that map literacy may be fading.
The Onion Reports: “Increasing Number Of Americans Unable To Point Out Map”
WASHINGTON—-An alarming new study released Tuesday by the Department of Education found that nearly 70 percent of Americans are incapable of pointing out a map when presented by researchers with a map. “Not only did a majority of people just stare blankly ahead, but nearly half pointed to nearby desk lamps in their attempts to guess correctly,” said Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, who called the findings endemic of the nation’s failing school system.
At least as concerning:
“In fact, 14 percent of all Americans claimed they had never ‘even heard of no map,’ and asked if being prompted to locate one was some kind of trick question.” According to Duncan, the Department of Education has suspended all further studies and will instead be spending the next six months just screaming into a pillow.