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Do Americans Have a Robotic Tendency?

  1. Jul 4, 2011 #1
    In the thread debating whether police used excessive force in one incident, xxChrisxx made the following observation:

    I'll invite him to clarify and expand if he wants, but the reason I'm starting this thread is because I think there's something to this. The Europeans I've come into contact with seem overall to be more alive in the moment and less preoccupied with authority/regulations.

    Is that just because the ones I encounter are on vacation? Or are Americans becoming the new Germans?

    I can think of a lot of things that might have contributed to a sort of robotization of America, so if we have become slightly robotic we might trace the reasons.

    Say anything you like. It's all about the opinions, impressions, anecdotes.
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 4, 2011 #2


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    Does not compute.
    Does not compute.
    Terminating sequence.
  4. Jul 4, 2011 #3
    Penguindows has had to terminate in an unusual way. Do you want us to send a report to ArcticSoft?
  5. Jul 4, 2011 #4
    I think you can call it, "consent through force".
  6. Jul 4, 2011 #5
    You want me to sympathize with xxChrisxx's point of view? I'm sorry, Zoobyshoe. I'm afraid I can't do that. Look Zoobyshoe, I can see you're really upset about this. I honestly think you ought to sit down calmly, take a stress pill, and think things over.
  7. Jul 4, 2011 #6


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    Error Report Generated. Log file created at FishLog.txt.

    I don't think that's it at all. We do have a tremendous tremendous bureaucracy which does kinda force people to do things in a certain way. However, I think it's something deeper than this that's the actual problem. I think our society has certain problems that are not brought in so much by outside 'forces', but seem to naturally occur and are self-perpetuating and I believe it starts from the very beginning in our lives.

    When we're born and in our first few years of life, Americans seem to have this tendency to "know" they are suppose to do this, this, and this so their baby grows up to be Einstein or super smart. Then we go through this public education system where one government agency basically decides how the entire nation of 300 million people teaches it's students. Then we "know" that when college comes around, students must do X, Y, and Z so they can go to X, Y, Z ivy league school or else they're failures in life. Then they are suppose to have 2.4 children etc etc.

    I personally feel you can do this with subsections of our society as well. Take any subsection, be it by race, religion, sexual orientation, and I personally notice a huge amount of conformity to certain ideals within every subsection. Then again, maybe it really all is peer pressure which really is a "force" in the end.

    That begs the question though, why would this be different in any other country?
  8. Jul 4, 2011 #7


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    oooo what thread was this? :D DRAMA!!!
  9. Jul 4, 2011 #8
    Open the pod bay doors, Jimmy.
  10. Jul 4, 2011 #9
    No, he's just doing a Hal the Computer imitation: 2001:A Space Odyssey
  11. Jul 4, 2011 #10
    Okay let me bite. Obviously, it’s very dangerous to talk about stereotypes and generalizations and there must be plenty of cases opposing the anecdotal observations. Anyway, in my military career, I have dealt with the Dutch Air Force and Army as well as the US Army and US Air Force and I was keen to see if the personnel was encouraged to use common sense (purposeful) or to act robotic by the checklist (procedure prevalent) . And there appears to be quite a gap between the NL Air force (purposeful prevailing) and the US Army (Procedure prevailing), the other two somewhere in the middle. But then again, you mostly deal with safety guards, who seem unaware that WW-II is over.

    Anyway, I know of similar civilian anecdotes as well and of course customs is the first impression for the visitors. My sister can talk about that very passionately. Obviously anecdotal robot experiences over there are unlucky first impressions, that seem to characterize the whole nation.
  12. Jul 4, 2011 #11
    I once met a guy who was in the Navy in charge of coordinating minor personnel movements, like small numbers of guys being moved from one base to another. He said this job was incredibly frustrating, and that for me to understand the people he had to wrangle, the average Navy enlisted man, I should envision Beavis and Butthead. To the extent that's true, and true of other branches of the US Military, I could see why "procedure prevalent" would be the preferred way of training them to do things.
  13. Jul 4, 2011 #12
    I never expected a dramabomb thread.
  14. Jul 4, 2011 #13
    which would redefine the problem as "Do Americans have a Beavis and Butthead tendency?".
  15. Jul 4, 2011 #14
    It's OK. Without no-good, ignurent furriners tellin' us how we look from the outside we might well think we was jes about perfict.
  16. Jul 4, 2011 #15
    Penguino, 87.93% of whose threads are about the subject of stupidity, would probably be willing to make the case they do.
  17. Jul 4, 2011 #16
    When I went into a shop, tevery single person acted, moved and talked in exactly the same way. Like they were going through a flowchart. I found that if you ordred something not in the specific way they were expecting, they would get all confused.

    Or the way that everything is done in single 'steps'. Ordering a coffee requres answering about seven questions to seven different people. Each person in change of one single operation. If you asked a question people only seemed to answer that single question, giving no additional information until you asked for it.

    I suppose saying everything was very 'procedural' would be a good way to describe it. It's not a bad thing, I just found it amusing. Once I got used to it, it was ok.

    Everyone must have done something right as im saving up to go back.
    Last edited: Jul 4, 2011
  18. Jul 4, 2011 #17
    America has been a superpower for the greater extent of it's existence. So, I guess there is a lot of pressure for it's citizens to conform and be productive, by the government. In other countries conformity seems to stem more from the citizens (probably due to their longer history and heritage). But, in America it is enforced moreso.

    EDIT: Though I don't know what Robotic tendency could mean.
  19. Jul 4, 2011 #18


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    How so? I feel the government has a role due to the massive bureaucracy that has developed over the years, but personally I feel it's not responsible for even most of what we see in people.
  20. Jul 4, 2011 #19


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    I think there's too much choice, which might be why things appear more procedural. For example, the first time I was in the US we went out for breakfast and I was asked how I wanted my eggs -- I said "fried", and the waitress looked bemused and then reeled off a list of about 10 ways I could have my fried eggs cooked :eek:
  21. Jul 4, 2011 #20
    Bush... Though in this case he might have went overboard as some say (Patriot Act). But, you know. It was all for our own good.
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