Now how long ago do you think it was discovered that the Earth has north and south poles? 50 years ago? No. 75 years ago? No. 150 years ago? No. Okay, so I don't have the actual answer. But I would wager that it was a long time ago. Hey, the Chinese are smart, so it's even possible that they discovered the poles like 10, 000 years ago (or something like that).
Well, have you ever noticed how (despite us knowing that the poles exist for so long) that people STILL do not know their north, south, east and west? And let me just say that obtaining directions to go somewhere from these people is a pain in the ass. "As you're driving down Broadway, it'll be on your right hand side." or "Turn left after the gas station." In case you don't know, left and right has no fucking meaning because it can change based on which way you're driving.
And also, have you ever noticed that people point the directions while indoors? "The store is that way." Well, uh, I'm sorry, but the way you pointed is the kitchen. I mean come on, once I'm inside and I've turned all different directions between the rooms, I no longer know which way I'm facing, so just give me the location based on north, south, east or west!
Just my 2 cents worth...