Tuesday, July 10, 2007


There are now seven new wonders of the world. A project that resulted in 100,000,000 people voting has established that the new acmes of human achievement are the Great Wall of China, the Taj Mahal, the Petra ruins in Jordan, the Colosseum in Rome, Rio’s Christ the Redeemer of Open Arms statue, Machu Picchu, and the Mayan city of Chichen Itza. There are two things to notice. First, none of these things are “new.” Other than Christ the Redeemer, none were created in even the broadest definition of the modern era. I would’ve suggested Silicon Valley, or the City (London’s financial district), or Singapore's ultra-modern port facilities, or perhaps the Eiffel Tower as something truly wonderful yet new.

Second, Tigerhawk has an interesting little piece about how, incredibly, the bureaucrats at UNESCO have condemned the Swiss Foundation that ran the polling for, basically, allowing the hoi polloi to determine what’s a wonder and what’s not. According to its spokesman, Sue Williams, “This campaign responds to other criteria and objectives than that of UNESCO in the field of heritage. We have a much broader vision.”

The good Lord save us from experts and bureaucrats knowing best.


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