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« Trading Greenbacks for Green (Sujatha) | Main | Identity: Donning Our Many Hats »

July 03, 2007


This is just the kind of exercise that makes me think Socrates had a point about democracy. The only one that is sure to make the cut is the Taj Mahal, not the least of which because the Indians are mobilizing in earnest for their monument. I too voted for the following seven (in no particular order, in addition to the Pyramids of Giza):

The Acropolis, Angkor Wat, The Great Wall of China, The Taj Mahal, The Alhambra, The Pyramid at Chichen Itza, Machu Picchu

I vote for Mall of America: Banality & Greed!

I have seen in person just four of the twenty one finalists. And three out of those four don't make my "list." From what I have seen in films and on the pages of National Geographic, I have my favorites.

I would go with Namit's picks but make it an even "seven" by replacing the Mexican pyramid with the one in Egypt.

The Taj Mahal, is without a doubt as close as one can come to a "perfect" man made structure. But I wonder why the Indian government doesn't promote some of its ancient forts and these amazing cave paintings and sculptures more aggressively as deserving tourist destinations. It appears that the Taj just overwhelms the rest of the treasure trove in India. I am glad that the UNESCO has designated many of them World Heritage sites. At least they are no longer in danger of utter neglect.

Good one, Dean:-)

I have seen in person roughly half of the finalists, mostly, unfortunately, the half that interests me less. The Sydney Opera House? It's a perfectly fine bit of modern expressionist architecture, but "wonder of the world"? There are many other modernist buildings, both near and far, which might better inspire a visit.

My overriding thought on visiting the Corcovado Christ the Redeemer statue was, to paraphrase President Nixon's banal response to the Great Wall, "It is, indeed, a great (i.e. big) Christ statue." Neither its aesthetics nor its message moved me. (That's not because I'm not Christian; Giotto's Scrovegni chapel frescoes nearly converted me.) The Great Wall, in contrast, was both impressive and oddly beautiful, though visiting it did make me wonder whatever, as a military strategy, made someone think that idea would work? Oh wait! I guess genius strategists like that still exist...

Oddly enough, I recall responding to the Alhambra in the terms used by this contest, that is, "I could see why this would be considered a 'wonder of the world.'"

Chichen Itza left me with a lasting adolescent obsession concerning Mayan culture and base 12 math systems (yes, the very stuff of high school popularity).

I'm with Namit's "no particular order"-- my mind can wrap itself around "wonder," but not around a heirarchical ranking.

Having worked my second "real" job at Knott's Camp Snoopy in the Mall of America (following my first, a roughly three day stint at McDonald's that caused me to flee, relinquishing my uniform deposit behind me), I would definitely put in a vote for Dean's addition to the list. I just wish there was a catchy way to include "alienation" alongside banality and greed, without ruining the pleasingly reductive, upbeat rythm of the New Seven Wonders formula.

My bad. The Maya number system was base 20, not base 12.

Please correct your internal stores of trivia accordingly.

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