Sunday, July 08, 2007

Was a Vote Valid?

Image from Wikipedia.

An online vote at has lead to this list:

• The Great Wall of China

• Petra in Jordan

• Brazil's statue of Christ the Redeemer

• Peru's Machu Picchu

• Mexico's Chichen Itza pyramid

• The Colosseum in Rome

• India's Taj Mahal

This is, of course, a take off on the 7 Wonders of the World as recorded by ancient historians, possibly as early as 400 B.C. The actual list that we know was written in the 5th century AD. The Seven Wonders of the Ancient World: Great Pyramid of Giza, Hanging Gardens of Babylon, Temple of Artemis, Statue of Zeus at Olympia, Mausoleum of Maussollos, Colossus of Rhodes and the Lighthouse of Alexandria.

The on-line vote offered a choice of 21 objects and people could vote frequently. Should the new list be honored? Is it valid to have just anyone vote about what some of the most amazing feats of human ingenuity and engineering are--would engineers or other technically minded people been better judges? Should the voting have been limited to one-vote-per-person (impossible to do on the internet)?
UPDATE: I found an article on Newsweek talking about the push to get Brazil's Christ the Redeemer statue in. A huge-scale publicity campaign was launched.
One morning in June, Rio de Janeiro residents awoke to a beeping text message on their cell phones: “Press 4916 and vote for Christ. It’s free!” The same pitch had been popping up all over the city since late January—flashing across an electronic screen every time city-dwellers swiped their transit cards on city buses and echoing on TV infomercials that featured a reality-show celebrity posing next to the city’s trademark Christ the Redeemer statute. Another crusade by evangelical holy rollers? Hardly. It was just the latest offensive in a six-month campaign to elect Brazil’s most storied statue—whose outstretched arms and moonlike glow can be seen from any point in Rio—as one of the New Seven Wonders of the World.

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