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No wonder!

5 July 2007
Posted in: Scratchpad | 10 Comments

Am I the only one appalled at the campaign to vote for the new Seven Wonders? We in India are being exhorted at every turn to vote for the Taj Mahal, justified by the mistaken notion that this will uphold ‘national pride’!

Correct me if I’m wrong. But where does national pride come into this? This is bigger than nation, bigger than pride. We are talking about human history here. There is an SMS campaign on, and apparently there’s also merchandise being sold. I have received mails asking me if I have voted!

Yes, I have seen the Taj a couple of times, and yes, it is just indescribably stunning. You cannot describe it in words. But I have not seen the other twenty contenders, have I? Would it be fair for me to vote for the Taj Mahal just because of my nationality? Wouldn’t that be cheating the cause?

Which also brings us to another pertinent point. How is the public qualified to vote for this? Shouldn’t this be decided by a panel of experts instead of bringing it down to the level of a cheap reality show?

~PD

10 Responses

  1. Nicklish says:

    I’m not sure experts should need to be voters… then it’ll turn out like the academy awards or something very full of self gratification.

    But it makes sense that you should have seen all the alternatives before picking one. It is like picking banana ice cream before even knowing there is a much more yummy raspberry one.

    Perhaps some common people might not realise how amazing the finer points of a wonder is but then, what point do the finer points serve? If it can’t be seen by normal people or explained, then I donno if it is worth much.

  2. Marie says:

    I don’t think the average person should vote on it. Did they vote on it in ancient times? No. It should be voted on by people who know what they are talking about – and have obviously seen all the wonders – because otherwise people will base it on emotion or “national pride” instead of actual wonderfulness…yeah. 😛

    Maybe I’m biased because in literature if a the average person “gets it” it is obviously not literature. I don’t always agree with that way of thinking but it does have a point: No matter the era or country the average person is usually not too swift. Most people don’t want to learn about the finer things in life, and that’s their right, but to then turn to said people and ask them to vote on such things seems just silly and cheap and a way to boost ticket sales and merchandise.

  3. Kat says:

    It should be voted on by people who’ve actually seen all of the contenders. They don’t need to be in the high echelons of experts, but they should be a diverse group who understand the things they’re looking at.

  4. Marie says:

    I was watching CNN and apparently the group that would normally be in charge of such a thing isn’t affiliated at all with this voting contest. Go figure.

  5. Payal says:

    😯 Whoa! So what credibility does this have anyway?

  6. Marie says:

    Not too much when you get down to it. It’s basically just a project some Swiss man came up with and tourist boards around the globe jumped onto (for obvious reasons). http://www.cnn.com/2007/TRAVEL/07/06/seven.wonders/index.html?iref=newssearch

  7. Nicklish says:

    Well, since the votes are open, it’ll still give a pretty good picture of how proud people are of their wonders and how amazing they are to the people. I don’t think it should be thought nothing of because it is commercialized.

    If you want to know which wonders are choosen by experts, you can always check out UN’s list of Word Heritages. But they are somewhat too greedy to settle with just seven.

    http://whc.unesco.org/en/list

  8. Payal says:

    I don’t see why it has to be seven. There should be as many “wonders” as… well, as there are!

  9. Marie says:

    The thing is is that that commercial project picked which “wonders” could be voted on. So you can’t really even say it was all up to the people. They picked tourist attracts and had a paid voting system in place, AND worked with the countries to put out merchandise. So yeah, I think I can discredit the whole thing. :p

    Also, the UN pointed out how the only people whose voices would be heard where those with internet access or the money to pay for the phone voting system.

  10. Payal says:

    Also, the UN pointed out how the only people whose voices would be heard where those with internet access or the money to pay for the phone voting system.

    *nods* Like in the case of Mali. It didn’t make it, after all, did it? Just proves your point.

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