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Did We Really Need Seven New Wonders?

Zonk posted more than 7 years ago | from the i-miss-the-hanging-gardens dept.

Announcements 324

freakxx writes "Seven new 'wonders of the world' have been announced today in a ceremony in Lisbon, Portugal. People throughout the world have voted actively to elect the new 7 out of 21 finalists. The final lineup is: Chichen Itza, Mexico; Christ Redeemer, Brazil; The Great Wall, China; Machu Picchu, Peru; Petra, Jordan; The Roman Colosseum, Italy; and The Taj Mahal, India. The Pyramids of Giza was the only candidate that used to be among the original seven wonders. Did we really need seven new wonders of the world? Why was this decided via a website poll (pdf) and SMS messages?"

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because it's a publicilty stunt (4, Insightful)

froggero1 (848930) | more than 7 years ago | (#19786895)

see topic...

Re:because it's a publicilty stunt (2, Informative)

cynicsreport (1125235) | more than 7 years ago | (#19786947)

The original 7 wonders are not complete - there needs to be additions, but they should be added individually, and with great discretion. Experts in this field should be polled, as they will have the best perspective on the 'wonders of the world'. Not being an expert, though, I suspect that both the Taj Mahal and the Roman Colosseum could be considered wonders.

Re:because it's a publicilty stunt (4, Insightful)

AuMatar (183847) | more than 7 years ago | (#19786999)

Why does there need to be additions? THe value of the list is as a perspective into the world of ancient Greece. There's no need for a modern list.

Re:because it's a publicilty stunt (5, Insightful)

TheWanderingHermit (513872) | more than 7 years ago | (#19787177)

I'd agree to that. Why do there need to be additions? It's just a list. I want to see many of these "new" wonders some day, but just because Petra is on an arbitrary list and a group of people who knew about the poll doesn't make it any more of a wonder just as Angor Wat not being on the list doesn't make it any less of a wonder. It's just a a way some people found of making money under the guise of world unity. Even the first list isn't really necessary. It reminds me of the Book of Lists. All any list can be is just the opinion of one or more people (unless empirical objective measurements are used) and that book proved it with many lists a lot of people disagreed with. All the lists are arbitrary.

Re:because it's dumb. (2, Interesting)

trippeh (1097403) | more than 7 years ago | (#19787601)

The seven wonders of the world should not be decided by SMS and online polls. That eliminates a huge ammount of the population. Of course, I can't think of a better way of doing it. And I also think that a large number of that eliminated group wouldn't have the global knowledge, or the inclination, to pick seven different things. But it's still unfair and further widens the digital divide (if indeed the digital divide exists...)

Re:because it's dumb. (4, Funny)

Zantetsuken (935350) | more than 7 years ago | (#19787637)

I agree - this is the kind of thing that at the very least should be sent out with a governmental census in at the least major nations throughout the world. All this is is as you said - a couple of scam artists who got a bunch of lit-study and art students at a few local colleges who are smart enough to know world history and geography but not have the common sense to see a scam like this to pick from a multiple choice list of prechosen items...

Also, this is one more thing to make current generations look like total idiots to their grandkids 50 years from now - like how they recently announced that Pluto is not actually a planet. People all over will be telling their grandkids "Back in my day, Pluto *WAS* a planet, and their were only *7* wonders of the world! AND we liked it that way!" to be responded with "Ya, sure grampa, time for your medication now!"

Re:because it's dumb. (1)

loganrapp (975327) | more than 7 years ago | (#19787661)

If we have to do this, then it should be done right. Every country presents their "wonder" through the United Nations. How the countries decide to do it is up to them. Every ten years, that list of "wonders" is revamped to reflect new national alignments and structures built.

Personally, I'd rather we just leave it alone. But if we're going to change it to reflect the new age, then we should also reflect on the fact that there are a shitload more countries now than in the days of ancient Greece, and each country should be allowed the opportunity to show off at least one thing that they are all proud of.

Re:because it's a publicilty stunt (5, Funny)

BakaHoushi (786009) | more than 7 years ago | (#19787717)

Personally, I make my list and judge what wonders I want to see based on how useful they are when I build them in Civilization.

Great Wall of China? Psh. Walls are mostly useless.
But the Hanging Gardens? Aw yeah, +2 health to all cities, baby!

Re:because it's a publicilty stunt (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19787213)

There is no need for any list, the original 7 wonders was a stupid idea and doesn't hold up very well anyways. Niagara Falls is not the highest, widest, biggest, or even nicest looking of the world's waterfalls.

The orginal list has no value, and the recent one has less.

Re:because it's a publicilty stunt (2, Insightful)

gomiam (587421) | more than 7 years ago | (#19787503)

Niagara Falls is not the highest, widest, biggest, or even nicest looking of the world's waterfalls.

Not to mention it isn't, as far as I know, man-made.

Re:because it's a publicilty stunt (1)

giorgiofr (887762) | more than 7 years ago | (#19787545)

That's what *they* want you to think!

Re:because it's a publicilty stunt (4, Insightful)

OutLawSuit (1107987) | more than 7 years ago | (#19787045)

I do think the list is pretty reasonable except for the Christ the Redeemer Statue. The thing that makes the statue really stand out is its location but it falls in line with other monuments like the Eiffel Tower and the Statue of Liberty which are arguably more impressive. I also have a problem with more modern creations being included on the last. Angkor Wat in Cambodia or even the Leaning Tower of Pisa seem much more appropriate for this list.

Re:because it's a publicilty stunt (4, Insightful)

Kadin2048 (468275) | more than 7 years ago | (#19787149)

Yeah, the only thing the Redeemer statue demonstrates is that there are a lot of people in Brazil with cellphones.

The thing is only 77 years old. Give it a few more centuries and we'll talk. If you want interesting statues, the Easter Island heads were on the list of finalists, but apparently the Easter Islanders must've had trouble getting online.

Re:because it's a publicilty stunt (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19787679)

Not to mention that it isn't at all a wonder. It's a statue made possible by modern construction techniques, not to mention that there are plenty of other christ statues out there. Take Portugal's Cristo-Rei [] for example.

Re:because it's a publicilty stunt (1)

freakxx (987620) | more than 7 years ago | (#19787151)

I also have similar view...."Angkor Wat" or "Pyramids of Giza" should have got a position instead of "Christ the Redeemer Statue, Brazil".

Re:because it's a publicilty stunt (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19787563)

The Statue of Liberty in New York City was stolen to France by the norteamerican bandids/gansters.

Give back the Statue of Liberty to France!!!

The Queen of the Statue of Liberty is française, not newyorkian.

How you bring this foreigner woman to New York City is she is not newyorkian?

No problem, we had changed her nationality to newyorkian faking the française nationality.

this is just a very big SCAM (5, Insightful)

Frivas (219029) | more than 7 years ago | (#19786899)

This was just a big worldwide scam... hoy many millions do they got with the SMS?? how big is their email database now? I bet that these mails will get a lot more spam...

Re:this is just a very big SCAM (5, Funny)

iminplaya (723125) | more than 7 years ago | (#19787187)

Clearly it's a pyramid scheme.

Sphinxter says what?

Re:this is just a very big SCAM (1)

vertigoCiel (1070374) | more than 7 years ago | (#19787245)

Plus, the fact that you can buy more votes shows this was an entirely commercial operation in nature.

Re:this is just a very big SCAM (1)

farkus888 (1103903) | more than 7 years ago | (#19787259)

I just heard on dw-tv that 90 million people voted. I bet I could make quite a bit of money selling that database of emails

Only 7 new ones? (4, Funny)

AuMatar (183847) | more than 7 years ago | (#19786905)

I guess the 8th is still Andre.

It was a PR stunt (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19786909)

I think the Pyramids came out the winner because they refused to participate.

Re:It was a PR stunt (0)

G3ckoG33k (647276) | more than 7 years ago | (#19787383)

Yep, the pyramids have nothing to prove.

But, since they are no longer part of the seven wonders of the world, it gives very low cred to the entire voting. Imagine someone talking about Colosseum vs the Pyramids 1500 years ago... They would be laughed at. Sorry Rome...

Petra.... Bwaahahaha. Cool, but not a wonder.

That Rio dude? Holy cheesy bad taste...

Chinese Wall? Yep!!!

Chichen Itza? ok (but they are like minor in comparison to the real thing)

Taj Mahal? ok, but Angkor Vat would have been better.

I have been to (and inside) both the Colosseum and the Pyramids. They are not in the same league. The pyramids are just so... extraterrestrial?

Re:It was a PR stunt (1)

Anthony Baby (1015379) | more than 7 years ago | (#19787395)

No, the Pyramids got an honorary status and was removed from voting... "The New7Wonders Foundation designates the Pyramids of Giza the only remaining of the 7 Ancient Wonders of the World as an Honorary New7Wonders Candidate, and removed it from the voting." More here. [] .

Which means Giza is SUCH a loser, that they had to grandfather it in out of respect. In other words, Giza got a lifetime achievement award because some Egyptian screamed conspiracy!

I truly love that the very same mechanism for selecting the next American Idol was used to selecting the new Seven Wonders... that fact in itself should count as the 8th Wonder. Still. The whole Wonders of the World thing has always been extraordinary superficial. It has never been a list compiled by the greatest cultural and scientific minds of their representative era. It has always been about politics, patriotism, a healthy amount of ethnocentrism, and on a few occasions, the complete inability to travel to the other side of the world to see an even better Wonder. Even in the ancient times and the Middle Ages, there have been several Wonders lists. Yes, it's sad that it's so blatantly comical in this era when the traditional barriers to making a truly pure list have been thought overcome by such things as satellite photography, the Internet, and global travel. But it is what it is, and what it is, is a list no more substantial than my pick for the greatest guitarists in rock n roll, or the best crime films in cinema history.

The poster who suggested The Internet, the electric grid, and the Human Genome Project, is has done a better job at constructing a list from a knee-jerk reaction than these pinheads who text messaged their... oops, gotta go, time for me to vote for my favorite chef on Hells Kitchen.

Why lament it? (2, Interesting)

rolfwind (528248) | more than 7 years ago | (#19786919)

Most of the original seven wonders are long gone. That's why this was needed. Really, what was the original list? Just a compilation from the Greco-Roman point of view. This time this could have more international flavor.

This is also good exposure not just to the 7 winners, but to all the nominees. I certainly learn about a few sights I have not heard of before. Unless you think us Americans really ought to go to stay ignorant and go to Disneyland every year (I give no money to that company).

Re:Why lament it? (1)

Bios_Hakr (68586) | more than 7 years ago | (#19787135)

The problem with declaring these "winners" is that it's obviously bullshit.

Christ is like, what, 100' tall? The Statue of Liberty has at least 50' on that thing. And while I'm sure that ancient Americans did some good work to get rocks to sit on top of each other, digging the Chunnel is much more impressive.

I want a fucking re-count...

Re:Why lament it? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19787595)

Actually, the Statue of Liberty is 46.5m, and the christ thing 38m. The Statue of Liberty has a huge pedestal, though. On the other hand, the christ thing has a mountain underneath.

Because it's just wrong (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19787335)

What should be the real seven wonders of the modern world? When the original seven wonders were listed, they were all things which were relevant at the time. The Taj Mahal is great; it is beautiful but it doesn't really have that much to say to us now or about us now. It is a dead monument with thousands of tourists walking around it. Most of the rest of the list are worse.

What should be there? Here are some alternative suggestions.

* the tunnels at CERN
* the Forth rail bridge
* the Gaudi cathedral in Barcelona
* the london eye (short term?)
* Petronas towers (inane, but impressive)
* the Moscow underground

surely someone can come up with a better list than the ones that came from the competition

Re:Why lament it? (5, Informative)

_Shad0w_ (127912) | more than 7 years ago | (#19787449)

The Great Pyramid of Giza is the only original left. A couple of the others survived into the C15th, most the rest were gone before the fall of the Roman Empire. I think the statue of Zeus just managed to survive beyond that...then got dismantled by the Christians.

These are pretty dumb (5, Insightful)

Rix (54095) | more than 7 years ago | (#19786925)

A giant dashboard jesus? Here's a more sensible list:

1. The internet
2. The electric grid (this really can be seen from space, the great wall can't, really)
3. Voyager probes
4. Global Positioning System
5. The Human Genome Project
6. Nuclear power
7. Cochlear implants

Re:These are pretty dumb (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19786981)

8. Slashdot

Re:These are pretty dumb (5, Funny)

Tablizer (95088) | more than 7 years ago | (#19787087)

8. Slashdot

Pffft. If they gave us a vote, Goatse would be on the list. (Hmmm, 7 slashdot wonders: Goatse, N. Portman, SCO...)

Re:These are pretty dumb (1)

cashman73 (855518) | more than 7 years ago | (#19787297)

I'd vote for CowboyNeal!

Re:These are pretty dumb (1)

xPsi (851544) | more than 7 years ago | (#19787013)

Here, here! Mod parent up.

Don't get me wrong, I don't have a problem with giving a nod to ancient human engineering achievements. But why this legacy fixation with finding exactly 7 new ones? On a particularly irritating note, Christ the Redeemer statue was opened in 1931, hardly a wonder of the ancient world.

original 7 wonders weren't of the ancient world... (1)

Animaether (411575) | more than 7 years ago | (#19787705)

The original 7 wonders weren't of the ancient world either... they are now, because we're living quite a few years later. But when the original list was made, it was of sites/objects roughly from that time. E.g. the lighthouse.

Re:These are pretty dumb (5, Insightful)

mrjb (547783) | more than 7 years ago | (#19787019)

When it comes to human accomplishment, the Jesus statue is comparatively pathetic. B

eing 38 m tall and built using 20th century technology, it's nowhere near as big an accomplishment as the 33m high colossus of Rhodes which was finished in 282 BC.

Even the statue of liberty (built in the 19th century and 46 meters tall) is a bigger accomplishment than the Brazilian statue.

I won't even start to compare it to the other six Wonders because it will fade into nothingness.

Re:These are pretty dumb (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19787169)

They weren't chosen based on accomplishment, but on internet voting.

Internet of course is the 0th wonder in the list.

And what's so great about Machu Picchu? Isn't it just a XV century city build on the top of muontain?

Re:These are pretty dumb (3, Insightful)

moranar (632206) | more than 7 years ago | (#19787409)

Tell you what: when you actually build a city with big blocks of stone 2430 metres (7970 ft.) up a mountain, using only manual labor, come back and tell us.

Re:These are pretty dumb (1)

the_womble (580291) | more than 7 years ago | (#19787569)

I'll do it: provided someone supplies the labour....

Re:These are pretty dumb (4, Funny)

Tablizer (95088) | more than 7 years ago | (#19787057)

No no no. Should be:

1. Porn!
2. Porn!
3. Porn!
4. Porn!
5. Porn!
6. Porn!
7. Lesbian Porn!

Re:These are pretty dumb (1)

Baron von Pilsner (1115373) | more than 7 years ago | (#19787071)

Even the international space station is more of a wonder than a 38m tall statue.

No (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19787189)

Even the international space station is more of a wonder than a 38m tall statue.

No, cuz it's a 38m tall statue of Jeebus! Anyway, I reckon you is lyin' about dat space stayshun, Benny Hinn told me dat the earth is flat and there aint nuttin round it but God. Anyway, I don't care 'bout some space stayshun, cuz I can't see or relate to it so it don't matter to me.

Statyoo of Jeebus tho, boy that's inspirashun! It's all the proof I need that evolooshun is a lie spread by followers of Satan! Yeeeup.

Re:These are pretty dumb (1)

ergean (582285) | more than 7 years ago | (#19787115)

Stop listing Sid Mier's Civilization wonders list. Please. :)

Re:Correct No.1 (1)

freakxx (987620) | more than 7 years ago | (#19787215)

it should be: 1. The internet porn

Re:These are pretty dumb (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19787295)

The great wall can be seen from space, what it can't be seen from is the moon. Really.

Re:These are pretty dumb (1)

KDR_11k (778916) | more than 7 years ago | (#19787485)

Google Earth proves that quite a few things can be seen from space if you zoom in enough.

Re:These are pretty dumb (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19787555)

The Great Wall can't be seen from space, unless you know exactly where to look at, and are under perfect conditions, at a very low earth orbit (eg, 100km or so). If it could be seen, then just about any 6 lane highway could, too. It is about 30ft wide, and coloured very much like the ground around it.

So, saying it can be seen from space is a bit of a stretch.

Re:These are pretty dumb (1)

gomiam (587421) | more than 7 years ago | (#19787557)

It might be seen from space, but hardly without a telescope [] .

Re:These are pretty dumb (1)

abes (82351) | more than 7 years ago | (#19787457)

0. The iPhone

What!? Someone had to say it .. and it is supposed to be Jesus like..

Re:These are pretty dumb (1)

ArsenneLupin (766289) | more than 7 years ago | (#19787519)

Wouldn't the wonders need to be buildings or other tangible structures?

The electric grid might count. But cochlear implants! Come on!

Re:These are pretty dumb (1)

eric76 (679787) | more than 7 years ago | (#19787573)

But where is Dolly Parton on the list?

Re:These are pretty dumb (1)

vux984 (928602) | more than 7 years ago | (#19787691)

The "Wonders of the World" are about tourism. There is nothing wrong with that. That are selected from sites that would be good to SEE isn't a bad thing.

If you want to create another list of amazing and important accomplishments that would make for a lousy world trip, nobody is stopping you. Oh wait... you did. ;)

Pass. I'll see the tourist ones.

Re:These are pretty dumb (1)

ericartman (955413) | more than 7 years ago | (#19787711)

Like your list better EC

representativity ? null. (3, Insightful)

davFr (679391) | more than 7 years ago | (#19786933)

I have never heard of this poll before, although I am living in western Europe. Did eastern Europe knew about it? Did Asia participate in this poll? Did Africa have the internet accesses to participate?
The previous list was enumerated by a Greek philosoph of the ancient time, it was not some marketing bullshit from Realizar Marketing.

Re:representativity ? null. (1)

CanadaIsCold (1079483) | more than 7 years ago | (#19787119)

Did North America. I never heard of it either. Don't feel left out. So was everyone else.

Re:representativity ? null. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19787257)


do you live in a cave?

What of today's philosophers? (1)

Spy der Mann (805235) | more than 7 years ago | (#19787419)

Most philosophers today DO have internet access.

Considering that thousands of people voted today in comparison with ONE MAN in the ancient time, I'd say there was a lot of participation.

And so what if it's just a "publicity stunt"? Perhaps this will help people to appreciate other cultures, and I don't think that is bad at all.

Re:representativity ? null. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19787575)

Eastern Europe didn't know this. They are going to build a new one [] .

99% of people who voted never saw any of them (4, Insightful)

timmarhy (659436) | more than 7 years ago | (#19786955)

ignore it, there's no one in the world who can claim to "offically" represent this list. besides most people voting on the list would never have even seen any of them in the flesh. just another bogus list to ignore.

Seven New Wonders? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19786977)

Uh, more like Seven New Tourism Marketing Ideas

Chichen Itza (2, Interesting)

Spy der Mann (805235) | more than 7 years ago | (#19787459)

Something interesting happened to me.

Before this new 7 wonders stuff... I had never really appreciated the pyramid of Chichen Itza (I'm mexican). I said, yeah it's just an old building so what? The egyptian pyramids are cooler.

But due to the new 7 wonders poll, Discovery Channel made a documentary about Chichen Itza. I was amazed of the cultural richness of that thing. Not only the pyramid, but the whole temple and mayan culture. It really helped me appreciate my own roots.

So, how should we mod the new 7 wonders phenomenon? Troll? Interesting? Insightful? Informative?

I'd say both interesting and insightful, and if we count the future documentaries done on these wonders, I'd add "Informative", too.

Do we need another top X of anything? (1)

niceone (992278) | more than 7 years ago | (#19786989)

No. But people just keep churning them out. Must be genetic.

Now, who's going to help me with my top 7 things we don't need more of:

1) Top X lists of things

The reason... (4, Interesting)

Zouden (232738) | more than 7 years ago | (#19787021)

No, "we" didn't need seven new wonders, but the company behind this poll took money in exchange for letting people vote multiple times [] .
With the increased tourism revenue that being on this list would provide, one can expect that many governments would have taken advantage of this offer.
This list was a scam, plain and simple. There are so many wonderful things in the world... what the hell is the point of identifying 7 "most popular" ones?

Howard Stern & (1)

redblue (943665) | more than 7 years ago | (#19787041)

Where were Howard Stern & when we really needed them?

How many people really voted? (1)

Doskious Steele (1125241) | more than 7 years ago | (#19787103)

Just because they claim to have received over 100 million votes does not mean that that is how many people voted. From their site FAQ [] :

"6. I am a New7Wonders Member (already voted online) and I want to vote again ONLINE - can I? No, we're sorry, but you are entitled to one opportunity to vote for 7 different candidates as a New7Wonders Member. Please use one of the other voting methods--telephone or SMS"

"11. Can I call or SMS and vote as many times as I like ? Yes."
How easy would it have been to significantly influence the voting, I wonder...

That needed categories (1)

dysfunct (940221) | more than 7 years ago | (#19787117)

Apart from questioning the entire purpose of semi-randomly choosing exactly 7 new world wonders (civilization and their accomplishments has grown tremendously since 140 BC), what exactly is the point of including many rather new constructions in the list? The Sydney Opera House and Statue of Liberty are indeed quite nice, but can they really be called a world wonder and are they actually comparable to the Colosseum? IMHO there should have been categories to distinguish between important historic sites that have only been built after 140BC and more recent constructions like the Eiffel Tower.

At least the majority of people who spent time and/or money on voting made an informed choice by selecting historically relevant sites instead of voting for something like a cheap knockoff of a medieval castle like Neuschwanstein (some German VIPs, forgot who it was, asked on TV to vote for it), that was built only 120 years ago and has hardly any relevance to modern history apart from looking pretty and attracting tourists.

Re:That needed categories (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19787513)

Neuschwanstein isn't a medieval castle. It was designed as palace and not as a military building. Ludwig the second of Bavaria emptied the treasures on multiple palaces. Neuschwanstein is the most popular of it (at least for asian tourists).

What should have made it on the list are the trick fountains of one of the palaces or even better the Wilhelmshöhe hillside park. The hillside park contains really impressive trick fountains for that time, a castle and a palace.

MS weighs in (4, Funny)

Tablizer (95088) | more than 7 years ago | (#19787133)

Did We Really Need Seven New Wonders?

B. Gates says that 6 is all anybody will ever need. (duck)

whatever (5, Insightful)

misanthrope101 (253915) | more than 7 years ago | (#19787161)

Any list of wonders that excludes Angkor Wat is a waste of time.

and Mt. Rushmore ? (1)

Animaether (411575) | more than 7 years ago | (#19787677)

And how about Mount Rushmore? I could never take the list of original 'options' seriously when I noticed that it had e.g. the Sydney Opera House. Don't get me wrong, the Sydney Opera House is a marvel of engineering - but compared to Mt. Rushmore and, indeed, Angkor Wat.. ?

bleh! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19787165)

But they had actresses and fireworks, so it must be an important official event in the history of human civilivation.

Re:bleh! (1)

cashman73 (855518) | more than 7 years ago | (#19787321)

But seriously,. . . was Paris Hilton invited to the party? If not, it didn't count,... ;-)

wonders (4, Funny)

Frostalicious (657235) | more than 7 years ago | (#19787173)

Did We Really Need Seven New Wonders?

Well maybe Civilization V is coming out soon and they didn't want to go with the same crap as last time?

Re:wonders (1)

Glowing Fish (155236) | more than 7 years ago | (#19787589)

I was surprised you were the only person to make a Civ joke.

Extra points if you can come up with what bonuses these new-fangled wonders would provide.

What kind of poll... (4, Funny)

UnCivil Liberty (786163) | more than 7 years ago | (#19787191)

doesn't include a CowboyNeal option? Lame.

No, this is actually serious (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19787229)

The Seven Wonders designation is going to be backed by many multi-million dollar marketing campaigns and I'm sure they plan on generating billions in tourism revenue.

All this hype and all this money about to be spent, and they decided the winners by SMS and a web poll? Where you can vote as often as you like?

How many are really wonders? (4, Insightful)

jd (1658) | more than 7 years ago | (#19787271)

I will start by defining what I mean by a "Wonder": Something that was arguably beyond the means or skills of the builders prior to construction, required some sort of inventiveness or innovation to make what was available enough, could not easily be reproduced by cultures technically far superior (a weekend wonder is not much of a wonder - it should still produce real shock and awe hundreds or thousands of years later), and should inspire wonder in the majority of people, without regard to culture or nationality.

A wall of mud/straw bricks, a rather basic statue? The Colosseum wasn't counted by the Greeks and Romans, because they didn't see it as particularly spectacular. Machu Picchu and Petra I can understand. Those are genuinely wonders, in my books. The difficulty in construction was more tan just a matter of patience and time - there were genuinely major technological problems that required solving.

Then consider the marvels of their use. The Great Wall was a showpiece - it had negligible defensive value and did far more to engender paranoia within the culture. Not particularly marvelous - politicians create such illusions to feed paranoid tendencies all the time. Petra was the trading capital of the world, even into Roman times. It was to ancient commerce what the major ports and stock exchanges combined are to modern commerce. And it was built by a bunch of nomads who were tired of trail rations, not some major advanced civilization.

When you look at the Ancient Wonders, you look at things that maxed out (or exceeded) the capabilities of those building it. There are several that are so staggering that people are still unsure if they ever existed. The fact that the upper Pyramid blocks were poured like concrete hardly diminishes them - it shows how much they had to push their engineers that they had to invent a whole entire branch of material science to just finish the damn thing.

"Christ the Redeemer" needed what? Some reinforced concrete and a layer of soapstone. A big construction, sure, worthy of being considered a great feat of sculpting, but hardly in the same league as requiring entire new sciences and technologies.

I like the idea of seven new wonders, but they really should be wonders. They should highlight the true pinnacles of the human spirit. The list presented highlighted the pinnacle of what looks good on a postcard. Not exactly what I'd call wonders.

As for the question of whether they should have been decided by vote, I'd have split this up. I'd have given votes to people over the Internet/phone/whatever, but I'd have made some effort to limit it to one person one vote. I would THEN have given a panel of scientists/engineers an equal number of votes to represent the technological/scientific wonderfulness of each site. Finally, I'd have given another equal portion of votes to anthropologists, sociologists and cultural experts covering as many cultures and nations as possible.

The winning seven would then be decided by the merits of the awe in individuals, the awe in the achievement and the likely longevity and universality of that awe. Anything that can do well in all three categories is deserving of being called a Wonder. In practical terms, this means stepping through each list until you find seven that every group agrees is top. If you go more than a few percent without finding seven, you keep the winners so far, dump the rest of the list, and start with fresh achievements. And you keep going until you have achieved a universal agreement on the seven greatest Wonders.

Re:How many are really wonders? (1)

Nazlfrag (1035012) | more than 7 years ago | (#19787479)

Woah, hold of on the Great Wall there a bit. It was one of the few that definitely deserves its place. It is an awe inspiring, wonderous creation. It might not involve staggering technological feats but it sure needed an amazing sophistication to realise. The planning and organization of materials and men would have rivaled the pyramids. It might not have been a great military defense, but it helped create a stable and unified China which is of far more military and social value. It was and is a wonder.

I'm just glad the Sydney Opera House dropped out, it's a lovely building but I'd be embarrassed as an Aussie to have it held up as a wonder - oh and while it looks nice, the acoustics are terrible.

Not all of them are that amazing (1, Insightful)

91degrees (207121) | more than 7 years ago | (#19787275)

The original wonders were buildings that amazed the world. A combination of beauty and engineering brilliance. But this isn't the first attempt to come up with new wonders andit won't be the last.

The Taj Mahal is an impressive building but still just a big house. Christ the Redeemer is iconic but not astounding.

The Great Wall is certainly something that belongs in the list. The Eiffel tower is another one - there are now taller structures but Eiffel built this at almost twice the size of the previous tallest building. A fantastic achievement in the 19th century. So, what else is there? Can we justify the footprints on the moon as a wonder of "the world"? And now I'm out of ideas.

Re:Not all of them are that amazing (2, Informative)

_Shad0w_ (127912) | more than 7 years ago | (#19787355)

The Taj Mahal is an impressive building but still just a big house.


Re:Not all of them are that amazing (1)

_Shad0w_ (127912) | more than 7 years ago | (#19787371)

As an aside, the original "Seven Wonders of the World" included the Mausoleum of Maussollos.

Re:Not all of them are that amazing (1)

Nazlfrag (1035012) | more than 7 years ago | (#19787491)

Actually, that's hardly an aside, it helps to validate the inclusion of the Taj Mahal.

Re:Not all of them are that amazing (1)

_Shad0w_ (127912) | more than 7 years ago | (#19787649)

True, it was more of an after though. Unfortunately I'd already pressed "Submit" when it occurred to me.

Re:Not all of them are that amazing (1)

wizardguy (245100) | more than 7 years ago | (#19787445)

The Taj Mahal would be on any list of wonders , because women will always vote for it :-)

Re:Not all of them are that amazing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19787465)

Maybe you should go and see the Taj Mahal, its not that the building is simply a house, but how it was built. From the mosque to the Taj Mahal, the engineering is completely symetrically.

Another thing learned for the many of us that are ignorant Americans.

On another note, how could you not include the Pyramids, but not including one of the most ancient buildings in the world that still stand today and are a mystery, is kind of ridiculous.

Re:Not all of them are that amazing (1)

91degrees (207121) | more than 7 years ago | (#19787631)

I should have included the pyramids. Still not convinced about the Taj Mahal but you're right, it is more impressive than I gave it credit for.

A new list would be fine (1)

btempleton (149110) | more than 7 years ago | (#19787313)

But not a list generated by a self-selected set of voters, with little security over people voting twice (I have multiple cell numbers and an infinite number of E-mail addresses.)

You either need a verified, non self-selected set of the public, or a committee of top travel writers, like the Baseball hall of fame.

Should have done different wonders (1)

kbox (980541) | more than 7 years ago | (#19787351)

they should have gone for different kinds of wonders instead of just a list of old crap. I would have liked to have seen a list of seven scientific wonders.
There has been enough cool stuff in science lately to get a list of seven "wonders".

Sid Meier had a better list (2, Interesting)

cashman73 (855518) | more than 7 years ago | (#19787367)

He also didn't limit it to only seven [] . Our world has many more things on it that would easily be classified as, "wonders." There's no reason for limitations (except, of course, for money, greed, or tourism dollars).

No iphone (5, Funny)

MadFarmAnimalz (460972) | more than 7 years ago | (#19787451)

I can't believe the iphone didn't make it. This list is totally bogus.

modern wonders (1)

Colin Smith (2679) | more than 7 years ago | (#19787453)

We're now capable of far bigger feats of engineering and architecture so why not take a look at some of the modern wonders. e.g. The Panama canal, the 3 Gorges Dam, Taipei 101 etc etc.


It's nothing but a publicity stunt (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19787463)

This was nothing but a publicity stunt to boost tourism in these regions. I wonder how much was paid to the organization for placement in the poll.

Is it all about size or human achievement? (1)

mastermemorex (1119537) | more than 7 years ago | (#19787493)

The biggest monolithic sculpture in the world is the "Cruz de los Caidos" (The cross of the fallen) in Spain dos []

Is 150m tall and 46m wide and in the base has the second tallest basilica (42m) that compared with the 38 m of the "The Christ the Redeemer" it fits inside. But, the Cross of the Fallen It has never been eligible as a wonder because it is the megalomaniac tomb of a dictator without political issues I think it should be at least in the top 10. But in the same way I wonder how many people died build the Coliseum that it is also a megalomaniac building of the emperor Vespasian.

This new list it is just a marketing show about the popularity of some buildings that most people hear about. If this list would be about size, the power grid is the biggest human make construction ever by far. If this list would be about human achievement lets talk about the Genome Project or the Apollo Program. It is just another buggy list not to be taken care.

Good Idea, bad implementation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19787517)

Yea, it was a publicity stunt, but that doesn't detract from its value. However, the criteria is ambiguous. What are 7 wonders? If it is the greatest achievements of civilisation then few if any of the choices or even the candidates, are applicable. Shouldn't the tallest building in the world be chosen? The greatest dam? The longest bridge? Yet these were not even candidates.
It seems that the criteria is amazing man-made features around the world. I'll go along with that, I actually enjoy visiting remote areas (and even not so remote), viewing achievements that may have been at the time a great leap of engineering prowess. But then, one asks, how can 1 milliard Chinese many of whom have not visited even the Great Wall be the voters. The choice should be made of an informed position and not through popularised contest.
As for me, I visited over half of the candidates, and over half the chosen sites, and I would have found it hard to choose between the places I've visited let alone those on which I never laid my eyes nor foot (I never voted).
Truthfully, how many of the voters visited Angkor Wat or even know what it is? And this is a site which I would be hard pressed to exclude from any list of historical wonders, or tourist attractions.

Brazilian torcedores invade the net (1)

moranar (632206) | more than 7 years ago | (#19787525)

This is pure speculation, but I can't help relating the election of the Christ Redeemer (as others have pointed, a beautiful monument, but not a wonder of the world) to the kind of Brazilian presence I noticed at Orkut, on PicasaWeb and other social sites. They love to make their presence known, they are big fans (torcedores), in a way.

I also remember how the "best book" election we had a few years ago went to The Lord of the Rings: While I love the book, I'm fairly certain the election had more to do with the fact that internet geeks love it than with its quality.

The real wonders (2, Interesting)

el_jake (22335) | more than 7 years ago | (#19787567)

The Universe
Our Solar System
Our Sun
Planet Earth
The Human Race
Our children

Seems like we are extremely short sighted in our localized definition of wonders

Gimmick. (4, Insightful)

matt me (850665) | more than 7 years ago | (#19787643)

This is a worthless gimmick conceived by someone out to make a buck - because the list will influence some tourists' destinations this summer (and I'd wager that some of those on the list paid there way up there) - and lapped up by popular media in the place of surfboarding ferrets. As if there are only 21 valuable places in the world (the shortlist), and an internet vote can provide an unbiased and definitive list of the seven 'greatest'.

There are thousands of fantastic places in the world. The UN's world heritage sites (660 cultural, 166 natural) are but a start at cataloguing and an attempt to protect them.
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