Sunday, July 08, 2007

Can 100 Million Votes Be Wrong? Layman Voters Choose Wonders of the World

The Seven Wonders of the Ancient World are found described at Wikipedia.

100 million votes were recently cast however for an informal "updated" new list of Wonders of the World (we reported on this topic here at LawPundit previously) and the result ... envelope please ... shows ... some good selections and some very questionable selections ....

We have been studying the ancient world for 40 years. What knowledge about ancient eras did an average voter in this case have and what possible competence did such an average voter have to select any world wonder as greater than another?

We also see for example the result of the democratic one-viewer one-program principle in television program scheduling around the world, where the prevailing program content is generally geared to channel selections made by the average viewer, whose standards of taste are more aptly mirrored by popular but crude entertainment figures such as Beavis and Butthead, Ozzy Osbourne, or Ali G (Sacha Baron Cohen).

Even things like the popular Dilbert Blog, whose main category seems to be "General Nonsense", employ childish cartoons to woo an audience that apparently has never grown up.

The commercial success of such primitive figures seems to be based on a judgment by producers of such programs that the average IQ of the viewing audience is not particularly high - and they are surely right in this assessment if commercial success is any indicator.

Indeed, blog postings, podcasts and news reporting by mainstream news media seem to assume that the mass of viewers has strongly limited analytical faculties at their disposal - and this is what appears to make such broadcasts so very successful as spoon-fed pablum for the masses.

In fact, even alleged "documentaries" such as one we recently and unfortunately saw on TV here in Germany involving the alleged and in our opinion clearly erroneous identification of the mummy of Nofretete by the Egyptologist Joann Fletcher seem to serve pure entertainment purposes or are podiums for self-advertisement by Egyptologists rather than presentations of serious historical analyses.

Veritably, we see the common intellect paraded daily before us on our TV and Internet screens. Our intelligence (or lack of it) is in part revealed to us by what we choose to consume.

On the other hand, there is a part of the primitive brain which also is apparently capable of great achievements, as Sir Simon Rattle has stated regarding his incomparable Rhythm Is It:

"One christmas, was I three, was I four? I don't remember. My parents gave me a drum kit, and then, that was it. Lost forever. [...] There is a part of the brain, the pre-civilised human parts of the brain, I mean almost maybe,whichever part is descended from the lizards, where rhythm is it. The first idea, I think, probably the first communication, was through rhythm, before words. And I think when you get that as a child, somehow you're connecting with your primal origins. But I know from that moment, whatever it was, that connected, that was going to be my life."

But we see minimal evidence of this genius in the new selection of world wonders. 100 million votes now cast for the allegedly "new" Wonders of the World leads to the remarkable result that the Pyramids of Egypt are excluded from this new list as a so-called "honorary member" of the list, to be replaced by such mundane things as a simple statue of a religious figure in Rio or by the historically less important Chichen Itza of Yucatan, Mexico, which is an integral part of a larger survey system guided by the stars in which, according to our currently provisional results, Chichen Itza marked the South Celestial Pole, whence its name as the "entrance to the well".

As written at World Mysteries:

"The ancient Mayan site of Chichen Itza exemplifies the culture’s celestial orientation. The huge step pyramid (the pyramid of Kukulcan) that is the focus of the site has 91 steps on each of its sides, which add up to 364 steps. Adding the platform on top, there are 365 steps in total — the number of days in a year. Also, on the vernal and autumnal equinoxes (the first day of spring and fall, when day and night are the same length of time), the sunlight works to create a shadow of a giant serpent on the staircase that faces north.

A building called the Caracol, believed to have served as an observatory, is also found at the site of Chichen Itza. The windows are set up to align with certain points of interest. Although the top is damaged, remaining windows point to the northern- and southern-most positions of Venus, the position of sunset on the Equinoxes, and the corners of the building itself point to the sunrises and sets of the solstices."

Chichen Itza is a fantastic site, but we would not include it in our own selection of the top seven sites since it is technologically preceded by the older Teotihuacan. The same holds true for Machu Picchu, which is an equally fantastic site, but certainly impossible to rank above Teotihuacan or the Pyramids. We also would not include religious statues, halls or buildings in our selection since this is a matter of religious choice. Nice yes but wonders not. Additionally, we do not think that ancient stadiums fit the bill.

Hence, the so-called "new" list of world wonders is a non sequitur (i.e. something which does not logically follow the task at hand, which is a selection of truly incomparable human achievements, regardless of faith or country affiliation).

Here is the LawPundit List of
The Seven Wonders of the World:

1. The Pyramids of Egypt (see NOVA Online)- These reflect an ancient sophisticated measure of the Earth and the Heavens (see Peter Tompkins and Livio Catullo Stecchini, Secrets of the Great Pyramid).

2. Stonehenge, Ancient Britain (see Stonehenge) - This is man's first sophisticated Stone Age calculator of astronomical events such as solstices, equinoxes, precession and solar and lunar eclipses (see Gerald S. Hawkins, Stonehenge Decoded).

3. The Great Wall of China (see Great Wall) - This originally reflected a gigantic hermetic waymarking system which mirrored the Milky Way and the stars as the map above for the path below (see The Great Wall at its inception marked the first great "Silk Road" between East and West, oriented to the stellar heavens.

4. Teotihuacan, Mexico (see Teotihuacan) - Teotihuacan predates the astronomical technology of Chichen Itza and is comparable to the Pyramids of Egypt in its primordial astronomical function in the New World. As we have pointed out in other postings (Ancient Survey of the Earth and Teotihuacan, Panama Megalith) Teotihuacan was a major site for the ancient survey of North America by astronomical triangulation (see in this regard Vincent H. Malmström, Cycles of the Sun, Mysteries of the Moon: The Calendar in Mesoamerican Civilization (Chapter 5). All other major and later sites such as Chichen Itza and Tikal are based upon Teotihuacan as the foundation.

5. The Rock Drawings of Tanum, Sweden (formerly Norway) (see Tanum)- The petroglyphs (rock drawings) of Tanum, Sweden are unique in their size and extent and as we have discovered mark a gigantic 6 by 12 kilometer map of the heavens in the Neolithic era at a time when organized astronomy of this sophisticated nature must have had its first beginnings.

6. The Cave Paintings at Lascaux, France (see Lascaux, also here) - The phenomenal prehistoric cave paintings at Lascaux in our opinion form an astronomical planisphere (see Stars Stones and Scholars) . The major reason why this cave was selected by prehistoric man for astronomical painting has escaped the notice of archaeologists and astronomers, but Lascaux is located at 45 degrees North (and 1 degree East by current measure). This was in our opinion the original Prime Meridian of the Earth. That is why many of the figures in Lascaux are also painted at 45 degree angles (this explanation is presented here for the first time). See decipherment.

7. The Artifacts Found in the Tomb of King Tut, Egypt - The Ark of the Covenant?
The Tomb of Tutankhamun in the Valley of the Kings, Egypt (see National Geographic presentation) and the King Tut artifacts now found in the Egyptian Museum in Cairo. See our interpretation of these artifacts at Ark of the Covenant.

I think these kinds of surveys should be run independently in Europe in the future to get a better balance of the sites that are really important.

Who Reads Law Pundit? June 2007

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