More Google Fun
This one I've always wondered about, and it came up when I was watching "The Truman Show" yesterday. The Great Wall of China is not, in fact, visible from space
. The entire concept was first floated back in the 1930s, and it's stuck ever since.
On a unrelated note, I don't see how the New York Review of Books
can have both
its November 18th issue and its December 2 issue out. On a related note to debunking myths, though, William Dalrymple's piece
in what I take to be the actual, up-to-date, issue of the NYRB (the Nov. 4th issue), which knocks down the Bernard Lewis-propagated thesis that modern Muslims have been incurious about the World, is a really good read. It's always hard for a layperson like me to evaluate expert historians--either I just sidle up to whoever fits my ideological predispositions, or I adopt the views and facts of the one book on a subject that I happen by chance to read (because it was a best-seller, or recommended, or whatever). But as best I can judge, Dalrymple wins this round. Juan Cole, meanwhile, thinks that Lewis' recent work consists of "very bad books by a very smart man." Since my independent knowledge of Iraq tells me that Prof. Cole knows what he's talking about, I'll trust his judgment and join in the finger-wagging. Well done!