Monday, September 07, 2009

Editorial: Intangible Cultural Heritage from the U.S. should be added to the list

UNESCO maintains a Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Mankind. At this time there are no entries in the list from the United States. I suggest that the U.S. seek to add elements of America's contribution to the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Mankind to the list.

The first things that occurred to me for the list were jazz and American popular song.

It occurs to me that a better choice is the Internet. Certainly the Internet was invented in America. Fundamentally, it is the set of standards for interconnecting physical communication networks, and as such is intangible. The Internet is not only an important heritage of mankind, but it is in fact used directly by a billion people around the world, and indirectly affects us all. It may in fact be imperiled by its own success.

A useful point to be made by such a submission is that World Heritage items need not be old nor quaint.

John Daly
(The opinion expressed in this posting is the author's alone, and should not be considered to represent that of Americans for UNESCO.)

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