Everyone is special. The Mayans were the only literate people in Mesoamerica. They had the wheel, but did not use it to pull stuff. Instead, they literally broke their backs building this:
The Chinese had access to stone and the ability to build arches. However, they chose to use timber and perfect the carpenter’s art (part of the reason why “The Great Plains” are not “The Great Forest”).
Interestingly, they invented the Modular System, which specifies exactly how to space columns in Chinese Architecture.
Mean time, the Dalai Lama was chilling in this little home:
I think it’s really interesting the Japan shuts itself in for a century, and comes out with Noh Theatre (which is not related to NoSQL) and some of the most pristine architecture of all time. Meet the Himeji Castle:
It’s easy to judge China for their lukewarm support of human rights. It’s much harder to understand the isolationism and culture their beliefs are grounded in. However, architecture can provide a bathroom window into their collective psyche.
For instance, while the Romans protected their empire by building a top-knotch army and patrolling distant lands, China surrounded its empire with a wall you can see from space:
The good news is while we all have our bad apples, most people are like the Fonzie. Cool.
Take the Indian emperor Shah Jahan, who built the Taj Mahal in the memory of his dead wife:
I’ll end this spiritual blog post with a quote by Ashoka the Great:
It is forbidden to descry other sects; the true believer gives honor to
whatever in them is worthy of honor.