Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Sad List of 2010 Heroes

Zuckerberg walked away with Times Person of the Year. Which I find baffling. Yes, Facebook as a product is incredible in terms of connecting people, even if it is used largely to poke people, announce breakups, and copy and paste meaningless messages. But given the outcries of privacy issues it creates - and Zuckerberg's remarkable reluctance to take those user concerns seriously - I'm rather surprised about the decision. I probably shouldn't be. He's a bazillionaire with his very own movie.

Many wanted Julian Assange (WikiLeaks founder) or Bradley Manning, the Army private who worked on classified networked and distributed any number of classified diplomatic cables and top secret government documents, to have been the choice, and here I leap into librarian heresy: I'm not going to call Assange or Manning heroes for wholesale datadump of classified material.

In any case, Zuckerberg, Assange & Manning. The Tea Party, which is not, in fact, a "person," but an entire group of persons who border on the irrational and would have us do away with separation of church & state. Hamid Karzai, a ballot-box stuffer). The Chilean miners who - while their story was touching - accomplished not much other than working in horrible conditions and being saved by others.

What a sad and sorry list of "people of the year" for 2010. I suppose they're chosen for impact and not really "Fantastic Persons of the Year" status. In that case, I guess Zuckerberg may have been the most decent choice out of that pool.


Jared R. Byer said...

The person of the year is not necessarily supposed to be a hero. Their guidelines point out that the person of the year should be the one that "for better or for worse, ...has done the most to influence the events of the year."

I think it would be hard to deny that anything in 2010 influenced the most individuals and the events of their lives if not necessarily the biggest news events of the year more than facebook.

From news and opinions that I have heard concerning the running of facebook, Zuckerberg is not only instrumental but very much involved in almost all aspects of the business.

Given that, I think he is an acceptable choice.

Sarah said...

Clearly TIME doesn't always pick "Fantastic Persons" - Hitler and Stalin have both been selected.