Wednesday, December 11, 2013

"Person of the Year"

The Associated Press story about the selection of Pope Francis and the Time Person of the Year was less interesting for the result than it was for the account of the contenders. Apparently it came down to a choice between the Pope and Edward Snowden. No manner how strongly anyone feels about Snowden, positively or negatively, there is no denying his impact on our lives, not just in the United States but around the world. Before his massive leak of data from the National Security Administration, talk about the dangers of a surveillance society were limited to a handful of individuals who could not always substantiate their suspicions. Now the topic is on everyone's lips, and reform is easier to achieve when everyone is talking about the situation from their respective points of view. With that in mind, my own vote would have gone to Snowden; but I have been pretty dismissive of the whole Person of the Year thing for some time. Remember, Mark Zuckerberg was Person of the Year for 2010; and his respect for privacy (sic) has been a public matter for some time.

The Associate Press article also included a few sentences about other contenders:
Besides Snowden, Time had narrowed its finalists down to gay rights activist Edith Windsor, U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas and Syrian President Bashar Assad.
Time editors made the selection. The magazine polled readers for their choice, and the winner was Egyptian General Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi, who didn't even make the top 10 of Time's final list.
For my money (which does not go into a subscription to Time) this "state of the playing field" simply affirms for me just how much of a waste of time this whole project is.

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