Man of the Year

Time Magazine has announced that its Person of the Year for 2010 is Mark Zuckerberg , the founder of Facebook.  And why not?  He had a good year, as his online nation reached 500 million members and he had an movie made about him that is getting Oscar buzz.

Do you think he deserves the honor?  Who would you nominate for Person of the Year?

About Gene Veith

Professor of Literature at Patrick Henry College, the Director of the Cranach Institute at Concordia Theological Seminary, a columnist for World Magazine and TableTalk, and the author of 18 books on different facets of Christianity & Culture.

  • Carl Vehse

    I think it’s safe in saying that the selection of Time Magazine‘s “Person of the Year” won’t overshadow the more significant selection of the person by Sports Illustrated for its annual swimsuit issue.

  • Carl Vehse

    I think it’s safe in saying that the selection of Time Magazine‘s “Person of the Year” won’t overshadow the more significant selection of the person by Sports Illustrated for its annual swimsuit issue.

  • http://lutherama.blogspot.com Dr. Luther in 21st Century

    I am far more interested in the upcoming bowl games than a magazine drawing a name out of a hat. Time could put Mickey Mouse up for all that it matters. Honestly, who could name more than one maybe two previous “person of the year?”

  • http://lutherama.blogspot.com Dr. Luther in 21st Century

    I am far more interested in the upcoming bowl games than a magazine drawing a name out of a hat. Time could put Mickey Mouse up for all that it matters. Honestly, who could name more than one maybe two previous “person of the year?”

  • http://holycrossbismarck.org Matt Thompson

    I would nominate Rev. Matthew Harrison for person of the year.

  • http://holycrossbismarck.org Matt Thompson

    I would nominate Rev. Matthew Harrison for person of the year.

  • Dan Kempin

    Is Time magazine still being published? I hadn’t noticed.

    How quaint.

  • Dan Kempin

    Is Time magazine still being published? I hadn’t noticed.

    How quaint.

  • http://enterthevein.wordpress.com J. Dean

    I say nominate Dr. Veith!

  • http://enterthevein.wordpress.com J. Dean

    I say nominate Dr. Veith!

  • SKPeterson

    @Carl #1 – SI is full of far more meaningful and relevant content to most people’s lives than Time has been in years. SI does hold up sports idols, but it also questions them and makes them human, Time is a mouthpiece for idolizing the state, and makes it out to be far more important than it really is.

  • SKPeterson

    @Carl #1 – SI is full of far more meaningful and relevant content to most people’s lives than Time has been in years. SI does hold up sports idols, but it also questions them and makes them human, Time is a mouthpiece for idolizing the state, and makes it out to be far more important than it really is.

  • nqb

    I think Mark Zuckerberg is a reasonable choice, but I’m actually really surprised by this. I would have definitely picked Julian Assange.

  • nqb

    I think Mark Zuckerberg is a reasonable choice, but I’m actually really surprised by this. I would have definitely picked Julian Assange.

  • http://facebook.com/mesamike Mike Westfall

    With the way the most recent picks for Time’s “Oerson of the Year” have been going, I’m knda surprised that they DIDN’T pick Julian Assange…

  • http://facebook.com/mesamike Mike Westfall

    With the way the most recent picks for Time’s “Oerson of the Year” have been going, I’m knda surprised that they DIDN’T pick Julian Assange…

  • http://facebook.com/mesamike Mike Westfall

    Did I type that really? I don’t even know what an “Oerson” is..

  • http://facebook.com/mesamike Mike Westfall

    Did I type that really? I don’t even know what an “Oerson” is..

  • http://www.geneveith.com Gene Veith

    Yes, J., I was really disappointed that I was passed over. Again!

    At any rate, we can play the game, no matter what we think of Time Magazine (which also publishes Sports Illustrated). The question is this: What one person do you think has been most influential, for good or for ill, during the year, or who in some other way best embodies the year 2010?

  • http://www.geneveith.com Gene Veith

    Yes, J., I was really disappointed that I was passed over. Again!

    At any rate, we can play the game, no matter what we think of Time Magazine (which also publishes Sports Illustrated). The question is this: What one person do you think has been most influential, for good or for ill, during the year, or who in some other way best embodies the year 2010?

  • Jerry

    Mark Zuckerberg is about as safe a choice as could possibly be made when otherwise the world is ‘fruit basket upset.’

  • Jerry

    Mark Zuckerberg is about as safe a choice as could possibly be made when otherwise the world is ‘fruit basket upset.’

  • Dust

    Sarah Palin! She had a lot of influence in the outcome of a historic election year, and she has made a sort of come back; or at least you can say her opponents have not been able to keep her down. Many people believe she will be our first women President in 2012 and it looks like she is positioning herself pretty well. Hmm, that’s probably why Time did NOT put her on the cover?

  • Dust

    Sarah Palin! She had a lot of influence in the outcome of a historic election year, and she has made a sort of come back; or at least you can say her opponents have not been able to keep her down. Many people believe she will be our first women President in 2012 and it looks like she is positioning herself pretty well. Hmm, that’s probably why Time did NOT put her on the cover?

  • Carl Vehse

    Yes, the leftist PDS Time Magazine editors would no doubt choke at having to put Sarah Palin on the cover for what?… the fourth time in the past three years.

    The editors tremble enough at the thought of their Timecover in November, 2012… if the rag is still around.

  • Carl Vehse

    Yes, the leftist PDS Time Magazine editors would no doubt choke at having to put Sarah Palin on the cover for what?… the fourth time in the past three years.

    The editors tremble enough at the thought of their Timecover in November, 2012… if the rag is still around.

  • http://theobservationtree.blogspot.com Louis

    Dust: Palin was important in the US to some, but to the rest of the world, she only has some vague entertainment value (at this stage).

    Zuckerberg has a bigger influence though (than Palin). Though I’m surprised that Assange wasn’t picked as he was certainly a bigger newsmaker. Person of the year has nothing to do with positive or negative perception, but with impact value – I mean Hitler, Stalin, Nixon, Khomeni and many others have been chosen before. Maybe some untoward sel-cencorship here? That would be sad – after all, Assange did lead the polls.

  • http://theobservationtree.blogspot.com Louis

    Dust: Palin was important in the US to some, but to the rest of the world, she only has some vague entertainment value (at this stage).

    Zuckerberg has a bigger influence though (than Palin). Though I’m surprised that Assange wasn’t picked as he was certainly a bigger newsmaker. Person of the year has nothing to do with positive or negative perception, but with impact value – I mean Hitler, Stalin, Nixon, Khomeni and many others have been chosen before. Maybe some untoward sel-cencorship here? That would be sad – after all, Assange did lead the polls.

  • White

    Sarah Palin is a joke. An absolute joke.

  • White

    Sarah Palin is a joke. An absolute joke.

  • Porcell

    Zuckerberg’s Facebook symbolizes the all about me zeitgeist. My pick would be Paul Ryan whose time has come. He has become the most compelling leader with his fiscally sound Roadmap for America’s Future,

  • Porcell

    Zuckerberg’s Facebook symbolizes the all about me zeitgeist. My pick would be Paul Ryan whose time has come. He has become the most compelling leader with his fiscally sound Roadmap for America’s Future,

  • Dust

    Carl, thanks for the prophetic copy of Time…..like other prophecies am sure it scares the you-know-what out of those merry old souls who can’t take a good joke :)

  • Dust

    Carl, thanks for the prophetic copy of Time…..like other prophecies am sure it scares the you-know-what out of those merry old souls who can’t take a good joke :)

  • Dust

    Porcell…right on! But in the case of Facebook, perhaps it is the best “face” of our current cultural situation….all fluff and self interest, etc. with no time (no pun intended) for the more serious and mature issues (no pun intended here either!) of running a government and an economy or building and maintaining a strong, moral civil society. Oh well, they’ll be lots of time for that after it all comes crashing down, eh….which might be the case if we don’t follow a sound fiscal strategy such as one rolled out in Paul Ryan’s “Roadmap”. Sadly, like Palin, many think of it as a joke…well, we’ll see who laughs last :)

  • Dust

    Porcell…right on! But in the case of Facebook, perhaps it is the best “face” of our current cultural situation….all fluff and self interest, etc. with no time (no pun intended) for the more serious and mature issues (no pun intended here either!) of running a government and an economy or building and maintaining a strong, moral civil society. Oh well, they’ll be lots of time for that after it all comes crashing down, eh….which might be the case if we don’t follow a sound fiscal strategy such as one rolled out in Paul Ryan’s “Roadmap”. Sadly, like Palin, many think of it as a joke…well, we’ll see who laughs last :)

  • F.Scottie

    I think Facebook is influential in that almost everybody uses it. But is it really world-transforming, revolutionary stuff? I don’t think so. It’s certainly not curing AIDS in Africa or making peace in war-torn countries. Also, I know this is somewhat old news, but Mark Zuckerbeg stole his idea from someone else. Yes, he paid the people he stole from 25 million dollars in the courts and it would’ve never made it as big without his leadership. But still, he stole the idea!

  • F.Scottie

    I think Facebook is influential in that almost everybody uses it. But is it really world-transforming, revolutionary stuff? I don’t think so. It’s certainly not curing AIDS in Africa or making peace in war-torn countries. Also, I know this is somewhat old news, but Mark Zuckerbeg stole his idea from someone else. Yes, he paid the people he stole from 25 million dollars in the courts and it would’ve never made it as big without his leadership. But still, he stole the idea!

  • SAL

    I don’t use Facebook. I’ve not even got an account and I’m in my late twenties.

  • SAL

    I don’t use Facebook. I’ve not even got an account and I’m in my late twenties.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Okay, so, first of all, the Person of the Year is not about “who I happen to like the best”. It is about who, “for better or for worse, … has done the most to influence the events of the year.” By that metric, there is no conceivable way one could nominate Paul Ryan, since he has done very little of influence, no matter how much one might agree with him. Pretty certain the same holds for Palin, though one could certainly make a case for Congressional Republicans as having had an impact (though of course they won’t really do anything until next year).

    Assange was certainly in the running, but I bet the Time editors were worried that (1) it’s too early to tell how influential WikiLeaks will actually end up being, Assange’s self-aggrandizing notwithstanding, and (2) he might seem disproportionately important due to his activity later in the year, a problem that all end-of-year surveys have to deal with. I certainly would give him the Person of December 2010 award, though.

    Zuckerberg, on the other hand, gets articles written about him when he (well, someone) changes the font size on Facebook. Now that’s influence!

    And Peter, do you even have a Facebook account with which you could legitimately claim to evaluate whether it actually “symbolizes the all about me zeitgeist”? I’m pretty certain you don’t. Do you, Dust? If you do, neither of you bothered to friend me back when Veith posted about it.

    Anyhow, I’m sorry if your Facebook experience is “all fluff and self interest”, Dust, but you probably have yourself to blame for that, to some degree. I mean, one can certainly have intelligent discussions on Facebook, just as easily as one can do so here. (Why, I’ve even noticed a little bit of fluff and self-interest on these hallowed pages, amidst all the stimulating conversation!) I won’t deny that I’ve had to hide the fluffiest of my Facebook friends (most notably young ladies who do not understand that their elders are also using Facebook and can see those photos). But I definitely have had some very good discussions there, too, amidst all my posts about my son.

    It is, for good or ill, the public commons of our day. And pretty darn influential, as such.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Okay, so, first of all, the Person of the Year is not about “who I happen to like the best”. It is about who, “for better or for worse, … has done the most to influence the events of the year.” By that metric, there is no conceivable way one could nominate Paul Ryan, since he has done very little of influence, no matter how much one might agree with him. Pretty certain the same holds for Palin, though one could certainly make a case for Congressional Republicans as having had an impact (though of course they won’t really do anything until next year).

    Assange was certainly in the running, but I bet the Time editors were worried that (1) it’s too early to tell how influential WikiLeaks will actually end up being, Assange’s self-aggrandizing notwithstanding, and (2) he might seem disproportionately important due to his activity later in the year, a problem that all end-of-year surveys have to deal with. I certainly would give him the Person of December 2010 award, though.

    Zuckerberg, on the other hand, gets articles written about him when he (well, someone) changes the font size on Facebook. Now that’s influence!

    And Peter, do you even have a Facebook account with which you could legitimately claim to evaluate whether it actually “symbolizes the all about me zeitgeist”? I’m pretty certain you don’t. Do you, Dust? If you do, neither of you bothered to friend me back when Veith posted about it.

    Anyhow, I’m sorry if your Facebook experience is “all fluff and self interest”, Dust, but you probably have yourself to blame for that, to some degree. I mean, one can certainly have intelligent discussions on Facebook, just as easily as one can do so here. (Why, I’ve even noticed a little bit of fluff and self-interest on these hallowed pages, amidst all the stimulating conversation!) I won’t deny that I’ve had to hide the fluffiest of my Facebook friends (most notably young ladies who do not understand that their elders are also using Facebook and can see those photos). But I definitely have had some very good discussions there, too, amidst all my posts about my son.

    It is, for good or ill, the public commons of our day. And pretty darn influential, as such.

  • Booklover

    500 million people are on Facebook. About 1 billion people are on the internet. That makes about 1/2 on both sides.

    So perhaps half of us are influenced by it, half of us aren’t. (I wonder if the half who are not on it, are mostly introverts.) Then there are the billions of people who don’t even own a computer.

    Amost everything about Facebook reveals the spirit of the times.

  • Booklover

    500 million people are on Facebook. About 1 billion people are on the internet. That makes about 1/2 on both sides.

    So perhaps half of us are influenced by it, half of us aren’t. (I wonder if the half who are not on it, are mostly introverts.) Then there are the billions of people who don’t even own a computer.

    Amost everything about Facebook reveals the spirit of the times.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Booklover (@23), given that, according to Wikipedia, “China had 420 million Internet users by June 2010″ and, as I have read, Facebook is blocked for most people there, I have to wonder if that accounts for most of the “other half”.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Booklover (@23), given that, according to Wikipedia, “China had 420 million Internet users by June 2010″ and, as I have read, Facebook is blocked for most people there, I have to wonder if that accounts for most of the “other half”.

  • Porcell

    Todd, my only knowledge of Facebook is that the brightest of my grandsons came a cropper when his girl-friend somehow found the Facebook page of a girl he was dating on the sly. He has since sworn off Facebook. He understands now the virtue of one’s private life. He has since patched it up with his girl-friend, to my regret, as she is a Yalie.

    As to Paul Ryan, he will soon become Chairman of the House budget committee. His Roadmap for America’s Future is regarded by not a few serious people as a rather plausible solution to the problem of unsustainable entitlements.

    Zuckerberg, as F.Scottie remarks at 20, is a low character who stole the Facebook idea from some Harvard friends.

  • Porcell

    Todd, my only knowledge of Facebook is that the brightest of my grandsons came a cropper when his girl-friend somehow found the Facebook page of a girl he was dating on the sly. He has since sworn off Facebook. He understands now the virtue of one’s private life. He has since patched it up with his girl-friend, to my regret, as she is a Yalie.

    As to Paul Ryan, he will soon become Chairman of the House budget committee. His Roadmap for America’s Future is regarded by not a few serious people as a rather plausible solution to the problem of unsustainable entitlements.

    Zuckerberg, as F.Scottie remarks at 20, is a low character who stole the Facebook idea from some Harvard friends.

  • SKPeterson

    @Porcell – and Henry Ford was a low character who stole the idea of making motor cars from Gottlieb Daimler and then those low Dodge brothers stole Ford’s ideas in turn. See how much worse off we are?

  • SKPeterson

    @Porcell – and Henry Ford was a low character who stole the idea of making motor cars from Gottlieb Daimler and then those low Dodge brothers stole Ford’s ideas in turn. See how much worse off we are?

  • Tom Hering

    “(I wonder if the half who are not on it, are mostly introverts.)” – Booklover @ 23.

    Many introverts find small talk boring, which makes it tiring. Doubly tiring for a type whose batteries are drained by social situations. And the social network Facebook is mostly small talk.

  • Tom Hering

    “(I wonder if the half who are not on it, are mostly introverts.)” – Booklover @ 23.

    Many introverts find small talk boring, which makes it tiring. Doubly tiring for a type whose batteries are drained by social situations. And the social network Facebook is mostly small talk.

  • Booklover

    Yes, tODD.

    China, SAL, Porcell, and me.
    :-)

  • Booklover

    Yes, tODD.

    China, SAL, Porcell, and me.
    :-)

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Peter (@25)! What is the point of telling us about the “virtue of one’s private life” if you go about blabbing about your grandson’s indiscretions on the Internet, anyhow? (One also might note that there is a more important virtue to be learned than merely “do not announce on Facebook that you are cheating on your girlfriend”, hmm? Perhaps something about faithfulness and honesty?)

    And regardless of how Zuckerberg came by the idea back in 2004, he has clearly come into his own with what he’s done with it since then.

    I mean, Microsoft copied from Apple who copied from Xerox, but that doesn’t mean that Microsoft hasn’t been hugely influential, all the same. It’s not just having a good idea, it’s knowing how to use it.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Peter (@25)! What is the point of telling us about the “virtue of one’s private life” if you go about blabbing about your grandson’s indiscretions on the Internet, anyhow? (One also might note that there is a more important virtue to be learned than merely “do not announce on Facebook that you are cheating on your girlfriend”, hmm? Perhaps something about faithfulness and honesty?)

    And regardless of how Zuckerberg came by the idea back in 2004, he has clearly come into his own with what he’s done with it since then.

    I mean, Microsoft copied from Apple who copied from Xerox, but that doesn’t mean that Microsoft hasn’t been hugely influential, all the same. It’s not just having a good idea, it’s knowing how to use it.

  • Tom Hering

    “Genius might be said to be the faculty for clever theft.” – Enid Starkie, Arthur Rimbaud.

  • Tom Hering

    “Genius might be said to be the faculty for clever theft.” – Enid Starkie, Arthur Rimbaud.

  • trotk

    Porcell, did you really say the brightest of your grandsons?

  • trotk

    Porcell, did you really say the brightest of your grandsons?

  • http://michellemalkin.com/2010/12/10/clinton-obama/ Carl Vehse

    Well, it seems that the Zogby International Survey has selected a more appropriate “Person of the Year” – Sarah Palin! And the Zogby survey selected George W. Bush as the “Person of the Decade.”

  • http://michellemalkin.com/2010/12/10/clinton-obama/ Carl Vehse

    Well, it seems that the Zogby International Survey has selected a more appropriate “Person of the Year” – Sarah Palin! And the Zogby survey selected George W. Bush as the “Person of the Decade.”

  • Dust

    Tom at 30….that’s a great quote….wonder where he stole it :)

    Someone else said amateurs “borrow” ideas and pros “steal” them, or average artists vs. genius artists?

    Another possible nominee for Person of the Year could have been Nancy Pelosi? Not in a positive way, but she should get some of the credit for the republican victory in the last election cycle, eh?

  • Dust

    Tom at 30….that’s a great quote….wonder where he stole it :)

    Someone else said amateurs “borrow” ideas and pros “steal” them, or average artists vs. genius artists?

    Another possible nominee for Person of the Year could have been Nancy Pelosi? Not in a positive way, but she should get some of the credit for the republican victory in the last election cycle, eh?

  • Dust

    Thanks Carl…..hey, those pros at Zogby stole that idea from me :)

  • Dust

    Thanks Carl…..hey, those pros at Zogby stole that idea from me :)

  • Tom Hering

    “… a more appropriate ‘Person of the Year’ …” – Carl Vehse @ 32.

    By “appropriate” do you mean “I like better”?

  • Tom Hering

    “… a more appropriate ‘Person of the Year’ …” – Carl Vehse @ 32.

    By “appropriate” do you mean “I like better”?

  • Dust

    Uh Tom, thet was tODDs concern back in 22…..you all sing from the same song book! Did you steal or borrow it ;)

  • Dust

    Uh Tom, thet was tODDs concern back in 22…..you all sing from the same song book! Did you steal or borrow it ;)

  • Jerry

    We need to save the quota of Palin covers for us in years to come…

  • Jerry

    We need to save the quota of Palin covers for us in years to come…

  • F.Scottie

    60 minutes did a story on Zuckerberg on December which also includes an interview. Here it is: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sho-nSWcJjQ

  • F.Scottie

    60 minutes did a story on Zuckerberg on December which also includes an interview. Here it is: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sho-nSWcJjQ

  • Tom Hering

    “Did you steal or borrow it” – Dust @ 35.

    I stole it, but not cleverly enough to be considered an original genius. ;-)

  • Tom Hering

    “Did you steal or borrow it” – Dust @ 35.

    I stole it, but not cleverly enough to be considered an original genius. ;-)


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