- Julian Assange – exposed governments’ semi-secret email.
- Glenn Beck – publicly comments on current events.
- David Cameron – trims British budget deficits.
- Chilean Miners – dug up after being trapped for weeks.
- Arne Duncan – applies stricter standards to US schools.
- Recep Erdogan – complains at Israelis for being mean.
- Jonathan Franzen – wrote a novel about a Midwestern family.
- Lady Gaga – staged exciting popular songs and dances.
- Robert Gates – cut defense spending in face of lower threats.
- Tony Hayward – couldn’t hide an big oil leak with a little talk.
- Hu Jintao – organized a billion people to economic success.
- LeBron James – played basketball better than his PR.
- Steve Jobs – surfed a first wave of growing tech with iPhones.
- Hamid Karzai – attempted to lead his country out of chaos.
- D & C Koch – made money and supported his political buddies.
- Liu Xiaobo – complained about China’s personal rights infractions.
- Barack Obama – presided over self-created US troubles.
- Sarah Palin – helped political candidates win office.
- Nancy Pelosi – passed American laws Europeans already have.
- Imam Rauf – seeks to enlarge a mosque in New York.
- Stewart & Colbert – gave a political satire I-party on the Mall.
- Unemployed – Americans demanded flat world jobs back.
- J. Craig Venter – created a living bacteria out of pure chemicals.
- Warren Schapiro Bair – pushed for tougher money regulations.
- Mark Zuckerberg – made human communication more real.
Of the large vote getters Julian Assange of WikiLeaks clearly has the TIME Person of the Year locked in when measured by this week’s ratty news. But from a historical perspective will he be remembered for very long? Project your mind out 500 years into the future and ask the question: Does exposing someone else’s disgusting emails make that kind of long-term history? Even the Donation of Constantine, a vastly more important and challenged bit of mail than anything revealed so far by Assange, is all but forgotten. Assange will be in the news a lot in the coming year or so, but his fame will fade quickly when real problems come along.
Hu Jintao led his country on the greatest economic boom in history. It was not only very quick, it was also very broad, and what was a gigantic but poverty stricken country only a generation ago is now the economic powerhouse of the world. Sorry, Unemployed American Workers, but it’s your jobs gone over there that’s making them richer and you poorer. In the grand scale of things, Jintao and his people are now making the Great Leap Forward as semi-capitalists that their former Communist overlords so craved.
We all love what Steve Jobs has brought to the world, but as wonderful as these devices are, they are his take on a technology which is ripe for development. Other people and organizations are producing very similar items simultaneously based on the same technology. His are better in some ways and always classier, but they are definitely not the revolutions that Assange, Jintao and Craig Venter produced.
What is obviously the most fantastic thing to be produced this year was life out of pure chemicals. Craig Venter did just that and that ability will create a revolution which may prove to be even bigger than the computer revolution which we are all so enamored with at present. So, even though he received fewest votes of any individual on TIME’s list,