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TIME magazine’s Person of the Year has had its list of popular world movers since 1929 when Charles Lindbergh was the first one. I got started a little later and this year will be my 6th Probaway Person of the Year, but I do value TIME’s take on what they think is of historical importance. Their view is driven by the popular events of the previous year, and mine is based on what event of the previous year will probably be remembered in 500 years. That of course is speculation, and we will never know personally how accurate those choices can be because we will be long gone. Some things will obviously be remembered, like man’s first step on the Moon, which didn’t get a TIME person of the Year, and many things will be long forgotten, like who got elected President of the USA in a particular year, which frequently does get a cover. Here are the TIME covers from 1927-2011. George W. Bush got three covers. Here is Probaway’s critique from 2011.

Below is TIME’s chart with their links, with added comments based on these individuals’ 500-year fame estimate. All of these people are important today, but the issue here is their memorability in the distant future. Compare to last year’s list.

There is some hope of long term memorability for the Curiosity rover if it discovers life on Mars, for Benjamin Netanyahu if he attacks Iran’s nuclear facilities and Xi Jinping if he continues his next ten years of China’s growth. In a few years we will know the answers to those questions. The others haven’t done anything this 2012 that is going to be remembered in 500 years.