Thursday, December 16, 2010

My Person(s) of the Year

It is a toss up between a Global hero, Julian Assange of Wikileaks and an Indian hero, Manu Joseph of the Open magazine in India. (And some enlightened people at Outlook Magazine)

Assange helped challenge the state's legitimacy to its supremacy and its 'asserted' right to hold secrets.

Manu Joseph and the other people helped expose the disease of the media-politician-state-business relationship in India, by publishing transcripts of the Radia tapes, bringing out the rot for all citizens to see and judge.

The Person of the year is not who people in the mainstream media think is. The MSM's primary instinct is to remain close to sources of 'Power'.

Time magazine, which has long lost its relevancy, and which is not especially known for its incisive coverage of technology, has chosen the safe route.

In naming the 26-year old Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook as the person of year, Time is telling you to accept dumbly that a walled garden like Facebook is the known center of the universe. Actually, the magazine wants to please the 'aloofy' Zuckerberg in exchange for future gifts in form of 'scoops' and 'exclusives.'

Just how useful and revolutionary Facebook is? What is it but 500 million+ glorified Profile pages with comments, with all real controls and privileges owned by the site, not the user.

Think about it: There were people online before Facebook and there will be people online after Facebook, sending pokes and comments down each other’s virtual space. But, there are few who take on the mighty. And there are fewer who win.

The world is looking for the next Assange or Joseph: Who will help break the Facebook walled garden down. That person will be my person of the year, whenever that happens. Meanwhile, I am hoping we do something about the draconian Official Secrets Act in India.

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