Zuckerberg? Really?

Judging by my Twitter feed, Time has managed to tick off the entire Internet in selecting Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg as its "person of the year" -- the youngest to earn the title since Charles Lindbergh. The magazine's rationale: "for connecting more than half a billion people and mapping the social relations among them; for creating a new system of exchanging information; and for changing how we all live our lives" is not likely to mollify the Twitterati, who tend to be a snobbish crowd. (Sample: "Time Magazine just named its Person of The Year 2007.")

Snark aside, it's unclear what's particularly 2010 about this pick. Facebook has been huge for a while now, and if anything, it may be headed for inevitable decline. I suppose it's a step up from 2006,when Time's editors picked "You" as its POY, citing the rise of "Web 2.0" sites like Facebook, Wikipedia, MySpace (remember that?), Second Life (ditto), and YouTube.

This year, just like in 2006, the magazine asked its readers to cast their votes, and just like in 2006, it ignored them. Back then, it was Hugo Chávez who stirred the masses (though Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was the official runner-op); this year it was Julian Assange of WikiLeaks fame, who ran away with the online poll.

I suppose we'll now be treated to a dreadfully predictable debate about whether Time wimped out by not choosing Assange, and maybe those crazy Anonymous hackers will seek revenge on Time's servers. I'm sure the magazine's editors will embrace the discussion in any event: Controversy sells.


FIFA President: Gay fans should 'refrain from sexual activities' in Qatar

FIFA President Sepp Blatter isn't the most-respected sporting figure around, and he seemingly doesn't know when to shut up. Just as the furor in the United States at the decision to award Qatar the 2022 World Cup was dying down, Blatter happened to remind the world of another problem with Qatar's bid.

Homosexuality is illegal in Qatar, which apparently doesn't matter to FIFA because, hey, those pre-game speeches are only about racism. God forbid any other minority group be persecuted. Here was Blatter's solution for gay fans worried about attending the event:

They [gay fans] should refrain from any sexual activities."


Former NBA player John Amaechi, who famously came out in 2007, told the BBC 5 radio that, "It's not about people having sex in public and being sanctioned for it, it's the fact that Qatar was one of 79 countries to sanction executing gays at the United Nations." Here's what FIFA's official mission says, under "What We Stand For":

...Unity. We believe it is FIFA's responsibility to foster unity within the football world and to use football to promote solidarity, regardless of gender, ethnic background, faith or culture."

Whoops, forgetting something?

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