Time's Person of Five Years Ago the Year: Mark "not as controversial as Julian Assange" Zuckerberg!


No alarms and no surprises, please:

You misspelled "2005"!

When a news magazine lags the interest curve and production time even of Hollywood, the CW rigor mortis really has set in. Snippets from Richard Stengel's defiantly purple prose:

Evolutionary biologists suggest there is a correlation between the size of the cerebral neocortex and the number of social relationships a primate species can have. […] Because of airplanes and telephones and now social media, human beings touch the lives of vastly more people than did our ancestors, who might have encountered only 150 people in their lifetime. […]

In a sense, Zuckerberg and Assange are two sides of the same coin.

Succeeds in making Mark Zuckerberg seem normal

And so on.

Quite unlike Zuckerberg/Facebook, Assange and his WikiLeaks project are the Rorschach Test of our times, in which our self-revealing reactions correlate highly to where we stand on authority, American establishmentarianism, the U.S. role in the world, liberation technology, and sexual assault laws, for starters. Zuckerberg in 2010, on the other hand, was prominent mostly as a vessel for Aaron Sorkin's anxieties.

Some relevant and fun reading from the Reason archive:

* The Top 10 Most Absurd Time Covers of the Past 40 Years
* Our 2006 People of the Year
* "2004: The Year of Puppet Sex"
* Jesse Walker's 2002 appreciation of Time's perennial publicity stunt
* Reason's Zuckerberg file here; Assange archive here.