Better choice for TIME Person of the Year than Greta Thunberg?

The year is almost over so nearly all of the accomplishments of 2019 have already happened.

Some people are complaining that Greta Thunberg shouldn’t have been chosen as TIME Person of the Year on the grounds that she didn’t accomplish anything (China and India are still growing and burning coal;, American say-gooders are still driving their pavement-melting SUVs, etc.).

If not Greta T, then who? On a planet of 7.6 billion souls, who among us is worthy of this singular honor? (a tougher challenge than what the Nobel Prize committees face since they are able to spread out the honors among 20+ people)

Some possibilities:

  • Donald Trump, since he has generated more media stories than anyone (and CNN viewers consider him a god; he already won in 2016, but that was when he was merely a human and Obama was selected twice)
  • Harvey Weinstein, since he kicked off the lucrative #MeToo industry (Person of the Year need not be a saint; Adolf Hitler was selected in 1938; note that the people getting paid were selected in 2017 as “The Silence Breakers”)
  • Robert Mueller, who spent two years and tens of $millions in tax dollars to figure out that some young Americans wanted to be paid to have sex with older Americans and that some Americans wanted to evade paying income tax
  • Volodymyr Zelensky, who has managed to keep roughly 50 percent of Americans spellbound with tales of a country that almost none of them would be able to locate on a map
  • Bill Dally, chief scientist at NVIDIA, the hardware behind the end of the AI Winter
  • someone in China who accomplished something awesome that we can all use? (the folks behind the Hong Kong–Zhuhai–Macau Bridge are disqualified, though, since it opened in 2018)
  • Xi Jinping, since he directs the world’s most important economy without hogging the headlines all the time
  • Martin Herrenknecht, whose tunneling machines are transforming the world and enabling the Chinese to get everywhere quickly on their new metro systems
  • Bernard Ziegler, who has kept tens of millions of people safe with the fly-by-wire systems that he pioneered at Airbus

Readers: Better ideas? (I hope!)

16 thoughts on “Better choice for TIME Person of the Year than Greta Thunberg?

  1. I’m torn between Xi Jinping and Bill Dally. Dally has helped to end the AI winter and Xi Jinping is going to make the most of it. I was shocked, though to see his portrait at Nvidia – low resolution, artifacted JPEG.

    Other than your list, I vote for Lil Peep – truly a young man emblematic of America’s emo-raprock youth and promise for the future. He died at age 21 of a Fentanyl/Xanax overdose. Both parents Harvard graduates, divorced when he was a teenager, reportedly absent father after age 14. Truly what America is great at.

    • Oh, the toxicology showed he overdosed from fentanyl/alprazolam but his blood also tested positive for cannabis, cocaine, Tramadol, and urine showed hydrocodone (codeine), hydromorphone (dilaudid), oxycodone and oxymorphone. He had some great prescriptions and was an avid recreational drug user, and we can expect more of our kids to follow his example. No alcohol though. Slacker!

  2. I vote for “Russian bots.” According to the mainstream media anything that happens in the world that they don’t approve of is the fault of Russian bots, and that’s quite a few accomplishments.

  3. Definitely should have been GREENSPUN, for the 25th year in a row. Without Greenspun, we wouldn’t know anything about general aviation, divorce laws, Boston traffic, or MIT’s conversion into a flight school.

  4. How about all the students that died in school shootings defending your second amendment rights? Or the head of the NRA for ensuring they had the opportunity to do so?

  5. If it were the Nobel Prize i would say she is qualified since Barack Obama won the Nobel and he didn’t accomplish anything more than screwing up the US healthcare system (along with that knuckle headed professor at MIT) but Time person of the year, now that is a tougher question since that sounds like a serious accolade. Though i have a question — is Time still published? Decades ago some people used to subscribe. Then you would see it in doctors’ offices — but i haven’t seen a copy in years. Maybe the whole thing is a hoax and there really is no Time magazine anymore?

    • Time Mag used to be one of the Time Inc publications (along with Money, Sport Illustrated, Martha Stewart, etc.). In 2017, Time Inc was bought by Meredith who essentially dismantled Time Inc by selling its pieces to various buyers. Time Mag is now owned by the Salesforce founder:

      Meredith Corp. said Sunday it has reached a “definitive agreement” to sell Time magazine to Salesforce founder and tech billionaire Marc Benioff and his wife Lynne Benioff for $190 million

  6. I think that Greta would be a great Person of the Year. She’s became insanely popular and thanks to her climate change is discussed a bit more.

  7. Few have ever made a more succinct and compelling statement on the nature of our times than the customer of a Safeway in San Francisco a few days ago. A statement without words but nevertheless of undeniable substance, it was truly an achievement of our times. No one can be a better Person of the Year than the Unknown Pooper.

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