Keep an Open Mind      
We can't just turn the page without looking back, right?  After all, shall we not at least pretend to learn from our collective past not to reproduce the absurdities we are capable of.  Sorry, the cynical me again. But, o.k., after having looked at different sites to find out the great stories of this past year, I was stuck with a few dilemmas: how the hell did Justin Bieber make the top 10 of Yahoo's list? Well, quite simply.  He made the list of the top searches on Yahoo. Google approaches this differently. They call it Zeitgeist which kind of means "spirit of the time, or epoch" and takes its roots somewhere in German philosophy, Hegel leading. And they offer us quite a statistical view of what 2010's spirit was. I couldn't find the exact number, but they mention the aggregation of billions of searches that produces this epochal trend. 

That leads to the question "what is an event?" and further "what is an event of significance?" that I need to keep in mind to make our collective (and mine) lives better.  Al-Jazeera reports that "when it comes to intrigue, suffering, over-reaction, absurdity, power-politics, hope in the depths of the earth and even a bit of well-orchestrated footy-fun, 2010 has had plenty to offer for us journalists". I like that. They please my cynical self and offer a list to which I can actually relate to: wikileaks and its multiple side effects, environmental issues with Iceland's volcanic eruption, "floods displacing millions in Pakistan, a massive earthquake killing hundreds of thousands in politically-shattered Haiti and 180 million barrels of BP oil tarring a pristine environment and feathering the wildlife in the Gulf of Mexico.Israel’s deadly raid on the Gaza aid flotilla, and South Africa successfully hosted one of the planet’s largest sporting events". Not bad.

And they add: "We don’t claim this survey to be infallible, or irrefutable—objectivity and analysis are functions of perspective, not inherent truth. These are our picks from 2010; do with them what you will, send feedback, argue with your friends, complain, agree or make your own content."  I so like that!

Ok, but shall we ask 1200 plus Romas that were deported from and by France last summer if they should have made the list? And Aung San Suu Kyi released last November after the election were won by the party supported by the military? Or Liu Xiaobo sitting in jail with is virtual Nobel Peace Price? Côte d'Ivoire's turmoil? And Darfur's horrible plight, that looms over our head but decide to ignore?

Call it top 10 or Zeitgeist, one must be very careful not to confuse number of hits on the Internet with significant events. We, the privileged, leave in a bubble. Don't forget to look outside sometimes, and maybe, why not, venture out there.  There are things to be done!


Leave a Reply.