Who Should Be Among This Year's Picks for the TIME 100?
To help make the selection, TIME asked previous honorees whom they would judge to be the world's most influential people. The first installment:
The “Craig” in craigslist transfigured the concept of classified ads for the Web.
I'd select Linus Torvalds, who invented Linux, the Web's ubiquitous operating system; Bart Ehrman, the biblical scholar who wrote Misquoting Jesus, a book on how biblical texts, through error or intent, changed over the past 2,000 years; and Reza Aslan, who wrote No god but God, a book about what's really going on with Islam and the West, debunking the “clash of civilizations” argument.
AYAAN HIRSI ALI
Somali-born, Muslim-raised Dutch politician and critic of Islamic extremism.
I nominate Denmark's Prime Minister, Anders Fogh Rasmussen, for his handling of the cartoon affair. No amount of diplomatic pressure, economic boycotts or burned embassies would persuade him that limiting free press could have some noble outcome. Now, on issues of religious intolerance, we shall measure our leaders by the Rasmussen Resolve Scale. If they don't meet his standards, we will vote them away!
The Colombian rocker is as adept at romantic ballads as he is at politically tinged anthems.
Gilberto Gil, the versatile master of rhythm and jazz, who is backing up his artistic message by becoming Brazil's Minister of Culture; his countryman Caetano Veloso, whose breathtaking range of musicianship makes him a global treasure; and my countryman Jorge Franco, author of the Faulknerian novel Rosario Tijeras, the inspiration for one of my songs.
New York's attorney general usually discomfits captains of industry and is aiming to become Governor of the state.
The 86 evangelical Christian leaders (including Rick Warren, author of The Purpose-Driven Life; the Rev. Floyd Flake of New York City; and the Rev. Jesse Miranda of Costa Mesa, Calif.) who have begun an initiative to fight global warming, declaring, “Millions of people could die in this century because of climate change, most of them our poorest global neighbors.”