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Nobel Peace Prize Nominates.. the Internet

8 February 2010 10 Comments
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Nominees for the 2010 Nobel Peace Prize includes a Russian human rights group, a Chinese dissident and of course the Internet.

Nobel Peace Prize Emblem Logo

Nobel Peace Prize Founder Alfred Nobel: Not Amused

Say what?

The Internet to Win the Nobel Peace Prize?

Yes, the Internet was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize. This is the year after Obama won the Nobel Peace Prize for doing nothing at the time he won. It sparked a lot of debate on the value of the Nobel Peace Prize as well as the whether the committee should ever award a nomination based on “potential” rather than concrete actions. Before discussing the Internet, let’s note the other real-human candidates that are known at this time.

Svetlana Gannushkina – Russian Human Rights

One nomination is a Russian human rights activist Svetlana Gannushkina and her group “Memorial”. Nominated by Erna Solberg, the head of Norway’s Conservative Party, this organization often leads the criticism against the Kremlin.

“These are people who are at the forefront of human rights and are putting their lives at risk for their work,” Solberg told The Associated Press.

Liu Xiaobo, Chinese Dissident

Kwame Anthony Appiah, president of the PEN American Center and a Princeton philosophy professor mentioned that he had nominated Liu Xiaobo. Liu Xiaobo is a Chinese dissident who was jailed by the government. Kwame Anthony Appiah says that he nominated Liu due to his “distinguished and principled leadership in the area of human and political rights and freedom of expression.” The Chinese government is obviously against this nomination.

“It would be completely wrong for the Nobel Prize committee to award the prize to such a person,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Ma Zhaoxu

George Ryan, Former Illinois Governor

Francis A. Boyle, a law professor at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, nominated Former Illinois Governor George Ryan who is currently in jail for federal corruption charges. He was nominated for his campaign to abolish the death penalty.

Alfred Nobel: Nobel Peace Prize 2010

Alfred Nobel: 2010 Winner.. What the heck is an Internet?

Would they really give the Nobel Peace Prize to the Internet?

Last year’s choice of Obama already stirred a great deal of controversy as Obama had just joined office and had no real accomplishments that warranted the prize. Some felt that it cheapened the Award.

This year, some speculate that due to the controversy the committee may select a conservative winner. Others say that last year is just more evidence that we can expect anything.

Alfred Nobel left simple, vague instructions on how to select winners in his 1895 will. It was to promote “fraternity between the nations and the abolition or reduction of standing armies”. It was meant for people who promoted peace through what they did. This definition has since been broadened by the Nobel Committee to also include human rights activist and the protection of the environment. The Nobel Committee is appointed by Norway’s parliament.

Why mention Nobel Peace Prize on this Blog?

The mere fact that the Internet is being nominated for what is considered one of the greatest awards today speaks volumes about how central internet has become.

Plus the internet is a mixed bag. Yes the internet has brought upon great proliferation of information and news. Yes, it has connected people from all around the world. It has opened new doors and opportunities to collaborate. It has truly been amazing. However we also know the Internet has caused a whole new set of emotional issues. It has opened the world to wide spread pornography and other degrading material for easy access to all ages. It has caused more people to waste more time staring at a screen whether it be simply cruising the internet or playing online multi-player video games. Our children grow up watching 8 hours of screen time a day, a huge chunk of that watching videos or tv shows on the Internet. 8 hours per day. There are many studies and professionals who mourn at the influence of media on our children’s development.

Nobel Peace Prize Nomination Process

Before getting carried away, let’s remember that numerous people are nominated every year for the Nobel Peace Prize. The information regarding who was nominated is not released by the Nobel Foundation until 50 years after the prize, but some information is made public by the ones who nominate the candidate. Yes the Internet was nominated, but in the past so was Joseph Stalin, Benito Mussolini, and believe it or not Adolf Hitler, thought the latter was done out of protest to the nomination of a different candidate. Meanwhile candidates like Mohandas Gandhi was nominated several times but never awarded.

  • What is your first gut reaction to this news?
  • What do you think? Does the Internet warrant consideration?
  • Do you think if the Internet wins the Nobel Peace Prize, it cheapens the Prize?
  • Did the Internet bring about Peace in some way?

10 Comments »

  • dragonfyshe said:

    Well I never! Maybe they can nominate me for the Nobel Peace Prize for something I may do in the future. How bogus is that? Mabe they should take it back from Obama cause lets face it what’s he done since?

    I love…not, the idea of nominating someone who is in jail for federal corruption charges. Sends out the wrong message if you ask me. Kind of like, oh I don’t believe in abortion but I do believe in stealing from old people. (this is just an example and not my personal view) Doesn’t make the governor a person worthy of the nobel peace prize in my book.

    As for the internet being nominated. Mmmmmm, isn’t this a place where several terrorists have learnt how to make bombs? Isn’t there a huge community of pedophiles on the Internet? Oh and pornography, lets celebrate that too shall we?!

    Apart from that fact, who does the actual award go to? The Internet is basically an inanimate object so where is the prize going to? Who’s doorstop is it going to be?

    The longer I’m alive the more I think the world has lost its marbles. I’m sure there are far more deserving people out there who have actually done good in this world that should be nominated. Not people who may do something or people jailed for federal crimes. Has it come down to the fact that all you have to do is say that you want peace in the world to get the Nobel Prize? If that’s the case, they better start handing them out to every chick who goes into a beauty pageant. I mean, isn’t that what they all say when asked what they want out of life? “World Peace”.

    I think the Nobel Peace Prize is becoming something of a joke. And I think it’s damn sad.

  • cleancutmedia (author) said:

    you bring up a good point.

    I think perhaps they should really revamp the way nominations are made.

    I think getting nominated itself is quite an honor and for the nominators to be able to nominate anyone (or anything in this case) seems to cheapen that honor.

    When I think Nobel prize, I think that is an incredible honor. kind of like the medal of honor.. only the best of the best should receive it. I just really hope there are some changes to keep it that way.

  • Vanessa said:

    It’s definitely interesting to see that a non-physical institution (if you can call it that) would be nominated for this award. Given that there are people like Mother Teresa and Martin Luther King as Nobel Prize recepients, it just seems so cheap to nominate something like the internet.

  • cleancutmedia (author) said:

    I think it would be good for the nominators to really hunt down the people who are doing good work for the benefit of many. There are so many people out deep in the thick of things, off in some poor country or some obscure nation benefiting the lives of all they meet.

    There are many who spent their whole lives establishing hospitals and schools all around the globe… we should honor those people that no one has heard of because they’ve been working so hard in obscure places for all their lives.

    just my two cents

  • Vanessa said:

    I second that..there is A LOT of good work going on all over the world that goes unnoticed.

  • dragonfyshe said:

    I agree with both of you. I, for one, know of two Aussies who have taken it upon themselves to ride their bycycles from the top of Africa to the bottom, all in the name of charity. In my book they’re more deserving than the internet, yet they still don’t fit the criteria.

    “Nobel Prize founder Alfred Nobel left simple, vague instructions on how to select winners in his 1895 will. It was to promote “fraternity between the nations and the abolition or reduction of standing armies”. It was meant for people who promoted peace through what they did. This definition has since been broadened by the Nobel Committee to also include human rights activist and the protection of the environment.”

    According to the above criteria, how does the internet rate? It’s done the opposite as far as “reduction of arms”. (see my above post). And as CleanCut mentioned: “However we also know the Internet has caused a whole new set of emotional issues. It has opened the world to wide spread pornography and other degrading material for easy access to all ages. It has caused more people to waste more time staring at a screen whether it be simply cruising the internet or playing online multi-player video games. Our children grow up watching 8 hours of screen time a day, a huge chunk of that watching videos or tv shows on the Internet. 8 hours per day. There are many studies and professionals who mourn at the influence of media on our children’s development.” This isn’t even healthy far less promoting fraternity etc. Human rights are still stamped upon via the internet in places like China so that rules out that one. So what’s left. Are they so desperate for nominations that they just throw names into a hat and draw them out.

    As everyone knows they have categories for physics, medicine etc. The people who are nominated for these awards are very obviously involved in physics, medicine etc., so why isn’t the Peace Prize the same. Personally I haven’t seen or heard of too many people promoting peace, or fraternity between nations. All you have to do is watch the news every night and you see the exact opposite happening.

    It not only cheapens the ideal of the Nobel Peace Prize, it’s turned it into more of a ‘I’ll nominate something so I get a mention’ thing.

    I tell you, the world is a sadder place for this kind of nomination.

    Though there has been winners in the past that were not just a single person. If memory serves me correct a couple of years ago the International Atomic Energy Agency won but they won due to their efforts for their efforts to prevent nuclear energy from being used for military purposes. This in my opinion fits the criteria.

    All you have to do is look at some of the other topics on this site like “Teenage Kills Mother, Shoots Father over Halo 3” to see that the Internet is just like the tabloids (no offence intended to CleanCut – you provide a wonderful service here).

    And I’m not being a smart a@se here but CleanCut fits the criteria better than most as it provides clean, interesting, and family oriented information. So I bestow the Dragonfyshe Peace Prize to CleanCut. Congrats

    (and that is meant sincerely)

  • cleancutmedia (author) said:

    thanks for your comments dragonfyshe.
    and double thanks for the dragonfyshe peace prize! i think this is my first award. haha 😀

    I think the the committee should not be afraid to NOT award anyone if there aren’t any good candidates.

    Also as noted earlier, there are definitely people out there doing lot of good work that not only should be honored but they sure could use the MONEY for whatever cause they are giving themselves to.

    2009 Barack Obama was awarded 1.38 million dollars (~10,000,000 Swedish Krona)
    In fact every winner since 2001 was given about ~10,000,000 Swedish Krona.

    If we give that kind of money to the ones who are in the grind of things, giving everything they have for help of the poor, sickly or some other needy group especially in areas where $1 can go long ways – how great would that be?

    It would also be nice to find out what the nobel peace prize winners – those who apparently are giving themselves to developing peace has done with the money since then… just to promote good use of the prize money.

  • dragonfyshe said:

    Just for everyone’s information. In the following years the nobel peace prize was and I quote
    “1972

    The prize money for 1972 was allocated to the Main Fund.”

    “1967-1966
    The prize money was allocated to the Main Fund (1/3) and to the Special Fund (2/3) of this prize section.”

    “1956-1955
    The prize money was allocated to the Main Fund (1/3) and to the Special Fund (2/3) of this prize section.”

    “1948

    The prize money was allocated to the Main Fund (1/3) and to the Special Fund (2/3) of this prize section.”

    “1943-1939
    The prize money was allocated to the Main Fund (1/3) and to the Special Fund (2/3) of this prize section.”

    “1932

    The prize money for 1932 was allocated to the Special Fund of this prize section.”

    “1928

    The prize money for 1928 was allocated to the Special Fund of this prize section.”

    “1924-1923
    The prize money for 1924-1923 was allocated to the Special Fund of this prize section.”

    “1918

    The prize money for 1918 was allocated to the Special Fund of this prize section.”

    “1916-1914
    The prize money for 1916-1914 was allocated to the Special Fund of this prize section.”

    So there is definitely a precedent in NOT awarding the prize every year. I reckon this is one of those years.

    And I agree with you. I would love to know whether the money was used to promote peace or to line their own pockets.

  • dragonfyshe said:

    Oh and my source for the above information is http://nobelprizes.com/nobel/peace/

  • cleancutmedia (author) said:

    thanks for that info dragonfyshe

    glad to get these kind of comments. The hope for this site is for discussion to happen :)

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