EUobserver.com covers Chirac’s pledge “to compete with Google”.
Dubbed “Quaero” (“I seek” in Latin) so as not to upset Germans (since when have they loved Latin? German wasn’t a Romance language last time I looked… Maybe Chirac has other plans?).
While it’s tempting just to lay into French cultural imperialism, and generally have a go at Chirac (behave…) we shouldn’t forget our gratitude to the French for the support they give their film industry. Where would the world be without French film?
That said, we also have French protectionism in industry and business which isn’t doing either France or Europe any good…
What most rankles with me is the separatist, competitive and exclusive approach. In a world of contributive effort, open source software and eroding barriers, why Monsieur Le President couldn’t have dedicated money to supporting online content – paying for good articles on Wikipedia; enhancing material for google.fr to find…
Bah non – time for some imperialistic hullabaloo, as well as a chance to feed some more state support (oops, I mean funding) to Thomson.
How better to end that with Chirac’s apocalyptic statement of the obvious:
Today the new geography of knowledge and cultures is being drawn. Tomorrow, that which is not available online runs the risk of being invisible to the world.
So now we know.