Thursday, September 01, 2005

Le "searchengine"

The reports that French President Jacques Chirac wants to go to war with Yahoo, Google, MSN and other US-based search engines, defending his country against the threat of “Anglo-Saxon cultural imperialism.” “We’re engaged in a global competition for technological supremacy. In France, in Europe, it’s our power that’s at stake,” Chirac said in a speech in Reims this week, according to David Litterick’s news story. Chirac said that he would provide forgivable loans to create a Franco-German search engine, which is currently in development in the labs at Thompson and Deutche Telekom. Next, Chirac, a staunch opponent of the war in Iraq, is going to claim that Google and Yahoo are hiding WMD in their algorithms. Cultural imperialism is a scourge, but creating another multimedia search engine and fomenting a search technology arms race is not a solution. The Internet is a global phenomenon (The World is Flat, as Tom Friedman puts it). It’s about breaking down barriers, not erecting them. If the issue is about economics, then bring on competition, and let’s make better search engines. If the issue is about including content, data sources and languages in indices and pages that capture a particular part of the world or tradition, then let’s break down those barriers too. We are only about 10 years into the modern Internet, and dealing with the impact of global networks. Balkanizing isn’t the way to go forward…

Parlez vous Franglais

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