back to article Long lunching Luddites show world how to do IT

Last week, a report emerged with one of the most unlikely conclusions in the short history of digital policy. The report was built around yet another ranking of the technological performance of different countries around the world. Its main finding was this: "France, which spends a substantial one per cent of GDP on …


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  1. Nicolas Fanget

    Go France!

    I dare suggest we might need a French icon? I'd vote either for the French flag or a clove of garlic.

  2. Anonymous Coward

    et alors?

    So this is a report which ranks countries on the basis of:

    a) How much taxpayers money they spend on subsidising industry


    b) How much a goverment /talks/ about doing the socially responsible 'right thing', rather than how much it actually /does/ it

    and then someone is surprised that France tops the table? Sacré Bleu!

  3. Robin

    Vive la France

    France is poorly understood by anybody with an anglo saxon background. They do things their way and it works about as well as any other way. With regards to technology in general, without France there would be no European space industry, no Airbus and no Eurostar.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Maybe they were...

    ... thinking of Minitel

  5. Chris Bradshaw

    viva la France

    As hard as this is to write (being British and American ;-) ), I am with the French on this - IMHO long lunches and shops built with bricks are preferable to mouldy sandwiches from a machine and shopping at Amazon. To be sure, I do some shopping on-line and some lunching alone, but I prefer activities with more social interaction. Call me a Luddite if you will (I don't have a TV and don't miss it), but I value quality of life over price of goods...

    If the virtualization of social life continues in the same direction, the pub will be among the next casualties. And that will give even Reg hacks something to regret :-)

  6. Mike Stephens

    Misleading Title

    It's bad enough that this article starts by misleading you into thinking the French have come out top in an IT efficiency audit but unfortunately it subsequently fails to correct that clearly so you have to finish up reading it twice. Even then I don't really understand what it's saying. In fact it's more a bit of french-style philosophizing. What actually was the ranking about and how does that affect us?

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Aid... for French industry

    France is good at this.. development "aid" with strings attached in that the money can only be spent on "French" products.

    The "customer" officials get money under the table, businesses get deals, and the French government gets to look good. I've heard that sometimes the systems don't even get installed.

    Good for the developing world, not.

    Anonymous coward who got sucked into the mess created by one of these deals.

    (the long lunches are not a joke... on the first day of commissioning the salesmen and customers went off for a 2.5 hour lunch!)

  8. Nano nano

    There already

    The French have long had smartcard cash, so they can't be /that/ backward.

  9. James Anderson
    Paris Hilton



    "They do things their way and it works about as well as any other way"

    That certainly is not true of the plumbing. They do it there way, the radiators emit noise rather than heat, and the drains stink of la merde.

  10. Nicolas Fanget

    @Aid... for French industry by Anonymous Coward

    Because American "aid" (for example) is different? At least when the French gov gives money (not a lot, I know) to fight HIV in Africa they don't demand "abstinence only" schemes.

  11. Steve

    French icon?

    It would have to be Jeanne d'Arc, surely?

  12. Roger Kynaston Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    Re: Aid .... for the french industry

    All west/north countries do aid this way, the US is the most explicit about their aid being of benefit to the US. Give them tractors and then sell them a lucrative support contract sort of thing.

    Interesting article. It is interesting to see a different take on the endless march of technology.

    What views do people have on call centres in India?

  13. Robin

    La merde

    @James Anderson

    The whole of Paris stinks of la merde, that's why so many perfume companies are french I believe....

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