French President Jacques Chirac thinks Google is a plague on French culture, so he's asked his culture minister and the head of Bibliotheque Nationale to dream up an organically French search engine. What would that look like? Certainly not like the existing French version of Google, corrupted as it is by the dirty googling masses. The Economist reports:
Why not let Google do the job? Its French version is used for 74 percent of internet searches in France. The answer is the vulgar criteria it uses to rank results.
"I do not believe", wrote Mr Donnedieu de Vabres in Le Monde, "that the only key to access our culture should be the automatic ranking by popularity, which has been behind Google's success."
The answer, of course, is to let right-thinking men decide what ought to be popular:
If popularity cannot arbitrate, what will? Mr Jeanneney wants a "committee of experts". He appears to be serious…
Whole thing here.