[FoRK] French hit back against the Google invasion

Aidan Kehoe kehoea at parhasard.net
Thu Feb 24 19:16:04 PST 2005

 Ar an ceathrú lá is fiche de mí Feabhra, scríobh Justin Mason: 

 > > Les Anglo-Saxons "emphasised the plight of aristocrats and the dark
 > > side of the guillotine and la terreur." The notion of the advancement
 > > of the common man - so prevalent in French accounts - was absent.
 > Well, they're right about that -- I don't think I've ever read an account
 > that gave *any* prominence to the latter, but I learned plenty of the
 > former.  That's an Irish education -- how was it covered in syllabi
 > elsewhere?

Maybe it’s just that twelve- and thirteen-year-old kids have better
retention of an image of old biddies sitting and knitting in front of the
guillotine day-in, day-out. I certainly remember Voltaire, the Enlightenment
and the aims of the revolution being _mentioned_, but they had healthy
competition for their space.

That the Revolution was a Good Thing, though, is a huge part of France’s
national myth. Drawing the obvious comparison with the Bolshevik “adventure”
in Russia--both well-intentioned, massively bloody, conducted by
psychopaths, led to massively-powerful effective monarchies--will probably
get the same quizzical incomprehension that you’ll get from people in the US
if you say that you’re not so into Thomas Jefferson and his writings, on the
basis that he kept slaves and sexually abused them.

 > (PS: I'm sure the NLI's problems are down to money.  Learning and history
 > doesn't get much respect with Ireland's current government, unless it's
 > scientific research, and can therefore translate into $$$$ somehow.
 > Digitising 19th century newspapers certainly doesn't have an obvious
 > money-spinning angle...)

As ever. Though--have you been to the National Botanic Gardens in Phibsboro
in the last few years? They’re massive and Victorian and in pretty good
nick, with recent restoration work and new exhibitions. Bertie Ahern’s
constituency, of course. 

“I, for instance, am gung-ho about open source because my family is being
held hostage in Rob Malda’s basement. But who fact-checks me, or Enderle,
when we say something in public? No-one!” -- Danny O’Brien

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