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darobin (1316)

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Journal of darobin (1316)

Thursday January 17, 2002
10:07 AM


[ #2217 ]

I've long been a member of the french Parti Socialiste (the main left-wing party) but only recently did I find out that they had a purely virtual section which also serves as a think tank for computer and internet related ideas.

I must say that so far I've been rather impressed with the quality of the discussion there, and with the impact of their ideas on the rest of the Parti Socialiste. As an example, three of their ideas just made it to the PS's program for next year's election (since the last administration a political program has become something ~80% of which is followed by action, which has been a nice improvement on prior unheld promises, irrespective of party. Of course, we've still got to work on the remaining 20%).

The first idea is the ban of all software patents. That is incredibly good news as the Europe, under US pressure, has been seriously considering accepting them. The second one is to sponsor a computer and internet connection for all households under a certain revenue level that have a child in secondary school (15-18 years old) in order to reduce the digital divide and to gradually replace the Minitel (the Minitel is some sort of internet with dedicated terminals that has existed in France since the 80s. The terminals themselves were originally given away for free, while the connection was paid for. It was tremedously succesful, with all sorts of e-commerce, chat, porn, bank, administration, etc. "sites"). The third one is to pass a law favouring Open Source in the administration to cut down costs, increase security, and steer clear of backdoors. It's already been dubbed "La Loi Linux" (The Linux Law) by the press.

As you an guess, I am even more eager than before to see the PS win this year's elections (one for presidency, the other for parliament; in other words the two most important elections in France). Defeat would set us back a few years (on other subjects as well, notably justice and professional education).

And the funniest thing (for me): I just found out that one of the guys that's part of this section is the one that created the CMS for the Parti Socialiste :-) There's an IRL meeting tonight (something rare) and I hope he'll be there, we ought to have a few things to talk about ;-)

PS: GMTA, Great Minds Think Alike

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  • Digital divide? (Score:2, Interesting)

    The second one is to sponsor a computer and internet connection for all households under a certain revenue level that have a child in secondary school (15-18 years old) in order to reduce the digital divide and to gradually replace the Minitel.

    (Warning: this is not articulate. Just points for discussion. That's something we could discuss at some meeting, maybe?)

    Don't you think the so-called "digital divide" is just another buzzword in the general "France is lagging behind" trend? I suppose chea

    • I don't know if I made the point clear in my journal, and anyway that point was vastly clarified in an amendment made at yesterday's meeting. Here are a few (inarticulate as well ;-) clarifications:

      Digital divide was my word, not that of the program. I had a look at a few numbers yesterday and the main point on which France is lagging is in equipment of households. For the rest, France is doing either as well or better than other european countries. What I meant by digital divide is exactly what yo


      -- Robin Berjon []

  • Even If I'm not a PS fan (In fact I'm not a politic fan ;-) This kind of commitment could get my vote... To my mind you should communicate more on this. I see a lot of users petition against software patents here in France, but as far as I know very few politics talk about it (except maybe Noel Mamere which invited Stallman ?)
    • From what I understood, the PS more or less "stole" the idea of running against software patents from Noel Mamere...

      • Yes and no ;-) There's far more communication between the two parties than is usually made public by the press (or worse, the TV). They are, after all, trying to come up with a common program.

        The idea has been around for a while in both parties. People that have common interests on both sides often talk. I don't know who had the idea first though. In any case from what I've heard, the PS has a Perlian approach to programs. If someone has a good idea, "steal" it ;-)


        -- Robin Berjon []

    • It's hard to get politicians to talk about it, simply because apart from a few, they're mostly ignorant of such problems. They accept the fact that they have competent councilors to deal with this (Jean-Noël Tronc is a good example of such a councilor). Also, quite a few politicians think it's an elitist concern, a problem for the rich. Explaining to them that what may now be a problem of a happy few will be a problem for everyone in a few years time is hard, and it takes time. I know Jospin has got


      -- Robin Berjon []