Richness starts with diversity

I like Paul Graham's essays, a lot. But I must admit I feel like Jeremy Keith.

Among the many things that our friends from the U.S.A. don't get, are cultural differences. The slogan of the European Union is "United in diversity". I guess that sentence just doesn't make sense for most of them. I know a lot of folks in North America, and the ones who can grasp that concept have extensively travelled outside their continent (when they're not children of immigrants). It's a matter of priorities I guess. When on top of your list are money and oil, your perspective is surely different than when it's peace and quality of life (outside the office, that is). Also the fact that we have entire countries, with their own language, that have barely more inhabitants than Paris must be some kind of mystery for a huge number of people. Funnily enough, it's always from people who can only speak one language: English. And they're still surprised each time they discover it's not even the first language out there.

But can you trust people who think that food is an unfortunate necessity of life --and eating a waste of time-- when it's a pleasure? I really discovered that in New York, where too many folks there seem only fascinated by the "experience" of huge fancy places with obsequious waiters carrying pepper grinders longer than a full baguette, and a lot of other tricks designed to make sure they're not paying attention to the food served there.

Oh well, let's take this with a bit of salt. The French may not go anywhere but my intuition tells me that French isn't going anywhere either ;-). Funny, really.

1 Comment

You build a good case for how we can learn from other nations and from one another.... I am reminded as I read your thoughtful ideas, Francois... that diversity starts with each of us... Thanks for that reminder.

mensuelles Archives

Recent Entries

  • Steve Jobs

    "Remembering that I’ll be dead soon is the most important tool I’ve ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because...

  • Your privacy on MOTOBLUR by Motorola

    After the Nokia Ovi Store carelessness, it's now Motorola who's allowing strangers to get access to your private information on their MOTOBLUR portal. Exactly like...

  • How to resume a broken ADC download

    (I'm documenting this trick for myself to remember, but it can be useful for others…) Apple, on its Apple Developer Connection site, has a bad...

  • WTF is this ‘myEventWatcherDiv’ doing in my web?

    All of a sudden I started to find the following line in most of the web pages I was browsing, including ones I made where...

  • Your privacy on Nokia Ovi Store

    My friend Adam Greenfield recently complained about the over-engineering culture at Nokia: I was given an NFC phone, and told to tap it against the...