France, Join The Wired World

France has never had a love affair with computers or the Internet. Its tradition-bound culture doesn't value instantaneous communication and information the way techie-loving Americans do. Students at the nation's elite schools still write long compositions by hand, no PCs allowed; it's more elegant. There are even executives at a major French bank who refuse to have a PC in their office because it clashes with the 18th century decor. No wonder France's computer use is among the lowest among Western nations. But however painful, it's time for France to enter the 21st century.

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