Japan Follows France In Thinking That Gov't Bureaucracy Can Beat Google

from the how's-that-working-in-France? dept

We've written in the past about the French boondoggle of a plan to create a government-subsidized search engine to compete with Google. Marc Andreessen points out that Japan is the latest country to try to compete with Google using government subsidies. Apparently, a consortium of large Japanese companies will divide up the task of developing a Google-killer, with the whole project overseen by government bureaucrats. Somehow, it's unlikely that Google is worried. One thing that did catch our eye, though, is that as we've discussed before, Japan's overly-restrictive copyright laws seem to be holding back innovation. According to the Financial Times, copyright law doesn't permit companies to hold copies of others' websites on their servers. That makes it awfully hard to build a functional search engine. Perhaps instead of spending money building a government-subsidized search engine, the Japanese government should focus on making its copyright policies more hospitable to high-tech innovation.

Filed Under: bureaucracy, foreign competition, gov't subsidies, search engines
Companies: google, miti


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  1. identicon
    Ajax 4Hire, 7 Sep 2007 @ 11:14am

    Information want to be free!!!

    Knowledge is not information;
    Information is not knowledge.

    "The tighter your grip, the more star systems will slip thru your fingers." Princess Leia of Alderaan.

    Japan will learn that a very tight grip on information will only result in choking off innovation. Innovation will move elsewhere. Japan will become a has been.

    Information want to be free!!!

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2. identicon
    James Jones, 7 Sep 2007 @ 1:19pm

    Just remember

    "The worst thing someone can hear is, I'm from the government, and I'm here to help." -- Ronald Reagan

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 7 Sep 2007 @ 1:57pm

    They make mighty fine robots, though.

    Mighty fine.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4. identicon
    R, 7 Sep 2007 @ 2:15pm

    ++

    Dorpus?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5. identicon
    dorpus, 7 Sep 2007 @ 4:16pm

    When Freedom Doesn't Help

    In American culture, people are relatively open about themselves and equate "freedom of speech" to the opportunity to honestly discuss problems and do something about them.

    However, this pattern doesn't hold in Asia. "Freedom" is understood to mean that people can lie about whatever they want, a free pass to behave unethically. Critical thinking is not emphasized in Asian education systems; the emphasis is all on obeying authority. If people are told they are "free to say what they want", it is taken to mean that they can make up lies about other people and e.g. say that Mike has a small dick, here is a picture of his mother who has breast cancer, hahaha.

    In American culture, we have Judeo-Christian morals that say it is wrong to make false witness against others, to beat up on the weak or poor. In Asia with its Confucian-Buddhist values, there are no such morals -- "freedom" is interpreted as a power vacuum that should be filled by whoever is the bigger bully.

    Forums where people can say whatever they want do exist in Japan and Korea, and they are quite popular. They are places where people compete to be the bigger racist, the bigger maker of personal attacks against whoever they don't like. The real purpose of a government-made Google is to foster the blind chauvinism and direct it against foreigners, instead of questioning the country's social problems.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6. identicon
    Jamfish, 8 Sep 2007 @ 9:38am

    Can't Beat the Free Market

    Government trying to compete in the free market? Hardy-har-har.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7. identicon
    Joe Smith, 9 Sep 2007 @ 11:30am

    twenty years

    The Japanese economy has been stagnant for twenty years. You would have thought they would have realized by now that big projects directed by bureaucrats in government and implemented by "salary men" in the major corporations is not the route to progress and renewal.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8. identicon
    Joe Smith, 9 Sep 2007 @ 3:28pm

    Re: When Freedom Doesn't Help

    Without validating some of the stronger language in Dorpus's post, books and articles on cross cultural communication in the business context do say that different cultures have different views on truth and honesty - they may even have different views on what is real and what is not real.

    As a result of a business relationship I am involved in I am becoming very concerned over just how wide a gap there is between the views of WASPs (like me) and the views of South Asians (Hindus and Sikhs) on the importance of honesty; what it means to be "honest"; what is true and what is not true; what is real and what is not real. This is not an abstract epistimological concern but a real, immediate, practical concern involving several million dollars.

    Are there any good books or articles out there that would help me understand the South Asian approach to "truth".

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9. identicon
    Bob Jones, 9 Sep 2007 @ 6:21pm

    Considering Japan is the 2nd largest economy in the world and a massive tech power, it can't be that hard?

    I think however where they might have succeeded in cars for example, is where the American 3 were riddled with government interference ... perhaps Japans way is not wise, however its not interference in an industry - its interference in an otherwise nonexistant company.

    What do I know though? In Europe, we love Ford so ...

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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