French word of the week: La froide (15/11/2022)

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It is a cold and rainy November in Paris these days, enough to understand why so many Parisians are keen to leave the city. (I’m considering investing in one of the luminotherapy lamps if anyone has any suggestions.)

I have large windows at home but it is so dreary, I still have to turn the lights on in the middle of the day. To explain, here’s a chart showing how much sunshine the U.S. gets compared to Europe.

Anywhoo, the gasoline shortage I mentioned last week has ended without too much drama. No need for the French army to deliver supplies, as some editorialists were suggesting last week, 96% of gas stations across the country are back to normal. Just in time for the big push to the Christmas!

Other than that there is not too much exciting happening in France at the moment. In fairness, school was off for the past 2 weeks, so who can really manage to follow the news with children yelling in the background?

We’re also all just watching in bafflement at the chaos at Twitter headquarters, which I can state clearly, could never happen in France. You simply cannot acquire a company and fire people in France overnight like this, for a company the size of Twitter.

For one, financial historians will remember how in 2013 the French govt stepped in and stopped Daily Motion from being acquired by Yahoo. Secondly for the layoffs, it would be called a “Plan Social” and any layoff plan would have to be negotiated and approved by the Union Comité d’Entreprise and the Inspector de Travail.

In all, it can easily take a year or two, by the time an acquisition and French Plan social is drafted, approved, and acted on, along with a large negotiated payout and likely another 2 years unemployment coverage with it from the state.

So you can imagine the number of articles in French newspapers trying to explain how the Twitter situation isn’t all that unusual in the Anglosphere.

One must pick I suppose, good winter weather in the U.S. or social safety net protections in France?

Until then, the French govt spokesperson Olivier Véran (and potential 2027 Presidential candidate) has announced that he is not going to be paying for the blue checkmark.

And when it comes to social networks, I hear that Mastadon is trending (a German company ndlr) so let’s see how that goes. But we’ll always have email!

In other news:

And new in the blog:



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