a journal of a researcher

Sunday, May 22, 2005

Ile d’Yeu

Among the Europeans, you will find you are in life. Though they are hard working people, they do not care too much the ranking, neither are they too keen to gain status. So they can keep in solitude status for a long time. Compared to this, North American style is a little bit too competency oriented. The researchers work and work in order not to be solitude, as I observed.

In Ile d’Yeu, we had a bicycle tour on Day Two afternoon. The weather was good. I was able to finish the full turn around the coast of the island. It was about 3 hours for 32km. It was a very quiet island with 5000 habitants. The major industry is fishing and tourism. From the photos you can see its landscape and how the street looks like.

L'ile d'Yeu

Quiet Street




  • Beautiful pictures!!! Thanks for sharing them.

    I don't know if it is true that Europeans do not care about ranking. This feels like a generalization.

    By Blogger Daniel Lemire, at 6:49 AM  

  • As a European I can confirm that ranking is less of an issue for Europeans as it is for Americans or Canadians.

    For instance, the concept of ranking Universities is rather new to Europe and students don't usually care too much about it. They simply go to the university that offers the courses they want to take.

    To ensure that, for instance, the title "Master of Computer Science" entails a similar quality and quantity of teaching regardless of the teaching location (University), certain frame rules are in place.

    The way especially Americans treat their ranking is viewed by Europeans as way too competitive. Team work and enjoying work and life are generally more important than "working 80 hours a week in order to improve ones ranking or in order to take over someone's position".
    This approach that is common to e.g. American companies is generally viewed as too competitive and as "taking the joy out of life". In other words: Why would you strive to reach a certain position or ranking or income if you don't have any time left to enjoy the benefits of this because you have to work 80 hours a week?

    But I would not say that either way is better. The very competitive system apparently works fine within North America while the less competitive system works fine in Europe. (If that wasn’t the case, one of the economies would be significantly weaker than the other one)

    At the same time, the issue "ranking" is certainly an upcoming issue for Europe.

    The computer science department of my home university, for example, was just rated the "best CS department in Germany" by 600 leading IT companies.
    I have no idea why and how they chose our department but it looks like I picked the right university.

    I knew "ranking" would hit Europe when I started University so I tried to find the "best" university for my subject. Looks like I succeeded. :-)

    But I can say with confidence that it was not a big issue and I don't have much of a competitive advantage over someone from another university because a graduate from there learned almost the same things I did.


    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:14 AM  

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