Friday Feb 23, 2024



section i use of english

directions: read the following text. choose the best word(s) for each numbered blank and mark a, b, c or d on answer sheet 1. (10 points)

given the advantage of electronic money, you might think that we should move quickly to the cashless society in which all payments are made electronically _1 , a true cashless society is probably not around the corner. indeed, predictions have been 2_ for two decades but have not yet come to fruition. for example, business week predicted in 1975 that electronic means of payment would soon “revolutionize the very 3_ of money itself”, only to 4_ itself several years later. why has the movement to cashless society been so 5_ in coming

1. a moreover b however c therefore d otherwise
2. a off b back c over d around
3. a power b history c conceptd sole
4. a reverse b res
ist c resume d reward
5. a silent b slow c sudden d steady

section ii reading comprehension

part a

directions: read the following fourtexts. answer the questions below each text by choosing a, b, c or d. mark your answers on answer sheet 1. (40 points)

text 1

in an essay, entitled “making it in america,” in the latest issue of the atlantic, the author adam davidson relates a joke from cotton country about just how much a modern textile mill has been automated: the average mill has only two employees today, “a man and a dog. the man is there to feed the dog, and the dog is there to keep the man away from the machines。”

davidson’s article is one of a number of pieces that have recently appeared making the point that the reason we have such stubbornly high unemployment and sagging middle-class incomes today is largely because of the big drop in demand because of the great recession, but it is also because of the quantum advances in both globalization and the information technology revolution, which are more rapidly than ever replacing labor with machines or foreign workers。

in the past, workers with average skills, doing an average job, could earn an average lifestyle. but, today, average is officially over. being average just won’t earn you what it used to. it can’t when so many more employers have so much more access to so much more above average cheap foreign labor, cheap robotics, cheap software, cheap automation and cheap genius. therefore, everyone needs to find their extra — their unique value contribution that makes them stand out in whatever is their field of employment. average is over。

yes, new technology has been eating jobs forever, and always will. as they say, if horses could have voted, there never would have been cars. but there’s been an acceleration. as davidson notes, “in the 10 years ending in 2009, [u.s.] factories shed workers so fast that they erased almost all the gains of the previous 70 years; roughly one out of every three manufacturing jobs — about 6 million in total — disappeared。”

and you ain’t seen nothin’ yet. last april, annie lowrey of slate wrote about a start-up called “e la carte” that is out to shrink the need for waiters and waitresses: the company “has produced a kind of souped-up ipad that lets you order and pay right at your table. the brainchild of a bunch of m.i.t. engineers, the nifty invention, known as the presto, might be found at a restaurant near you soon. … you select what you want to eat and add items to a cart. depending on the restaurant’s preferences, the console could show you nutritional information, ingredients lists and photographs. you can make special requests, like ‘dressing on the side’ or ‘quintuple bacon.’ when you’re done, the order zings over to the kitchen, and the presto tells you how long it will take for your items to come out. … bored with your companions? play games on the machine. when you’re through with your meal, you pay on the console, splitting the bill item by item if you wish and paying however you want. and you can have your receipt e-mailed to you. … each console goes for $100 per month. if a restaurant serves meals eight hours a day, seven days a week, it works out to 42 cents per hour per table — making the presto cheaper than even the very cheapest waiter。”

what the ipad won’t do in an above average way a chinese worker will. consider this paragraph from sunday’s terrific article in the times by charles duhigg and keith bradsher about why apple does so much of its manufacturing in china: “apple had redesigned the iphone’s screen at the last minute, forcing an assembly-line overhaul. new screens began arriving at the [chinese] plant near midnight. a foreman immediately roused 8,000 workers inside the company’s dormitories, according to the executive. each employee was given a biscuit and a cup of tea, guided to a workstation and within half an hour started a 12-hour shift fitting glass screens into beveled frames. within 96 hours, the plant was producing over 10,000 iphones a day. ‘the speed and flexibility is breathtaking,’ the executive said. ‘there’s no american plant that can match that.’ ”

and automation is not just coming to manufacturing, explains curtis carlson, the chief executive of sri international, a silicon valley idea lab that invented the apple iphone program known as siri, the digital personal assistant. “siri is the beginning of a huge transformation in how we interact with banks, insurance companies, retail stores, health care providers, information retrieval services and product services。”

there will always be change — new jobs, new products, new services. but the one thing we know for sure is that with each advance in globalization and the i.t. revolution, the best jobs will require workers to have more and better education to make themselves above average. here are the latest unemployment rates from the bureau of labor statistics for americans over 25 years old: those with less than a high school degree, 13.8 percent; those with a high school degree and no college, 8.7 percent; those with some college or associate degree, 7.7 percent; and those with bachelor’s degree or higher, 4.1 percent。

in a world where average is officially over, there are many things we need to do to buttress employment, but nothing would be more important than passing some kind of g.i. bill for the 21st century that ensures that every american has access to post-high school education。

亚当?戴维森(adam davidson)《在美国制造》一文中提到南部种棉地区的一个笑话,内容涉及现代纺织厂自动化的程度:如今的普通工厂只有两个雇员,“一个人外加一条狗。人是负责喂狗的,狗是让人不要靠近机器的。”




还有好戏呢。去年四月,slate 杂志的安妮?洛瑞(annie lowrey)写了一篇初创公司e la carte的文章,其目标是减少对服务生的需要:这家公司“已经生产出了一种增强版的ipad,它可以让您在桌边点菜和买单。也许很快在身边的餐馆里你就会见到这个麻省理工工程师们的杰作、时髦的发明 presto了。你可以选择你想吃的,把它放进小推车里。根据餐馆的选择,控制设备会显示营养信息、成分清单和图片等。你也可以有具体的需求,比如说‘调料放在边上’或者‘五倍的熏肉’。你都决定好之后,订单立马会传到厨房,presto会告诉你所点的东西花多长时间可以出来。… 与同伴等得不耐烦了?那就再ipad上玩玩游戏吧。吃完饭之后,你可以在控制设备上付款,如果你愿意,你可以一个菜一个菜地分割账单付款,你也可以选择付款方式。你还可以要求将收据发邮件给你。… 使用每个控制设备每月需要100美金。如果一家餐馆每天营业8小时,每周营业7天,那么每张餐桌每小时的成本只有42美分:因此presto比最廉价的服务员都便宜。”

ipad不能以超常方式做的,中国工人都可以做。来看看查尔斯?杜赫(charles duhigg) 和基斯?布拉德舍(keith bradsher)在周日在本报(《纽约时报》)上的一篇美文吧,文中有一段讲述了苹果公司为什么将那么多的生产环节放在中国:“最后一刻,苹果公司重新设计了iphone 的屏幕,因此装配线需要全部调整。午夜时分左右,新屏幕开始到达中国工厂。根据这位执行官的叙述,一名领班立即叫醒了公司宿舍的8000名工人。每人领了一份饼干和一杯茶后,就被带到一个车间,半小时内,他们就开始了12小时的轮班,将玻璃屏幕装到斜面框架中。96小时之后,这家工厂每天就能生产1万台iphone.‘这种速度和灵活性令人目瞪口呆。’这位执行官说,‘在美国找不到这样的工厂。’”







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