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四级六级阅读练习(10):书籍和互联网:你能看出它们的关联吗?

所属:四六级英语 阅读:1984 次 评论:0 条 [我要评论]  [+我要收藏]

It's easy to forget that the world wide web as we know it today evolved from an early attempt to put books on the internet. When Tim Berners-Lee envisaged what would become the world wide web, it was with the idea of making academic papers and other documents widely available. To this end he devised a simple way of laying out text and images on a page, inventing what we now call Hypertext Markup Language or HTML.

envisage vt. 想像;设想[+(that)][+v-ing]

to this end  为了这个目的;为此

devise vt. 1.设计;发明;策划;想出

lay out  展示;安排;布置

Early HTML could define pages and paragraphs, bold and italicise text, embed images and lay out tables. A little more than 20 years later, HTML 5 includes media playback and animation, and the web has now become so ubiquitous that for most users it is indistinguishable from the underlying framework of the internet itself, but at its core the technology of the web remains little changed. Every web page, however sophisticated it may seem, is basically a digital book that we read on our computer through our web browser.

ubiquitous adj. 到处存在的,无处不在的,十分普遍的

indistinguishable a. 难区分的,不能分辨的

sophisticated  adj. 成熟的;复杂的;精致的

web browser  浏览器

So when Hugh McGuire, founder of PressBooks and LibriVox, stated today that the book and the internet will merge, he was in one sense simply reiterating what is already the case. But from the perspective of people without the technical knowledge to see how closely entwined the book and the internet already are, it has the whiff of yet another doom-monger proclaiming the death of the book as we know it.

merge v.[I] 1. 合并,融合 2. 消失 3. 吞没

reiterate v. 重申;反复地做

entwine vt.1. 使缠绕 2. 使交错;使紧密结合 vi. 缠绕;纠缠在一起

McGuire's argument hinges on the recent emergence of ebooks as a serious contender to the print book as the dominant artefact of the publishing industry, with some suggesting that ebooks will make up 50% of the book market by 2015 thanks to the Kindle, iPad and smartphones. Ebooks are deliberately packaged and marketed to appear as much like traditional print books as possible, so many readers will be surprised to discover that ebooks are built around much the same HTML structure that powers the web. Every ebook, no matter how much like a print book it may seem, is a web page that we read on the simplified browser embedded in our e-reader of choice.

hinge n. [C]1. 铰链 2.枢纽,关键,中心 vt. 1. 给...安装铰链[H]  vi. 1. 靠铰链转动 2. 决定于[W][(+on/upon)]

The distinction between the ebook/webpage, webpage/ebook is not a material one. In technological terms they are exactly the same thing. But when McGuire first mooted his argument on Twitter in April last year my response likely mirrors the response of many book readers, "Books are researched, written, edited, published, marketed … and hence paid for. The internet is ego noise, hence free." The distinction many of us draw between a book and a webpage is one of quality and hence of value. The real question raised by McGuire's argument is whether we continue to value ebooks as books, or as webpages. Books are something we pay for. Webpages are things we read for free. Which model will win out?

moot  v. 提出……供讨论

win out  胜出;最后获得成功

Unless you are one of the very small number of people whose fortunes rest upon the outdated business model of publishing, you should hope that the latter wins. Because this is about a much bigger issue than how writers and editors get paid for the valuable work they do. For hundreds of years we've been slowly expanding the reach of human knowledge, both in terms of what we know and how many of us know it. Today we take a resource like Wikipedia for granted – but compare it with the situation of only a few decades ago, when the majority of the population had lacked easy access to such knowledge. The benefits of expanding access to knowledge, both social and economic, are incalculable.

rest upon  依赖于;取决于

get paid  得到报酬;领工资

take……for granted  认为……理所当然

Now we stand at the threshold of possibly the most revolutionary advances in human history. The combined technologies of the internet – HTML webpages, ebooks, search technology, social media and many more – are very close to making all human knowledge accessible to all people for free. Even the short-term consequences of this advance are hard to envisage, and in the long term it has the potential to improve our future as much as the invention of the printing press improved our past and present.

threshol n.[C] 1. 阈值,下限 2. 门槛 3. 开端

social media 社交媒体

in the long term 从长远看

Every time society advances, it faces challenges from those people economically and emotionally invested in the past. Undoubtedly stone age flint knappers were less than happy about bronze-age technology disturbing their business model. The medieval church was none to pleased about printing technology breaking their hegemony over knowledge, but we'd never have had the Enlightenment without it. Today the media-conglomerates, governments and educational institutions that profit from gatekeeping knowledge of all kinds are pushing the Stop Online Piracy Act, and even more draconian legislation to try and hold back the flood of free knowledge that threatens their power. Unless we want to stay in the knowledge equivalent of the stone age, and miss the next enlightenment the knowledge revolution promises to bring with it, we should all redouble our efforts to make sure they lose.

invested in the past 寄希望于过去

hold back  抑制;阻止

equivalent a. 1. 相等的;相同的[(+to)]  2. 等价的;等值的;等量的;等效的[(+to)]  3. 同意义的  n. [C]1. 相等物;等价物[(+of/to)]  2. 同义字[(+of/for)]

For centuries the book has been the highest symbol of knowledge. The object that has enshrined and preserved knowledge through history. The book is so inextricably linked with our concept of knowledge that for many people it is hard to separate one from the other. But for human knowledge to reach its full potential, we may have to let go of the book-as-object first, or open our thinking to a radically different definition of what a book is.

enshrine vt. 1. 把...置于神龛内 2. 把...奉为神圣 3. 珍藏;铭记

Question time:

1. Why should we hope Webpages wins?

2. According to the auther's opinion, for human knowledge to reach its full potential, what should we do?

【参考答案反白可见(按ctrl+A即可)】

1. Because the benefits of expanding access to knowledge, both social and economic, are incalculable, and in the long term it has the potential to improve our future as much as the invention of the printing press improved our past and present.

2. We may have to let go of the book-as-object first, or open our thinking to a radically different definition of what a book is.


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2012-06-11 08:55 编辑:甯老师
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