To live in the United States today is to gain anappreciation for Dahrendorf’s assertion thatsocial change exists everywhere. Technology, theapplication of knowledge for practical ends, is amajor source of social change.
Yet we would do well to remind ourselves that technology is a human creation; it does not existnaturally.A spear or a robot is as much a cultural as a physical object. Until humans use aspear to hunt game or a robot to produce machine parts, neither is much more than a solidmass of matter. For a bird looking for an object on which to rest, a spear or robot serves thepurpose equally well. The explosion of the Challenger space shuttle and the Russian nuclearaccident at Chernobyl drive home the human quality of technology;they provide cases in whichwell-planned systems suddenly went haywire(变得混乱) and there was no ready hand to setthem right. Since technology is a human creation, we are responsible for what is done with it. Pessimists worry that we will use our technology eventually to blow our world and ourselves topieces. But they have been saying this for decades. and so far we have managed to surviveand even flourish. Whether we will continue to do so in the years ahead remains uncertain. Clearly, the impact of technology on our lives deserves a closer examination.
Few technological developments have had a greater impact on our lives than the computerrevolution. Scientists and engineers have designed specialized machines that can do thetasks that once only people could do.There are those who assert that the switch to aninformation-based economy is in the same camp as other great historical milestones, particularly the Industrial Revolution. Yet when we ask why the Industrial Revolution was arevolution, we find that it was not the machines. The primary reason why it was arevolutionary is that it led to great social change. It gave rise to mass production and, through mass production, to a society in which wealth was not confined to the few.
In somewhat similar fashion, computers promise to revolutionize the struccure of American fife, particularly as they free the human mind and open new possibilities in knowledge andcommunication. The Industrial Revolution supplemented and replaced the muscles of humansand animals by mechanical methods. The computer extends this development to supplementand replace some aspects of the mind of human beings by electronic methods. n is thecapacity of the computer for solving problems and making decisions that represents itsgreatest potential and that poses the greatest difficulties in predicting the impact on society.
1. A spear or a robot has the quality oftechnology only when it_____________.
A) is used both as a cultural and a physical object
B) serves different purposes equally well
C) is utilized by man
D) can be of use co both man and animal
2. The examples of the Challenger and Chernobyl cited by the author serve to showthat_________________.
A) if not given close examination, technology could be used to destroy our world
B) technology is a human creation, so we are responsible for it
C) technology usually goes wrong, if not controlled by man
D) being a human creation. technology is liable to error
3. According to the author. the introduction of the computer is a revolution mainlybecause__________________.
A) the computer has revolutionized the workings of the human mind
B) the computer can do the tasks that could only be done by people before
C) it has helped to switch to an information technology
D) it has a great potential impact on society
4. By using the phrase "the human quality of technology" (Line 7, Para. 2), the authorrefersto the fact that technology_______________.
A) has a great impact on human life
B) has some characteristics of human nature
C) can replace some aspects of the human mind
D) does not exist in the natural world
5. The passage is based on the author's_______________.
A) keen insight into the nature of technology
B) prejudiced criticism of the role of the Industrial Revolution
C) cautious analysis of the replacement of the human mind by computers
D) exaggerated description of the negative consequences of technology
[D]根据题干关键词the Challenger and Chernobyl查找到第2段第5句。该句提到，美国挑战者号航天飞机的爆炸以及俄罗斯切尔诺贝利核泄露事件彻底暴露了技术的人为性特征。也就是说技术是人为创造出来的，容易出问题,D正确。B虽然文中有所提及，却不是作者举例要说明的问题，A.C在原文中找不到依据。