The Internet, E-commerce and globalization are making a new economic era possible. In the future, capitalist markets will largely be replaced by a new kind of economic system based on networked relationships, contractual arrangements and access rights.
Has the quality of our lives at work, at home and in our communities increased in direct proportion to all the new Internet and business-to-business Internet services being introduced into our lives? I have asked this question of hundreds of CEOS and corporate executives in Europe and the United States. Surprisingly, virtually everyone has said,"No, quite contrary." The very people responsible for ushering in what some have called a "technological renaissance" say they are working longer hours, feel more stressed, are more impatient, and are even less civil in their dealings with colleagues and friends--not to mention strangers. And what's more revealing, they place much of the blame on the very same technologies they are so aggressively championing.
The techno gurus (领袖) promised us that access would make life more convenient and give us more time. Instead, the very technological wonders that were supposed to liberate us have begun to enslave us in a web of connections from which there seems to be no easy escape.
If an earlier generation was preoccupied with the quest to enclose a vast geographic frontier, the .com generation, it seems, is more caught up in the colonization of time. Every spare moment of our time is being filled with some form of commercial connection, making time itself the most scarce of all resources. Our e-mail, voice mail and cell phones, our 24-hour Interact news and entertainment all seize for our attention.
And while we have created every kind of labor-and time-saving device to service our needs, we are beginning to feel like we have less time available to us than any other humans in history. That is because the great proliferation of labor-and-time-saving services only increases the diversity, pace and flow of commodified activity around us. For example, e-mail is a great convenience. However, we now find ourselves spending much of our day frantically responding to each other's electronic messages. The cell phone is a great time-saver,Except now we are always potentially in reach of someone else who wants our attention.
Social conservatives talk about the decline in civility and blame it on the loss of a moral compass and religious values. Has anyone bothered to ask whether the hyper speed culture is making all of us less patient and less willing to listen and defer, consider and reflect?
Maybe we need to ask what kinds of connections really count and what types of access really matter in the e-economy era. ff this new technology revolution is only about hyper efficiency, then we risk losing something even precious than time--our sense of what it means to be a caring human being.
1. According to the passage, corporate executives think that
A. technology renaissance should be pushed forward.
B. technology has a profound impact on their lives.
C. technology actually results in a decline in their life quality.
D. technology should be aggressively championed.
2. Which of the following is NOT true?
A. Technology was supposed to free people.
B. The .corn generation became slaves of technology.
C. New technologies occupy much of our time.
D. It is difficult to avoid the influence of technology wonders.
3. What is the most valuable resource for the .com generation?
A. Technological wonders.
B. Access to information.
D. Time saving devices.
4. In the sixth paragraph, the author implied that
A. social conservatives blamed the loss of morality on technology.
B. the .com generation was less civil than the earlier generations.
C. the hyper speed culture led to the decline in civility.
D. technology might make people less impatient.
5. An appropriate title for the passage might be
A. The New Internet Life.
B. The Drawbacks of too Much Access.
C. The Failure of Technological Renaissance.
D. The Declining Quality of Life.