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2006-7-6 21:39 印建坤 

Unit 18

  Hello back there! This is me, in the future. It's great here. We finally have robots that do things for us, although none of them are very attractive, at least not after the third or fourth date. Dogs and cats developed the power of speech several years ago, and turn out to have very little interesting to say beyond requests for food and, on the part of cats, expressions of condescension.

  One thing that has not changed in the 50 years since you guys were merging and purging all over the place is our reliance on media. Today we have 484,567,543 channels of great programming, which correspond exactly to the population of the U.S. It's really fabulous. Each of us has his or her own mix that completely serves our interests and virtual habits. I say virtual habits because none of us have any real habits to speak of, good or bad. They were outlawed in 2025, and most of us agree that we're happier without any.

  Our programming mixtures reach us through a variety of pipelines all owned by one of four Great Big Media Companies. These are all exactly alike in their collection of assets, each of them owning broadcast, narrowcast, die-cast, retrocast and cybercast, broadband, narrowband, audio, video, satellite and an upload-and-download phalanx of option-driven interfaces. Each of our Great Big Media Companies has thousands of brands that make us feel all warm and toasty and provide an emotional connection to a past that nobody can actually remember. We love our GBMCs and buy their stocks all the time.

  And they're getting bigger. Not long ago, the largest GBMC declared itself to be a nation, established a virtual army and invaded Nova Scotia. Right now, it's fighting the Canadians, who are holding out for preferred stock in the new entity before they capitulate.

  So things have changed a lot, except maybe for one thing. As I'm dictating this into the cyber-neural-net, I am sitting on a soft object with a rather high back, which is necessary as, like all other human beings now, I have no real bone structure. That's right, it's my beloved couch! I sit on my couch all day long. I do business from my couch, since everything is now conducted online. I am served my meals on my couch. My family members catch up with one another's virtual day while sitting on our couch. The only time we leave our couch is when we are conveyed upstairs to bed, which is just another couch. So from our couch to yours, hello! That's your future! See you there!

  注(1):本文选自Time;02/21/2000, p58;

  注(2):本文习题命题模仿对象2003年真题text 4;

  1.What is implied in the first paragraph?

  [A] The future life will be much greater than the present life.

  [B] Robots will become as smart as human beings in the future life.

  [C] What will be described in the passage is quite absurd.

  [D] Cats and dogs will surely develop the power of speech in the future.

  2.The author uses the phrase “couch potato” to mean those who ________.

  [A] spends a lot of time sitting at home watching television, surfing internet, reading etc.

  [B] prefer to have potatoes as meals while sitting on the couch

  [C] prefer to sleep on couch rather than on bed

  [D] indulge themselves only in sleeping and eating

  3.The author's attitude towards the four Great Big Media Companies is probably one of ______.

  [A] strong disapproval

  [B] mild satire

  [C] reserved consent

  [D] enthusiastic support

  4.In contrast to the great changes in the virtual future, one thing that has not changed is ______.

  [A] our way of life

  [B] the social status of pets like dogs and cats

  [C] our habits and memories of the past

  [D] our dependence on television, computer, radios, newspapers, etc.

  5.The text intends to express the idea that ______.

  [A] people will live a happier life in the future

  [B] people will do business at home in the future

  [C] human beings tend to degenerate with increasing immobility

  [D] people will have more free time to pursue their hobbies





  condescension: [7kCndi5senFEn] n. 优越感

  purge: [pE:dV] v. 剥离;去除

  virtual: [5vE:tjuEl] adj. 虚拟的;不真实的

  toasty: [5tEusti] adj. 舒适的

  capitulate: [kE5pitjuleit] v. 投降


  1.Each of our Great Big Media Companies has thousands of brands that make us feel all warm and toasty and provide an emotional connection to a past that nobody can actually remember.

  主体句式: Each…has thousands of breands…