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What gives rise to our discontent with super abundance?

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What gives rise to our discontent with super abundance?
Unit 6
The Pace of Life
Text A
Old Father Time Becomes a
Terror
1.
2.
3.
4.
Leading-in
Text Analysis
Language Points
Presentation and Exercises
Lead-in
Background Information
Discussion
Background Information
Richard Tomkins: consumer
industries editor of the Financial
Times, where he has been a
member of the editorial staff
since 1983. He is currently based
at the company’s London
headquarters, where he leads a
team of journalists covering the
consumer goods sector and writes
about consumer trends.
Tomkins was born in Walsall, England, in
1952. His formal education ended at the age
of seventeen. Before becoming a journalist,
he was a casual laborer, a factory worker, a
truck driver, a restaurant cashier, a civil
servant, and an assistant private secretary
to a government minister.
He left government service in 1978 to
hitchhike around the world, and on
returning to the U.K. in 1979, joined a local
newspaper as a trainee reporter. He joined
the Financial Times as a sub-editor four
years later. In this selection, he discusses the
time squeeze that many people are
experiencing and offers a way of combating
the problem.
Discussion
1. Do you keep a diary? What sort of
things do you write about?
2. With so much to do and so little time to
do it in, how are we to cope?
Text Analysis
Part Division
Comprehension
Part Division
Parts Para-
Main Ideas
graphs
Part
One
Paras
1-11
The author gives three reasons why we
feel so time-pressed today
Part
Two
Paras
12-18
Not every one is time-stressed, and in the
case of Americans they have actually
gained more free tome in the past decade.
Part
Three
Part
Four
Paras
19-23
Paras
24-28
The perception of time-famine has
triggered a variety of reactions.
The author pins down the crux (症结) of
the problem and puts forward for the
stress we feel.
Comprehension
1. What did we use to expect from
technology?
2. What new burdens has technology
produced apart from cramming work
into our leisure time?
3. What gives rise to our discontent with
super abundance?
4. What is stress envy, as conceived by Paul
Edwards?
5. What does Godbey mean by saying “It’s
the kid in the candy store?”
6. For time stress, what remedy does the
author offer?
Language Points
Vocabulary
Sentences
on the go / upon the go: be busy
(inf) active or busy
I’ve been on the go all week, preparing my
thesis.
I was on the go all day and went home at about
10’oclock in the evening.
set about:begin(a task);start(doing
sth.)(used in the pattern:set about
sth./doing sth.; no passive)
The school authorities must set about finding
solutions to the campus security problems.
My mom and I set about clearing up /
clearing the table after the guests left.
eat into: gradually reduce the amount of
(sth. valuable); damage or destroy
All these car expenses are eating into our
savings.
Responsibilities at home and work eat into his
time.
Our holiday travel has eaten into the money
we saved.
in reality: in actual fact; really
Some famous private schools are theoretically
open to the public, but in reality are attended
by those who can afford the fees.
He is much smaller in reality than he looks on
the television.
multiply: increase in number or quantity;
add a number to itself a particular number
of times
Multiplying large quantities in one’s head has
become a lost art since the arrival of the
calculator.
Efficiency would be -lied several times with the
new technology.
When animals have more food, they generally
multiply faster.
fraction: small part, bit, amount or
proportion(of sth.)
Only a (small) fraction of my friends have video
recorder.
Mother's careful with her money, and spends
only a fraction of her earnings.
The black miners in South Africa used to earn
only a fraction of the wages paid to white miners
doing equivalent work.
pour in: go into a place quickly and in large
numbers
Tourists poured onto Shanghai on National Day.
many football fans poured into the stadium to
have a look at their favorite football players.
minute: very small in size or amount
Only a minute amount of money is needed.
Studies show that water contains minute
quantities of lead.
oblige: make (someone) legally or morally
bound to an action or course of action
She was obliged to go.
Circumstances oblige me to do that.
The police obliged him to leave.
I am obliged to you for your gracious
hospitality.
abundance: quantity that is more than
enough; plenty (followed by of)
The visitor to Oxford has an abundance of
sights to see.
The tree yields an abundance of fruit.
--a year of abundance
--a life of abundance
Sentences
1. Once upon a time, technology, we
thought, would make our lives easier.
Machines were expected spend
to do our work
for us,
leaving us with ever-increasing
休闲娱乐
quantities of time to waste away on
idleness and pleasure.
从前,我们以为技术发展会使我们的生活变
得更安逸。那时我们觉得机器会替代我们工
作,我们则有越来越多的时间休闲娱乐。
2. The motorcar, for example, promised
unimaginable levels of personal mobility.
But now, traffic in cities moves more
slowly than it did in the days of the horsedrawn carriage, and we waste our lives
stuck in traffic jams.
比如,汽车曾使我们希望个人出行会方便得
让人难以想象。可如今,城市车辆运行得比
马车时代还要慢,我们因交通堵塞而困在车
内,徒然浪费生命。
3. The aircraft promised new horizons, too.
The trouble is, it delivered them. Its very
existence created a demand for timeconsuming journeys that we would never
previously have dreamed of undertaking --the transatlantic shopping expedition, for
example, or the trip to a convention on the
other side of the world.
飞机也曾有可能为我们拓展新天地。问题是飞机
提供了新的天地。其存在本身产生了对耗时的长
途旅行的需求,这种旅行,如越洋购物,或远道
前往地球的另一半参加会议,以前我们是根本无
法想象的。
4. It has also provided us with the
opportunity to spend hours fixing
software glitches on our personal
computers or filling our heads with
useless information from the Internet.
技术发展还向我们提供机会,在个人电脑
上一连几小时处理软件故障,或把因特网
上那些无用的信息塞进自己的大脑。
5. A couple of centuries ago, nearly all the
world's accumulated learning could be
contained in the heads of a few
philosophers. Today, those heads could
not hope to accommodate more than a
tiny fraction of the information generated
in a single day.
几个世纪以前,人类积累的几乎所有知识都能
装在几个哲人的大脑之中。如今,这些大脑休
想容纳下一天中产生的新信息中的小小一部分。
6. Driven on by advertising, we do our
best to oblige: we buy more, travel more
and play more, but we struggle to keep up.
So we suffer from what Wilson calls
discontent with super abundance --- the
confusion of endless choice.
在广告的推动下,我们努力照办:多多购买多
多旅游多多玩乐,但得尽力坚持下去。于是我
们就深受威尔逊所谓的对极大富足不满之苦 --即无休止的选择所造成的困惑。
Presentation and Exercises
Translate the following sentences into English.
1. 以前,我们都认为技术的发展会使我们的生活变得更
加安逸。
2. 但是技术发展并没有把我们解放出来,反而使我们自
己成为了奴隶,人们不得不一直忙碌着。
3. 生活的节奏似乎比以前更快。结果,当人们努力挣扎
着去应付被他们看做是时间缺乏的问题时,他们就
感受到了压力。
3. 这样广泛存在的感情部分是由大量涌向我们的信息导
致的。
Keys:
1. Once upon a time, technology, we thought,
would make our lives easier.
2. But instead of liberating us, technology has
enslaved us. People are obliged to be on the
go all the time.
3. The pace of life seems to grow ever faster. As
a result, feelings of stress are common as
people struggle to cope with what they see as
a shortage of time.
4. Such widespread feelings are in part caused
by the large quantity of infor-mation that
comes pouring in on us.
Thank you!
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