Directions：There are 2 passages in this section. Each passage is followed by some questions or unfinished statements. For each of them there are four choices marked A), B), C)and D). You should decide on the best choice and mark the corresponding letter on Answer Sheet 2 with a single line through the centre.
The rise of the Internet has been one of the most transformative developments in human history, comparable in impact to the invention of the printing press and the telegraph. Over two billion people worldwide now have access to vastly more information than ever before, and can communicate with each other instantly, often using Web-connected mobile devices they carry everywhere. But the Internet’s tremendous impacts has only just begun.
“Mass adoption of the Internet is driving one of the most exciting social, cultural, and political transformations in history, and unlike earlier periods of change, this time the effects are fully global,” Schmidt and Cohen write in their new book. The New Digital Age.
Perhaps the most profound changes will come when the five billion people worldwide who currently lack Internet access get online. The authors do an excellent job of examining the implications of the Internet revolution for individuals, governments, and institutions like the news media. But if the book has one major shortcoming, it’s that authors don’t spend enough time applying a critical eye to the role of Internet businesses in these weeping changes.
In their book, the authors provide the most authoritative volume to date that describes — and more importantly predicts — how the Internet will shape our lives in the coming decades. They paint a picture of a world in which individuals, companies, institutions, and governments must deal with two realities, one physical, and one virtual.
At the core of the book is the idea that “technology is neutral, but people aren’t.” By using this concept as a starting point, the authors aim to move beyond the now familiar optimist vs. pessimist dichotomy(对立观点)that has characterized many recent debates about whether the rise of the Internet will ultimately be good or bad for society. In an interview with TIME earlier this week, Cohen said although he and his co-author are optimistic about many aspects of the Internet, they’re also realistic about the risks and dangers that lie ahead when the next five billion people come online, particularly with respect to personal privacy and state surveillance(监视).