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《考研英语阅读理解100篇 高分版》 Unit 13 - TEXT FOUR

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2019年02月11日

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John Kao is an innovation guru described as “Mr. Creativity” by this newspaper a decade ago. Now he is concerned about America losing its global lead and becoming “the fat, complacent Detroit of nations”. In his new book, Innovation Nation, he points to warning signs, such as America's underinvestment in physical infrastructure, its slow start on broadband, its pitiful public schools and its frostiness toward immigrants since September 11th 2001—even though immigrants provided much of America's creativity. What America needs, he reckons, is a big push by federal government to promote innovation, akin to the Apollo space project that put a man on the moon.
As head of California's Stanford Research Institute, Mr. Carlson knows the strengths of Silicon Valley from first-hand experience. And yet here he is insisting that America's information technology, services and medical-devices industries are about to be lost. “I predict that millions of jobs will be destroyed in our country, like in the 1980s when American firms refused to adopt total-quality management techniques while the Japanese surged ahead.” The only way out, he insists, is “to learn the tools of innovation” and forge entirely new, knowledge-based industries in energy technology, biotechnology and other science-based sectors.
It is natural to be sceptical of such dour arguments and calls for government action. After all, the United States still leads in innovation. Whether it is by traditional measures, like spending on research and the number of patents registered, or less tangible but more important ones, like the number of entrepreneurial start-ups, levels of venture-capital funding or the payback from new inventions, America is invariably at the top of the league. Indeed, the Council on Competitiveness recently concluded in a report that, by and large, the outlook is bright for America.
Yet the same council's innovation task force also gave warning that other countries are making heavy investments that threaten to erode America's position. It would like a big push in four areas: improving science, engineering and maths education; welcoming skilled immigrants; beefing up government spending on basic research; and offering tax incentives to spur “US-based innovation”.
These are mostly sensible recommendations because they focus on those framework conditions and bits of infrastructure that the market would not provide on its own. Where such prescriptions tend to go awry is when they argue for specific subsidies or tax breaks for favoured industries (like supporting only “US-based” innovation in today's world of global creative networks). After all, the Schumpeterian forces of creative destruction must be allowed to work their magic.
Resilience in the face of those disruptive forces gave Silicon Valley the edge over its nearest high-tech rival, Boston's Route 128 technology corridor. Both clusters were riding high until the personal computer and distributed-computing changed the market. Firms went through wrenching change, but those in northern California, like Hewlett-Packard and Xerox, emerged stronger than those near Boston, like Digital Equipment and Wang—which no longer exist. As Berkeley's AnnaLee Saxenian has shown, Silicon Valley's champions were nimble and networked but those on Route 128 were brittle, top-down bureaucracies.
1. John Kao compares America to “Detroit of nations” because _____.
[A] Detroit is the representative of innovation
[B] Detroit is experiencing the decline of similar nature
[C] Detroit paid less attention to creativity
[D] Detroit lacks the push by federal government
2. The word “dour” (Line 1, Paragraph 3) most probably means _____.
[A] serious
[B] exaggerated
[C] gloomy
[D] false
3. Towards the outlook of America's innovation, the Council on Competitiveness's attitude is _____.
[A] ambitious
[B] optimistic
[C] ambiguous
[D] reserved
4. Which one of the following statements is NOT true of America's position on innovation?
[A] It is still in the lead of the whole world.
[B] It is threatened by the Schumpeterian forces of creative destruction.
[C] It is facing great challenges brought by some countries paying great attention on innovation.
[D] It needs a big push so as to keep ahead.
5. Firms on Route 128 were not so competitive as Silicon Valley due to _____.
[A] its lack of quick and appropriate response to new development
[B] its wrenching change of computer technologies
[C] its fragile and inefficient structure
[D] its poor and inflexible management

1. John Kao compares America to “Detroit of nations” because _____.
[A] Detroit is the representative of innovation
[B] Detroit is experiencing the decline of similar nature
[C] Detroit paid less attention to creativity
[D] Detroit lacks the push by federal government
1. John Kao将美国比为“国家中的底特律”,这是因为_____。
[A] 底特律是创新的代表
[B] 底特律经历着性质相似的衰退
[C] 底特律不大注意创新
[D] 底特律缺少联邦政府的推动
答案:B 难度系数:☆☆☆
分析:推理题。根据第一段,John Kao担心美国会逐步丧失世界的领导权,成为“国家中的底特律”,那么可以推断,底特律应该是丧失了某一领域的领导权,在选项中,B与该意思最为接近:经历着衰退,也就意味着丧失了领导地位。
2. The word “dour” (Line 1, Paragraph 3) most probably means _____.
[A] serious
[B] exaggerated
[C] gloomy
[D] false
2. dour这个词(第三段第一行)最有可能的意思是 _____。
[A] 严肃的
[B] 夸大的
[C] 悲观的
[D] 错误的
答案:C 难度系数:☆☆
分析:猜词题。根据上下文,这个词所指的评论是第一段和第二段提出的,这些评论都对美国的创新表示担忧,对美国的地位不很乐观,而下文提出美国其实还在保持目前的地位。可以看出,选项C最为符合题意。
3. Towards the outlook of America's innovation, the Council on Competitiveness's attitude is _____.
[A] ambitious
[B] optimistic
[C] ambiguous
[D] reserved
3. 对于美国创新的前景,竞争委员会的态度是 _____。
[A] 雄心勃勃的
[B] 乐观的
[C] 模棱两可的
[D] 持保留态度的
答案:B 难度系数:☆☆☆
分析:细节题。根据第三段,竞争委员会近日在一份报告中总结说,美国的前景基本上还是光明的。第四段又提到创新特别工作组的警告。但整体来说,其对于美国创新的前景还是乐观的,因此,选项B是正确答案。
4. Which one of the following statements is NOT true of America's position on innovation?
[A] It is still in the lead of the whole world.
[B] It is threatened by the Schumpeterian forces of creative destruction.
[C] It is facing great challenges brought by some countries paying great attention on innovation.
[D] It needs a big push so as to keep ahead.
4. 关于美国在创新方面的地位,下列哪个陈述是错误的?
[A] 美国仍处于世界领先地位。
[B] 美国受到熊彼特创造性摧毁力量的威胁。
[C] 美国面临其他重视创新的国家的强劲挑战。
[D] 美国需要大的推动力以保证其领先地位。
答案:B 难度系数:☆☆☆☆
分析:细节题。选项A,根据第三段可以看出,美国在创新方面仍处于领先地位。选项B,第四段提到了熊彼特创造性摧毁力量,但并不是这个力量威胁美国,而是它一直在自己发挥作用,促进许多改革和创新。选项C,第四段提到了一些投入资金较多的国家可能会威胁到美国的地位,该陈述正确。选项D,全文多次提到了这一点。因此,答案为B。
5. Firms on Route 128 were not so competitive as Silicon Valley due to _____.
[A] its lack of quick and appropriate response to new development
[B] its wrenching change of computer technologies
[C] its fragile and inefficient structure
[D] its poor and inflexible management
5. 128路的公司没有硅谷的公司有竞争力,是因为 _____。
[A] 缺乏对新发展的及时和合理的反应
[B] 计算机技术的巨大变化
[C] 脆弱和无效率的策略
[D] 管理较差且不灵活
答案:A 难度系数:☆☆☆☆
分析:细节题。文章最后一段提到:“这两家一直很成功,但是后来个人电脑和分布式计算改变了市场,这让公司们经历了巨大的变化,但是位于北加利福尼亚州的公司,如惠普和施乐要比波士顿附近的公司,如数码设备和王(这些都已不复存在了)更强大些。正如伯克利的AnnaLee Saxenian所说,硅谷的老大都是机敏的、连成网络的,而128路的都是脆弱的、自上而下的官僚机构”。由此可见两个不同地区公司的区别,虽然它们都经历了巨大的变化,但是硅谷却因为灵活,因而比128路的公司更为强大,128路的缺陷主要在于官僚机构的僵化。因此,选项A最为符合。

John Kao是一位创新领导者,10年前被本报称作“发明大王”。现在他担心美国正在逐步丧失世界领导权,成为“所有国家中那个臃肿、自负的底特律”。在他的新书《创新国家》中,他指出了一些危险的信号,比如美国在基础设施上投资不足、在宽带的普及方面启动较慢,以及可怜的公立学校,还有自2001年9月11日以来对移民过严的政策,尽管移民是美国创新的主导力量。他认为,美国需要的是联邦政府大力推动创新,就像把人送到月球上的阿波罗太空计划一样。
Carlson先生是加利福尼亚斯坦福研究院的院长,他从自己的第一手经验中理解了硅谷的力量。但是现在他也坚持认为,美国的信息技术、信息服务和医疗设备产业将要落后。“我预计我们国家将失去成百万的工作岗位,就像20世纪80年代,美国公司拒绝采用全面质量管理技术,而日本却在这方面走到了前头一样。”他认为,唯一的出路就是“学习创新技术”,并在能源科技、生物技术和其他科学领域建立全新的以知识为基础的产业。
人们很自然地要质疑这些严苛的评论以及要求政府采取行动的呼吁。毕竟,美国依然是创新的领头羊。无论是以研究费用、注册专利的数量等传统标准,还是不那么实际却更为重要的一些标准,如创业企业的数量、风险投资的水平或新发明的回报等来衡量,美国一直处于领先地位。事实上,竞争委员会近日在一份报告中总结说,美国的前景基本上还是光明的。
但是该委员会的创新特别工作组警告说,其他国家也投入了大量的资金,这可能会威胁到美国的地位。该小组希望能推动四个领域快速发展:改进科学、工程学和数学教育;欢迎技术移民;加强政府在基础研究上的投入;利用税收鼓励机制来激励“美国本土创新”。
这些都是最明智的建议,因为其针对的都是市场本身不能提供的结构条件和部分基础设施。这些建议的偏颇之处就在于要求给受惠的企业一些特别的补贴或减税待遇(如在全球创新网络世界中支持“美国本地的”创新)。总之,必须得允许熊彼特的创造性摧毁力量发挥自己的威力。
在面对破坏性力量的灵活性方面,硅谷比其最大的高科技对手——波士顿128路科技廊略胜一筹。这两家一直很成功,但是后来个人电脑和分布式计算改变了市场,这让公司们经历了巨大的变化,但是位于北加利福尼亚州的公司,如惠普和施乐要比波士顿附近的公司,如数码设备和王(这些都已不复存在了)更强大些。正如伯克利的AnnaLee Saxenian所说,硅谷的老大都是机敏的、连成网络的,而128路的都是脆弱的、自上而下的官僚机构。
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