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历年考研英语阅读理解2001年02

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[00:02.92]2001 Passage2

[00:06.95]A great deal of attention is being paid today

[00:09.79]to the so-called digital divide

[00:12.52]--the division of the world into the info(information) rich

[00:17.15]and the info poor.

[00:19.17]And that divide does exist today.

[00:22.80]My wife and I lectured about

[00:24.81]this looming danger twenty years ago.

[00:28.04]What was less visible then, however, were the new,

[00:31.47]positive forces that work against the digital divide.

[00:35.61]There are reasons to be optimistic.

[00:38.84]There are technological reasons to hope

[00:41.07]the digital divide will narrow.

[00:43.89]As the Internet becomes more and more commercialized,

[00:47.33]it is in the interest of business to universalize access

[00:52.16]--after all, the more people online,

[00:54.89]the more potential customers there are.

[00:57.70]More and more governments,

[00:59.42]afraid their countries will be left behind,

[01:01.95]want to spread Internet access.

[01:04.77]Within the next decade or two,

[01:06.89]one to two billion people on the planet

[01:09.42]will be netted together.

[01:11.54]As a result, I now believe the digital divide

[01:14.88]will narrow rather than widen in the years ahead.

[01:18.61]And that is very good news because the Internet

[01:21.27]may well be the most powerful tool for

[01:24.24]combating world poverty that we've ever had.

[01:28.49]Of course, the use of the Internet

[01:30.72]isn't the only way to defeat poverty.

[01:33.44]And the Internet is not the only tool we have.

[01:37.17]But it has enormous potential.

[01:39.56]To take advantage of this tool,

[01:41.68]some impoverished countries will have to get over

[01:44.60]their outdated anti-colonial prejudices

[01:47.93]with respect to foreign investment.

[01:50.86]Countries that still think foreign investment

[01:53.87]is an invasion of their sovereignty

[01:56.19]might well study the history of infrastructure

[01:59.83](the basic structural foundations of a society)

[02:03.25]in the United States.

[02:05.38]When the United States built its industrial infrastructure,

[02:08.91]it didn't have the capital to do so.

[02:11.63]And that is why America's Second Wave infrastructure

[02:15.46]--including roads, harbors, highways, ports

[02:19.39]and so on--were built with foreign investment.

[02:23.58]The English, the Germans, the Dutch

[02:26.12]and the French were investing in Britain's former colony.

[02:29.86]They financed them.

[02:32.08]Immigrant Americans built them.

[02:34.59]Guess who owns them now?

[02:36.41]The Americans.

[02:38.13]I believe the same thing would be true in places

[02:40.74]like Brazil or anywhere else for that matter.

[02:44.07]The more foreign capital you have helping you

[02:46.41]build your Third Wave infrastructure,

[02:49.44]which today is an electronic infrastructure,

[02:52.56]the better off you're going to be.

[02:55.46]That doesn't mean lying down and becoming fooled,

[02:58.89]or letting foreign corporations run uncontrolled.

[03:02.64]But it does mean recognizing

[03:04.45]how important they can be in building the energy

[03:07.77]and telecom infrastructures

[03:09.69]needed to take full advantage of the Internet.

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