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①Of all the changes that have taken place in English-language newspapers during the past quarter-century, perhaps the most far-reaching has been the inexorable decline in the scope and seriousness of their arts coverage.

①It is difficult to the point of impossibility for the average reader under the age of forty to imagine a time when high-quality arts criticism could be found in most big-city newspapers. ②Y et a considerable number of the most significant collections of criticism published in the 20th century consisted in large part of newspaper reviews. ③To read such books today is to marvel at the fact that their learned contents were once deemed suitable for publication in general-circulation dailies.

① We are even farther removed from the unfocused newspaper reviews published in England between the turn of the 20th century and the eve of World War 2,at a time when newsprint was dirt-cheap and stylish arts criticism was considered an ornament to the publications in which it appeared. ②In those far-off days, it was taken for granted that the critics of major papers would write in detail and at length about the events they covered. ③Theirs was a serious business. and even those reviews who wore their learning lightly, like George Bernard Shaw and Ernest Newman, could be trusted to know what they were about. ④These men believed in journalism as a calling, and were proud to be published in the daily press. ⑤So few authors have brains enough or literary gift enough to keep their own end up in ournalism,Newman wrote, "that I am tempted to define "journalism" as "a term of contempt applied by writers who are not read to writers who are".

①Unfortunately, these critics are virtually forgotten. ②Neville Cardus, who wrote for the Manchester Guardian from 1917 until shortly before his death in 1975, is now known solely as a writer of essays on the game of cricket. ③During his lifetime, though, he was also one of England's foremost classical-music critics, and a stylist so widely admired that his Autobiography (1947) became a best-seller. ④He was knighted in 1967, the first music critic to be so honored.

⑤Y et only one of his books is now in print, and his vast body of writings on music is unknown save to specialists.

①Is there any chance that Cardus's criticism will enjoy a revival? ②The prospect seems remote.③Journalistic tastes had changed long before his death, and postmodern readers have little use for the richly uphostered V icwardian prose in which he specialized. ④Moreover,the amateur tradition in music criticism has been in headlong retreat.


在过去的25 年英语报纸所发生的变化中,影响最深远的可能就是它们对艺术方面的报道在范围上毫无疑问的缩小了,而且这些报道的严肃程度也绝对降低了。


从20世纪早期到二战以前,当时的英国报纸上的评论主题广泛,包罗万象,我们现在离此类报纸评论越来越远。当时的报纸极其便宜,人们把高雅时尚的文艺批评当作是所刊登报纸的一个亮点。在那些遥远的年代,各大报刊的评论家们都会不遗余力地详尽报道他们所报道的事情,这在当时被视为是理所当然的事情。他们的写作是件严肃的事情,人们相信:甚至那些博学低调不喜欢炫耀的评论家,比如George Bernard Shaw 和Ernest Newman也知道自己在做什么(即他们的文章会高调出现在报纸上)。这些批评家们相信报刊评论是一项职业,并且对于他们的文章能够在报纸上发表感到很自豪。“鉴于几乎没有作家能拥有足够的智慧或文学天赋以保证他们在新闻报纸写作中站稳脚跟” ,Newman 曾写道,“我倾向于把…新闻写作?定义为不受读者欢迎的作家用来嘲讽受读者欢迎的作家的一个…轻蔑之词? ”

不幸的是,这些批评家们现在实际上已被人们遗忘。从1917 年开始一直到1975 年去世不久前还在为曼彻斯特《卫报》写文章的Neville Cardus,如今仅仅作为一个撰写关于板球比赛文章的作家被人们所知。但是,在他的一生当中,他也是英国首屈一指的古典音乐评论家之一。他也是一位深受读者青睐的文体家,所以1947 年他的《自传》一书就成为热销读物。1967 年他被授予爵士称号,也是第一位获此殊荣的音乐评论家。然而,他的书现在只有一本可以在市面上买到。他大量的音乐批评,除了专门研究音乐评论的人以外,已鲜为人知。

Cardus 的评论有没有机会重新流行?前景似乎渺茫。在他去世之前,新闻业的品味早已改变很长时间了,而且他所擅长的措词华丽的维多利亚爱德华时期的散文风格对后现代的读者没有什么用处。何况,由业余爱好者作音乐批评的传统早已经成为昨日黄花了。

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Over the past decade, thousands of patents have seen granted for what are called business methods. http://www.wendangku.net/doc/4467811f55270722192ef76e.html received one for its “one-click” online payment system. Merrill Lynch got legal protection for an asset allocation strategy. One inventor patented a technique for lying a box.

Now the nation?s top patent court appears completely-property lawyers abuzz the U.S. court of Appeals for the federal circuit said it would use a particular case to conduct a broad review of business-method patents. In the Bilski, as the case is known, is a “very big deal”, says Dennis?D Crouch of the University of Missouri School of law. It “has the potential to eliminate an entire class of patents.”

Curbs on business-method claims would be a dramatic about-face, because it was the federal circuit itself that introduced such patents with is 1998 decision in the so-called state Street Bank case, approving a patent on a way of pooling mutual-fund assets. That ruling produced an explosion in business-method patent filings, initially by emerging internet companies trying to stake out exclusive pinhts to specific types of online transactions. Later, move established companies raced to add such patents to their files, if only as a defensive move against rivals that might bent them to the punch. In 2005, IBM noted in a court filing that it had been issued more than 300 business-method patents despite the fact that it questioned the legal basis for granting them. Similarly, some Wall Street investment films armed themselves with patents for financial products, even as they took positions in court cases opposing the practice.

The Bilski case involves a claimed patent on a method for hedging risk in the energy market. The Federal circuit issued an unusual order stating that the case would be heard by all 12 of the court?s judges, rather than a typical panel of three and that one issue it wants to evaluate is

weather it should “reconsider” its state street Bank ruling.

T he Federal Circuit?s action comes in the wake of a series of recent decisions by the supreme Count that has narrowed the scope of protections for patent holders. Last April, for example the justices signaled that too many patents were being upheld for “inventions” that are obvious. The judges on the Federal circuit are “reacting to the anti_patent trend at the supreme court”, says Harole C.wegner, a partend attorney and professor at aeorge Washington University Law School.

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①In his book The Tipp ing Point, Malcolm Aladuell argues that “social epidemics” are driven in large part by the actions of a tiny minority of special individuals, often called influentials, who are unusually informed, persuasive, or well connected. ②The idea is intuitively compelling, but it doesn?t explain how ideas actually spread.

①The supposed importance of influentials derives from a plausible-sounding but largely untested theory called the “two-step flow of communication”: Information flows from the media

to the influentials and from them to everyone else. ②Marketers have embraced the two-step flow because it suggests that if they can just find and influence the influentials, those select people will do most of the work for them. ③The theory also seems to explain the sudden and unexpected popularity of certain looks, brands, or neighborhoods. ④In many such cases, a cursory search for causes finds that some small group of people was wearing, promoting, or developing whatever it

is before anyone else paid attention. ⑤Anecdotal evidence of this kind fits nicely with the idea that only certain special people can drive trends.

①In their recent work, however, some researchers have come up with the finding that influentials have far less impact on social epidemics than is generally supposed. ②In fact, they don?t seem to be required of all. ③The researchers? argument stems from a simple observation about social influence, with the exception of a few celebrities like Oprah Winfrey — whose outsize presence is primarily a function of media, not interpersonal, influence — even the most influential members of a population simply don?t interact with that many others. ④Yet it is precisely these noncelebrity influentials who, according to the two-step-flow theory, are supposed to drive social epidemics by influencing their friends and colleagues directly. ⑤For a social epidemic to occur, however, each person so affected, must then influence his or her own acquaintances, who must in turn influence theirs, and so on; ⑥and just how many others pay attention to each of these people has little to do with the initial influential. ⑦If people in the network just two degrees removed from the initial influential prove resistant, for example, the cascade of change won?t propagate very far o r affect many people.

①Building on the basic truth about interpersonal influence, the researchers studied the dynamics of social contagion by conducting thousands of computer simulations of populations, manipulating a number of variables relating to pe ople?s ability to influence others and their tendency to be influenced.


在《引爆流行》这本书中,作者Malcolm Gladwell 认为社会流行潮流在很大程度上是由一小部分特殊个体的行为引起的,这些人就是人们常说的影响者。他们异乎寻常的博闻多

识,能言善辩,人脉广泛。从直觉上讲,Malcolm Gladwell的理论似乎很有说服力,但是它没有解释流行观念的实际传播过程。



研究者的观点源于对社会影响力的简单观察:除了少数像Oprah Winfrey 这样的名人之外(她强大的人气影响力主要来自媒体影响力,而非她与观众互动的人际影响力),即使人群中最有影响力的人也无法与那么多的“其他人”互动,从而引领潮流。然而,根据两级传播理论,正是这些非名人影响者直接影响了他们的朋友和同事,从而推动了社会流行潮流。但是,要让一种社会流行潮流真正发生,每个受影响的人还必须影响他的熟人,而他的熟人又必须影响其他熟人,依此类推;但是会有多少人去关注这些熟人中的每个人,与最初的影响者几乎没有关系。举个例子来说,在这个人际影响的网络中,如果第一个影响者受到两次抵制,那么他的连锁影响范围就不会继续扩大,或者说影响的人不会很多。

基于这一人际影响力的基本事实,研究者们研究了社会影响的动力机制。我们对不同人群进行了成千上万次计算机模拟,不断调整人们影响他人和受他人影响的各种变量。他们发现,人们所说的“全球连锁反应” ——影响力通过(人际)网络进行广泛传播——发生的主要前提,并不取决于是否存在着那么几个影响者,而主要取决于易受影响的人们是否达到了临界数量。

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(注:本文含有的生词和难句较多,考研阅读的原则是过难的单词和句子一定不会出题,在考场上紧紧抓住能看懂的句子即可,因为文章上下文的意思都是有密切关联的。笔者把本文无需看懂的句子用删除线标出来,以便于学生更好的复习。示例:not the price managers and regulators would like them to fetch.)


①Bankers have been blaming themselves for their troubles in public. ②Behind the scenes, they have been taking aim at someone else: the accounting standard-setters. ③Their rules, moan the banks, have forced them to report enormous losses, and it's just not fair. ④These rules say they must value some assets at the price a third party would pay, not the price managers and regulators would like them to fetch.

①Unfortunately, banks' lobbying now seems to be working. ②The details may be unknowable, but the independence of standard-setters, essential to the proper functioning of capital markets, is





美国FASB(财务会计准则委员会)在与国会激烈摩擦之后,匆匆通过了规则的修改。这些修改使得银行在使用模型评估非流动资产方面用有更大的自由,同时使得它们确认收益表中长期资产损失时更为灵活。FASB 主席Bob Herz大声反对那些“怀疑我们的动机”的人们。然而银行股票上涨了,这些修改强化了“管理层使用理性判断”的说法,这种说法是一个游说团的客气之言。

欧洲的部长们立刻要求国际会计准则委员会(IASB)也这么做。IASB 表示它不想没有完整计划就冒然行动,但它在今年下半年完成规则修订时必须屈服的压力十分巨大。欧洲委

员会委员Charlie McCreevy 警告IASB 说:它不是“处在政治真空中”而是“在现实世界里”,并表示欧洲可能最终会发展出不同的会计规则。


为了让银行系统重新运转起来,损失必须被确认和处理。美国收购有毒资产的新计划只有在银行将资产定价在足够吸引买家的水平上才会有效。成熟的市场需要独立的,甚至是好斗的准则制定者。FASB和IASB 以往正是这样对抗特殊利益集团的敌意的,例如改进股权和退休金的相关规则。但是现在向批评者妥协是自寻压力,他们会进一步做出让步。