I was looking to return to New Orleans where I'd grown up. The move would uproot my wife and three children from California, and I felt a little bad about that. They needed a place to live, but places to live in New Orleans were hard to find. Ever since Hurricane Katrina, the real estate market there has been in confusion. Owners wanted to sell, buyers wanted to rent, and the result was a lot of For Sale signs.
At the bottom of every real estate ad was the name of the same agent. One woman ruled the market, it seemed, and her name was Eleanor Farnsworth. I called her and threw myself on her mercy. She thought my problem over and then said, "I only know of one place that would work for you." She'd suggested it to Brad Pitt and Angelina Jones, she said, before selling them their more modest place in the French Quarter.
That shouldn't have been a selling point; it should have been a warning. I should have asked the price. Instead, I asked the address. As soon as I saw it, I knew it — the mansion.
It wasn't just a mansion; it was the biggest mansion on the street. Two dining rooms, two full kitchens, ten bathrooms, seven bedrooms, an elevator, and each wardrobe as big as a master bedroom. The mansion had a pool. Because we moved in during the winter, we didn't pay much attention to it. Had we bothered to dip our fingers in, we would have discovered that it was not merely heated but was salt-water.
There's a moment in the life of American children when they realize that money is a tool used by adults to rank themselves, and the easiest way to establish those rankings is through their houses. At first, everyone's house appears more or less the same. But then one day someone's house is either so much humbler or so much grander than anything you've ever seen that you realize a house is not just a house. It's one of the tools people use to rank each other.
In all the finger-pointing about the American real estate crisis, little attention has been paid to its origin: a cultural tendency among Americans. Americans feel a deep urge to live in houses that are bigger than they can afford. This desire cuts so cleanly through the population that it touches just about everyone.
Consider, for example, the Garcias. Lilia and Jesus Garcia were behind on their mortgage payments and in danger of losing their homes. They had a nice house that they bought for $160,000. Given their joint income of $65,000, they could afford to borrow, about $160,000, against a home. But then, they stumbled upon their dream house. The new property had distinctly mansion like qualities. Its price, $535,000, was a stretch.
Then the market turned. They failed to make their mortgage payments and couldn't sell their original house. They owed the bank about $700,000 and were facing evictions. The mistake was that they held on to their former home as an investment. The moral: Americans are in their current situation because too many of them saw houses as money-making opportunities.
But the real moral is that when a middle-class couple buys a house they can’t afford defaults on their mortgage, and then explains it to someone, they can be confident that he or, she will overlook the reason for their financial distress: the peculiar willingness of Americans to risk it all for a house above their station's. People who buy something they can't afford usually hear a little voice that warns them away. But when the item in question is a house, all the signals in American life will drown out the little voice. Their friends tell them how impressed they are. Their family tells them that while theirs is indeed a big house, they have worked hard, and Americans who work hard deserve to own a dream house. More than any other possession, houses are what people use to say, "Look how well I'm doing"
After we started to live in the mansion, money became a real problem. It was suddenly going faster than it was coming in. When I'd filially asked the real estate agent what the mansion cost to rent, she’d said, “I have to see, but I think it's around thirteen." Thirteen: The extra figures are just assumed. One reason is that no one can bring themselves to actually utter the sentence: "Your rent will be $13,000 a month. "
When I told my mother what I'd be paying, she just said, "Oh, Michael," in the same tone she'd have used if I'd informed her that I'd just run over the neighbor with a truck or been diagnosed with cancer.
We'd been there only three weeks when the first bills arrived. Utilities were $2, 700. That turned out not to include water, which was another $1,000. Think of it: $1,000 a month for water you don't drink. The drinking water came in trucks from a spring-water company. How did we use so much water? The answer is we didn't. The Mansion did. The pool, the fountains, and the lawn sprinklers.
In summer, with the temperature outside rising to extreme levels, the mansion shut down its air conditioning system. Repair workers came and went, shaking their heads. There was nothing they could see that was wrong with even one of the mansion's massive air compressors. The problem was deep inside the walls, perhaps in the wiring! The living room was still at a comfortable temperature but, strangely, the bedrooms were now very hot. The public spaces continued to be nice and pleasant. Only its private spaces— bedrooms, bathrooms—were uninhabitable. Oddly, it could be hot and humid in one room and cool and dry in another on the same floor. For the first time inside a house, it occurred to me that it might rain.
And so we fled back to where we'd come from. This presents new problems. Even as my children grew bored with pretending they were richer than they are, they became accustomed to living as the rich do. On the way back to California, my wife drove Quinn, my nine-year-old daughter to Hearst Castle and stopped to take the guided tour. A few minutes into it, as they stood in one of its many bedrooms, the guide asked if someone had a question. My child raised her hand: The guide smiled and called on her.
"Why," Quinn asked, "is it so small?"
[Modified from-Michael Lewis, "The Mansion: A Subprime Parable," 2008]
①Colleen Szot is one of the most successful writers in the programming industry. In addition to writing several well-known "infomercials'" for a popular exercise machine, she recently created a program that broke a nearly twenty-year sales record for a home-shopping channel. Although her programs keep many of the elements common to most infomercials, Szot changed three words to a standard infomercial line that caused a huge increase in the number of people who purchased her product. Even more remarkable, these three words made it clear to potential customers that the process of ordering the product might well prove somewhat of a hassle. What were those three words, and how did they cause sales to jump?
②Szot changed the all too familiar line, "Operators are waiting, please call now," to, "If operators are busy, please call again." On the face of it, the change appears silly. After all, the message seems to convey that potential customers might have to waste their time calling the number again and again until they finally reach a sales representative. Yet, that surface view underestimates the power of the principle of social proof. When people are uncertain about a course of action, they tend to look outside themselves and to other people around them to guide their decisions and actions. In the Collen Szot example, consider the kind of mental image likely to be generated when you hear "operators are waiting": bored phone operators waiting by their silent telephones—an image indicating low demand and poor sales.
③Now consider how your perception of the popularity of the product would change when you heard the phrase "if operators are busy, please call again." Instead of those bored, inactive operators, you're probably imagining operators going from phone call to phone call without a break. In the case of the modified "if operators are busy, please call again" line, home viewers followed their perceptions of others' actions, even though those others were completely anonymous. After all, “If the phone lines are busy, then other people like me who are also watching this infomercial are calling, too.” ,
④Many classical findings in social psychology demonstrate the power of social proof to influence other people's actions. In an experiment conducted by scientist Stanley Milgram and colleagues, an assistant of the researchers stopped on a busy New York City street and gazed at the sky for sixty seconds. Most people simply passed by the man without even glancing to see what he was looking at. However when the researchers added four more sky gazers, the number of people on the street who joined them more than quadrupled.
⑤ Although there's little doubt that other people's behavior is a powerful source of social influence, when we ask people in our own studies whether other people's behavior influences their own they insist that it does not. But social psychologists know better. We know that people's ability to understand the factors that affect their behavior is surprisingly poor. Perhaps this is one reason that the people in the business of creating those little cards encouraging hotel guests to reuse their towels didn't think to use the principle of social proof to their advantage. In asking themselves, "What would motivate me?" they might well have discounted the very real influence that others would have on their behavior.
⑥ In our hotel experiment, we considered the finding that the majority of hotel guests who see the towel reuse signs do actually recycle their towels at least some time during their stay. What if we simply informed guests of this fact? With the cooperation of a hotel manager, we created two signs and placed them in hotel rooms. One was designed to reflect the type of basic environmental-protection message adopted throughout much of the hotel industry. It asked the guests to help save the environment and to show their respect for nature by participating in the program. A second sign used the social proof information by informing guests that the majority of guests at the hotel recycled their towels at least once during their stay. These signs were randomly assigned to the rooms in the hotel.
⑦ Guests who learned that the majority of other guests had reused their towels were 26 percent more likely than those who saw the basic environmental protection message to recycle their towels. That's a 26 percent increase in participation relative to the industry standard, which we achieved simply by changing a few words on the sign to convey what others were doing.
⑧ These findings show how being aware of the true power of social proof can pay big dividends in your attempts to persuade others to take a desired course of action.
[Modified from Noah Goldstein, Steve Martin, and Robert Cialdini, Yes! 50 Scientifically Proven Ways to Be Persuasive, 2008]
こちらも心理学の話のようで私の知らないsocial proof（個人の意見の妥当性を証明すること wiki)について。当たり前のことですが，確かに，自分だけの意見だと自分が間違っているのではないかと思い，一人でも賛成してくれれば，自分は間違えていない，と確信を持てる。自分たちの行動は周りにかなり影響されている。そのことに訴えれば，人々の行動に影響を与えることができる。なかなかおもしろい英文でした。
① Advertising is a form of communication. It is usually viewed via traditional media that include newspapers, magazines, television, radio, and direct mail. With the dawn of the Internet came many new advertising opportunities. Popup, banner and email are now commonly used for advertising. In 2009, mobile and Internet advertising grew by 18. 1% and 9. 2% respectively. Older media advertising saw declines: TV –10. 1%, radio –11. 7%, magazines –14. 8%, and newspapers –18. 7%.
② Advertising can be roughly divided into two types. One is commercial advertising, and the other is non-commercial advertising. The principal purpose of commercial advertising is to drive consumer behavior with respect to certain products. The advertising techniques that are used to promote commercial goods and services can also be employed to inform, educate and motivate the public about non-commercial issues such as political ideas and environmental problems.
③ History tells us that ancient
Egyptians used paper to make sales messages and wall posters. Commercial messages and political campaign
displays have been found in the ruins of Pompeii and ancient Arabia. Advertisements on paper were also common in
ancient Greece and Rome. Wall or rock
paintings are another example of an ancient advertising form, which is present
to this day in many parts of Asia, Africa, and South America. Later, modern advertising developed with the
rise of mass production in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
④ In 2010, total spending on advertising was estimated at more than $500 billion in the world, and the United States accounted for around 40%. A leading research institute found that in 2010 U. S. advertisers spent more on Internet ads than on ads in newspapers. U. S. spending for online ads totaled nearly $26 billion, compared to total spending of less than $23 billion on print advertising in newspapers. Revenue from on-line ads has been rising for years because people have left traditional media and now use web sources for news and entertainment.
⑤ Advertising covers every aspect of social life and plays other important roles in modern society. It is often argued that advertising can tell us a lot about a country through the combination of substantial information and colorful expressive forms. It is possible to learn a lot about a country's economy, culture, and well-known locations from advertising. A Japanese advertisement, for example, may feature acquaintances bowing to each other, while we may see a family enjoying a barbecue in a typical American advertisement. Through advertisements, we can understand what people from different countries look like, what they eat and also what they do in their spare time. (434 words)
ということで，これまででもっとも遅い解答作成となりました。英文はおそらく書き下ろし。まとまりはあまりありません。①はネット広告が対等したとありますが，②では広告を営利，非営利に分類，③で広告の歴史的外観 ④で①に戻り，ネットが主流に そして⑤ではこれとは全く関係のない広告はその国の文化を映し出す，というもの。それぞれの段落で一つの英文が書けるくらい大きなテーマ。それが，広告というテーマ以外には共通項がなく，全くもって英文としてはだめ出しを出したくなるようなまとまりのなさ。生徒がこのような英文を書いてきたら，間違いなく，どれかにテーマを絞って書き直すように指示をだすと思います。
Although our world is growing smaller through the Internet, the global economy, and improved transportation, people still have difficulty communicating with one another. Thousands of languages are spoken around the world today. Some people think that the answer to the problems in global communication is the use of an artificial international language that allows people who speak different native languages to communicate with one another. One such language is Esperanto.
Esperanto was the vision of Ludovic Zamenhof, a Polish doctor who wanted to construct a simple language that could be learned and spoken by people all over the world. He worked for many years to make his dream a reality, and in 1887 he published a small booklet, Lingvo Internacia (International Language), under the pseudonym' Dr. Esperanto, which means "one who hopes." His pseudonym was soon adopted as the name of his language. He did not intend for Esperanto to replace any of the world's languages but for it to serve as an additional second language.
Esperanto has had an interesting history. In 1904, the first group of Esperanto speakers met in France. They tested the oral use of the language and found that Esperanto was a good way to communicate. In the years that followed, Esperanto began to spread around Europe. Over the years, Esperanto has had its ups and downs. According to journalist J. D. Reed, "The use of Esperanto probably reached its peak in the 1920s, when idealists embraced it as one small step toward peace. Some intellectuals viewed it as a solution to the language problem, which they felt contributed to political misunderstandings. In some British schools, in fact, youngsters could study Esperanto. But interest died down after World War II, partly because governments did not support the language, and partly because English was fast becoming the language of business and travel. Esperantists have urged the United Nations to adopt their language, but the U. N. has its hands full with six official languages (English, French, Spanish, Arabic, Chinese, and Russian). "
For a while, people worried that Esperanto would die out; however, it has survived, and today Esperanto is spoken all over the world. Esperanto speakers can be found in 90 countries in Europe, Asia, Australia, and North and South America. It is estimated that between 1 and 2 million people worldwide speak Esperanto. And Esperanto is taught as a second language in schools in China, Hungary, and Bulgaria. International meetings of Esperanto speakers are held every year. Over 2,300 participants from 62 countries attended the 90th World Esperanto Congress in Vilnius, Lithuania, in July 2005. (429 words)
Reading of any sort is an activity. We cannot read without moving our eyes or without using our minds. However, reading can be more active or less active, and the more active the reading is, the better it is. One reader is better than another if the range of his activity in reading is greater and if he uses more effort. He is a better reader if he expects more from himself and from the book before him.
No reading can be completely inactive. But many people compare reading with writing and speaking, both of which clearly require action; and they decide that reading and listening are entirely inactive. They realize that the writer or speaker must use effort, but they think that no work need be done by the reader or listener. Reading and listening are thought of as receiving something from someone who is actively engaged in giving or sending, the way one would receive a gift. However, the reader or listener is much more like a person who catches a ball.
Catching a ball is as much of an activity as throwing it. The thrower is the sender, because his activity starts the motion of the ball. The catcher is the receiver, because his activity stops it. Both are active, though the activities are different. If anything is inactive, it is the ball. Like the ball, the thing that is written and read is the inactive object common to the two activities that begin and end the process.
The thrower and catcher are successful, however, only if they cooperate. This is also true of the writer and reader. The writer wants to be understood, although it sometimes might not seem so. When the reader understands what is written, the writer's skill and the reader's skill meet in a common purpose.
It is true that all writers, like all throwers, are not the same. Some writers know exactly what they want to say, and they say it clearly. Others are more difficult to understand. A piece of writing, however, is not a simple object. Very little of what the writer has said may be understood by the reader—or all of it. The amount the reader understands will usually depend on the amount of his activity, and on the skill with which he performs the different mental acts required. (391 words)
It's the single most famous story of scientific discovery: in 1666, Isaac Newton was walking in his garden outside Cambridge, England—he was avoiding the city because of the *plague — when he saw an apple fall from a tree. The fruit fell straight to the earth, as if tugged by an invisible force. (Subsequent versions of the story had the apple hitting Newton on the head. ) This ordinary observation led Newton to devise the concept of universal gravitation, which explained everything from the falling apple to the orbit of the moon.
There is something appealing about such narratives. They reduce the scientific process to a moment of sudden inspiration: there is no sweat or toil, just a new idea, produced by a genius. Everybody knows that things fall — it took Newton to explain why.
Unfortunately, the story of the apple is almost certainly false; *Voltaire probably made it up. Even if Newton started thinking about gravity in 1666, it took him years of painstaking work before he understood it. He filled entire notebooks with his rough ideas and spent weeks recording the exact movements of a *pendulum. The discovery of gravity, in other words, wasn't a flash of insight — it required decades of effort, which is one of the reasons Newton didn't publish his theory until 1687, in the "Principia. "
Although biographers have long celebrated Newton's intellect — he also pioneered *calculus — it's clear that his achievements aren't solely a byproduct of his piercing intelligence. Newton also had an astonishing ability to persist in the face of obstacles, to stick with the same puzzling mystery—why did the apple fall, but the moon remain in the sky? — until he found the answer.
In recent years, psychologists have come up with a term to describe this mental trait: grit. Although the idea itself isn't new —"Genius is 1 percent inspiration and 99 percent perspiration," Thomas Edison famously remarked —the researchers are quick to point out that grit isn't simply about the willingness to work hard. Instead, it's about setting a specific long-term goal and doing whatever it takes until the goal has been reached. It's always much easier to give up, but people with grit can keep going.
While stories of grit have long been associated with self-help manuals and life coaches — Samuel Smiles, the author of the influential Victorian text "Self-Help" preached the virtue of perseverance — these new scientific studies rely on new techniques for reliably measuring grit in individuals. As a result, they're able to compare the relative importance of grit, intelligence, and innate talent when it comes to determining lifetime achievement. Although this field of study is only a few years old, it's already made important progress toward identifying the mental traits that allow some people to accomplish their goals, while others struggle and quit. Grit, it turns out, is an essential (and often overlooked) component of success.
"I'd bet that there isn't a single highly successful person who hasn't depended on grit," says Angela Duckworth, a psychologist at the University of Pennsylvania who helped pioneer the study of grit. "Nobody is talented enough not to have to work hard, that’s what grit allows you to do. " The hope among scientists is that a better understanding of grit will allow educators to teach the skill in schools and lead to a generation of grittier children. Parents, of course, have a big role to play as well, since there's evidence that even casual comments — such as how a child is praised — can significantly influence the manner in which kids respond to challenges. And it's not just educators and parents who are interested in grit: the United States Army has supported much of the research, as it searches for new methods of identifying who is best suited for the stress of the battlefield.
The new focus on grit is part of a larger scientific attempt to study the personality traits that best predict achievement in the real world. While researchers have long focused on measurements of intelligence, such as the IQ test, as the crucial marker of future success, these scientists point out that most of the variation in individual achievement has nothing to do with being smart. Instead, it largely depends on personality traits such as grit and conscientiousness. It's not that intelligence isn't really important—Newton was clearly a genius — but that having a high IQ is not nearly enough. (745 words)
(Adapted from Jonah Lehrer, "The Truth About Grit")
Emphasizing declassified files from World War II and published interpretations, this seminar will address a seemingly simple set of questions. Why did the United States drop atomic bombs on Japanese cities in August, 1945? Were there viable alternatives, and, if so, why were they not pursued? What did the 1945 use of atomic bombs mean then and later? These questions will lead us to ask how postwar interpreters, including World War II officials, explained and justified or criticized the bombings, and why. Using approaches from history, international relations, American studies, political science, and ethics, we will investigate these questions and their answers; the underlying conceptions; and the roles of evidence, logic, models of explanation, ethical values, and cultural/social influences in the continuing dialogue on the atomic bomb. We will analyze the issues from multiple perspectives, asking why and how various answers were developed, examined, and reformulated; why certain facts were accepted or rejected in this process; and how the atomic bombings have been understood. (164 words)
(b) Materials Science and Engineering
Japanese technology has been regarded as leading the world in many areas (e. g. , microelectronics, consumer electronics, steel). On the other hand, many innovations originate in the West, particularly in the United States (e.g., microprocessors, computers). This course explores the role the research laboratory plays in typical Japanese companies, and examines the importance of innovation versus product development. We will study the structure of a Japanese company from the perspective of Japanese society. This will lead us to examine the underlying philosophy of the research environment, the expectations placed on individual researchers to achieve company goals, and possible changes in the lifetime employment system. Recently, the great American research laboratories (e. g., Bell Labs, IBM Research) have been closed down in favor of more practical development. Some Japanese companies, by contrast, have invested in research institutions while maintaining their product-development laboratories. As the Japanese economy experiences recession, the balance of these philosophies is being reconsidered. Local representatives of Japanese companies, such as Sony and NEC, will be invited to class to help us learn about the attitudes of Japanese researchers and the relationship between Japanese companies and Japanese society. (187 words)
North American taiko, taken here to refer to the performance-ensemble drumming using the taiko, or Japanese drum, is a newcomer to the American music scene. Emergence of the first North American taiko groups coincided with increased activism in the Japanese American community, and to some it is symbolic of Japanese American identity. To others, North American taiko is associated with Japanese American Buddhism, and to yet others, taiko is a performance art rooted in Japan. In this course, we will explore the musical, cultural, historical, and political perspectives of taiko through drumming (hands-on experience), readings, class discussion, and workshops. With taiko as the focal point, we will learn about Japanese music and Japanese American history, and explore relations between performance, cultural expression, community, and identity. No prior experience with taiko is necessary. The instructors for this course are faculty co-advisors for our university's taiko group and have been invited presenters at the North American taiko conference. (156 words)
(Adapted from Introductory Seminars: Course Catalog (2010-2011), Stanford University)
There are many things that human beings do to make our lives better. For example, most people consider activities such as sports or studying to be valuable because they produce good results. Doing sports gives us a chance to improve our health through exercise, and can also help us build friendships. As for intellectual pursuits, it is hard to deny that each of us needs to develop an understanding of the world around us, and the ability to use our brains to find solutions to all sorts of problems. While there are many important activities such as these, I believe that none of them is superior to music. Music leads to cooperation, offers different modes of participation, and provides people with opportunities for individual choice.
One important aspect of musical activities is that they focus more on cooperation than competition. In a musical group, the members are not trying to do something better than each other. Rather, they are trying to work together to create something beautiful. In a classical orchestra, it is mainly the conductor's job to make sure that all of the individual parts fit together right, while rock musicians must listen to each other to make sure that the sounds match. In either case, however, all of the participants rely on each other and work towards an outcome where all can be successful. This contrasts with activities such as team sports, where there is always a winning and losing side after a match or game. In sports, success for one side means failure for the other, but when a musical performance is successful there are no losers, only winners.
Another good thing about music is that one can become involved with it in many different ways. One need not become a professional musician in order to play music. Some people are satisfied by playing in a musical group in their community, while others may find pleasure in just being able to play a few songs on the guitar. And, of course, one needn't become any sort of musician in order to experience music. Anyone who has the ability to hear can enjoy the positive effects of music by simply listening. Music has the power to relax people, and to stimulate our emotions. Also, music is part of cultural experiences and religious ceremonies around the world. Through music we can learn about other cultures, and increase our understanding of them. People often refer to music as a language, and I think that is true in a sense. Even if we know very little about another culture, there is often something that speaks to us in music from a foreign land. It is as if there is some shared, secret understanding about what it means to be human that can be found expressed in music — something beyond culture, words, and even emotions.
Finally, music invites us to make our own decisions. . Unlike an academic subject such as mathematics, music never limits us to only one correct answer. There are as many different ways to perform a piece as there are musicians. The degree of freedom of expression may depend on the type of music, but even a relatively conservative type of music, such as classical, welcomes different interpretations of the same piece. For the music listener, as well, there is a great deal of freedom. Each person is able to choose the groups, musicians, or composers which interest him or her the most. These choices are often direct expressions of who people see themselves to be, what they think, or how life feels to them. It is hard to think of a way in which individuality is expressed more clearly than it is through music.
In praising music, I am certainly not suggesting that everyone must somehow develop a deep relationship with it. People should organize their lives around things that are important to them, and for some people music is not one of these things. Yet, we should always be aware of the unique possibilities of music. It invites each of us to participate in whatever way suits us best, through whatever type of music we are attracted to. Through that participation we can strengthen human relationships.
She had defeated him again. She always told him he could do what he wanted, and then argued with him until what he wanted was what she wanted anyway. It was beginning to make him angry.
"Mum! That's not fair. "
She replied with a laugh. "That's what life is, Marcus. You have to work out what you believe in, and then you have to stick to it. It's hard, but it's not unfair. And at least it's easy to understand. "
There was something wrong with this, but he didn't know what. All he knew was that not everyone thought like this. When they talked in class about things like smoking, everyone agreed it was bad, but then lots of kids smoked; when they talked about violent films, everyone said they disapproved of them, but they still watched them. They thought one thing and did another. In Marcus's house it was different. He and his mother decided what was bad and then they never touched it or did it again. He could see how that made sense: he thought stealing was wrong and killing was wrong, and he didn't steal things or kill people. So was that all there was to it? He wasn't sure.
But of all the things that made him different from other kids, he could see this was the most important. He wore clothes that were laughed at because he and his mother had had this talk about fashion and they had agreed that fashion was stupid. He listened to music that was old-fashioned because they had had this talk about modern pop music and they had agreed it was just a way for record companies to make a lot of money. In the same way, he wasn't allowed to play violent computer games, or eat hamburgers, or do this or that or the other. And he had agreed with her about all of it, except he hadn't agreed really; he had just lost the arguments.
"Why don't you just tell me what to do? Why do we always have to talk about it?"
"Because I want to teach you to think for yourself. "
"Was that your plan?"
"When you said the other day that you knew what you were doing. "
"About being a mum. "
"Did I say that?"
"Oh. OK. Well, of course I want you to think for yourself. All parents want that. "
"But all that happens is we have an argument and I lose, and I do what you want me to do. We might as well save time. Just tell me what I'm not allowed, and leave it at that. "
"So what's brought all this on?"
"I've been thinking for myself. "
"Good for you. "
"I've been thinking for myself, and I want to go round to Will's house after school. "
"You've already lost that argument. "
"I need to see someone else who's not you. "
"What about my friend Suzie?"
"She's like you. Will's not like you. "
"No. He's a liar, and he's lazy, and —"
"He understands about school. He knows things. "
"He knows things! Marcus, he doesn't even know how to live like a grown-up. "
"You see what I mean?" He was getting really frustrated now. "I'm thinking for myself and you just. . . it just doesn't work. You win anyway. "
"Because you're not backing it up. It's not enough to tell me that you're thinking for yourself. You've got to show me, too. "
"How do I show you?"
"Give me a good reason. "
He could give her a reason. It wouldn't be the right reason, and he would feel bad saying it, and he was pretty sure it would make her cry. But it was a good reason, a reason that would shut her up, and if that was how you had to win arguments, then he would use it.
"Because I need a father"
It shut her up, and it made her cry. It did the job. Sure enough, he felt really bad, so bad that he couldn't keep himself from saying something to make up for it, though he knew it would only hurt her more.
"He could be a good husband for you, too. Who knows?" (703 words)
Critics and defenders both assert that the English political system is not logical; and the statement is true in the sense that the system was not designed by an a priori* method. But on the other hand the very fact that it has grown up by a continual series of adaptations to existing needs has brought each part of the system more into harmony with the rest than is the case in any other government. In this it is like a living organism. There are, no doubt, many small irregularities and survivals that spoil the unity for the purpose of description; but these, like survivals of structure in animals, do not interfere seriously with the action of the whole. It may be said that in politics the French have tended in the past to draw logical conclusions from correct premises, and that their results have often been wrong, while the English draw illogical conclusions from incorrect premises, and the results are commonly right. The fact being that all abstract propositions in politics are at best approximations*, an attempt to reason from them usually magnifies the inaccuracy. But in England the institutions have been developed from experience rather than theory, although they have often been explained afterwards by a somewhat artificial and inappropriate process of reasoning. In this sense French political principles may be said to be the more logical, the English government—not the theories about it—the more scientific.
① Suppose you were asked to participate in a blind taste-test of five different brands of strawberry jam. After tasting all of the jams, but before being asked to rate their quality, you spend a couple of minutes writing down your reasons for liking and disliking each jam. Then you rate each one on a scale from 1 to 9. How accurate would your ratings be, assuming we judged accuracy by ( comparing your ratings with) those given by a panel of experts assembled by Consumer Reports magazine?
② When psychologists Timothy Wilson and Jonathan Schooler conducted this experiment with college students as their subjects, they found that the ratings the students gave to the jams had almost no resemblance to those given by the experts. They should have been able to tell ( which ones were good ) and which ones were not—the jams varied widely in quality and included those ranked 1st, 11th, 24th, 32nd, and 44th best out of 45 that Consumer Reports had reviewed. Did the students have no taste for jam? Did their preferences differ from the experts'? Not at all. In a separate condition of the experiment, rather than ( writing the reasons) they liked and disliked each jam, each subject wrote about something entirely unrelated: their reasons (for choosing their college major). The subjects then rated the jams, and despite not having thought about them at all after tasting them, they made ratings that were much closer to those of the experts.
③ Why does thinking about jams make our decisions about them worse? There are two reasons. First, (thinking about the jams) doesn't give us any more information about them—once we taste them, we have all the information (we are going to get). Second, and we think more important, is the fact that jam preferences result mainly from emotional responses, not logical analysis. Emotional responses tend to happen automatically and rapidly, in contrast to the slower, careful processing (underlying analytic reasoning). A decision about how something tastes is an intuitive judgment that can't be improved by giving it a lot of thought. Thinking about it only generates irrelevant information that essentially blocks our intuitive, emotional reaction.
④ Although taste preferences rely (more on emotion than logic), deciding whether to launch a major new product seems to be a good occasion for setting emotion aside and spending some time on analysis. But the distinction isn't always so obvious. In general, when there are few objective grounds (for determining whether a decision is right or wrong) , intuition can't be beat. But even when there are objective criteria, spontaneous responses are sometimes superior to analytical ones.
① In the Ptolemaic system, and in the creation myth of the Bible, human beings were assigned a central position in the universe from which they were thrown out by Copernicus. Ever since, scientists eager to drive the lesson home have urged us, resolutely and repeatedly, to abandon all sentimental egoism, and to see ourselves objectively in the true perspective of time and space. What precisely does this mean? Imagine a two-hour film which represents faithfully the history of the universe: the rise of human beings from the first beginnings of man to the achievements of the twenty-first century would be covered in it by a single second. Or, if we decided to examine the universe "objectively" in the sense of paying equal attention to portions of equal mass, this would result in a lifelong preoccupation with interstellar dust, relieved only at brief intervals by a survey of the dazzlingly bright moment of a star's birth or death—not in a thousand million lifetimes would the turn come for giving human beings even a second's notice.
② It goes without saying that no one—scientists included—looks at the universe this way, whatever lip service is given to "objectivity". Nor should this surprise us. For as human beings, we must inevitably see the universe from a center lying within ourselves and speak about it in terms of a human language shaped by the necessities of human relations; so that any attempt rigorously to eliminate our human evaluation from our picture of the world must lead to absurdity.
③ What is the true lesson of the Copernican revolution? Why did Copernicus exchange his actual earthly station for an imaginary solar standpoint? The only justification for this lay in the greater intellectual satisfaction he derived from the heavenly panorama as seen from the sun instead of the earth. Copernicus gave preference to man's delight in abstract theory, at the price of rejecting the evidence of our senses which present us with the irresistible fact of the sun, the moon, and the stars rising daily in the east to travel across the sky toward their setting in the west. In a literal sense, therefore, the new Copernican system was as human-centered as the Ptolemaic view, the difference being merely that it preferred to satisfy a different human inclination.
④ It becomes legitimate to regard the Copernican system as more "objective" than the Ptolemaic only if we accept this very shift in the nature of intellectual satisfaction as the standard of greater objectivity. This would imply that, of two forms of knowledge, we should consider as more objective that which relies to a greater measure on theory instead of on the more immediate evidence of our senses. So that, the theory being placed like a screen between our senses and the things of which our senses otherwise would gain a more immediate impression, we would rely increasingly on theoretical guidance for the interpretation of our experience, and would correspondingly reduce the status of our raw impressions to that of unreliable or altogether misleading appearances. (510 words)
The Dutch East India Company — the Verenigde Oostindische Compagnie, or VOC, in Dutch — is to capitalism what Benjamin Franklin's kite is to electronics: the beginning of something significant that could not have been predicted at the time. The world's first large joint-stock company, the VOC was formed in 1602 when the Dutch Republic forced the many trading companies that were beginning to take advantage of the Asian trade boom to combine into a single organization. Commercial ventures that did not join the VOC would not be allowed to trade in Asia. In return, the government would not interfere in the new company's business, other than to expect a small tax payment. The merchants reluctantly accepted the arrangement, and the VOC emerged as a federation of six regional groups. What seemed an impractical compromise turned out to be a brilliant innovation. The VOC combined flexibility with strength, giving the Dutch a huge advantage in the competition to dominate maritime trade in Asia.
In the company's first ten years of operations 8,500 men left the Netherlands on VOC ships. In every decade that followed, that total progressively increased. By the 1650s, over 40,000 were departing every ten years. Most were young men who preferred a post with the East India Company to staying home and making do with limited opportunities. Asia for them represented the hope of making better lives elsewhere.
However, to go was not always to come back. Indeed, the odds were against it. Of every three men who took ship to Asia, two did not return. Some died on the journey out, and many more fell victim to diseases against which they had no immunity after they arrived. But death was not the only factor that kept men from returning. Many chose to stay in Asia, some to avoid paying the cost of success or the shame of failure when they got home, others because they were able to make new lives overseas and had no desire to return to what they had left behind. Despite the heavy toll on the company's men, the VOC prospered, and with it the Netherlands.
The ability of the VOC to run and sustain commercial operations on a global scale depended in no small part on new technologies accompanying maritime trade. The English philosopher Francis Bacon in 1620 drew attention to three "mechanical discoveries" that, in his view, "have changed the whole face and state of things throughout the world." One such discovery was the magnetic compass, enabling navigators to sail out of sight of land and still guess where they were. The second was paper, which permitted merchants to keep detailed financial records and maintain communication over long distances. The third was gunpowder. Without the technological advances made by arms manufacturers in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, European traders abroad would have found it difficult to overcome local opposition to undesired trade arrangements, or to protect their goods. The VOC took advantage of these innovations to build a network of trade that stretched all the way from Amsterdam to Nagasaki.
Bacon was famously unaware that all three discoveries came from China. Had he been told they were of Chinese origin, he would not have been surprised. Thanks to Marco Polo's colorful descriptions in his Travels, China held a fascination for Europeans, who thought of it as a place of power and wealth beyond any known scale. This led many to believe that the quickest route to China and East Asia must also be the quickest route to their own wealth and power. The urge to obtain this wealth was a powerful force that helped shape the history of the seventeenth century, in both Europe and Asia.
Following the creation of the VOC and other joint-stock companies, more people began to travel greater distances, for longer periods, than at any other time in human history. They began to engage in business with people whose languages they did not know and whose cultures they knew little about. Their world — and it was fast becoming our world — would never be the same. (679 words)
授業で教材として扱うにはうれしくなるような A is to B what C is to DとはHadで始まる仮定法，withoutの仮定法，意味は最上級の比較級など満載。英文レベルは「センター」としても良かったのですが，一文一文が長く，結構理解に苦しみそうなので，「やや難」としました。ただ，このレベルの英文は「センターレベル」の表記が多いかもしれません。
出典は第１文，The Dutch East India Company — the Verenigde Oostindische Compagnie, or VOC, in Dutch — is to capitalism what Benjamin Franklin's kite is to electronicsから検索。そのまま確認することはできませんでしたが，おそらく次の本からでしょう。あまり読みたいと思いませんが，フェルメールとその時代，というのは多少興味を引きます。
Vermeer's Hat: The Seventeenth Century and the Dawn of the Global World
① Lucas and Aniyah are building a house in Central Park. It is small, even by Manhattan standards, but the two six-year-olds seem pleased with their handiwork. The house has a window (a hole torn in cardboard) and a flat-screen television (a black square of fabric). Lucas's father observes the project from a nearby bench. "It's amazing what you can do with boxes and junk," he says.
② That could almost be the slogan of the child psychologists who helped organize the Central Park event, and who are seeking to counter the notion that education happens only when students are seated at their desks, writing furiously in their notebooks. Play, they argue, is a form of learning too.
③ But how clear are the research findings regarding play? Some experts argue that play is a human right and that adults should leave kids alone. Others accept that play allows children to blow off steam, but are doubtful of its cognitive value. A third group proposes a mix of free play, adult-guided play and traditional classroom instruction. Every discussion about play, however, eventually comes around to the ideas of the Russian psychologist Lev Vygotsky.
④ Vygotsky viewed play as a critical part of childhood, arguing that it allowed a child to stand "a head taller than himself." His biggest theoretical contribution may have been the Zone of Proximal Development: the idea that children are capable of a range of achievement during each stage of their lives. In the right environment, and with the right guidance, children can perform at the top of that range.
⑤ A recent research project, in which building blocks were given to three groups of children, shows how guided play can encourage child development. In one group, the blocks had already been assembled into an airport. A second group was given blocks, and adults helped the children follow directions to build an airport. A third group was given blocks and told to do whatever it wanted. The researchers then listened to the language children were using as they played. Those who were building an airport with an adult used the most imaginative and spatial language (such as "below," "on top," "next to"); the kids who were playing with the preassembled airport used the least.
⑥ Play isn't just about vocabulary. A 2007 study published in Science looked at how 4- and 5-year-olds who were attending a school that used a play-based, Vygotsky-inspired curriculum measured up to children in a more typical preschool. The students in the play-based school scored better on cognitive flexibility, self-control and working memory, attributes that have been consistently linked to academic achievement. The results were so convincing that the experiment was halted earlier than planned so that children in the typical preschool could be switched to the play-based curriculum. The authors conclude: "Although play is often thought frivolous, it may be essential. "
⑦ With evidence like that, you might think that the kind of guided play that Vygotsky favored would be widely promoted. In fact, according to those who support play, it's fast disappearing, as the idea of learning becomes identical with standardized testing. Required to spend more time in the classroom, children have fewer opportunities to interact and to learn on their own. Recess has, in many school districts, vanished from the schedule. After school, parents transport their kids from activity to activity, depriving them of unstructured time alone or with friends.
⑧ This is regrettable, according to researchers, not just because play reduces stress and helps children develop social skills, but because it makes them sharper and better-behaved. So, ironically, by shortchanging them on play in favor of study, we may actually be inhibiting the development of young children like Lucas and Aniyah.
こちらはおきまりの教育問題。遊びが知能の発達に役立つ，という定番テーマ。記事としては新しく2011年２月のThe Chronicle of Higher EducationというWebの記事からです。
① All around us, even in a recession, we see a level of individual wealth unequaled since the early years of the twentieth century. Conspicuous consumption of redundant consumer goods—houses, jewelry, cars, clothing, high-tech toys—has greatly expanded over the past generation. In the United States, the United Kingdom, and a handful of other countries, financial transactions have largely displaced the production of goods or services as the source of private fortunes, distorting the value we place upon different kinds of economic activity. The wealthy, like the poor, have always been with us. But relative to everyone else, they are today wealthier and more conspicuous than at any other time in living memory. Private privilege is easy to understand and describe. It is rather harder to convey the depths of public squalor into which we have fallen.
② To understand the depths to which we have sunk, we must first appreciate the scale of the changes that have overtaken us. From the late nineteenth century until the 1970s, the advanced societies of the West were all becoming less unequal. Thanks to progressive taxation, government subsidies for the poor, the provision of social services, and guarantees against acute misfortune, modern democracies were reducing extremes of wealth and poverty. To be sure, great differences remained. The essentially egalitarian countries of Scandinavia and the considerably more diverse societies of southern Europe remained distinctive; and the English-speaking lands of North America and the British Empire continued to reflect long-standing class distinctions. But each in its own way was affected by the growing intolerance of immoderate inequality, initiating public provision to compensate for private inadequacy.
③Over the past thirty years we have thrown all this away. To be sure, "we" varies with country. The greatest extremes of private privilege and public indifference have resurfaced in the US and the UK.: epicenters of enthusiasm for deregulated market capitalism. Although countries as far apart as New Zealand and Denmark, France and Brazil have expressed periodic interest in deregulation, none has matched Britain or the United States in their unwavering thirty-year commitment to the unraveling of decades of social legislation and economic oversight.
④ In 2005, 21. 2 percent of US national income accrued to just 1 percent of earners. Contrast 1968, when the CEO of General Motors took home, in pay and benefits, about sixty-six times the amount paid to a typical GM worker. Today the CEO of Wal-Mart earns nine hundred times the wages of his average employee. Indeed, the wealth of the Wal-Mart founder's family in 2005 was estimated at about the same ($90 billion) as that of the bottom 40 percent of the US population: 120 million people. The UK too is now more unequal—in incomes, wealth, health, education, and opportunities—than at any time since the 1920s. There are more poor children in the UK than in any other country of the European Union. Since 1973, inequality in take-home pay increased more in the UK than anywhere except the US. Most of the new jobs created in Britain in the years 1977-2007 were either at the very high or the very low end of the pay scale.
⑤ The consequences are clear. There has been a collapse in intergenerational mobility: in contrast to their parents and grandparents, children today in the UK, as in the US, have very little expectation of improving upon the condition into which they were born. The poor stay poor. Economic disadvantage for the overwhelming majority translates into ill health, missed educational opportunities, and—increasingly— the familiar symptoms of depression: alcoholism, obesity, gambling, and minor criminality. The unemployed or underemployed lose whatever skills they have acquired and become chronically superfluous to the economy. Anxiety and stress, not to mention illness and early death, frequently follow.
⑥ Income disparity exacerbates the problems. Thus the incidence of mental illness correlates closely to income in the US and the UK, whereas the two indicators are quite unrelated in all continental European countries. Even trust, the faith we have in our fellow citizens, corresponds negatively with differences in income: between 1983 and 2001, mistrustfulness increased markedly in the US, the UK, and Ireland—three countries in which the dogma of unregulated individual self-interest was most assiduously applied to public policy. In no other country was a comparable increase in mutual mistrust to be found.
⑦ Inequality, then, is not just unattractive in itself; it clearly corresponds to social problems that we cannot hope to address unless we attend to their underlying cause. There is a reason why infant mortality, life expectancy, criminality, the prison population, mental illness, unemployment, obesity, malnutrition, teenage pregnancy, illegal drug use, economic insecurity, personal indebtedness, and anxiety are so much more marked in the US and the UK than they are in continental Europe. The wider the spread between the wealthy few and the impoverished many, the worse the social problems: a statement that appears to be true for rich and poor countries alike. What matters is not how affluent a country is but how unequal it is. Thus Sweden and Finland, two of the world's wealthiest countries by per capita income or GDP, have a very narrow gap separating their richest from their poorest citizens—and they consistently lead the world in indicators of measurable well-being. Conversely, the US, despite its huge aggregate wealth, always comes low on such measures. America spends vast sums on health care, but life expectancy in the US remains below Bosnia and just above Albania.
⑧ As recently as the 1970s, the idea that the purpose of life was to get rich and that governments existed to facilitate this would have been ridiculed—not only by capitalism's traditional critics but also by many of its staunchest defenders. Relative indifference to wealth for its own sake was widespread in the postwar decades. In a survey of English schoolboys taken in 1949, it was discovered that the more intelligent the boy the more likely he was to choose an interesting career at a reasonable wage over a job that would merely pay well. Today's schoolchildren and college students can imagine little else but the search for a lucrative job. How should we begin to make amends for raising a generation obsessed with the pursuit of material wealth and indifferent to so much else? Perhaps we might start by reminding ourselves and our children that it wasn't always this way. Thinking "economistically," as we have done now for thirty years, is not intrinsic to humans. There was a time when we ordered our lives differently. (1090)
【Adapted from Tony Judt, ill fares the Land (2010)】
① The two of us met over a decade ago when Chris was a graduate student in the Harvard University psychology department and Dan had just arrived as a new assistant professor. Chris's office was down the hall from Dan's lab, and we soon discovered our mutual interest in how we perceive, remember, and think about our visual world. In a class that Dan taught in research methods with Chris as his teaching assistant, the students assisted us in conducting some experiments as part of their class-work, one of which has become famous. It was based on an ingenious series of studies of visual attention and awareness conducted by the pioneering cognitive psychologist Ulric Neisser in the 1970s. Neisser had moved to Cornell University when Dan was in his final year of graduate school there, and their many conversations inspired Dan to build on Neisser's earlier groundbreaking research.
② With our students as actors and a temporarily vacant floor of the psychology building as a set, we made a short film of two teams of people moving around and passing basketballs. One team wore white shirts and the other wore black. Dan manned the camera and directed, while Chris coordinated the action and kept track of which scenes we needed to shoot. We then digitally edited the film, and our students fanned out across the Harvard campus to run the experiment. They asked volunteers to silently count the number of passes made by the players wearing white, while ignoring any passes by the players wearing black. The video lasted less than a minute. Immediately after the video ended, our students asked the subjects to report how many passes they'd counted. The correct answer was thirty-four—or maybe thirty-five. To be honest, it doesn't matter. The pass-counting task was intended to keep people engaged in doing something that demanded their attention to the action on the screen, but we weren't really interested in pass-counting ability. We were actually testing something else: halfway through the video, a female student wearing a black full-body gorilla suit walked into the scene, stopped in the middle of the players, faced the camera, thumped her chest, and then walked off, spending about nine seconds on screen.
③ After asking subjects about the passes, amazingly, we found that roughly half of the subjects in our study did not notice the gorilla! Since then, the experiment has been repeated many times, under different conditions, with diverse audiences, and in multiple countries, but the results are always the same: about half the people fail to see the gorilla. How could people not see a gorilla walk directly in front of them, turn to face them, beat its chest, and walk away? What made the gorilla invisible? This error of perception results from a lack of attention to an unexpected object, so it goes by the scientific name of "inattentional blindness. " The name distinguishes it from forms of blindness resulting from a damaged visual system; here, people don't see the gorilla, but not because of a problem with their eyes. When people devote their attention to a particular area or aspect of their visual world, they tend not to notice unexpected objects, even when those objects are salient, potentially important, and appear right where they are looking. In other words, the subjects were concentrating so hard on counting the passes that they were "blind" to the gorilla right in front of their eves.
④ What interested us most, however, was not inattentional blindness in general or the gorilla study in particular. The fact that people miss things is important, but what impressed us even more was the surprise that people showed when they realized what they had missed. When they watched the video again, this time without counting passes, they all saw the gorilla easily, and they were shocked. Some spontaneously said, "I missed that?!" or "No way!" One man said, "I know that the gorilla didn't come through there the first time. " Other subjects accused us of switching the tape while they weren't looking.
⑤ The gorilla study illustrates, perhaps more dramatically than any other, the powerful and pervasive influence of the "illusion of attention": we experience far less of our visual world than we think we do. If we were fully aware of the limits to attention, the illusion would vanish. It is true that we vividly experience some aspects of our world, particularly those that are the focus of our attention. But this rich experience inevitably leads to the erroneous belief that we process all of the detailed information around us. In essence, we know how vividly we see some aspects of our world, but we are completely unaware of those aspects of our world that fall outside of that current focus of attention. Our vivid visual experience masks a striking mental blindness—we assume that visually distinctive or unusual objects will draw our attention, but in reality they often go completely unnoticed.
⑥ Who notices the unexpected, then? The effect is so striking—and the balance between the number who notice and the number who don't—that people often assume that some important aspect of our personality determines whether or not we notice the gorilla. Despite the intuitive appeal of the gorilla video as a key to determine personality types, there is almost no evidence that individual differences in attention or other abilities affect inattentional blindness. For example, many people who have experienced the gorilla experiment see it as a sort of intelligence or ability test; however, the original study conducted on Harvard undergraduates gave the same results at less prestigious institutions and with subjects who weren't students. Similarly, according to an online survey by Nokia, 60 percent of women and men think that women are better at multitasking, suggesting that women would be more likely to notice the gorilla than men. Unfortunately, there is little experimental evidence to support the popular belief about multitasking, and we haven't found any evidence that men are more prone than women to miss the gorilla.
⑦ If this illusion of attention is so pervasive, how has our species survived to write about it? Why weren't our would-be ancestors all eaten by unnoticed predators? In part, inattentional blindness and the accompanying illusion of attention are a consequence of modern society. Although our ancestors must have had similar limitations on awareness, in a less complex world, there was less to be aware of, where fewer objects or events needed immediate attention. In contrast, the advance of technology has given us devices that require greater amounts of attention, more and more often, with shorter and shorter lead times. Our neurological circuits for vision and attention are built for pedestrian speeds, not for driving speeds. When you are walking, a delay of a few seconds in noticing an unexpected event is likely inconsequential. When you are driving, though, delay of even one-tenth of a second in noticing an unexpected event can kill you (or someone else). Technology can help us to overcome the limits on our abilities, but only if we recognize that any technological aid will have limits too. If we misunderstand the limits of technology, these aids can actually make us less likely to notice what is around us. In this sense, we tend to generalize our illusion of attention to the aids that we use to overcome the limits on our attention. We must remember, however, that only becoming aware of the illusion of attention can help us to take steps to avoid missing what we need to see.
[Adapted from Christopher Chabris & Daniel Simons, The Invisible Gorilla (2010). ]
今回のこの英文も大変おもしろかったです。結構話題になったようで，武田鉄矢のラジオ番組でも取り上げられていました。【武田鉄矢 今朝の三枚おろし 2011年5月】