[单选题]The U.S. Postal Service (USPS) continues to bleed red ink. It reported a net loss of $5.6 billion for fiscal 2016, the lOth straight year its expenses have exceeded revenue. Meanwhile, it has more than $120 billion in unfunded liabilities, mostly for employee health and retirement costs. There are many bankruptcies. Fundamentally, the USPS is in a historic squeeze between technological change that has permanently decreased demand for its bread-and-butter product, first-class mail, and a regulatory structure that denies management the flexibility to adjust its operations to the new reality And interest groups ranging from postal unions to greeting-card makers exert self-interested pressure on the USPS's ultimateoverseer-Congress-insisting that whatever else happens to the Postal Service, aspects of the status quo they depend on get protected. This is why repeated attempts at reform legislation have failed in recent years, leaving the Postal Service unable to pay its bills except by deferring vital modernization. Now comes word that everyone involved-Democrats, Republicans, the Postal Service, the unions and the system's heaviest users-has finally agreed on a plan to fix the system. Legislation is moving through the House that would save USPS an estimated $28.6 billion over five years, which could help pay for new vehicles, among other survival measures. Most of the money would come from a penny-per-letter permanent rate increase and from shifting postal retirees into Medicare. The latter step would largely offset the financial burden of annually pre-funding retiree health care, thus addressing a long-standing complaint by the USPS and its union. If it clears the House, this measure would still have to get through the Senate - where someone is bound to point out that it amounts to the bare, bare minimum necessary to keep the Postal Service afloat, not ,comprehensive reform. There's no change to dbective bargaining at the USPS, a major omission considering that personnel accounts for 80 percent of the agency's costs. Also missing is any discussion of eliminating Saturday letter delivery. That common-sense change enjoys wide public support and would save the USPS $2 billion per year. But postal special-interest groups seem to have killed it, at least in the House. The emerging consensus around the bill is a sign that legislators are getting frightened about a politically embarrassing short-term collapse at the USPS. It is not, however, a sign that they're getting serious about transforming the postal system for the 3lst century. According to Paragraph 2, the USPS fails to modernize itself due to
[单选题]The idea that some groups of people may be more intelligent than others is one of those hypotheses that dare not speak its name.But Gregory Cochran is 1 to say it anyway.He is that 2 bird, a scientist who works independently 3 any institution.He helped popularize the idea that some diseases not 4 thought to have a bacterial cause were actually infections, which aroused much controversy when it was first suggested. 5 he, however, might tremble at the 6 of what he is about to do.Together with another two scientists, he is publishing a paper which not only 7 that one group of humanity is more intelligent than the others, but explains the process that has brought this about.The group in 8 are a particular people originated from central Europe.The process is natural selection. This group generally do well in IQ test, 9 12-15 points above the 10 value of 100, and have contributed 11 to the intellectual and cultural life of the West, as the 12 of their elites, including several world-renowned scientists, 13.They also suffer more often than most people from a number of nasty genetic diseases, such as breast cancer.These facts, 14, have previously been thought unrelated.The former has been 15 to social effects, such as a strong tradition of 16 education.The latter was seen as a (an) 17 of genetic isolation.Dr.Cochran suggests that the intelligence and diseases are intimately 18.His argument is that the unusual history of these people has 19 them to unique evolutionary pressures that have resulted in this 20 state of affairs. 11选?
[单选题]Any fair-minded assessment of the dangers of the deal between Britain's National Health Service (NHS) and DeepMind must start by acknowledging that both sides mean well. DeepMind is one of the leading artificial intelligence (AI) companies in the world. The potential of this work applied to healthcare is very great, but it could also lead to further concentration of power in the tech giants. It Is against that background that the information commissioner, Elizabeth Denham, has issued her damning verdict against the Royal Free hospital trust under the NHS, which handed over to DeepMind the records of l.6 million patients In 2015 2n the basis of a vague agreement which took far too little account of the patients' rights and their expectations of privacy. DeepMind has almost apologized. The NHS trust has mended its ways. Further arrangements- and there may be many-between the NHS and DeepMind will be carefully scrutinised to ensure that all necessary permissions have been asked of patients and all unnecessary data has been cleaned. There are lessons about informed patient consent to learn. But privacy is not the only angle in this case and not even the most important Ms Denham chose to concentrate the blame on the NHS trust, since under existing law it -controlled" the data and DeepMind merely -processed' it But this distinction misses the point that it is processing and aggregation, not the mere possession of bits, that gives the data value. The great question is who should beneflt from the analysis of all the data that our lives now generate. Privacy law builds on the concept of damage to an individual from identifiable knowledge about them. That misses the way the surveillance economy works. The data of an individual there gains its value only when it is compared with the data of countless millions more. The use of privacy law to curb the tech giants in this instance feels slightly maladapted. This practice does not address the real worry. It is not enough to say that the algorithms DeepMind develops will benefit patients and save lives. What matters is that they will belong to a private monopoly which developed them using public resources. If software promises to save lives on the scale that dugs now can, big data may be expected to behave as a big pharm has done. We are still at the beginning of this revolution and small choices now may turn out to have gigantic consequences later. A long struggle will be needed to avoid a future of digital feudalism. Ms Denham's report is a welcome start. The author argues in Paragraph 2 that
[单选题]Ancient Greek philosopher Aristotle viewed laughter as “a bodily exercise precious to health.” But ---_____some claims to the contrary, laughing probably has little influence on physical filness Laughter does _____short-term changes in the function of the heart and its blood vessels, ____ heart rate and oxygen consumption But because hard laughter is difficult to ____, a good laugh is unlikely to have _____ benefits the way, say, walking or jogging does. ____, instead of straining muscles to build them, as exercise does, laughter apparently accomplishes the ____, studies dating back to the 1930’s indicate that laughter.muscles, Such bodily reaction might conceivably help____the effects of psychological stress.Anyway,the act of laughing probably does produce other types of ______feedback,that improve an individual’s emotional state.______one classical theory of emotion,our feelings are partially rooted _______ physical reactions.It was argued at the end of the 19th century that humans do not cry ______they are sad but they become sad when te tears begin to flow. Although sadness also _______ tears,evidence suggests that emotions can flow _____ muscular responses.In an experiment published in 1988,social psychologist Fritz Strack of the University of würzburg in Germany asked volunteers to ____ a pen either with their teeth-thereby creating an artificial smile – or with their lips, which would produce a(n) _____ expression.Those forced to exercise their enthusiastically to funny catoons than did those whose months were contracted in a frown, _______ that expressions may influence emotions rather than just the other way around ____ , the physical act of laughter could improve mood.
[单选题]Text 4 Artificial intelligence, or AI, is called artificial for a good reason. Facebook made that point last week by ending its attempt to rely heavily on software algorithms to select news items for its 2 billion users. It announced Jan. 19 that the Facebook "community" will be asked to rank news outlets by their trustworthiness. This reader feedback will promote "high quality news that helps build a sense of common ground" in a world with "so much division," said chief executive Mark Zuckerberg. The first surveys have started in the United States and will soon expand to other countries. The company plans to include the local news outlets of users in its surveys. Like many digital platforms that act as news providers, Facebook had great faith in a belief that programmed electrons in computer servers can discern qualities of thought such as trust, fairness, and honesty. Even in respected newsrooms, however, these traits of character require constant upkeep among journalists and feedback from paying customers. Good judgment on news relies on orders of consciousness beyond what a machine can do. Rather than move toward becoming a hands-on gatekeeper of news, Facebook now hopes its "diverse and representative" sampling of users can lead to a ranking of news outlets - and that would bring a measure of objectivity in its news feed. The company may be in the news business but it has chosen to outsource news credibility to the collective wisdom of individuals and their ability to distinguish truth from falsehood. By placing its trust in people as seekers of truth, Facebook could earn greater trust from its users. This is also a lesson for many companies, especially digital platforms or those in the media business. According to the latest survey of trust in institutions worldwide by Edelman communications firm, "media has become the least-trusted institution for the first time," more so than other businesses or government. In particular, the US is "enduring an unprecedented crisis of trust" among many of its institutions, says Richard Edelman, president and CEO of Edelman. "The root cause of this fall is the lack of objective facts and rational discourse," he adds. Facebook's shift away from computer-driven news selection is a welcome step toward restoring trust in the overall business of news. This is not a new problem. "Nothing can now be believed which is seen in a newspaper," wrote Thomas Jefferson in 1807. Yet the Digital Age has forced the issue of trust for news providers. By inviting readers to participate in solving this problem, Facebook has itself set a new bar for earning trust. 39. The author holds that Facebook's shift is
[单选题]Text 2 A deal is a deal-except, apparently ,when Entergy is involved.The company, a major energy supplier in New England, provoked justified outrage in Vermont last week when it announced it was reneging on a longstanding commitment to abide by the strict nuclear regulations. Instead, the company has done precisely what it had long promised it would not challenge the constitutionality of Vermont’s rules in the federal court, as part of a desperate effort to keep its Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant running.It’s a stunning move. The conflict has been surfacing since 2002, when the corporation bought Vermont’s only nuclear power plant, an aging reactor in Vernon.As a condition of receiving state approval for the sale, the company agreed to seek permission from state regulators to operate past 2012.In 2006, the state went a step further, requiring that any extension of the plant’s license be subject to Vermont legislature’s approval.Then, too, the company went along. Either Entergy never really intended to live by those commitments, or it simply didn’t foresee what would happen next.A string of accidents, including the partial collapse of a cooling tower in 207 and the discovery of an underground pipe system leakage, raised serious questions about both Vermont Yankee’s safety and Entergy’s management– especially after the company made misleading statements about the pipe.Enraged by Entergy’s behavior, the Vermont Senate voted 26 to 4 last year against allowing an extension. Now the company is suddenly claiming that the 2002 agreement is invalid because of the 2006 legislation, and that only the federal government has regulatory power over nuclear issues.The legal issues in the case are obscure: whereas the Supreme Court has ruled that states do have some regulatory authority over nuclear power, legal scholars say that Vermont case will offer a precedent-setting test of how far those powers extend.Certainly, there are valid concerns about the patchwork regulations that could result if every state sets its own rules.But had Entergy kept its word, that debate would be beside the point. The company seems to have concluded that its reputation in Vermont is already so damaged that it has noting left to lose by going to war with the state.But there should be consequences.Permission to run a nuclear plant is a poblic trust.Entergy runs 11 other reactors in the United States, including Pilgrim Nuclear station in Plymouth.Pledging to run Pilgrim safely, the company has applied for federal permission to keep it open for another 20 years.But as the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) reviews the company’s application, it should keep it mind what promises from Entergy are worth. 29.In the author’s view, the Vermont case will test
[单选题]Research on animal intelligence always makes me wonder just how smart humans are.1 the fruit-fly experiments described in Carl Zimmer's piece in the Science Times on Tuesday.Fruit flies who were taught to be smarter than the average fruit fly 2 to live shorter lives.This suggests that 3 bulbs burn longer, that there is an 4 in not being too terrifically bright. Intelligence, it 5 out, is a high-priced option.It takes more upkeep, burns more fuel and is slow 6 the starting line because it depends on learning — a gradual 7 — instead of instinct.Plenty of other species are able to learn, and one of the things they've apparently learned is when to 8. Is there an adaptive value to 9 intelligence? That's the question behind this new research.I like it.Instead of casting a wistful glance 10 at all the species we've left in the dust I.Q.-wise, it implicitly asks what the real 11 of our own intelligence might be.This is 12 the mind of every animal I've ever met. Research on animal intelligence also makes me wonder what experiments animals would 13 on humans if they had the chance.Every cat with an owner, 14, is running a small-scale study in operant conditioning.we believe that 15 animals ran the labs, they would test us to 16 the limits of our patience, our faithfulness, our memory for terrain.They would try to decide what intelligence in humans is really 17, not merely how much of it there is. 18, they would hope to study a 19 question: Are humans actually aware of the world they live in? 20 the results are inconclusive. 6选?
[单选题]Text 2 For the first time on record, the number of advertising-specific jobs in the U. S. is declining in the middle of an economic expansion, according to government data. What's going on? It's certainly not a case of fewer advertisements. The typical American has gone from seeing about 500 ads each day in the 1970s to about 5,000 today, according to a common industry statistic. That is one corporate message for roughly every 10 seconds of waking life. Instead, the mysterious decline can be explained by two developments. First, there are Facebook and Google. They are the largest advertising companies in the world-and, quite likely, the largest in the history of the world. Last year, 90 percent of the growth of the digital-advertising business went to just these two firms. Facebook and Google are so profitable because they use their enormous scale and data to deliver targeted advertising at a low cost. This has forced the world's large advertising firms to preserve their profitability through a series of mergers, accompanied by jobs cut.s in the name of efficiency. The emergence of an advertising duopoly has coincided with the rise of "programmatic advertising," a term that essentially means "companies using algorithms to buy and place ads in those little boxes all over the internet. " As any Macl Men fan might intuit,advertising has long been a relationship-driven business, in which multimillion-dollar contracts are hammered out over one-on-one meetings, countless lunches, and even more-countless drinks. With programmatic technology, however, companies can buy access to specific audiences across several publishing platforms at once, bypassing the work of building relationships with each one. That process produces more ads and requires fewer people-or, at least, fewer traditional advertising jobs and more technical jobs. Second, there is the merging of the advertising and entertainment businesses. As smartphone screens have edged out TV as the most important real estate for media, companies have invested more in "branded content"-corporate-sponsored media, such as an article or video, that resembles traditional entertainment more than it does traditional advertising. Some of the most prominent names in journalism, such as The New York Times , BuzzFeed, Vice , and The Atlantic , are owned by companies that have launched their own branded-content shops, which operate as stand-alone divisions. As many media companies have tried to become more like advertising companies, the value of the average "creative-account win," an ad-industry term for a new contract, has declined, falling by about 40 percent between 2016 and 2017. So there are two major themes of the decline of advertising jobs, one that has to do with the companies that now create them and one that has to do with the way brands prefer to market themselves nowadays. In short, the future of the advertising business is being moved to technology companies managing ad networks and media companies making branded content-that is, away from the ad agencies. 27. With programmatic technology, Facebook and Google could
[单选题]Many experts believe that in the new world of artificial intelligence (AI) human beings will still be needed to do the jobs that require higher-order critical, creative, and innovative thinking and the jobs that require high emotional engagement to meet the needs of other human beings. The 1 for many of us is that we do not excel at those skills because of our natural cognitive and emotional tendencies: We are confirmation-seeking thinkers and ego- affirmation-seeking defensive reasoners. We will need to overcome those tendencies 2 take our thinking, listening, relating, and collaborating skills to a much higher level. This process of 3 begins with changing our definition of what it means to "be smart. " 4 , many of us have achieved success 5 being "smarter" than other people as 6 by grades and test scores, beginning in our early days in school. AI will change that because there is no 7 any human being can outsmart, 8 , IBM's Watson, at least without augmentation, Smart machines can process, 9 , and recall information faster and better than we humans. 10 _. AI can pattern-match faster and produce a wider array of alternatives than we can. AI can even learn faster. In an age of smart machines, our old definition of what makes a person smart doesn't 11 . What is needed is a new definition of being smart, one that 12 higher levels of human thinking and emotional engagement. The new smart will be determined not by what or how you know 13 by the quality of your thinking, listening, relating, collaborating, and learning. Quantity is 14 by quality. We will spend more time training to be open-minded and learning to update our beliefs in 15 to new data. We will practice 16 after our mistakes, and we will invest more in the skills traditionally 17 with emotional intelligence. The new smart will be about trying to overcome the two big 18 0f critical thinking and team collaboration: our ego and our fears. Doing so will make it easier to perceive reality as it is, rather than as we 19 it to be. In short, we will embrace humility. That is 20 we humans will add value in a world of smart technology.