In the following text, some sentences have been removed. For Questions 41-45, choose the most suitable one from the list A-G to fit into each of the numbered blanks. There are two extra choices, which do not fit in any of the blanks. Mark your answers on ANSWER SHEET1.
Think of those fleeting moments when you look out of an aeroplane window and realise that you are flying, higher than a bird. Now think of your laptop, thinner than a brown-paper envelope, or your cellphone in the palm of your hand. Take a moment or two to wonder at those marvels. You are the lucky inheritor of a dream come true.
The second half of the 20th century saw a collection of geniuses, warriors, entrepreneurs and visionaries labour to create a fabulous machine that could function as a typewriter and printing press, studio and theatre, paintbrush and gallery, piano and radio, the mail as well as the mail carrier. (1)
The networked computer is an amazing device, the first media machine that serves as the mode of production, means of distribution, site of reception, and place of praise and critique. The computer is the 21st century's culture machine.
But for all the reasons there are to celebrate the computer, we must also tread with caution. (2)I call it a secret war for two reasons. First, most people do not realise that there are strong commercial agendas at work to keep them in passive consumption mode. Second, the majority of people who use networked computers to upload are not even aware of the significance of what they are doing.
All animals download, but only a few upload. Beavers build dams and birds make nests. Yet for the most part, the animal kingdom moves through the world downloading. Humans are unique in their capacity to not only make tools but then turn around and use them to create superfluous material goods - paintings, sculpture and architecture - and superfluous experiences - music, literature, religion and philosophy. (3)
For all the possibilities of our new culture machines, most people are still stuck in download mode. Even after the advent of widespread social media, a pyramid of production remains, with a small number of people uploading material, a slightly larger group commenting on or modifying that content, and a huge percentage remaining content to just consume. (4)
Television is a one-way tap flowing into our homes. The hardest task that television asks of anyone is to turn the power off after he has turned it on.
What counts as meaningful uploading? My definition revolves around the concept of "stickiness" - creations and experiences to which others adhere.
[A] Of course, it is precisely these superfluous things that define human culture and ultimately what it is to be human. Downloading and consuming culture requires great skills, but failing to move beyond downloading is to strip oneself of a defining constituent of humanity.
[B] Applications like tumblr.com, which allow users to combine pictures, words and other media in creative ways and then share them, have the potential to add stickiness by amusing, entertaining and enlightening others.
[C] Not only did they develop such a device but by the turn of the millennium they had also managed to embed it in a worldwide system accessed by billions of people every day.
[D] This is because the networked computer has sparked a secret war between downloading and uploading - between passive consumption and active creation - whose outcome will shape our collective future in ways we can only begin to imagine.
[E] The challenge the computer mounts to television thus bears little similarity to one format being replaced by another in the manner of record players being replaced by CD players.
[F] One reason for the persistence of this pyramid of production is that for the past half-century, much of the world's media culture has been defined by a single medium - television - and television is defined by downloading.
[G]The networked computer offers the first chance in 50 years to reverse the flow, to encourage thoughtful downloading and, even more importantly, meaningful uploading.