It's easy to forget that the world wide web as we know it today evolved from an
early attempt to put books on the internet. When Tim Berners-Lee envisagedwhat
would become the world wide web, it was with the idea of making academic papers
and other documents widely available. To this end he deviseda simple way of
laying out text and images on a page, inventing what we now call Hypertext
Markup Language or HTML.
envisage vt. 想像；设想[+(that)][+v-ing]
to this end 为了这个目的；为此
lay out 展示；安排；布置
Early HTML could define pages and paragraphs, bold and italicise text,
embed images and lay out tables. A little more than 20 years later, HTML 5
includes media playback and animation, and the web has now become so
ubiquitousthat for most users it is indistinguishablefrom the underlying
framework of the internet itself, but at its core the technology of the web
remains little changed. Every web page, however sophisticated it may seem, is
basically a digital book that we read on our computer through our web
indistinguishable a. 难区分的，不能分辨的
sophisticated adj. 成熟的；复杂的；精致的
web browser 浏览器
So when Hugh McGuire, founder of PressBooks and LibriVox, stated today that
the book and the internet will merge, he was in one sense simply reiterating
what is already the case. But from the perspective of people without the
technical knowledge to see how closely entwinedthe book and the internet already
are, it has the whiff of yet another doom-monger proclaiming the death of the
book as we know it.
merge v.[I] 1. 合并，融合 2. 消失 3. 吞没
reiterate v. 重申；反复地做
entwine vt.1. 使缠绕 2. 使交错；使紧密结合
McGuire's argument hingeson the recent emergence of ebooks as a serious
contender to the print book as the dominant artefact of the publishing industry,
with some suggesting that ebooks will make up 50% of the book market by 2015
thanks to the Kindle, iPad and smartphones. Ebooks are deliberately packaged and
marketed to appear as much like traditional print books as possible, so many
readers will be surprised to discover that ebooks are built around much the same
HTML structure that powers the web. Every ebook, no matter how much like a print
book it may seem, is a web page that we read on the simplified browser embedded
in our e-reader of choice.
hingen. [C]1. 铰链
2.枢纽,关键,中心vt. 1. 给...安装铰链[H]
vi. 1. 靠铰链转动 2. 决定于[W][(+on/upon)]
The distinction between the ebook/webpage, webpage/ebook is not a material
one. In technological terms they are exactly the same thing. But when McGuire
first mooted his argument on Twitter in April last year my response likely
mirrors the response of many book readers, "Books are researched, written,
edited, published, marketed …and hence paid for. The internet is ego noise,
hence free." The distinction many of us draw between a book and a webpage is one
of quality and hence of value. The real question raised by McGuire's argument is
whether we continue to value ebooks as books, or as webpages. Books are
something we pay for. Webpages are things we read for free. Which model will win
moot v. 提出……供讨论
win out 胜出；最后获得成功
Unless you are one of the very small number of people whose fortunes rest
upon the outdated business model of publishing, you should hope that the latter
wins. Because this is about a much bigger issue than how writers and editors get
paid for the valuable work they do. For hundreds of years we've been slowly
expanding the reach of human knowledge, both in terms of what we know and how
many of us know it. Today we take a resource like Wikipedia for granted – but
compare it with the situation of only a few decades ago, when the majority of
the population had lacked easy access to such knowledge. The benefits of
expanding access to knowledge, both social and economic, are incalculable.
rest upon 依赖于；取决于
get paid 得到报酬；领工资
take……for granted 认为……理所当然
Now we stand at the thresholdof possibly the most revolutionary advances in
human history. The combined technologies of the internet – HTML webpages,
ebooks, search technology, social media and many more – are very close to making
all human knowledge accessible to all people for free. Even the short-term
consequences of this advance are hard to envisage, and in the long term it has
the potential to improve our future as much as the invention of the printing
press improved our past and present.
thresholn.[C] 1. 阈值，下限 2. 门槛 3. 开端
social media 社交媒体
in the long term 从长远看
Every time society advances, it faces challenges from those people
economically and emotionally invested in the past. Undoubtedly stone age flint
knappers were less than happy about bronze-age technology disturbing their
business model. The medieval church was none to pleased about printing
technology breaking their hegemony over knowledge, but we'd never have had the
Enlightenment without it. Today the media-conglomerates, governments and
educational institutions that profit from gatekeeping knowledge of all kinds are
pushing the Stop Online Piracy Act, and even more draconian legislation to try
and hold back the flood of free knowledge that threatens their power. Unless we
want to stay in the knowledge equivalentof the stone age, and miss the next
enlightenment the knowledge revolution promises to bring with it, we should all
redouble our efforts to make sure they lose.
invested in the past 寄希望于过去
hold back 抑制；阻止
equivalenta. 1. 相等的；相同的[(+to)] 2.
等价的；等值的；等量的；等效的[(+to)] 3. 同意义的 n. [C]1.
相等物；等价物[(+of/to)] 2. 同义字[(+of/for)]
For centuries the book has been the highest symbol of knowledge. The object
that has enshrinedand preserved knowledge through history. The book is so
inextricably linked with our concept of knowledge that for many people it is
hard to separate one from the other. But for human knowledge to reach its full
potential, we may have to let go of the book-as-object first, or open our
thinking to a radically different definition of what a book is.
enshrine vt. 1. 把...置于神龛内 2. 把...奉为神圣 3.
1. Why should we hope Webpages wins?
2. According to the auther's opinion, for human knowledge to reach its full
potential, what should we do?
1. Because the benefits of expanding access to knowledge, both social and
economic, are incalculable, and in the long term it has the potential to improve
our future as much as the invention of the printing press improved our past and
2. We may have to let go of the book-as-object first, or open our thinking
to a radically different definition of what a book is.