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過去這個週末學生考了 2016 年 6 月的 SAT 考試。如果這是你最後一次考 SAT，恭喜你完成了一個艱難的任務！
這裡，我們整理了 2016 年 6 月 SAT 考試當中的 5 篇閱讀文章，幫助學生準備未來的考試。
首先，讀這些文章。你覺得他們讀起來很簡單還是很難？裡面有沒有很多生字，尤其是那些會影響你理解整篇文章的生字？如果有的話，雖然你可能是在美國讀書或讀國際學校、也知道 “如何讀跟寫英文”，但你還沒有足夠的生字基礎讓你 “達到下一個階段” （也就是大學的階段）。查一下這一些字，然後把它們背起來。這些生字不見得會在下一個 SAT 考試中出現，但是透過真正的 SAT 閱讀文章去認識及學習這些生字可以大大的減低考試中出現不會的生字的機率。
在我們的 Ivy-Way Reading Workbook（Ivy-Way 閱讀技巧書）的第一章節裡，我們教學生在閱讀文章之前要先讀文章最上面的開頭介紹。雖然你的 SAT 考試不會剛好考這幾篇文章，但你還是可以透過這些文章找到它們的來源，然後從來源閱讀更多相關的文章。舉例來說，如果你看第二篇文章 “The Problem with Fair Trade Coffee”，你會看到文章是來自 Stanford Social Innovation Review。閱讀更多來自 Stanford Social Innovation Review 的文章會幫助你習慣閱讀這種風格的文章。
- 文學 (literature)：1 篇經典或現代的文學文章（通常來自美國）
- 歷史 (History)：1 篇跟美國獨立/創立相關的文章，或者一篇受到美國獨立 / 創立影響的國際文章（像是美國憲法或者馬丁路德金恩 (Martin Luther King Jr.) 的演說）
- 人文 (Humanities)：1 篇經濟、心理學、社會學、或社會科學的文章
- 科學 (Sciences)：1-2 篇地理、生物、化學、或物理的文章
- 雙篇文 (Dual-Passages)：0-1 篇含有兩篇同主題的文章
所有 2016 年 6月 (亞洲) SAT 考試閱讀文章
This passage is from Anton Chekhov, A boring story.
I regret that I had not time nor inclination to watch over the rise and development of the passion which took complete possession of Katya when she was fourteen or fifteen. I mean her passionate love for the theatre. When she used to come from boarding-school and stay with us for the summer holidays, she talked of nothing with such pleasure and such warmth as of plays and actors. She bored us with her continual talk of the theatre. My wife and children would not listen to her. I was the only one who had not the courage to refuse to attend to her. When she had a longing to share her transports, she used to come into my study and say in an imploring tone:
“Nikolay Stepanovitch, do let me talk to you about the theatre!”
I pointed to the clock, and said:
“I’ll give you half an hour — begin.”
Later on she used to bring with her dozens of portraits of actors and actresses which she worshipped; then she attempted several times to take part in private theatricals, and the upshot of it all was that when she left school she came to me and announced that she was born to be an actress.
I had never shared Katya’s inclinations for the theatre. To my mind, if a play is good there is no need to trouble the actors in order that it may make the right impression; it is enough to read it. If the play is poor, no acting will make it good.
In my youth I often visited the theatre, and now my family takes a box twice a year and carries me off for a little distraction. Of course, that is not enough to give me the right to judge of the theatre. In my opinion the theatre has become no better than it was thirty or forty years ago. Just as in the past, I can never find a glass of clean water in the corridors or foyers of the theatre. Just as in the past, the attendants fine me twenty kopecks for my fur coat, though there is nothing reprehensible in wearing a warm coat in winter. As in the past, for no sort of reason, music is played in the intervals, which adds something new and uncalled-for to the impression made by the play. As in the past, men go in the intervals and drink spirits in the buffet. If no progress can be seen in trifles, I should look for it in vain in what is more important. When an actor wrapped from head to foot in stage traditions and conventions tries to recite a simple ordinary speech, “To be or not to be,” not simply, but invariably with the accompaniment of hissing and convulsive movements all over his body, or when he tries to convince me at all costs that Tchatsky, who talks so much with fools and is so fond of folly, is a very clever man, and that “Woe from Wit” is not a dull play, the stage gives me the same feeling of conventionality which bored me so much forty years ago when I was regaled with the classical howling and beating on the breast. And every time I come out of the theatre more conservative than I go in.
The sentimental and confiding public may be persuaded that the stage, even in its present form, is a school; but any one who is familiar with a school in its true sense will not be caught with that bait. I cannot say what will happen in fifty or a hundred years, but in its actual condition the theatre can serve only as an entertainment.But this entertainment is too costly to be frequently enjoyed. It robs the state of thousands of healthy and talented young men and women, who, if they had not devoted themselves to the theatre, might have been good doctors, farmers, schoolmistresses, officers; it robs the public of the evening hours — the best time for intellectual work and social intercourse. I say nothing of the waste of money and the moral damage to the spectator when he sees murder, fornication, or false witness unsuitably treated on the stage.
Katya was of an entirely different opinion. She assured me that the theatre, even in its present condition, was superior to the lecture-hall, to books, or to anything in the world. The stage was a power that united in itself all the arts, and actors were missionaries. No art nor science was capable of producing so strong and so certain an effect on the soul of man as the stage, and it was with good reason that an actor of medium quality enjoys greater popularity than the greatest savant or artist. And no sort of public service could provide such enjoyment and gratification as the theatre.
And one fine day Katya joined a troupe of actors, and went off, I believe to Ufa, taking away with her a good supply of money, a store of rainbow hopes, and the most aristocratic views of her work. *The copyright belongs to SAT xiaobangshou. Any unauthorized use is considered as intellectual theft.
Passage 1 is from Alexander Addison, who discussed the significance of public opinion as a foundation for all governments and warned that laws of seditious libel were necessary to protect public opinion from the French and their American supporters, who, he believed, were using the press to subvert the government. Passage 2 is from John Stua1t Mill, On Liberty.
Speech, writing, and printing are the great direction of public opinion, and the public opinion is the great director of human action. Of such force is public opinion, that, with it on its side, the worst government will support itself; and, with it, against it, the best government will fall…. Give to any set of men the command of the press, and you give them the command of the country; for you give them the command of public opinion, which commands every thing….
One would have thought, that the United States of America, blest with the best practicable model of republican liberty, which human wisdom hath yet been able to suggest, would have escaped this greatest of all plagues, the corruption of public opinion; and that all men would have united in approbation of a system of government, which must be acknowledged excellent, and of an administration, which must be acknowledged to have been wise, enlightened and honest. Yet, unfortunately, this plague hath reached us also; and our government has been assailed with the grossest slanders, by many who perhaps believed, and by many who surely could not believe, the slanders which they uttered. The tongue, the pen and the press; conversations, letters, essays, and pamphlets, have represented our truly republican and balanced constitution as a system of tyranny; and our upright and wise administration, as mischievous and corrupt. Our wisest and best public officers have had their lives embittered, and have been driven from their stations by unceasing and malignant slander. And thus has it been attempted to withdraw, from our excellent government, the only effectual support of any government, public opinion – and thus to withdraw all reverence from station and authority, deprive the constitution, the laws and the administration, of all respect and efficacy, and surrender the nation a prey to any invader.
France saw our condition, and attacked us: for France attacks a nation only when she has rendered it defenceless, by dividing the people from the government, and withdrawing from the government the support of public opinion…. Many of our citizens, and of our men in public stations, seem to have favored those measures, on which France must have depended for success against us. And our government was threatened with the loss of its best support, the hearts of its citizens, by means of falsehood, misrepresentation, and the vile acts of foreign enemies, and discontented, factious and seditious men.
On these grounds, it appears evident to me, that this law [the Sedition Act] is not only expedient, but necessary. And it may be laid down as a general rule, that it will be impossible to prevent the corruption of the public opinion, or to preserve any government against it; unless there be laws to correct the licentiousness of speech and of the press. True liberty of speech and of the press consists in being free to speak, write and print, but being, as in the exercise of all other liberties, responsible for the abuse of this liberty. And whether we have abused this liberty or not, must, like all other questions of right, be left to the decision of a court and jury.
In the present age—which has been described as “destitute of faith, but terrified at scepticism”—in which people feel sure, not so much that their opinions are true, as that they should not know what to do without them—the claims of an opinion to be protected from public attack are rested not so much on its truth, as on its importance to society. There are, it is alleged, certain beliefs, so useful, not to say indispensable to well-being, that it is as much the duty of governments to uphold those beliefs, as to protect any other of the interests of society. In a case of such necessity, and so directly in the line of their duty, something less than infallibility may, it is maintained, warrant, and even bind, governments, to act on their own opinion, confirmed by the general opinion of mankind. It is also often argued, and still oftener thought, that none but bad men would desire to weaken these salutary beliefs; and there can be nothing wrong, it is thought, in restraining bad men, and prohibiting what only such men would wish to practise. This mode of thinking makes the justification of restraints on discussion not a question of the truth of doctrines, but of their usefulness; and flatters itself by that means to escape the responsibility of claiming to be an infallible judge of opinions.
But those who thus satisfy themselves, do not perceive that the assumption of infallibility is merely shifted from one point to another. The usefulness of an opinion is itself matter of opinion: as disputable, as open to discussion, and requiring discussion as much, as the opinion itself. There is the same need of an infallible judge of opinions to decide an opinion to be noxious, as to decide it to be false, unless the opinion condemned has full opportunity of defending itself. And it will not do to say that the heretic may be allowed to maintain the utility or harmlessness of his opinion, though forbidden to maintain its truth. The truth of an opinion is part of its utility. If we would know whether or not it is desirable that a proposition should be believed, is it possible to exclude the consideration of whether or not it is true? In the opinion, not of bad men, but of the best men, no belief which is contrary to truth can be really useful: and can you prevent such men from urging that plea, when they are charged with culpability for denying some doctrine which they are told is useful, but which they believe to be false? Those who are on the side of received opinions, never fail to take all possible advantage of this plea; you do not find handling the question of utility as if it could be completely abstracted from that of truth: on the contrary, it is, above all, because their doctrine is the “truth,” that the knowledge or the belief of it is held to be so indispensable. There can be no fair discussion of the question of usefulness, when an argument so vital may be employed on one side, but not on the other. And in point of fact, when law or public feeling do not permit the truth of an opinion to be disputed, they are just as little tolerant of a denial of its usefulness. The utmost they allow is an extenuation of its absolute necessity, or of the positive guilt of rejecting it.
The passage is from Jon Cohen, Immune Suppressant Unexpectedly Boosts Flu Vaccine, published by AAAS.
Vaccine researchers are in the business of reviving up the immune system to fight disease. So they are understandably perplexed by a result published online this week in Nature Immunology: Scientists gave mice a drug normally used to suppress the immune system—and found that it bolstered the powers of an influenza vaccine.
Led by immunologist Maureen McGargill of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee, the team gave rapamycin, which helps prevent immunologic rejection in kidney transplant patients, to mice before immunizing them. The result: The mice produced a broader array of antibodies, defeating strains of the influenza virus that differed dramatically from the one used in the vaccine. The finding suggests a novel path to a long-sought “universal” flu immunization that can protect against many variants. It may also offer a way to elicit more effective antibody responses against myriad other diseases.
Results in mice, of course, often don’t translate into humans, and rapamycin, a potent drug that has a somewhat murky mechanism of action, can have serious side effects. Still, the finding has immunologists talking. “It’s really cool—and pretty counterintuitive,” says Patrick Wilson, an immunologist at the University of Chicago in Illinois. “This is going to be my next journal club paper7.
McGargill and co-workers envisioned a different role for rapamycin when they set out to explore how the strain-specific influenza vaccines used today—which must be updated each year to keep up with the ever-changing virus—might be transformed into a universal shot. They sought ways to bolster one of the immune system’s two virus-fighting arms: “cytotoxic” T cells—designated as CD8s because of receptors on their surfaces—which destroy cells that a virus has managed to infect. Antibodies, the immune system’s other arm, target viruses directly and may work against only one strain of influenza, but CD8 T cells are less discriminating and can target many viral variants. In 2009, a team of scientists had found that rapamycin ramps up the response of CD8 T cells in both mice and monkeys, and McGargill and co-workers thought that property could be key to a universal flue vaccine.
In the new study, the researchers gave mice rapamycin and an influenza vaccine against a strain known as H3N2 that commonly infects humans. They then exposed the mice to several different influenza viruses that readily kill the animals, including the H5N1 and H7N9 bird viruses that have jumped into humans and stoked fears of deadly pandemics. Mice treated with rapamycin had significantly higher levels of CD8 T cells against influenza and better survival than control animals not given the immune-suppressing drug.
But the mechanism was not what the researchers expected. “The biggest surprise was that the protection wasn’t mediated by the CD8 T cells:’ says McGargill, who collaborated with Peter Doherty, an immunologist at her institution who won the Nobel Prize in physiology or medicine for helping to elucidate how CD8s kill virally infected cells.
Instead, the researchers were astonished to find that an altered antibody response explained the protection. Through a series of complicated experiments, they found that the drug inhibited a molecule known as the “mammalian target of rapamycin.” That, in turn, effectively aborted the normal antibody maturation process, a kind of conversation between the immune system and the virus that leads to highly specific antibodies. The result was to free B cells to make higher-than-normal levels of anti-bodies that were less specific but had a broader reach, capable of neutralizing many viral variants.
The finding is just the latest surprise from rapamycin, says immunologist Rafi Ahmed of Emory University in Atlanta, author of the 2009 Nature study that inspired the work. Discovered from a soil sample taken from Rapa Nui, the Polynesian name of Easter Island, rapamycin was first developed as an antifungal agent and later found to have immune suppressant and antitumor properties. Then a 2009 study showed that rapamycin also increased lifespan in mice. Ahmed says that he initially studied the drug to see whether long-term use in transplant patients might damage the immune system. “We really wanted to look at whether rapamycin might be screwing up established immunologic memory:’ he says. “We had the totally opposite result.” Ahmed says even though rapamycin has toxic effects in transplant patients who take it for years, clinical trials in adults that combine short-term, low-dose rapamycin treatment with a vaccine make sense. Indeed, he says the U.S. National Institutes of Health seriously considered sponsoring such a trial after his Nature study was published 4 years ago, but the idea stalled. “If you use rapamycin for a couple of weeks, it’s very unlikely something would happen:’ he says. “It’s certainly tempting to think about it. And with this study coming out, there’ll be more of an impetus.”
The passage is adapted from Viktor Mayer-Schonberger and Kenneth Cukier, Big Data: A Revolution That Will Transform How We Live, Work, and Think, originally published on March 4th, 2014.
For most of history, people have worked with relatively small amounts of data because the tools for collecting, organizing, storing, and analyzing information were poor. People winnowed the information they relied on to the barest minimum so that they could examine it more easily. This was the genius of modern-day statistics, which first came to the fore in the late nineteenth century and enabled society to understand complex realities even when little data existed. Today, the technical environment has shifted 179 degrees. There still is, and always will be, a constraint on how much data we can manage, but it is far less limiting than it used to be and will become even less so as time goes on.
The way people handled the problem of capturing information in the past was through sampling. When collecting data was costly and processing it was difficult and time consuming, the sample was a savior. Modern sampling is based on the idea that, within a certain margin of error, one can infer something about the total population from a small subset, as long the sample is chosen at random. Hence, exit polls on election night query a randomly selected group of several hundred people to predict the voting behavior of an entire state. For straightforward questions, this process works well. But it falls apart when we want to drill down into subgroups within the sample. What if a pollster wants to know which candidate single women under 30 are most likely to vote for? How about university-educated, single Asian American women under 30? Suddenly, the random sample is largely useless, since there may be only a couple of people with those characteristics in the sample, too few to make a meaningful assessment of how the entire subpopulation will vote. But if we collect all the data, the problem disappears.
This example raises another shortcoming of using some data rather than all of it. In the past, when people collected only a little data, they often had to decide at the outset what to collect and how it would be used. Today, when we gather all the data, we do not need to know beforehand what we plan to use it for. Of course, it might not always be possible to collect all the data, but it is getting much more feasible to capture vastly more of a phenomenon than simply a sample and to aim for all of it. Big data is a matter not just of creating somewhat larger samples but of harnessing as much of the existing data as possible about what is being studied. We still need statistics; we just no longer need to rely on small samples.
There is a tradeoff to make, however. When we increase the scale by orders of magnitude, we might have to give up on clean, carefully curated data and tolerate some messiness. This idea runs counter to how people have tried to work with data for centuries. Yet the obsession with accuracy and precision is in some ways an artifact of an information-constrained environment. When there was not that much data around, researchers had to make sure that the figures they bothered to collect were as exact as possible. Tapping vastly more data means that we can now allow some inaccuracies to slip in (provided the data set is not completely incorrect), in return for benefiting from the insights that a massive body of data provides.
Consider language translation. It might seem obvious that computers would translate well, since they can store lots of information and retrieve it quickly. But if one were to simply substitute words from a French-English dictionary, the translation would be atrocious. Language is complex. A breakthrough came in the 1990s, when IBM delved into statistical machine translation. It fed Canadian parliamentary transcripts in both French and English into a computer and programmed it to infer which word in one language is the best alternative for another. This process changed the task of translation into a giant problem of probability and math. But after this initial improvement, progress stalled.
Then Google barged in. Instead of using a relatively small number of high-quality translations, the search giant harnessed more data, but from the less orderly Internet — “data in the wild:’ so to speak. Google inhaled translations from corporate websites, documents in every language from the European Union, even translations from its giant book-scanning project. Instead of millions of pages of texts, Google analyzed billions. The result is that its translations are quite good — better than IBM’s were–and cover 65 languages. Large amounts of messy data trumped small amounts of cleaner data.
The passage is adapted from Joseph Stromberg, Chimpanzees Intentionally Worn Their Friends About Danger, ©Joseph Stromberg
In recent years, scientists have discovered that chimpanzees, our clotest relatives, are capable of all sorts of human-like behaviors that go far beyond tool use. They self-medicate, eating roughage to clear their intestines of parasites. Baby chimps use human-like gestures to convey their needs to adults. Studies suggest even that chimps have a seemingly innate sense of fairness and go through mid-life crises.
Now, new research indicates that chimps’ vocalized communications are a bit closer in nature to our own spoken languages as well. A new study published shows that; when chimps warn each other about impending danger, the noises they make are much more than the instinctive expression of fear—they’re intentionally produced, exclusively in the presence of other chimps, and cease when these other chimps are safe from danger.
This not might sound like much, but linguists use intentionality as a key hallmark of language. Those who argue that apes aren’t capable of language—and that the apes who’ve been trained in sign language are merely engaging in rote memorization, not true language acquisition—point to a lack of intentionality as one of the reasons why. So the study shows that, in their natural environment, chimps do use vocalizations in a way more similar to language than previously thought.
The researchers, led by Anne Marijke Schel of the University of York, studied a community of 73 chimps that lives in Uganda’s Budongo Forest Reserve. To simulate danger, they used the skin of a dead African Rock Python—one of the chimps’ natural predators—to create a fake python, with fishing line attached to its head so they could make it move realistically.
Over the course of nearly a year in the field, they repeatedly placed this artificial predator in the forest with a camera rolling, waiting for unsuspecting chimps—sometimes alone, sometimes with other chimps—to come upon it so they could closely study their response. Typically, when the chimps saw the snake, they were startled, and made one of two different vocalizations, which the researchers identified as ‘huus’ (softer calls, with less alarm) or ‘wan’ (louder, more alarmed calls).
When the researchers analyzed the specific responses, they found that when other chimps were around, the startled chimps were much more likely to make the `waas’ rather than huus: Moreover, the chimps clearly observed the location of other chimps and whether they were paying attention, and kept sounding the alarm until the others had fled and were safe from danger. The length of time they sounded the alarm, meanwhile, wasn’t linked with their own distance from the snake, further supporting the idea that the call was an intentional warning to others.
The researchers also took note of the pre-existing relationships among chimps (within the social hierarchy, some are closer than others) and found that closer relationships were more likely to trigger alarms. “It was particularly striking when new individuals who had not seen the snake yet, arrived in the area:’ Schel said in a press statement. “If a chimpanzee who had actually seen the snake enjoyed a close friendship with this arriving individual, they would give alarm calls, warning their friend of the danger. It really seemed the chimpanzees directed their alarm calls at specific individuals.
The authors argue that these characteristics—specifically, the fact that alternate vocalizations were employed in different circumstances, that they were made with the attention of the audience in mind and that they were goal-directed, continuing until they’d successfully warned other chimps so they fled—show that the noises are more than reflections of instinctive fear. Rather, they’re a tactical, intentional form of communication.
This observation, the authors say, may also tell us something about the evolution of human language. Gestural theories on the origin of language contend that spoken language evolved from hand gestures, and cite the fact that non-human primates (a model for primitive hominids) exclusively use gestures for true communication, merely making vocalizations based on engrained instinct, rather than calculated intention. But this discovery of intentional warnings in chimps seems to upend that idea, suggesting that primitive hominids too were able to communicate via both vocalizations and gestures. This indicates, the researchers say, that spoken language may have evolved from multiple different sources, both gestures and vocal calls.
2016 年 6 月 (亞洲) SAT 考試閱讀題目
Also in: 简中 (简中)