Paper or Computer?

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READING PASSAGE 10131s3

You should spend about 20 minutes on Question 27-40 which are based on Reading Passage 3 on the following pages.

 

Paper or Computer?

 

A

Computer technology was supposed to replace paper. But that hasn’t happened every country in the western world uses more paper today, on a per-capita basis, than it did ten years ago. The consumption of uncoated free-sheet paper, for instance—the most common kind of office paper—rose almost fifteen per cent in the United States between 1995 and 2000. This is generally taken as evidence of how hard it is to eradicate old,wasteful habits and of how stubbornly resistant we are to efficiencies offered by computerization”

 

B

Economists at the I.M.F spend most of their time writing reports on complicated economic questions, work that would seem to be perfectly suited to sitting in front of a computer. Nonetheless, the I.M.F is awash in paper, and Sellen and Harper wanted to find out way. Their answer is that the business of writing reports at least at the I.M.F—is an intensely collaborative process, involving the professional judgments and contributions of many people. The economists bring drafts of reports to conference rooms, spread out the relevant pages, and negotiate changes with one other. They go back to their offices and jot down comments in the margin,taking advantage of freedom offered by the informality of the handwritten note. Then they deliver the annotated draft to the author in person, taking him, page by page, through the suggested changes. At the end of the process, the author spreads out all the pages with comments on his desk and starts to enter them on the computer—moving the pages around as he works, organizing and reorganizing, Saving and discarding.

 

C

Without paper, this kind of collaborative, iterative work process would be much more difficult. According to Sellen and Harper, paper has a unique set of “affordances”—that is, qualities that permit specific kind of uses. Paper is tangible: we can pick up a document,flip through it,read little bits here and there,and quickly get a sense of it. Paper is spatially flexible, meaning that we can spread it out and arrange it in the way that suits us best. And it’s tailorable: we can easily annotate it, and scribble on it as we read, without altering the original text Digital documents, of course, have their own affordances. They can be easily searched, shared, stored, accessed remotely, and linked to other relevant material. But they lack the affordances that really matter to a group working together on a report.

 

D

Paper enables a certain kind of thinking, for instance,the top of your desk. Chances are that you have a keyboard and a computer screen off to one side, and a clear space roughly eighteen inches square in front of your chair. What covers the rest of the desktop in probably piles—piles of papers journals, magazines, binders, postcards, videotapes, and all the other artifacts of the knowledge economy. The piles look like a mess, but they aren’t. When a group at Apple Computer studied piling behavior several years ago, they found that even the most disorderly piles usually make perfect sense to the piler, and office workers could hold forth in great detail about the precise history and meaning of their piles. The pile closest to the cleared, eighteen-inch-square working area, for example, generally represents the most urgent business, and within that pile the most important document of all is likely to be at the top. Piles are living, breathing archives. Over time, they get broken down and resorted, sometimes chronologically and sometimes thematically and sometimes chronologically and thematically; clues about certain documents may be physically embedded in the file by, say, stacking a certain piece of paper at an angle or inserting dividers into the stack.

 

E

But why do we pile documents instead of filing them? Because piles represent the process of active, ongoing thinking. The psychologist Alison Kidd, whose research Sellen and Harper refer to extensively, argues that “knowledge workers” use the physical space of the desktop to hold” ideas which they cannot yet categorize of even decide how they might use.” The messy desk is not necessarily a sign of disorganization. It may be a sign of complexity: those who deal with many unresolved ideas simultaneously cannot sort and file the papers on their desks, because they haven’t yet sorted and filed the ideas in their head.

 

F

Sellen and Harper arrived at similar findings when they did some consulting work with a chocolate manufacturer. The people in the firm they were most interested in were the buyers–the staff who handled the company’s relationships with its venders, from cocoa and sugar manufacturers to advertisers. The buyers kept folders(containing contracts, correspondence, meeting notes, and so forth) on every supplier they had dealings with. The company wanted to move the information in those documents online, to save space and money,and make it easier for everyone in the firm to have access to it. That sounds like an eminently rational thing to do. But when Sellen and Harper looked at the folders they discovered that they contained all kinds of idiosyncratic material—advertising paraphernalia, printouts of e-mails, presentation notes, and letters– much of which had been annotated in the margins with thoughts and amendments and, they write, ” perhaps most important, comments about problems and issues with a supplier’s performance not intended for the supplier’s eyes.” The information in each folder was organized–if it was organized at all– according to the whims of the particular buyer. Whenever other people wanted to look at a documeni, they generally had to be walked through it by the buyer who” owned” it, because it simple wouldn’t make sense otherwise. The much advertised advantage of digitizing documents–that they could be made available to anyone, at any time–was illusory: documents cannot speak for themselves.”

 

G

This idea that paper facilitates a highly specialized cognitive and social process is a far cry from the way we have historically thought about the stuff. Paper first began to proliferate in the workplace in the late nineteenth century as part of the move toward” systematic management.” To cope with the complexity of the industrial economy, managers were instituting company-wide policies and demanding monthly, weekly, or even daily updates from their subordinates. Thus was born the monthly sales report, and the office manual and the internal company newsletter. The typewriter took off in the eighteen-eighties, making it possible to create documents in a fraction of the time it had previously taken, and that was followed closely by the advent of carbon paper, which meant that a typist could create ten copies of that document simultaneously. Then the secretary would make ten carbon copies of that schedule and send them out to the stations along your railway line. Paper was important not to facilitate creative collaboration and thought but as an instrument of control.

 


 

Questions 27-33

Reading passage 3 has seven paragraphs, A-G.

Choose the correct heading for paragraphs A-G from the list of headings below. Write the correct number, i-x, in boxes 27-33 on your answer sheet.

 

List of headings

I paper continued as a sharing or managing must

II Inspiring piles can be long habituated

iii process that economists used paper

iv overview of an unexpected situation: paper survived

v comparison between paper and computer

vi IMF’ paperless office seemed to be a waste of papers

vii example of failure for avoidance of paper record

viii advantages of using a paper in offices

ix piles reflect certain characteristics in people’ thought

x joy of having the paper square in front of computer

 

27 paragraph A

28 paragraph B

29 paragraph C

30 paragraph D

31 paragraph E

32 paragraph F

33 paragraph G

 

Questions 34-36 Complete the notes below.

Choose NO MORE THAN TWO WORDS from the Passage for each answer.

Write your answers in boxes 34-36on your answer sheet.

 

Compared with digital documents, paper has several advantages. First it allows clerks to work in a 34……………….. way among colleagues. Next, paper is not like virtual digital versions, it’s 35……………….. Finally, because it is 36……………….., note or comments can be effortlessly added as related information.

 

Questions 37-40

Choose the correct letter, A, B, C or D.

Write the correct letter in boxes 37-40 on your answer sheet. 37 What do the economists from IMF say that their way of documents?

 

A they note their comments for pleasure

B they finish individually

C they share authorship

D they use electronic version fully

 

38 What is the implication of the “Piles” mentioned in the passage?

A they have underlying orders

B they are necessarily a mess

C they are in time sequence order

D they are in alphabetic order

 

39 What does the manager believe in sophisticated economy?

A recorded paper as management tool

B strict supervision in compulsory

C Teamwork is the most important

D monthly report is the best way

 

40 According to the end of this passage, what is the reason why paper is not replaced by electronic vision?

A paper is inexpensive to buy

B it contributed to management theories in western countries

C people need time for changing their old habit

D Paper is a significant medium for supervision

 


 

Paper or Computer

题目答案

27 iv

28 iii

29 viii

30 ii

31 ix

32 vii

33 i

34 flexible

35 tangible

36 tailorable

37 C

38 A

39 A

40 D

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