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Unit One

第一单元

The Impact of the Information Revolution

信息革命的影响

What has been the impact of the information revolution, and how should we respond? Let's begin by considering how fast our world shifted to a computer-based society. At the end of World War II, the first electronic digital computer ENIAC weighed thirty tons, had 18,000 vacuum tubes, and occupied a space as large as a boxcar. Less than forty years later, many hand-held calculators had comparable computing power for a few dollars. Today most people have a computer on their desks with more computing power than engineers could imagine just a few years ago.

什么是信息革命的冲击,我们又该如何应对?让我们开始考虑如何快速世界转移到一个以计算机为基础的社会。在第二次世界大战结束,第一台数字电子计算机ENIAC重达三十吨,有18000个真空管,并占据空间作为一个boxcar一样大。不到四十年后,许多手持计算器媲美的计算能力为几美元。今天,大多数人都有一个电脑桌上有更多的计算能力比工程师可以想象,仅仅几年前。

The impact of computers on our society was probably best seen when in 1982 Time magazine picked the computer as its "Man of the Year", actually listing it as "Machine of the Year". It is hard to imagine a picture of the Spirit of St. Louis or an Apollo Lander on the magazine cover under a banner "Machine of the Year".

电脑对社会的影响可能是最好的当1982时代杂志把计算机作为它的―年度人物‖,实际上它是―上市机器的一年‖。很难想象在杂志封面图片的圣路易斯或阿波罗着陆的精神旗帜‖机器的一年‖。

This perhaps shows how important the computer has become in our society.

这可能说明如何重要的计算机已经成为我们的社会。

The computer has become helpful in managing knowledge at a time when the amount of information is expanding rapidly. The information stored in the world's libraries and computers doubles every eight years. In a sense, the computer age and the information age seem to go hand in hand.

计算机有利于知识管理在信息量迅速增长的。信息储存在世界的图书馆和电脑每八年翻番。在某种意义上,电脑时代、信息时代似乎齐头并进。

The rapid development and use of computing power, however, have also raised some significant social and moral questions. People in this society need to think clearly about these issues, but often ignore them or become confused:

然而,使用的计算能力,快速发展,也提出了一些重要的社会和道德问题。在这个社会上的人需要考虑清楚这些问题,却往往忽视了他们或混淆:

One key issue is computer crime. In a sense, computer-fraud is merely a new field with old problems. Computer crimes are often nothing more than fraud, larceny, and embezzlement carried out by more sophisticated means. The crimes usually involve changing addresses, records, or files. In short, they are old-fashioned crimes using high technology.

一个关键的问题是计算机犯罪。从某种意义上说,计算机欺诈是一个老问题的新领域。计算机犯罪通常没有比诈骗,盗窃,和更复杂的方式进行贪污。犯罪通常涉及改变地址,记录,或文件。总之,他们是老式的犯罪使用高技术。

Another concern arises from the centralization of information. Govemmental agencies, banks, and businesses use computers to collect information on its citizens and customers. For example, it is estimated that the U.S. government has on average about fifteen files on each American. Nothing is inherently wrong with collecting information if the information can be kept confidential and is not used for immoral actions. Unfortunately, this is often difficult to guarantee.

另一个问题来自集中的信息。政府机构,银行,和企业使用计算机收集市民和客户信息。例如,据估计,美国政府已经平均约十五在美国每个文件。没有什么是收集信息,如果信息是保密的,不能用于不道德行为本质上是错误的。不幸的是,这通常很难保证。

In an information-based society, the centralization of information can be as dangerous as the centralization of power. We should be concerned about the collection and use of large amounts of person al information. In the past, centralized information processing was used for persecution.

在信息化社会,信息可以集中力量的中央集权的危险。我们应该关心收集和利用大量的个人信息。在过去,集中的信息处理是用于迫害。When Adolf Hitler's Gestapo began rounding up millions of Jews, information about their religious ties was stored in shoe boxes. U.S. Census Bureau cards were us
ed to round up Japanese Americans living on the West Coast at the beginning of World War II. Modern technology makes this task much easier.

在信息化社会,信息可以集中力量的中央集权的危险。我们应该关心收集和利用大量的个人信息。在过去,集中的信息处理是用于迫害。When Adolf Hitler's Gestapo began rounding up millions of Jews, information about their religious ties was stored in shoe boxes. U.S. Census Bureau cards were used to round up Japanese Americans living on the West Coast at the beginning of World War II. Modern technology makes this task much easier.

当阿道夫希特勒的盖世太保开始了成千上万的犹太人,他们的宗教联系信息被存储在鞋盒子。美国人口普查局的卡被使用来日裔美国人在第二次世界大战开始生活在西海岸。现代科技使这个任务更加容易。

Moreover, the problem is not limited to governmental agencies. Many banking systems, for example, utilize electronic funds-transfer

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