1. With all the troubles in the world today, money spent on space exploration is
a complete waste. The money could be better spent on other things.
Nations after nations, everyday, every year, celebrate their achievements in space exploration . However, it is now time to question how meaningful these blasts are. This essay aims to explain why it is questionable.
First, until all urgent and important matters in this globe have been solved, money bumped on space exploration is of no meaning. It is not a common sense at all to invest million dollars researching and producing foods for astronauts (for space exploration purpose), while everyday thousands of people are starving. Furthermore, the discovery of outer space only serves a minor group of people if the majority are even not well-educated. Those in rural areas or third-world nations do no even know how to prevent common threatening diseases like AIDS and lung cancer.
Then, some may argue that the purpose of space exploration are to discover new lands, new energy resources or to deter potential threat to globe. Nevertheless, is it effective to do so while other alternatives are available? Lands on earth are no yet effectively used. New energy resources (e.g. solar and nuclear energy) have not yet been widely-used. Threats of plagues have not yet been deterred. All these ? not- yets? need money. That is why costly space discovery programs are a waste of money.
In the nutshell, people should only invest in space exploration providing that early-mentioned urgent and important matters have been solved. Also, purposes of space exploration campaign should be studied carefully and other alternatives should be considered before money is wasted.
2. Some say that the internet is making the world smaller by bringing people together. To what extent do to you agree that the internet is making it easier for people to communicate with one another.
A global village, that is certainly what the world feels like nowadays. With the help of the world wide web, you can reach out and get to know people you might never meet in person. Articles can be coauthored, business deals can be finalized, degrees can be earned and at times even medical advice can be given? and all of this is just a click away.
Electronic mail, instant messages, web cameras and microphones; all these gadgets and programs make the presence of the other the person more real. Who knows; with the help of visual reality you might even get a 3-D image of the speaker! I believe that the internet is one the best inventions of the last century, you can hardly get to miss anyone and nobody is really out of reach. You will get to keep the channels patent with your friends, and will be able to do your work from your bedroom in your pajamas!
However, the internet can also be a major source of harassment. Spammers and hackers can invade your privacy and get personal/confidential information, which otherwise they will never get access to. You are never out of anybody’s reach, unless you make a conscious decision of not checking your email, there can be always more work waiting for you in your inbox and you might never have a moment for yourself. Worse, if you were a workaholic, you might never experience that stress-free vacation ever again in your life? simply, because you have your mobile workplace with you.
As a romantic, I will always look forward to getting an occasional letter in the snail mail. A personal letter, where I can sense the mood of the writer by the slants in his/her handwriting and get to know him/her better. But as a type A personality person, the internet gives me all what I dream of in communication? speed, reliability, and convenience of time and place. I can certainly tolerate its shortcomings any day, as long as it keeps me close to my loved ones.
3. Internet when used as a source of information, has more drawbacks than
advantages. To what extent do you agree with this statement?
Some people believe that internet access creates problems. There are several possible
reasons why it can happen.
First, some data may be unverifiable. For example, everytime they search for a data, there would be lots of choices that would appear on the screen. They would not be sure if the data they are reading has accurate information. Some sources have even outdated informations. Second, some sites may be unreliable. For instance, people sign up on one site that sells goods using online purchases. The goods would be paid for by credit card but the purchaser would not receive anything. And finally, not everything is available through the net. When my friend had tried to research for some pictures of 18th century paintings, he did not find any results. Then he was told by his teacher that it would only be available in the library.
Others believe that internet is very useful and these are the justifications. First, it is hard to get data, that is available in the net by other means. For example, if directory information could not give me the accurate address and contact number of the place I want to visit, I normally check that information from the Internet. In just one click, I would get all the details of that certain company. Second, research becomes more comprehensive. For instance, I do not have to buy lots of reading materials to complete my research. Most of the needed information can be found if I have Internet access. And finally, data is easily compared and contrasted. I remember, my cousin researched the study about overweight children a decade ago and at present. He was able to finish his research in just one day, as compared to week if he would not use the Internet.
In conclusion, let me reiterate that the Internet plays a big role in our life, because it makes data retrieval and comparison easier.
4. We have been living in the nuelear age now for over half a century. Since the first atomic bombs were developed, nuclear technology has provided governments with the ability to totally destroy the planet. Yet the technology has
been put to positive use as an energy source and in certain areas of medicine.
To what extent is nuclear technology a danger to life on Earth? What are the benefits and risks associated with its use?
These days, many people are afraid of nuclear technology because of the dangers associated with its use. In my opinion, although it is true that nuclear weapons pose the greatest threat to life, the use of nuclear technology for peaceful purposes also carries some serious risks.
Nuclear power stations provide an important source of cheap power for many industrialised nations and some developing countries. However, there is always the danger of radiation leaking from these plants. Even though safety precautions are taken, there have been numerous disasters such as the explosion of a nuclear plant in
Russia not long ago.
Nuclear technology is even used to help cure some diseases such as cancer. Radiation can be applied to the body to burn away cancerous cells. This is, however, a dangerous procedure, and the application of radiation is almost always painful and not always successful.
The most worrying aspect of nuclear technology, though, is its use for military purposes. Enough atomic bombs have already been built to completely destroy the planet, and the real danger is that one day some country will start a war with these weapons. Too many countries now have the technology required to make such bombs, and there is currently much debate about how to control the situation.
In conclusion, nuclear technology certainly has positive uses, but is, nonetheless, dangerous. However, it would have been better if it had never been used to create nuclear weapons. If life on Earth is to continue.
5. ‘Telecommuting’ refers to workers doing their jobs from home for part of each week and communicating with their office using computer technology.
Telecommuting is growing in many countries and is expected to be common for most office workers in the coming decades.
How do you think society will be affected by the growth of telecommuting?
The spread of telecommuting is sure to have far-reaching effects on society. By itself, telecommuting refers to office workers spending much of their time working from home and using electronic technologies to communicate with their employers. The broader implications of telecommuting, however, may involve changes to corporate structure, workers’ lifestyles and even urban planning.
The most obvious changes may be apparent in the `normal’ offices of companies, governments and other organisations. If even half the working week is spent telecommuting from home, then we would initially expect many empty desks in the office. As offices grow smaller, workers coming in for the day would be expected to share desks with their absent colleagues. This, in turn, may affect the social atmosphere of an organisation, however, as less social contact with one’s colleagues could harm morale and loyalty.
For the individual office worker, telecommuting would mean spending more time at home. For a parent with young children, this may be a blessing. Moreover, many telecommuters would be able to work the hours they wished: having a nap in the afternoon, for example, but working some hours in the evening. One substantial benefit for all telecommuting workers is that there will be no need to travel to work, allowing more free time.
The structure of urban life is also likely to be affected by telecommuting. We would expect to see fewer cars on the road during peak hours and, eventually, a smaller concentration of offices in cities’ central business districts. In short, people will have less reason to travel to city centres from outlying areas. As more people work and live in the same location, shops and cultural events will likely relocate themselves out of the city centre.
In sum, telecommuting will serve not only to change the way we work but also the way we live.
6. Telecommuting: will it change the world?
Telecommuting will have major effects in the worlds of work and family life. However, its biggest effect will be in the area of individual freedom, responsibility, and time management.
Work and workplaces will alter dramatically. Offices may become smaller, as fewer desks are needed. There will be greater need for high-bandwidth connections to link the office and the home, and even homes to other homes, as other employees and supervisors also begin working at home. Hours spent commuting, traffic jams, and fights for parking should diminish, as workers make fewer journeys or work staggered hours.
Family life will also change. Workers, both husbands and wives, can arrange their work around family commitments such as taking children to school, cooking, leisure activities, etc. However, households will also have to set aside areas for work – particularly if both spouses are telecommuting.
However, although the ideas of more time at home and less time traveling are attractive, there are some drawbacks to telecommuting. People may feel unable to escape their work, and may even work longer or more unsocial hours. The quality of work may suffer because of the reduced face-to-face interaction with other employees. There may be delays if other workers are not immediately available. Telecommuters may feel isolated or unmotivated, or insecure about decisions. A major change will be in the way people think about work as a place or an institution. Instead, they will focus on the task or
product. Workers may feel less loyal to a company and more inclined to change jobs or work part-time or on contract.
In conclusion, the effects are difficult to predict because they depend on the extent to which telecommuting becomes popular. However, telecommuting could be the start of a major societal shift, possibly as big as the Industrial Revolution which created our present ideas of work.
7. With the increasing popularity of computers and calculators, student literacy is decreasing dramatically. What are the positive and negative effects the progress of science and technology has brought about?
It has been widely noted that, with the growing use of computers and calculators both in the classroom and in the home, the level of literacy and mathematical ability of students is dropping. This raises serious doubts about the value of the progress of science and technology. Here I will discuss the pros and cons of this question.
First of all, advances in science and technology have certainly brought about many benefits for mankind. They have made our lives more comfortable and healthier. In addition, they have eased the burden of work for most people and provided them with more leisure opportunities, while at the same time increasing productivity dramatically.
Nevertheless, it cannot be denied that technology has some negative side-effects. As mentioned above, with computers which check spelling, grammar and calculation for them, students have little incentive to learn how to do these things for themselves. Also, the availability of TV programs and videos encourages an unhealthy, sedentary lifestyle.
Another aspect of this issue is that technology may be good or bad, depending on how we use it. For instance, dynamite may be used to make road construction easier, or it may be used to kill people. Again, nuclear reactors can supply huge amounts of cheap electricity, but if they are carelessly handled they can cause devastating pollution.
We can conclude that the progress of science and technology has both positive and negative effects. What we must do is to make sure that the positive ones are encouraged and the negative ones are eliminated as far as possible. Among other things, this means that students are warned not to let computers and calculators do all their work for them.