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FOR a thoroughly modern word, hypertext has surprisingly ancient antecedents. Contrary to what you might think, it's not exclusively a device of the World Wide Web, but has been around in one form or another for centuries, perhaps even millennia.

What is hypertext? Put simply, it is a way of displaying and cross-referencing documents containing words, pictures, sound or any combination of these in such a way that the viewer can navigate between them with ease. A thesaurus is a good example. Peter Roget, the 19th-century lexicographer who completed the world's first thesaurus in 1805, is sometimes credited with being a pioneer of hypertext. An even older system of cross-referencing is found in the Talmud, the sacred writings of orthodox Judaism, which dates from the 3rd century AD.

What about the modern incarnation of hypertext? This dates from 1945 when Vannevar Bush, an American engineer and government science administrator during the Second World War, wrote an article in The Atlantic Monthly mapping out his vision of science in post-war America. Bush's idea was that physicists should focus on making human knowledge more accessible, perhaps by developing encyclopedias with cross-references that would allow readers to pursue any route through them. If that sounds familiar it's because online encyclopedias such as Wikipedia bear a remarkable resemblance to Bush's vision.

The idea profoundly affected the thinking of Doug Engelbart and Ted Nelson, the men widely credited with inventing modern hypertext. Nelson coined the word hypertext in 1963 while working on ways to make computers more accessible at Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island, later in the 1960s Engelbart, who also invented the computer mouse, experimented with hypertext using so-called hyperlinks to navigate between articles. Today hypertext and hyperlinks are the glue that holds the internet together. Engelbart and Nelson are both involved with a new project called Hyperwords, which aims to make every word on a web page interactive, allowing users to click on a piece of text and immediately Google it, browse it on Wikipedia, email it, translate it and so on (see www. hyperwords.net).

The key to this kind of capability is a technology called XML (extensible Markup Language), which describes information in a way that computers can read. It means that with the right software, you can choose which information to make use of and how to process it. The implications are enormous. XML will allow intelligent software to hunt through web pages for exactly the information you are after, not just for pages containing the words you are interested in, as today's search engines do. Want a hotel room in San Francisco for less than $90 next month or a pod cast of beetle collecting in Indonesia; XML will help you do it.

New Scientist


Ex.2. Explain the words and phrases below:


to hunt through web pages, to Google, search engines, browse, to coin the word, software, antecedents


Ex.3 Match the words with their definitions:

thesaurus, to experiment, project, resemblance, enormous, navigate, technology, profound, knowledge, hyperlink, hypertext


  1. to find your way around on a particular website, or to move from one website to another
  2. a carefully planned piece of work to get information about something, to build something, to improve something etc
  3. having a strong influence or effect
  4. to do a scientific test to find out if a particular idea is true or to obtain more information
  5. new machines, equipment, and ways of doing things that are based on modern knowledge about science and computers
  6. a way of writing computer documents that makes it possible to move from one document to another by clicking on words or pictures, especially on the Internet
  7. a book in which words are put into groups with other words that have similar meanings
  8. when two people or things are similar, especially in the way they look
  9. very big in size or in amount [= huge]
  10. a word or picture in a website or computer document that will take you to another page or document if you click on it
  11. the information, skills, and understanding that you have gained through learning or experience


Ex 4 Make other parts of speech from these words:

containing, resemblance, developing, knowledge, information, accessible


Ex.5. Ask ten questions to the text.


Ex.6. a) Divide the article into meaningful parts.

b) Find key words for each part. Use them to retell the text.



Text 29

Ex.1 Read the article and answer the questions:

    1. What is high tech anxiety?
    2. What are the causes of this phenomenon?
    3. Does the author suggest any solutions to the problem?
    4. Have you ever experienced high tech anxiety?
    5. What is spam? What kinds of spam are mentioned in the article?


The Age of High (Tech) Anxiety



We live in times that some are calling The Age of Anxiety. This isn't surprising because the increase in the average person's anxiety levels over the past few decades is well documented. (One recent study found that anxiety levels today are higher than those of psychiatric patients from the 1950s.) It might be blasphemous to say it here on the back page of IEEE Spectrum, but a big chunk of our stress portfolios is taken up by modern technologies. As proof, consider the many new words that people and professionals are using to describe this modern state of mind. One common term is techno-stress (or IТ stress), feelings of frustration and stress caused by having to deal with the changes brought on by computers and other technologies. For example, people used to leave the office and that was that. Now, with cellphones, pagers, and e-mail all part of many employees' toolkits, these workers are stressing because they're always connected and have no down time.

Another phrase I'm seeing is techno-angst, feelings of dread and anxiety caused by technology. A recent Business Week article discussed the "national wave of techno-angst" that has been brought on by fears that our privacy is rapidly eroding.

Computer problems can lead to what psychologists are calling technology-related anxiety (TRA). In a recent study reported in the Washington Post, 14 percent of respondents said computer problems interrupted their work more than once a day, and 21 percent said they had missed work deadlines in the previous three months because of hardware or software problems.

Devices have long been a source of frustration and anger. One of my favorite words is resistentialism, the belief that inanimate objects have a natural antipathy toward human beings. Over the past five years or so, many people have rediscovered resistentialism and realized that its central idea—les choses sont contre nous: "things are against us"—perfectly describes our bug-ridden and glitch-filled interactions with modern machines. If you've ever begged a computer to please, please give back the file containing the draft of your first novel, or pleaded with a toaster to, you know, actually toast the bread this time, then you are ripe for the resistential worldview.

Computers are perhaps the ultimate resistentialist devices, so they generate more than their fair share of anger. Why? Because against all the evidence, people expect technology to work perfectly all the time, and when it doesn't, they get anxious, stressed out, and very, very mad. This anger has many names (proof of its pervasiveness): computer rage, PC rage, tech rage, IT rage, and e-rage. But it's not just recalcitrant hardware and software that cause our stress levels to soar. Our stress portfolios are also bulging at the seams with way too much data. Our "information overload" is caused by the books, magazines, newspapers, documentaries, contracts, licenses, by-laws, and manuals that we must take in each day to get through our lives. Eventually, we just get tired of dealing with the onslaught and we develop what the psychological community has called information fatigue syndrome (IFS). Symptoms include exhaustion, anxiety, memory failures, and a shortened attention span. Many psychologists believe that our brains are simply not wired to handle the deluge of information that washes over us each day.

The information tsunami hasn't been helped one bit by the Internet. Now there are Web sites to surf, newsgroups to read, instant messages to handle, and the worst offender of them all, e-mail messages to read and respond to. A recent Gartner Inc. survey found that the average employee spends nearly an hour a day handling e-mail chores. For managers, e-mail tasks usurp closer to two hours each day. It's no wonder people are complaining about e-mail fatigue. One big factor making e-mail so tiresome is spam, those unsolicited messages hawking everything from pre-approved credit cards to toner cartridges to pictures of people doing things nature never intended. But anyone who has spent even a short time using a corporate e-mail system will be quite familiar with a different kind of unsolicited message called occupational spam: unwanted or unnecessary messages sent over the system.

In the Gartner survey, respondents reported that an eyebrow-raising 34 percent of the internal business e-mail they receive is unnecessary. This scourge also goes by the names workplace spam and office spam, although "spam" doesn't seem like the right term for this land of e-mail nuisance. That is because spam traditionally refers to commercial messages, but occupational spam is usually noncommercial. So some people have opted for a different term: meatloaf (because it is, in a sense, "homemade"). Is there a way to ease technological anxiety? I'm not sure, but I like the advice offered by Clifford Stoll in his book Silicon Snake Oil: from time to time, put yourself on a strict data fast where you turn everything off for a while. It might be a nice change.


Ex.2. a) Explain the words and phrases below:

information tsunami, eyebrow-raising, e-mail system, a strict data fast, "information overload", homemade

b) Find synonyms for these words:

cellphone, anxiety, to beg, unwanted, angry

c) What do these abbreviations stand for?



Ex.3 Insert the right prepositions and make up your own sentences with the phrases:


1) _____a while, 2) ____ the past few years, 3) ___time ____ time, 4) turn something ___, 5) to opt _____ sth, 6) refers _____ commercial messages, 7) respond ____ e-mail messages, 8) to be caused ______ sth, 9)to deal ____ changes, 10) to bring __,(приносить, вызывать) 11) because ___ sth, 12) to lead ____ sth, 13) to get tired ____doing sth, 14) complain ____e-mail fatigue


Ex.4 Find English equivalents for these word combinations:

современные технологии, чувство разочарования, техно-стресс, уровень тревожности среднестатистического человека, источник фрустрации и гнева, становиться раздражительным, облегчить тревогу, не удивительно, идеально описывает, приводить к тревожности, нарушениям памяти, информационная перегрузка, справляться с огромным количеством информации, сокращение объема внимания, синдром информационной усталости, слишком много информации (данных), из-за проблем с «железом»; изменения, которые привнесли компьютеры; тревожность, вызванная техникой; прерывать работу; техно-страх; пропустить крайние сроки выполнения работы; чувство угрозы и тревоги; ожидать от техники безупречной работы; инструментарий работника

Use the word combinations to make up your own sentences.


Ex.5. Ask ten questions to the text.


Ex.6. a) Divide the article into meaningful parts.

b) Find key words for each part. Use them to retell the text.




Text 30

Have you ever played computer games? Do you know what avatar is?

Read the text and explain the underlined words.


Date: 2015-01-12; view: 1350

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