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HU entrance exam 2010[1]

大学入試等(entrance exams)

[1] 次の英文はインターネットの百科事典Wikipedia の設立者の一人が書いた文章です。これを読んで、筆者が指摘するインターネット上の情報の問題点と、その指摘に対し予想される反論、およびその反論に対する筆者の主張を日本語で180~200字にまとめなさい。句読点や記号も1字に数えます。

 The Internet is profoundly shifting how we get information. Whether it's through Web 2.0 services like social-networking sites, or through blogs, discussion groups and the more old-fashioned hobbyist websites, it is increasingly the resource of choice. And one of its key features is that it is unedited and devoted to open contribution.

 So the Internet has become the main way we interact with the world when we're not face-to-face with it. But if it's so unedited and wide-open, surely it must output vast amounts of garbage? Well, it does.

 This problem matters. It cannot be waved aside by saying, as so many do, that we should just become our own editors and think more critically. Our decisions are only as good as the information behind them, and no amount of caution will defeat misinformation if we end up acting on it, or use it to justify our deepest beliefs. Nor can it be dismissed by saying that perhaps a little misinformation is the price we pay tor introducing democracy to the distribution of knowledge. According to this attitude, when the expert, professional journalists and encyclopedia makers are removed from their elite positions, their power is given to ordinary people. Perhaps.

 Neither of these replies helps us deal with the problem. When confronted with the fact that we are taking in more and more mental junk food, the reply appears to be: but the Internet is fantastic! I agree, it is wonderful. If I did not think so, I would not have spent so much time helping to create Wikipedia.

 But, in our admiration of this shiny new technology, should we minimize the value we place on such things as deep personal reflection, careful research, rational inquiry, and quite simply the earnest concern for the truth? I certainly hope not, because those are intellectual values on which our civilization is built.

(Adapted from BBC Focus Magazine, June 2009)