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1110.Английский язык практика ведения дискуссий Бугрова И К

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Министерство образования и науки Российской Федерации
Ярославский государственный университет им. П. Г. Демидова
Кафедра иностранных языков естественно-научных факультетов
И. К. Бугрова
Английский язык:
практика ведения дискуссий
Научно-методическим советом университета
для студентов, обучающихся по направлению
Прикладная математика и информатика
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УДК 811.11:51(076.5)
ББК Ш143.21я73
Редакционно-издательским советом университета
в качестве учебного издания. План 2012 года
кафедра иностранных языков естественно-научных факультетов ЯрГУ
Бугрова, И. К. Английский язык: практика ведения дискуссий: практикум / И. К. Бугрова; Яросл. гос. ун-т им. П. Г. Демидова. – Ярославль: ЯрГУ, 2012. – 68 с.
Практикум предназначен для сопровождения мультимедийных ресурсов кафедры. Цель практикума – обучение аудированию и ведению дискуссий при максимально сниженной сложности материала. Объем практикума не позволил в полной мере
представить учебно-методический аппарат к отобранным для обсуждения лекциям с всемирно известного сайта TЕ Полный курс можно найти в ресурсах кафедры. Может использоваться как для самостоятельной и внеаудиторной работы, так и для
работы в классе.
Предназначен для студентов, обучающихся по направлению
010400.62 Прикладная математика и информатика (дисциплина
«Иностранный язык», цикл М1, блок ГСЭ), очной формы обучения. Рекомендуется для студентов всех факультетов уровня подготовки В2; С1.
УДК 811.11:51(076.5)
ББК Ш143.21я73
©ЯрГУ, 2012
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Paul Zak: Trust, morality and oxytocin
Is there anything unique about human beings? There is. We're the only creatures with fully developed moral sentiments. We're obsessed with
morality as social creatures. We need to know why people are doing what
they're doing. And I personally am obsessed with morality. It was all due
to this woman, Sister Mary Marastela, also known as my mom. As an altar boy, I breathed in a lot of incense, and I learned to say phrases in Latin, but I also had time to think about whether my mother's top-down morality applied to everybody. I saw that people who were religious and
non-religious were equally obsessed with morality. I thought, maybe
there's some earthly basis for moral decisions. But I wanted to go further
than to say our brains make us moral. I want to know if there's a chemistry of morality. I want to know if there was a moral molecule.
Люди; чувства; постоянно думать; благодаря; вдыхать; ладан;
After 10 years of experiments, I found it. Would you like to see it? I
brought some with me. This little syringe contains the moral molecule.
It's called oxytocin. So oxytocin is a simple and ancient molecule found
only in mammals. In rodents, it was known to make mothers care for
their offspring, and in some creatures, allowed for toleration of burrowmates. But in humans, it was only known to facilitate birth and breastfeeding in women, and is released by both sexes during sex.
Шприц; грызуны; забота; потомство; облегчение; роды;
кормление; выделять.
So I had this idea that oxytocin might be the moral molecule. I did
what most of us do – I tried it on some colleagues. One of them told me,
«Paul, that is the world's stupidest idea. It is,» he said, «only a female
molecule. It can't be that important.» But I countered, «Well men's
brains make this too. There must be a reason why.» But he was right, it
was a stupid idea. But it was testably stupid. In other words, I thought I
could design an experiment to see if oxytocin made people moral.
Идиотский; ответить.
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Turns out it wasn't so easy. First of all, oxytocin is a shy molecule. Baseline levels are near zero, without some stimulus to cause its
release. And when it's produced, it has a three-minute half-life, and
degrades rapidly at room temperature. So this experiment would have
to cause a surge of oxytocin, have to grab it fast and keep it cold. I
think I can do that. Now luckily, oxytocin is produced both in the
brain and in the blood, so I could do this experiment without learning
neurosurgery. Then I had to measure morality.
Оказывается; застенчивый; базовый; полжизни; быстро;
всплеск; собрать.
So taking on Morality with a capital M is a huge project. So I started
smaller. I studied one single virtue: trustworthiness. Why? I had shown in
the early 2000s that countries with a higher proportion of trustworthy
people are more prosperous. So in these countries, more economic transactions occur and more wealth is created, alleviating poverty. So poor
countries are by and large low trust countries. So if I understood the chemistry of trustworthiness, I might help alleviate poverty.
Качество; надежность; процент; процветающий; происходить; богатство; снижать; бедность; бедные.
But I'm also a skeptic. I don't want to just ask people, «Are you
trustworthy?» So instead I use the Jerry Maguire approach to research.
If you're so virtuous, show me the money. So what we do in my lab is
we tempt people with virtue and vice by using money. Let me show
you how we do that. So we recruit some people for an experiment.
They all get $10 if they agree to show up. We give them lots of instruction, and we never ever deceive them. Then we match them in
pairs by computer. And in that pair, one person gets a message saying,
«Do you want to give up some of your $10 you earned for being here
and ship it to someone else in the lab?» The trick is you can't see
them, you can't talk to them. You only do it one time. Now whatever
you give up gets tripled in the other person's account. You're going to
make them a lot wealthier. And they get a message by computer saying person one sent you this amount of money. Do you want to keep it
all, or do you want to send some amount back?
Подход; исследование; добродетельный; искушать, склонять;
грех; набирать; обманывать; хитрость.
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So think about this experiment for a minute. You're going to sit
on these hard chairs for an hour and a half. Some mad scientist is
going to jab your arm with a needle and take four tubes of blood. And
now you want me to give up this money and ship it to a stranger? So
this was the birth of vampire economics. Make a decision and give me
some blood.
Сумасшедший; игла; втыкать; пробирка.
So in fact, experimental economists had run this test around the
world, and for much higher stakes, and the consensus view was that
the measure from the first person to the second was a measure of trust,
and the transfer from the second person back to the first measured
trustworthiness. But in fact, economists were flummoxed on why the
second person would ever return any money. They assumed money is
good, why not keep it all?
Ставки; в замешательстве; думать.
That's not what we found. We found 90 percent of the first decision-makers sent money, and of those who received money, 95 percent returned some of it. But why? Well, by measuring oxytocin we
found that the more money the second person received, the more their
brain produced oxytocin, and the more oxytocin on board, the more
money they returned. So we have a biology of trustworthiness.
But wait. What's wrong with this experiment? Two things. One
is that nothing in the body happens in isolation. So we measured
nine other molecules that interact with oxytocin, but they didn't
have any effect. But the second is that I still only had this indirect
relationship between oxytocin and trustworthiness. I didn't know for
sure oxytocin caused trustworthiness. So to make the experiment, I
knew I'd have to go into the brain and manipulate oxytocin directly.
I used everything short of a drill to get oxytocin into my own brain.
And I found I could do it with a nasal inhaler. So along with colleagues in Zurich, we put 200 men on oxytocin or placebo, had that
same trust test with money, and we found that those on oxytocin not
only showed more trust, we can more than double the number of
people who sent all their money to a stranger – all without altering
mood or cognition.
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Само по себе, в изоляции, отдельно; косвенный; связь; вызывать; дрель, тренировка, упражнение, сверлить; носовой; настроение; понимание.
So oxytocin is the trust molecule, but is it the moral molecule?
Using the oxytocin inhaler, we ran more studies. We showed that oxytocin infusion increases generosity in unilateral monetary transfers by
80 percent. We showed it increases donations to charity by 50 percent.
We've also investigated non-pharmacologic ways to raise oxytocin.
These include massage, dancing and praying. Yes, my mom was happy about that last one. And whenever we raise oxytocin, people willingly open up their wallets and share money with strangers.
Исследования; повышать; щедрость; односторонний; пожертвование; благотворительность; повысить; изучать.
But why do they do this? What does it feel like when your brain is
flooded with oxytocin? To investigate this question, we ran an experiment where we had people watch a video of a father and his four
year-old son, and his son has terminal brain cancer. After they watched the video, we had them rate their feelings and took blood before
and after to measure oxytocin. The change in oxytocin predicted their
feelings of empathy. So it's empathy that makes us connect to other
people. It's empathy that makes us help other people. It's empathy that
makes us moral.
От (поток, потоп); изучать; смотреть; рак; последняя стадия;
оценить; предсказывать; сочувствие.
Now this idea is not new. A then unknown philosopher named
Adam Smith wrote a book in 1759 called «The Theory of Moral Sentiments.» In this book, Smith argued that we are moral creatures, not
because of a top-down reason, but for a bottom-up reason. He said
we're social creatures, so we share the emotions of others. So if I do
something that hurts you, I feel that pain. So I tend to avoid that. If I
do something that makes you happy, I get to share your joy. So I tend
to do those things. Now this is the same Adam Smith who, 17 years
later, would write a little book called «The Wealth of Nations» – the
founding document of economics. But he was, in fact, a moral philosopher, and he was right on why we're moral. I just found the mole6
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cule behind it. But knowing that molecule is valuable, because it tells
us how to turn up this behavior and what turns it off. In particular, it
tells us why we see immorality.
Утверждать; не потому, что это дано свыше, а потому, что
это исходит изнутри; делиться, разделять; причинять боль; основополагающий; обоснование; ценный; поведение; безнравственность.
So to investigate immorality, let me bring you back now to 1980.
I'm working at a gas station on the outskirts of Santa Barbara, California. You sit in a gas station all day, you see lots of morality and immorality, let me tell you. So one Sunday afternoon, a man walks into
my cashier's booth with this beautiful jewelry box. Opens it up and
there's a pearl necklace inside. And he said, «Hey, I was in the men's
room. I just found this. What do you think we should do with it?» «I
don't know, put it in the lost and found.» «Well this is very valuable.
We have to find the owner for this.» I said, «Yea.»
Окраина; вернуть; кассир; кабина; жемчужное; ожерелье.
So we're trying to decide what to do with this, and the phone
rings. And a man says very excitedly, «I was in your gas station a
while ago, and I bought this jewelry for my wife, and I can't find it.» I
said, «Pearl necklace?» «Yeah.» «Hey, a guy just found it.» «Oh,
you're saving my life. Here's my phone number. Tell that guy to wait
half an hour. I'll be there and I'll give him a $200 reward.» Great, so I
tell the guy, «Look, relax. Get yourself a fat reward. Life's good.» He
said, «I can't do it. I have this job interview in Galena in 15 minutes,
and I need this job, I've got to go.» Again he asked me, «What do you
think we should do?» I'm in high school. I have no idea. So I said, «I'll
hold it for you.» He said, «You know, you've been so nice, let's split
the reward.» I'll give you the jewelry, you give me a hundred dollars,
and when the guy comes ...
Взволнованно; вознаграждение.
You see it. I was conned. So this is a classic con called the pigeon
drop, and I was the pigeon. So the way many cons work is not that the
conman gets the victim to trust him, it's that he shows he trusts the vic7
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tim. Now we know what happens. The victim's brain releases oxytocin,
and you're opening up your wallet or purse, giving away the money.
Обмануть; мошенник; жертва; кошелек.
So who are these people who manipulate our oxytocin systems?
We found, testing thousands of individuals, that five percent of the
population don't release oxytocin on stimulus. So if you trust them,
their brains don't release oxytocin. If there's money on the table, they
keep it all. So there's a technical word for these people in my lab. We
call them bastards. These are not people you want to have a beer with.
They have many of the attributes of psychopaths.
Вырабатывать, высвобождать.
Now there are other ways the system can be inhibited. One is
through improper nurturing. So we've studied sexually abused women,
and about half those don't release oxytocin on stimulus. You need
enough nurturing for this system to develop properly. Also, high stress
inhibits oxytocin. So we all know this, when we're really stressed out,
we're not acting our best.
Подавлять; неправильный; воспитание, отношения; насилие.
There's another way oxytocin is inhibited, which is interesting –
through the action of testosterone. So we, in experiments, have administered testosterone to men. And instead of sharing money, they become selfish. But interestingly, high testosterone males are also more
likely to use their own money to punish others for being selfish. Now
think about this. It means, within our own biology, we have the yin
and yang of morality. We have oxytocin that connects us to others,
makes us feel what they feel. And we have testosterone. And men
have 10 times the testosterone as women, so men do this more than
women – we have testosterone that makes us want to punish people
who behave immorally. We don't need God or government telling us
what to do. It's all inside of us.
Прописывать; эгоистичный; наказание.
So you may be wondering: these are beautiful laboratory experiments, do they really apply to real life? Yeah, I've been worrying
about that too. So I've gone out of the lab to see if this really holds in
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our daily lives. So last summer, I attended a wedding in Southern England. 200 people in this beautiful Victorian mansion. I didn't know a
single person. And I drove up in my rented Vauxhall. And I took out a
centrifuge and dry ice and needles and tubes. And I took blood from
the bride and the groom and the wedding party and the family and the
friends before and immediately after the vows.
Повседневный; присутствовать; свадьба; особняк; арендованный; клятвы.
And guess what? Weddings cause a release of oxytocin, but they
do so in a very particular way. Who is the center of the wedding solar
system? The bride. She had the biggest increase in oxytocin. Who
loves the wedding almost as much as the bride? Her mother, that's
right. Her mother was number two. Then the groom's father, then the
groom, then the family, then the friends – arrayed around the bride
like planets around the Sun. So I think it tells us that we've designed
this ritual to connect us to this new couple, connect us emotionally.
Why? Because we need them to be successful at reproducing to perpetuate the species.
Вызывать; невеста; выброс; жених; придумать; пара; увековечить; вид.
I also worried that my trust experiments with small amounts of
money didn't really capture how often we actually trust our lives to
strangers. So even though I have a fear of heights, I recently strapped
myself to another human being and stepped out of an airplane at
12,000 ft. I took my blood before and after, and I had a huge spike of
oxytocin. And there are so many ways we can connect to people. For
example, through social media. Many people are Tweeting right now.
So we investigated the role of social media and found the using social
media produced a solid double-digit increase in oxytocin.
Захватить; недавно; пристегнуть; выпрыгнуть; скачок; изучать.
So I ran this experiment recently for the Korean Broadcasting
System. And they had the reporters and their producers participate.
And one of these guys, he must have been 22, he had 150 percent
spike in oxytocin. I mean, astounding; no one has this. So he was us9
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ing social media in private. When I wrote my report to the Koreans, I
said, «Look, I don't know what this guy was doing,» but my guess was
interacting with his mother or his girlfriend. They checked. He was interacting on his girlfriend's Facebook page. There you go. That's connection. So there's tons of ways that we can connect to other people,
and it seems to be universal.
Вещание; миллионы способов; потрясающе.
Two weeks ago, I just got back from Papua New Guinea where I
went up to the highlands – very isolated tribes of subsistence farmers
living as they have lived for millenia. There are 800 different languages in the highlands. These are the most primitive people in the world.
And they indeed also release oxytocin.
Горы; племена; действительно.
So oxytocin connects us to other people. Oxytocin makes us feel
what other people feel. And it's so easy to cause people's brains to release oxytocin. I know how to do it, and my favorite way to do it is, in
fact, the easiest. Let me show it to you. Come here. Give me a hug.
(Laughter) There you go.
Заставить; обнять.
So my penchant for hugging other people has earned me the nickname Dr. Love. I'm happy to share a little more love in the world, it's
great, but here's your prescription from Dr. Love: eight hugs a day.
We have found that people who release more oxytocin are happier.
And they're happier because they have better relationships of all types.
Dr. Love says eight hugs a day. Eight hugs a day – you'll be happier
and the world will be a better place. Of course, if you don't like to
touch people, I can always shove this up your nose.
Склонность; объятиям; заработать; рецепт; отношения.
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Glossary of the Unit
to be
to breathe
to care
to facilitate
to release
to counter
быть одержимым чем-либо
ладан, фимиам
шприц, опрыскиватель
облегчать, способствовать
грудное вскармливание
искушать, склонять
to deceive
трюк, уловка
склонность, расположение, любовь
базовый уровень jab
turn out
надежность, кредитоспособность
пропорция, доля
процветающий, успешный
смягчать, облегчать
бедность, нищета
толкать, втыкать,
пробирка, трубка
to be
быть в замешательflummoxed стве
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in isolation в изоляции
to cause
вызывать, быть
дрель, тренировка, упражнение;
cognition познание
to increase увеличивать
generosity великодушие,
unilateral односторонний
to assume
to receive
to raise
to investigate
to predict
to argue
поток, потоп
делить; доля
обижать, болеть
в самом деле
клятва, обет
administer отправлять,
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хватать; захват
будка, палатка,
скачок, выброс
вещать (в СМИ)
perpetuate увековечивать
Ex. 1. Answer the questions:
1. What makes human beings different from other species?
2. What are people obsessed with? Why?
3. What task does the author set for himself?
4. What kind of function does oxytocin possess?
5. What is the life period of oxytocin?
6. What does trustworthiness correlate with?
7. Is it a fact that poor countries have low morality?
8. What is the author‟s idea about alleviating poverty?
9. What kind of approach does the author apply in his project?
10. What does experiment consist in
11. What does the author mean by vampire economics
12. What were the results of the experiment? Do you agree with
their interpretation
13. What are the other ways of increasing the level of oxytocin?
14. Which of them do you practice? Does it help?
15. What is the biology of trustworthiness
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16. Is empathy inherent in the human nature? Give examples of
empathy in action.
17. What is your prescription for feeling fine?
Ex. 2. Translate from Russian into English:
1. Я заметил, что люди как религиозные, так и атеисты в равной мере объединены пристальным вниманием к вопросам морали.
2. Я решил разобраться с химической стороной вопроса, найти молекулу, которая могла бы отвечать за вопросы морали.
3. В нашей лаборатории мы пытаемся проверить (спровоцировать, искусить) людей как добродетелью, так и пороком.
4. Согласно нашей гипотезе, количество денег, передаваемое в
ответ на благотворительность, служило мерилом доверия человека.
5. По нашей гипотезе, чем больше окситоцина вырабатывает
мозг человека, тем большей суммой денег он готов поделиться.
6. Поскольку молекула окситоцина достаточно эфемерна,
эксперимент по измерению ее процентного содержания предполагал вызвать резкий всплеск окситоцина и извлечение ее для
дальнейших манипуляций.
7. Мы исследовали нефармакологические способы повышения уровня окситоцина.
8. Согласно гипотезе и многочисленным примерам, страны с
большим уровнем доверия являются гораздо более экономически
благополучными и даже процветающими.
9. Для того чтобы провести дальнейшие обобщения, мы провели эксперимент с просмотром фильма об отце и сыне, у которого был рак.
10. Мошенники специально поднимают у жертв уровень доверия, чтобы спровоцировать на нужный им эффект.
11. Как известно, именно эмпатия отличает людей от других
живых существ.
12. Эксперимент ценен тем, что мы смогли выяснить, что поднимает уровень доверия, а что может его отключить.
13. На свадьбе присутствующие испытывают положительные
эмоции, так как подсознательно желают преумножения человеческого рода (а значит, и себя).
14. Моя привычка выражать эмоции через дружеские объятия
закрепила за мной имя Доктор Любовь.
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Have your say
Ex. 3. Describe the mechanism oxytocin functions on in our organism Make use of reporting verbs.
Утверждать (отстаивать
свое мнение, утверждать,
(высказывается однозначно и
2. Lee states that problems arose Утверждать
earlier than was previously
3. Levack observe, (notes, com- Замечать, отмечать, комments, points out) that there are ментировать,
contradictions in Novack‟s vision обращать внимание
of the issue.
(отмечать, но не останавливаться подробно)
4. Greenberg highlights (stresses, Подчеркивать, выдвигать на
первый план;
the importance of a liberal ap- подчеркивать; акцентироproach.
вать (придавать особое значение чему-либо)
5. Patel argues that government Аргументировать, вести поshould continue to fund research. лемику, доказывать, спорить
6. Davidson casts doubt on pre- Ставить под сомнение
vious research into the issue.
7. Furgeson pinpoints the key fea- Заострять внимание, акtures in question.
8. Kon suggests that all poets are Наводить на мысль о том,
strongly influenced by their что…; предлагать (в качеchildhood.
стве гипотезы)
1. The author claims (contends,
maintains, asserts, declares) that
chemical substances play a crucial
role in our social life.
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Ex. 4. Try to analyze the line of reasoning of the lecturer. Does
it sound viable? Do you have any doubts? Share your vision of the
issue. Go step by step using the expressions below.
Let us take a close look at
Let us go point by point
At first glance
This is really a blot on the landscape (ложка дегтя в бочке
Could I just pick up on that
In a nutshell…
Shall I go over that point again?
All things considered…
I know for a fact that
We can hardly ignore the fact
Most strikingly
It does not quite wash
(не выдерживает критики;
не срабатывает0
There seems to be some confusion over…
Before we move on to particulars…
To be concise but to the point…
My wild guess is that…
Ex. 5. Render the article in English. Make use of all clichés you
have learnt.
Окситоцин ученые называют еще и гормоном-нейропередатчиком в головном мозге. Он играет одну из ведущих ролей в социальном поведении человека. Одно из его «магических» воздействий – увеличение доверия. Но бельгийские ученые просят обратить внимание, что он лишь усиливает уже имеющееся доверие.
Он не зарождает это чувство к тому партнеру, который изначально
не вызывает у нас доверительного чувства. Мужчин окситоцин делает более благожелательными, позитивными.
Окситоцин также называют «гормоном объятий«. Стимуляция
синтеза окситоцина происходит и через нервные рецепторы кожи.
Его уровень значительно повышается при романтических отношениях. Интересно и то, что наибольшую активность он имеет у
представителей моногамных пар. Верные возлюбленные, по результатам исследования, показали уровень окситоцина на треть
выше, чем те, кто позволял себе измену, свободные отношения.
Мифические свойства наркотиков как любовного эликсира
объясняются очень просто – они повышают уровень гормона ок16
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ситоцина. Так создается иллюзия сексуального удовольствия. Но
ведь реальное удовольствие достижимо абсолютно здоровым способом – при естественном любовном влечении. Интересно и то,
что окситоцин способен вырабатываться даже при взгляде на фото
любимого человека. Звук любимого голоса также способен стимулировать выработку окситоцина. Проведение времени вместе с
любимым человеком: путешествие, обсуждение прошедшего дня
за совместным ужином, совместный просмотр фильма – еще
больше повышает уровень окситоцина. Он повышается также и
когда нас что-то волнует, трогает, восхищает. Окситоцин еще называют гормоном привязанности. Он помогает наслаждению перейти в чувство общности, которое со временем может переродиться в глубокое чувство любви.
On our place in the cosmos. David Deutsch
Nowadays the idea of Spaceship Earth has a dramatic ring. And
the idea there is that outside the spaceship, the universe is implacably
hostile, and inside is all we have, all we depend on. And we only get
the one chance: if we mess up our spaceship, we've got nowhere else
to go. Now, the second thing that everyone already knows is that contrary to what was believed for most of human history, human beings
are not, in fact, the hub of existence. As Stephen Hawking famously
said, we're just a chemical scum on the surface of a typical planet
that's in orbit around a typical star, which is on the outskirts of a typical galaxy, and so on.
Неумолимо; враждебный; испортить; центр; пена; существование; окраина.
Now the first of those two things that everyone knows is kind of
saying that we're at a very un-typical place, uniquely suited and so on,
and the second one is saying that we're at a typical place. And especially if you regard these two as deep truths to live by and to inform
your life decisions, then they seem a little bit to conflict with each
other. But that doesn't prevent them from both being completely false.
Рассматривать; предотвращать; мешать.
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So let's go out further, till we're outside the galaxy, and look back,
and yeah, there's the huge galaxy with spiral arms laid out in front of
us. And at this point we've come 100,000 light years from here. But
we're still nowhere near a typical place in the universe.
And yet from intergalactic space, it's so far away you wouldn't
even see it. It's also very cold out there – less than three degrees
above absolute zero. And it's very empty. The vacuum there is one
million times less dense than the highest vacuum that our best technology on Earth can currently create. So that's how different a typical
place is from this place. And that is how un-typical this place is.
Густой; плотный.
Now how do we know about an environment that's so far away,
and so different, and so alien, from anything we're used to? Well, the
Earth – our environment, in the form of us – is creating knowledge.
Well, what does that mean? Well, look out even further than we've
just been – I mean from here, with a telescope – and you'll see things
that look like stars. They're called «quasars.» Quasars originally meant
quasi-stellar object. Which means things that look a bit like stars. But
they're not stars. And we know what they are. Billions of years ago,
and billions of light years away, the material at the center of a galaxy
collapsed towards a super-massive black hole. And then intense magnetic fields directed some of the energy of that gravitational collapse.
And some of the matter, back out in the form of tremendous jets
which illuminated lobes with the brilliance of – I think of trillion suns.
Чужой, чуждый; привыкнуть; рухнуть; огромный; доля;
Now, the physics of the human brain could hardly be more unlike
the physics of such a jet. We couldn't survive for an instant in it. Language breaks down when trying to describe what it would be like in
one of those jets. It would be a bit like experiencing a supernova explosion, but at point-blank range and for millions of years at a time.
And yet, that jet happened in precisely such a way that billions of
years later, on the other side of the universe, some bit of chemical
scum could accurately describe, and model, and predict, and explain,
above all – there's your reference – what was happening there, in reality. The one physical system, the brain, contains an accurate work18
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ing model of the other – the quasar. Not just a superficial image of it,
though it contains that as well, but an explanatory model, embodying
the same mathematical relationships and the same causal structure.
Едва, почти не; диапазон, размах; предсказывать; воплощать.
So we are a chemical scum that is different. This chemical scum
has universality. Its structure contains, with ever-increasing precision,
the structure of everything. This place, and not other places in the universe, is a hub which contains within itself the structural and causal
essence of the whole of the rest of physical reality. And so, far from
being insignificant, the fact that the laws of physics allow this, or even
mandate that this can happen, is one of the most important things
about the physical world.
Точность; поручать, передавать.
Now how does the solar system – and our environment, in the
form of us – acquire this special relationship with the rest of the universe? Well, one thing that's true about Stephen Hawking's remark – I
mean, it is true, but it's the wrong emphasis. One thing that's true
about it is that it doesn't do it with any special physics. There's no special dispensation, no miracles involved. It does it simply with three
things that we have here in abundance. One of them is matter, because
the growth of knowledge is a form of information processing. Information processing is computation, computation requires a computer –
there's no known way of making a computer without matter. We also
need energy to make the computer, and most important, to make the
media in effect onto which we record the knowledge that we discover.
Приобретать; распределение.
Our location is saturated with evidence, and also with matter and
energy. Out in intergalactic space, those three prerequisites for the
open-ended creation of knowledge are at their lowest possible supply.
As I said, it's empty; it's cold; and it's dark out there. Or is it? Now actually, that's just another parochial misconception. Because imagine a
cube out there in intergalactic space, the same size as our home, the
solar system. Now that cube is very empty by human standards, but
that still means that it contains over a million tons of matter. And a
million tons is enough to make, say, a self-contained space station, on
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which there's a colony of scientists that are devoted to creating an
open-ended stream of knowledge, and so on.
Насыщать; предпосылка; узкий, ограниченный; преданный.
Now, it's way beyond present technology to even gather the hydrogen from intergalactic space and form it into other elements and so
on. But the thing is, in a comprehensible universe, if something isn't
forbidden by the laws of physics, then what could possibly prevent us
from doing it, other than knowing how? In other words, it's a matter of
knowledge, not resources. And the same – well, if we could do that
we'd automatically have an energy supply, because the transmutation
would be a fusion reactor – and evidence?
Превращение; слияние, сращивание, сплав.
So in fact, intergalactic space does contain all the prerequisites for
the open-ended creation of knowledge. Any such cube, anywhere in
the universe, could become the same kind of hub that we are, if the
knowledge of how to do so were present there. So we're not in a uniquely hospitable place. If intergalactic space is capable of creating an
open-ended stream of explanations, then so is almost every other environment. So is the Earth. So is a polluted Earth. And the limiting factor, there and here, is not resources, because they're plentiful, but
knowledge, which is scarce.
Гостеприимный; способный; изобильный; редкий.
Now this cosmic knowledge-based view may – and I think ought
to – make us feel very special. But it should also make us feel vulnerable, because it means that without the specific knowledge that's
needed to survive the ongoing challenges of the universe, we won't
survive them. All it takes is for a supernova to go off a few light years
away, and we'll all be dead!
But it depends not on chance, but on whether we create the relevant knowledge in time. The danger is not at all unprecedented. Species go extinct all the time. Civilizations end. The overwhelming majority of all species and all civilizations that have ever existed are now
history. And if we want to be the exception to that, then logically our
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only hope is to make use of the one feature that distinguishes our species, and our civilization, from all the others – namely, our special relationship with the laws of physics, our ability to create new explanations, new knowledge – to be a hub of existence.
Вымирающий; подавляющий.
So let me now apply this to a current controversy, not because I
want to advocate any particular solution, but just to illustrate the kind
of thing I mean. And the controversy is global warming. Now, I'm a
physicist, but I'm not the right kind of physicist. In regard to global
warming, I'm just a layman. And the rational thing for a layman to do
is to take seriously the prevailing scientific theory. And according to
that theory, it's already too late to avoid a disaster. Because if it's true
that our best option at the moment is to prevent CO2 emissions with
something like the Kyoto Protocol, with its constraints on economic
activity and its enormous cost of hundreds of billions of dollars or
whatever it is, then that is already a disaster by any reasonable measure. And the actions that are advocated are not even purported to solve
the problem, merely to postpone it by a little. So it's already too late to
avoid it, and it probably has been too late to avoid it ever since before
anyone realized the danger.
Преобладающий; ограничения; катастрофа; предназначать;
Now the lesson of that seems clear to me, and I don't know why it
isn't informing public debate. It is that we can't always know. When
we know of an impending disaster, and how to solve it at a cost less
than the cost of the disaster itself, then there's not going to be much
argument, really. But no precautions, and no precautionary principle,
can avoid problems that we do not yet foresee. Hence, we need a
stance of problem-fixing, not just problem-avoidance.
Надвигающийся; меры предосторожности; позиция; (от глаг.)
If medical science stopped seeking cures and concentrated on
prevention only, then it would achieve very little of either. The world
is buzzing at the moment with plans to force reductions in gas emissions at all costs. It ought to be buzzing with plans to reduce the tem21
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perature, and with plans to live at the higher temperature – and not at
all costs, but efficiently and cheaply. And some such plans exist,
things like swarms of mirrors in space to deflect the sunlight away,
and encouraging aquatic organisms to eat more carbon dioxide. At the
moment, these things are fringe research. They're not central to the
human effort to face this problem, or problems in general. And with
problems that we are not aware of yet, the ability to put right – not the
sheer good luck of avoiding indefinitely – is our only hope, not just of
solving problems, but of survival. So take two stone tablets, and carve
on them. On one of them, carve: «Problems are soluble.» And on the
other one carve: «Problems are inevitable.»
Сокращение; множество; заставить, менять направление;
подталкивать, способствовать; вырезать; периферийный; неизбежный.
Glossary of the Unit
mess up
to be used to
чужой, чуждый
to be capable способный
меры предосторожности
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от глаг. избегать
в изобилии
transmutation превращение
in abundance
Ex. 1. Answer the questions:
1. What does the author mean by saying that our planet is uniquely suited for our evolution and survival?
2. How does the author describe the space outside spaceship
Earth and inside it?
3. What or who is called by the lecturer the hub of existence?
4. Do you agree that inside our spaceship we have all we need?
5. What does David mean by „messing up‟ our spaceship?
6. Why is the term ‟hub of existence‟ voiced by the lecturer?
7. How do you understand Hawking‟s metaphor of „chemical
8. Are we in a typical or untypical place in the Universe? What
are your personal sensations?
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9.What is meant by Spaseship Earth?
10. Do you agree that mankind is the hub of existence?
11. Would you agree to the term – “chemical scum” for naming
12. So is Earth a typical or untypical place in the universe?
13. Docs light or darkness prevail in the universe?
14. What kind of vacuum is out there?
15. What kind of objects are quasars?
16. What kind of similarity is there between the brain and the
17. How do we acquire a special relationship with the rest of the
18. In that way is our location in space favourable for developing a specific relationship with the rest of the universe?
19. What kind of metaphor docs the lecturer give to specify our
20. What can prevent us from building a model of our planet environment?
21. What is the role of knowledge for exploring space a improving better conditions for people in the lecturer is opinion?
22. What docs survival of mankind depend on?
23. Do all species survive?
24. What kind of phenomenon is global warning? Positive or
negative (in D. Deutsch‟s opinion)
25. What is D. Deutsch‟s view on the measure being taken at the
moment for minimizing global warning?
26. What kind of stance does the lecturer insist on?
27. Is the lecturer optimistic or pessimistic on the issue of the future of our planet?
Ex. 2. Translate from Russian into English:
1. Удивительно, но наша солнечная система и окружающая
среда очень точно настроены так, чтобы сохранить жизнь на нашей планете и дать ей эволюционировать.
2. Космический корабль под названием Земля парит в пространстве, которое само по себе неумолимо враждебно ко всему
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3. Если верить Стивену Хокингу, люди – всего лишь химическая пена на поверхности типичной планеты, вращающейся вокруг обычной звезды на окраине Вселенной.
4. Вполне может быть так, что обе точки зрения правильные.
(It may well happen so that …)
5. Язык не в состоянии описать то, что происходило в момент
6. Однако все это произошло так, что миллионы лет спустя на
другом конце Вселенной появился орган (человеческий мозг), который сумел смоделировать этот взрыв и восстановить ход событий.
7. По сути дела, наше пространство насыщено веществом и
энергией. Создание системы, в которой может проживать человек, – вопрос времени и уровня развития научной мысли.
8. Наша планета является центром Вселенной в том смысле,
что в ней отразились возможности, теоретически присутствующие в космосе для создания жизни.
9. В природе виды животных вымирают постоянно.
10. Я не сведущ в проблеме глобального потепления
11. Если какая-то идея не противоречит законам физики, то
помешать ее воплощению может только низкий уровень развития
научной мысли и больше ничего.
12. Следует признать тот факт, что, для того чтобы противостоять постоянно возникающим угрозам со стороны космоса, нам
необходимо совершенствовать систему знаний, а без этого ни
планете, ни нам выжить не удастся.
13. Поскольку на сегодня мы можем приостановить процесс
потепления только сокращая выброс СО2 (подписав Киотское соглашение со всеми вытекающими из него ограничениями), то
фактически мы живем в условиях надвигающейся катастрофы.
14. Проблема в знаниях, а не в ресурсах. Ресурсы огромны.
15. В данный момент эти исследования не являются основными.
16. По земным стандартам полый куб в безвоздушном пространстве пуст, но на самом деле в нем присутствует несколько
сотен тонн вещества (материи), которое можно использовать,
чтобы создать самодостаточную научную станцию для проживания группы ученых, занимающихся разработкой системы знаний.
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Essay writing
Composition and essay writing
In a composition, students are expected to set out the facts as they
are, the primary objective being their accurate and impartial presentation.
In an essay the task is to give an individual interpretation of facts
Thus the interpretation of a subject will differ depending on whether
you are required to write a composition or an essay.
The reflective and argumentative essays
In text-books on written English, a distinction is often drawn between the reflective and the argumentative essay. The first is primarily
an exercise in contemplation upon any given subject, the second – an
exercise testing your ability to discuss a problem, to argue for or against
a proposition. In the first you rely more on your imagination and power
of observation, in the second – on general knowledge.
Use This Sample Basic Essay as a Model
The essay below demonstrates the principles of writing a basic
essay. The thesis statement is in bold, the topic sentences are in italics,
and each main point is underlined. When you write your own essay, of
course, you will not need to mark these parts of the essay unless your
teacher has asked you to do so. They are marked here just so that you
can more easily identify them.
 «A dog is man’s best friend». That common saying may contain some truth, but dogs are not the only animal friend whose companionship people enjoy. For many people, a cat is their best friend.
Despite what dog lovers may believe, cats make excellent house pets
as they are good companions, they are civilized members of the
household, and they are easy to care for.
In the first place, people enjoy the companionship of cats. Many
cats are affectionate. They will snuggle up and ask to be petted, or
scratched under the chin. Who can resist a purring cat? If they’re not
feeling affectionate, cats are generally quite playful. They love to
chase balls and feathers, or just about anything dangling from a
string. They especially enjoy playing when their owners are
participating in the game. Contrary to popular opinion, cats can be
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trained. Using rewards and punishments, just like with a dog, a cat
can be trained to avoid unwanted behavior or perform tricks. Cats
will even fetch!
In the second place, cats are civilized members of the household.
Unlike dogs, cats do not bark or make other loud noises. Most cats
don’t even meow very often. They generally lead a quiet existence.
Cats also don’t often have «accidents». Mother cats train their kittens
to use the litter box, and most cats will use it without fail from that
time on. Even stray cats usually understand the concept when shown
the box and will use it regularly. Cats do have claws, and owners
mus: make provision for this. A tall scratching post in a favorite cat
area of the house will often keep the cat content to leave the furniture
alone. As a last resort, of course, cats can be declawed.
Lastly, one of the most attractive features of cats as housepets is
their ease of care. Cats do not have to be walked. They get plenty of
exercise in the house as they play, and they do their business in the
litter box. Cleaning a litter box is a quick, painless procedure. Cats
also take care of their own grooming. Bathing a cat is almost never
necessary because under ordinary circumstances cats clean themselves. Cats are more particular about personal cleanliness than
people are. In addition, cats can be left home alone for a few hours
without fear. Unlike some pets, most cats will not destroy the
furnishings when left alone. They are content to go about their usual
activities until their owners return.
Cats are low maintenance, civilized companions. People who
have small living quarters or less time for pet care should appreciate
these characteristics of cats. However, many people who have plenty
of space and time still opt to have a cat because they love the cat personality. In many ways, cats are the ideal housepet.
Have your say
Ex. 3. Speak on the following:
1. How do you visualize Spaceship Earth?
….. is not new. Basically,… appeared
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2. Which aspects of keeping up our planet in a proper condition
do you personally emphasize?
My stance on…… is …..
I make it a point to …….. I never fail to……. It’s a matter of
I make sure that … It should be standard practice to ……….
3. Which other aspects of universal value does the lecturer raise?
There’s nothing wrong in saying ……………..
However,………… It’s an open question whether
Ex. 4. Use the clichés to express your stance on the theme of the
It can be confidently said that … … The time is not far off when
… …I have every ground for assuming that … I am afraid nobody
has the slightest idea concerning … …One cannot help wondering
what … … It’s too astonishing for words … …I am stuck for the
right word… We might hazard a guess that … …It wouldn’t de too
much of a stretch to say that … …
Read the texts and write either a reflective or argumentative
The origin of the Moon is one of the most complicated problems
of cosmogony. So far there have been basically three hypotheses under discussion.
HYPOTHESIS I. The Moon was once a part of the Earth and
broke away from it.
This has now been refuted by the evidence.
HYPOTHESIS II. The Moon was formed independently from the
same cloud of dust and gas as the Earth, and immediately became the
Earth's natural satellite.
But then why is there such a big difference between the specific
gravity of the Moon (3.33 grammes per cubic centimetre) and that of
the Earth (5.5 gr.)? Furthermore, according to the latest information
(analysis of samples brought back by the U.S. Apollo astronauts) lunar
rock is not of the same composition as the Earth's.
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HYPOTHESIS III. The Moon came into being separately, and,
moreover, far from the Earth (perhaps even outside the Solar system).
This would mean that the moon would not have to be fashioned
from the same «clay» as our own planet. Sailing through the Universe,
the Moon came into Earth's proximity, and by a complex interplay of
forces of gravity was brought within a geocentric orbit, very close to
circular. But a catch of this kind is virtually impossible.
Глина; близость; выгода, препятствие, подвох, захват, улов.
In fact, scientists studying the origin of the Universe today have
no acceptable theory to explain how the Earth-Moon system came into
OUR HYPOTHESIS: The Moon is an artificial Earth satellite put
into orbit around the Earth by some intelligent beings unknown to
We refuse to engage in speculation about who exactly staged this
unique experiment, which only a highly developed civilization was
capable of.
If you are going to launch an artificial sputnik, then it is advisable
to make it hollow. At the same time it would be naive to imagine that
anyone capable of such a tremendous space project would be satisfied
simply with some kind of giant empty trunk hurled into a near-Earth
It is more likely that what we have here is a very ancient spaceship, the interior of which was filled with fuel for the engines, materials and appliances for repair work, navigation, instruments, observation equipment and all manner of machinery... in other words, everything necessary to enable this «caravelle of the Universe» to serve as a
kind of Noah's Ark of intelligence, perhaps even as the home of a
whole civilization envisaging a prolonged (thousands of millions of
years) existence and long wanderings through space (thousands of
millions of miles).
Каравелла; предвидеть; бродить.
Naturally, the hull of such a spaceship must be super-tough in order to stand up to the blows of meteorites and sharp fluctuations between extreme heat and extreme cold. Probably the shell is a double29
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layered affair – the basis a dense armouring of about 20 miles in
thickness, and outside it some kind of more loosely packed covering
(a thinner layer – averaging about three miles). In certain areas –
where the lunar «seas» and «craters» are, the upper layer is quite thin,
in some cases, non-existent.
Since the Moon's diameter is 2,162 miles, then looked at from our
point of view it is a thin-walled sphere. And, understandably, not an
empty one. There could be all kinds of materials and equipment on its
inner surface. But the greatest proportion of the lunar mass is concentrated in the central part of the sphere, in its core, which has a diameter of 2,062 miles.
Thus the distance between the kernel and the shell of this nut is in
the region of 30 miles. This space was doubtless filled with gases required for breathing, and for technological and other purposes.
Корпус, скорлупа, оболочка; жесткий; ядро; арматура, броня,
With such an internal structure the Moon could have an average
specific gravity if 3.3 grammes per cubic centimetre, which differs
considerably from that of Earth (5.5 grammes per cubic centimetre).
The most numerous and interesting of the formations on the lunar
surface are the craters. In diameter they vary considerably. Some are less
that a yard across, while others are more than 120 miles (the biggest has a
diameter of 148 miles). How does the Moon come to be so pockmarked?
There are two hypothesis – volcanic and meteoric. Most scientists
vote for the latter.
Kirill Stanyukovich, a Soviet physicist, has written a whole series
of works since 1937 in which he expounds the idea that the craters are
the result of bombardment of the Moon for millions of years. And he
really means bombardment, for even the smallest celestial body, when
it is involved in one of those fastest head-on collisions so common in
the cosmos behaves itself like a warhead charged with dynamite, or
even an atomic warhead at times. Instant combustion takes place on
impact, turning it into a dense cloud of incandescent gas, into plasma,
and there is a very definite explosion.
Объяснять; раскаленный.
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The surprising thing is that however big the meteorites may have
been which have fallen on the Moon (some have been more than 60
miles in diameter), and however fast they must have been travelling (in
some cases the combined speed was as much as 38 miles per second),
the craters they have left behind are for some odd reason all about the
same depth, 1.2–2 miles, although they vary tremendously in diameter.
For such a big hole, it is too shallow. Furthermore, the bottom of
the crater is convex, following the curve of the lunar surface. If you
were to stand in the middle of the crater you would not even be able to
see the soaring edge – it would be beyond the horizon. A hollow that
is more like a hill is a rather strange affair, perhaps.
Выпуклый; вздымающийся, взлетающий.
Not really, if one assumes that when the meteorite strikes the outer covering of the moon, this plays the role of a buffer and the foreign
body finds itself up against an impenetrable spherical barrier. Only
slightly denting the 20-mile layer of armour plating, the explosion
flings bits of its «coating» far and wide.
Have your say
Ex. 5. Use the clichés to express your stance:
I am inclined to think that … … I pin my hopes on … …
Though the author tends to … I tend to … The author’s assumption
seems a bit dodgy … though …
Ex. 6. Read the text. Be ready to speak on the issues. Give your
Now let us consider the chemical peculiarities of the lunar rock.
Upon analysis, American scientists have found chromium, titanium and
zirconium in it. These are all metals with refractory, mechanically strong
and anti-corrosive properties. A combination of them all would have inevitable resistance to heat and the ability to stand up to means of aggression, and could be used on Earth for linings for electrical furnaces.
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If a material had to be devised to protect a giant artificial satellite
from the unfavorable effects of temperature, from cosmic radiation
and meteorite bombardment, the experts would probably have hit on
precisely these metals. In that case it is not clear why lunar rock is
such an extraordinarily poor heat conductor – a factor which so
amazed the astronauts? Wasn't that what the designers of the supersputnik of the Earth were after?
From the engineers point of view, this spaceship of ages long past
which we call the Moon is superbly constructed. There may be a good
reason for its extreme longevity. It is even possible that it predates our
own planet. At any rate, some pieces of lunar rock have proved older
than the oldest on Earth, although it is true, this applies to the age of the
materials and not of the structure for which they were used. And from
the number of craters on its surface, the Moon itself is no chicken.
Долголетие; более раннего происхождения.
It is, of course, difficult to say when it began to shine in the sky
above the Earth, but on the basis of some preliminary estimates one
might hazard a guess that it was around two thousand million years ago.
We do not, of course, imagine that the moon is still inhabited, and
probably many of its automatic devices have stopped working, too.
The stabilisers have ceased functioning and the poles have shifted.
Even though the moon keeps that same side turned towards us, for
some time it has been unsteady on its own axis, on occasion showing
us part of its reverse side which were once invisible to observers on
the Earth – for example, the Selenites themselves if they made expeditions here.
Обитаема; перестать.
What is the Moon today? Is it a colossal necropolis, a «city of the
dead,» where some form of life became extinct? Is it a kind cosmic
Flying Dutchman? A craft abandoned by its crew and controlled automatically? We do not know and we shall probably not.
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Sebastian Seung: I am my connectome
We live in a remarkable time, the age of genomics. Your genome
is the entire sequence of your DNA. Your sequence and mine are
slightly different. That's why we look different. I've got brown eyes;
you might have blue or gray. But it's not just skin-deep. The headlines
tell us that genes can give us scary diseases, maybe even shape our
personality, or give us mental disorders. Our genes seem to have awesome power over our destinies. And yet, I would like to think that I
am more than my genes. What do you, guys, think? Are you more
than your genes? Sebastian Seung: What am I? I am my connectome.
Удивительный; вся; последовательность; немного; заголовки;
страшные; болезни; формировать; умственные расстройства; похоже; колоссальное; судьбы.
Well, so far only one connectome is known, that of this tiny
worm. Its modest nervous system consists of just 300 neurons. And in
the 1970s and '80s, a team of scientists mapped all 7,000 connections
between the neurons. In this diagram, every node is a neuron, and
every line is a connection. This is the connectome of the worm C. elegans. Your connectome is far more complex than this because your
brain contains 100 billion neurons and 10,000 times as many connections. Your connectome contains one million times more connections
than your genome has letters. That's a lot of information.
Червячок; скромный; нанести на карту; нематода (червь); поместиться; содержать.
What's in that information? We don't know for sure, but there are
theories. Since the 19th century, neuroscientists have speculated that
maybe your memories – the information that makes you, you – maybe
your memories are stored in the connections between your brain's neurons. And perhaps other aspects of your personal identity – maybe
your personality and your intellect – maybe they're also encoded in the
connections between your neurons. And so now you can see why I
proposed this hypothesis: I am my connectome. I didn't ask you to
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chant it because it's true; I just want you to remember it. And in fact,
we don't know if this hypothesis is correct, because we have never had
technologies powerful enough to test it. Finding that worm connectome took over a dozen years of tedious labor. And to find the connectomes of brains more like our own, we need more sophisticated technologies, that are automated, that will speed up the process of finding
connectomes. And in the next few minutes, I'll tell you about some of
these technologies, which are currently under development in my lab
and the labs of my collaborators.
Размышлять, обдумывать; хранить; закодированы; заявить,
дюжина, масса; утомительный; продвинутый; в настоящее время;
разработка, развитие; коллеги, единомышленники.
Now you've probably seen pictures of neurons before. You can
recognize them instantly by their fantastic shapes. They extend long
and delicate branches, and in short, they look like trees. But this is
just a single neuron. In order to find connectomes, we have to see all
the neurons at the same time. So let's meet Bobby Kasthuri, who
works in the laboratory of Jeff Lichtman at Harvard University.
Bobby is holding fantastically thin slices of a mouse brain. And
we're zooming in by a factor of 100,000 times to obtain the resolution, so that we can see the branches of neurons all at the same time.
Except, you still may not really recognize them, and that's because
we have to work in three dimensions.
Возможно; узнать; тотчас; формы; тянуть; ажурный, хрупкий; ветви; держать; срезы; получить, достать, раздобыть; разрешение; кроме.
If we take many images of many slices of the brain and stack them
up, we get a three-dimensional image. And still, you may not see the
branches. So we start at the top, and we color in the cross-section of one
branch in red, and we do that for the next slice and for the next slice.
And we keep on doing that, slice after slice. If we continue through the
entire stack, we can reconstruct the three-dimensional shape of a small
fragment of a branch of a neuron. And we can do that for another neuron
in green. And you can see that the green neuron touches the red neuron
at two locations, and these are what are called synapses.
Сложить вместе; все же; сверху; поперечный срез; восстановить.
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Let's zoom in on one synapse, and keep your eyes on the interior of the green neuron. You should see small circles – these are
called vesicles. They contain a molecule know as a neurotransmitter. And so when the green neuron wants to communicate, it wants
to send a message to the red neuron, it spits out neurotransmitter. At
the synapse, the two neurons are said to be connected like two
friends talking on the telephone.
Внутренняя часть; везикулы; содержать; нейромедиаторы;
передать информацию; выплюнуть.
So you see how to find a synapse. How can we find an entire
connectome? Well, we take this three-dimensional stack of images
and treat it as a gigantic three-dimensional coloring book. We color
every neuron in a different color, and then we look through all of the
images, find the synapses and note the colors of the two neurons involved in each synapse. If we can do that throughout all the images,
we could find a connectome.
Весь; запоминать, отмечать.
Now, at this point, you've learned the basics of neurons and
synapses. And so I think we're ready to tackle one of the most important questions in neuroscience: how are the brains of men and
women different? According to this self-help book, guys brains are
like waffles; they keep their lives compartmentalized in boxes.
Girls' brains are like spaghetti; everything in their life is connected
to everything else. It doesn't matter whether you're a guy or girl,
everyone's brains are like spaghetti. Just as one strand of spaghetti
contacts many other strands on your plate, one neuron touches many
other neurons through their entangled branches. One neuron can be
connected to so many other neurons, because there can be synapses
at these points of contact. By now, you might have sort of lost perspective on how large this cube of brain tissue actually is.
Браться за решение; согласно; офисный шкаф; очень тонкие
спагетти; соединяться; тарелка; спутанный; ткань.
And so let's do a series of comparisons to show you. I assure you,
this is very tiny. It's just six microns on a side. So, here's how it stacks
up against an entire neuron. And you can tell that, really, only the
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smallest fragments of branches are contained inside this cube. And a
neuron, well, that's smaller than brain.
Сравнения; уверять; маленький.
In the 17th century, the mathematician and philosopher, Blaise
Pascal, wrote of his dread of the infinite, his feeling of insignificance
at contemplating the vast reaches of outer space.
Страх; малозначительность; задумываться о чем-то; огромный; внешний.
And yet, I persist in this quixotic endeavor. And indeed, these
days I harbor new hopes. Someday, a fleet of microscopes will capture
every neuron and every synapse in a vast database of images. And
some day, artificially intelligent supercomputers will analyze the images without human assistance to summarize them in a connectome. It
will take the work of generations to succeed. At the present time, my
collaborators and I, what we're aiming for is much more modest – just
to find partial connectomes of tiny chunks brain. For now, let me try
to convince you of the plausibility of this hypothesis, that it's actually
worth taking seriously.
Все же; настаивать, донкихотское; попытка, дело, предприятие; в самом деле; затаить, вынашивать; захватить; база данных;
участие; объединить; увенчать успехом; ставить цель; скромный;
частичный; убедить; правдоподобие.
As you grow during childhood and age during adulthood, your
personal identity changes slowly. Likewise, every connectome
changes over time. What kinds of changes happen? Well, neurons,
like trees, can grow new branches, and they can lose old ones. Synapses can be created, and they can be eliminated. And synapses can
grow larger, and they can grow smaller. Second question: what causes
these changes? To some extent, they are programmed by your genes.
But that's not the whole story, because there are signals, electrical signals, that travel along the branches of neurons and chemical signals
that jump across from branch to branch. These signals are called neural activity. And there's a lot of evidence that neural activity is encoding our thoughts, feelings and perceptions, our mental experiences.
And there's a lot of evidence that neural activity can cause your con36
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nections to change. And if you put those two facts together, it means
that your experiences can change your connectome. And that's why
every connectome is unique, even those of genetically identical twins.
The connectome is where nature meets nurture.
Взрослость; уничтожать; степень; свидетельство; мысли.
What's in this picture? A cool and refreshing stream of water, you
say. What else is in this picture? Do not forget that groove in the Earth
called the stream bed. Without it, the water would not know in which
direction to flow. And with the stream, I would like to propose a metaphor for the relationship between neural activity and connectivity.
Neural activity is constantly changing. It's like the water of the stream;
it never sits still. The connections of the brain's neural network determines the pathways along which neural activity flows. And so the connectome is like bed of the stream; but the metaphor is richer than that,
because it's true that the stream bed guides the flow of the water, but
over long timescales, the water also reshapes the bed of the stream.
Освежающий; поток; канавка; направление; течь; предложить; постоянно; проводящие пути; направлять; течение (долго)
периода времени; изменять форму.
So let's return from the heights of metaphor and return to science.
Suppose our technologies for finding connectomes actually work.
How will we go about testing the hypothesis «I am my connectome?»
Well, I propose a direct test. Let us attempt to read out memories from
connectomes. Consider the memory of long temporal sequences of
movements, like a pianist playing a Beethoven sonata. According to a
theory that dates back to the 19th century, such memories are stored as
chains of synaptic connections inside your brain. Because, if the first
neurons in the chain are activated, through their synapses they send
messages to the second neurons, which are activated, and so on down
the line, like a chain of falling dominoes.
Предположим; предлагать; прямой; предпринять попытку;
считать; рассматривать; последовательность; хранить; цепочки.
So one way of trying to test the theory is to look for such chains
inside connectomes. But it won't be easy, because they're not going to
look like this. They're going to be scrambled up. So we'll have to use
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our computers to try to unscramble the chain. And if we can do that,
the sequence of the neurons we recover from that unscrambling will
be a prediction of the pattern of neural activity that is replayed in the
brain during memory recall.
Перемешаны; восстанавливать; прогноз; образец; переигрывать.
What a mess – have you ever tried to wire up a system as complex as this? I hope not. But if you have, you know it's very easy to
make a mistake. The branches of neurons are like the wires of the
brain. It's a big number. I estimate, millions of miles, all packed in
your skull. And if you appreciate that number, you can easily see there
is huge potential for mis-wiring of the brain. And indeed, the popular
press loves headlines like, «Anorexic brains are wired differently,» or
«Autistic brains are wired differently.» These are plausible claims, but
in truth, we can't see the brain's wiring clearly enough to tell if these
are really true.
Возиться, беспорядок, путаница; провода, подключать; догадываться; длина; намек; оценка; череп; ценить, оценить; действительно; заголовки; правдоподобный; утверждения.
Sometimes the best way to test a hypothesis is to consider its most
extreme implication. Philosophers know this game very well. If you
believe that I am my connectome, I think you must also accept the
idea that death is the destruction of your connectome. I mention this
because there are prophets today who claim that technology will fundamentally alter the human condition and perhaps even transform the
human species. One of their most cherished dreams is to cheat death
by that practice known as cryonics. If you pay 100,000 dollars, you
can arrange to have your body frozen after death and stored in liquid
nitrogen in one of these tanks in an Arizona warehouse, awaiting a future civilization that is advanced to resurrect you.
Следствие; разрушение; провидцы; утверждать; лелеемая;
деятельность; крионика; организовать; развитая; оживить.
Should we ridicule the modern seekers of immortality, calling
them fools? I propose that we attempt to find a connectome of a frozen brain. We know that damage to the brain occurs after death and
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during freezing. The question is: has that damage erased the connectome? If it has, there is no way that any future civilization will be able
to recover the memories of these frozen brains. Resurrection might
succeed for the body, but not for the mind.
Высмеивать; бессмертие; глупцы; хихикать; могилы; предлагаю; попытаться; происходить, случаться заморозка; стереть; восстановить; воскрешение; произойти удачно.
Glossary of the Unit
немного; слегка destinies
to map
to be willing
tiny worm
на карту
sophisticated продвинутый
заявить; предложить
дюжина, масса
коллеги, едиprobably
в настоящее
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узнать; признать
тянуть, расширять
получить, достать, раздобыть
все же; еще
за решение
очень тонкие
according to
сложить вместе
cross-section поперечный
neurotrans- нейромедиаmitter
communicate передать информацию
give up
оставить, бросить
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страх, ужас,
трепет, страшиться, испытывать благоговейный страх
малозначитель- despair
задумываться о awesome
все же; еще не
попытка, дело,
в самом деле
затаить, вынашивать
восхитительный в своей
увенчать успехом
ставить цель
база данных
течь; поток
шкала времени; масштаб
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пути; дороги;
образец; схема
возиться, беспорядок, путаница
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отличать; различать
искать; поиск
Ex. 1. Answer the questions:
1. What is a gene?
2. How mighty are genes?
3. Do you agree that our genes have awesome power over our
4.What is the composition of a tiny worm‟s nervous system?
5. What is actually stored in the connections between neurons?
6. What are entangled branches of neurons for?
7. Do you think that your personal identity is stored in the connections between neurons?
8. Do connectomes change with time? What kind of changes take
9. What do connectomes look like? In what way do they differ
from neurons?
10. What is the nature of signals that go through connectomes?
11. What kind of metaphor does the lecturer use to describe the
processes taking place in the connectome?
12. How do empowering ideas affect neurons and connections between them?
13. What do female and male brains look like
14. Are memories stored as chains of synaptic connections?
Speak on the examples that the lecturer gives.
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15. What does the lecturer call the most striking technological
challenge of our time?
16. What is stored in the form of a chain of synaptic connections?
17. Can we read memories through dissecting connectomes?
18. What is meant by miswiring of the brain?
19. What was the purpose of cryonics?
20. How can the stream of consciousness function in terms of
neurons and signals?
21. Is the connectome intact in case of freezing the body?
Have your say
Ex. 2. Does the lecturer sound convincing? Make up a number
of statements using the following expressions
to argue logically – приводить логичные аргументы во время
to argue soundly – обоснованно аргументировать
to argue against smth. – приводить доводы против (чего-л.)
to argue for / in favour of smth. – приводить доводы в пользу
to argue for the new law – приводить доводы в пользу нового
Ex. 3. Write an essay on the possible ways of improving the system of connection between your neurons.
Brian Greene on String Theory
In the year 1919, a virtually unknown German mathematician
named Theodor Kaluza suggested a very bold and, in some ways, a
very bizarre idea. He proposed that our universe might actually have
more than the three dimensions than we are all aware of. That is in
addition to left, right, back, forth and up, down, Kaluza proposed that
there might be additional dimensions of space that for some reason we
don't yet see. Now, when someone makes a bold and bizarre
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idea, sometimes that's all it is – bold and bizarre, but it has nothing to
do with the world around us. This particular idea, however –
although we don't yet know whether it's right or wrong, and at the end
I'll discuss experiments which, in the next few years, may tell us
whether it's right or wrong – this idea has had a major impact on
physics in the last century and continues to inform a lot of cuttingedge research.
Предположить, предложить; смелы; осознавать, отдавать себе отчет в чем-то; странный; предлагать; значительный, основной, главный; толчок, влияние; иметь отношение к / не иметь отношения к чему-либо; современный.
Einstein realized that Newton had left something out of the
story, because even Newton had written that although he understood
how to calculate the effect of gravity, he'd been unable to figure out
how it really works. How is it that the Sun, 93 million miles
away, somehow it affects the motion of the earth? How does the Sun
reach out across empty inert space and exert influence? And that is a
task to which Einstein set himself – to figure out how gravity works.
Понимать; неспособный; описать (понять), выяснить; среда;
Einstein said space is nice and flat, if there's no matter
present. But if there is matter in the environment, such as the Sun, it
causes the fabric of space to warp, to curve. And that communicates
the force of gravity. Even the earth warps space around it. Now look
at the moon. The moon is kept in orbit, according to these
ideas, because it rolls along a valley in the curved environment that
the sun and the moon and the earth can all create by virtue of their
presence. We go to a full-frame view of this. The earth itself is kept in
orbit because it rolls along a valley in the environment that's curved
because of the sun's presence.
Причина; жѐлоб, долина; благодаря; согласно; материя; искривлять; деформировать.
Now, this idea was tested in 1919 through astronomical observations. It really works. It describes the data. And this gained Einstein
prominence around the world. And that is what got Kaluza think45
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ing. He, like Einstein, was in search of what we call a «unified
theory». That's one theory that might be able to describe all of nature's
forces from one set of ideas, one set of principles, one master equation, if you will. So Kaluza said to himself, Einstein has been able to
describe gravity in terms of warps and curves in space – in fact,
space and time, to be more precise.
Обрести; точно.
So Kaluza says, maybe I can play the same game and describe
electromagnetic force in terms of warps and curves. That raised a question: warps and curves in what? Einstein had already used up space and
time, warps and curves, to describe gravity. There didn't seem to be anything else to warp or curve. So Kaluza said, well, maybe there are
more dimensions of space. He said, if I want to describe one more
force, maybe I need one more dimension. So he imagined that the
world had four dimensions of space, not three, and imagined that electromagnetism was warps and curves in that fourth dimension. Now
here's the thing: when he wrote down the equations describing warps
and curves in a universe with four space dimensions, not three, he
found the old equations that Einstein had already derived in three dimensions – those were for gravity – but he found one more equation
because of the one more dimension. And when he looked at that equation. it was none other than the equation that scientists had long known
to describe the electromagnetic force. Amazing – it just popped out. He
was so excited by this realization that he ran around his house screaming, «Victory!» – that he had found the unified theory.
Поднять; получать, выводить; ученые; взволнованный.
Now the first question was answered in 1926 by a fellow named
Oskar Klein. He suggested that dimensions might come in two varieties – there might be big, easy-to-see dimensions, but there might also be tiny, curled up dimensions, curled up so small, even though
they're all around us, that we don't see them.
Трактат; сразу; возникать; наблюдение; разновидности; маленький; скрученный.
Let me show you that one visually. So imagine you're looking at
something like a cable supporting a traffic light. It's in Manhattan.
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You're in Central Park – it's kind of irrelevant – but the cable looks
one dimensional from a distant viewpoint, but you and I all know that
it does have some thickness. It's very hard to see it, though, from far
away. But if we zoom in and take the perspective of, say, a little ant
walking around – little ants are so small that they can access all of
the dimensions – the long dimension, but also this clockwise, counter-clockwise direction.
Светофор; не относящийся к делу; толщина; по часовой
стрелке; надеяться; оценить.
But this illustrates the fact that dimensions can be of two
sorts: big and small. And the idea that maybe the big dimensions
around us are the ones that we can easily see, but there might be additional dimensions curled up, sort of like the circular part of that
cable, so small that they have so far remained invisible. Let me show
you what that would look like.
Here is a little shape of a circle – so small that we don't see
them. But if you were a little ultra microscopic ant walking
around, you could walk in the big dimensions that we all know
about – that's like the grid part – but you could also access the tiny
curled-up dimension that's so small that we can't see it with the naked
eye or even with any of our most refined equipment.
Усовершенствованный; оборудование; запрятанные.
Well, it turns out that Einstein and Kaluza and many others worked on trying to refine this frame work and apply it to the
physics of the universe as was understood at the time, and in detail it
didn't work. In detail, for instance, they couldn't get the mass of the
electron to work out correctly in this theory. So many people worked
on it, but by the 40s, certainly by the 50s, this strange but very compelling idea of how to unify the laws of physics had gone away. Until
something wonderful happened in our age. In our era, a new approach
to unify the laws of physics is being pursued by physicists such as
myself, many others around the world, it's called Superstring Theory..
Пример; подход; следовать; захватывающая; объединить.
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So let me just tell you how that goes. Superstring theory – what is
it? The idea is like this. So imagine we look at a familiar object, just a
candle in a holder, and imagine that we want to figure out what it is
made of. So we go on a journey deep inside the object and examine
the constituents. So deep inside – we all know you go sufficiently far
down, you have atoms. We also all know that atoms are not the end of
the story. They have little electrons that swarm around a central nucleus with neutrons and protons. Even the neutrons and protons have
smaller particles inside of them known as quarks. That is where conventional ideas stop.
Знакомый; подсвечник; путешествие; изучать; составляющие; достаточно; вертеться; ядро; частицы; обычный.
Here is the new idea of string theory. Deep inside any of these
particles, there is something else. This something else is this dancing
filament of energy. It looks like a vibrating string – that's where the
idea string theory comes from. And just like the vibrating strings that
you just saw in a cello can vibrate in different patterns, these can also
vibrate in different patterns. They don't produce different musical
notes. Rather, they produce the different particles making up the world
around us. So if these ideas are correct, this is what the ultramicroscopic landscape of the universe looks like. It's built up of a
huge number of these little tiny filaments of vibrating energy, vibrating in different frequencies. The different frequencies produce the different particles. The different particles are responsible for
all the richness in the world around us.
Нить; виолончель; скорее, довольно-таки; пейзаж; большой,
огромный; ответственный; богатство.
And there you see unification, because matter particles, electrons
and quarks, radiation particles, photons, gravitons, are all built up
from one entity. So matter and the forces of nature all are put together
under the rubric of vibrating strings. And that's what we mean by a
unified theory. Now here is the catch. When you study the mathematics of string theory, you find that it doesn't work in a universe that just
has three dimensions of space. It doesn't work in a universe with four
dimensions of space, nor five, nor six. It leads us right back to this
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idea of Kaluza and Klein – that our world, when appropriately described, has more dimensions than the ones that we see.
Сущность; вместе; название; иметь в виду; подвох; надлежаще.
But it raises the question: are we just trying to hide away these
extra dimensions, or do they tell us something about the world? In the
remaining time, I'd like to tell you two features of them. First is, many
of us believe that these extra dimensions hold the answer to what perhaps is the deepest question in theoretical physics, theoretical science.
And that question is this: when we look around the world, as scientists
have done for the last hundred years, there appear to be about 20
numbers that really describe our universe. These are numbers like the
mass of the particles, like electrons and quarks, the strength of
gravity, the strength of the electromagnetic force – a list of about 20
numbers that have been measured with incredible precision, but nobody has an explanation for why the numbers have the particular values that they do.
Особенности; содержать; измерять; потрясающий, невероятный; точность.
Now, does string theory offer an answer? Not yet. But we believe
the answer for why those numbers have the values they do may rely
on the form of the extra dimensions. And the wonderful thing is, if
those numbers had any other values than the known ones, the universe, as we know it, wouldn't exist. This is a deep question. Why are
those numbers so finely tuned to allow stars to shine and planets to
form, when we recognize that if you fiddle with those numbers – if I
had 20 dials up here and I let you come up and fiddle with those numbers, almost any fiddling makes the universe disappear. So can we explain those 20 numbers? And string theory suggests that those 20
numbers have to do with the extra dimensions. as in the older ideas of
Kaluza and Klein.
Полагаться на; светиться; существовать; возиться, изменять;
тонко; настроенный; исчезнуть.
This is an example of something known as a Calabi-Yau shape –
name isn't all that important. But as you can see, the extra dimensions
fold in on themselves and intertwine in a very interesting shape, inter49
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esting structure. And the idea is that if this is what the extra dimensions look like, then the microscopic landscape of our universe all
around us would look like this on the tiniest of scales.
Заворачиваться; переплетаться.
Consider this. If you look at the instrument, a French horn, notice
that the vibrations of the airstreams are affected by the shape of the instrument. Now in string theory, all the numbers are reflections of the
way strings can vibrate. So just as those airstreams are affected by the
twists and turns in the instrument, strings themselves will be
affected by the vibrational patterns in the geometry within which they
are moving.
Рассматривать, считать; валторна; заметить, отметить; воздушный поток; изгибы.
And if we could calculate the allowed vibrational patterns, we
should be able to calculate those 20 numbers. And if the answer that we
get from our calculations agrees with the values of those numbers that
have been determined through detailed and precise experimentation, this
in many ways would be the first fundamental explanation for why the
structure of the universe is the way it is. Now, the second issue that I
want to finish up with is: how might we test for these extra dimensions
more directly? Is this just an interesting mathematical structure that
might be able to explain some previously unexplained features of the
world, or can we actually test for these extra dimensions?
Here's how it goes. In CERN, Geneva, Switzerland,a machine is being built called the Large Hуdron Collider. It's a machine that will send
particles around a tunnel, opposite directions, near the speed of
light. Every so often those particles will be aimed at each other, so
there's a head-on collision. The hope is that if the collision has enough
energy, it may eject some of the debris from the collision from our dimensions, forcing it to enter into the other dimensions. How will we
know it? Well, we'll measure the amount of energy after the collision, compare it to the amount of energy before, and if there's less energy after the collision than before, this will be evidence that the energy
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has drifted away. And if it drifts away in the right pattern that we can
calculate, this will be evidence that the extra dimensions are there.
Противоположный; близкой; столкновение; осколки; количество; доказательство, свидетельство.
Let me show you that idea visually. So imagine we have a certain
kind of particle called a graviton – that's the kind of debris we expect
to be ejected out if the extra dimensions are real. But here's how the
experiment will go. You take these particles. You slam them
together. You slam them together, and if we are right, some of the
energy of that collision will go into debris that flies off into these extra
dimensions. So this is the kind of experiment that we'll be looking at
in the next five, seven to 10 years or so. And if this experiment bears
fruit, if we see that kind of particle ejected by noticing that there's less
energy in our dimensions than when we began, this will show that the
extra dimensions are real.
Некоторый, определенный; сталкивать; вместе; приносить
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Glossary of the Unit
it has nothing
to do with
to bask
причудливый, странный, эксцентричный
это не имеет никакого отношения к ...
воздействие, влияние, толчок, импульс
современный, дающий преимущество
наслаждаться, греться
проникающий, распространяющийся повсюpervasive
to resolve
решать, разрешать, принимать решение
неканонический, недостоверный
to affect
затрагивать, влиять, воздействовать
инертный, вялый, нейтральный,
exert influence
оказывать влияние
структура, материал, выделка, ткань
деформация, искривление
кривизна, кривая
впадина, точка минимума, вмятина
окружающая среда
by virtue of
в силу, на основании
to gain
приобретать, приносить
известность, выдающееся положение
in search of
в поисках
if you will
если угодно
in terms of
в переводе на, в терминах, с учетом; на языке
to derive
выводить, получать
to pop out
a treatise on
трактат, научный труд
dive(dove, dived) нырять
свернутый, завитой
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to appreciate
to tuck
to pursue
to resurrect
to figure out
to raise
a question
rely on
to fiddle
to eject
to drift away
to slam
to bear fruit
ценить, оценивать
подворачивать, засовывать, подгибать
усовершенствовать, уточнять, улучшать
структура, решетка, рамка, каркас, остов
захватывающий, мощный, интригующий
следовать, рассматривать
выводить, разгадывать, вычислять
волокно, нить накала
категория, разряд, рубрика
соответствующе, подобающим образом
предсказание, прогноз
поднять вопрос
черты, характеристики
полагаться на
легкомысленно относиться к...,
переплетать, закручивать, сплетать
выталкивать, испускать
развеяться, уплыть
остатки, обломки, осколки
со стуком захлопывать, врезаться
приносить плоды
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Ex. 1. Answer the questions:
1. What did Th. Kaluza suggest?
2. What idea had a major impact on physics?
3. Why does Brian Greene say that Einstein was basking in the
glow? What kind of discovery did he make at that time?
4. What new project did he plan to launch?
5. What exactly didn‟t Newton understand in the law of gravity?
6. When does the fabric of space warp and curve? Under what influence?
7. Why is the moon kept in its orbit?
8. What were both Kaluza and Einstein in search of?
9. In what terms did Kaluza want to describe gravity?
10. What made Kaluza cry «Victory!»
11. How did Kaluza treat theory? Did he take it seriously or lightheartedly?
12. In what varieties might dimensions be described?
13. What does a cable look like from a distance?
14. If you went on a journey into any object, what would you see?
15. What are the 20 numbers that describe the world we live in?
16. What would fiddling with these 20 numbers result in? Why?
17. What does the microscopic landscape of our Universe look
like in terms of geometry?
18. What are the vibrations of strings affected by?
19. What kind of vibrational patterns does Greene speak of?
20. What makes particles in the collider eject some energy into
other dimensions?
21. How can we calculate the existence of other dimensions
through the experiment with Hydron Collider?
22. Sum up the stages in science development which have led to
understanding the multidimensionality of our Universe.
Ex. 2. Translate from Russian into English:
1. Абсолютно неизвестный немецкий ученый предположил,
что наша Вселенная может состоять из большего числа измерений, чем мы привыкли считать.
2. По какой-то причине эти измерения не видны нам пока.
3. Иногда интересные идеи не имеют никакого практического
применения для нашего реального мира.
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4. Однако эта идея имела решающее влияние на физику в
прошлом столетии.
5. Для начала нам нужно обратиться к истории.
6. Это был год, когда Эйнштейн купался в лучах славы после
открытия теории относительности.
7. Именно в это время он решил попытаться понять всепроникающую силу притяжения.
8. Хотя Ньютон знал, как рассчитать силу притяжения, по его
словам, он не был в состоянии понять, как собственно она работает.
9. Эйнштейн заявил, что пространство плоское и безмятежное, когда в нем нет материи.
10. Если же есть материя, то она заставляет пространство искривляться и деформироваться.
11. Эйнштейн сумел описать гравитацию, используя понятия
кривизны и деформаций.
12. Калуза предпринял попытку описать электромагнитную
силу через понятия кривизны и деформаций.
13. Калуза предположил, что электромагнитная сила представляет собой преломления в виде деформаций и кривизны в
четвертом измерении.
14. Калуза принадлежал к типу людей, которые не только
всерьез относятся к теории, но могут жизнь положить за нее.
15. Кляйн предположил, что измерения могут быть двух видов: большие и маленькие.
16. На расстоянии линия электропередач выглядит одномерной, но мы знаем, что она обладает некоторой толщиной.
17. Всегда могут обнаружиться дополнительные встроенные
изогнутые размерности.
18. Остается вопрос – применима ли эта теория на практике в
той действительности, которую мы знаем хорошо.
19. В наше время подход к решению этих проблем совсем иной:
теория струн предлагает по-новому взглянуть на старые проблемы.
20. На первый взгляд кажется, что о дополнительных измерениях нет речи.
21. Глубоко внутри любого предмета можно обнаружить
вибрирующие энергетические нити.
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22. Именно они порождают частицы, из которых состоит мир
вокруг нас. Все в нашем мире в своей основе имеет каркас из
вибрирующих с разной частотой энергетических нитей (струн).
23. Различные частицы отвечают за разнообразие и даже богатство нашего мира.
24. Итак, все силы природы и материя приписываются вибрирующим энергетическим нитям, но именно здесь нас ожидает
подвох – математически теория струн не применима без признания существования дополнительных измерений в пространстве.
25. Существуют 20 чисел, которые описывают математически реалии нашего мира.
26. Эти числа известны с невероятной точностью, но никто
не может объяснить, почему величина их такова.
27. Если изменить хотя бы одно из этих чисел, мир в том виде, который привычен нам, исчезнет.
Ex. 3. Render the text in English
Согласно принципу относительности (см. Теория относительности), энергия и масса эквивалентны, а значит, чем выше
частота гармонической волновой вибрации струны, тем выше его
энергия, и тем выше масса наблюдаемой частицы.
Однако, если стоячую волну в гитарной струне представить
себе наглядно достаточно просто, стоячие волны, предлагаемые
теорией суперструн наглядному представлению поддаются с трудом – дело в том, что колебания суперструн происходят в пространстве, имеющем 11 измерений. Мы привыкли к четырехмерному пространству, которое содержит три пространственных и
одно временное измерение (влево-вправо, вверх-вниз, впередназад, прошлое-будущее). В пространстве суперструн всѐ обстоит
гораздо сложнее. Физики-теоретики обходят скользкую проблему
«лишних» пространственных измерений, утверждая, что они
«скрадываются» (или, научным языком выражаясь, «компактифицируются») и потому не наблюдаются при обычных энергиях.
Совсем уже недавно теория струн получила дальнейшее развитие в виде теории многомерных мембран – по сути, это те же
струны, но плоские. Как походя пошутил кто-то из ее авторов,
мембраны отличаются от струн примерно тем же, чем лапша отличается от вермишели.
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Увы, и эта теория небезгрешна. Прежде всего, она до сих пор
не приведена к строгому математическому виду по причине недостаточности математического аппарата для ее приведения в
строгое внутреннее соответствие. Прошло уже 20 лет, как эта теория появилась на свет, а непротиворечиво согласовать одни ее аспекты и версии с другими так никому и не удалось. Еще неприятнее то, что никто из теоретиков, предлагающих теорию струн (и
тем более суперструн), до сих пор не предложил ни одного опыта,
на котором эти теории можно было бы проверить лабораторно.
Unit 5
David Christian: Big history
First, a video. (Video) Yes, it is a scrambled egg. But as you look
at it, I hope you'll begin to feel just slightly uneasy. Because you may
notice that what's actually happening is that the egg is unscrambling itself. And you'll now see the yolk and the white have separated. And
now they're going to be poured back into the egg. And we all know in
our heart of hearts that this is not the way the universe works. A
scrambled egg is mush – tasty mush – but it's mush. An egg is a beautiful, sophisticated thing that can create even more sophisticated things,
such as chickens. And we know in our heart of hearts that the universe
does not travel from mush to complexity. In fact, this gut instinct is reflected in one of the most fundamental laws of physics, the second law
of thermodynamics, or the law of entropy. What that says basically is
that the general tendency of the universe is to move from order and
structure to lack of order, lack of structure – in fact, to mush.
Взбалтывать, разбивать; желток; кашица; белок; чутье.
So here's a great puzzle: in a universe ruled by the second law of
thermodynamics, how is it possible to generate the sort of complexity
I've described, the sort of complexity represented by you and me and
the convention center? Well, the answer seems to be, the universe can
create complexity, but with great difficulty. In pockets, there appear
what my colleague, Fred Spier, calls «Goldilocks conditions» – not
too hot, not too cold, just right for the creation of complexity. And
slightly more complex things appear. And where you have slightly
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more complex things, you can get slightly more complex things. And
in this way, complexity builds stage by stage. Each stage is magical
because it creates the impression of something utterly new appearing
almost out of nowhere in the universe. We refer in big history to these
moments as threshold moments. And at each threshold, the going
gets tougher. The complex things get more fragile, more vulnerable;
the Goldilocks conditions get more stringent, and it's more difficult to
create complexity.
Совершенно; пороговый; уязвимый; строгий, обязательный.
Around us, there's nothing. There's not even time or space. Imagine the darkest, emptiest thing you can and cube it a gazillion times
and that's where we are. And then suddenly, bang! A universe appears,
an entire universe. And we've crossed our first threshold. The universe
is tiny; it's smaller than an atom. It's incredibly hot. It contains everything that's in today's universe, so you can imagine, it's busting. And
it's expanding at incredible speed. And at first, it's just a blur, but very
quickly distinct things begin to appear in that blur. Within the first
second, energy itself shatters into distinct forces including electromagnetism and gravity. And energy does something else quite magical: it congeals to form matter – quarks that will create protons and
leptons that include electrons. And all of that happens in the first
Несметное количество; невероятно; разрушаться; пятно; пошатнуться, расстроиться; сгущать, замораживать.
Now we move forward 380,000 years. That's twice as long as humans have been on this planet. And now simple atoms appear of hydrogen and helium. Now I want to pause for a moment, 380,000 years
after the origins of the universe, because we actually know quite a lot
about the universe at this stage. We know above all that it was extremely simple. It consisted of huge clouds of hydrogen and helium atoms,
and they have no structure. They're really a sort of cosmic mush.
And this is how it works. Gravity is more powerful where there's
more stuff. So where you get slightly denser areas, gravity starts compacting clouds of hydrogen and helium atoms. So we can imagine the
early universe breaking up into a billion clouds. And each cloud is
compacted, gravity gets more powerful as density increases, the tem58
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perature begins to rise at the center of each cloud, and then, at the center of each cloud, the temperature crosses the threshold temperature of
10 million degrees, protons start to fuse, there's a huge release of
energy, and, bam!
Stars will create the Goldilocks conditions for crossing two new
thresholds. When very large stars die, they create temperatures so high
that protons begin to fuse in all sorts of exotic combinations, to form all
the elements of the periodic table. If, like me, you're wearing a gold
ring, it was forged in a supernova explosion. So now the universe is
chemically more complex. And in a chemically more complex universe,
it's possible to make more things. And what starts happening is that,
around young suns, young stars, all these elements combine, they swirl
around, the energy of the star stirs them around, they form particles,
they form snowflakes, they form little dust motes, they form rocks, they
form asteroids, and eventually, they form planets and moons. And that is
how our solar system was formed, four and a half billion years ago.
Rocky planets like our Earth are significantly more complex than stars
because they contain a much greater diversity of materials. So we've
crossed a fourth threshold of complexity.
Изобретать, придумывать.
Создавать; кружить; пылинка, соринка.
Now, the going gets tougher. The next stage introduces entities
that are significantly more fragile, significantly more vulnerable, but
they're also much more creative and much more capable of generating
further complexity. I'm talking, of course, about living organisms.
Living organisms are created by chemistry. We are huge packages of
chemicals. So, chemistry is dominated by the electromagnetic force.
That operates over smaller scales than gravity, which explains why
you and I are smaller than stars or planets. Now, what are the ideal
conditions for chemistry? What are the Goldilocks conditions? Well,
first, you need energy, but not too much. In the center of a star, there's
so much energy that any atoms that combine will just get busted apart
again. But not too little. In intergalactic space, there's so little energy
that atoms can't combine. What you want is just the right amount,
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You also need a great diversity of chemical elements, and you
need liquid such as water. Why? Well, in gasses, atoms move past
each other so fast that they can't hitch up. In solids, atoms are stuck
together, they can't move. In liquids, they can cruise and cuddle and
link up to form molecules. Now, where do you find such Goldilocks
conditions? Well, planets are great, and our early Earth was almost
perfect. It was just the right distance from its star to contain huge
oceans of open water. And deep beneath those oceans, at cracks in
the Earth's crust, you've got heat seeping up from inside the Earth,
and you've got a great diversity of elements. So at those deep oceanic
vents, fantastic chemistry began to happen, and atoms combined in all
sorts of exotic combinations.
Обниматься, клапан.
But of course, life is more than just exotic chemistry. How do you
stabilize those huge molecules that seem to be viable? Well, it's here
that life introduces an entirely new trick. You don't stabilize the individual; you stabilize the template, the thing that carries information,
and you allow the template to copy itself. And DNA, of course, is the
beautiful molecule that contains that information. You'll be familiar
with the double helix of DNA. Each rung contains information. So,
DNA contains information about how to make living organisms. And
DNA also copies itself. So, it copies itself and scatters the templates
through the ocean. So the information spreads. Notice that information has become part of our story. The real beauty of DNA though is
in its imperfections. As it copies itself, once in every billion rungs,
there tends to be an error. And what that means is that DNA is, in effect, learning. It's accumulating new ways of making living organisms
because some of those errors work. So DNA's learning and it's building greater diversity and greater complexity. And we can see this happening over the last four billion years.
Жизнеспособный; матрица, шаблон; разбрасывать.
For most of that time of life on Earth, living organisms have been
relatively simple – single cells. But they had great diversity, and, inside, great complexity. Then from about 600 to 800 million years ago,
multi-celled organisms appear. You get fungi, you get fish, you get
plants, you get amphibia, you get reptiles, and then, of course, you get
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the dinosaurs. And occasionally, there are disasters. Sixty-five million years ago, an asteroid landed on Earth near the Yucatan Peninsula, creating conditions equivalent to those of a nuclear war, and the
dinosaurs were wiped out. Terrible news for the dinosaurs, but great
news for our mammalian ancestors, who flourished in the niches left
empty by the dinosaurs. And we human beings are part of that creative evolutionary pulse that began 65 million years ago with the landing of an asteroid.
Грибки; процветать.
Humans appeared about 200,000 years ago. And I believe we
count as a threshold in this great story. Let me explain why. We've
seen that DNA learns in a sense, it accumulates information. But it is
so slow. DNA accumulates information through random errors,
some of which just happen to work. But DNA had actually generated a
faster way of learning: it had produced organisms with brains, and
those organisms can learn in real time. They accumulate information,
they learn. The sad thing is, when they die, the information dies with
them. Now what makes humans different is human language. We are
blessed with a language, a system of communication, so powerful and
so precise that we can share what we've learned with such precision
that it can accumulate in the collective memory. And that means it can
outlast the individuals who learned that information, and it can accumulate from generation to generation.
I call this ability collective learning. It's what makes us different.
We can see it at work in the earliest stages of human history. We
evolved as a species in the savanna lands of Africa, but then you see
humans migrating into new environments, into desert lands, into jungles, into the ice age tundra of Siberia – tough, tough environment –
into the Americas, into Australasia.
Then 10,000 years ago, exploiting a sudden change in global climate with the end of the last ice age, humans learned to farm.
Farming was an energy bonanza. And exploiting that energy, human populations multiplied. Human societies got larger, denser, more
interconnected. And then from about 500 years ago, humans began to
link up globally through shipping, through trains, through telegraph,
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through the Internet, until now we seem to form a single global
brain of almost seven billion individuals. And that brain is learning
at warp speed. And in the last 200 years, something else has happened. We've stumbled on another energy bonanza in fossil fuels. So
fossil fuels and collective learning together explain the staggering
complexity we see around us.
Деформировать, искривлять; натолкнуться; золотое дно.
Collective learning is a very, very powerful force, and it's not
clear that we humans are in charge of it. I remember very vividly as a
child growing up in England, living through the Cuban Missile Crisis.
For a few days, the entire biosphere seemed to be on the verge of destruction. And the same weapons are still here, and they are still
armed. If we avoid that trap, others are waiting for us. We're burning
fossil fuels at such a rate that we seem to be undermining the Goldilocks conditions that made it possible for human civilizations to flourish over the last 10,000 years.
Ловушка; подрывать, расшатывать.
 Ex. 1. Answer the following questions:
1. What is entropy?
2. What is the general trend of development in the Universe –
from chaos to order or from order to chaos?
3. What is meant by Goldilocks conditions?
4. How does complexity build up?
5. Why does the lecturer call each stage in the development of the
Universe magical?
6. How can we define the so called threshold moments?
7. What do we have to do before studying the process of complexity development?
8. What could we see around us if we went 13 billion years back
in time?
9. What was the „whether‟ like?
10. How fast did things appear?
11. How can you define the blur of the environment?
12. What exactly happened on the first second in the history of
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13. How did matter appear? What was it made of? How did stars
14. What was the role of energy in forming matter?
15. What did the cosmic mush consist of? What were the first
chemical elements?
16. At what stage did living organisms appear? What kind of conditions are necessary for them to appear?
17. What made our planet so suitable for becoming inhabitable?
18. What kind of template was chosen for preserving information?
19. What is the real beauty of the DNA? Why?
20. What kind of multi-celled organisms appear?
21. How exactly does DNA accumulate information?
22. What kind of gift are people blessed with?
23. What opportunities did migration offer people in terms of development?
24. Why was farming so crucial in the evolution of men?
25. What is single global brain?
26. Why do fossil fuels and collective learning explain the staggering complexity around us?
27. How do people undermine Goldilocks conditions?
28. What kind of traps should we avoid?
Ex. 2. Translate the sentences from Russian into English:
1. В глубине души мы знаем, что Вселенная не проходит в
своем развитии путь от простого к сложному.
2. Каждый этап развития Вселенной можно назвать чудом,
так как сложность нового порядка появляется как бы из ниоткуда.
3. Более сложные явления в процесса развития становятся все
более хрупкими и уязвимыми.
4. С каждым новым порогом развития усложняется сам процесс созидания нового.
5. Вселенная расширяется с невероятной скоростью и из бесформенного пятна вырисовываются четко различимые предметы.
6. По мере возрастания плотности увеличивается сила гравитации.
7. Как можно зафиксировать жизнеспособные молекулы? Ответ прост – стабилизируются не сами молекулы, а матрица, несущая информацию о них.
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8. ДНК копирует себя и распространяет подобные себе
структуры повсюду через океан.
9. Что интересно, ДНК учится на своих собственных ошибках! Именно это делает ее способной к развитию, так как некоторые ошибки срабатывают на пользу эволюции.
10. Время от времени происходят катастрофы. Одна из них
унесла навсегда динозавров.
11. Способность обучаться коллективно и извлекать из этого
пользу делает нас принципиально иными существами.
12. Как вид мы эволюционировали на просторах саванны, но
мигрируя в более суровые климатические зоны, мы учились жить
в суровых условиях и решать новые задачи.
Have your say
Ex. 3. Make up a plan to the text. State your opinion on the aspects of the issue. Use the parentheses given below:
1. Broadly
2. In essence.
1. В общих
2. По сути
11. Oddly
3. Interestingly
3. Что
13. Remarkably
4. Conceivably
4. Предпо14. In a way
5. Apparently
5. Повидимому
12. Admittedly
15. At a rough
11. Странно;
12. По общему
13. Удивительно;
14. В каком-то
смысле; отчасти
15. По приблизительным
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6. Presumably 6. Предположительно, вероятно
7. Ostensibly 7. Якобы,
как будто
по видимости,
для видимости
8. To all in8. Фактичеtents and pur- ски; по суposes
ществу; во
всех отношениях
9. Incredibly
9. Невероятно
10. Unders10. По поtandably
16. Predictably
16. Вполне
17. Seemingly
17. С виду
18. To my mind
18. По-моему
19. On balance
19. В итоге
20. Ultimately
20. В конечном
в конце концов;
в итоге
Список использованной литературы
и интернет-ресурсов
1. Мухортов, Д. С. Political English. An advanced mass media
course / Мухортов, Д. С. – M: Р.Валент, 2011.
2. URL:http//
3. Collocations in Use. Cambridge
4. Дубинина, Г. А. Английский язык: учеб. пособие для студентов 2-го курса. / Г. А. Дубинина, И. Ф. Драчинская, М. Ф. Матявина. – М., 2009.
5. URL:http://ru.wikipedia.
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UNIT 1. Paul Zak: Trust, morality and oxytocin ................................. 3
UNIT 2. On our place in the cosmos. David Deutsch ........................ 17
UNIT 3. Sebastian Seung: I am my connectome................................ 33
UNIT 4. Brian Greene on String Theory..........................................44
Unit 5. David Christian: Big history................................................... 57
Список использованной литературы и интернет-ресурсов .......... 65
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Учебное издание
Бугрова Ирина Константиновна
Английский язык:
практика ведения дискуссий
Редактор, корректор М. В. Никулина
Правка, верстка М. В. Никулина
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