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Read the passage and then select the answers that are correct
Even with shorter working days, the average weekly working hours for a family has grown. This may seem paradoxical: Why do we work more when machines do more of our work?
The answer lies in human nature. Once we have satisfied our most basic needs, we become aware of other needs that we want to satisfy. If our society is rich enough to provide the means of satisfying these needs, then we are willing to work harder in order to afford those means. If our work, with the help of increased automation, produces new means of satisfying new needs, then this feeds the spiral of ever-increasing consumption and production.
Around the middle of the 20th century, however, some began raising worried voices. What happens if we run out of new needs to satisfy? What if we reach the level of consumption where all of us can have all we would ever want? After all, there is a limit to how much we can eat, and we don’t really need to throw out perfectly good clothes after having used them a single day. We don’t really need more than one car per person, and there is a limit to how many electronic gadgets we have room (or need) for in our homes. At some point, the worried people worried, people are going to say: “enough is enough!” – and what happens then?
Automation doesn’t stop; so fewer workers will be required to produce the things we want to have. Then we could in fact face mass unemployment. If we want to maintain full employment, then a continuing increase in consumption is required. The American satirist Frederik Pohl suggested in his 1954 story “The Midas Plague” that in the future, consumption would be a required duty of poor people, while the rich could lean back and not have to worry about either working or consuming.
More than half a century has passed since Pohl wrote his story, but things have not turned out the way he suggested – and we still work more than ever before.
Read this short account of the Olympic Games and then select the correct answers below:
The Olympic Games, which originated in ancient Greece as many as 3,000 years ago, were revived in the late 19th century and have become the world’s preeminent sporting competition.
From the 8th century B.C. to the 4th century A.D., the Games were held every four years in Olympia, located in the western Peloponnese peninsula, in honour of the god Zeus.
The first modern Olympics took place in 1896 in Athens, and featured 280 participants from 13 nations, competing in 43 events. Since 1994, the Summer and Winter Olympic Games have been held separately and have alternated every two years.
The first modern Olympics were held in Athens, Greece, in 1896. In the opening ceremony, King Georgios I and a crowd of 60,000 spectators welcomed 280 participants from 13 nations (all male), who would compete in 43 events, including track and field, gymnastics, swimming, wrestling, cycling, tennis, weightlifting, shooting and fencing.
All subsequent Olympiads have been numbered even when no Games take place (as in 1916, during World War I, and in 1940 and 1944, during World War II).
The official symbol of the modern Games is five interlocking coloured rings, representing the continents of North and South America, Asia, Africa, Europe and Australia.
The Olympic flag, featuring the interlocking rings symbol on a white background, flew for the first time at the Antwerp Games in 1920.
Read the following passage and then select the correct answers.
New survey results from 40 countries shows that climate change matters to most people. In the vast majority of countries, fewer than 3% said climate change was not serious at all.
We carried out this research as part of the University of Oxford’s Reuters Institute annual Digital News Reports. More than 80,000 people were surveyed online in January and February of this year.
Almost seven in ten think climate change is “a very, or extremely serious, problem”, but the results show notable country differences. Lack of concern is far higher in the US (12%) as well as in Sweden (9%), Greta Thunberg’s home country. Despite disastrous bush fires at the time of our fieldwork, 8% of respondents in Australia report that climate change is not serious at all. These groups with low levels of concern tend to be right wing and older.
Four of the five countries showing the highest levels of concern (85-90%) were from the global south, namely Chile, Kenya, South Africa and the Philippines. However, in countries with lower levels of internet penetration, our online survey samples over-represent people who are more affluent and educated
Almost everyone in Chile and Kenya thinks climate change is serious. But that’s not the case in Scandinavia and the Low Countries.
Perhaps surprisingly, the five countries with the lowest levels of concern are all in Western Europe. In Belgium, Denmark, Sweden, Norway and the Netherlands, only around half (or less) think that climate change is a serious problem.
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