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在全国各地,孩子们几乎在同一 时刻到达学校,坐在指定的座位上,由一位成年人传授知识,使用 大致相同的教材,做作业, 考试等等。 他们所学的现实生活中的一些片断,如字母表或政府的运作,往往 受到科目范 围的限制。 例如,高中生们知道,在课堂上他们没法弄清楚他们社区里政治问 题的真情, 也不会了解到最新潮的电影制片人在做哪些尝试。 学校教育这一形式化的过程是有特定的 限制的。 >03 The Definition of "Price" Prices determine how resources are to be used. They are also the means by which products and services that are in limited supply are rationed among buyers. The price system of the United States is a complex network composed of the prices of all the products bought and sold in the economy as well as those of a myriad of services, including labor, professional, transportation, and public-utility services. The interrelationships of all these prices make up the "system" of prices. The price of any particular product or service is linked to a broad, complicated system of prices in which everything seems to depend more or less upon everything else. If one were to ask a group of randomly selected individuals to define "price", many would reply that price is an amount of money paid by the buyer to the seller of a product or service or, in other words, that price is the money value of a product or service as agreed upon in a market transaction. This definition is, of course, valid as far as it goes. For a complete understanding of a price in any particular transaction, much more than the amount of money involved must be known. Both the buyer and the seller should be familiar with not only the money amount, but with the amount and quality of the product or service to be exchanged, the time and place at which the exchange will take place and payment will be made, the form of money to be used, the credit terms and discounts that apply to the transaction, guarantees on the product or service, delivery terms, return privileges, and other factors. In other words, both buyer and seller should be fully aware of all the factors that comprise the total "package" being exchanged for the asked-for amount of money in order that they may evaluate a given price. "价格"的定义 价格决定资源的使用方式。 价格也是有限的产品与 服务在买方中的配给 手段。 美国的价格系统是复杂的网状系统,包括经济生活中一切产品买卖 的价格,也包括 名目繁多的各种服务,诸如劳动力、专职人员、 交通运输、公共事业等服务的价格。 所有 这些价格的内在联系构成了价格系统。 或服务的价格都与这个庞大而复 杂的系统密切相关,而且或多或少地受到系统中其它成份的制约。 如果随机挑选一群人,问 问他们如何定义"价格",许多人会回答价格就是根据卖方提供的产 品或服务,买方向其付出 的钱数。 换句话说,价格就是市场交易中大家认同的产品或服务的货币量。 该定义就其本 身来说自有其道理。 任何一种个别产品
但要获得对价格在任何一桩交易中的完整认识,就必须考虑到大量 " 非货币"因素的影响。 买卖双方不但要清楚交易中的钱数,而且 要非常熟悉交易物的质量和 数量,交易的时间、地点,采用哪种形式付款,有怎样的缓付和优 惠,对交易物的质量保证、 交货条款、退赔权利等等。 也就是说,为了能估算索价,买卖双方必须通晓构成交易物价 格 的通盘细节。 >04 Electricity The modern age is an age of electricity. People are so used to electric lights, radio, televisions, and telephones that it is hard to imagine what life would be like without them. When there is a power failure, people grope about in flickering candlelight, cars hesitate in the streets because there are no traffic lights to guide them, and food spoils in silent refrigerators. Yet, people began to understand how electricity works only a little more than two centuries ago. Nature has apparently been experimenting in this field for millions of years. Scientists are discovering more and more that the living world may hold many interesting secrets of electricity that could benefit humanity. All living cells send out tiny pulses of electricity. As the heart beats, it sends out pulses of record; they form an electrocardiogram, which a doctor can study to determine how well the heart is working. The brain, too, sends out brain waves of electricity, which can be recorded in an electroencephalogram. The electric currents generated by most living cells are extremely small -- often so small that sensitive instruments are needed to record them. But in some animals, certain muscle cells have become so specialized as electrical generators that they do not work as muscle cells at all. When large numbers of these cells are linked together, the effects can be astonishing. The electric eel is an amazing storage battery. It can send a jolt of as much as eight hundred volts of electricity through the water in which it lives. (An electric house current is only one hundred twenty volts.) As many as four-fifths of all the cells in the electric eel's body are specialized for generating electricity, and the strength of the shock it can deliver corresponds roughly to the length of its body. 电 当今时代是电气时代。 人们对电灯、收音机、电视和电话早 已司空见惯以致很难想 象没有它们生活会变成什么样。 当停电时,人们在摇曳不定的烛光下暗中摸索; 因没有红 绿灯的 指示,汽车在道路上迟疑不前;冰箱也停止工作,导致食物变质。 人们只是在两个世 纪前一点才开始了解电的使用原理,自然界却显然在这方面经历过 了数百万年。 科学家不 断发现许多生物世界里可能有益于人类的关于电的有趣秘密。所有 生物细胞都会发出微小的 电脉冲。 当心脏跳动时,把它发出的脉冲记录下来就成了心电图,这可让医 生了解心脏的 工作状况。大脑也发出脑电波,这可在脑电图上记 录下来。 许多生物细胞发出的电流都是 极微小的,小到要用灵敏仪器才能 记录和测量。 但一些动物的某些肌肉细胞能转化成一个 个发电 机,以致完全失去肌肉细胞的功能。 这种细胞大量地连接在一起时产生的效果将是 非常令人吃惊的。 电鳗就是一种令人惊异的蓄电池。 它可以在水中发出相当于 800
伏特电 压电流(家庭用户的电压只有 120 伏特)。 在电鳗的身体里,多 至五分之四的细胞都专门用 来发电,而且发出的电
 

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