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2017年职称英语考试综合类概括大意专项练习(10)

  Even Intelligent People Can Fail

  1 The striking thing about the innovators who succeeded in making our modern world is how often they failed. Turn on a light,take a photograph,watch TV,search the Web,jet across the Pacific Ocean,talk on a cell-phone (手机)。 The innovators who left us these things had to find the way to success through a maze (错综复杂) of wrong turns.

  2 We have just celebrated the 125th anniversary of American innovator Thomas Edison's success in heating a thin line to white-hot heat for 14 hours in his lab in New Jersey,US. He did that on October 22,1879,and followed up a month later by keeping a thread of common cardboard alight (点亮着的) in an airless space for 45 hours. Three years later he went on to light up half a square mile of downtown Manhattan,even though only one of the six power plants in his design worked when he turned it on,on September 4,1882.

  3 "Many of life's failures," the supreme innovator said,"are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up." Before that magical moment in October 1879,Edison had worked out no fewer than 3,000 theories about electric light,but in only two cases did his experiments work.

  4 No one likes failure,but the smart innovators learn from it. Mark Gumz,the head of the camera maker Olympus America Inc,attributes some of the company's successes in technology to understanding failure. His popular phrase is: "You only fail when you quit."

  5 Over two centuries,the most common quality of the innovators has been persistence. That is another way of saying they had the emotional ability to keep up what they were doing. Walt Disney,the founder of Disneyland,was so broke after a succession of financial failures that he was left shoeless in his office because he could not afford the US$1.50 to get his shoes from the repair shop. Pioneering car maker Henry Ford failed with one company and was forced out of another before he developed the Model T car.

  6 Failure is harder to bear in today's open,accelerated world. Hardly any innovation works the first time. But an impatient society and the media want instant success. When American music and movie master David Geffen had a difficult time,a critic said nastily that the only difference between Geffen Records (Geffen's company) and the Titanic (the ship that went down) was that the Titanic had better music. Actually,it wasn't. After four years of losses,Geffen had so many hits (成功的作品) he could afford a ship as big as the Titanic all to himself.

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