Write an essay in response to the passage below. You should discuss the extent to which you agree or disagree with the passage and explain your reasons for the position you take. In developing and supporting your position, you should consider ways in which the author's opinion might or might not hold true and explain how these considerations shape your position. You should provide your own title and write between 700 and 900 words.
Is Real-life Experience Still Important?
With the swift development of digital technology, we are now entering the age of the metaverse. This is a virtual space parallel to but independent of the real world, a space on the internet with its own order and operating rules.
In the metaverse, the boundary between games and reality has been blurred as the maturing of technology clusters has made it possible to create a holographic (全息的) digital world similar to the traditional physical world. For example, with communication technology such as 5G, people can communicate with their families thousands of miles away with no time delay; with the advance of Virtual Reality (VR), one can try on clothes virtually, to see how they look in an online fitting room; with the development of artificial intelligence and robots, people at home can have almost all domestic work done for them; and with the improvements in electronic game technology, players can situate themselves in virtual surroundings exactly as if they were participating in real world activities.
The future has come. The advances in technology have increased our personalized engagement and established connections and interactions between almost everything. As technology enables us to experience the real world without having to leave home, physically experiencing the real world is no longer as important.
Virtual Reality Will Enhance the Experience in Physical Reality
Ben Franklin once declared that there are two things a person cannot avoid in a lifetime: death, and taxes. He has missed a third thing, the influx of digital technology, which was engendered in the contemporary age. In the last decade, humanity has witnessed rapid technological progress which not only enabled the scientific exploration of the unknown grounds in the universe, but also intertwined ordinary lives with state-of-the-art products. However, controversy is innovation's twin. Conservatives denounce that although technology has uplifted life quality, humankind seems to have lost its interest in physical reality. Nevertheless, plausible the arguments may be, I firmly believe that the incorporation of virtual reality will eventually enhance people's experience in the physical reality rather than undermining it.
To begin with, despite the robust conservative opinions throughout history, technological advancement is inevitable. Shakespeare said romantically, "a rose by any other name would smell as sweet." Intrinsically, the technological advancement from fire ignition to metaverse is the product of the same reason, the progress of human intelligence by which the pioneers could contemplate the physical world from a higher dimension. History has proven that the opposition against innovation has never ceased. When motor vehicles were invented, cowboys argued that they would handicap people's ability to ride. When smartphones were universally possessed, parents contended that it would lead to children's Internet addiction. Now, when the metaverse stems from virtual reality, people once again claim that it would derogate people's interest in the physical world. Nevertheless, the apprehension toward the future never successfully hindered the prevalence of technological advancement as it marches on its own drumbeat through hinderance and hurdles.
In addition to the inevitability of progress, digital technology has already rooted in people's daily lives, and served as an indispensable means to experience a wider world. Understanding the Stoic School's philosophy, people naturally enjoy the right to a decent and liberal life, which is better provided to the mass by technology in the contemporary world. Analogous to democracy, the common adoption of a technology-affluent lifestyle has become the phenomenon of modern civilizations. A vivid example is the usage AR (Augmented Reality) application connected to the audience' phones in the World Cup stadium, by which even the back benchers can clearly see the players' movement without a pair of telescopes but a click on the screen. Digital technology also upgrades the form of education. The astronauts in the TianGong space station on the Earth's orbit have lectured students using live-stream, which not only provided a novel experience, but also drew the world's attention. It is lucid that technology is inseparable from the modern lifestyle, and through which humanity facilitates a future in which physical boundaries can no longer limit free access.
Apart from the gadgets used in people's daily routines, virtual reality can also be an experimental lab for scientists as an alternative to physical reality to prevent material and irreversible damages. Although it is necessary to attain the results, scientific experiments in the physical world are often coupled with damage to nature. For instance, the US military launched nuclear warheads near the Bikini Islands which caused severe ecological damage to its biosphere. On the contrary, experiments in virtual reality can simulate the same results with the assistance of super computers. Compared to imposing people's reluctant attitude toward the physical world, digital technology can be auspicious to the physical world.
Admittedly, there exist risks of metaverse-addicted people abandoning the physical world due to the attraction of a digital Utopia. The correct utilization of technology is critical. Elon Musk astutely revealed that the natural human tendency is the indulgence in leisure. The underlying challenge of embracing digital technology is to determine what is the difference between meaningful ideals and unrealistic dreams that have no merit. Succinctly, when engaged in the metaverse, two options lie before the metaverse travelers: either to grasp the opportunity and convenience to explore the unknown world, or to wither away like the autumn leaves in endless entertainment. It is not difficult to deduct that the former would unleash the full potential of digital technology, whereas the latter would merely satisfy the carefree drifters' desire for amusement.
In conclusion, through the road of thistles and thorns, the human race has proven that technological progress is inevitable and will enhance the quality of people's lives, as well as reduce the damage caused by scientific research in the physical world. The age of universal adoption of virtual reality will ultimately arrive. Therefore, people ought to both encompass the changes with a liberal mind and reject the indulgence in entertainment. However cogent the opposition may be, with optimistic expectations, I envisage a bright future where burgeoning technology is feasible to further enhance the experience in the physical world.
刘 力 中国人民大学
第一，议论要素完整。首先，作者有明确的个人立场（claim），从虚拟现实和真实生活经验的辨证关系入手，认为虚拟现实并不会破坏人类在真实生活中的体验，反而会增强它，即“I firmly believe that the incorporation of virtual reality will eventually enhance people's experience in the physical reality rather than undermining it.”接着文章主体的三个段落分别论述了三个分论点（sub-claim）：第一，技术进步是必然；第二，数字技术根植于人类的生活，是人类探索外部世界的必要途径；第三，虚拟现实能够作为现实世界的替代方案，帮助科学家减少科学实验对于环境的危害。其次，文章中有针对材料观点的反驳（rebuttal）和让步 (concession)，一方面承认数字技术提升了人类的生活质量，同时指出对于技术的有效使用是至关重要的，否则只能满足人类对于休闲和娱乐的欲望。
最后，谈及几点可改进之处：开篇作者援引了Ben Franklin关于“Death and taxes” 的论述，但是这里死亡和税收之于人类的关系和下文提及的数字技术与人类之间的关系略有不同，可以考虑如何进行解释更为合适；其次，第二和第三个分论点之间缺乏一定纵向的递进。