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初识墨尔本#2:食物

澳洲真是食肉者的天堂,是不是素食者的地狱还有待考察:)

我常吃的几种肉类,价格由低到高依次是:鸡-羊-牛-猪,后三种的次序和上海/北京比正好颠倒,而羊肉恰好是我最喜欢的,消费者剩余满满。

牛奶AU$1/升,比上海便宜,但酸奶贵,约为牛奶的4-5倍,打算自己做,鸡蛋便宜的$3一打,略贵。

超市里最多见的鱼是三文鱼,不贵。

多数蔬菜很贵,较便宜的有芦笋、胡萝卜、大白菜、卷心菜,其中芦笋是我见到唯一比上海便宜的蔬菜,可惜没人替你削皮。

相比之下,加工过的冷冻包装蔬菜更合算,也更方便,是做熟后冷冻的,微波炉加热即可,另外,罐头蔬菜也便宜,但口味差些。

番茄酱特别便宜。

经过一番尝试之后,我将食谱调整为:

早饭:5个鸡蛋+1小根胡萝卜+100ml酸奶或牛奶;晚饭:450克牛排或羊排+1小根胡萝卜+100多克蔬菜。

看起来非常简单粗暴,不过执行几天之后,体重已明显下降(之前因为搬家前后(more...)

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澳洲真是食肉者的天堂,是不是素食者的地狱还有待考察:) 我常吃的几种肉类,价格由低到高依次是:鸡-羊-牛-猪,后三种的次序和上海/北京比正好颠倒,而羊肉恰好是我最喜欢的,消费者剩余满满。 牛奶AU$1/升,比上海便宜,但酸奶贵,约为牛奶的4-5倍,打算自己做,鸡蛋便宜的$3一打,略贵。 超市里最多见的鱼是三文鱼,不贵。 多数蔬菜很贵,较便宜的有芦笋、胡萝卜、大白菜、卷心菜,其中芦笋是我见到唯一比上海便宜的蔬菜,可惜没人替你削皮。 相比之下,加工过的冷冻包装蔬菜更合算,也更方便,是做熟后冷冻的,微波炉加热即可,另外,罐头蔬菜也便宜,但口味差些。 番茄酱特别便宜。 经过一番尝试之后,我将食谱调整为: 早饭:5个鸡蛋+1小根胡萝卜+100ml酸奶或牛奶;晚饭:450克牛排或羊排+1小根胡萝卜+100多克蔬菜。 看起来非常简单粗暴,不过执行几天之后,体重已明显下降(之前因为搬家前后食谱失控,体重反弹了两公斤)。 最重大改变是,以我的食谱,在家吃饭变得方便很多,一旦我把烤箱摸透,参数调准,生肉往里一扔,中途翻个面,烤熟,撒盐,开吃,胡萝卜生嚼即可,包装蔬菜微波炉加热,盘子攒上一堆送进洗碗机,现在还没解决的问题是:烤肉时垫点什么才能不用洗烤盘。 烤箱是个好东西。 洗碗机还没摸透,经常效果不好,可能跟碗碟的表面特性有关,以后换成宜家Dinera那种试试。  
[译文]一枚热爱本拉登的鸡蛋

Yuri Kochiyama, today’s Google Doodle, fought for civil rights — and praised Osama bin Laden
今天的谷歌Doodle:为民权作斗争并歌颂本拉登的河内山百合

作者:Dylan Matthews @ 2016-05-19
译者:bear
校对:Tiff
来源:VOX,http://www.vox.com/2016/5/19/11713686/yuri-kochiyama

Thursday, May 19, this year would’ve been the 95th birthday of Yuri Kochiyama, a prominent Japanese-American activist who passed away at 93 two years ago. Google is marking the occasion with one of its trademark doodles.

今年五月十九日的这个周四是河内山百合的95岁诞辰,这位生前著名的日裔美国激进分子,于两年前93岁时去世。谷歌把这一天标记为一个Google doodle。【译注:Google doodle是谷歌为了庆祝节日、纪念伟人以及其它伟大成就的临时主页标志。

Some of Kochiyama’s work was deeply, clearly admirable. As an associate of Malcolm X, she was an important nonblack ally to the more militant end of the civil rights movement. She endured forced internment during World War II, and was an outspoken advocate for reparations to internees, which would eventually be passed in 1988. She was a vocal opponent of the Vietnam War and advocate for inmates she viewed as political prisoners.

河内山的一些工作是值得被深刻地、清晰地赞颂的。作为马尔科姆·艾克斯【译注:马尔科姆·艾克斯与马丁·路德·金并称为20世纪中期美国历史上最著名的两位黑人领导人,但他反对后者的“非暴力”的策略,主张通过以暴力革命的方式获取黑人的权利。】的伙伴,她是民权运动中战斗在第一线的重要的非黑人同盟。她在二战时期被强制收容【译注:由于二战时日本是美国的敌对国,日裔美国人被强制收容】,并且成为“被收容者赔偿”法案的积极倡导者,而这项政策最终在1988年通过。她也为反越战发声,并且支持那些她视为政治犯的囚犯。

But other commitments of hers were more ambiguous. She was an outspoken admirer of Mao Zedong even after the Great Leap Forward and Cultural Revolution. She praised Malcolm X for his “admiration for Mao and Ho Chi Minh,” and worked closely with the Revolutionary Action Movement, an “urban guerrilla warfare” organization based on “a synthesis of the thought of Malcolm X, Marx and Lenin, and Mao Zedong.” The activist Robert Williams gifted her with a copy of the Little Red Book, and she later thanked him for “the gift of Mao’s philosophy.”

但是她其他的追求则更为暧昧一些。她是毛的直言不讳的崇拜者,即便是在大跃进和文革之后。她因为马尔科姆·艾克斯对毛和胡志明的赞赏而赞扬他,并且和“革命行动运动”组织亲密合作—这是一个基于马尔科姆·艾克斯思想、马克思列宁思想以及毛思综合体的“城市游击战”组织。【译注:Revolutionary Action Movement是马尔科姆·艾克斯的伙伴Max Stanford建立的半秘密组织,制定了(more...)

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Yuri Kochiyama, today’s Google Doodle, fought for civil rights — and praised Osama bin Laden 今天的谷歌Doodle:为民权作斗争并歌颂本拉登的河内山百合 作者:Dylan Matthews @ 2016-05-19 译者:bear 校对:Tiff 来源:VOX,http://www.vox.com/2016/5/19/11713686/yuri-kochiyama Thursday, May 19, this year would've been the 95th birthday of Yuri Kochiyama, a prominent Japanese-American activist who passed away at 93 two years ago. Google is marking the occasion with one of its trademark doodles. 今年五月十九日的这个周四是河内山百合的95岁诞辰,这位生前著名的日裔美国激进分子,于两年前93岁时去世。谷歌把这一天标记为一个Google doodle。【译注:Google doodle是谷歌为了庆祝节日、纪念伟人以及其它伟大成就的临时主页标志。】 Some of Kochiyama's work was deeply, clearly admirable. As an associate of Malcolm X, she was an important nonblack ally to the more militant end of the civil rights movement. She endured forced internment during World War II, and was an outspoken advocate for reparations to internees, which would eventually be passed in 1988. She was a vocal opponent of the Vietnam War and advocate for inmates she viewed as political prisoners. 河内山的一些工作是值得被深刻地、清晰地赞颂的。作为马尔科姆·艾克斯【译注:马尔科姆·艾克斯与马丁·路德·金并称为20世纪中期美国历史上最著名的两位黑人领导人,但他反对后者的“非暴力”的策略,主张通过以暴力革命的方式获取黑人的权利。】的伙伴,她是民权运动中战斗在第一线的重要的非黑人同盟。她在二战时期被强制收容【译注:由于二战时日本是美国的敌对国,日裔美国人被强制收容】,并且成为“被收容者赔偿”法案的积极倡导者,而这项政策最终在1988年通过。她也为反越战发声,并且支持那些她视为政治犯的囚犯。 But other commitments of hers were more ambiguous. She was an outspoken admirer of Mao Zedong even after the Great Leap Forward and Cultural Revolution. She praised Malcolm X for his "admiration for Mao and Ho Chi Minh," and worked closely with the Revolutionary Action Movement, an "urban guerrilla warfare" organization based on "a synthesis of the thought of Malcolm X, Marx and Lenin, and Mao Zedong." The activist Robert Williams gifted her with a copy of the Little Red Book, and she later thanked him for "the gift of Mao's philosophy." 但是她其他的追求则更为暧昧一些。她是毛的直言不讳的崇拜者,即便是在大跃进和文革之后。她因为马尔科姆·艾克斯对毛和胡志明的赞赏而赞扬他,并且和“革命行动运动”组织亲密合作—这是一个基于马尔科姆·艾克斯思想、马克思列宁思想以及毛思综合体的“城市游击战”组织。【译注:Revolutionary Action Movement是马尔科姆·艾克斯的伙伴Max Stanford建立的半秘密组织,制定了用马克思列宁主义建立黑人国家主义的运动纲领】社会活动家罗伯特·威廉姆斯送了她一本红宝书作为礼物,对此她以这是“一份毛思的礼物”为由表示了感谢。 Yuri Kochiyama was a supporter of the terrorist group Shining Path 河内山百合是恐怖组织光明之路的支持者 Two positions of Kochiyama's stand out as particularly alarming. First, she was an enthusiastic supporter of the Peruvian terrorist group Shining Path, a Maoist organization that has conducted a brutal insurgency killing tens of thousands of people since 1980.Peru's Truth and Reconciliation Commission found that Shining Path personally killed or disappeared at least 30,000. 河内山有两个立场尤其让人警觉。第一,她是秘鲁恐怖组织光辉道路的狂热拥护者——这是一个毛派组织,从1980年开始发起了一场导致数万人死亡的血腥叛乱。秘鲁真相与和解委员会认为至少三万人遭到了光辉道路的亲自杀害或导致失踪。 "Its tactics include the burning of ballot boxes and the public 'executions' of moderate local leaders and others, including nuns and priests, who are seen as rivals for the allegiance of the poor," according to a 1992 New York Times report. "In wildly exaggerated demonstrations of Maoist precepts, children have been killed for political 'crimes.' Amnesty International says the guerrillas routinely torture, mutilate and murder captives. 纽约时报在1992年的一则报道中提到:“它的策略包括烧毁投票箱和公开处决温和的本地领袖和其他人,包括修女和神父——他们被视为无产阶级的敌人”,“在疯狂的毛派戒律夸张示范中,孩子由于政治犯罪被杀害。大赦国际组织说这个游击队经常折磨,残害和杀害俘虏。” "We reject and condemn human rights because they are reactionary, counter-revolutionary, bourgeois rights," founder Abimael Guzmán declared in one document. "Rather than concentrate its attacks on the armed forces or police, Shining Path has predominantly singled out civilians," Human Rights Watch noted in 1997. "The Shining Path has pragmatically avoided taking captives unless it intends to execute them … Shining Path has been reported to torture captured civilians before executing them." Shining Path also used rape as a weapon of war. 创始人阿维马埃尔·古斯曼在一份文件中声称:“我们拒绝并谴责人权因为它是反动的,反革命的,资产阶级法权的。”“针对军队和警察的攻击还是次要的,光辉道路主要是甄选平民”人权观察组织在1997年写道,“光辉道路实用主义地避免抓俘虏,除非它打算处决他们……有报道称光辉道路在处决被抓的平民前会折磨他们。”光辉道路还把强奸作为一种战争武器。 This did not appear to bother Kochiyama, who joined a delegation to Peru organized by the Maoist Revolutionary Communist Party, which defends the Great Leap Forward and the Cultural Revolution. She read, in her words, "the kind of reading materials that I could become 'educated' on the real situation in Peru; not the slanted reports of corporate America. The more I read, the more I came to completely support the revolution in Peru." In other words, she read, and believed, Maoist propaganda denying Shining Path's war crimes. 这似乎并没有对河内山造成困扰,她曾加入过一个由支持大跃进和文革的毛派共产主义革命党组织的代表团去秘鲁。她读道——她的原话:“这类读物能让我知晓秘鲁真实的现状;有别于美国企业的那些带有偏见的报道。我越读越觉得我在变得更加支持在秘鲁进行的这场革命。”换句话说,她阅读并且相信毛派的宣传,并且否认光辉道路的战争罪行。 After her return from Peru, she declared, "What has been taking place in both Peru and the US is a serious campaign to discredit Guzmán and the Shining Path movement, tainting them as terrorists, undermining their struggle with lies, isolating them, and intimidating anyone who might support them." 在她从秘鲁回来后,她声称:“在秘鲁和美国正在发生的是一场严重的运动——抹黑古斯曼和光辉道路运动,污蔑他们是恐怖分子,用谎言破坏他们的斗争,孤立他们,并且恐吓任何可能支持他们的人。” Yuri Kochiyama declared Osama bin Laden "one of the people that I admire" 河内山百合声明本拉登是“我尊敬的人之一” Kochiyama was a thorough-going opponent of what she viewed as American imperialism, and like some radical anti-imperialists this occasionally led her to admiring truly loathsome figures, because she thought they were effective at combating American empire. Abimael Guzmán was one. Osama bin Laden was another. 河内山是所有被她视作美帝主义事物的死对头,并且,就像一些激进的反帝国主义斗士一样,这偶尔使她仰慕一些真正令人讨厌的人物,因为她认为他们在有效地和美帝战斗。阿维马埃尔·古斯曼是一个,本拉登是另一个。 In a 2003 interview for the Objector: A Magazine of Conscience and Resistance, Kochiyama explained: 2003年,在《反对者:一份良心和抵抗的杂志》的采访中,河内山解释道:
I’m glad that you are curious why I consider Osama bin Laden as one of the people that I admire. To me, he is in the category of Malcolm X, Che Guevara, Patrice Lumumba, Fidel Castro, all leaders that I admire. They had much in common. Besides being strong leaders who brought consciousness to their people, they all had severe dislike for the US government and those who held power in the US. 我非常高兴你对我将本拉登视为我尊敬的人之一的理由感到好奇。对我而言,他在我心中的位置和马尔科姆·艾克斯、切·格瓦拉、帕特里斯·卢蒙巴(译注:刚果民主共和国首任总理)、菲德尔·卡斯特罗,以及所有我尊敬的领袖是一样的。他们有很多共同点。除了以强大的思想领导他们的人民之外,他们都对美国政府和那些在美国掌权的人有着强烈的厌恶。 bin Laden may have come from a very wealthy family, but by the time he was twenty, he came to loathe the eliteness and class conduct of his family… 本拉登可能是来自非常富裕的家庭,但在20岁之时,他开始憎恨精英阶级和他家人所在阶级的做法…… …You asked, "Should freedom fighters support him?" Freedom fighters all over the world, and not just in the Muslim world, don’t just support him; they revere him; they join him in battle. ……你问:“自由斗士应该支持他吗?”全世界的自由斗士,不仅在穆斯林世界,不但支持他;他们尊敬他;他们在战斗中加入他。 …You stated that some freedom fighters responded that bin Laden’s agenda is more reactionary and does not speak to the needs of the masses of people who exist under US dominance. bin Laden has been primarily fighting US dominance even when he received money from the US when he was fighting in Afghanistan. He was fighting for Islam and all people who believe in Islam, against westerners, especially the US--even when he was fighting against the Russians. ……你提到一些自由斗士回应说本拉登的事业是更加反动的,并且没有为生活在美国主导下的人民群众的需求发声。即便是在他接受美国资金在阿富汗战斗的时期,本拉登的主要精力就已经放在和美国主导做斗争上了。他在为伊斯兰和所有信仰伊斯兰的人民和西方势力斗争,特别是美国——即便是在他和俄罗斯战斗的情况下。
To be clear, this is Kochiyama defending bin Laden — who, besides being a mass murderer, was a vicious misogynist and hardly the brave anti-imperial class traitor Kochiyama fancies him as — against other leftists who correctly noted that you can oppose American imperialism without allying or supporting violent jihadism. 需要明确的是,这是河内山为本拉登所作的辩护,而另一些左派人士正确地指出,在不支持暴力圣战主义或不与之结盟的情况下,也可以反对美帝国主义,对此她持反对意见。而本拉登,除了是一个大规模的杀人凶手外,还是一个恶毒的厌恶女性的人,并且他不可能像河内山赞许的那样是一个勇敢的反帝国主义的阶级反叛者。 Kochiyama's praise for Che Guevara and Fidel Castro is also controversial, and, I think wrong, but is at least somewhat common on the left. Sympathy for Shining Path and bin Laden, by contrast, is not a common left position basically anywhere. 河内山对切格瓦拉和卡斯特罗的赞美同样是有争议的。我认为这是错的,但至少在左派中还算常见。相比之下,对光辉道路和本拉登的同情在任何的左派阵营都不寻常。 (编辑:辉格@whigzhou) *注:本译文未经原作者授权,本站对原文不持有也不主张任何权利,如果你恰好对原文拥有权益并希望我们移除相关内容,请私信联系,我们会立即作出响应。

——海德沙龙·翻译组,致力于将英文世界的好文章搬进中文世界——

初识墨尔本#1:车与路

花AU$3500买了部2005年的Ford Falcon BA,27万公里,没过中介,直接与卖家联系,通过电话后感觉人挺实诚,所在社区看起来也不错,就跑过去买了,这种买法可能为我省了一笔钱。

原本期望很低,结果发现车况相当好,出乎意料,也许车主很会保养(家里有位机械师老爹),也可能这车底子好,半个月开下来,只发现些小毛病(一扇后面的锁和一个远光灯泡怀了,一扇窗玻璃升降略有阻碍),没大毛病,油耗有点大,高速大概12-14升/百公里,市区16升以上,好在我跑动少,这边油价也不贵,油耗对我不是大问题。

适应右舵左行大概花了四五天时间(每天开一两次),最多出问题的地方是:1)误将雨刮作转向,最初两天反复犯错,而且很消耗注意力;2)在车道上的位置感不准了,往左偏,经过刻意练习才纠正。

右转比较困难,这边的交规将右转车的优先(more...)

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花AU$3500买了部2005年的Ford Falcon BA,27万公里,没过中介,直接与卖家联系,通过电话后感觉人挺实诚,所在社区看起来也不错,就跑过去买了,这种买法可能为我省了一笔钱。 原本期望很低,结果发现车况相当好,出乎意料,也许车主很会保养(家里有位机械师老爹),也可能这车底子好,半个月开下来,只发现些小毛病(一扇后面的锁和一个远光灯泡怀了,一扇窗玻璃升降略有阻碍),没大毛病,油耗有点大,高速大概12-14升/百公里,市区16升以上,好在我跑动少,这边油价也不贵,油耗对我不是大问题。 适应右舵左行大概花了四五天时间(每天开一两次),最多出问题的地方是:1)误将雨刮作转向,最初两天反复犯错,而且很消耗注意力;2)在车道上的位置感不准了,往左偏,经过刻意练习才纠正。 右转比较困难,这边的交规将右转车的优先级放的很低,在没有专门右转灯的路口,留给右转的时间窗口很短,在特定情形下该让还是该走的决定,其中尺度也不容易把握。 路牌字小,很近才看得见,而且路口角度很直,所以小路口特别隐蔽,容易错过。 前方路名提示较少见,而且实线分道较早,不熟悉路线容易错过变道时机。 除超车和堵车外不许用右车道的规定好像没人理睬,这条规定确实不合理,无端制造大量不必要变道,尤其在限速低、几乎所有车都以接近限速开时,就更没一点好处了。 这边的公路修建者似乎特别偏爱环岛,郊区尤多,单车道环岛很方便,双车道环岛的规则有点特别,昨天刚弄懂,回想起来之前犯过几次错,好在邻车非常友好,让了我。 离CBD十公里以内的地区,堵车(以等待两个或更多红灯为准)情况比预料的多,之前听十年前离开澳洲的朋友说他从未遇到堵车,看来最近十几年车流增长了不少,不过,堵车程度与上下班高峰的相关度没有北京上海那么强,下午三点也常小堵,五六点也不是大堵。 收费公路不多,大墨尔本总共两条(我猜整个维州也只有这两条),估计我用到的机会不会多,不过还是办了张Breeze卡,反正没有年费或最低消费。 油价不高,波动频繁且幅度较大,最便宜的E10汽油,我加过三次,每升分别是$0.99, $1.24, $1.17。 7-Eleven的便利店兼加油站都有轮胎充气泵,很体贴,用过两次了。 洗车店不多见,我觉得也没必要,雨水多,灰尘少,唯一需要清洗的是前挡风下面那条沟里的树枝、落叶和鸟粪,打算买个手持吸尘器,便无须考虑洗车问题了。 半年内需要当地驾照,据说考试不容易过,我得多练练。  
[译文]总统外貌学初级教程

When Democracy Meets the Ghost of Evolution: Why Short Presidents Have Vanished
当民主遭遇进化的幽灵:矮个总统为何不再有

作者:Lixing Sun @ 2016-03-02
译者:沈沉(@你在何地-sxy)
校对:明珠(@老茄爱天一爱亨亨更爱楚楚)
来源:The Evolution Institute,https://evolution-institute.org/article/when-democracy-meets-the-ghost-of-evolution-why-short-presidents-have-vanished/

Size matters in politics: America hasn’t seen a president shorter than 5’7” since William McKinley. A main culprit, unbeknownst to many, comes from voters’ cognitive biases—the work of evolution. And the conundrum took a theatrical turn early this year when Marco Rubio, a Republican presidential hopeful, was spotted wearing a pair of new boots.

身高在政治中很重要。自威廉·麦金利以后,美国已经没有出现过身高低于5英尺7英寸的总统了。一个不为许多人所知的主要原因是选民的认知偏差——这是进化的产物。本年初,这个谜案出现了一个戏剧性转变:来自共和党的总统强力候选人马克·卢比奥穿出了一双新靴子。

“Marco Rubio’s Republican rivals literally are hot on his heels,” opened a New York Post news article on January 6. Speculations followed as to how expensive the boot(more...)

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When Democracy Meets the Ghost of Evolution: Why Short Presidents Have Vanished 当民主遭遇进化的幽灵:矮个总统为何不再有 作者:Lixing Sun @ 2016-03-02 译者:沈沉(@你在何地-sxy) 校对:明珠(@老茄爱天一爱亨亨更爱楚楚) 来源:The Evolution Institute,https://evolution-institute.org/article/when-democracy-meets-the-ghost-of-evolution-why-short-presidents-have-vanished/ Size matters in politics: America hasn’t seen a president shorter than 5’7” since William McKinley. A main culprit, unbeknownst to many, comes from voters’ cognitive biases—the work of evolution. And the conundrum took a theatrical turn early this year when Marco Rubio, a Republican presidential hopeful, was spotted wearing a pair of new boots. 身高在政治中很重要。自威廉·麦金利以后,美国已经没有出现过身高低于5英尺7英寸的总统了。一个不为许多人所知的主要原因是选民的认知偏差——这是进化的产物。本年初,这个谜案出现了一个戏剧性转变:来自共和党的总统强力候选人马克·卢比奥穿出了一双新靴子。 “Marco Rubio’s Republican rivals literally are hot on his heels,” opened a New York Post news article on January 6. Speculations followed as to how expensive the boots were. The Rubio camp wasted no time to clarify that they were nothing more than Men’s Florsheim, costing about $100. “卢比奥的党内对手的热情名副其实地只落后他一个脚跟”,1月6日的《纽约邮报》新闻报道如此开头。随后就有人开始猜测这双靴子有多贵。卢比奥的竞选团队即刻澄清说那只是一双富乐绅男款鞋,价格约100美元。 But the core of Rubio’s “bootgate” brouhaha wasn’t about luxury; it was about the heels—a whole two inches high. “A vote for Marco Rubio” tweeted Rick Tyler, Ted Cruz’s commuatsnications director, “is a vote for Men’s High-Heeled Booties.” 但卢比奥“靴子门”事件喧闹的核心不在于它是不是奢侈品,而在于它的鞋跟——厚达2英寸。“投票支持卢比奥”,泰德·克鲁兹的公关联络主管Rick Tyler在Twitter上说,“就是投票支持男式高跟靴子。” Why would Rubio sport a pair of, as Rand Paul teased, “cute new boots”? As far as we know, tall men have scores of advantages in life, work, and romance. Among CEOs, for example, 90% are taller than the average man, and only 3% are below 5’7”. In fact, for every inch added to their height, men can get an extra 1.8% (about $800) in wages, an amount duly dubbed by economists as a“height premium.” 为什么卢比奥会穿着一双如兰德·保罗所戏称的“可爱小靴靴”出来卖弄呢?据我们所知,高个子男人在生活、工作和爱情方面都有优势。比如,CEO中90%身高高于男性平均水平,只有3%身高不到5英尺7英寸。事实上,身高每增加1英寸,男性可以多拿1.8%的工资(约800美元),经济学家恰如其分地把这个增加额称为“身高溢价”。 Rubio may be aware that since the beginning of the last century, nearly 70% of the presidential campaigns between the two major parties have been won by the taller candidate. This wasn’t always the case, though. In fact, of the presidents elected before 1900, eleven were shorter than 5’9”, and only nine were taller (see the chart). 卢比奥可能意识到,自上个世纪初以来,两大党之间70%的总统竞选最终是身材更高的候选人获胜。但是,情况并非从来如此。实际上,在1900年以前获选的总统中,11人身高低于5英尺9英寸,只有9人身材比这高(见下图)。 screen-shot-2016-03-02-at-12-35-20-pm   After that, however, all short candidates have lost to their tall rivals—James M. Cox (5’6”) to Warren G. Harding (6’0”) in 1920, Thomas Dewey (5’8”) to FDR (6’2”) in 1944, then to Harry S. Truman (5’9”) in 1948, and Michael Dukakis (5’8”) to George H. W. Bush (6’2”) in 1988. 但是,自那以后,所有矮个候选人都输给了他们的高个子对手:1920年,詹姆斯·M·考克斯(5英尺6英寸)输给了沃伦·G·哈丁(6英尺);1944年,托马斯·杜威(5英尺8英寸)输给了F·D·罗斯福(6英尺2英寸),1948年他又输给了哈里·S·杜鲁门(5英尺9英寸);1988年,迈克尔·杜卡基斯(5英尺8英寸)输给了老布什(6英尺2英寸)。 At 5’10”, Rubio is taller than the average American man. Still, he is 5” shorter than the front-runner Donald Trump, a difference you can easily see on the screen during Republican primary debates. By adding two inches to his stature, he hoped to up his chance—if only his rivals weren’t paying attention. 卢比奥身高5英尺10英寸,高于美国男性平均水平。但是,他还是比领跑者唐纳德·特朗普矮5英寸。这一差别在共和党初选辩论的屏幕上看得很清楚。他想通过给自己身高增加2英寸来提高机会——只盼对手不要注意。 Do tall men make good leaders—presidents in particular? I pulled out data from Wikipedia.com and did some statistics (such as the Mann-Whitney U test and Spearman’s rank correlation analysis). And I found no relationship whatsoever between height and performance ranking for all elected presidents before 1900. (Obviously, I can’t do so for the period after 1900 because no short presidents have been elected.) 高个子就能当好领袖吗?特别是,高个子就能当好总统吗?我从维基百科上找数据做了一些统计工作 (比如曼—惠特尼U检验、斯皮尔曼等级相关分析)。我发现,1900年前获选上任的所有总统的身高和他们的任职表现排名之间找不出任何关系。(1900年以后显然无法做这种分析,因为这段时间没有矮个总统获选。) Why have short American presidents suddenly vanished since 1900? 为什么美国在1900年后突然就没有矮个总统了呢? The answer, apparently, lies in the use of images in the media. In fact, the advent of the televised debate in 1960 has ushered in even more public scrutiny on candidates’ looks. As a result, no short or bald candidates have made it into the White House since Dwight Eisenhower. (Perhaps, that’s why Trump is careful about his hair—in case people think he is bald.) 答案显然在于媒体对照片的大量使用。实际上,1960年出现的电视辩论使公众对候选人的外貌审查进一步增加。于是,自艾森豪威尔以来,再没有任何矮个或秃顶候选人入主白宫了。(这也许就是特朗普特别在意发型的缘故,他担心人们以为他秃顶。) How can a candidate’s physical appearance hold such a strong sway on voters’ choices? Psychologists and behavioral economists will point to the halo effect, where a perceived strength—here, the height of a candidate—eclipses all weaknesses. Why, then, are our cognitive systems so naïve as to swoon for something utterly irrelevant (namely, the body size) of a potential leader? 为什么候选人的身体外形如此强烈地左右选民的选择呢?心理学家和行为经济学家可能会说这是因为存在光环效应:人们感知到的某一力量(此处就是候选人的身高)会遮蔽所有弱点。那么,我们的认知系统为什么如此幼稚,竟会被准领导人完全无关的某些特征(即体型大小)迷住心神呢? The answer lies in our evolutionary past. Research shows that in a vast number of animals, from insects to mammals, body size can robustly predict winners when resources and mates are at stake. In primates, alpha males are usually large and assuming. (That’s why, even for a novice, it often takes just a glance to spot them in a bunch.) Not only do they win more fights, but females also fall for them. 答案就是我们的进化史。研究表明,对于从昆虫到哺乳类的大量动物而言,在资源和配偶成问题的情况下,体型大小能牢靠的预测谁会胜出。灵长类的雄性领袖通常都高大专横。(因此即便是新手也能从一群动物中一眼认出它们。)它们不但能赢取更多战斗,而且能收获雌性的喜爱。 This process favoring large body size is known as sexual selection, and apparently, it also worked for our Stone-Age ancestors. Even in modern tribal societies, from the Amazons to Papua New Guinea, tall, husky men are still widely preferred as chiefs—or “Big Men,” in Polynesia and other Pacific islands. No wonder our cognitive systems are tuned to looking for tall guys as leaders or mates—the hunks, in our colloquial lingo. 这一偏爱大块头体格的进程叫作性选择,我们石器时代的祖先们显然也受到了影响。即便在现存的部落社会中,从亚马逊丛林到巴布亚新几内亚,人们依然普遍更喜欢接受高大魁梧的男性当首领——或者“大人”,波利尼西亚和其他太平洋岛屿上就用这种称呼。因此,我们的认知系统会调整到找高个男人(——就是俗话说的hunk)做领袖或配偶,这毫不奇怪。 Since 1900, apparently, our liking for hunks hadn’t hit a major hitch until Harding was elected. In appearance, Harding was tall, virile, and gracious with thick eyebrows, wide shoulders, and a deep voice—features that can provoke a feeling of being macho, resolute, and competent. 显然自1900年以来,我们对大个头肌肉男的喜爱直到哈丁当选都没有遭遇什么大挫败。哈丁眉毛浓密、肩膀宽阔、声音低沉,身材高大雄壮且和蔼可亲。这些特征让人觉得他富于男性气概、做事果断干练。 Indeed, he rose from being a small town newspaper editor to an Ohio state senator, a US senator, and finally the president. But just after two years in the Oval Office, Harding’s impressive suite of manly features turned out to be all fake. They did nothing but make him a womanizer. 实际上,他最早只是一个小镇的报纸编辑,后来当上俄亥俄州参议员,然后是国会参议员,最后成为总统。但入主白宫椭圆办公室才2年,哈丁那些令人印象深刻的全套男性气质完全变成了假相。它们没有什么用处,只是让他风流成性而已。 He is called, according to the U.S. News, “an ineffectual leader who played poker while his friends plundered the U.S. treasury.” Even Harding himself confessed, “I am not fit for this office and should never have been here.” When he died, rumors had it that his wife had poisoned him, not out of jealousy but to salvage his reputation from the charges of corruption in his administration. 据《美国新闻杂志》,他被称为“当同伙们洗劫美国国库时还在玩扑克牌的无能领袖。”连哈丁本人都承认,“我不适合这个职位,一开始就不应该到这来。”他死后,有传言说他是被妻子毒害的,原因不是嫉妒,而是为了补救他被控任内腐败的名声。 As the ghost of our evolutionary past lingers on, there is no reason why hunks with Harding’s physique won’t be elected again. If you have any doubt, think about Arnold Schwarzenegger. How much of a halo did he draw from his muscles as a body builder and his fame as an action movie star to win the Californian gubernatorial race in 2002? 进化史的幽灵一直在徘徊,因此没有理由认为拥有哈丁那种体格的大个头肌肉男不会再次被选上。如果你有任何疑虑,想想阿诺德·施瓦辛格。他那身健身运动员的肌肉和作为动作电影巨星的名气到底为他赢得2002年加州州长竞选贡献了多少光环? It’s disconcerting for all concerned citizens to realize that in our age of television and the Internet, presidential elections share much with pageants for Mr. America. If our guts are all we rely on in the process, even the 5’7” John Adams or the 5’4” James Madison may not stand a chance to be elected today. 在电视和互联网时代,总统选举和美国先生选美有很多共同点。所有关心公共事务的公民因意识到这一点而心神不安。如果我们只依赖本能的话,那么5英尺7英寸的约翰·亚当斯或者5英尺4英寸的詹姆斯·麦迪逊今天若参选可能就没有机会胜出。 By forgoing a vast pool of talents from women, short men, and minority citizens (except Obama), how can we find the most capable person to lead our nation? In this sense, putting a woman in the White House will mark a new milestone in American democracy: it can break the entrenched spell—our cognitive biases for hunks—imposed by the ghost of evolution. 把妇女、矮个子、少数族裔(奥巴马除外)中的大量天才排除在考虑之外,我们怎么找出最有能力领导我们国家的人呢?从这个角度来说,选出一位女性入主白宫将成为美国民主新的里程碑:它将破除进化幽灵加在我们身上根深蒂固的魔咒,即我们钟情大个头肌肉男的认知偏差。 (编辑:辉格@whigzhou) *注:本译文未经原作者授权,本站对原文不持有也不主张任何权利,如果你恰好对原文拥有权益并希望我们移除相关内容,请私信联系,我们会立即作出响应。

——海德沙龙·翻译组,致力于将英文世界的好文章搬进中文世界——

[译文]那些体贴备至的警示标签

Warning: Labels
警示:此处有警示标签!

作者:John Stossel @ 2016-06-22
译者:沈沉(@你在何地-sxy)
校对:明珠(@老茄爱天一爱亨亨更爱楚楚)
来源:Reason,http://reason.com/archives/2016/06/22/warning-labels

Warning labels are a product of a litigious society that drive prices up.

警示标签是全社会热衷诉讼的产物,它们抬高了商品价格。

When you use a coffeepot, do you need a warning label to tell you: “Do not hold over people”?

使用一只咖啡壶时,你是否觉得它有必要附上一个警示标签,告诉你“不要端到别人头上去”?

Must a bicycle bell be sold with the warning: “Should be installed and serviced by a professional mechanic”? Of course not. Yet that bell also carries the warning: “Failure to heed any of these warni(more...)

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Warning: Labels 警示:此处有警示标签! 作者:John Stossel @ 2016-06-22 译者:沈沉(@你在何地-sxy) 校对:明珠(@老茄爱天一爱亨亨更爱楚楚) 来源:Reason,http://reason.com/archives/2016/06/22/warning-labels Warning labels are a product of a litigious society that drive prices up. 警示标签是全社会热衷诉讼的产物,它们抬高了商品价格。 When you use a coffeepot, do you need a warning label to tell you: "Do not hold over people"? 使用一只咖啡壶时,你是否觉得它有必要附上一个警示标签,告诉你“不要端到别人头上去”? Must a bicycle bell be sold with the warning: "Should be installed and serviced by a professional mechanic"? Of course not. Yet that bell also carries the warning: "Failure to heed any of these warnings may result in serious injury or death." 出售单车铃铛时,是否必须附带一个警示:“须由专业技工安装维修”?当然不会。可实际上,这只铃铛上不光有这条警示,还附带这样一条:“不听从上述警示可能会导致严重受伤或死亡。” This is nuts. It's a bell. 神经病。那不过是只铃铛! The blizzard of warning labels means we often won't read ones we should, like the Clorox label that warns, do not use bleach "with other product... hazardous gasses may result." No kidding. Mixing bleach and ammonia creates gasses that can kill people. 警示标签狂轰滥炸的后果是,那些真正需要我们阅读的内容,我们倒经常不去读了。比如“高乐氏”的标签上说,不要将漂白剂“和其他产品”混用,“以免产生危险气体”。这不是开玩笑。漂白剂和氨混合会产生能够致命的气体。 But I rarely bother to read warning labels anymore, because manufacturers put them on everything. 但我现在很少阅读任何警示标签了,因为制造商已经在任何东西上面贴满了标签。 A utility knife bears the warning: "Blades are sharp." 比如,工具刀被贴的标签是,“刀刃锋利”。 I know about such dumb labels because Bob Dorigo Jones, author of Remove Child Before Folding, asks his readers and radio listeners to send in ridiculous labels for his "Wacky Warning Label" contest. 我之所以知道这些愚蠢标签的故事,是因为《折叠童车前请抱出孩子》一书作者Bob Dorigo Jones向读者和广播听众征集荒唐标签,参加他搞的“最雷人警示标签”竞赛。 "We do this to point out how the rules that legislatures and Congress make favor litigation," says Dorigo Jones. "We are the most litigious society on Earth. If the level of litigation in the United States was simply at the level of countries that we compete with for jobs in Asia and in Europe, we could save $589 billion a year." “我们这样做是想指出,立法机关和国会制定的法规会如何刺激诉讼,”Dorigo Jones说,“我们是全球最爱打官司的国家。只要美国的年诉讼量跟那些和我们争夺工作岗位的亚欧国家持平,我们每年就能节省5890亿美元。” America has more silly warnings mainly because, unlike the rest of the world, we don't have the "loser pays" rule in courts. That rule means that whoever wins a court battle is compensated by the loser. It creates an incentive not to bring frivolous cases. 美国的傻帽警示尤其多,主要是因为,与世界其他国家不同,我们的法院不实行“败诉者付费”这一规则,也就是说,不管谁赢了官司,都能得到败诉一方的补偿。它会鼓励人们不要为鸡毛蒜皮的事打官司。 In the U.S., the incentive is to try even dubious legal arguments and hope you'll hit the jackpot. Or maybe your enemy will pay you to avoid the bigger cost of hiring lawyers to continue the fight. 而在美国鼓励的则是,就算法律论证把握不大也要尝试一下,并指望中个头奖。要不然就是,你的对手也许因为不想花更多钱雇律师跟你长期纠缠而给你一笔钱了事。 More lawsuits mean more frightened corporate lawyers smearing labels on everything, just in case "lack of warning" is an issue in a lawsuit. 官司越多,意味着公司的律师们愈发胆战心惊,给万事万物都贴上标签,以免“没有警示”成为诉讼的一个争论点。 That's probably why a toy Star Wars lightsaber comes with the label, "Not to Be Used as a Battle Device." Why would they bother to say that? Did someone sue, claiming they thought a lightsaber would do what it does in Star Wars movies? I don't know. The company never responded to our questions. 这大概就是为何星战玩具光剑被贴上“不能用作战斗工具”标签的原因了。他们为什么自找麻烦说这些?是不是有人以为光剑玩具应该有电影《星球大战》里的效果,并(在期望落空后)起诉过他们呢?我不知道。我们问过他们,但该公司没有回应。 Some dumb labels are brought to us by dumb politicians. California requires warnings that something may be "toxic" or cause cancer on everything from foods to theme parks: "Disneyland Resort contains chemicals known to the state of California to cause cancer and birth defects or other reproductive harm." Gee thanks, California, but it would probably be better to warn kids about alligators over in Florida. 某些愚蠢标签是愚蠢政客导致的。加州要求从食品到主题乐园的所有东西都贴上标签,明确其是否“有毒”或是否致癌。比如,“加州政府了解,迪士尼乐园有导致癌症、出生缺陷或其他生殖系统损害的化学品,”。谢了,加州,如果佛罗里达能提醒孩子们小心鳄鱼,那也许更好。 Dorigo Jones offers a prize to whomever submits the wackiest label. The lightsaber label won this year, earning Susannah Peat of Carmel, Indiana, a thousand dollars. You can submit your choices to try to win next year's prize. Dorigo Jones设立了一个奖项征集最雷人标签。本年度获奖的就是光剑玩具上的标签,来自印第安纳州卡梅尔市的Susannah Peat获得了1000美元奖金。你可以提交你的选择,去竞争来年的奖励。 Please do. It's important to make fun of lawyer-driven stupidity that distracts us from more important risks. 请务必提交噢。由律师们搞出来的这种蠢事让我们忽视了更为重大的风险,有必要嘲笑一下他们。 I suppose I shouldn't really blame companies. They've been sued successfully so many times for not having labels that they feel they must try to protect themselves. Injuries aren't the real danger here. Lawyers and politicians are. 我觉得我真不应该谴责这类公司。他们因为没贴标签已经被多次起诉成功,以至于认为必须自保。在这类问题上,伤害并非真正的危险,律师和政客才是。 When companies get sued, they end up charging higher prices to cover the cost of the lawyers. So those warning labels not only distract us but also are part of a process that makes us all poorer. 公司一旦被起诉,最终会通过抬高商品价格弥补雇佣律师的成本。所以,这类警示标签不但扰乱了我们的注意力,而且是造成我们变穷的部分原因。 I worry that they also make us stupider. 我担心它们还使我们变蠢。 Economists say that when people assume that government protects us from all possible harm, we acquire a false sense of security. We stop looking out for ourselves. 经济学家说,如果假定政府能保护我们免受任何可能的伤害,那么我们就会获得一种虚假的安全感,便不再自己小心留神。 Those warning labels give us the impression that the law has assessed every possible risk—if something were seriously dangerous, government wouldn't allow it. 这类警示标签给我们一种印象,以为法律评估过所有可能的风险——如果某件事物很危险,政府不会放过它。 Lawyers and legislators' insistence that most every action be bound by written rules makes many of us forget to use own own brains. 律师和立法者坚持要求几乎所有的事都必须受到成文规则的约束,这让许多人忘记了自己还会动脑子。 (编辑:辉格@whigzhou) *注:本译文未经原作者授权,本站对原文不持有也不主张任何权利,如果你恰好对原文拥有权益并希望我们移除相关内容,请私信联系,我们会立即作出响应。

——海德沙龙·翻译组,致力于将英文世界的好文章搬进中文世界——

[译文]聪明人不需要那么多朋友?

Why smart people are better off with fewer friends
为什么聪明人最好少交朋友

作者:Christopher Ingraham @ 2016-03-18
翻译:小聂(@PuppetMaster)
校对:小册子(@昵称被抢的小册子)
来源:The Washington Post,https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2016/03/18/why-smart-people-are-better-off-with-fewer-friends/

Hell might actually be other people — at least if you’re really smart.

他人没准还真是地狱——至少对一个真正聪明的人来说是这样的。

That’s the implication of fascinating new research published last month in the British Journal of Psychology. Evolutionary psychologists Satoshi Kanazawa of the London School of Economics and Norman Li of Singapore Management University dig in to the question of what makes a life well-lived. While traditionally the domain of priests, philosophers and novelists, in recent years survey researchers, economists, biologists and scientists have been tackling that question.

这是上个月在《英国心理学杂志》发表的一篇有趣的新研究中说的。两位进化心理学家,伦敦政治经济学院的Satoshi Kanazawa和新加坡管理大学的Norman Li,对于如何活出幸福人生进行了深入的研究。这个传统上被神父、哲学家和小说家把控的议题,近年来却被问卷调查者、经济学家、生物学家和科学家所关注。

Kanazawa and Li theorize that the hunter-gatherer lifestyles of our ancient ancestors form the foundation for what make us happy now. “Situations and circumstances that would have increased our ancestors’ life satisfaction in the ancestral environment may still increase our life satisfaction today,” they write.

Kanazawa和Li提出的理论是,我们祖先的狩猎采集生活方式决定了我们感受幸福的底层机制。他们认为,“在原始环境中能够使我们祖先得到满足的情境,或许在今天仍然可以提升我们的满足感。”

They use what they call “the savanna theory of happiness” to explain two main findings from an analysis of a large national survey (15,000 respondents) of adults aged 18 to 28.

他们使用了这个所谓的“关于幸福的热带草原理论”来解释两个主要的研究发现,被研究对象是一项涵盖了15,000个18到28岁成年人的大型全国调查。

First, they find that people who live in more densely populated areas tend to report less satisfaction with their life overall. “The higher the population density of the immediate environment, the less happy” the survey respondents said they were. Second, they find that the more social in(more...)

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Why smart people are better off with fewer friends 为什么聪明人最好少交朋友 作者:Christopher Ingraham @ 2016-03-18 翻译:小聂(@PuppetMaster) 校对:小册子(@昵称被抢的小册子) 来源:The Washington Post,https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2016/03/18/why-smart-people-are-better-off-with-fewer-friends/ Hell might actually be other people — at least if you're really smart. 他人没准还真是地狱——至少对一个真正聪明的人来说是这样的。 That's the implication of fascinating new research published last month in the British Journal of Psychology. Evolutionary psychologists Satoshi Kanazawa of the London School of Economics and Norman Li of Singapore Management University dig in to the question of what makes a life well-lived. While traditionally the domain of priests, philosophers and novelists, in recent years survey researchers, economists, biologists and scientists have been tackling that question. 这是上个月在《英国心理学杂志》发表的一篇有趣的新研究中说的。两位进化心理学家,伦敦政治经济学院的Satoshi Kanazawa和新加坡管理大学的Norman Li,对于如何活出幸福人生进行了深入的研究。这个传统上被神父、哲学家和小说家把控的议题,近年来却被问卷调查者、经济学家、生物学家和科学家所关注。 Kanazawa and Li theorize that the hunter-gatherer lifestyles of our ancient ancestors form the foundation for what make us happy now. "Situations and circumstances that would have increased our ancestors’ life satisfaction in the ancestral environment may still increase our life satisfaction today," they write. Kanazawa和Li提出的理论是,我们祖先的狩猎采集生活方式决定了我们感受幸福的底层机制。他们认为,“在原始环境中能够使我们祖先得到满足的情境,或许在今天仍然可以提升我们的满足感。” They use what they call "the savanna theory of happiness" to explain two main findings from an analysis of a large national survey (15,000 respondents) of adults aged 18 to 28. 他们使用了这个所谓的“关于幸福的热带草原理论”来解释两个主要的研究发现,被研究对象是一项涵盖了15,000个18到28岁成年人的大型全国调查。 First, they find that people who live in more densely populated areas tend to report less satisfaction with their life overall. "The higher the population density of the immediate environment, the less happy" the survey respondents said they were. Second, they find that the more social interactions with close friends a person has, the greater their self-reported happiness. 第一个发现是,在高人口密度地区生活的人们对他们的生活总体上更缺乏满足感。被调查者回应说“周围人口密度越大,就越感觉不幸福”。第二个发现是,和亲密朋友的更多交往伴随着更多的幸福感。 But there was one big exception. For more intelligent people, these correlations were diminished or even reversed. 但是有一个明显的例外,对于高智商人群,上述相关性会变弱,甚至反转。 "The effect of population density on life satisfaction was therefore more than twice as large for low-IQ individuals than for high-IQ individuals," they found. And "more intelligent individuals were actually less satisfied with life if they socialized with their friends more frequently." “所以,对于低智商人群来说,人口密度对于生活满足度的影响会比对于高智商人群大一倍以上”他们还发现,“高智商人群的生活满意度甚至会因为和朋友交往过多而下降。” Let me repeat that last one: When smart people spend more time with their friends, it makes them less happy. 容我重复一下后一个发现:如果聪明人在与朋友交往上花更多的时间,他们反倒会感觉不开心。 Now, the broad contours of both findings are largely uncontroversial. A large body of previous research, for instance, has outlined what some have called an "urban-rural happiness gradient." Kanazawa and Li explain: "Residents of rural areas and small towns are happier than those in suburbs, who in turn are happier than those in small central cities, who in turn are happier than those in large central cities." 现在,两个研究发现的粗线条概要大体是无争议的。例如,曾有一大批研究项目概括出被有些人称为“市区-郊区幸福梯度”的东西。Kanazawa和Li解释说:“乡村和小镇的居民比近郊居民更幸福,后者又比生活在小型中心城市的居民幸福,而小型中心城市的居民又比生活在大城市的人幸福。” imrs Why would high population density cause a person to be less happy? There's a whole body of sociological research addressing this question. But for the most visceral demonstration of the effect, simply take a 45-minute ride on a crowded rush-hour Red Line train and tell me how you feel afterward. 为什么高人口密度会使一个人不开心呢?现在已有大量的社会学研究瞄准了这个问题。但是如果要最感同身受地体现这种影响,莫过于在高峰期搭乘45分钟的拥挤地铁,然后告诉我你的心情如何。 Kanazawa and Li's second finding is a little more interesting. It's no surprise that friend and family connections are generally seen as a foundational component of happiness and well-being. But why would this relationship get turned on its head for really smart people? Kanazawa和Li的第二个发现则更有意思一些。毫无疑问,亲情和友情往往是构成个人生活幸福快乐的基础之一。但是为什么对于聪明人来说,这种关系会被反过来呢? I posed this question to Carol Graham, a Brookings Institution researcher who studies the economics of happiness. "The findings in here suggest (and it is no surprise) that those with more intelligence and the capacity to use it ... are less likely to spend so much time socializing because they are focused on some other longer term objective," she said. 我就此问题请教了在布鲁金斯学会研究幸福经济学的Carol Graham。“这个发现(毫不奇怪地)表明具有高智商并且能将其驾驭自如的人……较不愿意将大量时间花费在与人交往上面,因为他们专注于其他更长期的目标,”她解释道。 Think of the really smart people you know. They may include a doctor trying to cure cancer or a writer working on the great American novel or a human rights lawyer working to protect the most vulnerable people in society. To the extent that frequent social interaction detracts from the pursuit of these goals, it may negatively affect their overall satisfaction with life. 想想你认识的真正聪明人。他们也许是一个试图治愈癌症的医生,一个想要写出一部杰出的美国小说的作者,或是一个关注保护社会弱势群体的人权律师。如果社交活动过于频繁,以至妨碍他们追求这些远大目标,就会降低他们整体的生活满意度。 But Kanazawa and Li's savanna theory of happiness offers a different explanation. The idea starts with the premise that the human brain evolved to meet the demands of our ancestral environment on the African savanna, where the population density was akin to what you'd find today in, say, rural Alaska (less than one person per square kilometer). Take a brain evolved for that environment, plop it into today's Manhattan (population density: 27,685 people per square kilometer), and you can see how you'd get some evolutionary friction. 但是Kanazawa和Li的热带草原幸福理论提供了一个不一样的解释。该理论始于一个前提,即人类大脑进化是为了适应我们祖先在非洲大草原上的生存环境。在这种环境下的人口密度近似于如今的阿拉斯加荒野(每平方公里不到一人)。从这种环境下进化出的大脑,被丢进当今的曼哈顿(人口密度每平方公里27,685人),这种进化上的摩擦可想而知。 Similarly with friendship: "Our ancestors lived as hunter–gatherers in small bands of about 150 individuals," Kanazawa and Li explain. "In such settings, having frequent contact with lifelong friends and allies was likely necessary for survival and reproduction for both sexes." We remain social creatures today, a reflection of that early reliance on tight-knit social groups. 对友情来说也近似:“我们祖先作为狩猎采集者,生活在一个个约为150人的小集体里,”Kanazawa和Li解释说。“在这样的环境中,和终生朋友以及盟友的频繁接触对于生存和繁衍 很可能是必要的,无论是男性还是女性。”我们至今仍是社会性的物种,这反映了我们早期对于被社会关系纽带紧密编织起来的小集体的依赖。 The typical human life has changed rapidly since then — back on the savanna we didn't have cars or iPhones or processed food or "Celebrity Apprentice" — and it's quite possible that our biology hasn't been able to evolve fast enough to keep up. As such, there may be a "mismatch" between what our brains and bodies are designed for, and the world most of us live in now. 从那时起,人类生活有了极大改变——在热带草原时期我们可没有汽车、iPhone、加工食品或是“明星学徒”【译注:电视真人秀节目】——而我们生理特性的进化极可能赶不上这些改变。因此,在我们的身心设定与我们生存的世界之间,可能会存在着“错配”。 To sum it all up: You've heard of the paleo-diet. But are you ready for paleo-happiness? 简而言之,你知道有旧石器食谱,但是你想不想试试旧石器幸福感? There's a twist, though, at least as Kanazawa and Li see it. Smarter people may be better equipped to deal with the new (at least from an evolutionary perspective) challenges present-day life throws at us. "More intelligent individuals, who possess higher levels of general intelligence and thus greater ability to solve evolutionarily novel problems, may face less difficulty in comprehending and dealing with evolutionarily novel entities and situations," they write. 但是剧情到这里有个反转,至少Kanazawa和Li这么觉得。聪明人可能更擅长处理现代生活中的新(至少从进化的观点看)挑战。“那些更有智慧,更具有高等的通用智能从而可以更好的解决新进化问题的个体,可能会较易于理解和应对进化上的新实体或是新问题,”他们写道。 If you're smarter and more able to adapt to things, you may have an easier time reconciling your evolutionary predispositions with the modern world. So living in a high-population area may have a smaller effect on your overall well-being — that's what Kanazawa and Li found in their survey analysis. Similarly, smarter people may be better-equipped to jettison that whole hunter-gatherer social network — especially if they're pursuing some loftier ambition. 如果你更聪明,并且更有能力适应环境,你应能更容易处理好先天进化不足和现代社会生活的错配。所以住在高人口密度地区可能对你的总体生活舒适程度影响很小——这就是Kanazawa和Li的调查研究发现。同样的,聪明人更有能力能力人更有可能完全放应对进化上的新实体或是情景说有些人称为“市中舍弃那套狩猎采集式的社交网络——特别是当他们有远大目标的时候。 It's important to remember that this is an argument Kanazawa and Li are proposing and that it's not settled science. "Paleo-" theories — the idea that our bodies are best adapted to the environment of our earliest ancestors — have come under fire in recent years, especially as food companies and some researchers over-hyped the alleged benefits of the paleo-diet fad. 值得注意的是,这只是Kanazawa和Li提出的论点,绝非科学定论。以“旧石器”开头的理论——基于我们的身体仍与我们最早期的祖先所处环境相适应之假设——在近年来饱受争议,特别是由于食品公司和某些学者过于推崇当下流行的旧石器食谱所带来的可能好处。 Kanazawa and Li's main findings about population density, social interaction and happiness are relatively uncontroversial. But Brookings's Carol Graham says one potential flaw in their research is that it defines happiness in terms of self-reported life satisfaction ("How satisfied are you with your life as a whole?"), and doesn't consider experienced well-being ("How many times did you laugh yesterday? How many times were you angry?" etc.). Survey researchers know that these two types of questions can lead to very different assessments of well-being. Kanazawa和Li对于人口密度,社会交往以及幸福感的主要观点相对来说并没有太大的争议。但是布鲁金斯学会的Carol Graham认为他们的研究有个潜在的缺陷,即用受访者自我报告的生活满意程度来定义幸福(“整体上来说,你对自己的生活满意么?”),而不考虑受访者关于舒适生活的实际体验(“你昨天笑了几次?生气了几次?”等等)。问卷调查者都知道这两类问题对于幸福生活的衡量可以得出完全不同的结果。 For their part, Kanazawa and Li maintain that that distinction doesn't matter too much for their savanna theory. "Even though our empirical analyses ... used a measure of global life satisfaction, the savanna theory of happiness is not committed to any particular definition and is compatible with any reasonable conception of happiness, subjective well-being, and life satisfaction," they write. Kanazawa和Li则认为这一区别对他们的热带草原理论影响不大。“虽然我们的实证研究……使用了总体的生活满意度,关于幸福的热带草原理论并不局限于任何一种定义,并且适用于任何对于幸福、主观幸福感和生活满意度的合理的概念化处理,”他们写道。 Kanazawa himself is no stranger to controversy. In 2011 he wrote a blog post for Psychology Today entitled "Why Are Black Women Less Physically Attractive Than Other Women?" The post ignited a firestorm of criticism and was swiftly taken down. Kanazawa本人也经常处于争议之中。2011年他给《今日心理学》写了一篇名为“为什么黑人女性在生理上不如其他女性具有吸引力?”的博客文章。该文引发了猛烈的批评,并且被迅速撤下了。 His current research on well-being is not likely to generate as much criticism as that blog post. But the evolutionary perspective on happiness and intelligence is likely to prompt some heated discussion in the field. 他现在关于幸福的研究不大可能引发类似的抨击。但从进化角度解读幸福和智力很可能会在该领域引发一些热烈的讨论。 In an email, Kanazawa said that his approach to understanding happiness is fundamentally different than the arguments about, say, the benefits of a paleo-diet. "Blindly introducing our ancestors’ diet when we do not have other aspects of the ancestral life seems like a dangerous and nonsensical prescription to me," he said. 在一封电子邮件里, Kanazawa认为他理解幸福的方式和关于比如说旧石器食谱的好处的论证有着本质的区别。“盲目的引入我们祖先的食谱,而不考虑到我们生活的其他方面与祖先有异,在我看来是危险且毫无道理的,”他说。 "I only explain nature; I do not tell people what to do or not to do," he added. “我只是解释自然现象;我并不是告诉人们去做什么或是不做什么,”他补充道。 (编辑:辉格@whigzhou) *注:本译文未经原作者授权,本站对原文不持有也不主张任何权利,如果你恰好对原文拥有权益并希望我们移除相关内容,请私信联系,我们会立即作出响应。

——海德沙龙·翻译组,致力于将英文世界的好文章搬进中文世界——

[译文]为何那么多选民胡乱投票

Political Animals by Rick Shenkman: why we shoot our democracies in the foot
Rick Shenkman新书《政治动物》:为什么我们会搬起石头砸民主的脚

作者:Olivia Archdeacon @ 2016-01-22
译者:babyface_claire(@许你疯不许你傻)
校对:沈沉(@你在何地-sxy)
来源:CapX,http://capx.co/political-animals/

Best-selling historian and Emmy award-winning investigative reporter Rick Shenkman is back. He explains in the latest of his seven books, Political Animals – How our Stone-Age Brain Gets in the Way of Smart Politics, that despite our species’ pride of rational thinking, our world is anything but rational.

畅销历史书作家和艾美奖调查记者获得者Rick Shenkman回来了。他在最新的第七本书《政治动物:石器时代的大脑如何妨碍政治精(more...)

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Political Animals by Rick Shenkman: why we shoot our democracies in the foot Rick Shenkman新书《政治动物》:为什么我们会搬起石头砸民主的脚 作者:Olivia Archdeacon @ 2016-01-22 译者:babyface_claire(@许你疯不许你傻) 校对:沈沉(@你在何地-sxy) 来源:CapX,http://capx.co/political-animals/ Best-selling historian and Emmy award-winning investigative reporter Rick Shenkman is back. He explains in the latest of his seven books, Political Animals – How our Stone-Age Brain Gets in the Way of Smart Politics, that despite our species’ pride of rational thinking, our world is anything but rational. 畅销历史书作家和艾美奖调查记者获得者Rick Shenkman回来了。他在最新的第七本书《政治动物:石器时代的大脑如何妨碍政治精明》里解释到,尽管我们人类以理性思考为傲,但是世界却一点也不合理。 Like economists, political scientists base their models on rational choice, and do not want to think that a one off event like a shark attack can have a significant effect on voting. Yet it has been proven time and again that when times are bad, people vote against the incumbents. If a meteor hit Arizona, they’d vote against the incumbents. Extraneous forces have political consequences. Unfortunately for politicians, this is especially the case when the effect is negative. 像经济学者一样,政治学者以理性选择为基础建构其模型,并且不愿意认为一件像鲨鱼攻击这样的一次性事件可以对投票结果产生重大影响。然而事实一次又一次证明,一旦碰上光景不好,人们就会投票反对当权者。如果有陨石击中亚利桑那州,他们会投票反对当权者。外来力量能够造成政治后果。 不幸的是,对政治家而言,如果这种影响是负面的,情况更是如此。 Readers of Shenkman’s previous book, ‘Just How Stupid Are We? Facing the truth about the American voter’ may be reluctant to pick up another anthology of painfully embarrassing truths about the general public of the world’s most powerful economy. But they should be reassured that Political Animals is a forgiving, empathetic and motivational read. 读过Shenkman上本书《我们是多么愚蠢?正视美国选民的真相》的人,可能不愿再读一本关于世界最大经济体的一般公众的痛苦尴尬真相的汇编。但是我可以向他们保证,《政治动物》是一本宽容、体贴且激励人心的读物。 It is tough love, however. Shenkman points out that despite the human brain being packed with eighty-six billion neurons – making human beings smarter than the smartest computer that ever existed (yet) – when it comes to politics, the public is very easily fooled. What is more alarming is that we’re fooling ourselves. We cannot blame the politicians or the Illuminati. 然而,这是严厉的爱。Shenkman指出,尽管人类的大脑挤满了860亿个神经细胞(使人类比迄今为止最聪明的电脑更加聪明),可是一旦涉及政治,公众却非常容易被欺骗。更令人担忧的是,是我们自己在欺骗自己。我们不能把责任推给政治家或“光照派”。 “We often lie about out reasons for doing what we do in politics. We don’t just lie to others, we lie to ourselves. Therefore we can only detect what people are thinking when we study patterns of behaviour in groups.” “我们经常会在我们政治行为的缘由方面撒谎。我们不止对别人撒谎,我们对自己也撒谎。因此,我们只能通过研究群体的行为模式来检测人们在想什么。” Shenkman’s genuine passion for his subject matter shines through. As much as we rationalise our actions in hindsight, we’re not in a position to truly know ourselves seeing as so much of what happens in our brain happens outside of conscious awareness. So attempting to understand why people vote the way they do simply by asking them will get us nowhere. We need science. Shenkman 对他的研究主题闪耀着真正的热情。我们会在事后尽力合理化自己的行为,鉴于大脑中发生的大量事情处于我们的自觉意识之外,我们就处在一个不能真正了解自己的境地。所以,只是追问人们为什么如此这般投票,对我们理解这一问题毫无益处。我们需要科学。 Political Animals does this. It uses breakthroughs in neuroscience, genetics, evolutionary psychology, anthropology, behavioural economics, political science, political psychology and game theory to give new insights into political behaviour. 《政治动物》要做的就是这件事。它利用了神经科学、遗传学、进化心理学、人类学、行为经济学、政治科学、政治心理学和博弈论等学科的新突破,寻求对于政治行为的新见解。 The basic premise of the book is that our brain evolved roughly 1.8 million years ago and so the instincts that were baked into human DNA then are now often not the most appropriate or efficient response to our environment: “In politics, [instincts] often don’t work: they malfunction, misfire and lead us astray.” Shenkman even goes as far as to argue that “when it comes to politics, the times when we can unquestioningly go with our instincts is almost nil.” 这本书的基本前提是:我们的大脑大约在180万年前进化形成,因此那些整合到人类DNA中的本能通常并非我们对环境所能做出的最合适或最有效反应。“在政治中,[直觉]通常不可行,他们会失灵,无法奏效,还会带我们误入歧途。” Shenkman走得很远,他甚至认为,“当谈到政治时,我们可以毫无疑问的跟随直觉走的时候基本为零”。 In essence: we frequently sabotage ourselves, upending democracy in ways none of us intended. 从本质上说,我们经常会在没有人刻意如此的情况下伤害自己、颠覆民主。 Shenkman focuses on four problems that we continually make: political apathy; failure to correctly size up our political leaders; a habit of punishing politicians who tell us the hard truths we don’t want to hear; and our failure to show empathy in situations that clearly demand it. Shenkman关注我们经常犯的四个错误:政治冷漠,不能正确地认识政治领袖,习惯性地惩罚跟我们讲述我们不愿意听的残酷事实的政治家,在明确需要的情况下不能表示同情。 Hearing all of this, it is sorely tempting to conclude that democracy is hopeless. But all is not lost. 听到这一切,让人很容易得出结论,民主是无望的。但这并不意味着一切。 Throughout the book we are reminded that the way our brain is constructed does not mean we are fated to behave as cavemen, even though we might be inclined to think that based on the morning’s headlines. He shows us with numerous thought experiments (that readers can conduct on themselves) that is better to think of our brains as being pre-wired rather than hard-wired. We have certain innate traits but whether they determine how we behave in a particular situation depends on a range of factors. This shouldn’t be so surprising – think how easily and dramatically our energy levels can affect our decision making and self-control. 这本书从头到尾一直在提醒我们,我们的大脑如此构造,并不意味着我们注定要像穴居人那样行动,尽管根据早上的头条新闻我们可能倾向于这样认为。他通过许多思想实验(读者可以自己进行)向我们表明,我们最好将大脑看作是预设的而并非是固设的。我们有某些天生的特质, 但这些特质是否会决定我们在特定情况下的行为则取决于一系列因素。这并不应该让人感到惊讶——想想我们的精力水平能如何容易、如何显著地影响我们的决策和自控能力吧。 What is more controversial is Shenkman’s challenge to the convention that the main political problem society faces is a lack of information: “Modern Platos raise a huge cry over the problem ignorance poses to democracy, turning alarmism about ignorance into a virtual cottage industry” 更有争议的是Shenkman对社会面临的主要政治问题乃是缺乏信息这一传统观念的挑战,“现代柏拉图们大声疾呼,宣称无知威胁民主。他们已经把对无知的担忧警惕几乎变成了一种祖传家酿。” And he’s right – critics have been beating the same horse for generations, crying ‘mass man is ignorant!’ After the Second World War and the rise of Nazism, university professors became consumed with the problem of public ignorance. It is not that simple, unfortunately. Proving that unknowledgeable voters can be turned into knowledgeable ones doesn’t prove much we didn’t already know. We send children to school because we believe they can learn. The truth is more unsettling: it is not an intelligence or information problem. It’s a motivation, environment, social and, above all else, a human being problem. The problem is that voters on their own don’t try to learn. 他是对的——评论家们世世代代都在鞭打同一具尸体,喊叫“大众是无知的!”第二次世界大战和纳粹主义兴起之后,大学教授们开始全心关注公众无知的问题。不幸的是,这不是那么简单。证明了无知的选民可以转变为有知的选民,这并不能证明多少我们事先就不知道的事情。我们送孩子去学校是因为我们相信他们有学习的能力。真相是更让人不安的:这不是一个智力或者信息问题。这是激励、环境、社会的问题,最重要的是,这是人性问题。问题在于选民们自己不尝试去学习。 Perhaps voters need to be motivated, probably financially. But no government has tried this (directly) because voters would find it insulting – anyone who dared suggest that voters need to be paid because they are citizen delinquents would instantly be branded as elitist. 或许选民需要刺激,比如经济刺激。但是没有任何政府(直接地)试图这么做,因为选民们会感到这是侮辱——任何人若胆敢建议给选民支付费用【编注:从上下文看,意思好像是付费让选民接受公民培训,但也可能是指为投票行为付费。】,而且给出的理由是因为他们是公民群氓,那他立马就会被贴上“精英主义”的标签。 Equally, the Scandinavian experience shows culture can be just as effective (75% of Swedes participate in adult civics-study circles at some point in their lives having retained an interest in politics from school-age). But why should it take either money or culture to get people to perform their civic responsibilities? Shouldn’t people want to be involved? 同样的,北欧的经验表明文化同样奏效 (瑞典人中凡是曾在生活中某一时间参与过成人公民学习圈的,有75%都保留了从学生时代起培养出的政治兴趣)。但是为什么需要钱或者文化的驱使才能让人们履行公民责任呢?难道人们不想参与吗? So this is not a guidebook for how to be the perfect citizen. Shenkman is far from being an idealist. Instead, he offers un-patronising, concrete steps to ‘do politics’ better: don’t place a lot of confidence in your natural curiosity; don’t delude yourself into believing you can read politics; whenever possible, try to put yourself in a position where you can experience politics directly. 所以这不是一本怎样成为完美公民的指南。Shenkman远非一个理想主义者。相反,他提出的是并不高高在上的、具体的步骤,来更好地“做政治”:不要过分信赖你天生的好奇心上;不要欺骗自己说你可以读懂政治;有可能的话,尝试坐到某个位置上,直接体验政治。 In this engaging, illuminating and often humourous portrait of our political culture, Shenkman probes the depths of the human mind to reveal what we must do to fix our floundering democracy, and to become more political, less animal. 在这幅引人入胜、发人深省且常常带些幽默的政治文化肖像中, Shenkman窥探到人类心灵的深处,告诉我们必须做什么来修复我们挣扎的民主,多一些政治性, 少一些动物性。 Political Animals was first published on the 21st January 2016 by Basic Books, £17.99 RRP, hardback. 《政治动物》由基本图书公司在2016年1月21日首次出版,精装版标价£17.99 。 (编辑:辉格@whigzhou) *注:本译文未经原作者授权,本站对原文不持有也不主张任何权利,如果你恰好对原文拥有权益并希望我们移除相关内容,请私信联系,我们会立即作出响应。

——海德沙龙·翻译组,致力于将英文世界的好文章搬进中文世界——

[译文]观察大脑的新工具

How the Brain Is Computing the Mind
大脑是如何计算意识的

作者:Ed Boyden @ 2016-02-12
译者:Veidt(@Veidt)
校对:混乱阈值(@混乱阈值)
来源:Edge,http://edge.org/conversation/ed_boyden-how-the-brain-is-computing-the-mind

The history of science has shown us that you need the tools first. Then you get the data. Then you can make the theory. Then you can achieve understanding.
科学的历史告诉我们,首先你需要合适的工具,然后去收集数据,之后你就可以创造理论了,最终你才能获得对事物的理解。

Ed Boyden is a professor of biological engineering and brain and cognitive sciences at the MIT Media Lab and the MIT McGovern Institute. He leads the Synthetic Neurobiology Group.
Ed Boyden是MIT媒体实验室和MIT麦戈文研究院的一名生物工程和大脑与认知科学方向的教授。他领导着MIT合成神经生物学研究小组。

HOW THE BRAIN IS COMPUTING THE MIND
大脑是如何计算意识的

How can we truly understand how the brain is computing the mind? Over the last 100 years, neuroscience has made a lot of progress. We have learned that there are neurons in the brain, we have learned a lot about psychology, but connecting those two worlds, understanding how these computational circuits in the brain in coordinated fashion are generating decisions and thoughts and feelings and sensations, that link remains very elusive. And so, over the last decade, my group at MIT has been working on technology, ways of seeing the brain, ways of controlling brain circuits, ways of trying to map the molecules of the brain.

我们如何才能真正地认识到大脑是如何计算着意识的?在过去百年中,神经科学研究在这方面获得了长足进步。我们已经了解到大脑中有着巨量的神经元,也对心理学有了许多认识,但想要把这两个领域联系起来,去理解这些大脑中的计算电路是如何通过合作来产生决策、思想、感觉和情感,则并非易事,人们目前对其中的关联仍知之甚少。正因此,在过去十年中,我在MIT领导的研究小组一直致力于研究相关方面的技术,以期找到观测大脑,控制脑内回路,以及在大脑内部定位分子的方法。

At this point, what I’m trying to figure out is what to do next. How do we start to use these maps, use these dynamical observations and perturbations to link the computations that these circuits make, and things like thoughts and feelings and maybe even consciousness?

目前,我正在试图弄清我们下一步应该做些什么。我们能够如何利用这些分子定位图——也就是一些动态的观测和扰动——来将脑内电路的计算过程与思想,感觉,甚至是意识这些东西联系在一起?

There are a couple of things that we can do. One idea is simply to go get the data. A lot of people have the opposite po(more...)

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How the Brain Is Computing the Mind 大脑是如何计算意识的 作者:Ed Boyden @ 2016-02-12 译者:Veidt(@Veidt) 校对:混乱阈值(@混乱阈值) 来源:Edge,http://edge.org/conversation/ed_boyden-how-the-brain-is-computing-the-mind The history of science has shown us that you need the tools first. Then you get the data. Then you can make the theory. Then you can achieve understanding. 科学的历史告诉我们,首先你需要合适的工具,然后去收集数据,之后你就可以创造理论了,最终你才能获得对事物的理解。 Ed Boyden is a professor of biological engineering and brain and cognitive sciences at the MIT Media Lab and the MIT McGovern Institute. He leads the Synthetic Neurobiology Group. Ed Boyden是MIT媒体实验室和MIT麦戈文研究院的一名生物工程和大脑与认知科学方向的教授。他领导着MIT合成神经生物学研究小组。 HOW THE BRAIN IS COMPUTING THE MIND 大脑是如何计算意识的 How can we truly understand how the brain is computing the mind? Over the last 100 years, neuroscience has made a lot of progress. We have learned that there are neurons in the brain, we have learned a lot about psychology, but connecting those two worlds, understanding how these computational circuits in the brain in coordinated fashion are generating decisions and thoughts and feelings and sensations, that link remains very elusive. And so, over the last decade, my group at MIT has been working on technology, ways of seeing the brain, ways of controlling brain circuits, ways of trying to map the molecules of the brain. 我们如何才能真正地认识到大脑是如何计算着意识的?在过去百年中,神经科学研究在这方面获得了长足进步。我们已经了解到大脑中有着巨量的神经元,也对心理学有了许多认识,但想要把这两个领域联系起来,去理解这些大脑中的计算电路是如何通过合作来产生决策、思想、感觉和情感,则并非易事,人们目前对其中的关联仍知之甚少。正因此,在过去十年中,我在MIT领导的研究小组一直致力于研究相关方面的技术,以期找到观测大脑,控制脑内回路,以及在大脑内部定位分子的方法。 At this point, what I’m trying to figure out is what to do next. How do we start to use these maps, use these dynamical observations and perturbations to link the computations that these circuits make, and things like thoughts and feelings and maybe even consciousness? 目前,我正在试图弄清我们下一步应该做些什么。我们能够如何利用这些分子定位图——也就是一些动态的观测和扰动——来将脑内电路的计算过程与思想,感觉,甚至是意识这些东西联系在一起? There are a couple of things that we can do. One idea is simply to go get the data. A lot of people have the opposite point of view. You want to have an idea about how the brain computes, the concept of how the mind is generating thoughts and feelings and so forth. Marvin Minsky, for example, is very fond of thinking about how intelligence and artificial intelligence can be arrived at through sheer thinking about it. 的确有一些我们能做的事情。其中的一个主意就只是从这些分子定位图中获取数据。但有很多人持有相反的意见。他们希望获得关于大脑是如何进行计算的,意识是如何产生出思想和感觉的,以及诸如此类的一些观点和概念。例如,Marvin Minsky(译者注:马文·明斯基,计算机科学家,人工智能领域的奠基人之一)就非常热衷于通过纯粹的思考来解决智能和人工智能是如何实现的这个问题。【编注:这句原文的字面意思是『Marvin Minsky就非常热衷于思考如何能够通过纯粹的思考来解决智能和人工智能是如何实现的这个问题』,Minsky的工作重点好像不是这种二阶思考,疑似作者笔误。】 On the other hand, and it’s always dangerous to make analogies and metaphors like this, but if you look at other problems in biology like, what is life? how do species evolve? and so forth, people forget that there are huge amounts, centuries sometimes but at least decades of data that was collected before those theories emerged. 但另一方面,做出这样的类比和隐喻总是十分危险的。如果你去看看生物学中的其它一些问题,例如“什么是生命?”“物种是如何进化的?”以及类似的种种,人们在提这些问题的时候忘记了一个事实:那就是在理论出现之前,研究者们已经收集了大量的数据,数据的时间跨度有时长达数个世纪,至少也有几十年。 Darwin roamed the Earth looking at species, looking at all sorts of stuff until he wrote the giant tome, On the Origins of Species. Before people started to try to hone in on what life is, there was the tool development phase: people invented the microscope. 达尔文在他的环球旅行中观察了许多物种,他仔细观察着关于这些物种的一切,最终写出伟大的巨著《物种起源》。在人们开始尝试研究“生命是什么”这个问题之前,必经的一步是工具的发展:有人发明了显微镜。 People started looking at cells and watching them divide and so forth, and without those data, it would be very hard to know that there were cells at all, that there were these tiny building blocks, each of which was a self-compartmentalized, autonomous building block of life. 在那之后人们才开始观察细胞,观察它们的分裂和其它种种行为,如果没有这些数据,人们甚至很难发现细胞的存在,而生命正是由这些微小的,独立自治的“小积木”搭建而来的。 The approach I would like to take is to go get the data. Let’s see how the cells in the brain can communicate with each other. Let’s see how these networks take sensation and combine that information with feelings and memories and so forth to generate the outputs, decisions and thoughts and movements. And then, one of two possibilities will emerge. 在这里,我想采用的方法是从其中获取数据。让我们来看看大脑中的细胞是如何彼此交流信息的,看看这些细胞构成的网络如何获得感觉,并将这种信息与感情,记忆,还有其它类似的东西组合在一起来生成输出信号,决策,思想和动作。之后,我们将会看到两种可能性之一的出现。 One will be that patterns can be found, motifs can be mined, you can start to see sense in this morass of data. The second might be that it’s incomprehensible, that the brain is this enormous bag of tricks and while you can simulate it brute force in a computer, it’s very hard to extract simpler representations from those datasets. 一种可能性是,我们可以从中发现一些模式,挖掘出一些主旨,并开始从这堆乱糟糟的数据中寻找一些理论了。另一种可能性则是,我们仍然无法理解其中的奥妙,由于大脑中所包含的复杂机制是如此之多,虽然我们可以简单粗暴地在计算机中进行模拟,但想要从这些数据集中抽取出一些相对简单一点的模型仍然是非常困难的。 In some ways, it has to be the former because it’s strange that we can predict our behaviors. People walk through a city, they communicate, they see things, there are commonalities in the human experience. So that’s a clue; that’s a clue that it’s not an arbitrary morass of complexity that we’re not going to ever make sense of. 从某种角度说,第一种可能性应该是对的,虽然很奇怪,但人们的确已经获得了预测自身行为的能力。人们会在城市中穿行,会相互交流,会看到形形色色的事物,在人类的生存体验中存在诸多这样的共同之处。所以现在我们至少有了点线索,我们知道自己所面临的并不是一堆混乱到我们完全无法搞清楚其中意义的随机复杂性。 Of course, being a pessimist, we should still always hold open the possibility that it will be incomprehensible. But the fact that we can talk in language, that we see and design shapes and that people can experience pleasure in common, that suggests that there is some convergence that it’s not going to be infinitely complex and that we will be able to make sense of it. 当然,从悲观主义者的视角来看,我们仍然需要对第二种可能性抱以开放的态度,也就是我们的确可能无法理解这个问题。但人们能够使用语言交谈,能够辨别并设计不同形状,还能够获得共同的愉悦体验,这些事实都表明我们所要研究的对象是存在一些收敛性质的,至少我们所面对的不是无穷无尽的复杂性,而我们也的确能够从中找到一些规律。 Biology and brain science are not fundamental sciences in the sense that physics is. In physics, there are particles and there are forces, and you could write down a very short list of those things. But if you’re thinking about the brain and the brain is going to have these cells called neurons, and the neurons have all these molecules that generate their electrical functions and their chemical exchanges of information, those are encoded for by the genome. 生物学和脑科学并不是像物理一样的基础科学。在物理学中有质点和各种力的概念,你可以很容易地将所有这些概念列在一张很短的清单上。但想想大脑吧,大脑中有一些被称为神经元的细胞,这些神经元又是由许多不同的分子构成的,神经元正是靠这些分子来产生电信号并通过化学递质交流信息,而所有这些分子则都被编码在了基因组中。 In the genome, we have, depending on who you ask, 20,000- to 30,000-odd genes, and those genes produce gene products like proteins, and those proteins generate the electrical potentials of neurons and they specify at least some parts of the wiring. The way that I look at it is we’re going to want to understand the brain in terms of these fundamental building blocks, and we can always try to ignore some detail, this concept of the abstraction layer. 基因组中大约有2万到3万个基因(研究者们在基因的具体数目这个问题上存在一些分歧),这些基因能够生产出像蛋白质这样的基因产物,而其中一些蛋白质又生成了神经元中的高低电位,因而它们也指定了神经电路中至少某些部分的构成方式。关于大脑,我认为目前我们所要了解的是这些基础的组成部件,而我们总是可以尝试去忽略掉一些细节,从抽象层上去理解其中的概念。 Can we ignore everything below a certain level of description and just focus on the higher level concepts? But modern neuroscience is now almost 130 years old, since the neuron was discovered, and so far, the attempts to ignore below certain levels of description have not yielded universally accepted and explanatory theories of how our brains are computing our thoughts or feelings or movements. 我们真的能够忽略掉某个特定描述层次之下的一切,而仅仅把注意力集中在更高层次的概念上吗?自从神经元被发现至今,现代神经科学的发展已经有近130年历史了,但那些尝试忽略掉某些特定描述层次以下的微观机制的努力,至今还没能产生出能够被广泛接受并具有解释力的理论,来回答大脑是如何计算出我们的思想、感受或是动作的这些问题。 The way that we approach things is pretty radically different from the past. The premise that I launched my research group at MIT on was that we needed new technology. The reason people are shying away from these very, very detailed measurements of brain function, getting the deep data, was because we didn’t have the tools. The history of science has shown us that you need the tools first. Then you get the data. Then you can make the theory. Then you can achieve understanding. No theory with no technology. It’s very difficult to know that you’ve solved it. 而我们团队目前处理问题的方式与之前的则有着非常明显的区别。我在MIT成立这个研究小组所基于的一个前提就是我意识到我们需要新的技术。人们之所以会回避这些对于大脑功能非常细节化的测量,原因在于我们并没有获得合适的工具。科学的历史告诉我们,首先你需要合适的工具,然后才能去收集数据,之后你就可以创造理论了,而最终你将获得对事物的理解。没有合适的技术就无法创造出好的理论。因为你很难确定自己的理论是否真的解决了问题。 Before Newton’s Laws, there were lots of people like Kepler and Galileo who were watching the planets, and they had decades and decades of data. Why don’t we have that for the brain? We need tools for the brain like the telescope and the microscope, and now, we need to collect the data, ground truth data, if you will, where we can see all those cells and molecules in action, and then, we’re going to see a renaissance in our ability to think of and learn about the brain at a very detailed level, but to extract true insight from these datasets. 在牛顿定律之前,很多人都曾经观察过行星的运动(例如开普勒和伽利略),而他们已经积累了数十年的数据。在针对大脑的研究中,我们为什么不做相同的事情呢?在对大脑的研究中,我们首先需要找到像天文学中的望远镜和生物学中的显微镜一样的有效工具,之后我们所要做的就是收集真实的基础数据,如果你愿意的话,我们现在已经能从数据中看到所有的那些细胞和分子的运动,之后,我们将能够欣喜地看到自己获得了从非常细节的层次上思考和学习大脑的能力,同时也能够从那些收集到的数据集中获得一些真正的洞见。 Let’s think for a second about the hypothesis that biology is not a fundamental science. If you think about books like The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, this and other attempts to explain the path of science, we often have these models: here’s my hypothesis, somebody comes along and disproves it, and if it’s a big enough disproof, you get a revolution. 让我们花点时间想想“生物学不是一门基础科学”这个假说。想象一下托马斯·库恩的《科学革命的结构》这本书,还有其他一些试图解释科学发展之路径的著作,在这些书中我们通常会看到这样的模式:首先我提出了一个假说,然后有人出来对这个假说提出反对意见,如果这个反对意见足够重大,那么这就可以被称之为一项“革命”。 But let’s think about biology: suppose I want to figure out how a gene in the genome relates to an emergent property like intelligence or behavior or a disease like Alzheimer's. There are so many genes in the genome, most hypotheses are probably wrong just by chance. What are the chances that you got the exact gene that’s most important for something? And even if you did, how do you know what other genes modulate it? It’s an incredibly complicated network. 但让我们想想生物学吧:假设我想要找到基因组中的某个基因是如何与某个重要属性(例如智力、行为或者是阿尔茨海默症这样的疾病)发生关联的。基因组中的基因数量如此之多,从概率上看,大多数假说大概都是错误的。对于某种属性,你能准确地找到对它而言最重要的那个基因的概率有多大?而即使你找到了这个基因,你又如何知道有哪些其它的基因会对它发挥调控作用?这个网络的复杂程度简直令人难以置信。 If you started thinking of how different genes of the genome, how their products interact to generate functions in cells or in neurons or networks, it’s a huge combinatorial explosion. Most hypotheses about what a gene is doing, or especially what a network of genes is doing, much less a network of cells in the brain, they’re going to be incorrect. That’s why it’s so important to get these ground truth descriptions of the brain. 而如果你开始思考基因组中的不同基因所生产出的基因产物之间是如何通过互动在细胞中,或者神经元和神经网络中,产生不同的功能的,那么你将面临一个组合大爆炸了。关于某个基因的功能是什么,尤其是某个基因网络的功能是什么,人们所提出的绝大多数假说都将被证明是错误的,更不用提大脑中的某个细胞网络的功能是什么了。这就是为什么我们需要获得真实的关于大脑的基础性描述的原因。 Why can't we map the circuits and see how the molecules are configured, and turn on or off different cells in the brain and see how they interact? Once you have those maps, we can make much better hypotheses. I don’t think the maps of the brain equal the understanding of the brain, but the maps of the brain can help us make hypotheses and make them less assumption-prone, make them less likely to be wrong. 为什么我们不能绘制出大脑中的神经电路并看看其中的分子是如何装配的,然后通过打开或者关闭大脑中的不同细胞来看看它们是如何交互的呢?一旦你能够绘制出这些电路图,我们就能够提出比现在好得多的假说了。我认为这种将大脑比作一张神经电路图的观点并不等于对大脑的正确理解,但将大脑比作神经电路图的做法的确能够帮助我们提出更好的假说,并让这些假说变得不那么依赖于前提假设,同时也降低它们的错误概率。 One thing that I hope a circuit description of the brain will help us understand about humanity is, as we know from psychology, there are countless unconscious processes that happen. One of the most famous such experiments is you can find regions of the brain or even single cells in the brain that will be active even seconds before people feel like they’re making a consciously-willed decision. That leads to what you might maybe slightly jokingly say, we have free will but we’re not conscious of it. Our brains are computing what we’re going to do, and that we’re conscious after the fact is one interpretation of these studies. 我希望这种关于大脑的神经电路式描述能够帮助我们理解人性,而其中一个方面就是我们已经从心理学中所了解到的无数无意识过程的发生。在这方面最著名的实验之一就是人们发现大脑中的某些区域或者甚至是某些细胞会在人们感受到自己正在做出一个意识清醒的决定的数秒之前就开始变得活跃。这让我们能够半开玩笑地说,人们的确拥有自由意志,只是自己还没意识到而已。对这些研究结果的一种解读方式是,大脑已经计算出了我们会在接下来做什么,而我们是在之后才意识到这一点。 What I suggest though is that if we peek under the hood, if we look at what the brain is computing, we might find evidence for the implementation or the mechanisms of feelings and thoughts and decisions that are completely inaccessible if we only look at behavior, or if we only look at the kinds of things that people do, whereas if you find evidence that something you’re about to do, something you’re about to consciously decide, your brain already has that information in advance. Wouldn’t it be interesting to know what’s generating that information? Maybe there are free will circuits, quote, unquote, in the brain that are generating these decisions. 但我想要建议的是,如果我们试着去一窥面纱之下的风景,去看看大脑到底在计算些什么的话,我们也许能够找到一些关于感受、思想和决策的实现方法或机制的证据,而仅仅通过观察人们的行为或是人们会做哪些事情是完全无法获得这些证据的,因为当你意识到你将会做某件事情,或者是清醒地做出某个决定的时候,你的大脑已经提前获得了这些信息。了解是什么产生了这些信息难道不是一件很有趣的事情吗?也许在大脑中存在着生成“ 自由意志”的神经电路来负责产生这些决策呢。 We know all sorts of other things that occur, feelings that our brains are generating, and we have no idea about what’s causing them. There are very famous examples where somebody who has an injury to a part of their brain that is responsible for conscious vision, but you tell them when you see something, I want you to have a certain feeling, or when you see something, I want you to imagine a certain kind of outcome, and people will have that occur even though they’re not consciously aware of what they’re seeing. 我们还知道很多大脑中会发生的其它事情,例如大脑会产生感受,但我们完全不知道是什么导致了这些事情的发生。在这些方面有些著名的例子,例如有些人大脑中负责有意识的视力的部分受到了损伤,但如果你告诉他们“当你看见某种东西的时候,我希望你能产生某种特定的感受”,或者“当你看见某种东西的时候,我希望你能够想象某种特定的结果”,那么他们就真的会产生这种感受或是想象出这种特定的结果,即使他们并不能清醒地意识到自己看见了什么。 There is so much processing that we have no access to, and yet, it’s so essential to the human condition for and decisions and thoughts, and if we can get access to the circuits that generate them, that might be the fastest route to understanding those aspects of the human condition. 至今我们仍然没有任何途径去研究大脑中很大一部分处理过程,然而它们对于人类的决策和思维至关重要,一旦我们能够找到办法去研究那些生成它们的神经电路,那么这也许将成为理解人类状态中的这些方面最快捷的途径。 I’ve been thinking a lot over the last decade primarily about the technology that helped us figure out what we need to understand about the brain in terms of circuits and how they work together. But now that those tools are maturing, I’m thinking a lot about how we use these tools to understand what we all care about. 在过去十年中,我花了很多时间去思考如何发展那些能够帮助我们从神经电路和它们共同工作的机制方面去理解大脑的技术。现在这些工具开始慢慢成熟了,我会花更多时间去思考我们能够如何利用这些工具去理解我们共同关心的那些问题。 Up until now, we mostly have been giving our tools out to other neuroscientists to use. We’ve been focusing very much on technology invention, and other groups have been discovering profound things about the brain. I’ll just give you a couple of examples. 目前为止,我们主要还是在将这些工具提供给其他的一些神经科学家使用。我们主要关注的是技术的研发,而其它一些研究小组则致力于探索关于大脑的一些意义重大的事情。这里我将举两个例子。 There’s a group at Caltech and they use one of our technologies, a technology that makes neurons activatable by pulses of light. They put these molecules into neurons deep, deep in the brain, and when you shine light, those neurons are electrically active, just like when they’re normally being used. They found that there are neurons deep in the brain that trigger aggression or violence in mice, so they would activate these neurons and the mice would attack whatever was next to them, even if it was just a rubber glove. 加州理工大学的一个研究小组使用了我们的一种技术,这种技术能够通过光脉冲让神经元处于可激活状态。他们将这些分子放置在大脑非常深处的神经元中,当你发出光信号时,这些神经元就会处于电活跃状态,就像它们平时发挥作用时一样。他们发现大脑深处的某些神经元会触发小白鼠的攻击性或暴力倾向,于是他们就激活了这些神经元,而之后小白鼠就会攻击它们身旁的一切东西,即使是一只橡胶手套。 I find it fascinating to think about something as ethically charged, as essential to the human condition, as involved with our justice system and all sorts of stuff, as violence. You can find a very small cluster of neurons that, when they’re activated, are sufficient to trigger an act of aggression or violence. So of course, now, the big question is what neurons connect to those? Are they violence detectors? Oh, here is the set of stimuli that makes us now decide, oh, I should go attack this thing next to me even if it’s just a glove. 我发现思考诸如暴力之类概念是一件非常令人着迷的事情,它们在道德上受到谴责,但对人类具有重要影响,并且被包含在我们的司法系统中。你能够找到一小簇神经元,当它们被激活时,就足以触发攻击性或是暴力行为。那么当然,现在最大的问题就是哪些神经元是与它们相关的?这些神经元能够用于探测暴力行为的发生吗?“噢,这儿有一组让我们马上作出决定的刺激信号,噢,我应该去攻击我身边的这个东西了,即使它是一只手套。” And then, of course, where do these neurons project? What are they driving? Are they driving an emotion, and downstream of that emotion comes the violent act? Or are they just driving a motor command: go attack the glove next to you? For the first time, you can start to activate very specific sets of cells deep in the brain and have them trigger an observable behavior, but you can also ask, what are these cells getting, what are these cells sending messages to, and looking at the entire flow of information. 然后,理所当然的问题就是这些神经元是在哪里得到表现的?它们驱动的又是什么?是它们驱动了某种情感,然后这种情感顺流而下的发展导致了暴力行为的发生吗?或者说它们只是驱动了某种机械指令:攻击你身边的那只手套!?有史以来第一次,你能够去激活大脑深处的那些特定的细胞组,并且触发它们的某种可观测的行为,但同时你还可以发问,这些细胞获得了什么,它们在向哪些对象发送消息,而你能够看到这其中完整的信息流。 I’ll give you another example that is fascinating. One of my colleagues at MIT, Susumu Tonegawa, trained mice on a learning task, so that certain neurons in the brain become activatable by light. They used some genetic tricks to do that. 还有另一个令人着迷的例子。我在MIT的一位同事,利根川进(译者注:日本生物学家,因“发现抗体多样性的遗传学原理”获1987年诺贝尔生理学或医学奖)用一个学习任务来训练小白鼠,使小白鼠脑内的某些特定神经元处于可被光信号激活的状态。他们使用了一些基因技巧来进行这个实验。 Now, what happens is those mice can be doing something else much later, they shine light on the brain, and those neurons, the ones that had been activated earlier when they were learning, they get reactivated and the mice make a memory recall. It’s like they were there in the earlier place and time. 而之后所发生的事情是,那些小白鼠在神经元处于该状态很久之后可能正在做着某些别的事情,但一旦研究者们在小白鼠的脑内点亮光信号,那些之前在它们进行学习任务时就已经被激活的神经元会被重新激活,而那些小白鼠则经历了一次记忆唤醒的过程,就像它们还处在之前的时间和地点一样。 That’s interesting because for the first time, they can show that you can cause the recall of a specific memory, and now they are doing all sorts of interesting things. For example, you can activate those cells again, and let’s say that’s a happy memory; let’s say it’s associated with pleasure or a reward. 这个例子的有趣之处在于,这些研究者们第一次证明了人们的确可以唤醒某段特定的记忆,而现在他们仍然在做着各种有趣的事情。例如,你能够再一次激活那些神经元,我们假设那代表着一段快乐的回忆,或者说它与愉悦感或是奖励是联系在一起的。 They have shown that that can have antidepressant effects, that you can have an animal recall, a memory when you shine light on certain neurons, now the memory that is recalled triggers happy emotions; this is how they interpreted it. And that can counteract other stressors or other things that make the animal normally feel not so good. 这些研究者们已经证明了这种记忆唤醒能够产生抗抑郁的效果,他们对此的解释是,你能够通过用光信号照射某些特定的神经元来唤醒动物的某段记忆,这段被唤醒的记忆会触发动物的一些欢快的情感,这些情感能够抵抗某些压力源或其它一些通常会让动物产生不良感受的东西。 Literally, hundreds and hundreds of groups are using this technology that we developed for activating neurons by light to trigger things that are of clinical and maybe even sometimes philosophical interest. 毫不夸张地说,现在已经有数以百计的研究小组采用了我们开发的这种通过光信号来激活神经元的技术,他们使用这种技术来触发一些具有临床意义,有时甚至具有哲学意义的东西。

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I studied chemistry and electrical engineering and physics in college, and decided that I cared about understanding the brain. To me, that was the big unknown. This will seem kind of cheesy, but I started thinking about how our brains understand the universe, and the universe, of course, gives us things like the laws of physics upon which are built chemistry and biology, upon which is built our brain. It’s kind of a loop. I was trying to think about what to do in a career; I thought, what’s the weak point in the loop? And it seemed like the brain was very unknown. 我曾在大学里学过化学,电气工程和物理学,而我最终认定自己最牵挂的是对于大脑的理解。对我来说,那是一个大大的未知领域。下面这段话可能看起来有点肉麻,但当时我开始思考我们的大脑是如何去理解宇宙的,正是宇宙给了我们物理定律,而化学和生物又是建立在这些物理定律的基础上的。这某种程度上构成了一个环。而我试图去思考在我的职业生涯中应该做些什么,我当时所想的是,在这些环节中最弱的一个是什么?看起来大脑是存在最多未知的地方。 I was very impressed by people who would go build technology to tackle big problems, sometimes very simple technology. All the chemists in the 1700s and 1800s who built ways of looking at pressure and volume and stoichiometry, without that, it’s inconceivable that we would have things like the Periodic Table of the Elements and quantum mechanics and so forth. 那些愿意去创造技术以解决重大问题的人们给我留下了深刻的印象,而有时那些技术其实非常简单。例如所有在18世纪和19世纪尝试用各种方法测量压力、体积和其他化学量的科学家们,没有他们的工作,难以想象我们今天能够拥有元素周期表,量子力学和其它的一些科学工具。 What stuck out in my mind was you need to have that technological era, and that then gives you the data that you want, that then yields the most parsimonious and elegant representations of knowledge. And for neuroscience, it seemed like we had never gone through that technological era. There were bits and pieces, don’t get me wrong, like electrodes and the MRI scanner, but never a concerted effort to be able to map everything, record all the dynamics, and to control everything. And that’s what I wanted to do. 当时我脑子里一个挥之不去的念头就是,你只有经历过一个那样的技术时代,才能获得自己想要的数据,然后才能从中产生出最精细最优雅的知识。对于神经科学来说,看起来我们还从未经历过一个那样的技术时代。别误会我的意思,当然我们已经拥有了一些零散的技术手段,例如电极技术和核磁共振扫描仪,但我们从未同心协力去努力获得定位大脑内部发生的一切,记录脑内的所有动态过程,并控制大脑的所有活动的能力。而那正是我想要做的事情。 At the time I started graduate school at Stanford, I went around telling everybody I wanted to build technologies for the brain and to bring the physical sciences into neuroscience. A lot of people thought it was a bad idea, frankly, and I think the reason why was at the time, many people who are physicists and inventors were trying to build tools for studying the brain. But they were thinking forwards from what was fun for them to do, and not backwards from the deep mysteries of the brain. 当时我刚开始在斯坦福大学的研究生生涯,我告诉身边的所有人我希望为探索大脑开发技术手段并将神经科学变成一门自然科学。老实说,当时有很多人都不认为这是个好主意,我觉得他们这么想的原因是,在当时,有许多物理学家和发明家都在试图为研究大脑创造工具,但是他们所想的都是向前看,去研究那些对他们而言有趣的事情,而并没有回过头去探索那些埋藏在大脑深处的谜题。 The key insight that I got during graduate school was if you don’t think backwards from the big mysteries of the brain, and you only think forwards from what you find fun in physics, the technologies you built might not be that important. They might not solve a big problem. What I learned was we have to take the brain at face value. We have to accept its complexity, work backwards from that, and survey all the areas of science and engineering in order to build those tools. 我在研究生阶段所获得的最重要的洞见就是,如果你不能回过头去思考那些关于大脑的谜题,而只是向前去思考那些让你在物理学中觉得有趣的东西,那么你所创造出来的技术可能就不那么重要,它们可能无法被用来解决大的问题。我所学到的是我们需要直面大脑本来的面目,要想创造出那些真正有用的工具,我们就需要接受大脑的复杂性,回过头来以此为目的去调研所有的科学和工程领域。 During the first decade that I’ve been a Professor at MIT, we have mostly been building tools. We built tools for controlling the brain, tools for mapping the detailed molecular and circuit structure of the brain, and tools for watching the brain in action. 在我成为MIT的一名教授之后的首个十年中,我们的主要精力都放在创造工具上。我们创造了用于控制大脑的工具,能够绘制大脑中具体的分子和神经电路结构的工具,还有用于观测大脑活动的工具。 Right now, we’re at a turning point; we’re ready to start deploying these tools systematically and at scale. Don’t get me wrong, the tools still need improvements to be equal to the challenge of studying the brain, but for small organisms like worms and flies and fish, or for small parts of mammalian brains, we’re ready to start mapping them and trying to understand how they’re computing. 现在我们来到了一个重要的转折点上,我们已经做好准备去系统化地大规模部署这些工具来研究大脑了。但请不要误解我的意思,这些工具目前仍然需要得到改进才能足以胜任研究人类大脑这一巨大的挑战性任务,但对于一些较小的有机体,例如蠕虫,蝇类和鱼类,以及哺乳类动物大脑中的一些较小部分,我们已经做好准备去绘制它们的结构并尝试去理解它们是如何进行计算的了。 The work progresses through primarily philanthropic as well as government grant funding. We have been very lucky that there has been a bit of an increase in people interested in funding high risk, high reward things. That’s one reason why I’m at the MIT Media Lab, and you might ask why is a neuroscience Professor in the School of Architecture at MIT? 这些工作的推进主要由慈善基金和政府资助基金提供资金上的支持。我们非常幸运,越来越多的人开始对资助这类高风险,高回报的研究项目感兴趣。而那也是我在MIT媒体实验室工作的原因之一,可能你想问为什么一个神经科学教授会在MIT的建筑学院任职。 As we were discussing earlier, neuroscientists long had a deep distrust of technology, that technologies often didn’t work, the brain was so complicated that the tools could only solve toy problems. When I was looking for a professor job, the search was hit-or-miss. 正如我们之前所讨论过的,神经科学家们长久以来都对技术怀有一种深深的不信任感,他们认为技术通常都起不了什么作用,而大脑是如此复杂,那些被创造出来的工具只能解决一些玩具般的小问题。当我在寻求教职的时候,找工作的过程不确定性很高。 My collaborator, Karl Deisseroth and I had already published a paper showing we could activate neurons with light, a technology that we’ve called ever since “optogenetics,” “opto” for light and “genetics” because it’s a gene that we borrow from a plant to make the neurons light-sensitive. 我和我的合作者Karl Deisseroth当时已经发表了一篇论文表明我们能够通过光信号来激活神经元,这项技术后来一直被我们称作“光基因”(optogenetics),”opto”代表“光”,而”genetics”则代表这是我们从一种植物中提取出的能够让神经元对于光信号敏感的基因。 But a lot of people at the time were still deeply skeptical: is this the real deal or is this yet more not-quite working technology that will be a footnote? I went to the Media Lab to complain about how political and complicated academia was, and I was very lucky; they were wrapping up a failed job search and they said, "Why don’t you come here?" And so I went, and we’ve been incubating a lot of neurotechnology there since then. 但当时很多人仍然对这项技术抱着深深的怀疑态度:这真的是一项重大的技术突破,还是又一种没什么用的仅仅会在将来成为一项脚注的技术?我去MIT的媒体实验室向他们抱怨学术圈的政治和勾心斗角,而这时我的运气来了,当时他们正在总结一次并不成功的求职,于是他们对我说,“要么你到我们这儿来吧?”于是我就去了他们实验室,从那以后我们就开始在这个实验室里培育一大堆的神经技术。 When I first got to Media Lab, a lot of people were deeply puzzled about what I would do there. Was I going to switch into, "classical publicly-perceived Media Lab technology," like would I have developed ways of having cell phones diagnose mental illness or other things like that? I wanted to get to the ground truth of the brain. 当我刚到MIT媒体实验室的时候,很多人都完全搞不清楚我会在那里做些什么。他们怀疑我会不会转向开发一些“经典的受到公众认可的‘媒体实验室技术’”,比如开发一些方法通过手机来诊断精神疾病,或者诸如此类的一些东西。而我所想做的是获得关于大脑的一些基础事实。 In some ways, the Media Lab was a perfect place to start. We could incubate these ideas, these tools out of the cold light of day until they were good enough that neuroscientists could see their value. And that took several years. 从某些角度上看,媒体实验室对我来说的确是一个完美的起点。我们可以避开人们的冷眼,专注于培育创意和技术,直到它们变得足够好,能够让那些神经科学家们看到它们的价值。而这一过程持续了好几年。 It was about a three-year period until this started to get mainstream acceptance, and then, there was another three-year period where people said, wow, how do we get more technology, and that led to initiatives like the Obama BRAIN Initiative, which is an attempt to get widespread technology development throughout neuroscience. 让我们的这些技术受到学界主流的认可花了大约三年时间,而又过了三年时间后有人开始问,哇,太棒了,我们怎么才能获得更多的这类技术?而这导致了之后的一些诸如奥巴马总统的BRAIN计划之类的项目,该计划试图在整个神经科学领域发展一些能够被广泛应用的技术。 The BRAIN Initiative started at the instigation of the Kavli Foundation. They were hosting a series of brainstorms about what nanoscientists and neuroscientists could do together, and Paul Alivisatos and George Church and Rafael Yuste and many people at that border were at these early sessions. BRAIN始于Kayli基金会的大力推动。他们举办了一系列的头脑风暴式的会议以讨论纳米科学家们能够和神经科学家们一同做些什么,Paul Aliyisatos,George Church, Refael Yuste还有其他一些相关领域的科学家们参加了这些早期的会议。 And in late 2012, I was invited to one of these sessions where many inventors were invited and we started talking about maybe brain activity mapping is great and all, but the technologies might be much more broad than that; you might need more than just maps. 2012年末,我应邀参加其中的一次会议。这次会议邀请了许多技术的发明者,我们开始谈论也许绘制出大脑活动的电路图是个伟大的主意之类的话题,但涉及其中的技术范围可能会更宽,因为我们需要的可能不仅仅是一些电路图。 You might need ways to control the brain, ways to rewire the brain. 我们可能需要一些能够控制大脑的方法,还有重连大脑电路的方法。 That was an interesting turning point because it went from activity mapping to broadly technology, and four or five months later, Obama announced this BRAIN initiative which, somewhat recursively, stands for Brain Research for Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies, and they are now devoting tens to hundreds of millions of dollars a year, depending upon which year, to try to get more technology made to help understand the brain. 那次会议是一个很有趣的转折点,因为从此之后,我们的工作从绘制大脑的电路图拓展到了更宽的技术领域,又过了四五个月,奥巴马总统宣布了他的BRAIN计划,这个计划的首字母缩写看起来像个递归——致力于推动创新神经科技的大脑研究(Brain Research for Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies),目前人们在这项计划中每年投入高达数千万甚至数亿美元的资金以获得更多能够帮助我们理解大脑的技术。 The BRAIN initiative now is run by different government agencies. They have their own priorities, so, for example, DARPA is very interested in short-term human prosthetics, for example, no surprise there. The National Science Foundation is interested in more basic science, and so forth. The different agencies have their own agendas now. 整个BRAIN计划目前由多个不同的政府机构负责运营。这些机构都有着自己的优先任务,例如,DARPA【编注:全称Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency,美国国防部所辖研究机构】最感兴趣的是短期的人类大脑修复技术(这一点毫不令人惊讶),而国家科学基金会则对于更基础的科学课题更感兴趣,如此种种。而不同的机构现在也都有了他们自己的日程表。 IARPA is involved. They are trying to do a hard push for short-term mammalian brain circuit mapping based upon existing technology, and sort of a small part of that more on the technology development side. Most of the money is on the application side. But we have some new tools that we think can be very, very helpful. IARPA【编注:全称Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity,是美国国家情报总监辖下一个研究部门】也同样参与了进来。他们正在努力推进一个通过使用已有的技术绘制哺乳类动物大脑神经电路图的短期计划,其中的一小部分主要是关于技术开发的,而主要的资金则投入到了技术应用上。我觉得我们开发的一些新工具能够在其中派上很大用场。

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Companies are great if you can work hard and be smart and solve the problem. But if you’re tackling something like the brain, or the biggest challenges in biology in general, a lot of it’s serendipity. A lot of it is the chance connections when you bring multiple fields together, when you connect the dots, when you kind of engineer the serendipity and make something truly unpredictable, and that’s hard to do if you have closed doors. That’s hard to do if you don’t allow open, free collaboration. 如果你工作足够努力并且有足够的聪明才智去解决问题,那么企业对你来说会是个不错的去处。但如果你的研究对象是大脑,则可以说是生物学史上最大的挑战,要想获得成功就必须依赖于一些意外的收获了。当你试图将多个领域的知识结合在一起,将点连成线,当你试图去驾驭偶然性并且做出一些真正不可预测的成果时,联系和接触的机会非常重要,如果你关起门来闭门造车,如果你不能允许开放而自由的合作,要想获得成功就太难了。 Our group is very big; I think we’re the second biggest research group at all of MIT. But we work with probably about 100 groups, people who are genomics experts and chemistry experts and people making nanodiamonds and all sorts of stuff. The reason is that the brain is such a mess and it’s so complicated, we don’t know for sure which technologies and which strategies and which ideas are going to be the very best. And so, we need to combinatorially collaborate in order to guarantee, or at least maximize the probability that we’re going to solve the problem. 我们的研究团队规模很大,我想它应该是整个MIT第二大的研究团队了。但我们还与大约100个其它的研究小组进行合作,这些小组中有染色体方面的专家,有化学专家,还有些人的工作是制造纳米金刚石,可以说研究什么的都有。这么做的原因在于,大脑是如此混乱而复杂的一个系统,我们并不能肯定哪些技术,哪些研究策略,哪些主意是最好的。所以,我们需要组合式的合作模式来保证问题被解决,或者至少是将解决问题的概率最大化。 You want to have academia for that serendipitous ability to connect dots and collaborate, and you want companies when it’s time to push hard and just get the thing done and scale up and get it out the door. What I would hope to engineer in the coming maybe decade or so are hybrid institutions where we can have people go back and forth because you might need to have an idea that would go back and forth a bit until it matures. 当你需要一些驾驭偶然性的能力以连点成线并推进合作时,学术圈的氛围是最合适的;但当你需要施加压力来搞定某件事情,并将技术推广以得到广泛应用时,企业又成了最合适的地方。在未来的也许十年中我希望能够做到的是建立起一个混合型的研究机构,这样我们就能够让研究者们在学术和企业的氛围之间迅速地切换,因为我们未来的研究思路可能也需要在两种模式间切换直到它变得足够成熟。 I’ll give you an example. We’re building new kinds of microscopes and new kinds of nanotechnologies to record huge amounts of data from the brain. One of our collaborators was estimating that soon some of these devices we’re making might need some significant fraction of the bandwidth of the entire internet in order to record all the brain data that we might be getting at some point. Now, we need some electronics, right? We need electronics to store all the data and computers to analyze the data. But that’s an industrial thing. 让我给你举个例子。我们正在制造一些新型的显微镜和一些新型的纳米技术以记录大脑中的海量数据。我们的一位合作者曾估计,我们正在制造的这些仪器可能很快就需要整个因特网带宽中不小的一部分以记录我们在某些关于大脑的研究过程中获得的所有数据。现在我们需要电子技术了,对吧?我们需要电子技术以记录所有这些数据,同时还需要足够强大的计算机来对这些数据进行分析。但这就是一个更适合让企业来解决的问题了。 It’s much easier to get that done in a company than in academia because people in industry can turn the crank and make incredible computers, so we started a collaboration. A small startup here in Cambridge, Massachusetts, does these computers with us. Now we’re working on the nanotechnologies, and that fusion of two different institutional designs allows us to rapidly move faster than companies alone or academics alone. These new hybrid models are going to be essential to balance the need for luck and the need for skill and ability. 在企业中搞定这类事情要比在学术界容易得多,因为在企业中人们能够开足马力制造出拥有令人难以置信的计算能力的电脑,所以我们启动了意向合作。在马萨诸塞州剑桥市的一家创业公司和我们合作开发了这些电脑。现在我们又开始研发纳米技术了,将企业和学术这两种类型的机构融合在一起则让我们的研究进程推进得比单独依靠企业或是单独依靠学术界要快得多。在对运气的需求与对技术和能力的需求间取得平衡来说,这类混合型机制将是必不可少的。 The thing that I’m excited about also is how do we get rid of the risk in biology and medicine? Most medicines, most strategies for treating patients, they are found in large part by luck. How do we get rid of the risk? We talked a bit about how there are fundamental sciences like physics, and then, you have higher order sciences like biology. Medicine also might have different scientific methods for different kinds of disease. We have made huge inroads against bacteria and viruses because of antibiotics, because of vaccines. 现在让我感到兴奋的是我们如何能够消除一些生物学和医学研究中的风险。目前多数的药物和治疗策略的发现,在很大程度上都是依靠运气。我们能够如何消除风险?我们之前曾经谈论过一点关于物理这样的基础科学的话题,而之后,我们又有了更高阶的科学领域,例如生物学。医学也同样可能在对待不同类型的疾病时使用不同类型的科学方法。由于有了抗生素和疫苗,我们在对抗细菌和病毒的战斗中获得了巨大的进展。 Why have these been so successful? It’s because we’re trying to help our body fight a foreign invader, right? But if you look at the big diseases, the ones that nobody has anybody clue what to do about, there are brain disorders, a lot of cancers, autoimmune conditions, these are diseases where it’s our body fighting ourselves, and that’s much harder because you can’t just give a drug that wipes out the foreign invader because the foreign invader is you. 为什么我们在这方面做得如此成功?这是因为我们在尝试帮助我们的身体对抗某种来自外界的入侵者,对吧?但其它的一些重大疾病,那些没人知道该怎么对付的疾病,例如大脑的功能紊乱,各种类型的癌症,还有自体免疫病,这些疾病实质上都是我们的身体在与自身进行对抗,要解决这些疾病就困难多了,因为如果入侵者就是你自身的话,你就无法为身体提供一种药物去清除这个入侵者。 How do we understand how to de-risk the tough parts of medicine? We have to think about drug development and therapeutic development from a different point of view. The models that give us new antibiotics and new vaccines and so forth might not be quite right for subtly shifting the activity levels of certain circuits in the brain, for subtly tuning the immune system to fight off a cancer but not so much that you’re going to cause an autoimmune attack, right? 我们该如何化解这些医学难点所蕴含的风险?我们必须从另外一个角度去思考药物和治疗方法的开发。那些引导我们研发出新的抗生素,疫苗和其它一些药物的模型也许在精细地切换大脑中的某些特定神经电路的活跃程度方面并不适用。它们或许也无法既精细地调整免疫系统以击败特定癌症,同时又避免引发对自身免疫系统的攻击,对吧? One thought is, well, if it’s your body fighting yourself, what you want is very deep knowledge about the building blocks of those cells and how they’re configured in the body. The basic premises behind ground truthing the understanding of the brain might be also right what we need in order to de-risk medicine, in order to understand how cells and organs and systems go awry in these intractable disorders. That’s something I’ve been thinking a lot about recently as well: how do we de-risk the goal and methodology and path towards curing diseases? 有一种想法是:如果身体在和自身作战,那就需要深入了解关于那些细胞的基础构成单元以及它们是如何在身体中配置成形的。对大脑的基础事实真正理解的一些基本前提也许在我们降低医学方面的风险,以及理解细胞,器官和组织是如何在顽疾中功能失调方面同样适用。这同样是我最近经常思考的一个问题:我们如何在治疗疾病方面降低那些蕴藏在目标,方法和实现路径之中的风险? There was just a study released about how taking a drug from idea to market can cost $2.5 billion now. And if you look at the really tough diseases like brain diseases, like cancers and so forth, the failure rate to be approved for human use is over 90 percent. 最近发表的一项研究成果显示现在研发一种药物从最初的想法开始到最终被推向市场可能需要花掉25亿美元。而如果你看看那些真正严重的疾病,例如大脑疾病和癌症等,治疗这类疾病的药物最终无法被批准投入使用的概率超过了90%。 This got me thinking that maybe this is the same kind of intellectual problem as why we don’t understand how brain circuits compute thoughts and feelings. We have these large 3D systems, whether it’s a brain circuit or a cancer or the immune system, and knowing how to tweak those cells, make them do the right thing, means finding the subtle differences that make those cells different from the normal cells in our body. I’ve been thinking a lot about how we can try to take these tools that we’ve been developing for mapping the brain, for controlling the brain, for watching the brain in action and applying it to the rest of medicine. 这些事实让我想到也许这与为什么我们无法理解大脑的神经电路是如何计算出思想和感受是同一类的问题。我们现在已经拥有了这些大型的3D系统,不论是大脑电路,癌症或是免疫系统,我们都能得到它们的3D图像,而了解如何通过牵引这些细胞让它们去做正确的事情则意味着找到这些细胞区别于正常细胞的细微不同之处。我花了很多时间思考如何使用这些我们开发的工具,将它们用于绘制大脑神经电路图,控制大脑,观察大脑的活动的工具,并将它们应用在其它医学领域。

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I can tell you about a collaboration that we have with George Church. George’s group for about fifteen years now has been trying to work on a technology called in situ sequencing, and what that means is can you sequence the genetic code and also the expressed genes, the recipes of cells, right there inside the cells? 我可以向你描述一下我们和George Church之间的一项合作。George的团队已经在一项名为“就地排序”的技术研究上花了大约十五年的时间,这项技术意味着你能够直接在细胞内部对遗传序列和那些被表达出来的基因——也就是细胞自身的配方——进行测序。 Now, why is that important? It’s important because if you just sequence the genome, or you sequence the gene expression patterns after grinding up all the cells, you don’t know where the cells are in three-dimensional space. If you’re studying that brain circuit and here is how information is flowing from sensation into memory regions towards motor areas, you’ve lost all the three-dimensionality of the circuit. You just have ground up the brain into a soup, right? 为什么这项技术如此重要?因为如果你只是对基因组进行测序,或者在破坏了细胞结构之后再将这些基因表达的模式进行测序,你就无法知道这些细胞在三维空间中的位置。如果你正在研究某个大脑神经电路,而恰好感觉中的信息正是经由这些细胞流入记忆区进而流向运动区,那么你就丢失了这一神经电路中的所有三维信息,因为你已经把大脑搅成了一锅粥。 Or for a tumor, we know that there are cells that are by the blood vessels, there are stem cells, there are metastasizing cells; if you just grind up the tumor and sequence the nucleic acids, you again have lost the three-dimensional picture. A couple years ago, George’s group published a paper where they could take cells in a dish and sequence the expressed genes. 或者举个肿瘤的例子,我们知道有些肿瘤细胞分布在血管附近,有些是肿瘤干细胞,还有些肿瘤细胞能够转移,如果你将肿瘤打碎并且将其中的核酸进行排序,你同样会丢失它的三维图像。几年前,George的研究团队发表了一篇论文表明他们能够在保持细胞完整性的同时对已经表达的基因进行测序。 That is, you have DNA in the nucleus, that expresses in terms of RNA, which is the recipe of that cell, and the RNA then drives all the downstream production of proteins and other biomolecules. The RNA is sort of in-between the genome and the mature phenotype of the cell. It's kind of the recipe. George’s group was sequencing the RNA. I thought that was amazing: you could read out the recipe of a cell. 也就是说,细胞核中有DNA,DNA通过转录会生成RNA,而RNA则是细胞的配方,在之后它会驱动下游的蛋白质和其它生物分子的生产过程。RNA可以看作某种基因组和细胞的成熟表现型之间的中间产物,它也是一种配方。当George的团队对RNA进行测序时,我觉得这有些不可思议,因为现在我们居然已经能够读懂细胞的配方了! Now, there was a tricky part: it didn’t work well in large 3D structures like brain circuits or tumors. Our group had been developing a way of taking brain circuits and tumors and other complex tissues and physically expanding them to make them bigger. What we do to make the brain or a tumor bigger is we take a piece of brain tissue and we chemically synthesize throughout the cells, in-between the molecules, around the molecules, in that piece of brain, a web of a polymer that’s very similar to the stuff in baby diapers. And then, when we add water, the polymer swells and pushes all the molecules apart, so it becomes big enough that you can see it even using cheap optics. 现在棘手的问题来了:这种技术在大脑神经电路和肿瘤这样的大型3D结构上的表现并不好。我们团队已经在研发了一种能在物理上将大脑神经电路,肿瘤和其它此类复杂组织进行放大的方法。我们用来放大大脑神经电路(或是肿瘤)的方法是获取其中的一小块脑组织,然后通过化学方法在这块脑组织的细胞内部分子之间和分子外部进行合成,最终得到一块像婴儿的纸尿裤一样的网状聚合物。然后我们在其中加入水,这块聚合物会膨胀,并将所有的分子推散,这样它就变得足够大了,即使用一些便宜的光学设备也能看清楚其中的结构。 One of my dreams is you could take a bacterium or a virus and expand it until you can take a picture on a cell phone. Imagine how that could help with diagnostics, right? You could find out what infection somebody has just by making it bigger, take a picture and you’re done. 我的梦想之一就是有一天我们可以将一个细菌或是病毒放大到你能够用手机给它拍照的程度。想想这能在多大程度上帮助人们进行诊断吧,在判断某个病人到底是被什么感染了这个问题时,你只需要将感染物不断地放大,然后给它拍张照片就搞定了。 We started talking with George: what if we can take our sample and expand it and then run their in situ sequencing method—because sequencing, of course, is really complicated. You need room around the molecules to sequence them. This is very exciting to me, if we can take stuff and expand it and then use George’s technology to read out the recipes of the cells, we could map the structure of life in a way. 于是我们去和George谈了这件事情:如果我们能够将我们所采集的样本放大,然后再对放大后的样本使用“就地测序”的方法——测序这项工作本身真的非常复杂,因为分子之间要有足够的空间。这对我来说是件令人兴奋的事情,如果我们能够将这些组织进行采样,然后将它们放大,再使用George发明的技术去读取这些细胞的“配方”,那么我们就能以某种方式绘制出生命的结构。 We can see how all the cells look in a complex brain circuit, or in a tumor, or in an organ that’s undergoing autoimmune attack like in type 1 diabetes. That’s one of the things that excites me most is this in situ sequencing concept. If we can apply it to large 3D structures and tissues, we might be able to map the fundamental building blocks of life. 我们可以看看在一个复杂的大脑神经电路中所有细胞到底是什么样子的,对于一个肿瘤或是一个正在遭受类似I型糖尿病这类自免疫攻击的器官,我们也可以做到同样的事情。这就是“就地测序”这一概念所能做到的最令我激动的事情之一。如果我们能够将这项技术应用到大型的3D结构和组织中,也许就能绘制出生命基本单元的样子。 Our current collaboration with George’s group has been focused very much on small pieces of tissue that we have: mouse brains probably, other model organisms in use in neuroscience. But we know that if they work in those systems, they’ll probably work in human tissues as well. 在目前与George的团队的合作当中,我们的关注点还主要集中在一些比较小的组织切片上:例如老鼠的大脑和其它一些在神经科学中常用的模式生物。但我们知道如果他们的技术在这样的系统中是有效的,那么这些技术大概在人体组织中也同样能发挥作用。 Imagine we get a cancer biopsy from somebody, we use our group’s technology to expand it physically, making everything big enough to see, and then, we can go in and use George’s in situ sequencing technology to read out the molecular composition. 想像一下,假如我们从某位患者身上获得了一块活体癌症组织,然后使用我们小组开发的技术将它在物理上进行放大,让其中所有东西都大到能够被观测到,那么我们就可以进入组织内部,使用George的“原地测序”技术读取其中的分子构成。 When we first published the idea of expanding something, a lot of people were very skeptical about it. It’s a very unconventional way of doing things. To convince people that it works, we went down [the following] line of reasoning: a design method. 当我们首次公开发表这项在物理上将某个活体组织进行放大的技术思路时,很多人都对此深表怀疑。因为这是一种非常不合传统的做法。为了让人们相信这种技术是可行的,我们采用了如下的论证路线,它是一种设计方法。 When we synthesized the baby diaper-like polymers inside the cells, we would anchor through molecular bonds specific molecules to the polymer, and then we would wipe up all the rest. We can use enzymes and so forth to chop up the rest. 当我们在细胞内部合成出那些像婴儿纸尿裤一样的网状聚合物时,我们会将整个分子键结构中的一些特定分子保留在聚合物的网状结构上,而去除掉其它的分子。我们可以使用一些酶和类似的化合物将其它的分子切掉。 That way, when we expand the polymer, our molecules that we care about are anchored and move apart, but the rest of the structure has been destroyed or chopped up so that it does not impede the expansion. That’s a key design element. 通过这种方式,当我们在放大网状聚合物时,我们所关心的那些分子都被原封不动地单独保留了下来,但剩下的那些结构则会被销毁或切除,这样它们就不会妨碍放大的过程。这就是其中关键的设计元素之一。 One way to think of this is—chemistry is a way of doing fabrication massively in parallel. So suppose that I want to see two things that are close together, like my two hands here. But of course, lenses cannot see very, very small things, right, thanks to diffraction. So what if we took my two hands and anchored them to these expandable polymers and then destroyed everything else? There might be a lot of junk here we don’t care about. 可以这样看——化学技术是一种并行地进行大规模制造的方法。假设我想要看清两件紧紧贴在一起的东西,就像我的两只放在一起的手。当然,由于衍射现象的存在,普通的镜头是无法看清非常非常小的东西的。但如果我把两只手都固定在这些可放大的网状聚合物上,然后将其它所有的东西都毁掉呢?因为其中可能包含了一大堆我们完全不关心的垃圾。 We add water and the polymer swells, moving my hands along with it until they’re far apart enough that we can see the gap between them. That’s the core idea of what we call expansion microscopy where we take the molecules in a cell or the molecules in a tissue, a brain circuit or a tumor, and we anchor those molecules to a swellable polymer. When we add water, the molecules we care about, the ones we’ve anchored—that we’ve nailed to the polymer, as it were, have moved apart until they’re far apart enough that we can see them using cheap, scalable, and easily deployed optics like you could find on an inexpensive microscope or even a webcam. 我们向网状聚合物中加水,然后它会膨胀,我的两只手也会随着它的膨胀发生移动,一直到它们的距离远到我们能够看清其中的缝隙。这就是被这项我们称为“放大显微术”的核心思路,我们从一个细胞或者一块组织——比如大脑的神经电路或者肿瘤——中选定一些分子,然后将它们固定在一块可膨胀的网状聚合物上,当我们向其中加水,那些我们所关心的被固定在聚合物上的原本贴在一起的分子就会互相分离,直到我们可以通过使用一些廉价的,可扩展并且容易部署的光学仪器——比如低端的显微镜,甚至是网络摄像头——将它们看清。 After we published our paper on expanding tissues, a lot of people started to apply them. For example, suppose you wanted to figure out how the cells are configured in a cancer biopsy. You can take the sample and if you look at it under a microscope, you can’t see the fine structures, but if you blow it up and make it bigger, maybe you could see the shape of the genome; maybe you could see that one cell is extending a tiny tendril, too tiny to see through other means, and maybe that’s the beginning of metastasis. 在我们发表了关于这项放大生物组织技术的论文之后,有许多人都开始将这项技术投入应用。举个例子,假如你想知道在一块活体癌症组织中细胞是如何构成的,你可以取下一块样本,如果你用一架显微镜去观察它,你根本无法看清其中的精细结构,但如果你能够将它放得更大,也许你就能看清其中基因组的形状了,也许你还能看见某个细胞在扩张一个细小的卷须状结构,但这个结构实在太小了,通过其它的任何方法你都无法看清它,而那可能正是一次癌细胞转移过程的开始。 A lot of people are trying to use our technology now for seeing things that you just can’t see any other way, and we’re finding a lot of interest not just from brain scientists because now you have a way of mapping brain circuits with nanoscale precision in 3D, but also from other brain-like problems: tumors and organs and development and so forth where you want to look at a 3D structure but with nanoscale precision. 现在有很多人在尝试使用我们的技术来看清那些他们无法通过其它方式看清的结构,而我们发现不仅仅只有脑科学家对它感兴趣——这项技术为脑科学家们提供了一种在纳米级精度上绘制3D大脑神经电路图的方法,而其它一些研究与大脑问题具有共性的课题的科学家们也对此感兴趣:在肿瘤和某些器官的发展过程和其它一些类似的课题中,人们也希望能够在纳米级的精度上看清3D结构。 We’ve spun out a small company to try to make kits and maybe provide this as a service so that people can use this widely. Of course, we’ve also put all the recipes on the Internet so people can download them, and hundreds and hundreds of groups have already started to play with these kinds of tools. 我们成立了一家小公司来尝试为这项技术制作一些工具套件,甚至是将它作为一项服务提供给需要的人以让这项技术能够被广泛地使用。当然,我们同样也在因特网上公开了这项技术的所有“配方”,人们可以下载它们。已经有数以百计的研究小组开始在他们的工作中使用这些工具。 We want to make the invisible visible, and it’s hard to see a 3D structure like a circuit that might store a memory or a circuit in the brain that might be processing an emotion, with the nanoscale resolution that you need to see neural connections and the molecules that make neurons do what they do. 我们希望能让那些原来看不到的结构被看清,要清晰地看到大脑中某个可能存储了记忆或是正在处理某种感情的神经电路的3D结构是非常困难的,你需要在纳米级的分辨率下才能看到神经元之间的连接和那些促使神经元发挥作用的分子结构。 The fundamental limit on how fine we can see things is related to a technical parameter called the mesh size; that is basically the spacing between the polymer chains. We think that the spacing between the polymer chains is about a couple nanometers; that is, around the same size as a biomolecule. If we can push all the molecules away from each other very evenly, it’s like drawing a picture on a balloon and blowing it up: you might be able to see all the individual particles and building blocks of life, but you know what? 决定我们能够在多高的清晰度下看清东西的基础限制是与一项被称为“网格尺寸”的技术参数相关的,这个参数的含义其实就是网状聚合物构成的链式结构之间的孔隙大小。我们认为这个空隙的大小大约是几纳米,也就是说,这和一个生物分子的大小差不多。如果我们能够将所有的分子按照非常接近的比例彼此推开,这就有点像在一个气球上画了一幅画,然后再将气球吹大,之后你就有可能看清所有的那些颗粒和组成生命的基础成分了。 We have to validate the technology down to that level of resolution. So far, we have validated it down to about a factor of ten bigger than that, in order of magnitude. But if we can get down to single molecule resolution, you could try to map the building blocks of living systems. We haven’t gotten there yet. 但你需要知道的是,我们还需要在生物分子级的分辨率上对这项技术进行验证,到目前为止,我们已经在比这高一个数量级的分辨率上成功地验证了这项技术。如果我们能够在单个分子的分辨率上验证这项技术,我们就能够绘制出活系统中的那些基础成分了,但目前我们还没能做到这一点。 I’ve been amazed at how fast neurotechnology has started to move. Ten years ago, we had relatively few tools for looking at and controlling the brain, and now, ten years later, we have our optogenetic tools for controlling brain circuits, this expansion method for mapping the fine circuitry, and also, we have developed 3D imagining methods that basically work the way that our eyes work to reconstruct 3D images of brain high speed electrical dynamics. 我对近来神经技术的发展速度感到吃惊。十年前,我们只有相对很有限的工具来控制大脑,而十年后的今天,我们已经拥有了像“光基因”这样的工具来控制大脑的神经电路,还有这种通过放大技术来绘制精细的神经电路的方法。此外,我们还开发了3D成像的方法来观测大脑内部的高速电子动态,其工作原理和我们的眼睛重建3D图像的方法是相同的。 In the coming fifteen years, two things are going to happen and a third thing, might happen. One thing that will happen is that our ability to map the fine details of neural circuits and see high speed dynamics and control it will probably be perfected; that might happen as soon as five years from now but definitely within fifteen years, I would predict that. 在接下来的十五年中,我认为会发生两件重大的事情,另外还有第三件事情也可能会发生。第一件事情是,我们绘制神经电路的精确细节,观测其中的高速动态,以及对它进行控制的能力将会得到完善,这些也许最快在今后的五年中就会发生,并且在十五年内几乎一定会发生,我可以肯定地这样预测。 The second thing is that we’re going to have some detailed-enough maps of small neural circuits that maybe we could even make computational models of their operation. For example, there is a small worm called C. elegans that has 302 neurons; maybe we can map all of them and their molecules and their dynamics and perhaps we can make a computational model of that worm. Or maybe a slightly larger brain: the larval zebrafish has 100,000 neurons, mice have 100 million—ballpark—and humans have 100 billion. You can see there are some multistage logarithmic jumps there that we have to make. 第二件事情是我们将绘制出一些细节足够丰富的小型神经电路图像,也许我们甚至可以据此开发出一些有关它们工作方式的计算模型。例如,有一种叫做秀丽隐杆线虫的蠕虫拥有302个神经元,也许我们能够绘制出它的所有神经电路图,以及其中的分子结构和电子动态,那么我们也许可以建立这种蠕虫的计算模型。如果扩展到大一点的大脑,斑马鱼拥有大约十万个神经元,而老鼠则拥有大约1亿个神经元,人类的神经元数目大约是一千亿。你可以从这里看出,在大脑规模从小到大的过程中,我们需要做很多次多级的对数跳跃。 The speculative thing is that we might have some tools that might let us look at human brain functions much, much more accurately. Right now, we have so few tools for looking at the human brain, there is functional MRI which lets you look at blood flow that is downstream of brain activity, but it’s very indirect and it’s very crude. The time resolution is thousands of times slower than in brain activity, and the spatial resolution, each little block that you see in these brain scans contains tens to hundreds of thousands of neurons, and we know that even nearby neurons can be doing completely different things. 而那件不太确定的事情则是我们也许会拥有一些能够让我们以远高于当前的精确程度观察人类大脑功能的工具。现在,能用来观察人类大脑的工具实在太少了,我们有一些功能性的核磁共振(MRI)设备能让我们观察某种大脑活动所引发的血液流动,但这种方式太间接了,同时也太不精确。这种工具的时间分辨率比大脑活动要慢上数千倍,从空间分辨率上说,你从MRI的扫描图像上看到的每个小方格都包含了数以百万计的神经元,而我们知道,即使是相邻的神经元也可能正在做着完全不同的事情。 What we most need right now, I would say, is a method for imaging and controlling human brain circuits with single cell, single electrical pulse precision, and the jury is out on how that could happen. There’s lots of brainstorming. I haven’t seen any technology generated so far that can probably do it although there’s lots of interesting speculation. That’s something I would love to see happen and we have started to work on some ideas that might allow you to do it. 我想说,我们当前最需要的,是一种能够在单个细胞,单个电子脉冲的精度上对大脑电路进行控制和成像的方法,而不确定的是这将会如何发生。我们已经进行过了很多次头脑风暴,但至今为止,虽然有许多有趣的可能性,我却并没有看出任何一种现有的技术能有很大的可能性做到这一点。我希望能够看到这件事情在不远的将来发生,而且我们已经开始将一些有前景的想法付诸实践了。 There’s a lot of speculation about whether there are quantum effects that are necessary for brain computations. At body temperature, it’s very likely that quantum effects, if any, are going to be very, very short-lived, maybe much shorter than the kinds of computations that are happening in the brain. It’s quite possible that if such effects are important, we would need far more powerful tools to see them, or perhaps you can explain all of the biophysics of neurons known to date, for the most part, with completely classical models. 关于大脑的计算过程中是否会用到量子效应这一问题有很多猜测。在人的体温之下,似乎量子效应即便存在也会非常非常短暂,其存续时间相对于发生在大脑之内的计算过程要短得多。如果此类效应的确是重要的,那么我们很可能就需要比当前强大得多的工具来观测它们。但实际上我们也可能完全能够通过一些经典模型来解释目前我们所知的绝大部分关于神经元的生物物理现象。 The thing that I loved about working on the quantum computation project, this was with Neil Gershenfeld back in the day, was this greater philosophy of how information and physics are linked. There are many theories of fundamental physical principles of computation; there is even the phrase, “it from bit,” where people talk about the fundamental thermodynamic limits of how information processing occurs in physical systems. 我之所以愿意投入时间在量子计算研究项目上,主要是早先在与Neil Gershenfeld一起工作的时候,受到了关于信息和物理学是如何紧密联系在一起的这一伟大哲学思想的影响。在计算的基础物理原则方面已经有了很多理论。当人们会谈论在物理学系统中发生的信息处理过程所受到的基础热力学限制时甚至有这样的谚语:“万物皆比特(it from bit)”。 For example, there are so many bits associated with a black hole, there is, based upon temperature, a fundamental amount of information that might be encoded in a specific transition. The brain for the most part is operating, because it’s at body temperature and all that, far above those physical fundamental limits in terms of information processing. 例如,与一个黑洞相关的比特数非常之多,在给定的温度下,一个基础量的信息可能会被编码到某个特定的转换过程中。而大脑在大多数情况下都在工作,因为它处于人体体温的环境下,而在这种温度下的信息处理则远远超过了那些物理上的基础限制。 On one level, the most parsimonious models of the brain are analogue because we know that there are different amounts of transmitters being released at synapses, we know that the electrical pulses that neurons compute can vary in their height and in their duration. 从某个层面上说,那些关于大脑的最简化模型都是模拟的(而非数字的),因为我们知道,大脑中的各突触所释放出的传导物质是不同的,我们也知道神经元所计算的不同电脉冲的强度和持续时间区别很大。 Of course, if you dig deep enough, you could say, well, you could just count the neurotransmitters, you could count the ions, and it becomes digital again, but that’s a much more detailed level of description that might not be the most parsimonious level because you had to count and localize every single sodium ion and potassium ion and chloride ion. Hopefully, we don’t have to go that far. But if we need to, we would probably have to build new technologies to do that. 当然,如果你功课做得够深,那你可以去数一下那些神经递质的数目,还有电脉冲中离子的数目,那么这个问题就又成为了数字的(而非模拟的)了,但那是一个细致得多的描述水平,而并不处在最简化层次上,因为你需要计数和定位每一个钠离子,钾离子和氯离子。希望我们不需要走得那么远,但如果真的有必要,我们还是很可能去创造一些新的技术来做到这些事情。 My co-inventor, Karl Deisseroth, and I both won Breakthrough Prizes in Life Sciences for our work together on optogenetics, this technology where we put molecules that are light sensitive into neurons and then we can make them activatable or silence-able with pulses of light. 我和我的合作者Karl Deisseroth由于我们在“光基因”技术上的合作成果共同获得了《生命科学》杂志所颁发的突破奖,在这项技术中,我们将一些光敏分子植入神经元中,然后我们就可以通过光脉冲来让它们在可激活状态和静息状态之间切换。 Our groups have sent these molecules out to literally thousands of basic as well as clinically interested neuroscientists, and people are studying very basic science questions like how is a smell represented in the brain? But they’re also trying to answer clinically relevant questions like where should you deactivate brain cells to shut down an epileptic seizure? I’ll give you an example of the latter since there is a lot of disease interest. 我们的小组已经将这样的分子提供给数千名基础神经科学家和临床神经科学家,其中有些科学家研究的是非常基础的科学问题,例如气味是如何在大脑中被表达出来的。还有一些科学家则试图回答一些临床相关的问题,例如应该在什么地方让大脑细胞停止活动以停止一次癫痫病的发作。下面我会给你举一个后者的例子,因为有很多人都对我们的技术在疾病研究方面的应用感兴趣。 People have been trying to shut down the over excitable cells during seizures for literally decades, but it’s so difficult because which part of the brain and which cells and which projections? It’s such a big mess, right, the brain? So a group at UC Irvine has been using our technologies to try to turn off different brain cells or even to turn on different brain cells, and what they’re finding is that some cells, if you activate them, can shut down a seizure in a mouse model. But still, who would have thought that activating a certain kind of cell would be enough to terminate a seizure? There is no other way to test that, right, because how do you turn on just one kind of cell? 人们在过去数十年中一直在尝试去关闭那些在癫痫病发作时过度活跃的细胞,这非常困难,因为很难弄清大脑中究竟是哪个部分的哪些细胞的哪些投射过于活跃了。要知道大脑看起来就是一团乱麻。一个来自加州大学尔湾分校的研究小组使用我们的技术试图关闭和激活大脑内部的不同细胞,而他们的研究成果表明的确存在某些细胞,通过激活它们可以在一个鼠脑模型中停止癫痫的发作。 What they did was there are certain classes of cell called interneurons, and they tend to shut down other cell types in the brain. What this group did is they took a molecule that we had first put into neurons about a decade ago, a molecule that, kind of like a solar panel, when you shine light on it, will drive electricity into the neuron. They delivered the gene for this molecule so that it would only be on in those interneurons, none of the other cells nearby, just the interneurons. And then, when they shine light, these interneurons will shut down their neighboring cells, and they showed you could terminate a seizure in a mouse model of epilepsy. 某些类型的细胞被称为中间神经元,它们所做的事情是尝试去关闭大脑内部其它类型的细胞。这个小组采用了我们十年前第一次植入神经元时所使用的一种分子,这种分子有点像一块太阳能电池板,当你将它置于光照下,它就会驱动神经元内部的电信号。他们将这种分子的基因植入了那些中间神经元,并保证除了这些中间神经元之外,附近的其它细胞内部都不存在这种分子。然后当他们点亮光线,这些中间神经元就会关闭它们相邻的细胞,他们的工作成果表明你能够在一只老鼠癫痫病发作时通过这种方法停止病症的发作。 That’s interesting because now, if you could build a drug that would drive those cells, maybe that would be a new way of treating seizures, or you could try to directly use light to activate those cells and build a sort of prosthetic that would be implanted in the brain and activate those cells near a seizure focus, for example. 这一结果十分有趣,因为现在你可以制造一种药物来驱动那些细胞,也许这会成为一种治疗癫痫病的新途径,或者你也可以尝试直接使用光来激活那些细胞,并制造出某种能够被植入大脑的假体,并通过它来激活癫痫病发作的核心区附近的那些细胞。 People are exploring both ideas. Could you use our optogenetic tools to turn on and off different cell types in the brain to find better targets, but then, treat those targets with drugs? Or could you use light to activate cells and directly sculpt their activity in real-time in a human patient? The latter, of course, is much higher risk, but it’s fun to think about for sure. And there are a couple companies that are trying to do that now. 以上两种思路都正处于人们的探索之中。人们是否能够使用我们的“光基因”工具来打开和关闭大脑内部不同类型的细胞功能以更好地发现目标,然后再使用药物对这些目标有的放矢呢?或者是否能够使用光来激活病人大脑中的某些细胞并且直接实时控制它们的行为呢?第二种做法无疑会带来很高的风险,但考虑这种可能性确实非常有趣。目前的确有一些公司在尝试这么做。 When we were talking about the Breakthrough Prize, I thought about the little speech I gave—they give you thirty seconds, but I thought about it for several weeks because I feel like there is such a push to cure things, a push to find treatments, but in some ways, by forcing it to go too fast, we might miss the serendipitous insights that are much more powerful. 谈到《生命科学》杂志的突破奖,我想到了我在获奖时所发表的一段简短讲话——他们只给了我三十秒,但我却考虑了几个星期,因为我觉得人们太过于急着去治疗疾病,找到好的疗法,但在某种情况下,如果我们强行地迅速推进这些事情,就很可能错过一些实际上要强大得多的只有通过机缘巧合才能发现的深刻洞见。 I’ll give you an example: in 1927, the Nobel Prize in Medicine was given to this guy who came up with a treatment for dementia. What this person did is, he would take people with dementia and he would deliberately give them malaria. Remember this is the greatest idea of its time, right? 让我来举个例子:1927年的诺贝尔医学奖颁发给了一位发现了一种痴呆症疗法的科学家。而他所做的事情则是故意让那些患有痴呆症的病人感染疟疾。记住,这可是那个时代最伟大的点子。 Now, why did it work? Well, malaria causes a very high fever. At that time, dementia was often caused by syphilis, and so, the high fever of malaria would kill the parasite that causes syphilis. Now, in 1928, one year later, antibiotics started to come online, and of course, antibiotics have been a huge hit and syphilis-related dementia is almost unheard of nowadays. 那么问题来了,为什么这种做法能够起效?其实是因为疟疾会导致非常严重的发热。而在当时,痴呆症则通常是由梅毒引起的,通过这种方法,疟疾所带来的高烧就能够杀死那些引起梅毒的寄生虫。而在一年后的1928年,抗生素开始得到普及,当然,抗生素所带来的影响的确非常深远,由梅毒所引起的痴呆症在最近几乎完全销声匿迹了。 The rush to get a short-term treatment, I worry, can sometimes cause people to misdirect their attention from getting down to the ground truth mechanisms of knowing what’s going on. It’s almost like people often talk about we’re doing all this incremental stuff, we should do more moon shots, right? I worry that medicine does too many moon shots. Almost everything we do in medicine is a moon shot because we don’t know for sure if it’s going to work. 我所担心的是,人们急于在短期内去寻求某种疗法的风潮有时会错误地将人们的注意力从脚踏实地去研究基础事实并弄清其中的机制上转移开。这就像人们所经常谈论的,我们总是做着这些循序渐进的事情,我们难道不应该把更多的精力花在探月这样的事情上吗?我担心医学界会关注太多这类“探月”式的大目标。我们目前在医学上所做的所有事情都是一次“探月”,因为我们并不能肯定我们所做的事情能够见效。 People forget. When they landed on the moon, they already had several hundred years of calculus so they have the math; physics, so they know Newton’s Laws; aerodynamics, you know how to fly; rocketry, people were launching rockets for many decades before the moon landing. When Kennedy gave the moon landing speech, he wasn’t saying, let’s do this impossible task; he was saying, look, we can do it. We’ve launched rockets; if we don’t do this, somebody else will get there first. 人们都是健忘的。当人类第一次踏上月球时,微积分已经发明了几百年了,所以他们拥有足够好的数学工具;而在物理上,人类也已经知道了牛顿定律;在空气动力学上,人们已经知道了如何飞行;在火箭技术上,登月前人们已经积累了数十年的发射火箭的经验。当肯尼迪发表登月演说时,他并不是在说,让我们来完成这项不可能完成的任务吧,他所说的是,看吧,我们能做到这件事情。美国人发射了登月火箭,如果我们不做这件事情,将会有别人捷足先登。 Moon shot has gone almost into the opposite parlance; rather than saying here is something big we can do and we know how to do it, it’s here is some crazy thing, let’s throw a lot of resources at it and let’s hope for the best. I worry that that’s not how “moon shot” should be used. I think we should do anti-moon shots! “探月”这个字眼现在的意思已经和当初完全颠倒过来了,现在它的意思已不再是“这是件大事,而且我们知道如何将它完成”,而变成了“这件事情很疯狂,让我们多投入些资源然后祈祷吧”。我所担心的正是对探月精神的这种误用,我觉得我们现在应该做的是反对这种“探月精神”,脚踏实地做更多的基础研究! (编辑:辉格@whigzhou) *注:本译文未经原作者授权,本站对原文不持有也不主张任何权利,如果你恰好对原文拥有权益并希望我们移除相关内容,请私信联系,我们会立即作出响应。

——海德沙龙·翻译组,致力于将英文世界的好文章搬进中文世界——

往坏里带

【2016-08-20】

@whigzhou: 对比两组数据挺有意思,左图美国黑人比例最高的前10个城市(city),从84%到56%不等,右图黑人比例最高的前10个都市区(metropolis),从48%到31%,左图蓝色数字是对应都市区的黑人比例,很明显,在这些城市,白人中产者基本上放弃了内城,这个趋势估计还会延续下去,最终产生一批黑人城市。

@whigzhou: 这些城市的共同特点是犯罪率极高,1/3-1/2的成年黑人男性被关在牢里,民主党长期垄断权力,福利计划一个接一个,政府开支和税率不断上涨,公立学校一团糟,大片街区沦为废墟,官僚机构腐败透顶……

@whigzhou: 这是内城/郊区的分化,类似的分化也发生在城(more...)

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【2016-08-20】 @whigzhou: 对比两组数据挺有意思,左图美国黑人比例最高的前10个城市(city),从84%到56%不等,右图黑人比例最高的前10个都市区(metropolis),从48%到31%,左图蓝色数字是对应都市区的黑人比例,很明显,在这些城市,白人中产者基本上放弃了内城,这个趋势估计还会延续下去,最终产生一批黑人城市。 @whigzhou: 这些城市的共同特点是犯罪率极高,1/3-1/2的成年黑人男性被关在牢里,民主党长期垄断权力,福利计划一个接一个,政府开支和税率不断上涨,公立学校一团糟,大片街区沦为废墟,官僚机构腐败透顶…… @whigzhou: 这是内城/郊区的分化,类似的分化也发生在城市之间,未来也会发生在州与州之间。 @whigzhou: 有些城市通过土地管制、建筑管制和分区规划把房价抬的极高,也起到了挤出贫穷黑人的效果,过去二十年湾区的黑人比例就在下降 @whigzhou: 相对于现代文明生活,黑人确实有些弱点,但要是没有民主党过去半个世纪不遗余力地残害,也不至于落得这个地步 @whigzhou: 残害政策从两个方向同时下手:压制他们人性中所有积极向善的倾向,纵容娇惯他们所有坏的那些方面:用最低工资法剥夺工作机会,用福利救济削弱工作激励和家庭责任,用禁毒法施饵下套,用平权法强化种族身份,总统和司法部长赤膊上阵煽动种族对立……所有你能想到的把他们往坏里带的办法,全用上了 @路人萨维:辉总的意思是太傻了政策形同残害,还是故意的? @whigzhou: 一开始应该不是故意的,毕竟谁都没有这样的远见,只是民主党惯于玩族裔政治而已,但那么多年过去,效果这么明显,再变本加利的坚持玩,就有点故意了 @whigzhou: 动员少数群体,强化族裔身份,玩族裔政治和裙带政治,是民主党的看家本领,看看坦慕尼协会的历史就很清楚 @whigzhou: 有人可能对60年代民主党180度大转身感到困惑,其实一点不奇怪,他们的族裔/身份政治把戏是一贯的,改变的只是选择哪些族裔/身份群体建立票仓 @whigzhou: 所以无论站在哪一边,他们决不能让黑人这个身份标签消失 @whigzhou: 对黑人来说,不幸的是,他们被挑中时,正是福利主义大跃进之际,结果就被坑惨了 @whigzhou: 当然黑人自身的弱点也起了作用,自律性、延迟满足、责任心方面,比起有着数千年文明历史的民族都差一些,因而福利主义和娇惯政策负面激励效果也更显著 @沉思之后:黑人自身的问题才是主因吧。即便没有民主党的政策,全世界哪个黑人主导的国家或地区繁荣了呢?反之,北欧以及荷兰福利主义和娇惯政策也不少,但是黑人少,也还在持续繁荣中 @whigzhou: 可是平权运动之前美国黑人的状况要好很多啊,非洲人自己未能建立好国家,不等于他们不能作为少数群体在已经建立的好国家中获得良好发展 @SenatusPopulusqueRomanus: 日耳曼人没有数千年文明史,埃及、巴比伦文明史最长。 @whigzhou: 日耳曼人的文明化进程少说也有一千五百年了吧 @whigzhou: 文明化不是全部(在何种文明中被文明化也很重要),但很关键,所有中东来源的移民群体中,波斯裔表现最好,不是没缘由的  
Pinker式乐观主义

【2016-08-17】

@whigzhou: 《危险、担忧与公共政策》 某类危险的死亡几率越高,就越“值得担心”,也越值得在公共政策上得到优先处理?

@whigzhou: Pinker式乐观主义就是出于类似的无知,仅以死亡率/谋杀率之类简单数字衡量公共安全,忽略了安全问题的很多重要方面,举个简单例子:A/B两个城市谋杀率同为千分之五,A的谋杀案均匀分布于全市,B的全部集中于其第9区,两市市民对公共安全的感觉完全不同,而且这种不同十(more...)

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【2016-08-17】 @whigzhou: 《危险、担忧与公共政策》 某类危险的死亡几率越高,就越“值得担心”,也越值得在公共政策上得到优先处理? @whigzhou: Pinker式乐观主义就是出于类似的无知,仅以死亡率/谋杀率之类简单数字衡量公共安全,忽略了安全问题的很多重要方面,举个简单例子:A/B两个城市谋杀率同为千分之五,A的谋杀案均匀分布于全市,B的全部集中于其第9区,两市市民对公共安全的感觉完全不同,而且这种不同十分合理。 @whigzhou: 再极端一点,假如B市的谋杀案全部属于黑帮火拼,那么该市良民就会(十分合理的)觉得这个城市非常安全 @whigzhou: 这就是为什么面向非特定人群的恐怖攻击,尽管造成的伤亡对社会总他杀率的贡献率很低,但仍足以引起恐慌,并值得被当作重大安全问题对待,的理由所在
[译文]彩票会改变中奖者命运吗?

The Lottery
彩票

作者:Gregory Cochran @ 2015-04-22
译者:babyface_claire(@许你疯不许你傻)
校对:沈沉(@沈沉-Henrysheen)
来源:West Hunter,https://westhunt.wordpress.com/2015/04/22/the-lottery/

Lotteries can be useful natural experiments; we can use them to test the accuracy of standard sociological theories, in which rich people buy their kids extra smarts, bigger brains, better health, etc.

彩票可以视为一种有用的自然实验。我们可以用它们来检测标准社会学理论的准确度。这些理论认为,富人能给他们的孩子买到额外的智慧、更大的大脑和更健康的身体,等等。

David Cesarini, who I met at that Ch(more...)

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The Lottery 彩票 作者:Gregory Cochran @ 2015-04-22 译者:babyface_claire(@许你疯不许你傻) 校对:沈沉(@沈沉-Henrysheen) 来源:West Hunter,https://westhunt.wordpress.com/2015/04/22/the-lottery/ Lotteries can be useful natural experiments; we can use them to test the accuracy of standard sociological theories, in which rich people buy their kids extra smarts, bigger brains, better health, etc. 彩票可以视为一种有用的自然实验。我们可以用它们来检测标准社会学理论的准确度。这些理论认为,富人能给他们的孩子买到额外的智慧、更大的大脑和更健康的身体,等等。 David Cesarini, who I met at that Chicago meeting, has looked at the effect of winning the lottery in Sweden. He found that the “effects of parental wealth on infant health, drug consumption, scholastic performance and cognitive and non-cognitive skills can be bounded to a tight interval around zero.” 在芝加哥那次会议上我遇到了David Cesarini。他研究了在瑞典中彩票的影响。他发现,“父母的财富对婴儿健康、药品消费、学业表现,以及认知和非认知技能的影响,仅在一个几乎为零的小区间内。” As I once mentioned, there was an important land lottery in Georgia in 1832. The winners received an 160-acre farm. But by 1880, their descendants were no more literate, their occupational status no higher. The families in the top 2/3rds of income managed to hang on to some of their windfall, but lower-income families did not. 我曾经提到过,1832年在佐治亚州有过一次重要的土地抽彩。中奖者们得到了160英亩的农场。但是到1880年,(和未中奖者相比),他们后代的教育水平并不更高,他们的职业地位也不更好。收入在前2/3的家庭设法保住了他们的一些意外之财,而低收入的家庭则没能如此。 This remind of a story by Gerald Kersh, “Whatever Happened to Corporal Cuckoo?” – About a medieval soldier who stumbled into immortality. Someone asks him (in 1945) – why hadn’t he saved his pay?  With compound interest, yaddaa yadda. 这让我想起Gerald Kersh写的一个故事,“Cuckoo下士怎么了?”——讲的是一个无意间获得了永生的中世纪士兵的故事。有人问他(在1945年),为什么不把工资存下来呢?有复利,等等等等。 “Why didn’t I save my pay? Because I’m what I am, you mug! Hell, once upon a time, if I’d stayed away from cards, I could’ve bought Manhattan Island for less than what I lost to a Dutchman called Bruncker drawing ace-high for English guineas!  Save my pay! If it wasn’t one thing it was another. I lay off liquor. Okay. So if it’s not liquor, it’s a woman. I lay off women. Okay. Then it’s cards or dice. I always meant to save my pay; but I never had it in me to save my pay!  Doctor Paré’s stuff fixed me–and when I say it fixed me, I mean, it fixed me, just like I was, and am, and always will be. ” “为什么我没有存下工资? 因为我就是我,你个傻瓜!见鬼,曾几何时,如果我离开了牌局,把和人玩‘A大’赌几尼时输给那个叫Bruncker的荷兰佬的钱省下来,那可是买下曼哈顿岛还有余。存钱!不是这事就是那事。我戒掉了酒。好吧,如果不是酒,那便是女人。我戒掉了女人。好吧,接着就是牌或者骰子。我总是想要存钱,但是我从来就不是存工资的人! Paré医生的药治好了我——当我说它治好了我,我的意思是,它装配好了我,就像我过去,现在,永远都是的那样。” Low leverage of wealth on your children’s traits is something that exists in a particular society, with a particular kind of technology. Back in medieval times, a windfall could have kept your kids alive in a famine, and that certainly had a long-term positive effect on their cognitive skills.  Dead men take no tests. The most effective medical interventions today are cheap – everyone in Sweden and the US already has them – but there are places where those interventions are not universally available. Some families in Mozambique can afford artemisin, some can’t – this must make a difference. 财富对儿童性格的低影响存在于拥有特定技术的特定社会。回到中世纪时代,一笔意外之财可以让你的小孩在饥荒中存活,这必然就会对他们的认知技能有长期的正面影响。死人不能参加测试。当今最有效的医疗干预措施是便宜的——在瑞典和美国人人都已经拥有了——然而还有些地方,这些干预并不是普遍可得的。莫桑比克的一些家庭可以负担得起青蒿素『译注:一种有效的抗疟疾药物』,另一些则负担不起——这肯定会有重大影响。 Suppose we had a method of dramatically improving a kid’s genetic potential for intelligence and success, one that cost five million dollars a pop: then wealth could influence the next generation in ways that it can’t today. In other words, Cesarani’s conclusions are correct for Sweden-now (but not for Sweden in 1700), probably correct for the US today, but maybe not true tomorrow. 假设我们有一种特效药可以显著提高孩子在智力和成就方面的遗传潜力,五百万美元一针;那么财富将可以以现在不能的方式影响下一代。换句话说,Cesarani的结论对今天的瑞典来说是正确的(但不是1700年的瑞典),可能对今天的美国也是对的,但未来却不一定正确。 It is not just wealth that has a small effect on your kid’s potential: playing Mozart doesn’t help either. Other than locking away the ball-peen hammers, it’s hard to think of any known approach that does have much effect – although we don’t know everything, and maybe there are undiscovered effective approaches (other than genetic engineering). For example, iodine supplements have a good effect in areas that are iodine-deficient. We now know (since 2014) that bromine is an essential trace element – maybe people in some parts of the world would benefit from bromine supplementation. 不仅仅是财富对小孩的潜能影响甚微:练习莫扎特也没有什么帮助。除了锁起圆头锤【编注:意思大概是可以防止孩子把自己的脑袋敲破】,很难想象任何已知的方法会有很大的影响——虽然我们不知道所有的事情,或许有未被发现的有效方法(除基因工程以外)。比如,碘补充剂对碘缺乏地区有很好的效果。现在(2014年之后)我们知道,溴也是一种必要的微量元素——或许在这个世界的一些地方人们会受益于溴补充。 What about the social interventions that people are advocating, like Pre-K?  Since shared family effects (family environment surely matters more than some external social program) are small by adulthood, I think they’re unlikely to have any lasting effect.  We might also note that the track record isn’t exactly encouraging. If there was a known and feasible way of boosting academic performance, you’d think that those teachers in Atlanta would have tried it. Sure beats prison. 人们提倡的社会干预怎么样呢,比如学前教育?由于共享家庭的影响(家庭环境肯定比一些外部社会项目更重要)到成年时已经很小,我认为他们不太可能会有持久的影响。我们可能也已注意到这方面的跟踪研究并不那么令人鼓舞。如果有一个已知且可行的方法来提高学习成绩,我想那些亚特兰大的教师们大概已经试过了。当然,肯定比监狱强多了。 Maybe there’s an effective approach using fmri and biofeedback – wouldn’t hurt to take a look.  But even if it did work, it might simply boost everyone equally, and obviously nobody gives a shit about that. 或许有一个有效的方法使用功能性磁共振成像(fmri)和生物反馈——看一看无妨。但是即便可以,它可能只是平等的提高每个人,但显然没有人在乎这一点。 (编辑:辉格@whigzhou) *注:本译文未经原作者授权,本站对原文不持有也不主张任何权利,如果你恰好对原文拥有权益并希望我们移除相关内容,请私信联系,我们会立即作出响应。

——海德沙龙·翻译组,致力于将英文世界的好文章搬进中文世界——

[译文]好莱坞如何改编故事

好莱坞的误导历史
Hollywood’s misleading history

作者:Peter J. Wallison @ 2016-2-29
译者:Luis Rightcon(@Rightcon)
校对:Tankman
来源:American Enterprise Institute,http://www.aei.org/publication/hollywoods-misleading-history/

The film called The Big Short differs in a significant way from the book of the same name on which it is based, and this difference reveals how the film-makers made it more politically charged in order to blame Wall S(more...)

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好莱坞的误导历史 Hollywood’s misleading history 作者:Peter J. Wallison @ 2016-2-29 译者:Luis Rightcon(@Rightcon) 校对:Tankman 来源:American Enterprise Institute,http://www.aei.org/publication/hollywoods-misleading-history/ The film called The Big Short differs in a significant way from the book of the same name on which it is based, and this difference reveals how the film-makers made it more politically charged in order to blame Wall Street for the financial crisis. 《大空头》这部电影与其同名报告文学在历史叙事上有着很明显的不同,而且这一差异揭示了电影制作者是如何使这部影片更充满政治意味,从而把金融危机归咎于华尔街。 In the book, the Wall Street experts who were approached to bet against the housing market almost all refused. 在那本书中,几乎所有被问及是否做空房产市场的华尔街专家们都给出了否定答案。 This showed something that was true, and for that reason interesting: that even people on Wall Street, always on the lookout for a money-making opportunity, could not believe the housing market was in any danger of collapse. In the film, this was demonstrated by the skepticism of the FrontPoint group that was initially approached as investors, as well as the eagerness of the financial firms such as Goldman Sachs and others to take the other side of the bet against the housing market. 这显示了一些有趣的事实,那就是,即使是成天盯着捞钱机会的华尔街精英也无法相信(当时的)房市会有任何崩溃的风险。而在电影中,这被演绎成投资者FrontPoint集团的怀疑立场,以及像高盛集团那样的金融机构们对于做多房地产市场的渴望。 In the book, the tension in the narrative was created when the book’s protagonists — the first people to bet against the housing market — had persuaded their investors to place bets against the housing market many months before the coming failures actually became evident. As a result, in the book their financial backers became impatient. The predictions of a collapse did not happen fast enough, and they sought to withdraw their funds. Some of this impatience was present in the film, but the context was changed. 在书中,整个故事的紧张之处体现在主人公——作为第一个开始做空房地产市场的人——在金融海啸变成现实之前很多个月,就说服了他们的投资者来做空房市。结果,他们的财务支持者们变得不耐烦了,预言中的崩塌没有足够快的发生,于是他们计划撤资。电影中部分展现了这一不耐烦的情节,然而其情境却被改写了。 In the film, the collapse actually occurred, but the there was no movement in the market prices of the privately-issued mortgage-backed securities or the credit default swaps that were used to bet against them. This was attributed in the film to a conspiracy among the big banks on Wall Street: they somehow kept the market from moving against them while they sold off their holdings to less informed buyers. 在影片中,房产市场的崩溃如期发生了,但是私下发行的MBS(住房抵押贷款证券)和用来做空他们的CDS(信用违约掉期)的市场价格并没有变化。这在影片中被归结于华尔街上大银行的共谋:他们以某种方式稳定住了市场,直到把自己持有的资产卖给那些知情较少的买家。 It should be obvious that a conspiracy like this is impossible. There are too many buyers and sellers in the financial markets for something like the price of mortgage-backed securities or credit defaults swaps to be rigged. In reality, as soon as an index of housing defaults began to signal danger, investors fled the market. 显然像这样的阴谋是不可能成功的。在金融市场像CDS和MBS这类金融工具所涉及到的买家和卖家实在是太多了,以至于其价格很难被操纵。事实上,一旦房贷违约的指数开始发出危险信号,投资者马上就逃离了这个市场。 If the film had simply followed the book, it would have been a tale about how some very smart and gutsy traders outwitted Wall Street and faced down investors who had lost faith in them to win big in the end. It could have been an uplifting story that would have shone an unflattering light on the supposedly smart guys on Wall Street. 如果该影片只是简单地遵循同名报告文学的叙事,那将只会是一个某些既聪明绝顶又胆大包天的交易员以其聪明才智胜过华尔街,以及让那些对他们失去信心的投资者羞愧万分,从而在最后赢得巨额回报的故事。这或许会成为一个真实报道华尔街上的聪明伙计的励志故事。 But that was not enough for Hollywood. In Hollywood’s telling, the bad guys had to be villains, not just dumb. So the film-makers concocted a plot in which Wall Street successfully kept the market from moving against them in order to save themselves. 但这对好莱坞来说可远远不够。在好莱坞的通常叙事中,坏家伙们必须是十足的恶棍,而不是随便冒出来的草包。所以电影制作人们编造了一个情节:为了拯救自身,华尔街成功阻止了不利于自身的市场运动。 In reality, of course, Wall Street was not saved. Many of the major firms got into serious trouble when the housing bubble collapsed. Several failed and others suffered major losses. 当然,实际上华尔街并没有被拯救。房产泡沫崩溃时很多主要金融机构陷入了严重的困境。有一些破产了,剩下的也遭受到了极其严重的损失。 The lesson here is to approach Hollywood’s versions of real life events with caution. They can be good entertainment, but badly misleading history. 这里的教训是要对好莱坞版本的现实事件保持警惕。他们可以是很好的娱乐,但同时可能会严重的误导历史。 (编辑:辉格@whigzhou) *注:本译文未经原作者授权,本站对原文不持有也不主张任何权利,如果你恰好对原文拥有权益并希望我们移除相关内容,请私信联系,我们会立即作出响应。

——海德沙龙·翻译组,致力于将英文世界的好文章搬进中文世界——

[译文]重新审视六度分隔理论

How small is the world, really?
世界何其小,真的吗?

作者:Duncan Watts @ 2016-02-10
译者:龟海海
校对:辉格(@whigzhou)
来源:七分钟阅读,https://medium.com/@duncanjwatts/how-small-is-the-world-really-736fa21808ba

Last week’s finding by a team of data scientists at Facebook that everyone in the social network is connected by an average of 3.5 “intermediaries” has renewed interest in the longstanding “Six Degrees of Separation” hypothesis: that everyone in the world is connected by some short chain of acquaintances.

上周,一个脸书数据分析专家小组发现,社交网络中的每个人都可经由平均3.5个“媒介好友”而联系起来,这一发现刷新了之前长期流行的“六度分隔”理论,即世上任何两人皆可通过某条较短的熟人链条连接起来。

Not surprisingly, the attention has focused on the plausible assertion that online social networks like Facebook have made the world smaller: that whatused to be six degrees is now almost half that. But really what it has revealed is how little we understand this intriguing phenomenon and what it might mean for our world.

无出意外,人们的注意力被吸引到了一个看似可能的判断上:像脸书这样的社交网络让世界变得更小:以前的六度现在一半就足够。但它真正揭示的是,对此令人神迷的现象和它对我们世界的意义何在,我们的理解何等浅薄。

This “small world” hypothesis, as it is known in sociology, has been percolating in popular culture for a long time. Almost a century ago the Hungarian poet Frigyes Karinthy wrote a short story called “Chain Links” in which he claimed he could reach anyone in the world, whether a Nobel Prize winner or a worker in a Ford auto factory, through a series of no more than five intermediaries.

在社会学领域内,大家都已了解,这个“小小世界”假说久已渗透进我们的文化之中。早在一个世纪前,匈牙利诗人Frigyes Karinthy就写了一则题为“链接”的小故事,文中他声称可以通过一系列不超过5个的“媒介”,联络到世界上任何人,无论是诺奖得主,或是一名福特工厂的工人。

Subsequently, writers like Jane Jacobs, John Guare, and Malcolm Gladwell have periodically reinvigorated the idea with their own colorful characters and fantastical speculations about who really runs the world.

此后,像Jane Jacobs, John Guare, and Malcolm Gladwell等等作家时不时的通过他们自己书中丰富的人物重塑了这一假说,并天马行空的猜测究竟是谁在真正掌控这个世界。

But arguably no one has had more impact on the question of how small the world is than Stanley Milgram, a Harvard psychologist who in the 1960s conducted an ingenious experiment to test it (Milgram is even more famous for another experiment of his, on obedience to authority, but that’s for another day).

但是,毋庸置疑,没有人对此“小小世界”问题的影(more...)

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How small is the world, really? 世界何其小,真的吗? 作者:Duncan Watts @ 2016-02-10 译者:龟海海 校对:辉格(@whigzhou) 来源:七分钟阅读,https://medium.com/@duncanjwatts/how-small-is-the-world-really-736fa21808ba Last week’s finding by a team of data scientists at Facebook that everyone in the social network is connected by an average of 3.5 “intermediaries” has renewed interest in the longstanding “Six Degrees of Separation” hypothesis: that everyone in the world is connected by some short chain of acquaintances. 上周,一个脸书数据分析专家小组发现,社交网络中的每个人都可经由平均3.5个“媒介好友”而联系起来,这一发现刷新了之前长期流行的“六度分隔”理论,即世上任何两人皆可通过某条较短的熟人链条连接起来。 Not surprisingly, the attention has focused on the plausible assertion that online social networks like Facebook have made the world smaller: that whatused to be six degrees is now almost half that. But really what it has revealed is how little we understand this intriguing phenomenon and what it might mean for our world. 无出意外,人们的注意力被吸引到了一个看似可能的判断上:像脸书这样的社交网络让世界变得更小:以前的六度现在一半就足够。但它真正揭示的是,对此令人神迷的现象和它对我们世界的意义何在,我们的理解何等浅薄。 This “small world” hypothesis, as it is known in sociology, has been percolating in popular culture for a long time. Almost a century ago the Hungarian poet Frigyes Karinthy wrote a short story called “Chain Links” in which he claimed he could reach anyone in the world, whether a Nobel Prize winner or a worker in a Ford auto factory, through a series of no more than five intermediaries. 在社会学领域内,大家都已了解,这个“小小世界”假说久已渗透进我们的文化之中。早在一个世纪前,匈牙利诗人Frigyes Karinthy就写了一则题为“链接”的小故事,文中他声称可以通过一系列不超过5个的“媒介”,联络到世界上任何人,无论是诺奖得主,或是一名福特工厂的工人。 Subsequently, writers like Jane Jacobs, John Guare, and Malcolm Gladwell have periodically reinvigorated the idea with their own colorful characters and fantastical speculations about who really runs the world. 此后,像Jane Jacobs, John Guare, and Malcolm Gladwell等等作家时不时的通过他们自己书中丰富的人物重塑了这一假说,并天马行空的猜测究竟是谁在真正掌控这个世界。 But arguably no one has had more impact on the question of how small the world is than Stanley Milgram, a Harvard psychologist who in the 1960s conducted an ingenious experiment to test it (Milgram is even more famous for another experiment of his, on obedience to authority, but that’s for another day). 但是,毋庸置疑,没有人对此“小小世界”问题的影响超过1960年代任教于哈佛大学的心理学家史丹利·米尔格拉姆,他进行了一个原创试验来测试此理论(米尔格拉姆其实有另一个更加有名的试验,“权力服从研究”,这个我们改天再谈)。 In brief, Milgram chose a single person, an acquaintance of his who was a stockbroker living in Sharon Mass, just outside of Boston, to be the “target” of the experiment. In addition he chose roughly 300 others — 100 from Boston itself and the other 200 from Omaha Nebraska, which Milgram figured was about as far away from Boston, socially and geographically, as one could get within the US. 简言之,米尔格拉姆选择他的一位朋友作为其实验的“靶标”,他是一位股票经纪人,住在波士顿城外的Sharon Mass。另外,他还另外选择了约300名实验对象——其中100名来自波士顿,其他200名来自内布拉斯加的奥马哈市,米尔格拉姆认为,就美国境内而言,奥马哈无论在社会关系上还是在地理上,都距离波士顿足够远。 Milgram then sent these 300 subjects special packets containing a good deal of information about the target — his name, address, occupation, etc. — and also instructions that they were to try to get the packet to him. But there was a catch: they could only send the packet to him if they knew him personally, meaning on a first-name basis. 随后,米尔格拉姆为这300名实验对象送出了特殊的包裹,其中包涵他这名股票经纪人(靶标)的许多信息——他的名字,地址,职业,等等——以及一些让他们试着将包裹寄给他的提示。但是,这儿有个坑:他们只能在个人直接认识他的情况下才能寄出包裹。 In the overwhelmingly likely event that that they did not, they were instead to send to someone they did know on a first name basis and who was closer to the target than they were themselves. These new participants would then get the same packet with the same instructions, and the process would repeat until — hopefully — some of the packets reached the target. 而实际上,在绝大部分情况下,他们不满足这一条件,所以只能将包裹寄给某位他们直接认识并且和靶标的关系距离更近一层的人。而这个收到包裹的新参与者,得到的是同样的包裹和提示,这一过程会一直持续循环下去,直到——幸运的话——有些包裹能顺利到达“靶标”。 Milgram’s question then was: for successfully delivered packets, how long would the chains be? Curiously, before he ran the experiment Milgram asked lots of people to guess the answer. Many assumed it wasn’t possible while others figured it would take hundreds of steps. So when Milgram found that not only did 64 packets, roughly one fifth of the initial sample, reached the target, but that the average length of the successful chains was just 6, he knew it would surprise many people. 米尔格拉姆接下来的问题是:如果包裹递送成功,那么这些链条有多长呢?有趣的是,在米尔格拉姆进行此实验之前就让很多人猜过答案。一些人表示根本不可能送达目标,另一些则认为至少得通过成百上千个步骤。所以,当米尔格拉姆得知不仅64个包裹(占初始样本的五分之一)到达了靶标,而且这些成功链条的平均长度仅仅为6。他知道这会让许多人咋舌。 In many ways, it still does. Although the phrase “Six Degrees of Separation” has become a cliché, when pressed many people still find it difficult to imagine how they could really reach anyone — not just someone like them or someone near to them, but anyone at all in the whole world — in something like six steps. 从许多方面看,这仍然令人惊奇。虽说“六度分隔”已经成了陈词滥调,但这一结果发布之后,许多人仍难以相信自己仅仅只需六步即可链接到世界上的任何人——不仅是自己一个圈子的人,或是周边的人,而是整个世界的任何人。 Understandably then, the Facebook result also attracted some resistance: “Facebook is an unrepresentative sample of the population;” “Facebook friends aren’t real friends” and so on. But although these critiques may have merit, they miss the point. In reality, the 3.5 number is simply incomparable to Milgram’s 6 for three reasons. 所以不难理解,脸书的研究结果发布后吸引了许多反对声音:“脸书是个不具代表性的人口样本;”“脸书的朋友并非真朋友”等等。虽说这些批评也许有可取之处,但是他们没抓住要点。实际上,这个3.5不能和米尔格拉姆的“六度”直接对比,理由有三: First, the number 3.5 counts intermediaries not degrees of separation. If I am “one degree” from someone I know them directly; there are zero intermediaries between me and them. Likewise, there is one intermediary between me and my “two degree” neighbors, and so on. 首先,3.5这个数字计算的是“媒介”的数量,而不是分隔度数。如果我是某人的“一度”友邻,我就直接认识此人;我和他们间没有“媒介”。类似的,我和我的“二度”友邻之间存在一个“媒介”,以此类推。 In general, therefore, an average of 3.5 intermediaries corresponds to 4.5 degrees of separation, which is almost exactly what Facebook itself found when it performed a similar exercise a few years ago. Conversely, Milgram’s six degrees result corresponds to five intermediaries, which is actually the number he reported in his original paper with Jeffery Travers. So already the difference is one less than it appears. 因此,平均3.5个“媒介”对应的是“4.5度分隔”,这和几年前脸书自己通过类似实验得出的发现几乎相同。反之,米尔格拉姆的“六度”所对应的是5个“媒介”——其实他和Jeffery Travers发表的文章中所用的正是这个数字。所以上述差异比表面看起来就已经少了1 。 Second, though, Milgram’s experiment was a subtly but importantly different test than the one run by Facebook. Whereas the latter measured the length of the shortest possible path between two people — by exhaustively searching every link in the underlying Facebook graph — the former is simply the shortest path that ordinary people could find given very limited information about the underlying social network. 第二,虽然米尔格拉姆的试验很巧妙,但是,和脸书做的这个测试有重要差异。后者度量的是两个人之间的最短可能路径的长度——通过穷举搜索脸书关系图上的每条链接,而前者则是普通人基于其所掌握的极为有限的社会关系信息而能够找到的路径长度。 There are, in other words, two versions of the small-world hypothesis — the “topological” version, which refers only to underlying network structure, and the “algorithmic” version, which refers to the ability of people to search this underlying structure. 换言之,其实“小世界假说”有两个版本:“拓扑版”,它度量的是社会关系网络结构,和“算法版”,它度量的则是人们在此网络中进行搜索的能力。 From these definitions, it follows that algorithmic (search) paths cannot be shorter than topological paths and are almost certainly longer. Saying that the world has gotten smaller because the shortest topological path length is 4.5 not 6 therefore makes no sense — because the equivalent number would have been smaller in Milgram’s day as well. 从这些定义得出,“算法版”(搜索)路径不可能短于“拓扑版”。仅仅因为最短拓扑路径的长度是4.5而非6就说世界变小了,这么说毫无意义——因为米尔格拉姆时代的相应数字同样小于6。 Finally, the number 6 is also in some respects too small. As has been pointed out many times since Milgram’s experiment, only about 20% of the letters made it to their target. More importantly, these letters were almost certainly on shorter paths than the ones that didn’t make it, meaning that estimates of path length that don’t take into account the missing data are almost certainly biased downwards. 最后,从某些角度看,数字6也太小了。因为自从米尔格拉姆试验后就被很多人指出,仅有20%的信封送到了靶标。更重要的是,这些信所通过的途径几乎肯定短于那些没有到达靶标的,这就意味着那些投递失败的长链条在估算链条长度时没有被计算在内,这肯定会造成向下偏差。 Fortunately it is possible to correct for this bias using standard statistical methods. In a 2009 paper my colleagues and I performed exactly this analysis both on Milgram’s original data and also on our data from a similar — but much larger — experiment that we had conducted ourselves in 2003. 有幸的是,我们可以通过标准的统计算法来更正这一偏差。在2009年的一篇论文中我和我的同事们对米尔格拉姆的原始数据和我们自己在2003年做的一个大得多的类似试验的数据进行了恰如上面所述的分析。 Remarkably we found that after the correction, both experiments yielded similar results: the median shortest path was 7, meaning that 50% of chains should complete in 7 or fewer steps while the other 50% would be longer. Many people find this result surprising because it seems so clear that the world has gotten smaller in the last 50 years. 我们惊喜的发现,在矫正了数据后,两个试验得出相似的结果:最短链条的中位值是7,即50%的链条会7步或少于7步时完成,而另外50%则会更长。许多人觉得这个结果不思议,因为过去50年世界变得更小了这个事实看起来如此明白无误。 Yet this apparent stability is exactly what one would predict from my early theoretical work with Steven Strogatz back in the late 1990’s. In a nutshell what we showed is that it is easy to turn a “large” world into a “small” one, just by adding a small fraction of random, long-range links, reminiscent of Mark Granovetter’s famous “weak ties.” 但这一明显的稳定性正是我和Steven Strogatz在1990年代后期的理论研究中预见到的。简言之,我们要证明的是,只需要在“大”世界中加入一小部分随机的“长范围”链接,就可以把世界变“小”,这让人联想起马克·格兰诺维特著名的“弱关系”理论。 The flip side of our result, however, is that once the world has already gotten small — as it was already by the 1960's — it is extremely hard to make it smaller. Obviously Facebook did not exist in 2003 so possibly since then something has indeed changed. But I suspect that the difference will be small. 实际上,这一结果反过来说就是,一旦世界变小之后——其实它在60年代已经变小了——想要把它变得更小就极为困难。很明显,脸书2003年并不存在,所以有可能某些东西真的已经改变了。但是我估计这个变化是微小的。 Why does any of this matter? There are three reasons. First, the two versions of the small-world hypothesis — topological and algorithmic — are relevant to different social processes. The spread of a sexually transmitted disease along networks of sexual relations, for example, does not require that participants have any awareness of the disease, or intention to spread it; thus for an individual to be at risk of acquiring an infection, he or she need only be connected in the topological sense to existing infectives. 何以见得这些差异是要紧的呢?理由有三:第一,两个版本的“小世界假说”——拓扑版和算法版——关乎不同的社会过程。例如,就像性病通过两性关系而传播,这并不需要参与者意识到疾病的存在或者拥有传播它的意图,而仅需要他或她在拓扑上链接到既有的感染者即可。 On the contrary, individuals attempting to “network” — in order to locate some resources like a new job or a service provider — must actively traverse chains of referrals, and thus must be connected in the algorithmic sense. Depending on the application of interest, therefore, either the topological or algorithmic distance between individuals may be more relevant — or possibly both together. 相反,若是个人想要“建立链接”寻找资源,比如找工作,寻找服务商,则必须积极的遍历中间人链条,因而必须在算法上建立链接。所以,根据实际应用中的关注重点,有些情况下个体之间的拓扑距离更切题,有时则算法距离更切题,或者两者同时切题。 Second, whereas the topological hypothesis has been shown to apply essentially universally, to networks of all kinds, the algorithmic hypothesis is largely (although not exclusively) concerned with social networks in which human agents make decisions about how to direct messages. 第二,拓扑版小世界假说已经表明普遍适用于所有类型的网络结构,而算法版假说则大致上量(虽然不完全)适用于社交网络,在这些网络中,人类主体就如何引导信息流向做出决定。 And third, whereas the topological version is supported by an overwhelming volume of empirical evidence — hundreds of studies, if not thousands — have found that nodes in even the very largest known networks are connected by short paths, the practical difficulty of running “small-world” experiments of the sort that Milgram conducted in the 1960s has meant that much less is known about the algorithmic version. 第三,鉴于“拓扑版”得到了压倒性数量的经验证据——来自数百甚至数千项研究——支持这些证据表明,即使在最大的关系网中,节点之间也可通过较短路径相连接,进行像米尔格拉姆在1960年代所做的那种“小世界效应”试验的实际困难意味着,我们对“算法版”的情况其实所知不多。 On this last point, for example, our 2009 analysis also found evidence that some of the longer paths could be much longer than the median, adding weight to the skeptics’ claims that in spite of the small-world phenomenon, some people remain socially isolated. 有关最后这一点,(例如)我们2009年的分析同样发现了证据表明,一些长路径可以远远长于中位值,这为那些怀疑者的主张提供了依据:即使存在小世界现象,总有些人在社会关系上是保持孤立的。 Given the importance of social networks in determining life outcomes, it would be extremely interesting and useful to understand better who these people are and why they are isolated. Is it something to do with their underlying networks or is it that their search strategies are somehow less effective? 考虑到社会关系网在决定生活质量上的重要性,研究并理解这些孤立者是谁,为何变得孤立,将是件极为有趣且有用的事情。这跟他们的下层关系网有关?【编注:此处underlying networks应是指亲戚、邻里等个人被预先给定的被动关系,相对于个人主动寻求建立的社会关系】还是他们的搜索策略不够有效? Could it be, as my coauthors and I speculated many years ago, some kind of self-fulfilling prophecy, in which the perception of social isolation discourages one from searching one’s network, and that the resulting lack of success reinforces the original perception of isolation? 有没有可能,正如多年前我和我的共同作者所推测的那样,是某种自我实现的预言?即,对社会孤立的感知,使得个人不愿意搜索自己的关系网,由此导致的关系建立失败进而强化了对孤立的最初感知? Answering these questions would require new experiments that are only now just becoming possible. But the answers would not only be of academic interest — they could also potentially help many people access currently inaccessible reserves of “social capital” thereby improving their lives. Far from being settled, the small-world problem still has much to teach us about the world, and ourselves. 要回答这些问题需要更新的试验,而此类实验直到最近才变得可行。但是,这些问题的答案不仅仅是满足学术兴趣——它们同样可能帮助很多人得以访问目前对他们来说还不可触及的“社会资本”储备,从而来改善他们的生活。 小世界问题还远未解决,在未来,它仍将为我们带来有关这个世界以及我们自身的诸多教益。 Duncan Watts is a principal researcher at Microsoft and author of Six Degrees: The Science of a Connected Age (WW Norton, 2003). 邓肯·J·瓦茨是微软首席研究员和《六度分隔理论》作者 (编辑:辉格@whigzhou) *注:本译文未经原作者授权,本站对原文不持有也不主张任何权利,如果你恰好对原文拥有权益并希望我们移除相关内容,请私信联系,我们会立即作出响应。

——海德沙龙·翻译组,致力于将英文世界的好文章搬进中文世界——

[译文]为何影视业拿了这么多税务补贴?

No Matter Who Wins at the Oscars, Taxpayers Lose on Film Subsidies
不管奥斯卡花落谁家,纳税人在电影补贴上都是输

作者:Jared Meyer @ 2016-02-26
译者:沈沉(@你在何地-sxy)
校对:辉格(@whigzhou)
来源:Reason ,http://reason.com/archives/2016/02/26/no-matter-who-wins-at-the-oscars-taxpaye

Big screen and small get big benefits at taxpayer expense.
纳税人埋单,荧屏业大获其利

Sunday night brings the 89th Academy Awards, and many are wondering what film will take home the Oscar for Best Picture. No matter what film wins, one group of people should be thanked during the acceptance speech—taxpayers.

本周日将举办第89届奥斯卡金像奖,许多人都在猜测最佳影片将会花落谁家。但不管哪部影片得奖,获奖感言里都应该感谢一个群体:纳税人。

Film is a heavily subsidized industry, and the majority of states have tax incentive programs that lower the cost of production. These tax credits are determined by production costs, not profits, and many credits are transferrable or refundable. When a film’s tax liabilities are below its allotted refundable credits, taxpayers end up directly paying film companies the difference.

电影行业得到的补贴极大,大部分州都设置有税收激励计划,以降低制片成本。这类税收抵免额度由制片成本而非影片收益决定,而且其中许多都可以转移或补差【译注:指如果抵免额高于应税额,纳税人不但不用纳税,还能倒拿差额】。如果一部影片的应税额低于它所得的可补差抵免额,那就相当于纳税人直接向电影公司支付差额。

The Big Short, one of this year’s nominees, cost $28 million to produce and was filmed in California, Nevada, and Louisiana. All three states have film tax credit programs, but Louisiana’s 40 percent partially-transferable credit is the largest. The film’s producers made a movie about Wall Street greed, but they clearly had no problem making taxpayers pay for their production costs.

今年获提名的影片《大空头》制作成本为2800万,在加利福尼亚、内华达和路易斯安那三地拍摄。三个州都有电影业税收抵免计划,不过,路易斯安那的40%部分可转移税收抵免仍属其中翘楚。制片人拍摄了一部讲述华尔街之贪婪的电影,但在让纳税人为其制片成本埋单的时候,他们显然心安理得。

New York’s fully-refundable 30 percent film tax credit is the most generous in the nation, with an annual limit of $420 millionBrooklyn and Bridge of Spie(more...)

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No Matter Who Wins at the Oscars, Taxpayers Lose on Film Subsidies 不管奥斯卡花落谁家,纳税人在电影补贴上都是输 作者:Jared Meyer @ 2016-02-26 译者:沈沉(@你在何地-sxy) 校对:辉格(@whigzhou) 来源:Reason ,http://reason.com/archives/2016/02/26/no-matter-who-wins-at-the-oscars-taxpaye Big screen and small get big benefits at taxpayer expense. 纳税人埋单,荧屏业大获其利 Sunday night brings the 89th Academy Awards, and many are wondering what film will take home the Oscar for Best Picture. No matter what film wins, one group of people should be thanked during the acceptance speech—taxpayers. 本周日将举办第89届奥斯卡金像奖,许多人都在猜测最佳影片将会花落谁家。但不管哪部影片得奖,获奖感言里都应该感谢一个群体:纳税人。 Film is a heavily subsidized industry, and the majority of states have tax incentive programs that lower the cost of production. These tax credits are determined by production costs, not profits, and many credits are transferrable or refundable. When a film’s tax liabilities are below its allotted refundable credits, taxpayers end up directly paying film companies the difference. 电影行业得到的补贴极大,大部分州都设置有税收激励计划,以降低制片成本。这类税收抵免额度由制片成本而非影片收益决定,而且其中许多都可以转移或补差【译注:指如果抵免额高于应税额,纳税人不但不用纳税,还能倒拿差额】。如果一部影片的应税额低于它所得的可补差抵免额,那就相当于纳税人直接向电影公司支付差额。 The Big Short, one of this year’s nominees, cost $28 million to produce and was filmed in California, Nevada, and Louisiana. All three states have film tax credit programs, but Louisiana’s 40 percent partially-transferable credit is the largest. The film's producers made a movie about Wall Street greed, but they clearly had no problem making taxpayers pay for their production costs. 今年获提名的影片《大空头》制作成本为2800万,在加利福尼亚、内华达和路易斯安那三地拍摄。三个州都有电影业税收抵免计划,不过,路易斯安那的40%部分可转移税收抵免仍属其中翘楚。制片人拍摄了一部讲述华尔街之贪婪的电影,但在让纳税人为其制片成本埋单的时候,他们显然心安理得。 New York’s fully-refundable 30 percent film tax credit is the most generous in the nation, with an annual limit of $420 millionBrooklyn and Bridge of Spies, two of this year’s nominees, were filmed in New York, and their budgets were $12 million and $40 million, respectively. 要论慷慨,全国之最当数纽约的30%全额可补差电影业税收抵免,每年最高限额是4.2亿。本年度有两部提名电影在纽约拍摄,《布鲁克林》和《间谍之桥》,费用分别达到1200万和4000万。 States are starting to realize that the economic benefits of film tax credits are pure fantasy, like some movie plots. In 2012, 40 states offered tax incentives, at a total cost of $1.4 billion, but since then some states have decided that maintaining roads, funding schools, staffing police departments, and letting residents keep more income are better uses of funds. Since last year’s Oscars, Alaska, Michigan, and Illinois all ended their film tax credit programs. (See my testimony for the Alaska Senate on the false promise of film tax credits here). 许多州已经开始意识到,电影业税收抵免的经济利好效应就跟某些电影情节一样纯属空想。2012年,有40个州提供此类税收激励,总共耗费14亿。但自此以后,一些州已经决定,维护公路、资助学校、充实警力以及让居民手中存留更多收入才是对资金的更好使用。上届奥斯卡以来,阿拉斯加、密歇根和伊利诺伊等州都已经终止了电影业税收抵免计划。(可参考我在阿拉斯加州议会上就电影业税收抵免之虚假承诺所做的证言) In contrast, California tripled its non-refundable film tax credit budget to $330 million in an effort to lure more film production back to Hollywood. 加利福尼亚则反其道行之,为吸引更多影片返回好莱坞制作,该州已经将其用于不可补差电影业税收抵免的预算增加了三倍,达到3.3亿。 It is not only Oscar-nominated movies that receive sweetheart tax deals. Television shows, including HBO’s VEEP and Netflix’s House of Cards, are two examples. 获得这种甜蜜的减税待遇的并不是只有奥斯卡提名影片。电视剧也是如此,HBO的《副总统》和Netflix的《纸牌屋》就是其中两个例子。 When Maryland did not increase its fully-refundable film tax incentive program in 2014, Netflix executives went all Frank Underwood on former governor Martin O’Malley and threatened to leave the state. Political pressure, including a Kevin Spacey visit to Annapolis, convinced Maryland to raid other funds in order to double its film tax credit budget to $15 million. This does not include the $4 million in annual lost revenue from sales tax exemptions for film production companies. 2014年,在马里兰州尚未在其全额可补差电影业税收激励计划上增加力度之际,Netflix的总监们就在前任州长Martin O’Malley面前扮演“弗兰克·安德伍德”(译注:《纸牌屋》主角,马基雅维利式政客),并且威胁要撤离该州。凯文·史派西(译注:安德伍德的扮演者)到访安纳波利斯,在诸如此类的政治压力之下,马里兰州将其电影业税收抵免预算增加一倍,达到1500万,为此砍掉了许多其他方面的资金。这还没把电影制片公司所享受的营业税免征额包含在内,每年因此少征的税收可是有400万。 Even though film tax credits are often sold as a way to help small producers, 98 percent of Maryland’s film tax credit budget over the last three years has been taken up by House of Cards and VEEP. The increased tourism argument that film tax credit proponents constantly use clearly does not apply for two shows that are set in Washington, D.C. Similarly, no one thinks of Louisiana while they are watching The Big Short. 尽管电影业税收抵免经常顶着帮助小制片公司的名头做游说,但在过去三年中,马里兰州98%的电影税收抵免款都进了《纸牌屋》和《副总统》的兜里。电影业税收抵免的鼓吹者们经常使用的抵免带动旅游业的论证,显然在这里也并不适用,因为两部剧的背景都设定在华盛顿特区。同样,在观看《大空头》时,根本没人会想起路易斯安那州。 Maryland’s handouts were still not enough to convince HBO executives to keep filming VEEP in Maryland. VEEP’s production moved to California after the state offered the show a $6.5 million tax credit. 即便如此,马里兰州的馈赠仍然不足以说服HBO的总监们继续在该州拍摄《副总统》。该片将搬到加利福利亚制作,因为加州将为该剧提供650万的税收抵免。 The Maryland Department of Legislative Services found that the state’s film tax incentive program only returns 6 cents for every dollar spent. While this return is particularly poor, the best return in any state is still less than 30 cents on the dollar. 马里兰州立法服务部发现,该州的电影业税收激励计划每花掉1美元,只能收回6美分。这么低的回报当然很极端,但各州回报表现最好的也仍然不到每美元30美分。 Jobs in the film industry are highly skilled and mobile, which means they do not create lasting economic benefits. If another state rolls out an even more generous tax credit, film production can simply pack up and leave for another soundstage. States that decide to shower the film industry with taxpayer funds are in a race to the bottom, as no credit is high enough to satisfy Hollywood executives. 电影行业所提供的工作都是技术岗位,且流动性很高,这就意味着该行业并不能创造持久的经济效益。如果另外一个州推出了更为慷慨的税收抵免计划,电影制片商只需要打个包,就能换个摄影棚。各州如果决心花纳税人的钱来馈赠电影行业,它们就是加入了一场竞相逐底的比赛,因为抵免额度无论多高都无法满足好莱坞的总监们。 Maryland’s experience of losing film productions and wasting taxpayer dollars on its program is not unique. Every independent study of film tax credits have found that the programs come nowhere close to paying for themselves. But this reality has not stopped proponents from making fanciful predictions. The Maryland Film Industry Coalition—a group dedicated to promoting the film industry—claims that each dollar in tax credits leads to $1.03 in tax revenue. 马里兰州遭制片公司抛弃、在补贴计划上浪费纳税人税金的上述经历并不罕见。所有关于电影业税收减免的独立研究都已发现,各种补贴计划均远远无法实现收支平衡。但这一事实并没能阻止其鼓吹者提出各种白日梦般的预测。“马里兰州电影行业联盟”——一个旨在促进电影行业发展的组织——宣称,税收抵免每花1美元都能带来1.03美元的税收。 The Tax Foundation’s Joseph Henchman points out that if these fanciful projections were taken seriously, the United States could pay off its national debt by simply giving the film industry $1 trillion. “税务基金会”的Joseph Henchman指出,如果我们拿这种白日梦似的测算当真,那么美国只需要给电影行业派送1万亿,就能偿清它的全部国债了。 One study that was funded by the Motion Picture Association of American assumes that every dollar in tax credits creates $17.75 in economic activity, which leads to $1.88 in new tax revenue for the state. These claims are less realistic than the science-fiction films the credits support. 由“美国电影协会”赞助实施的一项研究提出,税收抵免每花掉1美元,就能创造出17.75美元的经济活动,而这又会为所在州形成1.88美元的新税收收入。这类说法比那些获得税收抵免补贴的科幻电影还要不切实际一些。 Film tax credit programs do not pay for themselves. They do not create long-term jobs, nor do they have tourism benefits. All film tax incentives do is provide opportunities for politicians to rub elbows with movie stars. 电影业税收抵免计划无法实现收支平衡。他们无法创造长期岗位,也不会带来旅游收益。电影业税收激励所能做的,无非是给政客们提供了和电影明星亲密往来的机会。 With the hundreds of millions of dollars that taxpayers gift the film industry each year, perhaps it is time for the Academy Awards to create an Oscar for Best Tax Break. If nothing else, taxpayers at least deserve a shout-out during Sunday’s award ceremony. 纳税人每年都向电影行业派送数亿美元的礼包,也许金像奖是时候设立一个“奥斯卡最佳减税奖”了。如果啥都没有,那么纳税人至少也应出现在周日颁奖典礼的致谢词中。 Jared Meyer is a fellow at Economics21 at the Manhattan Institute for Policy Research. You can follow him on Twitter here. Jared Meyer是曼哈顿政策研究所Economics21分部的研究员。你可以到这里关注他的Twitter账号。 (编辑:辉格@whigzhou) *注:本译文未经原作者授权,本站对原文不持有也不主张任何权利,如果你恰好对原文拥有权益并希望我们移除相关内容,请私信联系,我们会立即作出响应。

——海德沙龙·翻译组,致力于将英文世界的好文章搬进中文世界——

[译文]战争如何推动社会合作

《超级社会:人类是如何在一万年来的战争中被塑造成地球上最伟大的合作者的》书评
Review of “Ultrasociety: How 10,000 Years of War Made Humans the Greatest Cooperators on Earth”

作者:Cameron K. Murray @ 2016-2-2
译者:Veidt(@Veidt)
校对:小聂(@PuppetMaster)
来源:The Evolution Institute,https://evolution-institute.org/article/review-of-ultra-society-how-10000-years-of-war-made-humans-the-greatest-cooperators-on-earth/

Professor Turchin’s new book Ultrasociety identifies the causal mechanisms hidden in the twists and turns of human civilisation by quantifying the rise and fall of empires. The book translates some of Turchin’s academic work on cliodynamics, making it accessible to the interested lay reader.

Turchin教授在他的新书《超级社会》中,通过对帝国兴衰的量化分析,来辨识出隐藏于曲折跌宕的人类文明史中的决定性机制。这本书深入浅出地阐述了Turchin教授在历史动力学领域的一些学术成果,让那些对此感兴趣的普通读者也能领会其中的奥妙。

What is cliodynamics? My best translation is that it is the scientific study of history that seeks to use quantification to test, eliminate and open new competing hypotheses about the evolution of human civilisation.

什么是历史动力学?我能给出的最佳定义是:这是一种研究历史的科学方法,它试图通过量化的方法去检验,排除和发掘关于人类文明演化的诸多相互竞争的假说。

Turchin draws the reader in with a puzzle. What social and psychological mechanisms give people the ability to contribute towards such enormous cooperative endeavours, like building the international space station? Turchin estimates that the total quantity of hours of human work and toil dedicated by the global workforce involved in the mammoth cooperative task of building the space station is around three-million people-years, or over 26 billion work hours.

Turchin教授提出了一个难题以吸引读者的兴趣:是哪些社会和心理机制让人们拥有了大规模协作的能力,完成了诸如建设国际空间站这样的宏伟目标呢?他估计全球劳动力投入在协作建设国际空间站这个庞大任务上的总人类工时大约是300万人年,也就是超过260亿工时。

The obvious next question is how this compares with the other great cooperative feats of history, like the 400,000 people-years required to build the Great Pyramid of Giza, or the 100,000 people years to build the Coliseum in Rome, and whether these long run patterns signal an increase in humanity’s ability to cooperate at a vast scale.

下一个容易想到的问题就是,这相比于人类历史上其它依靠协作完成的伟大工程又如何呢,例如需要花费40万人年修建的吉萨大金字塔,还有需要花费10万人年修建的罗马大竞技场,以及以上这些长期以来反复再现的模式,是否显示了人类在大规模协作能力上(more...)

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《超级社会:人类是如何在一万年来的战争中被塑造成地球上最伟大的合作者的》书评 Review of "Ultrasociety: How 10,000 Years of War Made Humans the Greatest Cooperators on Earth" 作者:Cameron K. Murray @ 2016-2-2 译者:Veidt(@Veidt) 校对:小聂(@PuppetMaster) 来源:The Evolution Institute,https://evolution-institute.org/article/review-of-ultra-society-how-10000-years-of-war-made-humans-the-greatest-cooperators-on-earth/ Professor Turchin’s new book Ultrasociety identifies the causal mechanisms hidden in the twists and turns of human civilisation by quantifying the rise and fall of empires. The book translates some of Turchin’s academic work on cliodynamics, making it accessible to the interested lay reader. Turchin教授在他的新书《超级社会》中,通过对帝国兴衰的量化分析,来辨识出隐藏于曲折跌宕的人类文明史中的决定性机制。这本书深入浅出地阐述了Turchin教授在历史动力学领域的一些学术成果,让那些对此感兴趣的普通读者也能领会其中的奥妙。 What is cliodynamics? My best translation is that it is the scientific study of history that seeks to use quantification to test, eliminate and open new competing hypotheses about the evolution of human civilisation. 什么是历史动力学?我能给出的最佳定义是:这是一种研究历史的科学方法,它试图通过量化的方法去检验,排除和发掘关于人类文明演化的诸多相互竞争的假说。 Turchin draws the reader in with a puzzle. What social and psychological mechanisms give people the ability to contribute towards such enormous cooperative endeavours, like building the international space station? Turchin estimates that the total quantity of hours of human work and toil dedicated by the global workforce involved in the mammoth cooperative task of building the space station is around three-million people-years, or over 26 billion work hours. Turchin教授提出了一个难题以吸引读者的兴趣:是哪些社会和心理机制让人们拥有了大规模协作的能力,完成了诸如建设国际空间站这样的宏伟目标呢?他估计全球劳动力投入在协作建设国际空间站这个庞大任务上的总人类工时大约是300万人年,也就是超过260亿工时。 The obvious next question is how this compares with the other great cooperative feats of history, like the 400,000 people-years required to build the Great Pyramid of Giza, or the 100,000 people years to build the Coliseum in Rome, and whether these long run patterns signal an increase in humanity’s ability to cooperate at a vast scale. 下一个容易想到的问题就是,这相比于人类历史上其它依靠协作完成的伟大工程又如何呢,例如需要花费40万人年修建的吉萨大金字塔,还有需要花费10万人年修建的罗马大竞技场,以及以上这些长期以来反复再现的模式,是否显示了人类在大规模协作能力上的进步呢? As an economist my bias is to see human actions in terms of self-interest, competition and conflict, where through the invisible hand the interaction of self-interested individuals can lead to productive outcomes. But like the fish who is blind to the vast ocean of water they live in, I realised I was blind to the ocean of cooperation that was the back-drop to my focus on self-interest and competition. 作为一个经济学家,我倾向于通过自利、竞争和冲突的视角来看待人类行为,在这些视角之下,自利个体之间能够通过“看不见的手”达致有效率的经济产出。但就像大海里一条对于自己所生存的广阔水域一无所知的鱼一样,我意识我对于合作行为这片广阔的大海实际上几乎一无所知,而这是我所关注的自利和竞争的基础。 In “Ultrasociety” Turchin provides a way to see and measure cooperation – to quantify its existence on a massive scale. Once you are able to see the great ocean of cooperation that dominates human society, it leads you to interesting and challenging lines of scientific inquiry. The puzzling question is then how a world dominated by ultra social human cooperation can also frequently succumb to large scale war and conflict? 在《超级社会》一书中,Turchin教授提供了一种看待并衡量合作的方式——在大尺度上将它的存在进行量化。当你能够看清合作这片统治着人类社会的汪洋大海,它就会将你的引向有趣而又富有挑战性的科学探索。之后的一个问题就是:为什么一个充盈着超大型社会合作的人类世界还会经常屈就于大规模的战争和冲突? Turchin’s answer, and one of the big ideas in the book, is that war between social groups is the mechanism by which cooperative behaviour develops “within groups”. It is a fundamental evolutionary process happening between societies at a large scale. He elevates war as a selection mechanism for cooperation, and values it above many of the technological factors like domestication of plants and the advent of agriculture. Turchin对这个问题的答案,同时也是本书的主要观点之一,是认为社会群体之间的战争是合作行为在群体内部发展的机制。它是一种基础性进化过程,发生于在各社会之间的大尺度上。他提升了战争在历史进程中的地位,将其视为对合作行为的一种选择机制,并且将其价值置于许多技术性因素之上,例如植物的驯化和农业的出现。 Turchin debunks many standard stories that “explain” the path to civilisation and eliminates glaring inconsistencies in the archaeological record. The naive view that the invention of agriculture “…set the ball rolling, and the entire history of civilisation followed from that” is a satisfying common story. But it seems a stretch to claim that the small scale practice of seasonally collecting and planting seeds nearby small permanent settlements, leads directly to the large-scale institutions observed in ancient civilisations. Turchin推翻了许多自称能够“解释”通向文明路径的标准叙事,认为它们忽视了自身与显而易见的考古学事实之间的重大矛盾。有一种天真的观点认为,农业的发明“……让雪球滚动了起来,而整个文明的历史则随之展开”,这是一种令很多人满意的常见叙事。但是,认为小规模永久定居点附近季节性的收集和播种行为可以直接导致古代文明中所呈现的一些大规模社会制度,这似乎有点太过牵强了。 The “agricultural snowball” story is also hampered by the fact that early agricultural societies had “a markedly negative effect on human health” as the poorer nutrition compared to hunter gatherers lead to smaller stature, higher sickness and the spread of pathogens through the high density settlements. Yet agriculture did spread and ultimately outcompeted nomadic hunter-gather societies. 早期的农业社会“对人类的健康水平产生了显著的负面影响”这一事实也削弱了“农业的雪球”这一叙事的说服力,相比于狩猎-采集社会,农业社会更差的营养水平导致了更小的体形,更多疾病,以及高密度的聚居区内病原体的传播。尽管如此,农业社会的确在之后得到了扩张并最终超过了游动性的狩猎-采集社会。 I have long been hesitant about “just so” explanations of social institutions based on historic physical and technological conditions that turn simple correlations into plausible causal mechanisms. Turchin provides the evidence that although all early large scale civilisations had agriculture, it was not the agriculture alone that directly caused large scale civilisation. 这种对于社会制度“原来如此”解释【编注:『原来如此故事』又称特例假设(ad hoc hypothesis),是一种为某一解释设置无法或难以验证的特殊条件,从而消除或降低该解释之可证伪性的做法。】,立足于物质和技术方面的历史条件,把简单的相关性当成了煞有其事的因果关系,我因此而一直对此抱有怀疑态度。Turchin教授提供了证据以显示虽然所有早期的大型文明都拥有农业,但并不是农业这一单一因素直接导致了大型文明的出现。 I felt foolish to have not recognised the array of “just so” stories in the study of history before Turchin pointed them out. In my field of economics, the existence of money is still explained in the textbooks as arising automatically once someone in human prehistory realised that some kind of currency made commerce easier than trying to directly trade a quarter of a cow for three baskets of vegetables. 对于没能在Turchin教授指出之前认出这些“原来如此”故事,我感到自己有点傻。在我所研究的经济学领域中,货币的存在仍然在教科书中被解释为在史前时代的某个时刻有当人意识到某种形式的通货比直接使用四分之一头牛去交换三筐蔬菜变得更加容易的时候自动产生的。 Yet many alternative social arrangements also solve the physical problem of a “double coincidence of wants”. We need look no further than current tribal societies that do not have or desire money despite their specialisation into many roles. They have instead resolved their double coincidence of wants dilemma through various other rituals, hierarchies, and institutions. 然而,许多其他的社会安排也同样解决了“双方需求的巧合匹配”这个实际问题。我们只需要看看一些现存的部落社会,虽然这些社会中已经出现了众多专业化的分工角色,但他们至今既没有货币,也看不出对货币有任何需求。取而代之的是,这些部落社会通过多种仪式,层级结构和社会制度的安排解决了“双方需求的巧合匹配”这一困境。 Turchin, through his cliodynamics research agenda, aims to rid the historical study of civilisation from these “just so” explanations. In the aim of scientific progress this research agenda uses quantifiable historical data to pit multi-level selection theory and its various components against many others, and in doing so eliminate bad theories and open up new avenues of inquiry. Most chapters of the books contain references to this emerging field of research which themselves are intriguing and enlightening. Turchin教授希望通过他的历史动力学使文明史的研究摆脱这些“原来如此”解释。为了推进研究的科学化进程,他的研究里使用了可量化的历史数据让多层次选择理论以及它的不同组成部分与众多其它的理论进行竞争,通过这种做法排除那些较差的理论并为之后的研究打开新方向。书中的大多数章节都包含了对这一蓬勃发展的研究领域的描述,而这本身已经足够有趣和富有启发性了。 Turchin argues that human societies, tribes, and groups, did not simply take a linear path from small hunter-gatherers tribes to large-scale civilisations. It was the competition through conquest and war between societies that lead to those with more effective weaponry and military organisations arising from greater internal cooperation, to survive at the expense of others. Turchin认为,人类社会,部落和群体并不是简单地通过一条线性的道路从小规模的狩猎-采集部落发展为大型文明的。不同社会之间在相互征服和战争中所展开的竞争,使得那些通过更好的内部合作发展出了更高效的武器和军事组织的社会生存了下来,而代价则是其对手的消亡。 The following excerpt summarises: 以下引文对此作了总结: “Here’s how I think these peaceful, stable societies came about. As war created large states, empires, and nation-states, societies evolved measures to suppress internal conflict and violence. Reduced internal violence is the obverse of increased cooperation. “我认为这些和平而稳定的社会是以这样的方式诞生的。随着战争创造出大型的城邦,帝国和民族国家,社会也演化出了一些压制自身内部的冲突和暴力的机制。内部暴力行为减少的另一面是更多的内部合作。 “Surprising as it may seem, the trend towards greater peace was already noticeable during the Ancient and Medieval historical eras, long before the Enlightenment of the 18th century. Of course, wars between empires dwarfed intertribal conflicts in scale. Huge armies fought increasingly bloody battles, and the numbers of casualties mounted. “也许看起来让人吃惊,但向更加和平的状态演化的趋势,实际上在古代和中世纪这些历史时期中就已经显而易见了,这要远远早于18世纪的启蒙运动。当然,帝国之间的战争在规模上让部落间冲突相形见绌。大型军队间战争的血腥程度持续上升,而战争中的伤亡人数也随之水涨船高。 “But the key point is that these wars moved away from imperial centers, towards the frontiers. More and more people—those living far from frontiers where battles were fought—never experienced conflict, and could enjoy relative prosperity. “但关键在于这些战争不再发生于帝国的中心区域,而被移到了前线。越来越多的人——那些生活在远离战争发生的前线地区的人——从来没有经历过冲突,他们享受到了相对的繁荣。 “There is no contradiction between larger armies and larger butcher’s bills from warfare, on the one hand, and on the other, a greater part of the population enjoying peace. What is important from the point of view of quality of life is not how many people, in total, are killed, but what the chances are that I (or you, or someone you care about) will be killed. In other words, the important statistic is the risk of violent death for each person.” “一方面,军队规模更大,战争的死亡人数更高,而另一方面,总人口中更大比例的人群却能够享受和平,这两点并不冲突。从生活质量的角度来看,重要的并不是总体上有多少人在战争中被杀死,而是作为社会中的个体,我(或者是你,或者是你所关心的人)有多大的可能被杀死。换句话说,对每个人而言,更重要的统计量是死于暴力的风险大小。” The power of this view is in the way the apparent contradiction of how war leads to peace becomes obvious once understood through an evolutionary lens. It changed my mental model of history from a series of inevitable linear events, to one of a branching tree of evolutionary paths, complete with many dead-ends of failed civilisations and their cultures, with many more merging and growing from conquest. 这一观点的强大之处在于,“战争是如何导向和平的?”这一看似矛盾的问题一旦通过进化的视角来理解,其中的逻辑就显而易见了。它将我理解历史的心智模型从一系列不可避免的线性事件的串联转变为一棵包含多种进化路径的分叉树,这棵树的许多分支都终结于失败的文明及其文化,但更多的分支则是通过征服合并在一起并继续成长的文明。 In short, I have shifted away from the popular but incorrect view of evolution as linear and subject only to environmental stresses rather than intra-species conflict. The left panel of the below image epitomises this popular confusion that I ignorantly held in the context of the study of history. 简而言之,我已经摒弃了那种流行却是错误的以线性视角看待文明演化的方式,该方式认为它仅仅受到外部环境的压力影响而不理会种群内部冲突的作用。下图左边的部分代表了之前的我出于无知而在历史研究中所采用的这种带有很强迷惑性的流行视角。 A more correct view of biological evolution is in the right panel, complete with mixing of genes and extinctions. It is more subtle and complex view, but provides a more useful story of the path of history, the dying out of civilisations and merging of cultures as a result of inter-group warfare. 而下图中右边的部分则代表了一种更加准确的看待生物进化的视角,进化是在众多基因的混合与消亡中完成的。这是一种更加精细也更加复杂的视角,但它提供了一种对历史路径更加有用的叙事,文明的消亡和文化的合并实际上是族群间战争的结果。 Screen-Shot-2016-02-02-at-3.47.06-pm Even more interesting is that when there is little external warfare and competition, the successful groups find it difficult to curtail infighting amongst sub-groups within their society, and their lack of internal cooperation begins to make them vulnerable to attack from outsiders. In Turchin’s own words, from Chapter 2: 更有趣的是,当来自外部的战争和竞争压力较小时,那些成功的族群会发现控制自身内部小群体间的明争暗斗变得更困难了,而缺乏内部合作将会让这些曾经成功的族群在面对外来者的攻击时变得脆弱。用Turchin在书中第二章的话来说就是: “Here’s how war serves to weed out societies that “go bad.” When discipline, imposed by the need to survive conflict, gets relaxed, societies lose their ability to cooperate. A reactionary catchphrase of the 1970s used to go, “what this generation needs is a war,” a deplorable sentiment but one that in terms of cultural evolution might sometimes have a germ of cold logic. “战争是以这样的方式淘汰掉那些“衰朽腐败”的社会的。当因生存压力而施加的纪律开始变得松弛的时候,社会就失去了合作的能力。1970年代曾经有一句反动标语,“这代人需要经历一场战争,”虽然这句话里满是可悲的情绪,但从文明进化的角度上说,也许其中的确包含着一些冷冰冰的真知灼见。 At any rate, there is a pattern that we see recurring throughout history, when a successful empire expands its borders so far that it becomes the biggest kid on the block. When survival is no longer at stake, selfish elites and other special interest groups capture the political agenda. The spirit that “we are all in the same boat” disappears and is replaced by a “winner take all” mentality. As the elites enrich themselves, the rest of the population is increasingly impoverished. Rampant inequality of wealth further corrodes cooperation. 无论如何,我们都能看到历史中不断重演的一种模式,当一个成功的帝国将自己的疆域扩展得如此之广以至于它成了“街区里的孩子王”,当生存的压力已不再迫在眉睫,那些自私的精英和其它一些特定的利益集团就会夺取帝国的政治议程。“大家同处一条船”的精神消失了,取而代之的是“赢者通吃”的心态。随着精英们发家致富,其它人则持续地变得更加贫困。肆无忌惮的贫富不均进一步腐蚀了合作的基础。 Beyond a certain point a formerly great empire becomes so dysfunctional that smaller, more cohesive neighbors begin tearing it apart. Eventually the capacity for cooperation declines to such a low level that barbarians can strike at the very heart of the empire without encountering significant resistance. 在超过一个临界点之后,一个曾经的伟大帝国就会变得机能失调,以至于它的那些更小但更具凝聚力的邻居们开始将它分裂。最终帝国内部的合作能力降到了一个太低的水平,以至于外来的野蛮人可以在几乎遇不上任何值得一提的抵抗的条件下直捣帝国的心脏。 But barbarians at the gate are not the real cause of imperial collapse. They are a consequence of the failure to sustain social cooperation. As the British historian Arnold Toynbee said, great civilisations are not murdered – they die by suicide.” 但那些“门口的野蛮人”并不是帝国崩溃的原因。他们的入侵只是帝国没能维持内部社会合作的结果。正如英国历史学家阿诺德·汤因比所言,伟大的文明从来不会被谋杀——他们全都死于自杀。” I have explored this process of disintegration of groups into competing clans in small scale in experiments before. Yet I failed to see the link to the large scale selection processes occurring even at such large scales at the nation-state. The talk of sclerosis and the death of large scale cooperation made me recall the chart below on the growth of partisan policy in the US which shows the striking decline in cross-party cooperation on legislative changes. 我之前曾经用小规模实验的方式研究过族群瓦解为多个相互竞争的部落的情况。但我并没有意识到,即使在民族国家这么大的尺度上,也有类似的选择过程发生。书中关于社会固化和大规模合作的消亡的讨论,让我联想起了下面这幅关于美国党派政策演化的图中所显示出在立法变更上的党际合作水平的显著下降。 Each node in the visual is a member of the U.S. House of Representatives from 1949–2012, with Republicans in red and Democrats in blue. Edges are drawn between members who agree on legislative decisions more often than expected by chance, and the nodes are spaced out in a way so that those with more edges connecting them are closer together. The clustering therefore visualises who is cooperating with who in terms of developing legislation. 图中每个节点都代表美国在1949-2012年间的一位众议院议员,红色代表共和党人,而蓝色则代表民主党人。如果两位议员在立法决策上达成一致的频率高于由随机概率所预期的水平,那么他们所对应的节点之间就会被一条线连接,节点在图中的排列方式使得那些相互之间有更多连接的议员靠得更近。这样图中的聚类就从视觉上反映出了哪些议员在推进立法上相互合作。 Without the external threats to the nation as a whole after WWII, and later the Cold War, the ability to maintain a cohesive national whole in political terms appears to have broken down into partisan scrambling. No longer can we see a cooperative whole, but instead competing fairly arbitrary tribes of blues and reds. 在第二次世界大战和随后的冷战结束后,来自外部的对于美国作为一个整体的威胁都不复存在了,而从政治角度上看,似乎维系一个有凝聚力的国家整体的能力也随之分崩离析,取而代之的则是喋喋不休的党派纷争。在图中我们不再能看到一个富有合作性的整体,而是一些分别由红点和蓝点组成的武断分隔的竞争部落。 journal.pone.0123507.g002 I was left in a state of deep reflection after reading the book. Many other big ideas are woven through it to make you reconsider the popular but overly simplistic stories we tell ourselves to explain historical events. From the long term Z-shaped arc of quantifiable violence in human civilisation, to the role of horses, long range weaponry and population size in the success of inter-group warfare, and finally to the rise of God-kings and oppressive hierarchies. 在读完这本书后,我陷入了深刻的反思。本书中还贯穿了许多其它重要想法,它们会让你重新思考我们在解释历史事件时所常用的那些流行但过分简化的叙事。从人类文明中以可量化方式衡量的暴力水平在长期中所呈现出的Z型曲线,到马、远程武器和人口规模在族群间战争中所发挥的作用,以及最后君神合一政体和统治阶级的崛起。 Even Turchin’s incidental detours explore rather significant questions, such as in Chapter 4 when he clarifies a point about culture in human societies with the off-handed comment “Incidentally, why do we have culture? ” 即使是Turchin教授在书中偶然从主线上岔出的一些分支也讨论了相当重要的问题,例如在第四章中澄清关于人类社会中文化的作用的一个观点时,他随性地评论道“顺便问一句,为什么人类会拥有文化?”。 The same lesson applies in economics. Firms in highly competitive markets constantly face threats to their existence, leading to a type of destructive creation that ensures that surviving firms are internally highly cohesive and cooperative; economically efficient. 同样的道理也适用于经济学领域。高度竞争市场中的企业经常会面临威胁到自身生存的问题,这导致了一种毁灭性的创造过程以保证最终生存下来的企业在内部都具有极强的凝聚力和合作能力,我们称之为经济效率。 Yet the process of competition is highly inefficient in economic terms as only very slightly different production facilities are duplicated by competitors. For me the trade-off is rather radical just to think about. That the gains to internal cohesion require a cost of an external threat or else large-scale groups will be undermined by the interests of sub-groups within them. 然而从经济角度上说,竞争本身是非常低效的,因为众多互相竞争的对手所复制的生产设备之间的差别其实非常小。对我来说,其中的利弊权衡已经是一个相当深刻的问题了。即获得内部凝聚力所带来的收益需要以面对外部威胁为代价,否则大规模的群体将会被内部众多小团体的利益慢慢腐蚀。 Like any books that cover grand ideas about human civilisation there are probably some finer details to squabble about. I certainly don’t have the expertise to do so. Instead I want to share some of the thoughts that occupied my mind after reading Ultrasociety. These thoughts and comments should sufficiently signal the compelling nature of the discussions and ideas of the book. 与任何涉及关于人类文明的宏大观点的著作一样,书中几乎肯定会有一些值得争论的细节。我显然不具备足够的专业水平来这么做。但我希望与各位分享在读完《超级社会》这本书之后一直占据我脑海的一些想法。这些想法和评论应该足够说明这部大作的引人入胜之处以及其中的一些主题。 First, if sustained group cooperation relies on external competition, is there value in creating fictitious interstellar enemies to sustain better global cooperation? I’m thinking here of the film The Village, where the elders invented an outside enemy to sustain internal peace. The idea of creating an enemy for solidarity is popular, and even gets a run in the economics comics. 首先,如果持续的群体合作依赖于外部竞争,那么创造一些假想中的外星敌人是否对于维持更好的全球合作具有价值呢?这让我想起了一部名为《神秘村》的电影,在这部电影中,老人们创造出了一个外部敌人来维持村子内部的和平。为了维持团结而创造出一个敌人的想法现在很流行,即使在一些经济学漫画中也能看到它的影子。 Or perhaps the major modern religions fulfil this type of role so well that they can’t be displaced[1]? And surely it is the moral thing to do to promote human cooperation on an even larger scale without actual conflict and violence, if that indeed is possible. 或者也许主要的现代宗教已经扮演了这一角色而因此变得无可取代[1]? 毫无疑问,在不引发实际的冲突和暴力的前提下推进更大规模的人类合作在道德上是无可厚非的,如果这真的可能的话。 Second, and following directly on from the first, the use of the term morality is widely used with its common meaning as conforming to the cooperative norms of a group. Yet I can’t shake the nagging feeling that, like Darwin’s work on evolution, the idea that war with outsiders promotes peace is ripe to be corrupted for political gain because it can be so easily argued to be a ‘natural’ or ‘moral’ position. 第二,紧跟第一点的思路,现在人们对于“道德”的惯常理解与维持社会的合作规范是一致的。然而我还是无法摆脱一种令人不安的感觉,正如达尔文在进化论上的贡献一样,认为与外来者的战争能够推进内部和平这一观点很容易被政治利益所利用,因为它很容易被说成是一种“自然的”或是“道德的”立场。 Third, how are these great feats of cooperation realised in practice? Is there a common recipe that can be adopted into 21st public policy? There is a brief mention of how tribes and groups ‘tag’ each other with signals of group membership as one way to create cooperation in the following passage from Chapter 10. 第三,这些宏大的合作是如何在实践中实现的?对于21世纪的公共政策而言,存在一种通用的实践模式吗?书中第十章的以下段落简要地提到了部落和群体是如何用“标签”来标识彼此群体身份的方式来创造合作的。 “An important evolutionary breakthrough was the capacity to tag cooperating groups with symbolic markers such as language and dialect, styles of clothing and ornamentation (including tattoos), and behavioral characteristics—for example, participation in collective rituals. Symbolically-tagged cooperative groups, or tribes and nations, allowed us to increase the scale of cooperation beyond the circle of people personally known to us. Of course, the downside of increasing cooperation within a tribe or a nation was greater intensity of conflict with other tribes and nations.” “一个进化上的重大突破就是人们通过诸如语言和方言,衣着和装饰(包括纹身)的风格,以及行为特征——举例来说,对于集体仪式的参与——这些符号化的标记来为与自己合作的群体贴上标签的能力。通过符号化标签来标记与自己合作的群体,或者部落和国家,让我们能够在熟人小圈子之外扩大合作的规模。当然,在部落或国家内部增进合作的负面效应是与其它部落和国家之间冲突强度的加剧。” But like many of the minor points in the book, this single paragraph opens, then closes, a massively interesting puzzle about how humans actually organise into tribes at all levels. While as outsiders we easily observe tags, or the signals and rituals of a cultural group, as insiders we often overlook the amount of resources devoted to these tagging rituals. 但与书中其它一些次要观点一样,书中的这个段落首先提出了一个重要而有趣的难题,也就是人类是如何在实际中被组织为各种层次的“部落”的,并在之后回答了这个问题。作为外人,我们很容易观察到一个文化群体的标签,或者信号和仪式,但作为群体内部的人,我们却通常会忽视投入到这些标记仪式上的大量资源。 The whole fashion industry is almost exclusively about signalling social status, religious, sporting, or gender loyalties. People don’t buy cars just for transport; otherwise there would be little demand for more than a few different models. 整个时尚产业的存在几乎就是为了标识人们的社会地位,宗教信仰,体育爱好或性别取向。人们买车的目的并不仅仅是为了交通,否则除了有限的几种不同车型之外,不会有多少对其它车型的需求。 Instead we buy into marketing messages about how purchasing different types of cars tag us with different traits in the minds of others. At a national sale with have flags, anthems, national colours, sports teams and more that promote a sense of belonging. 但实际上人们买车也是在购买一种营销符号——通过对不同车型的选择而为自己贴上标签——你开的车显示出你是什么样的人。而国家则通过国旗,国歌,国家的代表性颜色,各种体育项目的国家队以及诸如此类的东西来让人们产生认同感。 While I’ve always considered much of our conspicuous consumption to be wasteful, in the same way that the devotion of military resources often appears wasteful on the surface, a picture is emerging of the amazing gains from these types of tagging behaviours and rituals in terms of promoting high levels of cooperation. While not the direct focus of the book, I think more details on this part of the evolutionary view of cooperation and conflict would have been valuable. 虽然我之前一直认为大多数炫耀性消费都很浪费,正如我们投入在军事上的资源通常从表面上看来都很浪费一样,但一幅由这类“贴标签”的行为和仪式通过在更高层次上提升合作水平而带来巨大收益的图景正在我的脑海中浮现。虽然这并不是本书直接关注的内容,但我认为,就有关合作和冲突的进化观点的这一侧面挖掘更多细节将是非常有价值的。 Fourth, what role does the massive advance in long-range weaponry since the dawn of the nuclear age mean for inter-group warfare? Turchin explains vividly how technology that allows for killing enemy combatants from a distance was a recipe for success in most warfare; starting with our evolved physical ability to accurately throwing rocks and spears, to the invention of bows and arrows, to the use of horses to mobilise armies over great distances. In the age of intercontinental missiles, drones, and nuclear weapons, how does the function of long-range of weaponry play out when the whole world can be anyone’s target? 第四,自从核武时代以来,远程武器技术的巨大进步将在群体间战争中扮演怎样的角色?Turchin教授在书中生动地描述了为什么那些能够在远程杀死敌军战士的技术在大多数战争中都是制胜的法宝,从早期人类演化出的准确投掷石块和长矛的能力,到弓和箭的发明,到使用马匹来让军队获得远程的机动性。在这个洲际导弹,无人机和核武器的时代,当整个世界都可以成为任何人的打击目标,远程武器又将如何发挥其作用? Fifth, if the cooperative effort required to wage large scale war is a major part of the causal story of the history of civilisation, how significant is the legacy of previous wars in the current economic landscape? I have in mind the major industries of modern society, such as passenger airlines arising from industrial investment in aerial warfare, and the digital age legacy of military investment in remote communications. 第五,如果合作的努力是为大规模战争服务的这一因果叙事的确占据了大部分的文明史,那么之前的战争所留下的遗产在当今经济版图中又有着怎样的重要性?我所能想到的现代社会的一些重要产业,例如客运航空业,就是从对空中战争的产业投资中崛起的,而当今的数码时代也起源于军工行业对远程通信技术的投资。 Most major industrial firms of the modern age were intricately involved as military suppliers or were privatised former military organisations. Many modern cities only exist because of the strategic benefits of their local military bases, while public major works such as highway and rail systems, ports and airports, were products of military strategy more than peaceful economic investment. 现代大多数主要工业企业都曾经以各种复杂的方式扮演过军队供应商的角色,或者本身就是由之前的军工组织私有化而来。许多现代城市存在的原因就是处于当地的军事基地所带来的战略性优势,而高速公路,铁路系统,港口和机场这类重大的基础设施则更多都是军事战略的产物,而非和平时期经济投资的产物。 And, surprisingly to me, the cooperative legacy of previous wars is not simply technological, but also institutional; from the organisational structures of firms, to the welfare state, to international treaties on money and trade. The employer-worker relationship looks a lot like the soldier-army relationship, requiring induction, uniforms, codes of conduct, and hierarchal rule. 让我感到意外的是,之前的战争所带来的合作遗产并不仅仅存在于技术方面,它同样存在于组织制度中,从现代公司的组织结构,到福利国家,到国际货币和贸易条约。雇主和工人的关系看起来很像军队与士兵的关系,两者都要求正式入职程序,统一制服,行为准则以及层级化管理。 Modern provisions of the welfare state, including housing, health services and cash payments, were often originally created for returned soldiers following wars. It is no leap to suggest that our international monetary system, and the various international organisations and treaties that accompany it, is the direct result of resolutions in the shadow of the WWII. And perhaps the apparent breakdown of the social equality nurtured by post-war institutions observed since the late 1970s in many western countries is merely there result of the absence of external threats which breed infighting and abuses of power. 当代福利国家提供的各种供应品,包括住房,医疗服务和现金支付,最初通常都是在战后提供给退役士兵的。当今的国际货币体系以及与之配套的各种国际组织和条约,都是在第二次世界大战的阴影之下所达成的一系列决议的直接后果,这并不是什么新鲜的观点。而也许从1970年代晚期开始,许多西方国家中由战后建立的机构所导致的社会平等局面的崩塌,也仅仅是因为外部威胁的缺失为它们提供了内部斗争和权力滥用的温床。 As you can see, “Ultrasociety” will leave you pondering many big questions you may never have thought to ask before. I certainly see the world differently now. And that, to me, is the sign of a profound and insightful work. 正如你所看到的,《超级社会》这本书将会让你去深思一些之前不曾想到过的大问题。在读完这本书后,我眼中的世界变得明显不同了。对我来说,这意味着我读到了一部意义深远而富有洞见的大作。 尾注: Turchin cites Ara Norenzayan’s book Big Gods: How Religion Transformed Cooperation and Conflict when explaining the role of religion in large scale cooperation, and I recommend reading it as well. 在解释宗教在大规模合作中所扮演的角色时,Turchin引用了Ara Norenzayan的著作《大神:宗教是如何改变合作与冲突的》一书中的内容,我也推荐读者阅读这本书。 (编辑:辉格@whigzhou) *注:本译文未经原作者授权,本站对原文不持有也不主张任何权利,如果你恰好对原文拥有权益并希望我们移除相关内容,请私信联系,我们会立即作出响应。

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