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TED 如何让自己更有远见? [复制链接]

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在线jenny
 

So in the winter of 2012, I went to visit my grandmother's house in South India, a place, by the way, where the mosquitos have a special taste for the blood of the American-born.
在2012年的冬天,我拜访了祖母,她住在印度南部,顺便说一句,在这里,美国出生的人很招蚊子的喜欢。


No joke.
不开玩笑。


When I was there, I got an unexpected gift. It was this antique instrument made more than a century ago, hand-carved from a rare wood, inlaid with pearls and with dozens of metal strings. It's a family heirloom, a link between my past, the country where my parents were born, and the future, the unknown places I'll take it.
我在那儿的时候,收到了一份出乎意料的礼物。就是这个古董乐器,是一百多年前制造的,从罕见的木头中手工雕刻出来的,上面镶嵌着珍珠,还有几十根金属弦。这是一件家传宝物,它连接着我的过去,和我父母所出生的国家,以及未来,那些我将带它游历的未知的地方。


I didn't actually realize it at the time I got it, but it would later become a powerful metaphor for my work.
当我得到它时,并没有意识到,这件物品后来会成为与我工作相关的一个有力的隐喻。


We all know the saying, "There's no time like the present." But nowadays, it can feel like there's no time but the present. What's immediate and ephemeral seems to dominate our lives, our economy and our politics. It's so easy to get caught up in the number of steps we took today or the latest tweet from a high-profile figure. It's easy for businesses to get caught up in making immediate profits and neglect what's good for future invention. And it's far too easy for governments to stand by while fisheries and farmland are depleted instead of conserved to feed future generations. I have a feeling that, at this rate, it's going to be hard for our generation to be remembered as good ancestors. If you think about it, our species evolved to think ahead, to chart the stars, dream of the afterlife, sow seeds for later harvest. Some scientists call this superpower that we have "mental time travel," and it's responsible for pretty much everything we call human civilization, from farming to the Magna Carta to the internet -- all first conjured in the minds of humans.
我们都知道这句俗话,“现在就是最好的时机。”但是如今,我们可能会觉得只有现在,没有其他了。这些即时和转瞬即逝的东西似乎主宰着我们的生活,我们的经济和政治。我们很容易就为今天走了多少步而兴奋,或为推特上某个网红最新的推文而着迷。生意人也容易追逐短期利润而忽视对未来发明有益的那些东西。对政府而言,与为了供养子孙后代而开展保护相比,对渔场和农场被耗用枯竭袖手旁观实在是再容易不过了。我感觉,以这样的速度下去,我们的子孙后代很难认为我们是好的祖先。想想看,我们这个种族进化到能够提前计划,绘制星系图,幻想来世,播下种子,以供未来收获。有些科学家管这样的超能力叫做“精神时空旅行。”这个能力几乎使得我们人类文明中所有的东西成为了可能,从农业到《大宪章》,到互联网——一切都首先是在人类的头脑中被设想出来的。


But let's get real: if we look around us today, we don't exactly seem to be using this superpower quite enough, and that begs the question: Why not? What's wrong is how our communities, businesses and institutions are designed. They're designed in a way that's impairing our foresight. I want to talk to you about the three key mistakes that I think we're making.
但让我们面对现实:如果我们环顾四周,我们似乎并没有很好地使用这个超能力,那这就引出了问题:为什么?问题在于我们的社区、商业和机构的设计方式。它们的设计方式损害了我们的远见。我想和你们谈谈三个我们正在犯的主要错误。


The first mistake is what we measure. When we look at the quarterly profits of a company or its near-term stock price, that's often not a great measure of whether that company is going to grow its market share or be inventive in the long run. When we glue ourselves to the test scores that kids bring back from school, that's not necessarily what's great for those kids' learning and curiosity in the long run. We're not measuring what really matters in the future.
第一个错误是我们所测量的东西。如果我们看看公司的季度收益或者是近期的股票价格,这一般都不是衡量公司未来市场份额会增长或长期创造力的好标准。当我们沉浸在孩子从学校带回家的考试分数时,这不一定对孩子们长期学习和好奇心有好处。我们没有测量那些对未来真正重要的东西。


The second mistake we're making that impairs our foresight is what we reward. When we celebrate a political leader or a business leader for the disaster she just cleaned up or the announcement she just made, we're not motivating that leader to invest in preventing those disasters in the first place, or to put down payments on the future by protecting communities from floods or fighting inequality or investing in research and education.
我们正在犯的损害我们远见的第二个错误是我们所回报的东西。当我们为一位政治领袖或商界领袖庆祝她刚刚清理的灾难或她刚刚发表的声明时,我们并没有在激励这个领袖去投资长远的未来,避免灾难的再次发生,比如通过保护社区免受洪水的侵袭,为未来支付首付款,或是对抗不平等或是投资研究和教育。


The third mistake that impairs our foresight is what we fail to imagine. Now, when we do think about the future, we tend to focus on predicting exactly what's next, whether we're using horoscopes or algorithms to do that. But we spend a lot less time imagining all the possibilities the future holds. When the Ebola outbreak emerged in 2014 in West Africa, public health officials around the world had early warning signs and predictive tools that showed how that outbreak might spread, but they failed to fathom that it would, and they failed to act in time to intervene, and the epidemic grew to kill more than 11,000 people. When people with lots of resources and good forecasts don't prepare for deadly hurricanes, they're often failing to imagine how dangerous they can be.
损害我们远见的第三个错误是缺乏想象力。当我们讨论未来的时候,我们倾向于关注在预测接下来究竟会发生什么,不管我们是用星座还是算法去预测。但是我们不怎么花时间去想象未来的所有可能性。2014年西非爆发埃博拉时,全世界的公共卫生官员的预警和预测工具都显示这场疫情可能如何传播,但是他们没有想到真的传播了,于是他们没有及时采取措施去干预,这场疫情愈演愈烈,超过一万一千人为之送命。当人们拥有资源和准确的预告却不为致命的飓风做准备时,他们通常没有想象到这些飓风有多危险。


Now, none of these mistakes that I've described, as dismal as they might sound, are inevitable. In fact, they're all avoidable. What we need to make better decisions about the future are tools that can aid our foresight, tools that can help us think ahead. Think of these as something like the telescopes that ship captains of yore used when they scanned the horizon. Only instead of for looking across distance and the ocean, these tools are for looking across time to the future. I want to share with you a few of the tools that I've found in my research that I think can help us with foresight.
我所说的这些错误听起十分令人沮丧,不可避免。但事实上,它们都是可以避免的。为未来做更好的决定,我们需要的是有助于我们的远见,能帮助我们提前规划的工具。把这些工具想象成往昔的船长们寻找地平线的望远镜。区别仅在于这些工具不是为了在海洋中寻找远方,而是预见未来。我想和你们分享几个这样的工具,在我的研究中,我发现这些工具有助于提高我们的远见。


The first tool I want to share with you I think of as making the long game pay now. This is Wes Jackson, a farmer I spent some time with in Kansas. And Jackson knows that the way that most crops are grown around the world today is stripping the earth of the fertile topsoil we need to feed future generations. He got together with a group of scientists, and they bred perennial grain crops which have deep roots that anchor the fertile topsoil of a farm, preventing erosion and protecting future harvests. But they also knew that in order to get farmers to grow these crops in the short run, they needed to boost the annual yields of the crops and find companies willing to make cereal and beer using the grains so that farmers could reap profits today by doing what's good for tomorrow.
第一个我想分享的工具是让长期的游戏现在有回报。这是WesJackson,一位堪萨斯州的农民。Jackson知道当今全球大多数作物的生长方式都在剥离我们需要养活后代的肥沃的表层土壤。他和一些科学家一起培育了多年生谷物,这些作物有很深的根,可以固定农场肥沃的表层土壤,从而阻止水土流失,保护未来的收成。但是他们也知道要让农民在短期内种植这些作物,他们需要提高这些作物的年产量,并找到愿意用这些谷物生产麦片和啤酒的公司。这样农民在做对明天有益的事情时,今天也能获得利润。


And this is a tried-and-true strategy. In fact, it was used by George Washington Carver in the South of the United States after the Civil War in the early 20th century. A lot of people have probably heard of Carver's 300 uses for the peanut, the products and recipes that he came up with that made the peanut so popular. But not everyone knows why Carver did that. He was trying to help poor Alabama sharecroppers whose cotton yields were declining, and he knew that planting peanuts in their fields would replenish those soils so that their cotton yields would be better a few years later. But he also knew it needed to be lucrative for them in the short run.
这是一个已经被证明可靠的策略。实际上,早在二十世纪初期,在美国内战后的南部,乔治·华盛顿·卡弗就用过这个策略。很多人也许都听过卡弗的“花生的三百种用法”,他所发明的这些产品和配方使得花生非常受欢迎。但是并不是每个人都知道卡弗为什么要做这些。他当时想要帮助阿拉巴马棉花产量在锐减的贫穷佃农,卡弗知道如果在田里种了花生,土壤就能得到养分,这样棉花产量就可以在几年后恢复。但是卡弗也知道,在短期内有利可图也是必要的。


Alright, so let's talk about another tool for foresight. This one I like to think of as keeping the memory of the past alive to help us imagine the future. So I went to Fukushima, Japan on the sixth anniversary of the nuclear reactor disaster there that followed the Tohoku earthquake and tsunami of 2011. When I was there, I learned about the Onagawa Nuclear Power Station, which was even closer to the epicenter of that earthquake than the infamous Fukushima Daiichi that we all know about. In Onagawa, people in the city actually fled to the nuclear power plant as a place of refuge. It was that safe. It was spared by the tsunamis. It was the foresight of just one engineer, Yanosuke Hirai, that made that happen. In the 1960s, he fought to build that power plant farther back from the coast at higher elevation and with a higher sea wall. He knew the story of his hometown shrine, which had flooded in the year 869 after a tsunami. It was his knowledge of history that allowed him to imagine what others could not.
好的,让我们来聊聊另一个能让我们有远见的工具。我把这个工具比做是保持过去的鲜活记忆从而帮助我们想象未来。所以我去了日本的福岛,在核电站灾难的第六个纪念日,即2011年日本东北大地震大海啸的六年后。我在那里时了解到了女川核电站,这个核电站比我们都知道的福岛核电站距离地震震中更近。事实上,当时女川市的居民还都撤离到核电站内避难。就是这么安全。这个核电站免受海啸的破坏。全因为一个工程师的远见,他就是平井弥之助。在六十年代,他力争让核电站建在远离海岸,在海拔更高,海堤更高的地方。他知道他家乡的神社在869年的海啸后被水淹没的故事。对历史的了解使得他能够想到其他人所想不到的。


OK, one more tool of foresight. This one I think of as creating shared heirlooms. These are lobster fishermen on the Pacific coast of Mexico, and they're the ones who taught me this. They have protected their lobster harvest there for nearly a century, and they've done that by treating it as a shared resource that they're passing on to their collected children and grandchildren. They carefully measure what they catch so that they're not taking the breeding lobster out of the ocean. Across North America, there are more than 30 fisheries that are doing something vaguely similar to this. They're creating long-term stakes in the fisheries known as catch shares which get fishermen to be motivated not just in taking whatever they can from the ocean today but in its long-term survival.
还有另一个关于远见的工具。我把这个工具想成创造共享的传家宝。在墨西哥的大西洋海岸,有一群捕捉龙虾的渔民教会了我这个工具。他们在过去将近一个世纪的时间里保护着龙虾的收成,他们的做法是将龙虾看作是共享的资源,而这个资源将传承给他们的后代子孙,他们仔细地衡量这些收成,这样就不会将还在繁殖中的龙虾捕捉出来。横跨北美,有超过三十个渔场在做着多多少少相似的事情。他们在捕鱼业中建立了长期的利益关系,即所谓的“捕捞份额”,这激发了渔民不仅关注今天从海中能够获得的东西,还有海洋更长期的生存和回报。


Now there are many, many more tools of foresight I would love to share with you, and they come from all kinds of places: investment firms that look beyond near-term stock prices, states that have freed their elections from the immediate interests of campaign financiers. And we're going to need to marshal as many of these tools as we can if we want to rethink what we measure, change what we reward and be brave enough to imagine what lies ahead.
实际上有很多能够帮助我们看得更远的工具,我很乐意与你们分享,它们来自于各行各业:投资公司不仅仅看短期股价,那些将选举从竞选资助者眼前利益中解放出来的州。如果我们想要重新思考我们所衡量的东西,改变我们的奖励方式,并勇敢地想象未来会发生什么,我们就需要尽可能多地使用这些工具。


Not all this is going to be easy, as you can imagine. Some of these tools we can pick up in our own lives, some we're going to need to do in businesses or in communities, and some we need to do as a society. The future is worth this effort.
你们可以料到,这些都不会容易。有些工具是我们在生活中可以学会的,有些需要在行业或者团体中才能发挥作用,有些则需要我们整个社会的合作。未来是值得付出这些努力的。


My own inspiration to keep up this effort is the instrument I shared with you. It's called a dilruba, and it was custom-made for my great-grandfather. He was a well-known music and art critic in India in the early 20th century. My great-grandfather had the foresight to protect this instrument at a time when my great-grandmother was pawning off all their belongings, but that's another story. He protected it by giving it to the next generation, by giving it to my grandmother, and she gave it to me.
我自己继续努力的动力来自我刚与你们分享的工具。它叫迪尔鲁巴琴,这是我曾祖父找人定制的。二十世纪初,我曾祖父曾是印度知名的音乐家和艺术评论人。我的曾祖父有保护这件乐器的远见,那时候我曾祖母不得不当掉所有的东西维持生计,但这是另一个故事了。他通过把它传给下一代来保护它,我的祖母获得了这件乐器,她又给了我。


When I first heard the sound of this instrument, it haunted me. It felt like hearing a wanderer in the Himalayan fog. It felt like hearing a voice from the past.
当我第一次听到这件乐器的声音时,我深受感动,仿佛漫步于喜马拉雅的晨雾之中,听见了历史的声音。


That's my friend Simran Singh playing the dilruba. When I play it, it sounds like a cat's dying somewhere, so you're welcome.
这是我的朋友习慕兰·辛格所演奏的片段。我试着弹奏的时候,听起来好像有只猫濒临惨死,所以不用感谢我播放这段美妙的旋律。


This instrument is in my home today, but it doesn't actually belong to me. It's my role to shepherd it in time, and that feels more meaningful to me than just owning it for today. This instrument positions me as both a descendant and an ancestor. It makes me feel part of a story bigger than my own.
这件乐器今天还在我家,但实际上却不属于我。我的角色是在时间的长河中照管它,与只是今天拥有它相比,这对我来说更有意义。这件乐器将我置身于后人和祖先之间。这使我感受到我是历史长河的一部分。


And this, I believe, is the single most powerful way we can reclaim foresight: by seeing ourselves as the good ancestors we long to be, ancestors not just to our own children but to all humanity. Whatever your heirloom is, however big or small, protect it and know that its music can resonate for generations.
我坚信,这是我们可以重新获得远见的唯一最有力的方式:就是让自己渴望成为好的祖先,不仅仅是我们自己的子女,而是全人类的祖先。无论你的传家宝是什么,无论或大或小,保护好它,要知道它的音乐可以在代际之间产生共鸣。


Thank you.
谢谢。
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