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自私的利他:让世界变得更美好 – 译学馆
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自私的利他:让世界变得更美好

A Selfish Argument for Making the World a Better Place – Egoistic Altruism

现在世界上绝大多数
Until recently, the vast majority
的人口都在农场工作
of the world population worked on farms
世界经济的总产量
and the total production of the world’s economy
主要是农业总产量
was mostly the total agricultural output.
而农业产量受到土地规模的限制
And this output was limited by the fixed size of the land.
经济总产量多年来并没有太大变化
The total output of the economy did not change a lot year by year.
“馅饼”的大小是固定的;这个世界是一场零和游戏
The size of the pie was fixed; the world was a zero-sum game.
在这样一个停滞不前的世界里
In such a stagnating world,
改善生活的唯一方法就是让别人变得更糟
the only way to get better off is if someone else gets worse off.
如果你那份馅饼变得更大
if you take a bigger piece of the pie,
其他人的就会变得更小
someone else’s gets smaller.
如果你想要更多的食物
If you want more food, then conquering, plundering,
那么征服 掠夺和偷窃是很好的策略
and stealing are great strategies.
你邻居的损失就是你的收获
Your neighbors loss is your gain.
而几千年来都是这样
This was the state of things for thousands of years.
为了得到更大的馅饼 人们一直互相侵略
Societies invaded each other constantly to get more pie.
经济上的不平等非常显著
Economic inequality was extreme.
有些人拥有他们想要的所有馅饼
Some had all the pie they wanted,
其他一些人却只能吃饼皮
while others had to live with the crumbs. Then,
后来 工业革命改变了一切
the Industrial Revolution happened and everything changed.
我们发明了机器 更好的作物
We developed machinery, better crops, better fertilizers.
更好的肥料农业产量猛增 但我们不仅生产了更多食品
Agricultural output skyrocketed, but we didn’t just produce more food –
而且所有类型的工业生产率都有所提高
every industrial sector exploded in terms of productivity.
从1700年到1870年 英国的铁产量增加了137倍
From 1700 to 1870, the production of iron in Britain increased 137 fold.
工业革命带来的经济产出增长在这之前是难以想象的
The Industrial Revolution led to a previously unimaginable increase in economic output.
这改变了我们社会的根本性质
This altered the nature of our societies.
由于经济的增长 世界从零和游戏变成了互赢游戏
Economic growth changed the world from a zero-sum game to a positive-sum game.
我们找到了一种创造更大的
We had found a way to create a bigger pie
馅饼的方法:
– but not only a bigger pie, but a
不仅如此 每年 馅饼还越来越大
pie that was growing bigger each year.
更多的人口能同时得到比之前更多的东西
More people could have more at the same time.
这种趋势一直持续至今天
This development is spreading and continuing today.
抗生素杀菌
Antibiotics kill bacteria.
发电厂提供能源
Power plants deliver energy.
手机让我们互相连接
Cell phones connect us.
飞机让我们便宜地旅行
Planes let us travel cheaply.
冰箱储存食物
Fridges store food.
现在我们觉得各个经济
Continuous progress in all sectors
领域的增长看起来稀松平常
of the economy seems normal to us today,
但从停滞到经济增长的转变却是
but the change from stagnation to economic growth
人类历史上浓墨重彩的一笔
really was the most drastic shift in human history.
这是这么做到的呢?
How was this possible?
这场巨大
At the very core
转变的核心是创新的想法
of this massive transformation stand new ideas that lead to innovation.
创新有许多不同的定义
Innovation has many different definitions,
但在本视频中
but in the context of this video,
创新是解决现有问题的更好方案
we mean better solutions to existing problems
或是解决新发现问题的方案
and solutions to problems we didn’t know we had.
你的愿望和需求随着创新发生改变
The more you innovate,
而在这期间你会遇到更复杂、
the more complex and interesting problems you discover as your wishes and needs evolve.
有趣的问题在250年前
The average citizen in Norway 250 years ago
普通的挪威公民可能需要一双好鞋
might have wanted some really good shoes.
150年前 他们可能想要一辆自行车
150 years ago, maybe a bicycle.
80年前 他们可能想要一辆汽车
80 years ago, a car.
30年前 他们可能想要廉价航空旅行
30 years ago, cheap air travel. And so on.
诸如此类我们得到我们想要的东西后也不会就此停止
Once we get what we want, we don’t stop;
我们可以看到发展
we can see how we can improve things even more,
不会停滞不前
and how to make things even better.
这个新的共赢世界到现在只占
The new positive-sum world has existed
人类历史的0.1% 而我们还需要适应它
for 0.1 % of human history and we have yet to get used to it.
这产生了一个让人感觉很不直观的结果
It has a consequence that feels really unintuitive.
在一个共赢的世界中
In a positive-sum world,
地球上的每个人都过得
it’s in your personal selfish best interest
好对你个人是最有利的
that every human on planet earth is well off.
那些你从未听过的不起眼的地方
It’s good for you if people in obscure parts
繁荣昌盛地发展对你有好处
of countries you’ve never heard of are prospering.
为了让这个世界变得更美好 存在一个自私的论点:
There is a genuine selfish argument for making the world a better place.
在共赢世界里 富裕的人越多
In a positive-sum world, the more people are well-off,
你的生活就越好
the better your own life is.
这是创新的本质造成的
This is because of the nature of innovation;
创新由供需驱动
it is fundamentally driven by supply and demand.
供应随着更多的人有更好的教育和自由而增加
The supply increases when more people have the freedom and education to contribute.
他们成为提出新想法的发明家
They become inventors, researchers,
、研究者、工程师或思想家
engineers or thinkers that come up with new ideas.
随着人们越来越富有 对创意的需求随之增加
The demand for ideas increases as people get richer,
而这些需求会为创新付费
and can pay for new solutions.
这些需求增加了创新市场的规模
They increase the size of the market for innovations.
更多的创新提供了更多的激励
Innovation follows incentives.
自然而然地 如果一些东西有很多人想要并能够为其花钱
So naturally, if many people want and can pay for something,
它们自然会吸引创新者的注意
it will get the innovators attention and energy.
改善那些经济水平较低的人的生活有着滚雪球一般的效果
Improving the lives of those who are worst off has a multiplying effect.
它不仅增加了对新想法的需求
It increases demand for ideas while at the same time,
还使创意更容易实现
making it easier for ideas to be produced.
举一个令我们感兴趣的例子:
Let’s take an example that interests all of us –
治愈癌症
a cure for cancer.
如果世界上有10
If there are 1 billion people
亿人有财力支付癌症治疗费用
in the world that have the wealth to pay for cancer treatments,
这样的需求会带来创新
innovation will follow this demand.
因此人们已经向医学研究中投入了一大笔钱
So hundreds of billions of dollars have been invested in medical research.
这产生了巨大的影响
This had a huge effect,
但我们仍然无法治愈所有形式的癌症
but we’re still nowhere near to curing all forms of cancer. Today,
现今世界上六分之一的人都死于癌症
every sixth person in the world dies of cancer,
你可能也会
and you might be one of them. Now,
现在想象一下如果需求比现在更强:
imagine if demand were higher.
不只有10亿人能够为癌症的
Imagine instead of 1 billion people being able
解药付费
to pay for a cure for cancer,
而是有40亿甚至70亿人
there were 4 billion or 7 billion.
想象一下 如果我们投入更多的钱
Imagine how far medicine could have developed
治疗癌症的药物会怎样更好地进步
if we’d invested 7 times as much in curing cancer.
除了这个
On top of that,
人类现在有太多的潜力被浪费了
there’s so much human potential being wasted right now.
一个发展中国家的
The work of a poor farmer
贫穷农民的工作对你毫无作用
in a developing nation is not useful to you.
但如果他过得更好
But if he becomes better off,
他的孩子们也许就能上大学
his children might spend their time in university
然后开发对你有用的东西这样
developing things that are useful to you.
不仅发达国家能够创新
Instead of having some hotspots of innovation in the developed world,
全世界都可以:
we would have many hotspots all over the world.
人类的研究成果将是现在的许多倍
The research output of humanity would be many times what it is right now.
如果这些不仅是假设而是现实的话 会不会我们现在就能治愈癌症了呢?
Could we have cured cancer by now if that were the case? Well,

maybe.
也许吧假设我们在研究上投入7倍多的资金
If we spent 7 times as much on research,
拥有7倍多的研究者
had 7 times as many people working on it,
和一个全球性的医学研究网络
and a global network of medical research,
癌症医学的发展肯定会比现在更进一步
things would certainly be further ahead than they are now.
而这正是以上观点的核心:
And this is the core of the argument:
如果想要你想得到的的东西的人越多
the more people want the same thing that you want,
你越有可能得到它
the more likely you are to get it.
这就是生活在一个互赢世界里会发生的事情
That is what it means to live in a positive-sum world.
你不会因为穷人一直贫穷而获得更多的馅饼相反
You don’t gain more pie if poor places stay poor. Instead,
如果贫穷的地方变得更富有
you get more pie if poor places get richer,
贡献出创意并做出更多馅饼 你自己的馅饼也会更多
contribute ideas, and grow the global pie.
你喜欢太空旅行吗?
Do you like space travel?
想象一下 假如非洲和亚洲有
Imagine there were billions of people in Africa and Asia
数十亿人拥有自己的太空计划
with their own space programs,
以及拥有对卫星 火星城市和月球基地的需求的话会怎样
and demand for satellites and moon bases and cities on Mars.
你喜欢活着吗?
Do you like being alive?
如果几十亿人为医学研究付费 这真的会能挽救你的生命
A few billion people paying for medical research could literally save your life.
全世界的人们变得更加富有对你来说是有利的
It’s in your interest for people around the world to become better off.
世界变成这样越快对
The faster we get to this version of the world,
你个人越好
the better for you personally.
不管你处于什么动机
No matter what your motivation is,
努力让世界更好
working on a better world is a very good thing to do –
利己与人
for others, and for you.
该视频是与Max Roser和Our
This video was a collaboration
World inData合作制作的
with Max Roser and Our World in Data,
并得到比尔及梅林达·盖茨基金会的支持
and supported by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
如果你想帮助
If you want to help us
我们制作更多视频
stay afloat and make more videos,
你可以在Patreon上支持我们或者向我们购买一些漂亮的海报
you can support us on Patreon or get some of our fancy posters.

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