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低级生物在一起怎么就变得有智慧了?

Emergence – How Stupid Things Become Smart Together

单只蚂蚁是愚蠢的
An ant is pretty stupid.
它没多少大脑 没意志 没计划
It doesn’t have much of a brain, no will, no plan,
但是 一群蚂蚁是聪明的
and yet, many ants together are smart.
一个蚁群可以建造复杂的蚁穴
An ant colony can construct complex structures.
一些蚂蚁负责真菌农场 其他的负责养殖
Some colonies keep farms of fungi, others take care of cattle.
它们能够发动战争或对抗来敌
They can wage war or defend themselves.
这是怎么成为可能的呢
How is this possible?
蠢东西聚在一起如何变聪明呢
How can a bunch of stupid things do smart things together?
这种现象称为涌现
This phenomenon is called emergence,
是宇宙最神秘迷人的特征之一
and it’s one of the most fascinating and mysterious features of our universe.
简单来说
In a nutshell,
就是许多小个体形成的大个体展现出不同的特性
it describes small things forming bigger things
新特性超过小个体之总和
that have different properties than the sum of their parts.
涌现是简单性中浮现的复杂性
Emergence is complexity arising from simplicity,
它无处不在
and emergence is everywhere.
水具有和水分子迥异的特性
Water has vastly different properties to the molecules that make it up,
比如潮湿的概念
like the concept of wetness.
把湿的织物放大足够倍数
Take wet fabric, If you zoom in far enough,
它并没有潮湿
there is no wetness.
只有水分子布满织物分子周围
There are just molecules sitting in the spaces between the atoms of the cloth.
潮湿是水涌现的特性
Wetness is an emerging property of water.
是大量水分子相互作用的产物
Something new only created by a lot of individual interactions between water molecules.
大概就是这样
And this is sort of it.
许多个体按一定规则互相作用
Many things interact under a certain set of rules,
就能创造超越自身的事物
creating something above and beyond themselves.
事实上 量变会带来质变
It turns out that more is different.
这种不同特性本身就是新事物
This different property is itself a new thing,
它能结合其他新事物
and that new thing can couple with
重复这个过程
other new things to repeat the process.
你可以把它想象成层复一层的堆积过程
You can imagine this as layers stacked upon each other,
每一层有更复杂的部分
every layer made from more complex parts.
原子形成分子
Atoms form molecules.
分子形成蛋白质
Molecules form proteins.
蛋白质组成细胞
Proteins make up cells.
细胞组成器官
Cells make up organs.
器官组成个体
Organs form individuals.
个体组成社团
Individuals form societies.
但总体如何大于各部分之和呢
But how can something be more than the sum of its parts?
蚂蚁如何形成蚁群呢
How do ants form the sort of cloudy entity that is a colony?
通过在混乱中形成秩序的规则
By following a ruleset that produces order through chaos.
比如 看看蚁群如何分配工作
For example, let’s look at how an ant colony distributes jobs.
假设蚁群中负责工作 看护
Let’s assume that a colony shall have 25% workers, 25% caretakers,
作战和收集的各占25%
25% soldiers and 25% gatherers.
蚂蚁通过化学物质沟通分工
Ants communicate their current job via chemicals.
比如
For example,
工蚁不断释放信号说我是工蚁
the worker ant constantly secretes chemicals that say:”I’m a worker”.
当蚂蚁遇上蚂蚁
When ants meet other ants,
它们互相获取信息
they smell each other to gather information,
告诉对方自己在做什么
telling each other their job and what they’re doing.
各自记住之前遇到了谁
Both keep track of who they met in the past.
现在 设想食蚁兽杀了大部分收集蚁
Now, imagine an anteater kills most of the gatherers.
若不快速修复 蚁群就要挨饿
If this isn’t fixed quickly, the colony will starve.
许多工蚁需要转换工作
Many worker ants need to switch jobs,
但怎么通知成千上万的蚂蚁呢
but how do you tell this to thousands of them?
很简单 不需要
Simple. You don’t.
工蚁会继续遇到其他蚂蚁
Our worker ant will still meet and smell other ants,
但它几乎不会遇到收集的蚂蚁
but it will encounter almost no gatherers at all.
负责收集的蚂蚁太少了
It counts too few gatherers,
直到情况严重了 它就改变工作
until it reaches a critical point, and then it changes its job.
工蚁变成收集蚁
The worker becomes a gatherer.
其他蚂蚁则不变
Other ants will do the same,
直到收集蚁又不够了
until after a while there are enough gatherers again.
完全靠自己恢复平衡
The balance is restored all by itself.
个体的行为和交流是随机的
The actions and interactions of an individual are random.
你无法规划哪两只蚂蚁会相遇
You can’t plan which ant will encounter which other ant.
但蚁群的种种行为都导向一个结果
But the simple set of rules is so elegant
道理就是这么简单
that a colony’s many operations emerge as a consequence.
在更基础的层面上
On an even more fundamental level,
大量复杂分子互相作用以维持结构的稳定和精妙
hundreds of millions of complicated molecules interact to maintain a robust and amazing structure
这样超过各部分之和的 具有迥异特性的新生命体就诞生了
A being with vastly different properties than the sum of its dead parts emerges.
那就是生命的最小结构:细胞
The smallest unit of life: a cell.
我们至今没有精准定义生命体
We still don’t have a clear definition of what living things are,
只知道生命涌现自非生命体
we just know they emerge from things that are not alive.
细胞们互相结合协作
Cells combine and cooperate.
它们进化出特定的能力并互相回应
They specialize and respond to one another,
随着时间的推移 就发展成具有特定功能的器官
and over time, we develop into complex organisms with remarkable capacities.
你的手臂 腿 心脏
Your arms and legs and heart
都是极其复杂的系统
are incredibly complex and complicated systems
却由数万亿愚蠢的小个体组成
made of trillions of individual stupid things…
而且 我们可以呼吸 消化 看视频
…and yet we breathe, digest and watch YouTube videos.
细胞怎么知道该做什么呢
How do your cells know what to do?
想想负责心脏起搏的细胞
Think of the pacemaker cells in your heart.
数十亿细胞要在适当的时候驱动
Billions of them need to send out an impulse just at the right moment
形成一次心跳
to collectively create a heartbeat.
相邻的细胞交换化学信息
Our cells exchange chemical information with their neighbor cells
了解对方要做什么
to see what they’re up to,
然后决定自己怎么做
and then decide what to do.
如果周围的细胞都在为同一个目标努力
If it’s among a lot of cells that are working on the same task,
它也会做相同的事 并且和它们同步
it will start working on that task as well, and sync up with them.
不存在一个发号施令的控制者
There is no master mind giving commands.
只有个体之间交换信息
Just single units communicating with their neighbors,
根据收到的反馈作出反应
and acting according to the feedback they get.
那我们最重要的部分呢
What about our most important part?
是什么在问出这些问题
What is the thing that asks these kinds of questions?
我们的意识是否是大脑细胞涌现的特性
Is our consciousness then an emergent property of the cells in our brain?
这个问题太大太过重要
This question is too big and important,
需要另外录一个视频来解答
it deserves a video of its own.
有些涌现的东西很难定义
Some things that emerge are hard to define.
你只能接触蚁群的一部分 而非全部
You can’t touch an ant colony, only its parts.
它没有大脑 没有脸 没有肢体
It has neither brain nor face, nor body.
但蚁群可以跟世界互动
And yet the colony interacts with the world.
就像蚂蚁涌现出蚁群 人类涌现出国家
Just like colonies emerge from ants, things emerge from humans, like Nations.
国家是什么 是它的人民吗
What actually is a nation, is it its population?
是它的组织机构吗 是它的符号 比如国旗 代表颜色 国歌这类的吗
Is it its institutions, its symbols like its flag, colours or anthems?
是它的城市或者领土吗
The physical things it makes like cities, the territory it occupies?
所有这些都是可以改变的
All of these things are fluid.
人口会改变或被取代
Populations change and are replaced.
组织机构可以设立与解散 城市会新建也会被遗弃
Institutions come and go, cities can be constructed and abandoned.
历史上的大部分时间里 国家的边界总是不断变化的
Borders have changed all the time for most of history,
符号会被新的符号取代
and symbols get replaced by new symbols.
国家没有面部 没有大脑 没有肢体
A nation has no face, no brain, no body.
那国家是不真实的吗
Are nations not real, then?
国家当然是真实的 就跟蚁群一样
Of course they are, just like ant colonies,
国家也会跟世界互动
nations interact with the world.
它们改变地貌 发动战争 发展或衰退
They can change landscapes, wage wars, grow or decline,
当然也可以消亡
and they can stop existing.
但是 有国家是因为很多人在互相作用
But they only exist because of a lot of humans interacting with each other.
但不仅仅是国家
But not just nations.
我们身边的复杂结构都涌现自我们
All the complex structures that surround us emerge from us.
即使不刻意去做 我们仍在持续创造
Even if we don’t intend to, we are constantly creating.
社区 公司 城市 社会
Communities, companies, cities, societies.
所有这些实体 都是由愚蠢的猴子组成的
All of these things are entities that have fundamentally different properties and abilities
但与其有着本质的不同属性和能力
than the pretty stupid apes they emerged from.
我们不知道这一切是怎么发生的
We don’t know why any of this happens.
我们只是观察到这种现象
We just observe it,
这似乎是这个宇宙的一种基本属性
and it seems to be a fundamental property of our universe.
或许是这个宇宙最美丽最不可思议的属性
It may be the most beautiful and wonderous property of our universe.

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视频概述

涌现是一种现象,许多小个体相互作用后产生了大实体,而这个大实体展现了组成它的小个体所不具有的特性。

听录译者

收集自网络

翻译译者

Aidenlazz

审核员

译学馆审核团D

视频来源

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=16W7c0mb-rE

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