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鱼群是怎么协调游动行为的? – 译学馆
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鱼群是怎么协调游动行为的?

How do schools of fish swim in harmony? - Nathan S. Jacobs

鱼群是怎样和谐共游的呢?
How do schools of fish swim in harmony?
你大脑的微小细胞如何产生你的
And how do the tiny cells in your brain give rise to the complex thoughts,
复杂思想
memories,
记忆和意识?
and consciousness that are you?
奇怪的是 一个答案能够回答这些问题:
Oddly enough, those questions have the same general answer:
涌现
emergence,
或是说一大群简单元素同时
or the spontaneous creation of sophisticated behaviors and functions
构建的复杂行为和功能
from large groups of simple elements.
和许多动物一样 鱼类成群行动
Like many animals, fish stick together in groups,
不是因为人多热闹大
but that’s not just because they enjoy each other’s company.
而是关乎生死
It’s a matter of survival.
鱼群展示了能够帮助他们逃离
Schools of fish exhibit complex swarming behaviors
饥饿的捕食者的复杂群集行为
that help them evade hungry predators,
一个落单的鱼会很快被捕食
while a lone fish is quickly singled out as easy prey.
所以是谁在指挥他们聪明的鱼领袖呢?
So which brilliant fish leader is the one in charge?
事实上
Actually, no one is,
没人是又所有人都是所以
and everyone is.
这到底是什么意思?
So what does that mean?
当一群鱼优雅的旋转 扭转
While the school of fish is elegantly twisting, turning, and dodging sharks
躲避着鲨鱼尽管看起来像是特意的编排
in what looks like deliberate coordination,
每条鱼只是在遵循最基本的两个规则
each individual fish is actually just following two basic rules
这两条规则和鲨鱼无关规则一:
that have nothing to do with the shark:
靠近但别太靠近旁边的鱼规则二:
one, stay close, but not too close to your neighbor,
别停下
and two, keep swimmming.
作为个体 这些鱼集中在这些局部互动上
As individuals, the fish are focused on the minutiae of these local interactions,
但如果足够多的鱼加入了这个群体 非凡的事情就发生了
but if enough fish join the group, something remarkable happens.
个体鱼的行动被新的实体覆盖:
The movement of individual fish is eclipsed by an entirely new entity:
自己有着一套独特行为的鱼群
the school, which has its own unique set of behaviors.
鱼群不被任何一条鱼控制
The school isn’t controlled by any single fish.
只要有足够数量的遵循正确规矩的鱼聚在一起鱼群就会出现
It simply emerges if you have enough fish following the right set of local rules.
就像一个意外一次又一次地发生
It’s like an accident that happens over and over again,
这样海洋所有的鱼都可以可靠地避开猎杀而且
allowing fish all across the ocean to reliably avoid predation.
不光是鱼
And it’s not just fish.
涌现是许多交互元素的复杂系统的一个基本特征
Emergence is a basic property of many complex systems of interacting elements.
打个比方 数以万计的沙粒
For example, the specific way in which millions of grains of sand
撞击并轮来轮去的特殊的方式
collide and tumble over each other
几乎总是会产生相同基本模式的涟漪
almost always produces the same basic pattern of ripples.
当潮湿的空气大气层冻住的时候
And when moisture freezes in the atmosphere,
水分子特定的结合特点
the specific binding properties of water molecules
可靠地产生了辐射状框架 最终变成雪花
reliably produce radiating lattices that form into beautiful snowflakes.
使涌现如此复杂的是
What makes emergence so complex
你不能通过简单的把它像汽车引擎一样
is that you can’t understand it by simply taking it apart,
拆开来理解它
like the engine of a car.
把东西拆看是研究复杂系统的一个良好的开端
Taking things apart is a good first step to understanding a complex system.
但是如果你把一群鱼减少到个体
But if you reduce a school of fish to individuals,
它就失去了逃离捕食者的能力
it loses the ability to evade predators,
也就没有什么可研究的了
and there’s nothing left to study.
如果你把大脑减少到独立的神经元
And if you reduce the brain to individual neurons,
就只剩下一堆特别不可靠的东西了
you’re left with something that is notoriously unreliable,
和我们如果思考及行动完全不沾边
and nothing like how we think and behave,
至少大部分时候是这样的
at least most of the time.
不管怎样 不管你现在在想什么
Regardless, whatever you’re thinking about right now
都不是你大脑某个角落的一个神经元在起作用不如说
isn’t reliant on a single neuron lodged in the corner of your brain.
思想来源于许多许多
Rather, the mind emerges from the collective activities
神经元的集合活动
of many, many neurons.
人体大脑中有上亿个神经元
There are billions of neurons in the human brain,
这些神经元之间有数十亿的连接
and trillions of connections between all those neurons.
当你打开这样一个复杂的系统时
When you turn such a complicated system like that on,
他可以有各种稀奇古怪的表现 但是事实上并没有
it could behave in all sorts of weird ways, but it doesn’t.
我们大脑里的脑细胞遵循简单的规则
The neurons in our brain follow simple rules, just like the fish,
就像鱼类所以以一个群体来说 他们的行动自组织成可靠的模式
so that as a group, their activity self-organizes into reliable patterns
让你可以干好多事 比如识别面部
that let you do things like recognize faces,
一遍又一遍地成功重复同一个任务
successfully repeat the same task over and over again,
以及保持大家喜欢的你的那些傻傻的小习惯所以
and keep all those silly little habits that everyone likes about you.
对于大脑来说 这些简单的规矩是什么呢?
So, what are the simple rules when it comes to the brain?
每个神经元的基本功能
The basic function of each neuron in the brain
就是或使兴奋或抑制其他的神经元
is to either excite or inhibit other neurons.
如果你把几个神经元围成一个简单的线路
If you connect a few neurons together into a simple circuit,
你可以引起韵律性的行为模式
you can generate rhythmic patterns of activity,
能够加强或者关掉一个信号的反馈循环
feedback loops that ramp up or shut down a signal,
巧合探测器
coincidence detectors,
以及反抑制
and disinhibition,
也就是两个抑制性神经元可以通过去除抑制闸
where two inhibitory neurons can actually activate another neuron
来启动另一个神经元
by removing inhibitory brakes.
当越来越多的神经元被关联
As more and more neurons are connected,
更加复杂的行为模式便从这个网涌现不久
increasingly complex patterns of activity emerge from the network.
这么多神经元同时用这么多不同的方式互相影响
Soon, so many neurons are interacting in so many different ways at once
系统便变得混乱
that the system becomes chaotic.
这网的行为轨迹无法简单地
The trajectory of the network’s activity cannot be easily explained
用之前描述的简易局部线路来解释然而
by the simple local circuits described earlier.
模式从这混乱中涌现
And yet, from this chaos, patterns can emerge,
然后一次又一次以可复写的方式涌现
and then emerge again and again in a reproducible manner.
在某一时刻 这些涌现的行为模式
At some point, these emergent patterns of activity
变得足够复杂和好奇
become sufficiently complex,
来开始研究它们自己的生物起源
and curious to begin studying their own biological origins,
更不必说涌现了
not to mention emergence.
我们在广大的不同规模的“涌现”现象中所发现的
And what we found in emergent phenomena at vastly different scales
是跟鱼群所表现的一样的非凡的特征:
is that same remarkable characteristic as the fish displayed:
“涌现”不需要某人或某物来指挥
That emergence doesn’t require someone or something to be in charge.
如果适当的位置有正确的规则
If the right rules are in place,
且达到一些基本条件
and some basic conditions are met,
一个复杂的系统将会一次又一次落入同样的规律
a complex system will fall into the same habits over and over again,
转混乱为秩序
turning chaos into order.
这是真的 在让你的细胞工作的分子混乱局面中
That’s true in the molecular pandemonium that lets your cells function,
缠结的神经元丛产生你的思想与身份
the tangled thicket of neurons that produces your thoughts and identity,
你的朋友圈和家庭
your network of friends and family,
一直到全世界的城市的结构与经济
all the way up to the structures and economies of our cities across the planet.

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