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如果真的有超能力:不朽 – 译学馆
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如果真的有超能力:不朽

If superpowers were real: Immortality - Joy Lin

永生不灭
Immortality.
电影中 国王总是在寻找长生不老的秘密
In movies, kings are always searching for the secret to immortality.
但万世长存真的是件好事吗
But is immortality really a good thing?
对于十岁的小男孩 一年相当于他生命的10%
To a ten-year-old boy, one year is the same as 10% of his life.
对于他四十岁的妈妈 一年仅相当于其生命的2.5%
To his forty-year-old mother, one year is merely 2.5% of her life.
同样的一年 365天
The same year, 365 days,
对不同的人会有不同的感觉
can feel differently to different people.
如果我们活到82岁
If we live until we’re 82,
差不多30,000天
that’s about 30,000 days.
如果这个小男孩想活30,000年 一年对他就像1天
If this boy lives for 30,000 years, a year to him could feel like a day.
而且 如果小男孩的情感维持在
And if this boy’s emotions sustain
可能存在的 想活百万年的无聊上
through the potential boredom of living for millions of years,
知道自己会并将永远会比心爱之人长寿
he might become extremely lonely and sad,
他可能会变得极其孤独 凄惨
knowing he has and always will outlive everyone he has ever loved.
但若每个人都长生不老会怎样呢
But what if everyone were immortal?
那么 首先 地球要非常大
Well, first off, Earth is only so big.
这样的话 我们该生活在哪儿呢
So, where would we all live?
-“不好意思”-“那是我的脸”
“Excuse me!” “That’s my face!”
-“住手”-“你说啥”
“Stop it!” “Pardon me.”
-“太挤了”
“Tight in here!”
还记得去年做了什么吗 五岁时呢
Do you remember what you did last year or when you were five?
对你的过去已遗忘多少
How much of your past have you forgotten?
如果很难回想起五岁时曾做过的事情
If you have trouble remembering what you did when you were five,
活上千年 你又如何记得过往之事呢
how will you remember what happened if you were alive a thousand years ago?
百万年前的事呢
A million years ago?
我们不会记得过往的点点滴滴
We don’t remember every single detail of our past
因为大脑容量有限
because our brains have a limited capacity
而且我们还会清除没用的记忆
and we replace useless memories,
比如中学时 具有某些相关信息的
like middle school locker combinations,
带锁的组合储柜
with relevant information.
如果这个死不去的小男孩发现自己
If this immortal boy finds a companion
每百年爱上一个朋友
to fall in love with once every hundred years,
百万年间 他会有一万个女朋友
he would have ten thousand girlfriends in a million years.
这一万个女孩儿的名字
And how many of those ten thousand girls’ names
又有多少会被记住呢
will he be able to remember?
这改变了“有意义的关系”的意思 不是吗
This changes what a meaningful relationship means, doesn’t it?
关于永生的另一件吊诡之事:
Another tricky thing about immortality:
人类的长相并非亘古不变
Human beings have not always looked the same.
这可以用达尔文的生物进化论来解释
This can be explained by Darwin’s theory of evolution.
比如 女性发现个高的男性更吸引人
For instance, if women find taller men more attractive,
那么 更多高个子男性会娶妻生子
then more tall men would mate and have children,
会把更多高个子基因放入基因库
putting more tall genes in the gene pool.
那就是说 下一代
That means, in the next generation,
更多的小孩会因拥有这种基因而长的更高
more children will have the genes to be taller.
循环往复 持续百万年
Repeat that process for a million years
而且平均高度
and the average height will be a lot taller
比今天的平均身高要高
than the average height today,
假设没有自然灾害消灭所有高个子的话
assuming there’s no natural disaster that wipes out all the tall people.
我们的祖先都是矮小的毛猿
Our ancestors were short, hairy apes.
我们也有体毛 但看上去不再像毛猿
We still have body hair, but we don’t look like apes any more.
当其他每个人都已进化
If you’re the only person who is immortal,
而你是唯一的不死之身
while everyone else keeps evolving,
世世代代
generation after generation,
终有一天 你看上去会“与众不同”
you will eventually look quite different than the people who surround you.
“嗨 你好吗”
“Hi, how you doing?”
如果你的某个祖先 类人猿 现在还活着
If one of our ancestors, apes, is still alive today,
会有多少人和他交朋友
how many people will make friends with it
而不是打电话给美国自然历史博物馆呢
instead of calling the Museum of Natural History?
另外一件对长生不老者身体的考虑:创伤
And one more physical consideration for immortality: Scars.
毕竟 不死者不会自动转变为无敌超人
After all, immortality doesn’t automatically translate to invincibility,
只是说 不会死罢了
it just means you cannot die.
但不能保证 你的生存状态会怎样
But it doesn’t guarantee what condition you’ll be alive in.
看看你的身体 数数自己有多少道伤疤
Look at your body and count how many scars you have.
如果生命中造成很多永久性伤疤
If you have made this many permanent scars within your life,
想想吧 活个上千年 你会有多少创伤
imagine how much damage you would have if you were one thousand years old!
目前 在美国
Now, there are approximately
每年有近185,000例 做了截肢术的病人出院
185,000 amputation-related hospital discharges every year in the U.S.
这些损伤都是意外或疾病导致的
These injuries are due to accidents or illnesses.
当然了 相较于只活百年
Certainly the percentage is low comparing to the total population
比重会低很多
if you only live for a hundred years.
然而 如果你活了百万年之久
However, if you’ve been alive for over one million years,
四肢健全的概率会微乎其微
the odds of still having all your limbs are pretty slim.
身上的器官怎么样
What about little accessories,
比如你的眼睛 鼻子 耳朵啊
like your eyes, your nose, your ears,
手指头或脚趾头啊
fingers or toes?
你的牙齿会怎样呢
What about your teeth?
活上百年 保持口腔健康的概率又有多高呢
What are the odds of you keeping your dental health for a hundred years?
千年呢
A thousand years?
百万年呢
One million years?
你可能最终会像土豆先生一样
You might end up looking like a horribly scuffed-up Mr. Potato Head
缺胳膊少腿没牙齿
with missing pieces and dentures.
那么 你确信自己还想万世长存吗
So, are you sure you want to live forever?
好了 接下来 你还想试试哪种超能力
Now, which superpower physics lesson will you explore next?
改变身体的大小
Shifting body size and content,
超快的速度
super speed,
飞行
flight,
超强的力量
super strength,
万寿无疆
immortality,
还是——
and —
隐身
invisibility.

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你是否想过要像古代皇帝所希望的那样,“万岁万岁万万岁”呢?哈哈,想得美,即便可能,看看那时的情形吧!

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