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“历史终结”错觉 – 译学馆
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“历史终结”错觉

The "End of History" Illusion - Bence Nanay

一切都因你的接触而改变 而这也改变了你 ——奥克塔维亚·E· 巴特勒《撒种的比喻》
‘All that you touch you change. All that you change.’
Octavia E. Bulter, 《Parable of the Sower》
当火车开始搭载人们穿梭于乡间时
When trains began to shuttle peopleacross the coutryside,
许多人坚持认为它们不可能取代马匹
many insistedthey would never replace horses.
还不到一个世纪
Less than a century later,
人们对汽车 电话 收音机 电视 电脑
people repeated that same prediction about cars, telephones,
重复了同样的预言
radio, television, and computers.
每种事物都有各自的批评者
Each had their own host of detractors.
连部分专家也坚持认为它们不会流行起来
Even some expertsinsisted they wouldn’t catch on.
当然 我们并不能准确预测出未来世界的样子
Of course, we can ’ t predict exactly what the future will look like
或者将在未来流行的新发明
or what new inventions will populate it.
但一次又一次地
But time and time again,
我们没能预见到 当今的科学技术
we’ve also failed to predict that the technologies of the present
会改变未来
will change the future.
最近的研究揭示了一种个体生活中的
And recent research has revealed a similar pattern
类似模式:
in our individual lives:
我们无法预测发生在自己身上的改变
we’re unable to predict changein ourselves.
三位心理学家在2013年发表的论文
Three psychologists documentedour inability to predict personal change
《历史幻想的终结》中指出
in a 2013 paper
人们无法预测个人变化
called, “The End of History Illusion.”
政治学家弗朗西斯•福山曾预测
Named after political scientistFrancis Fukuyama’s prediction
自由民主是政府的最终形式
that liberal democracywas the final form of government,
或者用他的话说 “历史的终结”
or as he called it, “the end of history,”
他们在著述中强调 我们在任何时候
their work highlights the waywe see ourselves as finished products
都把自己看做成品
at any given moment.
研究人员招募了超过7000名
The researchers recruitedover7,000 participants
18至68岁的参与者
ages 18 to 68.
他们要求半数参与者
They asked half of these participants
报告他们目前的人格特质
to report their current personality traits,
价值观和个人偏好
values, and preferences,
以及10年前这些指标的情况
along with what each of those metrics had been ten years before.
而另一半也要用同样的指标描述当前的特征
The other half described those featuresin their present selves,
并预测自己十年后的情况
and predicted whatthey would be ten years in the future.
基于他们的回答
Based on these answers,
研究人员计算了每个参与者的
the researchers then calculated the degree of change
报告的和预测内容的改变程度
each participant reported or predicted.
样本中的每个年龄组
For every age group in the sample,
他们把预测变化与报告变化相对比
they compared the predicted changesto the reported changes.
然后他们把
So they compared the degree to
18岁认为自己可能的改变程度与
which 18-year-olds thought they would change
28岁报告自己已经改变的程度相对比
to the degree to which 28-year-oldsreported they had changed. Overwhelmingly,
令人惊异的是 任何年龄阶段
at all ages,
人们对未来变化的预测与年长的对应者
people’s future estimates of changecame up short
回忆的改变相比还不够
compared to the changestheir older counterparts recalled.
20岁的人期望在30岁时仍然喜欢同样的食物
20-year-olds expectedto still like the same foods at 30,
但是30岁的人不再有同样的品味
but 30-year-olds no longerhad the same tastes.
30岁的人预测自己在40岁时仍拥有同样的好朋友
30-year-olds predicted they’d stillhave the same best friend at 40,
但是40岁的人已失去与好朋友的联系
but 40-year-oldshad lost touch with theirs.
四十岁的人预测自己在50岁的时候仍然会
And 40-year-olds predictedthey’d maintain the same core values
持有同样的喜好
that 50-year-olds had reconsidered.
然而总体上 年老的人比年轻的人改变的较少
While older people changed lessthan younger people on the whole,
他们低估了自己会做出很多改变的能力
they underestimatedtheir capacity for change just as much.
无论我们处于人生哪个阶段 “历史的终结”始终认为:
Wherever we are in life,the end of history illusion persists:
我们倾向于认为 个人大部分变化已经过去
we tend to think that the bulk of our personal change is behind us.
这种想法的一个结果就是
One consequence of this thinking is
我们想要基于现在的喜好
that we’re inclined to overinvest in future choices
在未来选择上过度投资
based on present preferences.
一般来说 人们愿意多付60%的钱
On average, people are willingto pay about 60% more
在十年内去看他们喜欢的音乐家
to see their current favorite musicianten years in the future
而不是现在花钱看
than they’d currently pay to see their favorite musician
十年前喜欢的音乐家
from ten years ago.
去音乐会的风险很低
While the stakes involvedin concert-going are low,
在我们易于受到相似的
we’re susceptibleto similar miscalculations
家庭 伴侣 和工作上的更严肃的承诺的误算
in more serious commitments, like homes, partners, and jobs.
同时 并没有切实可行的方法预测
At the same time,there’s no real way to predict
未来喜好的样子
what our preferenceswill be in the future.
没有“历史的终结”
Without the end of history Illusion,
我们可能会很难制定长期计划
it would be difficult to make any long-term plans.
所以“历史的终结”适用于个人生活
So the end of history illusionapplies to our individual lives,
但是对于更大范围的世界 又是怎样的呢?
but what about the wider world?
我们能假设
Could we be assuming
现在的情况就会是以后的情况吗?
that how things are now is how they will continue to be?
如果是这样 幸运的是 有无数的记录提醒我们
If so, fortunately,there are countless records
世界有时向好的方向变化
to remind us that the world does change, sometimes for the better.
我们自己的过去不是历史的终结
Our own historical momentisn’t the end of history,
这和舒适的来源
and that can be just as much a source
忧虑的原因 是一样的道理
of comfort as a cause for concern.

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每一天都会有科技的进步 只不过思想还没有跟上脚步

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