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千份讣告中我学到了什么

What I learned from 2,000 obituaries | Lux Narayan

Joseph Keller used to jog around the Stanford campus,
Joseph Keller过去常常在斯坦福校园里慢跑
and he was struck by all the women jogging there as well.
她也对所有在那慢跑的女人都感到震惊
Why did their ponytails swing from side-to-side like that?
她们的马尾辫为什么会像这样左右摆动?
Being a mathematician, he set out to understand why.
作为一个数学家 他决定去找出原因
[laughter]
(笑声)
Professor Keller was curious about many things,
Keller教授对许多事情都感到好奇
why teapots dribble,
比如为什么茶壶会滴水
or how earthworms wriggle.
蚯蚓是如何爬行的
‘Til a few months ago, I hadn’t heard of Joseph Keller.
直到几个月前 我从没听说过Joseph Keller这个人
I read about him in the New York Times, in the obituaries.
我在《纽约时报》上读到关于他的讣告
The Times had half a page of editorial dedicated to him,
《泰晤士报》为他准备了半页社论
which you can imagine is premium space for a newspaper of their stature.
您可以想象这是一份报纸的溢价空间
I read the obituaries almost every day.
我几乎每天都读讣告
My wife understandably thinks I’m rather morbid
我妻子可以理解地认为我病态很严重
to begin my day with scrambled eggs and a “Let’s see who died today.”
总是伴随着煎鸡蛋和“看看今天谁死了”开始新的一天
[Laughter]
(笑声)
But if you think about it, the front page of the newspaper
但仔细想想 报纸的头版
is usually bad news, and cues man’s failures.
通常都是坏消息 揭示着人们的失败
An instance where bad news cues accomplishment is at the end of the paper, in the obituaries.
在报纸的结尾 告中有一个坏消息提示成就的例子
In my day job, I run a company that focuses on future insights
在日常工作中 我经营一家专注于未来见解的公司
that marketers can derive from past data—
营销人员可以从过去的数据中得出的数据
a kind of rearview-mirror analysis.
一种后视镜分析
And we began to think: What if we held a rearview mirror to obituaries from the New York Times?
然后我们开始思考:如果我们为《纽约时报》的告手持后视镜怎么办?
Were there lessons on how you could get your obituary featured—
是否有关于如何获得could告的课程?
even if you aren’t around to enjoy it?
即使您不在身边也不喜欢吗?
[laughter]
(笑声)
Would this go better with scrambled eggs?
加炒鸡蛋会更好吗?
[laughter]
(笑声)
And so, we looked at the data.
因此,我们查看了数据。
2,000 editorial, non-paid obituaries over a 20-month period between 2015 and 2016.

What did these 2,000 deaths—rather, lives—teach us?
Well, first we looked at words.
This here is an obituary headline.
This one is of the amazing Lee Kuan Yew.
If you remove the beginning and the end, you’re left with a beautifully worded descriptor
that tries to, in just a few words, capture an achievement or a lifetime.
Just looking at these is fascinating.
Here are a few famous ones, people who died in the last two years. Try and guess who they are.
That’s Prince.
这是普林斯
Oh, yes.
Zaha Hadid.
So we took these descriptors and did what’s called natural language processing,
where you feed these into a program, it throws out the superfluous words—”the,” “and,”—
the kind of words you can mime easily in “Charades,”—
and leaves you with the most significant words.
And we did it not just for these four, but for all 2,000 descriptors.
And this is what it looks like.
Film, theatre, music, dance and of course, art, are huge.
Over 40 percent.
You have to wonder why in so many societies
we insist that our kids pursue
我们都鼓励孩子们从事
engineering or medicine or business or law to be construed as successful.
And while we’re talking profession, let’s look at age—
the average age at which they achieved things. That number is 37.
What that means is, you’ve got to wait 37 years…
before your first significant achievement that you’re remembered for—on average—
44 years later, when you die at the age of 81—on average.
[laughter]
Talk about having to be patient.
[laughter]
Of course, it varies by profession.
If you’re a sports star, you’ll probably hit your stride in your 20s.
And if you’re in your 40s like me, you can join the fun world of politics.
[laughter]
Politicians do their first and sometimes only commendable act in their mid-40s.
[laughter]
If you’re wondering what “others” are, here are some examples.
这非常迷人 笑声 我们的好奇心有点
Isn’t it fascinating, the things people do and the things they’re remembered for?
过盛了 我们非常想
[laughter]
Our curiosity was in overdrive,
一下子分析很多篇文章 所以我们就抽取了
and we desired to analyze more than just a descriptor.
2000篇讣告的第
So, we ingested the entire first paragraph of all 2,000 obituaries,
一段 把他们分为两组 著名人士和非著名人士 著名人士
but we did this separately for two groups of people:
如普林斯 阿里 扎哈哈迪德 非著名人士如
people that are famous and people that are not famous.
乔斯林库珀 curry神父 或者洛
Famous people—Prince, Ali, Zaha Hadid—
娜 凯莉 我打赌你没有听过他们的名字 善良
people who are not famous
淳朴的人们 了不起的
are people like Jocelyn Cooper, Reverend Curry or Lorna Kelly.
成就 但是
I’m willing to bet you haven’t heard of most of their names.
他们并
Amazing people, fantastic achievements, but they’re not famous.
不出名
So what if we analyze these two groups separately—the famous and the non-famous?
如果我们把这些人分成两组 著名人士和非著名
What might that tell us? Take a look.
人士 然后进行分析 将会得到什么呢 一起来看
Two things leap out at me.
两件事引起了我的注意
First:
第一
“John.”
约翰
[laughter]
Anyone here named John should thank your parents,
这里叫约翰的人都应该感谢你的父母
[laughter]
and remind your kids to cut out your obituary when you’re gone.
并且提醒孩子 在你死后裁下你的讣告
And second:
第二
“help.”
帮助
We uncovered many lessons from lives well-led,
我们从优秀的人身上学到了许多
and what those people immortalized in print could teach us.
这些打印成铅字的内容告诉我们人们被永远铭记的理由
The exercise was a fascinating testament to the keleidoscope that is life,
and even more fascinating was the fact that the overwhelming majority of obituaries
属于著名人士
featured people famous and non-famous
和普通人的讣告
who did seemingly extraordinary things.
他们都在做着不平凡的事情
They made a positive dent in the fabric of life. They helped.
他们在生活的纹理中留下积极的痕迹 他们有所助益
So ask yourselves as you go back to your daily lives:
当你回到日常生活中时 问问自己
how am I using my talents to help society?
Because the most powerful lesson here is
因为这里最有力的教训是
if more people lived their lives trying to be famous in death,
如果更多的人过着试图在死亡中出名的生活,
the world would be a much better place. Thank you.
那么世界将更加美好 谢谢
[Applause]
(掌声)

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视频概述

平凡或者伟大,都是普通人的一生

听录译者

收集自网络

翻译译者

王随意

审核员

W

视频来源

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JlbwchclCBo

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