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什么是隐形?你想象不到 – 译学馆
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什么是隐形?你想象不到

What's invisible? More than you think - John Lloyd

(马戏团音乐)
(Circus music)
[Ted N’ ED 游艺团]
[Ted N’ Ed’s Carnival]
[约翰·劳埃德——看不见的事物]
[John Lloyd’s Inventory of the Invisible]
[改编自2009年约翰·劳爱德的TED演讲]
[Adapted from a TEDTalkgiven by John Lloyd in 2009]
琼·科恩:我们的下一位演讲者在其整个职业生涯中
June Cohen: Our next speakerhas spent his whole career
都在创造奇迹
eliciting that sense of wonder.
请欢迎约翰·劳埃德
Please welcome John Lloyd.
(掌声)
(Applause)
[凡尔赛宫镜厅]
[Hall of Mirrors]
我的问题是 “什么是看不见的呢?”
The question is, “What is invisible?”
事实上 看不见的东西超乎你的想象
There’s more of itthan you think, actually.
一切事物 我想说——一切要紧的事物
Everything, I would say –everything that matters —
除了单个事件 除了物质 都是看不见的
Except every thing, and except matter.
我们可以看到物质
We can see matter
但看不到它们之间的关系
but we can’t see what’s the matter.
我们可以看到星星和行星,却看不到是什么将它们分离
We can see the stars and the planetsbut we can’t see what holds them apart,
或者又是什么把它们聚拢在一起
or what draws them together.
看待物质如同看待人一样 我们只能看到事物的表面
With matter as with people,we see only the skin of things,
却看不到核心的部位 识不透人体运转的原因
we can’t see into the engine room,we can’t see what makes people tick,
至少不能很容易地就看清这些
at least not without difficulty,
而且我们越密切地观察事物 它就越容易消失
and the closer we look at anything,the more it disappears.
事实上 如果你对事物真真切切地仔细观察
In fact, if you lookreally closely at stuff,
如果你观察事物的基本结构
if you look at the basicsubstructure of matter,
你不会什么都发现不了的
there isn’t anything there.
电子以一种模糊的状态消失 留下的只有能量
Electrons disappear in a kind of fuzz,and there is only energy.
看不见的东西之所以有趣 原因之一就是
One of the interesting thingsabout invisibility is,
我们看不见事物 往往也无法理解
the things that we can’s see,we also can’t understand.
重力就是一种我们既看不见又无法理解的事物
Gravity is one thing that we can’t see,and which we don’t understand.
所有四种基本力量中 人们对重力的了解最少
It’s the least understoodof all the four fundamental forces,
知识最薄弱 没有人真正知道重力是什么 没有人知道为什么会存在重力
and the weakest, and nobody reallyknows what it is or why it’s there.
无论如何 有史以来最伟大的科学家艾萨克·牛顿爵士
For what it’s worth, Sir Isaac Newton,the greatest scientist who ever lived,
他认为耶稣是为
he thought Jesus cameto Earth specifically
操纵重力杠杆而特定降世的
to operate the levers of gravity.
那是他认为自己存在的原因
That’s what he thought he was there for.
因此 聪明的人也会在那个问题上出错 我不知道是不是这样
So, bright guy, could be wrongon that one, I don’t know.
(笑声)
(Laughter)
意识 我能看到你们所有人的脸 但我不知道你们在想些什么
Consciousness. I see all your faces;I’ve no idea what any of you are thinking.
是不是很惊奇呢
Isn’t that amazing?
我们无法读懂彼此的心思 这是不是又不可思议呢
Isn’t it incredible that we can’t readeach other’s minds,
尽管我们彼此有肢体接触
when we can touch each other,taste each other,
或许 我们足够亲密 但我们还是无法读懂彼此的心思
perhaps, if we get close enough,but we can’t read each other’s minds.
我发现这十分令人惊讶
I find that quite astonishing.
苏菲派是中东主要的一个宗教派别
In the Sufi faith,this great Middle Eastern religion
一些人称其为所有宗教的根源
which some claimis the root of all religions,
苏菲派相信 他们的大师都是通灵者 人们这样说
Sufi masters areall telepaths, so they say,
但他们主要的通灵仪式
but their main exercise of telepathy
是将强力信号发送给不存在通灵感应的我们其余人
is to send out powerful signalsto the rest of us that it doesn’t exist.
因此那就是我们认为通灵感应不存在的原因 苏菲大师们在我们身上动了手脚
So that’s why we don’t think it exists;the Sufi masters working on us.
在意识和人工智能的问题中
In the question of consciousnessand artificial intelligence,
如同研究意识一样 人工智能实际上
artificial intelligence has really,like the study of consciousness,
并无进展 我们意识如何起作用这个问题一无所知
gotten nowhere, we have no ideahow consciousness works.
他们不但没有创造出人工智能
Not only have they not createdartificial intelligence,
而且也没创造出人工愚蠢
they haven’t yet createdartificial stupidity.
(笑声)
(Laughter)
物理定律是看不见的 永恒的 无所不在的 强大的
The laws of physics: invisible,eternal, omnipresent, all powerful.
是否想起了谁
Remind you of anyone?
有意思
Interesting.
正如你所猜测的 我不是唯物主义者 而是唯心主义者
I’m, as you can guess,not a materialist, I’m an immaterialist.
我发现了一个非常实用的新单词——ignostic(漠视主义的)
And I’ve found a very usefulnew word — ignostic.
嗯 我是个漠视主义者
Okay? I’m an ignostic.
[上帝?]
[God?]
我拒绝谈论上帝是否存在这个问题
I refuse to be drawn on the questionon whether God exists
除非有人给这个术语下个适当的定义
until somebody properly defines the terms.
另一个我们看不见的东西是人类基因图谱
Another thing we can’t seeis the human genome.
这一点越来越独特 因为大约20年前
And this is increasingly peculiar,because about 20 years ago
人类开始钻研基因图谱时 他们认为基因组可能含有
when they started delving into the genome,they thought it would probably contain
约10万基因
around 100 thousand genes.
自那以后 每年这个数字都会修正 向下调整
Every year since,it’s been revised downwards.
现在我们认为基因组内可能只有
We now think there are likelyto be just over 20 thousand genes
超过2万的基因
in the human genome.
这点是特别的 因为 要知道 大米
This is extraordinary,because rice — get this —
大家都知道大米拥有38,000基因
rice is known to have 38 thousand genes.
马铃薯有48对染色体 是人类染色体数量的两倍多
Potatoes have 48 chromosomes,two more than people,
同大猩猩的染色体数量一样
and the same as a gorilla.
(笑声)
(Laughter)
你看不见这些东西,但它们非常奇怪
You can’t see these things,but they are very strange.
我总认为日间的星星是很迷人的
The stars by day, I alwaysthink that’s fascinating.
宇宙消失不见
The universe disappears.
光亮越多 看到的星星就越少
The more light there is,the less you can see.
时间 没有人能看见时间
Time. Nobody can see time.
我不知道你们是否知道这点
I don’t know if you know this.
近代物理中 有场大规模的运动
There’s a big movement in modern physics
来判定时间并不真实存在
to decide that time doesn’t really exist,
因为时间对人来讲过于不便
because it’s too inconvenientfor the figures.
如果时间真的不存在 就会容易的多
It’s much easier if it’s not really there.
很明显 你看不到未来
You can’t see the future, obviously,
也看不到过去 除非过去存在于你的记忆中
and you can’t see the past,except in your memory.
关于过去 有趣的一件事是
One of the interestingthings about the past
你格外看不到
is you particularly can’t see —
几天以前 我儿子这样问我
my son asked me this the other day,
“爸爸 你能记住我两岁时长什么样么?”
“Dad, can you rememberwhat I was like when I was two?
我说 能啊 他说 为什么我不能
And I said, “Yes.” He said, “Why can’t I?”
那件事是不是很离奇
Isn’t that extraordinary?
你记不得两岁或三岁前发生在你身上的事
You cannot remember what happened to youearlier than the age of two or three.
这对精神分析学家来讲 是件绝好的事 因为 不是这样的话 他们就会失业了
Which is great news for psychoanalysts,because otherwise they’d be out of a job.
因为所有这种事都发生在精神层面
Because that’s where all the stuff happens
(笑声)
(Laughter)
那造就了现在的你
that makes you who you are.
另一样你所看不见的东西是悬挂我们的网格
Another thing you can’t seeis the grid on which we hang.
这很吸引人
This is fascinating.
你们中的一些 可能知道 细胞是不断再生的
You probably know, some of you,that cells are continually renewed.
皮肤剥落 毛发生长 指甲 类似的东西
Skin flakes off, hairs grow,nails, that kind of stuff —
但在某一时刻 你身体的每一个细胞都被提换了
but every cell in your bodyis replaced at some point.
味蕾细胞大约每十天更新一次
Taste buds, every ten days or so.
肝脏和内脏的细胞更新需要更长一点的时间
Livers and internal organstake a bit longer.
脊椎细胞的更新则需要好几年
Spine takes several years.
但七年后 你身体中没有一个细胞
But at the end of seven years,not one cell in your body
是七年前的细胞
remains from what was thereseven years ago.
问题是 那么我们是谁 我们是什么呢
The question is:who then are we? What are we?
悬挂我们的这个东西又是什么呢
What is this thing that we hang on?
事实上 那是我们自己
That is actually us?
原子 我们看不见 也不会有人看得见
Atoms, can’t see them. Nobody ever will.
它们比光的波长还小
They’re smallerthan the wavelength of light.
气体 我们看不见
Gas, can’t see that.
很有意思 最近有人提到了1600
Interesting, somebodymentioned 1600 recently.
GAS这个单词由荷兰化学家范·赫尔蒙特于1600年发明
Gas was invented in 1600by a Dutch chemist called van Helmont.
据说这个词是单词发明史上被知名个体发明的最成功的一个词
It’s said to be the most successful everinvention of a word by a known individual.
相当不错 他也发明了另一个单词“blas” 意思是“星际辐射”
Quite good. He also invented a wordcalled “blas,” meaning astral radiation.
很不幸 这个词没有流行起来
Didn’t catch on, unfortunately.
(笑声)
(Laughter)
但他做的很好
But well done, him.
光——你看不见光
Light — you can’t see light.
处在真空中 当黄昏来临
When it’s dark, in a vacuum,
如果有人投出一束光
if a person shines a beam of light
从你眼前横穿而过 你是看不到的
straight across your eyes,you won’t see it.
稍微有点技术性 一些物理学家就不会同意这样的观点
Slightly technical, some physicistswill disagree with this.
但看不见光束真的很奇怪
But it’s odd that you can’t seethe beam of light,
你只能看到光束照射的地方
you can only see what it hits.
电流 你看不见它
Electricity, can’t see that.
别听任何人告诉你说他们懂电流 他们不懂
Don’t let anyone tell youthey understand electricity, they don’t.
没有人知道电流是什么
Nobody knows what it is.
(笑声)
(Laughter)
你可能会认为电线中的电子在电线中
You probably think the electronsin an electric wire move instantaneously
以光速瞬时移动 难道不是吗
down a wire, don’t you,at the speed of light,
但当你打开灯时 并不是这样
when you turn the light on, they don’t.
电子会搞坏电线
Electrons bumble down the wire,
据说以蜂蜜蔓延摊开的速度
about the speed of spreadinghoney, they say.
星系——估计宇宙中有
Galaxies — hundred billion of them,
千亿星系 千亿
estimated in the universe.Hundred billion.
我们能看见多少呢
How many can we see?
五个 在千亿星系中 只能用裸眼看到五个
Five. Five, out of a hundred billiongalaxies, with the naked eye.
而且其中一个还很难看到 除非你视力特别好
And one of them is quite difficult to see,unless you’ve got very good eyesight.
无线电波 是又一样东西
Radio waves. There’s another thing.
1887年海因里希·赫兹发现无线电波时
Heinrich Hertz, when he discoveredradio waves, in 1887,
他称其为无线电波 因为它具有辐射性
he called them radio wavesbecause they radiated.
有人对他说 这些东西有什么用呢 赫兹
Somebody said to him,”What’s the point of these, Heinrich?
你发现的这些无线电波有什么意义呢
What’s the point of these radio wavesthat you’ve found?”
他回答说 “好吧 我也不知道”
And he said, “Well, I’ve no idea,
但我猜将来有一天有人会找出它的用途的
but I guess somebody will finda use for them someday.
我们看不见的最大的东西是我们不知道的东西
The biggest thing that’s invisibleto us is what we don’t know.
我们所知道的如此有限 这简直难以置信
It is incredible how little we know.
托马斯·爱迪生曾说
Thomas Edison once said,
我们所知道的只是冰山一角
“We don’t know one percentof one millionth about anything.”
我得出结论
And I’ve come to the conclusion —
因为你会问另一个问题 我们看不见的另一样东西是什么
because you ask this other question:”What’s another thing we can’t see?”
要点 我们中的大多数 要点是什么呢
The point, most of us. What’s the point?
要点——我认真考虑的是
The point — what I’ve got it down to
只要两个问题真正值得询问
is there are only two questionsreally worth asking.
我们为什么存在
“Why are we here?”,
既然我们存在 该做些什么呢
and “What shouldwe do about it while we are?”
为帮助你们理解 这里有两个问题留给大家 这两个问题来自两位伟大的哲学家
To help you, I’ve got two things to leaveyou with, from two great philosophers,
或许是20世纪最伟大的两位哲学思想家
perhaps two of the greatest philosopherthinkers of the 20th century.
其中一位还是名数学家和工程师,另一位还是名诗人
One a mathematician and engineer,and the other a poet.
第一位是路德维希·维特根斯坦
The first is Ludwig Wittgenstein,
他说 我不知道我们为什么存在
who said, “I don’t know why we are here,
但我确信不是为了享受
but I am pretty sure it’s notin order to enjoy ourselves.”
(笑声)
(Laughter)
他是个快乐的家伙 难道不是吗
He was a cheerful bastard, wasn’t he?
(笑声)
(Laughter)
终于第二位了 威斯坦·休·奥登 我最喜欢的诗人之一
And secondly, and lastly,W.H. Auden, one of my favorite poets,
他说 我们来到世上是为了帮助其他人
who said, “We are hereon Earth to help others.
其他人存在的原因 我就不得而知了
What the othersare here for, I’ve no idea.”
(笑声)
(Laughter)
(掌声)
(Applause)
(马戏团音乐)
(Circus music)
[在这领取纪念照]
[Get your souvenir photo here!]
[继续探索未知的世界吧]
[Continue your journey into the unknown!]
(马戏团音乐)
(Circus music)

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