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为什么改造大脑不会管用 – 译学馆
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为什么改造大脑不会管用

Why "Brain Hacks" Don't Help | Understanding Creativity with David Eagleman

现在有许多关于创意的书 它们会讲“ 嘿
David Eagleman: There are many books that exist on creativity and it’s about, “hey,
这样做 ” “洗个热水澡”或者“在大自然中漫步” “在一个粉色
do this,” “take a hot shower” or “take a long walk in nature,” “be in a pink
的屋子里待一会” 等等
room,” or something.
我和我的合作者安东尼·勃兰特真正想要的弄明白的是
What my coauthor Anthony Brandt and I really strove to do here was to figure out what is
所有创新之下的本质
below all of that.
人脑中正在运行的能够处理信息的基本认知软件
What is the basic cognitive software that’s running in the human brain that takes ideas
能对想法进行加工和处理——就像一个不断
in and smooshes them up and crunches them—and it’s like a food processor that’s constantly
吐出新点子的食物处理器
spitting out new ideas.
关键是人与人之间是非常不同的 就像一个人
The key is that humans are really different from one another, and for one person taking
更青睐热水澡 而另一个人更喜欢冷水澡
a hot shower might work and for another person a cold shower.
有的人早上工作效果更好 而有的人是晚上好
One person works well in the morning and another person at night.
有些作家适合坐在有点吵闹的咖啡馆写作
For one writer they should go and sit in the coffee shop where it’s loud, and for another
而对于有的作家 独自坐在他们安静的办公室写作更好
writer, it works better for them to sit alone in their quiet office and write.
所以我认为不会有一条建议适用于所有人
So I suspect there’s no single piece of advice that’s going to apply to everyone,
那正是我们要避免的 就是那种东西
and that was our—that’s what we wanted to avoid, was that sort of thing.
相反 我们正在努力去理解是什么特殊的东西
Instead, we’re trying to understand what is it that’s special about the human brain
能够让人脑富有创造力?
that allows creativity to happen?
因为当你把我们与地球上其他物种作比较时
Because when you look at us compared to all the other species on the Earth—we have very
会发现我们有非常类似的大脑
similar brains.
我的意思是 你知道 显然我们是这些最近的邻居的近亲
I mean, you know, obviously we’re cousins with our nearest neighbors and all throughout
在整个动物王国里 它是个连续性的家谱
the animal kingdom, it’s a continuous family tree.
但是有的种类已经灭绝了 不可思议的是我们现在在纽约——
But there’s this one species that has gone, that does these incredible—we’re in New
当我飞到这里时 她看着就像一个从地球
York City right now and when I flew in here it’s like looking at a motherboard that
生起的母板
has risen from the earth.
并且当你飞跨一个森林时 它看起来和100万年前一样
And when you fly over a forest it looks the same as it did a million years ago.
所以我们正在星球周围做着一些不可思议的事情
So we’re running around the planet doing something unbelievable.
你不会看到松鼠独自去月球 狗狗发明互联网 奶牛
You don’t have squirrels going to the moon or dogs inventing the internet or cows doing
为其他人演戏剧 或者做我们在做的其他大量的事情
theater plays for one another or any of the gazillion things that we do.
我们正在做着一些真正非凡的事情 并且这就是我和安东尼
We’re doing something really different, and that’s what Anthony and I have really
真正想要去搞懂的
tried to understand.
我是个神经系统科学家
So I’m a neuroscientist.
安东尼是一位音乐作曲家 而且我们前一段时间开始讨论创造力
Anthony is a music composer, and we started talking about creativity a while ago, many
在很多年之前我们就是非常要好的朋友了
years ago, we’ve been good friends for a long time—And we started realizing that
并且有很多观点一致的有意思的想法
there were all these very interesting ways which our views came together.
所以我们最终决定一起写这本书
So then we ended up writing this book together.
我们大脑的特殊性就体现在皮层的进化中
What’s special about the human brain is that we, during the evolution of the cortex,
我们的输入端与输出端之间有更多的空间
got a lot more space in between input and output.
而其他动物的这两端会更加接近
So other animals have these much closer together.
所以当它们接受到一些刺激物时 他们会做本能的反射性回应
So when they get some stimulus they make an essentially reflexive response.
对人类来说 随着大脑皮层扩张 那儿会有更多的空间
In humans, as the cortex expanded there’s a lot more room there, which means that inputs
那就意味着有更多的信息输入在大脑中被传播 被思考 然后
can come in and sort of percolate around and get stored and get thought about, and then
你就可以将它输出 或是不输出
maybe you make an output or maybe you don’t.
并且还有另一件事情随着大脑皮层的扩张而发生
And there’s one other thing that happened with the expansion of the cortex, which is
那就是我们有了更大的前额叶皮层
that we got a much bigger prefrontal cortex.
那是刚好在前额后面的部分
That’s the part right behind the forehead.
那是能够让我们去模仿 把自己和空间中的位置
And that is what allows us to simulate what ifs, to separate ourselves from our location
和时间进行分离 还包括思考概率的可能性
in space and time and think about possibilities.
如果我之前做了会怎么样?
“What if I did that?
如果我已经做完了会怎样?
What if I had done that?
如果我能做它会怎么样?
What if I could do that?”
所以我们每时每刻都在做这样的事情
And so we do this all the time.
惊人的是几乎八十亿个大脑在这个星球运行
The amazing part is now there are almost eight billion brains running around the planet and
从而有了创造力 我意思是我们物种的创造力就是在这种神奇的方法中不断飞速上升的
as a result creativity—I mean the creativity of our species—has gone up in this amazing
因为总有如此多的吸引我们的东西 并且总有许多人
way, because there’s so much raw material to draw on and there are so many of us that
会一直问“如果这会怎么样?如果那会怎样?”
are constantly saying “well what if this, what if that?”
大部分的事情中 我们都一样
Most of the things we generate stink.
事实上只有一小部分渗透进了意识里
And, in fact, only some fraction of them even percolate up to consciousness.
但对于其他的事物
And of those most of those stink.
每隔一段时间 你就能得到一个有效的想法 它能对你的社会
But every once in a while you have one that works, that actually sticks for your society,
对你当时所处的地域和时代有作用 然后你就做出了下一步决定
for your moment in space and time, and you make the next step.
所以正在发生的是
And so what’s happening now is
在我们周围已经有了一个大规模的自我发展系统
we’ve got this massively bootstrapping society going on around us.

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