Would you like to eat a brownie – shaped like a piece of poop, or slurp delicious soup
– out of a newly-sanitized bedpan, or drink a freshly-squeezed glass of juice – into
which someone had dipped a sterilized cockroach?
Perhaps unsurprisingly, when actually put in these scenarios, most people turn them
all down – even the brownie!
因为 即使这些零食绝对安全 人类大脑生来
That’s because, even though these snacks are perfectly safe to eat, human brains are built
to trigger powerful feelings of disgust at even the slightest suggestion of contamination.
Humans probably evolved to be easily disgusted because it saved them from eating nasty stuff
like spoiled food and feces.
Even now that we have rational ways of figuring out what’s safe, disgust still makes some
of our decisions for us — even some fairly big decisions.
比如 20世纪90年代末 在北加州易干旱的
Take the drought-prone Tri-Valley area of Northern California, which in the late 1990s
built a multi-million dollar water plant that used reverse osmosis to recycle sewage water
into drinking water.
这并不是一个未经试验的想法 在纳米比亚 新加坡 甚至是南加州
It wasn’t an untested idea – water recycling plants in Namibia, Singapore, and even Southern
California had been churning out clean, potable water for years using the same technology.
But the idea of drinking something that used to have poop floating in it made some locals
当地人就反胃 于是他们开始起诉 结果工厂没开就关了
so queasy that they began filing lawsuits, and the plant closed before it even opened.
Public backlash has killed water recycling plants in other places, too, likely in part
because party poopers called the water “toilet-to-tap”, which made it sound like there was nothing
between the pooping and the drinking.
研究表明 时间和距离是厌恶感的最佳解药 一项调查中
Studies show that time and distance are some of the best antidotes to disgust: in one survey,
only a third of people said they’d drink recycled water if it were added directly to
pipes, but two thirds would drink it if it spent time in reservoirs first, even though
the pipe water and reservoir water were equally clean.
In other words, we can trick ourselves out of our irrational disgust by doing irrational
things like letting recycled water sit in tank for a while before we drink it.
Another trick is to rebrand that recycled water: Singapore quickly gained public support
for their recycled water by calling it NEWater.
最后 在环境迫使下 人们会更愿意冒险
Finally, people are more willing to take the plunge when circumstances become dire.
After another 15 years of droughts and mandatory water restrictions, the Northern Californians
changed their minds and asked their water authority to look into getting the poop-water
重新调查启动便便水 我是说 纯新乐活水设施
plant – I mean, the Pure-New-Sparkly-Clean-Fun-Water facility – running again.
Hey, this is Henry.
I’d like to thank Audible.com for supporting this video – Audible is a leading provider
有声读物的顶尖供应商 提供包括科幻类 非科幻类图书和期刊
of audiobooks including fiction, non-fiction and periodicals.
A book you might enjoy is Nudge, by Richard H. Thaler and Cass R. Sunstein, which opened
my mind of some to the hidden reasons why we do or don’t succeed in making changes in
our lives, or in society, like I don’t know, getting people to stop drinking poop water
and start drinking pure-clean-new-fun water.
You can check out Nudge or another book of your choice, for free, with a free 30-day
trial at Audible.com/minuteearth.
Again that’s Audible.com/minuteearth