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时间:2021-09-08    来源:鸭脖体育app    人气:

本文摘要:A few months ago, my teenage daughter and I went to see a lecture by Stephen Hawking at Oxford’s Mathematical Institute. The event had been postponed once because he was unwell; I worried that his body might finally give out, albeit five d


A few months ago, my teenage daughter and I went to see a lecture by Stephen Hawking at Oxford’s Mathematical Institute. The event had been postponed once because he was unwell; I worried that his body might finally give out, albeit five decades later than doctors had expected. Yet a new date was set and Hawking duly arrived, as if from another world, to deliver a spellbinding talk in his distinctive synthetic voice.几个月前,我和十几岁的女儿去牛津大学数学研究所(Oxford’s Mathematical Institute)听得斯蒂芬?霍金(Stephen Hawking)的讲座。讲座曾多次因霍金身体佳而延期过一次;我当时担忧他的身体有可能再一敢了,虽然他早已比医生预计的多坚决了50年。然而,讲座确认了一个新的日期,霍金按时到达了会场,他就像来自另一个世界一样,用自己独有的制备声音做到了一个充满著魔力的演说。I had given a lecture myself at the same venue earlier, striking a pessimistic tone: it was easy to pollute the stream of conversation about science and statistics, I said, and simply intoning the facts would not dispel misinformation. Hawking, who died this week, went some way to restoring my hope. He showed that it was possible to communicate difficult ideas, if you went about it in the right way.我自己早些时候曾在同一地点公开发表过演说,我的演说论调较为乐观:我说道,关于科学和统计数据的谈话很更容易被污染,而且只是陈述事实不了避免误会。


What was his secret? He acknowledged that his disability attracted the spotlight, but there was much more going on than the spectacle of a brilliant mind in a malfunctioning body.他的秘诀是什么?他否认自己的残疾更有了人们的注目,但更有人的远不止残疾身体中的机智头脑。First, he did not patronise his audience: presenting the most complicated ideas was a sign that he respected our intelligence. If we did not grasp everything, we would still be better off for having tried.首先,他没对听众挂出有高人一等的派头:陈述最简单的思想指出他认同我们的智力。

即便我们没几乎解读,尝试的过程还是对我们有益处。“I know the book is difficult,” he commented after his A Brief History of Time had become a bestseller. “It does not matter too much if people can’t follow all the arguments. They can still get the flavour of the intellectual quest.”他在他的《时间简史》(A Brief History of Time)沦为畅销书后评论道:“我告诉这本书很难不懂。如果解读没法全部内容,也没过于大关系。

他们依然能体会到智力求索的感觉。”That instinct was right. His talk demanded concentration. Most of it was beyond my daughter. Much of it was beyond me. Then Hawking would crack a joke about hairy black holes, and the audience would all be back on the same page, laughing, and ready for another attempt to scale the intellectual heights.这种直觉是对的。听得他的演说必须全神贯注。其中大部分内容都远超过了我女儿的解读范畴,有许多也远超过了我的解读范畴。

然后霍金不会进个关于可怕的黑洞的笑话,这是所有观众都能解读的,大家笑一阵,准备好再度尝试登顶智力的高峰。Second, he was immensely curious. “My goal is simple, “ he said. “It is a complete understanding of the universe, why it is as it is and why it exists at all.”其次,他十分奇怪。他说道:“我的目??标的很非常简单,那就是几乎解读宇宙,它为什么是现在这个样子,又究竟为什么不存在。

”That sort of curiosity is contagious. It makes us want to join his hunt for answers, rather than passively receiving (or rejecting) information from an expert who claims to know them already.这种好奇心具备感染力。它让我们想跟他一起去找寻答案,而不是从声称早已告诉答案的专家那里被动地拒绝接受(或拒绝接受)信息。

The third quality followed from the first two: unlike some public intellectuals, Hawking was not very interested in conflict for the sake of it. The economist Paul Krugman and the biologist Richard Dawkins are instructive contrasts to Hawking: both are brilliant communicators, but they often present their ideas as a battle between good and evil, wisdom and stupidity.第三个品质源自前两个特质:与一些公共知识分子有所不同,霍金不过于讨厌全然为了冲突而营造冲突。将经济学家保罗?克鲁格曼(Paul Krugman)和生物学家理查德?道金斯(Richard Dawkins)与霍金对比一下就能明白这一点:这两人都是卓越的交流者,但他们在讲解自己的思想时呈现出出来的往往是贤与恶、智慧与伪善之间的战斗。

When you have a noble cause it can be tempting to pursue it in an antagonistic way: Economy, a charity that aims to improve economics literacy, has been fundraising with an endorsement from writer George Monbiot saying that economists are “a pox on the planet”.当你有一个崇高的事业时,可能会不禁以一种对抗性的方式去执着它:目的提升人们的经济学常识的慈善机构“经济”(Economy)仍然在筹款,并获得作家乔治?蒙比奥特(George Monbiot)的反对,他说道,经济学家是“这个星球上的天花”。These insults seem to work, at first. If you call out your opponents as fools, knaves, or even transmissible diseases, you enthuse your own supporters. But you will win few new converts when every issue becomes a matter of tribal loyalty.最初,这些羞辱或许奏效了。如果你把你的输掉称为傻瓜、流氓,甚至是传染病,你不会让你的支持者欢欣鼓舞。

但是,当每个问题都变为否效忠自己人的问题时,你将会夺得新的支持者。We humans are social creatures. Given a choice between being right on a partisan question (abortion, guns, Brexit, globalisation, climate change) and having mistaken views that our friends and neighbours support, we would rather be wrong and stay in the tribe. This becomes clear in surveys of views on climate change: college-educated Republicans and Democrats are further apart on the topic than those who are less educated.我们人类是社会性生物。如果要在如下两种情况中作出自由选择——是在不存在党派分歧的问题上(安乐死、枪支、英国弃欧、全球化和气候变化)车站在准确的一方,还是尊重我们的朋友和一家人所反对的错误观点,我们宁愿车站在错误的一方、回到自己人当中。


在对气候变化观点的调查中,这一点显得很确切:接受大学教育的共和党人和民主党人在这个问题上的分歧,比不受教育程度较低的人还要大。If our goal is to persuade, the curiosity-driven approach works better than the conflict-driven one: the evidence suggests that curious people are less subject to the temptations of partisanship. When the national conversation becomes polarised, we need to encourage curiosity about how things work rather than them-and-us tribalism.如果我们的目标是劝说,那么用好奇心来实现目标比用冲突更佳:有证据指出,奇怪的人不过于更容易受到党派偏向的影响。当全国的对话显得两极化的时候,我们必须希望求证事物运作的好奇心,而不是势不两立的部落主义。

Hawking, of course, did have robust political views. He criticised the UK health secretary Jeremy Hunt for cherry-picking evidence on the National Health Service and spoke out against Brexit. But after the referendum went the other way, he continued to argue in favour of mutual understanding and solving problems together, rather than dismissing voters as ignorant.当然,霍金显然有独特的政治观点。霍金抨击英国公共卫生大臣杰里米?亨特(Jeremy Hunt)在英国国家医疗服务体系(National Health Service)的问题上有倾向性地挑选出证据,霍金还公开发表赞成英国弃欧。但在全民公民投票完结后,他之后主张相互理解并联合解决问题,而不是称之为选民是伪善的并轻视他们。

If experts want to persuade us to wrap our minds around a complex issue, they need to get us to abandon our cynicism towards unwelcome information. It does no harm to be the most recognisable scientist on the planet, but Hawking also understood that insults do not work. Instead, he treated us with respect and fired our enthusiasm.如果专家们想劝说我们思维一个简单的问题,他们必须劝说我们舍弃对相左己意的信息的猜测。地球上最著名科学家的身份当然有助霍金劝说别人,但某种程度有协助的是,霍金明白侮辱是不行的。

霍金认同我们,并唤起了我们的热情。Towards the end of his lecture, after a difficult discussion of quantum effects near the boundary of a black hole, Hawking offered a simpler idea: “If you feel you are in a black hole, don’t give up. There is a way out.”讲座相似尾声时,在一段关于黑洞边界附近量子效应的难懂辩论完结后,霍金贡献了一个更加非常简单的点子:“如果你实在自己正处于黑洞中,不要退出。决心是有的。“It was a message any teenager could hold on to. I sat next to my daughter and thought about how Hawking had lived such a rich life under the burden of an apparently unbeatable illness.这是任何青少年都可以牢记的讯息。

我躺在女儿旁边,思维着霍金是如何面临显著无法战胜的病魔童年了如此非常丰富的一生。We have been told that people have had enough of experts. That is true for some experts. It wasn’t true for Stephen Hawking.我们被告诉,人们受够了专家。对一些专家来说的确如此,但对斯蒂芬?霍金来说却并非这样。