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TED演讲 :我们对选择的痴迷

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shangzening

2016年05月03日

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  When I was preparing for this talk, I went to search for a couple of quotes that I can share with you. Good news: I found three that I particularly liked, the first by Samuel Johnson, who said, "When making your choice in life, do not forget to live," the second by Aeschylus, who reminded us that "happiness is a choice that requires effort," and the third is one by Groucho Marx who said, "I wouldn't want to choose to belong to any club that would have me as a member."

  当我在准备这个演说的时候, 我搜索了几个引用句 可以与跟大家分享。 好消息是,我找到三个 我特别喜欢的, 第一句是来自约翰逊博士, 「当在生活中要做出选择时, 不要忘了生活 」。 第二句来自 (古希腊悲剧诗人) 埃斯库罗斯,提醒我们, 「 幸福是需要努力的选择」。 第三句是来自(喜剧演员)格劳乔•马克思, 他说,「 我不想选择属于任何一个 会接受我成为会员的俱乐部」。

  0:50 Now, bad news: I didn't know which one of these quotes to choose and share with you. The sweet anxiety of choice.

  0:50 现在,坏消息是: 我不知道该选择哪一个引用句 来和大家分享。 那甜美的选择焦虑。

  1:00 In today's times of post-industrial capitalism, choice, together with individual freedom and the idea of self-making, has been elevated to an ideal. Now, together with this, we also have a belief in endless progress. But the underside of this ideology has been an increase of anxiety, feelings of guilt, feelings of being inadequate, feeling that we are failing in our choices. Sadly, this ideology of individual choice has prevented us from thinking about social changes. It appears that this ideology was actually very efficient in pacifying us as political and social thinkers. Instead of making social critiques, we are more and more engaging in self-critique, sometimes to the point of self-destruction.

  1:03 在如今的后工业资本主义, 选择,与个人自由 和自我决策的思想连在一起, 已经提升到一种理想主义。 现在,连同这一点,我们同时也有着 永无止境地进展的信念。 但这种意识形态的另一面 是焦虑一直在增加, 内疚感, 认为自我不足, 感觉我们选择的差错。 可悲的是,这个人选择的思想意识 妨碍了我们思考社会的变革。 看来,这种思想实际上是非常有效地 安抚我们 作政治和社会思想家。 我们越来越多从事自我批判, 而不是批评社会, 有时还直到自我毁灭的地步。

  2:06 Now, how come that ideology of choice is still so powerful, even among people who have not many things to choose among? How come that even people who are poor very much still identify with the idea of choice, the kind of rational idea of choice which we embrace?

  2:06 现在,为什么选择的意识, 仍是如此强大有力, 即使对那些没有 太多东西选择的人都如是? 为什么很穷的人 还有鉴别选择的想法, 那种我们对有理性选择 的信奉?

  2:28 Now, the ideology of choice is very successful in opening for us a space to think about some imagined future. Let me give you an example. My friend Manya, when she was a student at university in California, was earning money by working for a car dealer. Now, Manya, when she encountered the typical customer, would debate with him about his lifestyle, how much he wants to spend, how many children he has, what does he need the car for? They would usually come to a good conclusion what would be a perfect car. Now, before Manya's customer would go home and think things through, she would say to him, "The car that you are buying now is perfect, but in a few year's time, when your kids will be already out of the house, when you will have a little bit more money, that other car will be ideal. But what you are buying now is great." Now, the majority of Manya's customers who came back the next day bought that other car, the car they did not need, the car that cost far too much money. Now, Manya became so successful in selling cars that soon she moved on to selling airplanes. (Laughter) And knowing so much about the psychology of people prepared her well for her current job, which is that of a psychoanalyst.

  2:28 然而, 选择的意识非常成功地 开放了我们对未来的 一些想象空间。 让我给你举个例子。 我的朋友玛雅, 当她还是个在加州上大学的学生, 当时她是在做 汽车经销商赚钱。 当玛雅遇到 她的典型客户,会跟他辩论 他的生活方式, 他想花多少钱, 他有几个小孩, 为什么他需要车? 他们通常会得出一个好的结论 哪一辆是最适当的车。 在玛雅的客户回家 考虑之前, 她就对他说, 「你现在会买的那辆车是最最适当的, 但过几年时间, 当你的孩子们将已搬了家, 你会有多一点钱, 那另一辆车将会更理想, 但现在你所购买的已是很棒了。」 大多数玛雅的客户 第二天回来 都会买另一辆车, 那辆他们并不需要的车, 那辆花费太多钱的车。 现在,玛雅畅销汽车如此成功, 不久后她会转移到卖飞机。 (笑声) 理解这么多关于人的心理 为她准备好她目前的工作, 这便是一个精神分析学家。

  4:07 Now, why were Manya's customers so irrational? Manya's success was that she was able to open in their heads an image of an idealized future, an image of themselves when they are already more successful, freer, and for them, choosing that other car was as if they are coming closer to this ideal in which it was as if Manya already saw them.

  4:07 为什么玛雅的客户会这样不理智呢? 玛雅成功在于她能够 在他们的思维开设一个 理想化的未来形象, 一个他们自己 已经更成功的形象,更自由, 对他们来说,选择那另一辆车 就如他们更接近这个理想, 就像玛雅已经看见了他们的那个形象。

  4:37 Now, we rarely make really totally rational choices. Choices are influenced by our unconscious, by our community. We're often choosing by guessing, what would other people think about our choice? Also we are choosing by looking at what others are choosing. We're also guessing what is socially acceptable choice. Now, because of this, we actually even after we have already chosen, like bought a car, endlessly read reviews about cars, as if we still want to convince ourselves that we made the right choice.

  4:37 我们其实很少真正做出完全理性的选择。 选择是由我们的潜意识影响, 由我们的社会影响。 我们的选择经常通过猜测, 通过猜测,别人会怎样想 我们的选择呢? 此外,我们会通过 看别人怎么选择而选择。 我们也在猜什么是社会可以接受的选择。 正因如此,我们其实 即使已经选择了, 就像买了一辆车, 仍然会无休止地阅读关于汽车的评论, 如我们仍然要说服自己, 确定我们做出了正确的选择。

  5:17 Now, choices are anxiety-provoking. They are linked to risks, losses. They are highly unpredictable. Now, because of this, people have now more and more problems that they are not choosing anything. Not long ago, I was at a wedding reception, and I met a young, beautiful woman who immediately started telling me about her anxiety over choice. She said to me, "I needed one month to decide which dress to wear." Then she said, "For weeks I was researching which hotel to stay for this one night. And now, I need to choose a sperm donor." (Laughter) I looked at this woman in shock. "Sperm donor? What's the rush?" She said, "I'm turning 40 at the end of this year, and I've been so bad in choosing men in my life."

  5:17 选择是会引起焦虑。 它们会联系到的风险,损失。 它们是高不可预测的。 正因如此, 人们现在有越来越多的问题, 因为他们没有选择任何东西。 不久以前,我在一个婚礼上, 我遇见了一个既年轻,又漂亮的女人, 她立刻开始跟我谈起她对选择的焦虑。 她对我说,「我需要一个月的时间 决定穿哪一套裙。」 然后她说,「几个星期以来我正在研究, 在哪一间酒店留宿一晚。 现在,我需要选择一个精子捐赠者。」 (笑声) 我震惊地看着这个女人。 「捐精者?急什么?」 她说,「我在今年年底便40岁, 但我对男人的选择一直糟糕。」

  6:18 Now choice, because it's linked to risk, is anxiety-provoking, and it was already the famous Danish philosopher Søren Kierkegaard who pointed out that anxiety is linked to the possibility of possibility. Now, we think today that we can prevent these risks. We have endless market analysis, projections of the future earnings. Even with market, which is about chance, randomness, we think we can predict rationally where it's going.

  6:18 选择,因为它联系到风险, 是会引起焦虑, 这已经是著名的 丹麦哲学家索伦•克尔凯郭尔谁 指出,焦虑是因为我们联系 可能性的可能性。 今时今日,我们觉得我们能避免这些风险。 我们有无尽的市场分析, 未来盈利的预测。 即使是市场,关于机会的市场, 有随机性,我们认为我们可以合理地 预测其去向。

  6:55 Now, chance is actually becoming very traumatic. Last year, my friend Bernard Harcourt at the University of Chicago organized an event, a conference on the idea of chance. He and I were together on the panel, and just before delivering our papers — we didn't know each other's papers — we decided to take chance seriously. So we informed our audience that what they will just now hear will be a random paper, a mixture of the two papers which we didn't know what each was writing. Now, we delivered the conference in such a way. Bernard read his first paragraph, I read my first paragraph, Bernard read his second paragraph, I read my second paragraph, in this way towards the end of our papers. Now, you will be surprised that a majority of our audience did not think that what they'd just listened to was a completely random paper. They couldn't believe that speaking from the position of authority like two professors we were, we would take chance seriously. They thought we prepared the papers together and were just joking that it's random.

  6:55 现今,机会其实是变得非常痛苦。 去年,我的朋友伯纳•哈考特 在芝加哥大学举办活动, 会议是关于对机会的思想。 我和他一起在小组上, 在介绍我们的论文之前一刻 — 我们不知道对方的论文 — 我们决定真的把机会当认真。 所以我们告诉我们的听众, 他们听到的将是 一篇随机的论文, 这两篇论文是 我们不知内容的混合物。 我们以这样的方式表发论文。 伯纳读他的第一段, 我读我的第一个段落, 伯纳读他的第二段, 我读我的第二段, 这样的直到论文结束。 你会惊奇地发现, 我们大多数的观众没有想到, 他们刚刚听了的 是一篇完全随机的论文。 他们简直不相信, 从两位像我们 有权威的教授, 我们对机会这样严肃。 他们以为我们一起准备好论文, 以为我们说随机的只是在开玩笑。

  8:13 Now, we live in times with a lot of information, big data, a lot of knowledge about the insides of our bodies. We decoded our genome. We know about our brains more than before. But surprisingly, people are more and more turning a blind eye in front of this knowledge. Ignorance and denial are on the rise. Now, in regard to the current economic crisis, we think that we will just wake up again and everything will be the same as before, and no political or social changes are needed. In regard to ecological crisis, we think nothing needs to be done just now, or others need to act before us. Or even when ecological crisis already happens, like a catastrophe in Fukushima, often we have people living in the same environment with the same amount of information, and half of them will be anxious about radiation and half of them will ignore it.

  8:13 现在,我们生活在一个有大量信息, 大数据, 对我们身体内部有大量知识的时候。 我们已经解碼了我们的基因组。 我们对大脑比以前多了理解。 但奇怪的是,在这知识当前 人们越来越视而不见。 无知和否认有上升的趋势。 现在,考虑到当前的经济危机, 我们以为,只要我们再次醒来, 一切都会和以前一样, 而不需要任何政治或社会的变迁。 至于生态危机, 我们认为此刻没有什么需要做的, 或者是别人比我们需要更先采取行动。 甚至当生态危机已经发生, 就像在福岛灾难, 往往有人生活在同一个环境中, 收到同数量的信息, 其中一半是担心辐射, 另一半会忽略它。

  9:16 Now, psychoanalysts know very well that people surprisingly don't have passion for knowledge but passion for ignorance. Now, what does that mean? Let's say when we are facing a life-threatening illness, a lot of people don't want to know that. They'd rather prefer denying the illness, which is why it's not so wise to inform them if they don't ask. Surprisingly, research shows that sometimes people who deny their illness live longer than those who are rationally choosing the best treatment.

  9:16 不过,精神分析学家也很清楚, 人出奇地热爱的 不是知识, 而是热爱无知。 这是什么意思? 比方说,当我们面对 一个危及生命的疾病, 很多人并不想知道。 他们宁愿否认生病, 这就是为什么如果他们不问, 告诉他们其实不是那么明智的做法。 出人意料的是,研究表明, 有时有些否认自己病情的人 会活得比那些合理地选择 最佳治疗方案的人跟更长久。

  9:54 Now, this ignorance, however, is not very helpful on the level of the social. When we are ignorant about where we are heading, a lot of social damage can be caused.

  9:54 但是这种无知, 不是对社会水平非常有帮助。 当我们不知道我们正朝着哪里, 这可以引起大量的社会伤害。

  10:09 Now, on top of facing ignorance, we are also facing today some kind of an obviousness. Now, it was French philosopher Louis Althusser who pointed out that ideology functions in such a way that it creates a veil of obviousness. Before we do any social critique, it is necessary really to lift that veil of obviousness and to think through a little bit differently. If we go back to this ideology of individual, rational choice we often embrace, it's necessary precisely here to lift this obviousness and to think a little bit differently.

  10:09 除了面对无外, 我们今天还面临着 一些那种显而易见的事情。 它便是法国哲学家 阿尔都塞所指出, 意识形态的一种功能, 它创造了一瓣显而易见的面纱。 在我们做任何社会批判之前, 有必要真正解除显而易见性的面纱, 并通过一点不同的想法。 如果我们要回到 我们常接受的思想, 个人 和理性的选择, 有必要在这里 解除这一种显见, 并添一点点不同的思想。

  10:53 Now for me, a question often is why we still embrace this idea of a self-made man on which capitalism relied from its beginning? Why do we think that we are really such masters of our lives that we can rationally make the best ideal choices, that we don't accept losses and risks? And for me, it's very shocking to see sometimes very poor people, for example, not supporting the idea of the rich being taxed more. Quite often here they still identify with a certain kind of a lottery mentality. Okay, maybe they don't think that they will make it in the future, but maybe they think, my son might become the next Bill Gates. And who would want to tax one's son? Or, a question for me is also, why would people who have no health insurance not embrace universal healthcare? Sometimes they don't embrace it, again identifying with the idea of choice, but they have nothing to choose from.

  10:53 对我来说,有一个问题往往就是, 白手兴家的构想, 根本是起源于对资本主义的依赖, 为什么我们仍然接受这种构想? 为什么我们认为我们真的精通了生活, 我们可以理性地做出 最佳最理想的选择, 令到我们因此不接受损失和风险? 对我来说,是非常令人震惊地看到有时很贫穷的人, 例如,不支持对富有的人 纳税更多的想法。 经常在这性质的事例,他们仍然 认同某种彩票的心态。 好吧,也许他们不认为他们将在未来会成功, 但也许他们认为, 我的儿子会成为下一个比尔•盖茨。 谁会愿意儿子被征税? 或者,另一个问题是, 为什么没有医疗保险的人 不支持全民医疗? 有时他们的确不接受它, 再一次是选择的想法识别, 即使他们没有什么选择。

  11:56 Now, Margaret Thatcher famously said that there is nothing like a society. Society doesn't exist, it is only individuals and their families. Sadly, this ideology still functions very well, which is why people who are poor might feel ashamed for their poverty. We might endlessly feel guilty that we are not making the right choices, and that's why we didn't succeed. We are anxious that we are not good enough. That's why we work very hard, long hours at the workplace and equally long hours on remaking ourselves. Now, when we are anxious over choices, sometimes we easily give our power of choice away. We identify with the guru who tells us what to do, self-help therapist, or we embrace a totalitarian leader who appears to have no doubts about choices, who sort of knows.

  11:56 戴卓尔夫人的一句名言, 没有什么像一个社会。 社会并不存在,存在的只是个人 及其家庭。 可悲的是,这种意识还是非常好的运作, 这就是为什么穷人可能会对 自己贫穷感到羞愧。 我们可能会无休止地对没有做出 正确的选择感到内疚, 并认为这就是我们没有成功的原因。 我们担心我们做得不够好。 这就是为什么我们非常努力, 在工作花上长时间, 在重塑自己上花同样的长时间。 但当我们对选择急于忧虑, 有时我们很容易地放弃了我们的选择权力。 我们信赖着 告诉我们该怎么做的大师, 自助治疗师, 或者我们依赖一个 对选择似乎毫不犹疑的, 全知的极权主义领袖。

  12:56 Now, often people ask me, "What did you learn by studying choice?" And there is an important message that I did learn. When thinking about choices, I stopped taking choices too seriously, personally. First, I realized a lot of choice I make is not rational. It's linked to my unconscious, my guesses of what others are choosing, or what is a socially embraced choice. I also embrace the idea that we should go beyond thinking about individual choices, that it's very important to rethink social choices, since this ideology of individual choice has pacified us. It really prevented us to think about social change. We spend so much time choosing things for ourselves and barely reflect on communal choices we can make.

  12:56 经常有人问我, 「那你通过学习选择学到什么呢?」 我确实学到了一个重要的信息。 当考虑选择时, 我个人避免太沉重的对待选择。 首先,我意识到很多我做的选择 是不理性的。 它连接到我的潜意识, 我猜测别人怎么选择的, 或是一个社会接受的选择。 我也接受到, 我们应该超越 想着个人的选择, 而是非常重要的重新思考社会的选择, 因为个人选择这种意识已经平息了我们。 阻止了我们思考社会变革。 我们花那么多时间为自己挑选东西, 只勉强反映 我们可以做到的公共选择。

  13:48 Now, we should not forget that choice is always linked to change. We can make individual changes, but we can make social changes. We can choose to have more wolves. We can choose to change our environment to have more bees. We can choose to have different rating agencies. We can choose to control corporations instead of allowing corporations to control us. We have a possibility to make changes.

  13:48 不过,我们不应该忘记,选择 和改变总是连在一起的。 我们可以把个人变化, 我们可以把社会变革。 我们可以选择有更多狼。 我们可以选择改变我们的环境 有更多蜜蜂。 我们可以选择不同的评级机构。 我们可以选择控制, 而不是让企业控制我们的公司。 我们有可能做出改变。

  14:19 Now, I started with a quote from Samuel Johnson, who said that when we make choice in life, we shouldn't forget to live. Finally, you can see I did have a choice to choose one of the three quotes with which I wanted to start my lecture. I did have a choice, such as nations, as people, we have choices too to rethink in what kind of society we want to live in the future.

  14:19 我开始时引用了约翰逊的名句, 说到当我们在生活中做出选择时, 我们不应该忘记生活。 最后,你可以看到 我确实在演说开始时的 三个名句中 作出了一个选择。 我确实有一个选择, 如国家,作为人民, 我们有太多选择,我们实在要 重新思考在未来要活在什么样的社会。

  14:47 Thank you.

  14:49 (Applause)


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