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  • We don't think we hate cheap things,

    我們不覺得自己討厭便宜貨

  • but we frequently behave as if we rather do.

    但我們的表現卻是如此

  • Consider the pineapple.

    以鳳梨為例

  • Columbus was the first European to be delighted by its physical grandeur and vibrant sweetness.

    哥倫布是第一個愛上鳳梨的歐洲人,他愛鳳梨的外表和甜蜜

  • He brought some back to Europe,

    於是想帶一些回家

  • but pineapples proved extremely difficult to transport and very costly to cultivate.

    但鳳梨極難運送,栽培又非常昂貴

  • For a long time, only royalty can afford to eat them.

    很長一段時間內,只有皇室吃得起鳳梨

  • Russia's Catherine the Great was a huge fan, as was Charles II of England.

    俄國的凱薩琳大帝和英國的查理二世都是鳳梨的頭號粉絲

  • A single fruit in the 17th century sold for today's equivalent of £5000.

    17世紀一顆鳳梨要價相當於現在的5千英鎊

  • The pineapple was so exciting and so loved

    當時的鳳梨熱潮非常誇張

  • that in 1761, the 4th Earl of Dunmore built a temple on his Scottish estate in its honor,

    1761年,蘇格蘭的當摩伯爵四世,甚至蓋了鳳梨造型的神廟

  • and Christopher Wren had no hesitation

    英國建築名家雷恩也是同好

  • in topping the south tower of St. Paul's in London with this evidently divined fruit.

    他在倫敦聖保羅大教堂南塔頂端,毫不猶豫地雕上這神話般的水果

  • Then, at the very end of the 19th century, two things changed:

    但是19世紀末出現兩項巨變

  • Large commercial plantations of pineapples were established in Hawaii,

    夏威夷廣植大片鳳梨田

  • and there were huge advances in steam ships technology.

    加上蒸氣貨輪科技的革新

  • Transport cost plummeted and unwittingly transformed the psychology of pineapple eating.

    造成貨運價格大跌,潛移默化地改變了吃鳳梨的形象

  • Today, you can get a pineapple for around £1.50

    現在一顆鳳梨只要約1.50英鎊

  • It still taste exactly the same,

    味道和以前並無不同

  • but now, the pineapple is one of the world's least glamorous fruits.

    但現在鳳梨是世上最平凡無奇的水果

  • It's never served smart dinner parties, and it would never be carved on top of a major civic building.

    絕對不會出現在晚宴餐桌上,或是刻在公共建設上當造型

  • The pineapple itself hasn't changed, only our attitude to it has.

    鳳梨並沒有變,改變的是我們的態度

  • Contemplation the history of the pineapple suggest a curious overlap between love and economics.

    鳳梨的故事顯示,人的喜愛程度和經濟學有重疊之處

  • When we have to pay a lot for something nice, we appreciate it to the full,

    當好東西必須花大錢才能買到時,我們會非常珍惜

  • yet, as its price in the market falls, passion has a habit of fading away.

    一旦價格降低,熱情往往會退卻

  • Naturally, if an object has no merit to begin with, a high-price won't be able to do anything for it.

    當然,如果品質本就不好,高價並不會提高它的價值

  • But, if it has a real virtue and yet a low price, then it's in severe danger of falling into neglect.

    但若是物美價廉,那就極有可能被忽略

  • It's a pattern that we see recurring in a range of areas, for example, with a sight of clouds from above.

    許多事物都是如此,舉雲頂飛行為例

  • In 1927, a hitherto unknown airmail pilot called Charles Lindbergh

    1927年,沒沒無聞的飛行員林白

  • became the first man to complete a solo crossing of the Atlantic in this plane the Spirit of St. Louis.

    駕駛聖路易斯精神號,達成史上第一次單人飛越大西洋

  • He was awestruck and felt he was becoming for a time almost god-like.

    他被雲頂風景震懾,一瞬間覺得自己好像是上帝

  • For most of the 20th century, his experience remained rare and extremely costly.

    直至20世紀末,能體驗林白經歷的人仍然很少、價格也昂貴

  • There was therefore never any danger that the human value of crossing an ocean by air would be overlooked.

    當時人類飛越海洋的價值不可忽視

  • But this lasted only until the arrival of the Boeing 747

    直到1970年夏天,波音747出現

  • and a cheap plane ticket in the summer of 1970.

    加上便宜機票釋出

  • Now, almost no one looks out of the plane window anymore.

    現在搭飛機的時候,幾乎沒人會看窗外雲朵了

  • Why then do we associate cheap prices with a lack of value?

    為什麼低價會讓我們覺得沒價值呢?

  • Our response seems a hangover from a long pre-industrial past.

    一切都要從工業化之前說起

  • For most of human history, there truly was a strong correlation between cost and value.

    歷史上大多數時候,價格往往反映了品質

  • The higher the price, the better things tended to be,

    價格越高,品質通常越好

  • because it would simply noway both for prices to be low and quality high.

    因為想要高品質,價格就不可能低廉

  • Everything had to be made by hand, by expansively trained artisans

    所有東西都必須手工打造,經過技藝精湛的工匠巧手

  • with raw materials that were immensely difficult to transport.

    並且選用最難取得的素材

  • The expensive sword, jacket, window, or wheelbarrow were simply always the better ones.

    最昂貴的寶劍、外套、窗戶或獨輪手推車都是最好的

  • This relationship between price and value

    高品質就等於高價

  • held true in an uninterrupted way until the end of the 18th century,

    直至18世紀末都是如此

  • when, thanks to the industrial revolution, something extremely unusual happened.

    當時由於工業革命,發生了顛覆性巨變

  • Human beings worked out how to make high quality goods at cheap prices

    人類找到低價生產好商品的方法

  • because of technology and new methods of organizing the labor force.

    就是運用科技和新的人力整合模式

  • However, despite the greatness of these efforts,

    雖然工業革命成就驚人

  • instead of making wonderful experiences universally available,

    結果卻不是讓大眾享受原本昂貴的體驗

  • industrialization has inadvertently produced a different effect.

    反而一不小心造成了不同效果

  • It seemed to rob certain experiences of their loveliness, interest, and worth.

    工業革命似乎讓一些經驗失去了原本的可愛、有趣和價值

  • It's not, of course, that we refuse to buy inexpensive or cheap things,

    當然我們並不會拒買便宜的東西

  • it's just that getting excited over cheap things has come to seem a little bizarre.

    但是因買便宜貨而興奮卻變得古怪

  • One is allowed to get very worked up over the eggs of the sturgeon,

    我們可以因為魚子醬興奮不已

  • £100 for a small pod,

    一小盒就要價100英鎊

  • but we have to be very circumscribed by one's enthusiasm for the eggs of a chicken,

    但如果是雞蛋,我們就不能顯得興高采烈

  • 12 for £2.

    1打只要2英鎊

  • There is an intimidating hierarchy operating in the background

    這些反應背後有嚇人的心理分級

  • shaping what we're allowed to be grateful for, and fill that we lack and must have.

    讓我們知道自己對什麼感到滿足,對別的又充滿渴望

  • The price tells us something very special is going on here,

    高價表示商品非常獨特

  • but it maybe going on in a cheaper thing, too.

    但低價品也可能十分珍貴

  • How do we reverse this?

    要如何打破這種思維呢?

  • The answer lies in a slightly unexpected area:

    答案就在意想不到的地方

  • the mind of a 4-year-old.

    在4歲小孩的腦袋裡

  • Here he is with the puddle, it started raining an hour ago.

    當他看見下了一小時的雨水聚積成水窪

  • Now, the street is full of puddles, and there could be nothing better in the world,

    街道上布滿這些池水,世上再也沒有比這更好的了

  • the riches of the Indies would be nothing next to the pleasures of being able to see the rippling of the water

    金山銀山都比不過雙腳踏水激起的水花

  • created by jumping one's boots.

    金山銀山都比不過雙腳踏水激起的水花

  • Eddies and whirlpools, the mind new waves, the oceans beneath one, it's all fascinating.

    漣漪、漩渦、波浪,一切對他而言有如海洋般奇妙

  • Children have great advantages.

    小孩佔有優勢

  • They don't know what they're supposed to like and they don't understand money

    他們不知道應該要喜歡什麼,也不懂錢

  • so price is never a guide of value for them.

    所以對他們而言價格和品質沒有關聯

  • They'll spend an hour with 1 button.

    一顆按鈕就能讓小孩玩上一小時

  • One buys them the £49 wooden toy made by Swedish artisans

    有人買了49英鎊的瑞典手工原木玩具

  • and finds that they prefer the cardboard box that it came in.

    孩子卻更愛玩具的包裝紙盒

  • They prefer the nail and screw section at the DIY shop to the fanciest toy department.

    他們喜歡手工藝品店的螺絲釘區,更勝於漂亮的玩具部門

  • A child might be deeply surprised, even shocked

    如果他們知道USB隨身碟只要1英鎊多

  • to learn that a USB stick can be had for just over £1.

    可能會非常驚訝甚至嚇到

  • Children would be right if prices were determined by human worth and value.

    孩子會以為價格是由人力成本與商品價值所決定

  • But they are not, they just reflect what things cost to make.

    然而事實並非如此,價格只反映了製造成本

  • The pity is therefore, that we do treat them as a guide to what matters,

    可惜的是,我們的確用價格來衡量事物的重要性

  • when this isn't what a financial price should ever be used for.

    但這並非價格的原本的用意

  • We can't directly go back to childhood, but we have got people who can help us in this area:

    我們已經回不去小時候,但還有人能幫我們打破思維

  • artists.

    藝術家

  • They are the experts recording and communicating their enthusiasms

    他們紀錄並傳達自己的熱情

  • which, like children, can take them in slightly unexpected directions.

    像孩子一樣,藝術家的熱情往往與眾不同

  • The French artist, Paulzanne, spent a good deal of the late 19th century

    19世紀末,法國畫家塞尚花了許多時間

  • painting groups of apples in his studio in Provance.

    在普羅旺斯的畫室中繪製蘋果靜物畫

  • He was thrilled by their texture, shapes, and colors.

    蘋果的質地、形狀和顏色都令他興奮不已

  • He loved the transitions between the yellowy golds and the deep reds across their skins.

    他愛上蘋果金黃與深紅交錯的果皮顏色

  • zanne had all the all-love-and-excitement before the apple

    塞尚對蘋果愛不釋手

  • that aristocrats once had for the pineapple.

    就像過往貴族對鳳梨的熱情一樣

  • zanne, in his studio, was generating his own revolution,

    塞尚在他的畫室中進行個人革命

  • not an industrial revolution that would make once costly objects available to everyone,

    不像工業革命能讓所有人取得一度昂貴的商品

  • but a revolution in appreciation, a far deeper process

    塞尚的革命更深層,是欣賞的革命

  • that could get us to notice what we already have to hand.

    讓我們注意到已經擁有的事物,學習知足

  • Instead of reducing prices, he was raising levels of appreciation,

    不用降低價格,塞尚提高了欣賞程度

  • which is a move that's perhaps more precious to us economically

    這個做法對我們來說也許更經濟實惠

  • because it means that we can suddenly get lot more great things for very little money.

    因為這樣,我們突然能用很少的錢換來更多更好的東西

  • We need to rethink our relationship to prices.

    我們應該重新思考人與價格的關係

  • We've been looking at prices in a wrong way.

    我們一直都錯看了價格

  • We fetishize them as tokens of intrinsic value.

    以為價格反映的就是核心價值

  • We've allowed them to set how much excitement we were allowed to have in given areas.

    也讓價格決定自己對各種商品事物的熱情

  • But prices would never meant to be like this.

    但這都不是價格原本的意義

  • We're breathing too much life into them,

    我們太仰賴價格

  • and therefore darling too many of our responses to the inexpensive world.

    對便宜貨掩藏了太多內心反應

  • We are astonishingly already a good deal richer than we are encouraged to think we are.

    但其實我們比原本以為的還要富有很多

We don't think we hate cheap things,

我們不覺得自己討厭便宜貨

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B1 中級 中文 英國腔 鳳梨 價格 昂貴 商品 價值 熱情

便宜貨心理學 (Why We Hate Cheap Things)

  • 1932 192
    劉宜佳 發佈於 2016 年 03 月 14 日
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