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  • One day, if human civilisation ever wipes itself out,

    當有一天人類文明毀滅了

  • aliens or one of our successors will cast an eye on our ruined planet,

    外星人或是繼承我們的物種將會審視我們這顆毀滅的星球

  • and ask themselves what ever happened to homo sapiens.

    然後自問人類發生了什麼事

  • Their answer might look a little like this.

    他們的回答可能是這樣的

  • The root cause won’t be the specific catastrophe,

    根本的原因可能不是什麼大災難、

  • conflict or devastation that eradicates us;

    衝突或是足以滅絕人類的毀滅性活動

  • the problem will begin with the architecture of the human brain.

    問題可能出在於人類腦袋的結構

  • This tool will be remembered for being, in part, deeply impressive,

    這個器官會記得一部份印象深刻的的記憶

  • containing a 100 billion neurons

    它包含一兆個

  • capable of extraordinary computations and combinations.

    擁有傑出的計算和統合能力的神經

  • As aliens will note,

    外星人可能會注意到

  • a particular part of the mind where our most dazzling thoughts unfolded

    儲存我們最活躍的記憶的區塊

  • was known to neuroscientists as the neocortex;

    就是神經學家所稱的新皮層

  • a part that in humans was many times larger than that found in any other species.

    這部分也比所有發現物種的新皮層還要大好幾倍

  • This is what helped the hugely clever ape to produce

    這幫助聰明的人猿創造出

  • The Magic Flute, Anna Karenina, Concorde and civilisation.

    魔笛音樂劇、劇本 安娜·卡列尼娜、協和號飛機和文明

  • However, our alien friends will also note

    然而,我們的外星朋友也會注意到

  • that the human mind contained another component,

    人類的思想包含了另一種

  • very influential but far less impressive,

    很有影響力卻不那麼重要的組件

  • known as the reptilian brain

    有如爬蟲類的腦

  • (an aggressive lustful impulsive section of machinery),

    (結構中好鬥好色又衝動的區域)

  • with a great deal more in common

    跟土狼和嚙齒類動物有著很多相同之處

  • with what might be found in a hyena or a small rodent.

    跟土狼和嚙齒類動物有著很多相同之處

  • Because of this reptilian brain

    因為有這個爬蟲類的腦

  • ended up with three grave problems:

    人類有三個主要的因素以自我毀滅

  • Firstly, tribalism.

    首先,部落制度

  • Humans were always on the verge of developing violent hatreds of foreigners

    人類總是會發展出對於外族的暴力仇恨

  • and manifested strong ongoing tendencies to slaughter strangers in vast numbers.

    還有極力傾向殺掉龐大數量的外地人

  • They could never reliably see the humanity

    他們在同族的所有成員中永遠看不到人性

  • in all members of their own kind.

    他們在同族的所有成員中永遠看不到人性

  • Secondly, homo sapiens was fatefully prone to short-term thinking.

    其次,人類註定短視近利的思考

  • Even when confronted by data,

    就算有數據論證擺在眼前

  • it could only imagine the near-term future, a few years at best,

    人類也只能想像近程的未來,幾年就已經夠好了

  • viewing the long-term as a chimerical and unreal state.

    遠程的未來則是空想和不切實際的領域

  • Its immediate impulses were left uncontained

    他們即時的衝動毫無包容力

  • and worked to destroy its individual and collective future.

    並且會摧毀個人和集體的未來

  • Lastly, homo sapiens had an especially keen fondness for wishful thinking.

    最後一項,人類超級喜歡癡心妄想

  • Though capable of immense intellectual achievement,

    就算擁有良好的智能

  • its mind hated to reflect on itself,

    卻沒有反應在心智上

  • it couldn’t bear to submit its ideas to rational scrutiny,

    他無法接受將想法理性審視

  • it preferred to act rather than think and daydream rather than plan.

    喜歡先做後想,先做白日夢再來計畫

  • Having invented the scientific method,

    發明科學的方法

  • it preferred, in most cases, to not to use it.

    但大部分都用不到

  • It had a narcotic desire for distraction and fantasy.

    對於娛樂和幻想有著癡心的渴望

  • It didn’t want to know itself.

    不想了解自己

  • For many generations, these three flaws were more or less endured.

    幾個世代以來,這三個缺陷有增有減

  • Certain institutions were invented to attenuate them:

    人類發明了幾個機構來減緩缺陷

  • the law, sound government, education, philosophy, science.

    法律、政府、教育、哲學、科學

  • It worked, sort of.

    他們發揮了一點效用

  • Humans did keep wiping out swathes of their fellows,

    人類持續將同類中的缺陷遮蔽掉

  • but they didn’t scupper the species as a whole.

    但他們並沒有視種族為一個整體

  • What caused the ultimate destruction

    導致最終毀滅的

  • was the increasing yet untrammelled power of the neocortex.

    是腦中新皮層增加無上限的力量

  • This mighty tool eventually managed to capture fire, contain the elements,

    這個強大的工具最後掌控了火源,包括了多種元素

  • and give homo sapiens a godlike power over the planet,

    給人類神力般的力量掌控這個星球

  • while the animal overall

    而全部動物

  • still operated with reflexes as serene and gentle as those of a hyena.

    則仍然維持平靜和善有如獵狗的本能

  • The cost of its mistakes grew ever larger,

    這個錯誤的代價越來越大

  • its powers became uncontained while its wisdom remained intermittent and fragile.

    這股力量變得沒有包容力,而人類的智慧則變得片段式且脆弱的

  • Eventually, its might outpaced its capacity for self-control;

    最後,人類可能超過了自己自治的能力

  • it became a nuclear armed rodent.

    變成核能武裝的齧齒類動物

  • There was one thing that might have saved humanity: love.

    有一個東西或許可以拯救人類: 愛

  • And three varieties of love in particular:

    尤其是這三種愛:

  • Firstly, the love of the stranger;

    首先是對於陌生人的愛

  • the capacity to see the other as like oneself

    視他人如同自己人的能力

  • and worthy of the same mercy and charity.

    以及感恩和慈悲的價值

  • Secondly, the love of the unborn:

    第二項,是對於未出世生命的愛

  • the concern for those who do not yet exist

    關心那些還未出世

  • and whom one will never know

    且沒人知道是誰的生命

  • but whose lives one is shaping in the selfish present.

    但他們的生命卻是個人的禮物

  • Thirdly, the love of the truth:

    第三個,是對於真裡的愛

  • the strength to resist illusion and lies

    抵抗錯覺和謊言的力量

  • and square up to uncomfortable facts of all kinds.

    並勇敢面對所有不安的事實

  • We don’t need to be aliens of the future to understand all this.

    我們不需要變成未來的外星人來理解這些東西

  • We can see the disaster scenario only too well right now.

    我們現在就可以看到那個災難的情結

  • The fate of civilisation lies ultimately not in the law courts,

    人類文明的命運最終並不取決在法院內

  • at the ballot box or in the corridors of governments.

    投票箱或是政府

  • It lies in our ability to master

    而是取決於我們掌握到的能力

  • the most short-term, selfish and violent of our impulses

    最短期內,我們自私和暴力的衝動

  • active in the dense folds of organic matter between our ears;

    活躍於我們兩耳之間的細密皺摺中

  • it lies in learning how relentlessly to try to compensate

    但那也仰賴我們如何不斷學習去彌補

  • for the flawed architecture of the human mind.

    人類思想中的缺陷

One day, if human civilisation ever wipes itself out,

當有一天人類文明毀滅了

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B2 中高級 中文 人類 皮層 缺陷 毀滅 外星人 衝動

為什麼人類有自我毀滅的傾向? (Why Humanity Destroyed Itself)

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    Jenny   發佈於 2017 年 04 月 04 日
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