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  • In our culture, talking about the future

    我們的文化常藉由談論未來

  • is sometimes a polite way of saying things about the present

    來隱晦地討論當下的現狀

  • that would otherwise be rude or risky.

    以免顯得無禮或狂妄

  • But have you ever wondered why

    但你是否想過

  • so little of the bright futures promised in TED talks actually come true?

    為什麼 TED 演講中所提到的美好未來很少實現?

  • Is something wrong with the ideas?

    難道這些想法有問題嗎?

  • Or with the notion of what ideas can do all by themselves?

    還是想法本身是不可行的?

  • I write about the entanglements of technology and culture,

    我曾寫過科技與文化之間的糾葛

  • how technologies make certain compositions of certain worlds possible,

    科技如何改變某些世界的樣貌

  • how culture in turn structures the evolution of those technologies.

    文化如何促使科技進步

  • It's where philosophy and design intersect.

    這就是哲學與設計相輔相成之處

  • And so the conceptualization of possibilities

    所以我很嚴肅地看待

  • is something that I take very seriously.

    將可能性概念化這件事

  • And it's for that reason that I, and a lot of people,

    這因素讓我本身,以及許多人

  • think that it's time that we take a step back

    認為此時我們該退一步

  • and ask some serious questions

    問一些嚴肅的問題

  • about the intellectual viability of things like TED.

    關於理念的可行性,例如 TED 演講

  • And so, my TED talk is not about my work, my new book,

    所以我的 TED 演講內容 不是關於我的工作或新書

  • the usual spiel,

    這類的話題

  • it's about TEDwhat it is, and why it doesn't work.

    而是關於 TED 是什麼 以及其理念無法實現的原因

  • The first reason is over-simplification.

    第一個原因是:過度簡化

  • Now, to be clear, I have nothing against the idea

    我必須強調我不反對

  • of interesting people who do smart things explaining their work

    一些有趣的人們以簡單易懂的方式

  • in a way that everyone can understand.

    來解釋他們的工作

  • But TED goes way beyond that.

    但 TED 做得太過頭了

  • Let me tell you a story.

    我來告訴你們一則故事

  • I was recently at a presentation that a friend of mine, astrophysicist,

    我最近參加一位天文物理學家朋友

  • was making to a potential donor.

    的募款演講

  • And I thought his talk was lucid, it was engaging...

    我覺得他的演講內容清晰且吸引人

  • And I'm a professor of visual arts here at UC San Diego.

    我是加州大學聖地牙哥分校視覺藝術系的教授

  • At the end of the day, I know nothing about astrophysics.

    我完全不懂天文物理學

  • The donor, however, said, "I'm going to pass, I'm just not inspired.

    然而贊助者卻說:「我不打算提供贊助,這一點也不吸引我

  • You should be more like Malcolm Gladwell."

    你應該多學學麥爾坎·葛拉威爾 (加拿大記者)。」

  • Now, at this point I kind of lost it.

    我當時有些憤怒

  • Can you imagine?

    你能想像嗎?

  • I mean, think about it: a scientist who creates real knowledge

    我的意思是,想想: 一位創造真正知識的科學家應該要去學習

  • should be more like a journalist who recycles fake insights.

    利用偽造見解的記者!

  • This is not popularisation.

    這不是將知識普及化

  • This is taking something with substance and value

    而是將事物的意義和價值簡化

  • and coring it out so that it can be swallowed without chewing.

    讓大眾可以不經咀嚼就吸收了解

  • This is not how we'll confront our most frightening problems,

    這不是面對棘手問題的好方法

  • this is one of our most frightening problems.

    這本身就是個棘手的問題

  • And so ...

    所以…

  • So, what is TED?

    TED 是什麼?

  • TED is perhaps a proposition,

    TED 也許是一種主張:

  • one that says if we talk about world-changing ideas enough,

    認為若我們多討論改變世界的想法

  • then the world will change.

    那麼世界就會改變

  • Well, this is not true either. And that's the second problem.

    但這也是不對的,且這是 TED 的第二個問題

  • TED of course stands for Technology, Entertainment, Design.

    TED 三個字母代表科技,娛樂,設計。

  • To me, TED stands for: middlebrow megachurch infotainment.

    對我而言,TED 代表: 平庸大教堂的娛樂資訊

  • The key rhetorical device at any TED talk

    所有 TED 演講的主要措辭手法

  • is a combination of epiphany and personal testimony.

    是頓悟的過程加上個人見證

  • The speaker shares some personal story of insight and revelation,

    演講者分享啟發他們的個人故事

  • its trials and tribulations.

    訴說當中的考驗及折磨

  • What does the TED audience hope to get from this?

    TED 聽眾希望從這裡得到什麼?

  • A vicarious insight? A fleeting moment of wonder?

    不同的啟發?奇蹟的瞬間?

  • A sense that maybe it's all going to work out after all?

    一種最終總能實現的可能性?

  • A spiritual buzz?

    短暫地精神超脫?

  • Well, I'm sorry, but this is not up to the challenge of the problems

    但抱歉,當面對充滿挑戰性的問題時

  • that we are ostensibly here to face.

    這不是我們該採取的方式

  • They are complex and difficult and not given to tidy just-so solutions.

    問題往往複雜困難 沒有簡單的解決方式

  • They don't care about anyone's experience of optimism.

    這與個人是否樂觀毫無關聯

  • And given the stakes, having our best and brightest

    讓這些優秀人才投注心力

  • waste their timeand the audience's time

    浪費他們和觀眾的時間

  • dancing about like infomercial hosts is too high a price.

    像電視購物主持人般耍寶是不必要的

  • And it's cynical.

    而且這看起來極為諷刺

  • Plus, it just doesn't work.

    且毫無幫助

  • Recently, TEDGlobal sent out a memo to TEDx local organisers

    最近,TEDGlobal 向 TEDx 主辦機構發出聲明

  • telling them to avoid booking speakers whose work spans the paranormal,

    要他們避免邀請研究超自然現象、

  • conspiratorial, new age "quantum neuroenergy" and so forth

    陰謀論、新紀元「量子神經能源」等等

  • what is called 'woo'.

    胡說八道的東西

  • They should book speakers whose work is imaginative but grounded in reality.

    他們應當邀請研究合乎現實卻又有想像力的講者

  • And, to be fair, TEDGlobal took some heat for this,

    對此,TEDGlobal 面對許多反對聲浪

  • so the gesture should be acknowledged.

    我們別忘了這點

  • 'NO' to placebo science and placebo medicine.

    他們反對毫無根據的偽科學和偽醫藥

  • Butthe corollary to placebo science and medicine

    但其實偽科學和醫療的理論卻來自於

  • is placebo politics and placebo innovation.

    毫無根據的偽政治和偽創新思維

  • And on this count, TED has a ways to go.

    可是對於後者,TED 又認為可行

  • Perhaps the pinnacle of placebo politics was presented at TEDxSanDiego

    最知名的偽政治演講是在 TEDxSanDiego

  • a few years ago.

    那是幾年前的事了

  • You're familiar, I assume, with the Kony2012 social media campaign?

    你應該聽過影片《Kony 2012》的爭議吧?

  • OK, so, what happened here?

    當時發生了什麼事呢?

  • Evangelical surfer bro goes to Africa.

    一位想傳福音的衝浪哥去了非洲

  • He makes campy video explaining genocide to the cast of Glee.

    做了聳動的影片向《Glee》的演員 解釋種族大屠殺

  • The world finds his epiphany to be shallow to the point of self-delusion.

    世人覺得他的影片膚淺且自欺

  • The complex geopolitics of central Africa are left undisturbed.

    而中非複雜的地緣政治也無為此好轉

  • Kony's still there.

    Kony (烏干達反抗軍首領) 還活得好好的

  • The end.

    故事結束

  • You see, when inspiration becomes manipulation,

    當人們把理念當做操弄的工具

  • inspiration becomes obfuscation.

    理念就變得渾沌不清

  • And if you're not cynical, you should be skeptical.

    若你不憤世嫉俗,起碼也得對事物起疑

  • You should be as skeptical of placebo politics as you are of placebo medicine.

    你得像懷疑偽藥物般地懷疑偽政治

  • So ...

    所以..

  • T – E – D.

    .T - E - D

  • First, Technology.

    首先是科技

  • We're told that not only is change accelerating,

    人們說科技不只讓改變日新月異

  • but that the pace of change is accelerating.

    改變本身的速度也越來越快

  • In terms of the computational carrying- capacity at a planetary level, it is true.

    若以資訊儲存的無限空間這點來看,的確如此

  • But at the same timeand in fact the two are related

    但同時,且這兩者是息息相關的

  • we're also in a moment of cultural de-acceleration.

    我們文化的進步速度卻慢了下來

  • We invest our energies in futuristic information technologies,

    我們把精力投注在未來的資訊處理系統

  • including our cars, but drive them home

    例如轎車我們開車回到

  • to kitsch architecture copied from the 18th century.

    醜死人的 18 世紀建築

  • The future on offer is one in which everything can change,

    我們對未來的理念是:只要凡事皆一成不變

  • so long as everything stays the same.

    凡事才會改變

  • We'll have Google Glass, but we'll still have business casual.

    我們發明 Google 眼鏡,但仍身著商業套裝

  • This timidity is not our path to the future.

    這種對未來的懼怕感不是好事

  • This is incredibly conservative.

    這讓我們變得保守

  • And more gigaflops won't inoculate us.

    就算電腦再進步也幫不上忙

  • Because, if a problem is endemic to a system,

    若我們的問題來自於不良的體制

  • then the exponential effects of Moore's law also amplify what's broken.

    摩爾的加倍定律只會讓問題更加嚴重

  • It's more computation along the wrong curve,

    這不只是運算科技出錯

  • and I hardly think this is a triumph of Reason.

    更不是理性的勝利

  • A lot of my work deals with deep technocultural shifts,

    我有許多研究與科技改變相關

  • from the post-humanism to the post-anthropocene,

    從後人類主義到後人類世代

  • but the TED version has too much faith in technology,

    但 TED 只對科技發展有著盲目的信心

  • and not enough commitment to technology.

    而非對發展科技的決心

  • It's placebo technoradicalism,

    這是偽科技激進主義

  • toying with risk, so as to reaffirm the comfortable.

    輕視風險,也不願離開舒適圈

  • And so our machines get smarter and we get stupider.

    我們的機器越來越聰明,人卻越來越笨

  • But it doesn't have to be that way. Both can be much more intelligent.

    但其實情況不必如此,人和機器都能更加聰明

  • Another futurism is possible.

    另一種未來的可能性是存在的

  • A better 'E' in TED might stand for Economics

    比較能代表 TED 裡面的 E 字應該是經濟

  • and yes, imagining and designing, new systems of valuation,

    也就是想像並設計新的系統度量

  • and exchange of accounting for transaction externalities,

    並計算物品的外部交易價值

  • of financing coordinated planning, and so on.

    規劃財務等等...

  • Because states and markets, states versus markets,

    因為無論是國家操控經濟或是自由經濟

  • these are insufficient models, our thinking is stuck in a Cold War gear.

    都不是好的模型,我們的思維還停在冷戰時期

  • And worse is when economics is debated like metaphysics,

    更慘的是我們討論經濟的方式很不實際

  • as if any real system is just a bad example of the ideal.

    好似現行制度都只是理想制度中的壞例子

  • Communism in theory was an egalitarian utopia.

    理想中的共產主義是人人平等的烏托邦

  • Actually existing communism meant ecological devastation,

    但現行的共產主義卻破壞生態

  • government spying,

    政府監控人民

  • crappy cars, gulags.

    開爛車或勞改營

  • Capitalism in theory is rocket ships,

    但理論上的資本主義是火箭

  • nanomedicine,

    奈米醫學

  • Bono saving Africa.

    波諾拯救非洲

  • Actually existing capitalism is Walmart jobs,

    現行資本主義卻是賣場工讀生

  • McMansions,

    假惺惺的合宜住宅

  • people living in sewers under Las Vegas,

    人們住在賭城的地下道

  • Ryan Seacrest.

    萊恩西克雷斯特

  • Plus ecological devastation,

    再加上環境破壞

  • government spying,

    政府監控人民

  • crappy public transportation,

    破爛的大眾交通工具

  • and for-profit prisons.

    和營利式監獄

  • And yet, the alternatives on offer range from

    但目前我們的選擇

  • basically what we have plus a little more Hayek,

    只有現行的制度加上多一點的市場自由

  • to what we have plus a little more Keynes.

    或是現行的制度加上多一點的政府干預

  • Why?

    為什麼?

  • The recent centuries have seen tremendous advances

    當現代科技日益進步大幅

  • in improving the quality of life.

    改變我們的生活品質

  • But the paradox is that the system we have now

    但矛盾的是我們遵循的體制

  • whatever you want to call it

    名稱隨你稱之

  • is in the short term what makes these new technologies possible,

    在短期內看似能讓新科技發展成真

  • but in the long term it's also what suppresses their full flowering.

    但長期而言,卻又抑制這些新科技的發展

  • A new economic architecture is prerequisite.

    新的經濟模型是不可或缺的

  • 'D' — Design.

    D — 設計

  • Perhaps our designers, instead of prototyping

    設計師不能再一味地重覆製造

  • the same "change agent for good" projects over and over again,

    看似能讓世界變得美好的相似原型

  • and then wondering why they aren't implemented at scale,

    然後再疑惑為什麼改變卻如此有限

  • we should acknowledge that design is not some magic answer.

    我們得承認設計非一切問題的神奇解方

  • Design is very important, but for different reasons.

    設計很重要,但卻是由於別的原因

  • Getting excited about design is easy because, like talking about the future,

    我們很容易對新設計感到興奮,因為一如談論未來

  • it's more polite than dealing with the real white elephants in the room.

    談論設計可避免談論眼前的棘手問題

  • Such as phones, drones and genomes.

    像是電話、無人飛機和基因

  • That's what we do here in San Diego and La Jolla.

    這正是我們聖地牙哥此地的產業