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  • I’d like to begin with a poem.

    我先朗讀一首詩,開始今天的演講

  • Remember the first day of freshman year

    還記得進大學的第一天

  • when you were nothing but a name and a dot on the map at the front of the hall?

    你還是個拿著地圖找禮堂的無名小卒嗎?

  • Remember when our parents dropped us off in those rooms too small for all of our expectations

    還記得父母載我們到比預期還小的宿舍,

  • let alone our naivety?

    留下天真的我們嗎?

  • Remember when you told me that you weren’t sure but you were pretty sure

    還記得你不確定到底愛不愛我,卻堅定地

  • that you were gonna declare a double major in Philosophy and English

    表示自己會雙主修哲學和英文

  • because you cried the first time you read The Perks of Being a Wallflower

    因為你第一次讀《壁花男孩》就感動地痛哭

  • and we both share a sacred and unquenchable lust for bad science fiction?

    而且我們都克制不了神聖科幻片的吸引力

  • Remember when we both thought we were going to find ourselves, changed the world

    還記得我們要一起發展所長、改變世界

  • and all of the other slogans we memorized from the view books,

    其他人問我們長大後的志願時

  • the ones that we stitched to our throats when they asked us what we wanted to be when we grew up?

    我們順口講出記得的口號嗎?

  • So when you changed your major to econ,

    你轉到經濟系

  • so when you pledged that fraternity,

    你誓言加入兄弟會

  • so when you exchanged t-shirt for j-crews,

    你丟掉T恤換穿名牌貨

  • so when you accepted that job offer at an investment bank because

    你進入投資銀行工作,因為

  • you swore you were just going to dismantle the system from within because

    你發誓要解散內部系統,因為

  • you were just different from the rest of them.

    你與眾不同

  • I wondered at what point we become the tucked in shirt,

    我不知道什麼時候我們開始穿襯衫、打領帶

  • the 9 to 5 we grew up fearing.

    成為朝九晚五的上班族

  • You, whose love of learning far surpassed the stickers your teachers adorned your homework with

    你的學習速度時常超越老師的上課進度

  • You, who could not fall asleep that night in debate camp when you read Marx for the first time

    你在辯論營的晚上,讀馬克思主義讀到睡著

  • because the world just finally made sense again

    因為世界總算有意義了

  • You, whose creativity refused to be disciplined

    你的創意帶你跳脫紀律

  • What happened to you?

    你怎麼了?

  • You, who sacrificed dream for diploma, revolution for resume

    你為文憑履歷犧牲夢想和革命

  • and that factory which tries to produce profit out of every potential prophet

    工廠賺取額外利潤

  • where change falls from hearts into pockets

    讓人良心不安墮落成數著口袋白花花的鈔票

  • won’t really teach you how to stop it

    沒有人導正你的想法

  • because we gotta make that endowment rocket.

    因為我們要快速致富

  • Small liberal arts college degree becomes a fancy way of saying

    不起眼的藝術大學學位變成

  • can spend 8 hours designing PowerPoint slides,”

    「八小時就能設計出投影片」

  • orwill sacrifice all promises for promotion,”

    、「為升遷犧牲承諾」

  • orcan seduce potential business clients by quoting classic literature I read in college.”

    或「用大學學到的經典文學誘導客戶」的玩笑

  • So what if the best way to dominate a world is to pretend that you are saving it?

    如果主導世界的最好辦法是假裝你拯救了世界呢?

  • So what if this education was really about teaching us how to become so ignorant that we forgot how to think for ourselves?

    如果教育真的教我們如何不學無術,忘了為自己盤算未來呢?

  • You, the twenty something year old idealist gone corporate

    二十歲是進入公司最理想的年紀

  • in your first suit throwing theory at a wall that will swallow you up and spit you back out on the street,

    穿著人生第一套套裝,在台上發表著會吞噬你、讓你在街上被吐口水的言論

  • discharged, like the cold hard cash of an ATM machine.

    那些唾液就像從ATM領出冰冷的鈔票

  • Your heartbeat reduced to a series of transactions.

    你的心跳早已變成一系列的和解協議

  • I almost thought that when you hugged me goodbye you would ask me for a receipt,

    我還以為你抱著我說再見後,會和我要收據

  • proof of purchase for a friendship you only consumed when it made cents for your career trajectory.

    證明你買了為職涯加分的友誼

  • I’m sorry I did not make the cut for the walking resume you mistake as a body,

    我很抱歉我的履歷不合格

  • but I still want to believe in you,

    但我仍相信你

  • because I want to believe in the power of a creativity undisciplined:

    因為我相信不受拘束的創意

  • the time we saw her smile, saw our first eclipse, read our first book,

    看她微笑的時候、看我們第一次失敗的時候、讀我們的第一本書的時候

  • the joy and chaos of it all.

    的那些歡樂和喧鬧

  • So what if it’s just chaos?

    如果當初只有喧鬧呢?

  • The time and space before friendship got postponed by deadlines,

    時間和空間都因友誼而得以延期

  • before future was segregated into interviews and internships.

    因未來而分隔成面試和實習

  • So what if we are really nothing,

    如果我們只是泛泛之輩

  • like the dot on the map from freshman year?

    只是當年地圖上的一小點

  • And what if that is beautiful?

    如果那是一種美呢?

  • What if we both cried when our parents left us but we did not tell each other?

    如果當初我們都沒有坦白為家長丟下我們而哭的糗事呢?

  • What if I am crying that you are leaving me but I will not tell you

    如果我為你離開我而哭泣,我不會向你坦白

  • because I no longer have the market value to make you listen

    因為我已經沒有讓你傾聽的市場價值了

  • that I think you are worth more than any salary increase that they will give you,

    我認為你應得更好的薪水

  • that I do not think that your heartbeat can be transcribed on a spreadsheet of numbers,

    我不認為你的心跳已經轉譯在數字表格中

  • that I am broke but not broken.

    我很受傷,但我還沒心碎

  • Wondering what you couldve been before you sold out.

    我還在猜你拋售前會得到什麼

  • Thank you. Thank you.

    謝謝

  • In the spiritin the spirit of full disclosure, I am here to recruit you.

    完全保密的精神,你正式被錄用了

  • This is not a recruitment interview like the ones your career centers have prepared you for.

    這跟你在職業輔導中心準備的面試不一樣

  • I do not care where you went to school nor what you majored in.

    你讀哪間學校、你主修什麼都不重要

  • These things are no longer relevant in a world

    這些都和世界無關

  • where we are losing some of our most creative and dynamic minds to the epidemic of success.

    人在成功時,都失去了創意和活力

  • This is not the crisis that they will tell you about on the news,

    這種危機你在新聞上看不到

  • that the economy is tanking, the world is at war.

    經濟停滯,世界處於交戰狀態

  • This is something far different.

    這和你想像的差很多

  • Too many things are working too well.

    很多事情都正常運作

  • The government isn’t broken. It’s working.

    政府沒有解散

  • Our universities are not broken. They are perfect.

    大學也沒有倒閉,它們都很完美

  • Our generation is not apathetic. It is flourishing.

    我們這一代感情很豐富

  • This means that you are not actually an innovator, a leader,

    這代表你不是一個創意者、一個領袖

  • an exceptional student or all of the other medals they have placed around your neck.

    一個特別的學生,或是表現優異的學生

  • These are merely accomplishments youve been taught your entire life that define yourself worth.

    這些都只是詮釋個人價值的成就

  • Should you desire to be successful you will not actually bring human rights for all,

    想要成功,你不應該為人類帶來利益

  • eliminate poverty and global warming and fix Congress.

    減少貧窮人口和全球暖化問題並重組國會?

  • Should you go in with these mindsets chances are you will fail in the same ways all the generations before you have failed.

    你應該改變心態,不應該認為所有人都會比你更早失敗

  • The truth is the key to changing the world is

    改變世界的最好方法就是

  • finding a way to fail to live up to its expectation.

    找尋方法以達到期望

  • Hi. My name is Alov Vaid-Menon,

    嗨!我是Alov Vaid-Menon

  • and you could call me a fashionista, activist, general provocateur,

    你可以稱呼我為追求時髦的人、行動主義分子或首席密探

  • but I prefer to call myself a professional failure.

    但我比較喜歡叫我自己專業的失敗者

  • Someone who, at least my mom reminds me, was destined for all of the riches of the world,

    至少我媽媽提醒著我,我註定會成為有錢人

  • but somehow messed up on the way.

    但有時候情況也不是這麼美好

  • You see, I grew up in a comfortable middle class Indian family,

    我在印度一個小康家庭長大

  • where the expectation was that I grow up and become some fancy schmancy academic.

    家人給我的期望就是長大成為古怪又好笑的大學生

  • With two PhD parents, the bar was always set high.

    我爸媽都是博士,他們對我要求很高

  • I remember getting chastised for talking on the phone rather than reading the New York Times.

    我記得我曾經因講電話,沒有讀紐約時報而被打

  • I soon learned that the secret to legitimacy was finding a scholar who had written about something.

    我很快就學到讓行為合理的秘密,那就是找一個寫過一些大道理的學者

  • This is how I discovered Critical Youtube Studies. It’s real.

    而這就是為什麼我會找到Critical Youtube Studies,這是真的

  • It wasn’t so much that my parents pressured me to succeed;

    其實我父母沒有給我太大壓力要成為一個成功者

  • it was more of a quite expectation.

    但那是一種期望

  • You see, this was part of our immigration story.

    這是我們移民的故事之一

  • To move to this country and not really challenge any of its rules,

    為了要移民到這個國家,而且不挑戰該國法律

  • but rather beat everyone else at their own game,

    當然不只是在遊戲中打贏其他人

  • which goes to say that from an early age, it seemed like success was the only way to justify my parentsjourney across the ocean.

    早期,那就像是唯一能證明我父母遠渡重洋的事

  • But when I got into Stanford, my parents weren’t really that excited for me.

    但我進入史丹佛讀書時,我父母並沒有那麼期待

  • It was something more, well, expected.

    期望的成分居多

  • It was only when I got to university that I began to recognize how violent success can actually be.

    我進入大學,才意識到要如何達成激烈的成功

  • I remember the day vividly.

    我永遠忘不了那一天

  • It was our opening convocation and the keynote speaker said

    那天是我們第一次的集會,專題演講者說

  • that we were all the future leaders of the world

    在有動作之前

  • before we had actually done anything.

    我們都是未來世界的領袖

  • And I remember thinking the way that we were discussing success was actually less about what our impact was

    我記得我們討論成功其實比我們的影響還遙不可及

  • and more about our shared prestige.

    但比我們享有的名聲還有用

  • In the beginning, all of my classmates had some brilliant ideas of what it was going to take to fix the world’s problems,

    一開始,所有同學對於如何改善世界的問題都有很棒的想法

  • but over time their methods became, shall we say, less specific.

    但過了一段時間,他們的方法都變得稀鬆平常

  • We were expected to congratulate the public servant

    大家期待我們去恭喜那些公務員

  • who accepted a job offer at a corporation that left hundreds of thousands of people starving.

    在政府得到工作機會,免於淪為幾十萬沒有工作的人之一

  • We were expected to applaud for a keynote speaker and not mentioned his support for racist policies.

    大家期待我們為專題演講者鼓掌,卻不提起他支持的種族政策

  • Low and behold my classmates continued to flock to all these talks bysuccess stories,”

    同學們持續擁護著那些主打「成功故事」的演講

  • not necessarily because of what they had done,

    當然不是因為他們所為

  • but rather because of this elusive concept of who they were.

    而是因為這種概念難以理解

  • Success has never actually been about fixing problems;

    成功從來都不只是解決問題而已

  • it’s been about perpetuating them.

    而是永遠都能繼續下去

  • Ask yourself this:

    現在請大家問自己這幾個問題:

  • What happened to the thousands of people who were denied admission to the university?

    為什麼上千人不願意承認讀過的大學?

  • What about the hundreds of people who did not get the job that you were offered?

    上百位沒應徵上你的職位的人呢?

  • How many people did it take to suffer in order for you to thrive?

    多少人為了讓你成長茁壯而犧牲自己?

  • Do you even care?

    你關心過他們嗎?

  • Success is about self-promotion,

    成功是自我推銷

  • not putting change into motion.

    不是改變動機

  • Were part of a generation whose ancestors expect us to fix all the problems we inherited,

    我們的祖先都期待我們能解決長久以來的問題

  • but ironically, we are destined to fail in the same ways as them,

    但諷刺的是,我們注定會失敗在同樣的事情上

  • because were using the same tactics.

    因為我們的策略和祖先一樣

  • Success just isn’t gonna cut it anymore.

    成功不再只是切割

  • Ask yourself this:

    問問自己:

  • If all of the best universities really produced the most successful leaders then

    如果所有頂尖大學都培育出大部份成功的領袖

  • why do we still live in a world of corruption?

    這個世界上又為什麼會發生貪污事件呢?

  • If all the success stories were really successful then

    如果所有成功故事都真的成功

  • why do we still live in a violently unequal world?

    為什麼世界仍然不平等呢?

  • I think it’s time we broke up with success,

    我認為現在就是和成功分手的時候了

  • or at least how weve currently defined it.

    或至少我們已經下了定義

  • Okay, I get it. This is, like, super awkward.

    我知道這很難下手

  • Success feels good and I’m asking you to feel bad about it.

    成功的滋味太好了,但我現在要你對它改觀

  • It’s like what would it have felt like in second grade after you wrote your first love poem

    那就像小學二年級,你寫了第一首愛情詩

  • and your teacher gave it back and said,

    但你的老師卻退還給你並跟你說:

  • You failed.”

    「不及格」

  • It would be pretty awkward.

    你一定很難接受

  • I understand. I didn’t always think this way.

    我懂,我不會常常這樣想

  • It took me failing, and recognizing how beautiful that was, to really understand.

    成功讓我失敗,讓我意識到漂亮是什麼,而我真的了解

  • In 2011, I had the opportunity to organize with the transgender movement in South Africa.

    2011年,我有機會在南非舉辦一場變性運動

  • I was there to research the disconnect between progressive legislation and the experiences of violence on the ground.

    研究新法規和一般人們對於暴力的經驗

  • Naturally being the Type A model minority I was,

    其實當時我是個特例

  • I obtained the best research grants, got critical and cutting edge interviews

    我得到最高的研究獎金和最具批判性卻最重要的面試機會

  • and genuinely felt like I had come up with a theory to fix the violence.

    我真的很想找出解決暴力的方法

  • I returned to the US to continue to write my thesis,

    我回到美國繼續完成理論

  • but in the process I got an email from one of my colleagues

    但在過程中,我收到同事寄來的電子郵件

  • that one of my research participants had died.

    其中一位研究員過世了

  • Her name was Cym.

    她是Cym

  • I had just read her interview the day before.

    我前天才讀完她的專訪

  • What is the point of a thesis written in a language

    大多數人對於少見的語言

  • inaccessible by the very people it’s about?

    會在論文中寫下什麼重點呢?

  • What is the point of a thesis and a researcher who’s familiar with the names of theories

    論文的名字對研究員來說,再熟悉不過了

  • but not actually the names of her own neighbors?

    但其實也不是他很熟悉的名字,這篇論文到底有什麼重點呢?

  • Who is invited to speak about a movement

    誰被邀請參加一場運動

  • and who must die for it?

    而誰又必須犧牲生命呢?