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  • So it's 1995,

    當時是95年

  • I'm in college,

    我在上大學

  • and a friend and I go on a road trip

    我和一個朋友開車去玩

  • from Providence, Rhode Island

    從羅德島的普羅旺斯區出發

  • to Portland, Oregon.

    到奧勒岡州的波特蘭市

  • And you know, we're young and unemployed,

    我們年輕,無業

  • so we do the whole thing on back roads

    於是整個旅程都在鄉間小道

  • through state parks

    經過州立公園

  • and national forests --

    和國家保護森林

  • basically the longest route we can possibly take.

    我們盡可能繞著最長的路徑

  • And somewhere in the middle of South Dakota,

    在南達科塔州之中某處

  • I turn to my friend

    我轉向我的朋友

  • and I ask her a question

    問她一個

  • that's been bothering me

    兩千英里路途上

  • for 2,000 miles.

    一直煩惱我的問題

  • "What's up with the Chinese character I keep seeing by the side of the road?"

    "路邊那個一直出現的中文字到底是什麼?"

  • My friend looks at me totally blankly.

    我的朋友露出疑惑的神情

  • There's actually a gentleman in the front row

    正如現在坐在第一排的這三位男士

  • who's doing a perfect imitation of her look.

    所露出的神情一樣

  • (Laughter)

    (笑聲)

  • And I'm like, "You know,

    我說"你知道的

  • all the signs we keep seeing

    我們一直看到的那個路牌

  • with the Chinese character on them."

    寫著中文的那個啊"

  • She just stares at me for a few moments,

    她瞪著我的臉一陣子

  • and then she cracks up,

    突然笑開了

  • because she figures out what I'm talking about.

    因為她總算知道我所指為何

  • And what I'm talking about is this.

    我說的是這個

  • (Laughter)

    (笑聲)

  • Right, the famous Chinese character for picnic area.

    沒錯,這就是代表野餐區的那個中文字

  • (Laughter)

    (笑聲)

  • I've spent the last five years of my life

    過去的五年

  • thinking about situations

    我一直在思考

  • exactly like this --

    剛剛我所描述的狀況

  • why we sometimes misunderstand

    為什麼我們會對身邊的徵兆

  • the signs around us,

    產生誤解

  • and how we behave when that happens,

    當誤解發生時我們作何反應

  • and what all of this can tell us about human nature.

    以及這一切所告訴我們的人性

  • In other words, as you heard Chris say,

    換句話說,就像 Chris 剛才說的

  • I've spent the last five years

    過去五年的時間

  • thinking about being wrong.

    我都在思考錯誤的價值

  • This might strike you as a strange career move,

    你可能覺得這是個奇異的專業

  • but it actually has one great advantage:

    但有一項好處是不容置疑的:

  • no job competition.

    沒有競爭者。

  • (Laughter)

    (笑聲)

  • In fact, most of us do everything we can

    事實上,我們大部分的人

  • to avoid thinking about being wrong,

    都盡力不思考錯誤的價值

  • or at least to avoid thinking about the possibility

    或至少避免想到我們

  • that we ourselves are wrong.

    有可能犯錯。

  • We get it in the abstract.

    我們都知道這個模糊的概念。

  • We all know everybody in this room makes mistakes.

    我們都知道這裡的每個人都曾經犯錯

  • The human species, in general, is fallible -- okay fine.

    人類本來就會犯錯 - 沒問題

  • But when it comes down to me, right now,

    一旦這個想法臨到我們自身

  • to all the beliefs I hold,

    我們現在所有的

  • here in the present tense,

    所有的信念

  • suddenly all of this abstract appreciation of fallibility

    對人類可能犯錯的抽象概念

  • goes out the window --

    隨即被我們拋棄

  • and I can't actually think of anything I'm wrong about.

    我無法想到我有哪裡出錯

  • And the thing is, the present tense is where we live.

    但是,我們活在現在

  • We go to meetings in the present tense;

    我們開會,去家庭旅遊

  • we go on family vacations in the present tense;

    去投票

  • we go to the polls and vote in the present tense.

    全都是現在式

  • So effectively, we all kind of wind up traveling through life,

    我們就像現在一個小泡泡裡

  • trapped in this little bubble

    經歷人生

  • of feeling very right about everything.

    感覺自己總是對的

  • I think this is a problem.

    我認為這是個問題

  • I think it's a problem for each of us as individuals,

    我認為這是每個人私人生活

  • in our personal and professional lives,

    和職業生活中的問題

  • and I think it's a problem for all of us collectively as a culture.

    我認為我們身為群體,這也造成了文化問題

  • So what I want to do today

    於是,我今天想做的是

  • is, first of all, talk about why we get stuck

    先談談為甚麼我們會

  • inside this feeling of being right.

    陷在這種自以為是的心態中

  • And second, why it's such a problem.

    第二是為甚麼這是個問題

  • And finally, I want to convince you

    最後我想說服大家

  • that it is possible

    克服這種感覺

  • to step outside of that feeling

    是可能的

  • and that if you can do so,

    而且一旦你做到了

  • it is the single greatest

    這將成為你道德上

  • moral, intellectual and creative leap you can make.

    智性上和創意上最大的進步

  • So why do we get stuck

    為甚麼我們會陷在

  • in this feeling of being right?

    這種自以為是的心態中?

  • One reason, actually, has to do with a feeling of being wrong.

    事實上這和犯錯的感覺有關

  • So let me ask you guys something --

    我想問問你們

  • or actually, let me ask you guys something, because you're right here:

    讓我問問台上的你們

  • How does it feel -- emotionally --

    當你意識到自己犯錯了

  • how does it feel to be wrong?

    你感覺如何?

  • Dreadful. Thumbs down.

    糟透了。很差勁。

  • Embarrassing. Okay, wonderful, great.

    難堪。很好,是的。

  • Dreadful, thumbs down, embarrassing --

    很糟糕,很差勁,很難堪。

  • thank you, these are great answers,

    謝謝你們提供這些答案

  • but they're answers to a different question.

    但這些答案沒有回答我的問題

  • You guys are answering the question:

    你們回答的問題是:

  • How does it feel to realize you're wrong?

    當你意識到你犯錯的時候,你的感覺如何?

  • (Laughter)

    (笑聲)

  • Realizing you're wrong can feel like all of that and a lot of other things, right?

    意識到你犯錯了就會有剛剛所說的這些感覺,不是嗎?

  • I mean it can be devastating, it can be revelatory,

    令人沮喪,暴露了一些真實

  • it can actually be quite funny,

    有時候甚至有些好笑

  • like my stupid Chinese character mistake.

    像我誤以為路牌是中文字

  • But just being wrong

    但犯錯本身

  • doesn't feel like anything.

    事實上毫無感覺

  • I'll give you an analogy.

    讓我給你一個例子

  • Do you remember that Loony Tunes cartoon

    你記得卡通裡

  • where there's this pathetic coyote

    那個總是在追逐

  • who's always chasing and never catching a roadrunner?

    卻從未抓到獵物的土狼嗎?

  • In pretty much every episode of this cartoon,

    幾乎在每一集裡

  • there's a moment where the coyote is chasing the roadrunner

    牠的獵物 - 一隻走鵑鳥

  • and the roadrunner runs off a cliff,

    都會跳下懸崖

  • which is fine -- he's a bird, he can fly.

    反正牠是鳥,牠可以飛

  • But the thing is, the coyote runs off the cliff right after him.

    但土狼也會跟著牠一起跳崖

  • And what's funny --

    那很好笑

  • at least if you're six years old --

    如果你是個六歲兒童

  • is that the coyote's totally fine too.

    土狼也很好

  • He just keeps running --

    牠就這麼繼續跑

  • right up until the moment that he looks down

    直到牠往下看

  • and realizes that he's in mid-air.

    發現自己漫步在空中

  • That's when he falls.

    這時候他才會往下掉

  • When we're wrong about something --

    在我們犯錯時

  • not when we realize it, but before that --

    在我們意識到我們犯錯時

  • we're like that coyote

    我們就像那隻土狼

  • after he's gone off the cliff and before he looks down.

    還沒意識到自己奔出懸崖

  • You know, we're already wrong,

    我們已經錯了

  • we're already in trouble,

    已經惹上麻煩了

  • but we feel like we're on solid ground.

    但仍然感覺像走在地上

  • So I should actually correct something I said a moment ago.

    我應該改變我之前的說法

  • It does feel like something to be wrong;

    犯錯的感覺就和

  • it feels like being right.

    正確的感覺一樣

  • (Laughter)

    (笑聲)

  • So this is one reason, a structural reason,

    事實上我們這種自以為對的感受

  • why we get stuck inside this feeling of rightness.

    是有構造性的原因的

  • I call this error blindness.

    我稱之為錯誤盲點

  • Most of the time,

    大部份的時間裡

  • we don't have any kind of internal cue

    我們身體裡沒有任何機制

  • to let us know that we're wrong about something,

    提醒我們錯了

  • until it's too late.

    直到木已成舟

  • But there's a second reason that we get stuck inside this feeling as well --

    但還有第二個理由

  • and this one is cultural.

    文化性的理由

  • Think back for a moment to elementary school.

    回想小學時代

  • You're sitting there in class,

    你坐在課堂裡

  • and your teacher is handing back quiz papers,

    你的老師發回小考考卷

  • and one of them looks like this.

    像這樣的小考考卷

  • This is not mine, by the way.

    雖然這張不是我的

  • (Laughter)

    (笑聲)

  • So there you are in grade school,

    你從小學時代

  • and you know exactly what to think

    就知道該對拿這張考卷的同學

  • about the kid who got this paper.

    下甚麼評語

  • It's the dumb kid, the troublemaker,

    笨蛋,搗蛋鬼

  • the one who never does his homework.

    從不做功課的壞學生

  • So by the time you are nine years old,

    你不過才九歲

  • you've already learned, first of all,

    你已經懂得,首先

  • that people who get stuff wrong

    那些犯錯的人

  • are lazy, irresponsible dimwits --

    都是懶惰、不負責任的傻瓜

  • and second of all,

    第二

  • that the way to succeed in life

    想要在人生中成功

  • is to never make any mistakes.

    就不要犯錯

  • We learn these really bad lessons really well.

    我們很早就得到這些錯誤訊息

  • And a lot of us --

    而我們

  • and I suspect, especially a lot of us in this room --

    尤其是這個大廳裡的許多人

  • deal with them by just becoming

    都因此成為好學生

  • perfect little A students,

    拿全A

  • perfectionists, over-achievers.

    完美主義、永不滿意

  • Right,

    不是嗎?

  • Mr. CFO, astrophysicist, ultra-marathoner?

    財務長、天體物理學家、超級馬拉松先生們?

  • (Laughter)

    (笑聲)

  • You're all CFO, astrophysicists, ultra-marathoners, it turns out.

    結果是你們全成了財務長、天體物理學家、跑超級馬拉松

  • Okay, so fine.

    那很好

  • Except that then we freak out

    但一旦我們發現有可能犯錯

  • at the possibility that we've gotten something wrong.

    就開始手足無措

  • Because according to this,

    因為依照規定

  • getting something wrong

    犯錯

  • means there's something wrong with us.

    代表我們一定也有甚麼不對勁

  • So we just insist that we're right,

    於是我們堅持己見

  • because it makes us feel smart and responsible

    因為那讓我們感覺聰明、得體

  • and virtuous and safe.

    安全和可靠

  • So let me tell you a story.

    讓我告訴你們一個故事