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  • Cultural evolution is a dangerous child

    譯者: Manlai YOU 審譯者: Chun-wen Chen

  • for any species to let loose on its planet.

    文化的演化是個危險小孩

  • By the time you realize what's happening, the child is a toddler,

    任何物種如果放任它在星球上。

  • up and causing havoc, and it's too late to put it back.

    等你察覺出了事,小孩已在學步,

  • We humans are Earth's Pandoran species.

    四處闖禍,將它帶回已太遲。

  • We're the ones who let the second replicator out of its box,

    我們人類是地球的潘朵拉物種。

  • and we can't push it back in.

    我們把第二個複製體放出盒子,

  • We're seeing the consequences all around us.

    而我們無法將它收回。

  • Now that, I suggest, is the view that

    我們正看到身邊的後果。

  • comes out of taking memetics seriously.

    現在,我認為這個觀點

  • And it gives us a new way of thinking about

    是認真看待迷因論而來的。

  • not only what's going on on our planet,

    它提供我們一個新方法去思考

  • but what might be going on elsewhere in the cosmos.

    不僅我們星球發生了什麼事,

  • So first of all, I'd like to say something about memetics

    還有宇宙他處可能有什麼事。

  • and the theory of memes,

    首先,我要談談迷因論,

  • and secondly, how this might answer questions about who's out there,

    就是迷因的理論,

  • if indeed anyone is.

    其次,談這可能解答外太空有誰,

  • So, memetics:

    是否真的有誰。

  • memetics is founded on the principle of Universal Darwinism.

    迷因論。

  • Darwin had this amazing idea.

    迷因論是根據通用達爾文理論而來的。

  • Indeed, some people say

    達爾文有這個驚奇想法。

  • it's the best idea anybody ever had.

    真的,有人說:

  • Isn't that a wonderful thought, that there could be such a thing

    那是有史以來最好的想法。

  • as a best idea anybody ever had?

    那豈不是絕妙的觀點,認為有件事可以是

  • Do you think there could?

    有史以來最好的想法?

  • Audience: No.

    你認為有可能嗎?

  • (Laughter)

    (觀眾:不)

  • Susan Blackmore: Someone says no, very loudly, from over there.

    (笑聲)

  • Well, I say yes, and if there is, I give the prize to Darwin.

    那邊有人很大聲地說:「不」。

  • Why?

    但我說「有」,如果有,我將頒獎給達爾文。

  • Because the idea was so simple,

    為什麼?

  • and yet it explains all design in the universe.

    因為這個想法那麼簡單,

  • I would say not just biological design,

    卻解釋了宇宙的一切設計。

  • but all of the design that we think of as human design.

    我認為不只是生物的設計,

  • It's all just the same thing happening.

    還有一切我們認為的人為設計。

  • What did Darwin say?

    其發生的原理完全一樣。

  • I know you know the idea, natural selection,

    達爾文說了什麼?

  • but let me just paraphrase "The Origin of Species," 1859,

    我想你知道他的想法:「天擇」

  • in a few sentences.

    讓我用「物種起源」, 1859 年版,

  • What Darwin said was something like this:

    套幾句話解釋一下。

  • if you have creatures that vary, and that can't be doubted --

    達爾文說的就像 -

  • I've been to the Galapagos, and I've measured the size of the beaks

    如果你有生物的變異,這是無庸置疑的 -

  • and the size of the turtle shells and so on, and so on.

    我到過加拉巴哥群島,測量過鳥嘴

  • And 100 pages later.

    和龜殼的尺寸等等...

  • (Laughter)

    翻過 100 頁 -

  • And if there is a struggle for life,

    (笑聲)

  • such that nearly all of these creatures die --

    如果有生存競爭,

  • and this can't be doubted, I've read Malthus

    使幾乎所有的生物都死亡 -

  • and I've calculated how long it would take for elephants

    這無庸置疑,我讀過馬爾薩斯

  • to cover the whole world if they bred unrestricted, and so on and so on.

    我計算過要多少時間會使大象

  • And another 100 pages later.

    在不受限制的成長下,充滿整個世界,等等...

  • And if the very few that survive pass onto their offspring

    再翻過 100 頁。

  • whatever it was that helped them survive,

    如果少數幾個活下來,傳承給子孫

  • then those offspring must be better adapted

    有助它們存活的任何條件,

  • to the circumstances in which all this happened

    則這些子孫必然比祖先

  • than their parents were.

    更能適應發生這一切

  • You see the idea?

    的環境情況。

  • If, if, if, then.

    你看到這個想法了嗎?

  • He had no concept of the idea of an algorithm,

    如果、如果、如果,則

  • but that's what he described in that book,

    他並沒有運算法的概念。

  • and this is what we now know as the evolutionary algorithm.

    但他在書上寫的就是這樣,

  • The principle is you just need those three things --

    就是現在我們所知的演化運算法。

  • variation, selection and heredity.

    原則上你只需三樣東西 -

  • And as Dan Dennett puts it, if you have those,

    變異、選擇、及遺傳。

  • then you must get evolution.

    就如 Dan Dennett 所說,如果有這些

  • Or design out of chaos, without the aid of mind.

    必然會有演化。

  • There's one word I love on that slide.

    或:不用心智的輔助,混沌即會產出設計。

  • What do you think my favorite word is?

    幻燈片中有個字我很喜歡,

  • Audience: Chaos.

    你猜我喜歡的是哪個字?

  • SB: Chaos? No. What? Mind? No.

    (觀眾:混沌)

  • Audience: Without.

    「混沌」?不是。「心智」?不是。

  • SB: No, not without.

    (觀眾:不用)

  • (Laughter)

    不是,不是「不用」。

  • You try them all in order: Mmm...?

    (笑聲)

  • Audience: Must.

    你們依序再猜:嗯?

  • SB: Must, at must. Must, must.

    (觀眾:必然)

  • This is what makes it so amazing.

    必然、必然、必然、必然。

  • You don't need a designer,

    就是它才那麼驚奇。

  • or a plan, or foresight, or anything else.

    你不需要設計師,

  • If there's something that is copied with variation

    或計畫,或先見、或任何什麼。

  • and it's selected, then you must get design appearing out of nowhere.

    如果有變異的複製

  • You can't stop it.

    並被選擇,則無中必然會有設計出現。

  • Must is my favorite word there.

    你無法停止它。

  • Now, what's this to do with memes?

    此處,「必然」是我喜歡的字。

  • Well, the principle here applies to anything

    而這和迷因有什關係?

  • that is copied with variation and selection.

    嗯,這個原則適用任何情形

  • We're so used to thinking in terms of biology,

    就是有變異和選擇的複製。

  • we think about genes this way.

    我們太習慣於生物學的觀點,

  • Darwin didn't, of course; he didn't know about genes.

    我們以此方式思考基因。

  • He talked mostly about animals and plants,

    達爾文則當然沒有, 他不知道基因。

  • but also about languages evolving and becoming extinct.

    他大部分提到動物、植物,

  • But the principle of Universal Darwinism

    但也提到語言的演化與滅絕。

  • is that any information that is varied and selected

    但通用達爾文論的原則

  • will produce design.

    是任何有變異及被選擇的資訊

  • And this is what Richard Dawkins was on about

    都會產生設計。

  • in his 1976 bestseller, "The Selfish Gene."

    這也是理察·道金斯在他的

  • The information that is copied, he called the replicator.

    1976 年暢銷書「自私的基因」中談的。

  • It selfishly copies.

    被複製的資訊,他叫做複製體。

  • Not meaning it kind of sits around inside cells going, "I want to get copied."

    它自私地複製。

  • But that it will get copied if it can,

    不是說它躺在細胞裡叫著「我要被複製」。

  • regardless of the consequences.

    而是只要能夠,它就會被複製,

  • It doesn't care about the consequences because it can't,

    不論後果如何。

  • because it's just information being copied.

    它不在意後果,因為它無從在意,

  • And he wanted to get away

    因為複製的只是資訊。

  • from everybody thinking all the time about genes,

    他想要跳脫,

  • and so he said, "Is there another replicator out there on the planet?"

    大家總是想到基因,

  • Ah, yes, there is.

    因此他說:「行星上還有另一個複製體嗎?」

  • Look around you -- here will do, in this room.

    是的,有的。

  • All around us, still clumsily drifting about

    看看四周,這房間裡就有。

  • in its primeval soup of culture, is another replicator.

    我們四周,仍拙然浮現著

  • Information that we copy from person to person, by imitation,

    文化原汁的,是另一個複製體。

  • by language, by talking, by telling stories,

    經由模仿,資訊在人與人之間複製著,

  • by wearing clothes, by doing things.

    經由語言、交談、敍事、

  • This is information copied with variation and selection.

    穿著、行為等。

  • This is design process going on.

    這是有變異與選擇的資訊複製。

  • He wanted a name for the new replicator.

    是進行中的設計過程。

  • So, he took the Greek word "mimeme," which means that which is imitated.

    他要為這新複製體取個新名字。

  • Remember that, that's the core definition:

    因此他用希臘字 mimeme,意指「模仿之物」。

  • that which is imitated.

    記住,這是它的本義。

  • And abbreviated it to meme, just because it sounds good

    指「模仿之物」。

  • and made a good meme, an effective spreading meme.

    將它簡化為 meme,因為好唸

  • So that's how the idea came about.

    而成為好的迷因,有效傳播的迷因。

  • It's important to stick with that definition.

    這就是此想法的來源。

  • The whole science of memetics is much maligned,

    謹守這個定義是重要的。

  • much misunderstood, much feared.

    整個迷因論受到太多詆毀,

  • But a lot of these problems can be avoided

    太多誤解,太多憂懼。

  • by remembering the definition.

    但許多問題可以避免掉,

  • A meme is not equivalent to an idea.

    只要記住這個定義。

  • It's not an idea. It's not equivalent to anything else, really.

    迷因不等於一個想法。

  • Stick with the definition.

    它不是想法,它也不等於任何事,,真的。

  • It's that which is imitated,

    謹守這個定義。

  • or information which is copied from person to person.

    它是模仿之物。

  • So, let's see some memes.

    或指在人與人之間複製的資訊。

  • Well, you sir, you've got those glasses hung around your neck

    那麼,讓我們來看一些迷因。

  • in that particularly fetching way.

    先生,你的眼鏡掛在脖子上

  • I wonder whether you invented that idea for yourself,

    是一種特別的拿取方式。

  • or copied it from someone else?

    我好奇那是你自己發明的想法,

  • If you copied it from someone else, it's a meme.

    或複製自別人?

  • And what about, oh, I can't see any interesting memes here.

    如果你複製自別人,那就是個迷因。

  • All right everyone, who's got some interesting memes for me?

    還有,這裡我看不到任何有趣的迷因。

  • Oh, well, your earrings,

    各位,誰有有趣的迷因?

  • I don't suppose you invented the idea of earrings.

    好,你的耳環,

  • You probably went out and bought them.

    我不認為你發明了耳環的想法。

  • There are plenty more in the shops.

    或許是你出去買的。

  • That's something that's passed on from person to person.

    店裡有很多。

  • All the stories that we're telling -- well, of course,

    這就是在人與人之間傳遞的。

  • TED is a great meme-fest, masses of memes.

    所有我們說的故事,當然

  • The way to think about memes, though,

    TED 是個大的迷因饗宴,有大量的迷因。

  • is to think, why do they spread?

    考慮迷因的一個方式是,

  • They're selfish information, they will get copied, if they can.

    想想它們為什麼會傳播?

  • But some of them will be copied because they're good,

    它們是自私的資訊,它們盡可能讓人複製。

  • or true, or useful, or beautiful.

    有些被複製,因為它們很好、

  • Some of them will be copied even though they're not.

    真實、有用、或美妙。

  • Some, it's quite hard to tell why.

    有些雖不是,也將被複製。

  • There's one particular curious meme which I rather enjoy.

    有些,很難說明為什麼。

  • And I'm glad to say, as I expected, I found it when I came here,

    有一種特別好奇的迷因我很欣賞。

  • and I'm sure all of you found it, too.

    我很高興地說,如預期地我在這裡找到了它,

  • You go to your nice, posh, international hotel somewhere,

    我確定你們也都發現了它。

  • and you come in and you put down your clothes

    你到某處的豪華國際旅館,

  • and you go to the bathroom, and what do you see?

    進去後,放下你的衣服

  • Audience: Bathroom soap.

    到了浴室,你看到什麼?

  • SB: Pardon?

    (觀眾:肥皂)

  • Audience: Soap.

    什麼?

  • SB: Soap, yeah. What else do you see?

    (觀眾:肥皂)

  • Audience: (Inaudible)

    肥皂,是呀。還看到什麼?

  • SB: Mmm mmm.

    (觀眾:...)

  • Audience: Sink, toilet!

    嗯、嗯。

  • SB: Sink, toilet, yes, these are all memes, they're all memes,

    (觀眾:洗臉盆、馬桶)

  • but they're sort of useful ones, and then there's this one.

    洗臉盆、馬桶,對,這些都是迷因,都是迷因,

  • (Laughter)

    它們是有用的迷因,還有這個。

  • What is this one doing?

    (笑聲)

  • (Laughter)

    這個做什麼?

  • This has spread all over the world.

    (笑聲)

  • It's not surprising that you all found it

    這已傳遍全世界。

  • when you arrived in your bathrooms here.

    無疑你們都發現了它

  • But I took this photograph in a toilet at the back of a tent

    在你來到這裡的浴室時。

  • in the eco-camp in the jungle in Assam.

    但這張照片拍自一個帳篷後的廁所

  • (Laughter)

    是在阿隡姆叢林的生態營中。

  • Who folded that thing up there, and why?

    (笑聲)

  • (Laughter)

    誰把它摺成那樣,為什麼?

  • Some people get carried away.

    (笑聲)

  • (Laughter)

    有些人受影響過了頭。

  • Other people are just lazy and make mistakes.

    (笑聲)

  • Some hotels exploit the opportunity to put even more memes

    其他人則太懶並弄錯了。

  • with a little sticker.

    有些旅館趁機會加入更多迷因

  • (Laughter)

    附上小貼標。

  • What is this all about?

    (笑聲)

  • I suppose it's there to tell you that somebody's

    到底是怎麼了?

  • cleaned the place, and it's all lovely.

    我想它是要告訴你:有人已經

  • And you know, actually, all it tells you is that another person

    清潔了這地方,全都好了。

  • has potentially spread germs from place to place.

    你知道,實際上它告訴你的是:另個人

  • (Laughter)

    有可能散播細菌到各處。

  • So, think of it this way.

    (笑聲)

  • Imagine a world full of brains

    因此用這方式去想它。

  • and far more memes than can possibly find homes.

    想像世界上充滿了頭腦

  • The memes are all trying to get copied --

    但有更多的迷因找不到家。

  • trying, in inverted commas -- i.e.,

    迷因都試著要被複製,

  • that's the shorthand for, if they can get copied, they will.

    試著,明白地講

  • They're using you and me as their propagating, copying machinery,

    就是:「盡其所能地被複製」。

  • and we are the meme machines.

    它們利用你我當擴散的複製機,

  • Now, why is this important?

    我們是迷因機器。

  • Why is this useful, or what does it tell us?

    為什麼這個重要?

  • It gives us a completely new view of human origins

    為什麼它有用?它告訴我們什麼?

  • and what it means to be human,

    它給我們全新觀點的人類起源

  • all conventional theories of cultural evolution,

    及它對人類的意義。

  • of the origin of humans,

    所有傳統的文化演化理論,

  • and what makes us so different from other species.

    人類起源理論,

  • All other theories explaining the big brain, and language, and tool use

    及我們異於其他物種的理論。

  • and all these things that make us unique,

    其他理論都解釋大腦、語言、及工具使用

  • are based upon genes.

    是這些事使我們獨特,

  • Language must have been useful for the genes.

    都是基於基因。

  • Tool use must have enhanced our survival, mating and so on.

    語言必須對基因有用。

  • It always comes back, as Richard Dawkins complained

    工具使用必須加強我們的存活、交配等。

  • all that long time ago, it always comes back to genes.

    它總是回到,如同理察·道金斯所埋怨

  • The point of memetics is to say, "Oh no, it doesn't."

    長時以來,它總是回到基因。

  • There are two replicators now on this planet.

    迷因論則說:「不,它不會。」

  • From the moment that our ancestors,

    現在有兩種複製體在這星球上。

  • perhaps two and a half million years ago or so,

    自從我們祖先

  • began imitating, there was a new copying process.

    大約 250 萬年前,

  • Copying with variation and selection.

    開始模仿,就有一個新的複製過程。

  • A new replicator was let loose, and it could never be --

    以變異及選擇而複製。

  • right from the start -- it could never be

    釋出了一個新複製體,它將永不會 -

  • that human beings who let loose this new creature,

    在一開始,它就永不會是

  • could just copy the useful, beautiful, true things,

    釋放了這個新生物的人類,

  • and not copy the other things.

    只複製有用的、美妙的、真實的事物,

  • While their brains were having an advantage from being able to copy --

    而不複製其他事物。

  • lighting fires, keeping fires going, new techniques of hunting,

    人類的頭腦有利於去複製 -

  • these kinds of things --

    取火、保存火、打獵新技法,

  • inevitably they were also copying putting feathers in their hair,

    這些東西 -

  • or wearing strange clothes, or painting their faces,

    難免他們也複製頭髮裝飾羽毛,

  • or whatever.

    或穿新奇衣服、畫臉、

  • So, you get an arms race between the genes

    或什麼的。

  • which are trying to get the humans to have small economical brains

    因而有了武器競賽:

  • and not waste their time copying all this stuff,

    基因試著要人類有小而經濟的頭腦

  • and the memes themselves, like the sounds that people made and copied --

    不要浪費時間複製所有東西,

  • in other words, what turned out to be language --

    而迷因自己,像人類創造及複製的聲音 -

  • competing to get the brains to get bigger and bigger.

    換言之,就是語言 -

  • So, the big brain, on this theory, is driven by the memes.

    競爭著要頭腦越來越大。

  • This is why, in "The Meme Machine," I called it memetic drive.

    因此大頭腦理論是來自迷因的。

  • As the memes evolve, as they inevitably must,

    這是為什麼在「迷因機器」裡,我叫它迷因驅動機。

  • they drive a bigger brain that is better at copying the memes

    當迷因演化時,當它們難免必須,

  • that are doing the driving.

    它們驅動較會複製迷因的較大頭腦

  • This is why we've ended up with such peculiar brains,

    去做驅動。

  • that we like religion, and music, and art.

    這是為什麼我們有這樣奇特的頭腦,

  • Language is a parasite that we've adapted to,

    我們喜歡宗教、音樂、和藝術。

  • not something that was there originally for our genes,

    語言是我們已適應的寄生物,

  • on this view.

    不是我們基因原本就有的,