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2019年08月19日 23:18:36 | 作者:千龙在线 | 来源:新华社
Monday was something of a red-letter day for the tech industry. When the stock market closed, the five most valuable companies on the planet were, for the first time, technology concerns. And they all hailed from the West coast of the US, whether the San Francisco Bay Area (Apple, Alphabet and Facebook) or in and around Seattle (Microsoft and Amazon).对科技行业来说,上周一(8月1日)是个值得纪念的日子。股市收盘时,全球市值最高的5家企业头一次全部是科技企业。并且,它们全部来自美国西海岸,包括旧金山湾区的苹果(Apple)、Alphabet和Facebook,以及西雅图一带的微软(Microsoft)和亚马逊(Amazon)。In subsequent days, ExxonMobil — which held the title of world’s most valuable company until it was overhauled by Apple — edged back above Facebook and Amazon. But it may only be a temporary reprieve. A seemingly inexorable shift in business and stock market momentum is under way, as today’s technology leaders assume a more central place in personal and business life.随后几天,埃克森美孚(ExxonMobil)——曾是全球市值最高的企业,后来被苹果赶超——市值重新超过Facebook和亚马逊。但是,这可能只是昙花一现。随着科技领军企业在个人生活和商业事务中占据着更加核心的位置,商业和股市中也出现了一种似乎势不可挡的转变。Ten years ago, at the height of the PC era, Microsoft was the only tech company in the top 20. Now, though, the big five control a much wider array of digital platforms around which life and work revolve — from smartphones and cloud computing data centres to mobile messaging apps.10年前,在个人电脑(PC)时代的巅峰时期,微软是当时市值最高的20家企业中唯一一家科技公司。然而,如今五巨头控制着在人们生活和工作中占据重要位置、更加多种多样的数字化平台——从智能手机到云计算数据中心,再到移动通讯应用(App)。They are also racing each other to build the next platforms, from virtual reality headsets to driverless cars and digital assistants powered by artificial intelligence.它们还在竞相打造下一个平台,从虚拟现实头盔到无人驾驶汽车,再到由人工智能驱动的数字化助理。Only China, thanks to a domestic market that is hard for outsiders to penetrate, can lay claim to tech companies with the scale and ambition to compete.只有中国——有赖于外来者难以渗入的国内市场——能够拥有在规模和野心上可以与之一较高下的科技企业。That has been underlined by this week’s detente in the ride-hailing wars, which has seen Uber’s global expansion halted and a new Chinese digital champion crowned, in the shape of Didi Chuxing.上周叫车软件之战有所缓和就突显了这一点:优步(Uber)停住了全球扩张的脚步,而一家新的中国数字化冠军企业成功加冕,即滴滴出行(Didi Chuxing)。Today, the key question is: which markets are next in the big five’s sights, as they cast around more widely for growth?如今,关键问题在于:在五巨头在更大范围内寻找增长点之际,它们的下一个目标市场在哪?There is still plenty of room for them to expand in their core markets. Although Google and Facebook are aly the world’s biggest advertising-based businesses, only about 30 per cent of global advertising spend is digital. Two percentage points of this spend shifts from analogue to digital every year, leaving room for plenty of expansion.目前它们的核心市场仍然有足够空间供它们扩张。尽管谷歌(Google,上图为谷歌的总部)和Facebook已是全球最大的以广告业务为基础的企业,但是全球广告出仅有30%来自数字化领域。每年有2个百分点的广告出从模拟广告转向数字化广告,因此有足够的扩张空间。However, in other markets, such as smartphones, growth is harder to come by. For a company as big as Apple, the only hope for material expansion comes from breaking into a huge new business, like automobiles. Giant bets like this, or Google’s “moonshot” projects, are hard to assess. Closer to home, there are two areas that seem more likely to support growth in the short and medium term.然而,在智能手机等其他市场,要取得增长困难得多。对于像苹果这么大的企业,实现大规模扩张的唯一希望是进军一项市场庞大的新业务,例如汽车领域。诸如此类或者谷歌的Moonshot项目之类的豪赌,很难评估。目前有两个领域似乎更有可能撑中短期增长。One is building and running the infrastructure on which the digital economy runs. Companies that make hardware and software, or sell IT services, are facing disruption as their customers spend more on cloud services rather than extending their own IT systems.其中一个是为数字化经济打造和运行基础设施。由于用户选择增加在云务方面的出更不是升级IT系统,制造硬件和软件、或者提供IT务的企业正面临分崩离析的局面。Much of Amazon’s recent stock market advance reflects the huge opportunity that its cloud platform business, AWS, now has. Microsoft’s renewed relevance in the tech world, following the sidelining of the PC, reflects a similar shift to the cloud, where it is now Amazon’s closest competitor.亚马逊最近的股价升势在很大程度上反映出其云平台业务AWS眼下坐拥的巨大机遇。在PC业务边缘化后,微软调整了在科技领域的定位,同样转向云务。如今微软是亚马逊在云务领域实力最接近的对手。And the second promising growth area is in applications for the pervasive new platform emerging from developments in cloud and mobile computing. In the past, Microsoft, with Office, cornered the market for the main applications that ran on its PC operating system. But the next big digital applications will reach into many more corners of life and touch many more businesses.第二个前景不错的增长领域是App,也就是为那些随着云务和移动计算的发展而出现的无处不在的新平台打造App。过去,凭借Office软件,微软垄断了在其PC操作系统中运行的主要应用的市场。但是下一个重要的数字化App将更加深入生活的方方面面,触及更多领域。Uber’s use of a mobile app to invade the taxi business is the blueprint for this. It is now angling to become a new transport and logistics platform itself. Now, the big five — with their large user bases and control of their own platforms — should have an advantage when it comes to developing new applications like this. But it does not guarantee they will be the ones to grab the opportunities first.优步利用一款手机App侵入出租车业务,便反映了这一点。如今优步的目标是成为一个全新的运输和物流平台。在研发此类新App方面,五大巨头——以其巨大的用户基础和对各自平台的控制——应该拥有优势。但是这并不能保它们会最先抓住机遇。Facebook’s unveiling of a virtual clone of the rival Snapchat app is a sign of the justifiable paranoia that even the biggest digital companies can feel. While the social network has shown itself to be an effective fast-follower, it will struggle to outrun all the innovation unleashed by the new open digital platforms. Facebook发布了一款实质上复制竞争对手Snapchat的App,表明了即便是最大的数字化公司也会犯的无可非议的偏执。尽管这家社交网站已明自己是一个高效的快速模仿者,但是它将难以超越各种开放型的新数字平台带来的所有创新。Indeed, the history of other seemingly unstoppable tech companies, such as IBM and Microsoft, should give others hope. Competition regulations, as well as the increasing difficulty of staying on the cutting edge as they become giant companies, are among the factors that eventually weigh them down.IBM、微软等一些曾经看似势不可挡的科技企业的历史,应该会给其他企业带来希望。与竞争相关的法规,以及随着它们成为巨头后要保持在行业最前沿的难度日益加大,这些都是最终压制它们的因素。But for the other companies battling against their current stock market dominance, that may be cold comfort.但是对于其他正与当前在股市占主导地位的巨头相抗衡的企业来说,这或许起不到安慰作用。 /201608/459319The US government has put China’s biggest ecommerce platform back on its blacklist of “notorious markets” known for peddling fake goods, a decision Alibaba argues may have been politically motivated.美国政府再度把中国最大电商平台列入其“恶名市场”黑名单,这类市场以兜售假货而闻名。阿里巴巴(Alibaba)辩称,美国政府这一决定背后或许存在政治动机。Taobao, an online marketplace owned by Alibaba, managed to get off the list four years ago after clamping down on counterfeiters, but on Wednesday was put back on this year’s list.四年前,阿里巴巴旗下在线集市淘宝网(Taobao)在对假货展开打击后,被撤下了该黑名单。但在本周三,淘宝再度被列入了该黑名单。“While recent steps set positive expectations for the future, current levels of reported counterfeiting and piracy are unacceptably high,” said the US Office of the Trade Representative, which compiles the Review of Notorious Markets.“尽管近来的措施令人对未来产生积极的期待,但目前报告的造假和盗版水平高得难以接受,”美国贸易代表办公室(Office of the US Trade Representative)称。该机构负责编制《恶名市场审查报告》(Review of Notorious Markets)。Alibaba said it was “very disappointed” by the decision, which it claims may have been politically motivated in an environment of rising tensions between Beijing and the US.阿里巴巴表示,它对这一决定感到“非常失望”。该公司声称,在中美之间紧张关系加剧的背景下,这一决定背后或许存在政治动机。“The fact that the decision ignores the real work Alibaba has done to fight counterfeit makes us question whether the USTR decision was swayed by the current political climate,” said Michael Evans, president of Alibaba Group.“这一决定无视阿里巴巴为打击造假而开展的实际行动,令我们怀疑美国贸易代表办公室的决定是否受到当前政治气候的影响,”阿里巴巴集团总裁迈克.埃文斯(Mike Evans)说。Alibaba has been in conflict with international business groups over the long-running problem of counterfeit goods sold by Taobao’s 10m merchants. Last year the American Apparel amp; Footwear Association said it was “frustrated” by the company’s lack of progress in handling counterfeiters. 由于淘宝1000万商家出售假货的问题长期存在,阿里巴巴与国际商业集团之间一直冲突不断。去年,美国装和鞋类协会(American Apparel amp; Footwear Association)表示,它对阿里巴巴在处置造假者方面缺乏进展感到“失望”。Jack Ma, Alibaba’s founder, boasted earlier this year that fakes were often ;better quality and better price than the real names” — drawing criticism from goods makers for seeming complacent about Alibaba’s record on fakes.今年早些时候,阿里巴巴创始人马云(Jack Ma)夸口称,许多假冒商品“比真品质量更好,价格更优惠”。这一言论遭到产品制造商的批评,称马云似乎对阿里巴巴的售假记录不以为意。Alibaba, which listed on the New York Stock Exchange in 2014, claims it is making more progress than ever, saying that in 2016 it has removed more than twice the number of infringing product listings than last year.2014年在纽约交所(NYSE)上市的阿里巴巴声称,它取得了比以往任何时候都要大的进展。它还表示,2016年其下架的侵权产品数量是去年的两倍多。“It is therefore unreasonable for the USTR to have concluded that Alibaba is less effective in anti-counterfeiting than when it reviewed our efforts in 2015 and when it removed us from its list four years ago,” said Mr Evans.“因此,美国贸易代表办公室断定阿里巴巴现在在打假方面不如2015年其审查我们的努力时有效,不如四年前其将我们从名单上移除时有效,是不讲道理的,”埃文斯说。Taobao has over 1bn goods available for sale at any given time. As with US-based eBay, it is easy for small merchants and individuals to set up their own sites on the platform.在任一给定时点,淘宝上的在售商品都超过10亿件。与总部位于美国的eBay一样,小商家和个人很容易在淘宝上建立自己的店铺。“It’s not ideal, but I don’t think most Chinese users really care whether the US puts Taobao on its list or not,” said Mark Natkin, managing director of Marbridge Consulting, a tech consultancy in Beijing. “It’s an issue more for investors . . . and whether it leads brand owners to take action.”“虽然它不完美,但我不认为大多数中国用户真的在乎美国是否把淘宝列入其名单。”北京科技咨询公司迈瑞咨询(Marbridge Consulting)董事总经理马克.纳特金(Mark Natkin)说,“这更多地是一个投资者要应对的问题……更多地是一个是否会导致品牌所有者采取行动的问题。”Mr Natkin added: “One of the great appeals for Chinese users [of Taobao.com] is you can get anything on the platform at very low prices. If you were really good at cleaning up all the shoddy goods, it would have a negative impact on the gross transaction volume.”纳特金补充说:“(淘宝)对中国用户的一个巨大吸引力在于,你能够在该平台上以很低的价格搞到任何东西。如果真的能在清除所有假货方面做得很出色,将对总成交额产生负面影响。”Alibaba is also grappling with a wave of fake reviews and order-faking scams that merchants use to inflate their sales and ratings — methods collectively known as “brushing”.另外,阿里巴巴还在努力应对一系列虚假和订单造假骗局——这些被商家用来夸大销量和抬高评级的手段统称为“刷单”。 /201612/485563Apple is getting picked on by two of its biggest competitors.苹果这次被他最大的两个竞争对手捉弄了一番。Google and Microsoft used some of Apple#39;s well-known user pain points to promote their own services in two separate TV and YouTube ads this month.这个月,谷歌和微软利用苹果最广为人知的务漏洞,在电视和YouTube上为自己的产品务宣传造势。Microsoft went after Apple by pitting its new Surface Pro 4 tablet and Cortana smart assistant against the iPad Pro and Siri.微软公司研发了全新的Surface Pro 4平板电脑和Cortana智能务来对抗苹果的iPad Pro和Siri系统。Microsoft#39;s new ad shows the iPad and Siri throwing a party for ;getting a keyboard.;在微软的新广告中,iPad和Siri因为安装了键盘而大开派对。#39;I#39;m a computer now, like you#39;, Siri says to Cortana.Siri对Cortana说道:“现在也是电脑啦,就像你一样,”#39;So you have more power, like an Intel Core processor?#39; Cortana responds.Cortana回答道:“所以你现在有更大驱动了?像因特尔酷睿处理器一样?”#39;Like I said, I just got a keyboard#39;, says Siri.“我说我只是得到了一个键盘。”Siri说。Microsoft then makes Cortana list out several other features of the Surface Pro 4, which leads Siri to concede, ;Maybe this party wasn#39;t such a good idea.;在其后的广告中,Cortana把Surface Pro 4的其他性能列了一个表给Siri,最后Siri承认道:“好吧,也许这个派对开得没什么意义。”Microsoft and Apple have a history of going after each other through marketing campaigns: For years, Apple ran a series of anti-PC commercials starring Justin Long and John Hodgman. And this year, Microsoft has been pushing its ;PCs can do more than Macs; message in commercials.微软和苹果在营销活动中上演你追我赶的戏码已经有一段历史了。之前是苹果邀请演员贾斯汀·隆和约翰·霍奇曼出演了一系列“反PC”商业大片。而今年微软将“PC比Macs更高能”的信息植入到新的一轮造势宣传中。Google took the first -- and a more gentle -- stab at the Apple in the beginning of August with a 60-second spot about its Google Photos app.谷歌在8月初关于Google Photos app的60秒广告中,就曾率先以委婉的方式向苹果挑起了“战争”。To show off its photos backup service, Google#39;s commercial includes several scenes of smartphone users about to capture a Kodak moment.为了炫耀其照片备份系统务,谷歌在广告中还展现了手机使用者捕捉“柯达时刻”的几个场景。As they#39;re about to take a picture -- when a birthday girl starts to blow out her candles and a humpback whale jumps out of the water -- a pop-up appears to stop them: ;Storage Full. There is no more room on your phone.”在广告中,当你正要捕捉过生日女孩吹蜡烛的瞬间和记录座头鲸跃出水面的经典时刻,而你的手机突然弹出“内存已满,没有空间储存照片”。While the design and message resemble what iPhone users see, it#39;s not exactly the same. Even so, it#39;s clear Google is highlighting the iPhone#39;s limited storage problem that it hopes to solve.尽管苹果用户对于设计和信息的理解不尽相同,但是很明显谷歌是在拿iPhone有限的内存问题大做文章。 /201608/462932

A computer #39;judge#39; has been developed which can correctly predict verdicts of the European Court of Human Rights with 79 percent accuracy.科学家们研发出一台电脑法官,它可以正确预测欧洲人权法庭的判决结果,准确率达79%。Computer scientists at University College London and the University of Sheffield developed an algorithm which can not only weigh up legal evidence, but also moral considerations.伦敦大学学院和谢菲尔德大学的计算机科学家开发了一套算法,该算法不仅可以评估法律据,还能权衡道德考量。As early as the 1960s experts predicted that computers would one day be able to predict the outcomes of judicial decisions.早在20世纪60年代,专家们就预言有一天电脑将能够预测司法判决的结果。But the new method is the first to predict the outcomes of court cases by automatically analysing case text using a machine learning algorithm.但是,这一新途径是首次通过机器学习算法自动分析案件文本,来预测法庭判决结果。;We don#39;t see AI replacing judges or lawyers, but we think they#39;d find it useful for rapidly identifying patterns in cases that lead to certain outcomes,; said Dr Nikolaos Aletras, who led the study at UCL Computer Science.该研究的领头人、伦敦大学学院计算机科学专业的尼古劳斯.阿尔特拉斯士说:我们不认为人工智能取代了法官或律师,但是我们认为电脑在快速识别案件模式从而分析出特定结果这方面,对法官律师会有帮助。;It could also be a valuable tool for highlighting which cases are most likely to be violations of the European Convention on Human Rights.;电脑法官还能提示哪些案件最有可能违反《欧洲人权公约》,在这方面它将是个很有价值的工具。To develop the algorithm, the team allowed an artificially intelligent computer to scan the published judgements from 584 cases relating to torture and degrading treatment, fair trials and privacy.为了开发这个算法,该团队让人工智能电脑扫描了584例已公布的审判结果,这些案件都是关于虐待、侮辱、公正性和隐私的案件。The computer learned that certain phrases, facts, or circumstances occurred more frequently when there was a violation of the human rights act. 这台计算机学习特定措辞、事实或者违反人权法案件中常出现的情形。After analysing hundreds of cases the computer was able to predict a verdict with 79 percent accuracy.在分析过数百起案例后,计算机预测一次判决的准确率达79%。;Previous studies have predicted outcomes based on the nature of the crime, or the policy position of each judge, so this is the first time judgements have been predicted using analysis of text prepared by the court,; said co-author, Dr Vasileios Lampos, UCL Computer Science.伦敦大学学院计算机科学专业的瓦斯里斯.兰斯士共同撰写了这份研究报告,他表示,此前的研究基于犯罪行为的性质或每位法官的政策立场来预测结果,而这是第一次使用法院提供的案卷分析来预测判决结果。;We expect this sort of tool would improve efficiencies of high level, in demand courts, but to become a reality, we need to test it against more articles and the case data submitted to the court.;我们希望这类工具能够提升工作繁忙的高级法院的效率,但是为了实现这一想法,我们需要对更多递交给法庭的文件以及案卷数据进行测试。Ideally, we#39;d test and refine our algorithm using the applications made to the court rather than the published judgements,理想的做法是,我们利用递交给法院的起诉书来测试和优化算法,而不是用已公开的判决。but without access to that data we rely on the court-published summaries of these submissions.;但是由于无法获得数据,我们只能依靠法庭公布的案件总结报告。The team found that judgements by the European Court of Human Rights are often based on non-legal facts rather than directly legal arguments, suggesting that judges are often swayed by moral considerations rather than simply sticking strictly to the legal framework.该团队发现,欧洲人权法庭的判决通常基于非法律事实,而不是直接基于法律论据,这意味着法官往往更多地受到道德考量的影响,而不只是严格地照章断案。 /201610/475116

Every day, innovative companies promise to make the world a better place. Are they succeeding?每一天,那些创新公司都在承诺着要让世界变得更美好。他们做到了吗?Here is just a sampling of the products, apps and services that have come across my radar in the last few weeks:下面是几个产品、手机应用和务的例子,都是最近几个星期我注意到的。A service that sends someone to fill your car with gas.让别人来帮你加满油的务。A service that sends a valet on a scooter to you, wherever you are, to park your car.在任何地方叫代泊车务员踩着滑板车来帮你停车的务。A service that will film anything you desire with a drone.用无人机帮你为任何东西摄像的务。A service that will pack your suitcase — virtually.帮你收拾行李的务——虚拟的。A service that delivers a new toothbrush head to your mailbox every three months.每三个月把新的牙刷头寄到你邮箱里的务。A service that delivers your beer right to your door.送啤酒上门的务。An app that analyzes the quality of your French kissing.分析你法国式接吻水平的手机应用。A “smart” button and zipper that alerts you if your fly is down.裤子拉链没拉上时会提醒你的“智能”纽扣和拉链。An app with speaker that plays music from within a mother’s vaginal walls to her unborn baby.可以通过扬声器,在妇的阴道内给胎儿播放音乐的手机应用。A sensor placed in your child’s diaper that sends you an alert when the diaper needs changing.放在尿布上的传感器,该换尿布时发送警告。An app that lets us brew our coffee from anywhere.在任何地点都可以煮咖啡的手机应用。A refrigerator advertised as “the Family Hub” that promises to act as a personal assistant, message board, stereo and photo album.一种在广告宣传中被定义为“家庭中枢站”的冰箱,承诺充当私人助理、信息板、立体声音箱和相册。An app to locate rentable driveways for parking.寻找可供租用的私人停车位的手机应用。An app to locate rentable yachts.寻找出租游艇的手机应用。An app to help you understand “cause and effect in your life.”帮你了解“人生因果”的手机应用。An app that guides mindful meditation.指导冥想的手机应用。An app that imparts wisdom.传递智慧的手机应用。And a new proposal to create an app designed to stop police killings.最近还有人建议开发一种用来杜绝警察杀人的手机应用。We are overloaded daily with new discoveries, patents and inventions all promising a better life, but that better life has not been forthcoming for most. In fact, the bulk of the above list targets a very specific (and tiny!) slice of the population. As one colleague in tech explained it to me recently, for most people working on such projects, the goal is basically to provide for themselves everything that their mothers no longer do.每一天,我们都被各种承诺要让生活更美好的新发现、新专利和新发明所淹没,但是对于大部分人来说,更美好的生活没有到来。其实在上面的单子里,大部分项目都是针对一个特定(而且很小!)的人群。最近一个科技领域的同事向我解释说,对于大多数研发这类项目的人来说,他们的目标基本上就是为自己提供各种妈妈不再为他们做的事情。He was joking — sort of — but his comment made me think hard about who is served by this stuff. I’m concerned that such a focus on comfort and instant gratification will reduce us all to those characters in “Wall-E,” bound to their recliners, Big Gulps in hand, interacting with the world exclusively through their remotes.某种程度上,他是在开玩笑,但是他的话启发我去深入思考那些使用这些务的人们。我担心,这样关注方便舒适和即时的满足感,会把我们都变成《机器人瓦力》(Wall-E)里的人,终日躺在在躺椅上,拿着大杯饮料,只靠遥控器和世界互动。Too many well-funded entrepreneurial efforts turn out to promise more than they can deliver (i.e., Theranos’ finger-prick blood test) or as parody (but, sadly, are not — such as the “vessel” that monitors your water intake and tells you when you should drink more water).众多资金雄厚的企业项目最后都被明无法实现自己的承诺(比如Theranos的指血检测技术),或者看上去像是玩笑(不过悲哀的是,事实并非如此,比如价值99美元的“容器”,用来监控你摄入了多少水,告诉你何时应该再喝水了)。When everything is characterized as “world-changing,” is anything?当一切都被打上“改变世界”的标签,到底有什么东西真能正改变世界?Clay Tarver, a writer and producer for the painfully on-point HBO comedy “Silicon Valley,” said in a recent New Yorker article: “I’ve been told that, at some of the big companies, the P.R. departments have ordered their employees to stop saying ‘We’re making the world a better place,’ specifically because we have made fun of that phrase so mercilessly. So I guess, at the very least, we’re making the world a better place by making these people stop saying they’re making the world a better place.”作家克莱·塔弗(Clay Tarver)是一针见血的HBO喜剧《硅谷》(SiliconValley)的编剧。他最近在《纽约客》(New Yorker)的一篇文章中说:“我被告知,在某些大公司里,公关部门要求雇员不要再说‘我们在让世界变得更美好’这句话,主要是因为我们拿这句话开玩笑开得太狠了。所以我想,通过让这些人停止说‘我们让世界变得更美好’,我们让世界变得更美好了。”O.K., that’s a start. But the impulse to conflate toothbrush delivery with Nobel Prize-worthy good works is not just a bit cultish, it’s currently a wildfire burning through the so-called innovation sector. Products and services are designed to “disrupt” market sectors (a.k.a. bringing to market things no one really needs) more than to solve actual problems, especially those problems experienced by what the writer C. Z. Nnaemeka has described as “the unexotic underclass” — single mothers, the white rural poor, veterans, out-of-work Americans over 50 — who, she explains, have the “misfortune of being insufficiently interesting.”好吧,这是个开始。但是,把寄送牙刷和诺贝尔奖级别的杰作混为一谈的冲动,不只是一种宗教狂热,而是像燎原野火般横扫所谓的创新产业。很多产品和务都是旨在“扰乱”市场划分(换言之,就是把根本没人需要的东西推向市场),而不是用来解决真正的问题,尤其不能解决那些被作家C·Z·纳埃梅卡(C. Z. Nnaemeka)称之为“寻常的下层社会”所面临的问题——就是那些单亲妈妈、乡村贫穷白人、老兵、年过50的失业美国人——她解释说,他们“很不幸,不够有趣”。If the most fundamental definition of design is to solve problems, why are so many people devoting so much energy to solving problems that don’t really exist? How can we get more people to look beyond their own lived experience?如果设计的最基本定义是用来解决问题,为什么那么多人投入那么多精力,去解决根本不存在的问题?我们该怎样让更多人看到超越自身生活体验之外的东西?In “Design: The Invention of Desire,” a thoughtful and necessary new book by the designer and theorist Jessica Helfand, the author brings to light an amazing kernel: “hack,” a term so beloved in Silicon Valley that it’s painted on the courtyard of the Facebook campus and is visible from planes flying overhead, is also prison slang for “horse’s ass carrying keys.”《设计:欲望的发明》(Design: The Invention of Desire)是一本深思熟虑又非常有用的新书,作者是设计师兼理论家杰西卡·赫尔方(Jessica Helfand)。她解释了那个惊人的内核“骇客”(hack),这个词为硅谷所深爱,被绘在Facebook园区的院子里,从飞机上都能看见。在监狱里,它是用来指代“狱警”的俚语。To “hack” is to cut, to gash, to break. It proceeds from the belief that nothing is worth saving, that everything needs fixing. But is that really the case? Are we fixing the right things? Are we breaking the wrong ones? Is it necessary to start from scratch every time?做“骇客”就意味着切入、突击,打破。它源自那种没有任何事物值得保留,一切都需要被修理的信念。但是事实真的如此吗?我们是在修理需要修理的东西吗?我们是不是打破了不该打破的东西?每次都需要从零开始吗?Empathy, humility, compassion, conscience: These are the key ingredients missing in the pursuit of innovation, Ms. Helfand argues, and in her book she explores design, and by extension innovation, as an intrinsically human discipline — albeit one that seems to have lost its way. Ms. Helfand argues that innovation is now predicated less on creating and more on the undoing of the work of others.赫尔方指出,共情、谦卑、同情、良心:这些关键成分都是追求创新的过程中所缺失的。她在书中把设计,乃至创新,从本质上作为一个人文学科来探讨——尽管这个学科似乎已经迷失了的方向。赫尔方认为,如今,创新更多是基于毁掉别人的工作,而不是基于创造。“In this humility-poor environment, the idea of disruption appeals as a kind of subversive provocation,” she writes. “Too many designers think they are innovating when they are merely breaking and entering.”“在这样一个缺乏谦卑的环境下,‘扰乱’的概念显得像是一种颠覆性的挑衅,”她写道。“太多的设计师觉得他们是在创新,其实他们只是在破坏和闯入。”In this way, innovation is very much mirroring the larger public discourse: a distrust of institutions combined with unabashed confidence in one’s own judgment shifts solutions away from fixing, repairing or improving and shoves them toward destruction for its own sake. (Sound like a certain presidential candidate? Or Brexit?)在这层意义上,创新成了一段更宏大的公共话语的缩影:对制度的不信任,加上对自我判断的自以为是,让解决方案偏离了修补、修正或改善的目的,变成了为破坏而破坏(听上去像不像某位总统候选人?或者英国脱欧?)Perhaps the main reason these frivolous products and services frustrate me is because of their creators’ insistence that changing lives for the better is their reason for being. To wit, the venture capitalist Marc Andreessen, who has invested in companies like Airbnb and Twitter but also in services such as LikeALittle (which started out as a flirting tool among college students) and Soylent (a sort of SlimFast concoction for tech geeks), tweeted last week: “The perpetually missing headline: ‘Capitalism worked okay again today and most people in the world got a little better off.’ ”或许这些微不足道的产品与务令我烦恼的主要原因,是因为它们的创造者坚持认为,它们的存在就是为了让生活变得更好。马克·安德烈森(Marc Andreessen)上星期在Twitter上的言论也表达了这个意思:“你永远看不到的新闻:‘今天资本主义再次运行良好,世界上的大多数人生活得到改善’。”这位风险投资资本家曾经给Arirbnb和Twitter等公司投资,但也给LikeALittle(一开始是个大学生调情的工具)和Soylent(面向技术极客们的SlimFast类减肥食谱工具)等务投资。Meanwhile, in San Francisco, where such companies are based, sea level rise is ominous, the income gap between rich and poor has been growing faster than in any other city in the nation, a higher percentage of people send their kids to private school than in almost any other city, and a minimum salary of 4,000 is required to afford an average-priced home. Who exactly is better off?与此同时,在旧金山,很多这类公司的所在地,海平面以危险的势头上升,贫富之间的收入鸿沟增长得比这个国家的任何城市更快,送孩子去私立学校的人比例比任何城市都更高。需要至少25.4万的年薪才能住得起普通价格水平的房子。到底谁过得更好了?Ms. Helfand calls for a deeper embrace of personal vigilance: “Design may provide the map,” she writes, “but the moral compass that guides our personal choices resides permanently within us all.”赫尔方呼吁更多的个人警觉:“设计或许能够提供地图,”她写道,“但是能够指引个人选择的道德罗盘却永远存在于我们每个人的内心。”Can we reset that moral compass? Maybe we can start by not being a bunch of hacks.我们能重新校准我们的道德罗盘吗?或许我们应该从不做骇客开始。 /201607/455032

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