发布者: 千缘 | 发布时间: 2020-10-22 23:24| 查看数: 154| 评论数: 0|

So, imagine that you had your smartphone miniaturized and hooked up directly to your brain. If you had this sort of brain chip, you'd be able to upload and download to the internet at the speed of thought. Accessing social media or Wikipedia would be a lot like -- well, from the inside at least -- like consulting your own memory. It would be as easy and as intimate as thinking. But would it make it easier for you to know what's true? Just because a way of accessing information is faster it doesn't mean it's more reliable, of course, and it doesn't mean that we would all interpret it the same way. And it doesn't mean that you would be any better at evaluating it. In fact, you might even be worse, because, you know, more data, less time for evaluation. 想像你把智能手机缩小到可以直接安装进你脑袋里,如果你有这样的大脑晶片,你就能在网上快速地下载和上传资料。当你在使用社群媒体或查询维基百科时,至少是从你脑内读取的,就像是在咨询你自己的记忆一样。跟你在思考时一样简单、直接。但这样做,能让你更轻易地辨别出真相吗?虽然这个方法可以让你更快速地撷取信息,却不能代表这些信息是更可靠的,当然,也不代表我们每个人的解读都会一致,更不代表,你比别人更会判断信息的重要性。实际上,搞不好更糟糕,因为信息愈多,你判断的时间愈少。

Something like this is already happening to us right now. We already carry a world of information around in our pockets, but it seems as if the more information we share and access online, the more difficult it can be for us to tell the difference between what's real and what's fake. It's as if we know more but understand less. 这样的事情现在正在发生。全球的信息都唾手可得,但似乎我们在网上接触、分享愈多的信息,就越难区分信息的真伪。我们变得知道越多,懂得却越少。

Now, it's a feature of modern life, I suppose, that large swaths of the public live in isolated information bubbles. We're polarized: not just over values, but over the facts. One reason for that is, the data analytics that drive the internet get us not just more information, but more of the information that we want. Our online life is personalized; everything from the ads we read to the news that comes down our Facebook feed is tailored to satisfy our preferences. And so while we get more information, a lot of that information ends up reflecting ourselves as much as it does reality. It ends up, I suppose, inflating our bubbles rather than bursting them. And so maybe it's no surprise that we're in a situation, a paradoxical situation, of thinking that we know so much more, and yet not agreeing on what it is we know. 我想,这就是现代生活的其中一个特色吧,一堆人活在孤立的信息泡泡里。我们不仅对价值观有不一样的认知,对事实的认知也是呈现对立的状况。原因就是主导网路的"数据分析",不仅给了我们更多的信息,还超出了信息本身的范围。人们的网络生活是定制的;我们所浏览的信息,广告,到脸书塞给我们的新闻,都是为了满足我们的个人喜好而经过修改的。在我们获取更多资讯的同时,不少信息到最后会反映出我们自身,如同反映整个现实一样。我想,到最后这些泡泡不但刺不破,反而越来越大。说我们是活在一个似是而非的世界里,一点也不令人讶异,我们懂这么多知识,但到底懂什么,却看法不一。

So how are we going to solve this problem of knowledge polarization? One obvious tactic is to try to fix our technology, to redesign our digital platforms, so as to make them less susceptible to polarization. And I'm happy to report that many smart people at Google and Facebook are working on just that. And these projects are vital. I think that fixing technology is obviously really important, but I don't think technology alone, fixing it, is going to solve the problem of knowledge polarization. I don't think that because I don't think, at the end of the day, it is a technological problem. I think it's a human problem, having to do with how we think and what we value. 那么要如何解决知识对立的问题?其中一个很明显的策略是,试着修复科技,重新设计我们的数字平台,以减少看法两极化的现象。我很高兴向各位报告,谷歌和脸书里优秀的人才正朝此方向努力。这些研究项目相当重要。我认为修复科技显然至关重要,但我不认为光靠修复科技就能解决知识对立的问题。我不这么认为,是因为到头来,终究不是科技的问题,而是人的问题,跟我们如何思考、和重视的价值有关。

In order to solve it, I think we're going to need help. We're going to need help from psychology and political science. But we're also going to need help, I think, from philosophy. Because to solve the problem of knowledge polarization, we're going to need to reconnect with one fundamental, philosophical idea: that we live in a common reality. The idea of a common reality is like, I suppose, a lot of philosophical concepts: easy to state but mysteriously difficult to put into practice. To really accept it, I think we need to do three things, each of which is a challenge right now. 为了解决问题,我们需要各方的协助,需要心理学与政治科学的辅助。不过我认为,我们也能从哲学当中获得帮助,因为想要解决认知对立的问题,我们必须重新思考一个基本的哲学概念:我们是活在同一个现实里的。我觉得活在同一个现实的这个想法与众多哲学概念类似:说起来简单,但做起来却相当困难。要面对这样的现实,我们有三件事要做,目前,每一项都很有挑战性。

First, we need to believe in truth. You might have noticed that our culture is having something of a troubled relationship with that concept right now. It seems as if we disagree so much that, as one political commentator put it not long ago, it's as if there are no facts anymore. But that thought is actually an expression of a sort of seductive line of argument that's in the air. It goes like this: we just can't step outside of our own perspectives; we can't step outside of our biases. Every time we try, we just get more information from our perspective. So, this line of thought goes, we might as well admit that objective truth is an illusion, or it doesn't matter, because either we'll never know what it is, or it doesn't exist in the first place. 首先,我们需要相信真相。大家可能也注意到,我们的文化对于这样的概念似乎不太认同。就像一位政治评论员不久前所说的,我们越是不认同对方,事实就越似不存在一样。但这种想法实际上只是一种充斥在我们身边、引人注意的陈述方式而已。有点像是:我们就是跳脱不出个人的观点,放不下个人的偏见。我们每次试着这么做,只会从个人的观点产生出更多的信息。所以,这样的想法就变成:我们干脆承认,客观的事实只是假象,或者根本不重要,因为,要么我们无知,要么就是真相根本就不存在。

That's not a new philosophical thought -- skepticism about truth. During the end of the last century, as some of you know, it was very popular in certain academic circles. But it really goes back all the way to the Greek philosopher Protagoras, if not farther back. Protagoras said that objective truth was an illusion because "man is the measure of all things." Man is the measure of all things. That can seem like a bracing bit of realpolitik to people, or liberating, because it allows each of us to discover or make our own truth. 这不是一个崭新的哲学思想——真相怀疑论。在上世纪末,可能有人知道,怀疑论在特定学术圈大受欢迎。但这要回朔到希腊哲学家普罗泰戈拉,应该是他最早提出的。普罗泰戈拉认为,客观的事实只是假象。因为"人是丈量万物的准则"。人是丈量万物的准则。像是权力政治对人们灌输的价值观,深深地烙印在我们身上。它会让每个人探索或创造出属于自己的真相。

But actually, I think it's a bit of self-serving rationalization disguised as philosophy. It confuses the difficulty of being certain with the impossibility of truth. Look -- of course it's difficult to be certain about anything; we might all be living in "The Matrix." You might have a brain chip in your head feeding you all the wrong information. But in practice, we do agree on all sorts of facts. We agree that bullets can kill people. We agree that you can't flap your arms and fly. We agree -- or we should -- that there is an external reality and ignoring it can get you hurt. 但我觉得这其实就是哲学上所说的——“把个人的自私合理化”。它大大地降低了确认真相的可能性。大家想想,要确认真相的确很困难;我们可能都活在《黑客帝国》的世界里。你的大脑被植入晶片,错误的信息被灌输在你的大脑里。但实际上,我们却认同各式各样的事实。我们认同子弹能杀人,我们认同人不能挥挥手臂就飞起来,我们认同——或我们应该认同——外面还有一个“现实世界”,若你视而不见的话,可能会受伤。

Nonetheless, skepticism about truth can be tempting, because it allows us to rationalize away our own biases. When we do that, we're sort of like the guy in the movie who knew he was living in "The Matrix" but decided he liked it there, anyway. After all, getting what you want feels good. Being right all the time feels good. So, often it's easier for us to wrap ourselves in our cozy information bubbles, live in bad faith, and take those bubbles as the measure of reality. 但怀疑真相会令人着迷,因为这样可以合理化我们的偏见。当我们这么做,就像电影中的男主角,知道他自己活在《黑客帝国》里,但最后却决定留在里面。毕竟,得到你想要的会让你快乐。老觉得自己是对的,让你感觉良好。所以,对我们来说,通常这样比较容易:把自己浸泡在舒适的信息泡泡中,活在错误的信仰中、将这些泡泡当作衡量现实的标准。

An example, I think, of how this bad faith gets into our action is our reaction to the phenomenon of fake news. The fake news that spread on the internet during the American presidential election of 2016 was designed to feed into our biases, designed to inflate our bubbles. But what was really striking about it was not just that it fooled so many people. What was really striking to me about fake news, the phenomenon, is how quickly it itself became the subject of knowledge polarization; so much so, that the very term -- the very term -- "fake news" now just means: "news story I don't like." That's an example of the bad faith towards the truth that I'm talking about. 举个例子,我们对假新闻事件的反应,会深深地影响我们的行为。在2016美国总统大选期间,散布于网络上的假新闻就是被设计用来加深我们的偏见,膨胀我们的泡泡的。但真正令人讶异的不只是假新闻愚弄了许多人,真正令我讶异的是,假新闻现象很快地成为了认知对立的议题;结果,“假新闻”这个词,现在却演变成:“我讨厌的新闻”。这就是我所说的对真相失去信仰的例子。

But the really, I think, dangerous thing about skepticism with regard to truth is that it leads to despotism. "Man is the measure of all things" inevitably becomes "The Man is the measure of all things." Just as "every man for himself" always seems to turn out to be "only the strong survive." 不过我想更危险的是,对真相的怀疑会演变成“专制独裁”。“人是丈量万物的准则”,无可避免地会变成,“那个人”就是丈量万物的准则,像是“每个人都能生存”,会演变成“只有强者才能生存”。

At the end of Orwell's "1984," the thought policeman O'Brien is torturing the protagonist Winston Smith into believing two plus two equals five. What O'Brien says is the point, is that he wants to convince Smith that whatever the party says is the truth, and the truth is whatever the party says. And what O'Brien knows is that once this thought is accepted, critical dissent is impossible. You can't speak truth to power if the power speaks truth by definition. 在英国作家乔治·欧威尔的小说《一九八四》的故事结尾,思想警察欧布莱恩虐待主角史密斯,让主角相信二加二等于五。欧布莱恩所说的观点在于,他想说服史密斯相信,凡是党说的就真相,真相就是党说了算。因为欧布莱恩知道,一旦这个思想被接受了,异议者就不可能存在。如果当权者诠释了什么是真相,你就不能跟当权者说,什么才是真相。

I said that in order to accept that we really live in a common reality, we have to do three things. The first thing is to believe in truth. The second thing can be summed up by the Latin phrase that Kant took as the motto for the Enlightenment: "Sapere aude," or "dare to know." Or as Kant wants, "to dare to know for yourself." 为了彻底接受我们活在现实里,必须做三件事情。第一就是相信真相,第二,则能用一句拉丁文总结,康德视之为启蒙时期的座右铭,“Sapereaude”,或是“勇于求知”,或如康德所说的,“勇于为自己求知”。

I think in the early days of the internet, a lot of us thought that information technology was always going to make it easier for us to know for ourselves, and of course in many ways, it has. But as the internet has become more and more a part of our lives, our reliance on it, our use of it, has become often more passive. Much of what we know today we Google-know. We download prepackaged sets of facts and sort of shuffle them along the assembly line of social media. Now, Google-knowing is useful precisely because it involves a sort of intellectual outsourcing. We offload our effort onto a network of others and algorithms. And that allows us, of course, to not clutter our minds with all sorts of facts. We can just download them when we need them. And that's awesome. 在网络诞生的早期,许多人认为信息技术能帮助我们更了解自己。当然从很多方面来说,确实如此。不过,当网络渐渐渗透人们的生活,让人们更依赖网络,这会让人们更被动。众所周知,如今我们都使用谷歌查询信息。我们下载事先包装的事实,并重新在社群媒体上分享。没错,谷歌搜寻很有用,这都要归功于谷歌收集了很多外部的资源。我们投入很多精力在别人的网络与算法当中。当然,它能让我们的脑袋不被各类事实所淹没。我们只有在需要这些信息时才会下载,这是很棒的事情。

But there's a difference between downloading a set of facts and really understanding how or why those facts are as they are. Understanding why a particular disease spreads, or how a mathematical proof works, or why your friend is depressed, involves more than just downloading. It's going to require, most likely, doing some work for yourself: having a little creative insight; using your imagination; getting out into the field; doing the experiment; working through the proof; talking to someone. 但下载一整套的事实与透彻辨析这些真相,两者之间还是有差距的。了解为何某个疾病会散播,了解数学验证如何运作,或了解你的朋友为何忧郁,其意义都远超过单纯的下载动作。前者更需要你自己也要下点功夫,多一点创造巧思、运用想像力、亲身实践、做点小实验、引经据典验证、与人聊聊。

Now, I'm not saying, of course, that we should stop Google-knowing. I'm just saying we shouldn't overvalue it, either. We need to find ways of encouraging forms of knowing that are more active, and don't always involve passing off our effort into our bubble. Because the thing about Google-knowing is that too often it ends up being bubble-knowing. And bubble-knowing means always being right. But daring to know, daring to understand, means risking the possibility that you could be wrong. It means risking the possibility that what you want and what's true are different things. 当然我不是要大家停止谷歌搜寻,我是说,我们不该太看重搜寻结果。我们需设法鼓励更积极的求知方式,别老是让自己待在信息泡泡里,因为谷歌知识最后多半变成,泡泡知识,而泡泡知识总认为自己是对的。但是勇于求知,勇于理解,意味着你要冒可能搞错的风险,意味着到头来有可能,你想知道的事和真相有出入。

Which brings me to the third thing that I think we need to do if we want to accept that we live in a common reality. That third thing is: have a little humility. By humility here, I mean epistemic humility, which means, in a sense, knowing that you don't know it all. But it also means something more than that. It means seeing your worldview as open to improvement by the evidence and experience of others. Seeing your worldview as open to improvement by the evidence and experience of others. That's more than just being open to change. It's more than just being open to self-improvement. It means seeing your knowledge as capable of enhancing or being enriched by what others contribute. That's part of what is involved in recognizing there's a common reality that you, too, are responsible to. 这就引出了如果我们想直面现实世界就必须要做的第三件事。那就是谦卑一点,我指的是知识上的谦卑。也就是说,明白你其实不是万事通。但这也进一步意味着,借由佐证与他人交流的经验,开启你的世界观,且精益求精。借由佐证与他人交流的经验,开启你的世界观,且精益求精。这不只是打开心胸、拥抱改变,也不只是打开心胸、自我进步,而是要明白你个人的知识,能透过他人的贡献而有所提升。这就是认同现实世界存在必须经历的一个过程,而你也要负起责任。

I don't think it's much of a stretch to say that our society is not particularly great at enhancing or encouraging that sort of humility. That's partly because, well, we tend to confuse arrogance and confidence. And it's partly because, well, you know, arrogance is just easier. It's just easier to think of yourself as knowing it all. It's just easier to think of yourself as having it all figured out. But that's another example of the bad faith towards the truth that I've been talking about. 我认为说我们的社会不擅于提高或鼓励这种谦卑其实毫不夸张。部分原因是由于,我们分不清自大与自信,有部分是因为,自大比自信来得容易。认为自己是万事通可简单多了,认为自己能了解一切也简单多了。但这是我刚才提到对真相有错误信仰的另一个例子。

So the concept of a common reality, like a lot of philosophical concepts, can seem so obvious, that we can look right past it and forget why it's important. Democracies can't function if their citizens don't strive, at least some of the time, to inhabit a common space, a space where they can pass ideas back and forth when -- and especially when -- they disagree. But you can't strive to inhabit that space if you don't already accept that you live in the same reality. To accept that, we've got to believe in truth, we've got to encourage more active ways of knowing. And we've got to have the humility to realize that we're not the measure of all things. 所以现实世界的概念与很多哲学概念雷同,看起来很显眼,但我们却视而不见,并忘掉其重要性。人民若不努力,民主就无法运作,至少有时候是这样,如果人民不努力在共有的时空里交流意见,尤其是,当大家想法不一致时。但如果你还没接受,大家是处在同一个现实里,你就无法待在那个时空里。想要接受的话,我们就必须相信真相,我们必须鼓励更积极的求知方法,我们同时也必须保持谦卑,才能认识到我们不是丈量万物的准则。

也许脑袋里配备网络的想法会有实现的一天。但如果我们想要解放思想,并无所惧地执行,如果我们想扩展视野,不只是被动地汲取知识,我们就要记住,我们的观点是如此奇妙、美丽,只要我们认同——我们是活在同一个现实世界里。We may yet one day realize the vision of having the internet in our brains. But if we want that to be liberating and not terrifying, if we want it to expand our understanding and not just our passive knowing, we need to remember that our perspectives, as wondrous, as beautiful as they are, are just that -- perspectives on one reality.

Thank you. 谢谢各位!


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