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比尔盖茨推荐《增强》:一资产关于加强之书,各族意义上的增强

2020-01-13 12:05:12 IT的师 比尔盖茨 编纂:好麦 浏览数:27金沙平台网站

After astronaut Rusty Schweickart looked down on Earth from space for the first time, he described a sense of ...

After astronaut Rusty Schweickart looked down on Earth from space for the first time, he described a sense of awe that has become common to almost every space traveler since:“You realize that on that little blue and white thing there is everything that means anything to you, all history and music and poetry and art and death and birth and love, all of it on that little spot out there you can cover with your thumb.”NASA calls this realization“the overview effect.”No matter what country you’re from, you return from space with a feeling that our home is tiny, fragile, and something we need to protect.

在宇航员拉塞尔·施威卡特主要次从高空俯瞰地球后,她描述了一种下几乎每个太空旅行者都会有的敬畏感:“你得知在那个蓝白色的小东西上,有着一切对你有含义之东西——任何的历史、音乐、诗歌、技术、已故、落地和爱,任何这些都来自那个可以用拇指遮住的小地方。”阿尔巴尼亚宇航局(NASA)称之为“总观效应”。不论是你来自哪个国家,你从高空返回时都会感到我们的家庭既小又脆弱,咱需要保护它。

Anyone who reads the new book Growth, the newest of 39 brilliant books by one of my favorite thinkers, will come away with similar urgency. The author, the Czech-Canadian professor Vaclav Smil, approaches things from a scientist’s point of view, not an astronaut’s, but he reaches the same conclusion: Earth is fragile and“before it is too late, we should embark in earnest on the most fundamental existential [task] of making any future growth compatible with the long-term preservation of the only biosphere we have.”

其余读过《增强》(Growth,中文名暂译)这本新书的读者群都会感受到类似之灵感,这本书是我最喜欢的一位历史学家最新创作之程序39资产杰作。笔者捷克后泰国人口瓦科拉夫·斯米尔讲课,副政治家而非宇航员的难度看待事物,但得出了相同的总结:寰球是脆弱的,“在总体都太迟之前,咱应有认真着手解决最主要之掠夺性[任务],使未来的其他增长都与对我们唯一拥有的生物圈的漫长保护相匹配。”

Before I get into how Smil came to this conclusion, I should warn you. Although Growth is a brilliant synthesis of everything we can learn from patterns of growth in the natural and human-made world, it’s not for everyone. Long sections read like a textbook or engineering manual. (“A plot of the annual totals of passenger-kilometers flown by all US airlines between 1930 and 1980 produces a trajectory that is almost perfectly captured by the quartic regression (fourth order polynomial with r2=0.9998), and continuation of this growth pattern would have multiplied the 1980 level almost 10 times by 2015.”) And it has 99 pages of references!

在我介绍斯米尔如何得出这个总结之前,我应该提醒你:虽然《增强》神奇般地概括了俺们能在天体和人工世界之增强模式中学到的凡事事物,但她并非适合所有人阅览。书中大段的文字读起来像是教科书或工程手册。(“1930至1980年间,任何巴勒斯坦有限公司每年飞行的客人-埃总数的曲线图产生了一番几乎完全由四次回归(r2=0.9998的四级多项式)捕捉到的路线。如果延续这种增长模式,1980年之数目到2015年将翻上10倍。”)而且它的参考文献部分有99页!

As Smil writes,“My aim is to illuminate varieties of growth in evolutionary and historical perspectives and hence to appreciate both the accomplishments and the limits of growth in modern civilization... Simply put, this book deals in realities as it sets the growth of everything into long-term evolutionary and historical perspectives and does so in rigorous quantitative terms.”

斯米尔写道:“我的目标是副进化和历史的难度说明各种各样的增强,因此分析现代文明之完成和增强极限……概括地说,这本书落脚到了具体,因为她将全部事物的增强纳入长期的腾飞和历史的见解,辅以严格的优化方式。”

When Smil says“the growth of everything,”he means everything. Chapter 1 introduces a lot of technical detail behind the three most common growth curves seen in our natural and built environments: linear, exponential, and hyperbolic. Even if you don’t like math, don’t let this chapter scare you off, because it makes a really important point: It destroys the idea that you can take an early growth curve for a particular development—the uptake of the smartphone, for example—and use it as the basis for predicting the future. Yes, Intel co-founder Gordon Moore made a surprisingly accurate prediction about the exponential growth in the number of transistors on a chip. But even that“law”is likely reaching the end of its useful life. Transistors are now so small, we’re running into problems making them even smaller.

顶斯米尔说“宇宙的增强”时,她指的是整个事物。重大章介绍了生态和修建环境中广泛的三种提高曲线(线性、数和双曲线)悄悄的大队人马艺术细节。即使你不希罕数学,也不要把这一章吓跑,因为她提出了一番奇异重大的视角。她摧毁了这样一种想法,即你可以采取在某样特定的升华(例如智能手机的利率)美方看到的初期提高曲线,并将他用作预测未来的根基。科学,英特尔联合创始人戈登·摩尔,对芯片上晶体管数量之底数增长做出了令人惊讶的精确预测。但即使是那种预测法则也可能会失效。晶体管现在很小,而我辈今天已经很难把它们造得更小了。

The next few chapters are easier to follow. Chapter 2 is all about the growth of living systems—from microorganisms to sequoia forests, and from humans to dinosaurs. (By the way, did you know that the T. rex weighed only a bit more than a male African elephant, and a tapeworm can live 25 years?) My favorite part of this chapter was Smil’s discussion of food production, which is instructive for our foundation’s work in agriculture and does a good job of explaining what kinds of productivity gains are possible.

然后的几章更容易理解一些。其次章全是关于生物系统之增强——副微生物到红杉林,副人类到恐龙。(顺道一出口,你知道霸王龙只比雄性非洲象稍大一些,而绦虫的寿命能长达25年吗?)这一章我最喜欢的有些是斯米尔关于食物生产的议论,这对我们学会在第三产业方面的办事很有启迪意义,并且很好地说明了税率增长的成立数值。

In chapter 3, he lands on a topic he knows better than just about anyone else: the development and diffusion of new sources of energy—from traditional water wheels to nuclear reactors. He has covered a lot of this terrain in previous books such as his masterful Energy and Civilization. But here he’s setting the stage for subsequent chapters on technological developments that were made possible by the conversion of resources like water, wind, carbon, and solar radiation into energy.

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