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科技行业到底有多邪恶?

更新时间:2017-11-29 12:29:59 来源:纽约时报中文网 作者:佚名

How Evil Is Tech?
科技行业到底有多邪恶?

Not long ago, tech was the coolest industry. Everybody wanted to work at Facebook and Apple. But over the past year the mood has shifted.

不久之前,科技是最酷的行业。大家都想在Facebook和苹果(Apple)公司工作。但在过去的一年里,人们的态度发生了转变。

Some now believe tech is like the tobacco industry — corporations that make billions of dollars peddling a destructive addiction. Some believe it is like the N.F.L. — something millions of people love, but which everybody knows leaves a trail of human wreckage in its wake.

现在,有些人认为,科技就像烟草业,通过兜售一种具有破坏性的“瘾”来赚取数十亿美元。也有人认为,科技就像美国橄榄球联盟(NFL),成千上万人喜欢它,但大家都知道,它对人造成了很大创伤。

Surely the people in tech — who generally want to make the world a better place — don’t want to go down this road. It will be interesting to see if they can take the actions necessary to prevent their companies from becoming social pariahs.

当然,科技行业的人——他们总的来说想把世界变得更美好——不想沿着这条路走下去。看看他们能否采取必要的行动,防止自己的公司被社会遗弃,将是件有趣的事。

There are three main critiques of big tech.

人们对大型科技公司主要有三项批评。

The first is that it is destroying the young. Social media promises an end to loneliness but actually produces an increase in solitude and an intense awareness of social exclusion. Texting and other technologies give you more control over your social interactions but also lead to thinner interactions and less real engagement with the world.

第一项是,它正在残害年轻人。社交媒体承诺终结孤独,但实际上,它增加了人们独处的时间,增强了人对社会的排斥感。短信等技术可以让你更能控制自己的社交互动,但它也导致互动更浅薄,减少了与外界真正的接触。

As Jean Twenge has demonstrated in book and essay, since the spread of the smartphone, teens are much less likely to hang out with friends, they are less likely to date, they are less likely to work.

正如简·特文奇(Jean Twenge)在自己的书和文章中所展示的,由于智能手机的普及,青少年更不愿意和朋友出去玩,更不愿意约会,也更不愿意工作。

Eighth graders who spend 10 or more hours a week on social media are 56 percent more likely to say they are unhappy than those who spend less time. Eighth graders who are heavy users of social media increase their risk of depression by 27 percent. Teens who spend three or more hours a day on electronic devices are 35 percent more likely to have a risk factor for suicide, like making a plan for how to do it. Girls, especially hard hit, have experienced a 50 percent rise in depressive symptoms.

与在社交媒体上花费时间较少的学生相比,每周在这上面耗时超过10个小时的八年级学生声称自己不快乐的比例高出56%。经常使用社交媒体的八年级学生患抑郁症的风险增加27%。每天在电子设备上花费的时间超过3个小时的青少年,具备自杀风险因素的可能性增加35%,比如制定自杀计划。女孩,尤其是遭受过沉重打击的女孩,出现抑郁症状的几率增加50%。

The second critique of the tech industry is that it is causing this addiction on purpose, to make money. Tech companies understand what causes dopamine surges in the brain and they lace their products with “hijacking techniques” that lure us in and create “compulsion loops.”

人们对科技行业的第二项批评是,它是为了赚钱而故意让人们上瘾的。科技公司知道什么能导致大脑中的多巴胺激增,他们在产品中植入了“劫持技术”,引诱我们参与,并制造“强制循环”。

Snapchat has Snapstreak, which rewards friends who snap each other every single day, thus encouraging addictive behavior. News feeds are structured as “bottomless bowls” so that one page view leads down to another and another and so on forever. Most social media sites create irregularly timed rewards; you have to check your device compulsively because you never know when a burst of social affirmation from a Facebook like may come.

Snapchat设有Snapstreak,它会奖励那些每天给朋友发照片的人,从而鼓励上瘾行为。新闻推送被设计成“无底洞”,一个页面接着下一个页面,无休无止。大多数社交媒体网站都设立了不定时奖励,你必须跟强迫性地不时查看你的设备,因为你永远也不知道自己在Facebook上点个赞何时会引发一大堆的社交肯定。

The third critique is that Apple, Amazon and Facebook are near monopolies that use their market power to invade the private lives of their users and impose unfair conditions on content creators and smaller competitors. The political assault on this front is gaining steam. The left is attacking tech companies because they are mammoth corporations; the right is attacking them because they are culturally progressive. Tech will have few defenders on the national scene.

第三种批评是,苹果、亚马逊(Amazon)和Facebook几乎处于垄断地位。它们利用自己的市场力量侵入用户私人生活,并把不公平条款强加给内容创造者和比它们小的竞争对手。在这个方面的政治攻击势头渐长。左翼攻击科技公司是因为它们的庞大,右翼攻击它们则是因为它们在文化上的进步。全国范围内鲜有人捍卫科技。

Obviously, the smart play would be for the tech industry to get out in front and clean up its own pollution. There are activists like Tristan Harris of Time Well Spent, who is trying to move the tech world in the right directions. There are even some good engineering responses. I use an app called Moment to track and control my phone usage.

显然,科技行业聪明的做法是站出来,清除自己的道德败坏行为。已经出现了像合理利用时间运动(Time Well Spent)的特里斯坦·哈里斯(Tristan Harris)这样的活动人士,他在努力推动科技界朝正确的方向发展。甚至也出现了一些优秀的应对设计。我就是使用一款名Moment的应用,追踪和控制自己对手机的使用。

The big breakthrough will come when tech executives clearly acknowledge the central truth: Their technologies are extremely useful for the tasks and pleasures that require shallower forms of consciousness, but they often crowd out and destroy the deeper forms of consciousness people need to thrive.

当前科技行业的技术对需要浅层意识的任务和乐趣极为有用,但它们往往会排挤并破坏人们取得成功所需要的深层意识,如果科技行业的高管们能够明确地承认这一核心事实,我们就会迎来重大突破。

Online is a place for human contact but not intimacy. Online is a place for information but not reflection. It gives you the first stereotypical thought about a person or a situation, but it’s hard to carve out time and space for the third, 15th and 43rd thought.

网络适合人们保持联络,但不适合发展亲密关系,适合获取信息,但不适合深思。它会让你对某个人或某种情况形成第一个刻板印象,但很难为你创造时间和空间,去形成第三个,第15个和第43个看法。

Online is a place for exploration but discourages cohesion. It grabs control of your attention and scatters it across a vast range of diverting things. But we are happiest when we have brought our lives to a point, when we have focused attention and will on one thing, wholeheartedly with all our might.

网络适合探索,但它不鼓励专一。它会控制你的注意力,把它分散在大量让你分心的东西上。但只有当我们在生活中达到竭尽全力的状态,全心全意地把注意力和毅力都集中在一件事情上的时候,我们才是最快乐的。

Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel wrote that we take a break from the distractions of the world not as a rest to give us more strength to dive back in, but as the climax of living. “The seventh day is a palace in time which we build. It is made of soul, joy and reticence,” he said. By cutting off work and technology we enter a different state of consciousness, a different dimension of time and a different atmosphere, a “mine where the spirit’s precious metal can be found.”

亚伯拉罕·约书亚·赫舍尔(Abraham Joshua Heschel)拉比写道,我们摆脱世上的分心之事不是为了休息,以便有更多力气回到这些事情之中,而是因为摆脱这些事物是一种生活的巅峰状态。“第七天是我们修建的一座时间宫殿,用心灵、欢乐和缄默建造而成,”他说。通过中断工作和科技,我们会进入一种不同的意识状态、一种不同的时间维度和不同的氛围,一座“能找到灵魂贵金属的矿井”。

Imagine if instead of claiming to offer us the best things in life, tech merely saw itself as providing efficiency devices. Its innovations can save us time on lower-level tasks so we can get offline and there experience the best things in life.

假设科技不宣称为我们提供了生活中最美好的东西,只认为自己带来了提高效率的装备,那又会怎样呢。科技创新可以帮我们省去从事低端任务的时间,从而能够离开网络,在现实世界里体验生活中最美好的东西。

Imagine if tech pitched itself that way. That would be an amazing show of realism and, especially, humility, which these days is the ultimate and most disruptive technology.

想象一下,如果科技这样宣传自己,表现出的将是惊人的务实,更为重要的是谦卑,而谦卑正是现在最终极,也是最能造成混乱的技术。

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