您现在的位置: 纽约时报中英文网 >> 纽约时报中英文版 >> 科技 >> 正文

数字时代的加州“海滩恶人”

更新时间:2018-9-15 10:48:35 来源:纽约时报中文网 作者:佚名

Every Generation Gets the Beach Villain It Deserves
数字时代的加州“海滩恶人”

It sounds simple. For nearly a decade, venture capitalist Vinod Khosla has been fighting in court to keep the public off a piece of beach that abuts his property on the Pacific coast. What could be more familiar than another case of rich Californian versus the oceangoing citizenry?

听来简单。近十年来,风险投资家维诺德·科斯拉(Vinod Khosla)一直在法庭上抗争,不许公众踏足他在太平洋海岸一处私人物业附近的海滩。又是一起加州富豪对阵赏海民众的官司,还有什么比这更耳熟的吗?

But the first thing you need to understand about this absurd war is that it did not begin with Khosla buying a beach house. Just south of Half Moon Bay, Khosla bought an entire beach village — forming a limited liability company that owned the land beneath about 47 cottages, and a little shop that at one point sold ice cream, and the only viable path to the sand.

但关于这场荒谬的争拗,你首先应该了解的是,事情的起因并非科斯拉买了一套海边宅邸。在半月湾南边,科斯拉买下了海边的一整个村子,组建了一家有限责任公司,持有47座小屋和一家从前卖冰激凌的小店铺之下的所有土地,以及通往沙滩的唯一道路。

The next things to understand are that he bought the place on what he says was a whim, has never spent a single night there, and regrets it enormously.

其次你应该了解的是,他声称自己买下这个地方是心血来潮,他从未在此住过一宿,而且非常地后悔。

And the last thing — given that the case has wound itself to the Supreme Court and could upend one of California’s most sacred promises to its citizens — is that Khosla is willing to keep litigating this for the rest of his life and has about $3 billion to spend on it.

最后——尽管官司已经打到了最高法院,并且可能推翻加州对其民众最神圣的一个承诺——科斯拉愿意终此一生把官司打到底,而且有30亿美元可以花在诉讼上。

Over the years, successive California titans have come up against the vexing fact that the beach cannot be privatized. The state constitution establishes that property below the mean tide line belongs to the public, and the Coastal Act of 1976 enshrines this, mandating that public access be maximized consistent with (and here is the tricky part) “constitutionally protected rights of private property owners.” Khosla, through his LLC, is being sued by a nonprofit called the Surfrider Foundation over the matter of whether a permit is needed to block the road, and the thrust of his defense is that his property rights are being violated.

多年以来,加州大亨不断地遭遇海滩不可私有这个恼人的现实。州宪法规定平均潮位线以下的地方归公众所有,1976年的《海岸法》明确规定了这一点,要求在符合(这是最棘手的地方)“私产所有人受宪法保护权利”的前提下,使公众利用最大化。就关闭海滩道路是否应先获取许可证的问题,名为“弄潮儿基金会”(Surfrider Foundation)的非营利组织经由科斯拉的有限责任公司起诉了他,而他的辩护主旨就是他的产权受到了侵犯。

If every generation in California gets the beach villain it deserves — if the producer David Geffen’s battle in Malibu at the turn of the century epitomized the last, Hollywood-based era of wealth creation — then Khosla is the sandy antagonist of the digital age.

如果说加州的每代人都要遇到各自的海滩恶人,如果说世纪之交时制片人大卫·格芬(David Geffen)在马里布海滩的恶战标志了最后一个依凭好莱坞的财富创造年代,那么科斯拉就是数字时代的沙滩敌手。

Geffen, humiliated in the press and shamed by his community, eventually gave up his fight. But Khosla, who by co-founding Sun Microsystems cemented his place in history as an inventor of the commercial internet, seems immune to criticism. Almost since the day in 2008 that he bought the 53-acre hillside known as Martin’s Beach, he has been in court, enduring attacks from multiple parties and crashing through obstacles using every legal tool available. He is driven by an almost manic belief that things must be done right and must be done fair. And somewhere along the line, the state of California triggered him.

格芬饱受媒体羞辱,他所在的社区也以他为耻,他渐渐罢手不再斗下去。但联合创始太阳微系统公司(Sun Microsystems)奠定了科斯拉商业互联网发明者的历史地位,他似乎不受外界批评的影响。几乎从2008年他买下名为马丁海滩的53英亩坡地那天起,他就一直在法庭上,承受相关各方对他的抨击,用所有可用的法律工具碾压各种阻碍。他的动力是一个近乎疯狂的信念,事情必须做得正确,做得公平。而在事情的某个环节,加州触怒了他。

Now, by dint of his character, which ticks all the major boxes of the venture capitalist archetype — aggressive, shameless, obsessive and optimistic — Khosla could disrupt the entire California coastal system. The stakes are both enormous and hilariously low.

眼下因为他的性格——符合风险投资家的所有典型特征:咄咄逼人、不知羞耻、执拗和乐观——科斯拉可能会颠覆加州的整个海岸体系。赌注高的吓人,同时又低得可笑。

If he wins, he could reshape the laws that govern 1,100 miles of shore. And if he loses, all he would be forced to do is apply for a permit to change the hours of operation on a single gate. The legal volleys would undoubtedly continue; Californians do not easily give up a good surf spot. But the last person against whom to wage a war of attrition is Vinod Khosla.

如果打赢,他可能改写治理着1100英里海岸线的法律。如果他败诉,他被迫要做的不过是申请一纸批文来更改一道门的开闭时间。法律上的你来我往无疑会继续下去;加州人不会轻易放弃一处优质冲浪地点。但维诺德·科斯拉是一个最不应该与之打持久战的对手。

The tea awaits Khosla on a bright purple leather coaster. The glass walls of the conference room at Khosla Ventures, his investment firm, are the same shade. The banister, too, the sofa downstairs, a hose cord outside, all that exact purple.

科斯拉的茶放在亮紫色的皮质杯垫上。他的投资公司科斯拉风投(Khosla Ventures)的会议室玻璃墙也是同样的色调。楼梯扶手也是,楼下的沙发、外边的一根软管,都是那种紫色。

Khosla is on time. He’s 63 years old and thin, with close-cropped white hair, and when he pops into his chair, he has no interest in small talk. We already know each other. Khosla is loath to give interviews about Martin’s Beach and it is certainly not in his best interest to do so given that I have told him for years that he is making a fool of himself with this beach, a place he does not even like, and that his quest offends me, a native Californian.

科斯拉准时到了。他现年63岁,瘦削,一头白发剪得很短,只要他坐上他的椅子,就不会浅谈辄止。我们本来就是认识的。科斯拉不愿受访谈马丁海滩,跟我谈就更没好处了,因为多年来我一直告诉他,他在海滩这件事上是在丢人现眼,那地方他自己甚至都不喜欢,而且他的诉求也得罪了我,一个土生土长的加州人。

But now Khosla wants to tell his side. He wants me to know that he is right. And where some shy from conflict, Khosla seeks it, almost destructively. So he invited me to his purple lair.

但眼下科斯拉想讲出他的立场。他想让我知道他是正确的。有的人害怕冲突,而科斯拉几乎是破坏性地寻求冲突。所以他请我去他的紫色老巢。

“A billionaire is a bad word in this country now,” he said as his tea cooled. “And that pains me.”

“如今在这个国家,亿万富翁是个坏词了,”他说,与此同时他的茶正在变凉。“这让我很痛苦。”

He does not want the beach at all, really. He does not swim. For fun, he hikes.

他根本不想要那片海滩,真的。他不游泳。要消遣,他就去健走。

“I mean, look, to be honest, I do wish I’d never bought the property,” Khosla says. “In the end, I’m going to end up selling it.”

“你看,说真的,我真希望没买那片地,”科斯拉说。“到最后我还是会卖掉。”

“If this hadn’t ever started, I’d be so happy,” he adds. “But once you’re there in principle, you can’t give up principle.” He frames the struggle in the Silicon Valley patois of contrarianism. “I’d rather do the right hard things now that I’m in,” he says, “than the wrong easy things.”

“如果这一切还没开始,我会很高兴,”他补充道。“但原则上你已经走到这里了,你就不能放弃原则。”他用硅谷所说的逆势操作来表述他的斗争。“我宁可做正确的难事,就像我现在的情况,”他说,“而不做错误的容易事。”

The “beach issue,” as it is called internally at Khosla Ventures, has surprisingly not been a problem in the office. “It’s an incredible negotiating tool for me,” said Samir Kaul, another partner at Khosla Ventures.

令人惊讶的是,科斯拉风投内部称为“海滩问题”的这件事在办公室里并无忌讳。“这对我来说是个绝好的谈判工具,”公司的另一位合伙人萨米尔·卡乌尔(Samir Kaul)说。

When a company was trying to “screw” the firm, Kaul brought up news articles about the beach at a meeting. “I said: ‘My boss is going to the Supreme Court for a beach he’s never gone to. We’re not posturing here. This guy’s not going to settle,'” Kaul said. “And then I just sat there.”

有一次另一家公司想要“搞”他的公司,卡乌尔在一次会议上提起了海滩一事的新闻报道。“我说:‘我老板要为他从来不去的一片海滩上最高法院。我们不是在这儿做样子。这个人是不会跟你和解的,’”卡乌尔说。“然后我就坐在那儿。”

Khosla’s legal team now includes Paul Clement, the former U.S. solicitor general, who since 2000 has appeared before the Supreme Court in more cases than any other lawyer.

前美国总检察长保罗·克莱门特(Paul Clement)眼下就在科斯拉的法律团队里,自2000年以来,他在最高法院出庭的案件多于任何其他律师。

His skills are being applied to a dispute that began with the most minor of directives. After buying Martin’s Beach, Khosla was told by the county that he had to either (a) keep open a road that the public used to get to the beach and not charge more than the 1972-era rate of $2 a car for parking, or (b) apply for a Coastal Development Permit to change access. He chose (c) neither and was sued by his fellow citizens.

他的技能被用来解决一桩由最微不足道的官方指令引发的冲突。买下马丁海滩后,县政府告知科斯拉他要么选择(a)保持公众前往海滩的道路开放,收取停车费不得高于1972年时的每车2美元,要么选择(b)申请一份海岸开发许可来变更公众使用权。他选了(c)a、b都不选,让他的同胞起诉他。

Khosla went on to sue the California Coastal Commission as an entity and its officers in their personal capacity. He sued the State Lands Commission and San Mateo County, and, again, its officers. He alleged extortion and infringement of his rights. In his view, the government was forcing him to operate a money-losing parking business. In one legal maneuver, he traced the property back to the 1848 Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo between the United States and Mexico, claiming it supersedes the Coastal Act.

科斯拉随后起诉了加州海岸委员会的实体及其官员个人。他起诉了州土地委员会和圣马特奥县,以及——再一次地——其中的官员。他声称自己遭到了勒索,权利受到侵犯。在他看来,政府强迫他经营赔钱的停车生意。作为一个法律策略,他将这处地产追溯至美国和墨西哥之间的1848年的瓜达卢佩-伊达尔戈条约(Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo),声称这一条约在法律上取代了《海岸法》(Coastal Act)。

Khosla won, and for a time closed the gate across the beach road. California’s Legislature and governor stepped in to reopen the beach by passing and signing into law legislation to thwart Khosla. This move required purchasing an easement from him; the State Lands Commission estimated the cost at $360,000, but Khosla estimated at one point that his loss of privacy was worth at least $30 million. The parties remain at an impasse, and in June, California passed a budget that included language about using eminent domain to take the road if Khosla does not agree to a price.

科斯拉赢了,并一度关闭了海滩路对面的大门。加州的立法机构和州长介入,通过制定和签署法令来阻止科斯拉,以重新开放海滩。这一行动需要从他那里购买地役权;州土地委员会估计花费为36万美元,但科斯拉一度估计,他在隐私上的损失至少价值3000万美元。双方一直僵持不下。今年6月,加州通过了一项预算,其中提到如果科斯拉不接受一个出价,就会使用土地征用权来拿下这条路。

After a decade’s worth of billable hours, those in legal combat with Khosla are somewhat awed by his determination.

在10年的律师计费工时之后,那些与科斯拉打官司的人对他的决心有些敬畏。

“All he had to do was apply for a permit to change the gate hours,” said Angela Howe, legal director at the Surfrider Foundation, a nonprofit that advocates beach access causes and is Khosla’s primary antagonist. “It’s really, like, wow,” she said. “Now, if the Supreme Court takes it up, it could rule about every coastal management program in the United States.”

“他只需要申请一个许可,更改开大门的时间,”安吉拉·豪依(Angela Howe)说。她是弄潮儿基金会的法务总监,该基金会是一个非营利组织,倡导公众对海滩的使用,是科斯拉的主要反对者。“感觉就是,哇,你可真行,”她说,“现在,如果最高法院接手,它可能是在对美国所有的海岸管理项目进行裁决。”

Khosla was born in Pune, India, in 1955 and grew up the middle-class son of an army officer. He says his parents accepted his personality early on, though they also learned he could be a liability.

科斯拉1955年出生在印度浦那一个中产阶级家庭,是一个军官的儿子。他说,他的父母很早就接受了他的性格,但他们也知道他可能带来很多问题。

“The priests would effectively say, ‘If you donate this much money, God will bless you.’ How crooked is that? If I ran into a priest, I’d say, ‘Oh, you’re a crook,'” Khosla says, recalling being 12 years old.

“牧师们真的会说,‘如果你捐这些钱,上帝会保佑你。’这有多蒙人?如果我遇到牧师,我会说,‘哦,你是个骗子。’”科斯拉回忆起自己12岁的时候说。

After a master’s degree in biomedical engineering at Carnegie Mellon University and an MBA at Stanford Graduate School of Business, he founded the electronic design company Daisy Systems and then, in 1982, Sun Microsystems. The company sold servers and workstations and created Java, the programming language that formed the foundation for much of today’s internet. Later, Khosla nurtured the creation of Juniper Networks, which built the routers and switches upon which the internet flourished.

在卡内基梅隆大学(Carnegie Mellon University)取得生物医学工程硕士学位,并在斯坦福大学商学院(Stanford Graduate School of Business)获得MBA文凭后,科斯拉创立了电子设计公司Daisy Systems,然后于1982年创立了太阳微系统,该公司销售服务器和工作站,并创建了Java——这种编程语言构成了当今互联网的基础。后来,科斯拉培育和创建了瞻博网络(Juniper Networks),互联网靠着这家公司打造的路由器和交换机蓬勃发展。

He became a hero of the political left last decade after investing early and heavily in clean technology and by funding efforts in biofuel, energy storage and solar. Some of his bets succeeded; others failed spectacularly. He has continued to support and invest in eco-friendly startups.

过去十年里,他在清洁技术方面进行了大量的早期投资,并资助了生物燃料、能源储存和太阳能方面的项目,成为左派政治的英雄人物。他的一些赌博成功了;另一些则一败涂地。他仍在继续支持和投资环保初创企业。

His life plan now is to “reinvent societal infrastructure.” He has recently gotten interested in the YIMBY movement, a pro-real estate development cause that stands for “yes in my backyard.” Khosla wants to 3D-print houses for the homeless to be installed above parking lots. He sketches this for me on one of the perfect whiteboards.

他现在的人生计划是“彻底改造社会基础设施”。最近,他对YIMBY运动感兴趣,YIMBY指“就在我的后院”(yes in my backyard),是一个支持房地产开发的运动。科斯拉希望为无家可归者建造3D打印房屋,安装在停车场上方。他在一个完美的白板上为我画了这个构想的草图。

He wants people to think bigger, he says. Meanwhile, at Martin’s Beach, he is pursuing a scorched-earth campaign around whether a gate needs a permit. In February, Khosla petitioned the Supreme Court to rule on his case, citing the First Amendment and also the Fifth (the takings clause) and 14th (his right to due process). The justices are now deciding whether to hear the case.

他说他希望人们想事情能大一些。与此同时他却在马丁海滩为了一扇门是否需要许可证而展开焦土作战。二月,科斯拉向最高法申请裁决此案,援引的是宪法第一以及第五(征收条款)、第14(他的正当法律程序权利)修正案。大法官正在考虑是否听诉。

One recent cold summer Sunday, the rusty gate stood open. A few yards down, someone was collecting $10 from incoming cars. The cottages of Martin’s Beach have windows that are thick with salt from the air; some of the houses are small and modest, with peeling paint, and others are more fixed up. The decks were full of barbecues, wicker furniture and driftwood art.

最近一个凉爽的夏日星期天,生锈的大门敞开着。几码远的地方,有人在向进来的汽车收取10美元。在马丁海滩,小屋的窗子上从空气中集了厚厚的一层盐;有些房子又小又简陋,油漆剥落,还有一些房子则经过了更多修整。甲板上摆满了烤肉、柳条家具和浮木艺术品。

David Pasternak, 66, was at home making smoked salmon. “If the Supreme Court wants to take the case, they want to go after the California Coastal Act,” said Pasternak, whose family bought the cabin in 1960. “And that’s a very serious thing.”

66岁的大卫·帕斯捷尔纳克(David Pasternak)正在家里做烟熏三文鱼。“如果最高法院想受理此案,他们就会从加州的《海岸法》下手,”帕斯捷尔纳克说,“而这是一件非常严重的事情。”

He took a sip of pour-over coffee. “What prompted California to pass the Coastal Act was so we didn’t end up like the East Coast — miles and miles without access to the water,” he said. “We live in a different country here.”

他喝了一口手冲咖啡。“促使加州通过《海岸法》的原因是,这样我们就不会像东海岸那样,连续几英里的海岸线我们都不能用了,”他说。“我们这是生活在另一个国家里。”

On some level, Pasternak admires Khosla’s conviction.

在某种程度上,帕斯捷尔纳克钦佩科斯拉的信念。

“He’s become the caricature of the rich guy trying to keep people out, and that gives the Coastal Commission a lot of pleasure,” Pasternak said. But, he added, “I don’t think he’s doing this for money. I really don’t think he’s doing this out of greed.

“他已经变成了一副“富人试图把人们拒之门外”的讽刺漫画,这让海岸委员会很开心,”帕斯捷尔纳克说。但是,他补充说,“我不认为他这样做是为了钱。我真的不认为他这样做是出于贪婪。”

“All they said was he has to apply for a permit, and he says, ‘(Expletive) you, I’m not going to apply at all,'” Pasternak said. “It’s kind of — I mean, he’s awfully sure of himself. You could say he’s principled.”

“他们就只是说,他必须申请许可证,然后他说,“[脏话]你的,我才不要申请。’”帕斯捷尔纳克说,“感觉——我是说,他对自己非常自信。你可以说他很有原则。”

“全文请访问纽约时报中文网,本文发表于纽约时报中文网(http://cn.nytimes.com),版权归纽约时报公司所有。任何单位及个人未经许可,不得擅自转载或翻译。订阅纽约时报中文网新闻电邮:http://nytcn.me/subscription/”

相关文章列表