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Groundbreaking change

创新衰败之困

中文 英文 双语 2012-06-12    来源:21st Century      阅读数:102807
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导读:随着网络时代的到来,人类体验到智能手机以及社交网络所带来的便利。而与此同时,也有人指出正是这些科技创新(technical innovation),阻碍了一些对人类更有价值的科研进程。
放大这张图片
科技创新
Internet

创新衰败之困

If asked to give one example of a successful innovation in the past 10 years, what would come to mind first?
如果有人让你举出一个过去10年间成功创新的例子,你首先想到会是什么?

Apple’s shiny cool gadgets like the iPhone and the iPad? Or the emergence of social networking sites such as the Facebook and its various copycats?
是iPhone、iPad等炫酷的苹果产品?还是诸如Facebook及众多仿Facebook的社交网络的兴起?

We admit these devices and applications have greatly changed our lifestyle. We have never before felt so connected and social networking sites are powerful tools in motivating people to take part in worthy social and civic causes.
我们承认,这些设备和应用极大地改变了我们的生活方式。在此之前,我们从未感觉和世界连接得如此紧密;在鼓励人们投身到有价值的社会和公民事业这一方面,社交网络发挥着巨大的作用。

We churn out one nifty gadget after another, with bigger screens and less buttons. We tweak text and photo-sharing social networking sites to create a new product to share, perhaps audios and videos. There is a cloud for us to store and share our files.
时髦的发明一个接一个:屏幕越来越大,按键越来越少。我们对可以让人们分享文字和图片的社交网络进行改革,创造了一种可以分享音频、视频的新产品。有了云服务,我们可以存储并分享自己的文件。

All of these are wonderful, but what about truly groundbreaking and visionary endeavors that will profoundly change the world and human life?
所有这一切都棒极了,但从真正意义上讲,究竟什么才是深刻改变世界和人类生活的富有远见的创造性贡献呢?

More than a half century ago science fiction envisioned a future where human beings made routine space trips. They lived in colonies in other galaxies or on the seabed.
半个多世纪前,科幻小说中设想出这样一个未来:对于人类而言,太空之旅已成为平常事。他们居住在位于其他银河系或海底的殖民地之上。

They made food out of thin air and could live for 300 years. Unfortunately, none of these things will happen in the foreseeable future.
他们可以利用稀薄的空气制造食物,寿命能达到 300岁。可惜所有这些在可预见的未来都不会实现。

Is something wrong with our technological development? Steve Blank, writing in The Huffinton Post, blamed social networking and social media companies such as Facebook for stifling innovation.
我们的技术开发是不是出现了什么问题?史提夫•布兰克在《赫芬顿邮报》上发表文章,指责像Facebook这样的社交网站和社交媒体公司扼杀了创新。

Blank teaches entrepreneurship at Stanford, Columbia and the US’ National Science Foundation Innovation Corps. He advises people, especially venture capitalists (VC), who want to commercialize inventions.
布兰克同时在斯坦福大学、哥伦比亚大学以及美国国家自然科学基金创新研究群体任职,教授创业课程。他会为学员,尤其是那些想将新发明商业化的风险投资者们提供建议。

Blank argues that the success of Facebook and other social networking and social media companies is diverting venture capital from serious research with a more uncertain payoff.
布兰克认为Facebook等社交网站和社交媒体公司的成功,使得那些回报不算明朗的“严肃研究”不再受到风险资本的青睐。

He is talking about research that truly visionary VCs should be supporting.
他所说的严肃研究是那些真正有远见的风险投资者应当全力支持的项目。

Instead of “investing in a blockbuster cancer drug that will pay them nothing for 15 years”, Blank says VCs are throwing their money at the latest and possibly greatest social-media idea that can run on smartphones or tablets in hopes of scoring a quick return when it goes big.
与其“投资一种有重大意义的抗癌药品,十五年都没有回报,”布兰克称:“如今风险投资家更喜欢将资本投向最新、也可能是最棒的,支持智能手机和平板电脑的社交媒体,期望其做大的时候能得到快速收益。”

“In the past,” Blank wrote, “if you were a successful VC, you could make $100 million (637 million yuan) on an investment in five to seven years. Today, social media startups can return hundreds of millions or even billions in less than three years.”
“在过去”,布兰克写道:“如果你是位成功的风险投资家,你可以在五至七年内,在一项投资上赚到1亿美元(合6.37亿人民币)。今天,社交媒体的新秀们能让你在不到三年的时间里得到数亿甚至数十亿的回报。

On TechCrunch.com, Alexander Haislip, a marketing executive at a tech startup, is even more critical.
在TechCrunch网站上,一位来自新兴技术公司的市场主管亚力山大•希斯立普对此的态度则更为苛刻。

Facebook may be doing exciting things with advertising, he acknowledges, but how exciting is advertising, anyway? It’s hardly, he complains, “the best use of the brightest minds of our generation”.
他承认或许Facebook在广告方面做的很棒,可话说回来,广告又能多有趣呢?他抱怨道:“这并没有充分利用我们这一代的聪明才智。”

A 1999 report in the Wire magazine predicted: “The convergence of mobile phones and the Internet, high-speed wireless data access, intelligent networks, and pervasive computing will shape how we work, shop, pay bills, flirt, keep appointments, conduct wars, keep up with our children, and write poetry in the next century.”
一则1999年发表于《Wire》杂志的报道预言称:“手机、网络、高速无线数据存取、智能网络和普适计算将会决定我们下个世纪的工作、购物、付账、调情、约会、战争、与孩子相处,甚至是写诗的方式。”

Thirteen years later, we are already living in the world the report described. Perhaps it is time for us to ask: What now?
十三年后,我们已经生活在了该报道所预言的世界中。也许现在是时候问问我们自己:“现在该怎么办?”

21英语网站版权说明  (Translator & Editor: 21英语 Ruby AND Aaron)


以上文章内容选自《21世纪英文报》,详情请见《21世纪英文报》958期
辞海拾贝
innovation创新 emergence出现
copycats抄袭 civic公民的
nifty小巧的 tweak扭,拧
endeavor努力 envision预想
stifle扼杀 venture capitalist风险投资家
divert转移 payoff结算
tablet平板电脑 convergence会聚,集合
flirt调情 



 


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