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赏析版2012年6月经济学人文章(英汉双语对照)汇集


经济学人中文网 赏析版 2012 年 6 月经济学人文章(英汉双语对照)汇集

Contents
[2006.12.19] Born of fire 精灵:无烟火所诞生的 ...........................................................1 [2006.12.19] Fire from heaven 天陨之火:太阳系的起源与灾难的... ...........................6 [2012.06.01] WHICH IS THE BEST MUSICAL INSTRUMENT? 序.........................13 [2012.06.02]Italy?s troubled economy 意大利的问题经济 In need of refo... ................18 [2012.06.02] The Alamo 阿拉莫之战 ..............................................................................25 [2012.06.02] VC clone home 风投公司投资模仿者 .......................................................27 [2012.06.02] London's tech firms Peddling Jobs 伦敦高科技公司 兜售... ....................31 [2012.06.06] WHICH IS THE BEST MUSICAL INSTRUMENT? 系列之五:人声 ...33 [2012.06.09]The search for alien life 寻找外星生命 .......................................................35 [2012.06.09]Looking for love 寻觅爱情 ...........................................................................38 [2012.06.09] Start the engines, Angela 发动引擎吧,安吉拉 ........................................40 [2012.06.09] Germany?s obstinate chancellor 固执的德国总理 .....................................44 [2012.06.09] Visas for entrepreneurs:Where creators are welcome 投资者签证 ............49 [2012.06.09] Burgernomics to go 该汉堡学闪亮登场了 ................................................51 [2012.06.13] The most persecuted group in Asia 亚洲受压迫最深重的族群 ................56 [2012.06.16] Money can?t buy me love 千金难买真幸福 ...............................................60 [2012.06.16]What is it for? 科学究竟有什么用? ..........................................................62 [2012.06.16] Boundary conditions 边界条件 ..................................................................64 [2012.06.16]Gold in white and black “黑金”与“白金” ....................................................69 [2012.06.22]Chinese malconsumption 中国人的不当消费 ............................................72 [2012.06.23] Fakes and status in China 中国:假货向左,身份往右 ...........................73 [2012.06.23] Divided over Trident 三叉戟上的分歧 ......................................................78 [2012.06.23] Blooming horrible 可怕的富营养化 ..........................................................80 [2012.06.23] The laws of the city 城市定律 ....................................................................84 [2012.06.23] Player movement in basketball 篮球转会 ..................................................87 [2012.06.23]South Africa?s police 南非政治 ...................................................................92 [2012.06.30] Europe?s other crisis 欧洲面临的另一个危机 ...........................................94 [2012.06.30] A precarious brilliance 伦敦:辉煌之都摇摇欲坠 ...................................98 [2012.06.30] Protectionism alert 警惕贸易保护主义....................................................102 [2012.06.30] Fly me to the moon 好风凭借力,送我窥月宫.......................................105 [2012.06.30] Europe on the rack 欧洲:被绑在肢刑架上............................................108 [2012.06.30] Something doesn?t add up 似乎有点不对劲 ............................................112

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[2006.12.19] Born of fire 精灵:无烟火所诞生的
【导读】你读过《一千零一夜》吗?那里的宝物中封印着精灵,它们能为主人做各种神奇的事 情。但精灵究竟是什么?请看《经济学人》记者撰写的特别报告。 Special report: 特别报告: Jinn 精灵[注 1] Born of fire 无烟火所诞生的 Our correspondent travels to Somalia and Afghanistan in search of jinn 本报记者前往索马里和阿富汗寻找精灵 Dec 19th 2006 | QARDHO | from the print edition

THERE is a cleft in a stone hill outside Qardho, in northern Somalia, which even the hardest gunmen and frankincense merchants avoid. In the cool dark, out of the bleached sunshine, there is a pit, a kind of Alice in Wonderland rabbit hole, which is said to swirl down into the world of jinn. Locals say jinn—genies, that is—fade in and out above the pit. Sometimes they shift into forms of ostriches and run out over the desert scrub. 在索马里北部卡得侯(Qardho)郊外的石山上有一道大裂缝,那里就连最狠辣的枪手和乳香商 人也避之不及。在灼热的阳光照射不到的清凉幽暗之处有一个岩洞,据说它跟《爱丽斯漫游奇 境记》中描述的兔子洞 [注 2] 一样盘旋下行,一直通往镇尼的世界。据当地人说,镇尼—— 也就是精灵(以下称精灵)——会在岩洞上空时隐时现。有时它们会幻化成鸵鸟的样子,消失 在沙漠的灌木上方。 The Bible holds that God created angels and then made man in his own image. The Koran states that Allah fashioned angels from light and then made jinn from smokeless fire. Man was formed later, out of clay. Jinn disappointed Allah, not least by climbing to the highest vaults of the sky and eavesdropping on the angels. Yet Allah did not annihilate them. No flood closed over their heads. Jinn were willed into existence, like man, to worship Allah and were preserved on earth for that purpose,
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living in a parallel world, set at such an angle that jinn can see men, but men cannot see jinn. 《圣经》认为,上帝创造了天使,然后依照他自己的形象创造了男人。《可兰经》[注 3]中 说,真主用光创造了天使,然后用无烟火创造了精灵,之后才用粘土创造了男人。精灵表现不 佳,很让真主失望,尤其是它们曾攀到天穹的最高处偷听天使的谈话。但真主并没有杀死精 灵,也没有降下没顶的洪水淹死它们。它们像人类一样,按真主的意志,为赞美真主而成为真 实的存在,生活在地球上。但它们生活在一个与人类世界平行的世界,这个世界与人类世界之 间的角度使它们看得见人类,而人类看不到它们。 Less educated Muslims remain fearful of jinn. Hardly a week passes in the Muslim world without a strange story concerning them. Often the tales are foolish and melancholy. In August, for instance, Muslims in the Kikandwa district of central Uganda grew feverish over reports of jinn haunting and raping women in the district. So when a young woman stumbled out of the forest one day, unkempt and deranged, she was denounced as a jinn. Villagers beat her almost to death. Police finished the job with six bullets at close range. The young woman called out for her children in her last moments. An investigation revealed her to be from a neighbouring district. She had spent days without food or water, searching for her missing husband. Editorials in Ugandan newspapers called on the government formally to deny the existence of jinn. 文化程度不高的穆斯林现在还惧怕精灵。在穆斯林世界中,差不多每个星期都有与它们有关的 古怪事件。这通常是些愚昧而又令人伤感的事件。例如今年 8 月,精灵在中乌干达中部吉坎德 瓦(Kikandwa)地区作祟并强奸妇女的说法愈传愈盛,弄得人心惶惶。结果有一天,见到一个 衣着不整、神志恍惚的年轻妇女跌跌撞撞地从森林里出来,村民们便斥其为精灵,几乎将她暴 打致死。后来警察来了,在很近的距离内向她连开 6 枪,结束了她的生命。她在生命的最后时 刻呼喊着自己的孩子。事后调查说明,她来自附近地区,正在寻找自己失踪的丈夫,好几天没 吃饭没喝水。乌干达报纸的社论正式向政府呼吁,要求它否认精灵的存在。 That would be divisive. Although a few Islamic scholars have over the ages denied the existence of jinn, the consensus is that good Muslims should believe in them. Some Islamic jurists consider marriage between jinn and humans to be lawful. There is a similar provision for the inheritance of jinn property. Sex during menstruation is an invitation to jinn and can result in a woman bearing a jinn child. According to the Koran, the Prophet Muhammad preached to bands of jinn. Some converted to Islam. This is how jinn describe their condition in the Koran: 此举会造成争议。尽管史上曾有些伊斯兰学者不承认精灵存在,但舆论普遍认为,虔诚的穆斯 林应该相信精灵的存在。有些伊斯兰法学家考虑承认精灵与人类之间的婚姻合法。另一条类似 的法律条款涉及精灵财产的继承。经期性生活能让精灵乘虚而入,可能会让女人怀上精灵胎 儿。根据《可兰经》记载,先知穆罕默德曾向几批精灵布道,其中有些皈依了伊斯兰教。如下 是精灵在《可兰经》中描述自己状况的段落: And among us [jinn] there are righteous folk and among us there are those far from that. We are sects, having different rules. And we know that we cannot escape from Allah in the earth, nor can we escape by flight. And when we heard the guidance [of the Koran], we believed therein, and who so believeth in his Lord, he feareth neither loss nor oppression. And there are among us some who have surrendered to Allah and there are among us some who are unjust. “吾辈精灵亦有善恶之分。精灵有不同派别,遵持不同规矩。吾等深知,必无抗真主意志逃脱 尘世之法,纵插翅亦无从飞去。有闻《可兰经》之道者即信之;信真主者必无惧迷失及镇压。 且吾辈中兼有皈依真主与邪恶者。” In Somalia and Afghanistan clerics matter-of-factly described to your correspondent the range of jinn they had encountered, from the saintly to the demonic; those that can fly, those that crawl, plodding jinn, invisible jinn, gul with vampiric tendencies (from which the English word ghoul is taken), and shape-shifters recognisable in human form because their feet are turned backwards. Occasionally the clerics fell into a trance. Afterwards they claimed their apparently bare rooms had filled with jinn

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seeking favours or release from amulet charms. 在索马里和阿富汗,一些神职人员实事求是地告诉本报记者他们碰到过的精灵种类:从圣人型 到恶魔型无所不包;有的能飞,有的只能爬;有苦力精灵,有隐形精灵,有与吸血鬼类似的食 尸魔(英语食尸魔[ghoul]即源于这种精灵的名字 gul),还有变形精灵,但它们变为人形时看 得出来,因为这时候它们的脚尖朝后。有时这些神职人员会突然站定不动。一会儿之后他们就 会声称,他们看上去空无一物的房间来过不少精灵,它们在讨好神职人员,或者请求将它们从 护身符魔咒中放出来。 A parallel universe 一个平行的宇宙 Although Somalia and Afghanistan have different religious traditions (Somalia being more relaxed), jinn belief is strong in both countries. War-ravaged, with similarly rudimentary education systems, both have a tradition of shrines venerating local saints where women can pray. Women are supposed to be more open to jinn, particularly illiterate rural women: by some accounts education is a noise, a roaring of thought, which jinn cannot bear. Sometimes women turn supposed jinn possession to their own advantage and become fortune-tellers. Among the most popular questions asked of such women is: “Will my husband take a second wife?” The shrines are often little more than a carved niche in a rock, with colourful prayer flags tied to nearby trees. Jinn are said to be attracted to the ancient geography of shrines, many of which predate Islam; as some have it, the shrines were attracted to the jinn. 尽管索马里和阿富汗有不同的宗教传统(索马里更宽松些),这两个国家中对精灵的崇信都是 根深蒂固的。两国都饱受战乱袭扰,教育体系一样简陋,也都有崇拜当地圣贤的圣坛传统,妇 女也都可以在这样的圣坛下祷告。人们认为妇女更容易与精灵沟通,农村文盲妇女尤甚。从某 些记载看,教育是一种噪音,一种思想的怒吼,是精灵无法忍受的。有时妇女利用所谓精灵附 体谋利,成了算命者。这些妇女最常被问及的一个问题是:“我的丈夫会再讨老婆吗?”这些所 谓圣坛有时不过是岩石上凿出来的壁龛,再加上附近树上捆着的有祈祷语的彩色旗幡。许多这 些圣坛的时代早于伊斯兰教的起始,据说精灵会被它们的古老地舆吸引。有些人认为圣坛也会 受精灵吸引。 Islam teaches that jinn resemble men in many ways: they have free will, are mortal, face judgment and fill hell together. Jinn and men marry, have children, eat, play, sleep and husband their own animals. Islamic scholars are in disagreement over whether jinn are physical or insubstantial in their bodies. Some clerics have described jinn as bestial, giant, hideous, hairy, ursine. Supposed yeti sightings in Pakistan's Chitral are believed by locals to be of jinn. These kinds of jinn can be killed with date or plum stones fired from a sling. 伊斯兰教义认为精灵在许多方面与人类相似:它们有自己的意志,不会长生不老,都会面临末 日审判并进地狱。精灵和人类都可以结婚,可以有子女,都吃饭、玩耍、睡觉、饲养各自的家 畜家禽。至于精灵的身体是物质的或是虚幻的,伊斯兰学者有不同见解。有些神职人员将精灵 描绘为凶残、庞大、丑恶、多毛、像熊一样的生物。据说有人在巴基斯坦的吉德拉尔 (Chitral)目击了所谓雪人,当地人相信这就是精灵。可以用弹弓发射枣核或者李子核射杀这 几种精灵。 But to more scholarly clerics jinn are little more than an energy, a pulse form of quantum physics perhaps, alive at the margins of sleep or madness, and more often in the whispering of a single unwelcome thought. An extension of this electric description of jinn is that they are not beings at all but thoughts that were in the world before the existence of man. Jinn reflect the sensibilities of those imagining them, just as in Assyrian times they were taken to be the spirits responsible for manias, who melted into the light at dawn. 但对更博学的神职人员来说,精灵不过是一种能量,或许就是量子物理中脉动形式的一种。它 们是人们在半睡半醒与似狂非狂时的臆想;在更多的情况下,它们只是一种令人不快的单一念 头的呓语。这一精灵的电子化描述引申一下就是:其实根本就没有精灵,它们只是人类对自己
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存在之前的世界的想法而已。精灵反映了那些想象它们的人的情感,正如亚述时代的人们设想 的,它们是引起狂乱的灵体,会在凌晨的阳光下冰消瓦解。

When a donkey brays 驴子啼叫时 The English word genie, from an unrelated French root, is now too soft and gooey with Disney's Aladdin to catch the acid qualities attributed to jinn. Sepideh Azarbaijani-Moghaddam, a specialist on Afghanistan who has undertaken anthropological research on jinn belief, reckons she may once have been in the presence of jinn. She was riding with others in the Afghan province of Badakhshan. It was towards dusk. They came down into a valley forested at the bottom. The horses tensed. “Suddenly from out of the trees I felt myself being watched by non-human entities.” A cold fear overcame her, “the fear of losing the faculty of reason”. A Kabul cleric describes this sort of feeling as a shock at the existence of otherness. Animals sense it also: when a donkey brays, it is said to be seeing a jinn. 英文灵怪(genie)这个词源于法语的一个与此无关的词根,现在由于迪斯尼电影里阿拉丁 (Aladdin)的缘故,用它来形容精灵的刻薄品质实在是太温和、太感性了。正在进行精灵信 仰的人类学研究的阿富汗问题专家谢皮德?阿扎拜亚妮?摩加达姆(Sepideh AzarbaijaniMoghaddam)认为她可能曾与精灵邂逅。当时她与其他人一起乘马车在阿富汗的巴达赫尚 (Badakhshan)省旅行;时近黄昏,他们进入了一道山谷,谷底草木丛生。拉车的马很紧张。 “我突然觉得树丛外有非人类实体盯着我。”她被冰冷的恐惧感攫住了。“这是那种令人失去理 智的恐惧。”一位喀布尔(Kabul)的神职人员认为这种感觉是对他性智慧生物存在的震惊。动 物也能感觉到这一点:有人认为猴子啼叫就是因为它见到了精灵。 Unbelieving jinn, those who resisted the Koran, are shaytan, demons, “firewood for hell”. Many Muslims see the devil as a jinn. Some reckon the snake in the Garden of Eden was a shape-shifting jinn. All this may yet play a part in the war on terrorism. Factions in Somalia and Afghanistan have accused their enemies of being backed not only by the CIA but by malevolent jinn. One theory in Afghanistan holds that the mujahideen, “two-legged wolves”, scared the jinn out into the world, causing disharmony. It is jinn, they say, who whisper into the ears of suicide-bombers. 那些抗拒《可兰经》、不相信真主的精灵是魔鬼,是邪灵,是“地狱里的柴火”。许多穆斯林认 为魔鬼是一种精灵。有些人认为伊甸园里的蛇是一个变形精灵。所有这些可能还会在对恐怖主 义的斗争中起作用。在索马里和阿富汗的一些穆斯林派系不但指控他们的敌人受中情局支持, 而且说他们受邪恶精灵支持。阿富汗有一种理论认为,那些“两条腿的恶狼”——即圣战组织—

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—恐吓精灵,逼它们进入尘世,引起了纷争。他们认为正是精灵在人肉炸弹袭击者的耳边低声 下达指令。 Sheikh Mubarak Ali Gilani, a Pakistani cleric connected with a jihadist group, Jamaat al-Fuqra, has given warning to America that its missiles will be misdirected by jinn. It was all very different in the days of King Solomon, who was said to have had control over jinn and used them as masons in building the temple in Jerusalem. The Jewish influence over jinn is strong. It is probably no coincidence that the inscription on Aladdin's lamp, which bound the jinn, was engraved with Hebraic characters. Believers in abduction by aliens like to think jinn are aliens; some of the more confrontational Muslim clerics dismiss claimed apparations of the Virgin Mary as the work of jinn. 一位与巴基斯坦圣战组织贾马特-阿尔-福嘎(Jamaat al-Fuqra)有联系的巴基斯坦神职人员谢赫 ?穆巴拉克?阿里?吉拉尼(Sheikh Mubarak Ali Gilani)曾警告美国,说它的导弹会被精灵改变方 向。所罗门王(King Solomon)的时代与现在大不相同;据说所罗门能控制精灵,并在修建耶 路撒冷寺庙时令其充当泥瓦匠。犹太人对精灵有很大的影响。阿拉丁的神灯上束缚精灵的铭文 是用希伯来文镌刻的,这可能并非巧合。相信外星人劫持人类事件的人喜欢把精灵想象成外星 人;一些更为好斗的穆斯林神职人员认为,所谓圣母玛利亚的神灵降世是精灵的手笔,因而对 此嗤之以鼻。 The story of Ahmed Shah Masoud, the commander of Afghanistan's Northern Alliance, clearly shows up the link between jinn and myth-making. Masoud resisted the Soviet Union and the Taliban from his base in the Panjshir valley until he was assassinated by al-Qaeda operatives on September 9th 2001. According to local legend, Muslim jinn were on his side. One of his fighters was said to have slain a dragon in a mountain lake during the Soviet occupation and to have brought the dragon's jewel to Masoud, with the help of Muslim jinn. In murdering Masoud, some Panjshiris say, Osama bin Laden declared war on Muslim jinn also. This is obvious, they say, from Mr bin Laden's insistence on division and violence. 阿富汗反抗军北方联盟(Northern Alliance)指挥官艾哈迈德?沙?马苏德(Ahmed Shah Masoud)的故事清楚地说明了精灵与神话创造之间的关系。马苏德利用他在潘杰希尔 (Panjshir)山谷的基地反抗苏联和塔利班,直至他在 2001 年 9 月 9 日被基地组织的特务刺杀 身亡。按照当地传说,穆斯林精灵是支持他的。据说在苏联占领期间,他手下的一名战士得到 穆斯林精灵的帮助,在一座高山湖泊中杀死了一头龙,还把龙的珠宝带回来交给了马苏德。一 些潘杰希尔人认为,谋杀马苏德也是奥萨马?本?拉登向穆斯林精灵的宣战。他们认为,从本?拉 登坚持分裂与暴力的表现来看这是很清楚的。 Your correspondent spent a night with Masoud's former bodyguards in the Panjshir. The men were employed to look after Masoud's tomb. His office was locked. The bodyguards sat cross-legged on the floor of a room opposite. A kerosene lantern flickered. Machineguns were propped against the bedrolls. A few men went outside. The first winter snow was falling on the jagged peaks that towered up on all sides. It was fiercely cold. A dog limped below, ears flat, tail between its legs. It whimpered. The men looked at the dog. “The jinn is still here,” one said. “Bismillah,” responded the others. They pointed out jinn settlements just below the snow-line on the mountain slopes. Inside, over plates of mutton and grey rice, tea, snuff and Korean cigarettes, they told the story of how the cook had been possessed by a jinn the week before. He was a devout man, they said, a non-smoker and illiterate. “He fell ill. When he recovered, he found he could speak and write in many languages. The jinn that was in him was well-travelled but also pushy. It demanded a cigarette, then another, and then it became impatient and swallowed lighted cigarettes whole.” 本报记者在潘杰希尔跟马苏德过去的保镖度过了一夜。这些人受雇照看马苏德的坟墓。他的办 公室是锁着的。保镖们盘膝坐在办公室对面一间房间里的地板上。一盏煤油灯的火苗摇曳着。 几挺机枪支在背包上。几个人走了出去。第一场冬雪飘落在四面八方高耸着的起伏群山之上。 天气冷极了。一只狗耷拉着耳朵,夹着尾巴在下面一瘸一拐地走。它在哀哀地低吠。房间里的 人看着那只狗。其中一个人说:“精灵还在这儿。”其他的人应声道:“真主啊!”他们告诉我,

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精灵的定居地刚好就在山坡的雪线下面。在房间里,他们面前摆满了装着羊肉和灰色大米饭、 茶、鼻烟和韩国香烟的盘子,却侃起了厨子上周是如何被一个精灵缠上了的故事。他们说他是 个虔诚的穆斯林,不抽烟,不识字。“他病了。但好了以后发现他能讲会写好几种语言。附上 他身体的精灵去过好多地方,但也很莽撞。它要一支香烟,然后又要了一支,接着它就不耐烦 了,把点着的香烟全都囫囵吞了。” In Somalia, the port of Bossaso is famous for its sorcerers. Some of its ruling class claim to have intermarried with jinn long ago. On a recent visit your correspondent was taken to a metal shed at the edge of a slum where jinn were supposed to be banished from taking human form. The air inside the shed was thick with frankincense. There was a man cloaked in red cloth kneeling on the ground. A jinn was in him, a sorceress running the ceremony said, and indeed the man wore an eerie expression, as though a part of him was obscured. Young men jumped up and down around him, chanting and beating drums. The gunmen accompanying your correspondent were too scared to step into the shed. Later, walking away from the shed in hot sunshine, one of the gunmen insisted that he could see a jinn scavenging for bones in the dirt. There did not appear to be anything there. 索马里的波萨索(Bossaso)港因当地的魔法师而著名。当地统治阶层中的一些人说他们很久 以前曾与精灵通婚。本报记者最近到了那里,还被人带进贫民窟边上的一间金属棚屋里,据说 在那里精灵没法变成人形。棚屋内弥漫着乳香的气味。一个身裹红布的男子跪在地上。“精灵 魇上他了”,正在主持仪式的女魔法师说。那人的表情的确很古怪,好像他身体的某些部分朦 胧不清。年轻男子们在他周围上窜下跳,口中高唱着,手敲着鼓。陪同本报记者的枪手们很害 怕,不敢走进棚屋。后来,在骄阳下离开棚屋之后,一个枪手坚持说他亲眼看到精灵在尘土中 寻找骨头。但那里看上去什么都没有。 [注] 镇尼是伊斯兰教对超自然存在的统称,由真主用无烟之火创造。鎮尼有善有恶,会帮人 也会害人,还能任意改变形体,有時也被视为恶魔一类。 有很多巫师会會把鎮尼封印在物品里,好让他们服从命令,最有名的例子是《一千零一夜》中 “阿拉丁的神灯”中封印的镇尼。 [注 2] Alice in wonderland 是一位英国数学家查尔斯?路德维希?道奇森(Charles Lutwidge Dodgson)以笔名路易斯?卡罗(Lewis Carroll)业余创作出版的著名兒童文學作品。《爱丽斯 漫游奇境记》是我小时读的中文译文标题,出于“怀旧心理”沿用。文中“兔子洞”是从人类世界 进入“奇境”的通道。 [注 3] 一译《古兰经》,译者依音选《可兰经》。
http://ecocn.org/thread-68102-1-1.html 译者:悠悠万事 97

[2006.12.19] Fire from heaven 天陨之火:太阳系的起源与灾难的...
【导读】小小的天外陨石上镌刻着太阳系苍茫岁月的历史痕迹。科学家可以利用同位素技术探 索太阳系形成的奥秘。但威力强大的陨石来袭同样可以让地球上生存的人类一旦覆亡;这一点 自然不得不防:毕竟人类不想像 6500 万年前的恐龙那样魂归旷野。未雨绸缪才是人类生存的 诀窍。 Special report: 特别报道 Meteorites 陨星 Fire from heaven 天陨之火:太阳系的起源与灾难的预防 Meteorites are made up of evidence about how the solar system was born 陨石组成了太阳系

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如何诞生的证据 Dec 19th 2006 | from the print edition

SPL AT HALF past six on the morning of December 14th 1807, the folk of Weston, Connecticut, were woken up by a loud bang. Shortly afterwards, it rained rocks. In earlier times such hard rain might have been seen as a sign of the gods' displeasure. The folk of Weston, however, saw it as an opportunity. 1807 年 12 月 14 日早晨 6 点半,美国康涅狄格州威斯顿(Weston, Connecticut)的镇民被一 声巨响惊醒。没过多久,无数石块从天而降。如果时间倒退一些年,空中降下这样的固体之雨 或许会被人视为神灵不悦的迹象,但威斯顿人却把它看成了发财的机会。 “Strongly impressed with the idea that these stones contained gold and silver, they subjected them to all the tortures of ancient alchemy, and the goldsmith's crucible, the forge, and the blacksmith's anvil, were employed in vain to elicit riches which existed only in the imagination.” “他们一心认定这些石头里有黄金白银,就用各种方法折腾它们,动用了古代炼金术士的技 艺、金匠的坩埚、锻铁炉、打铁的砧座等,试图从中提取幻想中的财富,但最终却是徒劳无 功。” That was part of the report of Benjamin Silliman who, together with James Kingsley, went to Weston from Yale University to investigate. The following March, Silliman presented what they had found to the American Philosophical Society. Only Thomas Jefferson was sceptical. On reading the report he is supposed to have said, “I would more easily believe that two Yankee professors would lie than that stones would fall from heaven.” 这就是和詹姆斯?金斯利(James Kingsley)一起从耶鲁大学前往威斯顿调查的本杰明?希里曼 (Benjamin Silliman)所写报告的一部分。次年 3 月,希里曼向美国哲学学会提交了他们的调 查结果。只有时任美国总统托马斯?杰斐逊(Thomas Jefferson)对报告有怀疑。据说他在读 报告时说:“要说这些石头是从天上掉下来的,我倒更容易相信这俩美国教授在撒谎。” Meteorites fascinate scientists because they are the smashed-up remnants of asteroids—the tiny wannabe [注 1] planets that orbit between Mars and Jupiter. Because asteroids never got it together to form a larger planet, a lot of what they are made of was formed in the solar system's earliest days. So meteorites are tangible evidence of what was happening when the solar system was born. 陨石让科学家入迷,因为它们是小行星破碎后的残存物,而小行星是在火星和木星之间未能实

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现行星大梦的一些微小天体。因为它们未能形成一颗大些的行星,所以其中许多便从太阳系形 成的最初岁月一直存在至今。这就是说,陨石是太阳系降生之刻发生的种种情况的实物证据。 About 90% of meteorites are classified by the successors of Silliman and Kingsley as chondrites. That means they contain spherical nodules a few millimetres across, known as chondrules. They also contain a lot of cosmic crud, mostly in the form of dust-sized grains. 希里曼和金斯利的后继者将大约 90%的陨石归类为球粒状陨石。这就是说,它们中间含有直 径为几毫米的球状小瘤,即陨石球粒。它们中也含有大量宇宙尘埃,大多以灰尘大小的颗粒存 在。 It was the study of chondrites that allowed researchers to work out how old the solar system is. Chondrules are frozen droplets of once-liquid rock. Such isolated droplets must have formed in free space, rather than as part of a larger body, or else they would have merged into a more conventional igneous rock. That chondrules formed in such quantities suggests that the heating which created them was widespread. In free space, such heat could come only from a star—in this case, presumably, the youthful sun. Work out how old the oldest chondrules are, and you know when the sun ignited. 正是随后对球粒状陨石的研究让研究者得以探明了太阳系的年龄。陨石球粒由曾经的液态岩石 微滴凝固而成,而这样孤立的微滴应该形成于自由空间,而不应是较大天体的一部分,否则它 们就会合并成为更为常见的火成岩。形成的陨石球粒如此之多,这说明令其形成的高热广泛存 在于空中。在自由空间中,这样的高热只会来自一颗恒星;而在这种情况下应该就是新生不久 的太阳。如果能断定最古老的陨石球粒的年龄,我们就能知道太阳是什么时候诞生的。 The way to do that (and much else that is needed in order to read the history written in meteorites) is to look at the exact mixture of atomic isotopes in them. Isotopes are different atomic versions of a particular chemical element. They have the same number of protons in their nuclei (this is the defining characteristic of an element), but different numbers of neutrons. For the scientific detectives who study meteorites, this variability is invaluable. For example, radioactivity (which is a fancy name for the way that unstable atomic nuclei break up) depends crucially on the number of neutrons. Particular radioactive isotopes break up into other, non-radioactive isotopes at regular and well-understood rates called half lives (the amount of time it takes half the atoms in a sample to change from one sort to the other). Most famously, uranium-238 decays into lead-206 with a half life of 4.5 billion years, though radioactive rubidium and samarium are also useful for dating things billions of years old. 断定其年代(以及许多其他为解读铭刻在陨石上的历史所需要的东西)的方法是考察它们中原 子同位素的精确组成。同位素是某种化学元素的不同原子形态,其原子核内含有相同数量的质 子(质子数是定义元素的决定性特征)和不同数量的中子。这种变异对那些探索陨星奥秘的科 学家来说是无价之宝。例如,是否具有放射性(这是描述不稳定的原子核分裂的一个富于想象 力的名字)的关键即在于中子数。某一放射性同位素以人们充分认识的稳定速率分裂,最终形 成其他元素的非放射性同位素,这一速率名为半衰期,即样品中原有原子的一半转变为他种原 子所需的时间。最著名的例子是铀-238 衰变为铅-206,其半衰期为 45 亿年。当然,为寿命以 十亿年计的物品测定年代,放射性的銣和钐也很有用。 Looking at these isotopes allows the chondrules to be dated, and they were formed 4.56 billion years ago. That, then, is the age of the solar system. But isotopes can do more. They can reach back before the solar system was created, and forward to record the creation of the planets. 通过考察这些同位素,人们可以断定,这些陨石球粒形成于 45.6 亿年前,那也就是太阳系的 年龄。但同位素还有其他用处。它们可以回顾太阳系形成之前的年代,并从那时开始记录行星
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的形成过程。 To reach back, you need to look in the dust grains in chondrites, rather than at the chondrules. Like the chondrules themselves, most dust grains were created in the early solar system—in this case by bigger objects grinding against each other. Modern telescopes can see clouds of dust created in this way around several of the solar system's stellar neighbours. But a few grains have survived from the primitive nebula that the solar system condensed from. This time, it is carbon isotopes that give the game away. 为追溯以往,人们需要观察球粒状陨石内的尘粒,而不是陨石球粒。跟陨石球粒本身一样,大 部分尘粒形成于早期太阳系中,在我们所研究的情况下因较大物体间的相互碾压而成。现代天 文望远镜能够看到太阳系的几个邻星周围以这种方式形成的尘埃云。太阳系是由原始星云凝结 而成的,但有少数尘粒保留了原状。这次揭示真相的是碳的同位素。 To have survived the chaos in which the solar system was born, a grain of dust has to be tough. The toughest materials around are diamond (a type of crystalline carbon) and silicon carbide. Carbon has two non-radioactive isotopes, and in material from the solar system, including most meteoritic minerals, these are mixed in a well-known ratio. The carbon in diamond and silicon-carbide grains from meteorites usually has ratios very different from this. 能够在太阳系诞生的狂乱中保留原状的尘粒必须很坚固。其中最为坚固的当属金刚石(一种碳 的晶体)和碳化硅。碳有两种非放射性同位素。在包括大部分陨石矿物在内的太阳系物质中, 这两种同位素以已知比例存在。通常在陨石的金刚石和碳化硅颗粒中的碳同位素比例与此相差 甚远。 The silicon carbide is thought to have come from red giants. These are stars that have swelled up in old age and are nearing the ends of their lives. Each carbon ratio represents a different parent star. The diamonds, by contrast, are thought to be the products of supernova explosions. Again, many carbon ratios are known, each from a different supernova. Dozens, if not hundreds, of red giants and supernovas seem to have contributed to the primitive solar nebula. Unfortunately, the grains examined do not carry the sort of isotopes that would allow them to be dated. 人们认为碳化硅来自红巨星,它们是老年期恒星膨胀形成的,寿命已经不长了。每种不同的碳 同位素比例都代表着一颗不同的母星。而人们认为,金刚石是超新星爆发的产物。同样,许多 已知的不同碳同位素比例代表着一颗颗不同的超新星。似乎至少有几十颗——或许有几百颗— —红巨星和超新星有份参与了元始太阳系星云的形成。但不幸的是,人们检查的颗粒上没有可 以用来确定其年代的同位素。 Nevertheless, other isotopes suggest a supernova did go off just as the solar nebula was forming. That is because meteorites contain a lot more of an isotope called magnesium-26 than would be expected. Magnesium-26 is the decay product of aluminium-26. And aluminium-26 is produced in supernovas. Whether this supernova somehow triggered the collapse of the primitive solar nebula and thus the formation of Earth is not clear (though the theory was popular in the 1950s, before the evidence for aluminium-26 was found). But meteorites can certainly illuminate the processes that formed the planets. That is because, among the 10% that are not chondrites, there is a group that is composed almost entirely of metal. 尽管如此,对其他同位素的观察表明,太阳系星云形成时确有一次超新星爆发。这是由于在陨 石中含有的同位素锰-26 比正常情况下多得多。镁-26 是铝-26 的衰变产品,而铝-26 是由超新 星生成的。是不是这颗超新星以某种方式导致了太阳系原始星云的崩溃从而形成了地球,这一 点尚待查证;但虽然镁-26 的证据在上世纪 50 年代还不存在,人们当时却广泛相信这种猜 测。这是因为,在那些占所有陨石 10%的非球粒状陨石中,有一族几乎全由金属组成的陨
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石。 The metal in question is an alloy of iron and nickel. Or, rather, it is two alloys that have different ratios of the two metals. These alloys are called kamacite and taenite, and when cut, polished and etched with acid they produce an attractive criss-cross called a Widmanst? tten pattern. But the really attractive thing about metallic meteorites, from a scientific point of view, is that they provide the best evidence available of what Earth's interior is like. 所谓金属其实是铁与镍的一种合金。或者可以说是两种具有不同铁镍比的合金。人们分别称这 两种合金为铁纹石和镍纹石。它们经切割、抛光并用酸液刻蚀后能产生一种引人注目的十字交 叉纹路,学名魏德曼花纹(Widmanst? tten pattern)。但从科学的观点出发,它真正的诱人之 处是为我们提供了现有的地球内部形态的最佳证据。 The process of planetary formation, as deduced from meteorites and confirmed as plausible by computer models, went like this. First, dust particles clumped together to form cosmic dustballs. Bursts of heat from the primitive sun melted the dustballs, which solidified into chondrules. Local concentrations of chondrules were drawn together by gravity and, when they encountered each other, often merged. Once a merged mass of chondrules and dust got big enough, things started to happen. Radioactive decay generates heat. In larger bodies, that heat gets trapped. The temperature rises and the rock melts. At this point, heavy elements sink towards the centre and light ones rise to the surface. The most abundant heavy elements are iron and nickel, and it is these that form the cores of what can now reasonably be referred to as small planets. 通过陨石推断并经计算机模拟认为可信的行星形成过程如下:首先,尘埃颗粒凝结成块形成宇 宙尘球。早期太阳的热量爆发融化了这些尘球,它们随后固化为球粒状陨石。局部聚集的球粒 状陨石因引力作用相互靠近,而当它们撞击时时常汇为一体。一旦球粒状陨石和尘埃聚集在一 起的质量足够大,真正有意义的事情就开始了。放射性衰变释放热能。较大天体内的热能无法 逃逸。这些天体的温度上升,岩石被融化了。这时,重元素沉向中心,轻元素升至表面。含量 最高的重元素是铁和镍;也就是它们,形成了我们现在可以合情合理地称之为小行星的天体的 核心。 Smash one of these small planets open and the fragments from the centre will form metallic meteorites. (The outer, non-metallic layers of the planet form what are known as achondrite stony meteorites, and there is a separate class of stony-irons that come from the boundary between inner core and outer layer.) Analysis of the chemistry of metallic meteorites suggests they come from more than 60 different small planets that have broken up over the solar system's history. But most small planets met a different fate. They merged to form larger ones, still with iron-nickel cores, culminating in those seen today. 打碎这样的一个小行星,其核心部分的碎片将形成金属陨星。而小行星的非金属外壳则形成我 们叫做无球粒陨石的石陨星,内核与外壳的交界地带形成了另外一类:石陨铁。对金属陨星的 化学分析表明,它们来自太阳系历史上破碎的 60 多个不同的小行星。但大多数小行星的命运 与此不同。它们合并在一起形成了更大的天体,但仍以铁与镍为核心,最后便是我们今天看到 的小行星带。 Isotopes can even indicate the order in which the planets formed. The decay products of a short-lived isotope called hafnium-187, also suspected of being formed in the supernova that brought aluminium-26 to the solar system, are rare on Earth. On Mars they are more abundant. This indicates that Mars formed before Earth, trapping hafnium-187 while there was still some around. 对同位素的考察甚至可以指出行星形成的次序。人们也认为,一种寿命较短的同位素,铪-187
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是在把铝-26 带进太阳系的超新星上形成的;它的衰变产品在地球上鲜有发现,而在火星上则 要多一些。这说明,火星在地球之前形成,它留住了周围尚存的铪-187。 And how is it known that Mars had hafnium-187? Because a few dozen of the meteorites that have fallen to Earth come not from the asteroid belt but from Mars. They were blasted off that planet's surface when it was hit by huge meteorites. That trapped bits of the Martian atmosphere within them, as a telltale of their origin. 人们又是如何知道火星上有铪-187 的呢?这是因为落到地球上的陨石中有几十颗并非来自小 行星带,而是来自火星。在火星受到庞大的流星撞击时它们被从行星表面击出。保留在内部的 一点点火星大气揭示了它们的来历。 One of these Martian meteorites was once thought to harbour signs of life, in the form of carbon-containing compounds and objects that the eye of faith interpreted as fossil bacteria. Alas, few researchers now believe that story. But Martian meteorites do have one other tale to tell—that planets are sometimes hit so hard that rocks can escape from them completely. 人们曾认为,在这些来自火星的陨石中有一块带有生命的迹象,其形式是含碳的化合物,还有 一些被那些深信这一理论的人解释为细菌化石的东西。可惜现在已经没几个研究者相信这一说 法了。但来自火星的陨石带给了我们另一个信息:有时候行星受到的撞击如此猛烈,能让岩石 完全脱离其表面。 Hell's kitchen 地狱厨房[注 2] At a quarter past seven on the morning of June 30th 1908, the folk of Tunguska in Siberia heard a rather larger bang than the one that had woken the burghers of Weston just over a century previously. Tunguska is far more remote from centres of academic excellence than Weston, and it took until 1927 for a scientific team to reach the site. When Leonid Kulik and his colleagues got there they found an area of devastation 60km across. At the centre the trees remained upright but were stripped of bark and branches. Around it the taiga was flattened, with the broken trees pointing outward from the middle like the sticks in a game of spillikins. 1908 年 6 月 30 日晨 7 时 15 分,西伯利亚通古斯(Tunguska in Siberia)的居民听到了震耳 欲聋的撞击声,这次的声音比一个世纪多一点以前惊醒威斯顿市民的那次更为响亮。通古斯很 偏僻,与权威学术中心的距离比威斯顿远得多,因此直到 1927 年才有一支科学考察队来到现 场。当列欧尼德?库里克(Leonid Kulik)及其同事到达时,他们发现在方圆 60 公里的区域内 一片狼藉。区域中心的树木依旧挺立,但所有的树皮及树枝全部不翼而飞。中心周围的针叶林 木全被推倒,倒地的树木形同挑棒游戏[注 3]中的游戏棒,并呈放射状背离中心,树端指向边 缘。

Novosti The meteorite which devastated Tunguska is now estimated to have been about 50 metres
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across. The explosion, at an altitude of between six and eight kilometres, was 50 megatonnes. That is more powerful than the largest hydrogen bomb ever detonated. The meteorite that excavated Barringer crater in Arizona (see top) about 50,000 years ago was smaller—about 40 metres across—but it made it all the way to the Earth's surface. Barringer crater is 1.2km in diameter. 人们现在估计,毁坏通古斯的陨星直径约为 50 米。陨星在距地面 6 至 8 公里之间爆炸,当量 约为 5000 万吨 TNT 炸药,超过有史以来爆炸的最大氢弹的威力。大约 50000 年前在美国亚 利桑那州留下了巴林杰陨石坑(Barringer crater)(见顶图)的陨星要小一些,直径大约 40 米,但它没有在空中爆炸,而是直接撞击地球表面。巴林杰陨石坑的直径为 1.2 公里。 Events of this size are rare, but not so rare that they can be ignored. They occur perhaps once a century. And bigger impacts happen, too. Several huge craters seem to coincide with the disappearance of previously well-established groups of animals—the most famous being the Chicxulub crater in Mexico, which was formed 65m years ago, at the time the dinosaurs vanished, by an explosion estimated at 100,000 gigatonnes. 这种规模的事件是很罕见的,但并没有罕见到人们可以置之不顾的程度。这种事件或许每百年 会发生一次。比这更大的撞击事件也会发生。几个庞大陨石坑的出现时间似乎与过去一些十分 兴旺的生物的消亡时间重合,其中最著名的是在墨西哥的希克苏鲁伯(Chicxulub)陨石坑, 它形成于 6500 万年前,正是恐龙消亡的时刻;造成这一陨石坑的陨石爆炸当量估计为 100 万 亿吨。 The search is now on for space-rocks large enough to cause serious devastation if they hit Earth. Given enough warning, it should be possible to push a threatening boulder out of the way. Only a slight nudge would be required to change its orbit, and that nudge could be provided by rocket motors no more powerful than ones that have already been built. 现在人们正在寻找那些体积太大,以至于一旦撞击地球便会引起严重灾难的空间岩石。如果有 足够的预警时间,人类应该可以把有威胁的巨石推开,不让它危及地球。只需要一个轻推便可 改变它的轨道,由火箭发动机进行即可,而且发动机的功率不必大于现有的机器。 The chances of needing to do that anytime soon are slim. But if the search does turn up something nasty, then perhaps the billions of dollars spent so far on spaceflight might look like a wise investment rather than money down the drain. 需要在近期采取这类行动的可能性很小。但如果上述搜寻的确发现了危险的天体,那么迄今为 止在宇宙航行中所花费的数以十亿美元计的巨款或许看上去是一项聪明的投资,而非无益的烧 钱。 有歪诗一首为证: 苍茫岁月几春秋? 未雨绸缪为解忧。 如今回首星云日, 却从碳素看斗牛。 [注 1] wannabe 用于此处应有两重意思:1。想达到目标的人,赶超崇拜者的人。这里应该有 “小行星想成为一颗真正的行星,但这一目的未能实现”的拟人意思。2。英国的“辣妹合唱团” 初登舞台时的一首歌即为 Wannabe,这里应该带有隐喻小行星是在太阳系形成之初生成的意 思。这两点译者在译文中并没有刻意直接译出,而是试图通过前后文的语意表达其中蕴含的意 思。 [注 2] 《地狱厨房》(Hell's kitchen)是美国一个真人秀电视节目,以英国独立电视台 (ITV)的同名节目为蓝本,由福斯广播公司播出,戈登?拉姆齐创作及主持。
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[注 3] 挑棒游戏(Pick-up sticks, pick-a-stick, jackstraws, or spillikins )是一种锻炼体力与智 力的游戏。游戏时将长 3 至 8 英寸、一端尖锐的游戏棒松散地捆成一捆随意置于桌面上。游 戏者轮流抽出一根棒,但不得移动其它游戏棒的位置。
http://ecocn.org/thread-68763-1-1.html 译者:悠悠万事 97

[2012.06.01] WHICH IS THE BEST MUSICAL INSTRUMENT?
WHICH IS THE BEST MUSICAL INSTRUMENT? 什么乐器最好?



The Big Question: There are 14 or 15 musical instruments in an orchestra, three or four in most rock bands. But which is the king? Richard Morrison launches our debate... 大问题:一个交响乐团内会有 14 到 15 种乐器,而大多数摇滚乐团都有 3 到 4 种乐器。但到底 哪种才是乐器之王?理查德· 莫里森为这场辩论拉开序幕…… From INTELLIGENT LIFE magazine, May/June 2012 I once asked Anne-Sophie Mutter, the great violinist, what had made her choose the fiddle. “I didn?t,” she replied. “It chose me.” That?s how it is with prodigies. At the age of three or thereabouts they connect with an instrument in a way that seems beyond intuition. It?s as if everything about them— temperament, intelligence, physique, upbringing—catapults them towards mastering a musical tool in astonishingly little time. Typically, an infant prodigy on the violin or piano will go from zero to concerto in two years. 我曾经问过著名小提琴家安娜-苏菲· 穆特,到底是什么让她选择了提琴。她回答道:“我不知 道,是它选择了我。”对天才来说确实如此。在大约三岁左右,他们和某种乐器产生一种似乎 超越常理的共鸣。就好像他们的一切——脾性、智力、体格、教养——都在把他们朝一个方向 推动,使其能在极短的时间内掌握该乐器。一般来说,一位小提琴或钢琴神童从零开始到可以 演奏协奏曲只需要两年。 But they are the one-in-a-million kids. What about the rest of us? What draws us to play, or to love hearing, some instruments above all others? Why are 40m children in China learning the piano, a European instrument that has scant connection with Eastern culture? What accounts for the guitar?s dominance in Western popular music? Why do composers express their most melancholy thoughts on cellos? 但这毕竟是凤毛麟角的例子。那像我们这样的其他人呢?是什么吸引着我们去演奏某种特定乐 器,或是特别喜爱聆听某种乐器呢?为什么中国有 4 千万孩子在学钢琴这种和东方文化几乎没 有联系的欧洲乐器呢?为什么在西方流行音乐中吉他独占鳌头呢?为什么作曲家用大提琴来表 达自己最悲伤的思绪呢? These questions go beyond music. They touch on the essence of identity, aspiration, expression, history and politics, as well as what Jung called our collective unconscious. And science plays a huge part as well. When we describe a quiet flute as “soothing”, we are really commenting on the sine-wave purity of its vibrations. Similarly, the “rousing” or “joyous” timbre of a trumpet attests to its jagged array of harmonics. 这些问题的答案并不局限于音乐。它们触碰到了个性、志向、表达、历史和政治,以及荣格所 谓的集体无意识等概念的核心。科学在其中也扮演了重要的角色。当我们把清幽的笛声描述为 “抚慰人心”,我们实际上是在赞美笛声振动正弦波的纯粹。同样的,小号那“振奋人心”或是 “欢乐鼓动”的音色代表了其参差不齐的谐波组。 In any case, does that necessarily convey joy, or a call to action? How you interpret any sound depends on its context and your knowledge. In Mahler?s symphonies and song cycles a trumpet
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fanfare often signifies death, grief or tragedy—but only if you know that for Mahler (whose miserable childhood was spent near an army barracks) a bugle-call was a reminder of the eight siblings who died in his youth. 不管怎样,这些特点到底是否一定会传达快乐或者呼吁人行动呢?你如何解读某种声音取决于 声音的环境,以及你自己的所知。在马勒所写的交响乐或是声乐套曲里,小号短曲通常象征着 死亡、哀伤或是悲剧,但你只有在了解对马勒(他悲惨的童年是在军营边度过的)来说,军号 让他想起小时候死去的八个兄弟姐妹之后,你才能领会这种象征意义。 What complicates matters further is the sheer variety of instruments. We began creating them ridiculously early (the earliest extant flute is 67,000 years old) and have never stopped. Recently I?ve been to concerts featuring virtuosi on both a six-stringed electric violin and the hang, a Swiss-invented steel drum of beguiling sensuality. Neither existed 20 years ago. 乐器的种类数量之多进一步把问题复杂化。人类开始制造乐器的历史早得出奇(现存最早的笛 子可以追朔到 6 万 7 千年前),而且自那之后就从未停止过。最近我去听过的一些演奏会上有 六弦电子小提琴以及手碟(瑞士发明的一种钢鼓,音色带着诱人的魅惑感)的大师上台演奏。 这两种乐器在 20 年前还未问世。 Take a look, if you have the strength, at the 12,000 entries in the “New Grove Dictionary of Musical Instruments” (1985). Then consider that the next edition will have 20,000. The standard symphony orchestra, parading a mere 14 or 15 varieties of instrument, begins to look as limited as a supermarket cheese counter. 有勇气的话你可以看一看《新格罗夫乐器辞典》(1985 年版),里面有 1 万 2 千个词条。然 后你可以考虑再看看该书接下来的一版,词条数激增到了 2 万。这么看来,摆弄 14 到 15 种乐 器的标准交响乐团开始显得非常有限,像是超市里的奶酪柜台。 Most of the 20,000 instruments are local riffs on universal archetypes. Almost every culture has its version of the flute, drum, guitar/lute and fiddle family. There are wide variations in the way they are tuned, constructed or played. But the biggest differences come in the social functions they fulfil. Many instruments, particularly in Eastern cultures, have religious roles. Others are associated with an elite craft, passed down from master to pupil like a trade secret. 这 2 万种乐器中的大多数都是几个通用乐器大类的地方版本。几乎所有的文明都具有自己的 笛、鼓、拨弦和拉弦乐器族。不同文化的乐器间调音、制造和演奏的方式有巨大的差异。但它 们最大的不同之处却是体现在各自所执行的社会功能上。许多乐器,特别是在东方文化里,扮 演着宗教角色。另外一些乐器则和精英技艺联系起来,一代代师徒相承,类似行业秘密般传递 下去。 Sometimes the same instrument can fulfil totally different roles in different cultures or ages. In Western art music, the violin is the instrument that the greatest composers—Bach, Beethoven, Mozart, Tchaikovsky—often entrusted with their deepest thoughts. But in the folk cultures of America, Ireland and eastern Europe, it is a wild invitation to a knees-up. 有时同一种乐器在不同的文化或时代内会扮演不同的角色。在西方艺术音乐里,小提琴是最伟 大的作曲家们(巴赫、贝多芬、莫扎特、柴可夫斯基)寄托自身最深邃思绪的乐器。但是在美 国、爱尔兰和东欧的民间文化里,小提琴的狂野曲调召唤着人们前来聚会狂欢。 Similarly, in many countries—particularly under totalitarian regimes—the oom-pah of massed brass instruments is a sinister sound, linked to military might and political oppression. But in Britain the cornets and euphoniums of brass bands are aural badges of pride for the embattled working class: the instruments on which miners and mill-workers let off steam, almost literally, after their 14-hour shifts. Though the mines and mills have gone, those associations linger. 同样的,在很多国家,特别是一些独裁政体内,铜管乐团的演奏声带着险恶的意味,其声音和 军事力量以及政治压迫相联系。但在英国,铜管乐队的短号和次中音号则是受压迫工人阶级的

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荣耀勋章。矿工和纺织工在 14 个小时的值班之后,就是用这些乐器来发泄怒火的。今天,虽 然很多矿场和纺织厂都已消失,这种联系依然保留了下来。 What?s fascinating today is how the popularity of certain instruments mirrors the cultural differences between West and East. In the United States and western Europe, guitar is the instrument of choice for most youngsters, and there are obvious reasons for that. Its most famous exponents enjoy iconic status as entertainers, balladeers, individualists, rebels or folk-heroes as well as (or, in some cases, instead of) being good musicians. The guitar is a good traveller across musical styles in a way that, for instance, the oboe isn?t. It?s an easy instrument to learn—at least, if you need just three chords to satisfy your musical urges. And you can buy a reasonable guitar for one-tenth of the cost of a reasonable violin. 今天最引人入胜的问题在于某种乐器的受欢迎程度如何反映出东西方的文化差异。在美国和西 欧,大多数年轻人都选择学习吉他,这背后的原因是显而易见的。吉他最著名的演奏者不仅仅 是出色的音乐家,也作为艺人、民谣歌手、个人主义者、叛逆者或是民族英雄而享有偶像地 位。吉他也可以跨越多重音乐风格,相较之下例如双簧管就没有那么广泛的应用。吉他也是比 较容易学习的乐器,至少如果你只需要三和弦满足自己的音乐冲动那它并不难掌握。而且一把 好吉他的价格只是一把好小提琴价格的十分之一。 Yet in the Far East the violin and piano are the instruments most likely to be thrust at a toddler by any self-respecting tiger-mother. Why? Precisely because neither can be truly mastered without putting in hours of disciplined, repetitive practice each day for years—a discipline that seems beyond the channel-flicking attention-spans of most Western children now. But isn?t there also something very symbolic about this? By striving to become the world?s foremost exponents of Western instruments, aren?t these Asians saying something significant about their general ambitions for themselves and their nations? 但是在远东地区,任何一位自重的虎妈最有可能塞给自己还在学步的孩子的乐器却是小提琴或 钢琴。为什么?恰恰是因为这两种乐器不每天花上几小时严格的反复练习坚持几年是无法真正 学会的。这种程度的自律对于今天大多数西方儿童那不停换台的注意广度来说似乎已是遥不可 及。但是这一态度中难道没有什么象征意义吗?通过立志成为世界一流的西方乐器演奏家,这 些亚洲人难道不是在透露自己及自己国家更广泛野心中的一个重要部分吗? Ultimately, nominating the best musical instrument is like nominating the best position for sex. There?s no “best”. It all depends on who?s performing and how inspired they are. I was once moved to tears by a tuba—played by an autistic teenager who communicated more through this tangle of silver piping than he could ever achieve with words. In his poem “Snow”, Louis MacNeice mused that the world is “crazier and more of it than we think, incorrigibly plural”. Nothing demonstrates that better than the array of 20,000 instruments that humanity has found reasons to invent. We should cherish them all. Yes, even a world without bagpipes would be a poorer place. 说到底,挑选最佳乐器就好像挑选最佳做爱体位。没有所谓“最好”。这都取决于谁是演奏者, 他们受到启发的程度。我曾有被大号感动落泪的经历,当时的演奏者是一位患有自闭症的少 年,他通过这团杂乱的银色铜管表达出了自己用语言所无法传达的心声。路易斯· 麦克尼斯的 诗歌《雪》里提到世界“比我們所想象还要荒谬杂乱,无可矫正的繁复”。没有什么能比人类找 到理由来发明的 2 万种乐器更好地表达这种荒谬和繁复。我们应该珍惜所有的这些乐器。对 啊, 这个世界,就算只少了风笛这种乐器,也是不无遗憾啊。
http://ecocn.org/thread-67980-1-1.html 译者:nayilus 系列之一:钢琴

[2012.06.01] WHICH IS THE BEST MUSICAL INSTRUMENT?

THE PIANO IS THE BEST 钢琴是最佳乐器 The Big Question: the composer Michael Berkeley argues that no other instrument is quite like the piano, which can conjure up sounds from birdsong to a sunken cathedral...

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大问题系列:作曲家迈克尔· 伯克利认为没有乐器比得上钢琴,钢琴可以变出鸟儿的歌声,也 能够表现出沉落的教堂…… From INTELLIGENT LIFE magazine, May/June 2012 It?s true that you cannot pack it in your hand luggage as you can a guitar, fiddle or flute. But the piano opens up the whole world of music because, uniquely, it can translate into sound the full range of harmony of orchestral and choral scores. There is no substitute for the visceral quality of a Steinway or B? sendorfer in full flow, with its ability to move instantly from the highly percussive to the warmly lyrical. 确实,和吉他、提琴或是笛子不同,你没有办法把它塞在手提箱里。但是钢琴可以打开整个音 乐世界,因为只有钢琴可以表达管弦乐和合唱团总谱里和音的全域。一架史坦威或是蓓森朵夫 在其野性本质尽情发挥出来时是无法比拟的,它可以在瞬间从响亮的打击声转变成温暖的抒情 乐。 Most composers see a piano as the best means of trying out ideas as they commit them to paper. Stravinsky always needed a keyboard so that he had some sound coming back at him. He was not interested in the quality—in fact he put a blanket inside his piano to muffle it. These days, he would have had a Yamaha, a real boon for musicians who are short of space or cash. 大多数作曲家在谱曲落笔之时,都把钢琴作为尝试各种作曲构思的最佳选择。斯特拉文斯基一 定要有键盘乐器在身边为作曲提供某种声音反馈。声音音质好坏对他来说并不重要,实际上他 会在钢琴里塞入毛毯来降低音量。如果放在今天,他可能有一架雅马哈电子琴就足够了,这对 哪些家里没有地方或是囊中羞涩的音乐家来说真是一件幸事。 There is a more extensive solo repertoire for the piano than for any other instrument. Composers like Messiaen, Debussy and Ravel have shown how it can conjure up birdsong, a mysteriously sunken cathedral or glistening sunlight playing on burbling water. When I am stuck in my work, I play Bach, the perfect marriage of mind and heart, and order is restored. 钢琴的独奏曲数量之大超过任何其它乐器。梅西安、德彪西和拉威尔这些作曲家曾用钢琴诠释 过鸟儿的歌唱声,神秘的沉落教堂,以及在汨汨流水上洒下的耀眼阳光。当我在工作中找不到 灵感时我会演奏巴赫,将头脑和心灵完美地结合起来,于是秩序会被重塑,思路又复畅通。 Then there is the quite staggering compass—eight octaves, to take you from the deep waters inhabited by double basses and contra-bassoons to the stratosphere of piccolos and violin harmonics. A piano is, in essence, a harp in a wooden box, but instead of fingers plucking the strings, hammers hit them. Modern composers often ask the player to lean into the frame of the piano and pluck the strings or strike them with a stick. Putting coins, screwdrivers and paper between or over the strings can give a wonderful metallic or rattling sound. The technique, known as prepared piano, is loathed by piano technicians and tuners, who cannot bear to see their children being violated in this way. But, along with the continued use of the piano in rock and jazz, it shows that this is an instrument that still has the potential to evolve. 此外还有那令人震惊的音域范围——八个八度,你可以从低音提琴和低音大管的无底深渊一直 弹到短笛和小提琴泛音的九霄云外。钢琴本质上是一部放在木盒子里的竖琴,只不过不是靠手 指来拨弦,而是靠琴槌来敲弦。现代作曲家经常要求演奏者把手伸到琴箱内直接拨弦或是拿棍 子击打琴弦。在琴弦上或是琴弦之间放上硬币、螺丝刀或是纸张可以引出美妙的金属声或是颤 动声。这种技巧称为“预置钢琴”。钢琴技师和调音师对其深恶痛绝,他们无法忍受自己的孩子 以这种方式被侵犯。但是,这些技巧加上钢琴持续在摇滚乐和爵士乐中的使用,都标志着这种 乐器还有大量的潜力有待发掘。
http://ecocn.org/thread-67982-1-1.html 译者:nayilus [2012.06.01] WHICH IS THE BEST MUSICAL INSTRUMENT? 系列之二:吉他

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THE GUITAR IS THE BEST 吉他是最佳乐器 The Big Question: Laura Barton argues that the reach of its six strings makes the guitar more articulate than any other instrument... 大问题系列:劳拉· 巴顿认为吉他的六根弦所及之广使它具有超越任何其它乐器的表现力 From INTELLIGENT LIFE magazine, May/June 2012 This spring a musician friend sent me a link to a video of a man busking by a kerb in Botswana (http://youtu.be/Tx4cRw6TIIg). On his lap rested a cheap guitar, its belly felt-tipped with an ad for pineapples at five pula each. As he played, his right hand strummed, and his left hand spiralled up and down the fret, as if he was alternately pressing the keys of a piano and operating a loom. The sound was irresistible, run through with a high, looping giddiness. 今年春天我的一位音乐家朋友给我发了一个视频链接,里面是一个坐在博茨瓦纳街头卖艺的男 子(YouTube 链接)。他怀抱着一把廉价吉他,吉他上面还用水笔写着菠萝五普拉一个的广 告。演奏时,他右手拨弄琴弦,左手则在品上来回旋转翻腾,就好像他一会儿在按钢琴琴键, 一会儿又在操作织布机。他的琴声魅力无可抵挡,全曲贯穿着一种高亢反复的晕眩感。 A few days later there was a media playback of Jack White?s album “Blunderbuss” at County Hall in London. White is one of the world?s finest guitarists, famed for his potent, scrawling style, and this is his first solo album. In the quiet of the debating chamber, the air was suddenly filled with a guitar that was deliciously ferocious, stalking and slavering and snarling its way around the room. 几天之后伦敦的郡政厅举行了杰克· 怀特专辑《Blunderbuss》的媒体播放会。怀特是世界上最 好的吉他手之一,以其强劲凌乱的风格著称,而这是他第一张独奏专辑。在寂静的辩论大厅 里,空气中突然之间充满了带着甜美野性的吉他声,音乐如同一只猛兽绕着大厅追踪着猎物、 流着口水、大声地咆哮。 Together, the two moments made a glorious illustration of the reach of those six strings—not only their variety and versatility, but their extraordinary articulacy. I love the roar of a guitar, the screech and the rush of it, loud, electric, charged. But I love it lonely too — the strange, twisting quality of Blind Willie Johnson playing “Dark Was the Night”, speaking to the spine as much as the ear. Or the sweet steel guitar of Bon Iver?s “Flume”, a sound so fine, so taut, it seems to play on the veins, the blood, the heart. 这两件事放在一起极好地展示了吉他六根弦的所及之广。这不仅仅是指其风格之多,变化之 广,也包括吉他惊人的表现力。我爱吉他的咆哮声,它的尖叫声以及它那响亮、激动、紧张的 奔腾声。但我也爱它孤独的声音。盲眼威利· 约翰逊演奏《Dark Was the Night》时的那种怪异 扭曲的音质,与其说在为你的耳朵演奏,不如说在直接对你的脊椎弹奏。我也爱本· 艾维在 《Flume》里所弹的甜美钢吉他声,那种声音如此细腻,如此紧绷,就好像它是在你的血管、 血液、心脏上演奏的那样。 And perhaps this is the essence of the guitar: its sheer physicality. Over the 4,000 years that it has shadowed man, from the tanburs of ancient Egypt to the Fenders of today, it has evolved breath and voice, sinews and muscle, to become an instrument that is not so much heard, appreciated and appraised, as felt on the skin and in the guts. 也许这就是吉他的精髓:它那纯粹的激情。4 千多年来,吉他紧随着人类。从古埃及的坦布尔 琴到今天的芬达吉他,它的呼吸、声音、筋腱和肌肉都经历了巨大的变化,直到今天这种乐 器,与其说是被人们聆听、欣赏和赞扬,不如说是被人们用皮肤和脏腑所感知。 Laura Bartonis a novelist and Guardian feature writer. She has curated 12 concerts that are being staged this year in a boat on the roof of the Queen Elizabeth Hall in London

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劳拉· 巴顿是一位小说家,也是《卫保》的特写记者。她今年主办了正在伦敦伊丽莎白女王大 厅屋顶上的船内举行的 12 场演奏会。
http://ecocn.org/thread-67987-1-1.html 译者:nayilus

[2012.06.02]Italy’s troubled economy 意大利的问题经济 In need of refo...
Italy?s troubled economy 意大利的问题经济 In need of reform 亟待改革 Worrying signs of slippage in Europe?s slowest-growing economy 欧洲增长最慢的经济体出现下滑迹象,让人倍感焦虑 NOT long ago, he was the belle of Europe?s disorderly ball. Of late, he has become everyone?s favourite target. The latest critic to line up for a shot at Italy?s prime minister, Mario Monti, is the European Commission. In the event, some of the stiffest criticisms in its annual economic report card were scrapped or diluted (eg, improving the recovery of unpaid taxes is no longer “still insufficient” but instead “a key challenge”). Yet the report still betrayed worries that Mr Monti?s non-party government is losing momentum. 不久前,他在混乱无序的欧洲舞场是位颇受追捧的明星。近来,他成了每个人都热衷的攻击目 标。人们排着队要对意大利总理马里奥?蒙蒂展开密集攻势,最近站出来的是欧洲委员会。到 头来,一些对其年度经济报告最严厉的批评被舍弃或者淡化了(比如,改善欠税追讨工作不再 是“尚且不足”,而变成了“关键挑战”)。然而,这份报告依旧辜负了人们对风头锐减的蒙蒂无 党派政府的担忧。 Elena Carletti, professor of economics at the European University Institute in Florence, agrees that ministers have more to do. But she says that already “they have done much more than previous governments.” And she feels Brussels may have underestimated the psychological impact on consumer spending of the government?s efforts to stamp out tax evasion: “a perception among people that the government has cracked down and that they have to be more careful”. 位于佛罗伦萨的欧洲大学研究所经济学教授伊莱娜?卡莱蒂相信部长们还有更多的工作没有开 展。但她也说“他们已经比前几届政府多做很多了。”她感觉布鲁塞尔方面可能低估了政府着力 杜绝逃税对消费者支出的心理影响:“人们有一种观点,政府已经施以严厉措施,自己要更加 小心了。” Brussels is especially concerned about the effectiveness and efficiency of much of Italian public spending. It is not alone. On May 24th Giorgio Squinzi, the new president of Confindustria, the bosses? federation, said that his members could not understand “why the state cannot save and make cuts the way businesses do and the way households do”. One reason is that cuts aggravate recession. But another is that the trade unions are especially strong in the public sector. The biggest and most intractable of them has historic links with the centre-left Democratic Party (PD). And that makes bureaucratic reform and deregulation as much of a political hot potato as tax collection, which squeezes the disposable incomes of the self-employed from whose votes the other big party, Silvio Berlusconi?s People of Freedom (PdL), has long profited. 鲁塞尔方面特别担心意大利大部分公共支出的有效性和效率。无独有偶。5 月 24 日,新任意 大利雇主联盟主席乔治?斯甘奇说,他的成员无法理解“为什么国家不能像商人和家庭一样节 省、削减开支。”一个原因是,削减开支会恶化经济衰退。但另一个原因是工会在公共部门的 势力特别强大。其中最大最难控制的一家和中左翼民主党有着历史上的渊源。这就让体制改革 和去监管化和征税一样成为一道政治难题,而税收则在压榨自营业者的可支配收入,他们长期
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将选票投给另一个大党:贝卢斯科尼的自由人民党(PdL)。

Last month Mr Monti ordered a spending review to identify cuts of 4.2 billion ($6.6 billion). He also named Francesco Giavazzi, an academic and critic of his policies, to advise on cutting subsidies to industry. The appointment did nothing to curb the professor?s tongue. Mr Giavazzi recently published an article in Corriere della Sera likening the spending review to a “timid mouse” and noting it would examine only a tenth of public spending. He and Alberto Alesina, a fellow academic, worry that Italy risks “twirling into a spiral of taxes, recession, deficit and yet higher taxes”. 上个月,蒙蒂下令审查支出,以确定 42 亿欧元(66 亿美元)的削减。他还任命了对其政策持 批评态度的学者贾瓦齐来向削减工业补贴提出建议。但这项任命并没有封住了教授的嘴。贾瓦 齐最近在《晚邮报》发表文章,将支出审查比作“胆小的老鼠”,称其只能查出公共支出的十分 之一。他和另一位学者阿尔贝托?阿莱西纳担心意大利有陷入“征税、衰退、赤字然后再更多地 征税的恶性循环”的危险。 In a sense, the country has been in peril for ten years, as taxes and public spending have both risen even as GDP has stood still (see chart). The commission is mildly optimistic on future growth (it expects a 0.4% increase in GDP next year). In an earlier report, the OECD was gloomier, forecasting that the economy would shrink by 0.4% in 2013, and that between 2012 and 2017 GDP would grow by an annual average of only 0.5%, the lowest rate among the 41 countries it surveys. 某种意义上说,该国税收和公共支出均在增长而 GDP 则一直维持不变(如图),其处在这样 的危险境地已有 10 年了。欧洲委员会对其将来的增长表示谨慎乐观(希望明年 GDP 增长 0.4%),早前一份报告中,经济合作与发展组织则更悲观一些,预测该经济体在 2013 年会缩 减 0.4%,2012 到 2017 年间平均年增长 0.5%,是所调查的 41 国中最低的。 If Italy is to get out of these doldrums, the government must surely show more courage on reforms. It was put into office to pass the measures that the politicians had shrunk from. So far, there has been little sign that either big party is ready to topple the government and assume responsibility for pitching Italy into a new whirlpool. Yet in recent months, Mr Monti and his ministers have seemed to be paying more heed to the parties and, by implication, to the vested interests that lurk behind them. A decision this week to use confidence votes to ram through parliament the government?s alreadydiluted labour reforms may be a sign that it is ready to take a firmer approach. It needs to. 如果意大利要摆脱毫无起色的经济,政府一定要展现更多改革的勇气。这届政府受到任命来推 动政客们避之不及的措施。到目前为止,哪个大党派都没准备好推翻现任政府并为使意大利陷 入新的漩涡而承担责任。最近几个月,蒙蒂和手下的部长们好像对党派和,含蓄地说,潜伏在 其身后的特权阶级予以更多的关注。本周将以信任投票来强制通过议会和政府已经淡化的劳动 改革决定表明,是该采取更坚定措施的时候了。也应如此。
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http://ecocn.org/thread-68094-1-1.html 译者:字邦卓 [2012.06.02]Democracy in action 民主政治在行动

导读:6 月 17 日,希腊将第二轮大选,选举结果将对整个欧洲产生深远的影响,其中最直接 的问题就是希腊到底会不会脱离欧元区呢?让我们拭目以待吧~
The Greek election 希腊大选

Democracy in action 民主政治在行动 The outcome is still highly uncertain—as is Greece’s future in the euro 希腊大选前途未卜——欧元区之位尚未定夺 Jun 2nd 2012 | ATHENS | from the print edition

GREEK voters face a bleak choice on June 17th, in their second general election in two weeks. The sensible options are the centre-right New Democracy (ND) party or the PanHellenic Socialist Movement (Pasok). Both parties promise a future in the euro, though the cost is high: at least three more years of austerity in return for shrinking external help. So angry, jobless Greeks may prefer the alternative: the radical left Syriza coalition, which came second on May 6th and is now hard on ND?s tail. They are tempted by talk of Robin Hood taxes to help the poor and the renationalising of much of the economy. 6 月 17 日,也就是两周后,希腊将举行第二次大选。届时,摆在希腊选民面前的将是一个无 望的抉择。无论是右倾新民主党(ND),还是泛希腊社会主义运动党(Pasok),对选民来说 都是切实理性之选。两党都承诺未来会留在欧元区,但此举将代价巨大:在未来三年多的时间 内希腊都需要实行财政紧缩之策,而换来的却是一个不断缩水的外部援助。因此就业无望,愤 怒不堪的希腊人可能会做出另类之举:转而支持激进左翼联盟。这一党派在 5 月 6 日的第一轮 选举中半路杀出,名列次席,现在支持率紧随新民主党(ND)之后。他们向选民抛出的政治 诱饵是实行罗宾汉税(劫富济贫税)帮助穷人脱贫并对大部分国民经济进行国有化改造。 Opinion polls are volatile and inconsistent. But most show a close contest between ND and Syriza,
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with Pasok trailing in third. A poll by GPO for Mega, a private television station, gives ND 23.4% to 22.1% for Syriza and 13.5% for Pasok. Efforts by Antonis Samaras, the ND leader, to rally centreright voters may be paying off. Dora Bakoyannis, a pro-reform former foreign minister, has rejoined him along with members of her liberal splinter group, the Democratic Alliance. Right-wingers from two other small parties are also creeping back. Pasok is having a much tougher time; hardline supporters scared of losing cushy public-sector jobs have fled to Syriza. Evangelos Venizelos, its leader, is fighting to avert an all-out collapse at the polls, say campaign workers. 各项民调结果起伏不定,前后矛盾。但依据大多数民调也可看出:新民主党(ND)和激进左 翼联盟现在势均力敌,不分上下,而泛希腊社会主义运动党(Pasok)则紧随其后。一家私人 电视台依靠 GPO 进行的大型民调结果显示:新民主党(ND)支持率为 23.4%,激进左翼联盟 支持率为 22.1%,而泛希腊社会主义运动党支持率则为 13.5%。新民主党领袖,安东尼斯?萨马 拉斯为拉拢右倾选民而做出的努力正在收到成效。因为赞成改革的前外长多拉?巴科雅妮,已 经带着她从民主同盟中分裂出来的组织成员,重返新民主党。而其他两个小党派的右翼分子也 在向新民主党渐渐靠拢。与此同时,泛希腊社会主义运动党的处境反而更加糟糕;强硬派的支 持者们因为害怕失去在政府部门轻松而容易赚钱的工作机会而全部转投了激进左翼联盟。据助 选人员透露,泛希腊社会主义运动党领袖,维尼泽洛斯,为避免在大选中出现全面崩盘的现 象,正在积极做好各方工作。 The mood is gloomy. Few Greeks are confident that a stable government will emerge from the election. Optimists hope ND will win and team up with Pasok and Democratic Left, a small party of ex-Syriza moderates. If Alexis Tsipras, the charismatic Syriza leader, pulls his party into first place, he would have to find coalition partners among the same parties. Mr Tsipras argues that Greece can dump the European Union/IMF bail-out terms, yet keep the euro. If he comes to power, a confrontation with Brussels, which takes the opposite view, would surely follow. 希腊选民情绪低落。几乎没人对大选抱有信心,指望一个稳定牢靠的政府从大选中脱颖而出。 乐观者希望新民主党(ND)最终胜出,并和泛希腊社会主义运动党以及左翼民主党(它是前 激进左翼联盟中政治态度较为温和的人分裂出来的一个小党)合作组成联合政府。而就算拥有 超凡魅力的激进左翼联盟领袖奇普拉斯带领其党傲视群雄,勇夺第一,他同样必须谋求同以上 的政党结盟合作。奇普拉斯表示希腊可以在保留欧元的条件下,同时拒绝欧盟或者国际货币基 金组织的援助条件。如果他当政,那么他和持反对意见的布鲁塞尔方面之间的对抗,将必然持 续下去。 The EU and IMF say they will turn off the tap if political instability continues. The EU has ratcheted up pressure by holding back 1 billion ($1.24 billion) of a 5.4 billion tranche of help in May. With cash running out, the finance ministry will struggle to pay pensions and public-sector wages at the end of June. At cash-strapped state hospitals in Athens, patients arriving for treatment of chronic conditions are told to bring their own prescription drugs. 欧盟和国际货币基金组织都表示,如果希腊的政治局势依旧动荡不安,他们将会截断源头,停 止资金援助。五月份,欧盟已经做出回应,从总金额为 54 亿欧元的一期援助款项中扣除 10 亿 欧元的纾困款,以向希腊进一步施压。随着资金的渐渐耗尽,六月底希腊财政部在支付养老金 和公务员工资方面将会变得捉襟见肘。在雅典,各家公立医院由于财政拮据,到医院求诊的慢 性病患者被告知要求自己带药。 Talk of a “Grexit” from the euro is fuelling a quiet flow of withdrawals from Greek bank accounts. Somewhere between 3 billion and 7 billion has become mattress money, say bankers. Economists at National Bank of Greece, an Athens lender, predict that, if Greece returns to the drachma, incomes will fall by at least 55%, bank lending rates would reach 37%, output would plunge by 22% and property values would fall by half. 希腊脱欧所引发的议论导致人们纷纷从希腊银行悄悄提走现金。银行家们指出,现有 30 亿至 70 亿的欧元已沦为了垫被钱。据希腊国家银行(雅典的一家银行)的经济师预测,如果希腊 重新使用德拉马克(希腊入欧前货币),国民收入将会下跌至少 55%,银行贷款利率将达到
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37%,经济总产量下降 22%,而房产价格也会缩水一半。 Yet some admire Mr Tsipras for answering back. His approval rating jumps whenever he takes aim at a European politician. One target is Christine Lagarde, the IMF managing director, who implied in an interview that children in Niger were more deserving than tax-evading Greeks. “We don?t need her compassion,” Mr Tsipras retorted. Others jumped on the bandwagon. “On her tax-free salary of 400,000 a year, how dare she criticise us?” asked Zoi Konstantopoulou, a Syriza candidate. 然而有些人对齐普拉斯所做出的回击却赞赏有加。每当他把矛头指向一名欧洲政客时,他的支 持率就会猛增。其攻击对象中就有国际货币基金组织的常务董事,克里斯汀娜?拉加德。她在 一次采访中曾暗示:比起逃税的希腊人,尼日尔的孩子们其实更值得帮助。“我们不需要她的 怜悯,”奇普拉斯反驳道。其他人于是也跟着顺水推舟,见风使舵。“她税后收入为 40 万欧元 一年,她有什么资格批评我们呢?”一位名为佐伊?帕克斯诺的左翼联盟候选人质问道。
http://ecocn.org/thread-68096-1-1.html 译者:申士元 [2012.06.02]The war over class war 阶级战之战 Lexington 列克星敦

The war over class war 阶级战之战 Economic misunderstanding, not overblown rhetoric, is the real problem with the president 总统的真正问题不在于他言辞浮夸,而在于经济上的误解 Jun 2nd 2012 | from the print edition

IT DOES not take much to be accused of waging class warfare in America. The charge was levelled last year at Mitt Romney, of all the unlikely leftist agitators, when he suggested that certain tax breaks should be available only to those who earned less than $200,000. Rick Santorum, one of Mr Romney?s rivals for the Republican nomination, though he had promised never to use the word “class”, earned a similar rebuke for pointing out that he came from humble origins, supposedly an implicit contrast with Mr Romney, whose father was a governor and cabinet secretary. 在美国,总是一不小心就会被扣上发动阶级战的帽子,被人指责。去年,非左派煽动者都将矛
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头指向了米特?罗姆尼,因为当时他提出建议,认为只有收入在 200000 美元以下的人才应享有 某些减税政策。罗姆尼的父亲曾担任过州长和内阁秘书,他的竞争对手之一里克?桑托勒姆 (Rick Santorum),在共和党总统提名竞选时,指出自己出身卑微,想来也许只是暗示自己同 罗姆尼的差异,却也遭到类似谴责,被怀疑有意挑起阶级战。即便在此之前,桑特朗姆曾承诺 过绝对不会使用 “阶级”一词。 For those who see such comments as tantamount to storming the Bastille, Barack Obama?s recent behaviour might bring to mind St Petersburg in 1917. According to Mr Romney, he is attacking nothing less than capitalism and the free-enterprise system. An article in Forbes magazine calls Mr Obama a “socialist in the European reform-Marxism tradition” although not, to be fair, “a communist of the cold war tradition”. John McCain, whom Mr Obama defeated to win the presidency in 2008, detects “class warfare at its worst”. 在那些把这些评论看成像是在攻占巴士底狱一般的人眼里,奥巴马最近的表现似乎让人联想起 了 1917 年的圣彼得堡。按罗姆尼的说法,奥巴马攻击的正是资本主义和自由企业体制。《福 布斯杂志》的一篇文章中,称虽然平心而论,奥巴马不是“冷战传统下的共产主义者”,但是可 以称作是“马克思主义欧洲改良传统下的一个社会主义者”。2008 年,美国总统大选中被奥巴马 击败的对手乔?麦肯恩觉察到现在“阶级形势严重”。 The main evidence of Mr Obama?s proletarian sympathies is a couple of advertisements recently released by his campaign depicting Bain Capital, the private-equity firm Mr Romney founded and ran for 15 years, as a rapacious corporate raider. In one, downtrodden former employees of a steel mill in which Bain Capital invested describe the firm as a “vampire” which “sucked the life” out of the business, leaving them not only without work but without the health insurance or pensions they had been expecting. In another advertisement, a woman laid off from an office-supply factory asserts that Mr Romney “doesn?t care anything about the middle-class or the lower-class people.” 说奥巴马同情无产阶级,主要是因为最近他的连任竞选团队发布的一些广告。广告中将私募股 权公司贝恩资本描述成了一个贪婪的企业掠夺者。贝恩资本是罗姆尼创建的,并经营了 15 年 之久。其中一则广告中,贝恩资本曾投资的一个钢铁厂中,受尽压迫的前雇员们将贝恩资本描 述为一个从商业中“吸食人命”的“吸血鬼”。他们说他们最后既没有了工作,也没有了之前期待 得健康保险和养老金。另一个广告中,一个办公用品供应厂的下岗女工称,罗姆尼“一点都不 关心中下层人民”。 These ads are unfair, of course, ignoring as they do Bain Capital?s many successful investments, fudging Mr Romney?s role and leaving out many mitigating details. It might be possible to argue that Bain?s financial engineers miscalculated in some instances, extracting too much profit from firms under their control and saddling them with ultimately ruinous debts. But the Obama campaign?s hatchet men are much vaguer and more sweeping, painting a picture of Mr Romney as a callous assetstripper—a claim for which there is little evidence. Several Democrats have criticised the ads as misleading and misguided—most notably Cory Booker, the Democratic (and black) mayor of Newark, New Jersey, who described as “nauseating” the fixation of the two campaigns with awkward moments from the candidates? past. 当然,这些广告不免有些偏颇,忽视了贝恩资本曾经做出的很多成功投资,歪曲了罗姆尼的角 色,漏掉了可使罗姆尼减轻过失的细节。要说在某些情况下,贝恩的一些金融工程师误算了, 从而从他们掌控的公司中榨取了巨额利润,使得那些公司背上了巨额债务以致破产倒闭的话, 倒是有可能的。但是奥巴马竞选团队的谋划者们,在广告中所描绘的范围比这要广而且令人感 觉更加含糊其辞,将罗姆尼描绘成了一个麻木不仁的资产掠夺者。但他们这么说其实并无证 据。一些民主党人士已经批评了这些广告,认为这些广告宣传内容不真实,给人误导。批评者 中,最惹人注目的是克里?布克(Cory Booker),这位新泽西纽瓦克的民主党黑人市长称,这 两支竞选团队对于互相攻击对方候选人尴尬过往的这种情结,令人“作呕”。 However, Mr Obama is not the first to raise such charges: during the primaries, all Mr Romney?s
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Republican rivals did. One of them, Rick Perry, denounced Bain Capital?s approach as “vulture capitalism”. Nor are such gibes unusually incendiary for an American presidential campaign. Al Gore made “the people versus the powerful” one of the themes of his bid for the White House. Harry Truman had a much more virulent turn of phrase, fulminating against the “Republican gluttons of privilege” who had “stuck a pitchfork in the farmer?s back”. 然而,奥巴马并不是第一个这样谴责罗姆尼的人。初选阶段,罗姆尼所有的共和党竞争对手都 这么做了。其中,里克?佩里(Rick Perry)曾批评说,贝恩资本的经营方式是“秃鹫资本主 义”。对美国总统竞选来讲,这些嘲讽也并没有特别大的煽动性。戈尔(Al Gore)就把“人民对 抗权利派”作为他总统竞选的主题之一。哈利?杜鲁门用了更狠的字眼,强烈谴责那些“把干草 叉插在农民背上”的“共和党贪婪的特权派”。 By contrast, even as Mr Obama seeks to cast himself as the champion of the middle class and to make “fairness” the central theme of the campaign, he is careful to say that he does not want to demonise profits or success, and believes that the vast majority of people in financial services are well intentioned. He himself, he often notes, is a member of the 1%. In the speech in which he first framed the election as a choice between unfettered capitalism and a fairer, more regulated version, he still laboriously affirmed that “the free market is the greatest force for economic progress in human history”. His talk of raising the top tax bracket to just under 40%, and making sure that millionaires pay at least as high a rate as their secretaries, is a far cry from Fran? Hollande, let alone ois Robespierre. 相反,正当奥巴马努力扮演中产阶级拥护者,让“公正”成为竞选的中心话题时,他也很谨慎地 表示,自己无意丑化利润和成功,并且表示相信金融服务业的大部分人意图都是好的。他经常 强调说自己是那 1%阵营中的一员。他把竞选活动定为一种选择,一种介于自由资本主义和更 加公平,更加赋有管制的制度之间的选择。在首次提出这一看法的演讲中,他还牵强地声 明:“在人类历史上,自由市场是经济进步的最大推动力。”他提议把最高税率等级提高到 40% 以下,并要确保百万富翁所缴纳的税率起码要同他们的秘书一样高,这同弗朗索瓦?奥兰德 (Fran? Hollande)的主张大相径庭,更别提同罗伯斯庇尔的了。 ois Mr Obama has even managed to choke out a few kind words about private equity, which, he says, is “a healthy part of the free market”, manned, in many cases, by “folks who do good work”. He claims he has no problem with the industry itself, but simply does not consider it a good proving ground for future presidents (unlike, say, community organising). Mr Romney?s contention that his experience in business will help him get the jobless back to work is flawed, Mr Obama?s argument runs, since private equity exists “to maximise profits, and that?s not always going to be good for communities or businesses or workers”. 对于私募股权行业,奥巴马甚至还硬是憋出了几句善意的言辞。他说私募股权行业本身“是自 由市场的一个健康组成部分”,其中大部分人的“工作都是好的”。他声明自己对这个行业本身 没有意见,只是认为这个行业在在培养未来总统方面,不是好的试验场地(就是说比不上自己 曾活动的社区组织)。罗姆尼的论点是,自己在商界的经验将有助于降低美国的失业率。这在 奥巴马看来是不成立的。因为私募股权的存在就是“为了使利益最大化,这对于社区、商业或 者工人们并不总是有利的 ”。 What’s fairness, anyway? 那么何为公正? The disclaimers are more than a little disingenuous, since Mr Obama often does seem to suggest that financiers are greedy wreckers from whom America?s economy must be saved. But that aside, and in spite of the Republicans? bluster, his rhetoric is hardly illegitimate or extreme. America?s middle class is struggling. Median incomes are stagnant, while the rich have been getting richer. It is easy to argue that the average Joe is not getting a fair shake—or at least not the same shake he used to. The question is whether voters care most about that, or whether they simply want to see the economy humming again, equitably or not.
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要否认他的这些说法就太言不由衷了。因为奥巴马似乎的确经常暗示说,金融家们是贪婪的肇 事者,美国的经济必须从他们手中解救出来。但是,抛开这个不说,即使有共和党人虚张声势 的恫吓,也很难说奥巴马夸张的言辞是不合逻辑或极端的。美国的中产阶级还在挣扎,当富人 变得更富时,中等收入却停滞不前。所以,很容易说普通大众没有受到公正的待遇,或者至少 是没有受到同以前一样的待遇。问题在于,这是否是选民们最关心的,或者说他们是否只是想 看到经济再次繁荣,而不管是否公正。 In that case, the election will revolve not around fairness, but competence. Mr Romney is fond of saying that Mr Obama has no idea how the economy works and how jobs are created. The way the Obama campaign talks about Bain Capital suggests that his criticism is correct. Mr Obama, as noted above, likes to insinuate that there is a conflict between pursuing profits and creating jobs. In the long run, however, in a competitive economy, that is nonsense. Only profitable firms can sustain any jobs, and the more profitable they are, the more money they have to invest in new ventures with new workers. Mr Obama is guilty not of rhetorical excess but of economic muddle. That is far more worrying. 这样来看,选举就不是围绕是否公正,而是围绕候选人是否有能力。罗姆尼很喜欢说奥巴马对 于经济工作一无所知,也不知道如何增加就业。奥巴马竞选团队对贝恩资本的评论说明,罗姆 尼对奥巴马的批评是正确的。正如上文提到的,奥巴马喜欢旁敲侧击,暗示这是追求利益和创 造就业之间的冲突。然而,从长远来看,在充满竞争的经济体制中,奥巴马的这种看法毫无意 义。只有公司盈利才能维持就业,公司收益越多,他们就有更多的钱进行风险投资,从而创造 更多的就业机会。奥巴马错不在于他浮夸的言辞,而在于他在经济上犯糊涂。这更令人担心。
http://ecocn.org/thread-68108-1-1.html 译者:chengziwendy

[2012.06.02] The Alamo 阿拉莫之战
The Alamo 阿拉莫之战 Last rights 迟来的正名 Jun 2nd 2012 | from the print edition The Blood of Heroes: The 13-Day Struggle for the Alamo—and the Sacrifice That Forged a Nation. By James Donovan. Little, Brown; 512 pages; $29.99 and ? Buy from Amazon.com, 23. Amazon.co.uk 《英雄之血:阿拉莫的 13 天血战——铸就国家的伟大牺牲》;作者:詹姆斯· 多诺万;利特尔 &布朗出版社出版;共 512 页;单价 29.99 美元或 23 英镑。可通过以下网站网购: Amazon.com, Amazon.co.uk A BATTLE where the losers ended up far more famous than the winners once again inspires James Donovan, an historian of the American West. An earlier book, “A Terrible Glory”, recalled the battle of Little Bighorn in 1876, a military disaster best remembered as General George Custer?s last stand. His latest blazing history burnishes the tarnished reputation of the third man at the Alamo, a fort where the entire garrison was wiped out in 1836 by a Mexican army intent on crushing a unilateral declaration of independence by Texas. 这场最终输者所获荣名远甚于胜者的战斗又一次给与了美国西部史专家詹姆斯· 多诺万创作的 灵感。此前他曾写过一本名为《恐怖的荣耀》的书,该书记录了 1876 年的小巨角河战役。这 场战役是一次军事灾难,因为是乔治?卡斯特将军的最后一战而为人铭记。。他最近的这部精 彩的历史专著让原本声誉不显的阿拉莫第三指挥的形象熠熠生辉。在这场 1836 年发生在阿拉 莫要塞的战役中,守城将士被墨西哥军队全歼。战争的起因是墨西哥试图镇压德克萨斯单方面 宣布独立的分裂活动。

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Not just in books but also in Hollywood films, the heroism of the third man, William Barret Travis, has been overwhelmed by the presence at the Alamo of two American folk heroes. Both in the 1960 film of the siege directed by John Wayne, and in a later version, young Travis is portrayed as a rather prissy officer and gentleman. The red-blooded, hard-drinking, all-American defenders of the makeshift fort are Jim Bowie with his trademark knife and Davy Crockett with his coonskin cap, played by Wayne himself in his own film. 无论是在书中还是在好莱坞电影中,阿拉莫第三名指挥——威廉· 巴里特· 特拉维斯的英雄形象 在两名美国民族英雄面前都黯然失色。在 1960 年由约翰· 韦恩执导的关于这次围城的电影,以 及在其后另的一部电影中,年轻的特拉维斯被塑造成一个神经兮兮的指挥官、一名绅士。固守 这座临时要塞的另外“两名指挥”是手持标志性大刀的吉姆· 博维斯和头戴浣熊皮帽的戴维· 克罗 克特——在前一部电影中,由韦恩亲自饰演。这两人都精力充沛,嗜酒如命且都是纯粹的美国 人。 Yet it was Travis, a 26-year-old cavalry officer in the regular army, who converted an ill-disciplined rabble into a suicidally brave force that held out for nearly a fortnight against a besieging army more than ten times its size. His was an extraordinary achievement given the riff-raff he had to work with. As Mr Donovan recalls, as a Mexican province Texas was notorious as a destination for “many a desperate man running from the law, creditors or any number of other troubles or mistakes—even from himself.” G.T.T. for “Gone To Texas”, was a familiar catchphrase in the south-east, often seen scrawled on an empty shack after its inhabitants had gone. 不过,正是特拉维斯,这名 26 岁的正规军骑兵指挥官,才把军纪松弛的散兵游勇打造成一支 英勇无畏的敢死之师。这支队伍面对十倍于己的围攻部队,坚守了接近十四天。考虑到他率领 的是一群乌合之众,他的成就愈发非比寻常。正如多诺万记载的那样,作为墨西哥的一个省, 德克萨斯是许多人逃脱法律制裁,躲债,避风头——甚至逃避自我的好去处,并因此而恶名昭 著。在当时的美国东南部,经常可以在棚屋上看到字迹潦草的“G.T.T”的字样,这是当时的流 行语,意思是“已经去了德克萨斯”,而棚屋则已是人去屋空。 It is said that Travis?s crucial move was to draw a line in the sand with the tip of his sword at the Alamo, a crumbling secularised Franciscan mission. He told his men that they were free to cross over the line to join him in a fight to the death or to leave the makeshift fort. Only one man chose to flee, a French settler who explained afterwards: “By God, I wasn?t ready to die.” Many historians have scoffed, dismissing this line-in-the-sand as a romantic myth. Mr Donovan disagrees. He believes that the story is in essence true and cites new, admittedly second-hand, contemporary evidence to support his claim. 据说,特拉维斯最关键的举措是用剑尖在阿拉莫要塞——前身是一座摇摇欲坠的圣方济传教站 ——的沙地上画了条线。他告诉他的士兵,他们可以自由选择,要么越过这条线与他战斗至 死,要么离开这座临时要塞。只有一个人选择逃走,这名法国定居者事后解释:“上帝啊,我 可不愿送死。”许多历史学家认为这种说法不值一哂,认为沙上划线的说法只不过是一种艺术 虚构而已。而多诺万不这样看。他认为这个故事基本真实,并引用了新的、公认的间接的,同 时代的证据支持自己的观点。 Whatever the truth of this, the siege at the Alamo was decisive. It delayed the advance into Texas of the army led by Mexico?s military dictator, Santa Anna, and so gave General Sam Houston vital time to equip and train his raw army. More important, it led a bumptious Santa Anna, the so-called Napoleon of the West, to make two classic military mistakes in his pursuit of Houston?s Texan “rebels”. He overstretched his lines of supply and then divided his forces in the face of the enemy. 无论真相是什么,坚守阿拉莫都是决定性的。这场战役延缓了墨西哥军事独裁桑塔· 安娜率领 的军队在德克萨斯的军事推进,萨姆· 休斯顿将军因此赢得了喘息之机,并利用这个机会武 装、训练新征的军队。更重要的是,它让有“西半球拿破仑”之称的狂人桑塔· 安娜在追击休斯顿 领导的德克萨斯叛军过程中,犯了两个经典的军事失误。他拖长了自己的补给线并分兵多处应 对敌军。
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Houston seized his chance. With just 740 men, he pounced on and routed an army more than twice as large in the battle of San Jacinto. Santa Anna was taken prisoner and forced to recognise the Texas Republic. Houston was elected president of Texas five months later and in 1845 it became the 28th and largest of the United States of America. Alaska, the 49th state, is even larger. But, as some say in Texas, just wait ?til the ice melts. 休斯顿抓住了这个机会。在圣哈辛托战役中,他率领 740 名士兵向两倍于己的敌军发动突袭, 并将其击溃。桑塔· 安娜战败被俘,被迫承认德克萨斯共和国的地位。5 个月后休斯顿当选为德 克萨斯总统,德克萨斯在 1845 年成为美国第 28 个也是最大的一个州。当然,阿拉斯加——美 国第 49 个州——面积更大。但正如有些德克萨斯人所说的那样,阿拉斯加要想成为最大的 州,先等雪化了再说。 from the print edition | Books and arts 注释: 1.阿拉莫(英语 Alamo,西班牙语 Pappel)是美国德克萨斯州圣安东尼奥附近一座由传教站扩 建成的要塞。在德克萨斯独立战争中曾起到重要作用。 1836 年 3 月 2 日德克萨斯由于蓄奴问 题而宣布从墨西哥独立,成立德克萨斯共和国。由前田纳西州州长萨姆· 休斯敦担任总统并亲 自担任军事总指挥。墨西哥将军暨独裁者桑塔· 安纳率军 7000 人前来镇压独立运动,休斯敦则 命令他手下 200 名多成分复杂的军人暂时先撤退到阿拉莫固守。不久被人数大大占优的墨西哥 军队包围。 阿拉莫城中当时的指挥是 27 岁的威廉· 特拉维斯中校,40 岁的冒险家詹姆 斯· 鲍文和 50 岁的战争英雄及政治家大卫· 克洛科特。经过 13 天伤亡惨重的攻城战,墨西哥军 队终于占领了阿拉莫,所有男性抵抗者均被处死,妇女和儿童得到赦免。 2.Last rights 这个我译成“迟来的正名”,不知道可不可以。我的理由是这篇文章有相当篇幅实 在说这本书试图改变人们对特拉维斯的成见,所以我觉得这个 rights 是不是为塔拉维斯正名的 意思? 3.the third man at the Alamo,直译的话就是在阿拉莫的第三个人。看了让人一头雾水:难道一 共有三个人包围阿拉莫?所以我在这里造了个阿拉莫第三杰的称谓,这样就好理解一点。不过 还真有人称他们三个为“三杰”,只不过叫做神圣三杰。
http://ecocn.org/thread-68176-1-1.html 译者:scottowoo

[2012.06.02] VC clone home 风投公司投资模仿者
导读:如今,对将既有商业模式运用至新兴市场的新兴企业进行投资的做法在风投行业中日益

常见了。这个被称为“热带化”的概念出现已有一段时间,去年,新兴市场的风险投资交易额达 34 亿美元。这股进军新兴市场的力量势头正劲是因为在传统市场中风投遇到了一些问题,如 公司过多及投资者压力增大。在新兴市场的风投活动中,大多数投资针对的是模仿别人商业模 式的新兴企业,因为这样能降低风险。而且模仿者还有地域优势,模仿商业模式的方法也各不 相同。很快,新兴市场就会出现大量在全球范围内适用的创新商业模式。但在那之前,热带化 定会成为一个越来越普遍的策略。
Venture capital in emerging markets 新兴市场的风险投资

VC clone home 风投公司投资模仿者 Making money by bringing old ideas to new markets 将老点子运用至新市场来赚钱 Jun 2nd 2012 | S?O PAULO | from the print edition SOME venture capitalists call it “geo-arbitrage”; others know it as “tropicalisation”. The term refers to
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the practice of backing start-ups that take an established business model and adapt it to an emerging market. Whatever you call it, it is becoming a bigger part of the venture-capital industry as competition at home forces Silicon Valley investors to look farther afield. 一些风险投资者称之为“地缘套利”;另一些则称之为“热带化”。这个术语是指:对将既有商业 模式运用至新兴市场的新兴企业进行投资。不论人们称之为何物,由于国内的竞争迫使硅谷投 资者将目光放得更远,这种做法在风投行业中越来越常见了。

Julio Vasconcellos, one of the founders of Peixe Urbano, a Brazilian site offering users discounted deals, is thrilled by the “huge flood” of American investors he has noticed coming to Brazil, for instance. No wonder. Some of them, including Benchmark Capital and General Atlantic, have invested in his own company alongside Brazilian venture capitalists. The financiers have reason to be upbeat, too. Peixe Urbano is a clone of Groupon, an American start-up that went public last year; its business model is one they know can take off. 例如,巴西折扣购物网 Peixe Urbano 的其中一位创始人胡里奥?瓦斯康塞洛斯(Julio Vasconcellos)发现有大量美国投资者“涌入”巴西,为此而感到兴奋。这也难怪。在这些美国 投资者中,包括基准资本公司(Benchmark Capital)和泛大西洋投资公司(General Atlantic) 在内的一些也和巴西风投者一样投资了他的公司。这些投资者持乐观态度也是有原因的。因为 Peixe Urbano 复制了团购网(Groupon)的经营模式。团购网是一家去年上市的美国新兴企 业;投资者相信其经营模式能够让 Peixe Urbano 快速发展。 The idea of tropicalisation has been around for a while. It has already been lucrative for venture capitalists in India and China. Take Baidu, a Chinese interpretation of Google, which made early venture investors a killing; or Alibaba.com, a Chinese version of eBay, an online-auction site. Now venture capitalists are looking at other markets, including Brazil, Indonesia, Russia, South Africa and Turkey. Last year $3.4 billion of venture-capital deals were done in emerging markets, more than double the amount in 2008. 热带化这概念诞生已有一段时间了。这已经让风险投资者在印度和中国获利颇丰。看看中国的 Google——百度(让早期投资者大赚一笔)或中国的 EBAY——阿里巴巴拍卖网就知道了。如 今风险投资者正着眼于包括巴西、印度尼西亚、俄罗斯、南非和土耳其在内的其他市场。去 年,新兴市场的风险投资交易额达 34 亿美元,比 2008 年高出一倍多。 This push into emerging markets has gained momentum because venture capital is experiencing problems in its traditional markets. Silicon Valley was once so inward-looking that venture capitalists used to say they would not back a start-up unless they could cycle to its office. But valuations in North America have risen for both early-stage and later-stage investments (see chart), making it much harder to make great returns.
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这股进军新兴市场的力量势头正劲是因为在传统市场中风投遇到了一些问题。硅谷一度十分封 闭,以至于那时的风投者常说他们不会投资新兴企业,除非该企业在骑自行车就能到达的范围 之内。但在北美洲,前期投资和后期投资的估值都有所上升(见图表),所以赚取巨额利润变 得更难了。 That is partly because there are too many firms; 369 of them are currently in the market trying to raise $50 billion, according to Preqin, a research firm. There is a lot less competition in emerging markets. The pressure from investors is also rising. A damning new report by the Kauffman Foundation, an outfit which promotes entrepreneurship, analysed its venture-capital portfolio and concluded that 62 out of 100 funds failed to exceed the returns offered by the public market. 出现这种情况,部分原因是传统市场里公司过多;调查公司 Preqin 称,目前传统市场中有 369 家公司正设法筹集资金,总额达 500 亿美元。反观新兴市场,竞争远没有那么激烈。在传统市 场中,来自投资者的压力也在增加。考夫曼基金会(Kauffman Foundation)(一个发扬企业家 精神的机构)的一份新报告给出了一些负面观点。报告分析了考夫曼基金会的风投组合,并总 结出每 100 家基金有 62 家的未能提供高于公开市场的收益。 Most venture-capital firms do not head abroad with the sole aim of looking for copycats, but plenty of their investments end up that way. Douglas Leone of Sequoia Capital, a big venture-capital firm, reckons that in emerging markets like China around 50% of start-ups backed by foreign venture capitalists in the internet and mobile sectors are copycats, and in markets like Brazil it is closer to 70%. 大部分风投公司进军国外市场的目的并非只是寻找模仿者,但他们许多的投资活动最终却只做 到了这点。大型风投公司红杉资本(Sequoia Capital)的道格拉斯?莱昂内(Douglas Leone)认 为,在像中国这样的新兴市场里,由互联网及移动领域的外国风投公司投资的新兴企业中约有 50%是模仿者,这一比例在巴西这样的市场里则更接近 70%。 That is not so surprising. Backing tested concepts mitigates the risk inherent in start-ups and means companies are likely to grow quickly, because the original firm has already worked out the kinks. Often the originator of the business does not have the expertise to enter new countries quickly, so copycats can get there first. 这一点不足为奇。投资新兴企业本身就有风险,而对采用经过考验的商业模式的新兴企业进行 投资能降低这种风险,也意味着企业可能会快速发展,因为原创企业已将那些新奇想法实践过 了。而原创企业往往并不擅长迅速打入新国家的市场,所以模仿者便能捷足先登。 They can also gain an edge by tailoring businesses to local habits. Flipkart, an online-commerce site in India founded by two former Amazon employees, has received funding from Tiger Global, a New York-based hedge fund that specialises in this kind of investing, and Accel Partners, a venture-capital firm. Flipkart has taken off in part because credit cards are less common in India and it offers the option of payment on delivery. 员工创立的印度线上购物网站 Flipkart 已获得老虎环球基金(Tiger Global)和 Accel Partners 的投资。总部位于纽约的老虎环球基金是专门从事此类投资的对冲基金;Accel Partners 是一家 风投公司。Flipkart 已开始迅速发展,部分原因是在印度信用卡普及率较低而它则提供货到付 款服务。 Another example is Trendyol, a Turkish “flash sale” site that mimics Vente-privee.com and Gilt Groupe, which popularised the idea of time-limited online sales of designer clothing. But Trendyol, whose backers include Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, also sells its own mass-market clothing line, with seasonal designs “crowdsourced” from users in Turkey. 另一个案例是土耳其的“限时抢购”网 Trendyol,此网站模仿的是 Vente-privee.com 和吉尔特集 团(Gilt Groupe),正是这两家公司令在线限时抢购品牌时装的概念流行起来的。KPCB 风投 公司是 Trendyol 的投资者之一。但 Trendyol 也拥有自己的大众服装系列,每季都从土耳其用 户处“众包”款式。
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There are different ways to play the copycat game. Rocket Internet, started by the Samwer brothers— Alexander, Marc and Oliver—in Germany, is a cloning “factory” that copies American and European businesses, hiring entrepreneurs to run them and exporting these start-ups to emerging markets as fast as possible so they are the first entrants. More traditional venture capitalists are setting up offices and selectively backing local entrepreneurs. American venture investors often prefer to bring in a local partner to provide more consistent mentorship to these entrepreneurs and give advice on how to navigate the domestic market. 而模仿商业模式的方法也各不相同。由桑威尔(Samwer)三兄弟——亚历山大(Alexander), 马克(Marc)和奥利佛(Oliver)——在德国创立的火箭网(Rocket Internet)是一家模仿欧美 商业模式的克隆“工厂”,网站雇用企业家负责经营并将这些新兴企业以最快的速度输出到新兴 市场,以成为第一批进入者。更多传统的风投公司正在成立事务所并对新兴市场的本土企业家 进行选择性投资。而美国的风投公司往往喜欢找一个本土合作伙伴对这些企业家进行更为一致 的指导,并就如何驾驭该国的国内市场提供建议。 Such advice can be valuable, given the specific risks of setting up in emerging markets. First, companies can take longer to get off their feet, given grinding local bureaucracy. “An eight-year fund might not be sufficient in Brazil,” says JoséLuiz Osorio of Jardim Bot? nico, a Brazilian seed investor. Second, there are cultural barriers: it can be hard to recruit employees to work for an unknown company in exchange for equity, for instance. Third, exiting through large initial public offerings is unlikely in countries like Turkey and Brazil, where IPO activity is muted and investors like to buy well-known firms; that means venture firms are reliant on strategic buyers to gobble up their creations. 鉴于投资新兴市场有特定风险,这些建议也会有价值。首先,因为当地官僚主义之风甚浓,公 司要花更多时间才能发展起来。“在巴西交八年的钱可能都不够”,巴西种子投资机构“植物园” 的 JoséLuiz Osorio 说道。其次是文化上的隔阂:例如,招募员工为一家不知名的公司打工并 以公司股份作为报酬,这可能很困难。第三,在土耳其、巴西这些国家,没什么公司会在那里 进行首次上市而且投资者喜欢购买知名公司的股票,所以风投公司不可能通过大型的初次上市 活动抽身而退;这意味着风投公司得指望目光长远者购买其创立的公司。

Tropicalisation piles on an additional set of risks. Copycats can easily lose share when the original company eventually enters the local market. Sonico, once the Facebook of Latin America, got “pummelled” when Facebook arrived, says Nenad Marovac of DN Capital, which was behind Sonico. And even if they can see off competition, the copycats are unlikely to be mega-blockbusters because, by definition, they are not new. “With innovation you have a global upside, but with copycat innovation you have geographical limits,” says Eric Archer of Monashees Capital, a Brazilian venture firm.
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热带化还会带来额外的巨大风险。当原创公司最终要进入当地市场时,模仿者可能会很容易便 失去原有市场份额。曾是拉丁美洲的脸谱网的 Sonico 在脸谱网打入拉丁美洲时被“扁”了一 顿, Sonico 投资者 DN 资本(DN Capital)的 Nenad Marovac 说道。而且即使这些模仿者能在 竞争中获胜,它们也不太可能成为雄霸市场的超级巨头,因为严格来讲它们的商业模式并不 新。“有所创新就能在全球范围内拥有优势,但模仿别人的创新却有地理局限性,”巴西风投公 司 Monashees Capital 的埃里克?阿彻(Eric Archer)说道。 It will not be long before emerging markets spawn their own innovations that can be trotted out on a global scale. That would be closer to the spirit of venture capital, which is supposed to ferret out and fund new ideas, not imitations. Until then, however, tropicalisation is set to become an ever more popular strategy. Copy that. 很快,新兴市场就会出现大量在全球范围内适用的创新商业模式。那将更切合风投的要义—— 搜寻新点子并进行投资,而非投资模仿者。但在那之前,热带化定会成为一个越来越普遍的策 略。模仿吧!
http://ecocn.org/thread-68245-1-1.html 译者:contrary

[2012.06.02] London's tech firms Peddling Jobs 伦敦高科技公司 兜售...
Britain 英国

London’s tech firms 伦敦高科技公司 Peddling jobs 兜售工作 London’s still-young technology hub seeks to attract new talent 伦敦尚显稚嫩的高科技园区求贤若渴
Jun 2nd 2012 | from the print edition

Winner of the smartest-dressed award “最聪明着装奖”获奖者 IN BICYCLE racing, even the keenest competitors will temporarily huddle together against the common foes of mental fatigue and headwinds. Such co-operation among rivals is found also in the cluster of start-ups near Old Street junction in London, known as Silicon Roundabout. Business tips are shared over a pint in the district?s artfully shambolic pubs. And fierce competition for talent has forged a more formal alliance. 在自行车比赛中,为了抵御共同的敌人—精神疲劳和逆风,即使是最渴望胜利的参赛者,有时 也会与其他参赛者挤成一团,努力向前。竞争对手之间的这种合作行为,也出现在坐落于老街 大转盘的伦敦“小硅谷”里新创立的企业群里。在当地艺术风格光怪陆离的酒吧里,人们在觥筹 交错间交换着商业小窍门。而激烈的人才争夺战更是促进一个更为正式的同盟的诞生。 In the last weekend in May, more than a hundred London start-ups gathered in a converted brewery in Brick Lane for a two-day jobs fair, which attracted about 1,900 job-hunters. The event was billed as Silicon Milkroundabout, a nod to the “milk round” tour of university campuses by big recruiters. The idea for the fair came from Songkick, a live-music website based in Hoxton Street, at the heart of London?s expanding tech hub. It was thought only a handful of firms might take part in the inaugural fair last May; 45 did, and around 500 engineers turned up. A second event in October lured almost 1,500 techies.
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在五月的最后一个周末,一百多家的伦敦新成立公司汇集在布里克巷(位于伦敦最东部)的一 家经改装的酿酒厂,共同参与为期 2 天的招聘会,此举吸引来近 1900 名求职者。这一活动被 媒体宣传为“硅谷巡回招聘”,得名于大型知名公司在大学校园举办的“巡回招聘”。此次招聘会 的想法来自位于霍斯顿街上的一家在线音乐网站,Songkick,坐落在版图日益膨大的伦敦科技 中心的核心地带。去年五月的首场招聘会,人们原以为只有寥寥数家公司可能会参加;结果却 有 45 家公司参与,500 名工程师到现场。十月的第二场招聘会更是招徕 1500 名技术人员。 By banding together, smallish firms can collectively sell the idea of working for a start-up— something that is unnecessary or impossible in places where the concept is better understood and rivalries are fiercer. (“This wouldn?t happen in Silicon Valley”, notes Dan Crow of Songkick, who worked there for years.) Part of the appeal for would-be employees is the cool informality on display. Firms? pitches were often little more than a table, the almost mandatory Apple laptop and an easel to which a card with the firm?s logo was affixed. Job-seekers sporting even open-collared shirts might feel overdressed: the entrepreneurs typically wore jeans and T-shirts. There was table football and a free bar sponsored by Badoo, a site for seekers of casual social encounters. Social-media start-ups rubbed shoulders with better-known names such as Moshi Monsters, a game-playing website aimed at children, and with the new breed of finance websites that connect the cash-strapped with the flush. 通过集体招聘的方式,小型企业能够共同宣传一个观念——为刚成立的公司工作——这种宣传 对早已熟知这个观念的地区的人来说,是没必要的,而在竞争更激烈的地方的人看来,这个观 念则是不可思议的。(在硅谷工作多年的、Songkick 的总裁丹?克劳的眼中,“这种合作招聘的 现象在硅谷绝不可能发生。”)对即将成为职场人的应聘者来说,小硅谷招聘的另一个吸引力 在于其另类的不拘小节。参加招聘的公司往往除了一张桌子、必备的一台苹果笔记本、贴着公 司商标的卡片的展示架外,别无他物。面对企业家最普遍的装束——牛仔裤和 T-恤衫,穿衬 衫、未打领带的求职者甚至可能会感觉自己的穿着过于正式。现场,亦有 Badoo(英国一家类 似于 Facebook 的社区网络),赞助的桌式足球和免费吧台,以供求职者与面试者间随意的社 交活动。社交媒体的后起之秀早已与较著名的品牌如 Moshi Monsters,(一家儿童尤其网 站)、及几家旨在利用理财工具帮助人们摆脱资金拮据、变得富裕的新生代金融网络公司的达 成合作协议。 Can such fledglings compete for staff given the pay and job security offered by established tech giants, banks and consultancies? “The good news is that the best people don?t make money-driven decisions,” says Pete Smith, one of the event?s architects. Start-ups are risky, but a wise job-seeker would do some homework to discover if a prospective employer is backed by patient investors with deep pockets and industry know-how. With the greater risks come benefits that big firms cannot match. Employees at a start-up help to shape the firm as it grows up. And because there is less scope for specialisation than at big firms, jobs are more varied and employees can acquire skills quickly. 相比享有盛誉的科技巨头、银行和咨询机构,这些尚处起步阶段的公司在给人才的薪酬和工作 安全感方面能够竞争得过吗?“好消息是最优秀的人不会一切?向钱看?,彼得?斯密斯,活动的 策划者之一回答道。新生代公司虽然风险性很高,但是聪明的求职者可以花点功夫去研究中意 的企业。看看它是否由资本雄厚、技术过硬的投资者鼎力支持。因此,像这样的小公司,虽然 风险更大,却伴随着大公司难以匹及的丰厚回报。新生代公司的员工对其企业的发展所起的作 用将是极具深远意义的。同时,因为小公司的职位分工不如大公司的精细化,所以小公司的员 工的工作更富有多元性,也因此可以更快的学到各种技能。 Start-ups tend in any case to ride in the slipstream of big technology companies, often recruiting engineers with a few years? experience at an established firm. Charles Delingpole, co-founder of MarketInvoice, a site that finds cash for small businesses until their bills are paid, is scouting for at least one software developer to add to the firm?s staff of 13. His ideal recruit would be someone like Ivan, standing alongside, who joined after a two-year stint at IBM. If funds stretch to four people, he will hire a fresh graduate. But even firms that are seeking only experienced staff are keen to meet students who they may poach later.
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似乎不管怎样,新生代公司往往会享受到科技巨头的恩惠,比如它们经常聘用在大公司有几年 工作经验的工程师。查尔斯?邓林坡,MarketInvoice(帮助小企业还清债务的网站)的合伙创 立人之一,正在努力寻找一名以上的软件开发员加入其目前的 13 名员工队伍。他表示,理想 招聘对象是正站在身旁的像伊凡一样的人,其正是在 IBM 工作满两年后加入了公司。如果有 招聘 4 个人的预算,他会雇用一位应届毕业生。但是,即使只聘用有经验的员工的公司招聘 着,也非常热心的和应届毕业生见面,当然其是醉翁之意不在酒。 Keeping one eye on future recruits is essential for the kind of firms that have grown up around Old Street—adolescent outfits whose headcount will multiply quickly if they survive. Some are already scrambling for staff. IdeaPlane is a Soho-based firm that sets up social networks within businesses to foster collaboration. Profitable after just two years, it is looking to add 20 to its staff of 27 by the end of the year, says Lucy Wei, who patrolled the firm?s stall at the Brick Lane jobs fair. Like cyclists huddled in the peloton, London?s start-ups hope they can break away from the pack to sprint for victory. 关注未来的招聘对象,是在“老街”附近成长起来的公司的必修课——如果熬过生存期,人员编 制将会翻倍增长,也会有充足的招聘资金。其中一些公司已经在争抢人才。IdeaPlane 是一家 以“在家办公”为模式的公司,旨在为了促进企业间合作帮助其构建企业社交网络。只短短 2 年 的时间,JdeaPlane 就已经盈利丰厚,所以,“要在今年年底前,在现有的 27 人的员工数上再 增加 20 名”,魏?露西说道,其在布里克巷招聘会负责招聘。与蜷缩在骑行大部队中的自行车 参赛者一样,伦敦的新生代公司也希望它们可以脱颖而出、为胜利冲刺。 --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------后记:选这篇文章的原因是因为大学生找工作难。文章中的伦敦新生代科技公司,为找人才可 谓是绞尽脑汁。那么我们那些抱怨,“毕业就失业”的各位童鞋,你们找工作,有过绞尽脑汁、 不顾一切的经历吗? 不管如文中的英国公司,还是国内的公司,一般都乐意招有工作经验的人。谁不愿意招一聘上 就可以上手工作的人呢。所以,未毕业的童鞋们,要牢记大三的暑假和大四--黄金时期,一定 要找实习机会、找工作。 这样至少你毕业时再找工作有稍微明确的目标。别都毕业了,还漂着漂着不知该往哪儿去,让 父母担心。 以上仅为关于就业的个人观点。如有考研、出国、工作内定一族,可以忽视。
http://ecocn.org/thread-68357-1-1.html 译者:tonitr

[2012.06.06] WHICH IS THE BEST MUSICAL INSTRUMENT? 系列之五:人声 THE VOICE IS THE BEST 人声是最佳乐器

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The Big Question: Edward Carr on the one musical instrument we all share... 大问题系列:爱德华· 卡尔认为最好的乐器是我们大家都拥有的…… From INTELLIGENT LIFE magazine, May/June 2012 The best instrument is the one we all carry around all of the time—the human voice. 最好的乐器我们人人都有,时时携带,那就是人声。 Some years ago, on the windswept Atlantic coast of Ireland, a couple of old farmers came up to my family?s cottage. There was tea and whiskey and turf was blazing in the grate. Late in the evening, when it was cold and dark outside, one of the old men suddenly started to sing. Just his voice in the silence, high and reedy, mournfully intoning the ballad of Banna Strand. 几年之前,在爱尔兰临大西洋的当风海岸上,有几位老农来到我家的小屋。那晚家里有茶有 酒,火炉里还有泥炭在燃烧。待到深夜屋外又黑又冷之时,一个老农突然开始唱歌。寂静之中 只有他的声音在空气中回荡,歌声高亢尖细,悲伤地吟咏着班纳海滩的民谣。 At moments like that, song becomes the soundtrack of our lives. It all starts with our first music—our mother?s voice. Around the world, every Saturday in the stands and every Sunday in the pews, people join together in song. Birthdays, marriages and deaths are solemnised when people open their mouths and sing. 在那样的时刻,歌声变成了我们生命的配乐。所有一切都始于我们最早听到的音乐——母亲的 声音。在世界各地,每周六在体育场的看台上,每周日在教堂的长椅中,人们合声高唱。正是 人们张嘴歌唱赋予了生日、婚礼和葬礼庄重的感觉。 When music involves a voice, whether you love Callas or Adele or Queen, the instruments are all second fiddle. The voice is a fingerprint, a personal stamp capable of endless variety. Borrowing the plosives and fricatives of spoken language, it imparts a feeling, a mood or a story—of a faithless lover, or a shipment of guns meant for Ireland?s Easter Rising that never made it to Banna Strand. 一旦音乐中混有人声,不管你所喜欢的是卡拉斯还是阿黛尔,抑或是皇后乐队,乐器都变成了 陪衬。声音如同指纹一般在音乐上加入了个性化的标记,且能够带来无尽的变化。借用口语中 的爆破音和摩擦音,人声赋予音乐一层感觉、一种情绪或是一个故事,这个故事可能涉及到一 位负心人,也可能讲述着为爱尔兰复活节起义运送枪弹却最终无缘抵达班纳海滩的船只。
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Nearly all music bears the mark of the voice. When you hear the sinuous melody of a Chopin prelude, you are hearing the piano imitate the voice. When you hear a string quartet, you are hearing the soprano, alto, tenor and bass of a choir. When my violin teacher, Clarence Myerscough, wanted me to understand how to phrase a melody, he wouldn?t play it on his exquisite 17th-century Maggini, he would sing it in his ordinary 20th-century baritone. 几乎所有形式的音乐都带有人声的痕迹。当你聆听肖邦序曲那悠扬的旋律时,你所听到的是模 仿人声的钢琴。当你聆听弦乐四重奏时,你所听到的是女高音、女低音、男高音和男低音的合 唱。我的小提琴老师克莱伦斯· 梅亚斯克福想要让我理解如何为一首旋律分节时,他并不会用 他那架精致的 17 世纪马吉尼来做示范,相反他会用自己那普通的 20 世纪男中音演唱示范。 Singing is good for us. Exertion and concentration fortifies the mind and invigorates the body. All that breathing clears out our airways and staves off coughs and colds. All that noise-making helps get things off our chests. 歌唱对我们有很大的益处。集中精神尽情歌唱可以提神醒脑,振奋身心。唱歌过程中的呼吸吐 气清通我们的气管,可以预防咳嗽和感冒。大声高歌也可以发泄心中的不平。 Why not see if it works for you? If you cannot muster the confidence to join the local choral society, wait until the coast is clear, shut yourself safely behind the bathroom door and get under the shower. Then open your mouth, fill up your lungs, and launch into a stonking good tune. The music is there inside you. You just need to find your voice. 为什么不试试这是否有效呢?如果你没有足够的信心加入本地合唱团,那你至少可以在家里无 人的情况下,把自己安全地关在浴室里淋个浴,同时张开嘴,深吸一口气,释放一下你自己的 灌耳魔音。音乐就在你身体里面。你只需要去找到它。 Edward Carris Intelligent Life's editorial director and the foreign editor of The Economist 爱德华· 卡尔是《Intelligent Life》的总编,也是《经济学人》的国际编辑
http://ecocn.org/thread-68236-1-1.html 译者:nayilus

[2012.06.09]The search for alien life 寻找外星生命
The search for alien life 寻找外星生命

Twinkle, twinkle, little planet 一闪一闪亮晶晶,满天都是小行星
An undervalued optical trick may help to find life in other solar systems 一种曾被低估的光学技法或有助于在其他类太阳系中寻找生命

Jun 9th 2012 | from the print edition

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MOST astronomical telescopes employ reflection to focus starlight. A concave mirror creates an image from this light using a design pioneered in the 17th century, by Sir Isaac Newton. Those telescopes that do not employ reflection use refraction. They have a system of lenses, an idea first used to look at the stars by Galileo. 大多数天文望远镜采用反射方式聚焦星光。一面凹面镜利用聚焦的星光形成图像,这是艾萨克 ?牛顿爵士17世纪时的先锋设计。非反射式望远镜利用折射原理。它们含有一套透镜系统,这 是最早由伽利略用来观察星空的方法。 But there is a third way to focus light. A century and a half after Newton, and more than two after Galileo, a Frenchman called Augustin-Jean Fresnel worked out that you can do it using diffraction. A set of concentric rings, alternately transparent and opaque, will scatter and spread light waves in a manner that causes them to reinforce each other some distance away, and thus form an image. The rings are known as a zone plate. And Fresnel?s countryman, Laurent Koechlin, of the Midi-Pyré es observatory, thinks zone plates are the né way to find out if there is life on other planets. 但是,还有第三种方法聚焦光线。牛顿时代过去150年、伽利略时代过去200多年之后,法国 人奥古斯丁?让?菲涅耳发现利用光的衍射也能实现聚焦。这种方法使用一组透明和不透明交替 的同心圆环,它们使得光波分散传播,并能在一定距离外的位置相互增强,从而成像。这些圆 环被称为菲涅耳区平板1 。菲涅尔的同胞,供职于南比利牛斯天文台的劳伦?凯什兰博士 2,认 为菲涅耳区平板是寻找其他行星有无生命的可行之道。 Seeing oxygen in another planet?s atmosphere would be a giveaway of biological activity because the gas is so reactive that it needs to be continuously renewed. That would almost certainly mean something akin to photosynthesis was going on, for no known non-biological process can produce oxygen from common materials in sufficient quantity. Looking at such an atmosphere, though, is tricky. Stars are so much brighter than the planets which orbit them that their light overwhelms the small amount reflected from a planet?s surface. And this is where Fresnel comes in. 对于其他行星大气中氧气含量的观测结果可能会透露生物活动的迹象,因为氧气化学性质极其 活跃,需要连续不断的再生。那极有可能意味着有类似于光合作用的活动在发生,因为尚无已 知的非生物作用能利用普通物质产生足够数量的氧气。然而,观测行星大气非常困难。恒星比 围绕它转动的行星亮得多,以至于它的光线完全将行星表面反射的少量光线压盖住了。而这正 是菲涅尔望远镜大展身手之处。 Fresnel telescopes have not been developed in the past because the image formed by one that was large enough to rival a useful-sized reflecting telescope would be several kilometres
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from the zone plate. But Dr Koechlin does not worry about that, because his Fresnel telescope will be in space. Free of the confounding effects of the Earth?s own atmosphere, it will be able to isolate images of alien planets, make spectra of the light from their air, and examine those spectra for the characteristic dark lines that are caused by part of the light being absorbed by particular gases—oxygen among them. 菲涅尔望远镜过去没有得到发展,是因为要得到可以与实用尺寸的反射式望远镜所成像大小匹 敌的图像,它的区平板要距离数公里之外。但是凯什兰博士并不为此担心,因为他的菲涅尔望 远镜将置于太空。没有地球自身大气的干扰,可以将日外行星的图像分离出来,制出它们大气 光线的光谱,并检测在光谱中是否有特征暗线,这些暗线是由于部分光线被大气中的几种特定 气体吸收所致——氧气是其中之一。 Plate tectonics 区平板是怎么构成的 Space telescopes are nothing new, of course, and several more are in the works (see article). But existing plans to photograph extrasolar planets in this way involve orbiting arrays of reflecting telescopes all pointing in exactly the same direction. An array is needed because a single mirror big enough to do the job of separating star from planet would be too large to launch. The problem is the word “exactly”. It means just that. The formation would have to fly with a precision of a few billionths of a metre. 太空望远镜并不是什么新鲜事,当然,有几个新式的天文望远镜正在计划中(见文)。但是拍 摄日外行星的现行方案中包括由多个精确指向同一方向的反射式望远镜组成的在轨阵列。阵列 是必需的,因为能够完成将行星和恒星图像分离任务的单个望远镜会因尺寸过大而无法发射。 问题来自两个字“精确”。确实如此,阵型必须保持几十亿分之一米的精确度。 Using a zone plate instead of a mirror gets around this. Because the plate is flat, it can be made of plastic and folded up for launch. Size thus ceases to be an issue. And although a second satellite containing the “eyepiece” (a special lens that also uses Fresnel optics, and a camera to record the image) must fly at the focus, the accuracy required is only hundredths of a metre, not billionths. That, Dr Koechlin reckons, gives Fresnel optics a big advantage over Newtonian ones. 使用区平板代替凹面镜解决了这个问题。因为它是一个平板,可以使用塑料制造并折叠起来发 射。这样尺寸不再成为问题。即使搭载“目镜”(一种特殊透镜,同样使用菲涅尔望远镜及一个 用来记录图像的相机)的另一个卫星必须飞至焦点处,也只需要百分之一米而不是十亿分之一 米的精确度。凯什兰博士认为这使得菲涅尔望远镜较之牛顿望远镜有了巨大优势。 To test the idea, he and an international consortium of his colleagues have built a groundbased prototype. This is a piece of copper foil 20cm square that has 696 rings, a portion of which is reproduced above. Because it is this small, its focal length is only 18 metres. In order that the foil does not fall apart, each transparent ring is actually a series of curved slots in the copper rather than a continuous gap. This, though, does not affect the system?s optical properties and it can, indeed, see small, faint objects that are near large, bright ones. 为了测试这个设想,他和国际合作小组的同事们搭建了一个地面原型。这是一片20厘米见方的 铜箔,上有696个同心圆环,题图即是它的部分示意图。因为它是这么的小,它的焦距也只有 18米长。为了使铜箔不至于破碎,每一个透明圆环实际上是铜箔上一连串的弧形槽,而不是连 通的空隔。但是这样并不会影响系统的光学性质,它确实能够发现处于明亮的巨大物体附近的 昏暗的细小东西。 When Dr Koechlin and his team pointed it at Mars they could distinguish that planet?s two tiny moons—a task which would require a Newtonian telescope with a mirror at least 30cm
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across. And when they aimed at Sirius they could see the dim white-dwarf which orbits what is the brightest star in the night sky. Extrapolating from these results, they think that an orbiting zone plate measuring somewhere between 15 metres and 40 metres across will be enough to distinguish the spectrum of an Earthlike planet at a distance of 30 light-years. With that, they should be able to find out if mankind really does have any next-door neighbours, and Fresnel will have come into his own at last. 当凯什兰博士及他的团队将它指向火星时,他们可以分辨出火星的两个小卫星,这项工作如果 交给牛顿望远镜的话,镜片直径至少需要达到30厘米。而当他们瞄准天狼星时,他们可以看见 围绕这颗夜空中最亮的恒星运行的一颗昏暗的白矮星。由这些结果推断,他们认为一个尺寸在 15米至40米之间的在轨菲涅尔区平板将足以分辨30光年外一颗类地行星的光谱。以此神器, 他们应该能够确定人类是否真的拥有邻居,而最终,菲涅尔也将证明其自身价值。 1.come into one's (or its) own:to become independent; to be recognized as independent and capable, usually after much effort or time. ======================================================== 注释: [1] 也称为菲涅尔环板, http://www.hudong.com/wiki/%E8%8F%B2%E6%B6%85%E8%80%B3%E7%8E%AF%E6 %9D%BF [2] 凯什兰博士的个人网页 http://www.ast.obs-mip.fr/users/lkoechli/w3/index_En.html,上 面有后文提到的用菲涅尔望远镜原型采集到的太空图片。
http://ecocn.org/thread-68371-1-1.html 译者:toolate

[2012.06.09]Looking for love寻觅爱情
Modern marriage 现代婚恋

Looking for love 寻觅爱情 Singletons are getting some help finding a mate 单身正在获取一些帮助寻找伴侣。 Jun 9th 2012 | SHANGHAI | from the print edition

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ALTHOUGH 40,000 people gathered on May 26th and 27th for Shanghai?s Matchmaking Expo, Yu Bin doesn?t expect to find a wife among them. Mr Yu, a 26-year-old policeman, describes himself as conservative and is looking for a woman with “traditional virtues”. His attendance at the expo, the city?s largest yet, is a long shot; he would prefer a marriage set up by colleagues or by his parents. It worked for them 30 years ago, he says. 尽管 5 月 26 日至 27 日有四万人参加了上海婚恋博览会,但余斌(音)并不期望在其中找到另 一半。余先生今年 26 岁,是一名警察,自认为是一名保守的男人,正在寻找一位拥有“传统美 德”的女性。他参加这次婚恋博览会(尽管这是上海市最大的一次了),成功找到另一半的机 会相当渺茫;他更希望通过同事或父母介绍对象。他说,30 年前,父母们的婚姻就是这样建 立起来的。 On the other side of the vast expo park, Fancy Huang is arguing with her mother. At 25, Ms Huang (who chose her English name herself) is two years shy of the dreaded age at which she will be branded a shengnu, or “leftover woman”. Her cousins are all married, so her parents are applying pressure. Ms Huang?s mother is stewing. “Sometimes my daughter says she would rather buy a flat by herself and live alone,” she says. “It?s so bizarre.” 在宽阔世博园的另一边,范希?黄正在与她的母亲争论。黄女士(她的英文名是自己取的)今 年 25 岁,再过两年,她将会被人称为剩女。她的表兄妹们都已经结婚了,因此她的父母正在 催她结婚。黄女士的母亲焦虑不安。她说:“有时我的女儿说她宁愿自己买一套房子一个人生 活。这太奇怪了。” Mr Yu and Ms Huang are just two of the thousands of young people trying to navigate China?s modern marriage market. At the expo there is no shortage of assistance. On one stage, a glamorous woman in a fuchsia minidress is hosting a public matchmaking session. A bachelor comes onstage and sings a song to 12 female contestants who hold up paddles with either a smiley or a sad face. Elsewhere, mass speed-dating events are under way. Dating agencies vie for singles to sign up. Their websites are wildly popular in China. One such site, Jiayuan, is listed on America?s NASDAQ stockmarket. 余先生和黄女士只是数千名年轻人中的两位,他们正在试图摸清中国的现代婚恋市场。在博览 会上并不缺少帮助。在一个舞台上,一位身穿紫红色短裙的美女正在主持一场大众相亲会。单
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身男子上台向十二名女嘉宾唱一首歌,然后女嘉宾要么举起笑脸的牌子,要么举起伤心表情的 牌子。其他地方正在开展大众速配活动。婚恋公司相互竞争让单身们成为自己网站的注册用 户。它们的网站在中国广受欢迎。一家这样的网站——世纪佳缘网已经在美国的纳斯达克股票 市场上市。 In the past 30 years the Chinese search for a spouse has, like so much else, been transformed. Confucian thought emphasised a match?s significance for society rather than for the individuals involved. Though formal arranged marriages were banned in 1950, parents and colleagues continued well into the new century to help couples pair up (some still do). 在过去 30 里,与许多其他事情一样,中国人寻找另一半的方式已经改变了。儒家思想强调婚 姻之于社会的意义而不是之于相关个人的意义。尽管在 1950 年已经禁止公开的包办婚姻,但 父母和同事帮忙相亲一直持续到了新世纪(现在仍然是如此)。 The recent decline of such practices, especially in cities, in favour of choosing your own mate, has coincided with huge demographic shifts. China?s skewed birth ratio (118 boys to every 100 girls) means that there will be a surplus of about 24m bachelors by 2020. And women?s increasing socioeconomic freedom makes them pickier when choosing a husband. 最近这种情况减少了,更倾向于自己找对象,在城市尤其是如此,这正好赶上了巨大的人口变 迁。中国扭曲的出生率(男女出生比率为 118 比 100)意味着,到 2020 年,近 2400 万名男子 将成为光混。而随着女性在社会经济方面的自由度越来越大,她们在挑选丈夫时将更加挑剔。 Mr Yu, the traditionalist, remains hopeful. “We just haven?t been in the right place at the right time,” he says of his putative partner. Other bachelors are less patient. Last month, the “Multi-Millionaire Seeking Spouses in Ten Cities Show” launched in the southern city of Guangzhou. Eleven Chinese millionaires are paying a luxury matchmaking agency 5m yuan ($790,000) for assistance. One of them, a billionaire, has particular requirements: suitable candidates should be aged 20-26, weigh less than 50kg (110lb) and have no sexual experience. So far more than 5,000 young women have applied. 传统的余先生仍然满怀希望。他在谈到自己今后的另一半时说:“我们只是缘分未到而已。”其 他单身们就没这么沉得住气了。上月,南部城市广州发起了“亿万富豪十城求偶秀”。11 位中国 的百万富豪支付 500 万元(合 79 万美元),向一家豪华的婚恋公司求助。其中一位亿万富翁 开出了特殊的条件:年龄 20-26 岁、体重不超过 50 公斤(合 110 磅)、纯洁之身才可入围。 到目前为止已有 5000 多名年轻女性报名申请。
http://ecocn.org/thread-68372-1-1.html 译者:sailor

[2012.06.09] Start the engines, Angela 发动引擎吧,安吉拉
The global economy 全球经济

Start the engines, Angela 发动引擎吧,安吉拉 The world economy is in grave danger. A lot depends on one woman 世界经济命悬一线,是生是死主要取决于一位女性

Jun 9th 2012 | from the print edition

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“TO THE lifeboats!” That is the stark message bond markets are sending about the global economy. Investors are rushing to buy sovereign bonds in America, Germany and a dwindling number of other “safe” economies. When people are prepared to pay the German government for the privilege of holding its two-year paper, and are willing to lend America?s government funds for a decade for a nominal yield of less than 1.5%, they either expect years of stagnation and deflation or are terrified of imminent disaster. Whichever it is, something is very wrong with the world economy. “上救生艇!”关于全球经济,债券市场发出了这个可怕的信号。投资者纷纷急着购买美国、德 国和数目越来越少的其它“安全”经济体的主权债券。若人们准备倒贴钱购买德国政府的两年期 债券和愿意以低于 1.5%的象征性收益率向美国政府提供十年期贷款,他们要么是预测到连年 的经济停滞和通货紧缩,要么就是害怕即将发生的灾难。不论是哪种情况,这都表明世界经济 出现了很严重的问题。 That something is a combination of faltering growth and a rising risk of financial catastrophe. Economies are weakening across the globe. The recessions in the euro zone?s periphery are deepening. Three consecutive months of feeble jobs figures suggest America?s recovery may be in trouble (see article). And the biggest emerging markets seem to have hit a wall. Brazil?s GDP is growing more slowly than Japan?s. India is a mess (see article). Even China?s slowdown is intensifying. A global recovery that falters so soon after the previous recession points towards widespread Japan-style stagnation. 这个很严重的问题就是经济未能稳步增长,同时发生金融危机的风险也加剧了。如今,全球的 经济体都越来越脆弱,欧元区外围的经济衰退也日益加深。美国连续三个月的就业数据疲软, 说明其经济复苏可能遇到困难(见另文)。而那些最大的新兴市场似乎也碰了壁。巴西的 GDP 增长率低于日本,印度的状况一团糟(见另文)。连中国经济减速的幅度也越来越大。 在先前的经济衰退后,一场全球性经济复苏很快便疲软了,这说明日本式经济停滞正蔓延至全 球。 But that looks like a good outcome when set beside the growing danger of a fracturing of the euro. The European Union, the world?s biggest economic area, could plunge into a spiral of bank busts, defaults and depression—a financial calamity to dwarf the mayhem unleashed by the bankruptcy of Lehman Brothers in 2008. The possibility of a Greek exit from the euro after its election on June 17th, the deterioration of Spain?s banking sector and the rapid disintegration of Europe?s cross-border capital flows have all increased this danger (see article). And this time it will be harder to counter. In
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2008 central bankers and politicians worked together to prevent a depression. Today the politicians are all squabbling. And even though the technocrats at the central banks could (and should) do more, they have less ammunition at their disposal. 但与欧元区越来越高的解体风险相比,这看上去还算好的。欧盟这个全球最大的经济区可能会 陷入一系列的银行破产、债务违约和经济衰退的困境中——2008 年雷曼兄弟破产所造成的混 乱与这些金融灾难相比简直是小巫见大巫。希腊在 6 月 17 日举行选举后可能退出欧元区,西 班牙的银行业衰退以及欧洲的跨境资金流迅速流失,以上种种都令情况更加危急(见另文)。 而且这一次的危机会更难应付。2008 年,各央行的银行家和政治家还共同努力阻止经济衰 退,如今这些政治家却都在为了些小问题吵吵闹闹。而且即使各央行的技术专家官员能够(也 应该)采取更多措施,他们可用的弹药也比以前少了。 Made in Athens, made worse in Berlin 雅典制造危机,柏林加深危机 Nobody wants to test these various disaster scenarios. It is now up to Europe?s politicians to deal finally and firmly with the euro. If they come up with a credible solution, it does not guarantee a smooth ride for the world economy; but not coming up with a solution guarantees an economic tragedy. To an astonishing degree, the fate of the world economy depends on Germany?s chancellor, Angela Merkel (see article). 没人想亲身体验以上各色金融灾难。如今该由欧洲的政治家对欧元区进行终极的有力治理了。 虽然即使他们提出一个可靠的解决方案,也不一定能保证世界经济能平稳发展;但如果不这样 做,那肯定会发生一场经济灾难。而让人难以置信的是,世界经济的命运竟掌握在德国总理安 吉拉?默克尔(Angela Merkel)手中(见另文)。 In one way it seems unfair to pick on Mrs Merkel. Politicians everywhere are failing to act—from Delhi, where reform has stalled, to Washington, where partisan paralysis threatens a lethal combination of tax increases and spending cuts at the end of the year. Within Europe, as Germans never cease to point out, investors are not worried about Mrs Merkel?s prudent government, whose predecessor restructured the economy painfully ten years ago; the problem is a loss of confidence in less well-run, unreformed countries. 从某个角度来讲,指责默克尔总理似乎不公平。哪国的政治家都未能采取有力行动——从德里 到华盛顿皆如此,前者的改革已停滞不前,后者出现政党瘫痪,威胁政府在年底增加税收和削 减开支,而同时实行这两项措施将出现很大的问题。在欧洲,正如德国人一直所指出的,投资 者从不担心谨慎的默克里政府,十年前其前任费了很大劲对经济进行了重组;问题在于,投资 者对治理状况较差、尚未改革的国家丧失了信心。 But do not get too sympathetic. To begin with, past virtue counts for little at the moment: if the euro collapses, then Germany will suffer hugely. The downgrading of some of its banks this week was a portent of that. Moreover, the undoubted mistakes in Greece, Ireland, Portugal, Italy, Spain and the other debtor countries have been compounded over the past three years by errors in Europe?s creditor countries. The overwhelming focus on austerity; the succession of half-baked rescue plans; the refusal to lay out a clear path for the fiscal and banking integration that is needed for the single currency to survive: these too are reasons why the euro is so close to catastrophe. And since Germany has largely determined this response, most of the blame belongs in Berlin. 但也不要太同情她。首先,过往的优势如今已没什么价值了:如果欧元区崩溃,德国将损失惨 重。一些德国银行本周信用评级被下调就预示着这种情况的发生。再者,希腊、爱尔兰、葡萄 牙、意大利、西班牙及其他债务国的经济政策无疑存在错误,而在过去三年中由于欧洲债权国 的过失这些错误更严重了。过于注重实行财政紧缩,继续执行不完善的救市计划,拒绝制定财 政和银行业一体化的明确方案(单一货币区需要这个方案才能存在下去):这些都是欧元区濒 临危机的原因。而由于这些应对政策大多是德国制定的,所以大部分责任应由柏林承担。

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Be bold, bitte 请你勇敢一点 Outside Germany, a consensus has developed on what Mrs Merkel must do to preserve the single currency. It includes shifting from austerity to a far greater focus on economic growth; complementing the single currency with a banking union (with euro-wide deposit insurance, bank oversight and joint means for the recapitalisation or resolution of failing banks); and embracing a limited form of debt mutualisation to create a joint safe asset and allow peripheral economies the room gradually to reduce their debt burdens. This is the refrain from Washington, Beijing, London and indeed most of the capitals of the euro zone. Why hasn?t the continent?s canniest politician sprung into action? 关于默克里总理必须采取什么措施保护单一货币区,除德国外的欧盟国家已达成共识。这些措 施包括将首要关注点从财政紧缩转为经济增长;(用欧元区通用的储蓄保险、银行监管及对濒 临破产的银行进行资本重组或解体的方法)形成银行联盟以补充单一货币;并以限定的形式分 摊债务以创造共同的安全资产,让外围经济体有机会逐渐减轻债务负担。这是在华盛顿、北 京、伦敦甚至是欧元区大部分国家的首都经常能听到的意见。为何欧洲最谨慎的政治家仍未采 取行动? Her critics cite timidity—and they are right on one count. Mrs Merkel has still never really explained to the German people that they face a choice between a repugnant idea (bailing out their undeserving peers) and a ruinous reality (the end of the euro). One reason why so many Germans oppose debt mutualisation is because they (wrongly) imagine the euro could survive without it. Yet Mrs Merkel also has a braver twin-headed strategy. She believes, first, that her demands for austerity and her refusal to bail out her peers are the only ways to bring reform in Europe; and, second, that if disaster really strikes, Germany could act quickly to save the day. 批判她的人说她胆小——而在某个角度上他们说得对。安吉拉实际上从未向德国民众说明他们 要在一个矛盾的做法(救助那些不值得救助的同盟)及残酷的现实间作出选择(欧元区解 体)。那么多德国人反对分摊债务的一个原因是,他们(错误地)认为欧元区没有这项政策也 能熬过去。但默克尔总理也有一项更大胆的双头策略。她认为,首先,她要求实行紧缩政策及 拒绝救助同盟是让欧洲改革的唯一途径;其次,如果真的发生灾难,德国可以迅速应对,力挽 狂澜。 The first gamble can certainly claim some successes, notably the removal of Silvio Berlusconi in Italy and the passage, across southern Europe, of reforms that would recently have seemed unthinkable. But the costs of this strategy are rising fast. The recessions spawned by excessive austerity are rendering it self-defeating. Across much of Europe debt burdens are rising, along with the appeal of political extremes. The uncertainty caused by the muddle-through approach is draining investors? confidence and increasing the risk of a euro disaster. 冒第一个险当然能获得一定的成功,即意大利总理西尔维奥?贝卢斯科尼(Silvio Berlusconi) 下台和南欧的改革计划获得通过。这些计划直到最近似乎还是难以想象的。但实行这项策略的 代价却迅速变大。由于过度的财政紧缩导致大规模经济衰退,这项策略现在反而弄巧成拙。欧 洲大部分地区的债务负担在不断加重,极端的政见也越来越有吸引力了。这个得过且过的方法 造成的动荡局面正使投资者丧失信心,欧元区发生灾难的风险也正在增加。 As for Germany?s idea that it could all be saved at the last minute, by, for instance, the European Central Bank (ECB) flooding a country with liquidity, that looks risky. Were Spain to see a full-scale bank run, even an emboldened Mrs Merkel might not be able to stop it. If Greece falls out, yes, the German public would be more convinced that sinners would be punished; but, as this newspaper has argued before, a “Grexit” would cause carnage in Greece and contagion around Europe. Throughout this crisis, Mrs Merkel has refused to come up with a plan bold enough to stun the markets into submission, in the same way that America?s TARP programme did. 至于德国,他们认为,就算到最后一刻,一切都还可以挽救。比如说,通过欧洲央行(ECB) 向某国大量输入流动资金。这种观点看起来有风险。若西班牙出现全面的银行挤兑,那就连有
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胆识的默克尔总理也可能无法阻挡。如果希腊退出欧元区,是的,那么德国民众会更相信恶有 恶报;但是,就像本报之前所认为的,“希腊退出”会让希腊国内“尸横遍野”,整个欧洲也会受 到影响。在整个危机中,默克尔总理都拒绝拿出一个像美国 TARP 计划那样,大胆得足以震惊 各国市场并令其顺从的计划。 In short, even if her strategy has paid some dividends, its cost has been ruinous and it has run its course. She needs to lay out a clear plan for the single currency, at the latest by the European summit on June 28th, earlier if Greece?s election spreads panic. It must be specific enough to dispel all doubt about Germany?s commitment to saving the euro. And it must include immediate downpayments on deeper integration, such as a pledge to use joint funds to recapitalise Spanish banks. 总之,即便她的策略已带来一些回报,其代价也十分惨重,现在她也任其自流了。她最迟得在 6 月 28 日的欧洲峰会前为单一货币区制定一个明确的计划,若希腊的选举令恐慌蔓延的话就 得更早。计划必须十分详细,以消除人们对德国承诺拯救欧元区的所有疑虑。而且必须包括直 接用于进一步整合的首期付款,如保证利用联合基金来重组西班牙的银行。 This would risk losing her support at home. Yet with these risks comes the possibility of rapid reward. Once Germany?s commitment to greater integration is clear, the ECB would have the room to act more robustly—both to buy many more sovereign bonds and to provide a bigger backstop for banks. With the fear of calamity diminished, a vicious cycle would become virtuous as investors? confidence recovered. 这样她可能会失去国内民众支持,但承担这种风险,却有可能迅速获得回报。一旦德国明确承 诺进行更广泛的整合,欧洲央行就会有机会采取更有力的措施——购买多得多的主权债券和为 银行提供更强大的后盾。随着人们对欧洲发生金融灾难的恐惧渐减并恢复信心,恶性循环会转 变为良性循环。 The world economy would still have to grapple with ineptitude elsewhere and with weak growth. But it would have taken a giant step back from disaster. Mrs Merkel, it?s up to you. 一些国家未能妥善处理经济危机,世界经济必须从中斡旋;同时,全球经济增长缓慢,它也需 设法寻找解决方案。不过若采取一定措施,全球经济也将远离灾难一大步。这就得看你了,默 克尔总理。
http://ecocn.org/thread-68379-1-1.html 译者:contrary

[2012.06.09] Germany’s obstinate chancellor 固执的德国总理
【导读】欧元濒临瓦解的警报就将拉响,所有人的目光都聚焦在德国总理安吉拉?默克尔的身 上。“南欧懒汉挥霍,德国老实人埋单”的窘境在德国政客心中积怨已久,面对深陷危机的诸 国,默克尔选择了授之以“渔”,而非授之以“鱼”。
Germany’s obstinate chancellor 固执的德国总理

Angela Merkel, swimming instructor “游泳教练”安吉拉?默克尔 When it comes to the euro, the German chancellor prefers self-help to help—but she can be more flexible than she seems 德国总理在欧元问题上嘉勉自救胜过人救,不过她这个表面上的立场仍可通融。

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Jun 9th 2012 | BERLIN| from the print edition

WHEN warnings sound that the end of the euro is nigh, all eyes turn to Angela Merkel, the German chancellor. Germany must “assume its part” in saving the currency, says Spain?s economy minister, Luis de Guindos. If there is rescuing to be done, Germany is the obvious rescuer. Yet rather than toss out the lifebelt, Mrs Merkel offers swimming lessons. 欧元瓦解的警报就将拉响,所有人的目光都聚焦在德国总理安吉拉?默克尔的身上。西班牙财 政部长金多斯(Luis de Guindos)说,德国必须在拯救欧元的行动中“承担相应的责任”。若真有 国家亟待救援,德国显然是拯救者。然而,默克尔女士却选择站在岸边教游泳,而非抛出救生 圈。 She would find this characterisation unfair. Time and again she has taken stands against bail-outs only to relent. She balked at bailing out Greece and at a permanent rescue fund, and she vetoed the use of bail-out money to buy government bonds in the secondary market. In each case she gave in (too late,say critics). 默克尔女士也许会认为此般描述有失公正。她一次又一次地反对纾困, 到头来却总是松口让 步。她在救助希腊和永久性救援基金上踌躇不决,还否决了利用纾困资金在二级市场上购买国 库券。以上事件她都做出了妥协(可惜为时已晚,批评家如是说)。 By July she will push through parliament the European Stability Mechanism(ESM), the permanent fund she once opposed, and Europe?s fiscal compact. Germany?s capital contribution to the ESM will push its budget deficit from 26 billion($32 billion) to 35 billion. Germany?s potential liability, if all the money is lent and everyone defaults, could be 280 billion. But her partners want more: Eurobonds backed by all countries,more time for weak economies to meet deficit-reduction targets, direct lending to Spanish banks and a “banking union”, with Europe-wide deposit insurance.Will Mrs Merkel yield on these, too? Do not count on it. 7月前,默克尔将推动议会通过欧洲“财政契约”,以及她曾经反对的永久性援助基金——欧洲 稳定机制(ESM)。德国向 ESM 的注资会将联邦政府的财政赤字从原来的260亿欧元(320亿 美元)扩大至350亿欧元。如果德国投入的资金全部借出,且统统遭到违约,德国将会面临 2800亿欧元的潜在负债风险。 然而,默克尔的同僚们想要的不止这些,他们希望发行所有成 员国支持的“欧洲债券”,给疲软经济体更多时间,用以完成赤字削减目标,直接向西班牙银行
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贷款,以及成立带有欧洲通用的储蓄保险的“银行联盟”。默克尔女士是否也会此一一退让?别 抱太大希望。

Despite her retreats, she sees herself as a defender of principle.Everything to which Germany has assented has been part of a bargain:peripheral countries get help, but only in exchange for reform. Aid from the European Financial Stability Facility (EFSF), the ESM?s precursor, is conditional. Greek bail-outs came with crushing demands (which Greece may reject after its election on June 17th). The ideas urged by Fran? Hollande, France?s new ois president, and Mario Monti, Italy?s primeminister, would break her principle, say the Germans. To introduce Eurobonds as a crisis-fighting measure would only encourage less creditworthy countries in their spendthrift ways. Similarly for centralised deposit insurance, which would enlist German banks (and ultimately the state) as guarantors of other countries? savings. 尽管默克尔有所让步,她仍视自己为原则的卫道士。但凡德国赞成的,都是议价的一部分:外 围国家获得救助的前提是,他们要进行改革。ESM 的前身,欧洲金融稳定基金(EFSF)的救 助款也有附加条件。纾困希腊伴随着一系列严酷的要求,而在6月17日大选后,希腊也有可能 予以拒绝。德国方面称,法国新总统奥朗德(Fran? Hollande)和意大利总理马里奥 ois (Mario Monti)极力推崇的观点有违默克尔的原则。以欧洲债券作为抗危机措施,只会助长 信誉度较低的成员国挥霍无度的气焰。设立中央储蓄保险的目的也亦如此。该储蓄保险会令德 国的银行(继而整个德国)成为其他国家储蓄的担保人。 Such proposals “bear on the core issue: do debt and responsibility remain linked to each other?” asks Norbert Barthle, a member of the Bundestag from MrsMerkel?s Christian Democratic Union. Any instrument that severs the link wil lperpetuate the crisis. Besides, such measures are forbidden by Germany?sconstitution. That is not to say they can never happen. But they are imaginable only if the EU becomes more of a federal state, with a common fiscal policy and a parliament that reflects Germany?s share of the population. Mrs Merkel wants “more Europe”.But that requires “treaty changes, and we are not there yet today”. 此番提议“涉及的核心问题是:债务和责任间是否依旧存有联系?”,联邦议院议员,默克尔所 属基民党的成员巴斯勒(Norbert Barthle)问到。任何隔断此种关联的工具都会使危机继续蔓
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延。此外,德国宪法明令禁止采取此类措施。这并不意味着该措施永无实现之日。只有欧盟成 为一个联邦式的国家,具有统一的财政政策,并成立一个议会,且德国在议会中所占席位与其 人口占欧盟总人口比例相当,上述措施才有实现可能。默克尔女士要的是“大欧洲”。但这需要 “修改条约,而今我们还没走到那一步”。 Would she consider the version of Eurobonds suggested by Germany?s advisory council ofeconomic “wise men”? Under this scheme, debts exceeding 60% of GDP would be transferred into a fund with joint liability and paid off by the debtor countries over 20-25 years. Wolfgang Sch? uble, thefinance minister, says this too is thinkable only as part of a “fiscal union”.Mrs Merkel?s spokesman does not reject the idea categorically, but he points to “formidable” obstacles in Germany?sconstitution and European treaties. 那么,默克尔女士是否会考虑德国“智库”经济顾问委员会提出的欧洲债券版本? 根据这项计 划,超过国内生产总值60%的债务部分将会转入一项基金名下,由负债国在20-25年内还清, 所有欧元区成员国将对该基金负责。财政部长朔伊布勒(Wolfgang Sch? uble)说,这也得先 作为“财政联盟”的一部分,才能予以考虑。默克尔女士的发言人就此未作出断然否认,但他指 出德国宪法和欧盟各项条约才是“难以应付”的阻碍。 There is no support for relaxing fiscal targets for Greece or Spain. But Germany?s mainopposition parties want growth-boosting measures alongside the fiscal compact.Since the treaty requires a two-thirds majority in both houses of parliament,the government has to negotiate on this. But Mrs Merkel can accept much of whatthey want, including a capital increase for the European Investment Bank andmore effective use of European structural funds. 放宽希腊或西班牙赤字削减目标的提议不得人心。德国的主要反对党则希望在通过财政契约 时,一并通过经济增长刺激政策。由于条约规定,议案需赢得议会两院三分之二的支持,政府 不得不就此事与反对派协商。但是默克尔女士能接受反对党提出的大部分要求,包括为欧洲投 资银行增资,以及更有效的利用欧盟结构基金。 There are two sticking points. The opposition wants a financial-transactionstax, which the government thinks is unworkable unless all EU countries sign up to it (and Britain,for one, will not). But there are other ways to tax the financial sector that might provide the basis for compromise. The opposition also favours the wisemen?s “redemption fund” proposal. But Mr Barthle, who is involved in the negotiations, insists there will be no such fund. 目前尚存的两个症结点是: 反对党希望征收金融交易税,政府则认为此事行不通,除非所有 欧盟成员国签署赞同(例如,英国就不会同意)。而在金融行业征收税费的方式并非仅此一 种,双方仍有谈判的基础。反对党还赞同智库有关“赎债基金”的提议。但是参与协商的巴斯勒 (Barthle)坚称,“赎债基金”之说纯属空穴来风。 The German government does not accept that austerity is pushing the eurotowards break-up. Yes, deficit cuts and structural reforms inflict short-termpain. But the rewards will come, as Germany?s own experience shows. TheBaltic countries enacted austerity and are growing fast (see Charlemagne).Voters? revolts in southern Europe show the folly of changing course, not the risk of sticking to it. Mr Hollande told French voters he would reduce the retirement age, notes Mr Barthle. “Germansare not prepared to work until they are 67 to allow others to retire at 60.” Asfor pressure from America, Barack Obama is clearly impatient for relief before November?s election. But he does not care whether recovery can be sustained, Germans say. 德国政府并不接受紧缩措施正将欧元推向瓦解边缘这一说法。诚然,削减赤字和结构性改革会 造成短期剧痛,而从德国自身的经验来看,剧痛过后必有回报。波罗的海沿岸诸国在实行紧缩 政策后,如今经济增长迅猛(见查理曼专栏)。南欧选民的反抗体现的是改变方针的愚蠢,而
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非恪守方针的风险。巴斯勒先生指出,奥朗德先生向法国选民承诺,他会调低退休年龄,“德 国人不准备自己工作到67岁,却容许别人60岁退休。” 至于美国方面的压力,很显然奥巴马总 统(Barack Obama)急欲在11月的大选前解决此事。但他才不在乎欧洲的复苏是否能持续, 德方表示。 Germany is in denial. The crisis has not yet hit the German economy (though it may be about to), notes Sebastian Dullien of the European Council on Foreign Relations. He doubts if the government “is aware of how bad the situation really is.” Mrs Merkel wants to save the euro but believes peripheral countries can make still more sacrifices. That misperception is dangerous, says Mr Dullien. How dangerous may become clearer after Greece votes. The German line is that Greece must decide whether to default and perhaps exit from the euro. Europe is better prepared now than it was two years ago, says Mr Barthle. There is no legal provision for a country to leave the euro but an exit from the EU might be arranged, he adds. In short, Greece must learn to swim fast. 德国拒绝接受现实。欧洲对外关系理事会成员杜林(Sebastian Dullien)指出,危机虽正步步 逼近,但尚未波及德国经济。他怀疑德国政府是否“意识到实际情况究竟有多糟糕。”默克尔女 士虽有拯救欧元之心,却坚信外围国家还能做出更多牺牲。杜林先生说,这种误解十分危险。 至于有多危险,希腊大选后才能明了。德国的原则是,希腊必须决定是否要违约,或许考虑退 出欧元区。巴斯勒先生说,如今的欧洲比两年前要准备的更充分。他还补充到,目前还没有有 关成员国退出欧元区的法律规定,但是或有退出欧盟的安排。简而言之,希腊必须快速学会游 泳。 【修改笔记】 WHEN warnings sound that the endof the euro is nigh 欧元瓦解的警报就将拉响 改译:欧元濒临瓦解的警报一经拉响 注释:(literary) near or soon Time and again she has taken stands againstbail-outs only to relent. 她一次次拒绝出于同情进行纾困, 改译:她一次又一次地反对纾困, 到头来却总是松口让步。 注释:Only torelent 是结果状语, 表示意想不到的相反的结果。 to buy government bonds in the secondarymarket. 利用纾困资金在二手市场上购买国库券 改译:利用纾困资金在二级市场上购买国库券 注释:secondarymarket 二级市场 used market 二手市场 more time for weak economies to meet deficit-reduction targets, 延长疲软经济体赤字削减达标时间 改译:给疲软经济体更多时间,用于完成赤字削减目标 peripheral countries get help, but only in exchange for reform. 外围国家需用改革换救援。 改译:外围国家获得救助的前提是,他们要进行改革 Similarly for centralised deposit insurance, which would enlist German banks(and ultimately the state) as guarantors of other countries? savings. 同理,所谓中央储蓄保险系统,也是谋求让德国的银行,继而整个德国成为他国储蓄的担保人 罢了。
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改译:设立中央储蓄保险的目的也亦如此。该储蓄保险会令德国的银行(继而整个德国)成为 其他国家储蓄的担保人。 Any instrument that severs the link will perpetuate the crisis. 任何隔断此种关联的工具都将激化危机。 试译:任何隔断此种关联的工具都会使危机继续蔓延。 注释:perpetuate——to make a situation, attitude etc, especially a bad one,continue to exist for a long time “treaty changes, and we are not there yet today”. 但这需要“修改条约,更何况,我们现今还没走到那一步”。 改译:但这需要“修改条约,而今我还没走到那一步 debts exceeding 60% of GDP would be transferred into afund with joint liability and paid off by the debtor countries over20-25 years. 债务超过国内生产总值60%的经济体将转移至附有连带责任的基金下,并由负债国在20-25年 内还清。 试译:超过国内生产总值60%的债务部分将会转入一项基金名下,由负债国在20-25年内还 清,所有欧元区成员国将对该基金负责。 注释:Thedebt of the 17 countries belonging to the single-currency euro zone is splitinto two parts. The portion up to 60 percent of each nation?s gross domesticproduct stays on the books, unchanged. The portion of nations? debt exceeding60 percent of GDP is transferred into something called the European RedemptionFund. The 17 countries are still liable for the portion of their debt that?stransferred in the fund. They have 20 or 25 years to pay it off. Legally,however, all 17 nations are jointly liable for the debt placed in the fund.This is a way for low-debt nations such as Germanyto backstop high-debt nations like Greece, giving peace of mind totheir creditors and lowering interest rates.——Bloomberg Newsweek http://mobile.businessweek.com/articles/2012-05-28/germany-seeks-financial-redemptionfor-europe The German line is that Greece mustdecide whether to default and perhaps exit from the euro. Europeis better prepared now than it was two years ago, says Mr Barthle. There is nolegal provision for a country to leave the euro but an exit from the EU mightbe arranged, he adds. In short, Greecemust learn to swim fast. 德国的底线是,希腊必须在违约和退出欧元区二者中做出选择。巴斯特先生说,欧洲最好比两 年前准备的更充分些。他还补充道,虽然就成员国退出欧元区尚无法律规定,但欧盟内部或有 清退计划。简言之,希腊必须学会游得再快点 试译:德国的原则是,希腊必须决定是否要违约,或许考虑退出欧元区。巴斯勒先生说,如今 的欧洲比两年前要准备的更充分。他还补充到,目前还没有有关成员国退出欧元区的法律规 定,但是或有退出欧盟的安排。简而言之,希腊必须快速学会游泳。
http://ecocn.org/thread-68398-1-1.html 译者:拼命猫三郎

[2012.06.09] Visas for entrepreneurs:Where creators are welcome 投资者签证
导读:许多国家都表示要鼓励创业,但是从为投资者发放签证这个角度来看,它们言行不一。 对投资者来说,有哪些国家门槛较低?有哪些具体要求?且看本文。
Visas for entrepreneurs 投资者签证

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Where creators are welcome 欢迎创业者的国度 Australia, Canada and even Chile are more open than America 对于投资者来说,澳大利亚、加拿大甚至智利都比美国更开放 Jun 9th 2012 | from the print edition

MOST governments say they want to encourage entrepreneurs. Yet when foreigners with ideas come knocking, they slam doors in their faces. America, surprisingly, is one of the worst offenders. It has no specific visa for foreigners who wish to create new companies. It does offer a visa for investors, but the requirements are so stiff—usually an initial investment of $1m, or half that if the firm is in a depressed neighbourhood—that the annual quota of 10,000 visas is seldom filled. 大多数国家的政府都表示它们要鼓励创业。然而当外国人带着点子来敲门时,这些国家又“哐 当”把门关上了。出人意料的是,美国是最过分的国家之一。对于那些想创业的外国人,美国 并没有特殊类别的签证。但该国确实为投资者提供签证,不过要求很苛刻:通常来说,初期投 资需要达到 100 万美元,如果在经济衰退地区创办企业,金额可以减半——因此美国每年 10,000 个此类签证很少全数签发。

Other countries are more open (see table). Singapore offers visas to people who invest $40,000; for some, the government provides additional investment. Britain gives visas to entrepreneurs who meet certain conditions and attract ? 50,000 ($77,000) of venture funding. New Zealand has no specific
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capital requirement but offers residency to entrepreneurs whose firms are deemed to benefit the country. Chile is wildly generous: its government gives selected start-ups $40,000 without taking any equity in return. All these schemes have been introduced or expanded since 2008. 其他一些国家的门槛则要低得多(如表所示)。在新加坡,外商只需要投资 40,000 美元即可 拿到签证;政府还会为某些投资者的项目追加投资。在英国,如果投资者能够吸引 50,000 英 镑(77,000 美元)的风险投资资金并满足一定的条件,政府就会发放签证。新西兰对于投资金 额没有具体要求,只要投资者创办的企业被认定为对该国有利,投资者便可获得永久居留权。 智利则更为大方:该国政府会为挑选出来的新兴公司无偿提供 40,000 美元(不要求持有公司 股份)。这些政策都是从 2008 年开始在各国推行并完善的。 Where an entrepreneurial visa is not available, other routes may be. Australia and Canada use a points system that emphasises youth and skills. Since 2007 Australia has curbed the total number of permanent-residency visas it issues, but expanded the number of visas for skilled workers and their dependents from 103,000 to 126,000 a year. That is nearly as many as America (140,000), though America?s population is 14 times larger. 而在那些不发放投资签证的国家,一般都有其他替代形式。澳大利亚和加拿大使用一套倾向于 年轻人并看重申请者技能的打分系统。自 2007 年以来,澳大利亚就控制了绿卡的签发数量, 但每年为技术移民及其家属发放的签证从 103,000 提高到了 126,000。这几乎与美国发放的签 证数量(140,000)相当,不过美国的人口是澳大利亚的 14 倍。 A similar side door let Mohamed Alborno into Canada. The young Egyptian-born entrepreneur incorporated his company, Crowdsway, in Delaware. He had done well in a contest for budding entrepreneurs. But getting a visa to live in America is slow, confusing and unpredictable. 而加拿大却为穆罕默德-阿尔伯诺(Mohamed Alborno)打开了另一扇门。这位出生于埃及的 年轻企业家在美国特拉华州成立了自己的公司 Crowdsway。他在新生代的商战中脱颖而出,但 是要拿到美国绿卡耗时较长、手续繁杂而且不一定能申请下来。 In the end he went to Canada instead, where setting up a company is just as easy as in America, but the visa process is much more straightforward. He now says he is very happy to have settled in Vancouver. His firm, which connects online video-makers with clients, has just launched a beta service. 最终他还是去了加拿大。跟在美国一样,在加拿大创办公司也很容易,但是办理签证的手续则 要简单得多。如今他表示对于定居在温哥华很满意。他创办的公司为在线视频制作者与客户牵 线搭桥,刚推出了一项测试服务。 America?s scorn for skills is extraordinary. The share of permanent visas granted for economic reasons (as opposed to kinship) fell from 18% to 13% between 1991 and 2011. In Canada it rose from 18% to 67%. The Partnership for a New American Economy, a pro-immigration group, warns that America is “falling behind in the global race for talent.” China, meanwhile, offers some highly skilled returners not only free homes but also cash to buy furniture. 美国特别看不起技术移民。1991 年到 2011 年间,为投资者发放的签证(与因为亲属关系发放 的签证相对)所占比例已经从 18%下降到了 13%。而在加拿大,这一比例从 18%上升到了 67%。美国新型经济伙伴(The Partnership for a New American Economy)是一个支持移民的组 织,该组织警告称:美国“在全球人才争夺战中正逐渐落后”。而中国不仅为回国的高技术人才 提供免费住房,还发放安家费。
http://ecocn.org/thread-68530-1-1.html 译者:Dezazer

[2012.06.09] Burgernomics to go 该汉堡学闪亮登场了
Free exchange 自由交流专栏

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Burgernomics to go 该汉堡学闪亮登场了 Using McDonald’s to compare international productivity trends 用麦当劳的数据来比较国际生产率变化趋势
Jun 9th 2012 | from the print edition

A MCDONALD?S Big Mac contains 29 grams of fat and a surprisingly large quantity of useful economic information. Since 1986 The Economisthas used the ubiquitous sandwich in serving up the Big Mac index, a lighthearted look at currency valuations. 一个麦当劳的巨无霸汉堡包含 29 克脂肪,还含有多得出乎意料的实

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