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互联网时代还需要记忆吗?  

2010-03-12 12:33:01|  分类: 休闲娱乐 |  标签: |举报 |字号 订阅

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Last Wednesday, I arrived at the office to find I'd left my keys at home so could not lock up my bike. Later, I interviewed Lord Browne over lunch and afterwards couldn't find the tag I had been given for my coat. And then, on the way back, I started drafting the interview in my head and missed my stop on the tube.

上周三,我到公司时发现,我把钥匙拉在家里,不能锁自行车。稍后,我在午餐时间采访了布朗勋爵,然后看到我大衣上别的饰物不见了。接着,在回程的地铁上,我开始在头脑里草拟采访稿,结果坐过了站。

  

All three mishaps took time out of the day and were bad for morale, but at least I did the first and last unobserved. The second was done with the former head of BP quietly watching as I squatted on the floor of the restaurant and rummaged in vain through the squalid contents of my handbag.

这三件糗事既浪费了时间,也影响了情绪,但起码第一件事和第三件事都没有让人看到。而第二件事发生时,我蹲在餐厅地板上,在手提包里一堆杂七杂八的东西中徒劳地翻找,英国石油的前首席执行官则在一边静静地看着。

  

These small lapses took place against the background of a much bigger lapse. For hours last Wednesday (and on most other days too) I sat at my desk feeling that I was hard at work, whereas what I was actually doing was e-mailing, looking up random things on Google, reading assorted blogs and talking to people. I faffed and dithered, and ended up writing what I had to write in a mad, headlong dash.

这些小失误发生的背景,是一种严重得多的怠惰。上周三(其它日子也大抵如此),我在桌子前坐了整整四个小时,感觉自己在努力工作,而其实我是在收发电子邮件、在谷歌上随意浏览、看各类博客、与人交谈。我无事瞎忙,慌张失措,最后才匆匆忙忙地赶写必须完成的稿子。

I worry about all this. I despise hopelessness and inefficiency in others, and still more in myself. There has to be a better way of getting through the day.

我对这一切感到担心。我看不起别人一副无可救药、效率低下的样子,更加忍受不了自己有这样的毛病。肯定有更好的方式来度过一天的时光。

  

In search of such a way, I turned to The Checklist Manifesto by Atul Gawande, doctor, writer and all-round renaissance man. His thesis, stated flatly, sounds feeble: that a simple list is the answer to the world's complexity. Yet Dr Gawande shows us how checklists have saved lives in intensive care, prevented buildings from collapsing and stopped planes from falling from the sky. In which case, one might have hoped that such a list could help me get off the train at the right station.

为了找到这样一种方式,我看了多才多艺的医生作家葛文德所写的《清单宣言》一书。该书平铺直叙,论点听起来没什么震撼力:列一张简明的清单,是应对世界复杂性的好方法。不过,葛文德讲述了清单如何拯救了重危病人、预防大厦坍塌、防止飞机从空中坠落等事。照此看来,或许会有人以为,列一张清单,会帮助我在正确的车站下车。 I worry about all this. I despise hopelessness and inefficiency in others, and still more in myself. There has to be a better way of getting through the day.

我对这一切感到担心。我看不起别人一副无可救药、效率低下的样子,更加忍受不了自己有这样的毛病。肯定有更好的方式来度过一天的时光。

  

In search of such a way, I turned to The Checklist Manifesto by Atul Gawande, doctor, writer and all-round renaissance man. His thesis, stated flatly, sounds feeble: that a simple list is the answer to the world's complexity. Yet Dr Gawande shows us how checklists have saved lives in intensive care, prevented buildings from collapsing and stopped planes from falling from the sky. In which case, one might have hoped that such a list could help me get off the train at the right station.

为了找到这样一种方式,我看了多才多艺的医生作家葛文德所写的《清单宣言》一书。该书平铺直叙,论点听起来没什么震撼力:列一张简明的清单,是应对世界复杂性的好方法。不过,葛文德讲述了清单如何拯救了重危病人、预防大厦坍塌、防止飞机从空中坠落等事。照此看来,或许会有人以为,列一张清单,会帮助我在正确的车站下车。

But I'm not so sure. It's all very well writing a list of tasks that must be accomplished before a plane can take off, but simple self-respect prevents me from writing a list that says: “When train arrives at your stop, get out.” Instead I've compromised by writing a slightly less bathetic list of all the things I must do today, and am awaiting results. So far, I feel relief at having unpacked some of the things in my head, though there are plenty of other distracting thoughts and worries still getting in the way.

可我不太肯定。列明飞机起飞前必须完成的任务清单是顶好的事,但单纯的自尊心阻止我写下这样的清单:当列车抵达你要到的车站时,记得下车。相反,我采取了折衷的办法,列了一张稍微不那么平庸的清单,写明我今日必须完成的各项事务,眼下正静候结果。到目前为止,卸下头脑里的一部分事情,确实让我有如释重负之感。但头脑里还是有许多扰人心神的念头,忧虑也依然挥之不去。

  

Next, I turned to Douglas Merrill, former chief information officer at Google, who has written a book (to be published next month) with the subtitle: How to get stuff out of your head, find it when you need it and get it done right.

接着,我求助于谷歌前首席信息官道格拉斯?梅里尔。梅里尔刚刚写了一本书,将于下月出版。书的副标题是:如何清空头脑,在需要的时候记起,然后把事情做好。

Merrill argues that our short-term memories can only cope with a few things at a time, which means we need to make our tasks simpler. Multitasking is, therefore, a recipe for inefficiency and error, unless one of the tasks is dead easy. Walking and chewing gum is possible, he argues – though I've just shown that thinking and getting off the train in the right place can be harder.

梅里尔指出,我们的短期记忆一次只能记住很少的几件事情,这意味着,我们必须把任务简单化。因此,多项任务同时进行,必然导致低效率和失误。除非其中某项任务简单至极。梅里尔表示,边走边嚼口香糖是件易事——而我刚刚证明,在想着事情的时候,要在正确的车站下车就困难得多。

Merrill also disapproves of frequent switching between tasks, which befuddles the brain. This may explain why I'm so unproductive at work as I check my e-mail about 16 times a minute.

梅里尔也不赞成在各项任务之间频繁切换,那会让头脑变得糊涂。当我一分钟查看16次邮箱时,工作效率会极其低下,或许就是这个原因。

  

So, as of now, I am trying to do things differently and am focusing on one task alone: writing a column. I am not going to check messages for an hour, when I will allow myself a look as a treat. Already I can hear my e-mail calling: check me. I don't know how long I can hold out.

为此,到目前为止,我正试着改变做事方式,专心处理一项任务:写一篇专栏文章。一个小时内,我不会查看邮箱,然后我会允许自己看一眼,放松一会儿。我已听见我的邮箱在叫唤:查收一下邮件。我不知道自己能够坚持多久。

  

Also essential to better organisation, says Merrill, is to give more thought to what we actually need to store in long-term memory.

梅里尔表示,为了做到条理清楚,另一个要点是,多想一想确实需要储存在长期记忆里的事情。

I have come to the shockingly liberating conclusion that most of us need to remember almost nothing to do our jobs competently, because almost all information can almost always be found in one click of the mouse on the internet.

我已得出一个让人备感轻松的结论:要把工作做好,我们多数人都几乎不必记住任何事情。因为几乎所有信息都几乎总是能够在互联网上查到,我们只需点一下鼠标即可。

  

In fact, it seems that the only point in having things stored inside your head is as a sort of party trick to whisk them out to show off in front of colleagues when there is no computer at hand.

事实上,在头脑里储存信息,唯一的用处就是:当手边没有电脑时,可以在同事们面前卖弄一番,这就像一种聚会上常用的花招。

  

The only things that are absolutely essential to remember are one's computer login details, pin number and (possibly) names of a few key workmates. The rest of memory can be outsourced to the computer.

绝对必须记住的,只有电脑注册信息和PIN码。一些重要同事的名字,可能也有必要记住。其余的记忆大可托付给电脑。

  

But there is another thought that cheers me more than any of the above. It is that whatever the disarray inside my own head, things could be worse. The other day my husband paid his parents a visit. On arrival, he opened the fridge to help himself to some wine and inside he found, alongside a bottle of Sauvignon Blanc, a neatly folded copy of the Evening Standard.

不过,比起上述这些想法,还有一种想法让我觉得更加可乐。那就是:不管我自己的头脑怎么混乱,现实可能更加一团糟。有一天,我丈夫去看他父母。到了后,他打开冰箱,想倒点酒喝,结果看到冰箱里除了有一瓶长相思以外,还有一份叠得整整齐齐的《伦敦晚报》。

原文链接:http://tr.hjenglish.com/page/96763/?page=1

互联网时代还需要记忆吗? - 往昔2010 - 给心一个舞台

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