沃特福德和唐道克: 沃特福德vs南安普顿

2013年經濟學人 跟領導走

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Science and technology

科學技術

Collective behavior

集體行為

Follow my leader

跟領導走

A group's “intelligence” depends in part on its members'ignorance

群體“智慧”部分依賴于群體成員的“愚昧”

HUMAN beings like to think of themselves asthe animal kingdom's smartest alecks.

人們總是喜歡將自己看作動物王國中最聰明的。

It may come as a surprise to some,therefore, that Iain Couzin of Princeton University believes they havesomething to learn from lesser2 creatures that move about in a large crowd.

然而,令一些人感到驚訝的是,普林斯頓大學的Iain Couzin相信人們能從更低等的、大群活動的動物中學到東西。

Ashe told the AAAS meeting in Washington, DC, groups of animals often make whatlook like wise decisions, even when most of the members of those groups areignorant of what is going on.

正如他在華盛頓AAAS召開的會議上所說的,雖然群居動物中的大部分成員對接下來會發生什么一無所知,但整個群體卻常常做出看起來更明智的決定。

Coming to that conclusion was not easy.

得出這個結論并不容易。

Beforelessons can be drawn3 from critters perched on the lower rungs of theevolutionary ladder, their behaviour must first be understood.

因為必須首先理解這些動物的行為,人們才能借鑒,而由于這些動物處于進化階梯的較低位置。

One way to dothis is to tag them with devices that follow them around—motion-capturesensors, radio transmitters or global-positioning-system detectors5 that can puta precise figure on their movements.

要做到這點,首先要用設備為他們打上標簽以便跟蹤—采用運動傳感器、無線電發射裝置和全球定位系統的探測器能精確描述它們活動。

Unfortunately, it is impossible to tag morethan a few individuals in a herd6, flock or swarm7.

不幸的是,能被標定的個體只是獸群、鳥群或蜂群中的少數。

Researchers have thereforetended to extrapolate from these few results by using various computer models.

研究者們因此將這些少量數據采用各種電腦模型進行推演。

Dr Couzin has done quite a bit of this himself.

Couzin博士已經完成了一部分工作。

Most recently, he has modelledthe behaviour of shoals of fish.

最近,他建立了魚群行為模型。

He posited8 that how they swim will depend oneach individual's competing tendencies to stick close to the others while not actually getting too close to anyparticular other fish.

他推測魚群游動的方式有賴于魚類個體傾向于截住對方,而又不真的靠近對方的競爭方式。

It turns out that by fiddling9 with these tendencies, avirtual shoal can be made to swirl10 spontaneously in a circle, just like somereal species do.

基于這些傾向就歸納出模型,這些模擬的魚群可以自行轉圈巡游,就像真的一樣。

That is a start.

那只是一個開始。

But real shoals do not existto swim in circles.

不過真實的魚群并不只是轉圈游動。

Their purpose is to help their members eat and avoid beingeaten.

他們的目的是幫助成員覓食,同時防止被獵食。

At any one time, however, only some individuals know about—and can thusreact to—food and threats.

然而,無論什么時候,只有一些個體能對食物和威脅做出反應。

Dr Couzin therefore wanted to find out how suchtemporary leaders influence the behaviour of the rest.

因此,Couzin博士想找出這些臨時領導如何影響其余個體行為。

He discovered that leadership is extremelyefficient.

Couzin博士發現這種領導方式及其有效。

The larger a shoal is, the smaller is the proportion of it thatneeds to know what is actually going on for it to feed and avoid predationeffectively.

魚群越大,需要知道接下來做什么才能有效覓食和避免危險的“領導”比例就越小。

Indeed, having too many leaders with conflicting opinions resultsin confusion.

的確,領導越多,矛盾觀點造成的混亂就越多。

At least, that is true in the model.

至少,模型上是這樣。

He is now testing it inreality.

他現在正在真實環境下測試模型。

Tracking individual fish in a shoal is hard.

跟蹤記錄魚群中的個體很困難。

Fortunately, advances in pattern-recognition software mean it is no longerimpossible.

幸運的是,模式識別軟件的進步讓這變成可能。

Systems designed to follow people are now clever enough not only totrack a person in a crowd, but also to tell in which direction his head isturned.

為跟蹤人類設計的系統已經足夠智能,不僅能跟蹤人群中的某個人,而且能顯示這個人的頭轉向何方。

Since, from above, the oval shape of a human head is not unlike theoblong body of a fish, this software can, with a little tweaking, followpiscine antics, too.

因此,盡管魚類的身體是長條形,與這個軟件可以識別的人類橢圓形頭部不同,從原理上說,只要稍作修改使之適應魚類外形即可。

Robo fish

機器魚

Dr Couzin has been using a program developedby Colin Twomey, a graduate student at his laboratory, to track individual fishin a tank.

Couzin博士一直在使用他實驗室的研究生Colin Twomey開發的程序來記錄水池中魚類個體的行為。

The result is not just a model of shoaling fish, but a precisenumerical representation of their actual movements and fields of vision.

這個成果不僅是魚群的模型,更是魚群真實行動和視野的精確數值反應。

Thatmeans it is possible to investigate whether real-life fishy11 leaders have thesame effect on a group as their virtual kin1.

這就意味著深入研究真實魚群中的領導們與他們的“模擬親戚”在魚群中是否有同樣影響變成可能。

Alas12, merely observing a shoal does not makeit clear which individuals lead and which follow.

然而,僅僅只觀察一個魚群并不能清楚地區分哪個是領導,哪個是隨從。

Instead, Dr Couzin has builta biddable robot three-spined stickleback.

作為替代,Couzin博士制作了一條能發出命令的機器三棘刺魚。

A preliminary study of a shoal often flesh-and-blood sticklebacks shows that they do indeed mingle13 with therobot and that they follow its leadership cues as predicted.

對一個有十條真實刺魚魚群的初步研究顯示,他們確實接納了那條機器魚,并且接受它的領導指示。

He is now making arobot predator14 to see how the shoal reacts to less benign15 intruders.

他現在正在制作一個機器獵食者,用來觀察魚群對兇猛入侵者的反應。

If the models are anything to go by, the bestoutcome for the group—in this case, not being eaten—seems to depend on mostmembers' being blissfully unaware17 of the world outside the shoal and simplytaking their cue from others.

如果模型一切正常,那么就可得出對群體來說最好的結果—不會被吃掉—這看起來有賴于大多數成員對魚群外部世界毫無知覺,僅僅只是接受其他魚指示的“傻魚傻福”。

This phenomenon, Dr Couzin argues, applies to allmanner of organisms, from individual cells in a tissue to voters in the democratic process.

Couzin博士指出,這個現象符合所有的組織行為,從組織中的個體單位到民主過程中的選民。

His team has already begun probing thequestion of voting patterns.

他的研究團隊已經開始探索選舉模式的問題。

But is ignorance really political bliss16?

然而,愚昧真是政治之福嗎?

DrCouzin's models do not yet capture what happens when the leaders themselvesturn out to be sharks.

Couzin博士的模型還沒有涉及領導們自己變成“鯊魚”會發生什么。

詞語解釋

1.behavior n.行為;舉止

His behavior was, in a word, shocking.

總之,他的行為是令人震驚的。

2.ignorance n.無知;愚昧

He tried to veil his contempt at my ignorance.

他試圖掩飾對我的無知的蔑視。

3.conclusion n.結尾;結論

I found the conclusion of her story very exciting.

我覺得她那故事的結尾很激動人心。

4.detector4 n.探測器

Thermopile is usually a blackened thermal18 detector.

熱堆一般是個涂黑了的熱探測器。

5.extrapolate v.推測;推知

It is best if you can extrapolate this data.

最好是能夠外推此數據。


點擊收聽單詞發音收聽單詞發音  

1 kin 22Zxv     
n.家族,親屬,血緣關系;adj.親屬關系的,同類的
參考例句:
  • He comes of good kin.他出身好。
  • She has gone to live with her husband's kin.她住到丈夫的親戚家里去了。
2 lesser UpxzJL     
adj.次要的,較小的;adv.較小地,較少地
參考例句:
  • Kept some of the lesser players out.不讓那些次要的球員參加聯賽。
  • She has also been affected,but to a lesser degree.她也受到波及,但程度較輕。
3 drawn MuXzIi     
v.拖,拉,拔出;adj.憔悴的,緊張的
參考例句:
  • All the characters in the story are drawn from life.故事中的所有人物都取材于生活。
  • Her gaze was drawn irresistibly to the scene outside.她的目光禁不住被外面的風景所吸引。
4 detector svnxk     
n.發覺者,探測器
參考例句:
  • The detector is housed in a streamlined cylindrical container.探測器安裝在流線型圓柱形容器內。
  • Please walk through the metal detector.請走過金屬檢測器。
5 detectors bff80b364ed19e1821aa038fae38df83     
探測器( detector的名詞復數 )
參考例句:
  • The report advocated that all buildings be fitted with smoke detectors. 報告主張所有的建筑物都應安裝煙火探測器。
  • This is heady wine for experimenters using these neutrino detectors. 對于使用中微子探測器的實驗工作者,這是令人興奮的美酒。 來自英漢非文學 - 科技
6 herd Pd8zb     
n.獸群,牧群;vt.使集中,把…趕在一起
參考例句:
  • She drove the herd of cattle through the wilderness.她趕著牛群穿過荒野。
  • He had no opinions of his own but simply follow the herd.他從無主見,只是人云亦云。
7 swarm dqlyj     
n.(昆蟲)等一大群;vi.成群飛舞;蜂擁而入
參考例句:
  • There is a swarm of bees in the tree.這樹上有一窩蜜蜂。
  • A swarm of ants are moving busily.一群螞蟻正在忙碌地搬家。
8 posited 5143cf6a131d14610f5f8561619aae61     
v.假定,設想,假設( posit的過去式和過去分詞 )
參考例句:
  • Several writers have posited the idea of a universal consciousness. 有幾個作者都假設存在普遍意識。 來自辭典例句
  • All cash receipts should be recorded and de-posited daily. 所有的現金收據應該被每日記錄和存放。 來自互聯網
9 fiddling XtWzRz     
微小的
參考例句:
  • He was fiddling with his keys while he talked to me. 和我談話時他不停地擺弄鑰匙。
  • All you're going to see is a lot of fiddling around. 你今天要看到的只是大量的胡擺亂弄。 來自英漢文學 - 廊橋遺夢
10 swirl cgcyu     
v.(使)打漩,(使)渦卷;n.漩渦,螺旋形
參考例句:
  • The car raced roughly along in a swirl of pink dust.汽車在一股粉紅色塵土的漩渦中顛簸著快速前進。
  • You could lie up there,watching the flakes swirl past.你可以躺在那兒,看著雪花飄飄。
11 fishy ysgzzF     
adj. 值得懷疑的
參考例句:
  • It all sounds very fishy to me.所有這些在我聽起來都很可疑。
  • There was definitely something fishy going on.肯定當時有可疑的事情在進行中。
12 alas Rx8z1     
int.唉(表示悲傷、憂愁、恐懼等)
參考例句:
  • Alas!The window is broken!哎呀!窗子破了!
  • Alas,the truth is less romantic.然而,真理很少帶有浪漫色彩。
13 mingle 3Dvx8     
vt.使混合,使相混;vi.混合起來;相交往
參考例句:
  • If we mingle with the crowd,we should not be noticed.如果我們混在人群中,就不會被注意到。
  • Oil will not mingle with water.油和水不相融。
14 predator 11vza     
n.捕食其它動物的動物;捕食者
參考例句:
  • The final part of this chapter was devoted to a brief summary of predator species.本章最后部分簡要總結了食肉動物。
  • Komodo dragon is the largest living lizard and a fearsome predator.科摩多龍是目前存在的最大蜥蜴,它是一種令人恐懼的捕食性動物。
15 benign 2t2zw     
adj.善良的,慈祥的;良性的,無危險的
參考例句:
  • The benign weather brought North America a bumper crop.溫和的氣候給北美帶來大豐收。
  • Martha is a benign old lady.瑪莎是個仁慈的老婦人。
16 bliss JtXz4     
n.狂喜,福佑,天賜的福
參考例句:
  • It's sheer bliss to be able to spend the day in bed.整天都可以躺在床上真是幸福。
  • He's in bliss that he's won the Nobel Prize.他非常高興,因為獲得了諾貝爾獎金。
17 unaware Pl6w0     
a.不知道的,未意識到的
參考例句:
  • They were unaware that war was near. 他們不知道戰爭即將爆發。
  • I was unaware of the man's presence. 我沒有察覺到那人在場。
18 thermal 8Guyc     
adj.熱的,由熱造成的;保暖的
參考例句:
  • They will build another thermal power station.他們要另外建一座熱能發電站。
  • Volcanic activity has created thermal springs and boiling mud pools.火山活動產生了溫泉和沸騰的泥漿池。
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