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Linguistics语言学Argot bargy方言来袭Why urban teenagers speak the way they do城里的年轻人为什么那样说话Nov 2nd 2013 |From the print editionYou think my accent’s bonkers. Your kids speak like me你觉得我的口音弱爆了。但是你家孩子跟我一个德行。IN HER novel “White Teeth”, published in 2000, Zadie Smith noted that in London, “all kids, whatever their nationality”, seem to express scorn with a Jamaican accent. Since then linguistic researchers have gradually come to understand how and why so many teenagers sound like Dizzee Rascal, a rapper from Bow in east London (pictured). They call this sping, mutating argot Multicultural London English (MLE).扎迪史密斯在2000年发表过一部小说,名字叫《白牙》,在书中,她提到在伦敦,所有的孩子,不管他们来自哪里,似乎用牙买加口音表达自己的鄙视。从那时起,语言学研究者逐渐明白了如何以及为何那么多青少年口音听起来像来自东伦敦区说唱歌手迪兹瑞克斯(如图)了。研究者称这种正在蔓延以及变异的语言为多文化伦敦英语(MLE)。When MLE first emerged, linguists believed it was a ham version of the way West Indians speak English. In the early 1980s “West Indians who had spoken Cockney suddenly started to speak differently,” explains Paul Kerswill of York University. Young Afro-Caribbean men may have adopted a new style of speech as they sought to forge an identity in an often hostile society. Others were thought to have copied them.MLE首次出现的时候,语言学家认为这是西印度群岛人群讲英语的一种蹩脚方式。约克大学的保罗克苏威尔解释道,在上世纪80年代初,讲伦敦口音的西印度群岛人群突然开始讲不一样的口音了。年轻的加勒比黑人可能已经接受了一种新的口音,因为他们试图在一个充满歧视的社会里获得一种认可。其他人则被认为是在模仿他们。But far from being cod-Jamaican, MLE is now thought to be a hybrid dialect that emerged from the intermingling of West Indians, South Asians and speakers of Cockney and Estuary English. Though much of the slang is West Indian—from “bare” for “very” to “sick” meaning “good”—the pronunciation is often not. Its chief characteristic, an elongated “ah” sound in place of an “i” so that “like” is pronounced “lahke”, does not imitate a West Indian patois.但这绝不是牙买加人专属,MLE现在被认为是由西印度群岛口音,南亚裔口音和伦敦以及河湾区口音混合的方言。尽管大部分是西印度群岛俚语,比如说‘bare’等同于‘very’,还有‘sick’等同于‘good’,发音往往也不一样。MLE的主要特点是‘i’的发音像‘ah’,因此,‘like’听起来像‘lahke’,这一特征就不是效仿西印度群岛口音。Researchers have found that MLE alters from place to place. Variants have emerged in other cities with many immigrants, such as Birmingham and Manchester. Children tend to pick up MLE at secondary school. It is more common—and more strongly accented—among boys than among girls. The grammar that tends to accompany MLE is increasingly uniform: for example the use of ;we wasnt; in place of ;we werent;.研究者发现英国到处都有MLE的踪迹。其他城市的许多移民也出现了变种,比如伯明翰和曼城。孩子们一般是在初中开始接触MLE。这种口音在男孩之间更加普遍,口音也更明显。同时MLE的语法也正在变的规范起来,例如;we werent;代替了;we wasnt;。Linguists are most excited by what MLE is doing to the rhythm of speech. English is usually spoken with a stress-timed rhythm, in which syllables are stressed at regular intervals. Speakers of MLE speak with a syllable-timed rhythm, in which all syllables are accorded roughly the same time and stress, as in French or Japanese. Syllable-timed speech is a characteristic of languages that have come into contact with other languages. Versions of it may have existed in multicultural places such as Hackney for centuries, thinks Mr Kerswill.语言学家对MLE对语调带来的变化更感兴趣。英语一般是由重音引导的,就是音节按照时间规律重读。MLE的使用者则按照音节停顿,所有音节的语调基本一致,跟法语和日语大致相同。和其他语言相比,按音节停顿是其特点。这种语音特色可能已经在诸如哈克尼这种多元文化区存在数个世纪了。Helped along by the exodus of old-fashioned Cockney speakers to London’s suburbs and commuter towns, MLE is replacing London’s traditional vernacular. That worries some. Caroline Goyder, a former teacher who now coaches politicians and lawyers in the art of public speaking, says she sees increasing numbers of school leavers who fear they are incomprehensible in job interviews. For one young Cambridge graduate working in Paris, that rings true. His MLE accent is proving as much of a problem as his imperfect French. “I know it’s incongruous”, he says, “but it’s hard to lose, y’get me?”随着操伦敦口音的居民搬到郊区以及周边通勤城镇,MLE正在取代当地的传统语言。这让一些人感到担忧。曾任教师的卡洛琳葛依德现在是一名政客律师演讲指导教练,她表示她看到很多毕业生害怕在工作面试中不能被理解。对一个在巴黎工作的剑桥毕业生来说,这是真的。他的MLE口音跟他磕磕绊绊的法语一样。他说,我知道这不对,但是很难改,你懂吗?201311/264377

Business商业报道TCS in America塔塔在美国From Mumbai to the Midwest从孟买到美国中西部Far from home, Tata Consultancy Services strives to move upmarket塔塔咨询务公司力争向高端市场转型DRIVE up the leafy Leadership Trail in Milford, Ohio and you reach what appears from the outside to be a luxury ski lodge.行驶在俄亥俄州米尔福德的领导路上,林木繁茂,而后到了一处外观奢华,看似是滑雪场的地方。Inside, large windows with forest views are a constant reminder of the surrounding American heartland.透着森林景象的窗景无时不刻的提醒来客您正置身于美国核心腹地。This is Tata Consultancy Services new American facility,这是塔塔咨询务中心的新式美版设施,a stark contrast to TCSs colonial-era headquarters overlooking sweltering cricket pitches in Mumbai.与以往看似闷热的板球场的不同,塔塔自殖民时期以来在孟买设立的总部有了明显变化。Bought in 2008, the Ohio facility is a symbol of TCSs efforts to polish its brand and move to higher-margin services.此处为塔塔在俄亥俄州的分部,购置于2008年,正是该公司擦亮招牌向高利润务业进军的标志。One reason for choosing Milford, a satellite of Cincinnati, was the proximity of Midwestern clients:塔塔选址在辛辛那提的卫星城米尔福德的原因之一,是其距离中西部客户的地理优势:ten Fortune 500 companies are based in Cincinnati alone.财富500强企业中就有10家驻扎在辛辛那提。Another is cost: it is one of the cheapest among Americas main cities and has plenty of land on its fringes.其二是成本问题:这是美国消费最低的大城市之一,且地区有很多闲置土地。A third reason for choosing Ohio is the presence of decent universities nearby.选址的原因之三是因为附近的高等学府。TCS set up shop in Milford not only to be closer to clients but to begin in earnest to hire American graduates.塔塔设分部在此不仅是为了接近消费者,也是渴求招募到美国的毕业生。Most of TCSs new coders in Ohio are fresh from the nearby universities of Kentucky, Cincinnati, Purdue, Ohio State and others.在俄亥俄州,塔塔新进的编程人员大多都来自于附近的肯塔基大学、辛辛那提大学、印第安纳州立大学和俄亥俄州立大学等等。They are cheaper than Ivy League graduates and TCS offers them interesting work with a booming company.他们的薪水要求相较于常春藤略低,而塔塔也以日益壮大的企业背景下为他们提供感兴趣的工作。The facility has 450 employees now, nearly all American, thanks to the difficulty of getting visas for Indians, and the plan is to increase their number to 1,000.由于印度来此的签困难,该分部现有 450名员工几乎都是美国人,而公司也计划将人员扩招到1000。They are a fraction of TCSs 215,000-strong workforce but represent the bridgehead of its ambitions to go beyond being merely an outsourced back-office and coding shop and take on such consultancy giants as IBM, Hewlett-Packard and Accenture on their home turf.这只占塔塔21万5千名员工的一部分,但显示出公司争取的不只做外包后勤或解码务,而是在客场迎战一些本土的咨询业务巨头,如IBM,惠普或是埃森哲。Having pleased clients with its work for them so far, TCS should have a decent chance at getting them to buy fancier and pricier services.塔塔一直以来都能满足客户需要,但仍需要恰当的实际让客户购买更吸引人也更昂贵的业务。David Johns, chief information officer at Owens Corning, a building-materials maker, is full of praise for TCS;建筑材料生产商欧文斯科宁的信息主管,大卫·约翰对塔塔评价很高,his company has doubled its overall spending with the firm in recent years.他的公司对近年已投入双倍的钱。Citigroup sold its India-based business-process unit to TCS, guaranteed it 5m annually in business for several years, and then proceeded to spend more than that.花旗集团将其在印度的业务板块出售给塔塔,并保近几年间每年付款27亿5千万美元,之后会投入的更多。However, Jagdish Rao, a technology chief at Citigroup, says most of the consulting work TCS has done so far has been on systems TCS had built or implemented itself.然而,花旗集团的技术主管加迪什·饶指出,塔塔的大部分咨询业务构架于自身建立或推行的制度之上。Tom Rodenhauser of Kennedy Information, which studies the consulting industry, agrees that it has yet to make a breakthrough in high-end work.肯尼迪信息公司研究咨询业的汤姆·罗德霍萨认同这一观点,指出塔塔有待于在高端市场中寻求突破。Although TCS is “printing money” with its outsourcing business, he “cant say with a straight face theyre doing great at consulting—theyre giving away what other companies charge for”, as a way of selling their legacy outsourcing services.尽管塔塔在外包产业中堪称“印钞机”,他“不能确定的说咨询业务也是他们的强项-这句完全不知道怎么翻囧”Amar Naga, the boss of the Milford facility, admits that consulting proper is so far just 2.6% of TCSs revenue.米勒福德分部的老板艾玛·纳迦承认咨询业务的业绩仅占公司总收入的2.6%。But it is growing more than twice as fast as the companys overall revenues, themselves still increasing at around 25% a year.但其增长速度是总收入的两倍。Such eye-catching growth, combined with its reputation for high-quality work, suggests clients can be convinced that TCSs consultancy work is worth paying for.如此引人注目的增长速度,连同其高质量业务的名声,意味着客户可以相信塔塔的咨询业务是值得花钱购买的。For the American rivals it is planning to take on, TCS may so far be no more than a blip on the edge of their radar screens.就其即将面临的美国竞争对手而言,塔塔不过是他们雷达侦测屏边缘的一个小点。But as it pushes up into high-value consulting, several of them—such as IBM and HP—are trying to capture more work by moving downstream into TCSs traditional outsourcing territory.然而,塔塔正向高价值咨询界推进,诸如IBM和HP这几个对手已经顺势通过介入塔塔传统外包领域来争取更多的业务。When they meet in the middle it could be quite a fight.一旦狭路相逢,大战在所难免。 /201304/236715

Science and technology科学技术The genetics of politics 政治遗传学Body politic 人体政治Slowly, and in some quarters grudgingly, the influence of genes in shaping political outlook and behaviour is being recognized在某些方面,塑造政治前景和行为的基因影响正在慢慢地被人们所接受,虽然还是不情愿。IN 1882 W.S. Gilbert wrote, to a tune by Sir Arthur Sullivan, a ditty that went I often think its comical how Nature always does contrive/that every boy and every gal thats born into the world alive/is either a little Liberal or else a little Conservative.在1882年,W.S吉尔伯特写的一首小诗-是为阿瑟-沙利文爵士的一首曲子而作,我一直认为,大自然的精工雕作是那么可笑/每个出生到这个世界上,并存活下来的男孩和女孩们/不是有一点自由倾向,就是有一点保守。In the 19th century, that view, though humorously intended, would not have been out of place among respectable thinkers.在十九世纪,这个观点虽然有一点幽默的意味,但是在那些备受尊敬的思想家眼中,也并不是一无是处。The detail of a mans opinion might be changed by circumstances.一个人意见的详细观点可能会由于环境而改变。But the idea that much of his character was ingrained at birth held no terrors.但是,这种与生俱来的,由他的性格决定的观念也没什么恐怖的。It is not, however, a view that cut much ice in 20th-century social-scientific thinking, particularly after the second world war.然而,它在二十世纪的社会科学思想中没有占到一席之地,特别是二战之后。Those who allowed that it might have some value were generally shouted down and sometimes abused, along with all others vehemently suspected of the heresy of believing that genetic differences between individuals could have a role in shaping their behavioural differences.那些认为它有一些价值的人们发出的呐喊,通常会被持不同观点人们的声音所掩盖,有时还会遭到辱骂,和那些对当时的异端邪说----即个体之间的遗传差异在塑造他们各自不同的行为上起了一定的作用----有些猜测的人们一样受到不公平对待。Such thinking, a product compounded of Marxism and a principled rejection of the eugenics that had led, via Americas sterilisation programmes for the feeble minded, to the Nazi extermination camps, made life hard for those who wished to ask whether genes really do affect behaviour.这样的想法,与马克思主义融合后的产物,加上美国借口弱智而产生的绝育计划,这种优生学的原则性排斥反应直接导致了纳粹集中营的大屠杀,让那些想知道基因是不是对行为真的有影响的人们更加难以生存了。Now, however, the pendulum is swinging back.然而,现在,这个一直在变化的问题又摆到了人们面前。In the matter of both political outlook and political participation it is coming to be seen that genes matter quite a lot.就政治观点和政治参与而言,即将可以看出,基因确实起到了很大的作用。They are not the be-all and end-all.他们并不是最重要的。But, as a review of the field published in September in Trends in Genetics, by Peter Hatemi of Pennsylvania State University and Rose McDermott of Brown University, shows, they affect a persons views of the world almost as much as his circumstances do, and far more than many social scientists have been willing, until recently, to admit.但是,由美国宾夕法尼亚州立大学的彼德-哈特米和布朗大学的罗斯麦克德莫特合著的遗传学的发展趋势于今年九月出版,书中所持的遗传学观点认为,基因对人们世界观的影响几乎等同于环境的影响,而且,远远超过了许多社会科学家愿意承认的影响,直到最近他们才愿意接受这个结果。Family values 家庭价值The evidence for this claim comes from two types of source, one relatively old and one spanking new.这种说法的据有两种来源,一种比较古老,一种非常新颖。The old is studies of twins, comparing identical and non-identical pairs.古老的来自于对双胞胎的研究,以同卵双胞胎与异卵双胞胎进行对比研究。The new is a direct examination of peoples DNA, searching for genes whose variation correlates with observable behavioural differences.新颖的是对人类的DNA直接进行检查研究,探求基因变异与观察到的行为变异的关系。Twins studies, which seek to control for the effects of upbringing by comparing identical twins with fraternal ones, have been going on since the 1950s.双胞胎研究从二十世纪五十年代就开始了,主要是通过对同卵双胞胎和异卵双胞胎进行比较,寻求控制成长的影响基因。In that time, quite a number, in many countries, have looked in part at political questions.那时候,很多国家的大多数人,他们的注意力主要集中在政治问题上。Dr Hatemi and Dr McDermott pored over 89 peer-reviewed papers on the effects of genes and environment on political matters.哈特米士和麦克德莫特士认真钻研了,89名同行对于基因和环境对政治问题影响的文章。These included twins political knowledge, their attitudes to racial, sexual and religious questions, their views on defence and foreign policy, and their identification with particular political parties.这些报道包括了双生子的政治知识,他们在种族,性别和宗教问题上的态度,他们对国防和外交政策的看法,还有他们对特别党派的认同感。On all counts, identical twins were found to be more alike than fraternal twins.通过这些项目的研究,发现同卵双胞胎比异卵双胞胎更相像。That knowledge, refracted through the prism of statistical theory, allows calculations of the proportionate influences of genes, family environment and general environment on particular traits to be made.通过统计理论分析得到的结果,可以推算出基因、家庭环境和外部环境对特别性状的相应比例的影响。Some show strong genetic influence.其中,一些结果表明受到了很强的基因影响,Some show little.而有一些几乎不受基因影响。Intriguingly, political knowledge and party identification are at opposite ends of the spectrum.有趣的是,政治知识和党派认同分别处于研究结果的两端。As the chart shows knowledge is highly genetically determined. Identification with a particular political party, by contrast, is largely a question of family upbringing—much more so than are opinions about the sorts of policy that it might be thought would determine voting patterns.就像上表揭示的,政治知识受到基因的影响最大。相反,对特别政治党派的认同主要是家庭教育的问题,而对于各种政策的意见,家庭教育对这个的影响远远不如对前者的影响。But even family ties weaken when people leave home—and they do so in a way that helps disentangle genetic influence.但是当人们离开家,家庭联系甚至日益减弱时,这样在某种程度上就把研究的方向聚集到了基因的影响上。Dr Hatemi showed this in when, along with a group of colleagues, he looked at twins aged between 11 and 75.哈特米士在年-当时他与他的同仁们一起工作,对11岁到75岁的双生子进行了研究-公布了这个研究结果。His results demonstrated that until their late teens both kinds of twins had equally similar political views.他的研究结果说明了,直到这些双生子十几岁时,他们的政治看法都很相似。Soon after they flew the nest, though, as might be expected, their views began to diverge.但是,可能就像预测的一样,在他们离巢后不久,这些双生子之间的看法就开始有分歧。And, just as would be expected if genes have political influence, the views of fraternal twins diverged more than did those of identical ones.而且,就像预计的,如果基因有政治影响力的话,那么异卵双胞胎的意见分歧将会比那些同卵双胞胎更加严重。Between the ages of 18 and 20 identical and fraternal twins both shared nearly 70% of their political ideology.18到20岁的同卵和异卵双胞胎的政治思想近70%都相同。Between the ages of 21 and 25, that had shrunk to 60% for identical twins and 40% for fraternal twins. Clearly, then, genes matter.21到25岁,同卵双胞胎的这个数值减小到了60%,而异卵双胞胎只有40%。那很明显,基因影响。Nor do they merely affect a persons opinions.基因不仅仅影响一个人的意见。They also affect his level of political engagement.它们也影响人的政治参与水平。This was shown in a study published in 2008 by James Fowler of the University of California, San Diego.2008年公布的一项研究-研究者是位于圣地亚哥的美国加州大学的詹姆斯福勒揭示了这点。Dr Fowler and his team analysed the voter-registration records of identical and fraternal twins from Los Angeles, and also from a more nationally representative database.福勒士和他的团队分析了洛杉矶市的同卵和异卵双胞胎的选民登记记录,也对更多有代表性的国家数据库的数据进行了分析。They found that identical twins are 53% more likely either both to register or both not to register than are fraternal twins.他们发现,在登记或者不登记这点上,53%的同卵双胞胎的选择可能相同,远远高于异卵双胞胎。Political signals 政治信号Twins studies like these unequivocally demonstrate the heritability of politically related behaviour.像这样的双胞胎研究明确地实了有关政治行为的遗传性。What they do not do, though, is explain the underlying biology.虽然他们不这样做解释了基本生物学原理。That is an area which is only now starting to be explored.这是一个现在刚刚开始进行探索的领域。In 2010 a study published by Dr Fowler and his colleagues implicated a gene known asDRD4 in the development of political affiliation.2010年,福勒士和他的同事公布的一项研究暗示,被称为多巴胺D4受体基因是政治立场发展过程的关键因素。DRD4 encodes a receptor molecule for a neurotransmitter called dopamine.DRD4对一种称为多巴胺的神经传递素的受体分子进行了编码。Those with a variant of DRD4 called 7R, and also a large network of friends acquired during their adolescence, tended to be liberals—ie, left wing.那些带有称为7R的DRD4的变异体,在他们青春期也需要一个朋友圈的人,往往会成为自由派,即左翼。One interesting point about this observation is that it requires both a genetic input and an environmental one to take effect.这次观察的一个有趣的地方是,政治背景的形成需要一种遗传性输入,也需要环境输入才能产生影响。DRD4-7R has previously been associated with novelty-seeking behaviour.长外以来,DRD4-7R一直与寻求新颖的行为有所关联。The authors of the paper speculate that the interaction of that tendency with possible exposure to lots of different ideas held by lots of different people might push an individual in a leftwardly direction.本文作者猜测,许多不同持不同观念的人可能会相互接触,而他们之间的相互影响可能会让他们成为左翼阵营。Following up on Dr Fowlers work, research published earlier this year by a team led by Dr Hatemi found a further 11 genes, different varieties of which might be responsible for inclining people towards liberalism or conservatism in the way that Gilbert described.今年初,在福勒士研究的基础上,哈特米士领导的团队公布了他们的继续研究成果。他们发现,还有11个各不相同的基因,它们可能影响了人们对自由派或者保守派的倾向,而这却是吉尔伯特在那首小诗中描述到的。These included genes involved in the regulation of three neurotransmitters—dopamine, glutamate and serotonin—and also G-protein-coupled receptors, which react to a wide variety of stimulants.这些基因包括了参与调节三种神经传递素-多巴安,谷氨酸和5-羟色胺-的基因,它们也参与调节G-蛋白偶联受体。Most astonishingly, the researchers found that olfactory receptors are also implicated, giving a whole, new twist to the idea that someones political platform smells wrong.最令人惊讶的是,研究者发现,嗅觉受体也牵连其中,提出了一个新的,整体颠覆性的观念,即人的政治纲领闻起来是错误的。The word inclining is important.这个倾向要注意。No one is suggesting that there are particular genes, or versions of genes for liberalism or conservatism. But inclinations there do seem to be.没有人认为,有什么特别基因,或者说带有自由主义或者保守主义基因的这种说法。Moreover, direct studies of genes also support what the twins studies suggest about political engagement, independent of opinion.但是,这种倾向又似乎存在。而且,对基因的直接研究也持双胞胎研究上有关政治参与、独立意见的结果。In particular, work by Dr Fowler implicates another dopamine receptor, DRD2, and also 5HTT, which regulates serotonin levels, in influencing voter turnout.特别是,福勒士的研究暗示了另一种多巴胺受体-多巴胺D2受体,还有五羟色胺转运基因-功能是调节血清素水平,这些基因都影响到选民的投票率。People with versions of these genes that increase the effect of the neurotransmitter are more likely to vote than those with low-activity versions.拥有这些增加神经传递素效力的基因变体的人,他们比那些拥有相同基因,但活性较低的人更有可能参加选举投票。The will and the way 愿望和方式The third part of the question, though, is how this all links up with the fundamental driver of biology, evolution.这个问题的第三部分则是分析这些是怎样和生物学的基本驱动力-进化连接起来的。The suggestion of Dr Hatemi and Dr McDermott is that political action is the collective expression of some pretty primal biological motives: those of survival and procreation.哈特米士和德默特士认为,政治行为是一些很原始的生物性动机的集中表达:那些生存和繁衍的原始生物动机。Deciding whether or not to be part of a particular group, whom else to admit to your group, how to keep or share resources, and how much sexual freedom to afford oneself, ones neighbours and ones children are all, and always have been, lively matters of political debate.确定是不是一个特别团体的一部分,其他人是不是承认你这个团体,怎样保存或者共享资源,自己可以承担多少的性自由,一个人的邻居和孩子,这些都是原始的生物性动机,还有政治辩论一直以来的热闹事项等。But they are also all matters that have an impact on the crucial Darwinian business of getting genes into the next generation.但是它们也对达尔文重要理论--提取基因以塑造优秀下一代的研究-有一定影响。Dr Hatemi and Dr McDermott are not suggesting genetic factors directly create ideologies that relate to these matters.哈特米和麦克德莫特士都不相信,基因因素直接导致了与这些事务相关的思想意识。They are suggesting, though, that genes assist in deciding which opinions an individual will find it most attractive to cleave to.但是,他们认为,基因对决定个人发现并坚持他认为的更有吸引力的意见有一定的辅助作用。Unlike the social determinists of old, however, who frequently refused to concede even the possibility of genetic influence on behaviour, the new generation of genetic political scientists are perfectly happy to acknowledge nurture along with nature.然而,并不像过去的社会决定论-这种理论甚至一直拒绝承认基因对行为影响的可能性,新一代的遗传学的政治科学家们乐于接受先天和后天的共同作用。Dr Hatemis own work, for instance, has shown that external shocks, such as unemployment and divorce, effectively abolish the genetic influences he has detected on many ideological questions as other responses, more appropriate to survival in the changed circumstances, kick in.比如,当其它更适合在变化成千的环境下成立的理论出现时,哈特米士自己的研究展示了外部冲击的影响,比如,失业和离婚,有效地抵消了他在许多意识形态问题上检测到的基因影响。These responses too, of course, are probably under evolutionary—and hence genetic—control. But they are different from the ones being looked for at present.当然,这些理论的出现也可能受到进化论的影响。但是它们和目前的研究是截然不同的。That sort of granularity, and the need to accept partial rather than universal explanations for biological phenomena, led the two researchers to one other thought.这种间隔差距,及为了接受部分而不是普遍的生物现象解释的需要,让两位研究者又产生另一个想法。This is that part of the problem social science has had in the past in accepting biological explanations is that its practitioners do not understand the nature of the claims being made.即在过去已经被接受的生物现象解释的社会科学的部分问题是,从事这门科学的人员不明白这种理论的本质。There are, to repeat, no genes for socialism or conservatism, or for prejudice or tolerance, any more than there are genes for Christianity or Islam.再次重申一遍,没有什么社会主义基因或者保守主义基因,或者偏见或容忍基因,更不用说还存在基督教或者伊斯兰教基因。But a persons genes can sometimes propel him more easily in one direction than another.但是一个人的基因有时会驱使他更容易走上另一条道路。His free will is, if you like, a little freer to turn right than left, or vice versa.换句话说,他的自由意愿可能会更倾向于偏右,而不是偏左,反之亦然。Gilbert was therefore not quite right. But he was not exactly wrong, either.因此,吉尔伯特并不完全正确。但是他也没有完全错。 /201401/273114Yael: I was walking my cocker spaniel this morning, and we ran into two other dogs---a great dane almost as tall as I am, and a tiny Chihuahua! I cant believe they are all the same species! 今天早上我在遛的时候碰到了两只其他的——一只是跟我差不多高的大丹犬,还有一只小吉娃娃。简直不能相信他们属于同一物种!Don: You know, scientists are making great strides in understanding the genes that allow such a wide range of shapes, sizes and personalities in different dog breeds. 你知道的,科学家们在探索基因方面已经取得了长足进展,在研究这些不同形状,不同大小,不同性格特点的不同的种类的基因。Did you know domestic dogs were bred from wolves about 15,000 years ago? 你知道国内的是由一万五千年前的狼繁衍而来的吗?Y: Thats pretty recent in evolutionary terms, isnt it? 从进化的角度来讲,那就是近些年的事儿,不是吗?D: Very! Humans have sped up the diversification of dogs by selecting for particular physical or behavioral traits such as size, coat type, trainability, and hunting or herding ability. 太对了。人类通过选择特定的生理和行为特征,如大小、外观、是否可训练性和狩猎型或放牧的能力,已经加快了种的多样化。But dogs still show greater variety than any other domesticated animal, and for a long time this variance has largely been unexplained. 但是相比其他家养动物而言,显示出更明显的多样性,并且在很长的一段时间内,人们无法解释这种多样性。A group of genetics researchers collaborated with dog breeders and veterinarians to study the DNA from 148 different dog breeds. 一个基因研究小组与的饲养者和兽医合作研究了来自148个不同品种的DNA。With such a large sample of genes from very different kinds of dogs, they were able to identify regions in the dog DNA that are important in regulating some key traits that differ between breeds. 在来自不同的的DNA大样本的研究下,他们鉴定出DNA中的区域特征在决定的某些区别与其他的关键特征方面有着至关重要的作用。Four regions were found that may regulate life span, a breed characteristic that usually decreases with increasing body size. 有四个区域可以调节寿命,而且品种的特性会随着体型的变大而逐渐消失。Regions associated with some behavioral stereotypes like herding, pointing and boldness were also identified. 而且也确认了那些和固有品性相关的区域,像是放牧,勾缝以及大胆尝试。Y: What can they do with this information? 他们会拿这些信息做什么?D: The study could have far-reaching benefits for dogs and their owners. 这项研究对于和他们的主人都是有深远影响的。With further research, dog owners and vets could use this information to customize the care, diet and medicines to the particular needs of their breed, and to identify and perhaps prevent breed-specific diseases. 进一步研究会得出,主人和兽医可以凭此信息对有特定需求的定制保健,饮食和药物,并识别同时也可能会防治特种的疾病。201308/253152

Reforming China’s state-owned firms改革中国的国有企业From SOE to GLC从国有企业到国联企业China’s rulers look to Singapore for tips on portfolio management中国领导人指望得到新加坡关于投资组合管理的指点Nov 23rd 2013 | HONG KONG |From the print editionSHORTLY before his confirmation as China’s “paramount leader” in 1978, Deng Xiaoping paid a visit to fast-growing Singapore. He planted a tree on a hill overlooking Jurong, a bustling industrial park built on what was once marshy wasteland close to the city-state’s harbour. Singapore’s success as a trading hub impressed Deng, who imposed his vision of economic reform on China’s Communist Party the following month, at an historic meeting known as the “third plenum”.1978年,邓小平被任命为中国“最高领导人”前夕,他对高速发展的新加坡进行了访问。他在俯瞰裕廊的一座山上种植了一棵树,裕廊是建于城市港口附近的一个蓬勃发展的工业园区,那里曾经是一个不毛之地。新加坡成功成为一个贸易枢纽给邓小平留下了深刻的印象,他在访问新加坡后的一个月,在那个具有历史意义的“三中全会”上,向中国共产党提出了有关经济改革的设想。Singapore, which has a population of 5m to China’s 1.35 billion, remains a source of inspiration for some Chinese reformers. On the eve of the latest third plenum, held earlier this month, the Development Research Centre (DRC), a government think-tank, advertised an ambitious set of reform proposals, including an overhaul of China’s inefficient state-owned enterprises (SOEs). Simply privatising these companies remains out of the question for China’s leaders. But there are alternatives, and Singapore provides one.对于中国一些改革家来说,拥有500万人口的新加坡与拥有13.5亿人口的中国相比,仍然具有激励作用。本月初期举行的十八届三中全会前夕,政府智囊团国务院发展研究中心公布了一系列雄心勃勃的改革提议,包括彻底改革中国低效国有企业。仅仅将这些企业私有化对中国领导人来说是不可能的。但是他们还有其他选择,新加坡就提供了一个选项。The DRC’s plan named Temasek, a holding company for SOEs in Singapore, as a potential model. It was created in 1974, when it inherited 35 companies from the finance ministry. Its inaugural portfolio contained several of the firms that made Jurong eye-catching, including its shipyard and its birdpark (pictured). In the four decades since, Temasek’s portfolio has both multiplied (it is now worth S5 billion, or 2 billion) and gone forth: only 30% of its holdings remain in Singapore itself. Its domestic holdings are concentrated in what Singapore calls “government-linked companies” (GLCs), such as Singapore Airlines (of which it owns 56%) and SingTel, a telecoms company (52%).国务院发展研究中心计划把新加坡国有企业控股公司淡马锡公司作为一个可能的模型。淡马锡公司成立于1974年,它从新加坡财政部手中接手了35家国有企业。它成立的投资组合包括几个使得裕廊引人注目的公司,包括其造船厂和飞禽公园(如图)。从那时起后四十年,裕廊的投资组合不仅迅速增加(它现在价值2150亿新加坡币,约合1720亿美元),还不断发展:只有30%的控股还在新加坡手上。其国内股份集中在新加坡称为“国联企业”手中,例如新加坡航空(控股56%),电信公司SingTel(52%)。Temasek’s charter obliges it to increase the value of its holdings over the long term. This is a remarkably simple aim compared with the Chinese government’s manifold ambitions. It wants its holdings to promote technological progress, favoured industries and national security, among other things.淡马锡公司的章程迫使他们在长期增加他们股份的价值。这相对于中国政府各种各样的雄心壮志来说明显是一个简单明确的目标。此外,他们还希望他们的股份能推进技术进步,推动中意的工业发展和国家安全。As well as clarifying objectives, the Temasek model also allows the state to distance itself from the management of its enterprises, without relinquishing ownership. Temasek avoids meddling in the day-to-day running of the GLCs in its portfolio, which are free to hire professional managers at market rates. With a few exceptions, it does not directly appoint board members either. This is partly because it does not want to become privy to price-sensitive information that might limit its ability to trade shares.除了阐明目标以外,淡马锡模型还准许国家在不放弃所有权的情况下,拉开自己与企业管理的距离。淡马锡模型避免了对国联企业投资组合日常管理的干预,这样可以随意以市场价雇佣专业的管理人才。除了几个例外,淡马锡公司也不直接任命董事会成员。这样做部分原因是因为它不想获准接触那些可能会限制其自身交易股份能力的价格敏感的信息。Temasek has evolved into an active investor, but not an activist one, says Stephen Forshaw, its chief spokesman. Although it does not appoint directors, it does meet regularly with its wards’ boards to make its feelings known. It also keeps managers on their toes by enlisting outside consultants, such as Bain or McKinsey, to spot industrial trends they should be aware of.淡马锡公司首席发言人史蒂芬福肖说,淡马锡公司已经逐步发展成了一个活跃的投资者,但不是一个积极分子。虽然淡马锡不任命董事,它定期与其监管董事会开会,让董事会知道他们的想法。它还让管理者通过谋求外部咨询来保持警觉,如向贝恩或麦肯锡咨询,来留意他们应该知道的工业发展趋势。Would the Temasek model help improve the efficiency of China’s state-owned enterprises? Only one (Singapore Airlines) or possibly two (DBS bank) of Temasek’s GLCs have established themselves as international brands, according to critics such as Chris Balding of Peking University. SingTel has made successful foreign acquisitions, but other GLCs have fared less well. STATS ChipPAC, a semiconductor firm, lost money in the second quarter of this year, as a result of the costs of closing a factory in Malaysia.淡马锡模型会有助于提高中国国有企业的效率吗?据北京大学的克里斯鲍尔丁说,淡马锡公司的国联企业中只有一个(新加坡航空)或者可能两个(DBS)已经成为了国际品牌。SingTel成功进行了外资并购,但是其他国联企业很少有成功的。半导体公司STATAS ChipPAC今年第二季度亏损,因为它关闭了位于马来西亚的一个工厂。The few academic studies of Singapore’s GLCs are more encouraging, however. A 2004 article by Carlos Ramirez of George Mason University and Ling Hui Tan of the IMF showed that the country’s GLCs enjoyed a higher market value, relative to the book value of their assets, than comparable private firms. They also generated a higher return on assets, on average.但是关于新加坡国联企业的学术研究越少越令人鼓舞。乔治梅森的卡洛斯拉米雷斯和国际货币基金组织的Ling Hui Tan 2004发表的一篇文章表明,就资产净值而言,新加坡的国联企业比起私人企业有更高的市场价值。他们还创造更高的平均投资回报。In judging the performance of Temasek’s GLCs, the counterfactual is important. They may not be as obviously successful as private titans from the region such as Samsung or LG. But they are not nearly as bad as most SOEs, including China’s. The enthusiasm for reform of SOEs in China reflects their deteriorating returns and accumulating debt. According to M.K. Tang of Goldman Sachs, their return on assets was 6.5 percentage points below that of other Chinese firms in 2012 and their shares trade at a growing discount. Even Mr Balding, meanwhile, is happy to fly Singapore Airlines.在评价淡马锡的国联企业的表现时,反事实的情况很重要。他们可能不会像亚洲私人公司巨头那样有着明显的成功,如三星、LG。但是他们几乎不会像大多数国有企业包括中国的国有企业那样糟糕。中国国有企业改革的反映了他们日益恶化的投资回报和日益增长的债务。根据高盛投资公司的M.K. Tang,2012年国有企业的资产回报比中国其他公司低6.5个百分点,且他们的股份持续贬值。同时,甚至是鲍尔丁先生也很高兴乘坐新加坡航空。 /201311/266360Yael,Were always hearing that the ozone layer is being depleted, and how bad this is because we need it to protect us from the suns harmful ultraviolet rays.雅艾尔,我们常听说臭氧层正在逐渐消失的消息,这可不是件好事。因为臭氧层保护我们人类免受太阳过量的紫外线侵害。But Ive been thinking, and there has to be a more effective way to restore the ozone layer than just by sitting around not releasing any more harmful chemicals into the air so the ozone has a chance to repair itself.但是,我一直在考虑,比起不再释放任何有害化学物质到空气中静观其变而言,我们可以采取有效措施修复破坏的臭氧层。Ok, like what? Well, how hard could it be to make more ozone ?有何高见?制造更多的臭氧层应该不难吧?we must have a plenty of material.我们必须有大量的原料。After all the ozone molecule contains three oxygen atoms-and the oxygen molecules we breathe contain two oxygen atoms, so cant we just use that oxygen to produce a bunch of ozone ourselves and stick it back up in the atmosphere?毕竟,所有的臭氧分子由三个氧原子组成;我们呼吸的氧分子包含两个氧原子。这样,我们可以自己用氧气制造臭氧,以此替代破坏的臭氧层圈。 201311/266577Business this week本周经济要闻Google all but abandoned its opposition to a recent court ruling in Europe that gives people the “right to be forgotten” on the internet. It had said that the decision would curtail freedom of information, but Google has now set up a web page through which people can request that links be removed to an article about them that they consider to be outdated or an invasion of privacy. More than 41,000 people made such a request in the first four days after the web page went live.欧洲最近法庭裁决给予人们在因特网上有“遗忘的权利”,谷歌差一点放弃了对此裁决的异议。谷歌称此裁决将遏制信息自由。但是谷歌已经建立起一个网页,通过该网页,人们可以要求删除那些他们认为已经过时的或是有侵犯他们隐私的文章的连接。超过41,000位公众在网页正式上线的后的四天里提出了这项要求。Apple heralded its forthcoming update to the operating system that powers its devices as the biggest since 2008. The new features on iOS 8 will include improvements to messaging and e-mail—a direct response to the growing competition from Facebooks WhatsApp and to apps provided by Googles Android operating system.苹果暗示即将更新他们的操作系统,而正是目前尚在使用的操作系统帮助苹果手机成为08年以来规模最大的通讯设备。iOS 8的新特点包括改进短消息和邮件的传送,此举直接回应美国社交网站的WhatsApp通讯应用程序,同时也是向谷歌的安卓操作系统提供的应用程序叫板。Not-so-sunny outlook前景不妙America proposed stiff tariffs on imports of Chinese solar panels. An earlier tariff on the components used to make the panels was circumvented by Chinese firms outsourcing the components to Taiwan and then assembling the panels in China. America claims Chinas solar industry has undercut competition by receiving huge state subsidies. Although American solar-panel makers applauded the decision, cheaper Chinese panels have been a boon to solar power in America: capacity rose by 41% in 2013.美国提议对从中国进口太阳能电池板征收严苛的进口关税。早前美国政府主要是对那些用于制造面板的组件征收关税,而中国公司为了规避此类关税将组件的制造业务外包给台湾,然后在中国大陆进行组装。美国声称中国的太阳能产业通过获得大笔的国家补贴而削弱竞争。尽管美国太阳能电池板的制造商赞成这个决议,但是更廉价的中国太阳能电池板对美国的太阳能发电是一种恩惠:发电量在2013年上涨了41%。A 16% rise in imports from China helped push Americas trade deficit in April to 47 billion, the highest monthly figure for two years. Total imports were 240.6 billion, a monthly record, driven by Americans buying more cars and phones from abroad.四月份,从中国进口货物增长了16%,这也使得美国的贸易逆差增长到470亿,这是两年来单月最高纪录。单月的总共的进口额是2406亿,源于美国人从国外购买更多的车和手机。Australias economy grew by 3.5% in the first quarter compared with the same period last year. The figure was higher than expected, boosted in part by the demand for housing amid low interest rates.澳大利亚今年第一季度的经济与去年同一季度相比增长3.5%。增长量高于预期估计值,增长的原因部分是在低利率的背景下住房需求量的增加。The average house price in Britain rose in May to 186,512, according to Nationwides index, up by 11% from May 2013. The mutual bank reported “tentative signs” of cooling, as tighter standards for mortgage approvals kick in, though it was “too early to say” whether this would dampen demand. The average house price in London was 362,699 in the first quarter, according to an earlier Nationwide survey.根据全国指数,英国的平均房价从2013年5月至今年5月增长了11%,目前平均房价达186,512英镑。因为更为严格的抵押贷款审批标准正在逐步实施,尽管现在判断这项措施能否抑制需求还为时过早,但互助报道房价有初步遇冷的迹象。据更早的全国范围内的调查,伦敦第一季度的平均房价是362,699英镑。Having a say on pay薪酬话语权西雅图提高最低工资待遇The council in Seattle approved a rise in the local minimum wage to 15 an hour, the highest rate in any American city or state and twice as much as the federal minimum of 7.25. It will be phased in over the next few years. Eight states and Washington, DC, have increased their minimum-wage rates this year amid a national debate about inequality.西雅图委员会批准提高当地最低工资到每小时15美元,高于美国任何一个城市或州,是联邦政府规定的最低小时工资标准7.25美元的两倍。它将在未来的几年逐步实施。8个州和华盛顿特区在一场全国性范围内关于不平等的讨论中争取到今年增长他们最低工资的权利。Standard amp; Poors put its rating for BNP Paribas on “credit watch” until the outcome of an investigation in America into the French banks alleged violation of sanctions against countries such as Iran becomes clear. The American government is reportedly thinking of imposing a 10 billion fine on BNP. The size of the penalty has outraged the French, with one minister warning it would be detrimental to negotiations over transatlantic trade.美国的一份调查报告显示,法国巴黎涉嫌违反了针对伊朗等国家的制裁决议,由此标准普尔将法国巴黎的信用等级降为“信用警告”。据报道美国政府考虑对法国巴黎处以高达100亿美元罚款。处罚的金额使得法国不满,其中一位部长警告说此种做法将会对环大西洋的贸易谈判不利。Japans Dai-ichi Life Insurance agreed to buy Protective Life, which is based in Alabama. The 5.7 billion deal is the biggest takeover yet by a Japanese life-insurance firm of a foreign competitor.日本的第一人寿保险同意收购位于阿拉巴马州的美国护生保险公司,日本这家人寿保险公司的收购金额是57亿美元,目前为止,这个金额也使得此次收购案成为外国竞争者收购美国企业最大收购案。The European Commission gave the go ahead for Lithuania to adopt the euro next year. The Baltic state will be the 19th country to enter the euro zone, though it could be the last for some time. Other EU members in eastern Europe have not yet signed up to the exchange-rate mechanism through which their currencies must track the euro before joining the currency union.欧洲委员会同意明年立陶宛使用欧元。波罗的海国家将是第19个进入欧元区的国家,尽管它可能是目前一段时间最后一个进入欧元区的国家。而东欧各国在加入欧元区之前他们还没有签署汇率机制,此项机制旨在促使欧洲各国的货币单位与欧元挂钩。Jersey issued its first bond on the capital markets. The British dependency is taking advantage of low interest rates to borrow 250m so it can build cheaper social housing for its residents.泽西岛在资本市场发布它的第一抵押债券。英国属地利用低利率筹措了2亿5千万英镑,此笔款项用于为他们的居民建造更廉价的社会保障性住房。Valeant Pharmaceuticalsand William Ackman, an activist investor, upped the ante in their joint bid for Allergan, the maker of Botox. Valeant increased the cash portion of the 53 billion offer and pledged to take it directly to shareholders if Allergans board continued to oppose it. Mr Ackman said he would try to oust six Allergan boardmembers at a shareholders meeting.国际制药公司和维权投资者威廉˙奥克曼,提高他们联合竞标肉毒杆菌的制造商阿勒根的报价。如果阿勒根董事会继续反对,国际制药公司将增加报价中530亿美元的现金部分,并承诺把它直接给股东。奥克曼先生说他将设法在股东大会上驱逐6个阿勒根董事会成员。Robots of the world, unite!全世界的机器人,联合起来!The International Federation of Robotics reported that China was the biggest buyer of industrial robots last year, snapping up 36,500 units (Japan has the largest number of robots in operation). Around 179,000 robots were sold worldwide. Some think that factory owners prefer them to riot-prone workers.国家机器人联盟报道中国是去年工业机器人最大的购买者,抢购了36,500个工业机器人(日本是使用机器人作业最多的国家)。全世界大概卖出179,000个机器人。大家普遍认为与有暴乱倾向的工人相比,厂主更喜欢使用机器人。 201406/308594

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