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aeon.co  |  2020年06月16日
向信息时代告别:现在核心是声誉

      Say goodbye to the information age: it’s all about reputation now       

      向信息时代告别:现在核心是声誉

    Gloria Origgi is an Italian philosopher, and a tenured senior researcher at CNRS (the French National Centre for Scientific Research) in Paris. Her latest book is Reputation: What It Is and Why It Matters (2017), translated by Stephen Holmes and Noga Arikha.      

      Gloria Origgi 是一位意大利的哲学家,以及巴黎CNRS(法国国家科学研究中心)的终身高级研究员。她的新书是《名誉:它是什么以及为什么它重要》(2017),由Stephen Holmes 和Noga Arikha翻译。

      Published in association with Princeton University Press an Aeon Strategic Partner       

      与普林斯顿大学出版社(Aeon的战略合作伙伴)联合发布

      Edited by Nigel Warburton   

      由Nigel Warburton编辑


不是造假的。来自阿波罗15号任务。美国国家航空和宇宙航天局照片

      There is an underappreciated paradox of knowledge that plays a pivotal role in our advanced hyper-connected liberal democracies: the greater the amount of information that circulates, the more we rely on so-called reputational devices to evaluate it. What makes this paradoxical is that the vastly increased access to information and knowledge we have today does not empower us or make us more cognitively autonomous. Rather, it renders us more dependent on other people’s judgments and evaluations of the information with which we are faced.

      在我们高度相连的自由民主中,未被受到充分重视的知识悖论发挥着关键作用:即流通的信息量越大,我们就越依赖所谓的声誉手段来评估它。使这一情况矛盾的是,我们今天获得信息和知识的机会大幅度增加,这并没有赋予我们权力,也没有使我们更具认知自主性。相反,它使我们更依赖于他人对我们所面对信息的判断和评价。

      We are experiencing a fundamental paradigm shift in our relationship to knowledge. From the ‘information age’, we are moving towards the ‘reputation age’, in which information will have value only if it is already filtered, evaluated and commented upon by others. Seen in this light, reputation has become a central pillar of collective intelligence today. It is the gatekeeper to knowledge, and the keys to the gate are held by others. The way in which the authority of knowledge is now constructed makes us reliant on what are the inevitably biased judgments of other people, most of whom we do not know.      

      我们正经历着与知识间关系的根本范式转变。从“信息时代”开始,我们正在走向“声誉时代”,在这个时代,只有当信息已经被其他人过滤、评估和评论,它才有价值。从这个角度看,声誉已成为当今集体智慧的核心支柱。它是知识的守门人,且大门的钥匙由别人掌控。知识权威的建构方式使我们依赖于其他人不可避免的偏见判断,而这些人中的大多数我们并不认识。

      Let me give some examples of this paradox. If you are asked why you believe that big changes in the climate are occurring and can dramatically harm future life on Earth, the most reasonable answer you’re likely to provide is that you trust the reputation of the sources of information to which you usually turn for acquiring information about the state of the planet. In the best-case scenario, you trust the reputation of scientific research and believe that peer-review is a reasonable way of sifting out ‘truths’ from false hypotheses and complete ‘bullshit’ about nature. In the average-case scenario, you trust newspapers, magazines or TV channels that endorse a political view which supports scientific research to summarise its findings for you. In this latter case, you are twice-removed from the sources: you trust other people’s trust in reputable science.      

      让我举几个有关这一悖论的例子。如果有人问你为什么相信气候正在发生巨大变化,并能对地球上的未来生命造成极大的危害,你可能提供的最合理答案是,你信赖通常求助于获取有关地球状态信息的信息来源的声誉。在最好的情况下,你信赖科学研究的声誉,并相信同行评议是从错误假定中筛选出“真相”并完成对自然的“胡说八道”的合理方式。在一般情况下,你相信报纸、杂志或电视频道认可的支持科学研究的政治观点,来为你总结其研究调查结果。在后一种情况下,你会两次被排除在来源之外:你信任他人对具有声誉的科学的信任。

      Or, take an even more uncontroversial truth that I have discussed at length elsewhere: one of the most notorious conspiracy theories is that no man stepped on the Moon in 1969, and that the entire Apollo programme (including six landings on the Moon between 1969 and 1972) was a staged fake. The initiator of this conspiracy theory was Bill Kaysing, who worked in publications at the Rocketdyne company – where Apollo’s Saturn V rocket engines were built. At his own expense, Kaysing published the book We Never Went to the Moon: America’s $30 Billion Swindle (1976). After publication, a movement of skeptics grew and started to collect evidence about the alleged hoax.

      或者,拿我在其他地方详细讨论过的一个更无争议的事实来说:最臭名昭著的阴谋论之一是1969年没有人登上月球,而整个阿波罗计划(包括1969年至1972年间的6次登月)都是一个被上演的假计划。这一阴谋论的发起者是Bill Kaysing,他曾在阿波罗土星五号火箭发动机建造地Rocketdyne公司从事出版物相关工作。Kaysing自费出版了《我们从未登上过月球:美国300亿美元的骗局》(1976)。出版后,怀疑论者的运动开始增长,并开始收集有关所谓骗局的证据。

      According to the Flat Earth Society, one of the groups that still denies the facts, the Moon landings were staged by Hollywood with the support of Walt Disney and under the artistic direction of Stanley Kubrick. Most of the ‘proofs’ they advance are based on a seemingly accurate analysis of the pictures of the various landings. The shadows’ angles are inconsistent with the light, the United States flag blows even if there is no wind on the Moon, the tracks of the steps are too precise and well-preserved for a soil in which there is no moisture. Also, is it not suspicious that a programme that involved more than 400,000 people for six years was shut down abruptly? And so on.      

      据仍然否认事实的组织之一“地平说学会”称,这次登月是由好莱坞在Walt Disney的支持下,并在Stanley Kubrick的艺术指导下上演的。他们提出的大多数“证据”都建立在对各种着陆的图片进行貌似精确的分析的基础上的。阴影的角度与光线不一致,即使月球上没有风、美国国旗也在飘扬,步伐的轨迹对于没有水分的土壤来说过于精确和完好。另外,一个涉及40多万人且长达6年的项目突然被关停,这难道不值得怀疑吗?等等。

      The great majority of the people we would consider reasonable and accountable (myself included) will dismiss these claims by laughing at the very absurdity of the hypothesis (although there have been serious and documented responses by NASA against these allegations). Yet, if I ask myself on what evidentiary basis I believe that there has been a Moon landing, I must admit that my evidence is quite poor, and that I have never invested a second trying to debunk the counter-evidence accumulated by these conspiracy theorists. What I personally know about the facts mixes confused childhood memories, black-and-white television news, and deference to what my parents told me about the landing in subsequent years. Still, the wholly secondhand and personally uncorroborated quality of this evidence does not make me hesitate about the truth of my beliefs on the matter.      

      我们会合理且负责任思考的绝大多数人(包括我自己)会通过嘲笑这一假设的荒谬十足来驳斥这些主张(尽管美国国家航空和宇宙航天局对这些指控作出了严肃且有文件记录的回应)。然而,如果我问自己,我所相信的证据基础是什么,我必须承认,我的证据是相当匮乏的,并且我从来没有投入第二次揭穿这些阴谋论者所积累反证的尝试中。我个人对这些事实的了解混合了混乱的童年记忆,黑白电视新闻,以及对父母告诉我的关于随后几年登月的尊重。尽管如此,这些完全是二手的、并且是个人未经证实的证据,也一点没使我对自己在这件事上的信念的真实性产生犹豫。

      My reasons for believing that the Moon landing took place go far beyond the evidence I can gather and double-check about the event itself. In those years, we trusted a democracy such as the US to have a justified reputation for sincerity. Without an evaluative judgment about the reliability of a certain source of information, that information is, for all practical purposes, useless.

      我相信登月发生的理由远远超出了我能收集到的证据,也超出了我对事件本身的复查。在那些年里,我们相信像美国这样的民主国家有正当的诚信声誉。如果没有对某一具体信息来源的可靠性作出可评估的判断,那么实际上,这些信息就是无用的。

      The paradigm shift from the age of information to the age of reputation must be taken into account when we try to defend ourselves from ‘fake news’ and other misinformation and disinformation techniques that are proliferating through contemporary societies. What a mature citizen of the digital age should be competent at is not spotting and confirming the veracity of the news. Rather, she should be competent at reconstructing the reputational path of the piece of information in question, evaluating the intentions of those who circulated it, and figuring out the agendas of those authorities that leant it credibility.      

      当我们试图保护自己不受“假新闻”和其他激增的通过当代社会传播的错误信息和虚假技术的影响时,必须考虑到从信息时代到声誉时代的范式转变。一个数字时代的成熟公民应该具备的能力不是发现和确认新闻的真实性。不如说,她应该有能力重建这条有质疑的信息的声誉路径,评估传播者的意图,并找出那些依靠其公信力的当局的日常工作事项。

      Whenever we are at the point of accepting or rejecting new information, we should ask ourselves: Where does it come from? Does the source have a good reputation? Who are the authorities who believe it? What are my reasons for deferring to these authorities? Such questions will help us to get a better grip on reality than trying to check directly the reliability of the information at issue. In a hyper-specialised system of the production of knowledge, it makes no sense to try to investigate on our own, for example, the possible correlation between vaccines and autism. It would be a waste of time, and probably our conclusions would not be accurate. In the reputation age, our critical appraisals should be directed not at the content of information but rather at the social network of relations that has shaped that content and given it a certain deserved or undeserved ‘rank’ in our system of knowledge.

      每当我们处在接受或拒绝新信息的时候,我们都应该问自己:新信息从何而来?来源有好的声誉吗?相信这一点的当局是谁?我服从这些当局的理由是什么?这些问题将有助于我们更好地把握现实,而不是试图直接检查有关争议信息的可靠性。在一个高度专业化的知识生产系统中,试图独自调查是没有意义的,例如研究疫苗和自闭症之间的可能关联。这将是浪费时间,并且也许我们的结论是不准确的。在声誉时代,我们的严格评价不应针对信息的内容,而应针对塑造信息内容的社交网络关系,并赋予其在我们的知识体系中应得或不应得的“排名”。

      These new competences constitute a sort of second-order epistemology. They prepare us to question and assess the reputation of an information source, something that philosophers and teachers should be crafting for future generations.
      这些新能力构成了一种二阶认识论。它们让我们准备好去质疑和评估信息来源的声誉,而那是哲学家和教师应该在为后代精心打造的一些事情。

      According to Frederick Hayek’s book Law, Legislation and Liberty (1973), ‘civilisation rests on the fact that we all benefit from knowledge which we do not possess’. A civilised cyber-world will be one where people know how to assess critically the reputation of information sources, and can empower their knowledge by learning how to gauge appropriately the social ‘rank’ of each bit of information that enters their cognitive field. 

     根据Frederick Hayek的著作《法律、立法与自由》(1973年),“文明建立在我们都从我们不掌握的知识中受益的事实之上”。一个文明的网络世界将是这样一个世界:人们知道如何批判性地评估信息源的声誉,并通过学习如何适当地衡量进入他们认知领域的每一点信息的社会“排名”来增强他们的知识。

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 编辑:崔蕾

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