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    好书推荐:挽救我们日渐衰退的「记忆」

    放大字体  缩小字体 发布日期:2011-03-31  浏览次数:1596
    核心提示:我们不需要记住电话号码,因为有手机代劳;我们不用烦神去背诵乘法表,袖珍计算器算得又快又好;博物馆、照片、数字媒介和书籍也都是我们记忆的存储库,而一直担任此职的大脑正在忘记如何去记忆。。。


    A few middle-aged couples are chatting at a dinner party when one husband, Harry, starts talking enthusiastically about a new restaurant he has just visited with his wife. What's its name, demands a friend. Harry looks blank. There is an awkward pause. "What are those good-smelling flowers with thorns called again?" he eventually asks. A rose, he is told. "Yes that's it," Harry announces before turning to his wife. "Rose, what's that restaurant we went to the other night?"
    几对中年夫妇正在宴会上闲聊,丈夫哈里开始兴奋的描述他和妻子最近光临过的一家新餐馆。当有人问起这家餐馆叫什么名字时,哈里愣住了。一时间出现了令人尴尬的冷场。“那种好闻又带刺的花儿叫什么名字来着?”哈里最后提出了一个莫名其妙的问题。那叫玫瑰,有人告诉他说。“没错,就是它,”哈里先公布了答案,然后向妻子求证。“玫瑰,我们前几天晚上去的那家餐馆是不是就叫这个名字?”

    It's a vintage joke but it makes a telling point, one that forms the core of a newly published book on memory, Moonwalking with Einstein: The Art and Science of Remembering Everything, by American journalist Joshua Foer. The book, for which Foer received more than $1m in advance royalties in the US, is an analysis of the importance of memorising events and stories in human history; the decline of its role in modern life; and the techniques that we need to adopt to restore the art of remembering.
    这则笑话虽然俗套,但却生动的道出了一个事实真相,该事实也是一本新书《与爱因斯坦漫步月球:记忆的艺术和科学》(Moonwalking with Einstein: The Art and Science of Remembering Everything)的核心内容,其作者是美国记者约书亚•弗尔(Joshua Foer)。这本让弗尔收获了一百多万美元预支版税的新书分析了人类历史上记忆活动的重要性;现代生活中记忆行为的衰退;以及为了还原记忆艺术我们需要采用的技术手段。

    As Foer points out, we no longer need to remember telephone numbers. Our mobile phones do that for us. We don't recall addresses either. We send emails from computers that store electronic addresses. Nor do we bother to remember multiplication tables. Pocket calculators do the job of multiplying quite nicely. Museums, photographs, the digital media and books also act as storehouses for memories that were once internalised.
    正如弗尔所指出的那样,我们已经不再需要记住电话号码,因为有手机代劳;我们也不需要记忆地址,因为有电子邮件地址就可以通过电脑发送邮件;我们甚至不用烦神去背诵乘法表,袖珍计算器算得又快又好。博物馆、照片、数字媒介和书籍也能作为记忆的存储库,而在以前,这些记忆都是要放在大脑中的。

    As a result, we no longer remember long poems or folk stories by heart, feats of memory that were once the cornerstones of most people's lives. Indeed, society has changed so much that we no longer know what techniques we should employ to remember such lengthy works. We are, quite simply, forgetting how to remember.
    结果,我们不再熟记长诗或民间故事,而这份记忆特长曾经是大多数人赖以生存的基础技能。的确,社会变了许多,以致于我们不知道该使用何种技术来记住如此冗长的著作。其实简单说来,就是我们正在忘记如何去记忆。

    Hence Foer's book, which is published by Penguin this month. It outlines the methods that need to be mastered in order to boost our memories and regain the ability to recall long strings of names, numbers or faces. In the process, he adds, we will become more aware of the world about us.
    于是弗尔的新书应运而生,这本著作将于本月由企鹅出版社出版。书中概括了很多方法,要提升记忆力并恢复对长串姓名、数字或面孔的回忆能力,这些方法是必须得掌握的。弗尔认为,在这一过程中,我们将会更加重视周遭的世界。

    The trick, Foer says, is to adopt a process known as "elaborative encoding", which involves converting information, such as a shopping list, into a series of "engrossing visual images". If you want to remember a list of household objects – gherkins, cottage cheese, sugar and other items – then visualise them in an unforgettable manner, he says. Start by creating an image of a large jar of gherkins standing in the garden. Next to it, imagine a giant tub of cottage cheese – the size of an outdoor pool – and then picture Lady Gaga swimming in it. And so on. Each image should be as bizarre and memorable as possible.
    在弗尔看来,记忆的诀窍在于采用所谓的“详细编码”方式,即转化信息,例如一张购物清单可以被转化成一系列“有趣的视觉图像”。如果你想记住一张罗列日常用品——青瓜、白软干酪、糖和其他物品等等——的清单,不妨将它们以一种难以忘记的方式具体化。首先创造出这样一幅图像:一个装满青瓜的大广口瓶立在花园中,旁边是一个巨型浴缸,里面全是白软干酪,浴缸就像户外游泳池那般巨大,而Lady Gaga就在里面游泳。诸如此类,每幅图像都尽可能的荒诞不经,但又令人难以忘怀。

    Using methods like this, it becomes possible to achieve great feats of memory quite easily, Foer says. It certainly seems to have worked for him: he won the annual US Memory Championships after learning how to memorise 120 random digits in five minutes; the first and last names of 156 strangers in 15 minutes; and a deck of cards in under two minutes. "What I had really trained my brain to do, as much as to memorise, was to be more mindful and to pay attention to the world around," he says.
    弗尔表示,借助这些方法,好记性自然是手到擒来。他自己就是典型例子:在学习掌握了如何五分钟内记住120个随机数字、十五分钟内记住156个陌生人的姓名及两分钟之内记住一幅扑克牌的顺序之后,弗尔赢得了年度美国脑力大赛的冠军。“我所做的其实就是让自己的大脑尽可能多的去记忆,更为关注和留意周围的世界,”他说。

    These techniques employed by Foer to master his memory were developed by Ed Cooke – a British writer and a world memory championship grandmaster. He acted as Foer's trainer during preparations for the book and helped him achieve his championship performances. "Memory techniques do just one thing: they make information more meaningful to the mind, making the things we try to learn unforgettably bright and amusing," said Cooke.
    弗尔用来锻炼记忆的这些技巧是爱德•库克(Ed Cooke)发明的,库克是一位英国作家,同时也是一位世界脑力锦标赛大师。在著书期间,他充当了弗尔的训练师,并帮助弗尔取得了冠军称号。“记忆技巧总结起来很简单:它们让信息变得更有意义,让我们要掌握的那些事物变得鲜明和有趣起来,从而叫人难以忘却。”库克说。

    We remember facts about subjects we are interested in – football or gossip – but day-to-day memories are often devoid of meaning: dates, numbers, definitions or names. These we tend to be poor at recalling. The trick, therefore, is to transform these grey bits of data into something colourful through the use of some energetic imagination.
    我们会牢记那些自己觉得有趣的对象,譬如足球或小道消息,但日常记忆的事物通常没什么涵义:日期、数字、定义或姓名等等。这些东西事后很难回想起来,因此要将这些无趣的数据集合转换为多姿多彩的记忆对象,我们必须得借助积极的想象力。

    In this way, all sorts of feats become possible. Arrange the images that you have thought up on a route through a familiar place, like your garden, and imagine yourself passing through that space, said Cooke. Describe each of your created images when you reach its assigned place on your mental route. This way you can talk for an hour while always knowing exactly where you are. "Orators like Cicero used this technique to give seven-hour speeches under intense heckling in the Roman senate," Cooke said.
    通过这种方式,你可以轻松记住各式各样的记忆对象。库克建议说,你可以将所要记忆的事物化为图像,排在通往某个熟悉场景(如自家花园)的路线旁,再想象自己正在穿过这些区域。当经过思维地图中图像所在的位置时,去描绘你自己创造的这些图像。这样你滔滔不绝的聊上一个小时也不会离题千里了。“像西塞罗这样的演说家可以连续演讲七个小时,同时还要接受罗马参议院议员们的激烈诘问,他靠的就是这种技巧。”库克说。

    However, he rejects the idea that people today have simply become sloppy when it comes to using their powers of memory and are now incapable of remembering important facts or bits of information. "The same parts of our minds that we once employed to recall great chunks of data – telephone numbers or addresses or even poems – we use, instead, to remember ways to access information: websites like Google, apps for our iPhones, and routes like that," he said. "In other words, we don't know the data but we remember lots of ways to get at it very quickly."
    依靠使用存储器来记忆的现代人不仅变得马虎大意,而且记不住重要事实或少量信息,对此,库克持反对意见。“我们曾用来记忆电话号码、地址或者诗歌的大脑部分——现在却被用于记忆获取信息的方式:诸如谷歌这样的网站地址,iPhone的应用程序或其他类似途经,”他说。“换句话说,我们记不住具体数据,但我们记得住快速获取数据的大量方法。”

    And in many situations that is a perfectly acceptable way to operate. However, there are several exceptions, he said. "Personally, I like it when doctors remember everything about the human body before they qualify. I don't want to wake up on the operating table to find one of them staring at their iPhones where they have downloaded an app that directs them how to cut up a body.
    在很多时候,这种回忆方式完全可以接受,但也有一些例外的情况。库克表示,“就个人而言,我更喜欢医生在取得行医资格之前,能记住关于人体方方面面的知识。我不希望自己在手术台上醒来之后,发现身边的医生还在通过iPhone下载指导他们开刀的应用程序。

    "And let's face it, there is nothing sadder than someone who has lost their mobile phone and who finds they cannot even phone home or call their parents or partners because they cannot remember a single telephone number. That is an example of the tragic disillusion of personal independence. So, yes, there is a need for us to be able to remember certain things in life."
    “面对现实吧,想想那些丢了手机就无法联系家人、父母和爱人的家伙吧,他们连一个电话号码都记不住,还有比这更悲惨的人生吗?个人独立性的悲剧性幻灭,这就是明证。所以说,记住生活中的某些特定事项还是很有必要的。”

    Further information can be found at Ed Cooke's website: www. memrise.com
    欲获取更多信息,请移步爱德•库克的个人主页:www. memrise.com

    TOTAL RECALL完整的回忆力
    ■ The storage capacity of the brain is virtually limitless – the estimated number of patterns nerve cells could form is 1 followed by 800 zeros.
    人脑的存储容量近乎无限——神经细胞可以形成的样式数量约为10的800次方。

    ■ Goldfish can retain memories that last for up to three months.
    金鱼可以保存记忆长达三个月之久。

    ■ Japan's Akira Haraguchi has the record for reciting the number Pi from memory – to 83,431 decimal places.
    日本人原口证(Akira Haraguchi)曾创下圆周率记忆的世界纪录,他记住了π小数点之后的83431位。

    ■ The elephant has the longest memory of any member of the animal kingdom and can even remember where other elephants have died.
    大象拥有动物王国最长的记忆,它们甚至能记住同类死亡的地点。

    ■ Marcel Proust's novel Remembrance of Things Past is the most famous literary exploration of the role of memory in a person's life.
    马塞尔•普鲁斯特(Marcel Proust)的小说《追忆似水年华》(Remembrance of Things Past)是探讨记忆在人生中所起角色的最著名文学作品。

    ■ Ben Pridmore from Derby is world memory champion – memorising the order of a shuffled deck of cards in 24.68 seconds.
    来自英格兰德比郡的本•普瑞德摩尔(Ben Pridmore)是世界脑力大赛冠军,他在24.68秒内记住了一副被洗乱扑克牌的顺序。

    ■ Mahan Dulai, 11, is the UK's junior memory champion. He can remember 31 numbers, 40 faces and 44 random words in five minutes.
    十一岁的马汉•杜莱(Mahan Dulai)是英国少年脑力大赛的冠军,他能在五分钟内记住31个数字、40张面孔和44个随机单词。

    ■ The Sinclair ZX81 computer, which went on sale 30 years ago, had a 1KB memory. You would need 50,000 of them to run iTunes.
    三十年前销售的辛克莱尔ZX81型电脑拥有1KB的内存,你要将其扩大五千倍才能运行iTunes。

    ■ Your brain runs on 12 watts of power – less than that use by a refrigerator light.
    人脑的运行功率为12瓦,比电冰箱灯的使用功率还要低。

    ■ The average person is believed to have 70,000 thoughts a day.
    普通人每天会进行70000次的思考。

    更多翻译详细信息请点击:http://www.trans1.cn
    编辑:foodtrans

     
    关键词: 记忆 遗忘 好记性
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