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Unit 1

An impressive English lesson

1 If I am the only parent who still corrects his child's English, then perhaps my son is right. To him, I am a tedious oddity: a father he is obliged to listen to and a man absorbed in the rules of grammar, which my son seems allergic to.

2 I think I got serious about this only recently when I ran into one of my former students, fresh from an excursion to Europe. "How was it?" I asked, full of earnest anticipation.

3 She nodded three or four times, searched the heavens for the right words, and then exclaimed, "It was, like, whoa!"

4 And that was it. The civilization of Greece and the glory of Roman architecture were captured in a condensed non-statement. My student's "whoa!" was exceeded only by my head-shaking distress.

5 There are many different stories about the downturn in the proper use of English. Surely students should be able to distinguish between their/there/they're or the distinctive difference between complimentary and complementary. They unfairly bear the bulk of the criticism for these knowledge deficits because there is a sense that they should know better.

6 Students are not dumb, but they are being misled everywhere they look and listen. For example, signs in grocery stores point them to the stationary, even though the actual stationery items — pads, albums and notebooks —are not nailed down. Friends and loved ones often proclaim they've just ate when, in fact, they've just eaten. Therefore, it doesn't make any sense to criticize our students.

7 Blame for the scandal of this language deficit should be thrust upon our schools, which should be setting high standards of English language proficiency. Instead, they only teach a little grammar and even less advanced vocabulary. Moreover, the younger teachers themselves evidently have little knowledge of these vital structures of language because they also went without exposure to them. Schools fail to adequately teach the essential framework of language, accurate grammar and proper vocabulary, while they should take the responsibility of pushing the young onto the path of competent communication.

8 Since grammar is boring to most of the young students, I think that it must be handled delicately, step by step. The chance came when one day I was driving with my son. As we set out on our trip, he noticed a bird in jerky flight and said, "It's flying so unsteady." I carefully asked, "My son, how is the bird flying?" "What's wrong? Did I say anything incorrectly?" He got lost. "Great! You said incorrectly instead of incorrect. We use adverbs to describe verbs. Therefore, it's flying so unsteadily but not so unsteady."

9 Curious about my correction, he asked me what an adverb was. Slowly, I said, "It's a word that tells you something about a verb." It led to his asking me what a verb was. I explained, "Verbs are action words; for example, Dad drives the truck. Drive is the verb because it's the thing Dad is doing."

10 He became attracted to the idea of action words, so we listed a few more: fly, swim, dive, run. Then, out of his own curiosity, he asked me if other words had names for their use and functions. This led to a discussion of nouns, adjectives, and articles. Within the span of a 10-minute drive, he had learned from scratch to the major parts of speech in a

sentence. It was painless learning and great fun!

11 Perhaps, language should be looked upon as a road map and a valuable possession: often study the road map (check grammar) and tune up the car engine (adjust vocabulary). Learning grammar and a good vocabulary is just like driving with a road map in a well-conditioned car.

12 The road map provides the framework and guidance you need for your trip, but it won't tell you exactly what trees or flowers you will see, what kind of people you will encounter, or what types of feelings you will be experiencing on your journey. Here, the vocabulary makes the journey's true colors come alive! A good vocabulary enables you to enjoy whatever you see as you drive along. Equipped with grammar and a good vocabulary, you have flexibility and excellent control. While the road map guides your journey to your destination, an excellent vehicle helps you to fully enjoy all of the sights, sounds and experiences along the way.

13 Effective, precise, and beneficial communication depends upon grammar and a good vocabulary, the two essential assets for students, but they are not being taught in schools.

14 Just this morning, my son and I were eating breakfast when I attempted to add milk to my tea. "Dad," he said, "If I were you, I wouldn't do that. It's sour."

15 "Oh my!" I said, swelling with pride toward my son, "That's a grammatically perfect sentence. You used were instead of was."

16 "I know, I know," he said with a long agreeable sigh. "It's the subjunctive mood."

17 I was, like, whoa!



1 如果我是唯一一个还在纠正小孩英语的家长,那么我儿子也许是对的。对他而言,我是一个乏味的怪物:一个他不得不听其教诲的父亲,一个还沉湎于语法规则的人,对此我儿子似乎颇为反感。

2 我觉得我是在最近偶遇我以前的一位学生时,才开始对这个问题认真起来的。这个学生刚从欧洲旅游回来。我满怀着诚挚期待问她:“欧洲之行如何?”

3 她点了三四下头,绞尽脑汁,苦苦寻找恰当的词语,然后惊呼:“真是,哇!”

4 没了。所有希腊文明和罗马建筑的辉煌居然囊括于一个浓缩的、不完整的语句之中!我的学生以“哇!”来表示她的惊叹,我只能以摇头表达比之更强烈的忧虑。

5 关于正确使用英语能力下降的问题,有许多不同的故事。学生的确本应该能够区分诸如their/there/they're之间的不同,或区别complimentary 跟complementary之间显而易见的差异。由于这些知识缺陷,他们承受着大部分不该承受的批评和指责,因为舆论认为他们应该学得更好。

6 学生并不笨,他们只是被周围所看到和听到的语言误导了。举例来说,杂货店的指示牌会把他们引向stationary(静止处),虽然便笺本、相册、和笔记本等真正的stationery(文具用品)并没有被钉在那儿。朋友和亲人常宣称They've just ate。实际上,他们应该说


7 对这种缺乏语言功底而引起的负面指责应归咎于我们的学校。学校应对英语熟练程度制定出更高的标准。可相反,学校只教零星的语法,高级词汇更是少之又少。还有就是,学校的年轻教师显然缺乏这些重要的语言结构方面的知识,因为他们过去也没接触过。学校有责任教会年轻人进行有效的语言沟通,可他们并没把语言的基本框架——准确的语法和恰


8 因为语法对大多数年轻学生而言枯燥且乏味,所以我觉得讲授语法得一步一步、注重技巧地进行。有一天机会来了。我跟儿子开车外出。我们出发时,他看到一只小鸟飞得很不稳,就说:“它飞的不稳。”(It's flying so unsteady.)我小心翼翼地问:“儿子,鸟怎么飞?”“有问题吗?我说得不对吗?(Did I say anything incorrectly?)”他一头雾水。“太好了,你说的是incorrectly而不是incorrect。我们用副词来描述动词。所以,要用unsteadily来描述鸟飞,而不是unsteady。”

9 他对我的纠正很好奇,就问我什么是副词。我慢慢解释道:“副词是用来修饰动词的词。”这又导致了他询问我什么是动词。我解释说:“动词是表示行为的词,例如:爸爸开卡车。‘开’是动词,因为它是爸爸在做的事。”

10 他开始对表示行为的词产生兴趣,所以我们又罗列了几个动词:“飞行”、“游泳”、“跳水”、“跑步”。然后,他又好奇地问我,其他的词有没有说明它们的用法和功能的名称。这就引发了我们对名词、形容词和冠词的讨论。在短短十分钟的驾驶时间内,他从对语法一无所知到学会了句子中主要词语的词性。这是一次毫无痛苦而又非常有趣的学习经历。

11 也许,语言应该被看成是一张路线图和一件珍品:我们要常常查看路线图(核对语法)和调整汽车的引擎(调节词汇)。学好语法和掌握大量的词汇就好比拿着路线图在车况良好的车里驾驶。

12 路线图为你的旅行提供所需的基本路线和路途指南,可是它不会告诉你一路上你究竟会看见什么树或什么花,你会遇见什么样的人,或会有什么样的感受。这里,词汇会使你的旅途变得五彩缤纷、栩栩如生。大量的词汇让你享受到开车途中所见的点点滴滴。借助语法和丰富的词汇,你就有了灵活性,掌控自如。路线图会把你带到目的地,而一台好车却能让你完全陶醉于旅途的所有景色、声音及经历之中。

13 对学生来说,有效、准确且富有成效的沟通技能取决于语法和词汇这两大有利条件,可是学校并没有教他们这些。

14 就在今天早上,我跟儿子吃早饭时,我想把牛奶加入我的茶里。“爸爸,” 他说,“如果我是你的话,我不会这样做。牛奶会变酸。(If I were you, I wouldn't do that. It's sour.)”15 “哦,上帝!”我满怀着无比的骄傲说道,“这是一句语法完全正确的句子。你用了were 而不是was。”

16 “我知道,我知道,”他愉悦地舒了口气,“这是虚拟语气!”

17 这下轮到我“哇!”了。

Unit 2

The humanities: Out of date?

1 When the going gets tough, the tough take accounting. When the job market worsens, many students calculate they can't major in English or history. They have to study something that boosts their prospects of landing a job.

2 The data show that as students have increasingly shouldered the ever-rising cost of tuition, they have defected from the study of the humanities and toward applied science and "hard" skills that they bet will lead to employment. In other words, a college education is more and more seen as a means for economic betterment rather than a means for human betterment. This is a trend that is likely to persist and even accelerate.

3 Over the next few years, as labor markets struggle, the humanities will probably continue their long slide in succession. There already has been a nearly 50 percent decline in the portion of liberal arts majors over the past generation, and it is logical to think that the trend is bound to continue or even accelerate. Once the dominant pillars of university life, the humanities now play little roles when students take their college tours. These days, labs are more vivid and compelling than libraries.

4 Here, please allow me to stand up for and promote the true value that the humanities add to people's lives. Since ancient times, people have speculated about the mystery of those inner forces that drive some people to greatness and others to self-destruction. This inner drive has been called many things over the centuries. The famous psychologist, Sigmund Freud, called it the "unconscious mind" or, more familiarly, "instinct".

5 From the beginning of time, this inner aspect of our being, this drive that can be constructive or destructive, has captured our imagination. The stories of this amazing struggle have formed the basis of cultures the world over. Historians, architects, authors, philosophers and artists have captured the words, images and meanings of this inner struggle in the form of story, music, myth, painting, architecture, sculpture, landscape and traditions. These men and women developed artistic "languages" that help us understand these aspirations and also educate generations. This fertile body of work from ancient times, the very foundation of civilization, forms the basis of study of the humanities.

6 Studying the humanities improves our ability to read and write. No matter what we do in life, we will have a huge advantage if we can read complex ideas and understand their meaning. We will have a bright career if we are the person in the office who can write a clear and elegant analysis of those ideas!

7 Studying the humanities makes us familiar with the language of emotion and the creative process. In an information economy, many people have the ability to produce a useful product such as a new MP3 player. Yet, very few people have the ability to create a spectacular brand: the iPod. Most importantly, studying the humanities invests us with great insight and self-awareness, there by releasing our creative energy and talent in a positive and constructive manner.

8 Perhaps the best argument in favor of the humanities is the scope of possibilities that are widely open to us. Did you know that James Cameron, world-famous director of the movie, Titanic, graduated with a degree in the humanities? So did Sally Ride, the first woman in space. So did actors Bruce Lee, Gwyneth Paltrow, Renee Zellweger and Matt Damon. Dr. Harold Varmus, who won a Nobel Prize for Medicine, studied the humanities. Even Michael Eisner, Chairman of the Disney Company, majored in the humanities. Famous people who studied the humanities make a long list indeed. It's easy to see that the humanities can prepare us for many different careers and jobs we can undertake, whether medicine, business, science or entertainment. If we study only mathematics, it's likely we will be a candidate only for jobs as a mathematician. If we include studying the humanities, we can make breakthroughs on many barriers and are limited only by our effort and imagination.

9 Of course, nowadays, if we study the humanities alone, we are liable to miss many opportunities. Each one of us needs to become as technically and professionally skilled

as possible to help meet the needs of modern life. In fact, increasingly a pairing of technical knowledge and inner insight is seen as the ideal in the establishment of a career. If I were the Dean of Admissions at a medical school and two people applied to our school, both having the required basic scientific courses, one a philosophy major and the other solely a pre-med student, the philosophy applicant would be chosen.

10 In summary, the humanities help to create well-rounded human beings with insight and understanding of the passions, hopes and dreams common to all humanity. The humanities, the ancient timeless reservoir of knowledge, teach us to see things differently and broaden our horizons. They are as useful and relevant in our modern age as they have always been. Doesn't it make sense to spend some time in the company of the humanities, our outstanding and remarkable treasure of knowledge? Who knows how famous YOU might become!



1 当形势变得困难时,强者会去选学会计。当就业市场恶化时,许多学生估算着他们不能再主修英语或历史。他们得学一些能改善他们就业前景的东西。

2 数据显示,随着学生肩负的学费不断增加,他们已从学习人文学科转向他们相信有益于将来就业的应用科学和“硬”技能。换言之,大学教育越来越被看成是改善经济而不是提升人类自身的手段。这种趋势可能会持续,甚至有加快之势。

3 在未来几年内,由于劳动力市场的不景气,人文学科可能会继续其长期低迷的态势。在上一代大学生中,主修文科的学生数跌幅已近50%。这种趋势会持续、甚至加速的想法是合情合理的。人文学科曾是大学生活的重要支柱,而今在学生们的大学游中却只是一个小点缀。现在,实验室要比图书馆更栩栩如生、受人青睐。

4 在这儿,请允许我为人文学科给人们的生活所增添的真实价值进行支持和宣传。自古以来,人们一直在思索人类自身具有什么神奇的内力使一些人变得崇高伟大,而使另一些人走向自我毁灭。几个世纪以来,这股内力被称作很多东西。著名的心理学家西格蒙德·弗洛伊德称之为“潜意识”,或更为人熟知的“本能”。

5 从一开始,人类这股可以是建设性也可以是毁灭性的内在驱动力,就令我们心驰神往。这些惊人的、充满内心挣扎的故事形成了世界文化的基础。历史学家、建筑师、作家、哲学家和艺术家们以故事、音乐、神话、绘画、建筑、雕刻、风景画和传统的形式,捕捉到了这些撞击心灵的文字、形象及内涵。这些男男女女创造出了具有艺术性的“语言”,帮助我们了解人类的这些强烈愿望,并用以教育一代又一代人。从古时起开始的这些充满想象的大量作品,正是文明的底蕴,它奠定了人文研究的基础。

6 学习人文学科会提高我们的阅读和写作能力。无论我们这一生中从事什么职业,如果我们能读懂复杂的思想并理解它们的内涵,我们都会受益匪浅。如果我们是在办公室里能对这些思想写出既明确又简洁的分析的人,我们会有光明的职业前景。

7 学习人文学科会让我们熟悉表达情感的语言及进行创造的过程。在信息经济中,很多人都有能力创造出一个如新的MP3播放器那样的有用产品。然而,仅有很少的人具有能力创造出一个如iPod那样的精彩品牌。最重要的是,学习人文学科使我们具有伟大的洞察力和自我意识,从而以积极和建设性的方式来发挥我们的创造力和才艺。

8 也许,支持人文学科的最好论点是,人文学科为我们提供了广阔的机会。你知道世界闻名的电影《泰坦尼克号》的导演詹姆斯·卡梅隆拿的是人文学科的学位吗?第一个登上太空的女宇航员萨利·赖德拿的也是人文学科的学位。还有电影演员李小龙、格温妮丝·帕特洛、


9 当然,在当下,如果我们单学人文学科,可能会失去很多机会。我们每个人都需要尽可能变得技能化、职业化,以满足现代生活的需要。事实上,技术知识和内在洞察力的结合越来越被看成是建立职业生涯的理想搭配。如果我是某个医学院的招生部主任,有两个人同时申请我们学校,这两个人都学过基础的科学课程,一个主修哲学,另一个仅是医学院的预科生,我会选择那位哲学专业的申请者。

10 总之,人文学科帮助造就全面发展的人,这些人具有洞察力,并理解全人类共有的激情、希望和理想。人文学科,这个古老、永恒的知识储蓄库,教我们如何以不同的方式看待事物,同时也拓宽我们的视野。在现代社会中,人文学科一如既往地同生活息息相关,也发挥着重要作用。我们在学习中花一些时间与人文学科——我们杰出、非凡的知识宝藏——相伴,这难道不是明智的吗?谁知道你将来会变得多有名气呢!

Unit 5

Spend or save — The student's dilemma

1 Do you feel as confused and manipulated as I do with this question, "Should I spend or should I save?" I think that the messages we get from our environment seem to defy common sense and contradict each other. The government tells us to spend or we'll never get out of the recession. At the same time, they tell us that unless we save more, our country is in grave danger. Banks offer higher interest rates so we increase savings. Then the same banks send us credit card offers so we can spend more.

2 Here's another familiar example: If we don't pay our credit card bill on time, we get demanding, nasty emails from the credit card company saying something like: "Your failure to pay is unacceptable. Pay immediately or you'll be in trouble!" Then, as soon as we pay, we get a follow-up email in a charming tone telling us how valuable a customer we are and encouraging us to resume spending. Which depiction is correct: a failing consumer in trouble or a valued customer? The gap between these two messages is enormous.

3 The paradox is that every day we get two sets of messages at odds with each other. One is the "permissive" perspective, "Buy, spend, get it now. You need this!" The other we could call an "upright" message, which urges us, "Work hard and save. Suspend your desires. Avoid luxuries. Control your appetite for more than you truly need." This message comes to us from many sources: from school, from parents, even from political figures referring to "traditional values". Hard work, family loyalty, and the capacity to postpone desires are core American values that have made our country great.

4 But the opposite message, advertising's permissive message, is inescapable. Though sometimes disguised, the messages are everywhere we look: on TV, in movies on printed media and road signs, in stores, and on busses, trains and subways. Advertisements

invade our daily lives. We are constantly surrounded by the message to spend, spend, spend. Someone recently said, "The only time you can escape advertising is when you're in your bed asleep!"

5 It's been calculated that by the age of 18, the average American will have seen 600,000 ads; by the age of 40, the total is almost one million. Each advertisement is doing its utmost to influence our diverse buying decisions, from the breakfast cereal we eat to which cruise line we will use for our vacation. There is no shortage of ideas and things to buy! Now, of course, we don't remember exactly what the products were, but the essential message is cemented into our consciousness, "It's good to satisfy your desires. You should have what you want. You deserve the best. So, you should buy it —now!" A famous advertisement said it perfectly, "I love me. I'm a good friend to myself. I do what makes me feel good. I derive pleasure from nice things and feel nourished by them. I used to put things off. Not anymore. Today I'll buy new ski equipment, look at new compact cars, and buy that camera I've always wanted. I live my dreams today, not tomorrow."

6 What happens as we take in these contradictory but explicit messages? What are the psychological and social consequences of this campaign to control our spending habits? On one hand, we want more things because we want to satisfy our material appetite. Most of us derive pleasure from treating ourselves. On the other hand, a little voice inside us echoes those upright messages: "Watch out, take stock of your life, don't let your attention get scattered. Postpone your desires. Don't fall into debt. Wait! Retain control over your own life. It will make you stronger."

7 Anyway, many of the skills you need as a successful student can be applied to your finances. Consider your financial well-being as a key ingredient of your university education as money worries are extremely stressful and distracting. They can make you feel terrible and hinder your ability to focus on your prime objective: successfully completing your education.

8 How can you be a smart and educated consumer? Many schools, community organizations, and even some banks offer financial literacy classes. Consider consulting with your school's financial aid office or seek input from your parents or other respected adults in setting up a budget. An additional option is finding a partner to help you stay on track and find pleasure in the administration of your own financial affairs. Most importantly, if you find yourself getting into financial trouble, don't let your ego get in your way; urgently get help with tackling your problem before it spins out of control and lands you in legal troubles.

9 All this will help you become an educated consumer and saver. As you learn to balance spending and saving, you will become the captain of your own ship, steering your life in a successful and productive direction through the choppy waters.



1 你是不是跟我一样对“我应该花钱还是存钱”这个问题感到困惑,且有被操纵的感觉?我觉得我们从生活的环境里所获得的信息似乎是有违常识、互相矛盾的。政府告诉我们要花钱,否则我们将永远走不出衰退;与此同时,他们又告诉我们,除非我们节省更多的钱,否则我


2 这里还有一个大家熟悉的例子:如果我们不按时支付信用卡账单,我们会收到从信用卡公司发来的类似这样的令人讨厌的催缴账单的电子邮件:不还款是不可接受的。请立即缴付,否则后果自负!之后,一旦还款,我们就会收到一封跟进的电子邮件,语气和蔼可亲,说我们是多么宝贵的客户,并鼓励我们继续花钱。到底哪一个描述是正确的?有麻烦的失败消费者还是宝贵的客户?这两者之间可是天壤之别!

3 自相矛盾的情况还有,我们每天都收到彼此相左的两种信息。一种从“纵容”的角度,让我们“买东西,花钱,现在就得到它。你需要这个!”另外一种,我们可称之为“正直”的信息,它力劝我们:“努力工作,把钱存起来。控制你的欲望,不要买奢侈品,不要垂涎那些你并不真正需要的东西。”这类信息来源甚多,有学校方面的,有家长方面的,甚至还来自提及传统价值观的政治人物。艰苦创业,忠于家庭、能推迟欲望是美国价值观的核心,它使我们的国家变得强大。

4 但相反的信息,即那些纵容人们不断花钱的广告,无所不在。虽然此类信息有时经过了乔装打扮,但仍随处可见,电视、电影、印刷媒介和路牌、商店,及公共汽车、火车和地铁上,比比皆是。广告侵入了我们的日常生活。我们时时被包围在花钱,花钱,花钱的信息中。最近有人说:“唯一可以逃脱广告的时候是当在床上睡着时!”

5 据计算,普通的美国人到18岁时,会看过60万则广告;到40岁时,看过的广告总数近百万。每个广告都在尽最大努力影响我们形形色色的购买决定——从我们吃的早餐麦片到我们的假期将使用哪条邮轮线路。决不会缺少怎么花钱和买什么东西的广告!现在,我们当然不能确切地记得广告上的产品,但重要的信息已凝聚在我们的意识里:“要满足你的愿望。你应该拥有你想要的。你应该得到最好的。所以,你应该买下它——现在!”一个著名的广告诠释得很完美:“我爱自己。我是自己的好朋友。我做让我感觉舒服的事。我从精美的东西里得到乐趣,并感觉到它们给我的滋养。我过去常想着等一下再买,现在再也不会了。今天,我会购买全新的滑雪装备,看看新型的小巧灵便的轿车,买下那台我一直想要的相机。我今天就要实现我的梦想,不会等到明天。”

6 当我们接受这些相互矛盾但很明确的信息时,会有什么事情发生呢?这种控制我们花钱习惯的宣传活动会造成什么心理和社会上的影响呢?一方面,我们希望买更多的东西,来满足我们的物质欲望。我们中的大多数通过善待自己来得到乐趣。与此同时,我们身体里面有一个微弱的声音与那些正直的信息在共鸣:“当心,要掂量掂量自己的生活,不要让注意力分散。推迟欲望。不要陷入债务。要等待!保留对自己生活的控制权。这会让你更坚强。”

7 总之,一个成功的学生所需要的很多技能可以应用到你的财务中去。把良好的财务状况看成是大学教育中的一个关键因素,因为对金钱的担忧会让人倍感压力,并让人分心。它们会让你感觉很糟糕,并阻止你专注首要目标,即成功完成学业。

8 怎样才能成为一个聪明、有相关知识的消费者呢?许多学校、社区组织,甚至一些银行都提供金融扫盲班。可以考虑向学校的财务援助办公室咨询,或向父母或其他值得尊敬的成年人请教如何建立一个预算方案。另外一个选择是找一个合作伙伴来帮你保持良好的财务状况,并在管理自己的金融事务中找到乐趣。最重要的是,如果你发现自己正陷入财务困境,不要让你的自大妨碍你,在情况变得失控并惹上法律麻烦前,赶紧寻求帮助来解决问题。

9 这一切都将帮助你成为一个拥有相关知识的消费者和储蓄者。学会了如何平衡支出和储蓄,你就会成为你自己的船长,驾驶着你的生活之船,乘风破浪,驶向成功和富有。

Unit 6

Door closer, are you?

1 The next time you're deciding between rival options, one which is primary and the other which is secondary, ask yourself this question: What would Xiang Yu do?

2 Xiang Yu was a Chinese imperial general in the third century BC who took his troops across the Zhang River on a raid into enemy territory. To his troops' astonishment, he ordered their cooking pots crushed and their sailing ships burned.

3 He explained that he was imposing on them a necessity for attaining victory over their opponents. What he said was surely motivating, but it wasn't really appreciated by many of his loyal soldiers as they watched their vessels go up in flames. But the genius of General Xiang Yu's conviction would be validated both on the battlefield and in modern social science research. General Xiang Yu was a rare exception to the norm, a veteran leader who was highly respected for his many conquests and who achieved the summit of success.

4 He is featured in Dan Ariely's enlightening new publication, Predictably Irrational, a fascinating investigation of seemingly irrational human behavior, such as the tendency for keeping multiple options open. Most people can't marshal the will for painful choices, not even students at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), where Dr. Ariely teaches behavioral economics. In an experiment that investigated decision-making, hundreds of students couldn't bear to let their options vanish, even though it was clear they would profit from doing so.

5 The experiment revolved around a game that eliminated the excuses we usually have for refusing to let go. In the real world, we can always say, "It's good to preserve our options." Want a good example? A teenager is exhausted from soccer, ballet, piano, and Chinese lessons, but her parents won't stop any one of them because they might come in handy some day!

6 In the experiment sessions, students played a computer game that provided cash behind three doors appearing on the screen. The rule was the more money you earned, the better player you were, given a total of 100 clicks. Every time the students opened a door by clicking on it, they would use up one click but wouldn't get any money. However, each subsequent click on that door would earn a fluctuating sum of money, with one door always revealing more money than the others. The important part of the rule was each door switch, though having no cash value, would also use up one of the 100 clicks. Therefore, the winning strategy was to quickly check all the doors and keep clicking on the one with the seemingly highest rewards.

7 While playing the game, students noticed a modified visual element: Any door left un-clicked for a short while would shrink in size and vanish. Since they already understood the game, they should have ignored the vanishing doors. Nevertheless, they hurried to click on the lesser doors before they vanished, trying to keep them open. As a result, they wasted so many clicks rushing back to the vanishing doors that they lost money in the end. Why were the students so attached to the lesser doors? They would probably protest that they were clinging to the doors to keep future options open, but,

according to Dr. Ariely, that isn't the true factor.

8 Instead of the excuse to maintain future options open, underneath it all the students' desire was to avoid the immediate, though temporary, pain of watching options close. "Closing a door on an option is experienced as a loss, and people are willing to pay a big price to avoid the emotion of loss," Dr. Ariely says. In the experiment, the price was easily measured in lost cash. In life, the corresponding costs are often less obvious such as wasted time or missed opportunities.

9 "Sometimes these doors are closing too slowly for us to see them vanishing," Dr. Ariely writes. "We may work more hours at our jobs without realizing that the childhood of our sons and daughters is slipping away."

10 So, what can be done to restore balance in our lives? One answer, Dr. Ariely says, is to implement more prohibitions on overbooking. We can work to reduce options on our own, delegating tasks to others and even giving away ideas for others to pursue. He points to marriage as an example, "In marriage, we create a situation where we promise ourselves not to keep options open. We close doors and announce to others we've closed doors."

11 Since conducting the door experiment, Dr. Ariely says he has made a conscious effort to lessen his load. He urges the rest of us to resign from committees, prune holiday card lists, rethink hobbies and remember the lessons of door closers like Xiang Yu.

12 In other words, Dr. Ariely is encouraging us to discard those things that seem to have outward merit in favor of those things that actually enrich our lives. We are naturally prejudiced to believe that more is better, but Dr. Ariely's research provides

a dose of reality that strongly suggests otherwise.

13 What price do we pay for trying to have more and more in life? What pleasure and satisfaction can be derived from focusing our energy and attention in a more concentrated fashion? Surely, we will have our respective answers.

14 Consider these important questions: Will we have more by always increasing options or will we have more with fewer, carefully chosen options? What doors should we close in order to allow the right windows of opportunity and happiness to open?



1 下次你要在两个难于取舍的、主要的和次要的选择之间做决定时,不妨问自己这样一个问题:项羽会怎么做?

2 项羽是公元前三世纪中国古代王朝的一位将军。他带领他的部队横渡漳河,突袭进入了敌方的领地。他下令砸锅烧船,令他的部队大为震惊。

3 他解释道,他强加给他们的是战胜对手的必要举措。他所说的无疑十分鼓舞士气,但当他那许多忠诚的士兵眼睁睁地看着他们的船只在火焰中被焚毁时,他们并不赞成他的做法。不过项羽将军的这种砸锅焚船的做法所显示出的天赋,在战场上和现代社会科学研究中都将得到肯定。项羽将军是一个罕见的不墨守成规的人,他是一位经验丰富的领袖,由于他征战无数并达到了成功的顶峰,他深受尊敬。

4 丹·阿雷利极富启迪性的新书《可预见的非理性》对项羽作了专题介绍。这本书对看似非理性的人类行为,譬如人类总想留住多项选择机会的倾向,进行了引人入胜的调查。大多数人都不能整理自己的思路来做痛苦的选择,麻省理工学院上阿雷利博士行为经济学这门


5 实验是围绕着一个游戏展开的,这个游戏排除了我们通常不肯放手的借口。在现实世界里,我们总会说:“保留我们的选择机会是对的。”想要一个好的例子吗?一个十多岁的女孩被足球、芭蕾舞、钢琴、中文课给累得筋疲力尽,但她的父母不会让她停止任何一项活动,理由是它们有一天可能会派上用场!

6 在这个实验里,学生要玩一个电脑游戏: 在电脑屏幕上会显示三扇门,每扇门后都会提供一些现金。该游戏的规则是每个人都只能点击100次,你点击获取的钱越多,你就玩得越好。学生每点击一次打开一扇门,他们会用掉一个点击数,但却不会得到任何钱。然而,随后接着在那扇门上的每次点击都会挣得数额不等的钱,三扇门显示的钱总有一扇比另外两扇多。这个游戏规则的重点是虽然每次换门没有金钱回报,可还是会用掉一次点击数。所以,制胜战略是要迅速查看所有的门,然后只点击那扇似乎是钱最多的门。

7 在玩游戏时,学生们注意到了一个视觉上的变化:如果有片刻没点击某扇门,那扇门就会慢慢缩小并消失。由于他们已了解了游戏规则,他们本应对要消失的门不予理睬。然而,在它们消失以前,他们却迫不及待地去点击那些变小的门,试图让它们开启着。结果是,他们在匆忙回去点击那些快消失的门时浪费了很多点击数以至于最后输了钱。为什么学生对那些变小的门如此依恋呢?他们可能会争辩说,他们紧抓住这些门是为将来多留一些机会。但是,据阿雷利博士说,这不是真正的原因。

8 在他们为将来多留一些机会的借口背后反映出的是所有的学生都不堪目睹眼前的选择机会被剥夺,尽管这种痛苦是临时的。阿雷利博士说:“每闭上一扇选择之门就如同经受了一次损失,人们宁愿付出很大的代价,也要避免情感的失落。”在实验中,损失很容易用丢失的现金来衡量。在生活中,相应的损失就往往没那么明显,如浪费时间,错过机会。

9 “有时候,这些门是慢慢关闭的,我们没有看到它们在悄然消失,”阿雷利博士写道:“我们可能花很多时间在工作上,却没有意识到我们子女的童年正在悄悄溜走。”

10 那么,我们可以做些什么让我们的生活恢复平衡呢?阿雷利博士说,一个办法是制止更多的超额预约。我们可以自己减少选择,将任务委派给其他人,甚至放弃一些点子,让其他人去做。他用婚姻作为例子:“在婚姻中,我们承诺不保留选择机会,我们就创造了获得最佳选择的有利局面。我们关上可选择的门,并告诉别人我们已作出选择。”

11 阿雷利博士说,自从进行了这个点击门的实验,他已经有意识地努力减轻自己的负担。他敦促我们辞去委员会的工作,删减送节日贺卡的名单,重新思考兴趣爱好,并记住像项羽那样的关门者给我们的启示。

12 换言之,他是鼓励我们放弃那些似乎只有表面价值的东西,而去追求那些能真正丰富我们生活的东西。我们很自然、很偏执地相信选择越多越好,但阿雷利博士的研究却强有力地告诉我们事实并非如此。

13 我们想在生活中得到越来越多选择的代价是什么?我们能从更集中的精力和注意力中获得什么样的喜悦和满足?当然,我们每个人都会有自己的答案。

14 试想一下这些重要的问题:怎么做会使我们获得更多,是不断增加选择,还是只保持少数精心挑选的选择?我们应关闭什么门,以便让机会和幸福之窗打开?

Unit 8

Animals or children? — A scientist's choice

1 I am the enemy! I am one of those cursed, cruel physician scientists involved in animal research. These rumors sting, for I have never thought of myself as an evil person. I became a children's doctor because of my love for children and my supreme desire to keep them healthy. During medical school and residency, I saw many children die of cancer and bloodshed from injury —circumstances against which medicine has made great progress but still has a long way to go. More importantly, I also saw children healthy thanks to advances in medical science such as infant breathing support, powerful new medicines and surgical techniques and the entire field of organ transplantation. My desire to tip the scales in favor of healthy, happy children drew me to medical research.

2 My accusers have twisted the truth into a fable and cast me as the devil. They claim that

I have no moral compass, that I torture innocent animals for the sole purpose of career advancement, and that my experiments have no relevance to medicine. Meanwhile, an uncaring public barely watches, convinced that the issue has no significance, and publicity-conscious senators and politicians increasingly give way to the lobbying of animal rights activists.

3 We, in medical research, have also been unbelievably uncaring. We have allowed the most extreme animal rights protesters to creep in and frame the issue as one of "animal fraud" and hatred. We have persisted in our belief that a knowledgeable public would consent to the importance of animal research for public health. Perhaps we have been mistaken in not responding to the emotional tone of the argument. Perhaps we should have responded to those sad slogans and posters of animals by waving equally sad posters of children dying of cancer or external wounds.

4 In the animal rights forum, much is made of the volume of pain these animals experience in the name of medical science. Activists deny that we are trying to help and say it is evidence of our evil and cruel nature. A more reasonable argument, however, can be advanced in our defense. Life is often cruel to animals and human beings. Teenagers are flung from trucks and suffer severe head injuries. Young children barely able to walk find themselves at the bottom of swimming pools while a parent is occupied with something else. From everyday germs to gang violence, no life is free of pain. Physicians hoping to relieve the eternal suffering of these tragedies have only three choices: 1) create an animal model of the problem to understand the process and test new therapies;

2) experiment on human beings (some experiments will succeed, most will fail); or 3) leave medical knowledge static, hoping that accidental discoveries will lead us forward.

5 Some animal rights activists would suggest an optional fourth choice, claiming that computer models can create animal experiments, thus omitting actual experiments. Computers can imitate the effects of well-understood principles on complex systems, as in the application of the laws of physics to airplane and automobile design. However, when the principles themselves are in question, as is the case with the complex biological systems of human life under study, computer modeling alone is of little value.

6 One of the terrifying effects of arresting the use of animals in medical research is that the impact will not be felt for years or even decades. Drugs to cure infection will remain undiscovered, surgical and diagnostic techniques will remain undeveloped, and fundamental biological processes that might have been understood will remain

mysteries. There is the danger that quick decisions by well-meaning politicians will create resolution to diplomatically satisfy the small minority of loud protestors while the consequences and damaging impact of those decisions will not be apparent until long after.

7 Fortunately, most of us enjoy good health, and the agony of watching one's child die has become a rare experience. Yet our good fortune should not make us unappreciative. Protection from serious sickness and drugs to combat heart disease, high blood pressure and stroke are all based on animal research. Most complex surgical procedures such as heart or hip surgery and organ transplantation surgeries were initially developed in animals. Techniques to replace defective genes, the cause of so much disease, as well as the development of synthetic organs are presently undergoing animal studies. These studies, and any subsequent advances, will effectively end if animal research is severely restricted.

8 In America today, death has become an event isolated from our daily existence. As a doctor who has watched many children die and seen their parents' infinite grief, I am particularly angered by any minute expression of caring for the suffering of creatures and so little for sick and dying human beings. People are too protected from the reality of human life and death and what it means.

9 Make no mistake, however. I would never advocate needless cruel treatment of animals. The animal rights movement has made a contribution in making us more aware of animals' needs and the need to search harder for suitable alternatives. But if the more radical members of this movement are successful in threatening further research, their efforts will bring about a tragedy that will cost many lives. Hence the real question is whether an uncaring majority can be aroused to protect its future against a loud, but misdirected, minority.



1 我就是那个敌人!我就是那些被人诅咒的、残忍的、搞动物实验的医生科学家之一。这些谣言刺痛了我,因为我从来没想到自己是一个邪恶的人。我成为一位儿科医生,因为我爱孩子,也因为我的最大愿望是让他们保持健康。在医学院学习和住院医生实习时,我看到了许多儿童死于癌症和受伤流血——虽然对此医学正取得很大进步,但远非完善。更重要的是,我还看到孩子们能保持健康得益于医学的进步,如婴儿呼吸支持器,功效强大的新药物和外科手术技术及整个器官移植领域的发展。我希望孩子们健康快乐,这促使我从事医学研究。

2 控诉我的人把真相歪曲成一则神话,并把我描写成恶魔。他们声称我没有道德界限,我折磨那些无辜动物的唯一目的就是为了自己的职业升迁,而我的实验根本与医药毫不相关。与此同时,无动于衷的公众几乎不闻不问,相信这个议题毫无意义,而具有宣传意识的参议员和政治家们却对动物权利活动家的游说不断作出让步。

3 我们这些从事医学研究的人也显得令人难以置信的冷漠。我们允许最极端的动物权利活动家渐渐侵入,任凭他们把此类研究诬陷为“动物欺诈”和对动物的仇恨。我们一直坚信,有知识的公众会赞同动物研究对公众健康的重要性。也许我们的错误是没有对这场争论的感性基调作出反应。也许我们早应该挥动着儿童死于癌症或外伤的同样令人伤心的海报,来


4 动物权利论坛大肆宣扬我们如何以医学的名义使这些动物经受巨大的痛苦。动物权利活动家们否认我们正在努力帮助人类,并说这是我们邪恶和残忍本性的证据。然而,一个更合理的论点可用来为我们进行辩护。生活往往对动物和人类都是残酷的。青少年被甩到卡车外,导致头部严重受伤。还不太会走路的孩子们溺水沉到游泳池底部时,他们的家长正忙于其他事务。从常见的的细菌侵害到帮派的暴力,没有谁能不受伤害。医生们希望能永远减轻这些悲剧带给人们身体上的痛苦,他们只有三个选择:1)用动物做实验,以了解整个医疗过程和测试新的疗法;2)进行人体实验(一些实验会成功,大多数会失败);3)让对医疗知识的了解处于停滞状态,希望偶然的发现会带领我们向前。

5 一些动物权利活动家会提出第四个选项,他们声称计算机可以模拟动物实验,这样就可省去真实的实验过程。计算机可以模拟一些为人所熟知的原理在复杂系统中的应用效果,就如物理规律在飞机和汽车设计中的应用那样。然而,当原理本身有问题时,就跟正处于研究阶段的复杂的生物系统的情况一样,仅靠计算机模拟成效甚微。

6 阻止用动物来进行医学研究的可怕后果之一是,其影响要到几年甚至几十年后才能被人知晓:治愈感染的新药物将无法被发现,外科手术和诊断技术将得不到发展,那些有可能被发掘的基本生物学进程将是未解之谜。危险的是,那些善意的政治家匆忙作出决定后拿出的解决方案只是策略性地满足了那一小部分大声疾呼的示威者,这些决定的后果和造成的破坏性影响要很久才会显现。

7 幸运的是,我们大多数人都享有健康的体魄,眼睁睁地看着孩子死亡之苦已不多见。然而,对于能够享受健康或享受医学进步能带来的健康我们不应该不心存感激。对严重疾病的预防和用于心脏病、高血压和中风的药物都基于对动物的研究。大多复杂的外科手术,如心脏或髋关节手术、器官移植手术最初都是在动物实验中进行的。取代导致众多疾病的缺陷基因的技术,以及人造器官的发展,目前正处于动物实验研究阶段。如果动物研究严格受限,这些研究和其后的任何进展都将彻底地宣告结束。

8 在今天的美国,死亡已经成为我们日常生活中孤立少见的事。作为一个看见过许多儿童死亡和他们父母悲痛至极的医生,我感到特别愤怒的是,有人对动物的痛苦表达入微,但对生病和生命垂危的人却冷漠无情。人们受到了太多的保护, 以至于他们感觉不到现实世界里的生与死,也感觉不到其所代表的真实意义。

9 但别搞错,我从来不提倡对动物实行不必要的残忍对待。动物权利运动使我们更加意识到动物应有的权利,以及努力寻找合适替代品的需要。但是,如果有更多的动物权利运动的激进分子成功地阻止了进一步的研究,那他们的努力会造成以许多人的生命为代价的悲剧。因此,真正的问题是我们能否唤起大多数漠不关心的民众来保护动物实验的将来,以反对嗓门挺大、但却是被误导的那一小部分人。

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