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TED大会现场报道:观点碰撞,高朋满座

2014-03-24    来源:fortune    【      美国外教 在线口语培训

作者: Adam Lashinsky

TED不是一场商业会议,而是由许多商人参加的非商业会议。不过,这一点都不妨碍它赚钱。它的入场券每张最低7500美元起,同时还吸引了达美航空、欧特克等一大堆大牌赞助商。而出席大会的人,无论是台上的演讲嘉宾,还是台下的听众,都是科技、文学、演艺界的大腕。

I'm attending my first TED this week, a spectacle to behold even for a hardened conference-goer like me. In its 30th year, TED has convened its main conference in Vancouver for the first time. The sun was shining on the harbor as attendees filed into the convention center Monday afternoon. It was an auspicious start.
本周,我生平第一次参加了TED大会。虽然我是个逢会必到的老手,但TED还是把我震住了。今年已经是第30届TED大会,也是它首次把主会场放在温哥华。周一下午,与会者鱼贯入场时,港口阳光明媚,是个好兆头。

It's hard to pin TED down. My plane from San Francisco was full of many of the people who work the tech-conference circuit and whom I'm likely to see on plenty of other planes. I sat next to a famous patent lawyer who represents some of the Valley's biggest companies. The chief technology officer of an esteemed IT company sat behind us. A couple of successful VCs were onboard as well.
要三言两语就给TED大会下个定义很不容易。我坐的这趟飞机从旧金山来,同一航班上有很多各种科技会议上的常客。我旁边坐的是一位服务于硅谷几家最大科技公司的知名专利律师,我们身后坐着一位知名IT公司的技术总监,机上还有几位很成功的风险投资家。

Yet the conference itself isn't primarily a business conference. Not only is it not a business conference, it's something of a non-business conference attended by a ton of businesspeople. As an aside, TED is owned by a non-profit entity that makes an absolute killing on the event, judging from the $7,500-and-up attendance fee and the oodles of corporate sponsors, including Adobe, Delta Airlines, Jawbone, Autodesk and Target, to name just a few I noticed. The hallways of the conference are a little like the outfield walls of major-league ballparks: Every inch is for sale.
但这次大会本身并不算是一次商业会议。它不仅不是商业会议,还可以说是一个由许多商人参加的非商业会议。顺便插一句,TED大会是由一家非盈利机构主办的,但它肯定从这次活动上赚了一大笔钱,这一点大家从至少7500美元一张的入场券和扎堆而至的赞助商就能看出来。比如光是我注意到的几个赞助商就有Adobe、达美航空(Delta Airlines)、Jawbone、欧特克(Autodesk)、塔吉特(Target)等。会场的走廊有点像顶级棒球联赛的外场广告墙一样,每一寸都铺满了广告。

And what their money buys! Everything about TED is gorgeous. The conference built a new theater just for the event. The artist Janet Echelman created an amazing rope sculpture in the public space outside the convention center, and she described her creation to the audience at the outset. It was one of the highlights of the opening evening. Another amazing moment was a TED talk by the DJ and music producer Mark Ronson. In a highly entertaining speech, he passionately surveyed the history of "sampling," the largely hip-hop practice of borrowing from the past with an artist's own twist. It would be hard to imagine Ronson taking the stage at any other industry conference I've attended. (The audience is eclectic as well: As I waited to go into the opening session I said hello to Isabel Allende and told her I'd been enjoying her books since I was in college.)
然而他们的钱花得真值,TED的每一样东西都是极好的,大会还为这次活动专门盖了一个新的剧院。知名艺术家珍妮特•艾可曼在会场外的公共空间制作了一个非常惊艳的绳雕,还莅临现场向观众讲解了她的作品,成为开幕式当晚的亮点之一。另外一个令人印象深刻的时刻是著名DJ、音乐人马克•罗森的演讲。马克•罗森在这场非常妙趣横生的演讲中热情探讨了“采样”(sampling)这个词的来历,它其实是来自嘻哈歌手从过去的作品里拼凑出新歌的做法。我很难想象马克•罗森如果出席我参加过的其他行业会议并且登台演讲会是什么情形。【观众里同样藏龙卧虎,就在我等待开幕环节的时候,我跟伊莎贝尔•阿莲德(小说《灵魂庄园》的作者——译注)打了个招呼,告诉她我从大学起就非常喜欢她的书。】

The first session's other choices were less inspiring. The MIT Media Labs founder Nicholas Negroponte opened the conference. TED impresario Chris Anderson said Negroponte gave the first TED talk in 1984, however TED founder Richard Saul Wurman later contradicted that assertion, making for an awkward moment. Negroponte took an informative walk down TED's memory lane, reflecting on his 14 talks and the increasing size of his bald spot over the years. Curiously, he saved some of his best material for last, when his 18 allotted minutes had almost expired. He thinks the "Internet of things" so far has been "incredibly pathetic" because the intelligence is being added to cell phones rather than the devices they are meant to control. Negroponte thinks connecting the "last" billion people to the Internet is the tech world's biggest challenge, not the "next" billion. He ran out of time for a planned prediction, and Anderson wisely asked him to make it anyway. It was a doozy: Negroponte believes that in 30 years we will be able to ingest information—rather than read or see it—and that the brain will be able to then send information through the body's bloodstream to where it is needed.
开幕式的其它环节则相对没有那么精彩。MIT媒体实验室的创始人、未来学家尼古拉斯•尼葛洛庞蒂为大会揭幕。TED大会主办者克里斯•安德森介绍说,尼葛洛庞蒂在1984年做了TED大会的第一次演讲,但TED的创始人理查德•索尔•沃尔曼对此表示否认,令现场出现了尴尬的一刻。尼葛洛庞蒂走过了TED大会的30年,曾在TED大会上发表过14场演讲,他头顶的“地中海”面积也一年比一年扩大。有意思的是,他把一些猛料留在了最后,尽管当时他18分钟的演讲差不多已经超时了。他认为“物联网”目前的发展“极为可悲”,因为很多智能都被添加到了手机上,而不是它们所要控制的设备。另外尼葛洛庞蒂认为,科技界最大的挑战并不是让“下一个”十亿人用上互联网,而是让“最后十亿人”用上互联网。虽然他对未来的预测超时了,但安德森让他继续完成了演讲。尼葛洛庞蒂相信,在30年内,人类将能够通过人体直接摄取信息,而不是经过耳听目看,大脑可以通过人体的血液循环把信息发送到需要的地方。

Other opening talks were emotional if unfulfilling. Canadian hero Chris Hadfield, an astronaut who lived on the International Space Station, gave an overproduced romp through the theme of "fear versus danger" by way of describing his adventures in space. An accomplished guitarist, he ended his talk by playing the "Major Tom" ode from David Bowie's song Space Oddity. Education activist Ziauddin Yousafzai won applause for noting that until his daughter Malala was attacked by the Taliban in Pakistan she was his daughter but now he is known as her father. He was outshone, however, by a short video recorded in England by Malala herself, who wisely stayed home to pursue her studies.
开幕式的其他演讲就算不那么精彩,起码也很感人。曾登上国际空间站的加拿大航天英雄克里斯•哈德菲尔德做了一个主题为《恐惧vs危险》的演讲,绘声绘色地描述了他在太空的经历。他还是一位出色的吉他手,演讲结束时还现场弹奏了英国音乐人大卫•鲍伊的作品《太空怪谭》(Space Oddity)中的《汤姆上校》。教育活动家齐亚丁•尤萨夫扎伊讲到,他的女儿马拉拉在巴基斯坦遭到塔利班袭击前,人们都说马拉拉是他的女儿,而现在人人都说他是马拉拉的父亲,全场响起热烈的掌声。不过他的表现最终被马拉拉本人录自英格兰的一段视频盖过了,马拉拉选择留在家里继续学习,没有来参加这次大会。

The opening TED evening ended with a giant party that included, for me, anyway, more tech-crowd schmoozing. As a left the building to head to my hotel I held the door open for two women engaged in a deep conversation who were walking a few steps behind me. Only after the first of the two thanked me and I was on my way in the opposite direction did I notice that the two were Sara Ramirez and Shonda Rhimes, an actor on and the creator of, respectively, the TV series Grey's Anatomy.
TED大会开幕式之夜以一个盛大的派对告终,但我感觉更多人是在就科技话题进行闲聊。离开会场回酒店时,我为走在我后面的两位正在深聊的女士撑开了门。直到走在前面的那位女士向我说谢谢,而我准备往相反的方向走时,我才发现她们俩竟然是美剧《实习医生格蕾》(Grey's Anatomy)的演员萨拉•拉米雷兹和制片人珊达•莱梅斯。

Ho-hum. It's just the first evening at TED.
天啊,这还只是TED大会的第一个晚上。(财富中文网)



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