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经济学人双语版:噪音污染

2014-12-09    来源:网络    【      美国外教 在线口语培训

经济学人双语版: 噪音污染 Noise pollution

Finance and Economics;
财经

Noise pollution: Shhh!
噪音污染:嘘!

Why quiet carriages don't work, and how they might be made to
让车厢安静缘何行不通,如何才能静下来?

Quiet carriages on trains are a nice idea: travellers voluntarily switch phones to silent, turn stereos off and keep chatter to a minimum. In reality, there is usually at least one inane babbler to break the silence.
让火车车厢安安静静是个不错的想法:旅客们自觉地把手机调成静音,关掉音响,连闲聊都尽量小声。而在现实中,车厢里至少得冒出个蠢透了的话痨来打破这份安静。

A couple of problems prevent peaceful trips. First, there is a sorting problem: some passengers end up in the quiet carriage by accident and are not aware of the rules. Second, there is a commitment problem: noise is sometimes made by travellers who choose the quiet carriage but find an important call hard to ignore.
几个问题常阻扰你享受宁静的旅途。你首先要面对分挑车厢的问题:常有一些旅客莫名其妙地跑进了一节安静的车厢,并对里边的规定浑然不知。其次,你还得留意一个承诺问题:一些旅客原本想静静地呆在车厢,但有时他们会因自己必须接一通重要的电话而发出声响。

The train operators are trying to find answers. Trains in Queensland, Australia, are having permanent signs added to show exactly what is expected; a British operator has invested in signal-jamming technology to prevent phone calls. Microeconomics suggests another approach: putting a price on noise.
列车的驾驶员们正努力寻求保持车厢安静的方法。澳大利亚昆士兰的列车内就附有若干标识,明确提醒人们保持安静;英国的一名驾驶员购进信号干扰器以屏蔽列车上的通话。微观经济学则另辟蹊径地提出了一个方案:让人们为噪音埋单。

Fining people for making a din would surely dissuade the polluter and is a neat solution in theory, but it requires costly monitoring and enforcement. Another tack would be to use prices to separate quiet and noisy passengers—in effect, creating a market for silence. A simple idea would be to sell access to the quiet carriage as an optional extra when the ticket is bought. Making the quiet coach both an active choice and a costly one would dissuade many of those who do not value a peaceful ride.
理论上讲,向那些吵吵闹闹的旅客收取罚款无疑会劝阻他们勿吵勿闹,不失为一个干净利落的方法。但施行起来则需高昂的监管和执行费用。另一方案是将安静的旅客和嘈杂的旅客分离开来——实质上就是为安静创造一个市场。只需在售票时为安静车厢额外收费,就可轻松实现这一想法。将安静的车厢成为乘客的主动选择并收费就会让很多不珍视安静旅途的乘客静下来。

Charging may also solve the commitment problem. This is particularly tricky, as attitudes to noise can change during the journey. Some passengers would pay the quiet premium but still chatter away when some vital news arrives. Schemes that reward the silent—a ratings system among fellow passengers, for example—could help. The idea is that losing your hard-won reputation offsets the short-term gain from using the phone. But such a system also fails the simplicity test.
收费或许同时能解决承诺问题。因为乘客对待嘈杂声的态度可能在旅途中发生变化,这就使得收费变得颇有难度。有的乘客可能为享受安静的车厢而支付了附加费用,但是他仍会在听到一些重大新闻的时候打开话匣子,畅聊起来。或许,在旅客中设立一个评级体系来奖励那些安静的人们或许会有所帮助。这个主意是,用来之不易的声誉来弥补因使用电话而产生的短期收益。但这样一个系统过于复杂。

A 2010 book by George Akerlof and Rachel Kranton argues that “norms”—feelings about how everyone should behave—also play a role in decision-making. Charging a price, even if just a token amount, means the quiet carriage becomes a service that fellow passengers have bought, not just a preference they have expressed. Perhaps different norms would come into play, encouraging calm. If not, a personal bubble is always an option: noise-cancelling headphones start at around $50.
乔治·阿克洛夫和雷切尔·克兰顿曾于2010年撰书称“行文准则”——人们对每一个体应如何表现的感受——在做决定时扮演着重要的角色。收一些费用,哪怕是象征性的一点点,意味着安静的车厢成为了人们所购买的一项服务,而不单是乘客偏爱安静的表现。各种不同的行为准则也许会发挥作用,鼓励人们保持车厢安静。若效果不佳,一点个人空间从来不失为一良策——毕竟消音耳机的起价仅约50美元。



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