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Now for some good news 终于有些好消息

天之聪教育 2012-06-19 未知 323次

 

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韩刚老师中级面授班授课实录

 

韩刚:毕业于外交学院英语翻译理论与实践专业,曾以优异成绩考入外交部翻译室接受培训,后调任新闻司担任新闻发言人同传;曾为国际大型会议担任同传逾百场,口译实战经验颇丰。 作为B2A口译系统教学法创始人,自2003年起潜心钻研口译培训,注重系统传授,教学踏实认真,方法科学得当,现已在北京翻译培训界独树一帜,是深得广大学员尊重和爱戴的口笔译资深权威讲师。

 

马茜老师初级面授班授课实录

 

马茜:北京外国语大学毕业,师从韩刚老师,一次性获得人事部二级口、笔译证书及教育部中级口译证书,现为天之聪教育口译讲师。


Now for some good news
终于有些好消息

Two books argue that the future is brighter than we think
有两本书,说未来比我们想象的美好

Mar 3rd 2012 | from the print edition
2012年3月3日

THE lab-on-a-chip (LOC) is a small device with a huge potential. It can run dozens of diagnostic tests on human DNA in a few minutes. Give the device a gob of spit or a drop of blood and it will tell you whether or not you are sick without any need to send your DNA to a laboratory. In poor countries LOCs could offer diagnostics to millions who lack access to expensive laboratories. In the rich world they may curb rising medical costs.
芯片实验室,简称LOC,是一个有巨大潜力的小玩意,使用它在几分钟内就能对人类DNA完成几十项诊断测试。只要有一些唾沫或一滴血,不必将DNA送去实验室,凭这仪器就能诊断出你有没有生病。在贫穷国家,使用LOC能为成百上千万交不起昂贵检测费的人们提供诊断,就算在富裕国家,LOC的使用也能帮助减少高企的医疗费用。

The world has been so dogged by bad news of late that it is almost possible to forget about tiny miracles like the LOC. But two timely new books remind us that boffins continue to make the world a better place even as politicians strive to do the opposite. Peter Diamandis and Steven Kotler make a breezy case for optimism in “Abundance: The Future is Better Than You Think”. Eric Topol provides a more considered look at why medicine is about to be “Schumpeterised” (his word) by digital technology. These books are a godsend for those who suffer from Armageddon fatigue. They also remind us that technology keeps improving despite economic gloom.
然而近来这世界充斥太多坏消息,让人几乎要忘记像LOC这些小奇迹。但是,有两本新书又提醒我们,尽管政治家总在搅乱世界,科学工作者们都从未间断地努力,要让这世界更美好。Peter Diamandis和Steven Kotler的新书《充裕—未来比你想像的要美好》就提出一种乐观的景像,另外Eric Topol也在新书中提出了医药将被数字技术“熊彼得化”的原因。这些书对于深受世界末日感困扰的人们来说可算是天赐福音,也提醒了我们尽管经济前景昏暗,科技仍在不停地进步。

Messrs Diamandis and Kotler argue that the world is on the cusp of a succession of abundance-producing breakthroughs. The technological revolution has gone furthest in the world of smart machines. The smartphone contains a collection of tools—from voice recorders to video cameras to GPS devices—that would have cost tens of thousands of dollars a decade ago. But it is rolling on in lots of other areas too. Carmakers are working on driverless vehicles. Robotics firms are working on friendly bots. Manufacturers are experimenting with 3D printers that can produce everything from musical instruments to blood vessels. Firms of every type are building an “internet of things” that will tell us when our machines are in danger of breaking down or our pipes are leaking water.
Peter Diamandis和Steven Kotler两位先生说,这世界站在一连串创造丰裕的突破之上,而技术革命在智能机器上面发挥得最为淋漓尽致。智能手机包含着一系列工具,从录音机、摄像头到GPS设备,这些设备在十年前可能要花几万美元才能买到。然而,智机技术还在其它方面进行着改善,汽车制造者在研究无人驾驶车辆,机器人制造者在研究制造友好的机器人,另外还有些制造者在实验3D绘制技术,用以生产一系列的产品,从乐器到血管等等,应用尽用。各类公司都在制造产品网络,以警告用户什么时候机器快要出故障了,或者什么时候水管要漏水了。

They argue that four big forces are speeding these innovations from the drawing board to the supermarket. The first is the rise of a generation of philanthropists who believe that technology can rid the world of ancient evils. Pierre Omidyar, the founder of eBay, is one of them. He sponsors “self-improvement” through schemes for social entrepreneurship and microfinance.
Peter Diamandis和Steven Kotler说,使这些创新从画板走向大众市场的推力有四个。其一是新一代慈善家的崛起,他们坚信技术能这世界摆脱掉古老的邪恶,eBay创始人奥米迪亚(Pierre Omidyar)就是其一,他通过为社会企业家精神和小额融资提供的方案来支持自我提升,。

The second is the discovery of the “Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid” (as C.K. Prahalad, a management guru, called it). Firms have realised that poor people collectively constitute a huge market. The key is to make things cheaper. DataWind, a British company, has produced a $35 tablet computer in partnership with the Indian government. Technology allows poor people to join the global market. For example, KAZI 560, a Kenyan job-placement service, connects job-seekers with potential employers via mobile phones.
其二是发现了“金字塔底部的财富”(这一概念是由管理大师普拉哈拉德(C.K. Prahalad)提出来的)。公司意识到全体穷人也是个巨大的市场,那么关键是削低成本。一家英国公司,DataWind就与印度政府合作生长了售价35美元的平板电脑。技术让穷人加入全球市场,比如一家肯尼亚就业中介机构KAZI 560,就让找工作的人与雇佣者建立起联系。

The third is the proliferation of do-it-yourself innovators. DIY-ers helped to power the automobile and aviation revolutions. Now they are at work on every technological frontier: Chris Anderson, the editor of Wired (and a former Economist hack) and a group of fellow enthusiasts have produced a civilian drone for $300—about 1% of the cost of a military equivalent—that might be used to ferry supplies to places that lack good roads.
其三是DIY(自己动手)创新者的扩散,自己动手者帮助推动了汽车和航空业的改革。如今,在每个技术前沿,都有着他们的身影。克里斯•安德森(1)是《连线》杂志的编辑,(《连线》曾是《经济学人》杂志的科技理论资讯提供者),他与一群技术热心家一起,制造出一种民用雄蜂,用来在交通不便的地区间运输物品,售价300美元,仅为军用雄蜂的百分之一。

The fourth is the clever use of prizes. A combination of cash and glory goads the brainy to compete, and can focus a vast amount of brain power on a specific problem. People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals offers a $1m prize for progress in producing meat from cells. Mo Ibrahim, a Sudanese-born telecoms tycoon, offers a $5m prize for African leaders who leave office with clean hands. Qualcomm, an American wireless firm, is offering $10m for a mobile app that can diagnose patients better than a group of doctors. Here Mr Diamandis knows whereof he speaks: he is the chairman of the X Prize Foundation, which rewards breakthrough innovations, and the co-founder of Singularity University, which tries to bring innovations to the boil.
最后,就是明智地使用奖励。现金与荣誉相结合,共同刺激聪明人进行竞争,将大量的智力集中在解决特定问题上来。善待动物协会提供一百万美元的奖金,奖励使用细胞生产肉类技术的进步。苏丹裔电信巨头易卜拉欣(Mo Ibrahim)提供了五百万美元的奖金,奖励离开职位时能保证在位廉洁的非洲领导人。而美国高通公司,更是提供一千万美元的奖金,激励人们开发一种能比医生团队更好地诊断病人的手机应用软件。而Diamandis先生是以什么身份讲述这些事情呢?他本人就是X Prize基金的主席,该基金就是奖励突破性创新的,同时他也是奇点大学的建校人之一,该大学目标就是促进创新。

Watch and learn
多看多学


The advances that these authors celebrate are already beginning to affect two areas that have proved almost immune to productivity-improving technology—education and health care. Messrs Diamandis and Kotler rightly celebrate the Kahn Academy. Salman Kahn has put 2,200 video tutorials on YouTube, covering everything from molecular biology to American history, which receive more than 2m visitors a month.
Diamandis 和 Kotler先生盛赞的这些进步,已经在教育和保健这两个人们认为最不可能接受技术来提高生产力的领域里,发挥出影响。书中赞扬了萨曼罕学院,那是萨曼罕将2200个教学视频上传到YouTube上面,视频内容从分子生物学到美国历史应有尽有,这些视频在一个月时候里就有了两百多万的点击率。

Eric Topol, one of America’s leading heart surgeons, argues that digital technology is giving people much more power over their health care. People can keep a constant watch on their vital organs thanks to sensors that can be worn on the wrist or injected into the blood stream. A flashing light on your smartphone will tell you when you need to see your doctor, just as a light on your dashboard tells you when your car needs a service. People can also get highly personalised treatment, thanks to rapidly advancing knowledge of their genomes. And they can find ready-made support systems thanks to the proliferation of health-related websites (more than 20% of American adults have posted on an online forum related to health care).
而Eric Topol是美国最有名的心脏外科医生之一,他认为数字技术帮助人们能更好地进行保健。人们将传感器戴在手腕上,或是植入血流中,这样就能经常地观察到心脏的运行情况。有可能,智能手机上闪光警示你该去看医生了,就像汽车仪表板上的灯光告诉你需要什么服务一样的简单。由于能快速检测基因组,人们还能得到定制的服务。另外,五分之一以上的美国成年人有在网上贴过与卫生保健相关的帖子,由于保健网站的普及,人们就可能找到现成的支持系统。

This sort of yes-we-can optimism poses obvious problems. Surely the power of technology can be used for evil as well as good? DIY bio-terrorists can unleash viruses. Cyber-attackers can bring down the computer systems that keep the world going round. And surely abundance sometimes brings trouble? The internet is a source of time-wasting distraction and mind-fogging misinformation as well as instructional videos. The prospect of spending one’s old age rigged up to sensors that document one’s ebbing life force is not edifying. But our authors are certainly right about one thing. Knowledge is cumulative. And that is a good reason for supposing that things will get better.
很明显,这种乐观的态度也有些问题。不用说,科技是把双刃剑,可用于善,也可用于恶。DIY生物恐怖分子可能会扩散病毒;电脑黑客可能黑进关系整个世界运转的电脑系统里。也不用说,诸事丰富有时候还是会带来不便,比如网络虽然能带来教学视频,也会分散人们的注意力,浪费时间,给人带人错误的信息把人弄糊涂了;比如,试想一下晚年生活要带着传感器,记录生命力的消减,这情景也让难受啊。但是,这几位作者,他们有一点肯定是讲对了,知识在累积,这就是很好的理由,相信明天会更美好。

 

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