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开云app官网-不畏权势讲真话 科技与真理的奇怪矛盾

本文摘要:When I finished journalism school, more than a few years ago, I was given a certificate entitled “Training for Truth”. There has long been a strongly held — but, to many, overblown — belief that the media is the fourth estate. Its purpose


When I finished journalism school, more than a few years ago, I was given a certificate entitled “Training for Truth”. There has long been a strongly held — but, to many, overblown — belief that the media is the fourth estate. Its purpose is to speak truth to power.多年前从新闻学院毕业时,我取得了一份标题为“为真理而学”的证书。长期以来,有一种根深蒂固(但对于很多人而言有些滑稽)的观点:媒体是第四权(fourth estate)。其宗旨是不惧权势讲真话。We could endlessly debate how well the media has performed that function. It might take us even longer to agree a satisfactory definition of truth. But for most of the postwar era, the mainstream media in the Anglo-American world has helped shape the political debate by creating a common national narrative.对于媒体在遵守这项职能方面展现出如何,我们可以无休止地仍然辩论下去。

要给真理下一个令人满意的定义有可能必须更加长时间。但对于战后多数时期而言,英美主流媒体通过创立一种联合的国家故事情节协助塑造成了政治辩论。Now, we are told, the atomisation of traditional media and the spread of social networks has meant we all live in our own “filter bubbles”. Technology has eaten the truth. We live in a post-truth world in which we can ignore the facts we do not like and tap into any personalised narrative that we desire.如今,我们被告诉,传统媒体原子化以及社交网络的蔓延到意味著,我们都生活在我们自己的“过滤器泡沫”中。

科技吃了真理。我们生活在一个后真理世界,在这个世界里,我们可以忽略自己不讨厌的事实,改向我们讨厌的个性化故事情节。Yet if there is no agreed basis of truth then it is hard to arrive at democratically settled conclusions. As we have seen during the debate on Brexit and in the US presidential campaign, much political argument consists of simply talking past your opponent to appeal to your own data-determined electoral demographic. Experts are dismissed as frauds. Demonstrable lies have no impact or consequence.然而,如果没誓约的真理基础,就很难通过民主过程得出结论。


Yet the strange paradox of our times is that the truth — however defined — has never been easier to unearth or disseminate. Data are ubiquitous. Life is on the record. Claims and counterclaims can instantly be checked. Technology should at least hold part of the solution.然而,我们这个时代的怪异对立是,找到和传播真理(不管多么定义)根本没像现在这样更容易。数据无处不在。生活获得全程记录。

声称和鼓吹声称可以在瞬间获得检查。科技不应最少在一定程度上获取解决方案。Exhibit A supporting the hope that technology can help societies recreate an accepted truth is Wikipedia, the online encyclopedia. Its mission is to give everyone on the planet free access to the sum of human knowledge in their own language.人们期望科技能协助社会修复受到普遍认为的真理,承托这种期望的一号证据乃是在线百科全书维基百科(Wikipedia)。

其愿景是让地球上的所有人权利提供以本国文字撰写的人类科学知识。Wikipedia has become such a routine part of our online lives that it is hard to believe it was founded only 15 years ago. Its growth has been remarkable. The non-profit-making collective of tens of thousands of active Wikipedians has created more than 40m articles in 250 languages. With 500m unique users a month, it is one of the top five most visited websites in the world.维基百科已沦为我们在线生活中习以为常的部分,以至于我们很难坚信它是在短短15年前创立的。它发展快速增长。

这个由几万活跃的维基百科编辑构成的非盈利的组织建构了250种文字的4000万篇条目。每月独立国家用户为5亿,它是全球采访人数最多的5大网站之一。Its volunteer contributors stick to a neutral point of view and agree among themselves what constitute reliable sources. Academic studies have found that Wikipedia is generally as accurate as professionally edited encyclopedias and has massively more articles.维基百科的志愿贡献者严守中立观点,并誓约什么是可信来源。

学术研究找到,维基百科与专业编辑的百科全书一样精确,而条目非常少。Check out the entries on Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton and you will find them to be studiously neutral with more than 1,200 footnoted references between them.看一看与唐纳德.特朗普(Donald Trump)和希拉里.克林顿(Hillary Clinton)有关的条目吧,你不会找到其内容被严苛保持中立,总计有多达1200个参考文献这段话。

Wikipedia does, though, possess some glaring flaws. Its contributor base is 85 per cent male, leading to some skewed subject selection and other biases. Entries on male authors tend to be longer than those on female authors, for example.然而,维基百科显然具备一些显著的缺点。其贡献者85%为男性,这造成经常出现了一些不公平的主题自由选择和其他种族主义。

例如,有关男性作家的条目篇幅往往精于女性作家。Those devious enough to do so can game the system by poisoning the sources on which Wikipedia relies. The constant re-editing of some entries also means that they can forever remain a work in progress: US President George W Bush’s entry has been edited more than 45,000 times. Truth on Wikipedia is always a malleable commodity.那些充足阴险的人可以通过毒化维基百科所倚赖的来源来操控这个系统。

一些条目的新的编辑也意味著,它们有可能总有一天是一项展开中的工作:美国前总统乔治W布什(George W Bush)的条目被编辑了逾4.5万次。维基百科上的事实总有一天是一种可塑的商品。At a recent FT125 Forum event, Jimmy Wales, Wikipedia’s founder, said that one of the “super fascinating” aspects of the community was how it tended to bring people together when there were serious disagreements rather than forcing them apart.在最近的英国《金融时报》125(FT 125 Forum)论坛上,维基百科创始人吉米.威尔士(Jimmy Wales)回应,维基社区“超强有意思”的一面是当经常出现相当严重分歧时,它往往不会把人们聚在一起,而不是被迫他们分离。For instance, Ukrainian and Russian Wikipedians, who have written radically different interpretations of the conflict between their two nations, recently met in Kiev to understand their respective views. “It will take some time before they come to a consensus view but we are trying,” he said.例如,乌克兰和俄罗斯的维基百科编辑(他们对于两国之间冲突的理解截然不同)最近在基辅会面,以互相交换观点。

他回应:“他们要达成协议共识必须一段时间,但我们正在希望。”Mr Wales said the site was relatively impartial because it had shunned advertising. Wikipedians wrote entries according to the subject’s interest rather than from any impulse to chase clicks. “We all know that the DNA of any organisation tends to follow the money.”威尔士回应,这个网站之所以比较不偏不倚,是因为它没广告。

维基百科编辑根据主题的兴趣(而不是执着点击量的抗拒)去撰写条目。“我们都告诉所有的组织骨子里都偏向于向钱看。”Wikipedia’s model has enabled it to create a “temple of the mind”, says its founder but it has resulted in a “terrible, terrible business”, dependent on voluntary contributions. Can others invent more robust platforms?维基百科创始人回应,它的模式令其其需要创立一个“思想殿堂”,但结果是一家“很差劲的企业”,倚赖强迫捐献。

其他人能发明者出更务实的平台吗?It is said that there are only two forms of innovation: unbundling an industry and rebundling it. The mainstream media has been unbundled but Wikipedia has shown a different way to rebundle our collective intelligence.据传,只有两种创意形式:抛弃一个行业和对其再行绑。主流媒体已被抛弃,但维基百科展示出了一种有所不同的新的包人类集体智慧的方式。

The truth is out there. The bigger question is: do we want to hear it?真理就在那里。更加最重要的问题是:我们想要听得吗?。