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The Rise and Decline of the West

西方的崛起与衰落



AtOur Wit’s End: Why We’re Becoming Less Intelligent and What It Means for OurFuture
Edward Dutton and Michael A. Woodley of Menie
Exeter, UK: Imprint Academic, 2018

导言:
记《我们智慧的终结(At Our Wit’s End)》读后感。
2018年,英国梅涅克塞特大学的Dutton和Woodley合著了《我们智慧的终结:为什么我们变得越来越不聪明,这对我们的未来意味着什么》

We in the West have long becomeaccustomed to the idea that scientific and technological progress is the normalstate of things, although decline—technological deterioration and loss ofknowledge—is by no means uncommon across world history. The contemporary Westmay be declining in many ways, but what stage in our history could we point toas the summit of our scientific knowledge and technological capability if notthe present? And wouldn’t it be absurd to suppose this progress has reached itscompletion?
Authors Dutton and Woodley,however, would note that a civilization may pass its peak long before the sumof its achievements is complete. We may look for our greatest era not when ourknowledge and capabilities were most extensive, but when they were growing most rapidly.And that point, they believe, is already well behind us.

我们西方人早已习惯了这样一种观念,即科学和技术进步是事物的正常状态,尽管在世界历史上,技术的衰退和知识的丧失绝非罕见。当代西方可能在许多方面正在衰落,但如果不是现在,在我们的历史上,我们能指出哪个阶段是我们的科学知识和技术能力的顶峰呢?如果认为这一进展已经完成,难道不荒谬吗?

AuthorsDutton and Woodley, however, would note that a civilization may pass its peaklong before the sum of its achievements is complete. We may look for ourgreatest era not when our knowledge and capabilities were most extensive, butwhen they were growing most rapidly. And that point, they believe,is already well behind us.

然而,作者Dutton和Woodley指出,一个文明可能在其成就的总和完成之前很久就已经度过了它的顶峰。我们可以寻找我们最伟大的时代,不是在我们的知识和能力最广泛的时候,而是在我们的知识和能力增长最快的时候。他们相信,这一点已经离我们很远了。



Inthe authors’ view, the best explanation for such regression is extremelysimple: weare becoming less intelligent. Other explanations have somidity: the end of the cold war, e.g., partly accounts for the loweredambitions of NASA, although not the end of the Concorde. But on Ockhamistprinciples, as the authors write, “if we can plausibly explain two separateevents with one theory, that is superior to having a different theory for eachevent.”

在作者看来,对这种回归现象最好的解释非常简单:我们变得越来越不聪明。其他的解释也有一定的道理:冷战的结束,例如,部分原因是美国宇航局的雄心壮志降低了,尽管协和飞机并没有结束。但在奥克哈米斯原理上,正如作者所写,“如果我们能用一个理论来解释两个独立的事件,这比用一个不同的理论来解释每个事件要好。”

Intelligence is the ability tosolve problems efficiently. It has survival value because it enables organismsto face novel challenges; instincts are reliable only for recurring challenges.Intelligence is about 80% heritable, and during most of the genus Homo’stime on earth, the trait has been favored by natural selection: the earliesthominids seem not to have been notably more intelligent than today’s greatapes.

智力是有效解决问题的能力。它具有生存价值,因为它使生物体能够面对新的挑战;直觉只对反复出现的挑战是可靠的。智力大约80%是可遗传的,在人类在地球上的大部分时间里,这种特征一直受到自然选择的青睐:最早的原始人似乎并不比今天的类人猿聪明多少。

Dutton and Woodley focus on thelast millennium or so of European civilization. During most of thisevolutionarily recent period as well, there has been positive selection forintelligence. That is because higher intelligence usually translates intosocioeconomic success (correlating at 0.7), which tends to result in largerfamilies. In A Farewell to Alms (2007), economichistorian Gregory Clark has carefully documented this pattern in England fromthe fifteenth century (as far back as the records allow). He calls it “thesurvival of the richest.” Dutton and Woodley summarize:

Dutton和Woodley关注的是欧洲文明的最后一千年左右。在最近进化的大部分时期,智力也有积极的选择。这是因为高智商通常转化为社会经济上的成功(相关系数为0.7),这往往会导致更大的家庭。在《向施舍说再见》(2007)一书中,经济历史学家格雷戈里•克拉克(Gregory Clark)仔细地记录了15世纪以来英国的这种模式(可以追溯到有记录以来的最远时期)。他称之为“最富有人群的生存”。
Dutton和Woodley总结道:



Even aslight upward shift in average intelligence means a substantial increase inpositive outliers, and this is far more consequential than the smallimprovement in the great mass of the population.
Dutton andWoodley devote some of their most interesting pages to the topic of genius,previously treated in Dutton’s and Bruce Charlton’s book The GeniusFamine (2016)as well. Outlier intelligence is obviously a necessary precondition of genius,but if we define the concept in terms of outstanding intellectualbreakthroughs, certain personality traits appear necessary as well.

即使平均智力水平稍有上升,也意味着积极异常值的大幅增加,而这远比大量人口的微小改善更为重要。
Dutton和Woodley用了他们最有趣的几页来讨论天才的话题,之前在Dutton和Bruce Charlton的书《天才的饥荒(The GeniusFamine)》(2016)中也提到过。异常智力显然是天才的必要先决条件,但如果我们用杰出的智力突破来定义这个概念,某些人格特征也显得必不可少。

Personalitystudies lack the objective accuracy of intelligence studies, since they mustrely on either self-assessment or peer assessment rather than directmeasurement. Still, psychologists have been able to achieve considerableagreement on the existence of five basic dimensions of personality, viz.:

人格研究缺乏智力研究的客观准确性,因为它们必须依赖于自我评估或同伴评估,而不是直接测量。尽管如此,心理学家们还是能够就人格的五个基本维度的存在达成相当大的共识,即:

1. Extraversion—Introversion
2. Emotional Stability—Neuroticism
3. Conscientiousness—Impulsiveness
4. Agreeableness—Disagreeableness
5. Openness/Intellect—Closedness/Instrumentalism

1.外向型——内向型
2.情感稳定型——神经质
3.自觉/尽责型——冲动型
4.随和/亲和——特立独行
5.开放/思维型——保守/经验型

The firstfour vary independently of intelligence, while Openness/Intellect correlatesweakly (0.3). Conscientiousness, Agreeableness and Emotional Stability mayconveniently be grouped together as a broader Stabilityfactor ofpersonality, while Extraversion and Openness/Intellect make up a Plasticityfactor. Thesetwo factors themselves correlate significantly, allowing us to infer (orconstruct?) a General Factor of Personality (GFP)analogous to the General Factor of Intelligence (g).

前四个变量与智力无关,而开放性/智力存在弱相关性 (0.3)。自觉型、随和型和情绪稳定型可以方便地归为一个更广泛的人格稳定性因素,而外向性和开放性/智力则构成一个可塑性因素。这两个因素本身具有显著的相关性,使我们能够推断(或构建)一个类似于智力(g)的一般人格因素(GFP)。



Suchobsessive personalities may entirely lack common human interests such asrelations with the opposite sex or financial success, and they be downrightincompetent in aspects of life outside their specialized fields. The authorsprovide a short biographical glimpse of Isaac Newton:

这种强迫性人格可能完全缺乏共同的人类兴趣,比如与异性的关系或经济上的成功,而且他们在专业领域之外的生活方面完全无能。作者简要介绍了艾萨克·牛顿的生平:

As a childand young man, Newton would spend nearly all of his time alone and when incompany he would be silent. He had essentially no friends, formed norelationships with women, and made very little effort to conform at all. As aboy, his relationships with other boys tended to be antagonistic. He reallywasn’t a very nice person.

作为一个孩子和年轻人,牛顿几乎把所有的时间都花在独处上,当有同伴时,他会保持沉默。他基本上没有朋友,没有和女人建立任何关系,也不怎么努力去适应。作为一个男孩,他与其他男孩的关系往往是敌对的。他真的不是一个很好的人。

Whateverhe did, he did because he wanted to do it, he became engrossed in it and he didit brilliantly. In a year or so, he went from knowing almost no mathematics tobeing among the best in the world; and then went on to make some of thegreatest ever mathematical discoveries. Then he all-but dropped mathematics andworked on one area of physics after another—making major discoveries, thenmoving on. Newton would think solidly for hour upon hour—sometimes standinglost in his own world half way down the stairs. For many years he hardly everleft his college.

无论他做什么,他做是因为他想做,他变得全神贯注,他做得很出色。在一年左右的时间里,他从一个几乎不懂数学的人变成了世界上数一数二的人;然后又进行了一些最伟大的数学发现。后来,他几乎放弃了数学,转而在一个又一个物理学领域工作——取得重大发现,然后继续前进。牛顿会一小时又一小时地坚定地思考——有时他会站在楼梯下一半的地方,迷失在自己的世界里。多年来,他几乎没有离开过大学。

Geniusestend not to be model students. Newton’s school grades were erratic. FrancisCrick “was rejected from Cambridge and went to university in London, where hefailed to get a top degree. He then proceeded to drop out of a variety of PhDcourses” before successfully discovering the structure of the DNA molecule withJames Watson. Einstein never learned to drive a car. He “once got lost close tohis home in Princeton, New Jersey. He walked into a shop and said, ‘Hi, I’mEinstein, can you take me home please?’” Bertrand Russell is said never to havemastered the art of boiling water for his tea.

天才往往不是模范学生。牛顿的学习成绩不稳定。弗朗西斯克里克“被剑桥大学拒绝,进入伦敦大学,在那里他没有获得最高学位。随后,他“在与詹姆斯·沃森一起成功发现DNA分子的结构之前”,从各种博士课程中退学。爱因斯坦从未学过开车。他“有一次在新泽西州普林斯顿的家附近迷了路。他走进一家商店,说:“嗨,我是爱因斯坦,你能带我回家吗?”据说伯特兰·罗素从来没有掌握过烧茶的艺术。

Thepsychologist Charles Spearman, who first proposed the General Factor ofIntelligence (g), also discovered an explanation for thisphenomenon:

心理学家查尔斯·斯皮尔曼(Charles Spearman)首先提出了智力的一般因素(g),他也发现了对这一现象的一种解释:



Someoneborn in 1770 would have grown up in a world little different from 1470.Transport would be via horse and almost everything had to be done by hand.Production was already beginning to mechanise, because James Hargreaves hadinvented the Spinning Jenny in 1764. An early steam engine had already beenforged, but it hadn’t yet caught on. However, if that person had lived untiljust 1804, they would have seen the invention of the electric telegraph, thesteam ship, the submarine, the circular saw, the steam roller, a reliableclock, the bicycle, the battery, and the steam-powered locomotive. The world of1804 would have been dramatically different from that of 1770 or 1470.

1770年出生的人成长的世界与1470年相差无几。运输将通过马匹,几乎所有的事情都必须手工完成。生产已经开始机械化,因为詹姆斯·哈格里夫斯在1764年发明了珍妮纺纱机。早期的蒸汽机已经造好了,但还没有普及。然而,如果那个人活到1804年,他们就会看到电报、蒸汽船、潜水艇、圆锯、蒸汽压路机、可靠的钟、自行车、电池和蒸汽机车的发明。1804年的世界将与1770年或1470年的世界截然不同。

If thisperson had lived until 1870, until the age of 100, they would have seen theelectric light (1809), the steam train and the first photograph (1827), theelectro-magnet, the typewriter (1829), the sewing machine, the electric dynamo,the calculator, the propeller, the revolver, the telegraph, rubber tyres, thewashing machine, and, in 1858, the internal combustion engine. Then there wasplastic and dynamite and we reach the year 1870. The extent and speed of changeover a lifetime like that, compared to those for hundreds of years before,would have been astonishing.

如果这个人一直活到1870年,直到100岁的时候,他们就会看到电灯(1809),蒸汽火车和第一张照片(1827)、电磁铁、打字机(1829),缝纫机,电动发电机,计算器,螺旋桨,左轮手枪,电报、橡胶轮胎、洗衣机,1858年,内燃机。然后是塑料和炸药,我们到了1870年。与数百年前相比,这样的变化在人的一生中所发生的变化之大、速度之快是惊人的。

And thisnew technology assisted numerous scientific breakthroughs, especially in therealm of public health and medicine. In the pre-industrial world, there was avery limited understanding of the causes of illness and, therefore, illnessselected against the least healthy. But this began to change. In 1796, EdwardJenner developed the smallpox vaccine, for example. There were also many otherimprovements in public health, such as better sanitation. And the simplestexplanation for why all this was able to happen was that, for so long, we hadbeen selected for intelligence by the rigours of natural, sexual, and socialselection.

这项新技术帮助了许多科学突破,特别是在公共卫生和医学领域。在前工业化世界,人们对疾病的原因的了解非常有限,因此,疾病是专门针对最不健康的人。但这种情况开始改变。例如,1796年,爱德华·詹纳发明了天花疫苗。在公共卫生方面也有许多其他方面的改善,例如更好的卫生条件。对这一切能够发生的最简单的解释是,这么长时间以来,我们的智力被自然、性和社会选择的严格程度所选择。



Eightyears later, the British polymath Sir Francis Galton made similar observations:

8年后,英国博学家弗朗西斯·高尔顿爵士(Sir FrancisGalton)发表了类似的看法:

There is asteady check in an old civilisation upon the fertility of the abler classes:the improvident and unambitious are those who chiefly keep up the breed. So therace gradually deteriorates, becoming in each successive generation less fitfor a high civilisation.

在一个古老的文明中,有一种对有能力阶层生育能力的稳定制约:那些缺乏远见和雄心壮志的人,主要是在维持这一群体的繁衍。因此,种族逐渐恶化,每一代都不太适合一个高级文明。

Darwinvoiced similar concerns in The Descent of Man (1871).

达尔文在《人类的起源》(1871)一书中也表达了类似的担忧。

Today wecan confirm that hereditary intelligence has been declining. Dutton and Woodleysummarize the evidence, which includes deterioration in simple reaction times,color discrimination, the use of “difficult” words, working memory, special perception,child developmental schedules and—most critically—frequency ofmacro-innovations. In 2017, an Icelandic study found the first direct geneticevidence that a set of alleles predictive of g hasbeen declining in frequency in that country’s population. More such studies canbe expected in the years ahead.

今天我们可以证实,遗传智力一直在下降。Dutton和Woodley总结了这些证据,包括简单反应时间的恶化、颜色辨别、“难”字的使用、工作记忆、特殊感知、儿童发育时间表以及最关键的宏观创新频率。2017年,冰岛的一项研究发现了第一个直接的基因证据,表明一组预测g基因的等位基因在该国人口中出现频率下降。预计未来几年还会有更多这样的研究。



Accordingto a 2015 meta-analysis of studies conducted since 1927, IQ in the USA and theUK appears to be declining at a rate of 0.39 points per decade. Declines arealso reported in Russia and a number of non-Western countries.

2015年对1927年以来的研究进行的一项荟萃分析显示,美国和英国的智商似乎正以每十年0.39点的速度下降。俄罗斯和一些非西方国家也有下降的报告。

Theauthors emphasize five reasons (besides improved public health) why this ishappening: 1) naturally gifted people have a tendency to trade mating andparenting opportunities for the opportunity to develop their abilities, e. g.,through higher education; 2) being forward-thinking, such people are likelierto use contraception; 3) the modern welfare state taxes the more successful inorder to support single mothers, who can often increase their benefits byhaving more children; 4) the modern movement for sexual “equality” hasencouraged the brightest women to pursue careers and postpone marriage, oftenuntil it is too late; 5) finally, and most unforgivably, Western elites are nowdeliberately sponsoring the colonization of our nations by vast numbers oflow-IQ persons from Africa, Asia and Latin America.

作者强调了发生这种情况的五个原因(除了改善公共健康):
1)天生有天赋的人倾向于用交配和养育孩子的机会来换取发展自己能力的机会,例如,他们会把自己的孩子培养成更优秀的人。,通过高等教育;
2)具有前瞻性,这类人更有可能采取避孕措施;
3)现代福利国家对成功人士征税,以支持单身母亲,她们往往可以通过生更多的孩子来增加福利;
4)现代争取性别“平等”的运动鼓励最聪明的女性追求事业,推迟结婚,往往等到为时已晚(才结婚生子);
5)最后,也是最不可原谅的是,西方精英们现在正有意赞助大量来自非洲、亚洲和拉丁美洲的低智商人士对我们国家的殖民。

Declininggeneral intelligence has been masked during the Twentieth Century by theso-called Flynn effect, an improvement in specialized mental skills independentof g. This maybe one factor which made possible the continued technological progress of thetwentieth century. But there is good evidence that the Flynn effect has nowdone about all it can do, and lower genotypic intelligence will increasinglymake itself felt.

一般智力的下降在20世纪被所谓的弗林效应(Flynn effect)所掩盖。弗林效应是一种独立于g的特殊智力技能的提高。但有很好的证据表明,弗林效应现在已经发挥了它的全部作用,而低基因型智力将越来越明显地显现出来。



Thesequalities make for success, but the resulting power and prosperity lead toreligious skepticism, loss of reverence for the past, individual self-seeking,moral corruption and a tendency for the leading members of the society to stophaving children. Decline sets in precisely as a consequence of previoussuccess.
Laterthinkers such as Ibn-Khaldun, Vico, and Spengler developed similar theories.

这些品质造就了成功,但随之而来的权力和繁荣导致了宗教性怀疑、对过去的不敬、个人的自私、道德败坏以及社会主要成员停止生育的倾向。衰退恰恰是过去成功的结果。
后来的思想家如伊本·赫顿、维柯和斯宾格勒发展了类似的理论。

Dutton andWoodley suggest that many of the phenomena upon which such men constructedtheir theories of history can be explained by phases of positive and negativeselection for general intelligence. Young societies have relatively lowaverage g and are under extreme conditions ofgroup selection, being unstable, dangerous, stressful places to live. Stress isassociated with fertility, as producing lots of children hedges against thefact that relatively few may survive. It is also associated with religiousness,which “is about 40% heritable, so it seems to be an evolved disposition, one ofthe purposes of which is to help us cope with stress.”

Dutton和Woodley 认为,这些人构建他们的历史理论所依据的许多现象,可以用一般智力的积极和消极选择阶段来解释。年轻社会的平均g值相对较低,处于群体选择的极端条件下,是一个不稳定、危险、充满压力的居住地。压力与生育能力有关,因为生很多孩子可以避免相对较少的孩子存活下来。它还与宗教信仰有关,“宗教信仰有40%是可遗传的,所以它似乎是一种进化的性格,其目的之一就是帮助我们应对压力。”

Religiousnessis also positively associated with ethnocentrism: positive perceptions of one’sown group and a willingness to sacrifice oneself for it, along with negativeperceptions of out-groups. Ethnocentrism has been shown by computer modelling,if not by history itself, to beat other possible strategies such as universalaltruism, individual selfishness, and (perhaps most obviously) universaltreason, in which individuals cooperate only with those outside their group. Byencouraging ethnocentrism, religion has evolutionary survival value: when twosimilar groups are in conflict, the more religious one will, ceterisparibus, triumph.

宗教信仰与民族中心主义也有积极的联系:对自己群体的积极看法,愿意为之牺牲自己,以及对外部群体的消极看法。计算机模型(如果不是历史本身的话)已经证明,种族中心主义能够击败其他可能的策略,比如普遍利他主义、个人自私,以及(或许最明显的)普遍叛国——在这种策略中,个人只与群体之外的人合作。通过鼓励民族中心主义,宗教具有进化上的生存价值:当两个相似的群体发生冲突时,宗教色彩较重的一方会获胜。

In theearly stages of civilization, society has a sense of divine purpose, isstrongly united, it is under intense selection pressure, and it is becomingever more intelligent, as only the richest pass on their genes. Assuming theselection intensity for g isstrong enough, the society will develop into a civilisation—of greatintellectual ability—and become highly urbanised.

“在文明的早期阶段,社会有一种神圣的使命感,是紧密团结的,它承受着巨大的选择压力,而且正变得越来越聪明,因为只有最富有的人才会把自己的基因传递下去。假设g的选择强度足够强,这个社会将发展成为一个文明社会——具有强大的智力能力——并高度城市化。”

Asthe standard of living increases, people shift their focus to private interestsand neglect religion. Skepticism becomes widespread, and the society loses itssense of purpose. The elite take to contraception and cease reproducing, whilethere is money available to subsidize the poor and idle—and their children. Asa result, natural selection goes into reverse.

随着生活水平的提高,人们把注意力转移到个人利益上,忽视了宗教。怀疑主义变得普遍,社会失去了它的使命感。精英阶层采取避孕措施并停止生育,同时有资金来补贴穷人、懒人以及他们的孩子。结果,自然选择发生了逆转。

As g declines,society will stop working as well, levels of crime will increase, levels oftrust will collapse, and democracy will be debased. The society will stopinnovating and will eventually start to go backwards, becoming less rationaland more religious as levels of stress begin to increase. This is likely tocontinue until it returns to pre-modern levels of selection for g.From this it will—in some form—rise from the ashes.

“随着经济衰退,社会也将停止运转,犯罪水平将上升,信任水平将崩溃,民主将被削弱。社会将停止创新,并最终开始倒退,随着压力水平的增加,社会将变得不那么理性,而更加宗教化。这种情况可能会一直持续下去,直到g回到现代以前的选择水平。”

Deserving of special mention isthe authors’ perceptive description of changing attitudes toward intellectualpursuit under conditions of civilizational decline:

特别值得一提的是,作者敏锐地描述了在文明衰落的条件下,人们对智力追求的态度正在发生变化:



Once thisstage is reached, academic conformity to an ideological model is easilyimposed.
Theauthors devote a chapter to arguing that the histories of Roman, Islamic, andChinese civilization can be plausibly interpreted by means of their model ofrising and then declining general intelligence. Another chapter applies themodel to European civilization since the Dark Ages.

一旦达到这一阶段,学术上就很容易与意识形态模式保持一致。作者用了一章的篇幅来论证罗马、伊斯兰和中国文明的历史可以通过他们的上升和下降的一般智力模型来解释。另一章将这一模式应用于自黑暗时代以来的欧洲文明。

The bookcloses with some reflections on the choices open to us in the face ofcivilizational decline. One possible response, of course, is to refuse toaccept declining intelligence and advocate intervention to stop and reverse it.Sir Francis Galton, e.g., proposed financial incentives for the mostintelligent to have large families. But this obviosly cannot be contemplatedas long as the current elite remains in power.

书的结尾对我们在面对文明衰落时所面临的选择进行了一些反思。当然,一个可能的回应是,拒绝接受智力下降的事实,提倡干预,阻止并扭转这种趋势。例如,弗朗西斯•高尔顿爵士(Sir FrancisGalton)提出了经济激励措施,鼓励最聪明的人拥有大家庭。但只要当前的精英阶层继续掌权,这显然就不可能实现。

Directgenetic enhancement may become possible in the future. But whether it is avestige of Christianity or a natural instinct, many persons in the West feel avisceral distaste for “meddling with human nature.” Dutton and Woodley suggestan even more serious objection might be “the uses to which the increasinglydistant and unaccountable globalist elites may put such technologies.” A purelyself-interested elite—or, as the authors do not point out, one particularethnic component of that elite—might focus exclusively on enhancing therelative success of its own offspring, e.g., through selection forruthlessness.

直接的基因增强可能在未来成为可能。但无论是基督教的遗风,还是一种自然本能,许多西方人都对“干预人性”深恶痛绝。Dutton和 Woodley认为,更严重的反对意见可能是“越来越遥远、越来越不负责任的全球主义精英们可能会把这些技术用于什么用途”。 一个纯粹以自我为中心的精英——或者,正如作者没有指出的那样,精英中有一个特定的种族成分——可能只专注于提高其后代的相对成功,例如,通过残酷的选择。

Anotherpossibility might be the systematic identification and encouragement of genius,although this would require a radical reversal of the educational trendsdescribed above. Still another strategy might be some sort of religiousrevival, though such an event may not be possible to control.

另一种可能性可能是系统地确认和鼓励天才,尽管这需要彻底扭转上述教育趋势。另一个策略可能是某种形式的宗教复兴,尽管这样的事件可能无法控制。

Theauthors are most hopeful about the possibilities of long-term knowledge storageto ensure that the next wave of rising general intelligence does not have torediscover everything for itself:
Eventually,the winter will give way to spring and then summer. Perhaps, with a gift ofknowledge from the present to the future, because we have come so far thistime, the next Renaissance will take those who are to come even further.

作者们对长期知识储存的可能性抱有最大的希望,以确保下一波不断增长的普通智力不必自己重新发现一切:
“最终,冬天会让位于春天,然后是夏天。也许,就有了从现在到未来的知识的天赋,因为我们这次已经走了这么远,下一次的文艺复兴将会让某些人走得更远。”



Life is going to become more harsh, more dangerous, and simpler. Togive an obvious example, many houses are now entirely reliant on electricity:no fireplace, no gas. What are these people supposed to do when electricitybecomes unreliable?

生活将变得更加严酷,更加危险,更加简单。举个明显的例子,现在许多家庭完全依赖电力:没有壁炉,没有天然气。当电力变得不可靠时,这些人该怎么办?

Many people now commute into London from 70 miles away oreven more. How are they going to get work as trains become more and moresporadic? They need to live closer to work, just as we all once did. If westart planning for this—rather than kid ourselves that “things can only getbetter”—then things will run far more smoothly when the time comes.

现在许多人从70英里甚至更远的地方通勤到伦敦。火车越来越分散,他们怎么去上班?他们需要住得离工作更近,就像我们曾经做过的那样。
如果我们开始为此做计划——而不是自欺欺人地说“事情只会变得更好”——那么当时机成熟时,事情就会顺利得多。”