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普林斯顿2012毕业演讲:不要吞吃命运的饼干

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小编摘要:著名作家Michael Lewis告诉我们:成功的人都是幸运者,在成功之后,应该谦卑感恩,“pay it forward”,把他成功欠的“债”,用来帮助不那么幸运的人。这就是社会责任感——李开复微博推荐

 

演讲稿全文:

Thank you. President Tilghman. Trustees and Friends. Parents of the Class of 2012. Above all, Members of the Princeton Class of 2012. Give yourself a round of applause. The next time you look around a church and see everyone dressed in black it'll be awkward to cheer. Enjoy the moment.
感谢Tilghman主席,各位校董和朋友们,2012年级的家长们,还有最关键的,普林斯顿2012年级的同学们。请给自己一个掌声吧。下一次你在一所教堂里看到大家都穿成黑色的时候,像这样欢呼就很尴尬了。享受这一刻吧。

Thirty years ago I sat where you sat. I must have listened to some older person share his life experience. But I don't remember a word of it. I can't even tell you who spoke. What I do remember, vividly, is graduation. I'm told you're meant to be excited, perhaps even relieved, and maybe all of you are. I wasn't. I was totally outraged. Here I’d gone and given them four of the best years of my life and this is how they thanked me for it. By kicking me out.
30年前,我坐在你所坐的地方。我一定也听过某位年长的人分享他的人生经历。但我已经一点都不记得了。我连是谁发言都没印象了。而在我记忆中仍栩栩如生的,是毕业。他们告诉我你应该很激动,或者感到轻松,也许你们现在就是这样。我却不同。我义愤填膺:我来到这里给了他们我人生中最好的四年,而他们就是这样报答我的——把我踢走。

At that moment I was sure of only one thing: I was of no possible economic value to the outside world. I'd majored in art history, for a start. Even then this was regarded as an act of insanity. I was almost certainly less prepared for the marketplace than most of you. Yet somehow I have wound up rich and famous. Well, sort of. I'm going to explain, briefly, how that happened. I want you to understand just how mysterious careers can be, before you go out and have one yourself. I graduated from Princeton without ever having published a word of anything, anywhere. I didn't write for the Prince, or for anyone else. But at Princeton, studying art history, I felt the first twinge of literary ambition. It happened while working on my senior thesis. My adviser was a truly gifted professor, an archaeologist named William Childs. The thesis tried to explain how the Italian sculptor Donatello used Greek and Roman sculpture — which is actually totally beside the point, but I've always wanted to tell someone. God knows what Professor Childs actually thought of it, but he helped me to become engrossed. More than engrossed: obsessed. When I handed it in I knew what I wanted to do for the rest of my life: to write senior theses. Or, to put it differently: to write books.
在那时我只确信一件事:我对外面的世界没有任何经济价值。我修的是艺术史,那是我的起点。即使在当时这也被视为疯子的行为。我为市场做的准备一定差过几乎在座的每一个人。而现在我竟摇身一变成了富人和名人。对吧,算是吧。我将简短的描述我是如何飞黄腾达的。我希望你们在走出校门追寻自己的事业前能够明白,事业发展本身是多么神秘。我从普林斯顿毕业的时候从来没有在任何地方任何时间发表任何东西。我没有为the Prince刊物或任何人写过任何文章。然而在普林斯顿大学,作为艺术史系的学生,我第一次有了在文学界施展抱负的冲动。这是在我写毕业论文的时候发生的。我的导师是个超有天分的教授,William Childs,一位考古学家。我毕业论文的题目是研究意大利雕塑家Donatello如何借鉴了希腊和罗马雕塑——其实这跟今天的题目半毛钱关系都没有,只是我一直喜欢让别人知道。神知道Childs教授是怎么看待这个题目的,但他却帮助我全心投入。不只是全心投入,根本就是痴迷。当我交上论文的那刻我知道了我这一生想要从事的事业:写高级论文,或者说,写书。

Then I went to my thesis defense. It was just a few yards from here, in McCormick Hall. I listened and waited for Professor Childs to say how well written my thesis was. He didn't. And so after about 45 minutes I finally said, "So. What did you think of the writing?" "Put it this way" he said. "Never try to make a living at it." And I didn't — not really. I did what everyone does who has no idea what to do with themselves: I went to graduate school. I wrote at nights, without much effect, mainly because I hadn't the first clue what I should write about. One night I was invited to a dinner, where I sat next to the wife of a big shot at a giant Wall Street investment bank, called Salomon Brothers. She more or less forced her husband to give me a job. I knew next to nothing about Salomon Brothers. But Salomon Brothers happened to be where Wall Street was being reinvented—into the place we have all come to know and love. When I got there I was assigned, almost arbitrarily, to the very best job in which to observe the growing madness: they turned me into the house expert on derivatives. A year and a half later Salomon Brothers was handing me a check for hundreds of thousands of dollars to give advice about derivatives to professional investors.
然后我去了论文答辩。地方离这不远,就在McCormick厅。我等待着希望听到Childs教授告诉我我的论文写得多么好。但他没有。于是等了45分钟后,我终于问,“那你怎么评价我的写作呢?”“这么说吧,”他说。 “千万不要靠这个谋生。”所以我放弃了——其实不是。我做了所有人不知道该做什么时做的那件事:去读研究生。我在晚上写作,没有造成什么影响,主要是因为我不知道该写哪些东西。一天晚上,我被邀请参加一个晚宴,我身旁的女士是一个华尔街投资银行的大佬的太太,那家银行叫做所罗门兄弟公司。她基本上迫使她的丈夫给了我一份工作。我那时对所罗门兄弟公司根本一无所知。但所罗门兄弟公司恰好处在华尔街转型的前线——转成那个如今我们都知道并爱的样子。当我到了那家公司,我被几乎随机的分配到了一份最好的工作,使我有机会观察这滋长中的疯狂:他们把我变成一个衍生产品的内部专家。一年半以后,所罗门兄弟开给我数十万美元的支票让我给专业投资者提供有关衍生产品的咨询。

Now I had something to write about: Salomon Brothers. Wall Street had become so unhinged that it was paying recent Princeton graduates who knew nothing about money small fortunes to pretend to be experts about money. I'd stumbled into my next senior thesis. I called up my father. I told him I was going to quit this job that now promised me millions of dollars to write a book for an advance of 40 grand. There was a long pause on the other end of the line. "You might just want to think about that," he said."Why?" "Stay at Salomon Brothers 10 years, make your fortune, and then write your books," he said. I didn't need to think about it. I knew what intellectual passion felt like — because I'd felt it here, at Princeton — and I wanted to feel it again. I was 26 years old. Had I waited until I was 36, I would never have done it. I would have forgotten the feeling.
现在,我有东西可写了:所罗门兄弟公司。华尔街已经变得如此的精神错乱,它会给普林斯顿一个对金钱一窍不通的新毕业生一大笔钱来假扮理财专家。我误打误撞找到了自己的下一部高级论文。我打给我爸爸。我告诉他我要辞掉这个百万美元的工作来写一本只有4万美元预付款的书。电话那边沉默了很久。 “也许你该再考虑一下,”他说。“为什么?”在所罗门兄弟公司再干10年,赚一大笔钱,然后再写你的书,”他说。我根本不需要考虑。我知道知性表达的激情是什么感觉——因为在这里,普林斯顿,我曾感受过——而我想重燃那份激情。我那时26岁。如果我真的等到36岁,我将永远无法写成那本书。我会已经忘记了那种感觉。

The book I wrote was called "Liar’s Poker." It sold a million copies. I was 28 years old. I had a career, a little fame, a small fortune and a new life narrative. All of a sudden people were telling me I was born to be a writer. This was absurd. Even I could see there was another, truer narrative, with luck as its theme. What were the odds of being seated at that dinner next to that Salomon Brothers lady? Of landing inside the best Wall Street firm from which to write the story of an age? Of landing in the seat with the best view of the business? Of having parents who didn't disinherit me but instead sighed and said "do it if you must?" Of having had that sense of must kindled inside me by a professor of art history at Princeton? Of having been let into Princeton in the first place? This isn't just false humility. It's false humility with a point. My case illustrates how success is always rationalized. People really don’t like to hear success explained away as luck — especially successful people. As they age, and succeed, people feel their success was somehow inevitable. They don't want to acknowledge the role played by accident in their lives. There is a reason for this: the world does not want to acknowledge it either.
我的这本书名叫《说谎者的扑克牌》。卖了100万册。我那时28岁。我有了一项事业,一点名气,一笔财富,和一个新的生命传奇。突然间所有的人都告诉我我天生就是作家的料。这太扯淡了。即使我都能看的明白,有另一种更真实的传奇,它的主题是运气。那顿晚宴刚好坐在所罗门兄弟女士身旁的几率有多大呢?空降在一个最好的华尔街公司,从而有机会写这个时代的故事的几率有多大呢?正好坐在一个可以俯瞰行业全景的职位上的几率又有多大呢?碰巧遇到这样父母,没有与我断绝关系,而只是叹了口气,说:“如果你非要这样就去做吧”,这样的几率又是多大呢?有幸心中有被普林斯顿艺术史教授点燃的那种“非做不可”的激情的几率又有多大呢?而最初能够入读普林斯顿的几率又是多大呢?我不是在装谦虚。我是在有目的的装谦虚。我的经历表明了成功一直是如何被世人理解的。人们真的不喜欢听到的成功被归结到运气上面—— 尤其是成功人士。当他们年龄增长,当他们步向成功,他们觉得自己的成功根本是历史的必然。他们不愿承认机会事件在他们生命中所扮演的角色。他们这么认为是有原因的:这个世界也不愿意承认运气的角色。

I wrote a book about this, called "Moneyball." It was ostensibly about baseball but was in fact about something else. There are poor teams and rich teams in professional baseball, and they spend radically different sums of money on their players. When I wrote my book the richest team in professional baseball, the New York Yankees, was then spending about $120 million on its 25 players. The poorest team, the Oakland A's, was spending about $30 million. And yet the Oakland team was winning as many games as the Yankees — and more than all the other richer teams.
为这我写了一本书,叫《钱球》。这表面上是写棒球,其实是在写别的东西。在职棒里有穷的球队和富的球队,他们用在球员身上的钱有巨额的差异。当我写这本书的时候,职棒里最富的球队,纽约洋基队,在它的25名球员身上花费约1.2亿美元。而最穷的队,奥克兰A队的花费大约是3000万美元。然而奥克兰队却赢了和洋基一样多的比赛——超过其他那些富有的球队。

This isn't supposed to happen. In theory, the rich teams should buy the best players and win all the time. But the Oakland team had figured something out: the rich teams didn't really understand who the best baseball players were. The players were misvalued. And the biggest single reason they were misvalued was that the experts did not pay sufficient attention to the role of luck in baseball success. Players got given credit for things they did that depended on the performance of others: pitchers got paid for winning games, hitters got paid for knocking in runners on base. Players got blamed and credited for events beyond their control. Where balls that got hit happened to land on the field, for example.
这本是不应发生的。理论上讲,有钱的球队应该买最好的球员,并赢得所有比赛。但奥克兰队发现了一个秘密:有钱的球队并不真正明白谁是最好的球员。球员们被错估了。而他们被错估的根本原因在于专家们没有在棒球成功中给予运气足够的重视。球员们因他们基于其他人的好表现上做的事情而得到称赞:投手的身价由胜场决定,击球手的身价由送垒上跑者得分决定。球员们因他们无法控制的事件而受到批评或称赞。比如说他们击中的球恰好落在场地的哪个位置。

Forget baseball, forget sports. Here you had these corporate employees, paid millions of dollars a year. They were doing exactly the same job that people in their business had been doing forever. In front of millions of people, who evaluate their every move. They had statistics attached to everything they did. And yet they were misvalued — because the wider world was blind to their luck. 
放下棒球和体育不谈。现在你有一批企业员工,年薪几百万美刀。他们做的事和他们行业里其他人一直以来做的事没有任何差别。有几百万人评价他们的一举一动。他们做的每一件事都有数据统计。但他们却被错估了——因为这个世界忽视了他们的运气成分。

This had been going on for a century. Right under all of our noses. And no one noticed — until it paid a poor team so well to notice that they could not afford not to notice. And you have to ask: if a professional athlete paid millions of dollars can be misvalued who can't be? If the supposedly pure meritocracy of professional sports can't distinguish between lucky and good, who can? 
就在我们的眼皮子底下,这样的事已经持续上演了一个世纪。却没有人能够注意到——直到当一个穷球队发现这里实在有利可图,不得不去留意的时候。所以你不得不问:如果一个百万美元身价的职业球员可以被错估,那谁不会被错估呢?如果完全奉行精英主义的职业体坛无法区分好运和优异,谁又能够区分呢?

The "Moneyball" story has practical implications. If you use better data, you can find better values; there are always market inefficiencies to exploit, and so on. But it has a broader and less practical message: don't be deceived by life's outcomes. Life's outcomes, while not entirely random, have a huge amount of luck baked into them. Above all, recognize that if you have had success, you have also had luck — and with luck comes obligation. You owe a debt, and not just to your Gods. You owe a debt to the unlucky.
《钱球》这个故事具有实际意义。如果你使用更好的数据,你可以找到更好的价值;总会存在价值有待挖掘的市场低效配置,等等。但它有一个更广泛而不那么实际的信息:不要被生活的结果蒙骗。生活的结果,虽不是完全随机的,却掺杂了很多运气成分在其中。最重要的,是要认识到,如果你获得成功,你也同时曾获得好运——而运气带来义务。你欠了一笔债,不只是欠你的神。你也欠那些没你那么好运的人的债。

I make this point because — along with this speech — it is something that will be easy for you to forget.
我特别提出这一点,是因为和这个演讲一样,这将是你很容易遗忘的东西。

I now live in Berkeley, California. A few years ago, just a few blocks from my home, a pair of researchers in the Cal psychology department staged an experiment. They began by grabbing students, as lab rats. Then they broke the students into teams, segregated by sex. Three men, or three women, per team. Then they put these teams of three into a room, and arbitrarily assigned one of the three to act as leader. Then they gave them some complicated moral problem to solve: say what should be done about academic cheating, or how to regulate drinking on campus.
我现在住在加州伯克利。几年前,就在离我家几个街区远的地方,加大心理系的几个研究人员搞了一个实验。他们像抓小白鼠一样找来了一批学生。然后他们给学生分组,按性别分开。每组三个男生或者三个女生。然后他们让这样的小组进到房间里,然后随机选取三人中的一个作为组长。然后他们让他们处理各种复杂的道德问题:比如说应该如何对待学术造假,或者如何控制校园酗酒问题。

Exactly 30 minutes into the problem-solving the researchers interrupted each group. They entered the room bearing a plate of cookies. Four cookies. The team consisted of three people, but there were these four cookies. Every team member obviously got one cookie, but that left a fourth cookie, just sitting there. It should have been awkward. But it wasn't. With incredible consistency the person arbitrarily appointed leader of the group grabbed the fourth cookie, and ate it. Not only ate it, but ate it with gusto: lips smacking, mouth open, drool at the corners of their mouths. In the end all that was left of the extra cookie were crumbs on the leader's shirt.
在他们开始解决问题30分钟时,研究人员们会打断各组。他们会拿着一盘饼干进入房间。总共四块,小组里有三个人,但却有四块饼干。显然每个成员分到了一块,但还剩下第四块放在那儿。这本应该是个尴尬的处境。但事实并非如此。每个组的表现难以置信的一致,那个被随机任命做组长的人拿了第四块饼干,并把它吃了。不仅吃了,而且吃的津津有味:咂咂做响,大嚼特嚼,口水横流。最后那块饼干剩下的只有组长衣领上的饼干渣了。

This leader had performed no special task. He had no special virtue. He'd been chosen at random, 30 minutes earlier. His status was nothing but luck. But it still left him with the sense that the cookie should be his. 
这位组长没有任何丰功伟绩,也没有过人的美德。他只是30分钟前随机被选的。他的身份除了运气什么都没有。但他仍然觉得饼干应该是他的。

This experiment helps to explain Wall Street bonuses and CEO pay, and I'm sure lots of other human behavior. But it also is relevant to new graduates of Princeton University. In a general sort of way you have been appointed the leader of the group. Your appointment may not be entirely arbitrary. But you must sense its arbitrary aspect: you are the lucky few. Lucky in your parents, lucky in your country, lucky that a place like Princeton exists that can take in lucky people, introduce them to other lucky people, and increase their chances of becoming even luckier. Lucky that you live in the richest society the world has ever seen, in a time when no one actually expects you to sacrifice your interests to anything. 
这个实验有助于解释华尔街的奖金和CEO薪酬,我也确信它还可以解释很多人类行为。但它同时也和普林斯顿大学的新毕业生有关。通过某种一般性的方式,你已被任命为小组领袖。你的任命不一定是完全随机的。但你必须意识到它的随机的那一面:你们是少数的幸运儿。幸运在于你有这样的父母,幸运在于你有这样的国家,幸运在于有普林斯顿这样的地方,专门吸引幸运的人,把他们介绍给其他幸运的人,并增加他们更加幸运的机会。幸运在于你正处于世界历史上最富饶的社会,处于一个没有人会要求你为任何事牺牲自己的意思的时代。

All of you have been faced with the extra cookie. All of you will be faced with many more of them. In time you will find it easy to assume that you deserve the extra cookie. For all I know, you may. But you'll be happier, and the world will be better off, if you at least pretend that you don't. 
你们都面对着那块多出来的饼干。你们也将面对更多。随着时间的推移,你会发现你很容易觉得你本来就配得那块多出来的饼干。就我所知,你可以这样认为。但你可以更快乐,这个世界也可以变得更美好,如果你能够至少假装你不配。

Never forget: In the nation's service. In the service of all nations. Thank you. And good luck. 
永远不要忘记:为国效力,为万国效力。谢谢。祝你们好运

14
2012-06-15 17:33 编辑:tinna_mm
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