新世纪大学英语综合教程4unit2课文逐段翻译

新世纪大学英语综合教程4unit2课文逐段翻译
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Unit 2

Text A

技术与幸福Technology and Happiness

詹姆斯·萨洛维奇

Preface

In the present era, all of us are enthusiastically pursuing technological advancement and take it for granted that the development of technology will make us happier. However, little evidence can be found to prove the correlation between technology and happiness once material and technological advances reach a certain level. The text below may provide you with some insights into this issue.

20世纪的美国人、欧洲人和东亚人都享受到了过去历代人都无法想象的物质和技术进步带来的乐趣。譬如,在美国,从1950年到2000年国民生产总值翻了3倍。人们的寿命大幅度提高。二战后生产力的迅速发展使商品变得价廉物美。诸如乘飞机旅游和打长途电话等曾经是奢侈的事情成了生活不可或缺的一部分。

In the 20th century, Americans, Europeans, and East Asians enjoyed material and technological advances that were unimaginable in previous eras. In the United States, for instance, gross domestic product per capita tripled from 1950 to 2000. Life expectancy soared. The boom in productivity after World War II made goods better and cheaper at the same time . Things that were once luxuries, such as jet travel and long-distance phone calls, became necessities. And even though Americans seemed to work extraordinarily hard, their pursuit of entertainment turned media and leisure into multibillion-dollar industries.

那么,根据大多数标准衡量,你会说,现在的美国人比上个世纪中叶富裕多了。不过,奇怪的是,如果你问美国人有多幸福,你会发现,他们并不比1946年时幸福(1946年正式开始对幸福状况进行调查)。事实上,那些说自己―非常幸福‖的人所占的比例自20世纪70年代以来一直稳中有降——尽管20世纪40年代出生的人的收入在他们的工作生涯中平均增长了116%。你可以在大多数发达国家找到相似的数据。

By most standards, then, you would have to say that Americans are better off now than they were in the middle of the last century. Oddly, though, if you ask Americans how happy they are, you find that they are no happier than they were in 1946 (which is when formal surveys of happiness started). In fact, the percentage of people who say they are "very happy" has fallen slightly since the early 1970s – even though the income of people born in 1940 has, on average , increased by 116 percent over the course of their working lives. You can find similar data for most developed countries.

自工业革命开始以来,幸福与技术之间的关系一直是社会批评家和哲学家们长期研究的课题,然而,基本上还没有受到经济学家和社会学家们的关注。经济学家理查德·伊斯特林在经济繁荣和幸福的关系方面进行了具有开拓性的研究,并于1974年发表了一篇题为―经济增长改变人类命运吗?‖的著名论文。伊斯特林表明,就发达国家而言,一个国家的收入和国民的幸福之间没有真正的相互关系。伊斯特林认为,金钱买不到幸福,至少在(金钱)达到了一定程度以后是如此。伊斯特林认为,尽管贫穷与苦难密不可分,但是,一个国家一旦达到稳定的中产阶级水平,富有似乎并没有让其国民感到更多的幸福。

The relationship between happiness and technology has been an eternal subject for social critics and philosophers since the advent of the Industrial Revolution. But it's been left largely unexamined by economists and social scientists . The truly groundbreaking work on the relationship between prosperity and well-being was done by the economist Richard Easterlin ,

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