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[2015.07.25] Empire of the geeks 极客帝国

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发表于 2015-7-26 14:03:07 | 显示全部楼层 |阅读模式
本帖最后由 fsz 于 2015-8-7 01:01 编辑

原文请猛戳这里》》》

Inside Silicon Valley
走进硅谷

Empire of the geeks
极客帝国


Silicon Valley should be celebrated. But its insularity risks a backlash
硅谷应当受到欢迎。但是,它的一意孤行存在着招致强烈反对的风险。


Jul 25th 2015 | From the print edition



THE English have Silicon Fen and Silicon Roundabout, the Scots have Silicon Glen. Berlin boasts Silicon Allee, New York Silicon Alley. But the brain of the tech world is the ecosystem in and around San Francisco. Silicon Valley's entrepreneurs and innovators, technologists and moneymen are busy revolutionising nearly every aspect of the global economy.

英格兰人有硅沼(Silicon Fen) 和 硅环岛(Silicon Roundabout),苏格兰人有 硅峡(Silicon Glen),柏林大肆宣扬硅径(Silicon Allee),纽约为硅巷(Silicon Alley)而鼓噪。但是,技术世界的大脑是旧金山及其周边的生态系统。硅谷的企业家、发明家、技术天才和资本大鳄正在忙着革新全球经济的几乎每一个方面。

A place named for its skill in making silicon-packed semiconductors is transforming how firms make decisions, people make friends and protesters make a fuss. Startups touch more people, more quickly than ever before. Airbnb, a seven-year-old firm that helps people turn their homes into hotels, operates in 34,000 towns and cities around the world. “On-demand” firms like Uber are changing what it means to be an employee. Just as the big platforms like Google, Facebook and Apple benefit from “network effects”, because each new user makes the service more valuable for all the others, so the Valley's success as a venue to launch, fund, staff and sell a technology firm is feeding on itself.

一个以其制造硅芯片半导体技术而得名的地方正在彻底改变企业制定决策、人们结交朋友和抗议者闹出点动静的方式。创业企业影响的人越来越多,速度越来越快。Airbnb,这家帮助人们把自己的家变成旅馆的企业,成立7年以来,已把把自己的业务做到了全世界34000个城市和乡镇。像 Uber 这样的“应需型”企业正在改变雇员的含义。正如谷歌、脸书和苹果等大型平台从“网络效应”中获利那样,因为每一个新的使用者都会让这种服务对其他所有人来说更物有所值,因此,硅谷作为一个发起、融资、建设和出售技术企业的集散地的成功正在哺育着它自己。

As a result, American capitalism has a new hub in the west. Wall Street used to be the place to seek fortunes and make deals; now it is increasingly the Valley.The area's tech companies are worth over $3 trillion. Last year one in five American business-school graduates piled into tech. Jamie Dimon, the boss of JPMorgan Chase, has warned of mounting competition for Wall Street. Goldman Sachs recently held its annual shareholder meeting in San Francisco.

结果,美国资本主义在西部有了一个新的中心。华尔街曾是追求财富和谈生意的地方;如今,这个地方正在日渐成为硅谷。那里的技术企业的身价已经超过3万亿美元。去年,美国五分之一的商学院毕业生涌入了技术企业。摩根大通老板杰米·戴蒙已经就华尔街面临的日渐激烈的竞争发出了警告;日前,高盛在旧金山举行了年度股东大会。

The enormous, disruptive creativity of Silicon Valley is unlike anything since the genius of the great 19th-century inventors. Its triumph is to be celebrated. But the accumulation of so much wealth so fast comes with risks. The 1990s saw a financial bubble that ended in a spectacular bust. This time the danger is insularity. The geeks live in a bubble that seals off their empire from the world they are doing so much to change.

硅谷巨大的、颠覆性的创造力不同于伟大的19世纪发明家的天才之后的任何事情。它的胜利值得大书特书。但是,与如此巨大,如此快速的财富积累一同而来的是风险。上世纪90年代见证的是一场在轰然崩盘中终结了的金融泡沫。这一次的危险是一意孤行。极客们生活在一个将他们的帝国与他们正在努力去改变的世界隔绝开来的泡沫中。

Silicon lining
硅谷的里子


The American economy would be hit hard by a repeat of the financial shock that followed the dotcom crash in 2000. With the NASDAQ index near its record high, this is a common fear. Fortunately, although money and talent are pouring into the Valley, there is not yet much danger of a disastrous bust. That is because tech companies today not only have more robust business models than their dotcom predecessors did (ie, many actually make money), but they also rely on a smaller group of financial backers.

美国经济会因为2000年科技股崩盘后的金融冲击波的重演而遭受重创。鉴于纳斯达克指数接近历史高点,这是一种普遍的担忧。所幸,尽管资金和人材正在涌入硅谷,但是,一场灾难性崩盘的危险还不是太大。这是因为,当今的技术企业不仅有着比科技股泡沫时的前辈更为强劲的商业模式(即当今的许多企业实际上是挣钱的),而且它们所依赖的金主也是一个更小圈子。

Today's firms are staying private for longer. Tech firms that went public in 2014 were on average 11 years old; back in 1999 they waited only four years before listing their shares. Tapping wealthy investors means risk is borne by people who can afford to take losses. It is easy to lament the decline of the publicly listed company (though even when founders do list they keep a tight rein), but if tech firms fall short of their promises, ordinary investors are less likely to see their wealth destroyed.

当今的企业保持私有的时间更长。2014年上市的技术企业建立的平均时间是11年;回到1999年,它们只等了4年就上市了傍上富有的投资者意味着风险是由能够为损失买单的人来承担的。为上市公司(虽然创立者在上市后仍旧牢牢地控制着公司)的衰落而哀叹是容易的,但是,如果技术企业兑现不了承诺,普通投资者也不太有可能眼看着他们的财富被糟蹋。

Staying private allows entrepreneurs to avoid the headaches that come from being quoted: the nuisance of activist investors, the drudgery of compliance, the vision-crushing ritual of quarterly reporting. In theory, a coterie of investors is better than an anonymous multitude of shareholders at making sure managers act in the interests of all a firm's owners.

保持私有可以让企业家避免企业上市的一些头疼事。例如,激进投资者的干扰,中规中矩的苦恼,季报对前景的例行冲击。从理论上说,在确保管理者以符合企业全部所有者的利益做事方面,少量的投资者要好于一大群匿名的投资者。

But staying private has risks, too. One is that firms under no obligation to make public a full set of audited accounts will remain veiled from the scrutiny of analysts and short-sellers and so act irresponsibly. America's tech “unicorns”—firms that have reached a valuation of more than $1 billion—are worth around $300 billion between them. The danger that some of this capital is being misallocated is high.

但是,保持私有也有风险。其一,没有义务公开其全部账目的企业将保持它们对于分析师和卖空者审查的不透明。因此,可以无所顾忌的做事。美国的科技“独角兽”——估值超过10亿美元的企业——加起来大约值3万亿美元左右。这笔资金的一部分被错误配置的危险很高。

The other risk is that a charmed circle with great wealth becomes cut off from everyone else. For a group rewriting the rules for industry after industry, that is a special danger.

另一种风险是,这个拥有巨大财富的小圈子变得同其他所有人都格格不入。对于一个正在改写一个又一个行业规则的圈子来说,这是一种特殊的危险。

The empire of the geeks draws its strength from a culture of techno-evangelism that enables entrepreneurs to rethink old systems and embrace new ones. Many denizens of the Valley believe that tech is the solution to all ills and that government is just an annoyance that still lacks an algorithm. So far the public's relationship with the tech titans has been mostly harmonious. Consumers enjoy their taxi-hailing apps, music streaming and voice-recognition software.

极客帝国是从一种能够让企业家反思旧体制并拥抱新体制的科技布道文化中吸取起力量的。许多硅谷居民都认为,技术是所有弊端的解决之道,政府不过是一个仍然缺少一种算法的令人讨厌的家伙。到目前为止,公众与科技巨头的关系大都是和谐的。消费者享受他们的打车、音乐流和声音识别软件。

Yet cracking open established industries inevitably results in conflict. Uber is the firm most embroiled in controversy, whether facing licensed taxi-drivers on the streets or demands from its own drivers in the courts. European regulators are also scrutinising firms like Facebook and Google for everything from antitrust concerns to data protection. And American regulators are reportedly looking at whether Apple has abused its clout in the music business.

然而,敲开既有行业的行为会不可避免地导致冲突。 Uber 是身处漩涡中心的企业,是面对街上那些有执照的出租车司机还是在法庭上面对来自他自己的司机的要求。欧洲的监管者也在审查脸书和谷歌等企业,涉及从反垄断关切到数据保护等所有方面。据报道,美国监管者据也在审查苹果是否滥用了它在音乐商业方面的影响力。

Critics are often from industries wanting to protect their privileges; the geeks' aggressive behaviour is sometimes part of the creative destruction that leads to progress. But that is not the only source of anger. Silicon Valley also dominates markets, sucks out the value contained in personal data, and erects business models that make money partly by avoiding taxes. There is a risk that global consumers will feel exploited and that the effects of a shrinking tax base will infuriate voters. If the perception takes root that enormous profits from exploiting data and avoiding taxes are crystallised in the fortunes of a few people living on a patch of ground near San Francisco, then there will be a backlash.

批评经常是来自于想要保护自己特权的行业;极客的进攻行为有时是带来进步的创造性破坏的一部分。但是,这不是愤怒唯一来源。硅谷还主导市场,榨取包含在个人信息中的价值,树立部分地通过避税来致富的行业模式。存在着一种全球消费者会认为自己受到了压榨以及一个不断萎缩的税收基础将激怒选民的效应的风险。倘若来自榨取数据和避税的巨大利润在住在旧金山附近的一块土地上的少数人的财富中得到反映的这种看法扎下了根,那么,将会有一场强烈的反击。

Mind the techlash
注意对技术的不满


The Valley's firms are hardly the only ones to push against taxes and regulation. They are free to operate as they like within the law. But they risk becoming targets because they are so global. They should remember that the law can change. If they want a seat at the table when it does, they need to be part of the markets they sell into, not isolated from them. Even private firms run by geniuses need a licence from society to operate.

硅谷的企业几乎不是唯一对抗税收和监管的企业。他们可以在法律范围内随心所欲地运营。但是,他们会因为自己太具全球性而存在成为靶子的风险。他们应当记住,法律是可以改变的。如果他们想在这种事发生时获得一席之地,他们需要成为自己所开拓的市场的一部分,而不是与之相隔离。即便是由天才运营的私有企业也需要来自社会的执照去运作。

At its best Silicon Valley is an expression of iconoclastic freedom and creativity. It would be a terrible shame if it became an unpopular and remote manifestation of elitism.

风光无限时,硅谷是一种打破传统的自由和创造力的象征;如果变成精英主义的一种不受欢迎又高高在上的现象,它会成为一个可怕的耻辱。

From the print edition: Leaders

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发表于 2015-7-29 11:02:52 | 显示全部楼层
本帖最后由 ♂开心就好★ 于 2015-7-29 11:09 编辑

If the perception takes root that enormous profits from exploiting data and avoiding taxes are crystallised in the fortunes of a few people living on a patch of ground near San Francisco, then there will be a backlash.

大神的翻译太长了,长句应该断句,否则读者读到后忘记前。另外,will 之类的都不宜翻译成将。

   在旧金山附近弹丸之地上少数人的财富, 来自数据开发的暴利和规避税收。这一看法若根植于民众,今后定会引起强烈反对。(补上了民众,不知对否)
  大神,探讨下。
PS:对您 的翻译的回应是对您最大的尊重,是不?

点评

fsz
今后必会有强烈的反弹。  发表于 2015-7-29 14:57
fsz
倘若来自诈取数据和避税的巨额利润就是在旧金山周围的少数人手中的财富这种观念深入人心  发表于 2015-7-29 14:56
fsz
为什么一定是民众呢?虽然这个可能性很大,但是原文中没有,需要用正确的汉语表达出来。  发表于 2015-7-29 14:52
fsz
拆开来有的地方不准确。  发表于 2015-7-29 14:49
发表于 2015-7-28 10:15:12 | 显示全部楼层
2014年上市的技术企业的平均“年龄”是11岁;回到1999年,它们只等了4年就上市了。
(不好理解)

It is easy to lament the decline of the publicly listed company (though even when founders do list they keep a tight rein), but if tech firms fall short of their promises, ordinary investors are less likely to see their wealth destroyed.
哀叹上市公司的衰落是容易的(即便是在创立者真得将他们牢牢控制的股份上市的情况下也是如此),但是,如果技术企业兑现不了它们的承诺,普通投资者就不太有可能眼看着它们的财富被毁。
上升公司(数量)的减少令人叹息(虽然上市后股东还是会牢牢把握控股权),但这也有好的一面,那就是如果上市公司无法达成承诺,普通投资者遭受损失的可能性就小了。
(不上市就没有伤害 :-P)

the nuisance of activist investors, the drudgery of compliance, the vision-crushing ritual of quarterly reporting.
主动投资者的纠缠,俯首听命的苦差事,例行季报的不符合预期。
(激进投资者的干扰在于想改变经营的线路, compliance 是指合规性(满足监管)要求,季度报告对实现企业的愿景造成冲击--为了短期数字影响理想的实现)

at making sure managers act in the interests of all a firm's owners.
在确认管理者以符合企业全部所有者的利益做事方面
确认 -> 确保
发表于 2015-7-27 08:57:48 | 显示全部楼层
佩服大神的毅力,每周必有一篇!感谢!
发表于 2015-7-27 11:16:25 | 显示全部楼层
译文叹为观止
发表于 2015-7-27 12:58:17 | 显示全部楼层
从今天起一天一篇把大神的这些文章看完,加油
发表于 2015-7-29 17:40:41 | 显示全部楼层
原文中没有就要我们补出的吧,便于读者,我第一次是译成根植于极客,后来看了你贴的参考消息上的翻译,改成民众
发表于 2015-7-29 21:46:04 | 显示全部楼层
偶是新手,请多多指教
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