西屋时间胶囊

  时间胶囊是是一种用来把某些东西存放到未来再打开的容器,因其具备跨越时间的属性,所以被称为时间胶囊。历史上最著名的时间胶囊是在1939年世博会被埋下的西屋时间胶囊 是准备在6939年打开的,除了一些当时的代表性物品,还有爱因斯坦、物理学家密立根、著名作家托马斯·曼流给未来的三段话,现摘录并翻译如下。

Albert Einstein’s message

Our time is rich in inventive minds, the inventions of which could facilitate our lives considerably. We are crossing the seas by power and utilise power also in order to relieve humanity from all tiring muscular work. We have learned to fly and we are able to send messages and news without any difficulty over the entire world through electric waves. However, the production and distribution of commodities is entirely unorganised so that everybody must live in fear of being eliminated from the economic cycle, in this way suffering for the want of everything. Further more, people living in different countries kill each other at irregular time intervals, so that also for this reason any one who thinks about the future must live in fear and terror. This is due to the fact that the intelligence and character of the masses are incomparably lower than the intelligence and character of the few who produce some thing valuable for the community. I trust that posterity will read these statements with a feeling of proud and justified superiority.

我们这个时代不缺少有创意的头脑,他们所带来的发明创造极大地提升了我们的生活品质。借助机器动力,我们可以横穿大洋,从一切繁重的体力活儿中解脱出来。我们学会了飞行,并且可以通过电波将新闻和消息毫不费力地发往全球。不过,实体物品的生产和分发仍然是一团混乱,因而每个人都生活在恐惧当中,担心自己跟不上经济节奏,这也是我们总想拥有一切的根源所在。更何况,不同国家的人们时不时地彼此杀戮,所以,任何一个为将来着想的人都会生活在焦虑和恐惧中。而这一切的症结,在于大众的智慧和品格要远远低于少数为社会创造出价值的人。我相信,我们的后代在读到这段文字时,应该会感到骄傲和应有的优越感。(备注:他人翻译)

Robert Andrews Millikan’s message,

At this moment, August 22, 1938, the principles of representative ballot government, such as are represented by the governments of the Anglo-Saxon, French, and Scandinavian countries, are in deadly conflict with the principles of despotism, which up to two centuries ago had controlled the destiny of man throughout practically the whole of recorded history. If the rational, scientific, progressive principles win out in this struggle there is a possibility of a warless, golden age ahead for mankind. If the reactionary principles of despotism triumph now and in the future, the future history of mankind will repeat the sad story of war and oppression as in the past.

1938年8月22日这一刻,以盎格鲁-撒克逊、法国、斯堪的纳维亚等国为代表的选举制民主政府与控制人类命运两世纪甚至实际上贯穿整个人类历史的专制主义发生了致命冲突。如果在这场斗争中,理性、科学、进步的原则胜利了,那么人类可能得到一个没有硝烟的黄金时代。如果现在甚至将来反动和专制主义获得了胜利,人类的未来会像过去一样重复战争和压迫的悲惨故事。

Thomas Mann’s message,

We know now that the idea of the future as a “better world” was a fallacy of the doctrine of progress. The hopes we center on you, citizens of the future, are in no way exaggerated. In broad outline, you will actually resemble us very much as we resemble those who lived a thousand, or five thousand, years ago. Among you too the spirit will fare badly. It should never fare too well on this earth, otherwise men would need it no longer. That optimistic conception of the future is a projection into time of an endeavor which does not belong to the temporal world, the endeavor on the part of man to approximate to his idea of himself, the humanization of man. What we, in this year of Our Lord 1938, understand by the term “culture” a notion held in small esteem today by certain nations of the western world is simply this endeavor. What we call the spirit is identical with it, too. Brothers of the future, united with us in the spirit and in this endeavor, we send our greetings.

我们现在都知道未来更美好是进步主义学说的谬论。未来的公民,你是我们的希望,这绝不是夸大其词。总的来说,其实我们很相似,我们之于你们就如同一千或者五千年前那些人们之于我们。你们的心灵也会浑浊不堪,在地球上它应该污秽下去,否则男人们就不需要它了。这种对未来的乐观看法是对不属于世俗世界的进取心在时间上的投影,那就是人性。我们呢,在我们主宰的1938年,今天被某些西方国家推崇的被『文化』所理解这种概念就是一种简单的『进取』,我们称其为并心同力。未来的同胞们,让我们在追求心灵的纯粹和进步中联合起来,向你们致以诚挚的问候。

  80年前的3段话,对于现在也基本上快没什么意义了,也许埋藏这三句话的初衷是为了警醒未来人,但我觉得哪个时候的人不再需要别人告诉他们和平的重要性,而需要别人告诉他们出路。在世界上大多数国家战争已经消声灭迹,然而还有大量为未来着想的人生活在焦虑和恐惧中,他们不是为人类的未来而焦虑和恐惧,而是为自己的未来焦虑和恐惧,焦虑自己住不上好房子、买不到好车、赚不到大钱、得不到别人尊重的目光,这些都是世俗的想法,大众基本都不会考虑为社会为人类创造价值,未来我们该担忧的不是战争,而是无休无止的贪婪将人类吞噬。
到底有没有人知道人类面临着什么样的危机?

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