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经济学人:电子书之父迈克·哈特

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Michael Hart

迈克·哈特
Michael Hart, father of e-books and founder of Project Gutenberg, died on September 6th, aged 64.
迈克·哈特,电子书之父,古登堡计划创始人,于9月6日逝世,享年64岁。
AMONG the episodes in his life that didn't last, that were over almost before they began,
他的一生中有很多持续不长的段落,有一些在开始以前就几乎结束了,
including a spell in the army and a try at marriage, Michael Hart was a street musician in San Francisco.
包括短暂的军旅生活和婚姻。在这些段落中,迈克·哈特曾在旧金山当过街头音乐家。

He made no money at it, but then he never bought into the money system much—garage-sale T-shirts, canned beans for supper, were his sort of thing.

这赚不了几个钱,但他从不相信货币系统。在跳蚤市场里减价的T恤衫,豆子罐头当晚餐,这些才像他的风格。
He gave the music away for nothing because he believed it should be as freely available as the air you breathed,
他把自己的音乐免费送给路人,因为他相信音乐应该像你所呼吸的空气,
or as the wild blackberries and raspberries he used to gorge on, growing up, in the woods near Tacoma in Washington state.
或是他在华盛顿州塔克马附近的森林里长大时经常用来填腹的野生浆果那样予取予求的。
All good things should be abundant, and they should be free.
所有的好东西都应该是充足的,而且免费。
He came to apply that principle to books, too.
他的这个原则也被用于书本。
Everyone should have access to the great works of the world, whether heavy (Shakespeare, “Moby-Dick”, pi to 1m places), or light (Peter Pan, Sherlock Holmes, the “Kama Sutra”).
所有人都应该可以阅读世界上的著作,不管是晦涩的(莎士比亚,“白鲸记”,圆周率记录到小数点后一百万位),还是轻松的(彼得潘,夏洛克·福尔摩斯,“爱经”)。
Everyone should have a free library of their own, the whole Library of Congress if they wanted, or some esoteric little subset;
所有人都应有自己的免费图书馆,想要的话可以是整个国会图书馆,或者是它其中冷门的一部分。
he liked Romanian poetry himself, and Herman Hesse's “Siddhartha”.
他本人就喜欢罗马尼亚诗歌,和赫曼·赫塞的“悉达多”。
The joy of e-books, which he invented, was that anyone could read those books anywhere, free, on any device, and every text could be replicated millions of times over.
他发明的电子书的快乐在于任何人可以在任何地方免费地用任何仪器读哪些书。而每一本都可以轻松地被复制一百万份。
He dreamed that by 2021 he would have provided a million e-books each, a petabyte of information that could probably be held in one hand,
他曾梦想到2021年可以向世界上十亿人提供人手一份一百万本电子书,可以用一只手拿着的一千万亿字节的信息。
to a billion people all over the globe—a quadrillion books, just given away. As powerful as the Bomb, but beneficial.
这将会是免费赠送的一万兆本书。和原子弹一样强大,但是正面的强大。
That dream had grown from small beginnings: from him, a student at the University of Illinois in Urbana,
这个梦想的源头是很小的:1971年7月4日晚上,他,伊利诺斯大学厄巴纳分校的一名学生,
hanging round a huge old mainframe computer on the night of the Fourth of July in 1971, with the sound of fireworks still in his ears.
一边倾听着国庆的烟火,一边拨弄着一台巨大的主机电脑。
The engineers had given him by his reckoning $100m-worth of computer time, in those infant days of the internet.
当时还是互联网的襁褓时期,据他说实验室里的工程师让给他的电脑用时价值高达一亿美元。
Wondering what to do, ferreting in his bag, he found a copy of the Declaration of Independence he had been given at the grocery store,
不知道该干什么好,他在书包里搜出了一本杂货店伙计送给他的独立宣言,那一刻,灵感在他脑海里诞生了。
and a light-bulb pinged on in his head. Slowly, on a 50-year-old Teletype machine with punched-paper tape, he began to bang out “When in the Course of human events…”
缓慢的,利用一台50岁的装有打孔纸带的电传打字机,他开始了打下“于人类事务发展的过程中……”
This was the first free e-text, and none better as a declaration of freedom from the old-boy network of publishing.
这是第一份免费电子书,也是书籍从陈旧的出版网络中独立出来的一份宣言。
What he typed could not even be sent as an e-mail, in case it crashed the ancient Arpanet system;
当时为了防止老旧的阿帕网(ARPANET)当机他甚至不能用电邮发送该文件。
he had to send a message to say that it could be downloaded. Six people did, of perhaps 100 on the network.
他必须向其他人发送信息来告诉他们可以在这里下载该文件。当时网络里的大约100人里有六个人下载了这份独立宣言。
It was followed over years by the Gettysburg Address, the Constitution and the King James Bible, all arduously hand-typed, full of errors, by Mr Hart.
接下去的几年这份书单上又增加了盖兹堡演说,美国宪法和钦定版圣经,全都是哈特自己辛勤打字的结果,其中充满了错漏。
No one particularly noticed. He mended people's hi-fis to get by.
几乎没人注意到他的这项工程。他靠给人们修音响来勉强糊口。
Then from 1981, with a growing band of volunteer helpers scanning, rather than typing, a flood of e-texts gathered.
1981年开始,随着越来越多的志愿者开始帮忙进行扫描取代打字,大量的电子书产生了。
By 2011 there were 33,000, accumulating at a rate of 200 a month, with translations into 60 languages, all given away free.
到2011年总共有33000本,累计平均一个月200本,共有60种语言的译文,全部免费赠送。
No wonder money-oriented rivals such as Google and Yahoo! sprang up all round as the new century dawned, claiming to have invented e-books before him.
有着这么一座宝库也就难怪一些以赚钱为目的的对手像是谷歌和雅虎在新世纪来临时会上窜下跳,争吵着他们在哈特之前发明了电子书。
He called his enterprise Project Gutenberg.
他把这个工程叫作古登堡计划。
This was partly because Gutenberg with his printing press had put wagonloads of books within the reach of people who had never read before;
一方面古登堡发明了活字印刷使人们可以轻易拿到一车车的从没读过的书,
and also because printing had torn down the wall between haves and have-nots, literate and illiterate, rich and poor, until whole power-structures toppled.
同时印刷也摧毁了有产阶级和无产阶级,识字者和文盲,富人和穷人之间的高墙,最终导致了整个权力结构的解体。
Mr Hart, for all his burly, hippy affability, was a cyber-revolutionary, with a snappy list of the effects he expected e-books to have:
哈特,虽然看上去是个嬉皮友好的大块头,其实是一个网路革命家,他曾简短地写下他预计电子书能够产生的影响。
Books prices plummet.
书价暴跌
Literacy rates soar.
识字率飚升
Education rates soar.
教育率飚升
Old structures crumble, as did the Church.
旧有结构垮台,就像中世纪的教廷
Scientific Revolution.
科学革命
Industrial Revolution.
工业革命
Humanitarian Revolution.
人文革命
If all these upheavals were tardier than he hoped, it was because of the Mickey Mouse copyright laws.
这些巨变并没有如期而来,很大的原因是米老鼠版权法。
Every time men found a speedier way to spread information to each other, government made it illegal.
每次有人找到可以更迅速地传播信息的方法,政府就会将该方法列为非法。
During the lifetime of Project Gutenberg alone, the average time a book stayed in copyright in America rose from 30 to almost 100 years.
光是在古登堡计划期间,美国书籍的平均版权保护期限从原来的30年上升到了将近100年。
Mr Hart tried to keep out of trouble, posting works that were safely in the public domain,
哈特努力不招惹麻烦,只发布已经很稳妥地位入公共领域内的书籍。
but chafed at being unable to give away books that were new, and fought all copyright extensions like a tiger.
但是不能发布新书仍然让他痛苦。他像一只猛虎那样和所有的版权保护续期作斗争。
“Unlimited distribution” was his mantra. Give everyone everything! Break the bars of ignorance down!
他的口号是“无限发布”。予求予取!打破无知的枷锁!
The power of plain words
简单文字的力量
He lived without a mobile phone, in a chaos of books and wiring.
他没有手机,每天住在一堆混乱的书籍和电线中。
The computer hardware in his basement, from where he kept an unbossy watch over the whole project,
他在他的地下室以放牛吃草的态度管理整个计划,
often not bothering to pick up his monthly salary, was ten years old, and the software 20.
经常连自己的薪水也不拿。他的计算机硬件已经用了10年,软件则有20年了。
Simple crowdsourcing was his management style, where people scanned or keyed in works they loved and sent them to him.
他的管理风格就是简单的群众合作,人们把自己喜爱的书用扫描或打字收录下来再寄给他。
Project Gutenberg books had a frugal look, with their Plain Vanilla ASCII format, which might have been produced on an old typewriter;
古登堡计划里的书其貌不扬,用最普通的ASCII编码形式打成的文本,看上去无法分辨是否由老打字机做出来的。
but then it was content, not form, that mattered to Mr Hart. These were great thoughts,
但是对哈特来说重要的是内容,不是形式。书中有伟大的思想,
and he was sending them to people everywhere, available to read at the speed of light, and free as the air they breathed.
而他只是把这些思想以光速散播给世界各地的人们供其阅读,且如同空气一样免费。

重点单词   查看全部解释    
vanilla [və'nilə]

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n. 香草
adj. 香草的,平淡的,乏

联想记忆
address [ə'dres]

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n. 住址,致词,讲话,谈吐,(处理问题的)技巧

 
spread [spred]

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v. 伸展,展开,传播,散布,铺开,涂撒
n.

 
esoteric [.esəu'terik]

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adj. 秘传的,神秘的,难懂的

联想记忆
gorge [gɔ:dʒ]

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n. 峡谷,狭窄入口,饱食,咽喉,大量的食物

联想记忆
band [bænd]

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n. 带,箍,波段
n. 队,一群,乐队

 
affability [,æfə'biləti]

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n. 亲切;和蔼;殷勤

 
literate ['litərit]

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n. 受过教育的人,识字的人 adj. 精通文学的,有学

联想记忆
distribution [.distri'bju:ʃən]

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n. 分发,分配,散布,分布

联想记忆
network ['netwə:k]

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n. 网络,网状物,网状系统
vt. (

 


关键字: 经济 学人 电子书

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