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托福TPO-05 Lecture 1

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Narrator:Listen to part of a lecture in a sociology class.

独白:请听一段社会学课上的演讲
Professor:Have you ever heard the one about alligators living in New York sewers?
教授:你是否有听过在纽约下水道生活的短吻鳄的故事?
The story goes like this:
内容是这样的:
a family went on vacation in Florida and bought a couple of baby alligators as presents for their children, then returned from vacation to New York, bringing the alligators home with them as pets.
有一家人在佛罗里达度假之后,给家里的小孩子带回了几只短吻鳄作为礼物,回到纽约后这几只小短吻鳄被做宠物养着。
But the alligators would escape and find their way into the New York sewer system where they started reproducing, grew to huge sizes and now strike fear into sewer workers.
然而短吻鳄成功逃走并找到来到纽约下水道的路,在那里开始繁殖长成大短吻鳄,现在下水道工人们也心有余悸。
Have you heard this story?
你们听过这个故事吗?
Well, it isn't true and it never happened.
好吧,这不是真实的,从未发生过。
But despite that, the story has been around since the 1930s.
尽管如此,该故事自 20 世纪 30 年代就已传开来了。
Or how about the song twinkle, twinkle little star, you know, twinkle, twinkle, little star, how I wonder what you are.
抑或是这首歌“闪闪的星星”,是这样唱的:“一闪一闪亮晶晶,满天都是小星星”。
Well we've all heard this song.
我们都听过这首歌。
Where am I going with this?
我的用意在哪儿呢?
Well, both the song and the story are examples of memes.
这个故事和这首歌都是用来引出模因的两个例子。
And that's what we would talk about, the theory of memes.
模因理论就是我们要讲的。
A meme is defined as a piece of information copied from person to person.
模因被定义为人与人之间所复制的一则信息。
By this definition, most of what you know, ideas, skills, stories, songs are memes.
根据这个定义,我们所知道的,想法,技巧,故事和歌曲都可以是模因。
All the words you know, all the scientific theories you've learned, the rules your parents taught you to observe, all are memes that have been passed on from person to person.
所有你所学的单词和科学理论,父母教你观察的规律,这些都是人与人之间所传递的模因。
So what?
那又怎样?
You may say.
你们可能这样想,
Passing on ideas from one person to another is nothing new.
在人与人之间传递想法已经不是什么新鲜事了。
Well, the whole point of defining this familiar process as transmission of memes is so that we can explore its analogy with the transmission of genes.
将这种人们熟悉的过程定义为模因传递的重点在于我们能够可以将它与基因的传递进行类比。
As you know, all living organisms pass on biological information through the genes.
众所周知,所有生物都是通过基因传递生物信息。
What's a gene?
那么什么是基因呢?
A gene is a piece of biological information that gets copied or replicated, and the copy or replica is passed on to the new generation.
基因是不断复制生物信息,而所有信息会被传递到下一代中去。
So genes are defined as replicators.
因此基因被定义为复制器。
Genes are replicators that pass on information about properties and characteristics of organisms.
基因是将包含生物性质和特征的信息传递到下一代的复制器。
By analogy, memes also get replicated and in the process pass on culture information from person to person, generation to generation.
通过类比,我们知道模因也是通过复制并把文化信息在同一时代和不同时代的人之间传递下去。
So memes are also replicators.
因此模因也是复制器。
To be a successful replicator, there are three key characteristics:
成功的复制器必须具备三个关键特征:
longevity, fecundity and fidelity.
寿命长,繁殖力好和准确性强。
Let's take a closer look.
我们进一步看看。
First, longevity.
首先是寿命,
A replicator must exist long enough to be able to get copied, and transfer its information.
复制器存活的时间必须足够长才能得到复制并将信息传递并转移。
Clearly, the longer a replicator survives, the better its chances of getting its message copied and passed on.
很明显,复制器存活的越久,其信息得到复制和传递的几率就越大。
So longevity is a key characteristic of a replicator.
因此寿命长是复制器的关键特征。
If you take the alligator story, it can exist for a long time in individual memory, let's say, my memory.
就短吻鳄的故事来说,它能在个人记忆中存在很久的时间,比如说我的记忆。
I can tell you the story now or ten years from now, the same with the twinkle, twinkle song.
现在甚至十年后我都可以跟你讲这个故事,歌曲闪闪的星星也是一样。
So these memes have longevity because they are memorable for one reason or another.
由于各种原因我们记住了这些模因,他们因此具有很长的寿命。
Next, fecundity.
第二个特征是繁殖力强。
Fecundity is the ability to reproduce in large numbers.
繁殖力指的是大量繁殖后代的能力。
For example, the common housefly reproduces by laying several thousand eggs, so each fly gene gets copied thousands of times.
比如,普通的家蝇产下数以千计的卵繁殖后代,这样每只苍蝇的基因就被复制了上千遍。
Memes, well, they can be reproduced in large numbers as well.
同样,模因也能大量繁殖。
How many times have you sung the twinkle, twinkle song to someone?
你对别人唱过多少次“闪闪的星星”这首歌?
Each time you replicated that song, and maybe passed it along to someone who did not know it yet, a small child maybe.
通过不断重复,有时候你可能将歌声传到某些从未听过的人耳里,也许是一个小孩儿。
And finally, fidelity.
最后一个特征是准确性强。
Fidelity means accuracy of the copying process.
准确性指的是复制过程的准确性。
We know fidelity is an essential principle of genetic transmission.
我们知道基因的传递过程中准确性是一个核心的原则。
If a copy of a gene is a bit different from the original, that's called a genetic mutation.
如果复制的基因跟原来的基因有一点不同,就产生了基因突变,
And mutations are usually bad news.
而这是不好的事情。
An organism often can not survive with a mutated gene.
如果出现基因突变,生物是不能存活下去的。
And so a gene usually can not be passed on, unless it's an exact copy.
因此基因经常不能传递下去,除非是准确的复制。
For memes however, fidelity is not always so important.
然而,对于模因来说,准确性却不是很重要的因素。
For example, if you tell someone the alligator story I told you today, it probably won't be word for word exactly as I said it.
比如,你对某人讲述了今天我跟你说的短吻鳄的故事,你不能做到一字不漏。
Still, it will be basically the same story, and the person who hears the story will be able to pass it along.
但是故事的基本内容不变,因此听到改故事的人也能继续传递下去。
Other memes are replicated with higher fidelity though, like the twinkle, twinkle song.
其他模因则需要较高的准确性进行复制,比如“闪闪星星”这首歌。
It had the exact same words 20 years ago as it does now.
现在人们传唱的歌词跟 20 年前的一模一样。
Well, that's because we see songs as something that has to be performed accurately each time.
这是因为我们认为歌曲的传唱每次都一成不变。
If you change a word, the others will usually bring you in line.
如果改变了一句歌词,其他人会对你说,
They'll say, that's not how you sing it, right?
你唱错了,是吗?
So, you can see how looking at pieces of cultural information as replicators,
从这些例子你现在明白了怎么将各种文化信息当做是复制者,
as memes, and analyzing them in terms of longevity, fecundity and fidelity,
即模因来看待,同时按照寿命长,繁殖力强和准确性高的标准来分析模因。
we can gain some inside about how they spread, persist or change.
我们能因此了解到他们传递,保持或改变的规律。

重点单词   查看全部解释    
original [ə'ridʒənl]

想一想再看

adj. 最初的,原始的,有独创性的,原版的

联想记忆
sewer ['səuə,'sjuə]

想一想再看

n. 下水道,阴沟,裁缝师

联想记忆
defined [di'faind]

想一想再看

adj. 有定义的,确定的;清晰的,轮廓分明的 v. 使

 
mutation [mju:'teiʃən]

想一想再看

n. 变化,转变,母音变化

 
definition [.defi'niʃən]

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n. 定义,阐释,清晰度

联想记忆
spread [spred]

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v. 伸展,展开,传播,散布,铺开,涂撒
n.

 
escape [is'keip]

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v. 逃跑,逃脱,避开
n. 逃跑,逃脱,(逃

 
fidelity [fi'deliti]

想一想再看

n. 忠实,忠诚,准确性

联想记忆
explore [iks'plɔ:]

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v. 探险,探测,探究

联想记忆
narrator [næ'reitə]

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n. 叙述者,讲解员

 

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