2009年4月29日 星期三


《讀書人》可能是聯合報之一周刊版 臺先生題字




The city of the sun (Tommaso Campanella)

The City of the Sun

由 Tommaso Campanella 著作 - 2006 - 94 頁
books.google.com - 關於此書 - 更多書籍結果 »

太陽の都 康帕尼拉(Tommaso Campanella)著 近藤∵一訳
康帕尼拉 (Campanella, Tommaso, 1568-1639)

184,[2]面 地圖 15公分

The city of the sun [electronic resource] : a poetical dialogue / by Tommaso Campanella
Campanella, Tommaso, 1568-1639
Mt. View, Calif. : Wiretap ; Boulder, Colo. : NetLibrary, [199-?]

The City of the Sun

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Civitas Solis

The City of the Sun (Italian: La città del Sole; Latin: Civitas Solis) is a philosophical work by the Italian Dominican philosopher Tommaso Campanella. It is an important early utopian work.

The work was written in Italian in 1602, shortly after Campanella's imprisonment for heresy and sedition. A Latin version was written in 1613–1614 and published in Frankfurt in 1623.

The City of the Sun is presented as a dialogue between "a Grandmaster of the Knights Hospitaller and a Genoese Sea-Captain". Inspired by Plato's Republic and the description of Atlantis in Timaeus, it describes a theocratic society where goods, women and children are held in common. It also resembles the City of Adocentyn in the Picatrix, an Arabic guide to magical town planning. In the final part of the work, Campanella prophesies — in the veiled language of astrology — that the Spanish kings, in alliance with the Pope, are destined to be the instruments of a Divine Plan: the final victory of the True Faith and its diffusion in the whole world. While one could argue that Campanella was simply thinking of the conquest of the New World, it seems that this prophecy should be interpreted in the light of a work written shortly before The City of the Sun, The Monarchy in Spain, in which Campanella exposes his vision of a unified, peaceful world governed by a theocratic monarchy.



[edit] Dialectal version

In 2008 The City of the Sun was published in the Stilese dialect by Giorgio Bruzzese by Stabilimenti Tipografici Editoriali di Tivoli[1].

[edit] See also

[edit] References

  1. ^ (Italian)Presentata a Stilo la versione in vernacolo della celebre “Città del sole”, Guardavalleweb

[edit] External links

2009年4月28日 星期二

The Era of Adapting Quickly


Books of The Times

The Era of Adapting Quickly

Published: April 27, 2009

The philosopher Isaiah Berlin famously divided thinkers into two categories: hedgehogs (like Plato, Pascal, Hegel, Dostoyevsky, Nietzsche, Ibsen and Proust), who know one big thing and tend to view the world through the lens of a single organizing principle, and foxes (like Herodotus, Shakespeare, Montaigne, Goethe, Balzac and Joyce), who know many things and who pursue various unrelated, even contradictory ends.

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Joshua Cooper Ramo


Why the New World Disorder Constantly Surprises Us and What We Can Do About It

By Joshua Cooper Ramo

280 pages. Little, Brown & Company. $25.99.

According to Joshua Cooper Ramo’s provocative new book, “The Age of the Unthinkable,” one study — in which hundreds of experts in subjects like economics, foreign policy and politics were asked to make predictions about the short-term future and whose predictions were evaluated five years later — showed that foxes, with their wide-ranging curiosity and willingness to embrace change, tended to be far more accurate in their forecasts than hedgehogs, eager for closure and keen on applying a few big ideas to an array of situations.

It’s a finding enthusiastically embraced by Mr. Ramo, who argues in these pages that today’s complex, interconnected, globalized world requires policy makers willing to toss out old assumptions (about cause and effect, deterrence and defense, nation states and balances of power) and embrace creative new approaches. Today’s world, he suggests, requires resilient pragmatists who, like the most talented Silicon Valley venture capitalists on the one hand or the survival-minded leadership of Hezbollah on the other, possess both an intuitive ability to see problems in a larger context and a willingness to rejigger their organizations continually to grapple with ever-shifting challenges and circumstances.

With this volume, Mr. Ramo, managing director at the geostrategic advisory firm Kissinger Associates and a former editor at Time magazine, seems to have set out to write a Malcolm Gladwellesque book: a book that popularizes complicated scientific theories while illustrating its arguments with colorful case studies and friendly how-to exhortations.

In drawing upon chaos science (explored in detail in James Gleick’s 1987 book, “Chaos”), complexity theory and the theory of disruptive innovation (pioneered by the Harvard Business School professor Clayton M. Christensen), Mr. Ramo does a nimble job of showing how such theories shed light on the current political and economic climate while avoiding the worst pitfalls (like an overreliance on suggestion and innuendo and the use of unrepresentative examples) of Mr. Gladwell’s clumsy last book, “Outliers.”

But if Mr. Ramo is adept at assessing the precarious state of today’s post-cold-war world — in which nation states face asymmetric threats from the likes of terrorists, drug cartels and computer hackers — he proves much less convincing in articulating practical means of grappling with such daunting problems.

The central image that Mr. Ramo uses to evoke what he calls this “age of surprise” is Per Bak’s sand pile — that is, a sand pile described some two decades ago by the Danish-American physicist Per Bak, who argued that if grains of sand were dropped on a pile one at a time, the pile, at some point, would enter a critical state in which another grain of sand could cause a large avalanche — or nothing at all. It’s a hypothesis that shows that a small event can have momentous consequences and that seemingly stable systems can behave in highly unpredictable ways.

It’s also a hypothesis that Mr. Ramo employs in this book as a metaphor for a complex world in which changes — in politics, ecosystems or financial markets — take place not in smooth, linear progressions but as sequences of fast, sometimes catastrophic events.

Real-life sand-pile avalanches, like the collapse of the Soviet Union or the 1929 crash of the stock market, Mr. Ramo declares, demand “a complete remapping of the world”: policymakers must junk a lot of their old thinking to cope with this unpredictable new order.

For instance, many of the assumptions of the realist school of foreign-policy making — which focused on nation states, “assumed countries were rational, and made the bet that pure power was the solution to any problem” — have been undercut by the irrationalities and contingencies that have recently multiplied on the world stage.

As Mr. Ramo observes, “Theories that involve only armies and diplomats don’t have much use” when “confronted with the peculiar nature of a financially interconnected world, where danger, risk and profit are linked in ways that can be impossible to spot and manage.”

To make matters even more complicated, Mr. Ramo continues, complex systems “tend to become more complex as time goes on”:

“The systems never get simpler. There was no moment at which they would evaporate or condense into a single, easy-to-spot target such as the U.S.S.R. The 1979 Islamic revolution in Iran, for example, was a single very knotty event that, in turn, gave birth to hundreds of jihadist groups, each of which developed different methods of terror, particular techniques of attack and destruction, which themselves were always changing and evolving.”

In this sand-pile world, a small group of terrorists armed with box cutters can inflict a terrible blow on a superpower — as Al Qaeda did on 9/11, just as bands of insurgents in Iraq managed to keep the mighty United States military at bay for three long years.

Iraq, Mr. Ramo astutely notes, is a war that showcased all of America’s most “maladaptive” tendencies. It was inaugurated on the premise of flawed idées fixes: that it would have “a clean, fast end” and would lead to a democratic regime that would transform the Middle East in a positive fashion. And the certainty of Bush administration officials not only led to incorrect assumptions (like the bet that “the ‘ecosystem’ of Iraq would settle into something stable that could be left to run itself”) but also resulted in an ill-planned and rigid occupation that was “incapable of the speedy refiguring that life in a war zone” inevitably requires.

So how should leaders cope with the sand-pile world? How can they learn to “ride the earthquake” and protect their countries from the worst fallout of such tremors? Mr. Ramo suggests that they must learn to build resilient societies with strong immune systems: instead of undertaking the impossible task of trying to prepare for every possible contingency, they ought to focus on things like “national health care, construction of a better transport infrastructure and investment in education.”

He suggests that leaders should develop ways of looking at problems that focus more on context than on reductive answers. And he talks about people learning to become gardeners instead of architects, of embracing Eastern ideas of indirection instead of Western patterns of confrontation, of seeing “threats as systems, not objects.”

Though Mr. Ramo sounds annoyingly fuzzy and vaguely New Agey when he tries to outline tactics for dealing with “the age of the unthinkable,” he’s at least managed, in this stimulating volume, to make the reader seriously contemplate the alarming nature of a rapidly changing world — a world in which uncertainty and indeterminacy are givens, and avalanches, negative cascades and tectonic shifts are ever-present dangers.

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Students, researchers, writers: for help citing sources, visit the Quick Guide to see clear examples of how to use Chicago-style citation.

The American Challenge/ The World Challenge: J. J. Servan Schreiber

Amazon.com: The American Challenge: J. J. Servan Schreiber: Books

美國人的挑戰/ 舒萊伯,塞凡(Schreiber, JJ Servan) 林,錦勝譯何,清欽譯text 臺北市: 協志工業叢書, 民59 --這譯本錯誤多

The American challenge / J. J. Servan-Schreiber ; with a foreword by Arthur Schlesinger, Jr. ; translated from the French by Ronald Steel
出版項 New York : Avon, 1969
法政研圖 D1065.U5 S413 1969 1614899 可流通

主要作者 薩文.史萊坡 (Servan-Schreiber, Jean Jacques)

Servan-Schreiber, Jean Jacques
書名/作者 美國之挑戰 / 薩文.史萊坡(J. J. Servan-Schreiber)撰; 茅及銓譯
出版項 台北市 : 中華企業管理發展中心, 民58[1969]


French Magazine Founder J.J. Servan-Schreiber, 82

By Emily Withrow
Associated Press
Wednesday, November 8, 2006; Page B05

Jean-Jacques Servan-Schreiber, 82, who co-founded the French newsweekly L'Express and encouraged Europe to emulate the United States, died Nov. 7 in the town of Fecamp in northwest France. He had complications from bronchitis.

After working as an international affairs reporter at Le Monde daily, Mr. Servan-Schreiber co-founded L'Express with journalist Fran?oise Giroud. He was only 29.

The publication began as a weekly supplement in Les Echos, a financial newspaper founded and run by Mr. Servan-Schreiber's father, Emile, and his uncle, Robert.

L'Express soon evolved into a newsmagazine, propelled early on by its ardent support of France's pullout from its colonies.

Mr. Servan-Schreiber was also known during the Cold War for his support of the United States and a free-market economy. He put John F. Kennedy on the cover of the magazine in the 1950s, long before his election as U.S. president, and he traveled to meet with Kennedy several times while he was in office, his son said.

In 1967, Mr. Servan-Schreiber published the popular essay "The American Challenge," which detailed the mechanisms of an economic power struggle brewing between Europe and the United States.

In it, he outlined a competitive strategy for Europe, highlighting the importance of science and technology in economic growth and arguing for increased cooperation among European countries. Translated into 15 languages, the book sold millions of copies worldwide.

Mr. Servan-Schreiber later made the jump from political observer to politician, serving as head of the center-left Radical Party from 1971 to 1979. He also served for two weeks as reform minister in 1974.

Mr. Servan-Schreiber sold L'Express in 1977 and wrote "The World Challenge" in 1980 as a sequel to his essay. The book highlights innovative studies in technology at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, where he lived with his family from 1984 to 1995. During that time, Mr. Servan-Schreiber served as president of the international committee at the university.

Survivors include his wife, Sabine; four children; and two grandchildren.

2009年4月27日 星期一

Information anxiety 2

主要作者 伍爾曼 (Wurman, Richard Saul, 1935- )

Wurman, Richard Saul, 1935-
書名/作者 資訊焦慮 / 理查.伍爾曼著; 張美惠譯
出版項 臺北市 : 時報文化, 1994[民83]
版本項 初版

主要作者 Wurman, Richard Saul, 1935-
書名/作者 Information anxiety 2 / Richard Saul Wurman ; with additional research & writing by Loring Leifer & David Sume ; Karen Whitehouse, editor ; Michael J. Nolan, information designer
出版項 Indianapolis, Ind. : Que, c2001

anxiety in the Internet age
-- The business of understanding
-- Land mines in the understanding field
-- An age of connections: integrated messages
-- The structure of conversation
-- Talk is deep
-- There is always a question
-- Finding things
-- Beyond personalities
-- Empowerment: the word of the new century
-- Instructions: the driver of conversation
-- Talking on the job: seeing instructions in the context of work
-- Education is to learning as tour goups are to adventure
-- Learning is remembering what you're interested in
-- You only learn things relative to something you understand
-- Hailing, failing, and stil sailing
-- Designing your life

The Old Man and the Sea

Original book cover
Author Ernest Hemingway

The Old Man and the Sea is a novella (127 pages in length) by Ernest Hemingway, written in Cuba in 1951 and published in 1952. It was the last major work of fiction to be produced by Hemingway and published in his lifetime. One of his most famous works, it centers upon Santiago, an aging Cuban fisherman who struggles with a giant marlin far out in the Gulf Stream.[1] It is noteworthy in twentieth century fiction, reaffirming Hemingway's worldwide literary prominence as well as being a significant factor in his selection for the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1954. It is no. 1 in The Irish Independant's list of 20 Lifetime Reads.[2]

The Old Man and the Sea allows various interpretations. Hemingway emphasizes that

No good book has ever been written that has in it symbols arrived at beforehand and stuck in. ... I tried to make a real old man, a real boy, a real sea and a real fish and real sharks. But if I made them good and true enough they would mean many things.[3]

The style of the work, the simplicity and the concreteness of its descriptions, provides a rich opportunity for symbolic interpretations. Some insights follow.

Santiago represents Christ suffering. Hemingway compares him to Jesus Christ on several occasions. He describes Santiago's cry as a "...a noise such as a man might make, involuntarily, feeling the nail go through his hand and into the wood" (107). Santiago also "...picked the mast up and put it on his shoulder and started up the road. He...[sat] down five times before he reached his shack" (121) much like Jesus did on the journey to his crucifixion, carrying the cross. Later Santiago sleeps "...face down ... with his arms out straight and the palms of his hands up" (122), the position of Jesus on the cross. All throughout the book the old man wishes for salt, a staple seasoning in the human diet. He is a fisherman, similar to Christ's disciples. Hemingway says that Santiago is not a religious man, but he seems to have some faith as shown by his offers to say his "Hail Marys" and praises if he catches the marlin.[4]

sacred heart of jesus

老人と海』(ろうじんとうみ、The Old Man and the Sea)は、アーネスト・ヘミングウェイの晩年の小説で、世界的なヒット作となった。1951年に書かれ、1952年出版された。 カジキと闘う孤独な老漁師サンチャゴの物語。戦いの末捕まえたカジキは、船に引き上げる事が出来ず、曳航して港に戻るまでにサメ(アオザメ)に食われて、獲物は失われてしまった。厭世的な晩年の心境も反映しているものと見られる。

作品の発想は、キューバの首都ハバナから少し東に行ったコヒマルという漁港の漁師達との会話の中から得られたという。ヘミングウェイは、釣りボートが嵐で遭難しかかって、その港にたどり着いた事から、頻繁にここを訪れていたという。 ヘミングウェイが1954年ノーベル文学賞を受賞したのには、この作品によるところが大きい。

2009年4月25日 星期六

Legacy of Ashes: The History of the CIA

Legacy of Ashes: The History of the CIA is a 2007 book by Tim Weiner. Legacy of Ashes is a detailed history of the Central Intelligence Agency from its creation after World War II, through the Cold War years and the War on Terror, to its near-collapse after 9/11. The book is based on more than 50,000 documents, primarily from the archives of the CIA itself, and hundreds of interviews with CIA veterans, including ten Directors of Central Intelligence. The Wall Street Journal called the book "truly extraordinary...the best book ever written on a case of espionage." Legacy of Ashes won the 2007 National Book Award for non-fiction.[1][2]


  1. ^ Tim Weiner (2007). Legacy of Ashes: The History of the CIA. Doubleday.
  2. ^ Counter Intelligence

External links

Legacy of Ashes: The History of the CIA

類別: 史地‧法律‧政治>政治軍事
Tim Weiner

★ 本書獲 2008.5.14 中國時報國際版專題介紹:

CIA 的罪與罰:收買日本政客 /摘自本書第 12 章〈我們以不同方式來管理〉

水門案中拒背黑鍋 尼克森逼局長辭職 /摘自本書第 30 章〈我們要倒大楣了〉

鼓吹匈牙利抗蘇 一廂情願的瞎搞 /摘譯自本書第 13 章〈一廂情願的瞎搞〉


強 力 推 薦

97.06.11 對談者》林添貴-賴正翔
許多電影不是將中央情報局描述成無孔不入的老大哥,要不然就是老捅簍子的官僚機構。但是《CIA六十年的罪與罰》一書則透露出CIA這個情治機構更多陰暗面,甚至違背民主自由的美國立國精神。... 【下載音檔】

內 容 簡 介

歷史「不過是記錄人類的罪行、蠢事與不幸」罷了。 ——吉朋,《羅馬帝國衰亡史》





中情局的核心任務是「告知總統世界情勢」,但多數時候任務都告失敗,這是中情局難以推卸的罪愆。韓戰、中蘇分裂、中東戰 爭、蘇聯及共產國家的解體、伊拉克入侵科威特、九一一事件,中情局全沒料到,無法防患於未然。尤有甚者,中情局非但沒做好情報蒐集,反而對各種祕密行動情 有獨鍾,在世界各地進行傷天害理的工作,滲透、顛覆、買票、政變、暗殺、散布謠言、擾亂社會和人心,無一不是和美國立國原則背道而馳。儘管中情局內充斥常 春藤盟校的一時俊彥, 卻太過自以為是,用各種「奧步」在海外強行推銷「美式民主」。這些敗績劣行讓中情局淪為國際惡棍與笑柄,更成了美國歷任總統的燙手山芋。

本書是第一部完全根據第一手報告和原始檔案寫成的中情局史,引用五萬多份中情局、白宮和國務院文件;兩千多份美國情報官 員、軍人和外交官的口述歷史;以及三百多份中情局官員與退休人員的訪談。書中所言斑斑可考,沒有匿名消息、沒有盲目引述、更沒有道聽塗說。作者韋納主跑情 報新聞二十餘年,並曾榮獲普立茲獎,調查之精闢,筆鋒之犀利,讓中情局六十載的罪與罰昭然而揭。





額斯特林說,就在中情局準備入侵古巴之際,「計畫逐漸加溫,開始有失控現象」。畢賽爾是主要動力。他突然加速向前,不願承認中情局推翻不了卡斯楚,更無視行動的隱密性早已無存的事實。  【詳全文】

作 者 簡 介

提姆‧韋納(Tim Weiner)

《紐約時報》記者,鑽研美國情報二十年,論述無數,曾因報導國安祕密計畫而榮獲普立茲獎,也為調查中情局祕密作戰行動走遍 阿富汗等國家,這是他的第三本書。《紐約時報》稱許韋納過去在中情局和美國情報的研究上「報導可觀」和「極具娛樂性」,《華爾街日報》則稱韋納另一部作品 《背叛:美國間諜艾姆斯的故事》(Betrayal: The Story of Aldrich Ames, an American Spy)「不同凡響......是諜報個案前所未有的佳構」。

譯 者 簡 介


資深文字工作者,曾任叢書主編、雜誌執行副總編輯。歷任首都、自立、中晚、中時、自由等各報國際新聞中心。譯有《生命的線 索》、《戰之華》、《基因、女孩、華生》、《後人類未來》、《聖經密碼》、《玻璃紙咖啡豆》、《天使墜落的城市》、《尋找染色體的人》、《11個我與城 堡》、《欲望解剖室》等。


灣大學畢業,歷任企業高階主管及新聞媒體資深編輯人,前中華民國工商協進會副祕書長、財團法人台灣亞洲基金會執行長。譯作 極豐,包括《蔣經國傳》、《裕仁天皇》、《轉向:從尼克森到柯林頓美中關係揭密》、《季辛吉大外交》(合譯)、《大棋盤》、《將門虎子》、《買通白宮》、 《李潔明回憶錄》、《東方驚雷》、《黑社會之華人黑幫縱橫史》、《羅馬跨國企業》等。

目 錄



第一部 杜魯門時期的中情局(一九四五年至一九五三年):毫無所悉
01 情報應該是全球性和極權式的
02 武力邏輯
03 以其人之道還治其人 
04 最為機密的事
05 有錢的瞎子
06 自殺任務
07 廣大的幻覺場域

第二部 艾森豪時期的中情局(一九五三年至一九六一年):奇才異士
08 我們沒有計畫
09 中情局的最大成就
10 連環轟炸
11 屆時就會有場風暴
12 我們以不同方式來管理
13 一廂情願的瞎搞
14 各式笨手笨腳的行動
15 很奇怪的戰爭
16 他欺下瞞上

第三部 甘迺迪與詹森時期的中情局(一九六一年至一九六八年):大義淪喪
17 沒人知道該怎麼辦
18 我們也騙了自己
19 我們很樂意交換飛彈
20 老大,我們幹得不錯吧?
21 我認為是陰謀
22 險惡趨勢
23 有勇無謀
24 開始下滑
25 我們打不贏這場戰爭
26 政治氫彈
27 追查外國共產黨人

第四部 尼克森與福特時期的中情局(一九六八年至一九七七年):甩開群丑
28 那些小丑到底在朗格里做什麼
29 美國政府要的是軍事解決
30 我們要倒大楣了
31 改變特勤機關的觀念
32 古典法西斯主義理想
33 中情局會完蛋
34 別了西貢
35 沒用又怕事

第五部 卡特、雷根與老布希時期的中情局(一九七七年至一九九三年):勝不足喜
36 他想推翻他們的體制
37 我們只是睡死了
38 不羈的冒險家
39 危險方式
40 他冒著大風險
41 騙子中的騙子
42 從不可能處著眼
43 一旦柏林圍牆倒下,我們該怎麼辦?

第六部 柯林頓與小布希時期的中情局(一九九三年至二○○七年):思量評估
44 我們沒有事實
45 我們怎麼會不知道?
46 我們有麻煩
47 再真實不過的威脅
48 黑暗面
49 嚴重失誤
50 葬禮

Legacy of Ashes

The History of the CIA

By Tim Weiner
Doubleday. 702 pp. $27.95
Friday, July 20, 2007

Chapter One


All Harry Truman wanted was a newspaper.

Catapulted into the White House by the death of President Franklin D. Roosevelt on April 12, 1945, Truman knew nothing about the development of the atomic bomb or the intentions of his Soviet allies. He needed information to use his power.

"When I took over," he wrote in a letter to a friend years later, "the President had no means of coordinating the intelligence from around the world." Roosevelt had created the Office of Strategic Services, under the command of General William J. Donovan, as America's wartime intelligence agency. But Donovan's OSS was never built to last. When the new Central Intelligence Agency arose from its ashes, Truman wanted it to serve him solely as a global news service, delivering daily bulletins. "It was not intended as a 'Cloak & Dagger Outfit'!" he wrote. "It was intended merely as a center for keeping the President informed on what was going on in the world." He insisted that he never wanted the CIA "to act as a spy organization. That was never the intention when it was organized."

His vision was subverted from the start.

"In a global and totalitarian war," General Donovan believed, "intelligence must be global and totalitarian." On November 18, 1944, he had written to President Roosevelt proposing that the United States create a peacetime "Central Intelligence Service." He had started sketching his plan the year before, at the behest of Lieutenant General Walter Bedell Smith, chief of staff to General Dwight D. Eisenhower, who wanted to know how the OSS would become part of the military establishment of the United States. Donovan told the president that he could learn the "capabilities, intentions and activities of foreign nations" while running "subversive operations abroad" against America's enemies. The OSS had never been stronger than thirteen thousand members, smaller than a single army division. But the service Donovan envisioned would be its own army, a force skillfully combating communism, defending America from attack, and serving up secrets for the White House. He urged the president to "lay the keel of the ship at once," and he aimed to be its captain.

Nicknamed "Wild Bill" after a fast but errant pitcher who managed the New York Yankees from 1915 to 1917, Donovan was a brave old soldier-he had won the Congressional Medal of Honor for heroism in the trenches of France during World War I-but a poor politician. Very few generals and admirals trusted him. They were appalled by his idea of making a spy service out of a scattershot collection of Wall Street brokers, Ivy League eggheads, soldiers of fortune, ad men, news men, stunt men, second-story men, and con men.

The OSS had developed a uniquely American cadre of intelligence analysts, but Donovan and his star officer, Allen W. Dulles, were enthralled by espionage and sabotage, skills at which Americans were amateurs. Donovan depended on British intelligence to school his men in the dark arts. The bravest of the OSS, the ones who inspired legends, were the men who jumped behind enemy lines, running guns, blowing up bridges, plotting against the Nazis with the French and the Balkan resistance movements. In the last year of the war, with his forces spread throughout Europe, North Africa, and Asia, Donovan wanted to drop his agents directly into Germany. He did, and they died. Of the twenty-one two-man teams that went in, only one was ever heard from again. These were the kinds of missions General Donovan dreamed up daily-some daring, some deluded.

"His imagination was unlimited," said his right-hand man, David K. E. Bruce, later the American ambassador to France, Germany, and England. "Ideas were his plaything. Excitement made him snort like a racehorse. Woe to the officer who turned down a project, because, on its face, it seemed ridiculous, or at least unusual. For painful weeks under his command I tested the possibility of using bats taken from concentrations in Western caves to destroy Tokyo"-dropping them into the sky with incendiary bombs strapped to their backs. That was the spirit of the OSS.

President Roosevelt always had his doubts about Donovan. Early in 1945, he had ordered his chief White House military aide, Colonel Richard Park, Jr., to conduct a secret investigation into the wartime operations of the OSS. As Park began his work, leaks from the White House created headlines in New York, Chicago, and Washington, warning that Donovan wanted to create an "American Gestapo." When the stories broke, the president urged Donovan to shove his plans under the rug. On March 6, 1945, the Joint Chiefs of Staff formally shelved them.

They wanted a new spy service to serve the Pentagon, not the president. What they had in mind was a clearinghouse staffed by colonels and clerks, distilling information gathered by attaches and diplomats and spies, for the benefit of four-star commanders. Thus began a battle for control of American intelligence that went on for three generations.


The OSS had little standing at home, and less inside the Pentagon. The organization was barred from seeing the most important intercepted communications from Japan and Germany. Senior American military officers thought an independent civilian intelligence service run by Donovan, with direct access to the president, would be "an extremely dangerous thing in a democracy," in the words of Major General Clayton Bissell, the assistant chief of staff for military intelligence.

These were many of the same men who had slept through Pearl Harbor. Well before dawn on December 7, 1941, the American military had broken some of Japan's codes. It knew an attack might be coming, but it never imagined Japan would take so desperate a gamble. The broken code was too secret to share with commanders in the field. Rivalries within the military meant that information was divided, hoarded, and scattered. Because no one possessed all the pieces of the puzzle, no one saw the big picture. Not until after the war was over did Congress investigate how the nation had been taken by surprise, and not until then was it clear that the country needed a new way to defend itself.

Before Pearl Harbor, American intelligence covering great swaths of the globe could be found in a short row of wooden filing cabinets at the State Department. A few dozen ambassadors and military attaches were its sole sources of information. In the spring of 1945, the United States knew next to nothing about the Soviet Union, and little more about the rest of the world.

Franklin Roosevelt was the only man who could revive Donovan's dream of a far-seeing, all-powerful American intelligence service. When Roosevelt died on April 12, Donovan despaired for the future. After sitting up half the night grieving, he came downstairs at the Ritz Hotel, his favorite haunt in liberated Paris, and had a gloomy breakfast with William J. Casey, an OSS officer and a future director of central intelligence.

"What do you think it means for the organization?" Casey asked. "I'm afraid it's probably the end," Donovan said.

That same day, Colonel Park submitted his top secret report on the OSS to the new president. The report, fully declassified only after the cold war ended, was a political murder weapon, honed by the military and sharpened by J. Edgar Hoover, the FBI director since 1924; Hoover despised Donovan and harbored his own ambitions to run a worldwide intelligence service. Park's work destroyed the possibility of the OSS continuing as part of the American government, punctured the romantic myths that Donovan created to protect his spies, and instilled in Harry Truman a deep and abiding distrust of secret intelligence operations. The OSS had done "serious harm to the citizens, business interests, and national interests of the United States," the report said.

Park admitted no important instance in which the OSS had helped to win the war, only mercilessly listing the ways in which it had failed. The training of its officers had been "crude and loosely organized." British intelligence commanders regarded American spies as "putty in their hands." In China, the nationalist leader Chiang Kai-shek had manipulated the OSS to his own ends. Germany's spies had penetrated OSS operations all over Europe and North Africa. The Japanese embassy in Lisbon had discovered the plans of OSS officers to steal its code books-and as a consequence the Japanese changed their codes, which "resulted in a complete blackout of vital military information" in the summer of 1943. One of Park's informants said, "How many American lives in the Pacific represent the cost of this stupidity on the part of OSS is unknown." Faulty intelligence provided by the OSS after the fall of Rome in June 1944 led thousands of French troops into a Nazi trap on the island of Elba, Park wrote, and "as a result of these errors and miscalculations of the enemy forces by OSS, some 1,100 French troops were killed."

The report personally attacked Donovan. It said the general had lost a briefcase at a cocktail party in Bucharest that was "turned over to the Gestapo by a Rumanian dancer." His hiring and promotion of senior officers rested not on merit but on an old-boy network of connections from Wall Street and the Social Register. He had sent detachments of men to lonely outposts such as Liberia and forgotten about them. He had mistakenly dropped commandos into neutral Sweden. He had sent guards to protect a captured German ammunition dump in France and then blown them up.

Colonel Park acknowledged that Donovan's men had conducted some successful sabotage missions and rescues of downed American pilots. He said the deskbound research and analysis branch of OSS had done "an outstanding job," and he concluded that the analysts might find a place at the State Department after the war. But the rest of the OSS would have to go. "The almost hopeless compromise of OSS personnel," he warned, "makes their use as a secret intelligence agency in the postwar world inconceivable."

After V-E Day, Donovan went back to Washington to try to save his spy service. A month of mourning for President Roosevelt was giving way to a mad scramble for power in Washington. In the Oval Office on May 14, Harry Truman listened for less than fifteen minutes as Donovan made his proposal to hold communism in check by undermining the Kremlin. The president summarily dismissed him.

All summer long, Donovan fought back in Congress and in the press. Finally, on August 25, he told Truman that he had to choose between knowledge and ignorance. The United States "does not now have a coordinated intelligence system," he warned. "The defects and the dangers of this situation have been generally recognized."

Donovan had hoped that he could sweet-talk Truman, a man he had always treated with cavalier disdain, into creating the CIA. But he had misread his own president. Truman had decided that Donovan's plan had the earmarks of a Gestapo. On September 20, 1945, six weeks after he dropped America's atomic bombs on Japan, the president of the United States fired Donovan and ordered the OSS to disband in ten days. America's spy service was abolished.

Chapter Two


In the rubble of Berlin, Allen Dulles, the ranking OSS officer in Germany, had found a splendid and well-staffed mansion for his new headquarters in the summer of 1945. His favorite lieutenant, Richard Helms, began trying to spy on the Soviets.

"What you have to remember," Helms said half a century later, "is that in the beginning, we knew nothing. Our knowledge of what the other side was up to, their intentions, their capabilities, was nil, or next to it. If you came up with a telephone book or a map of an airfield, that was pretty hot stuff. We were in the dark about a lot of the world."

Helms had been happy to return to Berlin, where he had made his name as a twenty-three-year-old wire service reporter by interviewing Hitler at the 1936 Olympics. He was dumbstruck by the abolition of the OSS. At the outfit's operations center in Berlin, a commandeered sparkling-wine factory, the anger and alcohol flowed freely on the night the order from the president arrived. There would be no central headquarters for American intelligence as Dulles had envisioned. Only a skeleton crew would stay on overseas. Helms simply could not believe the mission could come to an end. He was encouraged a few days later when a message arrived from OSS headquarters in Washington, telling him to hold the fort.


The message came from Donovan's deputy, Brigadier General John Magruder, a gentleman soldier who had been in the army since 1910. He adamantly believed that without an intelligence service, America's new supremacy in the world would be left to blind chance, or beholden to the British. On September 26, 1945, six days after President Truman signed away the OSS, General Magruder stalked down the endless corridors of the Pentagon. The moment was opportune: the secretary of war, Henry Stimson, had resigned that week, and Stimson had been dead-set against the idea of a CIA. "Seems to me most inadvisable," he had told Donovan a few months earlier. Now General Magruder seized the opening left by Stimson's departure.

He sat down with an old friend of Donovan's, the assistant secretary of war, John McCloy, one of the great movers and shakers of Washington. Together, the two men countermanded the president. Magruder walked out of the Pentagon that day with an order from McCloy that said, "the continuing operations of OSS must be performed in order to preserve them." That piece of paper kept the hope for a Central Intelligence Agency alive. The spies would stay on duty, under a new name, the Strategic Services Unit, the SSU. McCloy then asked his good friend Robert A. Lovett, the assistant secretary for air war and a future secretary of defense, to set up a secret commission to plot the course for American intelligence-and to tell Harry Truman what had to be done. Magruder confidently informed his men that "the holy cause of central intelligence" would prevail.

Emboldened by the reprieve, Helms set to work in Berlin. He purged officers who had plunged into Berlin's black market, where everything and everyone was for sale-two dozen cartons of Camels, purchased for $12 at the American military PX, bought a 1939 Mercedes-Benz. He searched for German scientists and spies to ferret out to the West, with the aim of denying their skills to the Soviets and putting them to work for the United States. But these tasks soon took second place to the struggle to see the new enemy. By October, "it was very clear our primary target was going to be what the Russians were up to," remembered Tom Polgar, then a twenty-three-year-old officer at the Berlin base. The Soviets were seizing the railroads and co-opting the political parties of eastern Germany. At first the best the American spies could do was to try to track the movement of Soviet military transports to Berlin, giving the Pentagon a sense that someone was trying to keep an eye on the Red Army. Furious at Washington's retreat in the face of the Soviet advance, working against the resistance from the ranking American military men in Berlin, Helms and his men began trying to recruit German police and politicians to establish spy networks in the east. By November, "we were seeing the total takeover by the Russians of the East German system," said Peter Sichel, another twenty-three-year-old SSU officer in Berlin.


reading a book


"I find television very educating. Every time somebody turns on the set, I go into the other room and read a book."Groucho Marx

文化社会 | 2009.04.24


1995,联合国教科文组织把4月23日确定为"世界图书与版权日,又称"世界读书日"。今年4月23日是第14个"世界读书日"。自1995年世界读书 日宣布以来,每年的这一天世界上100多个国家和地区的出版机构、学校、图书馆、社区和各界人士都要开展丰富多彩的阅读日庆典活动,把读书日的宣传活动变 成一场热热闹闹的欢乐节日。

贝纳德·图尼赫尔无论去什么地方都要带着一本书。因为他非常厌烦无聊的等待时间,他觉得这时候读书是打发时间的好办法。这位瑞士电视主持人 最喜欢的一本书是一本世界名著: 乔治·欧威尔的小说《一九八四》。虽然这本书已经问世60年之久,但对图尼赫尔来说它依然是一部有关于幻想和预言的杰作。图尼赫尔与书之间的关系在瑞士有 关世界读书日的网页上有所体现。在这个名叫,,瑞士在读书"的网站也可以找到很多名人的足迹,他们将书视为是宝贵的文化遗产。


本届图书日上取得的最大成功就是德国读书基金会和世界图书日的合作伙伴们向4年级和5年级的小学生们免费赠书的活动:学生们可以免费从图书商那里得 到一本专门为世界图书日写的冒险故事书。各个本级可以预先订购领取书的凭单。大约有来自3万个班级的8万名学生参加了本次活动。曼菲德·泰森、雅各比姆· 费里德里希和安内特·赫尔措格也参与了书籍的写作。


联合国教科文组织把4月23日确定为"世界图书与版权日,这是一个读者和书籍和作家共同的节日。同时世界图书日也是纪念圣乔治和人们相互赠送书籍和 玫瑰风俗的节日。4月23日这天也是世界多位大文豪的忌日,其中包括,西班牙文学家塞万提斯和加尔西拉索、英国大文豪莎士比亚、俄裔美籍小说家纳博科夫、 法国作家莫里斯·德鲁昂、冰岛诺贝尔文学奖得主拉克斯内斯等。

作者:Guenther Birkenstock / 陶丽


2009年4月23日 星期四

Discover Your Inner Economist


Discover Your Inner Economist

語言:中文 規格:中文平裝 
適讀年齡:全齡適讀 分級:普級
開數:25開15*21cm 頁數:304





本 書是經濟這門科學的入門,說明經濟學的概念基礎,老早存在於我們的內在。儘管作者科文淨提些看似與直覺相反的建議,但這些建議內含的智慧,卻往往都能在日 常生活、工作甚至渡假等稀鬆平常的例子中被證實。如何在摩洛哥的街頭請到一個好導遊?亟欲提升營運績效的主管或者擔心工作不保的上班族如何尋求解藥?你內 在的經濟學家會知道。


  1. 關心文化創意產業的讀者,可以先「觀賞」第四章〈擁有全世界最棒的藝術品〉。

  2. 學生(特別是博士班的學生)應該先讀第六章〈自欺危險,卻是必要的藝術〉中所提到的「大鎚」考試準備法(The Hammer)。

  3. 老師、家長,以及需要長遠眼光的教育政策制訂者需要看第六章,有關作者如何教子女開車的部分。

  4. 美食饕客可以先「品嚐」第七章〈吃好一點,香蕉擺一邊〉。

  5. 慈善家、非營利組織,以及想要勸告親友「不要以為捐款等於行善」的人,應該會受惠於第九章〈如何拯救世界:再多的耶誕禮物也沒用〉。






其實,我這輩子第一次出遠門,就是在一九八九年來到台灣。這也是我在東南亞開始為期兩個月居遊的第一站。我永遠忘不了一大早抵達台北,就看見許多看起來不 同、似乎不同,而實際上也的確大不相同的事物。大清早六點鐘的街道便熙來攘往,令我不禁瞠目結舌。

當下我便開始思考,為何會是這種情景,以及身為經濟學家會如何思考這中間的差異。在那趟旅程中,我問自己許許多多的問題,包括:哪些餐廳有活魚、哪些沒 有;哪些台灣人民會坐巴士到東海岸及其原因;台灣發展出哪幾種中國菜,以及台中給人的感覺為何與台北那麼不同,等等問題。



泰勒‧柯文(Tyler Cowen), 2009/4/3



「提 升會議的品質」是這世界上最難的任務之一。會議的問題既多且嚴重。有項調查列出「談話冗長、內容多餘且瑣碎」是主要禍患,進一步的缺點還包括目標不明確、 沒有決策或任務指派做為會後結論、會議時間太長、拖泥帶水、經常被打斷,以及「整體來說只是浪費全體與會者的時間」等。



  會議紀錄的品質差到令人嘆為觀止,或許是因為那是經由參加太多會議的人所記錄的關係。我上亞馬遜網路書店鍵入「會議」,買了網站排名第一的暢銷書,是芭芭拉.史崔貝爾( Barbara J. Streibel )所著的《經理人的高效會議》( The Manager 旧 Guide to Effective Meetings ),書中提出以下智慧結晶:





1. 叫大家起立,直到會議結束。

2. 舉行電話會議,即使與會者的辦公座位都在同一排。這麼做可減少哈拉與言不及義。

3. 發給每位與會者一只下棋用的計時器,以限制他們的發言時間。規則很簡單:每個人發言時要啟用計時器。計時器記錄用掉多少時間。如果分配到的時間用光就算輸,發言者失去進一步的發言權。沉默的與會者可以交出自己的計時器,把多餘時間捐給表達清晰且言之有物的人。

4. 監控開會期間的情緒。以下點子來自一位部落客、同時也是博學家的藍道.派克( Randall Parker ):

在 一個名叫個人助理連結( Personal Assistance Link, PAL )的小型感應傳輸器之協助下,你的機器(在你的同意下)將成為一具「人體觀察儀」( anthroscope ),亦即調查你此刻生命跡象的儀器,桑迪亞( Sandia )專案經理彼得.莫爾可( Peter Merkle )表示。它將監控你的排汗和心跳,解讀你的表情和頭部動作,分析你的音調,將這些數據收集起來,好讓你隨時掌握可能被你忽略的自身感受,而不是被動等待你 實際面臨的問題。此外,它也將這些資訊傳送給團體中的其他人,如此每個人都可以更有效地合作。




   開會不一定都能有效率地交換資訊或挖掘新點子。許多會議只是假裝以此為目標。事實上,開會大多是種伎倆,實際達到的目的跟原本白紙黑字寫的不一樣。有時 會議是在展現實力,讓大家知道哪個派系居上風,這時浪費時間就成為必要。如果一方不斷嘗試,卻未能給這派系來個下馬威,與會者都會看到這個派系的厲害。因 此,讓反對某個意見的人知道掌權者的厲害,是有必要的。

   此外,會議讓參加者覺得自己是知悉內情者,且對決策有主掌權,因而產生虛幻的控制感。我發現官僚體系經常有這種動機。但這表示這群參加者一定要有機會表 達並提供他們的意見。這種會議表面上是在浪費時間,其實是在組織和維繫派系。一旦人們由衷接受經開會表決的想法,就較能認真去落實。

   前面提到,人在缺乏掌控感時,獎懲說不定會適得其反。但開會讓那些我們掌控不了的人感覺自己有影響力,因而使獎懲發揮作用。(這麼一來我們會不會感覺好 些?)畢竟,大夥可是認真圍坐著聽他說話。這些會議讓人如坐針氈,乃是因為開會的目標是聽每個人的意見,而不只是聽那些最了解情況或最快進入狀況的人的想 法。專心聽吹牛大王和搗蛋鬼講話尤其重要。


   所以說,會議可以傳遞身分地位的訊息。誰發言?誰沒出現?誰覺得有必要讚美誰?我們可以藉由觀察會議來了解職場的內部運作,或者證實我們的推測。不開會 的職場會讓身在其中的工作者感到困惑,且對社交一無所知。有生產力的人首先必須有足夠的認識,以便在職場的群居環境中定位自己。


   許多會議已經無藥可救,這點是可以確定的。人一踏進會議室就很難控制。難不成你真以為,每當他們不經意發出無聊的嘆息時,都會按下計時器?有種改善會議 品質的簡單方法,就是限制開會的次數和會議的長短。但如此一來就得用其他手段來製造社會取向( social orientation )和適當的個人掌控感。我們應該更常舉辦公司野餐,並要求大家寫下對新業務計畫的評語。控制會議的一種方法,就是別再開會。


泰勒‧科文(Tyler Cowen)為喬治梅森大學的經濟學教授、美國備受推崇的經濟學家,定期為《紐約時報》撰文。他同時也是文化評論家、美食評論家,以及著名的部落客。科文 的著作有:《創造性毀滅:全球化如何改造世界文化》(Creative Destruction: How Globalization is Changing the World’s Culture)、《好與多:美國如何縮短經濟學和美學的差距》(Good & Plenty: How America Bridges the Gap Between Economics and Aesthetics)、《名譽何價?》(What Price Fame?)、《市場與文化聲音》(Market and Cultural Voices),以及《商業文化的禮讚》(In Praise of Commercial Culture)。科文的部落格「邊際革命」(www.Marginalrevolution.com)紅透半邊天,是世界上數一數二的經濟學部落格。 「邊際革命」部落格成立於2003年,主要理念在於:微小的進步可能為我們的生活與世界帶來極大的改善。全球已有數百萬人閱讀。◎科文的個人網 站:http://www.gmu.edu/jbc/Tyler/陳正芬專職譯者,美國伊利諾大學香檳分校會計碩士。譯有《QBQ!問題背後的問題》、 《奢華,正在流行》、《C型人生》、《假如你明天當上主管》、《為什麼我們的錢變薄了?》、《葛林斯班的騙...


發現你內心的經濟頑童  黃光雄

泰 勒‧科文(Tyler Cowen)是美國華府附近喬治梅森大學(George Mason University)經濟系教授,同時也是「詹姆斯‧布坎南政治經濟中心」(James M. Buchanan Center for Political Economy)主任和「莫卡特斯中心」(Mercatus Center)主任。在一九八七年取得美國哈佛大學經濟學博士學位之前,科文曾有一年在德國求學。除了橫跨福利經濟學、貨幣經濟學、倫理學、個體經濟學、 文化經濟學等多領域的學術期刊論文之外,他還曾經著有多本有關文化的書籍,例如《創造性毀滅:全球化如何改造世界文化》(Creative Destruction: How Globalization is Changing the World’s Culture)、《好與多:美國如何縮短經濟學和美學的差距》(Good & Plenty: How America Bridges the Gap Between Economics and Aesthetics),以及《名譽何價?》(What Price Fame?)。而他和同事塔巴羅克(Alex Tabarrok)所主筆的「邊際革命部落格」(marginalrevolution.com)內容包羅萬象,在經濟類的部落格之中總是名列前茅。另外值得一提的是,他很愛美食。記載他對餐廳品評的《ethnic dining guide》頗受歡迎,在二00九年一月份已經出到第二十五版。他也曾受邀在「國際烹飪專業協會」(International Association of Culinary Professionals)年會發表「全球化是否改變世界的吃法?」的專題演講。

本書的英文書名為:Discover Your Inner Economist。到底什麼是「Inner Economist」呢?我拿我另一位老師——也是科文的同事——詹姆斯‧布坎南(James M. Buchanan,一九八六年的經濟學諾貝爾獎得主)的「natural economist」(天生的經濟學家)做一個對比。布坎南用「natural economist」指那些無須教育訓練和經驗就能像經濟學家一樣思考的人。在有名的經濟學家之中,被他認定為「natural economists」的只有:戈登‧圖洛克(Gordon Tullock,公共選擇理論之父)、蓋瑞‧貝克(Gary Becker,一九九二年諾貝爾經濟學獎得主),以及阿爾欽(Armen Alchian,現代產權經濟學創始人)三人。科文的「Inner Economist」的觀念則是,每個人都有經濟思考的天賦,只是尚未發掘和使用。這種經濟思考的能力就是針對人的行為敏捷地進行「模式辨 認」(pattern recognition),正如下棋時快速地將對手的棋步對應到自己所認知的千萬種型態。他之所以會有這樣的觀念,應該和他下棋的經驗有關(他十五歲就成 為紐澤西西洋棋公開賽最年輕的冠軍,但是他已經立志成為經濟學家而不想當一輩子的棋手)。我則是把Inner Economist視為一種「玩樂的內在小孩」(playful inner child),這本書的作者就像一個帶頭的頑童。經濟學的頑童玩法是把對現實世界的觀察(而不是數學符號)當作音符來演奏(play)。貫穿這些樂章的旋 律包括誘因(incentives)、訊號傳遞(signaling)、固定成本(fixed cost)、沉沒成本(sunk cost)、交易成本(transaction cost),以及需求法則(law of demand)等。尚未發現自己經濟天才的讀者可以輕鬆地依序聆聽各個樂章。但是作者在第四章針對古典小說提出了幾點跳躍式閱讀建議(基於時間和注意力是 稀少資源的原則)。讀者可以想想看:這是否也適用在本書的閱讀上?

有人抱怨:如此生活化的經濟學書籍似乎讓人以為經濟學是一種無關緊要的遊戲,而不是肩負「經世濟民」重責大任的社會科學。其實,頑童之心和玩耍之樂可能正 是國富民安的基本關鍵。讀者不妨先跳到第三章最後,看他對資本主義功能的闡述,以及對社會主義經濟失敗的解析:「國家控制的經濟體使人較少玩樂,然而商業 新點子的發想與落實卻幾乎少不了它。」
基於作者跳躍式閱讀的主張,我建議不同背景或興趣的讀者可從不同的章節開始讀起。關心文化創意產業的讀者可以先「觀賞」第四章〈擁有全世界最棒的藝術品〉。學生(特別是博士班的學生)應該先讀第六章〈自欺危險,卻是必要的藝術〉中所提到的「大鎚」考試準備法(The Hammer)。同樣在第六章,請學校的老師、家長,以及需要長遠眼光的教育政策制訂者看看作者如何教子女開車。想要建立務實形象的從政者以及讚揚附和「Yes we can」的電視名嘴則應該先看作者對美國人「can-do」心態的批判。美食饕客可以先「品嚐」第七章〈吃好一點,香蕉擺一邊〉。第九章〈如何拯救世界:再多的耶誕禮物也沒用〉應該會有助於慈善家、非營利組織,以及想要勸告親友「不要以為捐款等於行善」的人。

對於已有些經濟學基礎的 讀者,第三章關於托兒所對逾時領回子女的父母罰錢的例子應該引發一些進一步的思考。以下是我想像當初和我一起修科文課的同學們可能進行的討論:如果實行罰 款制度之後的遲到父母變多,托兒所是否會再調高罰款金額?應該提高到什麼程度可以達到皆大歡喜?取消罰款制度會不會使遲到父母變少?如果為了一個逾時留在 托兒所的小朋友而支付保姆一小時加班費不划算,則是否該讓罰款金額和當天留下來的小朋友人數成反比?如果托兒所是由一群父母親經營管理,答案會不會有所不 同?不同國家的公立托兒所對於同樣問題的處理方式可能會有何不同?

關於亟欲提升營運績效的主管或者擔心工作不保的上班族而言,在目錄看到章名裡的「擁有全世界最棒的藝術品」和「吃好一點」等字眼,第一個反應可能是:誰會 有這種閒情逸致?危機感比較重的人看到「自欺」則可能產生更嚴重的恐慌。經濟頑童在第四章的這段話也許非常值得好好運用:



2009年4月20日 星期一

How the E-Book Will Change the Way We Read and Write

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How the E-Book Will Change the Way We Read and Write
Author Steven Johnson outlines a future with more books, more distractions -- and the end of reading alone

Every genuinely revolutionary technology implants some kind of "aha" moment in your memory -- the moment where you flip a switch and something magical happens, something that tells you in an instant that the rules have changed forever.

I still have vivid memories of many such moments: clicking on my first Web hyperlink in 1994 and instantly transporting to a page hosted on a server in Australia; using Google Earth to zoom in from space directly to the satellite image of my house; watching my 14-month-old master the page-flipping gesture on the iPhone's touch interface.

The latest such moment came courtesy of the Kindle, Amazon.com Inc.'s e-book reader. A few weeks after I bought the device, I was sitting alone in a restaurant in Austin, Texas, dutifully working my way through an e-book about business and technology, when I was hit with a sudden desire to read a novel. After a few taps on the Kindle, I was browsing the Amazon store, and within a minute or two I'd bought and downloaded Zadie Smith's novel "On Beauty." By the time the check arrived, I'd finished the first chapter.


I knew then that the book's migration to the digital realm would not be a simple matter of trading ink for pixels, but would likely change the way we read, write and sell books in profound ways. It will make it easier for us to buy books, but at the same time make it easier to stop reading them. It will expand the universe of books at our fingertips, and transform the solitary act of reading into something far more social. It will give writers and publishers the chance to sell more obscure books, but it may well end up undermining some of the core attributes that we have associated with book reading for more than 500 years.

There is great promise and opportunity in the digital-books revolution. The question is: Will we recognize the book itself when that revolution has run its course?

[The Journal Report: Technology] John Weber
The Dark Matter

In our always-connected, everything-linked world, we sometimes forget that books are the dark matter of the information universe. While we now possess terabytes of data at our fingertips, we have nonetheless drifted further and further away from mankind's most valuable archive of knowledge: the tens of millions of books that have been published since Gutenberg's day.

That's because the modern infosphere is both organized and navigated through hyperlinked pages of digital text, with the most-linked pages rising to the top of Google Inc.'s all-powerful search-results page. This has led us toward some traditional forms of information, such as newspapers and magazines, as well as toward new forms, such as blogs and Wikipedia. But because books have largely been excluded from Google's index -- distant planets of unlinked analog text -- that vast trove of knowledge can't compete with its hyperlinked rivals.

But there is good reason to believe that this strange imbalance will prove to be a momentary blip, and that the blip's moment may be just about over. Credit goes to two key developments: the breakthrough success of Amazon's Kindle e-book reader, and the maturation of the Google Book Search service, which now offers close to 10 million titles, including many obscure and out-of-print works that Google has scanned. As a result, 2009 may well prove to be the most significant year in the evolution of the book since Gutenberg hammered out his original Bible.

If so, if the future is about to be rewritten, the big question becomes: How?

The World of Ideas

For starters, think about what happened because of the printing press: The ability to duplicate, and make permanent, ideas that were contained in books created a surge in innovation that the world had never seen before. Now, the ability to digitally search millions of books instantly will make finding all that information easier yet again. Expect ideas to proliferate -- and innovation to bloom -- just as it did in the centuries after Gutenberg.

Think about it. Before too long, you'll be able to create a kind of shadow version of your entire library, including every book you've ever read -- as a child, as a teenager, as a college student, as an adult. Every word in that library will be searchable. It is hard to overstate the impact that this kind of shift will have on scholarship. Entirely new forms of discovery will be possible. Imagine a software tool that scans through the bibliographies of the 20 books you've read on a specific topic, and comes up with the most-cited work in those bibliographies that you haven't encountered yet.

The Impulse Buy

The magic of that moment in Austin ("I'm in the mood for a novel -- oh, here's a novel right here in my hands!") also tells me that e-book readers are going to sell a lot of books, precisely because there's an impulse-buy quality to the devices that's quite unlike anything the publishing business has ever experienced before.

[The Journal Report: Technology] Geoffrey A. Fowler

SECOND EDITION Soon you'll be able to create a digital, searchable version of your library. It's hard to overstate the impact that will have.

On another occasion, I managed to buy and download a book on a New York City subway train, during a brief two-stop stretch on an elevated platform. Amazon's early data suggest that Kindle users buy significantly more books than they did before owning the device, and it's not hard to understand why: The bookstore is now following you around wherever you go. A friend mentions a book in passing, and instead of jotting down a reminder to pick it up next time you're at Barnes & Noble, you take out the Kindle and -- voilà! -- you own it.

My impulsive purchase of "On Beauty" has another element to it, though -- one that may not be as welcomed by authors. Specifically: I was in the middle of the other book, and in a matter of seconds, I left it for one of its competitors. The jump was triggered, in this case, by a sudden urge to read fiction, but it could have been triggered by something in the book I was originally reading: a direct quote or reference to another work, or some more indirect suggestion in the text.

In other words, an infinite bookstore at your fingertips is great news for book sales, and may be great news for the dissemination of knowledge, but not necessarily so great for that most finite of 21st-century resources: attention.

Because they have been largely walled off from the world of hypertext, print books have remained a kind of game preserve for the endangered species of linear, deep-focus reading. Online, you can click happily from blog post to email thread to online New Yorker article -- sampling, commenting and forwarding as you go. But when you sit down with an old-fashioned book in your hand, the medium works naturally against such distractions; it compels you to follow the thread, to stay engaged with a single narrative or argument.

The Kindle in its current incarnation maintains some of that emphasis on linear focus; it has no dedicated client for email or texting, and its Web browser is buried in a subfolder for "experimental" projects. But Amazon has already released a version of the Kindle software for reading its e-books on an iPhone, which is much more conducive to all manner of distraction. No doubt future iterations of the Kindle and other e-book readers will make it just as easy to jump online to check your 401(k) performance as it is now to buy a copy of "On Beauty."

As a result, I fear that one of the great joys of book reading -- the total immersion in another world, or in the world of the author's ideas -- will be compromised. We all may read books the way we increasingly read magazines and newspapers: a little bit here, a little bit there.

You're Never Alone

Putting books online will also change how we find books -- and talk about them.

Now that books are finally entering the world of networked, digital text, they will undergo the same transformation that Web pages have experienced over the past 15 years. Blogs, remember, were once called "Web logs," cultivated by early digital pioneers who kept a record of information they found online, quoting and annotating as they browsed.

With books becoming part of this universe, "booklogs" will prosper, with readers taking inspiring or infuriating passages out of books and commenting on them in public. Google will begin indexing and ranking individual pages and paragraphs from books based on the online chatter about them. (As the writer and futurist Kevin Kelly says, "In the new world of books, every bit informs another; every page reads all the other pages.") You'll read a puzzling passage from a novel and then instantly browse through dozens of comments from readers around the world, annotating, explaining or debating the passage's true meaning.

Think of it as a permanent, global book club. As you read, you will know that at any given moment, a conversation is available about the paragraph or even sentence you are reading. Nobody will read alone anymore. Reading books will go from being a fundamentally private activity -- a direct exchange between author and reader -- to a community event, with every isolated paragraph the launching pad for a conversation with strangers around the world.

This great flowering of annotating and indexing will alter the way we discover books, too. Web publishers have long recognized that "front doors" matter much less in the Google age, as visitors come directly to individual articles through search. Increasingly, readers will stumble across books through a particularly well-linked quote on page 157, instead of an interesting cover on display at the bookstore, or a review in the local paper.

Imagine every page of every book individually competing with every page of every other book that has ever been written, each of them commented on and indexed and ranked. The unity of the book will disperse into a multitude of pages and paragraphs vying for Google's attention.

In this world, citation will become as powerful a sales engine as promotion is today. An author will write an arresting description of Thomas Edison's controversial invention of the light bulb, and thanks to hundreds of inbound links from bookloggers quoting the passage, those pages will rise to the top of Google's results for anyone searching "invention of light bulb." Each day, Google will deposit a hundred potential book buyers on that page, eager for information about Edison's breakthrough. Those hundred readers might pale compared with the tens of thousands of prospective buyers an author gets from an NPR appearance, but that Google ranking doesn't fade away overnight. It becomes a kind of permanent annuity for the author.

Writing for Google

A world in which search attracts new book readers also will undoubtedly change the way books are written, just as the serial publishing schedule of Dickens's day led to the obligatory cliffhanger ending at the end of each installment. Writers and publishers will begin to think about how individual pages or chapters might rank in Google's results, crafting sections explicitly in the hopes that they will draw in that steady stream of search visitors.

Individual paragraphs will be accompanied by descriptive tags to orient potential searchers; chapter titles will be tested to determine how well they rank. Just as Web sites try to adjust their content to move as high as possible on the Google search results, so will authors and publishers try to adjust their books to move up the list.

What will this mean for the books themselves? Perhaps nothing more than a few strategically placed words or paragraphs. Perhaps entire books written with search engines in mind. We'll have to see.

(One geeky side note here: Before we can get too far in this new world, we need to have a technological standard for organizing digital books. We have the Web today because back in the early 1990s we agreed on a standard, machine-readable way of describing the location of a page: the URL.

But what's the equivalent for books? For centuries, we've had an explicit system for organizing print books in the form of page numbers and bibliographic info. All of that breaks down in this new digital world. The Kindle doesn't even have page numbers -- it has an entirely new system called "locations" because the pagination changes constantly based on the type size you choose to read. If you want to write a comment about page 32 of "On Beauty," what do you link to? The Kindle location? The Google Book Search page? This sounds like a question only a librarian would get excited about, but the truth is, until we figure out a standardized way to link to individual pages -- so that all the data associated with a specific passage from "On Beauty" point to the same location -- books are going to remain orphans in this new world.)

Paying Per Chapter?

The economics of digital books will likely change the conventions of reading and writing as well. Digital distribution makes it a simple matter to offer prospective buyers a "free sample" to entice them to purchase the whole thing. Many books offered for the Kindle, for instance, allow readers to download the first chapter free of charge. The "free sample" component of a book will become as conventional as jacket-flap copy and blurbs; authors will devise a host of stylistic and commercial techniques in crafting these giveaway sections, just as Dickens mastered the cliffhanger device almost two centuries before.

It's not hard to imagine, for instance, how introductions will be transformed in this new world. Right now, introductions are written with the assumption that people have already bought the book. That won't be the case in the future, when the introduction is given away. It will, no doubt, be written more to entice readers to buy the whole book.

Clearly, we are in store for the return of the cliffhanger.

For nonfiction and short-story collections, a la carte pricing will emerge, as it has in the marketplace for digital music. Readers will have the option to purchase a chapter for 99 cents, the same way they now buy an individual song on iTunes. The marketplace will start to reward modular books that can be intelligibly split into standalone chapters.

This fragmentation sounds unnerving -- yet another blow to the deep-focus linearity of the print-book tradition. Breaking the book into detachable parts may sell more books, but there are certain kinds of experiences and arguments that can only be conveyed by the steady, directed immersion that a 400-page book gives you. A playlist of the best chapters from "Middlemarch," "Gravity's Rainbow" and "Beloved" will never work the way a playlist of songs culled from different albums does today.

Yet that modular pricing system will have one interesting, and laudable, side effect: The online marketplace will have established an easy, one-click mechanism for purchasing small quantities of text.

Tellingly, the Kindle already includes blog and newspaper subscriptions that can be purchased in a matter of seconds.

Skeptics may ask why anyone would pay for something that was elsewhere available at no charge, but that's precisely what they said when Steve Jobs launched the iTunes Music Store, competing with the free offerings on Napster. We've seen how that turned out. If the Kindle payment architecture takes off, it may ultimately lead the way toward the standardized micropayment system whose nonexistence has caused so much turmoil in the news business -- a system many people wish had been built into the Web's original architecture, along with those standardized page locations.

We all know the story of how the information-wants-to-be-free ethos of the Web threatened the newspapers with extinction. Wouldn't it be ironic if books turned out to be their savior?

—Mr. Johnson is the author of six books, most recently "The Invention of Air," and the co-founder of the hyperlocal news site outside.in. He lives in Brooklyn, N.Y. He can be reached at reports@wsj.com.