• Ask, “What Would the User Do?” (You Are Not the User)Giles ColborneWE ALL TEND TO ASSUME THAT OTHER PEOPLE THiNK LiKE US. But they don’t. Psychologists call this the false consensus bias. When ...
Ask, “What Would the User Do?” (You Are Not the User)
Giles Colborne
WE ALL TEND TO ASSUME THAT OTHER PEOPLE THiNK LiKE US. But they don’t. Psychologists call this the false consensus bias. When people think or act differently from us, we’re quite likely to label them (subconsciously) as defec- tive in some way.  This bias explains why programmers have such a hard time putting themselves in the users’ position. Users don’t think like programmers. For a start, they spend much less time using computers. They neither know nor care how a computer works. This means they can’t draw on any of the battery of problem-solving techniques so familiar to programmers. They don’t recognize the patterns and cues programmers use to work with, through, and around an interface.  The best way to find out how a user thinks is to watch one. Ask a user to complete a task using a similar piece of software to what you’re developing. Make sure the task is a real one: “Add up a column of numbers” is OK; “Cal- culate your expenses for the last month” is better. Avoid tasks that are too spe- cific, such as “Can you select these spreadsheet cells and enter a SUM formula below?”—there’s a big clue in that question. Get the user to talk through his or her progress. Don’t interrupt. Don’t try to help. Keep asking yourself, “Why is he doing that?” and “Why is she not doing that?”  The first thing you’ll notice is that users do a core of things similarly. They try to complete tasks in the same order—and they make the same mistakes in the same places. You should design around that core behavior. This is different from design meetings, where people tend to listen when someone says, “What if the user wants to…?” This leads to elaborate features and confusion over what users want. Watching users eliminates this confusion.  ￼￼6 97 Things Every Programmer Should Know  ￼  ￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼You’ll see users getting stuck. When you get stuck, you look around. When users get stuck, they narrow their focus. It becomes harder for them to see solutions elsewhere on the screen. It’s one reason why help text is a poor solu- tion to poor user interface design. If you must have instructions or help text, make sure to locate it right next to your problem areas. A user’s narrow focus of attention is why tool tips are more useful than help menus.  Users tend to muddle through. They’ll find a way that works and stick with it, no matter how convoluted. It’s better to provide one really obvious way of doing things than two or three shortcuts.  You’ll also find that there’s a gap between what users say they want and what they actually do. That’s worrying, as the normal way of gathering user require- ments is to ask them. It’s why the best way to capture requirements is to watch users. Spending an hour watching users is more informative than spending a day guessing what they want.
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• whatis big data?

千次阅读 2015-08-26 18:51:20
link: http://opensource.com/resources/big-dataBig data: everyone seems to be talking about it, but what is big data really? How is it changing the way researchers at companies, non-profits, ...
link: http://opensource.com/resources/big-data
Big data: everyone seems to be talking about it, but what is big data really? How is it changing the way researchers at companies, non-profits, governments, institutions, and other organizations are learning about the world around them? Where is this data coming from, how is it being processed, and how are the results being used? And why is open source so important to answering these questions?
In this short primer, learn all about big data and what it means for the changing world we live in.
What is big data?
There is no hard and fast rule about exactly what size a database needs to be in order for the data inside of it to be considered “big.” Instead, what typically defines big data is the need for new techniques and tools in order to be able to process it. In order to use big data, you need programs which span multiple physical and/or virtual machines working together in concert in order to process all of the data in a reasonable span of time.
Getting programs on multiple machines to work together in an efficient way, so that each program knows which components of the data to process, and then being able to put the results from all of the machines together to make sense of a large pool of data takes special programming techniques. Since it is typically much faster for programs to access data stored locally instead of over a network, the distribution of data across a cluster and how those machines are networked together are also important considerations which must be made when thinking about big data problems.
What kind of datasets are considered big data?
The uses of big data are almost as varied as they are large. Prominent examples you’re probably already familiar with including social media network analyzing their members’ data to learn more about them and connect them with content and advertising relevant to their interests, or search engines looking at the relationship between queries and results to give better answers to users’ questions.
But the potential uses go much further! Two of the largest sources of data in large quantities are transactional data, including everything from stock prices to bank data to individual merchants’ purchase histories; and sensor data, much of it coming from what is commonly referred to as the Internet of Things (IoT). This sensor data might be anything from measurements taken from robots on the manufacturing line of an auto maker, to location data on a cell phone network, to instantaneous electrical usage in homes and businesses, to passenger boarding information taken on a transit system.
By analyzing this data, organizations are able to learn trends about the data they are measuring, as well as the people generating this data. The hope for this big data analysis are to provide more customized service and increased efficiencies in whatever industry the data is collected from.
How is big data analyzed?
One of the best known methods for turning raw data into useful information is by what is known as MapReduce. MapReduce is a method for taking a large data set and performing computations on it across multiple computers, in parallel. It serves as a model for how program, and is often used to refer to the actual implementation of this model.
In essence, MapReduce consists of two parts. The Map function does sorting and filtering, taking data and placing it inside of categories so that it can be analyzed. The Reduce function provides a summary of this data by combining it all together. While largely credited to research which took place at Google, MapReduce is now a generic term and refers to a general model used by many technologies.
What tools are used to analyze big data?
Perhaps the most influential and established tool for analyzing big data is known as Apache Hadoop. Apache Hadoop is a framework for storing and processing data in a large scale, and it is completely open source. Hadoop can run on commodity hardware, making it easy to use with an existing data center, or even to conduct analysis in the cloud. Hadoop is broken into four main parts:
The Hadoop Distributed File System (HDFS), which is a distributed  file system designed for very high aggregate bandwidth;YARN, a platform for managing Hadoop’s resources and scheduling  programs which will run on the Hadoop infrastructure;MapReduce, as described above, a model for doing big data processing;And a common set of libraries for other modules to use.
Other tools are out ther too. One which has been receiving a lot of attention recently is Apache Spark. The main selling point of Spark is that it stoes much of the data for processing in memory, as opposed to on disk, which for certain kinds of analysis can be much faster. Depending on the operation, analysts may see results a hundred times faster or more. Spark can use the Hadoop Distributed File System, but it is also capable of working with other data stores, like Apache Cassandra or OpenStack Swift. It’s also fairly easy to run Spark on a single local machine, making testing and development easier.
For more on Apache Spark, see our collection of articles on the topic.
Of course, these aren’t the only two tools out there. There are countless open source solutions for working with big data, many of them specialized to provide optimal features and performance for a specific niche or for specific hardware configurations. And as big data continues to grow in size and importance, the list of open source tools for working with it will certainly continue to grow alongside.
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• Here are some ideas to get you started: 1. Stop spending time with the wrong people... – Life is too short to spend time with people who suck the happiness out of you. If someone wants you in t

Here are some ideas to get you started:


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• Unit 1 - Who Are you and what are you doing here? Who Are you and what are you doing here? Mark Edmundson Welcome and congratulations: Getting to the first day of college is a major achievement. ...
Unit 1 - Who Are you and what are you doing here?
Who Are you and what are you doing here?
Mark Edmundson
Welcome and congratulations: Getting to the first day of college is a major achievement. You're to be commended, and not just you, but the parents, grandparents, uncles, and aunts who helped get you here.
It's been said that raising a child effectively takes a village: Well, as you may have noticed, our American village is not in very good shape. We've got guns, drugs, two wars, fanatical religions, a slime-based popular culture, and some politicians who—a little restraint here—aren't what they might be. To merely survive in this American village and to win a place in the entering class has taken a lot of grit on your part. So, yes, congratulations to all.
You now may think that you've about got it made. Amidst the impressive college buildings, in company with a high-powered faculty, surrounded by the best of your generation, all you need is to keep doing what you've done before: Work hard, get good grades, listen to your teachers, get along with the people around you, and you'll emerge in four years as an educated young man or woman. Ready for life.
Do not believe it. It is not true. If you want to get a real education in America you're going to have to fight—and I don't mean just fight against the drugs and the violence and against the slime-based culture that is still going to surround you. I mean something a little more disturbing. To get an education, you're probably going to have to fight against the institution that you find yourself in—no matter how prestigious it may be. (In fact, the more prestigious the school, the more you'll probably have to push.) You can get a terrific education in America now, there are astonishing opportunities at almost every college, but the education will not be presented to you wrapped and bowed. To get it, you'll need to struggle and strive, to be strong, and occasionally even to piss off some admirable people.
I came to college with few resources, but one of them was an understanding, however crude, of how I might use my opportunities there. This I began to develop because of my father, who had never been to college, in fact, he'd barely gotten out of high school. One night after dinner, he and I were sitting in our kitchen at 58 Clewley Road in Medford, Massachusetts, hatching plans about the rest of my life. I was about to go off to college, a feat no one in my family had accomplished in living memory. "I think I might want to be prelaw," I told my father. I had no idea what being prelaw was. My father compressed his brow and blew twin streams of smoke, dragonlike, from his magnificent nose. "Do you want to be a lawyer?" he asked. My father had some experience with lawyers, and with policemen, too; he was not well-disposed toward either. "I'm not really sure,"I told him, "but lawyers make pretty good money, right?"
My father detonated. (That was not uncommon. My father detonated a lot.) He told me that I was going to go to college only once, and that while I was there I had better study what I wanted. He said that when rich kids went to school, they majored in the subjects that interested them, and that my younger brother Philip and I were as good as any rich kids. (We were rich kids minus the money.) Wasn't I interested in literature? I confessed that I was. Then I had better study literature, unless I had inside information to the effect that reincarnation wasn't just hype, and I'd be able to attend college thirty or forty times. If I had such info, prelaw would be fine. Otherwise I better get to work and pick out some English classes from the course catalogue.
What my father told me that evening was true in itself, and it also contains the germ of an idea about what a university education should be. But apparently almost everyone else—students, teachers, and trustees and parents—sees the matter much differently. They have it wrong.
Education has one salient enemy in present-day America, and that enemy is education—university education in particular. To almost everyone, university education is a means to an end. For students, that end is a good job. Students want the credentials that will help them get ahead. They want the certificate that will give them access to Wall Street, or entrance into law or medical or business school. And how can we blame them? America values power and money, big players with big bucks. When we raise our children, we tell them in multiple ways that what we want most for them is success—material success. To be poor in America is to be a failure—it's to be without decent health care, without basic necessities, often without dignity. Then there are those backbreaking student loans—people leave school as servants, indentured to pay massive bills, so that first job better be a good one. Students come to college with the goal of a diploma in mind—what happens in between, especially in classrooms, is often of no deep and determining interest to them.
In college, life is elsewhere. Life is at parties, at clubs, in music, with friends, in sports. Life is what celebrities have. The idea that the courses you take should be the primary objective of going to college is tacitly considered absurd. In terms of their work, students live in the future and not the present; they live with their prospects for success. If universities stopped issuing credentials, half of the clients would be gone by tomorrow morning, with the remainder following fast behind.
The faculty, too, is often absent: Their real lives are also elsewhere. Like most of their students, they aim to get on. The work they are compelled to do to advance—get tenure, promotion, raises, outside offers—is, broadly speaking, scholarly work. No matter what anyone says this work has precious little to do with the fundamentals of teaching. The proof is that virtually no undergraduate students can read and understand their professors' scholarly publications. The public senses this disparity and so thinks of the professors' work as being silly or beside the point. Some of it is. But the public also senses that because professors don't pay full-bore attention to teaching they don't have to work very hard, they've created a massive feather bed for themselves and called it a university.
This is radically false. Ambitious professors, the ones who, like their students, want to get ahead in America, work furiously. Scholarship, even if pretentious and almost unreadable, is nonetheless labor-intensive. One can slave for a year or two on a single article for publication in this or that refereed journal. These essays are honest: Their footnotes reflect real reading, real assimilation, and real dedication. Shoddy work—in which the author cheats, cuts corners, copies from others—is quickly detected. The people who do this work have highly developed intellectual powers, and they push themselves hard to reach a certain standard: That the results have almost no practical relevance to the students, the public, or even, frequently, to other scholars is a central element in the tragicomedy that is often academia.
The students and the professors have made a deal: The students and the professors have made a deal: The students write their abstract, over-intellectualized essays; the professors grade the students for their capacity to be abstract and over-intellectual, and often genuinely smart. For their essays can be brilliant, in a chilly way; they can also be clipped off the Internet, and often are. Whatever the case, no one wants to invest too much in them—for life is elsewhere. The professor saves his energies for the profession, while the student saves his for friends, social life, volunteer work, making connections, and getting in position to clasp hands on the true grail, the first job.
No one in this picture is evil; no one is criminally irresponsible. It's just that smart people are prone to look into matters to see how they might go about buttering their toast. Then they butter their toast.
As for the administrators, their relation to the students often seems based not on love but fear. Administrators fear bad publicity, scandal, and dissatisfaction on the part of their customers. More than anything else, though, they fear lawsuits. Throwing a student out of college, for this or that piece of bad behavior, is very difficult, almost impossible. The student will sue your eyes out. One kid I knew (and rather liked) threatened on his blog to mince his dear and esteemed professor (me) with a samurai sword for the crime of having taught a boring class. (The class was a little boring—I had a damned cold—but the punishment seemed a bit severe.) The dean of students laughed lightly when I suggested that this behavior might be grounds for sending the student on a brief vacation. I was, you might say, discomfited, and showed up to class for a while with my cellphone jiggered to dial 911 with one touch.
You'll find that cheating is common as well. As far as I can discern, the student ethos goes like this: If the professor is so lazy that he gives the same test every year, it's okay to go ahead and take advantage. The Internet is amok with services selling term papers and those services exist, capitalism being what it is, because people purchase the papers—lots of them. Fraternity files bulge with old tests from a variety of courses.
One of the reasons professors sometimes look the other way when they sense cheating is that it sends them into a world of sorrow. A friend of mine had the temerity to detect cheating on the part of a kid who was the nephew of a well-placed official in an Arab government complexly aligned with the U.S. Black limousines pulled up in front of his office and disgorged decorously suited negotiators. Did my pal fold? Nope, he's not the type. But he did not enjoy the process.
What colleges generally want are well-rounded students, civic leaders, people who know what the system demands, how to keep matters light, not push too hard for an education or anything else; people who get their credentials and leave the professors alone to do their brilliant work, so they may rise and enhance the rankings of the university.
In a culture where the major and determining values are monetary, what else could you do? How else would you live if not by getting all you can, succeeding all you can, making all you can?
The idea that a university education really should have no substantial content, should not be about what John Keats was disposed to call Soul-making, is one that you might think professors and university presidents would be discreet about. Not so. This view informed an address that Richard Brodhead gave to the senior class at Yale before he departed to become president of Duke. Brodhead, an impressive, articulate man, seems to take as his educational touchstone the Duke of Wellington's precept that the Battle of Waterloo was won on the playing fields of Eton. Brodhead suggests that the content of the courses isn't really what matters. In five years (or five months, or minutes), the student is likely to have forgotten how to do the problem sets and will only hazily recollect what happens in the ninth book of Paradise Lost. The legacy of their college years will be a legacy of difficulties overcome. When they face equally arduous tasks later in life, students will tap their old resources of determination, and they'll win.
All right, there's nothing wrong with this as far as it goes—after all, the student who writes a brilliant forty-page thesis in a hard week has learned more than a little about her inner resources. Maybe it will give her needed confidence in the future. But doesn't the content of the courses matter at all?
On the evidence of this talk, no. Trying to figure out whether the stuff you're reading is true or false and being open to having your life changed is a fraught, controversial activity. Doing so requires energy from the professors. This kind of perspective-altering teaching and learning can cause the things which administrators fear above all else: trouble, arguments, bad press, etc.
So, if you want an education, the odds aren't with you: The professors are off doing what they call their own work; the other students, who've doped out the way the place runs, are busy leaving the professors alone and getting themselves in position for bright and shining futures; the student-services people are trying to keep everyone content, offering plenty of entertainment and building another state-of-the-art workout facility every few months. The development office is already scanning you for future donations. The primary function of Yale University, it's recently been said, is to create prosperous alumni so as to enrich Yale University.
So why make trouble? Why not just go along? Let the profs roam free in the realms of pure thought, let yourselves party in the realms of impure pleasure, and let the student-services gang assert fewer prohibitions and newer delights for you. You'll get a good job, you'll have plenty of friends, you'll have a driveway of your own.
You'll also, if my father and I are right, be truly and righteously screwed. The reason for this is simple. The quest at the center of a liberal-arts education is not a luxury quest; it's a necessity quest. If you do not undertake it, you risk leading a life of desperation. For you risk trying to be someone other than who you are, which, in the long run, is killing.
By the time you come to college, you will have been told who you are numberless times. Your parents and friends, your teachers, your counselors, your priests and rabbis and ministers and imams have all had their say. They've let you know how they size you up, and they've let you know what they think you should value. They've given you a sharp and protracted taste of what they feel is good and bad, right and wrong. Much is on their side. They have confronted you with scriptures—holy books that have given people what they feel to be wisdom for thousands of years. They've given you family traditions—you've learned the ways of your tribe and your community.
And that's not so bad. Embedded in all of the major religions are profound truths. Schopenhauer, who despised belief in transcendent things, nonetheless thought Christianity to be of inexpressible worth. He couldn't believe in the divinity of Jesus, or in the afterlife, but to Schopenhauer, a religion that had as its central emblem the figure of a man being tortured on a cross couldn't be entirely misleading.
One does not need to be a Schopenhauer to understand the use of religion, even if one does not believe in an otherworldly god. And all of those teachers and counselors and friends—and the uncles and aunts, the fathers and mothers with their hopes for your fulfillment—or their fulfillment in you—should not necessarily be cast aside or ignored. Families have their wisdom.
The major conservative thinkers have always been very serious about what goes by the name of common sense. Edmund Burke saw common sense as a loosely made, but often profound, collective work in which humanity has deposited its hard-earned wisdom—the precipitate of joy and tears—over time. You have been raised in proximity to common sense, if you've been raised at all, and common sense is something to respect, though not quite—peace unto the formidable Burke—to revere.
You may be all that the good people who raised you say you are; you may want all they have shown you is worth wanting; you may be someone who is truly your father's son or your mother's daughter. But then again, you may not be.
For the power that is in you, as Emerson suggested, may be new in nature. You may not be the person that your parents take you to be. And—this thought is both more exciting and more dangerous—you may not be the person that you take yourself to be, either. You may not have read yourself right, and college is the place where you can find out whether you have or not. The reason to read Blake and Dickinson and Freud and Dickens is not to become more cultivated, or more articulate, or to be someone who, at a cocktail party, is never embarrassed (or who can embarrass others). The best reason to read them is to see if they may know you better than you know yourself. You may find your own suppressed and rejected thoughts flowing back to you with an "alienated majesty." Reading the great writers, you may have the experience that Longinus associated with the sublime: You feel that you have actually created the text yourself. For somehow your predecessors are more yourself than you are.
This was my own experience reading the two writers who have influenced me the most, Sigmund Freud and Ralph Waldo Emerson. They gave words to thoughts and feelings that I had never been able to render myself. They shone a light onto the world and what they saw, suddenly I saw, too. From Emerson I learned to trust my own thoughts, to trust them even when every voice seems to be on the other side. I need the wherewithal, as Emerson did, to say what's on my mind and to take the inevitable hits. Much more I learned from the sage—about character, about loss, about joy, about writing and its secret sources, but Emerson most centrally preaches the gospel of self-reliance and that is what I have tried most to take from him. I continue to hold in mind one of Emerson's most memorable passages: "Society is a joint-stock company, in which the members agree, for the better securing of his bread to each shareholder, to surrender the liberty and culture of the eater. The virtue in most request is conformity. Self-reliance is its aversion. It loves not realities and creators, but names and customs."
Emerson's greatness lies not only in showing you how powerful names and customs can be, but also in demonstrating how exhilarating it is to buck them. When he came to Harvard to talk about religion, he shocked the professors and students by challenging the divinity of Jesus and the truth of his miracles. He wasn't invited back for decades.
From Freud I found a great deal to ponder as well. Freud was a speculative essayist and interpreter of the human condition. He challenges nearly every significant human ideal. He goes after religion. He says that it comes down to the longing for the father. He goes after love. He calls it "the overestimation of the erotic object." He attacks our desire for charismatic popular leaders. We're drawn to them because we hunger for absolute authority. He declares that dreams don't predict the future. They're disguised fulfillments of repressed wishes.
Freud has something challenging and provoking to say about virtually every human aspiration. I learned that if I wanted to affirm any consequential ideal, I had to talk my way past Freud. He was—and is—a perpetual challenge and goad.
The battle is to make such writers one’s own, to winnow them out and to find their essential truths. We need to see where they fall short and where they exceed the mark, and then to develop them a little, as the ideas themselves, one comes to see, actually developed others. In reading, I continue to look for one thing—to be influenced, to learn something new, to be thrown off my course and onto another, better way.
Right now, if you’re going to get a real education, you may have to be aggressive and assertive.
Your professors will give you some fine books to read, and they’ll probably help you understand them. What they won’t do, for reasons that perplex me, is to ask you if the books contain truths you could live your lives by. That will be up to you. You must put the question to yourself.
Occasionally—for you will need some help in fleshing out the answers—you may have to prod your professors to see if they take the text at hand to be true. And you will have to be tough if the professor mocks you for uttering a sincere question instead of keeping matters easy for all concerned by staying detached and analytical. (Detached analysis has a place—but, in the end, you've got to speak from the heart and pose the question of truth.) You'll be the one who pesters your teachers. You'll ask your history teacher about whether there is a design to our history, whether we're progressing or declining, or whether, in the words of a fine recent play, The History Boys, history's "just one fuckin' thing after another."
The whole business is scary, of course. What if you arrive at college devoted to premed, sure that nothing will make you and your family happier than a life as a physician, only to discover that elementary school teaching is where your heart is?
You might learn that you're not meant to be a doctor at all. Of course, given your intellect and discipline, you can still probably be one. And society will help you. Society has a cornucopia of resources to encourage you in doing what society needs done but that you don't much like doing and are not cut out to do.
Education is about finding out what form of work for you is close to being play—work you do so easily that it restores you as you go. Randall Jarrell once said that if he were a rich man, he would pay money to teach poetry to students. (I would, too, for what it's worth.) In saying that, he (like my father) hinted in the direction of a profound and true theory of learning.
参考译文——你们是谁？来这儿做什么？
你们是谁？来这儿做什么？
马克·埃德蒙森
欢迎并祝贺大家：进入大学的第一天是一项重大成就。你们值得表扬，不仅仅是你们，还包括帮助你们成功进人大学的爸爸妈妈、爷爷奶奶、外公外婆、叔叔婶婶。
有人说培养一个孩子需要整个村庄，当然，你们也注意到了，我们这个美国村并不是完美无缺，这儿有枪、有毒品、两次战争、狂热宗教分子，还有低俗的流行文化以及一些名不副实的政治家，虽然这样说有些刻薄。仅仅在这个美国村生存下来并且赢得进入这个班级的机会就要付出巨大的努力，因此，是的，恭喜在座的每一位。
现在，你们或许认为自己就要成功了。置身于宏伟壮观的大学建筑之中，在兢兢业业的老师的陪伴下，在最优秀的同龄人的围绕下，你们需要做的就是继续之前所做的事情：努力学习、取得好成绩、认真听讲、和周围的人友好相处，四年后，你们会成为一位受过高等教育的男性或女性，为生活做好了准备。
别相信这些，都是骗人的。想要在美国获得真正的教育，你们必须战斗——不是和毒品与暴力战斗，也不是和你们周围的低俗文化战斗，而是和某些更加令人烦忧的事物战斗。要获得教育，你们可能要和自己所在的学院战斗——不管它多么权威。（事实上，学院越是权威，你们就更有必要挑战它。）在如今的美国，你们可以获得很好的教育，几乎每一所大学都能提供令人难以置信的好机会，但是教育不会像礼物一样包装好、扎好蝴蝶结送到你们面前。要获得教育，你们需要战斗，你们需要坚强，有的时候甚至需要惹怒自己敬佩的人。
我读大学的时候也很懵懂，但是我大概知道自己应该如何用好读大学的机会。我的这个想法源于我的父亲，他从来没有读过大学, 事实上，他差一点高中都没毕业。有一天，吃过晚饭后，我和他在我们坐落在马萨诸塞州梅德福市的考利路58号的家里，坐在厨房里，我将来的生活炮制计划。当时的我就要离家去读大学，这是记忆中我的家族里从来没有人能够完成的伟业。我告诉父亲：“我可能想读法学预科。”我并不知道法学预科是什么。父亲皱了皱眉，像龙一样，大大的鼻孔里冒着烟。他问我：“你想成为律师?”父亲和一些律师打过交道，当然，还有警察。他对这两类人都没什么好感。“我也不确定，”我告诉他，“但是律师很挣钱，对吧？”
父亲勃然大怒。（这并不是什么稀奇事，他经常这样。)他告诉我读大学的机会只有一次，到了那儿， 想学什么就学什么。他说富裕人家的孩子读大学，都会选一些自己感兴趣的专业，而我还有我弟弟菲利普和那些富裕的孩子一样优秀。（我们是没有钱的富裕孩子)。他问我不是对文学感兴趣吗？我承认了。他说那么我最好还是学文学，除非我有内部消息知道轮回这档子事不是炒作，我可以有三四十次机会读大学。如果我有这样的消息，法学预科也可以。否则，我最好还是从课程表中选一些英语课程学学。
那天晚上，父亲所告诉我的除了本身的真实性，还包括了大学教育应该是什么样子的理念起源。但是显然其他大多数人，学生、老师、校监以及家长们并不以为然，他们都错了。
当今美国的教育有一个主要的敌人，这个敌人就是教育本身——尤其是大学教育。几乎对每一个人来说，大学教育都是到达终点的一种手段。对学生来说，终点就是一份好的工作，学生想要得到帮助他们前进的证书，他们想要能让他们进人华尔街的证书，能让他们进入法学院、医学院以及商学院的证书。我们怎么能怪他们呢？美国崇尚权力和金钱，喜欢揣着大钱的大玩家。抚养孩子的时候，我们用很多方式告诉他们我们对他们最大的期望就是成功——物质上的成功。在美国，贫穷就是失败——意味着没有像样的医疗保障，没有必需品，通常也没有尊严。还有那些繁重的学生贷款——他们一毕业就成了仆人，必须按照合约偿还巨额贷款，因此，第一份工作必须是好工作。学生来到大学，脑海里的目标就是获得文凭——而大学期间发生什么，尤其是课堂上发生什么，对他们来说通常无法唤起他们的兴趣和决心。
大学里的生活在别处。生活就是聚会、酒吧、音乐、伙伴，还有运动。生活就是名人怎么过，学生就怎么过。那种认为自己所选课程是读大学的主要目标的想法被默认是可笑的。就学生的任务而言，他们活在未来而不是当下；活在对成功的期望里。如果大学停止颁发证书，到明天早上，会有一半的学生离开，剩下的一半紧随其后。
老师们也一样，大多数时候不在学校，他们的生活也在别处。和大多数学生一样，他们的目标就是成功。他们的工作迫使他们前进——成为终身教授、得到晋升、拿到更多薪水、获得外部机会——这些广义上来说就是学术成果。不管其他人怎么说，这些学术成果与教育的基础没有多大关系。证据就是基本上没有多少本科生能读懂任课教授的学术成果，大家觉察到其中的差别，因此认为教授的学术成果荒唐可笑或是无关紧要，其中有一些确实是这样。但是大家也觉察到由于教授没有一心一意扑在教学上，因此他们不需要很勤奋地学习，他们为自己创造了一个大型温床，名叫“大学”的温床。
这是完全错误的。和他们的学生一样想要在美国获得成功的雄心勃勃的教授，拼命地工作着。他们的学术成果就算浮夸炫耀甚至难以卒读，依然耗费了大量心血。他们可以花费一年或两年的时间写出一篇能够在审稿期刊上出版的文章，他们的论文都是实实在在的：它们的注释都反映出他们的确认真阅读了大量的材料，吸收掌握了大量的东西，真正体现了对学术研究的献身精神。蹩脚的文章——那些作者抄袭、偷工减料、复制他人的文章——很快就能被检测出来。进行学术研究的人智力能力髙度发达，而且能够不断鞭策自己以达到某个标准：而这些成果和学生、大众甚至通常对其他学者来说都没有什么实际相关性，这一点是学术界这出悲喜剧的核心内容。
学生和教授们达成了协议：两方不需要全心全意地投入课堂中的教与学。学生写着抽象的、过于学究气的论文；教授们则为学生们能够变得抽象和学究气的能力打分，评价通常都是非常聪明。他们的论文可能很优秀，只不过缺少感情；他们的论文也可能是从网络上摘录下来的，通常都是这样。不管属于哪一类，没有人愿意为论文耗费太多精力——因为生活在別处。教授们的精力要留着进行学术研究，而学生的精力要留给朋友、社交生活、志愿者工作，要留着发展人脉并占据有利位置，以牢牢抓住真正的圣杯——第一份工作。
这里没有人是邪恶的；也没有人犯下不负责任的罪过。只是，聪明的人都习惯于琢磨如何才能顺利谋生的问题。
而对于管理者来说，他们和学生的关系建立在恐惧而不是关爱的基础上，管理者们害怕负面宣传、丑闻以及客户不满。然而，他们最害怕的是打官司。因为这样或是那样的不良行为将学生逐出大学是很难的，几乎是不可能的，学生会将学校告上法庭。我认识的一个学生(一个挺喜欢的学生）曾在博客中威胁要用武士刀将他亲爱的、受人尊敬的教授（也就是我）剁成肉酱，罪行是上了一堂无聊的课。（那堂课是有一些无聊，因为我得了该死的感冒，但是惩罚似乎重了点。）我当时提出，这种行为完全可以勒令他休学一段时间。教导主任只是微微笑了笑，当时的我可以说相当窘迫。之后一段时间，我上课的时候都为手机调好快速拨号功能，随时准备拨打911报瞥。
你们会发现作弊也很普遍。我所了解的学生信条如下：如果教授懒到每年都出同样的试题，那么他们便会投机取巧，因为双方都有更好的事情要做。网络上充斥着期末论文销售服务，而这些服务存在的原因就是有人会去购买论文，而且买的人很多，这就是资本主义。兄弟会文件里塞满了各门课程的旧试卷。
当教授们发现有学生作弊的时候，他们有时睁一只眼闭一只眼，这让他们感到悲伤。我的一位朋友曾经冒失地发现一位学生作弊，而这位学生是和美国有着复杂联盟关系的阿拉伯政府某位身居要职的官员的侄子。后来，黑色的豪华轿车开来停在他的办公室前面，从车里涌出来大批衣着得体的谈判人。我那位哥们吓得腿发软了吗？没有，他不是那种人，不过他实在不喜欢这个过程。
一般来说，大学需要的是全面发展的学生、公众领导人以及那些知道这个社会体制需要、知道如何让天下太平、不会为了教育或是其他任何东西用力过猛的人们；那些只为获得文凭并不打扰教授的人们。这样，教授可以专心做学术研究，以便能够不断提升学校的排名。
在一个以崇尚金钱为主要和决定性价值观的文化里，还能怎么办？除了尽你们所能去获取、去成功、去挣钱，还能怎么生活？
你们可能会以为，对于大学教育不该有什么实质性的内容，不该有以约翰·济慈称之为“心灵培养”为目的的这种观念，教授们和大学校长们一定会十分谨慎，不去张扬。不是这样的。在出任杜克大学校长前，理査德·布罗德海德在给耶鲁大学的高年级学生所做的一次演讲中就提到了这个观点。布罗德海德是一位给人印象深刻、能言善辩的男士，他似乎将威灵顿公爵的格言——滑铁卢战役的胜利来自伊顿公学的操练场（胜利来自平时的训练）——当成了自己的教育试金石。布罗德海德认为真正重要的不是课程内容，五年后（甚至五个月，或五分钟后），学生很可能忘记怎么做那几道题，而且只能模糊地记起《失乐园》第九章发生了什么。他们大学生活的财富在于克服困难的能力。当学生在此后的生活中遇到同样艰巨的任务时，他们将发掘旧时意志力的资源，并取得胜利。
好了，到这里为止似乎一切都没错——毕竟，对通过一周的辛苦完成一篇40页优秀论文的学生来说，所学知识的增长超过了内在品质的那点提升。虽然这可能让将来的她更加自信，但是课程内容真的一点都不重要吗？
根据这次的演讲，答案是不重要。试着发现你们所阅读的内容是真是伪或者对生活的改变持开明的态度是一种令人担忧并且富有争议的活动。这样做需要教授们的精力投人，因为这种改变观念的教与学会导致管理者们最害怕的事情发生：麻烦、争论、负面报道等。
因此，如果你们想要获得教育，成功的概率并不高：教授们都去做所谓的“自己的工作”了；其他已经弄淸楚这个地方的运行法则的学生忙着不给教授添麻烦，为了光明和灿烂的未来蓄势待发；学生服务处试着让每一个人都满意，为学生提供丰富的娱乐活动，每隔几个月就添加一款最新、最先进的健身设施。学校开发办已经在考察你们未来捐资的可能性。最近有人说耶鲁大学最主要的功能就是培养出大批的优秀毕业生，以让耶鲁大学得到发展。
那么为什么要制造麻烦？为什么不随波逐流？让教授们在纯洁的思想殿堂中自由徜徉，让你们自己在不纯洁的欢乐殿堂中聚会，让学生服务处那伙人颁布更少的禁令，为你们创造更多新的欢乐。你们会找到好工作，你们会结交很多朋友，你们会有属于自己的车道。
如果我和我的父亲都是正确的话，你们也将真正地完蛋，而且是你们咎由自取。原因很简单，人文教育的核心追求不是一种奢侈，而是一种必须。如果你们不接受，你们的生活将要冒着绝望的风险。 因为你们冒险想要成为别人而不是真正的自己，而这样做，长远来说就是自杀。
来到大学之前，不断有人告诉你们该做什么人，你们的父母、朋友、老师以及辅导员，你们的神父、拉比、牧师以及伊玛目都有自己的一套说辞。他们让你们知道他们是如何衡量你们的，告诉你们他们认为你们应该重视什么，让你们知道在他们眼中什么是好坏，什么是对错。他们所说的并非全无道理，他们让你们读经文—不管它们真正来源于何处，这些圣书都给人一种包含了几千年智慧的感觉。他们给了你们家族传统—你们学会了自己部族和社团的生活方式。
而这样并没有坏处，各大宗教都蕴含着深刻的真理。叔本华虽然不相信超然事物，却承认基督教有着道不明的价值。他不相信耶稣的神性，也不相信来生，但是叔本华认为以一位男性形象钉在十字架上受难为中心标志的宗教不会是完全误导性的。
—个人就算不相信超俗的神明，也不需要像叔本华耶样犀利地明白宗教的用途。所有的那些老师、辅导员和朋友——以及(乐于预言的)叔叔和（犹豫不决的）婶婶，那些（抱着热切期望的）父母们，希望你们能实现自己的理想，或者希望你们能为他们实现当初没能实现的理想——没有必要对他们的想法弃之不顾或是置之不理。家族有家族的智慧。
大保守思想家对什么是常识总是非常严肃。埃德蒙·伯克认为常识是松散的，但常是深刻的群体性成果，是随着时间推移人类得来不易的智慧——欢乐与泪水——的沉淀。如果你们受到过家庭教育，这些教育相当于常识教育，常识是一种应该尊重的东西，不过不该向它顶礼膜拜。
你们可能会成为抚养你们长大的好人们所期望的那种人；你们可能追求所有他们告诉你们值得追求的东西；你们可能成为真正的父亲的好儿子或是母亲的好女儿。不过，话说回来，你们可能并不会。
正如爱默生所说，你们所拥有的力量可能本质上是全新的，你们可能不会成为父母眼中的样子， 而且——另外一个想法更加刺激也更加危险——那就是你们也可能不会成为自己眼中的自己。你们可能并不了解自己，而大学就是你们正确解读自己的地方。阅读布莱克、狄金森、弗洛伊德和狄更斯的作品不是为了更加有文化，也不是为了更加有口才，不是为了成为那个在鸡尾酒会上从不难堪的人(或让别人难堪的人）。阅读他们的作品最好的理由是看看他们是否比你们更了解你们自己。你们可能会发现自己曾遭到压制和排斥的思想现在有点像“遭贬国王”那样庄严回朝。阅读伟大作家的作品可以让你们体验宏伟壮丽的朗基努斯神迹：你们会觉得真正创造文本的人是你们自己，不知为何，前人比你们更像你们自己。
以下是我阅读对我影响最深的两位作家——西格蒙德·弗洛伊德和拉尔夫·沃尔多·爱默生作品的体验。他们描述了我自己永远无法描述的思想和感受，他们给世界投去一束光，照亮他们所看见的事物，突然，我也看见了。爱默生教会我相信自己的想法，甚至当所有的声音似乎都在反对的时候依然相信它们。和爱默生一样，我需要阐述自己想法并承担无法避免的损失的能力。我从圣贤那儿学到更多的是——关于性格、失败、快乐、写作及其神秘源泉——但是爱默生集中宣扬的是自立的福音，而自立是我付出诸多努力想要从他那儿承袭来的品质。我依然记得爱默生最经典的一段话：“社会是一家股份制公司，每个成员之间都达成协议——为了向每个股东提供食物时能更有把握，就必须将其他吃饭的人的自由和教养消除。其中最必备的美德就是服从。自立却是让它深恶痛绝的东西。真相和创造者，这不是社会所喜欢的东两，它喜欢的是名义和传统的规矩。”
爱默生的伟大不仅仅在于向你们展示名义和规矩的力量之大，还在于向你们示范抵抗名义和规矩是多么令人振奋。当他前往哈佛大学对宗教这一话题展开演讲的时候，教授们和学生们都被他吓坏了，他竟然挑战耶稣的神圣性和其神迹的真实性，此后几十年，他再没有收到哈佛的邀请。
而从弗洛伊德那儿我也发观了许多值得深思的事情。弗洛伊德善于推测并对人类状态进行解读。他几乎对每一条重要的人类理想都提出挑战，他追逐宗教，他说这归根结底是对父亲的热切企盼。他研究爱情，将其称作“对性爱对象的高估”。他抨击我们对富有魅力、受欢迎的领导人的渴望，我们被他们吸引是因为我们渴求绝对的权力。他宣称梦境无法预测未来，它们不过是被压抑的欲望的伪装。
事实上，对人类的每一种渴望，弗洛伊德都说了一些富有挑战的和发人深思的话。我毎次汫话都必须在弗洛伊德有关观点的基础上再努力往前探索。他过去是——现在依然是——永恒的挑战和鞭策。
你们的战斗就是将这些作家为己所用、展开筛选、找到关键真理。我们需要找到他们的欠缺以及优越之处，然后试着更进一步，正如人们所知的这些观念本身事实上就是另外一些观念的发展。在阅读的时候，我继续寻找的是——接受影响、学习新东西、摆脱窠臼进入另外一个更好的轨道。
现在，如果你们想要获得选正的教育，你们必须积极进取，自信果敢。
你们的教授会让你们阅读一些好书，并且很可能会帮助你们进行理解。但是他们不会问你们书里是否包含了能让你们安身立命的真理，至于他们为什么不这样做，我也很费解。这个问题得看你们自己，你们必须自己解决这个问题。
时不时地——为了得到更加完善的答案，你们需要一些帮助——你们可能需要要求教授核对他们手里的文本是否正确；假如那位教授嘲弄你，因为你问了一个严肃的问题而不让有关的人都太平，那你就必须要坚强，保持你超然的、分析的态度。你们要成为打破砂锅问到底的人，你们要问历史老师历史是否有定式可循，我们是在前进还是在倒退，或者用最近的一部好剧——《历史系男生》的台词来说， 就是“历史不过是该死的再重复”。
当然，读大学可能是一件可怕的事情。万一你们来到学校全心投入医学预科的学习，确信除了成为医生外没有任何事能让你们和你们的家庭更幸福，结果却发现自己真正心属的是小学老师怎么办？
你们可能会明白自己并不一定要成为博士，当然，根据你们的智力和约束力，你们仍然有可能成为博士。而且社会将帮助你们，社会有大量的资源激励你们做社会需要你们做的事，而事实上你们并不喜欢，也并不适合。
教育就是要发现你们最乐在其中的工作形式——无须太费力就能完成，并且可以让你们恢复自我的工作。兰德尔·贾雷尔曾经说过，如果他变得富有，他愿意自己出钱去教学生诗歌。（不管值不值，我也愿意。）他的话(和我父亲的一样），指明了一个深刻的、其正的理论学习方向。

Key Words:

prestigious     [pres'tidʒiəs]

scholarly ['skɔləli]

bulge      [bʌldʒ]
n. 膨胀，优势，暴增

temerity  [ti'meriti]
n. 鲁莽，大胆

arduous  ['ɑ:djuəs]

controversial  [.kɔntrə'və:ʃəl]

protracted      [prə'træktid]

necessity [ni'sesiti]
n. 需要，必需品，必然

proximity       [prɔk'simiti]
n. 接近，亲近

transcendent  [træn'sendənt]

interpreter     [in'tə:pritə]
n. 译员，口译者，解释程序

n. 刺棒，激励物，刺激物 v. 用刺棒驱赶，激励，刺激

publicity  [pʌb'lisiti]
n. 公众的注意，宣传，宣扬，宣传品，广告

cornucopia    [.kɔ:nə'kəupiə]
n. [希神]哺乳宙斯的羊角，满装花果象征丰饶的羊角

参考资料：
现代大学英语精读(第2版)第五册:U1 Who Are You and What Are You Doing Here(1)_大学教材听力 - 可可英语现代大学英语精读(第2版)第五册:U1 Who Are You and What Are You Doing Here(2)_大学教材听力 - 可可英语现代大学英语精读(第2版)第五册:U1 Who Are You and What Are You Doing Here(3)_大学教材听力 - 可可英语http://www.kekenet.com/daxue/201909/59431shtml现代大学英语精读(第2版)第五册:U1 Who Are You and What Are You Doing Here(5)_大学教材听力 - 可可英语现代大学英语精读(第2版)第五册:U1 Who Are You and What Are You Doing Here(6)_大学教材听力 - 可可英语现代大学英语精读(第2版)第五册:U1 Who Are You and What Are You Doing Here(7)_大学教材听力 - 可可英语现代大学英语精读(第2版)第五册:U1 Who Are You and What Are You Doing Here(8)_大学教材听力 - 可可英语现代大学英语精读(第2版)第五册:U1 Who Are You and What Are You Doing Here(9)_大学教材听力 - 可可英语现代大学英语精读(第2版)第五册:U1 Who Are You and What Are You Doing Here(10)_大学教材听力 - 可可英语现代大学英语精读(第2版)第五册:U1 Who Are You and What Are You Doing Here(11)_大学教材听力 - 可可英语
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