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文章标题:时钟(Tick Tock)发表日期:2019-07-04(2019-08-03修改)
作  者:儿歌(英)―红霞(译)出处:原创浏览269次,读者评论2条论坛回复0条
时钟(Tick Tock)
文/儿歌(英)―红霞(译)
2019年07月04日,星期四

        Time is a funky thing. It’s a measurement, it’s an event, and it’s also a mysterious force that flows through us, unexplainable with words at times (pun intended).

        From a mathematical perspective, time serves the fundamental baseline for many realistic problems. Filling a gas tank takes time. Running from point A to point B takes time. Growing watermelons takes time. Typing words per minute... well, I think you get the point.

        However, I enjoy the great pain that racks my brain every time I dive into more obscure ideas. For example, no human being alive remembers what occurred before birth. Thus, time beforehand seemed meaningless. Humans couldn’t perceive time’s flow before their minds mature, thus resulting in nothing within our memory bank. Similarly, memory is our method of viewing lengths of time. Due to the flexibility of how fast we perceive time in the present based on activity, memories help indicate an estimate of the current time. An example would be playing basketball: NBA players often have a constant 24 second timer to match the shot clock in their minds at all times due to exposure, creating a personal timer within their minds. 

        Whenever humanity faced a mystery, there were those who sought to find a solution. Religion, science, whatever cult that involves cannibalism, all those ideologies embrace the search for answers to the universe’s unknown. Since the beginning, time itself remained a mystery and its perception bamboozling. A well-known perception is the quickening of time as a person ages. An infant will see each year as an entire new half of his life, but an eighty year old man will perceive a year around a percent of what he’s experienced. The fluidity of time is captured in literature as something that runs away like a cat or dog that needs to be restrained. The term I wish to use is “understand”, as it would be rather useful to understand time than to be wishful and capture it.

        A step towards uncovering this untimely mystery is measuring it. Humanity bases the measurements of time off of the sun. It is a logical, stable, and convenient method of organization. But the universe does not follow such simple ways. We split time into hours, minutes, seconds and so forth, but the universe just moves forward without regards to petty measurements. Much like how humanity created the metric system to quantify the physical world, we used physical measurements to quantify the passing of time. Ancient calendars revolved around suns and moons, associating their positions and appearances with moments of a year. Obviously, physical objects are subjects of time’s power; thus, marking time with tangible things will not be very accurate in a long term. Recently, a second was redefined as the time it takes for an atom to oscillate an estimate nine billion times between two energy levels in Cesium 133; however, even atoms have their variation (Cesium’s oscillations varying by twenty or so). 

        Time is unquantifiable, at least completely accurate. Has the thought ever crossed your mind that no matter how thin you slice a piece of cheese that you can always slice thinner? Time is similar: no matter how precise you cut time, you can always go a fraction of an atto- or zepto- or yocto-second shorter. 

        I recall a few years ago, the movie Lucy starring Scarlette Johansson and Morgan Freeman explained time to be the only true measure. I agree with that. Under normal circumstances, we create feet and meters to help us understand a vast universe, placing abstract numbers and labels on a blank ruler. We do the same with time, but unlike any physical objects, time marches on everywhere without change.

        While thinking of all this, I found myself consistently pondering how small I am in the grand scheme of things. But then again, even galaxies are small compared to the universe. Now there are two ways of approaching this fact. Either believe that no matter what you do, nothing will change, or live to be as big as you can. Life is short, time guarantees that, and if death is anything like the experience before birth, I will enjoy every moment that passes.

【英译中】

        时间称得上万金油,既用作一种度量衡,还表示一个事件,也代表周围一股神秘力量,有时又仅能意会而无法言传(双关语)。

        从数学的角度来看,时间是诸多现实问题的核心基线,给汽缸加油需要时间,从地点A到B需要时间,种植西瓜需要时间,每分钟打字速度……至此,我想你明白我要表达的意思。

        然而,每当放飞遐想,我特别享受脑袋瓜因交感刺激而诱发的那种剧痛。举例来说,没人记得住出生前发生的事情,因此,事先所有一切看似毫无意义,人类在心智成熟之前根本意识不到时间的流逝,记忆库里没有留下任何烙印。同样地,记忆是我们审视时间长短的手段,由于天际风云瞬息万变,记忆有助于估算当下时间,打篮球便是例子:美职篮球员往往用固定的24秒计时器来把握进攻节奏,他们内心深处早已对24秒规则形成了条件反射。 

        无论什么时候遇到难题,总有人寻找解决办法,宗教也好,科学也罢,包括信奉同类相食的狂热分子,各种意识流都在探索宇宙奥秘。从一开始,时间本身就是谜,时间概念也模糊不清,随着年龄增长,人的感性认识与时俱进,婴儿们恨不能把一年视作大半生光景,而80岁老人家反倒当成百分之一历程,文学作品中记载的时间流动性有点像未加管束而溜之大吉的家猫家狗,但愿“心照不宣”能诠释时间,毕竟时间是想抓而抓不住的东西。

        揭开时间这个神秘面纱的方法就是测量它。人类根据太阳来确定时间,组织方法兼有逻辑性、稳定性和便捷性,但宇宙不会按照如此简单的方式运作;我们可以按照小时、分钟、秒数等区分时间,而宇宙只会向前,并非考虑精算问题。正如人类创建公制系统来量化物质世界,实物计测也被用来量化时间流逝。古代历法均以太阳和月亮为中心,将时处位置和外观表征与一年当中的特定瞬间联系起来。显然,物体随时间长短而变化,因此从长远来看,用实物标记时间并不准确。最近,时间单位“秒”被重新定义为原子在稳定同位素铯-133两个超精细结构能阶间跃迁频率大约90亿次个周期的持续时间,然而,即使原子也各有变化(铯的振荡差异约为20)。

        时间虽没法量化,但却可以达到相当精确的地步,你是否想过不管你切奶酪多薄,永远都有更细的薄片?时间也是一样,无论你弄得多准,总有比它短了“阿托(10-18)”、“仄普托(10-21)”或者“幺科托(10-24)”之一秒的东西存在。

        记得几年前,由斯嘉特·约翰逊和摩根·弗里曼主演的电影《超体》曾将时间比作唯一真正的衡量标准,我同意这个观点。通常情况下,人们造出“英尺”和“米”新名词表示浩瀚的宇宙,无非就是把抽象的数字和标签刻在空白的尺子上。我们对待时间何尝不是这样,只不过不像其它任何物体,岁月是把杀猪刀,紫了葡萄,黑了木耳,软了香蕉。时间是块磨刀石,平了山峰,蔫了黄瓜,残了菊花。

        想到这里,我发觉自己一直周旋于宏观与微观之间。其实,即便是天体星系,在宇宙面前依然微不足道。现在有两种答案摆在面前,要么相信无论你做什么,任何事情都不会改变;要么相信世上无难事,只怕有心人。生命是短暂的,时间可以作保,假若死亡就像出生一样,无论怎样努力都无法避免,那么我将好好珍惜当下每刻时光。


任天堂·“明星大乱斗”
(Super Smash Bros. by Nintendo 07/04/2019)


国庆243周年(1776-2019)


圣诞节黑衣人
(Men in Black on Christmas Day 12/25/2011)


任天堂·Wii
(Wii by Nintendo 06/09/2007)


独立日烧烤
(BBQ on Independence Day 07/04/2019)


烤红鲑、老虎虾、扇贝、牛排
(Spit-roast of Sockeye Salmon, Tiger Shrimps, Scallops, Steak 07/04/2019)


本文在8/3/2019 10:26:31 AM被施雨编辑过
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更多相关文章
夏洋洲 去夏洋洲家留言留言于2019-08-06 06:32:43(第2条)
没看英文,看着中文就觉得很美!
 主人回复 
今天拿回儿歌丢的书《异类》(Outliners),韩国老师推荐让我读,并说若能看懂韩语,她情愿借我一本,我明白她的意思,只有母语才有更深层的体会。后悔没从国内拎一本回来。
毗陵居士 去毗陵居士家留言留言于2019-08-05 08:05:01(第1条)
A rather philosophical writing for a high school student! The modern concept of time - past, present and future - is largely a Western thing. Ancient civilizations such as China had a different concept of time - evidenced by the fact that our Chinese language possesses only one tense - the present tense! Einstein''s theory of relativity moved human understanding of time to mind boggling heights. As a lay person, I cannot fathom how time and mass converge, or how time can flow "backwards", under certain circumstance
 主人回复 
To me, this is a hard topic ever to talk about. As a mom, I can see through via his growth over time with a variety of references, for example, his pals, his favorite, etc. Up to a translator, I do learn something beyond my imagination.
 
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