Skip to content

【Hmmdaily】以为还会活很久,是人生最大的错觉


【Hmmdaily】以为还会活很久,是人生最大的错觉


随着平均预期寿命的增长,以及受教育阶段的延长,普通人花在“奋斗”上的精力与时间也越来越多。我们都有给子女和父母创造优渥条件的美好憧憬,尽可能提高对自身的要求,将更多的青春年华用于自身条件提升。可在生活具有绝对确定性的假象之下,我们或多或少有意无意地忽略了头顶如影随形的那片乌云。死亡是一件无需急于求成的事,但活着还是要分秒必争。


以为还会活很久,是人生最大的错觉


【Hmmdaily】以为还会活很久,是人生最大的错觉


作者:Tom Scocca

译者:刘小康

校对:杨雪

笔记&推荐:泮海伦

策划:刘小康&王雅婧


Your Real Biological Clock Is You’re Going to Die

以为还会活很久,是人生最大的错觉


本文选自 Hmmdaily | 取经号原创翻译

关注取经号,回复关键词“外刊”

获取《经济学人》等原版外刊获得方法


In April, in a small town on a small island in a small string of islands trailing down from the main part of Japan, the world’s then-oldest person died. Nabi Tajima was 117 years old—the last surviving human being born in the 19th century.
日本群岛的尾巴尖上,有着一小群岛链;这一小群岛链里,有座小小的岛屿;小小的岛屿上,有个小小的村庄。四月,在这所村庄里,世上最长寿的老人去世了。活了117岁的田岛娜美,是世界上最后去世的生于19世纪的人。


Maybe the year 1900 sounds far away, to you. It comes closer. My father was born in 1940. Right now, I am 47 years old. Everyone who was 47 years old when my father was born is now dead. All of them. That entire group of middle-aged people, who made up the adult world when my father was a child, is gone.
1900年,听起来或许很遥远。我们把镜头拉近些。我的父亲生于1940年。现在的我,也已经47岁。父亲出生时才47岁的人们,现在应该都故去了吧。全都不在了。那些在我父亲儿时正当壮年、构成了成年世界的人们,都已经消逝了。


My father is dead, now, too. He smoked, and it shortened his life. But I lived with him, grew up with him. I was an adult with him. We drank coffee at the dining room table together, read the newspaper, talked on the phone. He sat and talked with my firstborn son when he was little. He held my second-born, as a baby, while he could. The older boy remembers him.
我的父亲,现在也已经仙去了。许是他抽烟的嗜好,折了他的寿。但他曾陪在我身边,伴我成长,看我迈入成年。我们曾在餐桌上一起喝咖啡,看报纸,打电话。他曾在我大儿子还小的时候跟他一块闲聊;也曾在气力尚存的时候,搂抱过我尚在襁褓中的小儿子。我大儿子至今仍然记得他的模样。


The younger boy is seven now. When my father was a boy of seven, Nabi Tajima was 47. I keep sliding the numbers around, and as I do, they shove each other out of the way. The people don’t all fit.
我的小儿子现在7岁了。在我父亲还只有7岁的时候,田岛娜美就已经47岁了。我推演着年岁,看它们此消彼长。但这样的计算并不适用于每个人。


***

Twelve years ago, I had not thought about any of this at all. I was 35. My wife would soon be pregnant, for the first time. We had dated for a good long while, been engaged for a good long while, been married for a good long while. We had bought a house in the suburbs and then we had sold it and moved overseas. It was all a sensibly paced series of life events, at appropriate-seeming times.
就在12年前,我还没有想过这些。那一年我35岁,妻子正怀着我们第一个孩子。那时,我们已经经过了漫长的约会,经历了冗长的订婚,连婚姻都已经走了好长一段了。我们在郊区有了房子,之后又卖了它,远渡重洋。生活的点点滴滴都看似按部就班、有条不紊地行进着。


It did not occur to me, in any real way, that as we did this, we were spending down a limited resource. In our social world, in our cultural class, at our point in history, people are brought up to take the opposite view, to structure their lives as if time were something a person accumulated. One is wary of getting married too soon, of having children too young. Adulthood is a condition to enter cautiously and gradually.
那时,我还未切实地体会到,我们所做的一切,其实都耗费着有限的光阴。在我们的时代里,社会也好,我们的文化课程也好,都把时间当成可以像财富一样积累的东西,人们对这种观点全都耳濡目染、习以为常。他们担心过早结婚,过早生育;认为走向成熟应当是种审慎而渐进的过程。


From certain angles, this breeds disdain—penniless millennials eating avocado toast, forty-year-old men skateboarding in sneakers and t-shirts, slovenly and undisciplined generations refusing to commit to lives and careers. But the complaining is halfhearted, a way for the older cohort to convince itself the younger cohort might be safely held at bay. And to point out the shortcomings of adult-aged people is, at bottom, to argue that maturity is something rarefied. The figure of the kidult exists as a warning that you should not move on to the next step until you’re certain you’re ready.
从特定角度而言,这样的认知滋生了浮躁。不论是啃着牛油果吐司、一文不名的千禧一代,还是穿着板鞋T恤玩着滑板、已步入不惑之年的人,一代代邋遢散漫的人群拒绝成家立业。长辈一边漫不经心地埋怨着,一边暗暗说服自己,长不大的子女躲在羽翼下或许更能得到保护。这些成年人的种种幼稚举止,毫无疑问地表明,成熟的品质在当下已经不可多得。巨婴的存在好像在警告人们除非万事俱备,否则不要走向人生的下一步。


But this idea of certainty is a sham, a distraction, something to turn your attention away from the only truly certain thing, which is that your time will run out. If you intend to have children, but you don’t intend to have them just yet, you are not banking extra years as a person who is still too young to have children. You are subtracting years from the time you will share the world with your children.
但万事俱备只是一个骗局,让我们无暇顾及人生中唯一确定的一件事——生命迟早会耗尽。假如你自认为还太年轻不能要孩子,打算等到更合适的时机再生育,你并不能因此多活几年。推迟生育的年龄,就是在挤占日后陪伴子女的时光。


All our conversations about choices and priorities and life decisions are held in the shadow of the great constraint. The closest the discussion usually comes to it is the subject of women’s anatomy, the aging of eggs, the decline of female fertility. Sometimes, for the broad-minded, there may be some mention of the fading quality of men’s sperm, as well. The possibility that it might not happen at all—that a particular body might not be able, or might fall ill, or might die first—is almost unspeakable, and for planning purposes goes unspoken.
我们所有的决策、权衡和抉择,其实都是在不可抗拒的紧迫时间下作出的。在这个问题上,人们最常谈及的是女性生理构造、卵子老化和女性生育能力下降。开明人士或许还会提到男性精子质量下降。然而为不搅乱自己的人生规划,所有人对必然面临的生老病死讳莫如深,任何人都不敢谈起:也许有人在最终准备好孕育下一代之前就会生病甚至死去。


Instead, life and the making of more life appears as a technical problem; where the body’s ability to stall falters, cryogenics can take over. Perhaps zygotes can be spun up from ordinary DNA. Science is doing its best to push back the limits. Look to the wealthy and the entitled and see the future: Mick Jagger just sired a baby at age 73.
反之,生存和繁衍似乎成了单纯的技术问题。人类生理能力不足之处,足以依赖低温技术解决。受精卵或许有天能通过普通DNA合成。科研人员正在尽最大努力突破自然限制。想想富豪权贵,看看未来人类吧:米克•贾格尔(Mick Jagger)刚刚在73高龄又喜得贵子。

译注:米克•贾格尔(Mick Jagger),滚石乐队主唱。2016年12月8日,29岁女友为其产下一子,系其第八个孩子。


Now look to the future: when that baby turns 10, Mick Jagger will be 83. When that baby turns 20, Mick Jagger will be 93. When that baby turns 30, 40, 45—Mick Jagger will be almost certainly dead, all but definitely dead, unquestionably dead.
想一想将来,孩子10岁时,贾格尔是83岁;孩子20岁时,贾格尔将是93岁高寿;而当孩子长到30、40乃至50岁时,几乎可以肯定贾格尔早已化为黄土。


As the child of a spectacularly wealthy man, Mick Jagger’s baby will surely be provided for. But not by its dad, not in person.
作为坐拥亿万家产的富二代,贾格尔之子毫无疑问能够得到后续赡养,但再也得不到父亲的亲自照料。


***

Did we choose the age at which we would have children? What does it mean to choose? We use the language of autonomy to avoid thinking about powers that shape our existence. Our civilization is remarkably hostile to the needs of life, from the helplessness of babyhood to the frailty of old age. The system is set up for healthy, productive, independent individuals, and one absorbs the lesson that one should try to stay in this class as long and as securely as one can.
我们是否可以选择在什么岁数要孩子?这样的选择意味着什么?我们用自由的托词来回避造就人类存在的力量。不论是无助的幼年还是羸弱的老年,我们的文明始终对生活的需求充满敌意。社会系统是面向无疾病、有劳力、有自理能力的个体设立的,每个人都明白,要尽可能长期稳妥地保持在这一状态。


So we wait until we are ready. There are good reasons to wait, or reasons that appear to be good once you accept the underlying terms. My children have not had to live with parents who are working 15-hour days, the way we worked in our 20s, or who are financially desperate, as we might have been if we’d been paying for children on the salaries of our 20s. Our professional standing allows us to skip work for pediatric appointments or parent-teacher conferences. We can afford to hire babysitters. I got a promotion and a big raise just when it was time to buy a piano. We all sit down together for home-cooked meals most evenings and talk about things.
所以我们不得不等到万事俱备再考虑下一步。我们总有自己的理由,或者在某些条件下看似有正当的理由。我们不能让孩子缺乏照料,但在20多岁的时候,我们每天要工作15个小时;我们更不能让孩子生在一个经济拮据的家庭,可我们在20多岁的时候,再添一张嘴就很可能揭不开锅。而现在,我和妻子的事业发展到一定高度,我们已经能够翘班去带孩子看儿科或参加家长会;我们请得起保姆来照看孩子;孩子到了学钢琴的时候,我恰好升职加薪;大多数晚上,我们都能坐在一起边吃饭边闲聊。


I hope someday my children can do the same things for their own children. Maybe I’ll see them do it, but maybe I won’t: If my firstborn waits till he’s 35, going on 36, to have a child, the way I did, my grandchild will arrive the year I would turn 71. When that grandchild finishes fifth grade, I’ll be due to turn 81. And that would be the first of my grandchildren.
我希望我的孩子将来也能为自己的子女做到这些事情。也许我甚至能看到三世同堂的那一天。如果大儿子跟我一样,到三十五六岁才生孩子,我的孙辈会在我71岁那年出生。等这个孙子或孙女上完五年级,我就该81岁了。而这还只是我的第一个孙辈。


Are you ready to have a child? Take your age right now and add 18. And nine months, if you want to get particular about it, but call it 18. That’s how old you’ll be for high school graduation. Add 25 and picture yourself traveling to visit your grown-up child in a new city. Add 30. Add 40.
准备好要孩子了吗?拿你的年龄加上18年;更精确点的话,那就再加上9个月。这就是孩子高中毕业时你的岁数。拿你的年龄加上个25年,这时子女已经在外独立谋生,是时候前去探望了。拿你的年龄加上30年,加上40年……


The clock is running, only it’s not a clock: It’s a sandglass. According to the Social Security Administration’s online calculator, an average man born the day I was born can expect to live 34.9 more years, for a total of 82.0 years. When I first checked it, when drafting this piece, it was 35.4. I thought it would be a lighthearted exercise, but I felt real dread as I was entering the birthdate, and, despite myself, shock when I saw how small the number was.
时光在飞逝:人生不是无限转动的表盘,而是所剩不多的沙漏。根据社会保障局的在线计算,和我同一天出生的男性预期寿命为82年,平均人生还剩下34.9年。我写这篇文章第一次查阅数据的时候,还是剩余35.4年。本以为是个轻松的过程,但输入生日的时候我终于感到了恐惧。看到这么小的一个数字,我不由得惊诧万分。


When I was 34.9 years old, I felt like I had just settled into life. What lies ahead is the un-settling, the inverse of the question of when you feel old enough to have a baby: When will your children be old enough to have dying parents? The later you take on your intergenerational responsibilities, the sooner you hand them off. If I hit the Social Security Administration projection, my older son will be 46 when I go.

我34.9岁那年,才刚刚觉得适应了生活。现在我面临的揪心问题,不再是什么时候要孩子,而是子女何时成熟到足以面对父母逝去?越晚担负起亲子的职责,陪伴子女的时间就越短。如果社保局数据的预测准确,我会在大儿子46岁那年离世。

intergenerational /ˌɪntədʒenəˈreɪʃənəl/ adj between or involving people from different age groups


It’s possible to beat the projection. The longer you live, the longer you can expect to live; if I make it to 70, the calculator says, then I can look forward to making it to 86.7. Ten more presidential cycles, one more visit from Comet Tempel-Tuttle, maybe a driver’s license for my oldest grandchild. You can take extreme measures—inject yourself with teenage blood, or get elected to the United States Senate—but at best that will push things back to the hard limit. If I last as long as Nabi Tajima, I still won’t see the 22nd century.
当然,我也可能活得比预期要长。活得越久,就越可能更加长寿。根据社保局的寿命计算,我要是到了70岁,就有希望活到86.7岁。再熬过10任总统换届,再挺过一次坦普尔-塔特尔彗星回归,或许,还能看到我长孙拿到驾照。甚至可以采取极端手段,诸如注射青春血液,或是当选为议员,但都无法打破自然铁律。我即便能像田岛娜美一样长寿,也无法活着看到22世纪。


***

This world devours every person and moves on. It does not stop moving, even as we pass through the middle of life telling ourselves it is the front end. Before the children arrived, there was not much difference from one year to the next. In some ways, in the adult, professional sphere, there still is not much difference. In a chair, at a computer screen, 47 doesn’t feel that far from 37. A little trouble in the lumbar region, that’s all. Some wiry gray at the temples in the bathroom mirror.
世界的洪流挟卷着所有人向前。哪怕我们人到中年,意识到死亡就已经横亘在眼前,它也依旧紧追不懈。子女降生前,只道是年年岁岁花相似。即使人到中年,譬如职业之类的领域里,也是岁岁年年人依旧。坐在椅子上,盯着电脑屏幕时,47岁与37岁似乎并无不同。不过是腰椎有了点小毛病,以及浴室镜子照出太阳穴上多出的一丝灰白。


This is the illusion of adult timekeeping, and children make it unsustainable. Life moves along at an unexceptional, unexamined pace and suddenly it’s the first day of school, and then it’s the first day of school again. The jeans I remember just buying him are up above the ankles. The younger boy kisses me back when I kiss him good night, but by last year the older boy started to twist away from holding hands a few yards before the school door, to dart off ahead. Now he just walks to school on his own. There’s time still for him to circle back for a hug at day’s end. Someday, though, a hug will be the last one.
这是成年世界停滞的幻象,而子女的存在打破了这些幻觉。生活始终以你不期然、无防备的节奏行进着。自己入学的第一天还历历在目,忽而已经到了儿子入学的第一天。仿佛就在昨天刚买给他的牛仔裤,一下就短到了脚踝。小儿子还会在我致以晚安吻的时候主动回吻我,但大儿子去年起就不再愿意和我手拉手走到校门口,而是在离学校老远时就疾驰而去,现在更是开始一个人走去上学。好在放学回来后他还愿意和我拥抱,只是那拥抱早晚也会到尽头。



取经号推荐


📜文章

📜【Aeon】90后:成年初期,不想长大

https://qujinghao.com/2018/11/05/7120/


🎬电影

🎬岁月神偷

描写一家香港人如何面对环境的改变,将光阴比喻为偷走身边很多美好东西的小偷。获得第60届柏林影展新生代单元儿童组最佳电影水晶熊奖、第29届香港电影金像奖最佳编剧等4项大奖。

👍豆瓣:8.6


🎬千年女忧

时光变幻,戏剧场景不断变化,女主人公却永远在追寻同一个人……电影与现实交汇融合,将一辈子活成了一个主题。

👍豆瓣:8.6


📚书籍

📚《追忆似水年华》

普鲁斯特的《追忆似水年华》以回忆的形式对往事作了回顾,有童年的回忆、家庭生活、初恋与失恋、历史事件的观察、以及对艺术的见解和对时空的认识等等。时间是这部小说的主人公。作者凭着智慧和想象力,使时间变得具体、生动、完美。它就像一首由多种主题构成的交响乐,爱情、嫉妒、死亡、回忆、时光,时而交叉重叠在一起,时而又游离开来,然而在宏观上,整个作品浑然一体,具有蓬勃的生命力。《追忆似水年华》被公认为文学创作的一次新的尝试,开意识流小说之先河。

👍豆瓣:9.2


📚《死亡回忆》

临死前的一秒钟,我们会看到什么?美国著名心理学家雷蒙德·穆迪博士在研究过150个濒死体验者(经历过“ 临床死亡”后复生的人)的案例之后为人们揭开了死亡的迷人真相。

👍豆瓣:8.0


上个账号被 永封


提出问题的人 被解决了


后台回复关键词和谐】


防止取经号 再次消失


#访问取经号官网#

网站域名 qujinghao.com,即“取经号”的全拼

#外刊资源#

后台回复 外刊,获取《经济学人》等原版外刊获得方法

#关注取经号#

扫描 二维码,关注跑得快的取经号(id: J2West

【Hmmdaily】以为还会活很久,是人生最大的错觉


<原文链接:https://hmmdaily.com/2018/10/18/your-real-biological-clock-is-youre-going-to-die/>

始发于微信公众号: 取经号

Be First to Comment

发表评论

电子邮件地址不会被公开。 必填项已用*标注