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課程來源:TED
     

 

Sebastian Wernicke 談六個字道盡千場TED演說

Sebastian Wernicke: 1000 TEDTalks, 6 words

 

Photo of three lions hunting on the Serengeti.

講者:Sebastian Wernicke

2011年11月演講,2012年1月在TEDxZurich上線

 

翻譯:TED

編輯:朱學恆、洪曉慧

簡繁轉換:洪曉慧

後製:洪曉慧

字幕影片後制:謝旻均

 

影片請按此下載

MAC及手持裝置版本請按此下載

閱讀中文字幕純文字版本

 

關於這場演講

Sebastian Wernicke認為每場TED演講都能濃縮成六個字。他在TEDxZurich中,示範如何用六個字-甚至更少的字做到這一點。

 

關於Sebastian Wernicke

在生物資訊領域大放異彩之後,Sebastian Wernicke轉移到企業領域,推動並管理多方面的計畫。

 

為什麼要聽他演講

Sebastian Wernicke目前在Oliver Wyman金融服務顧問公司擔任專案經理,他最初在德國耶拿大學研究生物資訊學。他於學術界從事研究期間,設計了一個分析生物網路的演算法,對研究人員處理生物網路固有的複雜性大有幫助。

 

在他開始統計方面的職業生涯之前,Wernicke擔任過醫療輔助人員及成功的動畫短片製作人。他也是TEDPad應用程式作者,這是一種搞笑工具,用於創造無數「超棒和真糟」的TED演講,大多是完全無意義的內容。他是統計權威及尚未完成的搞笑書籍《如何產生完美TED演講》的作者。

 

「天才又滑稽…」

-@ Brainpicker

 

Sebastian Wernicke的英語網上資料

Get: Get-TEDPad.com

 

[TED科技‧娛樂‧設計]

已有中譯字幕的TED影片目錄(繁體)(簡體)。請注意繁簡目錄是不一樣的。

 

Sebastian Wernicke 談六個字道盡千場TED演說

 

目前TED網站上有超過一千場演講,我想在場多數人都認為這很棒-我則不然,我並不這麼認為,我認為其中有個問題。因為若你細想,一千場TED演講代表超過一千個值得分享的觀念。到底要如何傳播這一千個想法?就算只是用觀看TED影片的方式把這些觀念裝進你腦海中,目前就得花費你超過250個小時的時間。我稍微計算了一下,每當有人這麼做,就會造成約一萬五千美元的經濟損失。所以,知道這對經濟造成的危害後,我認為我們需要找個辦法來解決這個問題。

 

以下是我一舉解決這個問題的方法。若你評估一下現況,這裡有一千場TED演講,每場演講的平均長度約兩千三百字,將它們全部加在一起,你會得到兩百三十萬字的TED演講,相當於三本聖經的內容。其中有個明顯的問題-一場TED演講真的需要用到2300個字嗎?不能更短些嗎?我的意思是,如果有值得傳播的觀念,肯定有辦法用少於兩千三百個字來表達,唯一的問題是,字數可以少到什麼程度?最少可用多少字來能完成一場TED演講?

 

當我思索這個問題時,碰巧聽見一則關於海明威的傳聞,據說以下六個字:「出售:童鞋,全新」是他寫過最好的小說。我也參與過一項叫「六字回憶錄」的計劃,參與的人被要求用六個字為他們的一生做總結,例如:「真愛沒嫁我」,或是「生命超空洞;爛」,其實我還蠻喜歡這一個。所以,如果小說能被濃縮成六個字,整篇回憶錄也可被濃縮成六個字,TED演講就不需要超過六個字了,其實我們中午就可以結束這一整天的演講了。我的意思是…若你把一千場TED演講都濃縮成六個字,原本的230萬字就只剩6000字了,所以我覺得很值得這麼做。

 

於是我開始請朋友幫忙,請他們把喜歡的TED演講濃縮成六個字,這是一些我得到的結果,我覺得還不錯。例如,Dan Pink關於動機科學的演講,那場還蠻棒的;「不獎懲,講重點」,這基本上就是那場18.5分鐘演講的重點。有人甚至介紹了演講者的風格,例如Nathan Myhrvold的演講風格,或是Tim Ferriss的演講風格;歸納他的演講可能有點費力。

 

困難在於,若我試著有系統地這麼做,或許最後我能得到很多六字摘要,但朋友可能都跑光了,所以我必須找別的方法,最好能讓陌生人參與。幸運的是,有一個叫Mechanical Turk的網站,你可以在這個網站發文請人幫忙,完成你不想自己動手做的工作。例如,「請用六個字幫這份文章做摘要」。我沒有讓低薪國家的人參與這項工作,但我發現,一份六字摘要僅需花費十美分,我覺得這個價錢還不錯。

 

但不幸地,就算那樣,要把每場TED演講做摘要仍是一項不可能的任務。因為如果做個計算,我們手上有一千場TED演講,每份摘要需花費十美分,每場演講需要的摘要不只一份,因為有些內容可能真的很糟,這樣我就得花費數百美元。於是我想到一個不同的方法,因為TED演講都有特定的主題,所以如果我不是讓大家將一場TED演講做成六字摘要,而是一次給他們十場TED演講,然後說,「請用六個字為這十場演講做個摘要。」我的費用就會減少九成,這麼一來,60美元就能將一千場TED演講濃縮成六百份摘要了,這還蠻不錯的。

 

你們當中可能有人覺得,用六個字來為十場TED演講做摘要是很瘋狂的想法,但其實不會,統計學教授Hans Rosling就是一個很好的例子。我猜你們當中很多人都聽過他的演講,線上有八場他的演講,這八場演講其實可用四個字做摘要,因為基本上他只是想告訴我們,我們的直覺不準,他總是能證明我們錯了。

 

所以,網路上提供幫助的人,有些表現的不是很好,我的意思是,當我要他們把十篇TED演講做成六字摘要時,有些人偷懶,只給我一些很籠統的評語,也有些人很機車,他們用六個字來消遣我,問我最近是否太沉迷於網路了。當然,也有人寫的東西讓我一頭霧水,他們自己掰了一篇大道理,我的意思是,TED演講中根本沒有這樣的內容。

 

但,算了。但最後,結果讓我驚喜萬分,我請人撰寫摘要的每組十場演講,全都得到了有意義的摘要,以下是我最愛的幾個。例如以食物為主題的TED演講,有人的摘要是,「食物能塑造體態、頭腦和環境」,我覺得這很棒。或是在關於幸福的主題中,「追尋快樂的結果就是自找不快樂」。

 

所以這就是結論,我原本的一千場TED演講現在成了總共六百份的六字摘要。其實原本感覺還不錯,但我看了這六百份的摘要後,感覺超多、超長的,所以-我想,我得進一步將它們縮短,幫這些摘要做摘要-我也真的這麼做了。我將手上這六百份摘要分成九組,依據它們原本在TED網站上得到的評分來分類,要求人們幫它們做摘要。同樣的,有些人對此有所誤解,例如其中一組關於美的演講摘要,被誤會成我想找搭訕用的終極開場白。但最後,令人驚奇的是,人們再次達到我的要求。例如關於勇氣的TED演講摘要,「人們被便利的方法害死了」,或是「人們因便利的方法而身受其害」;或最令人驚嘆的TED演講,「跨銀河系古典作曲家的網路相簿」,其實這就算這場演講的菁華了。

 

現在我有九個類別的摘要,雖然數量已大幅削減了,但一旦走到這一步,你會覺得意猶未盡。我的意思是,要做就做得徹底,徹底濃縮手上的一千場TED演講。我想將一千場TED演講濃縮成六個字的摘要,也就是刪除99.9997%的內容,我只需花費99.5美元,甚至不到100美元。

 

所以我將它做成五十份摘要,這次費用是25分美金,因為我覺得這次的工作比較困難。不幸的是,當我收到結果時,這是其中的六個結果-我有點失望,我想你們看了也會覺得失望。他們摘要出TED的部份特質,但我覺得它們有點空洞,或僅含有部分TED特質。當我正打算放棄時,有天晚上,我玩味這些句子,發現其實有個漂亮的解決方法,就是這個。利用網路分工,為一千場TED演講做一份六字摘要,價值99.5美金。「何必煩惱?等著看就是了。」

 

謝謝大家。

 

(掌聲)

 

以下為系統擷取之英文原文

About this Talk

Sebastian Wernicke thinks every TEDTalk can be summarized in six words. At TEDxZurich, he shows how to do just that -- and less.

About the Speaker

After making a splash in the field of bioinformatics, Sebastian Wernicke moved on to the corporate sphere, where he motivates and manages multidimensional projects. Full bio »

Transcript
There's currently over a thousand TEDTalks on the TED website. And I guess many of you here think that this is quite fantastic -- except for me. I don't agree with this. I think we have a situation here. Because if you think about it, 1,000 TEDTalks, that's over 1,000 ideas worth spreading. How on earth are you going to spread a thousand ideas? Even if you just try to get all of those ideas into your head by watching all those thousand TED videos, it would actually currently take you over 250 hours to do so. And I did a little calculation of this. The damage to the economy for each one who does this is around $15,000. So having seen this danger to the economy, I thought, we need to find a solution to this problem.

Here's my approach to it all. If you look at the current situation, you have a thousand TEDTalks. Each of those TEDTalks has an average length of about 2,300 words. Now take this together and you end up with 2.3 million words of TEDTalks, which is about three Bibles-worth of content. The obvious question here is, does a TEDTalk really need 2,300 words? Isn't there something shorter? I mean, if you have an idea worth spreading, surely you can put it into something shorter than 2,300 words. The only question is, how short can you get? What's the minimum amount of words you would need to do a TEDTalk?

While I was pondering this question, I came across this urban legend about Ernest Hemingway, who allegedly said that these six words here: "For sale: baby shoes, never worn," were the best novel he had ever written. And I also encountered a project called Six-Word Memoirs where people were asked, take your whole life and please sum this up into six words, such as these here: "Found true love, married someone else." Or "Living in existential vacuum; it sucks." I actually like that one. So if a novel can be put into six words and a whole memoir can be put into six words, you don't need more than six words for a TEDTalk. We could have been done by lunch here. I mean ... And if you did this for all thousand TEDTalks, you would get from 2.3 million words down to 6,000. So I thought this was quite worthwhile.

So I started asking all my friends, please take your favorite TEDTalk and put that into six words. So here are some of the results that I received. I think they're quite nice. For example, Dan Pink's talk on motivation, which was pretty good if you haven't seen it: "Drop carrot. Drop stick. Bring meaning." It's what he's basically talking about in those 18 and a half minutes. Or some even included references to the speakers, such as Nathan Myhrvold's speaking style, or the one of Tim Ferriss, which might be considered a bit strenuous at times.

The challenge here is, if I try to systematically do this, I would probably end up with a lot of summaries, but not with many friends in the end. So I had to find a different method, preferably involving total strangers. And luckily there's a website for that called Mechanical Turk, which is a website where you can post tasks that you don't want to do yourself, such as "Please summarize this text for me in six words." And I didn't allow any low-cost countries to work on this, but I found out I could get a six-word summary for just 10 cents, which I think is a pretty good price.

Even then, unfortunately, it's not possible to summarize each TEDTalk individually. Because if you do the math, you have a thousand TEDTalks, the pay 10 cents each; you have to do more than one summary for each of those talks, because some of them will probably be, or are, really bad. So I would end up paying hundreds of dollars. So I thought of a different way by thinking, well, the talks revolve around certain themes. So what if I don't let people summarize individual TEDTalks to six words, but give them 10 TEDTalks at the same time and say, "Please do a six-word summary for that one." I would cut my costs by 90 percent. So for $60, I could summarize a thousand TEDTalks into just 600 summaries, which would actually be quite nice.

Now some of you might actually right now be thinking, It's downright crazy to have 10 TEDTalks summarized into just six words. But it's actually not, because there's an example by statistics professor, Hans Rosling. I guess many of you have seen one or more of his talks. He's got eight talks online, and those talks can basically be summed up into just four words, because that's all he's basically showing us, our intuition is really bad. He always proves us wrong.

So people on the Internet, some didn't do so well. I mean, when I asked them to summarize the 10 TEDTalks at the same time, some took the easy route out. They just had some general comment. There were others, and I found this quite cheeky. They used their six words to talk back to me and ask me if I'd been too much on Google lately. And finally also, I never understood this, some people really came up with their own version of the truth. I don't know any TEDTalk that contains this.

But, oh well. In the end, however, and this is really amazing, for each of those 10 TEDTalk clusters that I submitted, I actually received meaningful summaries. Here are some of my favorites. For example, for all the TEDTalks around food, someone summed this up into: "Food shaping body, brains and environment," which I think is pretty good. Or happiness: "Striving toward happiness = moving toward unhappiness."

So here I was. I had started out with a thousand TEDTalks and I had 600 six-word summaries for those. Actually it sounded nice in the beginning, but when you look at 600 summaries, it's quite a lot. It's a huge list. So I thought, I probably have to take this one step further here and create summaries of the summaries -- and this is exactly what I did. So I took the 600 summaries that I had, put them into nine groups according to the ratings that the talks had originally received on TED.com and asked people to do summaries of those. Again, there were some misunderstandings. For example, when I had a cluster of all the beautiful talks, someone thought I was just trying to find the ultimate pick-up line. But in the end, amazingly, again, people were able to do it. For example, all the courageous TEDTalks: "People dying," or "People suffering," was also one, "with easy solutions around." Or the recipe for the ultimate jaw-dropping TEDTalk: "Flickr photos of intergalactic classical composer." I mean that's the essence of it all.

Now I had my nine groups, but, I mean, it's already quite a reduction. But of course, once you are that far, you're not really satisfied. I wanted to go all the way, all the way down the distillery, starting out with a thousand TEDTalks. I wanted to have a thousand TEDTalks summarized into just six words -- which would be a 99.9997 percent reduction in content. And I would only pay $99.50 -- so stay even below a hundred dollars for it.

So I had 50 overall summaries done. This time I paid 25 cents because I thought the task was a bit harder. And unfortunately when I first received the answers -- and here you'll see six of the answers -- I was a bit disappointed. Because I think you'll agree, they all summarize some aspect of TED, but to me they felt a bit bland, or they just had a certain aspect of TED in them. So I was almost ready to give up when one night I played around with these sentences and found out that there's actually a beautiful solution in here. So here it is, a crowd-sourced, six-word summary of a thousand TEDTalks at the value of $99.50: "Why the worry? I'd rather wonder."

Thank you very much.

(Applause)

 


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