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美的力量 The power of beauty

2011-09-17 23:20  作者:  来源:可可英语  字号:T|T

摘要:Beauty is essentially a form of energy, something that radiates from a fine example of absolutely anything, whether a delightful taste or smell, or a gorgeous sight.

  The power of beauty

  Beauty is essentially a form of energy, something that radiates from a fine example of absolutely anything, whether a delightful taste or smell, or a gorgeous sight. This energy is in effect a form of information, nature's bar code telling us how healthy that attitude is, because health-bringing things increase the likelihood that we and our genes will survive.

  Harvard phychologist Nancy Etcoff observes that, with this vital equation very much in mind, our brains behave like a highly sensitive radar constantly hunting a signal. If we're shown the photograph of a face, it takes us less than a fifth of a second to make a judgement of its beauty.

  Much of the language of this energy is hard-wired and universal. Even three month-old babies have been shown to prefer gazing at conventionally beautiful faces, and adults from diverse ethnic cultures can all agree on who is exactly how good-looking in other populations.

  Experimental studies have also established that the active ingredients include symmetry, order, proportion and balance. Since beauty is so powerful and important, we can be thankful that there are many ways to be beautiful, and very many sources. And though we most readily think of experiencing that energy through our five physical senses of sight, sound, taste, touch and smell, other dimensions are even more potent. For example, there is movement-which can be the internal, kinaesthetic sense of our own bodies in dance or sport; or the thrill of seeing an art or craft well performed. Consider, too, how ideas, insights, and solutions, can be deemed beautiful. Among scientists, Einstein's Theory of Relativity is unanimously praised for its extraordinary beauty.

  Yale's David Gelernter, a professor of computer science, has argued convincingly that "lust for beauty" has driven the great technological discoveries. It is no accient, he would claim, that Mitchell's Spitfire, with its Merlin engines and distinctive wings, could help win a war while also seeming wonderful to the eye and ear.

  And just as the plan for a bank robbery, a bridge, or a computer program can all work beautifully, so can a whole personality. We know from the studies of many lifetimes that humans find a balance of loving and confidence and kindness and humour to be highly attractive and very healthy qualities.

  Yet, the greatest source of beauty, for the sheer intensity and volume of positive emotion it brings to our lives, is the beautiful relationship--the one in which we can thrive and flourish and grow beyond ourselves. This fertile bond can exist between two living things, or a person and a place, or a person and a skill, and the world becomes only more beautiful the more deeply we understand it. Therefore, we will find profound happiness in narturing and appreciating diverse beauties in whatever ways we can.

  【中文译文】

  美的力量

  剑桥大学博士Nick Baylis

  美实质上是一种能量,任何美好的事物都能发出这种能量,比如美食、香气或美景。实际上这种能量就是一种信息,好似自然界的“条形码”,告诉我们事物的健康度,正是这些能促进健康的事物使我们和我们的基因更好地繁衍下去,生生不息。

  哈佛大学心理学家南希.艾特考夫指出,因为我们非常清楚以上这点的重要性,我们的大脑就像一个高灵敏度的雷达在不断地搜索着信号。比如把一张人物照放在我们眼前,我们会在不到1/5秒的时间内对它的美丑做出判断。

  对这种能量的认识是人类普遍具备的先天特质。甚至3个月大的婴儿也表现出对传统意义上的漂亮的脸蛋的青睐。不同种族的成年人在判断其他族人的容貌美丑问题上也能达成共识。

  研究表明,对称、条例、比例和平衡是影响人们判断美的重要因素。美的力量是巨大而不可忽视的。我们应当感谢美丽有那么多的表达方式,美的源泉是那么丰富多彩。说到美,也许我们很容易想到通

  过视觉、听觉、味觉、触觉和嗅觉这五种感官来体验它的能量,但其实还有其他更为有效的途径,比如:“动觉”--它可能是我们跳舞或运动时身体内部的肌肉动感,也可能是看到一件精湛的艺术品或工艺制品时的兴奋和激动不已。再想想我们又有多少可以被称为“漂亮”的想法、见解和解决方案吧。科学家们不就对爱因斯坦“相对论”所蕴涵的非凡之美一致地给予了高度赞赏么。

  耶鲁大学计算机科学教授大卫.格冷特用有力的实例说明了“对美的强烈渴望”成就了一系列伟大的科技成就。他指出,米切尔设计的喷火式战斗机正是凭借其采用的马林引擎和独特的机翼,在取得战斗胜利的同时还能给人带来视觉和听觉的享受。

  正如我们可以说一起银行抢劫、一座桥梁或是一个计算机程序的设计干得很“漂亮”,一个人的整体人格也可以是“漂亮”的。从对许多人的生平研究中发现,爱心、自信、友善和幽默是非常健康的品质,拥有这些品质的人是极具魅力的。

  然而,就其带给我们的美好感觉的度和量而言,美的最主要来源是我们与外界的美好关系,它们给我们的生活带来源源不断的感情--让我们茁壮成长,超越自我。这一有力的和谐关系可以存在于生物与生物之间,也可存在于人和某个地方之间,或是人和某项技能之间。当我们能更好地认识这些关系时,世界就会变得更加美丽。因此,我们在培育和欣赏美的同时,也会得到无穷的快乐。

  【词汇讲解】

  1.essentially adv. 本质上,本来

  如:He's essentially a very generous man.

  他本质上是个十分慷慨的人。

  The culture areas are essentially coincident with language areas.

  文化区与语言区基本重合。

  2.gorgeous adj. 华丽的,灿烂的,好极了

  如:The sunset is gorgeous.

  落日辉煌。

  The night sky is now gorgeous with billions of stars.

  星斗万千,夜空璀璨。

  3.likelihood n. 可能性

  如:The likelihood of recovery from a disease is small.

  痊愈的可能性很小。

  4.convincingly adv. 令人信服地,有说服力地

  如:He argues convincingly.

  他的辩解很有说服力。

  She replies to my point so convincingly that my argument is soon in tatter.

  她反驳我提出的各点都很有说服力,很快就将我的论点驳倒。

  5.symmetry n. 对称(性), 匀称,整齐

  如:Having no balance or symmetry.

  不对称的,不匀称的失去平衡或对称性的

  Having as many planes as required for complete symmetry in a given crystal system.

  全面的,全对称晶形的具有在给定的晶体系统中全面对称的全部平面的

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