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马斯克和傻瓜亿万富豪俱乐部
Elon Musk and the silly billy billionaires’ club

来源:FT中文网    2018-03-05 07:17



        Is there anything sillier than a billionaire? Thanks to a billionaire, a red sports car is now pootling about outer space. Elon Musk — PayPal tycoon, visionary loon — whooshed it up there on a rocket. “It’s kind of silly,” he says. Yes it is. It is also kind of an ad for Tesla Motors. He is not that silly. Either way, he has made us all look a little ridiculous. When aliens discover a sexy red sports car off-roading through the cosmos they are going to think Earth is having a midlife crisis.        这世上还有什么比亿万富翁更愚蠢的吗?多亏一位亿万富翁,如今才有一辆红色跑车在外太空漫游。埃隆•马斯克(Elon Musk)——创立了PayPal的大亨、有远见的傻子——用一枚火箭嗖地把这辆跑车送上了天。“这有点儿傻,”他说。没错,是傻。这也算是给特斯拉汽车(Tesla Motors)打的广告。他可没那么傻。不管怎样,他倒让我们看起来都有点可笑。当外星人发现一辆性感的红色跑车在宇宙中穿梭时,他们会认为地球正在经历中年危机。
        We are. One hundred and forty-five people became billionaires last year, according to UBS. Data gathered by the Bloomberg Billionaires Index reveal that in 2017 the world’s richest 500 people became $1tn richer. That is more than three times the GDP of Denmark. According to the Institute for Policy Studies, the three richest men in the US own more wealth than the entire bottom half of the country’s population.        我们确实如此。据瑞银(UBS)统计,去年有145人成为亿万富翁。彭博亿万富翁指数(Bloomberg's Billionaires Index)收集的数据显示,2017年,全球最富有的500人的财富增加了1万亿美元。这个数字是丹麦国内生产总值(GDP)的三倍多。根据美国智库政策研究所(IPS)的数据,美国最富有的三个男人所拥有的财富,比美国财富排名后一半的人口拥有的财富还要多。
        Fortunately, for us all, Musk is building a city next. On Mars. By the 2060s. You can go but it will probably cost you $200,000 to get there. Musk is not the only billionaire with a fruity idea about building a city and the cash to do it. Peter Thiel — who co-founded PayPal with Musk — seed-funded a floating city that the Seasteading Institute is building off the coast of French Polynesia. Google billionaire Larry Page has a subsidiary of Alphabet Inc working on how to build a city from scratch.        对我们大家来说,幸运的是,马斯克接下来要建设一座城市。建在火星上。会在2060年代建成。到时你可以去那里,但花费很可能将高达20万美元。除了马斯克,其他亿万富豪也有建造城市的疯狂念头和所需的现金。与马斯克共同创立PayPal的彼得•蒂尔(Peter Thiel),为海上家园研究所(Seasteading Institute)在法属波利尼西亚的海上建造一座漂浮城市的项目提供了种子资金。谷歌(Google)的亿万富翁拉里•佩奇(Larry page)让Alphabet公司的一个子公司研究如何从零开始建造一座城市。
        Some billionaires build, others redecorate. Oil and gas tycoon Timothy Headington is remodelling downtown Dallas as if it were his front room. He has opened hotels, restaurants and plonked a gigantic sculpture of a bloodshot eyeball city-centre.        有些亿万富翁在建设,有人则在翻修。石油和天然气巨头蒂莫西•黑丁顿(Timothy Headington)正重建达拉斯市中心城区,好像那是他的客厅一样。他开了酒店、餐馆,并在市中心放置了一座布满血丝的眼球形状的巨型雕塑。
        If I were a silly billionaire — a silly billy — I’d consider renovating my own front room, Washington DC. I wouldn’t bother with gigantic eyeballs though. I’d borrow Donald Trump’s hair-do and run it up the White House flagpole. For fun. Or tourism. Or art. Donald wouldn’t mind. He’d say Mar-a-La-Go-for-it. We’d be close. Imaginary billionaires love other imaginary billionaires.        如果我是一个愚蠢的亿万富翁,一个傻瓜,我会考虑翻新我自己的客厅——华盛顿特区。不过,我不会使用巨大的眼球。我要借用唐纳德•特朗普(Donald Trump)的发型,把它装在白宫的旗杆上。为了好玩。或为了旅游业。或是艺术。唐纳德不会介意的。他会说,海湖庄园加油。我们会很亲密。富有想象力的亿万富翁们喜欢别的富有想象力的亿万富翁。
        I’d do construction work. I’d erect a handful of statues to stir things up. Then I’d tear them down to stir things up some more. I’d be the one to finally build everyone an actual mall on the National Mall so people could shop in my stores during inauguration speeches. Then I’d build a Hexagon next to the Pentagon.        我将实施建筑工程。我要竖起几尊雕像来搅动气氛。然后我会拆除它们,再次搅动气氛。我将成为终于在国家广场(National Mall)上为所有人建一个真正的购物广场的人,这样人们就可以一边听就职演说,一边在我的商店里购物。然后,我将在五角大楼旁边建一座六角大楼。
        I’d serve the public good. I’d replace the traffic lights on Independence Avenue with chandeliers so the masses could enjoy luxury road crossings. I’d install underfloor heating in the sidewalks to keep the homeless warm in winter. I’d build a library for underprivileged children. And I’d build it out of money. To show I was serious.        我将为公众利益服务。我会把独立大道(Independence Avenue)上的交通灯换成枝形吊灯,这样大众就能享受豪华的十字路口。我会在人行道上安装地暖设施,让无家可归的人在冬天里取暖。我会为贫困儿童建一座图书馆。我会用金钱来建造它,证明我是认真的。
        I’d entertain the masses. I’d acquire a Washington sports team. I’d acquire the most cut-throat, hungry-for-the-spotlight, blood sport team in the history of turf. I’d acquire the House of Representatives. I’d make them play ball. If they so much as contemplated shutting down the federal government over a budget deal, I’d AstroTurf the United States Botanic Garden and make them legislate doing star jumps.        我将娱乐大众。我会收购华盛顿的一只运动队。我会收购历史上最凶残、最爱表现的狩猎运动队。我会收购众议院。我会让他们打球。如果他们竟想因为预算协议让联邦政府停摆,我就会在美国国家植物园(United States Botanic Garden)里铺上阿斯特罗特夫尼龙人造草皮(AstroTurf),让他们一边做流星式扑救一边立法。
        I’d endow institutions. I’d endow the National Portrait Gallery. They’d hang a large portrait of me in the foyer, titled “Anonymous” — for modesty. I’d endow The Ronald Reagan Institute of Emergency Medicine and offer to perform surgery on any patients who couldn’t afford healthcare. I’d endow Georgetown University with so much filthy lucre it would let me rename one of its buildings after my family’s dead dogs: the Romeo, Babe and Bilbo Baggins Institute for Quantum Physics.        我将资助机构。我会资助国立肖像馆(National Portrait Gallery)。他们会在门厅里挂上一幅我的大幅肖像,为表谦虚,给它取名叫“无名氏”。我会资助罗纳德•里根急诊医学研究所(Ronald Reagan Institute of Emergency Medicine),让他们给那些没钱看病的患者做手术。我会把很多不义之财捐给乔治城大学(Georgetown University),让我用我家死去的几条狗为它的一座建筑重新命名:罗密欧、巴贝和比尔博•巴金斯量子物理研究所(Romeo, Babe and Bilbo Baggins Institute for Quantum Physics)。
        I’d have the Midas touch. I’d touch the Washington Monument. It would turn to solid gold. Then I’d touch the Lincoln Memorial, but just Abe’s bow tie — to keep him honest. Everything I touched would be so golden it would make my buddy Trump’s taste look silver. Donald wouldn’t mind because he is, like, a really smart person.        我将拥有点石成金的本领。我会触摸华盛顿纪念碑(Washington Monument)。它会变成纯金的。然后我就去摸林肯纪念堂(Lincoln Memorial),但只摸亚伯(Abe)的蝶形领结——让他保持诚实。我碰触过的每一件东西都将变得如此金灿灿,这会让我的朋友特朗普的品味看起来银亮亮。唐纳德不会介意,因为他像是一个非常聪明的人。
        I’d use my money as wisely as any billionaire. Which is to say I wouldn’t. Because I probably shouldn’t be a billionaire. No one should be. So Musk and 173 others of the world’s wealthiest have signed Warren Buffett’s Giving Pledge; a promise to give the majority of their riches to philanthropic causes. Nothing silly about that. It is romantic to build utopias; it is moral to fix what is broken. We don’t need billionaires. We need their billions back. For the cities that already exist. For the people in them. For goodness’ sake.        我会像任何亿万富翁那样明智地花钱。也就是说我不会明智地花钱。因为我很可能不该成为亿万富翁。谁也不该。因此,马斯克和其他173个世界上最富有的人在沃伦•巴菲特(Warren Buffett)发起的“捐赠誓约”(Giving Pledge)上签了字;承诺将他们的大多数财富捐献给慈善事业。这么做一点儿也不愚蠢。建立乌托邦是浪漫的;修补破损的东西是道德的。我们不需要亿万富翁。我们需要他们把亿万财富回馈大众。用于已存在的城市。用于这些城市里的居民。看在上帝的份上。
        Jenny Lee is an imaginary billionaire        珍妮•李是一名虚构的亿万富翁。
                
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