冠状病毒与信誉

译者: yulue
校对者: yulue
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# Coronavirus and Credibility

# 冠状病毒与信誉


April 2020

2020 年 04 月


I recently saw a video of TV journalists and politicians confidently saying that the coronavirus would be no worse than the flu. What struck me about it was not just how mistaken they seemed, but how daring. How could they feel safe saying such things?

最近我看到一个视频,视频里政治家和新闻主持人们信誓旦旦地说新冠病毒不会比流感更糟糕。我对此感到非常震惊,不仅仅是因为他们的言辞有多错误,还因为他们的言辞有多大胆。他们怎么能心安理得地说这些话呢?


The answer, I realized, is that they didn't think they could get caught. They didn't realize there was any danger in making false predictions. These people constantly make false predictions, and get away with it, because the things they make predictions about either have mushy enough outcomes that they can bluster their way out of trouble, or happen so far in the future that few remember what they said.

我意识到,答案是他们认为自己不需要为这些大胆的言论负责。他们没有意识到作出错误的预测有任何危险。这些人经常做出错误的预测,而不需要为此负责。因为他们做出的预测要么已经有了一个模糊的结论,以至于他们可以通过扯皮来摆脱困境,要么发生在遥远的未来,以至于很少有人记得他们说了什么。


An epidemic is different. It falsifies your predictions rapidly and unequivocally.

流行病是不同的,它会迅速而明确地推翻了你的预测。


But epidemics are rare enough that these people clearly didn't realize this was even a possibility. Instead they just continued to use their ordinary m.o., which, as the epidemic has made clear, is to talk confidently about things they don't understand.

但是由于流行病非常罕见,这些人显然没有意识到这种可能性。 相反,他们只是继续使用惯用的方式,对自己不了解的事情侃侃而谈,就像这次疫情中所表现的那样。


An event like this is thus a uniquely powerful way of taking people's measure. As Warren Buffet said, "It's only when the tide goes out that you learn who's been swimming naked." And the tide has just gone out like never before.

因此,像这样的事件会用一种独特而有力的方式去检验人们。 正如沃伦·巴菲特所说: “只有当潮水退去的时候,你才能知道谁在裸泳。” 而潮水从未像现在这样退去。


Now that we've seen the results, let's remember what we saw, because this is the most accurate test of credibility we're ever likely to have. I hope.

现在我们已经看到了结果,我们要记住我们看到了什么,因为这可能是我们拥有的最准确的可信度测试,希望如此。