好英语网好英语网

好英语网 - www.HaoEnglish.com
好英语网一个提供英语阅读,双语阅读,双语新闻的英语学习网站。

啤酒有利于共建“文明社会”

How Beer Gave Us Civilization
啤酒有利于共建“文明社会”

HUMAN beings are social animals. But just as important, we are socially constrained as well.

人类是社会动物。但同样重要的是,我们也受着社会的束缚。

We can probably thank the latter trait for keeping our fledgling species alive at the dawn of man. Five core social instincts, I have argued, gave structure and strength to our primeval herds. They kept us safely codependent with our fellow clan members, assigned us a rank in the pecking order, made sure we all did our chores, discouraged us from offending others, and removed us from this social coil when we became a drag on shared resources.

或许应该感谢这样的束缚,我们这个毫无经验的种族才能在成为人类伊始存活下来。我曾经讨论过,5种社交本能(这里是作者曾经提出的观点,包括恐惧焦虑、社交焦虑、强迫症、非典型抑郁和忧郁型抑郁——译注)奠定了原始人类族群的结构与优势。它们让我们可以安全地信赖部落成员、在权势等级中赋予我们位置、确保我们各尽繁琐的职责、不鼓励我们彼此冒犯,如果我们成为共享社会资源的累赘,则把我们从这个社交圈中清除出去。

Thus could our ancient forebears cooperate, prosper, multiply — and pass along their DNA to later generations.

我们的古老祖先就是这样合作、共荣、繁衍——这种本能通过他们的DNA传给了后代。
 

But then, these same lifesaving social instincts didn’t readily lend themselves to exploration, artistic expression, romance, inventiveness and experimentation — the other human drives that make for a vibrant civilization.

但到了后世,在人类创造繁荣文明的其他驱动力方面——探索、艺术、恋爱、创新和试验——这些关乎生存的社交本能却并不那么容易适用了。

To free up those, we needed something that would suppress the rigid social codes that kept our clans safe and alive. We needed something that, on occasion, would let us break free from our biological herd imperative — or at least let us suppress our angst when we did.

为了从这些本能中解放出来,我们需要一些东西去压制那种严格的、曾令我们的原始部落安全生存的社交密码。我们需要一些东西,能够偶尔让我们从生物族群的必然性中释放出来——至少是能让我们在焦虑时稍微抑制一下这种情绪。

We needed beer.

我们需要啤酒。

Luckily, from time to time, our ancestors, like other animals, would run across fermented fruit or grain and sample it. How this accidental discovery evolved into the first keg party, of course, is still unknown. But evolve it did, perhaps as early as 10,000 years ago.

幸运的是,我们的祖先和其他动物一样,一次又一次遇到发酵的果实或谷物,品尝到了它们的滋味。这个偶然的发现是怎样进化为历史上第一次纵酒派对,如今当然已经不得而知。但这个进化确实存在,或许发生在距今1万年前。

Current theory has it that grain was first domesticated for food. But since the 1950s, many scholars have found circumstantial evidence that supports the idea that some early humans grew and stored grain for beer, even before they cultivated it for bread.

目前的理论认为人类最早种植谷类是作为食物使用。但直到20世纪50年代,还有很多学者根据有条件的证据,认为有些早期人类种植谷物是为了酿啤酒,甚至早于使用谷物来做面包。

Brian Hayden and colleagues at Simon Fraser University in Canada provide new support for this theory in an article published this month (and online last year) in the Journal of Archeological Method and Theory. Examining potential beer-brewing tools in archaeological remains from the Natufian culture in the Eastern Mediterranean, the team concludes that “brewing of beer was an important aspect of feasting and society in the Late Epipaleolithic” era.

加拿大西蒙·弗雷泽大学的布莱恩·海登(Brian Hayden)与同事们为这个理论提供了新证据,他们的论文本月发表在《人类学方法与理论期刊》(Journal of Archeological Method and Theory)上(去年发表在网络上)。他们研究了东地中海纳图夫(Natufian)文明考古遗迹中可能用来酿造啤酒的工具后,得出结论:“酿造啤酒是旧石器时代末期节庆与社会中的重要环节。”

Anthropological studies in Mexico suggest a similar conclusion: there, the ancestral grass of modern maize, teosinte, was well suited for making beer — but was much less so for making corn flour for bread or tortillas. It took generations for Mexican farmers to domesticate this grass into maize, which then became a staple of the local diet.

墨西哥的考古研究得出了类似结论,在那里,现代玉米的先祖被称为“teosinte”,它非常适合用来酿制啤酒,但是很少用来制作烤面包和玉米饼的玉米面团。墨西哥农民花了好几代才把teosinte培植为玉米,并使其成为当地食品中的主要食材。

Once the effects of these early brews were discovered, the value of beer (as well as wine and other fermented potions) must have become immediately apparent. With the help of the new psychopharmacological brew, humans could quell the angst of defying those herd instincts. Conversations around the campfire, no doubt, took on a new dimension: the painfully shy, their angst suddenly quelled, could now speak their minds.

我们一旦发现这些人类早期为酿酒而做出的努力,啤酒(乃至其他发酵饮料)的价值肯定也会马上显现。有了这种全新的精神药理学饮品,人类就可以压制自己违背群体本能的焦虑。毫无疑问,篝火边的交谈也可以呈现新的方向:令人痛苦的羞涩与焦虑刹那不见,他们现在可以倾诉心声了。

But the alcohol would have had more far-ranging effects, too, reducing the strong herd instincts to maintain a rigid social structure. In time, humans became more expansive in their thinking, as well as more collaborative and creative. A night of modest tippling may have ushered in these feelings of freedom — though, the morning after, instincts to conform and submit would have kicked back in to restore the social order.

但是酒精还可以产生其他很多效果,它可以削弱强烈的群体本能,而这一本能是维持严格的社会结构所必需的。喝酒以后,人们的思维会变得更广泛,也更乐于合作,更富于创造力。小酌一晚可能会引发这种自由自在的感觉——不过翌日清晨,适应环境与顺从的本能又会回来,社会秩序又恢复了。

Some evidence suggests that these early brews (or wines) were also considered aids in deliberation. In long ago Germany and Persia, collective decisions of state were made after a few warm ones, then double-checked when sober. Elsewhere, they did it the other way around.

有证据表明早期的啤酒(或葡萄酒)被用来作为思考的辅助品。在古代的德国和波斯,国家的群体决策要在喝过一点热酒之后做出,清醒后再来检查。在其他地方,也有类似的做法。

Beer was thought to be so important in many bygone civilizations that the Code of Urukagina, often cited as the first legal code, even prescribed it as a central unit of payment and penance.

啤酒在许多已经消逝的古老文明中都非常重要,比如人类最早的法典——乌鲁卡基纳法典(Code of Urukagina)甚至把它当做付酬与罚款的核心单位。

Part of beer’s virtue in ancient times was that its alcohol content would have been sharply limited. As far as the research has shown, distillation of alcohol to higher concentrations began only about 2,000 years ago.

在古代,啤酒的部分好处在于它的酒精含量十分有限。根据研究,蒸馏酒类受到更多关注大约是从2000年前才开始的。

Today, many people drink too much because they have more than average social anxiety or panic anxiety to quell — disorders that may result, in fact, from those primeval herd instincts kicking into overdrive. But getting drunk, unfortunately, only compounds the problem: it can lead to decivilizing behaviors and encounters, and harm the body over time. For those with anxiety and depressive disorders, indeed, there are much safer and more effective drugs than alcohol — and together with psychotherapy, these newfangled improvements on beer can ease the angst.

如今,很多人过量饮酒都是由于他们有超出平均水平的社交焦虑(social anxiety)或恐慌焦虑(panic anxiety)需要克服——这样的焦虑可能会引起身心失调,从原始的群体本能发展为紧张过度。但不幸的是,酗酒只会让这一问题更加复杂化:它有可能让行为和人际交往变得不文明,过量饮酒也有害健康。对于有焦虑和抑郁问题的人来说,服用药物比饮用烈性酒来得安全有效——此外还要辅以心理治疗,这些疗法都是在啤酒基础上取得的最新进展,有助于缓解焦虑。

But beer’s place in the development of civilization deserves at least a raising of the glass. As the ever rational Ben Franklin supposedly said, “Beer is living proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy.”

但是啤酒在人类文明发展史上的地位仍然值得为之举杯致意。据说,一贯清醒理性的本·富兰克林(Ben Franklin)曾经说过:“啤酒是上帝爱我们、希望我们快乐的明证。”

Several thousand years before Franklin, I’m guessing, some Neolithic fellow probably made the same toast.

我想,早在富兰克林出生几千年前,新石器时代的一些人可能也做过同样的祝酒词。
赞一下
上一篇: 撒切尔的着装既是铠甲,也是宣言
下一篇: 返回列表

相关推荐

隐藏边栏