作者：尤瓦尔·赫拉利 (Yuval Noah Harari) ,《人类简史》的作者
原载：2020 年 3 月 20 日的《金融时报》
Humankind is now facing a global crisis. Perhaps the biggest crisis of our generation. The decisions people and governments take in the next few weeks will probably shape the world for years to come. They will shape not just our healthcare systems but also our economy, politics and culture. We must act quickly and decisively. We should also take into account the long-term consequences of our actions. When choosing between alternatives, we should ask ourselves not only how to overcome the immediate threat, but also what kind of world we will inhabit once the storm passes. Yes, the storm will pass, humankind will survive, most of us will still be alive — but we will inhabit a different world.
Many short-term emergency measures will become a fixture of life. That is the nature of emergencies. They fast-forward historical processes. Decisions that in normal times could take years of deliberation are passed in a matter of hours. Immature and even dangerous technologies are pressed into service, because the risks of doing nothing are bigger. Entire countries serve as guinea-pigs in large-scale social experiments. What happens when everybody works from home and communicates only at a distance? What happens when entire schools and universities go online? In normal times, governments, businesses and educational boards would never agree to conduct such experiments. But these aren’t normal times.
In this time of crisis, we face two particularly important choices. The first is between totalitarian surveillance and citizen empowerment. The second is between nationalist isolation and global solidarity.
© Ingram Pinn/Financial Times
In order to stop the epidemic, entire populations need to comply with certain guidelines. There are two main ways of achieving this. One method is for the government to monitor people, and punish those who break the rules. Today, for the first time in human history, technology makes it possible to monitor everyone all the time. Fifty years ago, the KGB couldn’t follow 240m Soviet citizens 24 hours a day, nor could the KGB hope to effectively process all the information gathered. The KGB relied on human agents and analysts, and it just couldn’t place a human agent to follow every citizen. But now governments can rely on ubiquitous sensors and powerful algorithms instead of flesh-and-blood spooks.
为了遏制这种流行病，所有人都必须遵守某些准则。有两种主要方法可以实现此目的。一种方法是政府监视人民，并惩罚违反规则的人。如今，人类历史上首次，技术可以一直监控每个人。五十年前，克格勃无法每天 24 小时追踪 2.4 亿苏联公民，也不可能有效处理收集到的所有信息。克格勃依靠人类特工和分析师，不可能跟踪每个公民。但是现在，政府可以依靠无处不在的传感器和强大的算法，实现这个目标。
In their battle against the coronavirus epidemic several governments have already deployed the new surveillance tools. By closely monitoring people’s smartphones, making use of hundreds of millions of face-recognising cameras, and obliging people to check and report their body temperature and medical condition. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel recently authorised the Israel Security Agency to deploy surveillance technology normally reserved for battling terrorists to track coronavirus patients. When the relevant parliamentary subcommittee refused to authorise the measure, Netanyahu rammed it through with an “emergency decree”.
在与冠状病毒的斗争中，一些政府已经部署了新的监视工具。通过严密监视人们的智能手机，使用数以百万计的面部识别摄像头，并迫使人们检查并报告其体温和医疗状况。以色列总理本杰明·内塔尼亚胡（Benjamin Netanyahu）最近授权以色列安全局，部署监视技术以追踪冠状病毒患者，该技术通常用于与恐怖分子作战。当议会拒绝批准该措施时，内塔尼亚胡提出了一项 ” 紧急命令 “。
You might argue that there is nothing new about all this. In recent years both governments and corporations have been using ever more sophisticated technologies to track, monitor and manipulate people. Yet if we are not careful, the epidemic might nevertheless mark an important watershed in the history of surveillance. Not only because it might normalise the deployment of mass surveillance tools in countries that have so far rejected them, but even more so because it signifies a dramatic transition from “over the skin” to “under the skin” surveillance.
你可能会争辩说，这些并没有新意。近年来，政府和公司都在使用越来越先进的技术来跟踪、监视和操纵人员。但是，如果我们不谨慎的话，现在的这种流行病可能将是人类监控史上一个重要的分水岭。不仅因为它可以使迄今为止拒绝使用大规模监视工具的国家，出现监控正常化，而且更重要的是，它表明监控从 ” 皮肤上 ” 急剧转变为 ” 皮肤下 “。
Hitherto, when your finger touched the screen of your smartphone and clicked on a link, the government wanted to know what exactly your finger was clicking on. But with coronavirus, the focus of interest shifts. Now the government wants to know the temperature of your finger and the blood-pressure under its skin.
The emergency pudding
One of the problems we face in working out where we stand on surveillance is that none of us know exactly how we are being surveilled, and what the coming years might bring. Surveillance technology is developing at breakneck speed, and what seemed science-fiction 10 years ago is today old news. As a thought experiment, consider a hypothetical government that demands that every citizen wears a biometric bracelet that monitors body temperature and heart-rate 24 hours a day. The resulting data is hoarded and analysed by government algorithms. The algorithms will know that you are sick even before you know it, and they will also know where you have been, and who you have met. The chains of infection could be drastically shortened, and even cut altogether. Such a system could arguably stop the epidemic in its tracks within days. Sounds wonderful, right?
监控技术正以惊人的速度发展，十年前的科幻小说如今已成为日常新闻。作为一项思想实验，请考虑一个假设的政府，该政府要求每个公民每天都要佩戴生物特征识别手环，以监测 24 小时的体温和心率。所得数据通过政府算法进行存储和分析。这些算法甚至会在症状出现之前就知道你生病了，并且他们还将知道你去过哪里以及遇到了谁。感染链可以大大缩短，甚至完全切断。可以说，这样的系统可以在几天之内停止流行病的蔓延。听起来很棒，对吧？
The downside is, of course, that this would give legitimacy to a terrifying new surveillance system. If you know, for example, that I clicked on a Fox News link rather than a CNN link, that can teach you something about my political views and perhaps even my personality. But if you can monitor what happens to my body temperature, blood pressure and heart-rate as I watch the video clip, you can learn what makes me laugh, what makes me cry, and what makes me really, really angry.
缺点当然是，这种恐怖的新监视系统一旦具有合法性的后果。例如，如果你知道我单击的是 Fox News 的链接而不是 CNN 的链接，则可以提示你一些有关我的政治观点甚至个性的信息。但是，如果你可以在我观看视频时监视我的体温、血压和心率变化，则可以了解使我发笑、使我哭泣以及使我真正非常生气的原因。
It is crucial to remember that anger, joy, boredom and love are biological phenomena just like fever and a cough. The same technology that identifies coughs could also identify laughs. If corporations and governments start harvesting our biometric data en masse, they can get to know us far better than we know ourselves, and they can then not just predict our feelings but also manipulate our feelings and sell us anything they want — be it a product or a politician. Biometric monitoring would make Cambridge Analytica’s data hacking tactics look like something from the Stone Age. Imagine North Korea in 2030, when every citizen has to wear a biometric bracelet 24 hours a day. If you listen to a speech by the Great Leader and the bracelet picks up the tell-tale signs of anger, you are done for.
重要的是要记住，愤怒、喜悦、无聊和爱是生物现象，就 像发烧和咳嗽一样。识别咳嗽的相同技术也可以识别发笑。 如果公司和政府开始大量收集我们的生物识别数据，他们将比我们自己更了解我们，那么他们不仅可以预测我们的感受，还可以操纵我们的感受，并向我们出售他们想要的任何东西，从产品到政治观点。生物识别监控将使 Cambridge Analytica 公司的数据黑客策略看起来像石器时代。想象一下 2030 年的朝鲜，那时每个公民都必须每天 24 小时佩戴生物识别手环。如果您听取了伟大领袖的演讲，而手环发现你有愤怒的迹象，那么你就完蛋了。
You could, of course, make the case for biometric surveillance as a temporary measure taken during a state of emergency. It would go away once the emergency is over. But temporary measures have a nasty habit of outlasting emergencies, especially as there is always a new emergency lurking on the horizon. My home country of Israel, for example, declared a state of emergency during its 1948 War of Independence, which justified a range of temporary measures from press censorship and land confiscation to special regulations for making pudding (I kid you not). The War of Independence has long been won, but Israel never declared the emergency over, and has failed to abolish many of the “temporary” measures of 1948 (the emergency pudding decree was mercifully abolished in 2011).
当然，政府可以将生物特征识别，作为紧急情况下采取的临时措施。一旦紧急情况结束，这些措施就会取消。但是，临时措施有持久保持下去的巨大惯性，尤其考虑到新的紧急状态可能会再次出现。例如，我的祖国以色列在 1948 年的独立战争期间宣布进入紧急状态，通过了一系列临时措施，包括从新闻审查、没收土地到制作布丁的特殊规定（我没骗你）。独立战争早就赢得了胜利，但以色列从未宣布过结束紧急状态，并且也没有废除了 1948 年的许多 ” 临时 ” 措施（紧急布丁法令倒是于 2011 年被废除）。
Even when infections from coronavirus are down to zero, some data-hungry governments could argue they needed to keep the biometric surveillance systems in place because they fear a second wave of coronavirus, or because there is a new Ebola strain evolving in central Africa, or because . . . you get the idea. A big battle has been raging in recent years over our privacy. The coronavirus crisis could be the battle’s tipping point. For when people are given a choice between privacy and health, they will usually choose health.
即使在冠状病毒的感染者降至零的情况下，一些渴望获取公民数据的政府也可能会说，由于害怕第二次冠状病毒流行，或者因为中部非洲正在出现新的埃博拉病毒，他们需要保持生物特征监测系统继续运行。因为 …… 你懂的。近年来，在我们的隐私问题上，一场激烈的战斗一直在进行。冠状病毒危机可能是这场战斗的转折点。因为当人们在隐私和健康之间做出选择时，他们通常会选择健康。
IFP Editorial Staff
The soap police
Asking people to choose between privacy and health is, in fact, the very root of the problem. Because this is a false choice. We can and should enjoy both privacy and health. We can choose to protect our health and stop the coronavirus epidemic not by instituting totalitarian surveillance regimes, but rather by empowering citizens. In recent weeks, some of the most successful efforts to contain the coronavirus epidemic were orchestrated by South Korea, Taiwan and Singapore. While these countries have made some use of tracking applications, they have relied far more on extensive testing, on honest reporting, and on the willing co-operation of a well-informed public.
Centralised monitoring and harsh punishments aren’t the only way to make people comply with beneficial guidelines. When people are told the scientific facts, and when people trust public authorities to tell them these facts, citizens can do the right thing even without a Big Brother watching over their shoulders. A self-motivated and well-informed population is usually far more powerful and effective than a policed, ignorant population.
集中监控和严厉惩罚并不是使人们遵守有益规则的唯一方法。当人们被告知科学事实，并且人们信任公共当局告诉他们这些事实时，即使没有 ” 老大哥 ” 看着他们的肩膀，公民也可以做正确的事情。一个有上进心和知识渊博的人群通常比受过训练的无知人群要强大得多。
Consider, for example, washing your hands with soap. This has been one of the greatest advances ever in human hygiene. This simple action saves millions of lives every year. While we take it for granted, it was only in the 19th century that scientists discovered the importance of washing hands with soap. Previously, even doctors and nurses proceeded from one surgical operation to the next without washing their hands. Today billions of people daily wash their hands, not because they are afraid of the soap police, but rather because they understand the facts. I wash my hands with soap because I have heard of viruses and bacteria, I understand that these tiny organisms cause diseases, and I know that soap can remove them.
肥皂洗手就是一个例子，这是人类卫生学上最伟大的进步之一。这个简单的动作每年可以挽救数百万的生命。虽然我们认为这是理所当然的，但直到 19 世纪，科学家才发现用肥皂洗手的重要性。以前，即使是医生和护士，也无需洗手就从一台外科手术转到另一台外科手术。今天，数十亿人每天洗手，不是因为他们害怕警察正在监控，而是因为他们了解事实。我用肥皂洗手是因为我听说过病毒和细菌，我知道这些微小的生物会引起疾病，并且我知道肥皂可以清除它们。
But to achieve such a level of compliance and co-operation, you need trust. People need to trust science, to trust public authorities, and to trust the media. Over the past few years, irresponsible politicians have deliberately undermined trust in science, in public authorities and in the media. Now these same irresponsible politicians might be tempted to take the high road to authoritarianism, arguing that you just cannot trust the public to do the right thing.
Normally, trust that has been eroded for years cannot be rebuilt overnight. But these are not normal times. In a moment of crisis, minds too can change quickly. You can have bitter arguments with your siblings for years, but when some emergency occurs, you suddenly discover a hidden reservoir of trust and amity, and you rush to help one another. Instead of building a surveillance regime, it is not too late to rebuild people’s trust in science, in public authorities and in the media. We should definitely make use of new technologies too, but these technologies should empower citizens. I am all in favour of monitoring my body temperature and blood pressure, but that data should not be used to create an all-powerful government. Rather, that data should enable me to make more informed personal choices, and also to hold government accountable for its decisions.
If I could track my own medical condition 24 hours a day, I would learn not only whether I have become a health hazard to other people, but also which habits contribute to my health. And if I could access and analyse reliable statistics on the spread of coronavirus, I would be able to judge whether the government is telling me the truth and whether it is adopting the right policies to combat the epidemic. Whenever people talk about surveillance, remember that the same surveillance technology can usually be used not only by governments to monitor inpiduals — but also by inpiduals to monitor governments.
如果我可以一天 24 小时追踪自己的病情，我不仅会了解自己是否对他人构成健康危害，而且还会了解哪些习惯对我的健康有所帮助。而且，如果我能够访问和分析有关冠状病毒传播的可靠统计数据，我将能够判断政府是否在告诉我真相，以及它是否在采取正确的政策来对抗流行病。每当人们谈论监视时，请记住，相同的监视技术通常不仅可以由政府用于监视个人，而且可以由个人用于监视政府。
The coronavirus epidemic is thus a major test of citizenship. In the days ahead, each one of us should choose to trust scientific data and healthcare experts over unfounded conspiracy theories and self-serving politicians. If we fail to make the right choice, we might find ourselves signing away our most precious freedoms, thinking that this is the only way to safeguard our health.
Illustration: Andrzej Krauze/The Guardian
We need a global plan
The second important choice we confront is between nationalist isolation and global solidarity. Both the epidemic itself and the resulting economic crisis are global problems. They can be solved effectively only by global co-operation.
First and foremost, in order to defeat the virus we need to share information globally. That’s the big advantage of humans over viruses. A coronavirus in China and a coronavirus in the US cannot swap tips about how to infect humans. But China can teach the US many valuable lessons about coronavirus and how to deal with it. What an Italian doctor discovers in Milan in the early morning might well save lives in Tehran by evening. When the UK government hesitates between several policies, it can get advice from the Koreans who have already faced a similar dilemma a month ago. But for this to happen, we need a spirit of global co-operation and trust.
Countries should be willing to share information openly and humbly seek advice, and should be able to trust the data and the insights they receive. We also need a global effort to produce and distribute medical equipment, most notably testing kits and respiratory machines. Instead of every country trying to do it locally and hoarding whatever equipment it can get, a co-ordinated global effort could greatly accelerate production and make sure life-saving equipment is distributed more fairly. Just as countries nationalise key industries during a war, the human war against coronavirus may require us to “humanise” the crucial production lines. A rich country with few coronavirus cases should be willing to send precious equipment to a poorer country with many cases, trusting that if and when it subsequently needs help, other countries will come to its assistance.
各国应该愿意公开地分享信息，谦虚地寻求建议，并且应该信任所收到的数据和见解。我们还需要全球范围内的努力来生产和分销医疗设备，尤其是测试套件和呼吸机。与其每个国家都尝试在本地进行生产并囤积任何设备，不如在全球范围内协调一致地努力，就可以大大加快生产速度，并确保可以更公平地分配救生设备。正如各国在战争中将关键产业国有化一样，人类与冠状病毒的战争可能会要求我们将关键的生产线 ” 世界化 “。较少冠状病毒病例的富裕国家，应该愿意向较多病例的较贫穷国家提供宝贵的设备，并相信如果以后需要帮助，别的国家也会同样帮助自己。
We might consider a similar global effort to pool medical personnel. Countries currently less affected could send medical staff to the worst-hit regions of the world, both in order to help them in their hour of need, and in order to gain valuable experience. If later on the focus of the epidemic shifts, help could start flowing in the opposite direction.
Global co-operation is vitally needed on the economic front too. Given the global nature of the economy and of supply chains, if each government does its own thing in complete disregard of the others, the result will be chaos and a deepening crisis. We need a global plan of action, and we need it fast.
Another requirement is reaching a global agreement on travel. Suspending all international travel for months will cause tremendous hardships, and hamper the war against coronavirus. Countries need to co-operate in order to allow at least a trickle of essential travellers to continue crossing borders: scientists, doctors, journalists, politicians, businesspeople. This can be done by reaching a global agreement on the pre-screening of travellers by their home country. If you know that only carefully screened travellers were allowed on a plane, you would be more willing to accept them into your country.
Unfortunately, at present countries hardly do any of these things. A collective paralysis has gripped the international community. There seem to be no adults in the room. One would have expected to see already weeks ago an emergency meeting of global leaders to come up with a common plan of action. The G7 leaders managed to organise a videoconference only this week, and it did not result in any such plan.
In previous global crises — such as the 2008 financial crisis and the 2014 Ebola epidemic — the US assumed the role of global leader. But the current US administration has abdicated the job of leader. It has made it very clear that it cares about the greatness of America far more than about the future of humanity.
在先前的全球危机（例如 2008 年金融危机和 2014 年埃博拉疫情）中，美国担当了全球领导者的角色。 但是现任美国政府已经放弃了领导人的职务。它已经非常清楚地表明，它更关心美国的伟大而不是关心人类的未来。这个政府甚至放弃了它最亲密的盟友。
This administration has abandoned even its closest allies. When it banned all travel from the EU, it didn’t bother to give the EU so much as an advance notice — let alone consult with the EU about that drastic measure. It has scandalised Germany by allegedly offering $1bn to a German pharmaceutical company to buy monopoly rights to a new Covid-19 vaccine. Even if the current administration eventually changes tack and comes up with a global plan of action, few would follow a leader who never takes responsibility, who never admits mistakes, and who routinely takes all the credit for himself while leaving all the blame to others.
当它禁止所有来自欧盟的旅行时，它都没想到要事先通知欧盟，更不用说与欧盟商讨这一严厉措施了。据称，美国曾向一家德国制药公司出价 10 亿美元，购买了新的 Covid-19 疫苗的垄断权，这使德国感到震惊。即使美国现任政府最终改变了立场，并提出了一项全球行动计划，也很少有人会追随一个从不承担责任，从不承认错误，并将所有责任归咎于他人，荣誉归咎于自己的领导人。
If the void left by the US isn’t filled by other countries, not only will it be much harder to stop the current epidemic, but its legacy will continue to poison international relations for years to come. Yet every crisis is also an opportunity. We must hope that the current epidemic will help humankind realise the acute danger posed by global disunity.
Humanity needs to make a choice. Will we travel down the route of disunity, or will we adopt the path of global solidarity? If we choose disunity, this will not only prolong the crisis, but will probably result in even worse catastrophes in the future. If we choose global solidarity, it will be a victory not only against the coronavirus, but against all future epidemics and crises that might assail humankind in the 21st century.
人类需要做出选择。我们是走全球团结的道路，还是继续各据一方？如果我们选择不团结，这不仅会延长危机，而且将来可能会导致更严重的灾难。如果我们选择全球团结，这将不仅是对抗冠状病毒的胜利，也是抗击可能在 21 世纪袭击人类的所有未来流行病和危机的胜利。