Erenlai - Harmony and Conflict 和諧與衝突
Harmony and Conflict 和諧與衝突

Harmony and Conflict 和諧與衝突

Is Asia a continent of harmony or discord? How much harmony do we really want?  These materials explore the tensions and creative forces in families, schools, politics and society.

亞洲真的是一個和諧之境嗎?在亞洲,引發衝突與創造和平的文化條件與西方國家有什麼不同呢?亞洲要如何靠智慧找到兩者的平衡呢?

Wednesday, 29 April 2009

傳教士筆下的馬賽土著

本文節錄自《西班牙人的台灣體驗》,更多內容見於2009年5月號《人籟》月刊


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西班牙人殖民雞籠與淡水,與當地的土著有密切的接觸。十七世紀的西荷史料都提及一個「有著共通語言的海岸村落網路」,這些人使用一種稱為馬賽(Basay)的語言。道明會傳教士艾基水(Jacinto Esquivel)曾留下記錄,敘及雞籠、淡水一帶的住民,也描述馬賽人與西班牙人的關係,使我們得以透過西班牙人之眼一窺當年的馬賽世界。
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雞籠土著「在征服初期... 受了不少傷害」
錄自艾基水〈福島事務錄〉
"Memoria de las cosas pertenecientes al estado de la Isla Hermosa"

從城市或聖救主城的港口看過去,延著向荷蘭堡壘延伸的方向,福島有著下列的村落:Taparri(Taparri)是由四或五個村落所組成。這些Taparri人和Quimaurri人住在海灣裡靠近西班牙人的地方。他們是我們建有城市的小島嶼上的海盜,在〔我們〕征服的初期,他們受了不少傷害。他們被趕出他們的土地,他們的稻米和玉米的tambobos〔儲藏室〕被夷為平地,他們以優良木材所建的屋舍、他們的家具和其他物品也都如此。起初,〔我們〕意圖要為這些損失補償四千披索;到目前為止,他們只領到了四百或六百披索而已。之後,他們在各種場合下殺害西班牙人、大港人、與到港口做生意的生理人。雖然他們遭到房屋焚燬、有些土著受傷的懲罰,但考慮到他們對我們造成損害之嚴重,他們是否值得前述所言的那些補償,可能不無疑問。這也是西班牙人可以免除此一義務的唯一方法。從那些征服開始之時便在此地的人當中,就可以詢問得知那些損害。



您想知道更多關於過去外國人在台灣的記錄嗎?請看
美麗的台灣-異國人眼中的福爾摩沙

附加的多媒體:
{rokbox}media/articles/JoseBorao_Basay.jpg{/rokbox}

Wednesday, 29 April 2009

前往雞籠的艱險旅程

本文節錄自《西班牙人的台灣體驗》,更多內容見於2009年5月號《人籟》月刊


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一般人可能會認為,西班牙人要由馬尼拉前往雞籠(今基隆),理當取道台灣海峽,但實際上為了迴避荷蘭人的伏擊,西班牙人是沿著東海岸航行。艱險的航道和與荷蘭人間的緊張敵對,都可由西班牙人所命地名窺見一斑。

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福島北部的天然良港
觀察1597年的羅留(De los Ríos Coronel)所繪製的福島地圖可知,馬尼拉的人很早就已經知道北台灣有著一個稱為「Keylang」的天然良港,因此第一支征軍於1626年開抵蛤仔難灣時,便小心地尋找這座港口。雞籠島這座小島以一條西班牙人稱為「小口」(boca chica)的小水道與福島本土相隔,形成了一個完美的防禦系統。

此外,這座海灣的其他部分卻有所不足,水淺而泥濘(尤以海灣最遠端為然,即現在旅客碼頭所在之處),荷蘭人的資料也證實灣內沈積物的累積程度相當明顯,使得大型船隻在這些年間都更不容易在海灣靠雞籠島的這一側下錨定泊。

正常情況下,由馬尼拉前往聖救主城需時將近一周。舉例來說,1626年5月的小艦隊是於4日自北呂宋的萬圭(Bangui)啟程,於10日到達南台灣,14日到宜蘭。這些航線都沿著東海岸而行,因為這是迴避荷蘭人的最佳方法。他們到達稱為聖老楞佐(San Lorenzo,土著稱為Catinunum,即今日的南澳)的港口時,就已經離雞籠不遠了。


躲避荷蘭人的避難所
聖老楞佐的位置具有戰略價值,這首先是因為它是個天然良港,若是海象惡劣,可以將此地當成暫時的避風港,其次則是因為在有荷蘭人於附近巡航之時,此地可以充當避難所。

離開聖老楞佐之後,他們越過聖加大利納灣(Santa Catalina,即蘭陽灣),這個小灣的終端靠近馬拉不里戈島(Malabrigo),此字意為「惡劣的避難所」,是為了要讓水手不會在天候不佳時誤往該處避難,而取了這樣的名字,也就是今日所稱的龜山島。

繼續往北便會看到偉岸的聖加大利納岬(Punta de Santa Catalina),也就是現在的三貂角。這裡駐有哨兵,可在荷蘭船隻出現在雞籠附近時警告駛來的西班牙船,警告訊號為向岬角頂端點起三把火,通知來船盡速回到聖老楞佐。

以聖雅各命名的村鎮
折過聖加大利納岬之後,便可以望見稱為聖雅各(Santiago)的村鎮出現在遠方,這是他們自5月10日以來首度見到聚落人煙。此地的命名遵循著西班牙及葡萄牙軍隊長久以來的一項傳統,或者應該說,聖加大利納是在日後才因聖雅各(即荷蘭文獻中所稱的St. Iago)而得名;這個名字由荷蘭製圖師經過英國製圖師而傳至法國製圖師,大家對這個岬角都各有不同的命名:聖雅各角(Hock van St. Jacob)、聖雅克角(Point Iaques)、雅哥角(Pointe Iago)等等,後來中國人則將聖雅各音譯為「三貂」。

下一個明顯的地標是今日的鼻頭角,可能就是西班牙人慣稱的「猴角」(Punta de Monos)。最後在離雞籠將近一里格遠處,他們航經一個稱為「Babatangan」的小海灣(荷蘭文獻中稱為Bawatang),有些中國人在此為西班牙人從事燒石灰的工作。



您想知道更多關於過去外國人在台灣的記錄嗎?請看
美麗的台灣-異國人眼中的福爾摩沙

附加的多媒體:
{rokbox}media/articles/JoseBorao_Keylang.jpg{/rokbox}

Tuesday, 28 April 2009

文藝復興風的福島征服行動

本文節錄自《西班牙人的台灣體驗》,更多內容見於2009年5月號《人籟》月刊


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十七世紀是荷蘭的黃金年代,當荷蘭人在自己的故鄉爭取脫離西班牙統治獨立建國的同時,他們也以新海上霸權之姿在香料群島與日本競逐財富,從而對早已在遠東建立龐大勢力的西班牙人造成莫大壓力。為此,西班牙人來到福爾摩莎,試圖建立一個抗衡強敵的新據點。
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馬尼拉的三場危機
西班牙人於1571年在馬尼拉安頓下來,之後的幾年裡開始與鄰國交誼。白銀流使馬尼拉意外獲得饒富魅力的名聲,這座城市因而成為一個商業轉運站。但馬尼拉也因此而受盛名之累,在十六、十七世紀之交,先後落入與日本(1597)、荷蘭(1600)和中國(1603)的三場危機當中。十六世紀末,日本因為一名軍事領導者的權威而走向國家統一,此人便是幕府將軍豐臣秀吉(Toyotomi Hideyosi)。但他的野心尚不僅止一統日本,1597年甚至考慮要征服菲律賓。西班牙人為日本可能來襲而預做準備,於1597年探勘福島海岸,以備抵禦日本帝國野心之時建築要塞、充作戰場之需。這場危機後來因為秀吉猝死而煙消雲散,西班牙人也不再視立足福島為第一要務。

第二場危機隨著范努特(Oliver van Noort)麾下的荷蘭艦隊而來。范努特在橫越太平洋之後,於1600年以私人身份航抵馬尼拉,正是這起危機的背景。強大的荷蘭東印度公司(VOC)此刻尚未成立,但范努特在商業上所獲致的成功,對這家商業公司的創立(1602)確實起了加速作用。

第三次危機與中國人有關。定期自阿卡荸果(Acapulco,位於墨西哥)流入的白銀,吸引愈來愈多的中國人到馬尼拉定居,他們製造並散佈謠言,宣稱甲米地(Cavite;馬尼拉附近的港口,傀儡王船在此停靠)一帶有著一座黃金礦山。到十六世紀末,甚至還有中國官員前來求證此事,但西班牙人懷疑他們此行別有他圖,恐怕是將馬尼拉的中國居民視為中國臣民,意在評估是否有加以控制的可能。一系列的誤解和猜忌隨之而來,最後以1603年中國人的一場叛變,和因而爆發的大屠殺事件告終。


在福島建立新據點
在另一方面,馬尼拉的西班牙總督就跟後來的荷蘭人一樣,十分豔羨葡萄牙人能夠立足中國的門戶──媽港(Macao,今稱澳門)。西班牙人曾於十六世紀末試圖在媽港附近建立類似的據點,但這場冒險只持續數周,便被葡萄牙艦隊給制止了。事實上,西班牙人於1606年奪取了摩鹿加群島上的一些葡萄牙據點,大概就是唯一稱得上壓倒葡萄牙人之舉,而那還是因為自十七世紀伊始,荷蘭人便經常現身海上,葡萄牙人頗受壓力之故。

荷蘭人海上活動的目的,是要透過武力終結伊比利半島的競爭對手,他們定期封鎖媽港和馬尼拉,以切斷菲律賓與中國的貿易線。馬尼拉的西班牙總督則於1626年在福島建立據點,以與早先荷蘭人建立的城市大員(Tayouan,即安平,在今日的台南一帶)相抗衡,同時也試著以之作為第二個吸引中國貿易的地點。此舉在宗教上也有其重要性:首先,日本迫害基督宗教漸趨嚴重,1624年以後愈演愈烈,福島據點有助於傳教士偷渡日本。其次,傳教士也能迴避葡萄牙人所控制的媽港,另覓他途進入中國。

以上所提到的這些因素,是文藝復興時代的西班牙人抵達福島、構築雞籠要塞的時代背景。福島只是龐大的西班牙帝國裡極小的一個區塊,大概也是最為偏遠的地區,西班牙軍隊在此宣稱主權十六年,恰與帝國勢力加速衰退同時。



您想知道更多關於過去外國人在台灣的記錄嗎?請看
美麗的台灣-異國人眼中的福爾摩沙

附加的多媒體:
{rokbox}media/articles/JoseBorao_Formosa.jpg{/rokbox}

Friday, 20 March 2009

Dreaming Taiwan

I cannot bear how unimaginative Taiwan has become since my stay abroad. All political discourses are repetitive, the media repeats a bunch of lies, nobody seems to be able to articulate a project that would give a sense of direction to this nation.

 
It is linked with our educational system, of course. When I was a child, everything was organized for making us think alike. Thinking outside the box was the supreme sin. There were stock sentences to be repeated. Lessons in literature and language were meant to make us speak and write in a certain way and in a certain style. Memorizing was the supreme virtue. Memorizing is good actually – as long as you are taught to build on it for inventing new things.
 

So, I dream of a Taiwan in which everyone would be encouraged to develop his or her own style, in dressing, writing, and speaking… I dream of a Taiwan in which you would not see the same model of buildings everywhere, in which no house would be like the one next door, a Taiwan where the roads would not go from North to South but from East to West, a Taiwan that would be like a big garden in which each plant is different and unique… I dream of a Taiwan ruled by imagination!

 

Taiwan, in fact, is imaginative in its own way. Look how we went from one economic model to another during the last fifty years. From bananas to flowers, from the toy industry to computer hardware, from computer hardware to software, from software to the most sophisticated electronic chips model… That was spirit of adaptation and survival, and these two nurture imagination. Our form of imagination is not the one that is good at long term planning, it is the imagination of the prisoner who looks for a way to escape his prison. We are good at responding imaginatively to crisis and challenges… Though, I wonder if we are now losing even this skill. Look how clumsy our answer is to the present economic crisis. It seems that we have much more difficulties in going from one economic paradigm to another than was the case ten years before. We are supposed to move from IT to biotechnology for instance, but I do not see it happening. Our faculty of adaptation might be drying under the sun.

The Taiwan I am dreaming of would be able to invent something together. It would decide that it is able to invent a polity, a form of living together that no nation has tried yet, and would thus make politics an art. Actually, shaping a social contract is like creating music. Politics is the art of inventing news ways of living together. I dream to see Taiwan become a world class symphonic orchestra, playing music never heard before…

 

Tuesday, 20 January 2009

The Blessing of Babel

Let us start with a few definitions: a tongue (as in mother tongue) is a system of vocal signs, expressing and communicating thought, including knowledge, desire or feelings… The term of language is very close from the previous one (German has only one word, “Sprache”), as it refers to a diversity of uses of a tongue. Ferdinand de Saussure (1857-1913) defines a language as a “tongue” plus a “speech” - the tongue is a social institution, speech is the tongue as individuals make use of it, at a given moment and time. Linguistics as a science is not concerned with “speech”, but only with “tongue”.

Is language what is “proper to Man”? The very understanding of this question varies according to the evolution of the philosophic tradition. In the Greek tradition, Man is composed of a body that draws its determination from a form, the form being in the case of Man a reasonable soul. The risk of dualism thus implied has but increased in the modern thought with Descartes. The prestige of Reason gives rise to the Age of Enlightenment. In this specific tradition, the definition of language as being “what is proper to Man” takes a new significance: Language is the expression and communication of a thought in a social context (whereas in the Cartesian cogito language as a “mediation” between the mind and the world was not strictly necessary.) Moreover, in the Enlightenment tradition, language as a system of vocal signs implies to pay attention to the body.

To consider language as specific to Man does not disqualify the Aristotelian definition but involves a counter-proof: wouldn’t language be present in the animal world? Indeed, the behaviour of certain animal species appears to aim at the communication of information, and in doing so represents a language. It applies for the language of bees, dolphins, greater apes, and maybe other species. For greater apes, one is in right to speak about intelligent behaviours. - Two remarks: First, the question of languages in the world of the sentient beings is as old as humanity. The animals are able to speak in myths, tales of origin, just like they were speaking in our childhood’s imagination. The second remark is that if one can and must speak about language in the animal world, it is about a language that does not reach the level of the human speech.

When the Theologians today read the myth of Babel in the Book of Genesis, they are confronted with the question of the diversity of languages. At the first glance, this diversity seems to be a punishment caused by the folly of the builders who want the Tower to reach Heaven. The blurring of languages seems indeed to constitute a curse. A second look at the story might teach us a different lesson: the Babel story is one episode or « instalment » among others in the human pilgrimage that starts after the Flood in order to repopulate the Earth. This pilgrimage stops when Men arrive in a plain called Shinear, where they want to settle. They use a sole language for giving orders for the moulding of bricks and the preparation of bitumen, so as to build the tower and reach Heaven. What is at stake here is the use of language, when the unicity of language makes Men become robots. It is as if an « unique» language goes along with an « unique » totalitarian power. In the Babel story, the unicity of language is also associated with the fact that Men give a « Name » to themselves, while the Name is what is received from the Other within the chain of generations. In this perspective, God intervenes so as to make Men resume their pilgrimage, and, throughout the way, encounter the Other – so as to make the Other, initially an Alien, become a Guest or, reciprocally, a Host.

Such reading is reinforced by the story that follows the one of Babel, i.e. the story of Abraham, who is called to start on the road towards a country he does not know yet. He will thus receive from God a new Name which would be a blessing extended to all Nations. Once he reaches Canaan, Abraham does not build a tower but rather an altar, at the very place where God has appeared to him. The pilgrimage that starts anew after Babel needs to go beyond the false dream of a unique language so as to enter the « time of languages » that testify to the diversity of nations’ and people’s history and memories. The blurred languages of Babel become a blessing when the name of Abraham, the Chosen one, resonates throughout them.

Today, the diversity of languages may still appear to us as a blessing : it testifies to the diversity of our experiences and memories. It also requires from us to enter into a process of translation, which obliges us to pay attention to this diversity of experiences and memories. We are thus led beyond the superficiality of a communication process that would be led by the false belief that the community of languages makes us perfectly understand each other. Ultimately, the diversity of languages testifies to the diversity of our experiences and histories, and points at the same time to the memory of our origins and to the « uniqueness » of each of us.

(Painting by Pieter Brueghel the Elder, 1563 - Wikimedia Commons)

Attached media :
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Tuesday, 20 January 2009

New Zealand’s Multi-Million Industry: Overseas Student Recruitment

Though not as flamboyant as its counterpart Australia in advertising its foreign student recruitment, New Zealand may very well be one of the most popular and costliest choices of destination for education amongst Asian nationals.

Roughly the size of the UK, New Zealand is residence to over 350 000 Asians alone according to statistics taken in 2006. Not frequent yet ever so present, are the racial violence in New Zealand, which has otherwise done little to discourage wealthy parents from China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Vietnam, Japan and Korea from sending their children half way across the world to learn English.

When Yi Ren, also known as Tina, a 30 year-old Chinese national from Beijing, was murdered in Auckland, New Zealand in September 2008- she became the fourth Chinese national to be murdered in the four weeks to 5 October 2008, where two Chinese men were also killed, and the body of another dead Korean was discovered.

New Zealand continues to be regarded as a generally friendly and racially tolerant nation. The plights of these foreign nationals, be it the repercussion of racism or other motives, can be mirrored in Australia but of a noticeably smaller percentage in the past years. Australia, on the other hand, has achieved a racist notoriety amongst Asian states for its overt ‘White Australian Policy’ and racial conflicts.

I was thus baffled as to why exactly foreigners, especially those from Asia, are bent on paying heavy sums of money in sending their children to study in New Zealand, where a year alone in high school and boarding costs approximately 30 000NZD (770 000NT), not including the expenses incurred by families visiting their children- which could amount up to a terrifying sum, unaffordable even for the wealthier middle-class family.

I am also speaking with personal experience that although not blatantly aggressive, racism is present to a large extent in high school to university life in New Zealand. From harmless name-calling, to vandalism of property to various degrees of physical abuse to murder, I have heard and seen all types of racial disputes during my stay in the country. The pricey cost of living and tuition in total for one year in New Zealand living there as a 17-year-old teenager has lead me to question: Is it really worth spending millions on secondary or tertiary education in a foreign country when one may face rejection in local social circles and face, from time to time, racial prejudice?

Were they, like myself, drawn by the praises of the country’s beauty through word of mouth, or recruited through the numerous profitable agents i.e. the foreign embassies, the so-called education attachés, other embassy staff, or their representatives? Recruiting international students is starting to look like or perhaps has always been a big business in New Zealand whereby the staff of foreign embassies and schools alike have an enormous stake; about 15 percent of all school fees paid by foreign students are claimed by these agents.
While these agents are more than willing to entice foreign nationals to study in New Zealand, promoting the multi-million ‘foreign relations’, the now increasingly negative behaviour of a significant number of locals beg to differ.

Christchurch became the first city to create a website for international students to address racial harassment in New Zealand. Christchurch is perhaps no more racist than your average city in a predominantly Caucasian country but the fact that it has taken action to address these issues show that New Zealand may still be able to abate the anti-Asian sentiments before it grows out of hand.

We often say ‘fear cripples our ability to learn’. Parents overseas too, may need to reconsider before investing million of dollars on education in an otherwise beautiful country. Much needs to be done on integrating the overseas students, and even more so on the young kiwi’s understanding of the Asian people.

Photo by A. L.

Tuesday, 30 December 2008

I am from Mars, you are from Venus

As a student in communication in Taiwan and, moreover, as being part of an international program, I have come to face several times issues of cross-cultural communication, both theoretically and practically. Actually, I am confronted everyday with such issues when I have, for instance, to collaborate with Taiwanese classmates in order to prepare a homework or a presentation for our class. Working with people from another culture, with different codes and sensibilities, has always proven to be very enriching for me, and, to my knowledge, neither me nor my partners have ever encountered any particular difficulty in the completion of any project.

So everything in my past experience of working with people from a different culture had been quite simple and easy to deal with, until the day when I decided to take a class in cross-cultural communication. Then, everything suddenly became complicated: I was taught that Westerners and Asian people had different mindsets, and that they dealt with emotions, conflicts, and more generally with human relationships in completely different ways. To say it in a few words, these classes gave me the impression that I came from Mars, while Asian people came from Venus.

Cross-cultural communication is a relatively young era of scholarship, but it has had a deep influence in the field of organization studies during the last twenty-five years. The main goal of this discipline is to provide international decision-makers tools that can help them dealing with cultural differences inside their organizations: a manager might for instance find here a few recipes that will help him avoiding conflict with his employees, while a businessman will learn there a few tricks in order to gain the confidence of his business partners, avoiding awkward behaviors that might shock or offend them. But might they have some practical value, cross-cultural communication theories are often, in my opinion, over-simplifying.

Take for instance Geert Hofstede’s Culture Consequences (1980), the book that pioneered the field and that has been constantly referred to until today. In this work, Hofstede isolates a series “cultural dimensions”, namely: individualism vs. collectivism, low vs. high power distance, masculinity vs. feminity, and uncertainty avoidance, to refer to the four most famous categories that he created. Then, using statistical data from different countries, Hofstede gives scores to different countries on these dimensions: say, for instance, that the US will get 91 points on the individualism scale, while France will score 71, and Taiwan 17. Such scores might have a practical utility, in that they allow predicting to a certain extent the behavior of people: Americans in general are expected to behave in a more individualistic way than Taiwanese.

However, the mere idea of placing national cultures on numeric scales is, in my opinion, a dangerous process of over-simplification, and that for two reasons. First, cultures are prone to change with time: Asian people are not collectivistic by nature, and social changes as well as personal enrichment produce more and more individualistic behaviors in Asian societies. Second, there is no national basis for culture: in multi-cultural countries such as France, where people from Western Europe, Africa or Asia live together, how can you possibly give a description of the behavior or the mental set of a “typical Frenchman”, since it is precisely the coexistence of different cultures that makes the particular identity of this country? By attaching measures, numbers and scales to different cultures, there is a risk of radicalizing their differences and making such differences appear as insurmountable.

Ironically, the original objective of Hofstede when he started his research on cultural dimensions was to help people better communicate by understanding their differences. However, the dimensions discovered by Hofstede have been simplified over time to such an extent that they do now convey the most simple clichés and stereotypes about cultures. A practical experience of working with people from different cultural backgrounds shows on the other hand that, even when some codes of communication are not shared between collaborators, the willingness to communicate and the existence of common goals are, more than the acknowledgement of essential differences between cultures, efficient ways of overcoming these differences and gaining deeper understanding of the Other.

(Painting by Bendu)
_____________________________________________
Benoit B. interviewed Kouchouching, a Taiwanese hip-hop band:

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{rokbox}media/articles/comm.jpg{/rokbox}

Monday, 24 November 2008

连结两代的断裂

There is a growing number of movies and TV episodes that tell of conflicts between human intelligence and the artificial intelligence designed by humans for the control of human-like robots, machines that simulate human activity. A scenario envisioned by many scientists is to develop and manufacture humanoid robots that look and act, even feel and think as humans do. These humanoids would then be available to perform human tasks freeing humans for leisure activities. So long as there are no problems in the programs that control the robots, everything goes well. But suppose that some bad humans program the robots to attack and enslave the rest of mankind so they become the masters of the world maintaining complete control over the robots.

Another deviation depicted in stories is that the digital intelligence planted in robots develops into an independent intelligence no longer under human control and the robots then eliminate the humans to take over the world for themselves. Of course, in all the stories in the end some humans manage to instill a virus into the robot’s cyber system or come up with some bright idea that enables them to overcome the robots and restore the human domination.

In any case the age of cybernetics is here to stay and more and more sophisticated robots are being developed. I don’t understand the digital electronic program control systems or the complicated mechanical mechanisms that respond so accurately to computer control, but it fills me with awe.

Take for instance, the action of a human dashing at top speed through a heavily wooded forest with no path or level ground. It requires a keen eye to anticipate obstacles, an intelligence to transform what is seen into decisions about where to place the feet and directions to the muscles and nerves that will control the motion of the limbs and maintain bodily balance as I dash on without slowing down or injury. A human’s neurological, muscular and skeletal systems have developed over the years and he or she has the advantage of years of walking and running experience, but a robot has to start from scratch. First the mechanical structure of limbs, joints and movements, then the computer system has to be programmed to turn the images that come through the sensors of the visual system into commands that regulate every moving part so that the robot dashes forward without injury or fall. If successful, it can be cloned and reproduced.

Even more complicated are robotic representations of human emotions and intelligence. Is there some invisible line that no mechanical human-made creature can ever cross? Christians who accept the possibility of evolution believe that at some point in the upward evolution of some primate, the conditions were finally right for God to endow the creature with a soul and humankind was born with intelligence, free will, conscience, immortality and the moral responsibility to do good and avoid evil.

Is it possible that humans could develop the art of making robots to the point that conditions are just right for God to give them souls, endowing them with intelligence, free will, conscience, moral responsibility and immortality? Should this happen or seem to happen, what a raging theological discussion and controversy it would create!

The lesson to learn from all this is that no matter what humankind manages to develop and build, it can never relinquish the moral responsibility to use it well for the common good.

Here is a fable I wrote that illustrates this problem.

Attached media :
{rokbox size=|544 384|thumb=|images/slideshow_en.jpg|}media/articles/bob_robots.swf{/rokbox}

Monday, 24 November 2008

連結兩代的斷裂

There is a growing number of movies and TV episodes that tell of conflicts between human intelligence and the artificial intelligence designed by humans for the control of human-like robots, machines that simulate human activity. A scenario envisioned by many scientists is to develop and manufacture humanoid robots that look and act, even feel and think as humans do. These humanoids would then be available to perform human tasks freeing humans for leisure activities. So long as there are no problems in the programs that control the robots, everything goes well. But suppose that some bad humans program the robots to attack and enslave the rest of mankind so they become the masters of the world maintaining complete control over the robots.

Another deviation depicted in stories is that the digital intelligence planted in robots develops into an independent intelligence no longer under human control and the robots then eliminate the humans to take over the world for themselves. Of course, in all the stories in the end some humans manage to instill a virus into the robot’s cyber system or come up with some bright idea that enables them to overcome the robots and restore the human domination.

In any case the age of cybernetics is here to stay and more and more sophisticated robots are being developed. I don’t understand the digital electronic program control systems or the complicated mechanical mechanisms that respond so accurately to computer control, but it fills me with awe.

Take for instance, the action of a human dashing at top speed through a heavily wooded forest with no path or level ground. It requires a keen eye to anticipate obstacles, an intelligence to transform what is seen into decisions about where to place the feet and directions to the muscles and nerves that will control the motion of the limbs and maintain bodily balance as I dash on without slowing down or injury. A human’s neurological, muscular and skeletal systems have developed over the years and he or she has the advantage of years of walking and running experience, but a robot has to start from scratch. First the mechanical structure of limbs, joints and movements, then the computer system has to be programmed to turn the images that come through the sensors of the visual system into commands that regulate every moving part so that the robot dashes forward without injury or fall. If successful, it can be cloned and reproduced.

Even more complicated are robotic representations of human emotions and intelligence. Is there some invisible line that no mechanical human-made creature can ever cross? Christians who accept the possibility of evolution believe that at some point in the upward evolution of some primate, the conditions were finally right for God to endow the creature with a soul and humankind was born with intelligence, free will, conscience, immortality and the moral responsibility to do good and avoid evil.

Is it possible that humans could develop the art of making robots to the point that conditions are just right for God to give them souls, endowing them with intelligence, free will, conscience, moral responsibility and immortality? Should this happen or seem to happen, what a raging theological discussion and controversy it would create!

The lesson to learn from all this is that no matter what humankind manages to develop and build, it can never relinquish the moral responsibility to use it well for the common good.

Here is a fable I wrote that illustrates this problem.

Attached media :
{rokbox size=|544 384|thumb=|images/slideshow_en.jpg|}media/articles/bob_robots.swf{/rokbox}

Friday, 31 October 2008

【09】怒目相视的组合

【圣徒节与谋杀案第9回】督察们的大辩论。

十月二十九日星期二.阿雅修警察局

刑事组两位督察坐著,在南科西嘉岛上。
里松和罗岚对坐,一个在东,一个在西,办公桌上堆满了档案和各种文件。面对面,怒目相视,时间已经过了一小时。
从博蒂修回到阿雅修警察局,他们的交谈没有超过三句话,阿雅修警察局里面有刑事广播电台。
罗岚自顾自地看著康波警员送来的照片。
里松并不想勉强她说话。他比较想等这位同事先解冻开口。不管怎么说,他以后都需要这位坏脾气的女督察。他私底下给她一个绰号──「悍妇」,而且他也猜测到她应该早已送给自己「无声人」的昵称,这样的称呼和里松如影随形,不管在普瓦堤埃还是在马赛。
这个细节是他回程上发现的,那时两位督察途经拿破仑广场…

广场上,罗岚忽然超了车,惹得车后的驾驶发火,猛按喇叭。
罗岚对这些攻击无动于衷,她指著一位刚走出银行的女人,对里松说:
「您看。如果莉莎.费雪真的被谋杀,您就必须多认识康波的生态环境。为您上点实务课。」
里松狐疑地看了罗岚一眼。罗岚继续说:
「这位就是县区最有钱的女人。这位女老板手上握有科西嘉最具影响力产业。玛丽.安琪.达希岗第。」
玛丽.安琪很平静地走往一辆黑色宾士轿车。车停在广场上,占著两个车位,驾驶座上坐著司机,身穿制服。
里松转向罗岚,正要对不合常理的停车方式表示意见时,他看见达希岗第女士,吃了一惊。
一袭黑。倔强。不妥协。
恨到骨子的寒,跟著你一辈子,就像肿瘤在肠子的缺口钙化,在你的馀生死缠著你。
罗岚恨玛丽.安琪.达希岗第,恨到极点,恨到无法追忆。就像村民恨名牌,贫人恨富人;没有鞋穿的人恨城堡主人;过去看不起医生因肺炎而死的人恨那些请得起医生的人。
里松看著这位让她起反感的女人。
虽然她有点年纪,但还是很美。褐发,深色皮草大衣,戴著太阳眼镜。身子挺得像一条笔直线。虽然个子娇小,或者就是因为如此,这个女人高傲的仪态,宛如一个高大而自负的西班牙人。
司机走出轿车,为她开门。
里松觉得她有一种戏剧美。她的仪态,她的气质比她轻亮褐发或是蓝色眼珠来得出色。这个女人确实迷人。里松转头问罗岚:
「结婚了吗?」
「您说什么?」
「我问玛丽.安琪她结婚了吗?」
「没有。她没结过婚。大家传说她生命里有两个最爱。一个是家传的锯木厂,现在她在管,不需哥哥插手,哥哥还是大股东。」
「第二个呢?」
「她的侄女。她哥哥的女儿。她侄女很小的时候,母亲过世。玛丽.安琪把她抚养长大。就我所知,她现在人在美国还是伦敦念书,反正在国外就是了。」
「是吗?」里松说。
「什么?」
「没有,没什么。我只是以为这样的女人不是应该会和某个显贵人士结婚吗?」
罗岚望著玛丽.安琪,抛给他不屑的眼光。眼看著双人联盟的夥伴阵前倒戈,她回答说:
「她科西嘉数一数二的人物,已经是显贵人士了。她要怎么嫁?什么人她瞧得起?再说,也得找个和她平起平坐的人,这样得把科西嘉给扫平。再说,她看得上您吗?」
说到这里,她按起一连串喇叭声,忽然加速前进,把里松震在位子上。

回到警局后仍是一片沉默。「看人脸色」,就像里松普瓦堤埃老祖母常说的。
他看著罗岚。其实,这位女督察并不难看。她五官的线条细致,厚唇,侧影婀娜,似乎在说她需要精神休憩的角落。
另一个脑叶,以高音量破口大骂:《鲁莽的女人。她的生活,就像他的车一样,永远一团糟。她说的话像他的破车一样。》
前脑叶说话了,它说这个女督察可是对这个地盘很熟悉,她知道康波村的事,这可是无人能及。
几个脑叶开高峰会,开到最后好像开不出什么结论。里松心想要怎么打破这个僵局:
「总之,你不是个恶劣的女人。」他对自己说:「要怎么哄你才好呢?」
他提了一个建议:「喝杯咖啡,怎么样?前面就有一家咖啡馆。」
他看到这个年轻的女人脸上出现了微笑的弧线。

在咖啡馆,两个人和一群科西嘉人到底发生了什么事?两个人之间发生了什么事,难道谱出了一段恋曲?科西嘉人早上还没刷牙前,就先来一杯热腾腾的咖啡,那也是用来招待全家来访的饮料;一小杯黑色的液体,不管什么时刻都可以和同事来一杯,而且没有老板会因此脸生愠色。每个人对咖啡的香味或是苦味都各有看法。有些人一直不停地形容以后要买的浓缩咖啡机种,有些人对巴黎人不周到的服务,数落起来如数家珍。大家众口同声地说可怜的巴黎人不懂得咖啡好在那里。
咖啡代表了科西嘉人的生命时刻。不过到了晚上,咖啡的王位让位给茴香酒。
罗岚喝著第三杯浓缩咖啡。这位女督察带著档案,还有莉莎.费雪随身携带的照片。罗岚看著这些照片,就像是对自己说话一样:
「这个女孩子很漂亮。」
她拿起她的全身照反覆看著。照片上出现的是一位年轻的金发女子,大约二十几岁,微胖,在陡峭的河岸旁倚靠著岩石。看到照片大约可以猜想到红色大衣外和石头上的霜痕。罗岚觉得今年的冬天来得太早了。
她看著这位男督察。他正在分析银行的存款细目,不说一句话。
罗岚叹了一口气。他请她喝咖啡,说明了他挂出了休战牌,但敌意早已结下,就像老祖母说的,「豹难改本性」。他虽释出善意,但他会变成一个快乐、多话的无忧人吗?她不怎么看好。
「进展如何?」她问。
「她的银行帐户,当然有薪水入帐,但是也有高额的现金汇款,每笔金额不一。就上一季来说,现金汇款总额几乎和莉莎.费雪的薪水一样多。另外还有支票汇款。每个月收到三到四笔支票汇款,是由一个叫多明尼克署名的,这个人住在康波村。每次汇五十欧元。我们可以推论现金和支票是不同人给的,因为两者的金额相差太大。现金的部分比较值得追查,因为每笔的数目都高得吓人。若没有更好的办法,我们得先从加萨昂卡这个姓氏开始查。最好对博蒂修的人都要一个个盘问。」
「好啊!」罗岚挖苦地说:「要找一个职业杀手,手上戴著手套,连一个指纹也没有留下。真好找。」
对她讽刺的话,里松一点也没有被刺激到。
「没错。而且从地毯上留下的脚印看来,看起来应该是个很高大壮硕的人,至少有一百或是一百一十公斤。还有什么呢?史督齐法医刚刚把验尸报告给我。推测莉莎.费雪的死亡时间是前天星期日晚上九点到十一点。虽然时间晚,莉莎.费雪并没有吃晚餐。」
「她马上就淹死了吗?」罗岚问。
「没有。史督齐说她掉到河里以后多处骨折,但是还是能呼吸。因为身体过于虚弱,没有办法游出水面。」
「所以她骨头断了,活活被淹死,真是可怜。」
说到这里,罗岚闭口。她彷佛看到莉莎.费雪死前挣扎,抵抗涌进肺部的水。对于这个忽来的怜悯,里松没有一头栽入,只是点了点头。
「到底是那个畜生!」罗岚说。不过,里松又说:
「根据我得到的消息,她的车停在事务所前,就在康波旅馆的停车场。她落水的桥段位在比较高处的地方,通往村庄山上的路。她应该没有什么理由到那里逗留。她可能是到那里去见人。要不就是从高城下山。」
罗岚看著他的笔记,说:
「有一点值得推敲:警员都说那个晚上没人看到村外的车开进村。」
里松皱起眉头。警员没有看到车进村?警员现在也监视起车子了吗?晚上没有一辆车进村,这些话能信吗?
「不会不可能。」罗岚的思路已经跳到里松前面:「夏季过后,大多数居民住在山上那边。没有什么车上山,如果是村外的车,大家都认得出来。再说,路上几乎只剩警员巡逻。村民他们都窝在壁炉前。」
「这个村子您熟吗?」
「当然。这个村子离我住的村子不远。如果我没记错的话,康波村大概有四百到五百个居民,那是一个县的乡镇区。到阿雅修约半小时路程。」
「居民分布是怎样?」
「大多是手工艺师傅,死了丈夫在这里守寡的老太太──普通百姓。还有一个锯木厂,是达希岗第家族的,传了好几代。这个家族可以说是地方上的贵族,在市政府握有势力,而且对村里所有的交易都插上一手。达希岗第家,我想是住在村子边的城堡。您见过玛丽.安琪,她还有一个哥哥,皮耶.保罗。我想他担任过,或是正在担任一个政治要职,大概是众议员。他们两人可说是掌握了经济大权和政治人脉。」
罗岚想著喝下最后一滴浓缩咖啡,接著说:
「我觉得这个村落最值得观察的,是两大家族的对决,一边是达希岗第家,一边是加萨昂卡家。每次遇到选举,两个家族就大闹市政府,这已经不是新鲜事。选举常常就这样宣告无效。」
「两股相等的势力。」里松充满哲理地说。
「不是这样的。达希岗第家族的人口并不多。对于新到康波村的人,他们用买的。这些人在阿雅修工作,晚上回康波村睡。」
「是喔!这样的行为,听起来不太乾净。」
罗岚表示赞同。
两个人总算找到共同点。早在回警局的路上,罗岚已经告诉自己一定要和这个无声人展开一场大辩论。
既然已经是谋杀案,既然两个人被迫一起工作,现在就要分配工作。尽管两人的关系暂时得到平静,但两个人对彼此都不信任。两人达成协议,依照地理位置分工:里松调查康波,因为康波村太多人认识罗岚,罗岚在这里行动太引人注目,她要到阿雅修询问在首府工作的证人,里松若对康波村人的风俗习性有什么问题,她隔空支援。
「很好。我回费雪的房间一趟,说不定能够找到指纹。碰碰运气。」
罗岚抓起黑色皮衣,连一声再见也不说,大步出发了。
「真鲁莽,但并不难看。」里松对自己说。
他拿起电话。

白欧利对调查初步的进展感到满意。
「谋杀?好。锁定相关的主事者?更好。您得留在科西嘉?很好。」
里松心想白欧利怎么能给他这么开朗的答案?他没有看到白欧利的微笑。猫的微笑。
「和罗岚初步互动怎么样?她对您说她当督察的志愿了吗?当然,这无关紧要。但她对您不错吧!她是个身材极好的高个姑娘。」
里松什么话都没有说。他的老板疯了。不需要再火上加油。
白欧利挂上电话,微笑著,久久不散。他几位秘书都被吓坏了。
里松,在科西嘉的第一件案子。就看您怎么大展身手。
猫的微笑。里松是老鼠。

里松没有注意到头顶上的层层乌云,他在拿破仑广场下坡处的一家旅馆订一个房间过夜,然后散步到开放观光的海军港。
他坐在一客牛排前,看著帆船在夜晚来临前颤抖。许多船停在海湾,想在下一个暴风雨来以前找到倚靠。这些船就像寒冬中容易受惊的鸟儿聚在栗树上取暖一样。里松走回头,在暮色中看到积雪的山头挽留最后几抹夕阳馀晖。
他明天要到这座山。
里松走回小旅馆,脑叶里还有被遗忘的旧记忆,现在拿来思寻。

附加的多媒体:
{rokbox}media/articles/corse_09.jpg{/rokbox}

Friday, 31 October 2008

【09】怒目相視的組合

【聖徒節與謀殺案第9回】督察們的大辯論。

十月二十九日星期二.阿雅修警察局

刑事組兩位督察坐著,在南科西嘉島上。
里松和羅嵐對坐,一個在東,一個在西,辦公桌上堆滿了檔案和各種文件。面對面,怒目相視,時間已經過了一小時。
從博蒂修回到阿雅修警察局,他們的交談沒有超過三句話,阿雅修警察局裡面有刑事廣播電台。
羅嵐自顧自地看著康波警員送來的照片。
里松並不想勉強她說話。他比較想等這位同事先解凍開口。不管怎麼說,他以後都需要這位壞脾氣的女督察。他私底下給她一個綽號──「悍婦」,而且他也猜測到她應該早已送給自己「無聲人」的暱稱,這樣的稱呼和里松如影隨形,不管在普瓦堤埃還是在馬賽。
這個細節是他回程上發現的,那時兩位督察途經拿破崙廣場…

廣場上,羅嵐忽然超了車,惹得車後的駕駛發火,猛按喇叭。
羅嵐對這些攻擊無動於衷,她指著一位剛走出銀行的女人,對里松說:
「您看。如果莉莎.費雪真的被謀殺,您就必須多認識康波的生態環境。為您上點實務課。」
里松狐疑地看了羅嵐一眼。羅嵐繼續說:
「這位就是縣區最有錢的女人。這位女老闆手上握有科西嘉最具影響力產業。瑪麗.安琪.達希崗第。」
瑪麗.安琪很平靜地走往一輛黑色賓士轎車。車停在廣場上,佔著兩個車位,駕駛座上坐著司機,身穿制服。
里松轉向羅嵐,正要對不合常理的停車方式表示意見時,他看見達希崗第女士,吃了一驚。
一襲黑。倔強。不妥協。
恨到骨子的寒,跟著你一輩子,就像腫瘤在腸子的缺口鈣化,在你的餘生死纏著你。
羅嵐恨瑪麗.安琪.達希崗第,恨到極點,恨到無法追憶。就像村民恨名牌,貧人恨富人;沒有鞋穿的人恨城堡主人;過去看不起醫生因肺炎而死的人恨那些請得起醫生的人。
里松看著這位讓她起反感的女人。
雖然她有點年紀,但還是很美。褐髮,深色皮草大衣,戴著太陽眼鏡。身子挺得像一條筆直線。雖然個子嬌小,或者就是因為如此,這個女人高傲的儀態,宛如一個高大而自負的西班牙人。
司機走出轎車,為她開門。
里松覺得她有一種戲劇美。她的儀態,她的氣質比她輕亮褐髮或是藍色眼珠來得出色。這個女人確實迷人。里松轉頭問羅嵐:
「結婚了嗎?」
「您說什麼?」
「我問瑪麗.安琪她結婚了嗎?」
「沒有。她沒結過婚。大家傳說她生命裡有兩個最愛。一個是家傳的鋸木廠,現在她在管,不需哥哥插手,哥哥還是大股東。」
「第二個呢?」
「她的姪女。她哥哥的女兒。她姪女很小的時候,母親過世。瑪麗.安琪把她撫養長大。就我所知,她現在人在美國還是倫敦唸書,反正在國外就是了。」
「是嗎?」里松說。
「什麼?」
「沒有,沒什麼。我只是以為這樣的女人不是應該會和某個顯貴人士結婚嗎?」
羅嵐望著瑪麗.安琪,拋給他不屑的眼光。眼看著雙人聯盟的夥伴陣前倒戈,她回答說:
「她科西嘉數一數二的人物,已經是顯貴人士了。她要怎麼嫁?什麼人她瞧得起?再說,也得找個和她平起平坐的人,這樣得把科西嘉給掃平。再說,她看得上您嗎?」
說到這裡,她按起一連串喇叭聲,忽然加速前進,把里松震在位子上。

回到警局後仍是一片沉默。「看人臉色」,就像里松普瓦堤埃老祖母常說的。
他看著羅嵐。其實,這位女督察並不難看。她五官的線條細緻,厚唇,側影婀娜,似乎在說她需要精神休憩的角落。
另一個腦葉,以高音量破口大罵:《魯莽的女人。她的生活,就像他的車一樣,永遠一團糟。她說的話像他的破車一樣。》
前腦葉說話了,它說這個女督察可是對這個地盤很熟悉,她知道康波村的事,這可是無人能及。
幾個腦葉開高峰會,開到最後好像開不出什麼結論。里松心想要怎麼打破這個僵局:
「總之,你不是個惡劣的女人。」他對自己說:「要怎麼哄你才好呢?」
他提了一個建議:「喝杯咖啡,怎麼樣?前面就有一家咖啡館。」
他看到這個年輕的女人臉上出現了微笑的弧線。

在咖啡館,兩個人和一群科西嘉人到底發生了什麼事?兩個人之間發生了什麼事,難道譜出了一段戀曲?科西嘉人早上還沒刷牙前,就先來一杯熱騰騰的咖啡,那也是用來招待全家來訪的飲料;一小杯黑色的液體,不管什麼時刻都可以和同事來一杯,而且沒有老闆會因此臉生慍色。每個人對咖啡的香味或是苦味都各有看法。有些人一直不停地形容以後要買的濃縮咖啡機種,有些人對巴黎人不週到的服務,數落起來如數家珍。大家眾口同聲地說可憐的巴黎人不懂得咖啡好在那裡。
咖啡代表了科西嘉人的生命時刻。不過到了晚上,咖啡的王位讓位給茴香酒。
羅嵐喝著第三杯濃縮咖啡。這位女督察帶著檔案,還有莉莎.費雪隨身攜帶的照片。羅嵐看著這些照片,就像是對自己說話一樣:
「這個女孩子很漂亮。」
她拿起她的全身照反覆看著。照片上出現的是一位年輕的金髮女子,大約二十幾歲,微胖,在陡峭的河岸旁倚靠著岩石。看到照片大約可以猜想到紅色大衣外和石頭上的霜痕。羅嵐覺得今年的冬天來得太早了。
她看著這位男督察。他正在分析銀行的存款細目,不說一句話。
羅嵐嘆了一口氣。他請她喝咖啡,說明了他掛出了休戰牌,但敵意早已結下,就像老祖母說的,「豹難改本性」。他雖釋出善意,但他會變成一個快樂、多話的無憂人嗎?她不怎麼看好。
「進展如何?」她問。
「她的銀行帳戶,當然有薪水入帳,但是也有高額的現金匯款,每筆金額不一。就上一季來說,現金匯款總額幾乎和莉莎.費雪的薪水一樣多。另外還有支票匯款。每個月收到三到四筆支票匯款,是由一個叫多明尼克署名的,這個人住在康波村。每次匯五十歐元。我們可以推論現金和支票是不同人給的,因為兩者的金額相差太大。現金的部分比較值得追查,因為每筆的數目都高得嚇人。若沒有更好的辦法,我們得先從加薩昂卡這個姓氏開始查。最好對博蒂修的人都要一個個盤問。」
「好啊!」羅嵐挖苦地說:「要找一個職業殺手,手上戴著手套,連一個指紋也沒有留下。真好找。」
對她諷刺的話,里松一點也沒有被刺激到。
「沒錯。而且從地毯上留下的腳印看來,看起來應該是個很高大壯碩的人,至少有一百或是一百一十公斤。還有什麼呢?史督齊法醫剛剛把驗屍報告給我。推測莉莎.費雪的死亡時間是前天星期日晚上九點到十一點。雖然時間晚,莉莎.費雪並沒有吃晚餐。」
「她馬上就淹死了嗎?」羅嵐問。
「沒有。史督齊說她掉到河裡以後多處骨折,但是還是能呼吸。因為身體過於虛弱,沒有辦法游出水面。」
「所以她骨頭斷了,活活被淹死,真是可憐。」
說到這裡,羅嵐閉口。她彷彿看到莉莎.費雪死前掙扎,抵抗湧進肺部的水。對於這個忽來的憐憫,里松沒有一頭栽入,只是點了點頭。
「到底是那個畜生!」羅嵐說。不過,里松又說:
「根據我得到的消息,她的車停在事務所前,就在康波旅館的停車場。她落水的橋段位在比較高處的地方,通往村莊山上的路。她應該沒有什麼理由到那裡逗留。她可能是到那裡去見人。要不就是從高城下山。」
羅嵐看著他的筆記,說:
「有一點值得推敲:警員都說那個晚上沒人看到村外的車開進村。」
里松皺起眉頭。警員沒有看到車進村?警員現在也監視起車子了嗎?晚上沒有一輛車進村,這些話能信嗎?
「不會不可能。」羅嵐的思路已經跳到里松前面:「夏季過後,大多數居民住在山上那邊。沒有什麼車上山,如果是村外的車,大家都認得出來。再說,路上幾乎只剩警員巡邏。村民他們都窩在壁爐前。」
「這個村子您熟嗎?」
「當然。這個村子離我住的村子不遠。如果我沒記錯的話,康波村大概有四百到五百個居民,那是一個縣的鄉鎮區。到阿雅修約半小時路程。」
「居民分布是怎樣?」
「大多是手工藝師傅,死了丈夫在這裡守寡的老太太──普通百姓。還有一個鋸木廠,是達希崗第家族的,傳了好幾代。這個家族可以說是地方上的貴族,在市政府握有勢力,而且對村裡所有的交易都插上一手。達希崗第家,我想是住在村子邊的城堡。您見過瑪麗.安琪,她還有一個哥哥,皮耶.保羅。我想他擔任過,或是正在擔任一個政治要職,大概是眾議員。他們兩人可說是掌握了經濟大權和政治人脈。」
羅嵐想著喝下最後一滴濃縮咖啡,接著說:
「我覺得這個村落最值得觀察的,是兩大家族的對決,一邊是達希崗第家,一邊是加薩昂卡家。每次遇到選舉,兩個家族就大鬧市政府,這已經不是新鮮事。選舉常常就這樣宣告無效。」
「兩股相等的勢力。」里松充滿哲理地說。
「不是這樣的。達希崗第家族的人口並不多。對於新到康波村的人,他們用買的。這些人在阿雅修工作,晚上回康波村睡。」
「是喔!這樣的行為,聽起來不太乾淨。」
羅嵐表示贊同。
兩個人總算找到共同點。早在回警局的路上,羅嵐已經告訴自己一定要和這個無聲人展開一場大辯論。
既然已經是謀殺案,既然兩個人被迫一起工作,現在就要分配工作。儘管兩人的關係暫時得到平靜,但兩個人對彼此都不信任。兩人達成協議,依照地理位置分工:里松調查康波,因為康波村太多人認識羅嵐,羅嵐在這裡行動太引人注目,她要到阿雅修詢問在首府工作的證人,里松若對康波村人的風俗習性有什麼問題,她隔空支援。
「很好。我回費雪的房間一趟,說不定能夠找到指紋。碰碰運氣。」
羅嵐抓起黑色皮衣,連一聲再見也不說,大步出發了。
「真魯莽,但並不難看。」里松對自己說。
他拿起電話。

白歐利對調查初步的進展感到滿意。
「謀殺?好。鎖定相關的主事者?更好。您得留在科西嘉?很好。」
里松心想白歐利怎麼能給他這麼開朗的答案?他沒有看到白歐利的微笑。貓的微笑。
「和羅嵐初步互動怎麼樣?她對您說她當督察的志願了嗎?當然,這無關緊要。但她對您不錯吧!她是個身材極好的高個姑娘。」
里松什麼話都沒有說。他的老闆瘋了。不需要再火上加油。
白歐利掛上電話,微笑著,久久不散。他幾位祕書都被嚇壞了。
里松,在科西嘉的第一件案子。就看您怎麼大展身手。
貓的微笑。里松是老鼠。

里松沒有注意到頭頂上的層層烏雲,他在拿破崙廣場下坡處的一家旅館訂一個房間過夜,然後散步到開放觀光的海軍港。
他坐在一客牛排前,看著帆船在夜晚來臨前顫抖。許多船停在海灣,想在下一個暴風雨來以前找到倚靠。這些船就像寒冬中容易受驚的鳥兒聚在栗樹上取暖一樣。里松走回頭,在暮色中看到積雪的山頭挽留最後幾抹夕陽餘暉。
他明天要到這座山。
里松走回小旅館,腦葉裡還有被遺忘的舊記憶,現在拿來思尋。

附加的多媒體:
{rokbox}media/articles/corse_09.jpg{/rokbox}

Wednesday, 01 October 2008

台灣的裂隙

現下的台灣,處處是裂隙。政治醜聞、股價下跌、毒奶事件使社會信心崩盤…但在裂隙底下,是否有更偉大的事物即將誕生?

撰文│史汀森(William R. Stimson) 翻譯│謝靜雯

台灣觸動我心之處,就在於它的裂隙。這些裂隙無所不在──牆面、人行道、高速公路、路邊以及水泥盆景,它們是頻繁的地震在這座島上所留下的印記。在台灣,事事物物都有些破損——連土壤都有斑斑裂紋。菲律賓的大陸板塊撞擊亞洲邊緣時,將這座島嶼從海床猛扯上來。這場碰撞仍然在進行當中。雖說一路走來顛簸不已,但是這座島嶼前景看好。不僅在地質學上是如此,在文化與政治上也是。

現代台灣是在日本與中國歷史碰撞之後所誕生,裂痕處處但妙趣橫生的地方。當今的台灣處於美國與中國文化衝撞最激烈之處,並從此處舉步邁向未來。因此,台灣是個豐富、文化饒沃的混合體——生氣勃勃的令人驚嘆。就地質、文化與政治面向來說,台灣是自我建造的獨立實體,理應有自決的權利。

在台灣,無論行至何處,我眼前總是營建當中的美麗嶄新高架快速道路、高聳摩登的大廈、精美的公寓大樓及學校。一條架高的高速鐵路從這座島的一端延展至另一端。這裡的橋品質極高,看來比較像是現代藝術而非工程。台灣充滿了創意十足的進取精神,頻頻推出更新、更好的事物──雖說有各種力量隨時威脅要將之拆解毀壞…

事實上,台灣不是因成功抵抗了這些力量而倖存下來,反之,正是因為有這些力量,台灣才得以蒸蒸日上與自我建設。應該拿台灣,而不是中國或美國,來作為拉丁美洲、東南亞、太平洋島嶼以及非洲發展中國家的典範。因為台灣讓有創意的個人從中學習,並且提供源源不絕的靈感來源。創意生活總是在強大力量的互相拉扯之處迸發出來。一開始它受到猛擊而碎裂,似乎試著重新站起,卻再度被擊倒。台灣正是以這種前仆後繼的精神為基礎,衍生出最美好的事物。

裂隙證明了表面底下有更深層的力量正在運作,也證明有更偉大的事情即將誕生。這些力量的強度令人驚豔。這些力量似乎遠超過我們的能耐,只除了一點之外:它們會從我們身上引發更有力的東西——創造的內在自由。當這樣的自由開始貫穿我們的工作與生活時,我們才能追求作為人類的真正境界,並且像台灣的誕生一樣,從無到有地將全新的東西催生出來。那東西無法被勉強歸入歷史與文化的舊窠臼,而且力量大得足以掙脫刻板與死氣沉沉的事物。它能夠創造更大的自由,促使一切朝著新的方向發展。

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