If you’re over 35, do you have a clue? – Kathy Sierra (Chinese ver.)

This is the third translated post of Kathy Sierra. Maybe it’s because I am getting old now. So do I have a clue what are the kids/teens doing ? Hmmm….. HALO ? Crysis with GeForce8800GTS? Faceboooking ? : P

There are no Wii, XboX, NDS and PSP in 2004. Now Wii is everywhere and a bit hit! PSP become guys’ social gathering activities. That’s the “the gamer generation” mentioned by Kathy Sierra. We can see GALS playing NDS all around MTR subway. Before people even stereotyped Gals won’t interested in playing games. You know primary school kids can get access to their favorite Online game in a minute. Our kids are in “a much greater visual sensitivity/sensibility”.  Yea, Youtube/MTV is successful because it’s all about visual. That is the reason why the studies of attention span is much shorter towards class. This “Gamer” sensitivity/sensibility in fact are related to our “brain”! That’s why Game turn on teens (the Generation Y ). That’s why internet/social network(facebook,twitter etc.)/blogging turn us on. So, some of the Kathy’s 2004 Questions may not be applied now but you can still see insightful ideas there! [- uta]

If you’re over 35, do you have a clue?

via Creating Passionate Users Dec 24, 2004
(translated by Uta, special thanks to StephenH for reading and editing the draft)

How well do you know your younger audience? If you’re under 35, perhaps pretty well. You share a common trait–having grown up in a world where video games are pervasive. If you’re over 35, though, it gets tricky. (And of course those aren’t hard boundaries, but they’re a good starting point.) If you’re over 35, and you do ANYTHING that could possibly be related to those *under* 35, you might want to make reading Got Game a new year’s resolution.

你對你的年輕朋友了解有多少? 如果你是35歲以下的話,可能還好,因為大家都有一個共同的特點 – 就是在這樣一個電子遊戲無孔不入的世界長大。但如果你是35歲以上的話,這便比較棘手了。(當然這並不是一條絕對界線,但卻是個不錯的起點。)如果你已年過 35,並且在做著“任何” 與 35歲*以下*人士有關的事情,那麼閱讀 Got Game 或會是你在新的一年裡決心要完成的事。

The main thrust of the book is the ways in which those *not* of the gamer generation tend to GREATLY underestimate the size and impact of the gamers. You might not agree with all of their conclusions, but it’s a fascinating book, and one that some of our over-35 editors have read and finally said, “Oh! I get it now!” about our books.

該書力推這些*不是*電子遊戲世代的人往往”嚴重”低估了遊戲玩家的規模和影響力。你也許不同意他們的所有結論,但它確是一本很吸引人的書籍。是一本令到我們一些超過35 歲的編者閱畢後,最終會對著我們的書大叫 “哦!我終於明白了!” 。

Here’s our own little quiz to see if you still have a clue : ) (just answer a simple yes or no to each) 以下是我們的一個小型問答遊戲,看你是否還有一點頭緒: ) (每題只回答一個簡單的是或否)1) Do you know that “scratching” (the art known by many as “turntabilism”) is to today’s high schoolers what taking up the guitar was 20 years ago? That to a teenager, it’s just another musical instrument (albeit a really cool one)? You’re almost as likely today to find a group of college kids getting together to jam with their turntables and mixers as with their guitars and drums. Do you know the difference between rap and hip-hop?
1 )你知道”捽碟”(一門被很多人視為” turntabilism” 的藝術) 對於今天的高中生來說,就像是20年前拿起吉他一樣嗎?對於一個青少年,這不過是另一種樂器(儘管是真正酷的一種) 。你到大學幾乎一定會找到一群大學生聚在一起,以唱機轉盤和混音器,還有他們的吉他和鼓演奏著即興音樂。你又知不知道 Rap 和 Hip Hop 的分別嗎?
2) Are you aware that knitting is considered hip?
2 )你是否知道編織被認為是潮流的玩意嗎?
3) Have you visited an Urban Outfitters store, or read the magazine “Ready Made” in the last six to nine months?
3 )你有去過如 Urban Outfitters 的潮流時裝店嗎?或者有沒有在過去的6到9個月內閱讀過”Ready Made”雜誌?

4) Have you visited the pop culture section of a Virgin Megastore in the last six to nine months?
4 )你有沒有在過去6至9個月到過 Virgin Megastore的流行文化部?

5) Do you know that today’s high school graduate is unlikely to fully understand the phrase, “into computers”? (Because for most, that’s not very different from saying, “into telephones”. In other words, the computer is simply a tool/appliance that everyone just HAS as a part of their life. You use it to do the other things you ARE into… chatting, blogging, creating digital music and videos, etc.)
5 )你知不知道今天的高中畢業生未必能夠完全理解這句話, “給電腦迷住了” ? (因為對大部份人來說,這與 “給電話迷住了”並無分別 。換言之,電腦不過是一種工具/設備,每個人都視作他們生活的必要部分,我們用它做一些會令人著迷的事…例如聊天,博客,製作電子音樂及影片等)

6) Do you know that many high schools in the US teach video editing? Some even using the same tools (Final Cut) used to edit Oscar-winning films like Cold Mountain? Do you know that most high schoolers can name more film directors than their parents can?
6 )你知道社會上有很多高中生,在美國教授視頻編輯嗎?有的甚至使用曾用來編輯奧斯卡獲獎影片Cold Mountain的相同的軟件(Final Cut)嗎? 你知不知道,大部分高中生比他們的父母知道得更多電影導演的名字嗎?

7) Do you know that even kids who do NOT play video games are still affected by the culture of the gamer generation?

8) Do you know that the typical high schooler has a much greater visual sensitivity/sensibility than high schoolers of even 15 years ago? (For example, do you know that some of the best graphic art today is found on the back of skateboards and snowboards?)
8)你知不知道現在一般的高中生都比15年前的那一代高中生有更大的視覺靈敏度/敏銳度? (舉例來說,你知不知道今天在滑板和滑雪板的背面可以找到最好的平面美術圖? )

9) Related to #8, did you know Spike Jonze started his filmmaking career making skateboard movies? And that Spike Jonze co-founded “Girl Skateboards”? Do you know who Spike Jonze IS?
9)有關#8 ,你知道 Spike Jonze的電影生涯,是從滑板電影開始嗎?知道 Spike Jonze與人共同創辦了”Girl Skateboards” 了嗎?你知不知道誰是 Spike Jonze ?

10) Did you know that the coolest Christmas tree you can have right now is… retro aluminum? (And that having a *real* tree is definitely Not Cool, unless you keep it alive by planting it).
10) 你知道你可以擁有最酷的聖誕樹,是… Retro 風格的鋁樹嗎? (擁有一棵*真正*的樹是絕對*不酷*的事,,除非你打算繼續種植它) 。

If you cannot answer “yes” to most of these, you can start by taking action on #3 and #4. And if your local high school has a video editing class, see if they’ll let you sit in one afternoon. These are not your father’s “home movies”.

如果你對於大部份的問題都不能回答”是”,那你就可以開始對#和#採取行動了。如果你所居住的地方有一些高中生教授的影片編輯課程,你也可以嘗試去旁聽一個下午。你會發現,這並不是如你父親的”家庭電影”一般 。

And if you’re interested in renting out some extremely hip teens (although if you’re caught *referring* to them as hip then you OBVIOUSLY don’t get it, they’ll be quick to tell you), I have a couple I’ll be happy to send your way. No charge. They’ll reveal their Big Secrets like, “Why I took a photo of a drunk sock monkey

如果你有興趣租用了一些極受青少年歡迎的東西(儘管你可能被發現只是想扮作入流而尋找那些潮流玩意,那即是說你並不明白我剛才說話的意思,但他們很快便會告訴你的),我也有一些並很樂意與你分享,是絕不收費的。他們將揭露他們的大秘密,例如: “為什麼我的照片像個帶上襪子的醉猴”?

If some people don’t HATE your product, it’s mediocre – Kathy Sierra (Chinese ver.)

If some people don’t HATE your product, it’s mediocre
– 如果沒有人憎恨你的產品的話,那麼它就是平庸的。

via Creating Passionate Users Dec 23, 2004
(translated by Uta, special thanks to StephenH for reading and editing the draft)

That notion is shared by lots of folks including Don Norman, and we’ve taken it to heart, given how many people hate (with a passion) our books. But if you take the safe path, your chances of breaking through the market clutter is almost zero. There’s simply too much competition for virtually *everything* today–and with so many choices of products, services, whatever, making a dent requires something dramatic. Dramatically different. No, not just different, but different in the ways that matter to the user.

包括 Don Norman在內,有許多同行都認同這一概念,而我們也由忠地知道,事實上有很多人痛恨(很強烈地)我們出版的書籍。但如果你採取安全的策略,你從市場中突圍而出的機會可能就等於零。對於今天的幾乎*一切*事物,競爭就是太多了 —看周圍有這麼多的產品和服務,要突出自己便需要一些引人注目的元素。那些元素不但要令你看起來有點不一樣,而是要令用戶覺得你與眾不同。

Seth Godin has a comment (I think from the Purple Cow book) that goes something like this, “Today, being safe is risky, and being risky is safe.” (I might have mangled that, but that’s the idea.)

Seth Godin 曾經有過如下的評論 (我想應該是在 Purple Cow book 內提及的),”今天,要安全就是在冒險,有風險倒是更安全” 。 (我或許寫得有點凌碎,但大意就是這樣)

So we had a choice with our first book series (the Head First books): do we play it safe and write a good, solid, decent programming book that the widest range of readers can appreciate, or do we completely abandon the conventions in favor of something that many would HATE, but that would be a dramatically better experience for others? If we played it safe, we knew we’d have to kick and scream and claw (and the publisher would have to spend a fortune on marketing) to take even a tiny piece of the market already well-served by at least a dozen well-respected, technically excellent books. But if we took the unsafe path, we risked getting viciously BASHED in public (just *imagining* what Slashdot would do to us was made me ill) and losing whatever minor reputation we’d built with javaranch. But really, we had almost nothing to lose. It was O’Reilly that really took the Big Risk (more on that story in another post), since they DID have a reputation at stake… a reputation crafted over many years and with thousands of books.

所以在我們出版首個書系時(Head First系列),我們有一個選擇:應該以最安全的方法來寫一本看起來很好,而且嚴肅和具體面,並可以供最廣泛的讀者欣賞的編程書籍嗎?還是我們應該完全放棄傳統方法,使用很多人都會 “討厭” 的形式,但那卻對某些人來說是個極吸引的更佳體驗? 如果我們採取安全的方法,我們就必須要大聲疾呼,狂叫狂跳(和出版商將不得不花費金錢大攪營銷)才可得到一小片的市場,而這個市場早已備有至少十數本極受推崇,且技術層面上優秀的書籍。但是如果我們採取冒險的途徑,我們就要冒著被大眾惡意”攻擊”的危險(就是*想像* Slashdot資訊科技網會如何對待我們已令我不安)及失去在 javaranch 僅存的小小聲譽。但說真的,我們沒有什麼可以失去的了。其實是 O’Reilly 冒了”很大的風險” (將會在另一篇文章內談及更多有關的事),因為他們確實是在風險中建立聲譽的…那是從多年來成千上萬的出版書籍中所建立出來的聲譽。
So we thought about it for around five seconds and decided to go for it ; ) We took Seth’s advice and chose the risky-is-actually-safer road by questioning nearly every assumption about The Way Things Are Supposed To Be. Instead, we asked, “If there were no constraints other than the ones imposed by the 2D page/book format, what could we do to help people learn better, faster, deeper?” We knew a lot about how to answer that question (from years of research and experience working on it), but we also knew that some people would hate it. REALLY hate it. We just crossed our fingers (as did O’Reilly, thanks mainly to Tim’s personal pleasure at being disruptive) and hoped that just a few more people would LOVE it than hate it, and that the people who really loved it would care enough to spread the word.

因此,經過了大約五秒鐘的思考後,我們決定坐言起行 ;)我們採取了 Seth 的意見,透過質疑 “事物其實是怎樣被設想” (The Way Things Are Supposed to Be)中的幾乎每一個假設,我們選擇了  “冒險才是較安全” 的方法(risky-is-actually-safer road) 。並且,我們提出了以下的問題:除了平面印刷/書籍格式的本身局限外,如果在沒有任何其他的限制下,怎麼才可以幫助人們更有效、更快及更深入地學習 ?我們其實知道很多有關於這個問題的資料(從多年的研究和經驗,在工作中得知),但我們也知道有些人會討厭它。是”真的”憎恨它。我們唯有交叉雙手並希望好運的來臨(如 O’Reilly一樣,這主要歸功於享受分裂性格的 Tim),並希望”喜愛”它的人會比憎恨它的人多一點。而那些真正愛它的人,會為我們宣揚開去。

And thankfully, that’s what happened. Several things surprised us though:
而且非常感激地 ,那就是已經發生了的事。有幾件事情確實令我們吃驚:

1) More people loved it than we expected. Head First Java went immediately to the top of the Java bestseller list in the US (across both online and brick-and-mortar stores, according to Bookscan), was a finalist for a Jolt Cola/Software Development award, and was chosen a Top Ten Computer Books of 2003 by Amazon), and stayed on top for 18 months until it was replaced by our Head First Servlets book (which was selected as an Amazon Top Ten Computer Books of 2004). The other two Head First books became instant bestsellers in their categories as well. We could not possibly care more about what our learners have to go through to learn this stuff, and that caring and extra effort (these books are much more difficult and time-consuming to build) is making a difference.

1 )比我們預期中有更多喜愛這個書系的人。Head First Java 在美國立即排在java暢銷書排行榜的高位(據 Bookscan所知,那是包括網上書店及實際書屋),也成了一個Jolt Cola/軟件開發獎(Jolt Cola/Software Development award) 的入圍選手,並獲選2003亞馬遜十大電腦書籍之一,且佔據高位達18個月之久。而取代它的是我們的 Head First Servlets 書籍 (它也被選為亞馬遜2004十大電腦書籍) 。就連其他兩本Head First書籍也立即在其所屬類別中成了暢銷書。我們非常關心讀者們在學習過程中的需要,而那些關愛和額外的努力(完成這些書籍是十分困難和費時的)使我們的書籍獨一無二。

2) Of the people who hate it, the most vocal have been other computer book authors. We chalked this up at first to a simple Who Moved My Cheese thing, but later realized it isn’t that simple. We now believe that a lot of it has to do with defining what a “book” is… and that most of the computer book authors were writers, and many of them damn good ones, who saw our books as a degradation in writing, a kind of “pandering to the MTV generation”. In many ways, that’s *exactly* what our books are. But we don’t consider ourselves writers and we don’t consider our users to be readers. We consider them learners. And that means our job is not to write but to help them learn. Another issue is that many folks believe that it is just unprofessional to put such “silly” things in a technical book, and that it shows disrespect for both the learner and the professional topic. We violently disagree, of course, because everything we do in the books has a very specific purpose based on reaching the brain, and we’re very passionate ourselves about both the topics and the act of delivering them, but that’s a more involved topic I’ll look at later.

2 )而對於討厭這個書系的人(主要是其他電腦書的作者),我簡單地把它視為如 “誰動了我的乳酪” 一般的事,但其後我們才意識到,它並非如此簡單。我們現在相信,其中很多的不滿是來自於對什麼是”書本”(what a “book” is)的定義…與大多數計算機書籍的作者是作家不同,他們其中不少是非常捧的作家,他們覺得我們出版的書籍是一種寫作的降格,是一種” 奉承MTV 世代”的行為。但在許多方面,這*正是*我們書籍的特點。但我們不認為自己是作家,我們也不認為我們的用戶只是讀者。我們認為他們是學習者。這意味著我們的工作不光是寫就足夠的,而是要幫助他們學習。另一個問題是,許多人認為我們的書籍很不專業,把那些”無謂”的東西放在技術書籍內,它對於學習者和專業課題雙方都不尊重。在這一個意見上,我們強烈的反對,當然,這是因為我們在書籍上所做的一切,是有很具體的目的,就是與大腦溝通,以及我們無論是對於課題或是怎樣把它們傳遞出去都是充滿熱情的。以後,我們會再深入研究這一點。

3) Of those who started out hating it, some later found it to be “an acquired taste”, and some of our initial vocal haters later became vocal supporters.3 )在那些初期不喜歡它的人群中,有些人後來開始對我們的風格習以為常 (an acquired taste) ,還有另一些開首時直言不喜歡的人,後來更成為響亮的支持者。

4) Of the folks who hate it, most (but certainly not all) are not in the target audience. In other words, they believe it’s bad “for others”, rather than evaluating it as someone actually trying to use it for its intended purpose. In other words, they believe they’re speaking on behalf of the people who really ARE in the target audience. So we get a lot of comments like, “How can ANYONE learn from this crap?” from people who already know the topic.

4 )在討厭這個書系的人群中,大多數(但肯定不是全部)都不是我們的目標受眾。換句話說,他們相信這些書對”其他人”是有害的 ,而不是實際上使用它後才評價它。也就是說,他們相信他們”是”目標受眾的名義發言人。所以,我們得到了很多這樣的評語,” 哪有人能從這些垃圾中學習?”,而這些人早已掌握了這些課題的知識。

5) A surprisingly vocal group hated it *not* because of its format, but because its very premise–making it easier to learn Java–was just BAD. Bad for the tech industry. Bad for the existing Java programmers. Bad because it would allow those who “don’t even DESERVE to learn Java to start taking our jobs”. We dismissed that as ridiculous at first, but then we heard that a few other authors of beginning Java books had experienced the same phenomenon. One well-known author of an excellent, but very advanced Java book, put it this way, “I guess it makes sense that your book would be successful now… all the SMART people already KNOW Java.”

5 )最令人驚奇的是,有一群人討厭它的原因竟然並*不是*因為其格式,而是因為它的特點 – 使學習Java 變得容易 –- 這竟然是 “錯的”。對於科技行業而言這是不好的,對於現行的 Java 程序員而言也是不好的。差劣的原因是,它將使那些”根本沒有資格學習 Java 的人開始從事我們的工作”。 開首時我們認為這個荒謬的想法不值一提,但後來我們聽說其他幾個行家開始寫作Java 書籍時,都有類似的經歷。一位編寫了一本非常出色的高階 Java 書籍的作者把事情這樣理解, “我猜想這是有道理的,你的書將很成功,現在……所有 “聰明” (SMART)的人都已 “學懂 (KNOW) Java 了” 。

What did NOT surprise us was that the audience for the Head First books is skewed younger. People with brains wired up in the 60’s and 70’s are more likely to find our books [euphimism]unpleasant[/euphimism] than those wired up in the fast-cut visual sensibility world of Sesame Street/MTV/Video Games. This is not 100% (and let’s just say that Bert and I grew up when and Space Invaders were considered “stimulating media”), but we used the research that points to differences in brain wiring and visual perception between those raised on slower media and those raised on, well, the faster stuff. I’ll talk more about those brain differences in other posts.

我們沒有感到出奇的是,Head First 書籍的讀者群都是較為年輕的。那些大腦與60年代和70年代有聯繫的人,較那些與視覺情感世界如芝麻街/MTV/電子遊戲有接觸的人,容易覺得我們的書籍是更” 使人厭惡的”, 這也不是 100% 絕對的(因為Bert 和我也是在 Space Invaders 這些”刺激媒體”的年代長大的),但我們的研究結果指出,那些在快速視覺媒體及較慢速媒體中成長的人,他們的大腦神經分佈及視覺感知的發展是不同的。我會在日後的文章再談及這些分別。

We couldn’t possibly be more supportive now of the “be risky” and “embrace the hatred” model for launching a new product or service. Because let’s face it–getting people to choose your excellent-but-mainstream product over all the other excellent-but-mainstream products that serve the user’s needs is an uphill (if not impossible) battle today, and even if it’s possible… who has the marketing budget?

我們這刻實在有極多的支持,讓我們在”無懼風浪”並能勇於”包容憎惡 “的模式中推出新產品和服務。因為我們清楚知道–要既能滿足用戶的需要,且讓他們選擇你優秀的主流產品 (excellent-but-mainstream) (而不是其他所有優秀的主流產品),這顯然是一場苦戰(如果不是不可能),而即使它是可能的…誰又願意付出這可觀的推廣支出?

So take a chance, and be brave. My skin isn’t as thick as it needs to be… when people trash us, for good or lame reasons, it hurts. But it’s worth it. We offered this series to two other publishers (more on that in another post) and they didn’t just turn it down, but turned it down with impunity…laughing as in, “Oh, like THAT is going to work! Ha-ha-ha…”. I was virtually fired from Sun for some of the ideas that proved to be most-liked by customers (in other words, Sun said, “Customers will hate this… shut up about it OR ELSE.”). But thankfully for us, O’Reilly was more than willing to take a chance (although rumors abound that it caused quite an internal battle at O’Reilly–with Tim and Mike Loukides and Kyle Hart on one side, and many, many others suggesting that Head First books would seriously damage their reputation).

所以我們應該勇敢地作出嘗試吧。我的面皮並不是如需要的那麼厚…當人們把我們的心血掉入垃圾桶,無論背後的原因是否充份,也會傷害了我。但這是值得的。我們曾經把這一系列書籍的出版構思提供給另外兩個出版商(以後會再詳述) 他們不僅否決了我們的提意,更是以不當一會事/很冷漠的方式來否決…笑言” 哦,就 “這樣” (like THAT)真可行嗎! 哈哈哈…”事實上,那些已被證明是很受客戶歡迎的想法就是我被 Sun 解僱的原因 (換個說法是 ,Sun 曾說: “客戶會討厭這些的… 收口吧,否則後果自負”)。但對我們來說真的很感激,O’Reilly願意給我們一個機會(雖然有傳言指O’Reilly 的內部也經過了一輪激烈的爭論, Tim, Mike Loukides 和Kyle Hart 都意見相同,而餘下的大部份人則表示 Head First 書籍系列會嚴重損害其聲譽)

As my partner Bert likes to quote, “If you aren’t living on the edge… you’re taking up too much room.” (Of course, we were lucky enough to have O’Reilly footing most of the bills for this *experiment*, but still…the first book took six months of pouring our heart into it, day and night, for both Bert and I). To all of our early adopters and vocal supporters, THANK-YOU! We owe you so much, and when you take the time to tell others — and even better, to tell US — what the books have meant to you, that makes it so worth it. Computer books are not a way to make a good living today because the tech book market is down so far today, but the emails from happy user/learner folks keeps us going.

正如我的夥伴Bert喜歡引用的一句話” ,如果你不是生活在頂峰… …你就是佔用太多空間了” 。 (當然,我們幸運地得到O’Reilly 的支持,並承擔了這個*實驗*的大部份費用,但仍然…第一本書的誕生是經歷了六個多月的時間,日以計夜的投入了我和Bert所有的心血)。給我們早期的讀者及表態支持我們的人,”感謝你們” (THANK YOU)! 我們欠你那麼多,你們花了不少時間來告訴別人–更好的是,告訴了我們(US) – 我們的書對你們有著什麼意義,這使我們所有的付出都變成值得的。現今計算機類的書籍並不能給人們賺取豐厚的生活,因為今天科技書籍的市場已經萎縮了不少,但收到快樂的用家/學習人仕所寄來的電子郵件,就是支持我們繼續向前的動力。

Getting past the brain’s crap filter – Kathy Sierra (Chinese ver.)

I sudden create such long post, but I finally made it. I always want to translate Kathy Sierra’s creating passionate uers posts to Chinese.  I am fan of Kathy Sierra, really miss her posts. This is the beginning.

Getting past the brain’s crap filter 通過大腦的廢物過濾器
via Creating Passionate Users Dec 22, 2004
(translated by Uta, special thanks to StephenH for reading and editing the draft)

你的大腦與生俱來是沒有附設使用指南的,這真是糟透了。在我們開始 Head First 系列之前,我與合作夥伴 Bert花了多年的時間研究,希望找到能夠幫助我們大腦學習東西的方法。但當我們愈瞭解大腦運作的時候,我們愈是瞭解大腦的可怕之處。因為在多方面,你的大腦並不是你的朋友。它以為你仍是活在那居於山洞的時代,它的唯一工作就是令*你*作為人類可以繼續生存下去。可是它認為重要的和你想是重要的東西…十分不一樣。

Your brain didn’t come with a manual. And that sucks. Before we started the Head First series, my partner Bert and I spent years studying ways to get learning into someone’s brain, and the more we learned about the brain, the scarier it got. Because in so many ways, Your Brain Is Not Your Friend. It thinks you’re still living in a cave, and it’s sole job is survival of *you* as a human, and survival of the species. And what IT thinks is important and what YOU think are… really different.

例如學習一種編程語言,對於腦袋來說這並非是個重要的求生首要事項,而你也知道這一點的,因為你應該有過以下的經驗吧!記得還在求學時期,明天就是期末考試了,其實你極需要抓緊危在旦夕的一分一秒,但你發現自己總是反覆地在溫習著同一頁,也許是同一段,重覆又重覆,卻只能勉強保持一點點的清醒。就算喝再多的咖啡對你也沒有什麼效用。但當鄰舍的辣妹走過時,你會突然的清醒過來、精神集中,甚至活力十足。你的大腦其實在想著, ” … … 唔唔…應該繼續溫習,還是為了人類的傳宗接代而努力呢……哎呀……這是個艱難的選擇啊” !

Learning a programming language, it turns out, isn’t high on the brain’s list of Things To Keep You Alive. You know this, of course, because you remember the feeling — you’re in college, finals are tomorrow, and you’re cramming to within an inch of your life. But you find yourself reading the same page, maybe the same paragraph, over and over and over and over barely able to stay awake. The illegal dose of caffeine isn’t working. But then the hot babe from the next dorm walks by and suddenly you’re alert, coherent, energetic even. Your brain was doing a, “Hmmmmm… calculus or survival of the species… damn… tough choice!”.

因此,我們花了很多時間去思考這個重要的課題,要怎樣才可以通過這個守衛(大腦的廢物過濾器 – the brain’s crap filter)。如果大腦是為了拯救你的生命才去排除那些顯然並不重要的事情(就像明天的期末考試),那麼你如何能夠*欺騙*大腦,令它把沉悶的、枯燥無味的東西,當作在威脅(LIFE-THREATENING)你祖先生命的老虎一樣重要呢?

So we’ve been spending a lot of time thinking about how important it is to get past The Gatekeeper (the brain’s crap filter). If the brain is trying to save your life by keeping out the OBVIOUSLY unimportant thing like tomorrow’s final, then how do you *trick* the brain into thinking the boring, dry thing is as important as that tiger that ate your ancestors?

所有的研究似乎都顯視著,事情的核心就在於你的扁桃核(amygdale) — 那是個杏仁狀的器官(事實上是大腦兩邊各一半),它在遇到可能構成威脅的事情或在某些至關鍵的情況下,助你作出反應(有時候它在潛意識起作用)。如果你的扁桃核是可編程的話,你會告訴它,請你把明天考試至少拿到C 級以上這事,視為一種生命威脅,及請你注意並記錄這些資料到長期記憶中。但是你不能,或是可以嗎?

All the studies seem to show that the center of everything is your amygdala–the almond-shaped organ (actually one on each side of your brain) that responds to things that might pose a threat or help you in some crucial way (and it does some of this without your conscious awareness). If your amygdala were programmable, you’d tell it to PLEASE treat a grade less than C on tomorrow’s exam as LIFE-THREATENING, and could you PLEASE pay attention and record this to long-term storage. But you can’t. Or can you?

其實, 某程度上*有*一種編程方法是可以做到的,*情緒感受*(*feelings*)的輸入可以告訴大腦,這是一件重要的和值得記住的事。你會特別注意自己有感受的事情,都是長期記憶的,因為大腦是很注意與情緒有關的化學作用。當你看到老虎(在野外,而不是動物園),你的大腦便會認知到威脅,然後化學反應便會激增。你的大腦會說, “這真的很重要–那麼記住所有事物“(EVERYTHING) ,如果你曾經歷過交通失事,你便會更瞭解這個現象,就是你把*一切* (*everything*)都給記住了,這包括背景的詳細資料,像當時哪首歌正在播放著等等。因為你的大腦,給整個現場拍了一幅完整的快照,它只知道這是一件非常壞的事情, 但不知道那部份是最重要的—所以它說, “可惡–我只好把一切全都保存下來“。

There *is* a way to program it, kind of. The inputs that tell your brain that something is important and worth recording are *feelings*. You pay attention, and record, that which you feel, because the brain is paying attention to the chemistry associated with emotions. When you see a tiger (in the wild, not a zoo), your brain recognizes the threat and chemicals surge. Your brain says, “This is REALLY important — so remember EVERYTHING.” If you’ve been in a car wreck, you might know the phenomenon where you remember *everything* including the background details like which song was playing. Because your brain did a complete snapshot of the whole damn scene, knowing that this was a Very Bad Thing, but not knowing which parts were important–so it said, “What the hell — I’ll just save it all.”
(我會在以後的博客文章裡,再詳述為什麼你的大腦對野生老虎和動物園老虎的反應不一樣…這是生物學專家所發現的一件十分酷的事) 。

(And I’ll talk in a later blog about why your brain reacts differently to the tiger in the zoo than in the wild… it’s another really cool thing the neurobiologists have learned).

所以跟著的另一個問題是, “如何讓大腦來對待一些事情,例如,像學習java,有如它具有挽救生命的潛在用處” ? 我們使用這概念在我們的書籍內,設法幫助人們學習得更迅速、更深入、使其記憶內容更加持久。 (尤其我們所編寫的書目都是較艱深的技術課題,還有認證考試指南,所以內容記憶是十分關鍵的。)

So the question again is, “how do you get the brain to treat, say, learning Java as though it were potentially life-saving?” We use this in our books to try to help people learn more quickly and more deeply, and with a more lasting memory (because we write on difficult technical subjects, and some of our books are certification exam guides as well, where memory is crucial).

但後來我們開始認識到,以上的技巧也適用於市場營銷學…我們用作以學習為目的,而提高注意力和記憶力的原理,與市場營銷學大師Seth Godin 所提出的主張是同出一轍的,那就是現今不可缺少的突破 — 要做到顯赫不凡 (Be Remarkable) 。如果你希望人們談論你的產品或服務的話,最好是突出那些值得談論的東西 (really worth talking about)。今天 — 傳統的廣告已陷入絕境 — 相比以往它要突破或被用戶注意到是困難得多了。你的用戶(或潛在用戶)每天窮於應付各種訊息( 99 %是廢物 – crap),那些訊息正不斷試圖爭奪他們的注意力,但他們的腦袋卻就算是超時工作也要設法去除它們。你要記住,大腦會盡量節約專注,來處理真正重要的事情…像是蛇和蜘蛛是危險的,火是熱的,還有你需要努力交際,才可以找到與你睡的伴侶…這一類的事情。顧客的腦筋不會審視 FAQ 內,你的產品在技術上或理論上是否較佳的選擇,還是…所有相關的產品特點或任何你試圖推銷的東西。

But then we started to reailze that it applies to marketing as well…that the principles we use to increase attention and memory for the purposes of learning are the same principles you need to do what marketing guru Seth Godin says is essential today to break through–Be Remarkable. If you want people to talk about your product or service, it better be something really worth talking about. And today–with conventional advertising on its last legs–it’s harder than ever to break through and be heard. Your users (or potential users) are so overwhelmed with messages (99% crap) trying to compete for their attention, that their brains are working overtime trying to keep those messages OUT. Remember, the brain wants to conserve bandwidth for the really important things… snakes, spiders, the fact that fire is hot, that socially you need to do a little better so that you have a hope in hell of sleeping with… that sort of thing. Their brains are NOT scanning for an FAQ of how your product is technically superior or logically a better choice or… pretty much anything related to the features of whatever it is you’re trying to sell.

所以, 這便是我們所瞭解到關於大腦的第一件事—廢物過濾器是如何運作和怎樣才可以通過它。在稍後的博客文章內, 我會更詳細地再作介紹。但現在我們確實的知道,有關於如才可以吸引並保持別人的注意力的方法,其實早於90年代中旬的時候,當我在IBM新媒體實驗室於加州大學洛杉磯分校任教的時侯,我已經教授過有關的課題了(我更在參與開發遊戲的時候使用過了)。後來無論是我在教授 Java ,或是為 Sun Microsystems傳道的時候,我們都做了很多的實驗,之後還開創了O’Reilly 的新書系列,它在一夜之間就成為那系列最暢銷的書籍。但我們*知道*自己並不是很好的作家,因此我們非常肯定,成功歸因於我們是在與讀者的大腦對話,而並不是讀者本身。我們認為,無論你是與顧客/客戶/用戶/潛在的合作者交談,與他們適當的部分交談是更為重要的。

So, that was the first thing we learned about the brain–how the crap filter really works and how to get past it. In later blogs, I’ll go into a lot more detail about that. But we learned a lot more about how to get–and keep-someone’s attention, some of which I taught at UCLA Extension in the mid 90’s at the IBM New Media Lab (and used during my days as a game developer). We’ve been doing a lot of experimenting including during my time as a Java trainer/evangelist for Sun Microsystems, and later with the creation of the new series for O’Reilly. The books have all become overnight bestsellers in their category, and since we *know* we aren’t very good writers, we’re pretty sure it’s because we spoke to the reader’s BRAIN, not the reader himself. We believe that talking to your customer/client/user/prospect matters less than WHICH part of them you talk to.

Bert 和我正埋首於將我們正在ETech 內演說的題目 —  Creating Passionate Users  (內容是參照之前兩次在 Foo Camps會議的一些發表)製作成一個指導課程。但最終我們決定把這個指導課程的細節發放於博客之中。我們將利用這個地方,發表 “Creating Passionate Users”的指導課程(我們更在編寫有關書籍),還有各種關於Head First 系列 和正在建立的互動學習網站的新事物。我們的熱情來自於對腦袋的究研,但我們仍會談及一些核心的要素,因為我們相信你需要它來啟發客戶/用戶,這包括了從認知科學、心理學、電子/電腦遊戲設計、娛樂(何李活) 所學到的。 是的,我依然要說廣告的 (廣告雖要較長的時間才能得到成效,它仍然是十分有用的….之後會有更多)。

Bert and I are working on a tutorial we’re presenting at ETech on Creating Passionate Users based on a session we presented at the last two Foo Camps, and we’ve finally decided to work out the details in a blog. We’ll use this space to work on our “Creating Passionate Users” tutorial (and we’re also doing a book on this), as well as talk about new things in the Head First series and an interactive learning site we’re working on. Our passion is the brain, but we’ll talk about the core elements we believe you need to inspire customers/users including lessons learned from cognitive science, psychology, video/computer game design, entertainment (Hollywood), and yes, even advertising still has something to say (although advertising no longer works well, it still holds the key to some of the things that DO work… more later).

現在… … 我們不知道結果會怎樣,這將向何處去, 但我們將會如網絡內的許多人一樣,將盡最大努力給予貢獻。

So… we don’t know where this will go, but we’ll do our best to give as much as we’ve been getting from the contributions of so many others on the web.