Lesson 14 The Butterfly Effect
第十四课蝴蝶效应


by JAMES GLEICK
from Chaos


14-1. Beyond two or three days, the world's best weather forecasts are speculative, and beyond six or seven they are worthless.


【译文】世界上最好的两三天以上的天气预报都具有很强的猜测性,如果超过六七天,天气预报就没任何价值了。


【单词和短语】


speculative:推测的,猜测性的(based on guessing, not on information or facts),

例如:
Government’s estimate of possible coal resources as lasting for 800 years is speculative.
政府关于煤的资源能够持续开采800年的估计纯粹是推断出来的。


speculative的动词形式为speculate,名词形式为speculation。


worthless:无价值的,不值钱的,没用处的(something that is worthless has no value, importance, or use),

例如:
worthless currency不值钱的货币


a worthless, broken tool不值钱的坏工具


worthless的同义词有valueless,反义词有worthwhile, worthy,valuable和invaluable。


14-2. The Butterfly Effect is the reason.


【译文】原因就在于蝴蝶效应。


【讲解】Butterfly Effect,即“蝴蝶效应”,指一个复杂系统中的微小变化可能导致别处的巨大变化(据称里约热内卢的一只蝴蝶扇动翅膀可能改变芝加哥的天气)。


14-3. For small pieces of weather—and to a global forecaster, small can mean thunderstorms and blizzards—any prediction deteriorates rapidly.


【译文】就小范围天气而言,任何预报都很快走样,而对于全球预报员来说,雷雨和暴风雪也算是小范围的事。


【单词和短语】


deteriorate:恶化,质量(价值)下降,退化,变质,堕落(to become worse),

例如:
Relations between the two countries began to deteriorate in the 1990s.
在20世纪90年代,两国关系开始恶化。


His work has deteriorated in recent years.
近年来他的工作质量逐渐下降。


His health deteriorated with age.
随着年龄增长,他的健康每况愈下。


deteriorate的名词形式为deterioration,形容词形式为deteriorative。