邮件采访 MIT 天才、SixthSense Technology 发明者 Pranav Mistry

前言

这篇博文写于 2011 年 8 月 27 日,当时正值高中二年级暑假。博文原本发表于我的 LOFTER 轻博客。自从开通“前端养成记”这个“技术”博客之后,LOFTER 轻博客就完全当作是生活类的博客了,所以把以往跟“技术”沾边的博文迁移到“前端养成记”这里来,也算是充实一下内容吧。

一些说明和题外话

2011 年,我的文笔还很生涩。刚对博文进行了小范围的标点符号纠正和格式修改,使得表意更清晰,下面是正文,各位见惯莫怪。

原文

昨天(2011 年 8 月 26 日),我在新浪微博上发微博 @ 了 @TEDtoChina

Pranav Mistry:《第六感技术的惊异潜力》,超强大的增强现实技术(AR)应用!而且还是一个 MIT 学生开发的,最后还宣布开源!天才!Awesome! @TEDtoChina

以上视频来自 TED 官网,手机用户戳此观看>>

激情被点燃

该微博得到了 @TEDtoChina 的评论和回复:

@TEDtoChina: 这个稍微有点老了,大多人知道。我给你个建议:如果你能发掘下后续的故事,他现在怎么样,在做什么,或者联系下他,我会把你的文章发到我们网站,并着重推荐,怎么样?(8 月 26 日 16:41)

我回复 @TEDtoChina:呵呵,这个难度有点大,不过尽力而为吧!找 MIT 的人很难的……(8 月 26 日 16:45)

我回复 @TEDtoChina:正在筹划中了……有哪位同学帮帮忙,第一句主要讲什么好?我已经构思好了!(8 月 26 日 23:51)

截图如下:

微博得到 @TEDtoChina 的回复

接着 TED 译者、TEDtoChina 负责人 @LawrenceYeah 加入评论:

@TEDtoChina 回复我:Easy,给你几个线索:TED.com 上他演讲的 Profile;Google 他的人名等……其实我过去帮助几个学生找到他的个人网站,但貌似这几个童鞋都没有主动联系他。Hope u can do it...(8 月 26 日 16:48)

@LawrenceYeah 回复我:BTW,你高三,是吗?鼓励你试试写下他产品后续,成功还是失败,whatever,我帮你找网站投稿,怎么样?:0)(8 月 26 日 16:51)

我回复 @TEDtoChina:Wow,我瞬间被寄予厚望!鸭梨甚大啊!嗯呵,我看情况而为吧!我觉得应该找个时间来出名。(8 月 26 日 16:55)

我回复 @LawrenceYeah:嗯呵,我看我有机会!(8 月 26 日 16:55)

截图如下:

LawrenceYeah 加入评论

开始着手此事

当天晚上,我就开始着手这件事了。

遇到困难

多次观看 Pranav Mistry 在 TED 上关于 SixthSense Technology 的演讲视频,还把字幕复制了下来研读、思考。由于初次写英文电子邮件、还是采访类的比较专业的文章,比较担心写不好。

突发奇想,微博私信问一问微软 MSDN 总编辑、Channel 9 总编辑 @俞晖 ,竟然得到了回复并加了关注:

我问 @俞晖:作为编辑,估计你经常要写一些英文开头的文章。请问能帮助我一下么?@TEDtoChina 官网建议我写一封英文电子邮件给 MIT 的 IT 天才 Pranav Mistry,想问下开头一般要怎么写?主要想知道开头那句。无尽感激!

@俞晖 回复我:你要找他干嘛呢~ 如果是采访要求或者有问题,当然开头是介绍自己是干嘛的。

我继续追问 @俞晖 :看看我的这条微博和里面的评论就知道了……是个采访 + 问题(采访肯定是有问题的对不!?)然后 @TEDtoChina 准备给我发稿到网站上,就酱紫。谢谢咯。能给个开头的几个单词吗?专业的是 I'm writting to you to……?

截图如下:

微博私信得到俞晖回复

新增评论:其实现在看来,当时俞晖并没有告诉我什么,只不过是肯定了我的做法,使得我更加有信心了而已。然而当时我也是“初生牛犊不怕虎”啊,问题都没怎么自我思考清楚,就拿出去问别人了。现在想来答案其实很简单。

撰写采访邀约邮件

自此,一切准备就绪,开始撰写采访邀约邮件,从晚上 11 点左右开始写,一直到凌晨三点发出采访邮件。内容主要如下:

  1. 说明我认识他的缘由;
  2. 说明我此次发邮件的来意;
  3. 表达对他的仰慕之情;
  4. 进入正式采访环节,罗列问题,主要从 @TEDtoChina 的建议出发,问及:
    • 在 TED 演讲后他的发展方向;
    • 正在从事什么职业,做什么研究;
    • 是否对其祖国作出了可喜的贡献;
    • 对现代科技的看法与对其未来的期待

邮件原文如下:

标题:An Interview for Official TED To China by a Chinese

发件人:Loyalsoldier

收件人:Pranav Mistry

正文:

Dear Pranav Mistry:

I am a Chinese. Yesterday, I saw your talk about the SixthSense Technology on TED and sent a short message on Sina Weibo, which is like Twitter. The official account of TED To China on Weibo made a commentary, which meant that the video was old, and suggested me that what I should do is to find some new information about you and I should interview you for what you are doing now and your application to your inventions talked about in the video. Actually, I accept it. If I succeed interviewing you, I will write a passage about your latest situation and this interview. The TED To China will also publish it on their website if possible. Of course, it depends on your answers and my writing.

After watching your video on TED.com, I was greatly impressed for it was amazing about what it worked like. You talked about your inventions, such as a gesture interface device, a paper input-output system, a pen that can draw in three dimensions, a head-mounted projector and so on. What you did was about the SixthSense Technology, which I think is like AR(Augmented Reality ) Technology nowadays. At the end of the video, you said that you would try to make the technology more available to people so that anyone could develop their own SixthSense device and that you were excited about how you could bring the technology to the masses rather than just keeping that technology in the lab environment. So, I want to know the answers to these questions with the hope that you can answer them:

  1. What are you doing now, such as working in which company and university or just in MIT?

  2. What did you do after your TED talk, also in the SixthSense Technology area or others?

  3. Did you do anything to your country with your wisdom and the technology like what you said in the video? What were they? What did they work like?

  4. Are any inventions you talked about in the video used by the world widely now? If yes, what have you done and how to make it successful?

  5. What do you think the world will be changed like? How is your future to be expected?

There are no more questions. Hope that you can answer all of them and reply me. And I really hope that my first passage of my life can be published on official website. Thank you very much! More information about me on my Sina Weibo: @猎豹独行侠翻越小高三

Yours, Weixian Liu

Guangzhou, China

2011.8.27 2:30 a.m.

第一次收到邮件

于 2011 年 8 月 28 日(星期天)晚上 11:14 收到 Pranav Mistry 邮件回复:

Dear Weixian Liu,

I am sorry for the late reply. I got your email. Once I get some time I will reply the questions and send you back. In fact I am coming to China in September end and will be talking about all these and some exciting new projects at the conference in Shanghai.

Best wishes,

-Pranav

邮件大意是:

他说对迟来的回复表示歉意,并将在有空时一一回复我的问题。在接下来的 9 月下旬,他会来上海参加会议,谈论他在视频中谈到的激动人心的项目进展!

第一次回复邮件

我回复了邮件:

Dear Pranav Mistry:

I feel excited for your reply. I'm looking forward to your answers and the conference. Whatever, thank you so much.

Best wishes

Yours, Weixian Liu

2011.8.29 0:36a.m.

邮件大意是:

收到回信很激动。期待他对问题的答案以及他将要参加的会议。不管怎样,非常感谢!

等待邮件

目前只好期待 Pranav Mistry 尽快能有空余时间,回复我的问题。回复邮件问题后,考虑投到 TED To China 编辑处,由他联系发表到网站。

第二次收到邮件

2011 年 9 月 6 日再次收到他的邮件:

Hi Weixian Liu,

I am really sorry for the delay here. Should we talk sometime over skype or QQ. By this way I will be able to answers all your questions. Are you planning to write an article for this?

Also, I am on weibo @pranavmistry

I come to China very often and will be there on 15th of this month.

Best wishes,

-Pranav

邮件大意是:

他对这么久才回复邮件感到抱歉。希望我们能找个时间在 QQ 或者 Skype 上聊一聊,以便回答我的所有问题。他还问及我是否打算为此写一篇报道?

他说他也注册了新浪微博,叫 @pranavmistry。他经常来中国,并将在本月 15 号出席上海某个会议。

第二次回复邮件

9 月 10 日我的回信:

Hi Pranav Mistry:

I'm so sorry for my delay. I have to go to school all the weekdays. I think it's a good idea to talk by QQ or Skype. My QQ number is 1069772267 and the Skype account is Loyalsoldier.

I have followed you on Sina Weibo just now. Do you understand Chinese, right? If yes, I think it’s easier for me to interview you because my English isn’t very good. Actually, I’m a high school student. There is no need for you to reply me in such a hurry.

Best wishes

Yours, Weixian Liu

2011.9.10 23:00

邮件大意是:

我对自己这么久才回复邮件感到抱歉,因为我周一到周五都要上学。在 QQ 或者 Skype 上聊一聊是个好主意,并向他提供了我的 QQ 号和 Skype 账号。

我已经在新浪微博关注他了。我问:“你懂中文,对吗?”如果懂的话,对我来说,这个采访将变得更加容易(这点我是看到他有时候用中文来发微博来判定的,而且他已经结婚了哦)。事实上,我是一名高中生。如果你没有时间,不需要急着回复我的邮件。

第三次收到邮件

9 月 11 日收到他的回信:

I will be coming to Shanghai on 16th. We can meet in person and talk. In fact I am planning to attend and event by TEDtoCHINA on 18th.

Best wishes,

-Pranav

邮件大意是:

他将在本月 16 日到达上海,我们可以单独见面并谈论他的近况,进行采访。事实上,他正打算在 18 日出席参加由 TEDtoChina 举办的活动。

第三次回复邮件

9 月 11 日我的回信:

Hi Pranav Mistry,

I think it isn't a piece of good news for me. Unfortunately, I can't go to Shanghai. You know, I'm a student, not an editor. It was TEDtoChina that suggested me to interview you. After your arrival in Shanghai, they will do that instead. What’s more, I will be absent. So my importance won’t exist.

Hope that your conference will be successful.

Best wishes

Yours, Weixian Liu

2011.9.11 10:50

邮件大意是:

对于我来说,这不是一个好消息(指“他将接受TEDtoChina专访一事”)。很不幸的是,我不能去上海和他会面。你懂的,我是一位学生,不是编辑。当初是 TEDtoChina 建议我采访你的。如今,若你到达上海,他们官方会代替我完成这件事,而我将缺席,我的重要性将不复存在!

希望活动成功举办!

第四次收到邮件

9 月 11 日他再次回信(就在我发出邮件的 1.5 小时后):

Hi Weixian,

Sorry to hear that we will not be meeting in Shanghai in this trip. Where are you based in China. In any case, let's catch up over phone when I am there. My number is 18616891981.

And, one more thing. I am also a student. We all should be :)

Best wishes,

-Pranav

邮件大意是:

得知我们不能在上海会面并进行采访后,他表示很遗憾。他问及我住在中国哪个城市。不管怎样,他说到达上海后会打电话给我,并给了我他的电话号码。

还有一件事,他鼓励我说:他也是一位学生,我们都是学生!(意在鼓励我不必为此遗憾和难过,他也是平常人,我们都是。)

第四次回复邮件

9 月 11 日我的回信(下午 16:20):

Hi Pranav,

I'm happy to receive your email again. Because of my study and my age, I can’t go anywhere except Guangzhou. Now, my main goal is to accumulate knowledge and pass the entrance exams of university, which is the most important exam of Chinese student held in June every year. Actually, I live in Guangzhou, China. And my phone number is 18702088581.

Yeah, we are always students, but they can be divided into two parts. One is those who are accumulating knowledge, like me. The other is those who are working and searching in some areas, keeping expending their knowledge, like you. So we are in a different stage of life.

Best wishes

Yours, Weixian Liu

2011.9.11 16:20

邮件大意是:

很高兴能再次收到他的邮件。由于我的学习和年龄限制,除了广州外,我什么地方都不能去,也不适合去。现在我的主要任务是积累知识并完成高考。我告诉他我的电话号码,同时我住在广州。

回应他上一封邮件中的最后一句:是的,我们总是学生,但是学生可以分为两种。一种是积累知识的人,就像我;另一种是正在某个工作岗位上、在某个领域持续不断地探索、一直拓展知识的人,就像他。所以很明显,我们处于不同的人生阶段。

事后

这次未完成的邮件采访,即使失败,但我觉得意义非凡:

  • 从最不起眼的角度看,我练习了英语写作能力;
  • 往深一点说,我锻炼了交往能力,特别是跟外国人交流的能力
    • 我有种很强烈的感受:我们所说的外国人其实一点都不显得“外国”,人家也用微博,也有 QQ,就像十足的中国互联网用户!这一点我很惊讶!
  • 再深入一点来看,我得到了少许成就感:还记得当初发的第一封电子邮件后,许久没得到回信,以为他不会回复这样无厘头的邮件。突然而来的回信使我受宠若惊,既掺杂着惊喜,又有淡定。感觉这是理所当然的!

经过今天的多次交流,最大的收获莫过于友谊!显然,在最后的一封回信中,我分明看到了他的好意,还留下了手机号码。即使他不能回答我的问题,我们也可以聊天,可以分享对移动互联网的认识。而且,如此重量级的一位人物、朋友,我怎么能拒绝?这些都是我已经获得或将要获得的东西,无法替代!如果我们之间还有下文,我会持续更新此博文,欢迎继续关注!

新增评论:现在整理这些邮件,觉得当时自己的英语写作水平实在是太差劲了!根本没眼看!


写毕于 2011 年 9 月 11 日


博文之外:关于 Pranav Mistry

  • Pranav Mistry 是印度人,他的妻子是陈易佳,中国人,毕业于复旦大学。2011 年那会儿,她是电商网站走秀网的高管;
  • Pranav Mistry 在 MIT 媒体实验室毕业后,先后任职于微软、三星;现在在三星的 Think Tank Team 任职,目测是负责用户体验和产品交互设计;
  • 三星的 Galaxy Gear 发布会、Galaxy Note 7 发布会都有他上台演讲的身影;
  • 他的博客:www.pranavmistry.com

Loyalsoldier

死飞,设计,编码,音乐……美物都值得善待。