From Movable Type Printing to the World Wide Web: Essays on Civilizations, Cultures and Education

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A renowned biomedical engineering expert, H K Chang is also a champion of cross-cultural exchanges that enhance understanding and build links among nations and countries. Having studied the social and cultural developments of China and other countries for the past forty years, he narrates in twenty-one articles here his thoughts about world civilizations, culture and life, society, education as well as science and technology, and invites readers to join him on his intellectual and sentimental journey.



Professor Chang was President of the Biomedical Engineering Society (U.S.) in 1988-89 and is a Foreign Member of the Royal Academy of Engineering (U.K.). He served as the President and University Professor of City University of Hong Kong from 1996 to 2007; and between 2000 and 2003 was Chairman of the Cultural and Heritage Commission of the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region.

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ISBN
978-962-937-143-2
Pub. Date
Apr 1, 2007
Weight
0.48kg
Paperback
252 pages
Dimension
143 x 210 mm

I was born in Shenyang under the puppet Manchurian regime; had my first lesson in reading in Jinan after China’s victory in the Sino-Japanese war; grew up in Taiwan under Chiang Kaishek’s authoritarian rule; formed my own family in one of the bases for th

I was born in Shenyang under the puppet Manchurian regime; had my first lesson in reading in Jinan after China’s victory in the Sino-Japanese war; grew up in Taiwan under Chiang Kaishek’s authoritarian rule; formed my own family in one of the bases for the civil-rights movement in the Bay Area of California; and established my career in the State of New York during the Vietnam War.
In the summer of 1976, I moved my family to the Olympic Games host city of Montreal in Canada. The Parti Québécois took over the provincial government and started to call for independence shortly after. We moved again in 1984 to another Olympic Games host city, this time Los Angeles, California, for me to take up a position at the University of Southern California. And in 1990, at the age of fifty when, according to Confucius, I was supposed to have come to know the existence of the heavenly principles, I followed my heart to Hong Kong and embarked on my new journey.

At the age of five, father took me out to the streets to welcome the Chinese troops when they took over Jinan from the Japanese. This was my first encounter with the concepts of nation and state. At the age of ten, father bought me several books written for youngsters. They included stories ofnational heroes and biographies of famous individuals in the world and the wonders of the world. These books really broadened my horizons. Father was a surgeon by training, but he was quite knowledgeable about geography, history and ethnology. His insights inspired me.

When I went to the U.S. for further studies at the age of twenty-three, I had the opportunity to tour Asia, Africa and Europe because of my parents’ work in the ancient country of Ethiopia in eastern Africa. I saw the Nile, the river that nurtured the ancient Egyptian civilization, for the first time.

There I had an initial understanding of the rise and fall of great civilizations in the world. Due to this experience in my youth, I paid special attention to the humanities and social developments throughout the following three decades while I studied and taught biomedical engineering.During the roughly fifteen years working in Hong Kong, I wrote in both English and Chinese about issues such as the positioning of Hong Kong, higher education, the integration of science and humanities, the development of Chinese culture and the advancement of world civilization. Twenty-onearticles have been selected for this book as a record of the intellectual and sentimental journey of mine. The book is titled From Movable Type Printing to the World Wide Web because an article of the same title in the book is representative of the twenty-one articles here; it was based onthe lecture I gave in 1998 at the inauguration of the Cultural Lecture Series of the Chinese Civilisation Center of City University of Hong Kong.

After retirement my parents lived in California. When I informed them in the autumn of 1989 of my decision to go to work in Hong Kong, my father pondered a while and offered his unselfish encouragement for me to leave California and go to Hong Kong where my bicultural background and bilingual abilities would be a definite asset. His encouraging words have given me strength ever since then. Now, with reverent piety, I respectfully dedicate this book to my late father.

H K Chang
March 2007

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  • Thoughts by the Bank of the River Nile
  • Thoughts Along the Seine
  • Thoughts by the Ganges
  • Thoughts Along the Bosporus Strait
  • From The Adventures of Hajji Baba to My Name Is Red: A Personal Journey
  • "The Accidental Tourist" in Egypt
  • From Zhang Qian’s Western Expedition to the “Factory of the World”
  • The World at the Time of Zheng He
  • From Movable Type Printing to the World Wide Web
  • From Geometry to Tap Dance
  • A Dose of Idealism
  • SAR’s Version of Cultural Fusion
  • On Models of Cultivating Creative Talent
  • The Brave New World of Learning
  • A Leading University in the Asia-Pacific Region
  • The World Wide Web
  • Extensive Study, Accurate Inquiry, Careful Reflection and Clear Discrimination
  • After Extreme Bad Luck Comes Good Luck
  • Embrace Changes and Exert Yourselves
  • Picture Out of Your Life
  • The World is Flat
Professor Chang was President of the Biomedical Engineering Society (U.S.) in 1988-89 and is a Foreign Member of the Royal Academy of Engineering (U.K.). He served as the President and University Professor of City University of Hong Kong from 1996 to 2007; and between 2000 and 2003 was Chairman of the Cultural and Heritage Commission of the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region.