I only come to this site to read the interesting conversations and extra information I could get by reading other people's opinions.
I won't post too much but I'm going to say something because I got an email from a friend who told me about this particular issue, in which interests me as well.
I think that there is a somewhat complicated issue when people want to attached a specific nationalistic/cultural trait to many topics, especially ones that aren't necessary dependent on any particular group of people.
Sometimes, I get the impression some people confused the terms and images with Science, Engineering and Technology, with the later being a very broad term.
Since this is a history forum, I understand why there would be much talk and interest in discussing what happen in the past within these areas, but I think people probably should think more critically when trying to tie in to the current age. What is a little frustrating, both in a good and unpleasant sense, is that people try to squeeze topics such as this one, into specific boxes when there are so many exceptions, possibilities and other interesting "thorns" to those limits.
I sort of hate speaking in first term so much but then I don't won't to make claims of speaking for others who may not agree so all this is my personal opinion and critique which is subject to any criticism and change of course. I also apologize for my bad grammar and run-on sentences.
I understand the arguements over what the term "Chinese " means but here is one reason why I think it's a little un-necessary to make the grouping of "Chinese" technologies. Unless it's specific like Technology in Han dynasty or technology infusing with Chinese culture such as adjusting to the characters on computers, to have "Chinese" technology in the overall general sense;both tying past and present, is redendent because technology itself doesn't have to respect such boundaries.
Depending on people want to define "Chinese" as, virtually anything could be Chinese. Whether these innovations are Ancient Origins, Modern inventions, Independent versions and prototypes, the "engineering" of it, improvements made, applications, design and whatever intellectual claim people want to make (this does not include manufacturing things, buying parts, reverse engineering or the infamous counterfieting and espionage) the "Chinese" have been a part of everything. If people want to step into the demographic idea of including the Chinese diaspora with their contributions to technology, literally every thing in human society has a "Chinese" touch on it. Which is probably close to reality strangely speaking.
Based on the same logic, I could argue that every thing has a "Western" touch, an "American" touch, a "Middle Eastern" touch , etc. Those boundaries really blurred when people want to look at the entire picture.
The other topic I want to talk about is Science. From my perspective, in a nutshell, Science is basically knowledge people obtained through applicable methods and processes SO FAR, and expanded by making connections with some calculations and imagination.
In a way, science belongs to the world but sometimes Academia, the Media, the Business world, governments and many others try to squeeze this into their own boxes. I could go on and on about Science but that's pretty much what I have to say regarding this thread.
Edited by Gan, 24 August 2009 - 05:04 PM.