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  1. #1
    kaiyeungwong is offline Newbie
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    I am a student from HK...plz comment on my essays...many thx~

    Last edited by kaiyeungwong; 01-Dec-2007 at 05:28.

  2. #2
    kaiyeungwong is offline Newbie
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    Re: I am a student from HK...plz comment on my essays...many thx~

    Question:


    Queen’s Pier has become the second battlefield for conservationists and the government over heritage conservation following the Star Ferry saga which saw the iconic landmark demolished amid a public outcry.

    Write a letter to the SCMP to argue EITHER for OR against demolition.


    My essay:

    Dear sir,


    I am writing to express my concern over the demolition of historical buildings, a topic that has recently inaugurated much public brawling. In fact, and to be perfectly honest, I chafe at the idea of disassembly.

    While the Chief Executive on the one hand is reassuring everyone, that the government will put heritage conservation on the very top of its priority list; Star Ferry Pier, Queen’s Pier, and countless other less known are on the other hand being dismantled, alluding once again that economic benefits can always surpass and supersede cultural values and the will of the majority.

    Undoubtedly, more space for economic use means more money flowing into the Treasury, but wrecking sites that are, as most senile citizens can attest, riddled and besprent with collective memories to achieve this goal? I think they have missed the point.

    Very true indeed, Hong Kong is now in a desperate need of land. You can see traffic jams are pervasive every day and everywhere. This need becomes even more conspicuous after the government’s submission to renounce the landfilling project temporarily. In view of these, measures to relieve traffic congestion should actually be welcomed cordially, but that particular measure has to be effective in the first place.

    However, under no circumstances should, and can, removing iconic landmarks be considered as a workable method. First of all, the land occupied by those buildings is extremely limited. Even if those areas are cleared, the leeway spared will be of no real significance, when compared with the area of the whole region. It is possible, even probable, that the economic benefit, better in terms of money, hopefully produced through this cannot even offset the reconstruction cost!

    There are, certainly, proponents of demolition who aver that the historical buildings are outdated, and that leaving them at their original sites might tarnish Hong Kong’s international prestige as a modern city. But should we demolish these buildings for good for this seemingly good reason? Behold cities like London, or Paris. Being as prestigious and modern as Hong Kong, these cities have never tried to cast off their traditional countenance. This is sheerly because people in Britain and France understand that their own histories are glorifying, however flawed they are, not demeaning. Any culture which eradicates its own history in the name of “redevelopment” is doomed to negation.

    Besides, if I am not very much mistaken, isn’t the Hong Kong Tourism Board promoting the SAR as a metropolis with different cultures blended with each other? How could they have discounted the cultural value of such buildings? Queen’s Pier, for one, was built in a European modern utilitarian style. Such kind of design is sporadic in Hong Kong nowadays, and is surely worth preserving. All these edifices are ready-made cultural icons of the region.

    People beseeching and imploring for heritage conservation are not at all obsolete and obstinate, nor have they just succumbed to a climate of uproar. Most of them have their memories in these places and buildings. Collective memory, they say. This is something indefinable, something that has witnessed one’s development from a child to an adult, or from a junior to an elder. Thence grandeur is conjured. These are genuine feelings that must be cherished.


    Today we Hong Kong people are condemned to believing the utmost importance of economic status. Here and there we can see the essence of realism and materialism - money talks. Prima facie we dictate to all, but actually we are more thwarted and defeated than at any point of our history. We have overlooked many things to which we should have paid tribute. Yet, the world is moving so fast that we cannot have time to try for some remorse. But let bygones be bygones. In the cacophony of all claims and denunciations, heritage is an insidious treasure, not an invidious impediment to development. Hopefully we can at least try to do the right thing - preserve the heritage, which in the long run, I trust, will prove to be a wise choice.



    Yours faithfully,

    Chris Wong

  3. #3
    kaiyeungwong is offline Newbie
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    Re: I am a student from HK...plz comment on my essays...many thx~

    Question: Either STRONGLY agree or disagree with the statement,“music, art and literature are of more value than science and technology in the world”.


    The verity is, science and arts are tantamount to, not paramount over, each other

    “Science, by definition, is soulless.” Eddy, an almost ardent artist, gave this utterance one day. Edo, Eddy’s brother, an equally fervent physicist, naturally took a different view. He argued that arts of any kind was over-sentimental, and all artists were living in a fairy-tale world. Both of them, and indeed both, have their points. But these points are, however sound they may sound, as the Book of Ecclesiastes says, nothing new under the sun. In fact, similar arguments can be found in fossil.

    While the debate over the proposition “music, art and literature are of more value than science and technology in the world” is not new, it is ferocious. Whether zealous scientists or the horde of fanatical artists won is out of what I can determine. What I do know is that, science and art were once, as they now are, at war. A meaningless war, in my opinion. Branches of the same antler as they originally are, under no circumstance should they now be antagonistic to each other.


    To begin with, what is science? From Internet, electronic communications, medicine, to genetic manipulation, it has provided us much to mitigate the miseries of ailment and toil. All the while, the perceived utopia, “Global village”, has also been promised. Friends on the other side of the Earth are all one click away. Trifling as these may seem, but it is only because we have got too used to technology, and thus become less appreciative of it.


    However, it is the nature of science which really contributes to the stability of our society. For even the most essential knowledge to be formed, regularities in our nervous system must consistently cohere with the regularities in the external environment. We know that total coherence, even in the most integrated brain, is impossible. It is not even a dream in a dream to say that the world we currently live and view is free from contradiction. It is science, which has given us a list of orders that help us comprehend our complex world; it is science, which has promoted reason and offered us logical thinking. From science, we draw strength as an individual and also a society.


    Yet, human beings cannot just live by reason alone. Paradoxically, human regularities, most being consistent throughout one’s life, comprise also inadvertence. Once the terrors, the eternal torment since your birth, tangibly intrude upon your life and threaten to destroy you, reason seems particularly futile. Hence humans turn to the bliss everlasting, arts. Artistic sense, whether born of the fear of leaving nothing on earth after one’s own death, or purely a love of beauty, or both, appears intrinsic. By immersing yourself in arts, you find consolation, a temporary peace, and any good spiritual experience you can name. Arts, music, literature, painting, and so on, does pose a positively blithesome effect on people.


    So both science and arts have their grandeur, which will win the windy war? Probably no one can tell. However, in reality, neither the truly brilliant scientists, nor the most sophisticated artist, would profess to prescribe victory. They would studiously, at the same time quietly, plow their own fields. At their enlightened hearts, I believe, does not lurk the idea of ruling out the other. I truly believe Eddy and Edo, too, would acknowledge that science and arts are parts of the whole story of humanity after all, when they finally quit the stage of callowness.

  4. #4
    Anglika is offline No Longer With Us
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    Re: I am a student from HK...plz comment on my essays...many thx~

    Quote Originally Posted by kaiyeungwong View Post
    Question:


    Queen’s Pier has become the second battlefield for conservationists and the government over heritage conservation following the Star Ferry saga which saw the iconic landmark demolished amid a public outcry.

    Write a letter to the SCMP to argue EITHER for OR against demolition.


    My essay:

    Dear sir,


    I am writing to express my concern over the demolition of historical buildings, a topic that has recently inaugurated [initiated] much public brawling. In fact, and to be perfectly honest, I chafe at the idea of disassembly.[destruction//demolition]

    While the Chief Executive on the one hand is reassuring everyone that the government will put heritage conservation at the very top of its priority list, Star Ferry Pier, Queen’s Pier, and countless other lesser known historical sites are on the other hand being dismantled, alluding [emphasizing that] once again that economic benefits [considerations] can always surpass and supersede cultural values and the will of the majority.

    Undoubtedly, more space for economic use means more money flowing into the Treasury, but wrecking sites that are, as most senile [senile means so old they cannot take rational decisions! - I would omit any adjective here] citizens can attest, riddled and besprent [lovely word, but obsolete - "filled"] with collective memories to achieve this goal? I think they have missed the point.

    Very true indeed, Hong Kong is now in a desperate need of land. You can see traffic jams are pervasive [delete - not necessary] every day and everywhere. This need becomes even more conspicuous after the government’s submission to renounce the landfilling project temporarily. In view of these, measures to relieve traffic congestion should actually be welcomed cordially, but that particular measure has to be effective in the first place.

    However, under no circumstances should, and can, [omit - unnecessary] removing iconic landmarks be considered as a workable method. First of all, the land occupied by those buildings is extremely limited. Even if those areas are cleared, the leeway spared [the gain in land] will be of no real significance when compared with the area of the whole region. It is possible, even probable, that the economic benefit, better in terms of money, hopefully produced through this cannot [will not] even offset the reconstruction cost!

    There are, certainly, proponents of demolition who aver that the historical buildings are outdated, and that leaving them at their original sites might tarnish Hong Kong’s international prestige as a modern city. But should we demolish these buildings for good for this seemingly good reason[But is this a good reason to demolish these buildings?]? Behold cities like London or Paris. Being as prestigious and modern as Hong Kong, these cities have never tried to cast off their traditional countenance. This is sheerly [omit - not necessary] because people in Britain and France understand that their own histories are glorious, however flawed they are, not demeaning. Any culture which eradicates its own history in the name of “redevelopment” is doomed to negation.

    Besides, if I am not very much mistaken, isn’t the Hong Kong Tourism Board promoting the SAR as a metropolis with different cultures blended with each other? How could they have discounted the cultural value of such buildings? Queen’s Pier, for one, was built in a European modern utilitarian style. Such[This] kind of design is sporadic in Hong Kong nowadays, and is surely worth preserving. All these edifices are ready-made cultural icons of the region.

    People beseeching and imploring for heritage conservation are not at all obsolete and obstinate, nor have they just succumbed to a climate of uproar. Most of them have their memories in these places and buildings. Collective memory, they say. This is something indefinable, something that has witnessed one’s development from a child to an adult, or from a junior to an elder. Thence grandeur is conjured. These are genuine feelings that must be cherished.


    Today we Hong Kong people are condemned to believing the utmost importance of economic status. Here and there we can see the essence of realism and materialism - money talks. Prima facie we dictate to all, but actually we are more thwarted and defeated than at any point of our history. We have overlooked many things to which we should have paid tribute. Yet the world is moving so fast that we cannot have time to try for some remorse. But let bygones be bygones. In the cacophony of all claims and denunciations, heritage is an insidious treasure, not an invidious impediment to development. Hopefully we can at least try to do the right thing - preserve the heritage, which in the long run, I trust, will prove to be a wise choice.



    Yours faithfully,

    Chris Wong
    .

  5. #5
    Anglika is offline No Longer With Us
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    Re: I am a student from HK...plz comment on my essays...many thx~

    Quote Originally Posted by kaiyeungwong View Post
    Question: Either STRONGLY agree or disagree with the statement,“music, art and literature are of more value than science and technology in the world”.


    The verity [truth] is that science and arts are tantamount to, not paramount over, each other

    “Science, by definition, is soulless.” Eddy, an almost ardent [this makes him sound uncertain - omit "almost"] artist, made this utterance one day. Edo, Eddy’s brother, an equally fervent physicist, naturally took a different view. He argued that arts of any kind was [plural arts = plural verb] over-sentimental, and all artists were living in a fairy-tale world. Both of them, and indeed both, [omit - unecessary] have their points. But these points are, however sound they may sound, as the Book of Ecclesiastes says, nothing new under the sun[This sentence needs a rewrite - it does not logically make sense] . In fact, similar arguments can be found in fossil.

    While the debate over the proposition “Music, art and literature are of more value than science and technology in the world” is not new, it is ferocious. Whether zealous scientists or the horde of fanatical artists won is out of [beyond] what I can determine. What I do know is that science and art were once, as they now are, at war. A meaningless war, in my opinion. Branches of the same antler as they originally are, under no circumstance should they now be antagonistic to each other.


    To begin with, what is science? From the Internet, electronic communications, medicine, to genetic manipulation, it has provided us much to mitigate the miseries of ailment and toil. All the while, the perceived utopia, “Global village”, has also been promised. Friends on the other side of the Earth are all one click away. Trifling as these may seem, but it is only because we have got too used to technology, and thus become less appreciative of it. You have not really defined "science". What you have described is technology.


    However, it is the nature of science which really contributes to the stability of our society. For even the most essential knowledge to be formed, regularities in our nervous system must consistently cohere with the regularities in the external environment. [I am not sure I understand what you mean by this] We know that total coherence, even in the most integrated brain, is impossible. It is not even a dream in a dream to say that the world we currently live in and view is free from contradiction. It is science that has given us a list of orders that help us comprehend our complex world; it is science that has promoted reason and offered us logical thinking. From science, we draw strength as an individual and also a society.


    Yet human beings cannot just live by reason alone. Paradoxically, human regularities, most being consistent throughout one’s life, comprise also inadvertence. Once the terrors, the eternal torment since your birth, tangibly intrude upon your life and threaten to destroy you, reason seems particularly futile. Hence humans turn to the bliss everlasting, arts. Artistic sense, whether born of the fear of leaving nothing on earth after one’s own death, or purely a love of beauty, or both, appears intrinsic. By immersing yourself in arts, you find consolation, a temporary peace, and any good spiritual experience you can name. Arts, music, literature, painting, and so on, does pose can have a positively blithesome effect on people.


    So both science and arts have their grandeur; which will win the windy [???} war? Probably no one can tell. However, in reality, neither the truly brilliant scientists, nor the most sophisticated artist, would profess to prescribe victory. They would studiously, at the same time quietly, plow their own fields. In their enlightened hearts, I believe, does not lurk the idea of ruling out the other. I truly believe Eddy and Edo, too, would acknowledge that science and arts are parts of the whole story of humanity after all, when they finally quit the stage of callowness {Is this the right word? immaturity might be better{.
    ..
    .

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