The aim of GE Salon is to explore issues of common human concern from cross-disciplinary and cross-cultural perspectives, with a view to encouraging students to reflect upon questions related to the contemporary world and to foster intellectual discussions on campus.

2023-24 In Between Heaven and Human

Leisure and Politics: Bathing Culture in Colonial Hong Kong

Speaker: Prof. POON Shuk Wah

閒暇與政治有密不可分的關係。此講座以港英時期的海浴政策發展為例子,論述二次大戰前的港英政府及香港華人體育會,如何通過發展海浴設施及推廣海浴活動,以期達至穩定華人社會的目的。

2022-23 Day in, day out: Critical Insights into the New Normal

Food: A Philosophical Journey

Speaker: Prof. Joe Y.F. LAU

許多人認為哲學過於抽象,對社會沒有實質貢獻。本講座以食物哲學為主題,旨在指出哲學與日常生活其實息息相關。 食物牽涉經濟、政治、文化、環境和科技等範疇。在現代社會,我們通常只接觸到食物製成品,對食物背後的各種現象認識有限。我們的飲食行為往往在不知不覺中受文化、政治和商業利益所影響。哲學思考可以幫助我們反省日常飲食行為背後的理據和價值觀。通過分析和批判,我們會發現很多看似合理的事情,並非必然正確。這樣我們才能主宰自己的健康和生命,從而改變社會。 長久以來,不少哲學和文化思潮,把心靈和肉體分割成對立的東西。哲學思考是心靈的特質,擁有較高的價值。口腹之欲則反映肉體的渴求,是探索真理的負累。食物哲學的討論,可以幫助我們理解何以這種對立是錯誤的。飲食是美好生活的一部分,經哲學重塑的飲食行為,不單與追求真善美並無衝突,更能推動我們改變世界。

2022-23 Day in, day out: Critical Insights into the New Normal

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Metaverse

Speaker: Prof. HUI Pan

自 90 年代互聯網普及以來,網絡空間不斷發展。人們創建了各種以計算機為媒介的虛擬環境,包括社交網絡、視頻會議、虛擬 3D 世界(例如 VR Chat)、增強現實應用程序(例如 Pokémon GO)和非同質化代幣遊戲(例如 Decentraland)等。這樣的虛擬環境,雖然不是永久的且互相之間沒有聯通,但已經為我們帶來了不同程度的數字化轉型。創造「元宇宙」一詞是為了進一步促進我們物理生活各個方面的數字化轉型。元宇宙的核心是將沉浸式互聯網視為一個巨大的、統一的、持久的和共享的領域。雖然在擴展現實、5G 和人工智能等新興技術的推動下,元宇宙可能看起來有些未來主義,但我們網絡空間的數字「大爆炸」並不遙遠。本講旨在提供一個全面的框架,在最先進的技術和元節生態系統的維度下檢查最新的元宇宙發展,說明數字「大爆炸」的可能性,並提出具體的元宇宙發展研究議程。同時我們也會嘗試討論元宇宙會為人類社會帶來什麼隱患風險,包括信任、知情、同意、問責和社會治理等方面。

2022-23 Day in, day out: Critical Insights into the New Normal

Hope and the Financialized Hong Kong

Speaker: Dr. TSANG Chung Kin

從1960年電影《難兄難弟》中的對白「有希望就有辦法」開始,到2022年電影《飯氣攻心》的對白「打開門,行出去,去遠啲」之間,香港經歷了多少改變?本次講座將回顧戰後至今香港關於希望的論述上不同的組合方式與發展方向。既包括50-60年代的集體求存 —「人人為我、我為人人」,也有90年代金融化下的個人致富 —「從上樓到買樓」。最後會討論2010年代的變化,由「等下一個浪」到「行出去」的故事。

2022-23 Day in, day out: Critical Insights into the New Normal

The Story of Architectural Styles in Hong Kong

Speaker: Dr. HAN Man

In recent years, the public has become increasingly interested in Hong Kong’s own architectural culture. Style is a common concept the public use to understand the buildings. For example, many buildings in Hong Kong are labeled as “Bauhaus Style” and “Brutalism Style”. Are these labels accurate? Where do these styles originate? What other architectural styles are there in Hong Kong? Besides architectural styles, what other concepts and perspectives can help the public to appreciate and experience Hong Kong architecture? This talk will attempt to answer these questions with concrete examples.

2022-23 Day in, day out: Critical Insights into the New Normal

A Gentleman’s Guide to Old-Fashioned (but Sustainable) Eating

Speaker: Prof. TAI Pui Kuen Amos

What shall we eat for dinner? This deceptively simple question has indeed perplexed modern consumers in the developed world, in the midst of a cornucopia of food choices, further complicated by a dizzying array of food advices from nutrition and health “experts” as well as justifiable warnings that what we eat now may be contributing to social exploitation, environmental pollution and climate change. How shall we, then, eat with optimal health benefit, enjoyment and conscience? Michael Pollan’s answer to such a profound question is just seven simple words: “Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.” This is indeed as old-fashioned (in a sense that our ancestors have been eating like this for millennia) as it is revolutionary against the backdrop of our highly industrialized food systems. In this talk, we will discuss all these, and explore how Hong Kong people may rethink the opening question for the sake of personal health, social inclusion, and environmental sustainability.