This book would not have become a reality without the encouragement of a number of individuals. These include especially my wife Charlotte Lin, as well as my friend Nuno Baptista. Nuno insisted that I write this book, no matter what — even if he would be the sole reader. I also wish to thank another friend, Alex Schein, for the extended conversations that he and I have had on and off for many years about indigenous knowledge, the transmission of knowledge, and related subjects. A series of conversations with Don Bohn and Stephen Milton were also very helpful in shaping my thoughts about the idea of knowledge and its fate over the millennia.
Mikhail Sergeev connected me with the staff at Brill, and I am grateful for his collegial attitude toward research and writing. I wish to extend a special thanks to Steve Walton and Adam Lucas, for their careful and detailed comments on the manuscript, which were vital in my refining the material to communicate more clearly the central theme in this book. I also wish to thank Eric van Broekhuizen, Bram Oudenampsen, Wendel Scholma, Michiel Thijssen, and Rosanna Woensdregt at Brill. In addition, I would like to thank the anonymous manuscript reviewers, whose comments and edits were essential in making this a better book.
Finally, I would like to express my appreciation for those who assisted me in obtaining and working with some of the source material needed in my research. These include Lee Ihnhee, Victor Mair, Thomas Radice, Nathan Sivin, and Jidong Yang, all at the University of Pennsylvania; Robert P. Goldman at the University of California at Berkeley; Seong-Rae Park of the Hankuk University of Foreign Studies, Seoul, Korea; Brad Inwood at Yale University; Alexander Jones at the Institute for the Study of the Ancient World at New York University; Dane T. Daniel at Wright State University, Gábor Kósa at the East Asian Institute at Eötvös Loránd University; Cheng Fangyi at Tsinghua University; Mary Louise Castaldi and Sara J. MacDonald at the University of the Arts Libraries; Xin Lu, an artist in Philadelphia; Jim Ascencio, a translator in Taipei; and Chris G. Whipple at Ramboll Environ, Inc.