Archive for the 'Internet' Category



Update

Hello again.

Life has been hectically hectic in the last few weeks, but I don’t think I can/should tell much here, other than this involved me camping in the lab for a few days and reversing my active schedule, being active at night and dormant in the morning. My friend cum rival [Koh Eon] called this “creating one’s own jetlag”. Another thing, the word “[capalang]” has been very familiar to my ear. In Indonesia, we call it “seksi sibuk”.

For these reasons, among a few others, I have been quite inactive on Facebook. I have not been in a mood to have lengthy discussions about pointless, trivial stuffs, although admittedly, I have a number of questions as well as cynical remarks in my mind. This includes questions about another perspective about things which recently happened in the Indonesian embassy in Germany, about our vice president’s statement on loudspeakers in Indonesian mosques, about politics in campus, and many others. Albeit me stating things here, please do not bother to mention things about them, lest my ignoring your comments.

For leisure, I have gone to the city a few times in the last one week. I, Koh Eon, and two other labmates KMD and AC went to a [ramen championship] in Bugis. It says that the chefs are among the famous in Japan, coming from the corners of Hakata to Sapporo, so the taste of the meals must be authentic and of a high standard.  These chefs are competing with each other to find whose stalls are the most wanted. I tried spicy tsukemen, which, unlike ramen, has the noodle and the soup served separately. Well it was quite nice, but not in my best list. Certainly it must be quite hard for Indonesians to appreciate delicacies of other nations. At about 15 SGD per serving, it might be comparable to mid-range restaurants in Singapore. I don’t know how this compares to restaurants in Japan.

Two days ago I and Koh Eon had a kopdar with [Felicia] and her friend, initial F (?), in Chinatown, Singapore. You can see some photos of us in Koh Eon’s photo album.

Among the blogs I newly discover is [100 Reasons NOT to Go to Grad School]. Another demotivational blog. Some points in it pierce my heart so deep (the use of an adjective, instead of an adverb, is deliberate). Indeed the most elite universities are always mostly filled by those graduates of Ivy League and Oxbridge, so as an underperforning student of a young university, my inferiority complex and worry about my future raised again when I read it. [One commentator] even went as far as, “If you can’t get into a top grad program, what makes you think you can get a top job? Reality check, people!” Although, well, yes and no. This might be statistically true. However, having got their PhD degrees for arguably less internationally known universities, some professors, like Hiroshi Ishii and Pattie Maes, manage to teach and do research in globally famous universities, like MIT’s Media Lab in their case. At the end, it depends on what kind of paths you want to take. Let’s not discuss about my situation with respect to this idea. Anyway, there are two other things. One, I can’t help being confused when the writer argue about salary. Indeed if you want to earn much money, you work for bank or oil companies, not as a medieval English literature researcher. Two, I think everything there is mentioned from the point of view of an American, which might be applicable to other people from other developed countries. However, if you are unlucky enough to be born in third-world countries, it is very unlikely for you to list down Stanford or MIT or Cambridge as a university you realistically want to get enrolled at after your graduation from high school, let alone teaching in world class universities, and therefore teaching in a globally second or third class university is already good enough. We just didn’t have such luxury, which sucked. This also motivates me to go and settle in another country, so that my descendants, if I ever find my rare-breed soulmate, have better opportunities than me.

Enough of this rage.

Lastly, to end this post, here is a picture of Angela Gossow of Arch Enemy. Hot enough for a lady, I often imagine her hissing like a snake above me.

Angela Gossow (via Wikipedia)

Angela Gossow (via Wikipedia)

Printed Book Killed the Internet Star

I just came across [this Kimi’s post] and posted the link in there to my Facebook account, and I thought it was a good idea to also post some of my comments there in here.

Firstly, I would like to introduce [this article]. My opinion seems to be somewhere in between, and there are aspects of just on both sides. On one hand, indeed websites like this fail to financially recognise the original authors. But on the other hand, shutting down these websites kill scholars all around the world, especially outside the first-world countries.

I always believe that education is expensive. Doing research is expensive. Collecting papers is expensive. Analysing them is also expensive. Writing a book based on them is even more expensive. This is the effort which websites like this don’t appreciate. But as I said, scholars all around the world are murdered for not being able to purchase it. Their dreams are being crushed.

My ideal thought is to keep research and book-authoring expensive so as to maintain their qualities, but make it available in locally acceptable prices. Prices in USA will be different from prices in, let’s say, Timor Leste. But as I said, this is an ideal thought. I don’t know yet how we can make such system. Or even its possibility. How can we sell an originally USD 100 book in IDR 20,000? Using government subsidy? I am not even sure whether they are thinking about this problem. Moreover, we are talking about the international community in which one country does not have any responsibility for citizens of other countries.

My solution for now, especially for those who don’t have enough money to buy 5 x USD 100 books every semester, although I completely doubt its legality, is to buy books collectively. One hundred people can buy one book on Calculus and make 100 copies, one for each. You still need to pay, but it will be much cheaper. So, this is a trade-off for both publishers and buyers. Publishers won’t get as much money as they should have received, but at least the consumers make some contributions to them. And if you live in countries like my home country of Indonesia, I am quite sure that nobody will trace you for making numerous copies of a whole book. Anyway, we had been doing this for a long time.

BTW I am not sure whether book publishers take these people in third-world countries into account when calculating their potential revenues. They have never bought many, it seems to me. Even in the library of the faculty of the university where I used to study, you can find many copied books. A lot of them. So what I am trying to say is, is it a big loss for publishers when we do this?

Putting things aside, that’s why I always greatly appreciate authors who make some versions of their books available for free online. You can find an example here: [Planning Algorithms] by Steven M. LaValle.

The title is a homage to this classic song from The Buggles:

This is a recurring theme, when a new technology replaces older ones. Earlier this month we saw [the printed versions of Encyclopaedia Britannica being stopped, mainly due to the company’s lost to the emergence of online encyclopedias like Wikipedia]. I dub this “internet killed the printed book star”. What I bring in this post is the exact opposite, in which “printed book killed the internet star”.

Arah Hidup

Ini sebenarnya sudah terpikir sejak beberapa bulan yang lalu, walaupun secercah keinginan kecil untuk itu sudah ada sejak jauh di masa lampau bahkan sebelum saya mulai merantau. Hanya setelah nonton film pendek [Kony 2012] yang saya posting di Facebook, timbul niatan untuk nulis ini.

Postingan ini ada hubungannya dengan kegalauan hidup. Ya, galau. Galau dalam arti luas. Seluas langit atau samudera, entahlah. Yang jelas, berhubungan dengan [quarter-life crisis]. Lebih persisnya lagi, menurut penjelasan Erik Erikson [di sini], ini berkaitan dengan pertanyaan “What Can I Be?”

***

“Aku kan pergi jauh demi cita-citaku
Remi mohon doa restu darimu
Jangan bersedih teman-temanku
Hidup ini adalah perjuangan
[…] S’lamat berpisah semuanya
Aku ‘kan pergi untuk mengembara
Marilah kita mulai melangkah
Menuju cita-cita bahagia”

Opening “Remi” versi Indonesia

Dulu saya memutuskan untuk merantau dengan tujuan utama untuk membuat diri saya berguna. Adalah berkat yang luar biasa dari Tuhan buat saya lewat orang tua yang memotivasi untuk mengambil jalan hidup ilmu pengetahuan. Harapan saya pun besar untuk itu, bahwa saya bisa membuat kontribusi yang besar buat ilmu pengetahuan. Ternyata, dunia menampar beberapa kali, karena saya ternyata belum punya bekal kuat untuk sampai ke situ. Lebih jauhnya, silahkan liat postingan 3 tahun yang lalu [di sini]. Selain itu, lambat laun saya pun menyadari bahwa bidang saya pelajari ini nampaknya semacam “ilmu tersier”. Ya, siapa sih yang butuh Computer Graphics kalau bukan orang-orang yang sudah mampu beli game atau nonton kartun di bioskop. Pun itu tidak sebegitu megahnya bila dibandingkan Fisika murni dengan riset di CERN-nya, Biologi dengan teori evolusi dan kedokterannya, serta Astronomi dengan pencarian habitable planet-nya. Selain itu, riset saya juga melulu di lab, dari pagi siang sampai tengah malam. Tidak seperti [Apratz], misalnya, sesama murid PhD yang baru-baru ini ke Ethiopia dalam rangka riset plus makan makanan tradisional sana. Atau temen saya [labima] yang pekerjaan barunya membuatnya pergi ke pelosok-pelosok Indonesia, ke tempat-tempat yang memang membutuhkan perhatiannya. Pemikiran seperti ini juga yang membuat saya tempo hari [mensinisi Ilmu Murni]. Karena, buat saya yang sebenernya sudah berurusan dengan riset aplikatif ini, matematikawan murni nampak seperti anak-anak yang suka bermain-main saja dengan dunianya. Tapi yang ini sudah ditulis tempo hari. Yang jelas, saya kadang jadi merasa bahwa apa yang saya lakukan rasanya kurang berguna buat orang-orang.

Contohnya mudah saja, dan belum lama ini terjadi. Latar belakang ceritanya, saya ini lebih merasa sebagai “orang Jogja” ketimbang “orang Indonesia”. Setidaknya identitas pertama lebih kuat ke saya. Nah, teman-teman yang tinggal di Indonesia mestinya lebih familiar dengan berita [ini].  Intinya sih, seorang seniman Yogyakarta, Bramantyo Prijosusilo berencana membuat aksi teatrikal di depan markas Majelis Mujahiddin Indonesia, tapi batal karena konon kabarnya waktu masih di andong sudah ditarik-tarik sama anggota mereka. Pikir saya waktu itu, sementara kampung saya lagi bermasalah, apa yang saya lakukan di sini? Walaupun kalau saya ada di sana juga belum tentu bisa berbuat apa-apa.

Jadi ya begitulah. Sebenarnya ada terbersit sedikit keinginan di benak saya untuk melakukan kegiatan sosial yang benar-benar menyentuh orang yang memang perlu. Ndak perlu jauh-jauh pulang kampung ke Jogja, apalagi sampai ke Afrika. Di negara tempat saya tinggal ini, masih banyak juga orang kurang beruntung, seperti saya pernah ungkit di [blog lama saya].

Namun demikian, apapun yang saya tulis di sini, saya sadari bahwa keinginan ini masih emosional, dan tidak baik untuk mengambil keputusan yang dilandasi emosi belaka. Jadi saya melakukan sedikit pemikiran dan menemukan berbagai rintangan yang bisa ditemui. Pertama, dari saya sendiri, saya sedang stres. Hidup saya masih tak jelas, dengan waktu sebagian besar dihabiskan untuk bermain PS coding untuk riset. Kedua, masih dari saya sendiri, kendati ada rintangan pertama, saya menyadari bahwa semakin tua saya, kehidupan saya semakin stabil, dan mungkin suatu saat kelak [saya jadi dekaden dan cuma ingin menjaga kestabilan hidup]. Ketiga, dari luar, saya tidak tahu apakah orang tua dan pasangan saya kelak (jika ada) akan berkenan jika saya musti menghabiskan banyak waktu dengan “proyek tak jelas secara finansial”. Kalau menilik lagu di bawah ini

Aku dikudang mbesuk gedhe dadi dokter (Aku…dininabobokkan? Besok kalau besar jadi dokter)
[…] Hanacaraka datasawala (ABCDE-nya huruf Jawa)

Iki cerita jaman semana (ini cerita jaman dahulu)
Dijajah landa urip rekasa (dijajah Belanda, hidup sengsara)
Saiki merdika ya dha golek bandha (sekarang merdeka ya pada cari uang)

“Kuncung” – Didi Kempot

(Lirik dari [sini])

Adalah keinginan banyak orang tua generasi baby boomer *halah* di Indonesia bahwa anak-anaknya menjadi orang yang mapan dan sukses. Kalau dalam kasus saya agak mendingan, setidaknya sudah cukup untuk membuat saya bersyukur. Tokoh blogger Indonesia, Alex Hidayat *loh*, pernah menulis [di sini] bahwa di kampungnya, orang-orang tua menganggap bahwa bekerja itu antara pakai seragam (baca: jadi PNS) atau punya toko. Nah, yang saya takutkan yang macam ini. Bahwa orang-orang terdekat saya semata-mata menginginkan saya untuk hidup stabil. Apalagi kalau melihat banyak teman-teman di Facebook, yang menurut justifikasi bias dan sepihak saya, terlalu cepat hidup mapan, dan saya jadi sinis setengah hidup. Yah, kemungkinan ini datang dari lingkungan saya bisa jadi ada. Mari kita lihat saja.

***

Sudah cukup saya menulis panjang lebar. Jadi ya begitulah. Kesimpulannya, ada sedikit keinginan dari saya untuk bisa lebih berguna buat orang-orang. Mungkin suatu saat saya akan memulainya kecil-kecilan dulu dari sekitar saya, kalau beban hidup sudah berkurang.

…yang bahkan sebenarnya pun kurang tepat.

41 And Jesus sitting over against the treasury, beheld how the people cast money into the treasury. And many that were rich cast in much. 42 And there came a certain poor widow: and she cast in two mites, which make a farthing. 43 And calling his disciples together, he says to them: Amen I say to you, this poor widow has cast in more than all they who have cast into the treasury. 44 For all they did cast in of their abundance; but she of her want cast in all she had, even her whole living.

Mark 12:41–44

Sekian dan terima kasih.

Puasa

Bahwasanya hakikat puasa itu adalah:

  1. Tidak perlu bilang-bilang
  2. Tidak perlu menyuruh orang lain ikut puasa
  3. Tidak perlu menjauhi hal yang dipuasai sampai pada tingkat yang ekstrim; hadapi saja seperti biasa
*habis puasa update status / post / komen di Facebook hampir 1 minggu tanpa perlu deaktivasi*
*siul-siul*

Wisdom

There are always stupid and wrong people in this world, let alone on the internet. If you always face them every time you meet them, you will just waste your time. The key here is to pick your fights wisely, so as to not lead your life goal astray.


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Me

You can write comments in any language that you want, but please bear in mind that I only understand 4 languages: English, Indonesian, Javanese and Malay.

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