Monday, December 28, 2009
Wednesday, December 23, 2009
Monday, December 14, 2009
Wednesday, December 09, 2009
Tuesday, December 08, 2009
Friday, December 04, 2009
Sunday, November 29, 2009
Saturday, November 28, 2009
Sunday, November 22, 2009
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
Wednesday, November 11, 2009
I think they are trying to stir things up again - and hopefully not too many bite on the bait.
In any case, there's an interesting question embedded in there - where do you draw the line between psycho and terrorist?
Monday, November 09, 2009
Saturday, October 31, 2009
Sunday, October 25, 2009
Apparently it will 4 months of sweat, blood and sweet tea to make.
Problem is since the process had begun I have come down with a lingering cold / flu.
Is this a portent of things to come?
1) You know where you want to go but you don't know how much it's gonna cost, and while you're not tight up you hate being ripped off
Best thing to do is ask some friendly looking person nearby how much a taxi, becak or bajaj is likely to cost - you'll probably not pay the price locals do, but you won't be scalped too much either
2) You're coming out of an airport and you don't want to have to deal with the aggressive taxi middle men
Buy yourself some time by sticking headphones in your ears or putting a phone next to your ear - like all the soccer players do in front of journos
3) BlueBird (careful - many lookalikes in Jakarta!) Silverbird, Express are safe bets when it comes to taxis - but everyone knows that eh?
4) You find arrive in a place like Banda Aceh airport which doesn't have metered taxis, let alone reputable taxi firms like BlueBird or Express
Before you jump into the car, make sure you agree how much you'll pay for the trip
5) Make sure taxi meters are switched on when you jump into the taxi - if there's a meter
6) Don't quibble too much over a couple of bucks, you're a foreigner, you're gonna pay a premium, deal with it
7) Angkots, buses, trains, becaks and bajajs rule! The surprising thing is, that often public transportation in Indonesia ain't half bad, you just need a little local knowledge to figure it out
8) Wherever you are in Indonesia you'll find honest people eager to help, however broken your Indonesian is they'll set you on the right path if you only ask! You'll also find scheisters, but touch wood, I've haven't had a bad experience yet in Indonesia
Anyone have anything else to add?
Thursday, October 01, 2009
At one stage I quit my job to go to Indonesia. My boss at the time told me that that was nonsense and that I could always transfer to New York. So I decided to give New York a year.
And here I am, a year on, quite content. Great colleagues and great pals.
The best line I have heard about America in the past year, is that it was built for arriving - not leaving.
Yet there's something about Indonesia that draws me back. Whatever it is, it is terminal.
Unfortunately there are no outward signs of terminal Indonesia-itus. Therefore workmates ask me whether I will be going after the terrorist bombings and friends ask me whether I will still jump on the plane headed for Jakarta tomorrow in the wake of the earthquake in Padang and Pariaman.
I tell them that neither acts of terrorism nor acts of god will stop me from returning to that place.
It's special. I need to figure out how to communicate that to people who know no better.
Tuesday, September 29, 2009
Monday, September 28, 2009
The film is set in the near future where most humans live through their robotic avatars. While you lie in bed you're hooked into a network through which you control a robot which you live through.
No risk of getting run over or contracting a sexually transmitted disease. You can control how your robotic avatar looks like, so you can be as skinny or as muscular and as attractive as you want.
All good sci-fi movies are about ideas.
Surrogates is about feeling, and how at the end of the day the main characters couldn't connect through their avatars. Surrogates is an allegory of the Whacko Jacko world that is Hollywood.
Unfortunately the movie missed the point.
A few years ago we saw shock and awe in Iraq; the first broadly remote controlled battle. If all you have to do is push a button, how much more likely will countries be willing to wage war when causalities may merely comprise of a remote control fighter pilot spilling coffee over himself in an office in Utah while he's bombing some far off country.
Jumping into bed with a robotic surrogate is less risky than jumping into bed with a flesh and blood self. Living out your Grand Theft Auto fantasies would also be risk free. Would we not seek ever more extremes if we inhabited and socialised through robotic avatars?
Do we need to feel or have some anticipation of emotional or physical pain in order to make moral choices? Would morality be watered down?
While I enjoyed Surrogates it did not push the envelope and explore the emotional disconnects which technology is bringing with it. Pity.
Sunday, September 20, 2009
This is my worst habit. The tips of my fingers are slightly stinging and smarting. The ingested nail and skin makes me feel slightly off. My fingers end up looking like shit.
Ironically, I see myself as a relatively sane individual. In most of my actions I see cause and effect. My actions are mostly reasonable to the people and environments I find myself in. Except when it comes to biting my nails.
A week ago I was helping my flatmate fry her chicken. She snapped that I was doing it wrong; and I snapped back that she shouldn't yap so much. It was the first time I got angry in a long time. Perhaps it was the lack of food, it was 5ish and I hadn't eaten all day.
Self control is something I value; but sometimes the puppet strings snap and the mind loses control to emotion.
Most murderers for example fall into this category. Murder is rarely premeditated to any great degree, it is mostly perpetrated by people who would never contemplate such things until they find themselves in a particular situation where they lose control. I remember a hearing a psychiatrist say the biggest mistake murderers make is that beforehand they would not believe they are capable of such an act.
Perhaps the illusion of determinism helps us fool ourselves that our lives are somehow more structured and controlled than they really are. Imagine realising that we often cannot predict or control our own actions let alone another's; the uncertainty of when or where a tsunami will rip through our lives is a paralysing thought.
My boss was caught in a car accident last weekend. A large truck smashed into a car behind him while coming of the highway. Luckily for him the car behind him soaked up most of the impact of the crash. He came away unscathed but the driver of the other car will probably not live.
A moment's lapse and so many lives are adversely affected.
We build our societies and ourselves around notions of cause and effect even when something so whimsical can have calamitous reverberations. We have evolved to embrace the illusion of determinism but it comes with negative side effects.
Sunday, September 13, 2009
I have only had one day off this year. Scary.
I am thinking about 'doing' Sumatra. Lampung, Padang and Banda Aceh.
Maybe Lhokseumawe too, because the town's name sounds like you swallowed something down the wrong way.
I have been watching the 'Ring of Fire' documentaries about Indonesia by two English monocle wearing toff brothers.
They must have been filmed on a shoe string because the film quality is not the best. They are enjoyable though and they're helping stoke my excitement over heading back to Indonesia again.
The first documentary is about the two brothers sailing in a rickety boat from Makassar to Papua. The old port and the brief glimpses of Makassar they shot way back in the 70s looked familiar.
Interestingly they stopped in South Eastern Sulawesi on the Kendari side and then Buton island. I have heard and seen so little of that part of the country.
I read online that after all of their free wheeling adventures into the wilderness, one of the brothers met his maker when he fell down a man hole here in the US. Crazy.
I saw the other brother sporting an eye patch instead of a monocle. (In one of the episodes he used traditional medicine to cure an eye infection. Poor bloke).
In any case, I have dreamt about being given a powerful kris by a Bugis merchant for several nights in a row now. I suppose I will have to keep dreaming for the time being.
Tuesday, September 08, 2009
Monday, September 07, 2009
Saturday, September 05, 2009
Discovery channel may have put the dance in some infotainment piece on Malaysia, big deal, Discovery is lobotomised drool TV at the best of times.
Meanwhile in turn I must scroll through both equivocating and fulminating correspondent's words. Ughh, ughhh....
Let me say something about the so called nationalism and patriotism in Indonesia.
On the one hand it is infectious; on the other it is vile (a vile infection?).
On the one hand I see cute little kids waving Indonesian flags on the other hand I hear of troops in Papua being interviewed and hand wringingly telling the interviewer that they are there to ensure that the Papuans (aka the first to leave footprints on virgin archipelago soil) are 'nationalistic' enough.
The so called Pribumi evangelising nationalism to Papuans! You got to laugh!
On one side I see Indonesians pulling together in times of hardship, denouncing terrorists, speaking as one; on the other I see segregation between different cultures in Jakarta. I hear nasty words directed at Chinese; I hear lurid tales directed at pribumi. I hear Christians saying this and Muslims saying that.
Indonesia is a hotch potch. It's an collection of peoples that all happened to have succumbed to the lures of the Dutch (plus the Papuans and the Acehnese).
One sultanate wanted to overcome another; so the sultan handed over trading rights of their neighbour to the Dutch; they obliged and helped conquer the neighbouring sultanate.
Every so often a young upstart would pop up and rebel against the local authority, if they were somewhat successful, the Dutch popped around and sort them out so that the local sultan remained in power and the Dutch East Indies company could keep producing coffee or tobacco.
Just like many of Indonesia's modern leaders, local sultans appealed to peasant's loyalty in rhetoric but were ruthless in ensuring their ill gotten tithes when need be.
Nationalism and patriotism. Pah!
Thursday, September 03, 2009
At the moment I own an iMac and an iPhone. I am itching to build a new computer, but both my iPhone and iMac cover all of my needs.
Someday I really want to build a BluRay playing TV recording PC that looks good beside a TV - but we have a DVR already and who uses BluRay when you have movies on demand?
A laptop is tempting, but I wouldn't have a need for it 95% of the time.
I have *zero* excuses for new computer hardware.
The only thing I can think of is using Amazon's cloud hosting services. Basically you can rent high powered CPU time and storage space from Amazon.
I have been hearing about small time websites hitting the big time.
There's Ravelry.com, PlentyOfFish.com, stackoverflow.com to name but a few.
Now all I need is a decent idea! : ) How about a website where people can ask and answer questions about Indonesia? Or a site where economists can post up questions and have them answered by fellow economists.
By the way, I kinda like this site:
(at least the idea behind it, unsure whether it hits the spot really well though).
Wednesday, September 02, 2009
I was talking to my mother last weekend about my ancestors. We were looking at the Irish census of 1911, she could tell me where each and everyone of my ancestors were on that night back in 1911.
It is amazing how many stories I have either forgotten or have not heard of.
My great aunt died at boarding school. My great grand father died after immigrating to Australia soon after that night.
Two servants were in our old farm house on that night in 1911.
Early death, immigration and servants. Reminds me of Indonesia.
Being brought up by a loving family and having good friends are two very important factors for longevity and well being.
It is interesting how people get wrapped so up in cramming brain cells full of useless creativity-blowing-education; throw themselves into well-paid-imagination-sucking-jobs; when in fact they should be spending time going down to the pub with their pals or playing with their kids.
Sunday, August 23, 2009
Then my thoughts turned to the populace in New York. What percentage of people would find an iPhone and return it?
50/50 maybe? 60/40 or 40/60?
The girl who found my phone gave it back to me two days later.
My anecdotal evidence suggests that you have a good chance of finding people in New York that are altruistic. Nice feeling.
(Btw a few weeks beforehand I returned a wallet to a girl who left it on the subway, so maybe karma had a hand in my phone finding its way back to me also)
Saturday, August 22, 2009
Sunday, August 16, 2009
Friday, July 31, 2009
A westerner's average salary are mostly many times for than the average Indonesian yearly wage ($2-3k?).
I don't mind people complaining, it's a national past time in Germany for example, and I have lived there quite happily for years.
The thing is, once you hand over your cash, you have no one to bitch about but yourself.
Someone hoodwinks you? You are the idiot! You don't like higher prices, don't pay them, no one is sticking a gun to your head!
Wednesday, July 29, 2009
I am minding my own business when I spot a couple walking towards me.
A handsome guy and a pretty girl.
As I approach I lower my eyes, I demur.
Just as I am about to pass, I catch the girl's eyes.
Her eyes are first lazily stuck on me; then widen in shock; and finally dart away. Hahaha : )
I think I have found a new hobby.
Saturday, July 25, 2009
They dissect every detail when it comes to men they are interested in. Every word, every inflection is examined in minute detail.
Does this increase their understanding of menkind?
No. Cos we men are a bit thick, so we say stuff that we do not think over, stuff just comes out.
I saw the first ten minutes of 'He's Just not that into You' coming back from Germany on the plane last weekend. Awful movie, but from what I could make out, the central idea is pretty sound: no need to over analyse, men are pretty bloody straight forward beings.
Thing is, I think it's the same thing when it comes to foreigners thinking about Indonesians. Sure Indonesians have foibles, but the basics are the same. Foreigners try to over analyse, in an effort to make up for their lack of language skills and lack of experience. They take small samples of behaviour and extrapolate using all of their considerable cognitive powers.
Do long term expat analysers of Indonesia have much greater insight than your average open minded back packer off the boat from Singapore? I doubt it.
While Indonesians are of course Indonesian, they are also people first and foremost (i.e. not some strain of alien life form). It strikes me that not only do many expats bark up the wrong tree when it comes to understanding Indonesians, their analysis smells like Edward Said's Orientalism.
Tuesday, July 21, 2009
Sunday, July 19, 2009
Friday, July 17, 2009
Times like these bring people closer together, instead of breeding terror these acts will help us become more courageous, defiant and empathetic.
Also, I agree with Megawati.
Tuesday, July 14, 2009
I remember reading a quote years ago from Marcel Proust about how introspection drives people insane (and he should know).
We are am caught up in ourselves. My mind is always checking in on itself, it's like a never ending echo.
Thing is, why do we navel gaze? Is it necessarily a bad thing? Is it useful?
Do we learn that much about ourselves or do we end up staring at recursive mirror images of how we imagine ourselves to be? Is introspection just plain vanity?
Monday, July 13, 2009
I went on a date recently where the topic of Batman came up and being an Indonesia geek I made the connection between Antasari and Harvey Dent. Perhaps Antasari is more like Two-Face, I do not know, personally I am still giving him the benefit of the doubt.
In any case, today I spot that SBY wants less friction between the KPK and the police. The KPK have one objective, root out corruption, friction between the KPK and (let's face it) every other governmental institution is assured.
The more friction the better!
Sunday, July 12, 2009
Thursday, July 09, 2009
The news was on (I love Radio 1 news, really punchy) they came to this story (one of those heart dropping ones).
I think I am particularly susceptible to sad stories early in the day (I wonder why?).
This girl in the UK. I think she must have had a boyfriend who was in some sort of gang.
Anyway, this girl (I wonder whether she was she good looking) was fancied by another guy (I wonder what eh thought of her?).
The third party's infatuation must have been somewhat public (or somehow obvious).
The girl met up with the guy that was infatuated with her (what did they talk about? Idle chit chat?).
She brought him to her boyfriend and his gang.
They killed him.
She was sentenced as an accessory to murder.
How utterly tragic that love be so twisted.
(A plot that Shakespeare could have come up with in one of his tragedies...)
The hype is growing, Windows 7 however is Vista with the kinks straightened out, the OS that Vista should have been 2 or 3 years ago. At work we still use Windows XP, and there is not one feature that we are missing, no killer reason to update.
The only reason that we will eventually update will be when Microsoft stop releasing security updates for XP. There you have it, that is how Microsoft create value for their customers - security updates. The rest is marketing pizazz. Think of Vista or Windows 7 as big, expensive security updates.
In fact forking over money for XP gave you the chance to have a couple of more years of security updates than sticking with Windows 2000. Windows 2000 was the first OS which Microsoft got relatively stable, that was the killer feature (when you think of it stability shouldn't be a feature it should be a requirement!) and Microsoft have been struggling to find a compelling feature for every release since.
Apple of course are going down the same route. The Linux desktops are similar, but people are willing to experiment and take more risks so there is always something interesting happening around Linux (whether it's useful or not is another thing).
I do not want to sound like that guy that wanted to close all patent offices in the US at the turn of the century because he couldn't see any innovations coming, however slowly but surely the desktop (alongside many other types of software apps) is becoming commoditised. There have been few (if any) compelling new features on desktops anywhere in the last ten years or so.
The desktop has ceased to become a moving target. Pretty much every platform is on an equal standing.
Google recently announced Google OS. It's aimed at netbooks, which makes sense, Google's online apps only cover the basics. Point is whether it is nimble enough (it will compete against a one size fits all Windows 7 for the most part) and hits all the right points that netbook users look for. If so, it could well carve out a niche for itself.
This is the message everyone should be taking away from Google's announcement. Where once no one in their right mind would look to tread on Microsoft's patch, the desktop is not a moving target anymore. There are so many niche's which Microsoft will be too cumbersome to serve, and perhaps then we will then see innovation kick started again.
Wednesday, July 08, 2009
They're pseudo-intellectual dilly dallying is lazy thinking. It makes me want to puke. Who wants to read about middle aged political angst? Nobody.
We all know that Indonesia is far from perfect. We also know that somewhat democractic elections are one of the best things that have happened in Indonesia since its inception.
Things are slowly getting better. That's how democracies work, there are no great leaps forward.
Monday, July 06, 2009
Finally, I will remember 14-year-old Li Tangmo and his 7-year-old sister Qingyi, whose parents were killed in the earthquake. I met them at a shelter in a small stadium. They were being looked after by an uncle and were waiting to find out whether he and his wife would take them in for good.
Li Tangmo told us bravely that he and his sister would go somewhere else if their uncle and aunt didn't want to care for them. He sobbed as he spoke to us. Of all the stories I've covered in my time in China, theirs was the one which affected me the most. A year later, I don't know what's happened to the brother and sister - but I think of them often.
Saturday, July 04, 2009
In any case, Arisan seems pretty quaint when watching in New York. It is a soap opera movie (Indonesian movies often have a made-for-TV-look) with dollops of melodrama.
However it does have an edge.
It is about a guy coming out and all the dysfunctional straight relationships his pals have. Interestingly, he's Batak (I had a Bakak pal who was gay as Christmas, but was officially straight last time I checked in with him, I suppose Batak are traditionally obsessed with having ancestors which makes things tougher).
The thing is, however rustic Arisan seems from the vantage point I have here in Manhattan there is still an ongoing gay rights struggle here in the US.
It revolves around gay marriage. One side says that gay people should not be discriminated against by the state when it comes to marriage. The other side argues that married gay people will destroy the family.
I think the anti-discrimination side of the argument is pretty self explanatory. The 'pro-family' side of the argument is sorta swathed in hand waving mystery.
I am straight. If I ever do get hitched, I do not understand how a random gay couple down the road would have a negative impact on my family.
The other argument is that once you allow gay marriage, gay couples adopting cannot be far behind, and the kids they care for will be somehow dysfunctional. I do not see any evidence that a gay couple is any less capable of rearing a family than a straight couple. There are many dysfunctional straight families out there (cf. Arisan) and many orphans looking for caring parents, it's a no brainer.
Fundamentally, some conservatives worry that losing this discriminatory law will become another implicit approval of homosexuality by society. No matter how much hand waving they do, that is the point. No longer are gay people marginalised; driven to have relationships in the shadows; they are becoming vibrant part of the mainstream. That is the big worry, that some conservative's homophobic teachings increasingly fall on deaf ears.
I do not think the state should have any say in certifying marriage. Two (or more) adults should be able to marry in whatever combination they wish, the state's role is superfluous. If fundamentalist Christians prefer only straight marriages in their churches that is fine, but no one should have a monopoly on marriage.
I myself had a bout of flu before it blew up in the press. It was a pretty strong dose, but it only lasted 2 days, which was strange.
Swine flu had caused a couple of deaths here but I do not think it's that many more than usual, it's just that this time around we have a name for it.
Thursday, June 25, 2009
Same thing when I came here. Now I have a routine I need to mix things up a bit.
What I have been thinking of doing is break my routine up by adding a new routine for a week.
So a few weeks ago I blogged every day for 7 days.
The week after that I messaged a new person on this dating website everyday (not too successful).
I am looking for a new routine for next week. Perhaps starting work at 7:30 as I used to in Dublin (but there I had to wake up before 6, here I could wake up at 7:25 and still get into work on time ; )).
Any suggestions for routine busting routines are welcome! : )
I am a fan of listening to radio while I go asleep, but not that keen on having it on throughout the night.
I couldn't find a decent app to do the job, but surprise surprise the classic Unix commands are in OS X.
So, you want to shutdown the computer in 60 minutes?
shutdown -h +60
into the terminal.
Want to put it to sleep in 30 minutes?
shutdown -s +30
Wednesday, June 24, 2009
Sunday, June 21, 2009
But... there's always a but... let me say something about women and work (in response to Delvi).
Women often get paid less and are discriminated against when hired.
Why is this?
Many societies are male dominated and men bring their prejudices to the table when it comes to hiring women.
There is another reason though. Women are statutorily given time off when they are pregnant and are more likely to choose to leave their careers and bring their kids up.
These are good things.
However it makes women more expensive to hire. If I hire a woman there is a chance I will have to pay for her pregnancy leave, and a chance that after investing time in training her up she will leave my company. This is costly, and it has an impact on hiring and compensation decisions.
You can argue how much of an impact such considerations have, but there is undoubtedly an impact.
Some European countries have tried to mitigate this difference by allowing men the same statutory time off as women, allowing them maternity leave. This goes some way to even things up, however men generally opt to take less time off than women, and women are still more likely to leave their careers to bring up their kids.
Also, such laws end up making men more expensive to hire and therefore can contribute to higher unemployment.
There's a lot of scope to reduce sexism in the workplace, but some decisions are due to hard coded social mores rather than outright prejudice.
Saturday, June 20, 2009
I was part of the protest in Valiasr Square. When we got there, there were riot police and plain clothes guards shooting at people, I could see that people had been shot and were on the ground. There were also water cannons. We decided to head towards Azadi Square, and there were guards on motorbikes and attacking people with batons.
There were thousands of people out on the streets the police were using tear gas - the whole experience was terrifying. Towhid (Unity) Square looked like a battle ground.
There were lots of female protestors - I saw a guard attack one women and then she went back up to him and grabbed him by the collar and said 'why are you doing this? Are you not an Iranian?' - he was totally disarmed and didn't know what to do but her actions stopped him.
There were no ambulances around - people were helping each other - helping the wounded - taking them to safety away from further attacks.
Siavash, Tehran, Iran
Plain clothes guards were carrying batons, and some riot police were blocking protesters from entering the square. The guards used tear gas to push the crowds back. This battle went on for about an hour with the protestors moving forwards then back. The crowd was dispersed when about 50 or 60 guards on motorcycles drove into the crowd dispersing them completely. There were about a thousand or so people there, mostly young people. I left shortly after.
My friends told me that in front of Sattar Khan Street, forces were telling people on megaphones: go away before the basijis attack you. My friends are saying many of the people in Enghelab Square are holding copies of the Koran, and are chanting. People are running away through side streets but these forces who are well armed are waiting for them there too. The street is filled with smoke, and the local underground station (Darvaze Dowlat) is also full of soldiers, and they are chasing after defenceless people. There are helicopters from Enghelab Square to Azadi Square.
Today is a different day. I and my friends may never return home. We want the world to at least picture our being killed on streets to help democracy in iran and save the world. Pray for us.
Farshid, Tehran, Iran
Today we tried to join the protestors in Azadi and Enghelab square, but every route that we tried was blocked by the police. The plain clothed forces are all Sepah (revolutionary guards), as most of them have the Sepah badge on their clothes. In Sattar Khan I saw with my own eyes two ordinary 40-year-old women being beaten severely with electric batons, for nothing but raising their voice in protest.
I am around Enghelab Square now. There is plenty of Basijiis armed with batons and steel cables standing at the beginning and end of each of the surrounding streets. Their numbers are high. Plenty of them are gathered in Amir Abad street, and I see lots of people going towards Enghelab Street. Ahmad - Tehran
Thousands of police men have gathered and closed all streets that ends main squares. But people have gathered to go to the areas.Ali, Tehran
We set out around 3pm to go to Enghelab Square, but from four different directions our way was blocked. There were riot polices and plain clothed basijis with batons and vans and water cannons blocking the way. From 4pm the crowds started to gather and grow larger. The crowds went towards Azadi Square with their hands in the air in a sign of victory but they were silent. Police blocked the crowds and then started attacking them first with batons then with guns, the crowds stated running away and there were lots of women screaming, it was very frightening.Anon, Tehran
Anti-riot police are hiding in an elementary school building in Jamalzadeh street, they came out, beat up people and dragged them into the building, it's getting nastier as it goes on. Protestors are not afraid at all, they get beaten, they disperse and come together in larger group in a minute. People have learnt lots of tricks during last week and came up with much guts today. Helicopters can be seen all over the sky and I can see smoke rising from different parts of the central part. They beat people up brutally not knowing that they get more and more angry and used-to such behaviour!
Mania, Tehran, Iran
We will continue to protest and we have several reasons to do so. First because we demand our rights. Second because were not afraid. Third - we will not be fooled. And fourth - in this way, the true face of this regime will be revealed to the whole world.
Thursday, June 18, 2009
No, I have hired a homeless bloke to sleep out side for me, and wait in line. I am sure to be the first iPhone 3G S owner in New York! : ) My only worry is that someone buys my homeless bloke off or he goes and takes a piss at some inopportune moment and my place gets taken.
The problem with the new iPhone will look exactly like e.v.e.r.y. other bloody iPhone ever made. How can I show off? Apple you change iPods every year, forcing hipsters to upgrade accordingly. What's the point in buying the latest and greatest iPhone if I cannot show it off?
Any ideas how I can make sure everyone knows I have the new iPhone? Use the video feature non-stop? Make use of the compass to tell people which way is north? Use the "voice control" feature to dictate snotty text messages to my homies? MMS my blog with pictures of me picking my nose?
My dad's 3 year old phone has all of those features, plus a built in torch. Hopefully a torch will be included in the iPhone 3G T, due out next year; then followed by the iPod Torch. Genius.
Tuesday, June 16, 2009
Monday, June 15, 2009
Saturday, June 13, 2009
Sunday, June 07, 2009
Friday, June 05, 2009
Thursday, June 04, 2009
Wednesday, June 03, 2009
Tuesday, June 02, 2009
I had sworn that I never would join a dating website (cos they're sort of daggy I suppose) but in a trademark Mr-Burns-style-change-of-heart (and cos of one of my roomie's best pals) I signed up.
Why the hell why not, eh? Thing is, I am not sure what to do on there... chatting up girls through websites sounds kinda awkward, ah well, suppose can't hurt to give it a shot. Tips appreciated! : )
Monday, June 01, 2009
I find thinking about myself pretty abhorrent (its a minefield) but there is something about the process of writing in general. I suppose it secures ephemeral ideas, nails them down in black and white, whatever worth that is.
This week I will endeavour to write a post a day.
Sunday, May 31, 2009
Speaking to a packed press conference in Jakarta, the American-descent Indonesian model, who speaks fluent English and French, recounted her movie-like escape: she had to stay long in a bathroom to buy time, refused to be injected and repeatedly pressing the emergency button in the elevator before the Singaporean police came to help her.
Thursday, May 21, 2009
Wednesday, May 20, 2009
Sunday, May 17, 2009
Saturday, May 09, 2009
Friday, May 08, 2009
If nothing else, it will feed the troll in me.
Jakartass is like the granddaddy of Indonesian expat bloggers. And like all grandparents, every so often he comes out with the most whacky old timer bull.
This time he says:
"I'm not an advocate of market forces."
OK, fair enough. But what are you an advocate of? Hippy astrological love forces?
In most cases being anti "neo-liberal" (I still don't understand what that means! I suppose put neo in front of any word and it becomes evil sounds, neo-hippy's anybody?) is like being anti anything, it's all well and good being against something, but what are you for? What is your plan for love, happiness and donuts?
I have read Das Kapital (in the original German) where Karl Marx lays out a plan for a global utopia. Spoiler alert! There's worryingly little religion or sex in this Marxist utopia. Actually, I reckon there's a gap in the meme market for Marxism with extra sex. How about this, Marxist manga with lots of hentai!
I shall coin it "neo-Marxism". A Marxism for cosmo readers and people that make their own fair trade hemp clothing.
Anyway, back to Jakartass, he tells us that Thatcherism is now global in the form of the IMF and ADB yada yada -- apart from North Korea! Good old Kim Jong Il, I bet he'd never contemplate a poll tax or borrowing from the evil IMF. Spoiler alert! It turns out the Kim Jong Il runs the IMF!
In any case, skepticism of neo-liberalism is healthy (I am sure neo-liberalism was coined by lefties in order to have something to worry about!) as is being sceptical of any ideology. We live in a less than ideal world after all.
There are many examples where free markets fail miserably at providing a reasonable standard of living to societies. In fact that is what economists busy themselves doing, fixing up markets to increase people's welfare (that and trying to relate moral hazard to everything).
Economics is a science not an ideology, because free market (e.g. libertarian) and interventionist (e.g. socialist) ideas are mixed and matched to come up pragmatic way to improve people's welfare.
Sunday, May 03, 2009
But buying listening to something new, something that none of my pals had, was, err, cool!
I am still the same, I love listening to new stuff. Few or zero preconceptions, no expectations and the chance of stumbling across the best thing since the last best thing.
Today I used Last.fm to do some musical exploration. Last.fm is like a musical version of Facebook.
It saves all the songs you play, so you can look up what your most listened to track, albums or artists are.
Even better, you can look at what other users are listening to and even listen to their 'radio station' (i.e. their music collection).
I often listen to my bro's station to check up on what he's listening to and my own while at work and want a bigger selection than the iPod.
Apparently my bro and I have a really similar 'musical compatibility'. I always thought his taste and mine were pretty different, but then again it's all relative I suppose.
I checked out what my favourite DJ's been playing recently and bought a handful of albums. Unfortunately, I am too lazy/busy to listen to his show regularly now.
Anyone know of a decent DJ (especially Indonesian) with a Last.fm account? Would love to keep more up to date with Indonesian music (and music in general...).
Maybe I should subscribe to some music review websites. Any suggestions?
How do you find new music?
Sunday, April 26, 2009
Monday, April 20, 2009
Sunday, April 12, 2009
Read too many blog posts throughout the day. I still have blog posts 'starred' in Google reader dating back to the beginning of January. Dunno why I feel beholden to read 'em as I am sure their authors have long forgotten them.
Tried to go to Century 21, closed. Tried to go to Macy's. Closed. Didn't even bother going to B&H, cos I know that's closed for about a week around passover.
So much for New York being the HQ of global capitalism! I want my money back! I am sure shopper's in Ireland aren't subected to shops being closed on Easter Sunday!
I walked all the way back from 34th street. A good hour or so walking. With the wind it was pretty chilly too!
Seeing how Hell's Kitchen melts into Meat Packing District into Chelsea into Greenwich Village into Tribeca into the dreaded Financial district (it really ain't that bad when you live here, and don't scoot in and out every day!).
Was thinking how women can verbalise stuff so well, especially when it comes to relationships. But just cos they verbalise all this stuff with their pals, doesn't mean they're not way off the effin beam when it comes to men.
Walked by a homeless guy telling people how different they are. "You got glasses". "You're fat". "You're wearing purple shoes". Etc etc. Sometime I think these guys are more lucid than us drones walking past 'em.
I remember I used to walk by a homeless bloke most days coming home from work in Dublin. He was an old chubby bloke, clean shaven looked like he could be you local bank branch manager. He slept beside our parliament building. One day he was telling the world about how someone told him that when he'd grow up he'd be OK, and then he asked well what now?
I and any number of hurried commuters should ask the same thing about ourselves.
I came home, and started thinking about holiday planning. My sis has been on to me about going home, but Ireland doesn't interest me. I just end up doing nothing back there (which has its advantages too!).
My uncle suggested I go visit him in Vancouver. My pals are having an anniversary in Germany. And above all I wanna go to Indonesia. I have an urge to visit Lampung this time around.
So I was wondering, how about an around the world trip. New York -> Vancouver -> Jakarta -> Duesseldorf -> New York. Probably too masochistic, even for me : ) And travelling eastward might be gentler when it comes to jet lag.
Which way would be best to go? Eastward or westward?
I have Brokeback mountain from Netflix. Have had it for a couple of weeks now, still can't bring myself to watch it...
Friday, April 10, 2009
Sunday, April 05, 2009
She said she liked the one in Pacific Place. I said I liked Ambassador Mal's.
Wall St. has been pretty noisy with protesters shouting "bailout people not banks" and the like.
Generally I disagree vehemently with the common garden lefty protester types. But oddly I agree with them this time.
In any case this article is a good one.
I got thinking about questions that have been swimming around my mind for a while now.
Do parents plan too much of their kids upbringing?
With all the planning and extra curricular activities, is too much pressure put on kids nowadays?
And to what end? I did fairly well in school, have an OK job. But is working 12 hour plus days really something worth aiming for? To me that seems the natural outcome of super diligent parenting and educating.
I would rather aim for well rounded adults. Success ain't wealth and a fancy job title, far from it.