Saturday, December 8, 2012

F.A.Q. for a Nobody

Nah, jadi gini, gw bukan siapa-siapa, bukan artis terkenal, selebriti, bukan juga website jualan online, tapi gw sering banget dapet yang namanya FAQ atau Frequently Asked Questions dari orang-orang. Terutama setelah kepindahan gw ke kota Surabaya ini. Terkait dengan apa sih FAQ-nya? Well, I guess people are just curious dengan apa yang gw lakukan--di kota ini.

Mo tau kayak apa FAQ-nya? Langsung aja liat di bawah. Kalimat-kalimat pertanyaan dan jawaban udah gw edit dikit biar enak.

F.A.Q. yang dilontarkan orang-orang Surabaya saat baru ketemu/kenalan:

Pertama ditanya nama. Ya iya lah ya, standar kenalan. Berikutnya...

Q #1: Kamu kuliah apa kerja?
A: Saya udah lulus kuliah Pak/Bu.

Q #2: Oh... Kerja sekarang?
A: Uh... Belom. Belom kerja.

Q #3: Lagi nyari kerja?
A: Ngga juga.

Q #4: Baru lulus kuliah tah?
A: Oh ngga, udah dari 2 tahun yang lalu.

Oke... ini mulai awkward.

And probably, due to my missing Javanese accent, they asked:

Q #5: Kamu aslinya mana?
A: Jakarta.

Q #6: Loh, terus di sini ngapain?
A: Di sini saya kursus Pak/Bu. Kursus Prancis, gitar, tenis...

Dan biasanya di sini mereka udah ngga nanya-nanya lagi, mungkin mereka udah memutuskan bahwa mereka ga paham dengan jalan pikiran gw. Dan ga mungkin kan mereka mendebatkan soal hal tersebut sama gw yang notabene baru mereka kenal?

Tapi ada juga yang melanjutkan pertanyaannya, berusaha menghapus rasa penasaran barangkali.

Q #7: Terus di sini tinggal dimana?
A: Ngekos. Di *** prit prit prit *** (Sensor, sebut nama jalan.)

Q #8: Kenapa di Surabaya? Kenapa ngga Bandung atau Jakarta?
A: Saya udah pernah tinggal di Bandung pas kuliah, jadi sekarang yaa pilih di Surabaya. Lagian ada adek saya di sini. (Okay, bringing up the fact that my brother and I live in the same town is an easy escape answer, because it makes sense for everyone, right?)

Nah, itu sedikit preview tentang apa yang gw alami sehari-hari di sini, di kota yang baru gw tinggali ini. The thing is, gw sebenernya ngeri juga kalo ketemu orang baru karena pasti akan ditanyain seputar hal ini, dan rasanya jawaban gw ngga ada yang memuaskan buat mereka. Ketika gw kasi tau kalo gw di sini kursus-kursus, ga ada yang kayak: "Ohhh iyaaa, iyaa..." Ga ada yang kayak, "get it" gitu.

Well, ada sih, satu atau dua temen baru gw yang menganggap kursus itu pendidikan juga. So, mungkin sama kayak gw, mereka nangkepnya gw di sini ya ga ada bedanya dengan mengejar pendidikan, kurang lebih kayak kuliah lagi. Dan tentunya semua orang paham kan, kalo lo pindah ke suatu kota untuk kuliah?

Anyway, yang gw agak ngga sreg adalah kalo gw di-judge dengan diamnya mereka. Tapi ada juga sih yang gini, dia nanya, interogasi gw terus tapi kayak sambil nyengir shock atau cengar-cengir ga percaya. Yeah, like curious aja gitu. Nah, itu sih asik. Nyengir kan bikin orang ketularan pengen nyengir. Jadi gw nya juga santeee...

You know... maybe this is what gay people feel ketika mereka harus mendapat lirikan shock atau silent judgment ketika orang asing menemukan bahwa dia yang perempuan ternyata punya istri, atau dia yang laki-laki punya suami. Even though keluarga dan orang terdekat mereka mungkin udah ngerti dan udah welcome, tapi mereka harus menghadapi itu semua lagi dengan orang-orang baru. They have to deal with it every now and then, dan mungkin yang gw rasain persis kayak gitu. It makes being in social situations a little bit uncomfortable.

Kemudian, temen-temen gw dan keluarga besar gw yang baru tau kalo gw pindah ke Surabaya juga biasanya nanya seputar hal yang sama: "ngapain" dan "kenapa". None of them seem to get it, karena gw juga jawab seadanya dan sekenanya seperti tanya jawab di atas.

Ada beberapa dari mereka yang paham, tapi itu setelah gw tunjukin motivasi gw yang sesungguhnya dan selengkap-lengkapnya yang telah gw susun di dalam slide PowerPoint. See, the point is, untuk membuat orang mengerti akan tujuan gw emang harus dijelasin dengan panjang lebar dan mendetail.

And you know what? Setelah sama-sama gw tunjukin tuh slide presentasi, ke temen-temen cewek gw dan ke temen-temen cowok gw, the result adalah... usually... guys get it. I don't mean to offend my same-gender mates, tapi emang gw pernah baca kalo bahasa laki-laki adalah bahasa impian dan cita-cita. Jadi, kalo lo ngomongin cita-cita dan impian sama laki-laki, mereka akan lebih, "Ohhh iyaa iyaaa..." Am I right or am I wrong?

Anyway, jadi sekarang gw akan membeber motivasi, tujuan dan kegiatan gw yang sesungguhnya di sini. Gw ini di Surabaya kegiatannya itu kursus. Iya bener, kursus. Macem-macem mulai dari Bahasa Prancis sampe tenis, sampe gitar, dan kemungkinan besar seiring dengan berjalannya waktu akan gw tambah lagi kursusnya.

Kenapa banyak banget kursusnya? Jawaban singkatnya adalah karena interest gw banyak dan gw ga pengen jadi orang yang cuma "sekedar-sekedar tau", "sekedar-sekedar bisa", jack of all trades, jane of all trades. Gw pengen jadi ahli di bidang-bidang tersebut. Dengan kata lain, gw pengen jadi seorang Renaissance Man (Renaissance Woman, in my case), yang punya keahlian di berbagai bidang. Gw sadar betul satu tahun mempelajari berbagai hal itu ga akan cukup untuk jadi ahli. But, one has got to start somewhere, right? Dan gw pikir, untuk memulainya ya kenapa ngga dengan satu tahun ini gw kursus dulu?

Terus satu lagi, selain kursus, gw di sini juga sambil belajar Matematika dan Fisika. Mengulang lagi pelajaran jaman SD, SMP, bahkan SMA supaya gw jadi paham. Soalnya gw bercita-cita untuk menjadi innovator, dan memahami science akan sangat membantu gw untuk ke sana kan?

Gw juga ga ngerti kenapa dulu gw ga peduli sama Fisika atau Math, mungkin karena gw ga nangkep konsepnya, tapi sekarang, at 23, gw ngerasa lebih siap untuk menerima pelajaran tersebut. Gw udah familiar dengan kata-kata tertentu, kata-kata serapan, istilah, ataupun penerapan-penerapan dalam kehidupan sehari-hari. Mungkin buat gw yang dulu, di bangku SD atau SMP, "Apa itu 'dekameter'?" Sebuah kata asing yang cuma perlu dihapal supaya gw bisa mengerjakan ulangan dengan baik. Tapi sekarang, "Oh, dekameter. 'Deka' mungkin sama pengertiannya dengan dekade. Dekade kan sepuluh tahun. Berarti pantesan dekameter itu sepuluh meter."

Maksud gw kayak gitu, at this age gw udah lebih ngerti untuk menerima ilmu tersebut. Dan gw juga pernah baca, kalo kita itu seharusnya mengajarkan anak sesuatu, ketika anak tersebut siap untuk menerima dan mempelajarinya. Mungkin waktu kecil itu gw belom siap untuk menerima Math dan Fisika, tapi sekarang gw merasa udah lebih siap, that's why I'm willing to learn it again.

Dan terakhir, kenapa gw pilih Surabaya, basically adalah karena gw pengen merantau, meninggalkan Jakarta for a while, dan tinggal di suatu tempat yang baru. Dan, semenyenangkan-menyenangkannya tinggal di Bandung, gw udah pernah ngerasain tinggal di sana. Maka pilihan gw jatuh ke Surabaya sebagai kota besar lainnya.

So, that's it then, gw udah bercerita dengan lebih dalam. Here's to all the lost chances to make people understand.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Questions and Statement around Innovation

Yesterday I told my friend that I aspired to work in an innovation consulting firm, because, as you might have guessed, I am into innovation, and I have always been, ever since I graduated from college two years ago.

And surprisingly, just a short talk with my friend made me reflect on my dream of working in innovation consulting firm such as IDEO or Fahrenheit 212, because she has raised some good questions. Questions such as:

"Is that [IDEO] the best innovation consultancy out there?" (I don't know! And this question kicked me in the gut because it can be alternatively translated as "What do YOU think is the best innovation consultancy out there?" Which made me think that I should've done more research and known which one was considered "the best".)

And then another one, "Have you ever seen their portfolio or their work on innovation?" (Shit shit... No I have not... And why didn't I think of that? Heh. (But I have seen some examples of their work now, so, all is good.))

You see, she's analytical and critical like that. I think she's ready to take a GMAT and get an MBA or something, you know what I mean? Hm, maybe if one day I created something innovative, I'll come to her for her opinion and criticism, but I digress.

Speaking of innovation consulting firms, I've just read one of the articles out there about Fahrenheit 212, a top innovation consultancy in New York, and here's something intriguing which I found: the CEO of that company said that he wanted to innovate for success, and not innovate just for innovation's sake.

Well, honestly, that idea or principle bothers me because I am exactly the opposite of him. I want to innovate for the sake of innovating, or do something creative just for the sake of being creative, because I think that's how we exercise our creativity.

In my definition, "creative"--an adjective we use to describe a person's trait-- means that the person has the tendency to create, or the habit of creating things, and that's why they're called "creat-ive". The word 'create' added with the suffix '-ive'. So, innovation for the sake of innovating is like sharpening the knife, your creative knife, don't you think? And that, my friend, is necessary in my book.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Reconstructing the dramatic scene: Thelma & Louise

Sort of like a little hommage to one of my most favorite films.










Besides the obvious difference that you who have seen the film might notice in an instant (e.g. the car type, the car color), another difference between the original shots from the film and the shots I took is that mine has a bird's-eye shot whereas the original doesn't. But the original has close-up shots while mine doesn't.

Turns out, it's pretty fun playing DOP.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Two Botanists and the Attack of a Gigantic Plant

I just had an awesome dream last night. It was about the discovery of Rafflesia arnoldii flower by two botanists. One botanist is the geeky smart type, and very typical as he's wearing glasses, and the other is the buff and tough type, sort of like Indiana Jones, and he's wearing a denim jacket.

The dream was sort of like I was watching a film on TV or a TV show. As I watched the TV in my dream, I was thinking that it's sorta cool, that it's a unique program (or film, not sure if it was playing one time only or that it would be coming every week on my dream-TV). So anyway it was on TV, right? But for some reason I feel like I was there, with them, but I wasn't the smart botanist nor the buff botanist--I was just with them. So if the scene or the view is that they're in a forest, then I'm in a forest too. If the scene is that they're in a room, I'm in a room too.

Anyway, back to the story, these botanists unintentionally find the flower, Rafflesia arnoldii, when they are in a forest, you know, doing their thing, researching or whatever. And suddenly they find this new flower, and they're in awe as the flower is sooo... big. I mean, SO big. Bigger than the actual Rafflesia arnoldii. It's probably as big as a Zeppelin balloon, and it's so tall it is hanging in the sky. To be honest, though, it is nothing like the real Rafflesia arnoldii. Anyway, these botanists, they kinda awaken the flower, and now the flower is reacting. It moves, it shows its cracks (I don't know why it has cracks, is this a flower or a dry soil, really?), and then one of its parts, like it is the plant's hand who has a mouth in a shape of a tulip, it opens and gobbles another plant. Whoa... It is the testament to its superiority. It's like this flower is from prehistoric era. Like it belongs with the dinosaurs but for some reason it survives til this day and age. And the botanists are staring in wonder as the plant they just discovered is so grand and magnificent.

But then their admiration has to stop because suddenly the plant is attacking them. You know, the hand parts that have mouths starting to open and try to devour them. It opens again as before, and it's aiming at the botanists. And the hands of the plant are so strong that every time they miss their target and crash to the ground, the ground cracks... and kaboom! The geeky botanist is separated from the buff botanist. And as I'm also in the scene, for some reason I'm following the geeky botanist. So I don't know what happens with the buff botanist, whether the plant still attacks him or not (but later I found out that the buff botanist was still alive).

So, all we know is that at this point the plant is attacking us and chasing us, it still wants to eat us. And we run and we run like crazy, and then we see this building, I don't know why there's a building inside a forest but there is. Anyway, we run toward the building and we want to come in so that we can be safe from being eaten by the plant. But when we're near the building, it shuts its windows and doors. Whoa. What the hell, right? We can't get inside, but for some reason, and I don't know how we get there (do we fly or do we climb?), we're able to run to the building's roof. The roof has a triangular shape, like in houses, so we run to its peak and head to the other side of the roof. But then the geeky botanist that's running with me stumbles and falls to the ground. He crashes really hard that his glasses are broken and shattered to pieces.

While in panicky situation, he shouts,

"Where's my book? Where's my book?"

You see, he's trying to find out how to tame the plant by the guidance of his big book of plant encyclopedia. Although it sounds kinda stupid, as this Rafflesia arnoldii is a newly discovered plant and we won't find any info from the book, but possibly the botanist has a sound reason. Maybe there will be a way to tame a similar plant to this, or maybe there's an info on how to make the most dangerous substance that could poison the plant, I don't know, I'm not the botanist. Anyway, we can't find his book, what's more, we can't find the book in time, as now the geeky botanist is lying on the ground and cornered. The plant is already closing up on us and it's about to eat him, when suddenly... Ultraman comes to our rescue. He shoots laser from his hands and defends us from the plant. I don't know why for some reason there's Ultraman. And why, of all the superheroes that exist in this world, does it have to be Ultraman? I guess the setting is in Japan.

So, we were saved by Ultraman. And now the dream skips to "some time later". The geeky botanist, and the buff botanist are reunited. And now they're attempting to tame this Rafflesia arnoldii with a plan, with science. They're attempting to study the plant by getting inside one of the plant's mouths that is wide open but currently harmless. Somehow, we have now gained understanding that the plant will not know the existence of foreign objects such as human beings near it, if the object doesn't make a sound. So they are going to send the buff botanist in, since he is more fit, I guess, and the activity is sort of physical anyway so he's fit for the task. He starts getting ready to climb down the plant's mouth with a rope, and he's now hanging above the plant's mouth. But the buff botanist, as stereotyped as ever, is cocky--as in Robert Downey Jr. in Iron Man cocky. And since the buff botanist is a bit cocky and mischievous, he teases the plant by snapping his rubber glove that he's wearing, and says,

"See? It doesn't move, right? It can't hear us."

But then something falls off his hand and goes right into the plant's mouth. And it makes a sound. And now the plant completely recognizes that there is foreign object near it. So it goes crazy on us again, it attacks us again, and we have to run again. And when we're threatened and cornered, Ultraman saves us again.

Skips to some time later, suddenly, for some reason that I can't comprehend, we end up in Ultraman's house. Well, probably because Ultraman saved us, and he took us to his place. But more precisely, I guess we're in Ultraman's bedroom. It's sort of like a rented room, really. And if you've watched Ultraman, you know that when Ultraman is not in his transformation he looks just like an ordinary guy, living in an ordinary house. This Ultraman guy, when he's not fighting monsters and saving people, is just like an ordinary college guy: casual, laid-back, wearing shorts and T-shirt. Too bad, before the dream continued, my dad woke me up.

-the end-

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Short Encouragement of Creativity

If you can't come up with something new, come up with something fresh.

If you can't invent, innovate--get creative.

If you can't do that, just c r e a t e.

If you can't do that either, imitate; it's alright, it's part of learning process too.


P.S.: If you do imitate, don't forget to give proper credit to show who the original creator is.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Letting Go: First Off, the Books.

So here's the plan, I wanna get rid of some stuffs in my room and reduce the amount of my belongings to just what's essential for me. And the rest of the goods, I'm gonna donate it to whomever; it has yet to be decided.

For starters, I'm gonna go with books. Here are the books that I decided to let go:

- Meg Cabot's "Perfect Princess" and "Princess Lessons". Yes I did read those books when I was a teenager. Why? To learn about good manners that a girl should have... among other things. And now, it's time for another girl in another place to learn about it too.

- "Saya Terbakar Amarah Sendirian!" by André Vltchek and Rossie Indira. It was a good book about the late Indonesian famous author. Can I say that he was also a humanist? Mmm, probably. His name's Pramoedya Ananta Toer. Inspiring book. People should read it, 'cause it's about his life story.

- Some magazines, including a boating magazine which I bought when I was traveling abroad. For the record, I don't sail or anything; I wanna try but for now I must be satisfied with just looking.

- "Cuek-cuek Cinta" by Ditta Wahab. A book written by one of my favorite radio DJ's.

- "Ouch!!!" by Melanie Subono. A book written by a liaison officer of a music concert organizer. It's about the ins and outs of music concert business. Time for this book to inspire other peeps out there.

Hmm, wait, what about those books that I bought myself but I haven't finished reading... because... I'm not motivated to continue reading them? Damn it, what am I gonna do with those? I'm afraid if I let them go they're actually good, but because I don't finish them I'm missing out. Alright. I'm keeping two: "Les Liaisons Dangereuses" by Choderlos de Laclos, and "Dewa Ruci" by Cornelis Kowaas. And the rest, I let them go: some books about business, and some fictions.

Lastly, here are the books I decided to keep for a reason:

- "Hello Sunshine" by Ryan Adams, 'cause I just love the man, I mean, I'm a fan!

- "Java Musikindo Presents WOW!!" by Carry Nadeak--a book about Adrie Subono and his company, because the book was personally signed by Adrie Subono himself when I interviewed him.

- One "Crayon Shin-chan" comic book, as a tribute to the late Yoshito Usui. And besides, I bought the book when I was in Malaysia, so it's in Malaysian!

Okay... I think everything is on board, right? Ready to be shipped? Oh, look at that! I still got books and comics in my wardrobe! Ok, those too, go to the donation box.

Alright. What I learn from all of this process is that I used to like reading. I don't know, what happened to me? That I'm now not so interested in reading anymore. My guess, computer and the internet are capturing my attention, and also, I still like reading, but I like reading stuffs that I can finish in minutes, not hours or days. Such as, reading articles. Is this attention span problem or commitment issues? Ahahaha...

Friday, April 27, 2012

The Aftermath

I am one of those people who do experiment on life. You know that blog, livingwithoutgoals.com? Yeah, the dude kinda experimented about how life would be like if he lived his without goals. Me? I've done some too, in late 2011, about two-weeks experiment on how life without Twitter feels like. But that's like "Pfftt...", I know. You want something more serious? Well here goes, I've been experimenting on how life would be like if I live mine without a plan, for about 1 year now. Yep, have been trying out what Dan Pink there said in his career comic book: "There is no plan."

I thought, "Hey, life with a plan? I've learned that life doesn't exactly go as you plan. And I've also learned that my dreams often change anyway. So, life with a plan? Didn't work. Now let's try life without a plan. To live in the now." So yeah, in case you're wondering, I did it and what I get is a life with no clear vision, you just feel and receive whatever comes at you, kinda feel like a passive thing, as in, you don't take control of your life, and let universe, or destiny, or fate just unfold itself in front of you.

"Oh I feel like doing this, oh I feel like making it a business, you know." It's like you have these urges, or like impulsive feelings to do stuffs at certain moments. But then as the flame dies out, your interest dies out, well what do you got?

Life... gets too cluttered without plans. Living in the now... It has its fine moments, yeah. But then again, that's what you get: you live in the now. The problem with it, is, when your "now" is good then it's all good, but when it's bad, what are you gonna look forward to for tomorrow? Well you have no plans, right? So...

This "I have no plan" thinking might actually work if you put yourself out there, like you're an Into the Wild kinda person, a "Christopher McCandless", just let yourself be blown by the wind, wherever-life-takes-me kinda person. But for me, it doesn't work for me. Well at least not for my today's self. Maybe in the future. Who knows?

So, with this, I'm not encouraging that anyone must have plan in their life, or have no plan, but I'm merely reporting the ups and downs of it, and also announcing that I'm closing down the no-plan phase of my life. But if you're so curious about how it really feels like, well you can always give it a try: live a life with no plan. Our experiments may result in different findings. I'm sure a different personality type will handle planless life differently than me, though I'm not sure a Type-A person would really consider doing it in the first place. Really? A Type-A with a planless life? It's so contradictory I'm not sure I could ever find one.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Let's Play Detective and Write the Report

The case:

At around 9 AM Sunday morning, I lost my book, a hard copy of my final project which I had written before I graduated from college. (Case: missing item.)

Moments later, I found the book, standing awkwardly on the floor, in the small, dark gap between the bed and the wall. As I picked it up, apparently it was completely drenched, soggy, and completely ruined. (Case: missing item--found. New case: suspicious cause of destruction of an item of mine.)

The victim: A book, hard copy of my final project.










The crime scene: My brothers' room.

*Note: Photos taken NOT at the crime scene.

The question: I needed to know what had caused this. But most importantly, I needed to know if the water that wet my book came falling down from above the book, or slowly crept from the book's bottom to the top due to capillary action.

(Instead of hypothesis...) The conjectures:

Possibility number one: I know for a fact that the air conditioner in my brothers' room was broken, so it leaked a lot of water. My conjecture is that the water dropped from the AC and ran through the floor, slowly reaching my book which had been on the floor for some time. Because of capillarity, the book soaked up the water slowly, transporting the water to the whole area of the book, from bottom to the top, until it is ruined completely.

Possibility number two: Same as possibility number one, the book had been on the floor for some time. And then someone spilled a lot of water, or knocked over a bottle of water while he was in the bed, causing the book which was located in the small gap between the bed and the wall to be drenched. This made a possible conclusion that the water came from above.

The investigation:

-Observation of the crime scene (With flashlight, and a camera.)
-Observation of the victim (Touching, without gloves... Oops...)
-Event reconstruction (By conducting a scientific experiment.)
-Interrogation of suspects (The main suspects were my brothers.)

The experiment:

As an attempt to reconstruct the victim's cause of destruction by water, I tested both of my conjectures that I had come up with, to see whether it was "possibility number one" or "possibility number two" that would have a similar result with the victim's condition.

In this experiment, two sets of papers with 6 sheets of paper in each set were placed in two different locations and given different treatment. Both came into contact with water, only the method of how the water got to them was different.

Test number one, a set of papers was put in a standing position on the floor, while water was squirted in a certain way so that it touched only the bottom part of the set of papers. And then I expected to see some capillary action.

Test number two, a set of papers was put in a standing position on the floor, while water was splashed from above. And I also poured water down the set of papers. This was done to imitate "possibility number two" where water fell down from above the papers.

One test had the water moving from bottom to top, and the other test had the water moving from top to bottom.

The results of experiment:


Picture 1: Result of capillary action


Picture 2: Another look at capillarity


Picture 3: Result of water being poured down


Picture 4: Another look at water-poured papers


The analysis:

From "Picture 1" and "Picture 2", we can see that capillary action indeed had happened to a set of papers in "test number one". Notice how capillarity formed weird squiggly lines that separated wet and dry area. We could see that line in "Picture 1" and "Picture 2", and we could see that line in the documentation of the victim as well.

Judging by the physical similarity between "test number one" and the victim, I thought it was save to say that the water that wet my book crept up from the bottom to the top due to capillary action.

But I wasn't entirely sure when I saw the yellow stain in the edge of the paper from "test number two" in "Picture 3", which was similar to that of the victim as well.

In other words, the results from both "test number one" and "test number two" shared similarity with the victim's condition, so at this point I could not conclusively and definitively state which one of the methods tested before was the method by which the book got destroyed.

However, since crime investigation gathers information from many sources (not only from scientific experiment but also from interrogation, or witness, or confidential informants), I decided to take another information into consideration.

During the interrogation of one of my brothers, he stated that indeed, there was leakage from air conditioner, and that it streamed a great deal of water. That statement supported my initial conjecture, where I had suspected AC had something to do with the book's destruction. And considering the amount of water there was, it made it possible for the book to be greatly damaged since it soaked up a great deal of water.

The verdict:

Considering the results from the experiment, where it was proven that capillary action could cause such damage, and combined with the additional information gathered from interrogation, I hereby declare that the
water that destroyed my book came from air conditioner. My first conjecture which I referred to as "possibility number one" is proven right.


P.S.: Red sentences indicate that this so-called detective still needs training.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Do I hate being mainstream that bad?

When my friend and I had this little, hot argument over something, she shot me with this question: "Is being a mainstream that bad for you?"

KABOOM!

It kinda got me thinking,

"Do people see me as an anti-mainstream person? Do I come across as someone who hates being mainstream that bad?"

I don't know about the answers to that questions, but, I'm trying to explain here, my side of story.

First off, it's not my friend's fault that she thinks I'm an anti-mainstream; it's probably me who happened to often show that particular side of me--that side of me with the "I don't like that", "I don't do that" confident smug attitude.

But it doesn't mean that I am anti-mainstream.

Just to show you something, here's my capture of my last.fm profile, it shows what music I listen to.




It has Backstreet Boys, among others, on the "top tracks" I listen to. How is that not mainstream? I enjoy Twilight and fangirling over the male characters on Twilight. How is that not mainstream? I enjoy mainstream things too.

Granted, I:
-choose to show certain sides of me in front of people. I prefer to show the cool side of me, "Hey people, I listen to Spiritualized here, check me out..." rather than the soft side of me, "Hey people, I'm listening to Joy Enriquez's How Can I Not Love You 'cause I'm suffering heartbreak right now." Na'ah.

And that kinda stuff is probably why I came across as not mainstream in front of people.

I am anti-eating burnt or charred food. I am anti-violence. But I don't claim myself as anti-mainstream. I'm not trying to go against what people like, or fight what most people do or like. It's just that sometimes, I don't like it, so I leave it alone, and I just need to find a way for me, I need to find what it is that I like. And it just so happened that it often be different than the popular choices.

Granted, I:
-sometimes make fun of mainstream things too, instead of just leaving it alone. Mostly because I was jealous of it. (Coldplay was one of my victims.)

But I am not anti-mainstream; if anything, I am a non-conformist. I do what I like, and I don't do what I don't like. That's the general idea of it.

If people see me doing unusual things, most probably I do it because I consider it as fun, not because I'm trying to un-mainstream myself. And whether I look impressive or weird in front of their eyes, that's just side effect--not the main point.

So, then, "Is being a mainstream that bad for you?"

Hahahaha... The way it was asked, like it's some kind of a disease.


Dedicated to my friend and her most epic question.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Inventors Project - Plus, Stories of Rise and Fall

Lately I've been busy with several projects, and some of them I have finished, and one of them is this. I've finished compiling data of inventors from around the world and make a table out of it. The main source of data was originally from this Wikipedia page that contains list of inventors.

Now... That Wiki page is quite informative already, but the thing is, the data there is not in the form of table, it is not in Microsoft Excel format (I'm a Windows user)--which makes me unable to sort them, based on the era of invention, or based on the country of origin. So I decided to compile them, categorize and organize, so that I can sort them based on the era of invention, country of origin, or even their names alphabetically.


Screenshot of the table I made.


The reason I'm doing this is actually because I was curious to know which countries in this world bring the most number of inventors. I need to know so that I can direct the future of my grad school studies in the right direction. I'm aiming to take innovation management as my master's degree, but I've been wondering in which country I should study it. (So tell me this is the right move. Innovation and invention, they're close, right?)

Anyway, besides serving as a means to fulfill my personal interest, this table also serves as a simple, vast source of general knowledge, like, who invented what, during which era, and so on. And now that it is sortable, we can use the table to analyze even deeper and find out answers to questions such as "What sort of invention invented around the birth of Common Era?", and "What are the five most prolific countries, in terms of producing inventors?", since this table can sort the era of inventions and their country of origins.

In the search of finding out some missing and incomplete data, I did some research on some inventors which were not as famous as, say, Alexander Graham Bell. In spite of that, their life stories still gave me valuable lessons.

Here's a story of Corliss Orville Burandt, an American inventor who did something about car engine successfully, yet, he is financially unsuccessful. His invention was some sort of method that they call "variable valve timing", automotive dudes probably understand this. Mr. Burandt was so successful that he patented a dozen of his inventions. As he gave his patents to venture capital firm in return for bigger, future profit, consequently he no longer owned the patents. Unfortunately, no one expected that due to turn of events, the venture capital firm he trusted ended up disappointing him.

Mr. Burandt's venture capitalists apparently went bankrupt, and so his patents that were under the company's possession were not paid. Not being paid for their maintenance fee, the patents simply went to public domain. They became free stuffs, and Mr. Burandt became so... broke. So broke that at one point in his life he had to choose between preserving his last remaining patent, or a cheese burger for something to eat.

What I learned from that story is this: I used to think that if one day I become an inventor, I wouldn't really think or care about how much money I could harvest from my invention, as long as people gave me credit for my invention. But after reading Mr. Burandt's story, I think I'm gonna need both the credit people gave me, and the money. Of course...! The credit is for my personal satisfaction, and the money is for my living expenses.

Another valuable story came from the Serrurier family. You guys that are movie buffs, especially those of you who aspire to be a prominent film editor probably ever heard of Mark Serrurier and Iwan Serrurier. Iwan invented Moviola which is used in film editing, and years later, Iwan's son, Mark, who by the way also invented something on his own, continued his father's work and commercialized the Moviola.

In 1940's, the Serrurier's Moviola was the leading brand for film editing in the industry. Even so, Mark who led the company during that time remained kind and generous towards customers. If there were a lot of customer's orders that weren't available due to amount of orders lining up, Mark offered a solution to their customers who were in need of Moviola: while they were waiting for their Moviola to be made, Mark rented one of his own at a reasonable price so that customers can use it until their Moviola was ready.

Moreover, his generosity was shown in how he cut some slack to those who had no money. A young and poor film editor who lived during that time wouldn't have to worry about getting a film editing device, as they could come to Mark and order his Moviola even though they had no money. In terms of how they were going to pay it, Mark allowed them to pay whenever they can. With the popularity and the quality of Moviola, Mark probably could've monopolized the market or been a "tyrant" if he wanted to, but he did the opposite. As stated by Mark's son, Steve, "My father knew he was the only game in town, but he never took advantage or used it over people." Awww... I like that.

So anyway, that's about it, a little story of some inventors I read lately and the lessons I could garner from them. As for my compiled data of inventors, I already make it available for you to download at MediaFire:

Sortable 2012.xslx (size 58.13 KB)

Little tips on handling the file:
-You can always use "ctrl+f" to find what you're looking for.
-Right click a column and choose "sort" if you want to do the sorting.
-Use Excel formulas (if you dare) for deeper analysis of data.

Lastly, I, as a compiler of the data would like to apologize for the lack of fact or data in some part of the list. And my gratitude goes to Wikipedia, Microsoft Excel, and other sites that I cannot mention one by one for helping me accomplish this project.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Setahun nganggur? Plus minusnya dikupas di sini!

Plusnya:

1. Freedom!

Lo punya banyak waktu untuk melakukan apa pun yang lo mau. In my case, gw bisa melakukan hobi gw sebanyak apapun yang gw mau lakukan (musik, film, ngasah skill menggitar). Gw bisa ciptakan proyek-proyek kreatif yang, kebetulan aja nih, suka gagal (ehehehe). Gw bisa belajar HANYA hal-hal yang ingin gw pelajari, (creativity, innovation, modern technology, self-help stuffs) jadi bisa disebut semacam custom learning lah. Dan tentunya, gw bisa pergi jalan-jalan kapan pun gw siap, yang mana, membawa kita ke poin nomor dua, yaitu...

2. Travelling!

Kebetulan karena masih dibiayain sama orang tua, dalam setahun kemaren aja gw udah travelling ke berbagai daerah dan propinsi di negeri ini: Pekanbaru, Pulau Bengkalis, Ujung Genteng, Pulau Madura, Madiun, Malang, dan Yogyakarta. Tentunya kalo orang kerja atau kuliah juga bisa travelling lah. Cuman bedanya terletak di fleksibilitas waktu. The good thing about being unemployed, gw bisa pergi kapan aja gw siap.

Nah, lo tau kan yang namanya travelling tuh banyak manfaatnya? Seperti bahwa travelling itu bisa meng-inspire lo! Dan kalo lo pergi travelling ke daerah yang "back to nature" lo bisa mengagumi keindahan alam dan... berbahagia, that you feel like you live in the moment.

3. Writing!

Ada yang bilang kalo orang banyak nge-blog itu barangkali karena dia "got nothing else to do". Mungkin ada benernya. Tapi gw sih suka nulis, karena... ya suka aja. Jadi banyak nge-blog buat gw bukan sesuatu yang memalukan seperti "Yah... You've got nothing else to do, huh?".

Punya banyak waktu untuk nge-blog sedikit banyak mengasah writing skill gw, dan English skill gw. Think about it, kalo lo kerja, apa lo masih punya banyak waktu untuk nge-blog? Okelah misalkan waktu ada. Bagaimana dengan tenaga? Mood? Mental? Jadi dalam hal ini gw mensyukuri bahwa kondisi gw ini mengizinkan gw untuk menulis sebanyak yang gw mau.

Kemudian... Last but not least, plusnya menjadi seorang pengangguran selama setahun ini adalah...

4. Soul searching!

Selama nganggur ini kebanyakan dari mental energy gw dipake untuk berfikir dan soul searching. Relax dulu. Step back, and reflect. Tanya, "Maunya apa?" Gw ngga mau cuma ngebut tapi terus ternyata salah arah. Gw mau gw yakin dulu.

Dan, ya, saat ini gw merasa udah menemukan apa yang gw inginkan. Semacam tujuan hidup, selain dua hal yang diminta oleh Tuhan. Walapun gw juga sadar tujuan ini bisa aja berubah nanti kalo emang perlu berubah. Toh ini kan pemikiran seorang anak muda--yang muda yang idealis... (dan yang masih perlu banyak belajar).


Nah, kalo tadi udah mengenai suka cita dan manfaatnya, sekarang adalah hal-hal yang gw sayangkan karena ngga gw dapetin selama nganggur setahun ini.

Minusnya:

1. No money! No income!

Paling males kalo sebagai pengangguran adalah lo ga punya duit. Untuk kebutuhan sehari-hari, masih bisa lah hidup dibawah naungan orang tua, mau jajan bisa minta sama orang tua. Tapi kalo udah urusan kebutuhan yang kayak, "Men... Gw pengen jalan-jalan ke New Zealand. Men... Gw pengen beli ini... itu..." Udeh aje kaga bisa karena ga punya duit; uang saku juga udah dihentikan semenjak lulus kuliah.

Terlebih lagi, dengan lo ngga ngasilin duit, lo ngga merasakan sense of independence. Walaupun, kalo lo kerja juga, awal-awal lo belom sanggup untuk lepas dari orang tua sepenuhnya, financially speaking.

2. Meeting new people

Obviously, kalo lo kerja, atau sekolah lagi, atau lo berbisnis, lo akan bertemu dengan orang-orang baru yang bisa membawa banyak manfaat. Nganggur? Interaksinya sama orang-orang yang udah lo kenali sejak lama aja. Temen kuliah, temen SMA, SMP... Ga ada orang barunya.

3. Mentor and tutor

Kalo kerja di perusahaan gitu, kalo lo beruntung lo dapet mentor. Dan menurut gw itu kesempatan yang oke banget buat diserep wisdom sama ilmunya. Sayangnya kalo lo nganggur lo ga dapet mentor-mentoran kayak gitu.

4. The scale of things

Bukan berarti kalo gw nganggur gw ngga berkreasi. Gw juga berkreasi. Hanya saja, selama ini masih kecil-kecilan skalanya. Sedangkan kalo gw bekerja di perusahaan yang besar gitu, atau berbisnis, mungkin impact dari kreasi gw bisa mengenai scope yang lebih besar. Skalanya lebih grande gitu.

5. Anxiety

Gw akui bahwa kadang gw juga mikir, "Wah... Temen gw udah di-promote jadi ini, jadi itu, naik pangkat, lah gw mulai beraksi aja belom". Envy? Jealous? Hmm... More like "galau", to be precise. "Kapan gw akan mulai menunjukkan taringnyaaa? (щ"ºДº)щ"


Kesimpulannya:

Satu,
untuk menjawab pertanyaan temen gw, "Banyak manfaatnya ngga setahun ini nganggur?" Jawabannya, banyak. Sejujurnya gw seneng juga kayak gini. Dan kebahagiaan itu gw taro cukup di atas dalam prioritas hidup gw. Tapi, lo and behold, ternyata loss nya juga banyak. Tapi ya gitu, kan emang ini pilihan yang gw ambil saat ini. Mereka yang ngga nganggur dapet apa yang gw ngga dapet, dan gw dapet apa yang mereka ngga dapet.

Dua, gw berpendapat bahwa setelah gw sekolah selama 3 tahun (playgroup, TK) tambah 12 tahun (SD, SMP, SMA) tambah 3 tahun (kuliah), dimana lo nurutin amanah orang tua, dan melakukan apa yang dianggap "benar" oleh society, maka, walaupun di satu sisi gw bersyukur atas semua ilmu yang gw dapat, tapi, gw merasa sekarang saatnya gw bener-bener melakukan hal yang gw suka. Bukan karena orang bilang, "you NEED to do this", tapi karena gw bilang, "I WANT to do this". Maka dari itu gw mencari apa yang gw suka, apa yang gw inginkan.

Dan yang ketiga, apakah gw mau kerja? Mau. Hanya saja, kalo gw kerja, gw mau gw suka sama kerjaan gw, dan ga ngeluh. Dan ga terbebani dilema "I wanna resign but I can't because of the penalty". Dan ga unhappy dalam pekerjaan. Yang gw mau mungkin semacam all or nothing gitu konsepnya: I give my all, or I give nothing at all.