Inequality in the Contradictory World

At first glance inequality seems very negative and bad but all of these years, the society has failed to come into an agreement on this. While you might have guessed that people who rejected the claim tend to come from the upper social classes, but the important point is this group of people existed. While academics have recently shown how inequality affected the economy negatively, still some economists argue that inequality to a degree is needed as motivation to advance (The Economist, 2015). I personally believe that it might be true but still in process of finding the truth, if there any.

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Retrieved 31 July 2017 from The Economist. All rights reserved.

Here, I don’t want to babble on the hard core part of inequality. The introduction above purpose is just to give something to think about and maybe you would like to check my related post about Piketty. Anyway, in this post I want to share my opinion that perfect equality is impossible. I believe that nature is unfair; firstly all creatures were born unique. For human, some are stronger, some born genius, some talk faster so on and so forth. Not only one’s characteristics but also the environment they were born to; most people were born mediocre but a number of baby was born billionaire or royal. So this clearly shows different starting point. In nature, we know that some animals are stronger than others, some are smarter and they all have their kin’s ability, e.g. while lion is strong on land but they can’t beat jellyfish in the ocean or something like that. Having said so, I think forcing equality is just one of the political tool only. Being fake is part of human nature and we are very contradictory. Some examples apart from inequality above, most are from real encounter:

  • An animal activist who saw a cockroach and ordered to kill it without a second thought;
  • Justify eating pork, beef, chicken, etc. but disagree when other people kill dog for food.
  • Everyone who threw their unfinished food instead of bringing it home or give it away because don’t you know that you also need to eat the next day?

Anyway, I know I did not do a good job in this post. It is a little all over the place but my focal point is that achieving equality in the current world is near to impossible simply because nature was not made equal. The later part was just additional because I feel like sharing how contradictory people can be. If someone say they support equality, I feel that I will never fully trust their words.

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Why I am not Vegan Yet?

Or at least vegetarian.

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Retrieved 26 July 2107 from Google. All rights reserved.

First you might want to take a look at this video by PETA and read some articles about human cruel treatment toward our-soon-to-be food. They are all I believe unpleasant and made me wonder why do I still eat meat. However, I was not really interested, I eat what was served and ignore the rest. From time to time I also came across discussion that justified meat eating culture (such as this one) and well I always try to be neutral. So why is that now I decided to write something about the topic? No idea, I just met a lot more vegan/vegetarian people these days and somehow started to sympathize the world of animals. Despite that previous claim, I am still neutral and will just present my reason of not turning vegan…yet.

1. My family make living from livestock
Honestly this is fundamental. At this time I cannot imagine myself as a vegan, it feels like I am betraying my family. Of course I don’t know how I will be in the future but at the moment, no.

2. I cannot afford the pricey vegan diet

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Retrieved 26 July 2017. All rights reserved.

It is not a secret that vegan lifestyle is arguably more expensive than omnivore. Especially if you are a student who don’t have access to kitchen, no salary and is living in the part of the world where the price of fruits and vegetables are more expensive than meat, I think you will understand how hard it is to turn vegan. This is a little exaggerated but my situation is more like be poor and starve to die or be less poor and eat meat; I chose the second. Maybe if I forced myself to squeeze in this price or vegan trade off I will be a junk food eater vegan and live out of these. Guess better not.

 

3. Food choice problem
I was a meat lover long ago but now I am more attracted to soy, beans, nuts, fruits, oats, so on and so forth so I should have no problem going vegan right? Apparently no. Apart from the cost I had mentioned in the previous point, I found it very hard for me to buy these products around where I live. Of course rice is always easy to find but I don’t really eat rice. Bread without egg or noodles without pork broth are rare, not to mention the trend of seemingly add cheese and butter to every dish. So while I don’t mind, actually adore vegan diet but it is just near to impossible to be one with my environment. If I can access tofu, tempeh, peanuts, cashew, almond and their nuts friends, fresh fruits and vegetables, mushrooms and algae easily (and affordably) I will be glad to leave those pile of meat.

4. Last but most important was from a vegetarian friend: never force yourself to give up meat
Basically she told me that to be a long lasting vegan/vegetarian, the urge must come from within naturally and not by force. I believe this is true because a study also mentioned when we are under restriction/limitation, we are more likely to be craving for that limited thing, in this case meat and that will caused unhappiness.

The reason why I wrote this post is not merely share my personal status but I would like to share a message to you readers. You might be omnivore or you might be vegetarian and even vegan. No matter which group you are in, please do show respect to one another. It is good to raise awareness of animal abuse but I feel that pushing the abuse faulty to consumer might not be best way. Arguably, no consumer then production should stop but there are other measure too. Maybe to urge the government to regulate farm to operate with more moral, though of course you can argue that just putting them in a cage is already a crime.

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Retrieved 26 July 2017 from Google. All rights reserved.

Another maybe less heard way is the principal of moderation. You know these days food portion has been larger than ever and people are eating so much more than needed. As I had posted before, the trend is crazy. People are cheering for 10 patties burger, 72 ounce steak (~2.041kg), giant burrito stuffed with BBQ meat, etc. If only people go back to the time where you just eat 70 gram (~2.5 ounces) red meat (source: nhs) then how much live stock will we already be saving despite still able to eat them? My point is that, rather than blaming people for eating meat at all, isn’t it better to questioned the amount of that people eat? Or maybe the amount of animals who were killed but ended up back in dumpster again because the serving size is way too much for one to consume?

This is my opinion and I know some of you disagree with me, I don’t mind. One thing to note, whether you support vegan or omnivore or in between, I would love to discuss the topic to understand it from different perspectives but let’s not make food become a topic that raise anger between us. Thank you 🙂

In Summer

This summer, I am not doing any internship due to my obligatory summer course. I thought it will be such a relaxing, boring and unproductive holiday. Little that I know, one can be busier and learn so much more during the period of freedom. While the learning was not necessarily academic related but they are certainly valuable.

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Retrieved 24 July 2017 from Google. All tights reserved..

So, within this period of time, I am extremely occupied with job seeking, as I had previously mentioned. But apart from that I try to satisfy my interest in various fields; in economic research, in Japanese language and random reading. I said economic research but basically I am trying to see if my believe of how things work is true or not, especially about economic growth and insurance industry. I read papers and news which interest me, mostly about the topic but not always. I developed my own understanding of this issue and then I search for data. Pretty hard honestly, but I go around and select countries that I believe have more complete data such as US and UK. This is proven true and I managed to find minimal data I need through online databanks from World Bank, OECD, WHO, etc. Since my theory is pretty random and the data was not tailored to the purpose thus no real conclusion was made after analysis but I had a lot of fun trying to find things out. This also gave me motivation to apply to World Bank as a junior researcher (to one of related topic) but the hurdle was high and I don’t think they even consider me.

Japanese language is another self enrichment I did. I utilize an online platform called memrise.com which I like because I can learn offline and it goes straight to words. Sadly, no grammar included in the course I took so despite knowing the words, I was not able to make good sentence. Lately I have abandoned this method and took a more conventional way of learning through textbooks. Now that I started to understand the grammar better, I feel more confident to start a conversation ( I made several Japanese speaking friends ). Third thing I am doing is random reading. Just find seemingly interesting book and gulp it down, after I finished it then I find another victim. This also applicable to online articles. This activity is truly beneficial. Not only I got to know more interesting (and not so interesting) information, I also feel that I understand my interest better. I tried to read a wide range of books and articles; from fiction, autobiography, academic, logical, mind-blowing, recipes, history, managerial as well as motivational and self help.

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Retrieved from Google 24 July 2017. All rights reserved.

One of the book I would like to recommend is ‘Outlier: the story of success’ by Malcolm Gladwell (2008). It is not a new groundbreaking book but I found the facts inside are entertaining and logical. It outlined general understanding of why some of us ended up more successful so-called upper outlier, and it is more than just talent. It is the opportunities in our lives which we could choose to take/not that shape our future. Of course to some extend it is about talent but mostly it is about 10,000 hours training. The book gave data proofs of its claims and I found it interestingly mind-blowing. I cannot wait to finish reading it 🙂

The three things above are just some activities that kept me busy other than job seeking. Doing all of them really gave me an insight of what kind of person I am and where my interest lies. I did learn some technical skill and academic materials but on the top of that I gained more knowledge about myself, about what I might want to do. Since I did so much filtered reading, little by little I found what topic most interest me and what are the most boring subjects. This also trigger some thinking and reflection on my own life so far and where I want to go later on to achieve my long term life goal. Following this I applied for related jobs and I hope that sometime soon I will get a good news from one or two of them. So this is how my summer holiday end up to be more fruitful in a way than any other summer I ever had.

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Retrieved 24 July 2107 from Google. All rights reserved.

Now listening: In the End – Linkin Park. Tribute for Chester Bennington that passed away last week. One of my favorite band whose songs had accompanied me since junior high school. Rest in peace.

Nostalgic Memories – Year 1

Now that I have graduated, apart from feeling scared of being potentially unemployed, I feel a strong sense of nostalgia.

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Retrieved from Google on 19 July 2017. All rights reserved.

I can’t really remember what I was doing four years ago today but I know what kind of person I was. Shy girl that never dare to speak what was inside my mind, who was scared of strangers that I felt like crying if I need to ask for information in a theme park. A girl who just know how to study and do my homework, who strive for perfect score in each and every exam (except Indonesian class definitely). Never really speak English outside English speaking exam and kitchen was a different planet my mom live in. As I think about me that time, I can’t help to smile to myself, I was young ~

Now, here is the older me. Beside still stubbornly ambitious, I think I have changed remarkably. Four years of independent living in different countries really transformed me, in the way I live, I think and how I behave. A lot of stories were created and experiences shared with numerous people I met. In my first year, I made a biggest step in my life; on my way to the dorm I said hello to a random European looking girl who I saw sat alone in a seat in front of me in the orientation session. That was how I got my first friend who was apparently also my neighbor (what a nice coincidence!). I never dream of sharing a room with a Mexican, I mean I don’t even know they speak Spanish there (I thought they speak Mexican. Duh, pardon my stupidity). I took a course on fashion design which count two credits but have ridiculous amount of work. In the second semester, I went through my first roll of interview-ever- to be an executive committee of a society which I fail miserably. Second interview similarly failed, third so on and so forth. The sad truth was in the end, I failed all but one which is to be an ex-co of my school’s committee, simply speaking responsible for freshmen activities.

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Retrieved from Google on 19 July 2017. All rights reserved.

My first year was the only year where I have a lot of time to play. My success in making my first friend helped me in making more friend (actually also because this girl is a natural friend makers since she is SO NICE, I just tagged along). I stayed up late at night to watch movies with my hallmates, attend various functions and forced to have speed dating style ice breaking session, etc. In summary, my first year was when my time was invested in making friends and connections, adapting in the new life style. I had my first winter, got to know what was heater looked like, first spring with 101% humidity and introduced to humidifier. Looking back, I feel so dumb for not knowing those simple things but that was the reality.

One biggest decision in my university life also happened in my first year; which is choosing my major. I always known that I want to have a bachelor of science degree so I only have two choices in my plate. I remembered that time I was desperately wanting to get into quantitative finance major because I thought I like finance (I was in Science major so I never took a finance course ever, but I like counting money). Another reason was also because of my arrogance, it was one of the top major thus my pride told me to strive for it. I passed the screening but upon interview, I told you earlier, everything failed except one so yes, I was rejected. Honestly, I never encountered this many failures up until that time, so it was really discouraging. I spent nights thinking to myself what did I do wrong? Why my smooth life got so bumpy and harsh. Anyway, I made a lot of friends but I was also mentally hurt, and unknowingly my first year went by.

~ to be continue

Inequality = Bad?

 

To follow up from the post of SHSS course I posted late last week, I would like to share some thoughts about one of my favorite topic; namely, wealth inequality.

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Retrieved from Google 17 July 2017. All rights reserved.

In 2014 after the English version of Capital in 21st Century by Thomas Piketty was published, wealth inequality once again became a popular topics among economists (Ted, 2014). While the focal point is nothing new – I believe everyone knows that the world is very unequal – but this book shows further comparison and the cruel realities of the current society in regard of wealth distribution. Piketty also stated some possible causes of increasing inequality, one key reason is r>g. Since I am here to share my opinion and not his thus I will not go too deep of the explanation of those variables. If you are interested but has low or no economic background, I recommend you to read this Ted summary or watch this khan academy video before actually attempt to read the book.

So is having wealth inequality (from here on: inequality) MUST be bad?
Being a little philosophical, nothing in the world is absolute thus the easy answer is no. But if you surf the net, consult the expert, ask people around you or just think about it deeper, inequality does sound really bad. This statement assumed that you are not from the upper class or you are a reasonable billionaire that could put yourself in the other’s shoes. Before judging me to be contradictory, let’s see why inequality is bad to the society based on T.M. Scanlon (2014);
1. Economic inequality can give wealthier people an unacceptable degree of control over the lives of others — I say power exploitation
2. Economic inequality can undermine the fairness of political institutions — I say money play in politics
3. Economic inequality undermines the fairness of the economic system itself — I saw social mobility being impede due to dirty politics
4. Workers, as participants in a scheme of cooperation that produces national income, have a claim to a fair share of what they have helped to produce. — A bit complex to me, but seems like equal profit sharing is the workers’ rights.
Looking from just these four very reasonable concerns, once again inequality really does cause damaged. But when I looked at them deeper, all of the points above were the result of the rich exploitation and people’s greediness/unwillingness to share. To get a better understanding, I read some papers of this issue and there is this research where it argued that “some level of inequality is necessary in a modern economy” (OECD, 2014), and another history book argued being strictly equal could impede economic growth for example China in 1930s to 1940s. Summing up all the research results and analysis, I believe that this negativity of inequality originated from society that on the top of having high level of inequality also allowed money talk. Conclusion first, just like almost everything in the world, inequality in good up to some degree and when it passed beyond this level – and become too unequal – problem arise. The unfavorable outcomes especially amplified in the society that favor money.

Disclaimer: This is my own argument with no proof or data (yet!), just following my logic and limited readings.

So up until here, I put a lot of other people’s arguments but from here on I am going philosophical.

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Retrieved from Google 17 July 2017. All rights reserved.

All humans were born unique, meaning we have different physical attributes, different personality and interest and different family situation. Everyone has their own problems and ways to solve them. Our talent different to one another and even our life time ticking in different speed on the different clock. There is always sky above a sky but all of them are sky: you always find couple people above you and above them and above them but in the end you can be anywhere because by nature you are the same. A group of people are luckier than another, another handful have more opportunities than the rest. But the rest might strive on their one and only chance by hard work and persistence. You might think that you work more than the others but the others might also think the same way. So in the end, the society is never equal and fair because the one who initiate the change will create their own fate while the left-over people will stuck in a place where they could only moan on their unfortunate live.

 

Moving on, Piketty’s argument of capital as the driver of inequality is so logical. If your parents are rich then you might be better off and maybe become richer. However, this does not mean that it is totally unfair. Their parents work very hard to save all the wealth they have to pass it on to their children, it is not like they actually had a gold tree from God thus they became rich. Discarding those who attained their wealth with dishonesty, I believe that the rich also had worked hard to save more. If they happened to buy and sell property right before the market burst, etc then it is their luck. Also, not every rich people give their fortune to their kids (though rare) and not every kids could maintain the wealth and social status the received (more common), so it is just part of how the world work. For those who pile their wealth dishonestly which correlate with the second point from Piketty where CEOs pushed their salary way beyond the bar and piled up property that later might be handed down to their offspring, frankly nothing can be said from this, it’s just there are evil and greed, balance of the world. Yin and Yang.

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Retrieved from Google 17 July 2017. All rights reserved.

In conclusion, inequality is part of the nature, good or bad, one should just embrace it and do our best to strive despite the initial situation. Then their attitude will be tested once their succeeded, if they are willing to share, utilize the power they have for good, then the society will improve together and have a healthy level of inequality. But if they are corrupt, then it is up to those who want to change the situation to take actions.
Lastly, despite everything I mentioned, I must admit that the inequality level in the current society has way passed beyond the bar and it is bad. However, here I want to relay that inequality itself is not better or worse than being equal but how the society; especially the rich and powerful group, cope with the situation is the key.

Understanding China: Data Analytics Approach

Warning: VERY LONG POST and it is a REVIEW on the mentioned course (more info).

Hi readers, this post might be associated with a kind of advertisement but here is my full review on this course called Understanding China 1700-2000: Data Analytics Approach by Prof. James Z. Lee of HKUST that was offered as part of HKUST Summer Global Seminar (code: SHSS 3001) as well as in coursera. I took the on-site course in HKUST this summer. In fact today marked the last day of class so enjoy the pizza while fresh 🙂

Overview
They called it flipped classroom; Intensive three weeks course with total 9 face to face classes, 8 team assignments and several lecture videos accompanied with long supplement reading list; some English and a couple in Chinese. It was not a crowded class with around 30 students, Prof. Lee as lead professor and couple shadow teachers; could be a bit too large for thorough discussion but acceptable. The dynamic of the students is also one thing to mention, maybe 1/4 HKUST students, 5/12 students from Mainland universities and the rest 1/3 are Hong Kong high school students, so the age ranged from maybe 15-22. This is important because the team members were picked by the instructor such that there is a good mix of each categories, or in other words we were obliged to work with people from different background. This work includes five 15 minutes presentations and three 1000 words essay and we have to submit each every other days, i.e. Monday’s assignment shall be submitted on Tuesday, Wednesday’s assignment’s deadline is Thursday, Friday assignments due on Saturday. Each presenting/writing group worked on different but correlated topics thus allowed wide range of discussion. But since in a way we have less than 48 hours to work on the assignments (but you will see that this was not necessarily true), sometimes the scope is arguably narrow.

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Screenshot of my notes during the last two weeks.

My Approach
To give you a better understanding before judging, these are some things that were available to me before/right after the intensive weeks started.
1. Syllabus — consisted of detailed lecture topics, assignments’ topics for each class
2. Lecture videos — all of them are available simultaneously
3. Assigned/suggested readings
And later on the team members. Lastly, I am also working in the later half of the day every weekdays thus time is scarce.
My approach was to do weekend lecture marathon or (if you prefer) weekend binge watching, just substitute the C-drama with lecture videos…. I have better listening memory than reading memory, so I just need to listen to the lecture videos (rewind when needed) while I need to take notes/highlight the reading material. Confession time, skimming academic work was time costly, so I normally just google the keywords fist and copy pasted interesting information to my google drive with the link thus I can refer back to it whenever; academic works come second. This is one way to stretch that assignment time constraint, since we knew the questions beforehand, it is possible to pile up materials and even make the whole assignments in one weekend, of course it is also subject to team mates. But anyway, I found this is an ideal learning style for me because I can freely pursue things that I find interesting, using the assigned question as a stepping zone. I did everything in the weekend, organized it so that I could retrieved these information in an instant through the weekdays.

Overall Impressions
As might have been implied, in general I really fancy this class. I love the classroom model and I learnt new knowledge about China and general social science issues, and undeniably trained my soft skills. To be fair, my initial reasons of taking this course was partly because the only other option was this course called China in Film: Modern Chinese Culture and Identities, no judging but I had a feeling that I’m not lovin’ it and partly because the class time aligned beautifully above my work shifts; a little part is because of the word ‘data’ in the title — I just love data. Anyway, since I never have been fond of anything related to humanities and with that mountain of reading materials, I was ready to have to worst and harshest three weeks in my summer. Harsh yes (not harshest) but worst? Nah, it was a very fruitful three weeks where I deepened my understanding towards the future outlook of social science research in China. Though I am still unconvinced with some proposed theories which therefor make me confused but I will safe this to the later part of this post.

About Flipped Classroom (try to Google it if you are not sure of this teaching model)
It was my second flipped classroom experience and I had always liked it. No more dozing off in 9am lecture, instead an efficient weekend lecture marathon when I am most alert. I can also fast forward and rewind the video as necessary but most importantly, I can refer back to first class lecture even now when I had finished the course. Frankly, I didn’t watch ALL videos thoroughly, some really did not trigger any of my interest while others I might go back and forth couple times just make sure I saved the right information or to check the new understanding/idea that dawned to me after watching the later part of the videos. Overall, positive feeling about this model, efficient and applicable to independent students.

About the Intensiveness
People often say: Time is money; and I am one of the firm believer of this saying. Having tight deadline and being chased by time energized me with thrill. This might sound a bit exaggerated but I am not. Hard to explain, generally it was like when we started to run, the first tens of seconds was rather painful but once the adrenaline pumps in you became so excited. This course was so short; it started off a bit messy due to team arrangement problem but after things settled down the excitement crashed in. Before I knew it, it was over. So maybe if this is a semester long course it will not be as stimulating but the fact that everything is packed in just three weeks really change the whole picture. Another positive feeling here.

About the Assigned Team
My group was consisted of me (final year business student), two female Mainland’s students, a person from HKUST and one high school girl. From the previous sentence only, can be seen that I am not familiar with them at all, even after working together for eight assignments. OK, so I believe that the core of teamwork is discussion. Disagreements are bound to happen thus it is critical to state one’s opinion and convinced others to agree on the presented arguments; no wrong, no right, just who are more persuasive. So my team mates, not sure if it is due to the unfamiliarity or just nature, they did not talk much and easily convinced. When the idea they brought up was challenged, they waver too soon. To them I might not be a good team mate either because I demand a lot and challenged almost everything that did not align to my understanding (sorry team mates, I am just sincerely curious and I don’t want to explain what I don’t believe). We did not really do topic division because the greedy me wants to know everything but they did not have the initiatives either. Additionally, our working pace are very different, my “time is money” is not theirs, so frankly it was VERY FRUSTRATING.
However, later on with adaptability and stress management, we managed to survive. I told them why I am such a pushover and finally everyone opened up (after the second assignments or so). Then we started to organized ourselves better, normally I do the structure, outline and everything that considered as first step then they do the content, then I questioned everything that I don’t understand and when our understanding coincide we move on to writing/presentation. So, here is the downside of having team working in a super intensive course, while it is possible to adapt very quickly but due to the time tension, some people might just ended-up left out (happened to my group). We also did not get to know each other well enough to further take the discussions outside the assigned questions. So short timing could do a good favor in terms of excitement while on the other hand might kill the essence of having teamwork (because we just do our part and no discussion encouraged in process). Overall, negative experience.

About the Topics
The topic list could be seen from coursera (link above) but to summarize, the course mainly talked about the history of China, gender, marriage, culture, new findings from the recent quantitative data sets, rich and poor, inequality, so on and so forth. Since I am majoring in economics, I am most interested in the wealth inequality part. Here is where we talked about Piketty’s book (2014) that took a new approach toward wealth inequality. Reach out to me please if we share the same interest. My least favorite is the analysis of data from one province in China, Shuangcheng. It is certainly a breakthrough since it utilized data to tell the story of the past and I can tell the scholar really did a great job on it. The thing I doubt is the data itself how representative is the data and how true is it? I read a lot about data manipulation in China, especially in the communist era thus it just make me skeptical about mostly everything. Addressing this concern in class was not much help because I know the answer is we hold on to the data we have at the moment and let the future scholar proved/disproved things when additional data is retrieved. So, while I am not convinced with some of the topics but what certain is I learnt a lot of Chinese history, even beyond the assigned questions because everything just seems to be correlated one another, and it is. Besides, with the presence of shadow teachers, the class discussion on the topic rose one level higher and generate interesting perspective and new knowledge. Overall, positive again~

That was way beyond 1000 words and I know I should stop now. Just want to recite that this is really a good class, and I sincerely recommend it. One thing that I don’t know yet is the grading, which I know is important, but I just hope for the best.

Happy graduation to me!

Shout Out for Change

I will start by concluding my post: Indonesia is getting worse day by day.

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Retrieved from Google 21 June 2017. All rights reserved.

It is not that I have any grudge against the country but this just too ridiculous and shameful. First of all, I think the world know pretty well about the Indonesian governor, Ahok, who was accused for blasphemy and got two years period of imprisonment. While I read everything from the news so I cannot be 100% sure but here is how I see it. I believe that as soon as his unfavorable comment was said, he was accused for blasphemy right away. The case went to the court and he was called for trial, a lot of march against him and Christian in general. The case was rather lengthy due to time clash with the capital governor’s election. Anyway, the funny thing was, right after he lost the election, he was announced guilty and sentenced for two years in jail. I don’t know him, I am not his supporter or whatsoever, so I kind of in a neutral position but even from this perspective, I can see rotten play in this case as described by the New York Times. I am no lawyer but since I am pretty familiar with money power in Indonesia, I am pretty confident to say there is something more than just blasphemy behind the conviction of this governor. This first issue, you might think, Indonesia is ok, this happened everywhere because this is just how politics role. I agree so lets proceed.

bhi
Retrieved from Google 21 June 2017. All rights reserved.

Second highlighter point is; muslimisation of the country. As a country with the biggest muslim population, it has always been a goal for some interest group to make the country an islam country but after the blasphemy case, it just got worse. More than a few groups expressed their desire to change Indonesia to an Islam country, the most recent was this university group (the article is in Indonesian but Google translation pretty much capture the right meaning). Once again, since I am not living there nor do I want to stay there in the future (if possible) thus once again, I am trying to look at things from a neutral perspective. There was a viral response to the previous video of university oath which showed the reactions from the veteran who fought for the independence of Indonesia, their responses were heart-breaking to me, as you know, I am sensitive. But knowing their history and their current condition and their disappointed faces, it just a little too much…
Moving on, still about muslimisation, the biggest interest group to this rally in Indonesia is Front Pembela Islam (FPI). They are the people who claimed to represent the islam in the country, not that I ever believe in representation but anyway, I ain’t muslim so I don’t really understand their practice but the attitude of people in this group were terrible. The most recent issue including the head of FPI charged to pornography crime, and FPI asked children to accompany a march against Ahok while shouting ‘Kill him, kill him’, read through BBC. Is this how religious people should act like? Oh BTW, FPI head reported fled to Saudi Arabia and claimed to never come back…
Moreover, analyzing their actions through Google, nothing nice ever came up as far as I concern; actually more like criminal record, clashes with other group, a lot of political march, etc (source: Wikipedia, again it’s in Indonesian but since the sentences are short, Google translate is enough). Last point in this topic, as long as I could remember, the crime rate in Indonesia has always reported increase in the period near Ramadhan. Again, not sure about the practice but do you think you can do bad things and get forgiven after Ramadhan? I think that is too much to ask. I should highlight that I don’t despise islam, I believe that it is a good religion, not better or worse than other religions. It’s more of the people, they are persuasive but their way of doing is not correct to my standard, though looking at the trend, it’s leaning there. Indonesian, do you really want to be led there, that kind of Islam country? Doooomm…

Point three, about attitude. Earlier this week, the Indonesia Open 2017 was held in the capital. It is more like an international badminton match and has been a respectable event, well at least until couple days ago. Since badminton is one of the country’s best sport, it was no wonder that most of Indonesian teams reached top stage, including the male double. Last Saturday, they played Denmark’s pair Mathias Boe/Carsten Mogensen and lost fair and square. Nothing scandalous, except for the foul comments by the spectators which was disrespectful to the Denmark players, to be fair actually threatening remarks. When I saw it, I felt so shameful. Even though it was a home play but I felt sport world should be at least respectful. If you want all Indonesia’s opponent to just ‘GO HOME’, then just don’t bother to invite them at all, this is stupid.
While I am not saying Indonesian have bad attitude, but they are just too easily get provoked by their surroundings. Around the world of course there are people like this, but there are just too much in this country. You can prove it by following Indonesian social media, most often in Twitter, whenever something came up then it will soon be a trending hashtag. Seldom people care of the truthfulness of the news and share it anyway just to show that they are up-to-date. I once read a report that Indonesia is one of the country in which social media user was the most gullible in the net, not sure where and honestly, I cannot find the page now, but I personally agree so I mentioned it here; apparently, some people also agree.

Okay, this seems like a pretty long post but with one conclusion: Indonesia is getting worse day by day. Though informally, everyone have to change, but this change needed a push, hard push. Let people understand what is Bhinneka Tunggal Ika and what is Negara Kesatuan Republik Indonesia should be. With all respect, do you think that this push could be initiate from the top, @Jokowi?
Thank you.