Ahok the unreasonable man

George Bernard Shaw once said the reasonable man adapts himself to the world, the unreasonable man adapts the world to himself. All progress depends on the unreasonable man.

Mandela was an unreasonable man when he challenged the status quo’s Apartheid system, and he was sentenced to 27 years in jail for it. Gandhi and Sukarno both refused to accept the normal situation of their day, both respectively tried to get rid of a colonial ruler, and as a backlash both were sent to prison numerous times.

Ahok is also an unreasonable man, who tries to make many positive changes in a bleak and very corrupted environment.

The fact that he had 70% approval ratings just months ago from the work he has done, but sentenced to 2 years in prison for blasphemy today, is a true testament on how strong (and effective) the corrupted power behind the black campaigns is.

Regardless of all the possible theories or political strategies behind this move, the simple fact remains: what little faith I had in the Indonesian justice system before, it’s all gone now.

Further readings:

The Guardian view on blasphemy in Indonesia: exploiting religion for political purposes [The Guardian / Editorial]

Watchdog warns of ‘frightening’ future for Indonesia after Ahok case [Asian Correspondence]

Harus diakui, hakim bekerja dibawah tekanan gelombang massa [Kompas / Fabian Januarius Kuwado]

Ahok’s satisfied non-voters: an anatomy [New Mandala / Marcus Mietzner and Burhanuddin Muhtadi]

Anti-Ahok protests: why were Nahdlatul Ulama and Muhammadiyah sidelined? [The University of Melbourne / Ahmad Syarif Syechbubakr]

A sad reality: radical Islamic groups are the new kingmakers of Indonesian politics [The New York Times / Eka Kurniawan]

Cerita Ibnu Muljam, sangat pas utk menggambarkan para oknum yg dibayar utk menangin pilkada DKI [NU Kita]

Anies Sandi menggunakan Mesjid untuk kalahkan Ahok Djarot? [BBC Indonesia]

The Fall of Ahok and Indonesia’s Future [The Diplomat / Nithin Coca]

The rise of intolerance: Indonesia has been mercifully resistant to extremism—until now [The Economist]

It’s not who won the election, but HOW they won it [Time / Yenni Kwok]

Trump’s Indonesian allies in bed with ISIS-backed militia seeking to oust elected president [The Intercept / Allan Nairn]

Terima kasih Ahok

Selamat untuk Anies Sandi atas kemenangan nya. I sincerely wish you both the best di dalam mengemban tugas baru, demi maju nya kota kita semua.

Terima kasih Ahok, untuk 5 tahun yang singkat tapi sangat bermanfaat: 2 tahun wakil gubernur dan 3 tahun gubernur.

Terima kasih untuk berbagai infrastruktur baru yang penting kayak flyover Kampung Melayu-Tanah Abang, Flyover Tendean-Cileduk, pembangunan Simpang Semanggi, dan yang paling penting, MRT.

Terima kasih untuk puluhan ruang hijau terbuka seperti taman Jagakarsa, taman Sunter, taman Zodia, taman Tanjung 2, taman PPA, dan yang paling drastis taman waduk Ria Rio.

Terima kasih udah nutup tempat2 prostitusi, transaksi narkoba, perdagangan manusia kayak Stadium, Kalijodo dan Diskotik Milles, tapi nggak nutup Alexis (pesan titipan dari temen).

Terima kasih udah bikin Jakarta jauh berkurang banjir nya, penghuni2 ilegal di batang kali dikasih rumah tinggal susun yang manusiawi, dan rakyat menengah kebawah dibayarin semua dari sakit sampe sekolah dan di subsidi untuk kuliah.

Terima kasih untuk team oranye nya yang ngeruk kali2, melancarkan kembali gorong2, bersihin sampah yang bergunung2. Terima kasih untuk team warna-warni lainnya yang mengerjakan banyak fungsi penting masyarakat.

Terima kasih udah memajukan Masjid Jakarta Islamic Centre untuk etalase keilmuan keislaman dan wisata religi. Terima kasih udah membangun Masjid Fatahilah di Balai Kota, Masjid al-Hijrah di rusun Marunda, Masjid Al-Muhajirin di Rusun Pesakih dan yang paling penting Masjid Agung Jakarta seluas 2 hektar di Daan Mogot yang umat muslim Jakarta bisa banggakan.

Terima kasih udah memberi bantuan 15-75 juta rupiah untuk 118 musholla, mesjid dan Majelis Taklim (SK GUB Nomor 2589 Tahun 2015). Dan untuk 125 lagi mendapat bantuan 15-100 juta pada tahun depan nya (SK GUB Nomor 308 Tahun 2016).

Terima kasih udah mengumrohkan 30 orang penjaga Masjid/Mushola (Marbot) dan Makam (kuncen) pada tahun 2014, 40 orang pada tahun 2015, 50 orang pada tahun 2016 dan 100 orang pada tahun ini.

And last but not least, terima kasih udah beresin birokrasi yang ribet, udah meluruskan yang bengkok2 dan mengurangkan drastis benalu2 anggaran.

Thank you so much, we truly don’t deserve you.

Trump’s strike on Syria

Just in case you missed it: Trump gave the order to his national security team, to fire those 59 missiles at Syria’s airbase, just before meeting Chinese president Xi Jinping. Trump then sat through dinner with Xi as the strike was under way.

Now that’s cold blooded, because China is an Assad backer. Hence, is this action a provocation by trump or a leverage for Trump in his meeting with Xi?

Trump may be justified for condeming the chemical attack conducted by Assad on [rebel opposition] civilians, but he didn’t say jack shit when Israel (US proxy in the Middle East) did the same thing on the civilians in Gaza. So this “retaliation” is never about moral reasons.

So what is it about then? Whatever is going on in Trump’s head, in the first few weeks of his presidency he reduces State Dept budget, cuts foreign aid, closes borders and uses the fund allocations to expand his military. So take a wild guess on what Trump will eventually do in his presidency.

6 people are reportedly killed, the strike didn’t get through approval by congress first, not to mention that it violates international law. And with Assad’s Syrian government acting as the proxy for Russia in the Middle East, US directly striking Syria is equivalent to Russia directly striking Israel. And as you can guess, Putin is now pissed.

*Grabs popcorn

Tamasya Al Maidah

Tamasya Al Maidah: 1.3 juta “umat” dateng ke 13000 TPS di Jakarta di hari pilkada, jadi 100 orang di tiap TPS untuk “mengawal” agar orang2 “bebas memilih.” https://m.detik.com/news/berita/d-3474763/tamasya-al-maidah-jadi-digelar-diselenggarakan-di-seluruh-tps-dki

Segitu nggak pede nya kah sama kemampuan sendiri, sampe black campaign bawa-bawa agama dan suku aja udah nggak cukup, dan sekarang harus nerror?

I’m not going to be subtle, because I’m pissed, agama gua yang suci disalah gunakan untuk tujuan yang busuk: ngejatuhin lawan politik. You know exactly what I’m talking about: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/apr/15/jakarta-election-challenger-anies-accused-of-courting-islamic-vote-amid-religious-divide

Just in case masih ada yang ragu kalo tim sukses nya Anies ada dibalik semua ini apa nggak, tau siapa sebenernya ketua panitia Tamasya Al Maidah ustadz Ansufri ID Sambo? None other than guru agama nya Prabowo http://www.gerilyapolitik.com/terbongkar-ketua-panitia-tamasya-al-maidah-adalah-guru-agama-prabowo/

Premanisme dan Islam emang beda tipis di kamus mereka. Sekarang siapa yang penista agama? How can any thinking Muslim be okay with this.

Further reference:

Ketua Panitia Tamasya Al-Maidah ustaz [sic] Ansufri ID Sambo dilaporkan ke Bawaslu DKI Jakarta https://m.detik.com/news/berita/d-3475347/panitia-tamasya-al-maidah-dilaporkan-ke-bawaslu-dki

Is Zakir Naik a radical, or a smart tolerant?

He says that music and dancing are haram, he says girls shouldn’t be sent to school, that it is not necessarily a bad thing to beat your wife.

He says that those performing sex outside marriage should be stoned to death, homosexuals should be killed, and he advocates chopping off hands as a punishment for stealing.

He supports wiping out other Islamic sects other than Sunni, and believes that other religion shouldn’t be allowed to build their house of worship in an Islamic country. He never condemns Osama Bin Laden, in fact he says that suicide attacks advised by clerics in not a bad thing.

These controversial comments made him banned from entering UK, Canada and Malaysia. ISIS use his “wisdom” to justify slaughtering minority Islamic sects, while the suicide bomber in Dhaka last year directly quote him as an inspiration.

So why do they embrace Zakir Naik here in Indonesia, and why do the govt let this Salafi ideologue preach to thousands of people?

But yet, when reading about what he said in Bekasi over the weekend, it’s actually mild. People who loves him often said that he’s smart and can provide a light on comparative work on different religions, that his work tries to straighten up the wrong image of Islam after 9/11.

So which one is it then, is he a radical or a smart tolerant? Both examples are out there in the media in almost equal measure. Am I missing something here?

The beginning of the end in the battle to save the planet

Donald Trump has just signed an executive order today, to undo Obama-era rules aimed at tackling global warming. With the US as the 2nd largest polluter in the world after China, this action means the 2 degree Celsius warming cap would likely to be breached, and would have direct negative impacts towards our planet.

2 degree Celsius rise is the benchmark set by the Copenhagen Climate Change Summit in 2009, and again in Paris Climate Change Conference on early December 2015, where the participating nations pledged to keep global warming (since the Industrial Age) under 2 degree Celsius, which already almost an impossible task to begin with.

Record breaking warming keep on occurring every month in the past 2 years, which includes the strongest El Niño in decades. According to the Met Office the record breaking El Niño confirmed that the world has already “reached the halfway point towards the arbitrary “threshold” of a 2 degree Celsius increase on pre-industrial levels judged to be potentially dangerous for climate change.”

The Met Office then elaborate, “[while] scientists estimate that around 2900 gigatons (a gigaton is 1 billion metric ton) of CO2 can be emitted into the atmosphere before the 2 degree Celsius threshold is likely to be breached, industrialised nations have already about 2000 gigatons which means that the world has used about two thirds of its 2 degree Celsius “budget” of fossil fuels.”

Furthermore, in 2011 a think tank in London called Carbon Tracker Initiative conducted a research which found that the oil, gas and coal reserves that are claimed by all fossil fuel companies represent 2,795 gigatons of carbon, which is 5 times the maximum size of carbon that can be burned between 2011 and 2049 (around 565 gigatons) in order for us to keep warming below 2 degree Celsius.

The problem is, those reserves represent roughly $27 trillion in value, more than 10 times the annual GDP of the United Kingdom, and to keep warming under 2 degree Celsius approximately 80% of that reserves should remain grounded and become useless assets in these fossil fuel companies’ book, and there’s no way that they will comply without a fight. The Obama-era rules were the attempt to curb the activities to extract fossil fuels, while the executive order signed by Trump, conversely, largely based on the quest for profit from these fossil fuels.

While we’re entering the possibility of breaching the 2 degree cap, a report by the World Bank warns that as things stand, if we don’t make any changes in the way the world operates (i.e. like the fossil fuel production), by the end of this century “we’re on track [even] for a 4 degree Celsius warmer world marked by heat waves, declining global food stocks, loss of ecosystems and biodiversity, and life threatening sea level rise.” The report also cautioned that “there is also no certainty that [our] adaptation to a 4 degree Celsius [warming] world is possible.”

As an illustration, while 2 degree Celsius warming could drown Pacific nations and the likes of Maldives, 4 degree Celsius warming would drown big cities like London and Dublin, cities that have huge river in the middle of it.

In her book This Changes Everything, Naomi Klein pointed out that currently the temperature have specifically increased by 0.8 degree Celsius, but this is already enough to create several alarming impacts, I may add, such as the El Niño and melting ice in West Antarctica, which could raise seas by 3 metres and cause a $43 trillion calamity, as scientists predict most of the ice will be gone in 2050.

Meanwhile, even at the current levels climate change can throw 100 million people into poverty, and can wipe out 50 years of global health gains. Scientists also concluded that currently [in this 0.8 degree warming world] the earth has already exceeded 4 out of the 9 limits for hospitable life, with many species labelled “the walking dead“, including the world’s oceans that are facing the biggest coral die-off in history, and perhaps most importantly, humans.

Nevertheless, scientists have also found that there’s indeed a direct link between the increase of CO2 level and the increase in thermal radiation heating earth’s surface. Proofing that human activities really caused accelerated global warming, and thus we can also curb it. Hence the 2 degree Celsius pledge in the climate summit theoretically still possible to be obtained.

But as of today this optimism dies off in the hand of Donald Trump, without him fully understands what he has done. We can visibly see the destruction global warming have made so far with only 0.8 degree warming, and thanks to Trump the 2 degree cap would likely to be breached, taking us towards the doomsday scenario of a 4 degree warming described by the World Bank.

One day humanity might look back at this moment as the beginning of the end in our battle to save the planet. What a dangerous human being this powerful idiot is.

Note: the majority of the facts and arguments I presented here have been posted before in 100 things I learned and did in 2015 no 63-68.

R.I.P. somebody I never really knew

I hesitated for 2 days to post this pic, because I’m not that close with her, and the only 1 time I met her after graduating high school was 6 years ago, on a less-than-an-hour lunch.

But yet I’m pretty bumped out that she’s gone, without knowing why. And then I realise something just now.

Everyone have 24 hours a day, from jobless and homeless people to presidents and billionaires. We don’t have time but we make time, time to do what’s required, and time left to do what’s important for us. And as we grow older, our priorities change and grow with us. Some become busy with their small family, some travel the world, some got caught up at work, and most of us got new friends and colleagues along the way.

The death of an old friend is a cruel reminder, of the time we have half-wasted being busy doing these grown up stuff.

And now I actually regret not making more time to spend with someone I never really knew.

R.I.P. Agnes.

The big picture on the development of philosophy

“Philosophy 100 Essential Thinkers” by Philip Stokes

In its most basic function, philosophy is essentially a battle of ideas. With that in mind, this book neatly spotted some of history’s best philosophers in a cronological order, and gives us the big picture on the battle of ideas.

Out of the 100 in the book we find the usual bunch of philosophers such as Plato, Kant, Kierkegaard, and Descartes, mixed it with those who develop their philosophy from their vocation like Darwin, Keynes, Lenin, Einstein, and Freud, with a lot of important – but relatively unknown to the general public – thinkers such as Ernst Mach, Ludwig Wittgenstein, and Michel Foucault also arguing their theories.

The book explains the ideas of each philosopher in a concise manner, explains how or why they think like that and what happened in their lives that eventually shaped those ideas, and also highlighted who influences whom and who despises whom.

More interestingly, the book brilliantly construct the battle of ideas in such a way that as if the philosophers were all having a passionate debate in the same room.

Just as it were in real life, the arguments are messy, sometimes illogical, but ultimately vital to the development of philosophical thoughts into what we all believe in today’s society.

They’re right, game theory is an effective tool for parenting

“The Game Theorist’s Guide to Parenting: How the science of strategic thinking can help you deal with the toughest negotiators you know — your kids” by Paul Raeburn and Kevin Zollman

I initially bought and read this book because I love behavioural economics, and I’m intrigued by the idea of using game theory as a strategy to raise my kids.

But to my delightful surprise, the book covers more grounds than just parenting. The authors give the widest range of examples from the fascinating world of game theory, and can somehow directly put them in the context of parenting.

Even for those who are not looking for a parenting guide can still immensely enjoy the book, as its tools can also be applicable in other types of relationships.

It is hugely entertaining, often funny, and most importantly the theories work very effectively.

16 million copies sold since the 1930s and it’s not difficult to see why

“How to win friends and influence people” by Dale Carnegie

I used to be this incredibly positive person growing up, never criticise and can always see the good side of people. Then something happened in 2005, harsh reality sets in, series of failures and many rejections changed me. Once had a quite promising future, the downturn made me look like a joke, the silent judgement made me bitter and the confrontational insults sank me.

Then I crawl myself out from the abyss using my angry energy. I altered my life to finance and never look back, and all the things I’ve earned since then – albeit still relatively nothing, and still a long ongoing process – are achieved by being tough. I became disciplined, incredibly efficient and wasted no time.

That took some toll on my behaviour towards others. I increasingly have no time for small talks and getting to know new people. Placing the highest priority on truth, I became a frank talker, always speaking up my mind, and often directly correcting people when they’re wrong.

But perhaps most significantly I constantly expect 100% from people, the way I push myself to always be on 100% alert. When they fail to do so I got angry and never fail to criticise, just as I would’ve done harshly to myself (hey that angry energy works out for me, surely it can work on everyone?)

After a while, I secretly hate who I’ve become, that easily irritated person. But then I can’t possibly begin to let the truth unspoken, to tolerate the tiniest mistakes or 0.001 second of lateness, or all the unfairness I see regularly in front of my eyes. I’ve tried, so damn hard, to tolerate but to no avail.

Then I accidentally found the book “How to win friends and influence others” by Dale Carnegie.

16 million copies sold since 1930s and it’s not difficult to see why. Based on years of research and countless social experiments, the thesis that Dale Carnegie is presenting in the book is not merely a theory but a proven success first through his lectures and sessions, which then expanded vastly to become this book.

The writing style delightfully use 1930s tone and slangs, with an easy to read language. The content itself is very condensed, very rich with wisdom and very straight forward down to business. Indeed, every sentence is a gem, every paragraph is inspirational, and every chapter is life changing. They are heartwarming to read and each page literally filled me with enthusiastic energy.

Moreover, Carnegie presents his thesis not as a countering argument against our existing views, but as a way to see the views from different angles and a whole new level of understanding, and back them with so many stories from history and [1930s] current affairs. He can tell like 10 different stories to make just 1 point, stories which can somehow merge together into one related chapter. He also quoted many books and relevant quotations from many great people.

It is very inspiring to read how great people control their behaviour and empowering their surroundings, people like Theodore Roosevelt, Martin Luther King Jr., John D Rockefeller, Andrew Carnegie, Charles Dickens, Charles Schwab, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Napoleon Bonaparte, and many “ordinary individuals” with great stories to tell. I learn a lot in particular from the way Benjamin Franklin change his opinionated self into a master in diplomacy, and the way Abraham Lincoln handle his anger from past failures, which I feel directly related with my case.

Eventually, like many of the people giving reviews, this book has indeed changed the way I interact with people and has made the quality of my life instantly better. I’m starting to be back to my old self, start pleasantly talking with strangers, have a better control over my emotions, and perhaps most fundamentally in my eyes those many idiots have suddenly become those struggling people who have fundamental desire to feel important. Criticisms towards others have been reduced, while the sincere praises increased as well as the focus on their interests.

All in all, this is the fastest book I read so far cover to cover, and the easiest to make a review on. It is also the book that I highlighted the most up to a point that I began to think that it’s pointless highlighting them because I would’ve highlighted the whole book. It’s not hard to see why this book is such a hit for 80 years running, without a doubt one of the best I’ve ever read.

Key takeaways:

1 Nobody likes to be criticised. People rarely feel that they are wrong, and if criticised will usually try to justify themselves and be defensive, and ended up further damaging the task.

2 Feeling of importance: “If you tell me how you get your feeling of importance, I’ll tell you what you are. That determines your character. That is the most significant thing about you.” Lack of appreciation, therefore, is one of the main cause of damaged relationship. Lesson: give honest and sincere appreciation on others.

3 “So the only way on earth to influence other people is to talk about what they want and show them how to get it.”

4 “You can make more friends in two months by becoming interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get other people interested in you.”

5 “…. the average person is more interested in his or her own name than in all the other names on earth put together. Remember that name and call it easily, and you have paid a subtle and very effective compliment. But forget it or misspell it—and you have placed yourself at a sharp disadvantage.”

6 Talk in terms of the other person’s interests. “So if you aspire to be a good conversationalist, be an attentive listener. To be interesting, be interested. Ask questions that other persons will enjoy answering. Encourage them to talk about themselves and their accomplishments.”

7 “There is one all-important law of human conduct. If we obey that law, we shall almost never get into trouble. In fact, that law, if obeyed, will bring us countless friends and constant happiness. But the very instant we break the law, we shall get into endless trouble. The law is this: Always make the other person feel important.”

8 Make the other person feel important, and do it sincerely.

9 “You can’t win an argument. You can’t because if you lose it, you lose it; and if you win it, you lose it. Why? Well, suppose you triumph over the other man and shoot his argument full of holes and prove that he is non compos mentis. Then what? You will feel fine. But what about him? You have made him feel inferior. You have hurt his pride. He will resent your triumph. And… A man convinced against his will is of the same opinion still.”

10 “If you tell them they are wrong, do you make them want to agree with you? Never! For you have struck a direct blow at their intelligence, judgment, pride and self-respect. That will make them want to strike back. It is difficult, under even the most benign conditions, to change people’s minds. So why make it harder? Why handicap yourself? If you are going to prove anything, don’t let anybody know it. Do it so subtly, so adroitly, that no one will feel that you are doing it.”

11 “Few people are logical. Most of us are prejudiced and biased. Most of us are blighted with preconceived notions, with jealousy, suspicion, fear, envy and pride. And most citizens don’t want to change their minds about their religion or their haircut or communism or their favorite movie star.”

12 “I am convinced now that nothing good is accomplished and a lot of damage can be done if you tell a person straight out that he or she is wrong. You only succeed in stripping that person of self-dignity and making yourself an unwelcome part of any discussion.”

13 “Any fool can try to defend his or her mistakes—and most fools do—but it raises one above the herd and gives one a feeling of nobility and exultation to admit one’s mistakes.”