This is life, there's always pressure.
If you're not feeling pressure then you're not alive.
It is wrong to give up before you fight.
You give up before you fight and you might as well die.
note: I discovered just now that I had hit 'Save Draft' instead o Publish; sorry to appear to fool anyone but I did actually write this at the time indicated...
How do I tell the world that I don't want to graduate? I mean, how can I possibly afford not to graduate? Everything, every possible path involved in my living the rest of my life in relative comfort revolves around the concept of my having an undergraduate degree. I can't work without an undergraduate degree. I do not have any skill, no matter how I think to the contrary, if I do not have an undergraduate degree.
How do I know that I don't want to graduate? Is it just plain denial now that it is so obvious that I CANNOT FINNISH MY graduation &paper by the 15 thus I cannot possibly graduate? What right do I have to go against the wishes of the world and selfishly declare that I will not pass through this mandated initiation right into the modern 21st century Indonesian workforce that all middle class citizens must pass through lest the person be considered a vagrant beligerent non-person with nothing but uncouth thoughts coursing through the person's mind?
first, a short thesis on the creative commons. If you're not interested in reading another one of my rants, then you may want to go directly to my disclaimer text. If not, then well...
So why did I license the contents of my blog to the creative commons license? Well, basically its because I believe that copyright today as a legal concept has been perverted too far away from its original purpose, and that those perversion causes undesirable effects upon culture and society.
If you would try to explore discussions on copyright available in legal texts, online texts, history books and other sources all available freely, you would discover that the original purpose of copyright law was to stimulate innovation in the arts and sciences by granting a limited monopoly to the authors of such innovations on the distribution of such innovations. The Statute of Anne originally made in the 16th century was formed on this basis. The US Constitution confirms this for US citizens, basing its law on the experiences of 16th century England. The Berne Convention also gives its limits although for a default of life plus 50 years; although supposedly according to article 7 paragraph (8) the agreement is that each member country of the Union is free to determine its own length for term of protection.
But copyright should be limited not just because it was limited in the past; copyright should be limited because past experiences shows this to be a very good idea. You see, most creative ideas are built upon the foundation of past works, one of the more famous example being Walt Disney's use of the Steamboat Bill cartoon to create Steamboat Willie and thus Mickey Mouse. Modern, more relevant examples are sampling music and academic rebuttal theses on established theories. Imagine what would happen if people like Gallileo and Copernicus was denied their right to their arguments. Actually they were; they were severely punished, even killed, and afterwards their theories proved correct anyways.
People have been so used to the way that copyright is treated in the global marketplace that people have forgotten that copyright is a social contract. We have been so used to treating ideas as legal properties, with characteristics identical to that of physical-material properties (sometimes erroniously as a fundamental human right, even), that we have forgotten that the law governing our ideas is supposed to be an agreement between the citizens of a nation and its respective governments
And then there's the issue of the global market forcing its rules to nations with totally different norms and customs. If any nation in this world would wish to participate in the global marketplace then that nation must conform to the practices set forth by the bigger and more economically powerful nations. This essentially forces less developed nations to abandon a lot of their ideas and cultural identity. There was a story told by my teacher in grade school about how Indonesia's government was forced to crack down on the bootleg casette industry in the '70s and '80s under threat of a US embargo of all textile and textile products from Indonesia (I tried looking for online evidence of this but I couldn't find any). Not all nation-states with different ideas on cultural ownership can be as powerful as the People's Republic of China, which still refuses to be a signatory to the Berne Convention (a decision I personally do not totally disagree with). Every nation has a right to its own opinion, but most other nations must submit to western cultural colonialism.
I feel that Indonesia nowadays is a nation most firmly grounded upon a culture of Kleptocracy. I have been raised as a Kleptocrat, believing that its firmly right to copy audio casettes and software diskettes knowing full well that their creators are not properly compensated. I wish I had been raised on command-line GNU/Linux (or FreeBSD or GNU/HURD, even) instead of on DOS 6.22; if I had beed I would be comfortable enough with Free Software that I would not have to resort to piracy. I know it is wrong but in practice it is a de-facto fact that most of Indonesia's academic institutions and traditions of science would not have been established if not for the eggregarious and efficient distribution of photocopied books. Noone in this nation of minimal GNP could afford the extravagantly high costs of copyrighted software. Thus we copy, lest we be crushed by the wheels of history.
Our nation has consistently ranked among the most corrupt nations of the world for the past few years, one of its primary reason is the public's low regard for the rule of law. The law does not work for people when our most enfringed citizens are barely treated as proper human beings. The law does not work when our abundant wealth is so unfairly distributed. The law does not work when the law can be bought and sold as easily as cheap wine. With all these are truths, the law is nothing more than tools to oppress.
But it does not have to be this way. We as a nation can change if we want. One of the ways to change our respect of law is to change law so as to reflect again the reality of our everyday life. Its not so hard to get people to believe in the law again if the law is formed and enforced justly. One of the places to start is in copyright reform. The rule of law must acknowledge that people do copy and adjust itself as necessary so as not to reenforce the fact that we are a nation of thieves. We are now living in an era where ideas could be spread all over the world at the speed of light, but that speed right now is severely limited by the past's misguided yearning to chain the future. A past which is not that long ago. And that past threatens to change whole nations into thieves (and
in some cases depending on how you look at things have long succeeded).
In closing I would like to say that I have too little legal, historical, social background to make an efficient and easy to understand essay on such a complex issue. If you're looking to understand the threat of copyright disfigurement upon culture, I would strongly recommend you to download a copy of the book Free Culture, also available in paperback from Penguin Press. You can also buy it from Amazon.
Note: this disclaimer text was originally part of the sidebar, under the disclaimer section; it has been expanded quite a bit since then. I've decided to turn this into a blog entry because its turning kinda crowded over there on the left/right/side/wherever it is nowadays:)
Though I'm not too sure anything original here is worth copyrighting :)
So here it is...
Pursuant to the Berne Convention for the Protection of Artistic and Literary Works (also available here), ratified by the Government of Indonesia in 1997, all original content in this web site created by fERDI:) (the "Works" or "Original Content") is copyrighted by fERDI:) ("I" or "me"). This includes, but is not limited to, original text and graphics (if any) created by me.
And as I believe in the dissemination of ideas (but still have a bit of capitalistic greed in me, hehe), unless otherwise noted, I hereby license all Works found on this website under the Terms of the Creative Commons Public License, Attribution - NonCommercial - ShareAlike version 2.0 available at http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/legalcode, or (at the user's choice) later versions (the "License" or the "Creative Commons License"). All uses of Works is governed by the terms set in the Creative Commons License. A layman-readable (simplified) explanation of the Creative Commons License is available at http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/.
There are a few terms set by the Creative Commons License that I would like to point out:
First, You are not required to accept the Creative Commons License, since you have not signed it. However, nothing else grants you permission to copy, distribute, or modify the Original Content, aside from the License and fair use. These actions are prohibited by law if you do not accept the License. Therefore, by copying, distributing or modifying the contents of this site, or by deriving Works herefrom, you indicate your acceptance of the Creative Commons License to do so, and all its terms and conditions for copying, distributing or modifying the Works. Failure to adhere to the terms of the License results in immediate termination of the License. In absence of the license, this work falls under normal copyright (refer to section 7 of the License for details). In other words, if you don't like the license then everything here made by me is copyright by me. Period.
You may only make use of any and all Works in this web site so long as you make clear that my works are created by me. You must also make sure that your use of my Original Contents are non-commercial. And finally you must not place any more limits on others for using my works than the limits that I have imposed upon you for using my works. Section 4 of the License is a thorough and (as far as I can tell) complete explanation of those rights.
Although I have nothing personal against the pursuit of commercial success through the creation of creative works (unless the only singular sole purpose of the creative works is purely for commercial success), I have decided to license using a noncommercial CC license. If you would like to use any of my Works for a commercial purpose you can do so by negotiating another license with me (refer to section 4c of the License for more details). And I would really love to; I sure can use the money :) and I promise I'll be really reasonable :D
All Original Content is meant for personal use only. All opinions expressed are the personal opinions of fERDI:). No claim of thoroughness, accuracy, fairness, or transparency is made upon any information that I discuss in this site, although I do try to make all information as thorough, accurate, fair, and transparet as I possibly can under the circumstances. See Section 5 of the License for details.
And finally, all other content contained in this site not originally created by me or not owned by me is owned by their respective owners/creators, I cannot claim ownership nor authorship upon such works. In other words, I do not and cannot claim I created something that I did not create. This is also (briefly) mentioned in Section 5.
Sounds complicated? Check out the links:) After all, other than my declaration of copyright and licensing, nothing I say matters anyway (check section 8.e. of the License :D)
I had a thought quite a while back: how about an initial 25 year copyright term, with a small registration fee, followed by a second extention for a really big fee for the rest of the author(s') lives or a maximum of 75 years for corporations?
But just yesterday, while searching for a Non-Programmer's Tutorial for Python, I discovered a link by the autor of the guide with a better idea. Its somewhat similar to Lawrence Lessig's copyright registration concept but with a maximum copyright term of 95 years, just like current international copyright practices. But a crucial difference from current practices (a difference shared by Lessig's registration scheme and, not quite incidentaly, my idea above) is that the reregistration cost would prevent all but the most commercially productive copyrights to hold, thus freeing a good majority of copyrighted literature to cultural dialectics.
I hate browsing my Friendster bulletin board.
There was a time when I actually enjoyed doing it. Of course, who wouldn't be enticed on reading twenty-question type posts? With the idea of discovering the private little somethings of our friends, such as their first kiss? (or what underwear they're wearing right now, but that's another matter well anyway lets move along shall we:)
See the thing is nowadays the bulletin board is not just filled with twenty-question type posts. Its also home to chain-email reruns, single line me-toos (What's your favorite flavor? Erin: chocolate. Adam: vanilla. Hans: Chocolate. Sometimes mixed with vanilla, Boris: whatever bla bla bla bla.....), and whatnots. And think what happens when your friend list numbers in the hundreds, and you receive twenty-questions over and over again. (And again. And again. And again. And.. well you did get the picture, didn't you:).
But as much as I hate drudging through the bulletin board, sometimes once in a while you discover among all those twenty-question posts jewels such as this one below. It makes it all almost worth it. Almost.
Well I guess the Friendster social network site was designed originally as a contact facilitator. But now its turned into a full fledged metro-culture trend. There's the system, we use it as we can, finding new purposes and stuffs.
I suppose there must be a better way to use Friendster's bulletin board. But whatever that way must be, it must evolve naturally into its own subsection of Netiquette. Until then, I guess there's no harm in posting random bulletin boards:)
Date: November 23, 2004 7:14 PM
Subject: Something for the mind..Ladies and gentlemen..GEORGE CARLIN!
A wonderful Message by George Carlin:
The paradox of our time in history is that we have taller buildings but shorter tempers, wider freeways, but narrower viewpoints. We spend more, but have less, we buy more, but enjoy less. We have bigger houses and smaller families, more conveniences, but less time. We have more degrees but less sense, more knowledge, but less judgment, more experts, yet more problems, more medicine, but less wellness.
We drink too much, smoke too much, spend too recklessly, laugh too little, drive too fast, get too angry, stay up too late, get up too tired, read too little, watch TV too much, and pray too seldom. We have multiplied our possessions, but reduced our values. We talk too much, love too seldom, and hate too often.
We've learned how to make a living, but not a life. We've added years to life not life to years. We've been all the way to the moon and back, but have trouble crossing the street to meet a new neighbor. We conquered outer space but not inner space. We've done larger things, but not better things.
We've cleaned up the air, but polluted the soul. We've conquered the atom, but not our prejudice. We write more, but learn less. We plan more, but accomplish less. We've learned to rush, but not to wait. We build more computers to hold more information, to produce more copies than ever, but we communicate less and less.
These are the times of fast foods and slow digestion, big men and small character, steep profits and shallow relationships. These are the days of two incomes but more divorce, fancier houses, but broken homes. These are days of quick trips, disposable diapers, throwaway morality, one night stands, overweight bodies, and pills that do everything from cheer, to quiet, to kill. It is a time when there is much in the showroom window and nothing in the stockroom. A time when technology can bring this letter to you, and a time when you can choose either to share this insight, or to just hit delete.
Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away.
HOW TO STAY YOUNG
1. Throw out nonessential numbers. This includes age, weight and height. Let the doctor worry about them. That is why you pay him/her.
2. Keep only cheerful friends. The grouches pull you down.
3. Keep learning. Learn more about the computer, crafts, gardening, whatever. Never let the brain idle. " An idle mind is the devil's workshop." And the devil's name is Alzheimer's.
4. Enjoy the simple things.
5. Laugh often, long and loud. Laugh until you gasp for breath.
6. The tears happen. Endure, grieve, and move on. The only person who is with us our entire life, is ourselves. Be ALIVE while you are alive.
7. Surround yourself with what you love, whether it's family, pets, keepsakes, music, plants, hobbies, whatever. Your home is your refuge.
8. Cherish your health: If it is good, preserve it. If it is unstable, improve it. If it is beyond what you can improve, get help.
9. Don't take guilt trips. Take a trip to the mall, to the next county, to a foreign country, but NOT to where the guilt is.
10. Tell the people you love that you love them, at every opportunity.
But as a final thought, there are actually lots of Friendster users that complain after receiving this kind of bulletin. Or something heavier, such as a treatise on the betterment of creative free will. Perhaps these kind of bulletin boards fits in better as a blog article. But then again, this is a free Internet:)
Or, at least it still is, barely....
Actually, at first I thought the link he provided was bogus until I googled for amsterdam prosecutor's office munir and discovered an article from laksamana.net, which was verified by that first article in Kompas dated last Saturday. Which simply meant that I was just behind current news.
Yeah well, we've all got our own priorities, right?
Oh yeah, all those articles pointed to an allegation that former KONTRAS activist Munir, who died earlier this year, died of arsenic poisoning with strong hints of foul play. As to who is responsible, I don't like to point fingers without firm evidence. I strongly doubt government involvement, though. But of course that could be just naïve me talking.
And to think that RMS actually speaks Indonesian...
Speaking of which when I went to meet my graduation paper advisor, seeing that he was kinda like a bit of a Windows™ exclusive user (thus most likely a total Software Libré Luddite), I thought that he needed a primer on the concept of Free/Open Source Software. He would most certainly not appreciate being given a CD-ROM filled with my collection of hundreds of HTMLs and PDFs, not to mention a couple of books, so I figured I'd just have to give only the most representative papers on the subject which I can fit in a floppy. And since I felt I had to be fair, I decided to select one piece from each of the big four.
Keep in mind though that these four have some conflicting ideological-political views, but its important to have an exposure to these four views. Understanding comes with time, wisdom is its reward. Or something to that effect.
And so I brought with me a 3½ floppy disk containing a chapter of Eric S. Raymond's book The Cathedral and the Bazaar, Richard M. Stallman's essay Why Software Should Not Have Owners, Lawrence Lessig's OSCON 2002 keynote Free Culture (no doubt inspiration for his latest book of the same title), and last but not least a copy of Eben Moglen's Maine speech entitled Freeing the Mind: Free Software and the Death of Proprietary Culture.
If you follow the link you can read the documents online. Browse some more and you can find downloadable versions of each. To save you the trouble since I've already collected them, I decided to combine them in a single downloadable zipfile compilation (around 300Kbytes) that you can download from here.
Introduction to the Free Software concept in a floppy sized package. Please feel free to distribute:)
I'll let it live in my Ripway folder only until my bandwidth limit is reached. I'll also put a link on my sidebar, under the 'usefull stuffs' section. Considering the scope of my audience, I very much doubt the limit would be reached anytime soon. But you never know....
It went fine. Sorta.
To recap, I went to my advisor's house and handed him this. That paper there is the most structured writing I could manage after staying awake until 4 AM. Its a mess containing a random and very thick stream of my thoughts about the Free/Open Source Software world. I myself find it hard to follow closely.
Predictably he told me to rewrite the whole thing.
He did gave me this structure to follow. And that's a good thing; hopefully it'll help me produce a more structured, followable document.
Oh, and I gotta hand in the revised paper by Monday to the Department Secretary. Then after that I can contact the dude about becoming my graduation paper advisor. I've got until December 15th to pull it all off, so I'm still in a rush....
So now its official; I'm graduating by promoting Firefox:)
I should be asleep but I'm not, because:
The meeting is at 11:00 in the afternoon, local time (which is +7.00 UT). Right now my local time is 3:26am.
Its not a good excuse, but nonetheless its the reason I'm awake.
If you want one, get your own. Heh%).
There's something I read somewhere on this great big network of infothoughts known as the World Wide Web about blogs being the next wave of media, where it is through the independence of blogs that issues big corporate media won't touch because of various political-economy reasons they wont touch, these kinds of thoughts are put to attention.
There are two such thoughts, at any rate, that I want to put to attention at this moment. One's about a highway accident killing six people involving the President's entourage. The other is about the closure of a junior high school long the center of controversy.
Okay, the first. The highway accident. At around ten o'clock today Jakarta local time, a car accident happened on the Jagorawi toll road resulting in the death of six and the wounding of at least ten. It happened about ten minutes before the President of Indonesia was supposed to pass said toll road. As is customary the road was 'sterilised' before he went through, you know, checked for possible assasination attempts, cleared of car congestion, blocaded from all traffic, that kinda stuff. I'm explaining because I'm not too sure if this also happens in other countries when your heads of states pass by public roads (hello you two international audiences:)
You might be able to imagine the controversy that should arise, but the news was quickly subdued by other news about the President's plan of action and other international news. At this moment Kompas has not written anything about it yet. I hope they will, they usually do so, and relatively objectively, but if not I wrote this little something you're reading right now and also have bookmarked and saved several detikcom articles (in Indonesian only, unfortunately) where I discovered them, here, here, here, and here, just in case the state decides to order them deleted. You never know, you know?
But the interesting thing is before this news was obscured by SBY's speech this highway accident news also obscured another news, about the forced emptying of SMPN 56 at Melawai. Article links (once again in Indonesian only, forgive me) here and here. A brief summary of the controversy is that there was this junior high school in Melawai that was ordered moved by Governor Sutiyoso a couple of years ago (I would recommend googling for more information yourself), the controversy stemming from allegations of business favoritism and corruption among other things.
Well the thing is an aunt of mine happened to be a teacher at said junior high (she teaches now at the school's new location at Jeruk Purut, Jakarta), and she herself noted that the school's old location was too close to a bus terminal and was long complained as being filled with delinquent students due to the criminal elements of the surrounding area
The details of both are still vague, and detikcom has long been known for high-speed sensasionalism. If its controversial and it happened in Indonesia you can be sure that detikcom will write about it first, but if you want other angles and objective viewpoints you're gonna have to wait another moment or twenty while their reporters try to get more indepth facts. Extremely quick reporting, but often times not consistently objective enough for my taste.
I don't really want to condemn anyone of anything, neither the Press nor the Government, but I just feel it to be too much of a pity if these things slip under the radar too quickly before Indonesian society gets to digest their meanings, just because its political-economically unprofitable to invite the government's wrath. Perhaps?
Update 18/11/04 11.23[+07.00 UT]: I guess Kompas did print the stories after all. That's good:) As for objectivity I guess there are better things to spend human resources on, but enough effort has been made for such a short time I suppose. In these days of instantation its always necessary to manage our strengths and make sure we don't waste energy. But still their articles do feel a bit too government centric for my taste.
Whatever. What do I know about working as a reporter?:)
Update 18/11/04 23.11[+07.00 UT] And I just found a couple of articles covering the Jagorawi Crash and the Melawai Junior High incident in English from The Jakarta Post. Yay:) Hopefuly these will finally clear some things up for you two:)
I don't write intellectually. I write expressively. I don't claim to be accurate, fair or thorough. I don't wanna get stuck on certain topics. Though I sometimes do. But not that often. I'd like to expand. I wanna write more poems. But I'll only upload them if they're good. I only rant about my life's hardships if it will rescue just a little bit of my sanity. I'm saner than I make myself out to be, though.
If I am an OS kernel, and I just had a kernel dump, I'd imagine that the text in this blog is what it would more or less look like.
There. Do you get it?
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sidesection last edited 08/02/2005