Monday, December 28, 2015

Crowd

The strange thing of being in the crowd is that you can be perfectly invisible. No one will notice you. Or when interaction happens, you can hide yourself by asking questions. By doing it, you will shift the focus from you to them. Things are simpler for short relation. You do not have the background or historical burden. You can just be whoever you want to be. An identity that will last only for two days or more but again that temporary identity is part of you. 

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Flaw

I think one of my biggest flaws is having a high degree. It keeps people away, or if I want to make it more specific, it brings men away. There, I said it. Even if I do not care about people's degree, it matters for men or their parents. To be fair, what important for me is not other's degree but rather their perspective on co-management and later on, co-parenting. I do not appreciate views about kids is for mother and not for father. Cleaning the house is for woman and not for man. So if finding a man who accept woman with higher degree is already difficult, adding it with equality doubles the difficulty.

In a way, this is about culture. When I was leaving abroad, it easy to find men taking care of their kids without having women in sight or doing household activities. I also have female friends who has higher degree than men. In Indonesia, it is quite rare to have these situations.

Being a PhD candidate allows me to do things that I love. It is not a matter of smart or not. Every time I meet a new person, most of them think that I just graduate from undergraduate since I am so clumsy. I can get lost anywhere not only in the streets but also in the building. I do not watch television so people may find me odd. But then since I am introvert I do not really care about what other people think. I like when people like me but I am way pass the pleasing people phase.

So as Dr. Seuss says: 'I am weird, you are weird. Everyone in this world is weird. One day two people come together in mutual weirdness and fall in love.'

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Review: The Little Prince

“You are not at all like my rose,” he said. “As yet you are nothing. No one has tamed you, and you have tamed no one. You are like my fox when I first knew him. He was only a fox like a hundred thousand other foxes. But I have made him my friend, and now he is unique in all the world.”

“You are beautiful, but you are empty,” (the Little Prince) went on.
(The Little Prince and wild roses, Saint-Exupery)

The movie is beautiful by itself, but it is empty. I do not feel attached to the movie as I attach to the book. While the movie addresses the issue about grown-ups as Saint-Exupery, it fails to maintain the satirical tone of the book. Probably what troubles me the most is the movie interpretation about resistance. The movie interprets resistance through the little girl's actions to break her schedule and to play with her neighbor despite her mother's warning. In the book, the Little Prince interprets resistance through disbelieving. There was no direct confrontation between the characters as appear in the movie. In a way, the book feels more like a Gandhi type of resistance while the movie feels more like a Hollywood type of war where everything needs to be explicit. I think the latter point is my other problem towards the movie. It does not allow me to have multiple interpretation.

If there is something I like about the movie is its soundtrack :)  

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Culture Shock

... is when good intention rubs you the wrong way
When loving someone is easier through distance
When you can compare one to the other
And you miss the other terribly

So yes, I have not contacted the person regarding an opportunity in the campus. I hate the unstructured mechanism. I hate the being nice part without knowing what they will say behind your back. I try to just experience not to be judgmental but I am not sure that I like the experience.

Tuesday, December 08, 2015

Him

If there was a slight interest
Why not bother to say hey
Instead, you only watched me from afar
Left me wondering in the dark

Maybe I am the one to blame
Too shy to even smile or to say hey
Not sure what to say
And left you with an impression that I did not care

Monday, October 12, 2015

Negativity

If you cannot cut negativity out of people
then probably you can cut yourself away from them

If reality does not work
then probably your image will do the trick

Of loving someone from distance
rather than having someone rubbing you the wrong way

Of being invisible through listening
since no one care to remember

Of what you like or dislike
or that you are more than a degree

Why do people need to show off?
Why they need to proof something to another human?

And they say that they are doing it for You

Friday, October 09, 2015

Safe

There are people who you know you are going to be okay with
People who you know you can count on
People who you do not have to worry
Not because they do not have trouble
But because they will tell you the truth
No matter what

I think ...
I still miss that simplicity
A life to call my own
To breath in certainty
To decide who I really am
And to be happy for simple things

Tuesday, October 06, 2015

Mantra

Aku
ingin
lupa

Writer's Block

Belakangan ini tiap kali membuka layar Word, pikiranku menjadi kosong. Kata-kata menolak untuk keluar meski ide tampak lalu lalang dalam kepala. Ketika aku paksa, kata-kata itu menolak untuk merasa nyaman. Menciptakan kalimat-kalimat yang terasa janggal dan tak enak untuk dibaca. Kadang orang tak mengerti kalau menulis merupakan proses kreatif. Berorientasi hasil tanpa peduli proses. Mungkin karena itu aku merasa nyaman di perguruan tinggi karena mereka mengerti atau bersama seniman karena mereka tahu ada hal-hal yang tidak bisa dipaksa.

Monday, October 05, 2015

Gilang

I pick my poison and it's you 
Nothing could kill me like you do...
(Rita Ora, Poison)

Tanpa sadar ia sudah memainkan lagu itu selama satu jam. Pertemuan itu tak seharusnya menjadi serius. Salah satu kegiatan acak yang ia lakukan untuk membunuh waktu di sela agenda kerjanya yang gila. Ia tak seharusnya memiliki perasaan sekuat ini. Tidak untuk seseorang yang hanya dikenalnya selama tak lebih dari satu jam. Kemala. Nama yang tak pernah ada di dalam hidupnya hingga kemarin. Namun kini segala hal kecil mengingatkannya pada perempuan itu. Hujan. Senja. Asa. Tak seharusnya pertemuan seartifisial speed dating membicarakan hal-hal nyata. Sekarang semuanya sudah terlambat. Ia tak bisa berhenti tersenyum. Dan berharap.

Five

It only takes five hours
to fall hard

Two weeks have passed

But the memories of you
refuse to fade away

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Pengembara

Salah satu hal yang menyenangkan dalam mengembara adalah keterbukaan
Kau tak bisa yakin akan sesuatu karena semuanya baru
Kau akan dipaksa untuk melakukan segalanya dengan perlahan karena kau tak tahu rupa biasa
Kau akan menahan diri karena kau tak mau membuat orang lain tersinggung
Dan dalam ruang yang melambat itu, kau bisa menemukan dirimu yang lain
Kau dan cerita tentang lalumu yang berliku
atau cintamu pada buku

Friday, September 25, 2015

Lost Stars

"Lost Stars"
(performed by Adam Levine)

Please don't see
Just a boy caught up in dreams and fantasies
Please see me
Reaching out for someone I can't see

Take my hand, let's see where we wake up tomorrow
Best laid plans sometimes are just a one night stand
I'll be damned, Cupid's demanding back his arrow
So let's get drunk on our tears

And God, tell us the reason youth is wasted on the young
It's hunting season and the lambs are on the run
Searching for meaning
But are we all lost stars trying to light up the dark?

Who are we?
Just a speck of dust within the galaxy?
Woe is me
If we're not careful turns into reality

But don't you dare let our best memories bring you sorrow
Yesterday I saw a lion kiss a deer
Turn the page, maybe we'll find a brand new ending
Where we're dancing in our tears

And God, tell us the reason youth is wasted on the young
It's hunting season and the lambs are on the run
Searching for meaning
But are we all lost stars trying to light up the dark?

And I thought I saw you out there crying
And I thought I heard you call my name
And I thought I heard you out there crying
Just the same

And God, give us the reason youth is wasted on the young
It's hunting season and this lamb is on the run
Searching for meaning
But are we all lost stars trying to light ... light up the dark?

And I thought I saw you out there crying
And I thought I heard you call my name
And I thought I heard you out there crying
But are we all lost stars trying to light up the dark?

Are we all lost stars trying to light up the dark?

Lima hari telah berlalu dan kau masih enggan beranjak dari benakku. Bertahan dalam sel-sel kelabu, menolak untuk mewujud lebih dari itu. Dan kau lihat, aku mulai meresapi lirik seperti yang kau lakukan dalam naskahmu. Seharusnya tak kubiarkan kau mewujud dalam kata-kata. Ingatan lebih menyerupai tiada daripada ketikan. 

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Kemala

Kemala mengedarkan pandangan. Susunan tempat duduk di restoran itu telah diubah agar tiap meja memiliki dua kursi. Ia menarik napas dalam-dalam, tidak tahu apakah ia harus mulai gugup atau menyuruh persona korporasinya mengambil alih. Persona yang mampu mengantarkannya pada kontrak jutaan dollar. Rapuh atau tangguh, ia belum memutuskan.

"Malam, Miss. Silahkan menuliskan nama di sini." sapa seorang gadis muda usia pertengahan dua puluhan di meja pendaftaran sambil menyerahkan lembar tata cara speed dating kepada Kemala.
"Malam. Terimakasih," gumam Kemala.
"Silahkan duduk di sana sambil membaca tata caranya. Acara akan dimulai setengah jam lagi," ujar gadis itu.

Setidaknya ada waktu setengah jam untuk melarikan diri dari sini, pikir Kemala dalam hati. Namun segera ia tepis pikiran itu dan mulai membaca kertas yang diserahkan gadis itu. Acara itu dihadiri oleh 15 perempuan dan 15 pria. Tiap orang akan diberi kesempatan untuk berbincang selama 5 menit dengan satu orang. Kemudian orang tersebut akan diminta berpindah ke meja di sebelahnya. Setelah perkenalan singkat tersebut, masing-masing peserta akan diminta menandai 5 orang yang paling disukainya untuk perbincangan yang lebih panjang.

Ia telah membayar untuk ini, jadi ia tidak akan merasa bersalah untuk bersikap apa adanya. Tidak seperti tata cara konvensional. Di sisi lain, ia juga terlalu takut untuk membuka diri ditengah orang-orang asing ini.

"Baru pertama kali ikut?" tanya seorang pria menyapa Kemala.
"Eh iya. Terlihat jelas ya?" balas Kemala sambil tersipu karena membiarkan pertahanannya turun.
"Jangan khawatir. You'll be okay. The good thing of this event is that there is a small chance you'll meet them again. And that will give you freedom to be what you like."
"Pengalaman pribadi?"
"Tidak. Tapi itu yang saya harapkan bisa terjadi di event ini."
"So you're the organizer?"
"One of the founders. If you want to define me."
"Okay ..."
"Ouch, I thought I could calm you down. But apparently I freaked you out once you know that I am not one of the participants. Here is my name card. Just call me if you need anything. And you can always runaway during the break if you really hate it. It's bad for the business, but let say I am a romantic," ujar pria itu sambil mengedipkan sebelah mata.

Monday, September 21, 2015

Nol

'And, when you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.' (Alchemist - Coelho)

Mungkin kau adalah salah satu perwujudan semesta untuk menyapaku. Mengatakan aku akan baik-baik saja di ruang yang terkadang masih asing. Kau dan lalumu. Keindahan yang memiliki beragam rupa. Dan tentang identitas yang senantiasa dipertanyakan ulang. Pencarian untuk kembali. Menuju titik nol.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Banyu

Pagi itu Banyu mengirimkan pesan singkat kepada Kemala tentang obrolannya dengan Rana menjelang tidur kepada Kemala. Tentang janji Banyu untuk mengenalkan Kemala pada seseorang. Dalam satu dekade irisan kehidupan mereka, Banyu tahu mengenalkan Kemala pada seseorang tanpa aba-aba hanya akan berakhir dengan petaka. Ia menghargai Kemala bukan saja sebagai teman Rana tapi juga seseorang yang ia pedulikan. Ia mengajak Kemala untuk bertemu di cafe.

"Hai La," sapa Banyu sambil memeluk Kemala singkat.
"Mau pesan apa?"
"Biasa, salad ikan dan air mineral," jawab Kemala sambing nyengir.
"Ok, aku juga seperti biasa. Nasi oncom."

Sambil menunggu pesanan mereka datang, Kemala mendengarkan cerita Banyu tentang keinginan Rana.

"Kamu ingin aku bagaimana La? Meski aku sudah janji pada Rana, aku tidak akan melakukan apapun yang tidak akan membuatmu nyaman," ujar Banyu.
"Thanks, Banyu. I am sorry you have to be in the middle of this."

Kemala dan rasa groginya. Tiap kali Kemala merasa grogi atau ingin menghindar dari sesuatu, ia menggunakan bahasa Inggris sebagai pelarian. Bahasa itu seolah memberinya kekuatan untuk mengungkapkan pikirannya. Dalam salah satu percakapan mereka, Kemala bilang kalau bahasa itu bagian dari persona manusia. Ketika ia berbicara dalam bahasa Indonesia, ia mengikuti budaya bagaimana bahasa itu digunakan. Bagaimana ia akan lebih menerima apa yang diharapkan orangtuanya dan kerabatnya, tapi ketika ia menggunakan bahasa Inggris, ia seolah memasuki dunia berbeda, yang membolehkan ia menyukai dirinya sendiri.

Bagi Kemala, Indonesia itu rumit. Manusianya banyak yang terperangkap pada rasa bangga dan kebersamaan. Sedangkan ia lebih tertarik pada rasa bahagia. Bagaimana seseorang mengijinkan orang lain untuk masuk kedalam kehidupan mereka ketika diundang dan tidak melalui otoritas.

"No, I am the one who's sorry. To interfere your life like this."
"Jadi stok kamu siapa saja?" tanya Kemala.
"Ahaha, well, kamu mau orang korporat, NGO atau akademisi?" Senang karena Kemala sudah mendapatkan sense of humor-nya kembali.
"Aku ngga tahu, Banyu. Salah satu alasan mengapa aku selalu menolak diperkenalkan dengan seseorang adalah karena aku merasa ada kewajiban untuk menjadi baik. And I hate myself for that. For knowing what people expect from me, how I'll feel bad if I let them down and how I start to become nice and the other person will start to grow his expectation on me."
"It does not need to be that way, La. You can speak of your mind just like you did before. Or if you afraid with the social ties, you can try speed dating. Meet number of person in one dinner where the mechanism is basically to filter the one you like and dislike."
"It actually does not sound bad."
"Great, mission accomplished then."

Monday, September 14, 2015

Banyu

"Mas, aku khawatir dengan Kemala."
"Aduh Yang, kita kan sudah membahas ini berulang kali."
"Iya mas, aku tahu. Tapi tetap saja aku khawatir."
"Jadi kamu mau aku gimana?"
"Kenalkan Kemala pada seseorang."
"Oke, nanti mas coba pikirkan ya."
"Jangan cuma dipikirkan saja. Dicari ya mas," ucap Rana dengan wajah manis yang selalu ia keluarkan ketika menginginkan sesuatu.
"Iya, iya," balasku sambil mengacak-acak rambutnya. Gemas,

Tiap kali ia melakukan hal itu, aku tahu aku telah kalah dalam pertarungan. Pertanyaannya siapa yang harus aku kenalkan pada Kemala? Banyu telah mengenal Kemala selama 10 tahun. Sejak ia mulai pacaran dengan Rana. Dalam kurun waktu itu, ia telah beririsan dengan pria-pria pengagum Kemala dan juga Rangga. Ia menyukai Rangga sebagai teman. Seseorang dengan nilai-nilai yang ia kagumi. Karena itu ketika Kemala dan Rangga putus, ia juga merasa kehilangan. Rana tak pernah memintanya untuk memihak tapi ia tahu semuanya akan lebih mudah kalau ia turut mengambil jarak.

Kemala dan Rangga. Dua pribadi unik yang tak ditakdirkan bersama. Kini Rangga telah bersama Kinan, pribadi yang bertolak belakang dengan Kemala. Apakah itu berarti aku juga harus mencari seseorang dengan pribadi bertolak belakang dengan Rangga untuk Kemala?




Sunday, September 13, 2015

Rana

"Kamu menyesal?" tanya Rana pada Kemala.
"Well, aku tidak akan menyebutnya sebagai penyesalan Ran. Aku percaya segala sesuatu yang terjadi untuk sebuah alasan. Dan meski kadang aku suka memutar ulang kenangan itu, tidak ada episode yang ingin aku ubah."
"Jadi sekarang kamu mau apa?"
"Seperti biasa Ran. Hidup. Mengikuti kata hatiku dan jujur pada diriku sendiri."
"Itulah yang membuatku khawatir, La. Kamu seolah tidak memiliki tujuan padahal ..."
"Stop it Ran. I don't want you to judge me like everybody else."
"Sorry, La. I am just worried. You'll forgive me right?"
"I know you meant well. And I love you for that but I don't think I'll survive if you start to ask me as well, while sometimes I am not sure about myself anymore."
"Okay, let's change the subject then. Gimana proyekmu di Bali? Aku dengar kamu diberi kebebasan untuk menentukan konsepnya ya?"

Rana lega mendapati wajah Kemala kembali ceria. Sejak ia menikah dengan Banyu hubungan mereka merenggang. Rana dengan anak-anaknya yang masih balita dan Kemala dengan karirnya yang kian melejit. Pertemuan mereka kian mempertegas apa yang mereka berdua tak punya. Rana kehilangan banyak waktu untuk dirinya sendiri sementara Kemala tak memiliki tempat untuk kembali. Buatnya pindah dari kantor pusat di New York ke Singapore tidak lebih dari mengepak barang-barang dalam satu kontainer besar. Untuk Rana pindah selalu berarti penyesuaian sekolah anak-anak yang tak pernah mudah.

Kehidupan mereka berbeda seperti langit dan bumi. Tapi hanya kepada Kemalalah Rana bisa menceritakan segala sesuatu. Dan sebaliknya.

Mungkin seperti kata Kemala, segala sesuatu terjadi untuk sebuah alasan. Pun begitu untuk kehidupan Rana dan Kemala.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Introvert

Is it legal to be an introvert in Indonesia? When things go wrong, people use to say 'please be more considerate, maybe the person has a problem' or 'you have to understand people better.' Why is it always about pleasing others for the sake of being polite or being younger? Sometimes I am just so freaking tired of the pretending collective community, while in the reality it is mostly about 'look at me' and 'please like my post.' In certain degree, it fits me well since most people like to talk about themselves rather than listening and thus, it is easy to be invisible. But sometimes I miss being asked about what I want or what I think.

Friday, August 14, 2015

Dreamer

I live mostly by following my heart. I have change my interest(s) number of time and this tendency may not end in the near future. As somebody once told me, it is okay to change interest as long that I am happy. Does it mean I have no ambition? The thing is I do not think ambition is the right notion. What important is to do things right. Since I want to be in the academia, I want to have nice publications and ecosystem that can challenge me. On the other hand, I am very much a development scholar. It is important to be connected to change (or in most cases, policy makers). Sometimes balancing the two means having a messy schedule and interacting with people that can give me headache, which absorb my happiness. 

Does it mean I have to detach my heart with the current interests and find something more fun? 

Wednesday, August 05, 2015

Kemala

"Apakah kamu bahagia?"
Kemala terdiam mendengar pertanyaan itu. Ia menemukan bahwa ia mudah sekali bahagia untuk hal-hal kecil. Kucing liar di jalan, senyuman orang di kereta pagi ataupun bos yang baik hati. Tapi tak jarang ia merasa dunia ini begitu muram. Segala hal yang ia lakukan berada di tempat yang tidak semestinya dan ia mengambil banyak keputusan yang kemudian disesalinya. Ia merasa hampa tanpa adrenalin yang memacunya untuk mencapai sesuatu.

Ia tahu hidup ini bukan tentang adrenalin dan kepuasan ketika berhasil mencapai sesuatu tapi tentang keseimbangan. Tapi kata-kata selalu lebih mudah daripada kenyataan.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Irama

Kadang sesuatu bukan mengenai benar atau salah, 
tapi mengenai irama
Tentang bagaimana kau bisa berjalan bersama
tanpa membuat yang lainnya resah
Tentang minum kopi sekali sehari
atau menuangkan pikiran lewat ilustrasi
Senang karena saling memahami

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Why

Our paths need to intersect
if there would be nothing between us
Do you have to act like you care
while you never bother to say hey

That same post
Maybe it was nothing

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Kemala

"Rangga ..."
"Eh Kemala, apa kabar? O iya perkenalkan ini istri saya, Kinanti"
"Kinan," ucap gadis berambut panjang itu sambil menjabat tangan Kemala.
"Mala," balas Kemala.

Kemala terus memutar adegan tadi siang. Ia merasa bodoh. Tak seharusnya ia menyapa Rangga. Tidak tanpa seseorang di sisinya. Tidak karena ada perempuan lain di samping Rangga. Tidak karena merasa terlihat sangat bahagia bersama. Seharusnya ia diam saja tadi siang tapi mulutnya bereaksi lebih dahulu dari otaknya.

Ia bodoh. Titik.

Malam

Malam yang tak pekat
Gelap yang tak  lelap
Resah yang tak kunjung enyah
Entah

Aku tak tahu apakah irisan pernah ada
atau hanya sebuah imaji fana
Hingga akhirnya tiada
Ditelan sang kala

Thursday, June 04, 2015

Dia

... mengetahui ada seseorang yang menemanimu bekerja
di ruang berbeda
saat mentari tak lagi ada
rasanya menyenangkan
aku suka dengan caranya yang biasa
masuk tanpa paksa



Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Oma

It has been two years or less since I slept in your room. I tried to avoid entering it since I wanted to savor the feeling of you being around. Sleeping here after you were gone awakening the sadness that I want to avoid. I miss you ... and although I know that insyaAllah you are in a better place, I feel a bit empty, especially since we used to sleep together.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Lalu

Bertemu dengan lalu itu ... menarik
Ada beragam kenangan terpantik
Kisah saat lalu itu masih kini
Dengan hiruk pikuknya sendiri
Tahun pertama kuliah
Berisisan dengan ragam pemikiran
Kepingan-kepingan yang menyusun kini

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Match making

A relative offered me to match me with his other relative and I freaked out. Although I only experienced it once, at least that one felt almost normal. It did not suffocate me like I felt when I read my relative's message about bringing the man into my house. Minor detail: the feeling was not mutual. So there it is, my love to French tragic ending turned into reality.

“We are all a little weird and life is a little weird, and when we find someone whose weirdness is compatible with ours, we join up with them and fall in mutual weirdness and call it love” -- Dr. Seuss

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Monday, February 23, 2015

Agency

I am wondering whether agency, as the ability to change a state of affairs, is a good thing. Yesterday while looking for a novel, I found my mathematics final project. I amazed on how the book was mostly consist of formulas, with acknowledgement longer than the introduction and conclusion (since basically I only need to say QED). I even managed to write a book about numbers, have one citation for the math book and write a popular writing about mathematics in a local newspaper. So why did I change my discipline? Why path dependency did not work for me?

Kepingan

Tak sengaja aku membuka kembali lembaran lama. Buku tugas akhir yang berada di rak buku orang tuaku. Dan tanpa bisa kucegah kenangan mengalir kembali. Terutama ketika aku membaca lembaran terimakasih. Aku tak berani membuka buku tesis, takut akan menemukan namamu juga di sana. Ada kenangan yang lebih senang kututup rapat. Dan lucunya ketika aku memposting deretan formula di laman facebook, aku jadi teringat kata-kata pembimbingku untuk selalu mengikuti kata hati. Mendadak hari ini ia muncul di departemen untuk berbincang dengan kolegaku dan mendadak aku diminta mengerjakan persamaan diferensial.

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Style

Move on is about forgetting things you did not experience with somebody else. The more memories you crafted the more difficult you forget. It is about laughing something that only both of you knows.

Tuesday, February 03, 2015

Monday, January 19, 2015

Devils in Details

It's annoying to hear someone say he likes me because I am nice. It's not that I don't like to be seen as nice but rather because I need more than that. Something like being able to spell my name correctly or things as simple as putting some thoughts of what I like or dislike. I have people around me who care about what I like and dislike through two different approaches. One remembered what my routines are and the other asked why I kept saying no to coffee. Earlier I like the first more than the latter. I like having someone who I can share my space with without words. But these days I prefer the latter. I like to change my mind and by asking and acknowledging the process, I can understand my self better and the other person can get the bigger picture of me.

But there are people who even don't bother to care to pay attention or to ask. No wonder there are many cliche stories of a woman break up with someone after asking a question: what is my favorite color?

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Individual Agencies

"... the notion of individual agency denotes a course of action (engaging a large number of heterogeneous entities participating in the action) which is imputable to an individual since the actors themselves are led (or channelled by the arrangement) to consider the individual to be the source of the action" (Callon, 2008:37).

Callon uses the notion of individual agencies not to replace the notion of distributed agency (e.g. Callon, 1998; Callon & Law, 1995) but rather to accentuate the imputing activities by other actors. As an illustration, he uses an example of a supermarket customer where the calculation to choose a specific cheese refers to her assessment. In making the assessment, she is being affected by price tag, packaging, shopping cart, etc. These devices contribute in shaping her decision and thus, in actor-network theory terminology, they have agency (as being able to make difference to state of affairs of the customer to buy and not to buy). Individual agency refer to activity of calculating based on actors' assemblage.

So here I am as an individual agency calculating my assemblage. I get bored with revising Chapter 1 since the PhD assemblage feels far away. The good thing is that my colleague involved me in a project using system dynamics and tight schedule usually gives me a sense of order and motivation. Latour (1992? in Monsters) argues that technology is society made durable. Durability of a particular configuration is determined by the activity of loading. To make the hotel customer to follow an order to return hotel key to the receptionist, the manager 'loads' the hotel key with a metal weight. For me, this process of loading refers to debate partner to keep me entertained. Currently, I am keeping debate partner through different forums, which makes my mind even more divergent.  So I dropped this strategy.

But does it mean I don't have an individual agency since my durability to focus on something is driven mostly from my assemblage? I am going to answer this question by reflecting on my conversation with my math supervisor. When I finished my final project, I told him that probably I am not going to do math anymore. He said that I can do whatever I like as long it makes me happy. And now I am involved in system dynamics, which is closer to my math background since it is built on differential equation. Somehow, I enjoy being in this type of science again. Does it verify that I don't have any agency since even when I said I won't do math again, math continuously intersects my life?

C'est la vie

Monday, January 12, 2015

Mint

"Wheat is of no use to me. The wheat fields have nothing to say to me. And that is sad. But you have hair that is the color of gold. Think how wonderful that will be when you have tamed me! The grain, which is also golden, will bring me back the thought of you. And I shall love to listen to the wind in the wheat . . ." (Fox to Little Prince, Saint-ExupĂ©ry)

People say the first three months are the hardest. And here I am still missing Eindhoven very much. On Saturday, I bought mint plant in the open market to my house. I thought it would be nice to be able to drink mint tea with honey again. But then I remembered you and our community garden, an escape space every time I fed up with writing, a sanctuary. I missed our simple talk without any digital device.

I think I miss simplicity. Using digital device for working and a small amount of television not for the life itself. And here I am in a place where people gather in one physical space but with disconnected minds.

Wednesday, January 07, 2015

Refleksi Tahun ke-6

Memasuki tahun keenam PhD dan mulai merasa seperti berada dalam perjalanan tanpa ujung ....

Perjalanan ini dimulai 3 Desember 2009 silam. Pada saat itu aku sudah sempat bekerja enam bulan di Jakarta. Periode yang memantapkan diriku kalau kerja kantoran bukan untukku dan mungkin Jakarta juga kota yang bisa membuatku bahagia. Dengan pemahaman itu, aku mulai berburu sekolah dan beasiswa. Saat itu pilihannya adalah Australia (biofuel dengan menggunakan ANT), Inggris (ICT4D dan ANT) dan Belanda. Dari beberapa kali iterasi email, akhirnya pilihanku jatuh pada Belanda.

Apakah PhD memiliki korelasi dengan kecerdasan? Buatku PhD lebih berkorelasi dengan passion. Sama seperti nilai-nilaiku yang seperti roller coaster kadang mendapat nilai tertinggi tapi tak jarang berada di kuartir terendah. Semuanya tergantung mood. Dan di tahun keenam PhD ini tentu saja mood-ku sudah awut-awutan ditambah pembimbing yang entah ada di mana.

Untuk menjaga mood, aku melibatkan diriku dengan beragam diskusi di internet. Tapi sisi negatifnya adalah pemikiranku jadi kian divergen.

De-taming

"... What does that mean-- 'tame'?" asked the Little Prince. "It is an act too often neglected," said the fox. ...