Tag Archives: culture

[Seminar] Alternative Imaginations: Honoring the Role of Traditional Knowledge

Alternative Imaginations (AI), a new research cluster I established with some colleagues at Arizona State University, invite you to our first seminar.

Alternative Imaginations – a project of the Consortium for Science, Policy & Outcomes

Rethinking Knowledge Systems
seminar series
Continue reading [Seminar] Alternative Imaginations: Honoring the Role of Traditional Knowledge

Finding dangdut in Pittsburgh

Forgive me for not really posting anything thoughtful in the last … several months. I’ve been in a not-so-good shape lately.

Meanwhile, this is — again one of some quick reflections — my posting on dangdut, I wrote it sometime ago. Please find below an original writing of mine. The edited (and cut!) version of it is published in the Jakarta Post on November 10th, 2008.

p.s. Indonesian version of this posting is published in November edition of Madina magazine.
p.s.s. the context of this writing is very Indonesian. sorry for non-Indonesian readers…


My first dangdut encounter… in Pittsburgh

As Indonesia, of course I know dangdut, a genre of Indonesian popular music. But just like many young and educated Indonesians, I am not a dangdut fan. However, born and raised in Dayeuhkolot, suburban area of Bandung, I caught myself growing up with this music. Continue reading Finding dangdut in Pittsburgh

[Rambling] The (non)Elites, the (non)privileged

I love music. I enjoy listening to and playing it. But, most of times, I play instruments by ears, not by reading music-sheets. I can read notation (for singing, for playing a melody in instruments) but cannot play complex repertoires by sight-reading. I would rather listen to the tune and then play it.

Most of times, I only need to listen to the music once or twice to be able to play it. I can write down the notes by listening to the music. Continue reading [Rambling] The (non)Elites, the (non)privileged

On Nationalism

I’m still in DC, waiting for the time to depart to the airport. Sitting down now at Starbuck, I feel like I am a winner. I finally found a way to sit here, enjoying the free Internet connection without being burnt by the sun, without buying anything, not even a single cup of coffee!! Yayyy!! I could sit down somewhere else, at other cafes, but there I have to buy something. Not that I don’t have money, the problem is I had enough breakfast and really cannot drink/eat anything anymore.

It’s antithetical, in a place of the biggest coffee capitalist I could actually manipulate the game. I just have to look confident as if I had bought something, and then sitting there forever!!

Anyway, enough about Starbuck…. today, one day after the Independence Day, I guess it’s just right to post a rant about nationalism. Continue reading On Nationalism

Alternative Imaginations: Non-ness without Nonsense

Can we talk about non-ness without nonsense?
Can you be nonscientific and yet be rational?
Can you be rational and non-utilitarian?
Is there intellectual space for non-evidential knowledge?
Can technology close intellectual space for alternatives to technology?
Can we open a self-sustaining space for interactions of systems of knowledge?
Can story-tellers capture reality better than scientists?
Continue reading Alternative Imaginations: Non-ness without Nonsense

Oscar and the bleak American years

I never wrote about Oscar or any other Hollywoody type of events. But I caught the Oscar Night as I turned on my TV this evening and decided to stay in the channel while working on my MacBook. It’s quite interesting to see that the list of nominations is filled with dark and pessimistic movies. It’s quite a change.

In the last 5 years or so we have seen a shift in the film industries. From usual type of Hollywood movies to the more ‘realistic’ ones, ones that try to portray the complexity of social realities of our societies. This year’s Oscar, though, is the first that really witnesses the dominance of this kind of movies. The emergence of independent film makers of course supports this tendency. But it’s more than that. The world has changed. United States has changed. And movies are embedded in the changes. After all, movies always reflect the realities of the context — the world — the when and where they are created. As the world becomes darker, the movies, too, offer darker pictures.
Continue reading Oscar and the bleak American years

Ruling Sex in the City: L’Etat, Power and Surveillance

My very good buddy, Yanuar Nugroho, wrote a very good reflection on anti pornographic/pornoaction bylaws (RUU APP) here.* Yes, this is an old issue that re-emerges these days, this time is more disconcerting since the draft has climbed up and reached the last stage and if no big thing happened in the way, then the President would issue the bill very soon.

Inline with this discourse, here I am re-publishing my old essay. It was written in the light of Minister of Law and Justice’s proposals for a revamp of the Indonesian civil code in September 2003. It didn’t necessarily talk about RUU APP but I think it’s still relevant.

*the draft of the bylaws (in Indonesian) can also be read there
Continue reading Ruling Sex in the City: L’Etat, Power and Surveillance

The Culture of Emergency Room

It could be you. It could be me. Ten minutes away from home, one night something goes wrong and we end up at the emergency room of the nearest hospital. Crowd. Cries. Blood. In pain, we enter the world of misery. Doctors, nurses, suicide attempts, broken legs, overdosis, heart attacks, gunbanging victims, drug addicts, and someone like me :p.

Perhaps almost all of us have seen the hit TV show “ER”. The show that has Continue reading The Culture of Emergency Room