Friday, December 15, 2017

Why I Don't Use Instagram

Thought-provoking title, isn’t it?

You might call me an old-fashioned or technologically down-to-date man – in fact, one of my best friends, who works as a doctor in a government hospital in North Jakarta, carries on keeping on continuing – I know I am being lebay (i.e. an Indonesian slang term for "exaggerating"), but there it is – insisting that I utilize the popular social media app. So, why don’t I do that? What prevents me clicking on the Play Store icon on my phone and, after several necessary steps, press the download button for the camera-logoed software?

I am from Indonesia, a wide-spanning, island-chunked country near to the kangaroo land Australia, and with a population of an enormous over 250 million people (hopefully I am right) and alay attitude present across the inhabitants (most of them are young adults), it is squarely a delish market for Instagram. And I think it is safe to say that its penetration and performance here is “highly successful”. A lot of my friends seem to love it and I can see their photos (and sometimes, or oftentimes, the accompanying deluges of hashtags) on my Facebook timeline since their Instagram accounts are linked to their Facebook. Again, the question remains the same: why don’t I have Instagram? (oh, well, different wording, but the same idea, right?)

The answer lies in my nature. I consider myself as someone who is ‘geared’ more towards functionality. I am not a kind of person who puts high importance on esthetics. It is reflected by the way I dress: I wouldn’t want to spend, say, 150 USD on fancy pieces of clothing – it would be better to use that much money to buy dinosaur books written by experts in the field since it will make me a more knowledgeable human and get me to a clearer understanding of the world. However, I do love taking and sharing pictures – with right doses. I do it occasionally, just when I feel it is necessary.

I am also a type of hominid who doesn’t like to follow mainstream trends – again, if they are not functional. I don’t feel Instagram would satisfy my needs as they have been fulfilled by, for example, Facebook. The sister company, I think, is the best social medium as it has all the features you would expect in such an app: you can upload photos and videos, you can post a status consisting of text only, you can create groups as well as pages, and so on and so forth. I do use other social media, for instance, LinkedIn and Twitter. I use the former because it provides a great platform in professional context (for networking, applying for jobs, etc.), while I created an account on the latter as it was ordered by my university lecturer in a character-building subject for a future assignment which she ended up not giving – thankfully, there is an upside of it: I can interact with science public figures such as British zoologist Dr. Darren Naish and Australian science writer John Pickrell. To me, the thought of having the latest version of the iPhone is just uninteresting and to be ignored: I am completely satisfied with my over-a-year-old Sony Xperia M2.

Now you might be asking: Will you ever use Instagram? Will I do that in the future? Maybe yes, maybe no. It depends: I will if I find that it will have a useful impact in my life.
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Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Quote #30

"It is genuine smiles which are worthy, as opposed to fake ones, which are pernicious." - Klinsman Hinjaya
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Saturday, November 18, 2017

Quote #29

"As members of Homo sapiens – the most intelligent species on the planet – we are endowed with a highly advanced brain. Yet, we need to keep on nurturing it by ceaselessly learning with high doses of curiosity, willingness, and, last but not least, humility." - Klinsman Hinjaya
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Thursday, November 16, 2017

Why Dinosaurs Matter – Book Review

Why Dinosaurs Matter
by Kenneth Lacovara

This is it. This is just the book the world needs. This is more or less what was in my mind before I purchased this book. Now that I finished it, all I can say is it really is.

Gazing at the intriguing title – and after reading the previous paragraph – you might be frowning with several shadows of a doubt: Do they really matter? Aren't they just long-gone creatures intended merely for children's entertainment? Grab this book and let Kenneth Lacovara obliterate any reservations of yours and convert you into an ardent dinosaur defender.

Why Dinosaurs Matter is definitely "a dinosaur book with a difference," as Dr. Jane Goodall, DBE puts it in her review. You won't find numerous dinosaur illustrations accompanied with a great deal of information on the diet, behavior, and other aspects of hosts of dinosaur genera. No, you won't. Instead, this book will take you into deep contemplation of your very existence on this planet. It will take you into a clearer understanding of the world through the medium of dinosaurology. It will take you into a period of reflection that will eventually lead you to genuine humility. The small size of this book shouldn't delude you into thinking that it is nothing. Why Dinosaurs Matter is made up of 12 chapters, each of which is filled with Ken's sublime scientific writing, which shows that he is a remarkable science communicator. I found that Ken's poetical prose, which was composed with his linguistic prowess, is a supreme point of this book, and with its content of scientific nature, Why Dinosaur Matters is a treasure of (dinosaurian) paleontology. You might be asking: Are there any particular dinosaurs covered in this book? The answer is yes! These include the world's most famous dinosaur: Tyrannosaurus rex, and the mighty Late Cretaceous sauropod Dreadnoughtus schrani, which was discovered by Kenneth Lacovara himself in southern Patagonia over a decade ago. In a nutshell, Why Dinosaurs Matter is a brilliantly & beauteously enlightening book.

As you may have noticed, Why Dinosaurs Matter is a TED Book, which means that it expands on a related TED Talk. Be amazed at Kenneth Lacovara's 2016 marvelous speech: Hunting for dinosaurs showed me our place in the universe (to access it on YouTube, click here). You might also want to have a glimpse into the book by navigating through these useful links:

Beware! Reading Why Dinosaurs Matter has a side effect: it will astronomically enlarge your vocabulary, owing to the innumerable expressions Ken poured into it. You might want to get a reliable English dictionary ready before you start reading this eye-opening book.

Have you read Why Dinosaurs Matter? What do you think of this book? Share your thoughts in the comment section below!

P.S. I love how Ken addresses young Earth creationism in this book. ;)

Related article by me: Why Dinosaurs?
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Monday, November 13, 2017

She "seized" my husband

It's a sentence that might have plausibly been uttered by a woman who had "lost" her husband to another member of her sex. It's been formulated by my brain according to a comment on a Facebook post I read a while back.

On a usual day in the Cenozoic Era, a highly advanced ape was online on Facebook and came across a newspaper article whose theme is so popular and seems to endlessly captivate the members of his own species: love.

Romanticism never dies and being in an indescribable realm with a beloved one, spending day after day, night after night with them is, I think, akin to dwelling in the worldly version of the heaven, depicted as a paragon of bliss by some, or all, religions on our planet. Yet, the truth is sometimes, or often, hurtful and doesn't necessarily reflect our idealistic expectations.

Basically, the news tells the readers that romantic and/or sexual deviance occurred in a relationship between two wed humans (one or both are public figures) and this brought about separation to the couple (and you know who betrayed who). Another Homo sapiens commented on the post, condemning the third party by saying that she "seized" the woman's spouse, and her remark was characterized by rage and contempt to the "mistress". It is so clear how disgusted the commenter was by her immoral behavior. The "seizer" was devilish and she was the one to blame for the ruined relationship. However, is this true?

To me, it is just unfair to say that. Bear in mind that any relationship involves not only one person, but at least two (two in this case). Willingness to start a romantic and/or sexual connection from both parties is a prerequisite for its existence. The fact that a second heart-breaking relationship commenced shows that the guy gave consent to it (he could have said "no", but he didn't) and "maligning" only the female newcomer is just unwise.

Taking this to a larger scale, it is also a great opportunity to remind ourselves to be more analytical when looking into and evaluating a situation. Averting bias is no less important and critical thinking should reign in order for the world to wend its way rapidly toward excellence and advancement in all of its aspects.
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