Indonesia Anonymus

We are a group of Indonesians, ranting about our beloved country. This blog is a result of many people grumbling about many things in many ways.
Feedback: indonesia.anonymus at gmail dot com


Anonymus is the Latin word for anonymous, the correct English spelling. The Latin spelling, however, is traditionally used by scholars in the humanities to refer to an ancient writer whose name is not known, or to a manuscript of their work. Read more at Wikipedia.

Our blog in Bahasa Indonesia (but rarely updated) can be found here.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

PLN Unplugged

Yes, we experienced the blackout too. Oh, dear. Much unpleasant.

And if you think it only means sweating away at the office (like treespotter), or dessert gone bad in your fridge, you should think of Pak Sembiring. He owns a small photocopy shop, and the more power-cut he gets, more customers leave him, taking the business elsewhere.
The shop is his sole source of income: "PLN holds my soul hostage," he joked bitterly.

But what can we do? Well, PLN said "to avoid more blackouts PLN requests the customers to reduce power consumption" [1].

Incompetence aside (PLN's, that is), since we cannot find any other constructive way maybe we should put that into consideration.
But how?

Then this information came our way:
Do you know that microwave oven consumes more electricity powering its digital clock than it does heating food? [2].

For while heating food requires more than 100 times as much power as running the clock, most microwave ovens stand idle—in “standby” mode—more than 99% of the time. And they are not alone: many other devices, such as televisions, DVD players, stereos and computers also spend much of their lives in standby mode, collectively consuming a huge amount of energy.

But how bad is it? According to the same article, the standby power accounted for as much as 10% of household power-consumption. A study in France put it at 7%. In the UK, it is 8% [3].

That means, roughly and theoretically speaking, by unplugging our appliances when we don't use them, we can reduce power consumption, and also our bill.

Some of us said "that can't be true. Surely standby power consumes very small fraction of energy. The equipment producers for sure have thought of that?"
Well, yes and no. Because "Equipment-makers do not have any incentive to use more efficient components, after all, since the cost (in higher power consumption) is borne by their customers. [2]"

It is that bad that the (British) government is to outlaw standby switches on televisions and video and DVD players to cut the amount of electricity wasted in the home. [3].

So, how many appliances you got standing idly-by at home? microwave oven, TV, stereo, dvd player, your PC, more PCs for the kids upstairs, the kids' stereo, the kids' playstation... Your list may go on.

Maybe it is time to unplug when we don't use them.

It may not be much, but if we all do it together, it may bring a smile back to many people like Pak Sembiring.
That in itself should be an incentive enough.


[1] Detik - PLN: Listrik Normal Paling Cepat Senin Malam
[2] Economist - Pulling the Plug on Standby Power
[3] Times Online - TV Standby Buttons will be Outlawed

Friday, July 07, 2006

Are We Late?

After we blog about how our kids learn from us - good or bad - in this post, Agusset wrote in his blog that there is another thing that we hate but teach our kids:
Our always being late. He wrote that our lack of discipline can set a wrong example for our children. Make them think that it is ok to be late. Think that being on time is not really important.

Yes, we admit. We are not always on time. We have our share of listening to 'sorry I am late' excuses as much as making them up ourselves.

One colleague argues: "We are never on time because we have such a handy excuse for being late..."

Ah, yes.

"Sorry I am late,"
"Traffic jam..."

But of course those who arrived on time and had to wait for the slackers to come in can always interject by using the Ellen Degeneres' remark:
"How do you think I got here? Helicoptered in?"

Throughout the years we had many meetings, and with many meetings, comes many 'sorry I am late' excuses. We heard (and made) so many excuses we sometimes do not know anymore whether they are the truth or just plain lies. You just say your excuse and it is soon forgotten.

But there are some excuses people said that are just so interesting we still remember them until now.
And it is fascinating to learn, that in some cases, the more bizarre the excuse, the closer it is to the truth.

Read the following excuses and see which ones do you think are closer to the truth:

  • "Sorry I am late. As I stepped out of the office, a client called."

  • "Sorry I am late. I had to do an emergency conference-call with head office.."

  • "Sorry I am late. A big trailer nose-dived from the fly-over and crashed 200 meter in front of my car. I was stuck in traffic for hours..."

  • "Sorry I am late. I have so much to do because my colleague is hospitalized. He was struck by lightning at a golf course..."

Monday, July 03, 2006

It was you, Mommy !

One female colleague was having a quiet sunday night at home with her husband and her two little boys. The boys were playing with their toy cars, imitating car chase, playing cop and robber. The younger played the robber.
Eventually the robber got caught by the cop. But refused to cooperate.
"Hey, you're caught already. You can't move your car !" said the older.
"Who cares," said the robber brother," You're just a policeman. I can always pay you off...!"

Our colleague overheard that. Thinking that bribing is not a skill she wants her children to have, she interfered:
"Adik! Why did you say that? That's bad. Bad, bad, bad ! Who taught you that?"

And the answer made her jaw dropped:
"You did, Mommy..."

It was the day before. The whole family was in a car, going to visit a relative. The husband drove. He made a wrong turn and then got pulled over by a policeman.
Yes, you know the drill:
The police asked the husband to step out and walk away from the car. A deal was offered: Either pay some cash, or the husband will be given a violation ticket (in case you don't know, when you get a violation ticket, the police will take away your driver license. You then must go to some court - not sure about this - and pay the fine to get the license back. A process that can take days. -But don't quote us on this. We never actually experienced it. Wink, wink. )

The husband, being an idealist and somewhat annoyed by the cocky policeman, refused to pay the bribe and opt for the ticket.
When he went back to the car, our colleague was furious:
"What? You are already so busy as it is, you don't even have enough time for the kids, and now you want to spend your time queueing at some office just to pay a stupid fine?
Why can't you just give him the money?"

Irritated, she grabbed the ticket, and went to find the policeman. Two minutes later, she was back with her husband's driver license.
"Just be practical next time, will you honey?"

Meanwhile, their kids, in the backseat, sitting, listening, watching.
Absorbing everything.

Finders Keepers - Well, duh !

Duh! indeed.

It's been a week, and none of the wallets has found its way back. Not even a phone call. (If you don't know what we are talking about, you may want to read this one first.

Roi was right. Agusset was right.
And we're a bunch of fools. There. We've said it. For the record.
We should have listened to one of our colleagues who told us it wouldn't work. But you know how it is. When you are excited about something, you are excited about something.

And now this particular colleague is having a ball.
Did we hear "I told you so" everytime we pass in front of his room? Oh yes. More than we deserve.
Yes, rub it in dear fellow, rub it in.

Oh well. Curiousity kills the cat.

Now if you excuse us, we have a colleague to put down.