“Galia” = intelligent adaptation

The man who speaks Minangkabau language fluently will understand what is meant by “Galia”. “Galia” can be interpreted as a sly but with a positive meaning. Positive in the sense of clever in exploiting the situation around him. “Galia” people are very good at adapting to their environment. Therefore, this could explain why many Minang traders can successfully survive overseas with this “galia” principle. I found many successful Minang traders in Malaysia. If you go to Kuala Lumpur, please stop at Raja Alang street. You will find the Minang traders along this street.

“Different countries, different culture”. This principle must be applied if you want to survive living overseas, especially in the country has different culture and religion. Something that we think is right, maybe not necessarily right for others. “Appreciating pluralism” and “intelligent adaptation” are maybe the right terms to describe this situation.

In conclusion, “Galia” or intelligent adaptation is essential for life in our society.

My dad

My father, Nur Anas Djamil, in his library at home in Padang, West Sumatera. The shelves of books collapsed when the earthquake hit Padang on September 30, 2009.

This is the first post about my father, Nur Anas Djamil, written by me in this blog. As you can see in the above picture, you can guess my father’s occupation. Yes, my father was a teacher, more precisely a Professor in Islamology. He graduated from IAIN (Institut Agama Islam Negeri) Sunan Kalijaga, Yogyakarta in 1962. His thesis was supervised by the late Prof. Teungku Muhammad Hasbi Ash-Shiddieqy, a prolific writer.  Before retiring as a professor at the University of Padang in 2001, he has served as dean of the Faculty of Literature and Art Teacher Training at this university from 1969 to 1971. He was Chairman of the Regional Board of Muhammadiyah of West Sumatera Province, Indonesia from 1995 to 2000.

As a lecturer and researcher, he has published several research articles that can be viewed via Google Books#1 and Google Books#2.

In Minangkabau society, a clan has a chief, called “Datuk”, who is appointed on the basis of matrilineal descent. My father was appointed “Datuk Rajo Mangkuto” by his clan. The following is the procession of inauguration of my father as Datuk Rajo Mangkuto in Balai Mansiro, Payakumbuh, West Sumatera in 2003.

The culture of self-promotion

Self-promotion, why not?

In the Internet era, many ways to promote yourself. Sometimes quite disgusting to see people promoting themselves although they has only a few or small achievements. Today is the era of the culture of self-promotion. Many people try to become famous by approaching the mass media, usually by exaggerating the news. Over claim!

Unlike the prophets, they became popular and have many followers because they convey moral force and the idea of truth. Because of these, the prophets became role models for society. Proverb that says “silent is golden” is not valid anymore in today’s era.

In the world of science the self-promotion also happened. The following is a snippet from website of Prof. Gerad ‘t Hooft on “how to be famous”.

You may consider the option of connecting your work with mystery topics such as telepathy and consciousness. Make outrageous claims of having solved long standing problems. Of course, you expect that you will become famous, but unfortunately, only a few really good theoretical physicists have equations and effects named after them. This is because colleagues recognize their importance and since they want to give names to equations and effects anyway, they bestow the discoverers with that honor. The bad theoretical physicist, in anticipation, names his own equations and effects, and even his entire theories, after himself right away. The impudence to attach your own name to whatever you claim to have discovered is considered improper in science, and in practice it betrays amateurism and incompetence. If a good theoretician refers to an equation to which colleagues have attached his/her own name, he/she uses a different description if available.

On your way towards becoming a bad theoretician, take your own immature theory, stop checking it for mistakes, don’t listen to colleagues who do spot weaknesses, and start admiring your own infallible intelligence. Try to overshout all your critics, and have your work published anyway. If the well-established science media refuse to publish your work, start your own publishing company and edit your own books. If you are really clever you can find yourself a formerly professional physics journal where the chief editor is asleep. To recognize such a journal, look for one where, in the list of board members on the cover, more than 50 % has already deceased. Accuse all your critics of the short-sightedness that you actually suffer too much from yourself. It is easy and pleasant, it does not require the hard work of checking and re-checking your results, and if you are sufficiently eloquent, you might even gather some admirers.

Your next step should be to advertise your work. Your reputation may have caused the xxx ArXives and Wikipedia to refuse your submissions (congratulations, they are not really peer-reviewed), but in that case you can still start your own weblog, and buy pop-ups in Google. Do not mention the number of citations you received in the established literature (you probably did not receive any) but instead install a counter that identifies the number of times someone by mistake downloaded your papers. Some people just download anything so you are guaranteed to get many hits there, and you can proudly announce those numbers.

Melayu proverb says “Tong kosong nyaring bunyinya“, means “Empty barrel voiced a loud”.

Do’s and don’t’s in writing blog

In the era of democracy, many argue that all people can write about anything in the blog. In fact not so, because the other factors must be considered; culture, politics and our position in society and government. Indeed, freedom can mean differently depends on our point of view. For example, if we consider humans are matter, we can imagine that we can move anywhere in this planet. But, are we free? The answer is very relative. Actually, anything in this world can entrap us. And we, as humans, can also entrap mentally. We can imagine us as a prisoner even though we do not. So, we need to live wisely in the world because everything in this world is very relative.

Please consider do’s and don’t’s in writing blog!

In Harmonia Progressio

Kalimat di atas merupakan motto dari Institut Teknologi Bandung, almamater saya, yang bermaksud “kemajuan dalam harmoni”. Artinya kita maju bersama-sama dengan penuh kerukunan. Hal ini didasarkan kepada arti daripada kata ‘harmoni’. Harmoni istilah berasal dari Yunani ἁρμονία (Harmonia), yang berarti “bersama, kesepakatan, kerukunan”. Dalam musik, harmoni sangat diperlukan supaya musik tersebut memberikan nada yang ‘enak’ didengar. Enak didengar? Ada kalanya musik tertentu enak didengar oleh kita tapi tidak enak didengar oleh orang lain. Ada yang suka jazz, ada yang suka dangdut.

Dalam kepemimpinan, seseorang yang telah terpilih atau dipilih sebagai pemimpin haruslah mengetahui ‘harmoni’ yang tepat dalam melaksanakan kepemimpinannya. Pemimpin tersebut haruslah memperhatikan ‘harmoni’ yang dapat diterima oleh banyak orang dalam menjalankan kepemimpinannya. Mampu memainkan harmoni yang baik inilah yang menyebabkan seorang pemimpin dapat dikatakan sebagai pemimpin yang baik. Tidak ada gunanya memainkan ‘harmoni’ atau ‘lagu’ sendiri tetapi tidak disukai oleh kebanyakan orang lain. Alhasil, semua target akan berantakan.

In harmonia progressio!


ambitionSaya mengenal beberapa orang kawan yang sangat bersemangat dan berkeinginan sangat kuat untuk mencapai ketenaran dan kekuasaan. Kawan-kawan ini adalah pekerja keras dan selalu mencari peluang untuk mencapai tujuan tersebut, walaupun kadang-kadang banyak tindakan mereka tidak disukai orang. Dengan kata lain, ambisi kadang-kadang dapat menyebabkan kita mengambil jalan pintas sehingga mengorbankan integritas dan nilai-nilai moral.

Walaubagaimanapun, ambisi tersebut dapat menjadi dorongan yang tidak merusak. Di bawah ini adalah beberapa cara untuk mengarahkan ambisi menjadi hal yang positif:

Gunakan ambisi untuk memanfaatkan kesempatan

Dengan ambisi kita dapat melihat cara-cara untuk melakukan hal-hal yang berbeda dan inovatif. Ini mungkin dengan mengembangkan penemuan-penemuan baru. Melakukan hal-hal yang berbeda dapat menjadi suatu kekuatan untuk melakukan kebaikan. Pengusaha sukses seperti Bill Gates, manusia terkaya di dunia, merupakan contoh orang yang menyalurkan ambisi mereka dalam mencari peluang-peluang baru.

Gunakan ambisi sebagai alat untuk perubahan

Jika kita berkesempatan menjadi pemimpin, kita dapat menggunakan ambisi ini untuk melakukan perubahan positif. Seorang pemimpin yang baik dapat mengindentifikasi keperluan untuk perubahan yang positif untuk kebaikan organisasi. Beberapa orang kawan saya gagal memanfaatkan peluang ini. Mereka malah memanfaatkan kekuasaan ketika mereka memimpin. Mereka lebih mementingkan ambisi pribadi daripada organisasi. Orang seperti boleh jadi dapat sukses dalam mencapai ambisi pribadi namun gagal sebagai pemimpin, dan akhirnya banyak dihujat oleh banyak orang.

Gunakan ambisi sebagai alat untuk pertumbuhan pribadi

Ambisi dapat menjadi keinginan untuk berprestasi. Oleh karena itu ambisi dapat menjadi alat pendorong untuk mencapai impian. Orang-orang seperti ini biasanya adalah orang yang selalu belajar dan bekerja dengan keras untuk mengembangkan kemampuannya.