Twitter Updates

    follow me on Twitter

    Sunday, October 26, 2008


    So, I just read this article in a newspaper the other day about microblogging. According to Wikipedia:

    Micro-blogging is a form of multimedia blogging that allows users to send brief text updates (say, 140 characters or fewer) or micromedia such as photos or audio clips and publish them, either to be viewed by anyone or by a restricted group which can be chosen by the user. These messages can be submitted by a variety of means, including text messaging, instant messaging, email, MP3 or the web.

    The content of a micro-blog differs from a traditional blog due in that it is typically more topical, smaller in aggregate file size (e.g. text, audio or video) but is the same in that people utilize it for both business and individual reasons. Many micro-blogs provide this short commentary on a person-to-person level, or share news about a company's products and services.

    It's even shorter than SMS, less than 160 characters! While microblogging can arguably be done in a regular blog, it seems to be catered by specialized sites such as Twitter, Plurk, and Jaiku. Of course, Facebook also has this function in the form of Status Update. I haven't tried any of the services yet, except for Facebook's. Even then, I'm not the regular updater of my own status. Will definitely take a look on this microblogging thing, perhaps waiting for more friends to be involved in either one of the services. You all know the network effect, right?

    For the moment, I'll probably microblog in my Facebook and regular blog. Oh, and I just injured my back during weight-training exercise earlier this evening. Hopefully, I can get some treatment this week and feel better. Ugh, it's gonna be a painful week...

    Sunday, October 19, 2008

    Can Some Violence Be Justified Under Islam?

    "But guys like me get involved in things sometimes because nobody else will... Because it's not in the rule book, or it's politically inconvenient, or it's too weird, or -- or simply because nobody else cares.

    The government, the big corporations, the money guys... they all have plenty of people willing to put it all on the line to defend them. But somebody in trouble... the kind of guy wiser minds would say should be left to solve his own problems, who does he go to?

    Lots of the other super-guys live in shadows because what they do is stuff you'd never, ever want to know about... because you'd never sleep well again. Leaving them alone to operate as they see fit give you deniability, and lets them dive in where logic would say "stay away".

    So maybe the best solution would be a kind of good samaritan law, like they have for drivers, where you can protect everybody when one person dives in to do something to help, while everybody else just drives past."
    - Spider-Man in Civil War (Amazing Spider-Man # 531)

    [This afternoon, my family and I went for halal-bihalal - an Indonesian unique tradition of mutual begging of pardon performed after Eid al-Fitr celebration - with our extended family members. I haven't seen most of them (or rather, most of them haven't seen me) for years since before I went abroad.

    What I found most interesting was the discussion I had with the clergyman during lunch after the short sermon regarding the story of Prophet Muhammad and a blind jewish beggar. You can read the story here. I asked the clergyman why the Prophet's thoughtful behavior, as told in the story, stands at a stark contrast to some of the modern Muslim organizations' actions - since they proclaim to be acting under the guidance of Holy Quran and the Prophet's example - against what are deemed as society's moral decay. Violent raids targeting night clubs and bars, for example, have occurred in various parts of the country. Such as this, recorded by the media:

    Such acts are justified, according to the clergyman, since there are no law enforcement or other forces be it political or social that are capable and willing to stop the morality decay which is happening in society today. Someone have to act on their behalf, and willing to assume the bad press, in order to protect the society's moral values. Just like what Spider-Man told the judges, "...they get involved in things sometimes because nobody else will... or simply because nobody else cares."

    What can I say? ]

    Friday, October 17, 2008

    Astrocenter Report - Part 14

    [For some reason, Astrocenter assessment on my professional aspirations is a bit off. I wonder why (d'uh).]

    Early in life, in his social and familial setting, YOGA probably learned the value of being financially independent and self-sufficient. In declaring his financial independence, he may have criticized and challenged his family's relationship to wealth and material things. Perhaps he took issue with the way he had been taught to think about and use money, and with his family's treatment of material things, in general. Since then, YOGA has viewed money merely as a means to achieve his ultimate end, true freedom and independence. To him, wealth will never be an end in and of itself. He often takes risks, and nonchalantly makes or loses large sums of money without showing any special concern for the future.

    YOGA must deal with his tendency to manipulate others into allowing him to use their work for his own financial or material profit.

    YOGA feels a need to make wealth acquired by association prosper.

    [Astrocenter seems to make the impression as if my family was money-oriented, and later on I'd became overtly risk-taking as if to distance myself from what my family had believe in. Yeah, whatever. I think financial independence, or independence in general for that matter, is important to me. Furthermore, I'd most likely differ from my family in the way of building and managing wealth. I haven't yet see myself as an entrepreneur. Plus, I'd be inclined to use finance theory in my practical life, or like Astrocenter says, "to make the wealth prosper". Ha!] 

    ~ to be continued ~

    Wednesday, October 15, 2008

    A New Paradigm on the Management of Zakah

    It's the day of the year again, October 15, the Blog Action Day. The topic for this year's event is Poverty. So, I'm writing briefly on Islam's religious duty to combat poverty and how a new paradigm of managing religious alms may do it more effectively.

    In Islam, we have the five pillars of the religion. The five pillars of Islam constitute the obligatory foundation of which Muslims must satisfy during their life in order to prove their devotion to their faith. One of the pillars is Zakah. Zakah is the fourth pillar and can be considered as a form of religious alms, mandatory for able Muslims. It is probably the only pillar that put the focus on a believer's relationship with his/her society since the funds pooled from Zakah are then distributed as a part of the state's social welfare program.

    From Islam's perspective, the poor and the needy (along with the other six eligible recipients) have the rights to a small part of the income and wealth of able Muslims. It is through Zakah, that the transfer of rights are conducted. Under mainstream interpretation, Zakah funds are distributed for consumption use by the eligible recipients. I've been looking for a ruling on alternative use of the funds but haven't found it yet. Most of the rulings deal with the method of Zakah collection, types of wealth and income subject to Zakah, and the people who are either the donors or the recipients of Zakah. Very little are discussed regarding the method of its management.

    Kiva - loans that change livesWith the advent of microfinance (especially on microcredit), it brings up a new possibilty for managing Zakah funds. Instead for consumptive use, Zakah can be managed and distributed for productive use. It is more sustainable that way, I think, and more people can get out from poverty at a faster rate. After each repayment, the Zakah can then be distributed again as a new loan ad infinitum, barring default. Profit sharing schemes (instead of interest-based return) can be devised up since the purpose of the loan is to fund productive business. The profit then can be used for operational expense incurred by the management. Examples for this type of microlending endeavor include Kiva and Microplace (although one may object due to their interest charging practice, it's a working model that is certainly can be replicated with some modification, like instituting profit sharing schemes as an alternative to interest-based return).

    Perhaps a new paradigm on the management of Zakah is needed for the Muslims to join the world in responding to the call to arms against poverty. God willing.

    Sunday, October 12, 2008

    Refreshed (?)

    It's been a week since I had my three-day long hiatus post-Eid celebration. It's been awhile since I went out of town, much less for a vacation. I think three days were not enough, it should've been at least five days. But, that's what I have and better make use of them while they're last.

    I may not be unfamiliar with the flower city, but I've never experience it like I did a week ago. It was refreshing, adventurous, romantic, and delicious all at the same time. Relaxing? not really, but it was quite an adventure, bringing back that sense of exploration dulled by the daily mundane of office work.

    So, had I have enough of it? Course not! I've gone through this week sluggishly just like the stock market did. I hope I've made use of this weekend well to compensate for the time-off deficit. And gradually set off my gear for that Excel model again.  

    Thursday, October 02, 2008

    Warm Wishes for the Joyous Eid

    Yesterday was the joyous Eid celebration, the culmination of a month-long struggle for control over personal desires, behaviour, and excess. I would like to thank all my friends, relatives, acquaintances, coworkers, and clients for their warm wishes on the festive day. The following are several of them (sent to me via SMS), which I put here in no particular order or preference.

    Yoke Hartati:
    Kulihat RAMADHAN dari kejauhan.. Kudekati lalu kusapa ia, "Hendak kemana?" Dengan lembut ia berkata, "Aku harus pergi, mungkin jauh dan lama... Tolong sampaikan pesanku untuk si MUKMIN: SYAWAL kan tiba sebentar lagi, ajaklah SABAR untuk temani hari-hari duka. Peluklah ISTIQOMAH saat dia kelelahan dalam perjalanan TAQWA. Bersandarlah pada TAWADHU saat kesombongan menyerang. Mintalah nasihat dari QUR'AN & SUNNAH disetiap masalah yang dihadapi. Sampaikan pula Salam & Trima kasihku bagi yang telah menyambutku dengan sukacita. Kelak, ku berharap ia disambut SURGA dari pintu AR-RAYAN.....
    "Minal Aidzin wal faidzin - Selamat Idul Fitri 1429H"

    Ibnu Akmal:
    Ibnu Akmal & kel mengucapkan
    Taqaballahuminna Waminkum, Minal Aidin Wal Faidzin.. Maaf Lahir Batin
    Selamat Hari Raya Idul Fitri 1429 H

    Felicia Barus:
    Dear all, selamat hari raya idul fitri, mohon maaf lahir batin. Smoga lebaran ini memberikan ketenangan & kedamaian bagi kita semua, terutama ketika portfolio kita berdarah2  -feliz & keluarga-

    Novrita Putrianti:
    Indah manusia krn akhlak
    Indah bulan krn cahaya
    Indah cinta krn kejujuran
    Indah lebaran krn kemenangan
    Minal Aidin Wal Faidzin, Selamat Hr Raya Idul Fitri.

    Putri Kurnia:
    "Maafkan kata yang tlah terucap,akan kuhapus jika kumampu" Selamat Idul Fitri. Mohon maaf lahir & batin - Maafin Putri ya.

    Irawan Tirtokencono:
    Takbir akbar berkumandang,tiba saatnya meraih kemenangan.
    Selamat hari raya iedul fitri 1429H.
    Minal aidin wal faidzin,mohon maaf lahir & batin.

    Allitha Juliet:
    Dearest family & friends, We have reach the end of Ramadhan, the Holy Month will leave us behind. May our prayers stay in twine, our soul be refresh & our mistakes will never be rewind. Happy Eid Mubarak 1429H. Minal Aidin Wal Faidzin. *Allitha Juliet*

    Riri Artakusuma:
    Indah & nikmatnya karunia Allah tiada batasnya.. Hingga kt bs diprtemukan sbgi teman. Dibln yg pnuh brkah ini izinkan Riri meminta maaf lahir & batin atas smua ksalahan. Slmt lebaran 1429 H...

    Saiyidati Hajar:
    nEW cLöthES,NèW shöÉS,nèW Hä!R,neW höPe,new DäY,NEw aTt!tüDe,New hEärT FÖR föRG!veNeSS,PleäSE äCCèPt mY apÖloG!Es FR!endS!"HäPPy !düL F!Tri" LüV U äLL. -häJäR-

    Wulandari Utami:
    Dlm setiap kata yg terucap, setiap langkah yg diambil & setiap tarikan nafas kita tdk pernah tau salah & dosa apa yg telah kt perbuat.Idul fitri waktunya melepas semua yang terganjal di hati. Selamat Hari Raya Idul Fitri 1429 H. Mohon Maaf Lahir & Batin, Wulan & Keluarga

    Riko Hafil:
    Di antara bait & kata, di antara canda & tawa, ada khilaf yg tercipta. Seuntai maaf penyejuk jiwa, smg kbersamaan tetap terjaga. Mhn Maaf Lahir & Batin -Riko & kel-

    Muhammad Rizky & Hanifah Azalia:
    Minal Aidzin Wal Faidzin, wishing you a blessing on this very day. Mohon maaf lahir dan batin ya, let's forgive & forget. -Hani, Oki, Jibran, Jehan-

    Nadiya Setiyo & Irwansyah:
    Selamat Idul Fitri 1429H, Mohon dimaafkan lahir & batin segala khilaf & salah kami.
    ^_^nadia, irwansyah & little faiqa^_^

    Achmad Mochran & Syela:
    Bunga Melati indah Berseri, Cerminan Hati Dihari Suci, Sms dikirim Pengganti Diri, tuk Mendekatkan Tali Silahturahmi, Minal Aidin Walfaizin, Mohon Maaf Lahir & Bathin.

    Yahuda Nawa Yanukrisna:
    Selamat Hari Raya Idul Fitri 1429 H. Mohon maaf jika ada kesalahan selama ini. Salam, Yahuda & keluarga.

    Dgn ikhlas & tulus mengucapkan "Minal Aidin Walfaizin Mohon Maaf Lahir&Bathin". Smoga silahturahmi selalu dihati. Selamat Hari Raya Idul Fitri 1429 H.

    Renny Tri Julianti & Tito Laksmana:
    Kslhn & kehilafan cm milik manusia semata. Hanya kebesaran hati, yg ihklas memaafkan sesama. Andai tangan tak sempat berjabat. Wajah tak bisa bertatap. Setidaknya kata2 masih dapat terungkap, lewat sms ini kami mengucapkan Selamat Hari Raya Idul Fitri Minal Aidin Walfaidzin, Mhn Maaf Lahir & Bathin - Renny, Tito & Klrga =)

    Isnaputra Iskandar:
    Selamat Hari Raya Idu Fitri 1429H. Mohon maaf lahir & batin. Isnaputra & keluarga.

    Rozy Adilasa:
    Semuanya maafin rozy/ojie ya..mungkin 11 bulan udh sengaja/ga sengaja nyakitin loe semua. Minal aidin wal faidzin mhn maaf lahir dan bathin...

    Rachmitha Anne:
    Ketika fajar Syawal merekah, hati kembali bersih.
    Kata maaf terasa hangat & suci, kebahagiaan menjelma di hati.
    Selamat Hari Raya Idul Fitri 1429 H.
    Mohon maaf lahir & bathin.
    (Rachmitha & kel)

    Even Go:
    SELAMAT HARI RAYA IDUL FITRI, mohon maaf lahir batin. Dari Even dan keluarga.

    Umar Abdullah:
    Diantara Bait & kata, canda & tawa ada khilaf yg tercipta, dengan sgala kerendahan hati kami mengucapkan minal aidin walfaidzin mohon maaf lahir bathin. =umaR

    Boby Nuryadi:
    Alhamdulillah hari raya tlah tiba.Boby memohon maaf lahir batin kepada seluruh saudara, teman, rekan.. Semoga trjaga tetap putih terus,dan yg pasti dari nol lg ya.

    Emery Sasangka & Dwi Amalia Lestari:
    Seiring takbir menggema,Kami haturkan Selamat Idul Fitri,minal aidin walfaidzin,mohon maaf Lahir&Bathin..Semoga hati & Jiwa kembali pd fitrahNya. -Emery&Lia

    Lydia Suwandi:
    Selamat hari idul fitri.have fun yoo!

    Andai tangan tak kuasa berjabat tapi kata msh dpt terungkap, tulus hati mhn maaf atas sgl salah & khilaf "Slmt Idul Fitri 1429H", mhn maaf lhr & batin. (yadi)

    Astri Lestari:
    "Minal Aidzin wal Faidzin
    Mohon Maaf Lahir & Batin"
    Dihari yg fitri ini smoga hati kita kembali suci dr segala dosa, layaknya lahir kembali tanpa dosa

    M. Muska & Lila:
    Mohon maaf lahir dan batin atas segala kesalahan selama ini..Mudah2an kita semua termasuk orang2 yang selalu berada dalam rahmat dan lindunganNYA.
    Selamat hari raya Idul Fitri 1429 H.
    Muska & Lila

    Ayutika Dewi
    Meski tak sempat berjabat tangan, dgn sgl kerendahan hati & rs tulus, mohon maaf lahir & bathin. Smoga menjadi hr yg lbh baik u/ kita di hari yg fitri ini. -aytik-

    Salahoeddin P. Harahap:
    Selamat idul fitri, mohon maaf lahir bathin dan semoga bisa bertemu dengan bulan ramadhan di tahun depan.
    -salahoeddin & keluarga-

    I crammed as much as I could, so very sorry for those of yours not included here. It lessen none of the meaning and the way which it was received. Last but not least, my wish for you all on the joyous day:

    May Allah accept your good deeds, forgive your transgressions, and ease the suffering of all people around the globe. Eid Mubarak 1429 H. -Yoga & family-