Book Review: ‘Falsafah Hidup’ by Hamka

This is my first post on a book review. I write a review every time after I finish reading a book. 

For those who don’t know, Hamka is the most prominent Nusantara philosopher and novelist of it’s time- the 20th century. Lived under the Dutch colonial rule in Indonesia until it’s independence, his thoughts become an inspiration and reference that are still relevant now.

His book titled ‘Falsafah Hidup‘, which means ‘Philosophy of life’, mainly talks about the purpose of life, in accordance to human’s capability to reason (akal) and the fact that we live in a society, not as individuals. With the humans capability to reason, one should be able to judge between what’s right and what’s wrong, what’s rewarding and what will inflict a loss. Hence, for a greater good, one must sacrifice. That, in reality, is what is wanted by everybody. He then elaborates it more and into bigger aspects like social and politics. Continue reading

Your Choice of Words Matters

Communication is the bridge between one’s mind and another. Words are used to convey one’s message. Sometimes, however, one might use words that he or she doesn’t mean or the receiver interprets one’s message differently than intended by the transmitter (the one who is speaking).

Choosing the right words is important to effectively deliver your message, describing something, or to avoid hostilities (or provoke them). A potential problem arises when choosing the right words: How can you choose the right one when there is none? Or there are, but all words doesn’t match your intended meaning? Here is where vocabulary comes in handy. The bigger your arena of words, the easier it will be for you to convey your message in an easy and simple way.  Continue reading

Is It in Man’s Nature to Wage War?

Is It in Man’s Nature to Wage War? is republished with permission of Stratfor.”

Editor’s Note: The Global Affairs column is curated by Stratfor’s editorial board, a diverse group of thinkers whose expertise inspires rigorous and innovative thought. Their opinions are their own and serve to complement and even challenge our beliefs. We welcome that challenge, and we hope our readers do too.

By Luc De Keyser

In May, Barack Obama became the first sitting U.S. president to visit Hiroshima. The move left political analysts combing his speech for clues as to whether Washington’s foreign policy was changing. Anthropologists, on the other hand, looked for something different. Continue reading

Diversions and Evasions: Don’t Ask Someone What to Ask

I’m not  a huge expert on psychology but I know what manipulation is. You too can easily understand what manipulation is. Two of its tactics, diversion and evasion, are really annoying and an effective tool for escaping a question. Propagandists also use this tactic.

Diversion is the behaviour that aims at shifting the central topic of the argument to something else, and evasion is similar to diversion but giving irrelevant, rambling, vague responses, weasel words. These two are very closely related. These manipulative techniques are identified by a leading expert on manipulators, Dr. George K. Simon. Continue reading

The ‘Perfect Agreement Synergy’ Effect

Ever experience the feeling of ‘I couldn’t agree with you more’? Norm agreements  are just for the sake of knowing, opinion stereotypes, typical opinions or just the agreement is not strong enough to reach the extend of the feeling mentioned just now.

The ‘Perfect Agreement Synergy’ (PAS) and the maximum agreement effect are terms I coined to equate to the ‘I couldn’t agree with you more’ feeling. The PAS effect happens when Continue reading