Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Project Text

Dwinda Adrianto
ENGL 114 B
Sean Pessin
                                    Power Politics:  A Predetermined Perseverance
            The notion of power has always been around for centuries since the dawn of mankind. It is a grotesque notion that believes that survival of the fittest is the principal virtue that will ultimately ensure individual or group survival. It justifies the realist position that “the strong shall devour the weak” as a natural order of the universe. In the field of International relations, power falls into two distinct categories: Soft Power and Hard Power, whereas soft power believes that principle strength derives from an individual or a group’s ability to influence others and hard power derives from an individual or groups ability to coerce or dictate others to behave accordingly by establishing a rigid hierarchy (Kegley 36). This notion of power plays a dominant role throughout the Foundation series, throughout the series the Author Isaac Asimov seems to focus solely on how the Foundation managed to survive among hostile neighbors despite having limited military capabilities. This paper will focus on the earliest stages of the Foundation establishment which allowed it to navigate through various crisis along the book, it is an undeniable fact that the Foundations dominance and influence is a direct result of the effectively early exercise of its soft and hard power Overall the Foundations survival is heavily attributed by its effective manipulation of soft and hard power
The Foundation series that falls under the science fiction genre illustrates many deep political aspects that are relevant in actual life especially in the fields of international relations which explain specifically on how a state dominates the hostile environment within the international level. The book proposes the notion that military power is not the only means to become a dominant player in the galaxy but also through the effective combination of leadership, technological innovation and establishing a dominant influence. The foundation’s survival against all odds is a result of the foundation's ability to effectively maneuver through its barbaric surroundings by establishing a dominant presence within its periphery.
            The story revolves around the Galactic Empire and a prediction made by a man called Hari Seldon with a background of psychohistory which predicted the inevitable fall of the Empire. Seldons views were viewed as a severe offence and nonsensical by the empire’s administrators which resulted on his immediate exile along with all of his followers to a far and desolate planet in the far fringes of the galaxy called Terminus. Here Seldon wishes to establish a scientific haven in order to preserve humanity's achievement if the galaxy were to fall in a period of barbarism after the empire's fall. From there on the plot revolves around how does the foundation managed to survive while it is surrounded by hostile natives which hopes to exploit and conquer the foundation itself. Through the effective combination of technological supremacy and effective diplomacy the Foundation quickly become one of the most influentially powerful planets within the periphery rivaling that of the declining Galactic Empire itself. The Foundation Series compromise out of three books: The Foundation, Foundation and Empire and Second Foundation. The first book focuses on how the foundation was established and how it became a dominant power within its periphery, the Foundation and Empire focuses on the war between the foundation and remnants of the Galactic Empire before being destroyed by a mind controlling creature called “the mule”, the Second Foundation focuses on the foundation’s success in catching the mule off guard and telepathically altered his psyche and the search for the second foundation located in Trantor. This paper will break down the role of power throughout the three foundation series book which will be done by sections.
The deep political aspect is always relevant as the book progresses. It describes the aspects of applied soft power and hard power possessed by the foundation in which ensures its survival. Firstly by soft power the book relates on how other planets depended on the foundation's technological innovation for survival and how the Foundation managed to establish a religious order centered within Foundation. The hard power aspect would be the foundation's possession of atomic energy which other planet feared as being atomic weapons. The Effective manipulation of these two aspects of power ultimately led the Foundation to become a dominant and influential player among its hostile neighbors. Another political aspect which could be discussed would be the role of the central government in shaping the foundations policy which relates to external threat, where a constant conflict between a more pacifist government and a more assertive government within the foundation is always prevalent. The pacifists were people who believed that conflict should be the last measure in dealing with external threat while the hardliners believed that the Foundation should strengthen its military capabilities to deter possible aggressions. However as it turns out the pacifist under the mayor Salvor Hardin were the one who took control calling for other means either than war to deter possible aggressors, this illustrates the idea that force is not the only possible option to survive from external threats. This correlates with true events on what we see happening in our own world and judging by the overall aspect dominant throughout this book, Isaac Asimov must be inspired by actual events the events on which the author draws its inspiration. The story's overall suspense for me at least lies in the events unfolding when the foundation faces would be aggressors and then later on deterring them "peacefully". Overall this book has an overall plot where many readers will find overwhelming with information, too fast paced and a lack of significant characters. My guess would be that the characters the author made for this book only compliments the overall plot, and generally speaking it is likely that the plot itself is the story given the less amount of  time the author gave in describing and developing some of the numerous characters in the book
            First, we shall analyze the first book and how does power politics of play through the foundations effective use of diplomacy. During the period when Terminus have just been settled down by researchers whose sole aim is to finish the Encyclopedia Galactica, the founders soon finds that the planet is scarce of steel and aluminum and their primary supply comes from the empire itself which is considered too far away while its sole survival is determined by a kingdom called Anacreon which has the agenda to dominate Terminus itself. The foundation is divided into two different factions first one calls for a more pacifist approach towards aggressors by relying on the Empire for its protection while it focuses solely on the completion of the Encyclopedia Galactica this faction is led by Lewis Pirenne and the other faction calling for the complete independence from the empire led by Salvor Hardin. It is inevitable that the foundation will have to rely on the Anacreon for protection and resources since the empire seems uninterested on providing safety for the foundation from outside aggressors. However Anacreon wanted compensation in exchange for ensuring the foundations protection among them being allowing Anacreon to establish military bases in Terminus itself which doesn’t sit very well with the faction that focuses solely in the development of the encyclopedia. Hardin, thanks to his skillful diplomacy at first deters Anacreon military base intentions by announcing that the foundation is in possession of atomic energy which Anacreon has none of therefore intimidating Anacreon by the possibility of the Foundation possessing advanced weaponry this is seen by the look of surprise of Anselm Haut Rodric an envoy of the Anacreonian kingdom when Hardin mentioned of the Foundations possession of atomic power.
            One could analyze this aspect of power by using the realist notion of “Hard Power” which defines power derives from the capability to intimidate others (Viotti 15). This notion can be observed in the field of international relations which defines the relationship between two or more states based on distrust and suspicion. If related with the issue we see in regards to the relationship between the Foundation and Anacreon, it is clear that Anacreon fears the possibility of Terminus possessing atomic energy which will not rule out the possibility that the Foundation is also in possession of atomic weapons and being able to us it at its disposal. What added to the fear of the Anacreonian is that its own lack of similar power for its disposal, so in order for Anacreon to annex Terminus as its territory it must be really careful or risk possible destruction in the hands of atomic weapons. In real life we can observe this phenomenon in such cases where countries who possesses atomic energy tend to have the capabilities to develop atomic weapons tends to arouse fear of its neighbors and tends to be treated carefully if they potentially posses such capabilities this. Through this witty remark made by mayor Salvor Hardin, it successfully asserted diplomatically that the Foundation is a force to be reckoned with and will demand respect. Through the combination of the effective use of diplomacy which is considered soft power and the use of coercive intimidation which falls under the hard power category Terminus ensured its survival as it goes through the first Seldon Crisis one could not argue that a perfect combination of the foundations Soft Power and hard power ultimately ensures its survival and independence from a foreign power in this case the Anacreonians.
Through the effective use of discreet intimidation masked as the willingness of the Foundation to agree with Anacreonian proposal on establishing a military base within the foundation in exchange for protection and resources, Mayor Hardin succeeded in stalling the inevitable invasion of Anacreonian forces in Terminus. Mayor Hardin perceived that cooperating with Anacreon is the only feasible alternative because due to the Galactic Empire’s reluctance to help protect the Foundation from possible aggressors and the Foundation’s relative isolation from other parts of the empire, mayor Hardin also knew that the best way to avoid direct confrontation with Anacreon is to pretend to cooperate with Anacreon and simultaneously reaping the benefits of Anacreon providing for the Foundation’s security and providing them with steel and aluminum. There’s no arguing that mayor Hardin is well versed in the field of politics, and his ideas itself is not exclusively exists in this particular science fiction series, Sun Tzu an ancient Chinese war strategist mentioned “For  to win one  hundred victories in one hundred battles is not the acme of skill. To subdue the enemy without fighting is the acme of skill”, therefore one must not solely rely on direct confrontation with the enemy in order to win however being able to win battle through the effective use of strategy is of the extreme excellence.
It is an undeniable fact that when the foundation is still at its weakest diplomacy plays an important role in ensuring the Foundations survival.    Diplomacy can be defined as the art and practice of negotiations between different nations or the skill of handling affairs without hostility (Nau 7).  There are many aspects in soft power but for this case example soft power is distinguished as “smart power” which can be defined as a nation’s leadership capabilities in conducting diplomacy without the excessive use of force (Nye). A correlation with the effective use of soft power would be if it were not for Hardin’s policy in not resorting to force to expel the Anacreonians, the Foundation will find itself destroyed because it has no means for direct conflict with the Anacreonians at that time so Hardin bought time for the Foundation to develop. Another indirect result of this smart maneuver by Hardin is the fact that the foundation manages to develop sophisticated technology under the Anacreonian protection that allowed the Foundation to become a major power in the future. During the earliest times of the Foundations establishment the Foundation finds itself lacking the basic resources necessary to establish a respectable civilization and in this vulnerable state the risk of facing an all out war with Anacreon is far too great. By pretending to cooperate with Anacreon despite the pro encyclopedia faction insistence on taking a more tougher role it reaps more benefit that it would be from an all out war therefore biding the foundation time to develop peacefully under Anacreon’s protection and when the Foundation slowly becomes more sophisticated than Anacreon they will rebel and kick them out of their planet once and for all. The point of this that through the effective manipulation of soft power diplomacy achieved through effective leadership, the Foundation managed to navigate the threat of direct Anacreonian assault without deterring through the use of force.
It is evident that leadership plays an important role in ensuring the foundations survival during Hardin’s period. Leadership itself falls under the category of soft power where the ability or inability of a particular state to project power outside its borders rests solely in the individual leader’s leadership capabilities. Before Hari Seldon re emerges in terminus after years of his death thanks to holographic projection to announce what is called the Seldon Crisis: A prediction of events that will happen to the Foundation within a particular period of time he mentions that the Foundations will go through a turbulent period of time marked by the Galactic Empire’s decline and the fall of its surroundings into a period of barbarism, I personally believe that Hardin with his sheer combination of mastery in politics, effective use of diplomacy and strategically thinking is the right person to lead the foundation as it undergoes its early years of turbulent periods marked by power struggle of the planets within the fringes of the Galactic Empire.
Another case example of soft power execution which could be observed throughout the book would be the Foundations effective use of trade. The ability to influence the policies of other states or planets in this case is through the foundations establishment of trade dependence centered within the foundation. Trade dependence centered in the foundation also plays a huge role in deterring would be aggressors to the Foundation. The Foundation being a technologically superior among the less technology sophisticated countries within its periphery made the Foundations survival important for all the other planets that depended on the Foundations technological capabilities and engineering capabilities. It is generally believed that a nation would be reluctant to attack another nation if it risks the threat of injuring itself economically (Nau 7) the Foundation is able to assert control towards other planets policy through the dependence of other planets through trade with the foundation. In the areas of political economy trade plays a huge role in determining a nation’s soft power capability since it is one of the fundamental aspect to assert control without the use of force. No doubt the foundation gained tremendous benefits through the establishment of a Foundation centered trade as a result of its technological innovation that allowed it to dominate the system as less developed planets rely heavily on the Foundations technological capabilities for its survival.
The greatest achievement the Foundation made in ensuring that no planet dared to attack its territory is through the establishment of a religious order based on technology centered within the foundation itself with priests who happen to also be engineers which are stationed in other planets, in reality this could be similar with the Vatican centered Catholicism and Saudi Arabian centered Islamic world which plays a dominant role in being the center of faith for millions of people. The same argument also applies through the Foundation centered religious order, by establishing a religious order the Foundation has managed to control the minds of the people within its periphery, it’s an undeniable fact that faith plays a huge role in determining people’s actions. Within the book the Anacreonians tried a second attempt to occupy the Foundation but the attempt failed because other planets condemned the invasion calling it sacrilegious. The Anacreonian troops also are reluctant sacred ground since the Foundations religious order has established dominant roots in other planets. The soft power nature of religion lies in the fact that if you manage to control people’s minds and perception you ultimately have the upper hand in the areas of diplomacy so it could be considered another way of establishing a dominant influence.
Overall the foundation series being a science fiction genre relates to the actual real life possibilities of things relating with reality or the areas of what could happen in the future. Being of the science fiction genre the author Isaac Asimov has managed to tie the significant plot throughout the book with the actual reality of the world system. In the case of the foundation series it is evident that there is a deep rooted political aspect happening throughout the book on which this paper analyzes with the use of theories within the field of international relations. In the world of anarchy power plays an important role for survival and power itself can be categorized as hard and soft power. It is clearly evident that like in actual life, the Foundations survival is a result of the effective manipulations of the aspects of power and the things which contributes to that specific power respectively therefore in order to survive in a world where according to Hobbes is complete anarchy where men devours other man is through obtaining power and having the necessary capabilities to assert them.

Kegley, Charles w. World Politics: Trends & Transformation. 9th edition. Thompson Woodsworth Publishing 2008. Print. April 22 2012
Nau, Henry. Perspectives On International Relations: Power, Intitutiona, Ideas. 3rd eition. CQ Press Publishing. Print. April 22 2012
Nye, Joseph. Foreign Policy Magazine April 2011. “The War On Soft Power”. Web. April 22 2012
Viotti, Paul R. International Relations And World Politics: Security, Economy, Identity. Prentice Hall Publishing. Print. April 22 2012

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Project Space

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The game that i chose for the fulfillment of project space will be Final Fantasy 13 which falls under the genre of RPG's although the game also exists in the Xbox 360 console, the one i played was the version for PlayStation 3. Among the many reasons i chose to talk about this game is the fact that this game has managed to fascinate me in terms of spectacular visual graphics, amazing and complex story line, long hours of game play, character depth and best of all strategic battle like many other RPG genre's. The Final Fantasy series is well known for having a large dedicated fans around the globe ever since its release, the Japanese game developer Squaresoft has really captured the hearts of many avid RPG fans and many first timers all around the world through this hugely successful sequels with each game having a totally different gameplay, characters and worlds. For those unfamiliar with the RPG genre RPG'S in general uses the third person control as you control the main protagonist of the game in interacting with the world around her so the player feels as though they have a certain degree of freedom in exploring the world within the video game itself.

The story of this game revolves around a floating world suspended in the skies called Cacoon which itself was built by a god like beings called the Fal'cie which provided a safe haven for all its inhabitants from a dangerous and mysterious world bellow called Pulse. Both Cacoon and Pulse itself is managed by their own respective Fal'cies. The people of Cacoon live in constant fear of Pulse and the inhabitants of the world bellow and due to this epidemic paranoia the central government ordered to expel any Cacoon residents out of Cacoon to pulse whenever they ares suspected to have any direct or indirect contact with anything living o an object from pulse this policy is called the Purge. The Falci'e itself from both worlds are in constant  conflict with one another since they cannot interfere in the mortal world directly they brand random people to be their unwilling servants in their war with one another called La'cie these people have a choice of either fulfilling their mission which will turn them into crystal of eternal sleep or loose their mind and become zombie like creatures called Cieth if they were to fail or disobey within the time limit given for specific tasks its an unfair die or die situation. The protagonist of this game is a female soldier/ agent called Lightning and her comrades all citizens of cacoons journey to fulfill the task given to them unwillingly by the Pulse Lac'ie before they turn into Cieth and a battle against the central government of cacoon who wishes to anihalate her and her comrades for being contaminated by a being from Pulse. The story could be summed up as these protagonists struggle for hope against all odds to live. I would describe the story as a mixture of melodramatic story telling with an epic plot some characters have memorable personalities and some could be downright annoying in terms of attitude and the characters voice overs but overall i liked the how the developer develops each character with a distinct and personality within the game and how they all play a role for this story to reach its climax.

Playing RPG's overall would be considered a time consuming experience since you have to spend most of the time in front of the tv set so playing these games will in many cases take a great degree of your time. since RPG's in general focus of the game lies on the story line and overall plot you really need a certain degree of concentration when playing this game so a room where you wont be disturbed is advisable. In regards to consoles you need either a Xbox 360 or a Playstation 3 and a HD television too really appreciate the stunning visual graphics the developer made for this game. The experience itself could be described as visually mesmerizing as you are quickly absorbed to the stunning graphics and a fast paced story. Personally one could spend hours just by playing this game because like most great RPG's the moment you begin playing, you'l find it very hard to stop hence the time consuming issue, youl be anxious to find out how the story will progress and how will it reach its climax. So once again it is recommended to play RPG's if you have a significant amount of free time or risk being to absorbed into the game to worry about anything else.

This particular game uses a lot of space manipulations in terms how the character progressed through their world. Although this game gives the gamer a sense of freedom to explore the world the game can be felt as somewhat linear whereas your suppose to play the game and progress through the world in a certain way in order to beat the game. The world seems so open and plains and cities looks vast and explorable however on the contrary your movement is really limited and you can only interact with the world in a sense if going to and exploring a particular space is needed in order to progress through the story. Another important limitations to the game is also the fact that some places are not accessible although visually there as you made your way through the game for example entering houses when in cities or exploring mountains although its there on the map, i would describe this kind of gaming program as controlled freedom since it looks as though the game developers tends to focus more on the story line and the amazing graphics than the map exploring aspect of the game. Another spatial aspect of this game would be the interaction with people, treasure chests and items within the map where actions can be triggered only if you pressed the x button so basically if there are no action commands although the item is there on the map you cant do nothing to interact with that particular object.

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Another important aspect to be discussed in terms of space is the enemy encounter or boss battles whereas in battles seem to follow a specific pattern within this game where actions is limited to specific commands and actions that a character can use such as melee attacking, long range magic and summoning creatures to battle with the main protagonist, defensive abilities and character aiding abilities where your suppose to pick as the battles progresses the enemy will still continue to attack even though your initiating your actions so picking the right tactic and battle strategy for each battle is essential for beating the game, this will require gamers to try a combination of tactics which works well for particular enemies so there is a deep strategical battle within this game which gamers are required to master. Enemy battles are done by approaching an  enemy and making contact with it where players will imidiately transferred into a different screen shot reserved exclusively for battles, the battle will take place in that specific map although the area that your'e allowed to travel will be only that particular area or limited amount of space even though visually the characters looks as though their battling freely within the map but apparently that's not the case. This will make many gamers feel that the battle scenes are a bit monotonous and very predictable with no specific degrees of variations either than tactical manipulation compared to other games where one engages the enemy directly.

The obstacles you will face as you progressed through this game is the numerous amounts of enemies that your'e going to encounter as you progressed throughout the game and particular maps. As the story progresses the enemies that your'e likely to encounter gets stronger so it is up to the players to train and level the characters by frequently encountering enemies in order to level up characters allowing them to have new and better skills and better battle statistics. Boss encounters will force you to level up before battling them in order to win since boss battle can last for hours without the right strategy so in order for people to beat the game the obstacle lies in the fact that players must spend hours and hours in particular maps in order to level up and get stronger in order to beat the boss of that particular map in order for the story to progress.  Overall there's no big difference between normal enemy encounters and boss battles where the aspect of space is concerned just the same battle scene with various commands and a claustrophobic sense of battling limited only to a certain space. Another specific feature of this game is that you also need to equip your characters with the right combination of armor and weapons in order to battle efficiently.

Overall playing Final Fantasy 13 has been an amazing experience since i consider myself a fan of the final fantasy series and was dying to get the PlayStation 3 ever since its release and i was left satisfied. Although fans protested in the linearity of the map exploration and storyline compared to the previous Final Fantasy's calling it as only good eye candy i would have to disagree. The developer SquareSoft has proven again and again that it is always original and continuously experiment on new things making all the sequels alive you can always expect something new when playing new final fantasy games as i played some of the previous sequels from ps, ps2 and now ps3. If your'e looking for a stunning RPG experience or like to learn more about this particular genre Final Fantasy for me comes highly recommended. The sheer complexity and details put into this game is like no other western based games i have played before and that itself what makes Japanese RPG's a world wide phenomenon with such a huge fan base. Im also astounded by the orchestral music that the developers put in various battles and map progression its like no other game i had played before! Im not much of a gamer but Final Fantasy always manages to capture my heart im always looking forward what squaresoft has in store next!

Heres the opening trailler for Final Fantasy 13

International Relations is My Specialty! future diplomat?

The Devil Comes In Horseback

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I just finished watching this documentary about the situation in Darfur before the country of Sudan was split into two, this is one of those documentaries which instantly grabbed my attention. Its a very powerful documentary giving you explicit details and images about the atrocities done by the Sudanese government predominantly Arab in ethnicity to its black African population. The notion of ethnic cleansing is a very serious issue and something the international community must condemn unilateraly because there's no denying that many lives were lost because of this! This documentary raises an interesting issue in the area of international relations and politics: what can the international community do if a respective government is conducting a massacre on its own people? can one intervene or is that exclusively an issue of domestic politics where the sovereign is the ultimate authority? can we really turn a blind eye to the sufferings of another in a world where universal values is existent?
Its no denying the fact that one must have witnessed humanitarian disasters throughout the world but what can we really do to help? international politics is always riddled with the conflict of egoistical  interests where does the universal norms ratified by various countries in the UN declaration of human rights come into play? it is quite depressing to see that direct actions by the international community are somewhat rare, we had already seen what happened in Rwanda where the ethnic majority Hutu literaly  tried to kill every ethnic Tutsi they could find within their country yet the world just watched and observed as these atrocities take place. i believe that the international community "DOES" have the power to intervene when these types of crisis appears but they simply chose not to! its really sad to think about the notion of morals seems to go to the trashcan whenever interest are involved, the issue faced in this documentary is still the same thing "they know yet they chose to ignore" what does it take for people to care about these issues??

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Essay Assessment

The Foundation series proposes the notion that military power is not the only way to become a dominant player in the galaxy but also through the combination of effective leadership, technological innovation and the establishment of a religious hierarchy that serves the Foundations purpose. The Foundations survival against all odds is a result of the Foundations ability to dominate the galaxy without military means through the effective use of its soft power.
Arguments: Hard power is not the only means for the Foundation to be a dominant actor that dominates the galaxy
Body: First, by analyzing the first book it is evident that power politics through the foundations use of effective diplomacy comes into focus. This is a direct result of the foundations use of cunning and effective leadership to deter possible aggressors with no excessive use of force at all.
Example and explanations: The mayor of Terminus Salvor Hardin knowing that Anacreon is poising to annex Terminus into one of its territories made a remark to the Anacreonian envoy that the foundation is in possession of atomic power which the Anacreonians fear it as also being atomic weapons evoking fear to the Anacreonians of future retaliations. Another example of the Foundations ability to subdue potential hostilities to its territory and its influence is by establishing a trade system of worlds governed by dependence of other planets on the foundations technological capabilities therefore ensuring that everyone in the galaxy depended on the Foundations survival as part of their long term interest since the world has already plunged into barbarism. The last and most effective way is the establishment of an effective religious hierarchy similar to the Vatican centered upon Terminus solely focused on the soft technological capabilities who's priests happen to be all engineers that tapped into the spiritual aspect of the planet within its periphery making Terminus a holy city.
Conclusion: Through the use of effective diplomacy and competent leadership the Foudation maneuvered the first crisis at ease without any casualties, through the establishment of trade dependence of other planets to Terminus it has ensured that the Foundations survival is of utmost importance to other planets within its periphery and lastly through the establishment of a Foundation centered religion planets dare not to attack the foundation fearing to be labeled as blasphemers. It is evident that the effective use of soft power is not the only means to dominate the system because the Foundation's case has proven that one doesn't not rely solely on military might alone in order to thrive in a hostile environment.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

100 followers for Grades??

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If only it were that easy! i still got about 30 and have to get 70 more for credit! geez what am i going to do? making 10 accounts is not going to help much apparently!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Growing Up and Moving On

In the Company of Birds

There is one stage in your life that you eventually grow up and start taking responsibilities and commitment more seriously, cant always live a merry good life. This is an example of this event i guess the bird will be making a bold commitment soon like getting married hahaha.. i like the expression on the bird who has met someone special he seems very stoic and wiser i guess it will happen to all of us soon in the future:)

Monday, April 9, 2012

Random Interview

Dwinda or Dwin for short
-Age and birth date?
22 years birthday 25 August 1989
-Favorite color?
Brown, green and white
-Top interests?
the outdoors, back packing, a good book, good food, travelling, shotokan karate, philosophy, world affairs, debating, psychology, volunteer work, sudoku and badminton
-Best traits?
Independence, adaptability, open minded, discipline and diplomatic
-Special Talents?
Studying, learning new languages, organizational skills, reading people, cooking, debating, memorizing facts and reading people
-Unusual interests?
day dreaming, reading peoples temperament, eating ridiculously spicy food
being waken up, going hungry, waiting and not enough sleep
-coffe or tea?
ginger tea, or green tea thank you!
-A thing you always carry?
A pen
-A thing you cant live without?
My bed!
-Most frequent words used?
"i knew it!"
-Favorite quote?
A man who asks questions is a fool for a minute, a man who does not ask questions is a fool for life (confucius)
-Biggest dream?
being the next UN secretary general
-short term goal?
too loose weight:(

Saturday, April 7, 2012

学习汉语是很难的,但它非常有趣 (Studying Chinese is Difficult! but its very Interesting)

Im currently studying Chinese its one of the hardest language i ever tried to learn, even though i  have been learning it for the last two years i still find it difficult to pronounce some of the tones properly. Not to mention the array of characters that i have to memorize in order to fully understand written texts its one of the language that you will really need to practice rigorously in order to master in terms of pronunciation, reading and writing its definitely a constant work in progress. What sparked my interest in the language itself is the undeniable fact that i was fascinated by the Chinese culture itself! and not to mention its one of the language with the most native speakers either than English dating from 1200 and its one of the worlds official languages in the areas of trade, commerce and diplomacy and it also happens to be the one of the official languages of the United Nations which is really useful for a polisci major with a concentration on international relations like myself.
I might not be Chinese but it doesn't take a Chinese native to appreciate the depth of a culture. Living in Indonesia the Chinese cultural influence is almost seen and evident everywhere in the cuisine, traditional regalia and cultural practices which my country assimilated this is an undeniable fact for most of the Asian countries located in the Pacific rim and Southeast Asia alike. My interest was sparked by that fact alone, that it is one of the worlds most influential cultures! whether a result of immigration or ancient exploits of the Middle Kingdom (The ancient name for China) the Chinese cultural influences seems to touch many shores (one trip to any South east Asian country or nations in the pacific rim you will realize this fact). I use to hear stories from my history teacher that the ancient Indonesian kingdoms of Madjapahit, Sriwijaya, Mataram, Kutai sent envoys to the China during the ancient Ming Dynasty and they were in awe of the vastness, technological sophistication,  bureaucratic inefficiency and cultural achievement of the Middle Kingdom and of the amount of ancient scholars and government officials sent from the ancient Indonesian kingdoms to get educated in China documented in ancient texts we still have today.
As a non native which grew up around these dominant influences i choose to study the language! (also due to my ever curios nature of cultures not native to me) im looking forward in finally being fluent in mandarin Chinese and figuring out more about the culture of the nation predicted to unseat the United States from hegemonic power im hoping for a chance to learn the language in the country itself along with most of my other friends who already did so! il keep learning till then!

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C'oup de Kitty!

Long Live The King

Never even though of the possibility of cats rising up to take the throne hahahaha... this weeks entry is about 2 cats having a conversation about persuading the other cat to seize the throne since the king (whoever that is) has been gone for quite a long time, somehow i always have the idea that cats are evil plotting animals i guess Karl Kerchl illustrated this point. I think this particular style is new since the plot always took place in the wilderness and this time it takes place in a particular city im looking forward to know where this city is and how does it relate with the story as a whole since for me at least im not quite sure where the story is headed or what is it really all about

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Unsaid Words

Listen you!
Is it that simple for you to smile when i utter those vulnerable words?
Is it that simple for you to unconsciously say that you care but you left me in the dark?
Is it fair for me when you said you wanted to continue yet watched me while doing nothing as i stumble?
Is it fair to me that i added an extra weight in my head while you run scott free?

Don't you realize...?
Its easier for me to run away and bury all those emotions but i chose not too?
That i stayed even though it means swallowing my heart?
That i crossed that barrier into unknown territory way out of my comfort zone?
That dreading the future prospects only makes me feel self pity?

Why are you..
There when you could be anywhere else?
Leaving it up to me? when all options seems sad and depressing?
Testing me as to see how far could i bare my pain?
Saying that youre sad if things turn out bad and there is nothing i could do about it too?

falling bellow expectations? maybe
youre there, while it seems that im just gazing at a distance
youre there, knowing there is nothing i could do
youre there, watching me wanting to lash out but came out in silence
am i a pushover?

did i make questionable choices? the heart is really a mysterious thing...
How long can this impenetrable fortress withstand a full assault?
its easier to run... run.. and never look back but what am i running from?
do i fear you? yes.. do i want to be with you? yes
where can there be a consensus from me and maybe you?