Think Like a Freak

Morality, it could be argued, represents the way that people would like the world to work — whereas economics represents how it actually does work.

The first book of Freakonomics series

Incentives are the cornerstone of modern life. And understanding them — or, often, ferreting them out — is the key to solving just about any riddle, from violent crime to sports cheating to online dating.

We all learn to respond to incentives, negative and positive, from the outset of life. An incentive is simply a means of urging people to do more of a good thing and less of a bad thing. But most incentives don’t come about organically. Someone — an economist or a politician or a parent — has to invent them.

There are three basic flavors of incentive: economic, social, and moral.  Very often a single incentive scheme will include all three varieties. Think about the anti-smoking campaign of recent years. The addition of a $3-per-pack “sin tax” is a strong economic incentive against buying cigarettes. The banning of cigarettes in restaurants and bars is a powerful social incentive. And when the U.S. government asserts that terrorists raise money by selling black-market cigarettes, that acts as a rather jarring moral incentive.

Whatever the incentive, whatever the situation, dishonest people will try to gain an advantage by whatever means necessary. For every incentive has its dark side. A thing worth having is a thing worth cheating for. For every clever person who goes to the trouble of creating an incentive scheme, there is an army of people, clever and otherwise, who will inevitably spend even more time trying to beat it.

Mimi and Eunice : Incentive to Create

The conventional wisdom is often wrong.  Crime didn’t keep soaring in the 1990s, money alone doesn’t win elections, and — surprise — drinking eight glasses of water a day has never actually been shown to do a thing for your health. Conventional wisdom is often shoddily formed and devilishly difficult to see through, but it can be done.

Kelas Inspirasi Lombok

Thursday evening, December 22, 2016, I got an email from Kelas Inspirasi Lombok about the selection result for the volunteers. Thank God, I was selected as one of the teaching volunteers in Sembalun region, nearby Mt. Rinjani. It was a refreshing experience to meet new people in Lombok, have interaction with all teachers and kids in MI Bilok Petung, and contribute small things there.

Kelas Inspirasi Lombok 4 (2017) – MI Bilok Petung, Sembalun

We were blessed with a group of good people with various backgrounds in our team: Agung, Sherli, Zahra (lecturers), Andini (project manager), Satriyo (engineer), Kamaria (photographer), Lusiani (head of tax officers), Meyliawati (export planner), Muazzin (school administration), Raharni (midwife), Ramoth (chemical analyst), Reni (accountant), Siraj (videographer), and me. While most of us have ever joined Kelas Inspirasi in other city, we were more than excited to share our life and career stories to the students in Sembalun, Lombok. πŸ™‹

Arrived at Lombok

Friday morning, January 20, I took the first flight from Jakarta to Lombok and turned out that flight was full with volunteers of Kelas Inspirasi Lombok. Most of us took one or more days of annual leave from the office and arrived at Lombok before noon. Once we arrived at Lombok International Airport, the second largest airport in the country, we went to the meeting point in the old Selaparang Airport to take bus provided by the local committee to go to Sembalun. It took around 3 hours from Mataram to Sembalun by car. Around 4pm, all volunteers gathered in Wisma Cemara Siu Sembalun to have introduction briefing from the local committees. Later, we parted as groups and my group traveled again for another hour to Bilok Petung, northern part of Sembalun region. 🚌

Finally we arrived at school around 7pm, and the principal was already there welcoming us warmly. It was quite strange that we saw a lot of students in scout uniform were still in school at that time. Later we realized that the principal asked the kids to gather and camp at school to welcome us with a scout ceremony. After we joined the ceremony / scout inauguration and were introduced to the students by the principal, we went back to one of the classrooms. All female volunteers slept in the principal's house, while all male volunteers slept in the classroom. πŸ’€

A Head Full of Dreams

"When you try your best, but you don't succeed." – Coldplay, Fix You. That was what I thought when I couldn't get the ticket for Coldplay concert in Singapore last November. As a Coldplay fan since high school (early 2000s), when first time I heard that they were going to have Asia tour, I was excited and hoped that Coldplay would perform in Indonesia. Unfortunately they didn't come to Indonesia, but to Singapore, Thailand, and The Philippines. Unbelievable.. 😀

Coldplay – A Head Full of Dreams Tour 2017 at Singapore

Few days after the first batch of Coldplay Singapore tickets sold out in few minutes and crashed the system, Live Nation Lushington announced that they would hold additional day for Coldplay concert in Singapore. After getting standby an hour before the ticketing started, I finally managed to secure some tickets! Yeay!! 😊 Meanwhile, most of my friends who couldn't get ticket on this second batch decided to wait for the Bangkok tickets.

Thursday, March 31, after putting my stuffs in a hotel in Bencoleen Street, I decided to take a walk around the bay before coming to the stadium. I went to Gardens By The Bay to see their (artificial) nature park. Later I regretted since it is really huge (~100 hectares) and my legs were tired after walking for more than 4 hours. 😰 At 3pm I went back to my hotel, took a shower and rested my legs for few minutes before going to the stadium.

Although the gate actually opened at 6pm, many crazy fans came to the stadium from 12pm. I arrived at the stadium around 4.15pm and the queue was already very long. Well, the long queue was only for standing ticket holders, not seated ticket holders, as we all paid more to be closer to the artist. Luckily, some of my friends came earlier to the stadium so I could slip into them. πŸ™ˆ At 6pm the gate opened and we ran to the ticket scanner, took the Xyloband, and ran to the front of the stage to secure the closest space to the stage. Everyone's super excited! πŸ˜†

Waiting in the line

After waiting for 2 hours outside the stadium and another 2 hours inside, finally.. an early 20th century soprano aria titled "O Mio Babbino Caro" was played in the stadium. This song is the opening intro of all Coldplay's A Head Full of Dreams tour all over the world. And then the lights turned off, some intro videos played, and then it got dark again...

...then suddenly all xylobands were turned on red!! Chris, Jonny, Guy, and Will were walking to the stage just around 10 metres in front of me.. 😱 #starstruck

A Head Full of Dreams – as the opening song, which was also the title of this concert tour, was played amazingly. This song was so ecstatic, colourful, and explosive as Chris ran forward to the stage B while singing to the refrain, then he jumped and the colourful pyro exploded. Holy sh*t.. I was more than excited...