Jakarta, a new perspective


Jakarta now emerges not only as Indonesia’s largest city, but also one of the world’s fastest growing megacities, now containing a population approximately 10 million strong in an area barely larger than Singapore (the latter by which has ‘merely’ 5.4 million). As the epicenter of the emerging market, with strong economic boom and vibrant dynamism, this metropolis is currently being faced with numerous challenges, ranging from yearly flooding seasons, en masse traffic breakdown in nearly all important highways stretching across the city, overpopulation, and a lackadaisical of sanitary and hygiene management, the main cause of many infectious, but easily curable, diseases. Worse, it is now being faced with threats resulting from global warming, with its surface level gradually decreasing, placing more areas around the capital at higher stakes.

Nevertheless, last year, Jakarta’s authorities, led by Joko Widodo and Basuki Tjahaja Purnama, had eventually stricken a massive long-term joint investment deal with Dutch government, and some of the country’s major corporations, in order to build a series of megaprojects intended to support its so-called ‘Coastal Defense Strategy’, ranging from giant sea walls, new bridges and highways, and lastly, a wholly new planned city intended to house hundred thousands of people. These series of massive-scale public work projects are expected to significantly reduce the problems the capital is being faced at this moment.

Okay, despite Indonesia’s reputation as one of the world’s highly corrupt countries, let us put some assurance, at least, that this program will be implemented with complete transparency and public accountability.

Watch it, and support it in a new perspective.

Saving dying Kiribati




Many little countries, as a consequence of global warming, are dying. Maldives, a country populated by no more than 350,000 people, and bulk of which is scattered in atolls and small isles vulnerable to every slight bit of rise in sea level, is one example. Tuvalu, a smaller one, populated by only 10,000 people, is a similar case: their area stretches no larger than 10 sq km, and depends mostly on foreign aid to sustain the livelihood.

This time, Bloomberg Businessweek picks up Kiribati, another island country in South Pacific Ocean inhabited by only 100,000 people, as their case study. What happens as with the global warming? A whole nation is being put at perils of extinction. Or indirectly speaking, a ‘genocide’ is being triggered out. Unless the world reaches a hardly-won consensus among developed and Third-World nations, more countries like Kiribati will face their own imminent destruction.

Read the full article here.


Kiribati is a flyspeck of a United Nations member state, a collection of 33 islands necklaced across the central Pacific. Thirty-two of the islands are low-lying atolls; the 33rd, called Banaba, is a raised coral island that long ago was strip-mined for its seabird-guano-derived phosphates. If scientists are correct, the ocean will swallow most of Kiribati before the end of the century, and perhaps much sooner than that. Water expands as it warms, and the oceans have lately received colossal quantities of melted ice. A recent study found that the oceans are absorbing heat 15 times faster than they have at any point during the past 10,000 years. Before the rising Pacific drowns these atolls, though, it will infiltrate, and irreversibly poison, their already inadequate supply of fresh water. The apocalypse could come even sooner for Kiribati if violent storms, of the sort that recently destroyed parts of the Philippines, strike its islands.

For all of these reasons, the 103,000 citizens of Kiribati may soon become refugees, perhaps the first mass movement of people fleeing the consequences of global warming rather than war or famine.

The hidden world of Indonesia’s palm oil industry

palm oil



Palm oil is a Janus-faced commodity, worshiped on one side, and condemned by the other. On one side, it helps alleviating our planet’s current global warming problems – all despite slash-and-burn allegations by certain environmental protection movements worldwide. On the other hand, it is one of vicious exploitation, and of repressive human rights abuses, of the labors toiling hard to fulfill the former.

This article, highlighting the situation faced by many of Indonesia’s palm oil industry workers, was released in Bloomberg Businessweek in July 2013. This article serves no intention to outflank one of Indonesia’s most strategic economic sectors, though; it only helps voicing out the concerns of those who have long been oppressed by certain irresponsible corporations in charge of this industry worth 44 billion US$.


The experience of “Adam,” a 19-year-old Indonesian from North Sumatra, shows the coercion faced by untold numbers of palm oil workers. (Out of concern for their safety, Adam and another alleged victim asked that their names be changed.) In July 2010 a stocky Indonesian foreman named Atisama Zendrato allegedly lured Adam and his cousin two thousand miles away from their home in Nias, a poor, largely underdeveloped North Sumatran island. He promised to pay them $6 a day (roughly the minimum wage at their destination in Borneo) to drive trucks. Partway through the three-week journey to Berau, East Kalimantan—after Zendrato had transported them and 18 other recruits, some as young as 14, to his house in Duri—he compelled them to sign contracts that spelled out different terms, Adam says.

The contracts bound the workers to Zendrato’s boss, a Malaysian based in Medan, North Sumatra, named M. Handoyo, and compelled them “to work without the freedom to choose the type of work, to be obliged to do any work as asked by the employer.” Under the terms, the daily wage was dropped to $5 per day. But Zendrato allegedly said the firm wouldn’t pay workers anything for two years, instead “loaning” them up to $16 a month for necessities such as rudimentary health care. Food beyond meager rations could only be purchased from a company store allegedly owned by Handoyo. The contract stated that workers, who included men, women, and children, would not be allowed to leave the plantation, even temporarily, without permission, and that Handoyo “will not accept any reason/excuse whatsoever from the [worker] to go back to his/her village during the [two-year] term of this contract.”

Doomsday, a highly lucrative industry


Last year, I once made a ‘predilection’ that Supreme Commander Obama had conspired with the world’s top 1% to construct gigantic starships, crucifixing the already deteriorating debt-to-GDP ratio worth hundred trillion dollars, and triggering a global cataclysm in economic sector. Meanwhile, Roland Emmerich predicted that Los Angeles would end up ‘pieces of cake’, that the Earth’s core would devour Las Vegas (more like a parable of morality), that Indonesia will ‘remain sweet memories’, and Africa ‘will be our new cape of hope’. Then, more lousily, Supreme Master Ching Hai, the identity-crisis-laden zoomorphic activist (she once wrote, and even pictured by her own, an illustration book containing species of animals with her face in these bodies) who colors her hair blonde to look more like a Nordic alien than a motherly goddess, forewarns the melting ice poles by the year of 2012. Then there were a plethora (but still an iota compared to global blogging community) bloggers, of anonymous existence, who had preconceived the notion of ‘Dajjal’, which would rebuild the glory of Solomon’s dream, and rule the whole world. Then these Christian extremists who dreamt of a Jesus-ruled China (as many as 1000 of them had been captured).

This is, for sure, a good start to write pulp-fiction scripts! They, just like Emmerich, had successfully ‘provoked’ the entire world into an abyss of fear. Or maybe we need a special talent show to filter those Emmerichs.



Believe it or not, ‘doomsday’, rather than a neologism of ultimate destruction of the mankind, has now turned out to be, paradoxically speaking, a very profitable industry. Even in times of recession, doomsday industry (somehow this should be classified a new economic field in our GDP composition) reaches its climax. How many writers, having inked over dozens of 2012-apocalypse books (mostly based on what-I-hear-not-what-I-experience observation), strike it rich? How many readers have they succeeded to motivate to dread? I can bet, there is, and always is, an abundance of such Baedeker in my hometown’s bookstores (they even top the ‘best-selling’ list). Local authors – pardon me, many of them are Muslim extremists – frequently compile information that they ‘read and know’, not ‘experience and feel’, into books, those of which you could find striking verisimilitude when you open the page of others. Then there are ‘professors’, mainly from United States, who predict the age of Satanism will come and ‘make the whole world a stygian pig den’. They opinionate, as in my viewpoint, more like right-wing Christian fundamentalists than as ‘pure analysts’.

Then the religious groups make this point to provoke new followers. Several fundamentalist Christian organizations, as far as I heard, were planning to convert Xi Jinping into a devout, Vatican-abiding Catholic (what??). No, that’s not the supposed news. They are planning to ‘instill revolutionary spirits’, to forewarn that 2012 has come, and that the messiah will return to the world in the judgment day to ‘eliminate sinful people’, to ask followers for full repentance, to end the rule of what they call ‘atheistic government’, and install Christianity as the sole constitution, and Holy Spirit as the ‘true leader’ of the new China those Jesuit predecessors had envisioned a few centuries prior (unless I’m mistaken, there were plans to proselytize 200 million mandarins during the Qing dynasty rule).



My analysis was like this: is this another substitute for multi-level marketing (MLM)? You create a ‘product’, convince subordinates that this ‘product’ will change your life for the better, and ask the subordinates to attract more others, until the lowest levels. Well, sometimes, it’s not about the ‘belief’ they are sharing about; some people are born, instead, to make everything ‘pure business’. Even in the context of religion itself. Perhaps the media did not cover their ‘business’ activities, and focused more on their irregularities, but what made me scratch my head until this second was this: how many millions of dollars have they garnered in disseminating the ‘2012 apocalypse’ by selling books, brochures and DVDs, organizing underground ‘seminars’, preaching in front of the innocent Christians, and organizing protests? Leave these arduous tasks to the tax authorities.

Then there is this, the grandiose, personality-crisis-laden self-claiming Supreme Master Ching Hai. In the past, in my hometown, Medan, you could easily find monstrous banners and Brobdingnagian advertising boards, ‘proudly’ illustrating her Nordic-alien-like posture, filled with messages warning that the end of the world would have come in 2012, unless ‘everybody converts to veganism’. That by 2012, unless everybody stops consuming meaty creatures, the ice poles might have entirely melted, creating a series of unprecendented destruction on the fate of mankind. Well, you see, by the end of this year as well, more than 100 million tons of meat had been entangled in the world’s all-connected economic activities. I found myself so hilarious, instead of hardly believable, that continuous consumption of meat, according to this woman with an iota of scientific knowledge comparable to the size of an ant’s brain, might have generated 75-meter tsunamis and 12-Richter-scale earthquakes. That’s worth making a fantasy novel. So, as I was so dead curious of what on earth and for whose God’s sake Supreme Master Ching Hai had been doing so far, I decided to search more information in Google. The outcome was, well, surprisingly ‘normal’, like many other new-religion founders had done: she’s an ‘entrepreneur’! She set up numerous companies in United States which were engaged in vegetarian food products, and see, paradoxically speaking, expensive clothing lines and jewelry. Whereas, she ‘poises’ herself as so environmentally committed that she even illustrates herself as dozens of animals in two self-published books. Few here realize she has been primarily targeted by US authorities in suspicion of the environmental damage she had inflicted in Florida (she built a large mansion above a national park south of Miami). She was even, well, not trying to exonerate, a ‘frenetic’, avid fan of Bill Clinton (she once ‘forced’ her followers to provide political donation during Clinton’s presidential campaigns in 1997). As it turns out, ‘doomsday’ marks an epitome in her core businesses.



NB: She once prompted officials in several countries to declare a ‘Supreme Master Ching Hai Day’ in their homelands. Way so useful, only if the doomsday had really taken place.

Rather than motivate people to ultimate fear, some consider celebrating the doomsday in tones of exhilaration. Mexican government takes this momentous opportunity by actively offering tour packages to Mayan holy sites. Here, foreigners are given chances to live up to the moments of apocalypse, right in the hipocentrum of it. All the pyramid-shaped temples were in a sudden bathed in oceans of men, mostly ‘eager-to-die’ tourists. As a consequence, tourism industry grew significantly, in which an additional number of 2 million foreigners visited this country as per 2012 (surpassing the 22-million goal this year). Simply put, the Mexican government had to thank the Mayans for having invented the calendar, but most importantly, the mass media which had erroneously misinterpreted the mathematical fallacies in the Mayan calendar system as ‘the day where Earth’s crusts crack open’.



Lastly, one chic eatery in Hong Kong, Aqua, offered ‘2000-HK-dollar dinner meal packages’. As per 21 December 2012, the place had been nearly fully booked, particularly by the opulent young and the expatriates. It might be a good idea that you consume, pieces by pieces, gold-flake ice cream (if you have enough wonga) while watching the skyscrapers in Hong Kong ruin to pieces.

In addition, before 2012 totally eclipses (though 21-12-2012 has passed), let me suggest several additional ideas to ‘celebrate’ the apocalypse, either as your birthday bash, or matrimonial ceremony, or even your ‘death-defying’ festivities (only if you dare to do so)!

  1. Tour packages to Yellowstone National Park (and directly into the top of the volcanoes)
  2. Jackass-ing yourself into the Hole of Fire in Turkmenistan
  3. Listening nonstop to the permanent echolocation of Hell in a mining gallery in Siberia, Russia (and jump miles deep within)
  4. Book a flight round the Bermuda Triangle (and disappear forever)
  5. Convert your citizenship into South African (because Cape of Good Hope is designated ‘a new settlement of hope’ for the survivors now on board the giant arks made in China – apologies, having watched ‘2012’ too often)

In conclusion, unless the ‘real doomsday’ occurs, such ‘mock doomsdays’ are vital for your material well-being, or if anything, your ultimately promising money-guaranteed investment to time immemorial.


What we fear about when we fear about 2012


Accept it or not, all of us have now officially abandoned 2011. There was much painting-the-town-red celebration held over thousands of cities and towns worldwide. We saw fireworks dazzling over the night sky. We heard sounds of triumph. Trumpets were played. Laser lights were set off, in accordance to countless patterns of iconic images we perceive in our daily lives. Vehicles, from motorcycles to private saloon cars, were all rushing in to the nearby city centers as the drivers were impatiently waiting for the momentum to take over. Unlike the previous 364 nights, we commemorated the last night in 2011 with glimpses of hope and anxiety, making up to the hotch-potch of feelings we stared with full awe when the fireworks were launched, step by step.



As usual, I and my family would solemnize it at our hearthstone, our very own home sweet home. We would order pizzas, salad with thousand island sauces, and fettuccinis, to be shared altogether. My dad sometimes bought some cans of beer as an additional bonus. We ate, and we drank, at the same time we were watching Hollywood movies in television. At the same time, I saw that some of my friends were celebrating it overseas. A Blackberry contact of mine even spent time in Singapore together with approximately a dozen of her classmates. Another one was in Orchard Road, together with her family. Meanwhile, some others had just been back home. Some also spent time broadcasting Pollyannaist messages of encouragement and inspiration for more success in the coming year of 2012. I did, too. But I don’t expect much success. It doesn’t matter whether a singleton would have achieved more success than failures or vice versa, as long as one can afford to truly understand and appreciate oneself and is happy with it, that’s all.

In a brief spasm, a thought flashed on my mind like a comet on its way to strike a planet.



While everyone’s on seventh heaven, deeply seduced in exhilaration as they were watching the pulchritudinous fireworks being set ablaze above the cities’ skyline, did they still keep it in their mind vividly about the so-called ‘end of the world in 2012’? You know, what you have eavesdropped from someone’s conversation, or read from someone’s blog, or seen from the disaster movie, that it is so cocksure, simon-pure, that the apocalypse will shatter us to bits? It must have been a terrifying experience for some people after they were shown Roland Emmerich’s spine-chilling vision of the Armageddon, whose box office revenues also raked in the cash in spine-chilling ways, as well. (As a matter of fact, the movie itself grossed almost 700 million US$ worldwide, far exceeding its astronomical budget which was rumored to be between 200 and 250 million US$) Los Angeles in less than an hour ended up like pieces of birthday cake being cut off. Las Vegas all in a sudden fell deep into the core of the Earth. Himalaya was flooded with tsunamis measuring out thousands of meters high. And, briefly a few seconds before the movie faded to black, if you noticed it in full details, Indonesia was no longer seen. So were most of the land swaths in India. While some thought this might be too formidable, especially for the youngsters (that’s why MUI, or as in Indonesian, Indonesian Council of Ulemas, issued a fatwa, declaring it verboten for everyone to watch such a ‘morally bent’ film), I just found it to be too adventurous, and in some cases, hilarious. The scenes of how the protagonists (sorry, I’ve forgotten all their names) tried to escape from the torn-apart Los Angeles, while skyscrapers were falling down and colliding against each other, reminded me of those I’d seen in Transformer movies. There was excessive maelstrom, exaggeratedly CGI-ed explosion and destruction and blow-your-head-off performances, and one more hilarious thing: protagonists, in 99% of all films I’ve ever watched, no matter how severe, how wounded, and how hopeless they have been, do always survive, albeit sometimes they do in illogical ways. After getting out of the cinema, I simply told my friends, “It’s not as frightening as the trailer has originally unfluxed. I even found it, much of the time, laughable.” Emmerich’s imagination works pretty much like that utilized in any of Michael Bay-directed films (trust me, most of his films often involve hyperbolic pictures, perhaps that’s also why most of his films often succeed with flying colors, with aggrandized box office income, and embroidered critic bombs.)

Human’s imagination seems to have never stopped exploring and exploiting the invisible borders of the apocalyptic vision itself. Roland Emmerich’s 2012, and many of his notable films, particularly Independence Day, Godzilla and The Day after Tomorrow, have demonstrated how apocalypse might look like, as a result of secret neutrinos getting entrapped deep in the Earth’s core ready to explode, or false miscommunication between humankind and an unknown alien civilization billions of light years away, or because of a top-secret military experiment gone wrong, or unjust changes in global climate. But, for sure, that’s not how apocalypse might exactly appear like. That’s how Emmerich envisions his own versions of apocalypse, and implements them through his on-Queer-street scenarios he penned often by himself. He’s an artist, and he needs money, anyway. But it doesn’t mean there’s absolute impossibility that these doomsdays might ever happen. They may ‘someday’ take place, but for sure, the probability rate is comparable to a rare asteroid which collides with a giant planet billions of times the size of Jupiter.



Throughout my own life, my almost 3-year equivalent spent in browsing the Web for information and information, I have read and copied so many nouvelle about how the world might possibly end, perhaps in 2012, or perhaps in November 2010 (forget that, if that were to happen, I might have never written this post anymore), or someday in the future. Someone in the Web wrote down like this: by the time 21st December 2012 has come (the day the Mayan calendar officially ends), a giant red planet named Nibiru will appear, whose visibility is as clear as the Sun, and the planet’s climactic equilibrium will soon experience massive changes. It is estimated that two-thirds of the global population, say the least, will have perished, and other two-thirds of the remainding survivors will have succumbed as a result of long-term consequences implicated by the arrival of Nibiru, and the gravitational chaos it causes to the Earth. Another scenario might be like this. When the Nibiru has arrived, still on the same date as of the former, an extraterrestrial life form, a very advanced civilization whose technological progress is no match with that of human, who themselves have been colonized by smartphones and Facebook and Twitter, named Anunnaki, will come to ‘enlighten’ us. During the ‘enlightenment’ process, it is estimated that as many as 90% of humanity will be obliterated, or to be more courteous, eliminated. But once the process is over, there will be a new epoch of spiritual transformation among human beings, where humankind may be able to interact with countless, inter-galactic civilizations with better spiritual understanding.

Before you end up gobsmacked and dumbfounded, there is at least something I need to clarify up here. Nibiru is a mythical homeworld for the gods of Sumerians, so-called Anunnaki. While the 21st December 2012 is the day the Mayan calendar officially ends. What kind of cultural co-operation is this? Sumerians lived in territories we now officially recognize as Iraq more than 4000 years ago, while Mayan civilization’s acme only achieved its apex as far as 1500 years ago. They only extended their political influence as far as Central America, and had no idea what Middle East really was. But that doesn’t mean it’s impossible if, who knows, either the Sumerians or the Mayans had in secrecy co-operated with certain very advanced civilizations to invent time machines, so they could trade their stories with each other. Although the probability ratio, as I can suggest, is 1 to 100 billion trillion. (that’s a conceivable estimation of number of Earth-like planets, within the 13.5-billion-light-year radius of our universe)



Another scenario is like this: United Nations, known to be an evil superbody controlled by super-genius, and super-evil Jews (don’t compare me to John Galliano or Charlie Sheen for these anti-Semitic remarks, I’m just summarizing down what I’ve once read), is currently devising a secret program which is aimed to eradicate 90% of the population as far as 2012. Named Codex Alimentarius (Google it), and implemented by FAO and WHO, which has co-acted with thousands of multi-national corporations worldwide, namely Monsanto, they are distributing food which have been, unbeknownst, genetically manipulated, with aims to generate permanent genetic defects on humanity. By doing so, it is expected that human population will decrease as far as the target they have set. I tell you, if this effort were really made, it would have turned out to be a double-edged sword game for United Nations, and particularly, all these MNCs. Let me figure out the facts at first. From Afghanistan to Zimbabwe, as I list the world’s countries in alphabetical order, close to 100,000 multi-national corporations are executing their daily business operations. Excluding other 100,000 national corporations, but this time, omit the ‘multi’ word. If combined, all these 200,000 corporations employ more than 2 billion ranks and files. That’s already similar to more than one-third of the world’s population. If they were all eradicated with this way, tainted with secretly poisoned food you and I perhaps are right now eating, where and how will they discover their own source of income? By asking Harry Potter to convert banana leafs into money?

But, for sure, the probability is high that the world’s population may have exceeded 10 billion some time in 2050. That might sound like a piece of good news for economists, but not for environmentalists. (because of the carbon footprints they will inherit)



2012, as mellifluous as it sounds, turns out to be a catchphrase for many so-called ‘apocalyptists’. And the militant supporters of vegetarianism seem to have made a virtue of necessity from this number, as well. It is a-dime-to-a-dozen task to find out posters, with features including a blonde-haired Asian woman who seems to be a quinquagenarian, and multitudes of words erected beside her posture. There, it concludes: global warming becomes increasingly difficult to solve. Be a pure vegetarian. Help save the planet. By: Supreme Master. There, it is also written like this: unless governments take actions to halt the acceleration of global warming, all the ice caps of North and South Pole would have melted, commencing in … 2012. Be a vegetarian, eat plants, and save the planet. It is true that there is tendency that this rara avis is on its path towards acceleration. It is also true that, still, out there, many governments have failed reaching consensus upon the frameworks needed to initiate global actions to combat global warming as lately as 2020, as have been seen from the final conclusions of the latest UN Conference on Climate Change held in Durban, South Africa. (before that, it has repeatedly failed in Nusa Dua, Bali, Indonesia and Cancun, Mexico) But it is, as for me, excessively rapid if the ice caps have to melt by the end of this year. No matter how deteriorating the situation is, we would still be able to see penguins strolling in the Arctic Circle or polar bears hunting in the Antarctica, until as late as 2030, after further analysis on how fast-paced the melting process will be was made by scientists (not Supreme Master).

Furthermore, what will happen to the whole world if the entire earthlings were commanded to be ‘full vegetarians’? Aren’t we taking other animals’ rights for granted that we grab their source of food, at the same time? (this inquiry can get you stoned by any pro-vegetarianism activists) Doesn’t this also mean that we will disrupt the global food chain system, in which we let all the chickens, ducks, swans, turkeys, pigs, cows, lambs, and many other kinds of poultry or any other domesticated animals to overpopulate the entire planet? Won’t we be overwhelmed by not only their omnipresence, but also abundance of faeces they produce, which in the end will release large amounts of ammonia, which will entrap more solar heat in the end, which means we are actually deteriorating the global warming itself, as an unintended consequence?



I found it even more frolicsome when our form teacher, while I was a student of Senior High School First Grade, showed us a PowerPoint presentation regarding to global warming. At first, we were shown pictures of recent disasters taking place throughout the first quarter in 2011. Floods claimed myriad lives in China, Pakistan, Brazil, and soak our beloved hometown, Medan. A 9.0-magnitued earthquake ravaged east Japan, which in the end instigated a deadly tsunami, which in the end caused a nuclear leakage. Earthquakes also took place in geologically active countries, like New Zealand and Haiti. Afterwards, we were shown that all these kinds of pandemonium had correlation with global warming, and 40% of CO2 emissions which cause global warming itself is caused by livestock-related activities. Then, it directly came into a conclusion: it’s all because we eat meat too much! What’s more, the author had even made his own prediction, which left me scientifically doubtful about the real authenticity: unless we begin to reduce our meat consumption, the total amount of ammonia gas released may contribute a drastic increase to the sea level as tall as 75 meters, which will be overwhelmed by CO2 and ammonia, that will convert the water into ‘seas of raging fire’. In the end of the presentation, we were promoted to watch Supreme Master TV. How Emmerich-esque, I concluded. Even if all of us decided to be full vegetarians, won’t it be the same thing that we will still contribute to the emissions of ammonia gas? Unless you believe it, try to loosen your bowels this night. I bet, the faeces won’t ever emit oxygen, even if the Sun all of a sudden rotated in reversed direction.

Vegetarianism might not be the only ultimate solution, as it turns out. Won’t it be a better crinkum-crankum if this is added with continuous and expansive process of converting the faeces into either fertilizer or biogas?



I recalled, 2 or 3 years backward, when I was skimming through a blog post, written by an Indonesian blogger whose website I had been oblivious with, about so-called New World Order (Novus Ordo Seclorum), which is scheduled to reach its acme, again, in this 2012. Google it, and you can equate the creator behind this story with John Galliano, or any anti-Semits else. Known to be a very top-secret project (the plot versions depend on which blog sites you pay a visit to), it is a clandestine project conducted by Freemasonry fellows – and super-genius Jews, as it turns out, again – to rule the whole world in Stygian darkness and enslave the entire mankind. One version relates it with secular service clubs like Lions International and Rotary International, which if combined, have a 2.5-million-strong membership structure. These organizations are often accused of spreading Freemasonry thoughts, which turn out to be subjective allegations by religious fanaticists or bigots. Another version informs that the world’s most powerful businesspeople, allegedly including Bill Gates, are funding the construction of a gigantic underground city in a top-secret location in Antarctica, to anticipate the Nibiru disaster. Another version again mentions that those suitable to populate this city are tantamount to members of Lions and Rotary clubs. Another variant calls for the destruction of Dajjal, a one-eyed beast scheduled to be born in Israel, who will one day be the ‘eternal dark leader of the whole world’, and the one who will lead the Freemasonry to achieve its glory. And all these scenarios are scheduled to take place in 2012.


Snopes.com needs to check whether this is simply a Photoshopped picture or not.


Hold on a second. Rumor has it that the whole world’s governments, incorporated into the United Nations, are currently constructing a gigantic starship, miles down the Area 51 (in which President Obama leads all the project), which can accommodate in maximum 1% of the world’s population (that is to say, 70 million human beings), at the same time the rest, the 99%, the abandoned – which is why it becomes the slogan for Occupy Wall Street demonstrators – will have to be crucified when the 2012 apocalypse has come. The starship itself reportedly costs the whole world, particularly United States and European Union, over tens of trillions of dollars in debts (because they are the main shareholders, together with all these corporate giants), which actually is the main contributing factor to the global recession that is taking place, aside of subprime mortgage and financial deregulation which turns out to be decrepit. I recognize this tattle-tale more as a piece of applesauce. Because I myself invent up this story. Just leave this paragraph. And I bet you (won’t) believe easily in it, as long as your logic remains working.

It turns out that the rapid outflow of information through the Web has accelerated the contagion of fear among human emotion. As things become increasingly accessible, especially after the introduction of smartphones (which in the end colonize our brains to keep holding on the trackballs), it becomes easier and more effortless to obtain knowledge and information, almost everywhere you are. But, often, more knowledge does not always indicate we become wiser than before. As the whole world becomes more complicating and more inter-connected, it also turns out increasingly difficult, often, to differentiate which information we should really believe as facts, and which we should really believe as hoaxes. Things are often subject to cognitive biases. Perhaps what Socrates has once said 2500 years prior is correct: true knowledge lies in the fact that we know nothing. Here we are, fellow beings, we have to recognize our main Achilles’ heel: we often think that we know we know it.




What about all those scenarios mentioned above? They may be correct, but the probability is very low. Psychologists have estimated that out of all sorts of fear we have envisioned in our own minds, only 10% do really come true. Meanwhile, the rest, the 90%, simply remain our own illusory stupefaction. Moreover, often those fears emerge in ways beyond our own ability as human beings to imagine how their occurrence might be. Perhaps the real apocalypse, as the universe has itself designed, might be numberless times much more terrifying than those previously written above. What will happen in 2012, nobody knows. Even if apocalypse were to take place, it does not always mean the end of the world; it might just simply be ‘the end of the mankind’. The world will still be out there, even if Earth has perished. True knowledge lies in the fact that we know nothing.

Just relish every single moment in your life, as long as you’re still alive. There are too many good things in life you can afford to do. That’s why we could still devour the pizzas voraciously throughout the New Year celebration, or watched the fireworks through the windows, with full fascination.

But still, always prepare yourself for the unprepared. Nothing is ever impossible.