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22 November 2009

Message

Semiotic Tradition The use of semiotics is to help understand what is intended by a message and how the message is concstructed structurally. Theory of semiotics also helps understand the meaning behind the message. Theory of symbols: Susanne Langer The very important theory of symbols is that of being introduced by Susanne Langer. Her work in "Philosophy in a New Key" has become center of interest in symbolism discourse. Langer argues that the life of all animals is dominated by feeling, but the feeling possessed by human can be expressed by symbols, conceptions, and languages. Animals repond with signs, but human can do more than that. Human does not only respond with the sign, but also creates the symbols. Cloud can be a sign of rain, as laugh to happiness, or red light on the road to stopping cars. These relationships are simple and those being said as a signification. The presence of signification makes an individual to, for example, stop the car when the red traffic light turns on. Conversely, symbols operate in a more complect line. They allow an individual to think about something separated from the presence of something at particular moment. In other words, symbols are "instruments of thought". They are core or central of the human's life. Human has ability to use these symbols and to have basic needs of symbolization. According to the above discussion, it can be concluded that meaning consists of logical and psychological aspects. The logical aspect is the relationship between symbols and reference, or as Langer says denotation; wheras the psychological aspect is the relationship between symbols and the human, or as Langer says conotation. Humans use one-word symbol, but they more often use composition of words. The real signification of he language lies in discourse, in which we compose words into sentence, and sentence into paragraph. Discourse expresses a proposition, which contains complex symbols of illustration of particular things. The potential of composition and organization within language has made the language rich of instruments the humans can never be able to replace. Dealing with the function of the symbol, according to Langer, concept is a meaning that is divided between communicators. In other words, it is a denotation of the symbol. Whereas, personal image means a personalized conception, a conotation of the symbol. Langer explains that human has tendency to abstract and such nature is gifted. In Van Gogh's painting, "Still Life with Open Bible", one may see a very big Bible that lies side by side a candle. Nearby the Bible there is a compy of novle. If we take a look at the painting in more detailed manner, there comes the title of the novel, "The Joy of Living" written by Emile Zola. From this perception, the Van Gogh's painting shows the Bible, the candle, and the book. However, Van Gogh had rater address his painting more personally: symbolizing the life and the death of his biological father who was a minister. The classical fundamental of language Studies of language have been eventually affected by semiotics, vise versa. Founder of modern structural lingustics, Ferdinand de Saussure, is the role player who contributes valuable points to the structural traditions in communication science. He explains that signs, including the language, are temporary. Signs are conventions that are affected by rules. Saussure also sees laguage as a structured system that shows reality. He believes that all linguistic researchers must pay attention to the forms of language, such as utterance, sound, word, and grammar. While language structure is temporary, the language use is eternal. Saussure shows the significant difference between formal language, that he suggests as "langue", and the actual use of the langauge in communication, that he calls "parole". Langue is a formal system that can be analyzed separately from its use in daily life. Parole is the actual use of the language to reach particular purpose. Communicators truly create the forms of discourse overtime when they communicate. In other words, we do not merely find the forms of new language structure to determine the right use of, for example, present and future tenses; but also do it unconsciously through interaction, by using forms of language in quite creative and dynamic manners. Here is the difference between language and discourse. From the above argument, Saussure concludes that lingustics is not a study of parole, but langue. He suggests that language can be analyzed in some stages, which has rigid relation to sounds, words, and phrases. The lingustics has been beyond the structural approach and included different approaches namely generative grammar. Meanwhile, Noah Chomsky et al., define this generative grammar as part of socio-psychological tradition rather than semiotic analysis. Semiotic tradition Studies that discuss the relationship of the language to the power show something interesting about critical traditions. The studies about the use of the langauge by several cultural groups possibly show a socioculture, wheras the studies of the way we interpret the text langauge can explain the phenomenology. However, the studies of the language structure are semiotic because they treat signs as mediators the world of experience to the world of comprehension. Language is a place where we find traditions that are capable of combine and being present mutually. This is what suggested by many critical theories, sociocultural theories, and phenomenology, which base on the semiotics. Model of message development Planning theory. Charles Berger defines plan as "a hierarchical cognitive representation of series of action directed to the target." In other words, plan shows mental images of efforts of an individual in order to reach his desired target. Based on this definition, the planning can be defined as a process to think about action plans. Perencanaan dan pencapaian sasaran sama-sama terikat erat secara emosional dengan emosi seseorang. Jika sasaran kita terhambat, maka kita cenderung bereaksi secara kegatif. Sebaliknya, jika rencana kita berjalan mulus maka kita sering merasa tersanjung. Perasaan negatif yang kita alami pada saat mengalami kegagalan di dalam mencapai sasaran bergantung pada seberapa penting sasaran tersebut. Logika Pembuatan Pesan. Barbara O'Keefe memiliki latar belakang sebagai penganut konstruktivisme. Akan tetapi dalam prakteknya ia mengembangkan oreintasi teoretikal untuk membahas mengenai model pembuatan pesan. O'Keefe memperkenalkan tiga logika pembuatan pesan dari logika yang paling tidak terpusat pada persona hingga yang paling terpusat pada pesona. Logia ekspresif memandang komunikasi sebagai sebuah bentuk pengungkapan diri untuk mengkomunikasikan perasaan dan pikiran. Logika konvensional memandang komunikasi sebagai sebuah permainan yang dimainkan dengan aturan-aturan sebagai berikut. Di sini komunikasi menjadi sarana pengungkapan diri yang berlaku sesuai dengan aturan serta norma yang disepakati termasuk hak dan tanggung jawab dari masing-masing manusia yang terlibat didalamnya. Logika retorik memandang komunikasi sebagai sebuah cara untuk merubah aturan melalui negosiasi.

Globalization in People Republic of China

This paper presents some initiative thinkings about the creation of innovative systems of the public human resource development in light of the economic and social development in People Republic of China. The purpose of this project is to keep the pace with globalization of new economy. As China joins the World Trade Organization (WTO), the country is faced by new theories and practices of public administration. This development has required prompt analyses on issues related with the innovative efforts of the public human resource previously applied to the Western countries. Globalization and internationalization have affected the development of public administration in China, in particular, the construction of the public human resource capability. The new century has caused remarkable change in competitive structure of human resource development in international levels. The international human resource competition has become more important aspect towards the success in economic, technological, educational, or social competitions. In response to this HR development, People Republic of China has taken the opportunities to develop strategies in order to anticipate the competitiveness of the twentieth century. As China joined the World Trade Organizaton (WTO), this country has got involved into a vast competition of human resource development. The Chinese public administration was demanded to create a competitive environment for global markets and to provide multidimensional services according to regulations and standards of the international conventions. The globalization of economy and HR competition has caused a multinational human resource development. To avoid problems that might be found in public administration and public services, the Chinese government made efforts to push the HR market systems and to develop the public administration HR with co-operative values to optimally allocate the available resources that had commercial values. The keys to success of the public administration HR development in China were developmental improvement, attractiveness, and information technology-responsive public administration HR. These abilities were important to lead the nation as one of the outstanding countries in Asia nowadays. As a developing country with the largest territory and population in the world, China is rich of human resources. The problem is, however, this country still has low market rate, limited opportunities, and reluctance of high-quality human resources in taking part into the nation's development. In case of reluctancy of desired parties to the development, China still lacks of leaders with quick reaction to the business operation development. The advance of technology and science have not been supported by natural resource and economic developments. The current economic condition needs for correct strategies in public administration human resource development. China should have not only applied the most efficient incentive systems for its public administration and service human resources, but also has to formulate appropriate regulations in order to create innovative environment of the human resources and long-life Justify Fulleducation development. Source: Zhang Xuedong

19 November 2009

Lebih Dekat dengan Dialek Candiroto

Desa Candiroto terletak di Kecamatan Candiroto, termasuk ke dalam wilayah Kedu bagian Utara. Sebenarnya, dialek yang sering digunakan tidak berbeda jauh dengan daerah-daerah di sekitarnya. Tidak ada masalah dalam berkomunikasi, termasuk dalam penggunaan istilah-istilahnya. Namun, jika dibandingkan dengan kawasan lain seperti Kota Semarang, kota-kota di jajaran Pantai Utara, atau daerah Karesidenan Pati, Surakarta, dan Yogyakarta, maka akan tampak terlihat keunikannya.

Dialek bagi sebuah daerah adalah ciri khas primitif daerah tersebut. Istilah ”primitif” di sini hendaknya kita beri makna yang positif. Dengan kata lain, bukan berarti ”primitif” itu berarti ”kampungan”, melainkan masih memiliki ciri khas tradisional yang tidak dimiliki oleh daerah lain. Lepas dari pada itu, komunikasi merupakan sarana utama yang menghubungkan kita dengan orang lain. Indonesia adalah negara yang kaya akan budaya dan bahasa daerah. Untuk itu akan baik sekali jika kita melestarikannya sebagai sumbangsih kita kepada bangsa Indonesia. Boleh jadi masukan istilah dari bahasa daerah akan semakin memperkaya khasanah bahasa Indonesia.

Perbandingkan dialek berikut penggunaan istilah yang dibahas di sini meliputi penggunaan kata ganti orang, kata tunjuk, kata kerja, dan istilah-istilah khusus lain yang membedakan Candiroto dengan daerah lainnya di Jawa Tengah. Nyong, Dhewe dan Dhe’e. Terdapat sedikit persamaan saat orang Candiroto menyebut diri. Orang asli Candiroto lazimnya menyebut dirinya nyong yang berarti saya atau aku. Jika ada orang mengaku orang Candiroto dan dia tidak mengakui nyong, maka jangan percaya kalau dia itu orang asli Candiroto. Perlu diketahui bahwa nyong bukanlah Inyong yang digunakan di daerah Pantai Utara atau daerah Banyumas. Perbedaannya bahwa kita mengucapnya langsung nyong tanpa diawali huruf i-. Pemakaian nyong untuk menunjuk keterangan milik lebih ”boros” dibandingkan bahasa Jawa yang menggunakan aku. Maksudnya, jika dengan aku kita menyebutkan ”Iki bukuku” (ini buku saya), maka orang Candiroto menyebutkannya dengan ”Kiye bukune nyong” (iki bukunya saya). Dalam tata bahasa Indonesia mungkin susunan kalimat tersebut dianggap mengalami ”redundansi” atau berlebih-lebihan. Perhatikan pula bahwa kata iki berubah menjadi kiyé. Kata ganti orang pertama jamak adalah dhewe, yang sama artinya dengan ”kita”. Tentunya telah jelas penjelasannya karena istilah dhewe atau awake dhewe juga umum digunakan oleh orang Jawa.

Sementara itu kata dhe’e (sebagian orang Jawa dengan dialek lain menyebutnya dheke, awakmu atau rika), adalah kata ganti orang kedua – lazimnya tunggal. Dhe’e adalah pengganti bagi kowe (atau kon di daerah Jawa Timur). Bandingkan: "Kowe arep lungo ngendi?" (Kamu akan pergi ke mana?) dengan "Dhe’e arak (lungo) nang endi?" (Kamu akan pergi ke mana?) Contoh di atas menunjukkan perbedaan kalimat dalam Bahasa Jawa (i) dan kalimat yang sering digunakan di Candiroto (ii). Perhatikan kata arep berubah menjadi arak dan kata ngendi berubah menjadi endi dengan tambahan kata nang.

Kata dhe’e berbeda dari kata dheweke, karena kata yang kedua ini merujuk pada orang ketiga. Terkadang orang Candiroto menggunakan istilah dheknene. Artinya sama, yakni ”dia”. Contoh ”Dheweke/dheknene wis teka opo durung?” (dia sudah datang apa belum?) Jika dhe’e digunakan untuk menunjuk orang kedua yang umurnya sebaya, kawan bermain, atau orang yang usianya lebih muda, maka istilah saman digunakan untuk memanggil orang yang lebih tua, memanggil orang dengan tujuan menghormati, atau orang yang belum akrab dengan kita. Istilah saman dapat disebut sebagai bentuk slang dari kata sampeyan, sebuah istilah yang umum digunakan oleh orang Jawa. 

Kiye dan Kae. Dua kata ini adalah kata tunjuk. Kata kiye digunakan untuk menunjukkan sebuah benda yang terletak di dekat kita. Fungsinya sama dengan kata iki (yang berarti ”ini”). Sementara itu kata kae digunakan untuk menunjuk sebuah benda yang terletak jauh dari kita. Fungsinya boleh dibilang sama dengan kata iku (yang berarti ”itu”). Bandingkan: "Kiye wedange diombe dhisik? (Ini minumannya diminum dulu) dengan "Iki wedange diombe dhisik" (Ini minumannya diminum dulu) Ungkapan khusus Pada dasarnya istilah yang digunakan tidak jauh berbeda.

Lebih lanjut, kita perlu mengenal istilah-istilah yang lebih sering digunakan oleh orang Candiroto antara lain sebagai berikut:
- Madhang/madhangan. Adalah kata pengganti mangan yang berarti ”makan”. Memang antara madhang, madhangan, dan mangan sering silih berganti pemakaiannya, namun demikian madhang dan madhangan lebih khas terdengar di Candiroto. Sedangkan penggunaan istilah mangan sifatnya lebih umum bagi orang Jawa;
- Rempon. Pada daerah tertentu istilah rempon ini mengalami peyorasi (pemburukan makna), mengarah kegiatan untuk mendekati lawan jenis yang lebih mendekat pada tindakan seksual. Namun, di Candiroto, kata rempon tidak lebih dari duduk berkumpul membicarakan sesuatu hal. Kata ini sama artinya dengan jagongan atau duduk mengobrol.
- Ngangsag. Istilah ngangsag digunakan oleh pekerja perkebunan (cengkeh atau kopi). Kurang lebih maknanya adalah kegiatan untuk memetik hasil kebun (cengkeh atau kopi).
- Ngliyep. Istilah ini mengandung arti ”tidur sebentar untuk melepas lelah”. Seperti dalam kalimat, ”Nyong tak ngliyep sedhelok ah” (Saya akan tidur sebentar ah).
- Nglempus. Istilah nglempus mungkin digunakan pula oleh penduduk selain Candiroto, akan tetapi pengalaman saya jarang sekali istilah nglempus di daerah luar Candiroto. Artinya adalah ”tertidur pulas” – karena mengantuk berat atau kelelahan sehingga tidak dapat diganggu. Contoh kalimatnya ”Lha kae bocahe gek nglempus” (Itu lho, anaknya sedang tertidur pulas).
- Nglempoweng/nglempoeng. Ini sebuah istilah langka yang penulis sendiri tidak mengetahui dari mana asal-usulnya, tetapi yang jelas sering digunakan dalam percakapan sehari-hari. Istilah nglempoweng/nglempoeng memiliki arti ”lemas, lunglai, tidak berdaya”. Biasanya karena kekelahan atau tidak bertenaga. Misalnya dalam kalimat ”Bali-bali kok nglempoeng” (pulang-pulang kok jadi lemas tak bertenaga). Dapat pula diartikan sebagai ”kondisi badan yang kurang sehat.” contoh kalimatnya ”lha kiye Pak Dhe agek nglempoeng” (Ini Pak Dhe sedang tidak enak badan).
- Mberuh. Istilah mberuh terkesan lucu karena jarang ditemukan di daerah yang letaknya jauh dari kawasan Candiroto. Lebih lazimnya orang Jawa menggunakan kata mbuh/embuh. Artinya adalah ”tidak tahu/tidak mengerti”.
- Jidhor. Istilah jidhor memiliki arti ”masa bodoh” atau ”tidak peduli” terhadap sesuatu hal. Tujuannya kurang lebih sama dengan istilah karepmu, atau sak karepmu.
- Nda’an. Istilah nda’an digunakan dalam bentuk interogatif. Kedudukan nda’an setara dengan benarkah atau apa benar. Adapun letaknya biasanya berada di bagian akhir kalimat. Contoh: "Mas Guru arak mrene saiki, nda’an?" (Apakah Mas Kliwon akan kemari sekarang?) Istilah nda’an juga dapat langsung ungkapkan untuk menegaskan apakah pernyataan lawan bicara kita itu benar atau salah. Biasanya orang mengatakannya masih diliputi keraguan akan kebenaran informasi dari lawan bicara tersebut. Contoh: X: "Eh, mengko nek ora melu kumpulan, dhewe ora entuk jatah beras lho" (Eh, jika nanti kita tidak ikut rapat, maka kita tidak akan mendapatkan jatah beras, ho) Y: "Nda’an?"
- Arak. Istilah arak sering menjadi bahan candaan di daerah yang mengartikan kata arak sebagai ”jenis minuman beralkohol”. Seringkali ada ada seloroh ”Nyong arak mangkat saiki” ditanggapi dengan ”Arak? Ya diombe...”. Sebagian besar orang Jawa lebih sering menggunakan kata arep. Lebih lanjut, terdapat satu lagi ungkapan, yakni apak. Istilah ini dapat pembaca jumpai di Kecamatan Bejen (Kab. Temanggung) dan sebagian wilayah Kabupaten Kendal dan Batang.

Istilah yang tidak kalah menarik dibahas adalah sumpah serapah. Ungkapan-ungkapan yang oleh sebagian orang dianggap sebagai hal yang tabu untuk dikemukakan kepada khalayak ramai, adalah sebenarnya kekayaan daerah yang jika dikaji secara positif akan bermakna lebih dari sekedar sumpah serapah. Kelompok ungkapan ini memang mengandung makna vulgar, namun demikian penduduk Candiroto dapat ”menghaluskannya” dengan memperkenalkan ungkapan-ungkapan seperti cepet, cemet untuk kata ”celeng”, dan asem untuk kata ”asu”.

18 November 2009

Sexuality and Organizational Cultures

Male managers with female subordinates may use sexuality, harassment, joking and abuse as a routine means of maintaining authority. This may be thoroughly embedded in the taken-for-granted culture in the organization.” (Hearn and Parkins, 1987:93)
Many feminist academics have noted the existence of cultural barriers in their analyses of specific organization. Other writers have concentrated their efforts on decoding organizational culture for its genderness and have explored different approaches of problematizing gendered cultures.
The use of gender as a metaphor and usefully show the variety of different cultures which may exist within one organization McDowell (1997) provides rich data on gender at work in the City, seeing work as an embodied performance and as the playing out of masculinities and feminities. Whereas according to Maddock (1999) gives a more materialist analysis of gender and culture in public sector organizations. She refers to gender cultures as saying that male cultures vary from organization to organization but there are common themes one of which is that, men continue to underrate and undervalue women. Sexuality is included in the list of cultural constituents, as it is viewed as a resource on which man may or may not draw a necessary in order to dominate/control/marginalize women. As one site of male domination, sexuality is controlled and defined by men (Walby, 1990; Pringle, 1989; Adkins, 1995). Thus, the concept of harassment has been kept analytically distinct from sexualised cultured, as the research shows that the former may occur in both sexualised and relatively unsexualised cultures.
The sexuality in organizations, that has been surrounded by silence for so long, has been a male-defined heterosexuality or, as Adkins (1995) says, compulsory heterosexuality. Constituents of sexuality which were deemed to be tangible enough to capture through questions include sexual homour in the workplace, swearing and the use of metaphors in organizational language. Other indicators of a sexualised culture may be the dress of the workers and the physicality of the workplace. Management of sexuality has been an important acknowledgement in the lives of women managers (Sheppard, 1989).
Exclusion and closure
Witz (1992) applies the concept of patriarchal exclusion strategies to the professions, using the Weberian concept of social closure. Weber used term “closure” to refer to the process of subordination, whereby one group monopolizes advantages by closing off opportunities to another group of outsiders beneath it, which it defines as inferior or ineligible (Murphy, 1988). Crompton says that the processes of gender exclusion, via indigenous culture production within organisations, are extremely difficult to research and quantify. They must however, be recognised as a crucial element to organizational positions. Research difficulties cannot be used as an excuse for ignoring these important social phenomena.
References:
  1. Adkins, R. 1989. Gendered work: sexuality, family, and the labour market. Open University Press: Buckingham.
  2. Hearn, J. and W. Parkins. 1987. Sex at Work: The power and the paradox of organizational sexuality. Wheatsheaf: Brighton.
  3. Murphy, P. 1988. Social closure: the theory of monopolisation and exclusion. Oxford University: Oxford.
  4. Pringle, R. 1989. Secretaries talk: sexuality, power, and work. Verso: London and New York.
  5. Rutherford, Sarah. 2001.Organizational, cultures, women, managers and exclusion.
  6. Sheppard, D. L. 1989. Organisations, culture and sexuality: the self-image of women managers”, in Hearn, J., Sheppard, D. L., Tavered-Sheriff, P. and Borrell, G. (Eds), the sexuality of organization. Sage: London.
  7. Walby, S. 1990. Theorising patriarchy. Routledge: London.
  8. Witz, A. 1992. Professions and patriarchy. Routledge: London.

Bruce Dickinson

Perhaps second only to Rob Halford, Iron Maiden's Bruce Dickinson was the most acclaimed and instantly recognizable vocalist to emerge from the New Wave of British Heavy Metal movement of the early-'80s. Born Paul Dickinson on August 7, 1958, in Worksop, Nottinghamshire, he adopted the first name Bruce as a youngster for reasons unknown. Shortly after relocating to Sheffield as a teenager, Dickinson became enamored of such '70s heavy metal bands as Deep Purple, and after an attempt at becoming a drummer didn't work out, he began singing in local bands -- Styx (not the renowned American band of the same name), Speed, and Shots. But none of these bands broke out of regional status, something that would change when Dickinson fronted his next band, Samson.
Paul Bruce Dickinson was born on August 7, 1958, in the small mining town of Worksop, Nottinghamshire. His real first name is Paul, although everybody, except his parents and grandparents, insisted on calling him 'Bruce' from as early as he can remember.
In the summer 1976 he joined his first band. He had overheard two kids talking about their band and that they needed a singer. Bruce volunteered to do the vocals, after a couple of seconds of hesitation. They used to rehearse in the drummers dad's garage and they were really impressed by Bruce's singing. "And that started me thinking; 'I'll have to buy a microphone'."
The first gig he did was at a place called "Broad Fall Tavern" in Sheffield. They were originally called "Paradox" but, upon Bruce's suggestion, changed the name to "Styx", totally unaware of the American act with the same name. "We got into the headlines in the local newspaper when we got attacked on stage by this shift-working steelworker we'd woken up. He bottled the guitarist and chucked the drums off-stage". Soon after the band split up and that was that - except now Bruce had a mike and an amplifier of his own.
Dickinson left Iron Maiden after a farewell tour in 1993, to concentrate on his solo career.His last performance with the band was filmed by the BBC and released as a live video, Raising Hell. Along with Adrian Smith, Dickinson rejoined Iron Maiden in 1999 with Janick Gers remaining in the band, and they embarked on a small tour. Afterwards, they set about recording Brave New World, their first studio album with Dickinson since 1992. The supporting tour culminated with a performance at the Rock in Rio festival.
References: Texts: Starpulse, Wikipedia, Book of hours Image: Forum nationstates

17 November 2009

Rolland Emmerich

Stuttgart, Deutschland, 10 November 1955
Die Karriere als Filmschaffender begann für Emmerich mit dem Besuch der Hochschule für Fernsehen und Film München. Dort studierte er zuerst Szenenbild, bevor er ins Regiefach wechselte. Sein Abschlussfilm Das Arche-Noah-Prinzip sprengte dabei in jeder Hinsicht den Rahmen. Größtenteils fremdfinanziert kostete er 1,2 Mio. DM – das Budget für einen Abschlussfilm lag damals bei 20.000 DM. Auch das Genre irritierte, denn opulent ausgestattete Science-Fiction-Filme aus Deutschland waren eher unüblich. Letztendlich wurde der Film, der 1984 auf den Internationalen Filmfestspielen in Berlin uraufgeführt wurde, aber ein beachtlicher Erfolg.
In Stuttgart-Obertürkheim geboren, wuchs Emmerich in Sindelfingen-Maichingen auf. Er besuchte das Gymnasium in den Pfarrwiesen in Sindelfingen.
Die Karriere als Filmschaffender begann für Emmerich mit dem Besuch der Hochschule für Fernsehen und Film München. Dort studierte er zuerst Szenenbild, bevor er ins Regiefach wechselte. Sein Abschlussfilm Das Arche-Noah-Prinzip sprengte dabei in jeder Hinsicht den Rahmen. Größtenteils fremdfinanziert kostete er 1,2 Mio. DM – das Budget für einen Abschlussfilm lag damals bei 20.000 DM. Auch das Genre irritierte, denn opulent ausgestattete Science-Fiction-Filme aus Deutschland waren eher unüblich. Letztendlich wurde der Film, der 1984 auf den Internationalen Filmfestspielen in Berlin uraufgeführt wurde, aber ein beachtlicher Erfolg.
Den vorläufigen Höhepunkt seiner Karriere erreichte er dann 1996 mit Independence Day, einem Blockbuster, der auch heute einen der vordersten Plätze in den Ranglisten der erfolgreichsten Filme belegt. 1998 folgte mit Godzilla eine Neuinterpretation der japanischen Monsterfilme. 1999 war er bei dem Film The Thirteenth Floor als Produzent tätig. 2000 begab sich Emmerich dann auf ernsteres Terrain, als er bei Der Patriot Regie führte, der 1776 zur Zeit der Amerikanischen Revolution spielt. In der Zeit danach beschränkte sich Emmerich hauptsächlich auf das Produzieren, bevor er im Mai 2004 mit The Day After Tomorrow als Regisseur auf die Leinwand zurückkehrte. Rolland Emmerich Filmografie Das Arche Noah Prinzip (1984, Jerman Barat) – director, writer Joey aka Making Contact (1985, Jerman Barat) – director, co-writers Hollywood-Monster aka Ghost Chase (1987, Jerman Barat) – director, producer, co-writers Moon 44 (1990, West Germany) – director, producer, co-writers Eye Of The Storm (1991) – executive producer Universal Soldier (1992) – director The High Crusade (1994) – producer Stargate (1994) – director, co-writers Independence Day (1996) – director, executive producer, co-writers The Visitor (1997) – original screenplay, executive producer Godzilla (1998) – director, executive producer, co-writers The Thirteenth Floor (1999) – producer The Patriot (2000) – director, excecutive producer Eight Legged Freaks (2002) – executive producer The Day After Tomorrow (2004) – director, producer, co-writers Trade (2007) – producer 10,000 BC (2008) - director, producer, writer 2012 (2009) - director, producer, writer Source: de.wikipedia.org

The Meaning of Healthy

How to measure healthy people Many people believe that a person with too thin or too fat body is unhealthy. This argument is reasonable. However, being healthy is not all about body weight. Health also depends on the following aspects: 1. Family medical history 2. Genetics 3. Bad habits, such as alcohol consumption, lacking rest, and smoking 4. diet pattern 5. physical exercise pattern The above aspects are useful to measure the health of of an individual beyond what people believe as healthy by looking at body weight
Many have wrong perception about anything that determines health. Actually, someone cannot be seen as healthy (unhealthy) by his or her body weight. Humans are overshadowed by image they discover from famous people who become icons of society. There are too many subjective perceptions of an ideal condition a person should have to be healthy. One of ways of determining whether a person is healthy is by measuring waist. Waist sized >94 cm for male and >84 for female may explain a beyond threshold weight and cause health problems. For example, a woman with waist size 84+8 cm is unhealthy; therefore, she is suggested to reduce her weight. BMI (Body Mass Index) Body Mass Index (BMI) aims to measure balance or weight/height ratio. One can find out whether his weight/height ratio has fulfilled requirements of being healthy. To measure it, we can use BMI Calculator. Up to present, the BMI Calculator is the only way of measuring an overall health. It is affected by the following variables: 1.waist size 2.fat content in the body 3.blood pressure 4.cholesterol 5.smoking habit 6.diet patterns Although overweight give more risks, underweight is also risky so that ideal health must be achieved by not surpassing the ideal weight thresholds. Underweight is caused by a strict diet system, which leads to nutrition deficiency. Young women have bigger risks of having anemia. In case of the underweight due to lacking of calcium intake, the risks can be osteoporosis when the underweight suspects grow older. Another serious problem is amennorhea (the missing of menstrual period) as this may cause an individual infertile.
If one has an ideal body weight but still does not like the body posture, this problem can be overcome by doing physical exercise. It is much better than having a strict diet. In addition to shape the body, exercise also helps maintain fitness, muscular development, and ultimate healthy condition. Reference: dr. Susan Webb of bbc.com

13 November 2009

Quantitative Research

A. Definition Quantitative research is a scientific work, which measures a case using statistical analysis. This research has its roots from positivists led by Auguste Comte. The school of positivism contends that in order social sciences to advance, they must adopt exact sciences (Harahap, 1992). Data collection in quantitative researches is done by using structured question lists, which are developed based on observed variables. Following this step, the quantitative data are obtained. Unlike their qualitative counterparts, quantitative researches do not focus on case studies, but on survey results. Richard and Cook (in Abdullah Fajar, 1992) explains the difference in paradigm between qualitative and quantitative researches as follows: a. Qualitative researches... - rely on qualitative methods. - rely on phenomenologism and verstehen; their attention directs on understanding of human acts from the actors point-of-view themselves. - use naturalistic observation and are uncontrolled. - are subjective in nature. - keep closely related to the data; base on individuals' inner perspectives. - are discovery-oriented, grounded studies that put weight on expansion, description, and induction. - are process-oriented. - can not be generalized due to its single case study principle. - have holistic characteristics. - assume dynamic realities. b. Quantitative researches... - assume the use of quantitative methods. - rely on logic positivism; looking for facts and causes of social symptoms despite individual conditions. - use observations based on obtrusive and controlled measures. - are objective. - are verification-oriented, ungrounded studies; focus on confirmatory aspect, reduction, inference, and deductive-hypotheses. - can be generalized based on multiple cases. - are particular. - assume stable realities. B. Stages of Quantitative Researches 1. Background of problem According to Wardi Bachtiar (1997), the background of the problem in quantitative researches consists of the followings: - arguments of why the problem is interesting to study from either theoretical or practical aspects. - explanation of negative causes once the problem is unresolved. - explanation of positive effects as a result of the study. - description of current study relevance to previous studies - illustration of study outputs and their importance to society, nation, or knowledge. 2.Problem identification, selection, and formulation - study problems can be identified due to the presence of gaps between what should have been and what is going on in reality as well as information or theoretical gaps. - selection of problem has values of study (original and reliable), fisibility (cost, time, and condition), link and match with researcher's qualifications, and correlation between two or more variables (Nazir, 1988). - formulation of problem deals with question marks, explanation and exposition, and hypothetical backgrounds. 2. Validity and Reliability of Research Instruments Validity and reliability relate to developing questions and statements, which result in conceptual and operational definitions. - conceptual definitions are sources provided by previous experts or authors. researchers can get this definitions from a library study. - in case of no conceptual definitions from the library study, the researchers can discuss the problems with experts who have conceptual competencies. - conception definitions may refer as the concepts to research respondents with the same characteristics (Ancok, 1989). 3. Determination of Research Method - population and sample selection as research subjects - data collection technique selection - data analysis method selection based on the data types 4. Development of research framework Research framework is an anchor by which systematical and logic plans are based. This framework contains title, background of problem, objective, study of literature, hypothesis, operational definition, method of research, research schedule (including the research performers), and research expenditure. 5. Data collection In collecting research data, a researcher must have ability to trace back area mapping, source of information, and data exploration. Hence, he or she needs well-organized training and education. 6. Processing, analysis, and interpretation of research outputs Data processing consists of editing, coding, categorizing, and tabulating. This analysis aims to simplify the data in order to be easily read and interpreted. The quantitative researches perform this processing by way of statistical techniques. Meanwhile, interpretation aims to interpret the analytical results to wider extent where conclusion is based on. 7. Development of research report To enable the report development, an out line report framework is necessarily needed. C. References Abdullah Fajar, Metodologi Penelitian Kualitatif dalam Jurnal Penelitian Agama Nomor: 1 Juni – Agustus 1992. Balai Penelitian P3M IAIN Sunan Kalijaga Djamaluddin Ancok, Teknik Penyusunan Skala Pengukuran; PPK UGM, Yogyakarta, 1989. Nasruddin Harahap, Penelitian Sosial : Latar Belakang, Proses : Persiapan Pelaksanaannya, dalam Jurnal Penelitian Agama Nomor: 1 Juni – Agustus 1992. Balai Penelitian P3M IAIN Sunan Kalijaga Wardi Bachtiar, Metodologi Penelitian Ilmu Dakwah, Logos: Jakarta, 1997.

University of St.Gallen (Hochschule St.Gallen)

A. Introduction University of St.Gallen has a very special profile. Here, you will acquire not only factual knowledge, but also the skills to pursue your personal educational goals successfully. This is essential aspect of our academic structure, developed in line with the Bologna Reform and culminating in the award of B.A and M.A. degrees. Our students appreciate this approach ad excell through their remarkable initiative and unusual dedication, even outside their major. They are “entrepreneurs” in their own right with respect to their academic program. (Professor Ernst Mohr, Ph.D., the President of the University of St.Gallen) B. Degree courses The University of St.Gallen offers vary degree courses as follows: 1.Undergraduate Studies (B.A. HSG) in: Business Administration; Economics; International Affairs; Law; Law and Economics. 2.Master’s Programs (M.A. HSG) in: Information, Media, and Technology Management (IMT); Marketing, Services and Communication Management (MSC); Accounting and Finance (MaccFin); Banking and Finance (MBF); Strategy and International Management (SIM); Economics (Mecon); Quantitative Economics and Finance (MiQE/F); International Affairs and Government (MIA); Law (MLS); Law and Economics (MLE). 3.Dr. HSG in: Management; International Affairs and Political Economy; Organizational Studies and Cultural Theory; Law. 4.Phd. HSG in: Economics and Finance. C. Background Since its founding in 1898, the education and training offered by the HSG have been characterized by a close affinity to the working world and an integrative approach. The University of St.Gallen is currently training more than 5,000 students in Business Administration, Economics, Law, and Social Sciences. With success: according to current rankings, the HSG is one of Europe’s leading business universities. Its holistic education to the highest academic standards has earned it the EQUIS and AACSB accreditations by way of an international seal of approval. Its international nature is supported by students and faculty from various countries from all continents, 130 partner universities worldwide, and membership in international networks. D. The Three Pillars of HSG 1. Contact Study Contact studies consist of lectures, exercise courses and seminars. These traditional teaching and learning methods are applied whenever subjects are so complex and complicated that students will understand them more easily and more quickly if they are taught by a member of the faculty. Contact studies account for 50% of overall studies; a third of these courses can be selected freely according to students’ predilections and interests. 2. Independent Studies Independent studies are concerned not only with the individual preparation for, and follow-up to, lectures and seminars, but also represent a separate curriculum of their own within the core disciplines. Students are expected to learn how to provide supporting documentation for the difficult questions they may come up against, to reformulate such questions and, to a certain extent, take charge of the organization of their course work as a whole. Independent studies account for 25% of a program. 3. Contextual Studies Contextual studies complement core studies an account for 25% of a degree course. They are made up of lectures on Cultural Awareness, Critical Thinking, and Leadership Skills. In these areas, students reflect on the social, cultural and historical contexts of interrelated actions, and they are encouraged to acquire decision-making skills, a sense of responsibility, an interdisciplinary way of thinking, and the capacity to solve problems in an unconventional manner. E. Studying Gender and Diversity The University of St.Gallen is among the first universities in the German-speaking area to have systematically integrated the topics of gender and diversity into their Bachelor’s and Mater’s Programs. Students are able to acquire the knowledge of gender and diversity aspects required by managers and experts in the course of their Contextual Studies. F. Teaching and research Some 80 tenured professors, 60 assistant professors and senior lecturers, as well as more than 300 lecturers and assistants are responsible for student education. The HSG sets great store by the principle that studies are rooted both in theory and in practice. This is achieved by the professors having strong links with the institutes and also working as institute directors. The more than 30 institutes are the crystallization point of the globally recognized HSG research. This guarantees that the courses offered by the University of St.Gallen meet the highest academic standards. At the same time, the institutes maintain intensive relations with trade and industry, the judiciary, politics and society, thus ensuring that theory is closely allied to practice. G. Internationality The University of St.Gallen (HSG) sets great store by international students and faculty, as well as by the international orientation of its teaching: -34% of students come from 80 different nations -48% of faculty come from abroad -There are selected visiting professors from various countries H. The HSG is a member of the following networks: -Community of European Management Schools and International Companies (CEMS) -Partnership in International Management (PIM) -Association of Professional Schools of International Affairs (APSIA) I. Partner universities: -Possibility of exchange semesters at 130 partner universities worldwide -400 guest students per year J. Double-degree program with reputed partner universities: -Science Po, Paris -Fletcher School, Tufts University, Boston -Nanyang Technological University, Beijing -Bocconi, Milan -ESADE, Barcelona -HEC, Paris -RSM Erasmus, Rotterdam -CEMS network K. The HSG supports international networking, for instance with: -Hub in Singapore -Asia Research Center -Center for Sino-Swiss Competence -Centro Latinoamericano-Suizo de la Universidad de San Gallen L. History timeline: 1898: Establishment of the University of St.Gallen as a “Commercial Academy (Handelsakademie)”. 1911: Renamed “Graduate School of Commerce (Handelshochschule)” 1963: Relocation to the Rosenberg site and renamed St.Gallen Graduate School (Hochschule St.Gallen/HSG)” 1969: HSG is Switzerland’s first institute of tertiary education to open an executive education section 1986: Canton of St.Gallen becomes the HSG’s sole funder 1995: Renamed University of St.Gallen (HSG); Inauguration of the new Convention and Executive Education Center (Weierbildungszentrum/WBZ)” 2001: Integral introduction of the Bologna reform 2005: Establishment of the Executive School of Management, Technology and Law (ES-HSG) 2006: Introduction of university-wide focal research points; Introduction of transinstitutional cooperation centers (HSG-Center) 2007: Establishment of the Alumni HSG Advisory Committee Source: printed brochure of the University of St.Gallen presented to Tiyo Widodo.

On Robert Enke Death Case

The death of Robert Enke is a terrible tragedy of the year in 2009 football. It is surprising that this incident happened to somewhat in-form footballer after having had bad moments in his past career abroad. Following decision of Enke's psychiatrist, depression suffered by the Hanover 96 goalie is a result of being sidelined too many times. During Barcelona career, Enke only played a single game. It is true that goalkeeper's position is harder to compete because a team only needs one player. Yet, opportunities to play should have had been given because the club has signed the player. I think Enke went to Barcelona not to watch the game from the bench. The similar experience he also found during on-loan status in Turkish League. This had worsened his frustration. Fear of failure, the psychiatrist said, was the main effect of Enke's cumulative stress. As a professional footballer, he had to had high obsessions: playing every single match in every game week. Enke's tragedy must leave us a question -- or rather, homework. Professional football must rebuild its repute to, among others, guarantee the future of the players by ways of appreciating them with the highest respect. For example of this spirit is to give the best opportunity to play as a responsibility of signing the players in the squads. Today's football competition has been more commercially looking. Some clubs with strong financial powers make through gathering the players they desire in order to give the clubs more popularity. Here, I will not put any club to be an example because everyone of you must have known it clearly. Depression, like what Robert Enke suffered for years, is frightening for a football players. Causes may come from any source: injury, lacking talent, poor mentality, and of course, lacking opportunities to play for the first team. It is therefore we must rethink about making the footballers as collectibles, creating a sound commercial image that the club is very popular because it has many world class players. This is not what sport wants to have. Roberto Baggio used to say that playing pitch is the only ideal place for a footballer. Waiting in vein of the coach's calling on the bench is not an ideal situation at all. It is therefore, depression may arise, either gradually or revolutionarily. It is a strong warning to "greedy" clubs whose financial resources are abundantly used for hiring too many players in the squads. They should have not done such behavior because it has potential to result fatal impact to the players. Too many players in a squad means too little chance to be in the first team, playing as they must be as a footballers. Marco van Basten when coached Ajax Amsterdam is a good example for being efficient: "This team has too many players," says the Dutch legend. He referred as this stuation to inefficiency and future of the unused players. photo by www.spiegel.de

What do you think if Indonesian university students dress uniform ?

From kindergarten to high school, students at Indonesian schools are obliged to wear uniform. The purpose, among others, is to keep equality between the students. This uniformity is important to cease difference in social-economic status. Besides, the school managements usually forbid their students to attend the class with facial make-up. As students have gone to university, a remarkable change has occurred. Students are given to wear casual dress. They are also freed to do the make up. Indonesian campuses nowadays, those outside military education institutions, are not left behid catwalk where supermodels show their charms off to the spectators. Actually, the students may choose any fashion style to wear at the campus, as long it reminds them to politeness. However, as lifestyle changes, the way the students of getting dress changes accordingly. Physical appearance has become a “pilot project” as it is believed to give rise to their self-confidence or, even, self-esteem. They are now full of attractions. At present, it is more diffiult to differ them from other groups of people outside the campus. This fashion tendency may bring about gaps among schooling individuals. Many students have been overshadowed by the cutting-edge style due to fear of being noted “out of date”. Fortunately, such trend has inevitably infiltrated those who actually do not match with the current style. They prove to be forced by mutual voice that they must follow the others’ styles. All is under the attribute of “competitiveness”. This is …just …not good at all. Adverse effect is arising from it in form of difference in social status. In spite of family background, a university student often pretends him- or herself by doing what friends do; to wider extent, do what the mode does. Sometines university students dress overactingly. The clothes they wear for the class course are just similar to what they must wear to a party. This is what is happening nowadays. The campuses are getting more “colorful” on behalf of freedom to dress. It is probably important to make a regulation that requires students to dress in such way that academic environment is different from other environments. "Will students agree with such policy as obedience to wear uniform; like their childhood schooling times?” This question maybe sounds a jooke on a comedy show. A predictable scenario: most of them laughing at the idea. Yet, it is probably effective to control overacting behaviors. It assures that education institutions are not place where celebrities show off their updated style, or even, sexual appeals.

11 November 2009

Rethinking Nation's Spirits To Combat Corruption

Corruption; a term that hits top chart of media news this recently in Indonesia. Many efforts have been devoted to solve corruption problems. But controversies keep escalating at the moment the efforts are taken. Corruption has become a latent danger to human race. I think this crime is a humanity disorder. History of men has evidenced armed wars to cause physical damage; and now the situation gets harder to handle because of corruption. The acts of corrupting are like viruses that infiltrate human body. In other words, it is microscopic.
Because today’s needs are inevitable, corruption – of financial and concrete matters – gives temptations to everyone who has accesses to be an outlaw. Being physically rich is a very interesting promise to us. Therefore, the case of corruption is more apparently found this lately.
A nation, where many people live in, must have a good will spirit to bring about good life. The nation must also have bureaucrats with constructive efforts as well as constituents with keen monitoring strength on behalf of public mutual interests. But this idealism is very difficult to reach. It is because of many factors. The problems that prevent the nation’s prosperity even are more impossible to resolve in developing or under-developed countries.
Among others, factors that hamper so called good governance include composition of people, difference in social status, number of population, and economic stability. These problems will, in turn, lead to severe nation’s issues like misguided authorities, monopoly, and above all, corruption.
In case of Indonesia, a nation of two hundred millions inhabitants, the largest maritime country in the world, the corruption crime is somewhat a “box office” case. It is still difficult to say that corruption is going to cease in short term. Since economic condition is unstable, there are groups of people, whose authorities are strong, taking opportunities to enrich themselves by stealing rights of others. This is truly an unhealthy condition. In developing their national life, Indonesians still lack of common sense.
Especially to leaders and bureaucrats, they need more education of how to devote their services purely to the goodness of the people. Up to now, only a few persons have such angelical spirit. Ironically, they are parts of those who do not have strength to make decisions. To many corruption scandals in this nation have probably allowed assumption of international communities that most Indonesians corrupt. This tendency should be avoided. It is a virus that damage the immunity of the system of the Indonesian government and society.
Indonesia must rebuild its characteristics in order to be more responsive, honest, intelligent, and devoting to public interests. This is important to create an equalit in any respect, especially, economic, on which the corruption actions tend to base.Indonesia will never be developed if there are still many corrupting individuals. This country needs trusted, honest, and capable ones who put common interests above personal interests.
Understanding about equality is the key to combating the corruption. There should neither be the richest nor the poorest people of the country. Monopoly has destroyed togetherness of the nation. Hence, Indonesians must awake to work together to control this situation.
Tiyo Widodo, November 10, 2009

The Secret Life of Fruit Flies

Fruit flies linger over a bowl of rotting fruit. To untrained eyes, the flies may look like a swarming nuisance, but scientists have found that flies’ swoops and buzzes are ways to send signals through the crowd. Another, less obvious way these insects communicate is through chemical signals called pheromones. (It’s easy to think of these chemical signals as being similar to smells.) Scientists have long known that pheromones may play an important role in reproduction — certain pheromones may attract a potential mate, for example. But in a surprising new study, scientists found that male fruit flies are particularly attracted to other flies — male and female — that don’t put out any pheromones at all.

Strange Attraction from Science News on Vimeo.

The researchers also found that fruit flies without pheromones are attractive to males of other species. This research suggests that pheromones may be even more complicated — and important — than scientists thought. Besides telling other insects to come a little closer, pheromones may also be used to say, “Back off!” That message is important for keeping up barriers between species. There are many different types of fruit flies, no matter how similar they all look as they swarm over a rotting tomato. Scientists have wondered how fruit flies can tell each other apart. Appearance may play a role. So may sound — the mating song of each different kind of fruit fly is different, for example. Source: Sciencenews.org

10 November 2009

National Grid - moving to a low carbon environment

Watch the interview about low carbon environment from green.tv
National Grid - moving to a low carbon environment

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Education In Developing Countries

Source: Joel E. Cohen, Abby Rockefeller Mauzé Professor of Populations, Rockefeller University; Professor of Populations, Columbia University; Head of the Laboratory of Populations, The Earth Institute at Columbia University and Rockefeller University.

Roberta Balstad: …session we're addressing various aspects of the issue of human behavior, social behavior, religious, cultural, institutional behavior, and trying to understand how we reconcile the individual and the society in the course of implementing sustainable development. I'm very pleased to introduce our first speaker today. Professor Joel Cohen is Professor of Populations at both the Rockefeller University and Columbia University. And he is the Director of the Laboratory of Populations which also exists in both places. Joel combines opposites in his work and in his life. He is the recipient of two PhDs, he holds a PhD. in applied mathematics and a PhD in population and public health, both from Harvard University. He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, and he has written hundreds of articles and a dozen books, most of which were prize winning books. He will be speaking today on Education in Developing Countries. Joel.

Joel Cohen: Thank you, Roberta. I'd like to thank Jeff Sachs and John Mutter and the organizing committee for inviting me, and I'd like to thank you for sticking around to converse with us.
There are two parts to my talk. One is I'd like to set the context, and the second is I'd like to explain how the context makes education in developing countries and elsewhere very important. We live on our world, one planet but two different worlds. There's a rich world and a poor world. The rich world has an average income of about 26,000, the poor world about 4,500. Less than one in five on the planet live in the rich world, more than four or five out of six live in the poor world. The rich world is increasing a tenth of a percent per year in population, the poor world fifteen times faster. The poor world has three times the rate of HIV/AIDS. An infant born in the poor world has ten times the chance of dying within the first year of life compared with an infant born in the rich world. The total fertility rate, the average number of children, born per lifetime of a woman in the poor world is twice that in the rich world. A newborn baby lives ten years shorter on average in the poor world, has half a chance compared with the rich world of living in a city, and something not widely recognized is that the population density is about two and a half times greater, the number of people per square kilometer. You might not think that here in New York City, but in fact the wide open spaces are in the rich world, not the poor world.
So I want to tell you a summary of where we're going in the next fifty years with population, and the details are in the article in Scientific American called “Human Population Grows Up,” which everybody got with your packet, the first article.
It's projected that we'll go to 9.1 billion people, but if women have half a child more than anticipated in this continuing fall of fertility we'll go to one and a half billion more. If women have half a child less, we'll go to almost one and a half billion less. In other words, a one child difference in behavior per woman means a three people billion difference by 2050, which emphasizes the importance of what we do right now. That increase of three billion will not be uniformly distributed over the Earth. It will be entirely concentrated, except for a few percent, in the poor countries. And here is an illustrative comparison. On the left we take twenty-five countries of the extended EU, on the right twenty-five countries of what would be imprecisely called the Middle East, north Africa and western Asia. In 1950 Europe had twice the population of north Africa, 350 million versus 163 million. By 2000 the Middle East had more population than Europe. By 2050 the Middle East will have three times the population of Europe. That's a colossal change in one century. That change is reflected in an enormous difference in age structures. These things are called age pyramids. The width of the bar is the number of people, like that's, I don't know, 35 million people wide, and the lowest bar is people age zero to four, the next bar is age five to nine, fifteen [he meant to say “ten”] to fourteen, up to ninety-five to a hundred. When the pyramid, this is today's pyramid in the Middle East, when the bottom bar is wider than the bar just above it, it means that more people are being born in the last five years than in the five to ten years before that, and that's more than the people who were born ten to fourteen years before that, because everybody gets one year older each year among those who survive. And what you see is a middle aged bulge here in Europe, most people in the middle age groups, and a very wide bottomed pyramid here, meaning extremely rapid growth. If you go to 2050 this bulge will have aged up to the top, continuing contraction in Europe, Europe will in fact be decreasing in total population size, while the Middle East has an enormous youth bulge down here. So there will be a shift not only in numbers, but a shift in age composition. These are the people of school age, compare, and these are the people of military age, compare.

Abdul-Jabbar receiving treatment for leukemia

Abdul-Jabbar receiving treatment for leukemia

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9 November 2009

Slayer

Slayer was one of the most distinctive, influential, and extreme thrash metal bands of the 1980s. Their graphic lyrics deal with everything from death and dismemberment to war and the horrors of hell. Their full-throttle velocity, wildly chaotic guitar solos, and powerful musical chops paint an effectively chilling sonic background for their obsessive chronicling of the dark side; this correspondence has helped Slayer's music hold up arguably better than the remaining Big Three '80s thrash outfits (Metallica, Megadeath, Anthrax). Naturally, Slayer has stirred up quite a bit of controversy over the years, with rumors flying about Satanism and Nazism that have only added to their mystique. Over the years, Slayer put out some high-quality albums, one undisputed classic (Reign in Blood), and saw the numbers of naysayers and detractors shrinking as their impact on the growing death metal movement was gradually and respectfully acknowledged. Slayer survived into the 1990s with arguably the most vitality and the least compromise of any pre-Nirvana metal band, and their intensity still inspires similar responses from their devoted fans. Slayer was formed in 1982 in Huntington Beach, CA, by guitarists Kerry King and Jeff Hanneman; also recruited were bassist/vocalist Tom Araya and drummer Dave Lombardo. The band started out playing covers of Judas Priest and Iron Maiden songs, but quickly discovered that they could get attention (and fans) by exploiting threatening, satanic imagery. The band was invited by Metal Blade's Brian Slagel to contribute a track to the Metal Massacre, Vol. 3 compilation (a series that also saw the vinyl debuts of Metallica and Voivod); a contract and debut album, Show No Mercy, followed shortly thereafter. While Slayer's early approach was rather cartoonish, their breakneck speed and instrumental prowess were still highly evident. Two EPs, Haunting the Chapel and Live Undead, were released in 1984, but 1985's Hell Awaits refined their lyrical obsessions into a sort of concept album about damnation and torture and made an immediate sensation in heavy metal circles, winning Slayer a rabid cult following. Def Jam co-founder Rick Rubin took a liking to the band, signed them to his label, and contributed the first clear-sounding production heard on any Slayer album for the stripped-down Reign in Blood. Due to the graphic nature of the material, CBS refused to distribute the album, which garnered a great deal of publicity for the band; eventually, Geffen Records stepped in. Combining Slayer's trademark speed metal with the tempos and song lengths (if not structures) of hardcore, along with the band's most disturbing lyrics yet, Reign in Blood was an instant classic, breaking the band through to a wider audience, and was hailed by some as the greatest speed metal album of all time (some give the nod to Metallica's Master of Puppets). South of Heaven disappointed some of the band's hardcore followers, as Slayer successfully broke out of the potential stylistic straitjacket of their reputation as the world's fastest, most extreme band. Drummer Lombardo took some time off and was briefly replaced by Whiplash drummer Tony Scaglione, but soon returned to the fold. 1990's Seasons in the Abyss was well received in all respects, incorporating more of the classic Slayer intensity into a more commercial -- but no less uncompromising -- sound. "War Ensemble" and the title track became favorites on MTV's Headbanger's Ball, and Slayer consolidated their position at the forefront of thrash, along with Metallica. Following the release of the double live album Decade of Aggression, Lombardo left the band for good due to personality conflicts with the other members and formed Grip Inc. Slayer remained quiet for a few years; the only new material released after 1990 was a duet with Ice-T recorded for the Judgment Night soundtrack on a medley of songs by the Exploited. After leaving the Forbidden, Paul Bostaph signed on as the new drummer for 1994's Divine Intervention, which was released to glowing reviews; thanks to the new death metal movement, which drew upon Slayer and particularly Reign in Blood for its inspiration, Slayer was hailed as a metal innovator. The album was a massive success, debuting at number eight on the Billboard album charts. Bostaph left the band to concentrate on a side project, the Truth About Seafood, and was replaced by ex-Testament drummer Jon Dette for Undisputed Attitude, an album consisting mostly of punk and hardcore covers. Bostaph rejoined Slayer in time to record 1998's Diabolus in Musica. The band reunited with Def Jam for 2001's God Hates Us All. In 2004, they unleashed the four-disc anthology Soundtrack to the Apocalypse, followed by an album of all-new material, Christ Illusion, in 2006. source: allmusics

5 November 2009

Temperature Changes

Temperatures are changing in the lower atmosphere - from the Earth’s surface all the way through the stratosphere (9-14 miles above the Earth’s surface). Scientists are working to document temperature trends and determine their causes. Records from land stations and ships indicate that the global mean surface temperature warmed by about 0.9°F since 1880. These records indicate a near level trend in temperatures from 1880 to about 1910, a rise to 1945, a slight decline to about 1975, and a rise to present (NRC, 2006). The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) concluded in 2007 that warming of the climate system is now “unequivocal,” based on observations of increases in global average air and ocean temperatures, widespread melting of snow and ice, and rising global average sea level (IPCC, 2007). According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) 2008 State of the Climate Report and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration's (NASA) 2008 Surface Temperature Analysis:
  • Since the mid 1970s, the average surface temperature has warmed about 1°F.
  • The Earth’s surface is currently warming at a rate of about 0.29ºF/decade or 2.9°F/century.
  • The eight warmest years on record (since 1880) have all occurred since 2001, with the warmest year being 2005.
  • The warming trend is seen in both daily maximum and minimum temperatures, with minimum temperatures increasing at a faster rate than maximum temperatures.
  • Land areas have tended to warm faster than ocean areas and the winter months have warmed faster than summer months.
  • Widespread reductions in the number of days below freezing occurred during the latter half of the 20th century in the United States as well as most land areas of the Northern Hemisphere and areas of the Southern Hemisphere.
  • Average temperatures in the Arctic have increased at almost twice the global rate in the past 100 years.
Tropospheric Temperature Change Measurements of the Earth’s temperature taken by weather balloons (also known as radiosondes) and satellites from the surface to 5-8 miles into the atmosphere - the layer called the troposphere - also reveal warming trends. According to NOAA's National Climatic Data Center:
  • For the period 1958-2006, temperatures measured by weather balloons warmed at a rate of 0.22°F per decade near the surface and 0.27°F per decade in the mid-troposphere. The 2006 global mid-troposphere temperatures were 1.01°F above the 1971-2000 average, the third warmest on record.
  • For the period beginning in 1979, when satellite measurements of troposphere temperatures began, various satellite data sets for the mid-troposphere showed similar rates of warming — ranging from 0.09°F per decade to 0.34°F per decade, depending on the method of analysis.
Stratospheric Temperature Change Weather balloons and satellites have also taken temperature readings in the stratosphere – the layer 9-14 miles above the Earth’s surface. This level of the atmosphere has cooled. The cooling is consistent with observed stratospheric ozone depletion since ozone is a greenhouse gas and has a warming effect when present. It’s also likely that increased greenhouse gas concentrations in the troposphere are contributing to cooling in the stratosphere as predicted by radiative theory (Karl et al., 2006). Recent Scientific Developments The U.S. Climate Change Science Program (CCSP) recently published the report “Product 1.1 Temperature Trends in the Lower Atmosphere: Steps for Understanding and Reconciling Differences,” which addresses some of the long-standing difficulties in understanding changes in atmospheric temperatures and the basic causes of these changes. According to the report:
  • There is no discrepancy in the rate of global average temperature increase for the surface compared with higher levels in the atmosphere. This discrepancy had previously been used to challenge the validity of climate models used to detect and attribute the causes of observed climate change.
  • Errors identified in the satellite data and other temperature observations have been corrected. These and other analyses have increased confidence in the understanding of observed climate changes and their causes.
  • Research to detect climate change and attribute its causes using patterns of observed temperature change shows clear evidence of human influences on the climate system due to changes in greenhouse gases, aerosols and stratospheric ozone.
  • An unresolved issue is related to the rates of warming in the tropics. Here, models and theory predict greater warming higher in the atmosphere than at the surface. However, greater warming higher in the atmosphere is not evident in three of the five observational data sets used in the report. Whether this is a result of uncertainties in the observed data, flaws in climate models, or a combination of these is not yet known.
Source: www.epa.gov | Climate Change | US Environmental Protection Agency

4 November 2009

Problems facing public services in Indonesia

Reform experienced by Indonesia in 1998 has led to major change nationwide. The change took place as far as governmental administration process. Bureaucracy as part of the government’s job description, was also affected by the reform. The movement towards change required bureaucracy to be more neutral, transparent, responsive, and accountable, politically. Such demand has pushed the bureaucrats to create a new frame and characteristic building in answering their responsibility to fulfill the needs of people as their constituents. In practice, Indonesian bureaucracy truly needed more experience to anticipate this massive change. For example, there were still many handicaps in providing public services. This situation opposed to the previously idealized dream, a government as a good servant for the citizens. Many elements of the current government administration were reluctant to fulfill the people needs voluntarily. Bureaucracy, which initially aimed to simplify administration process, became one the people avoided due to its complex nature. As people live in a modern nation, they need a well-constructed bureaucracy because it is more and more important to fulfill the needs of the people. Development during the 20th century had shown an escalating demand on good governed bureaucracy, which responded to both state and people living within. Therefore, a poorly managed bureaucracy might bring the nation to an end of history. Bureaucrats’ role on present days are expected to play more active, as well as responsive, roles in providing needs of the people, whom they serve. Bureaucracy as the performer of the administration and public service has a great responsibility to fulfill the needs and demands of the people in order to create stability and justice. Bureaucrats are not simply a public service provider. To limit bureaucratic functions means creating a short-term bureaucratic role, which is unable of giving desired outcome to the served ones. In order to achieve such idealism, there must be supporting facilities, for example, legal aspects that contain state administrative laws. Bureaucracy is an important aspect that links government to the people, becomes the mediator of a co-operation between state apparatus and the citizens. Such important role makes it a mediating agent that serves common interests and makes available policies of the government. To accommodate this explanation, the government of the Republic of Indonesia has promulgated Act No. 23/2006 on Citizen Administration. The promulgation of Act No. 23/2006 agrees with the Constitution of the Republic of Indonesia 1945, in which article 28 (1) and article 34 (2) require the government to provide services to the citizens and to fulfill their basic needs. It is therefore public services provided by governmental apparatus have become obligation in each sector of life of the nation. However, each staff of the Indonesian government must be aware of problems, which may prevent the service performance. In general, there were three major problems found during the study observation: 1) poor human resource quality in providing services to the citizens, 2) confusion in choosing between methods available to improve service quality to the citizens, and 3) confusion in choosing between alternatives to reconstruct the current regulations, which proved unmatched with the actual situation. To overcome the above problem, the study had the following objectives. First, to describe and to explain the quality of the citizen administration provided by the governmental bureaucrats; second, to explain roles played by the governmental bureaucrats in improving service quality to he citizens; and third, to reconstruct regulations believed to help improve the service quality to the citizens. To this end, the study used a qualitative technique, in which concerned informants were collected and interviewed. Having analyzed and processed the data collected during the observation, at last the study found as follows: 1) poor service quality to the people was due to misconduct of legal principles as the most responsible parties; 2) lacking contribution from the governmental bureaucrats in providing public services; and 3) absence of governmental mutual rules that met the requirements of the Act No. 23/2006 so that the regulatory construction were poorly performed.

Local Government Leaders in Central Java Province

List of Regents in Central Java Province
BanjarnegaraDjasri
BanyumasMardjoko
BloraRM Yudhi Sancoyo
BoyolaliSri Moeljanto
BrebesIndra Kusuma
DemakTafta Zani
GroboganBambang Pudjiono
JeparaHendro Martoyo
KaranganyarRina Iriani Sri Ratnaningsih
KebumenNashiruddin Al Mansyur
KendalSiti Nurmarkesi
KlatenSunarno
KudusMusthofa
MagelangSinggih Sanyoto
PatiTasiman
PekalonganSiti Qomariyah
PemalangMachroes
PurbalinggaTriyono Budi Sasongko
PurworejoKelik Sumrahadi
RembangMoch. Salim
SemarangBambang Guritno
SurakartaJoko Widodo & FX Hadi Rudyatmo
TemanggungHasyim Afandi
WonogiriBegug Poernomosidi
WonosoboKholiq Arif

Islam does not like violence

Violence is not the true look of Islam, nor of other religions. It is simply 'the other side of religion', derived by a group of people who comprehend their belief in shallow or rigid manner. Historical studies have evidenced that violence on behalf of religion implies hidden interests of sort of people in order to reach their goals (self-respect and honor, economic superiority, fear, and apetite for rule). These aspects are actually irrelevant with the essence of God's religion. It is important for any religion to always keep in touch with environment outside. There is a need for religion to experience socio-cultural, socio-historical, and socio-political interactions. Such external aspects are significant to affect the way one looks at his/her religion. As time goes by Indonesia has been eventually occupied by small groups of Muslims with textual knowledge of Islam. Such groups are known as fundamentalists. They make efforts to create religious formalization. They even dare sacrifice their lives violently. Following the above phenomenon, there are also some groups of muslims, known as liberal muslims, who define the religion loosely. They tend to leave "the outer line" of Islam by reducing religious transcedence in favor of freedom. Historical nature and root of both Islamic models can be found in the landscape of the Indonesian history. However, among such extreme tendencies, there are majority people who always try to put weight on a more moderate religious understanding. That is by synchronize ritual and social faiths, religious belief and tolerance due to vary beliefs and cultures. Religious understanding consists of tolerance (tasamuh), tranquility (tawazun), and moderation (tawasuth). They become a spawning foundation on which Islam fundamental syariat to be achieved, preserving and protecting five-fundamental aspects (maqashid as-syari'ah): religion (ad-din), soul (nafs), mind (aql), property (mal), and dignity (nasab). Ad-din protection means preventing individuals from the sins and wrong-doing. Soul protection means creating a human with nobility as humans are the noble creature of God.Mind protection contains an obedience of avoiding things that God requires. In case of this aspect, Islam prohibits believers to consume khamar due to its adverse effects to the mind. Maal protection explains knowledge about how to keep one's properties clean and halal. That is why Islam can not tolerate frauds such as corruption, theft, etc. Finally, Nasab protection implies a persuassion to keep oneself as well as his or her relatives out of sinful deeds by obeying the God's commands. Once maqashid as-syari'ah is achieved and understood, there will not be violences because of rigid understanding about religion, blind fanaticism, or ethnic primordialism according to particular beliefs. Muslims must have a standpoint to which all the people of Indonesia may count on. The good Islam is one that creates harmony in the middle of pluralistic society, where many religions, cultures, and customs take place. It is a big achievement for Indonesian muslims if they can show the world the Islam universalknowledge, to spread understanding about Islam that loves peace, tolerance, generosity, and hospitality. Any violence upon which this religion is based must not be compromised. Wallahu a'lamu bis shawab. Original script (Indonesian): Buletin Jumat, written by Drs. Syamsudin, BS (Vice Chairman of Indonesia Raya Dakwah Board; Social and Religion analyst) Reference: QS. al-Isra' 17:70 | www.cmm.or.id

2 November 2009

Four Health Care Reforms for 2009

Author: Victor R. Fuchs, Ph.D. Prospects for the enactment of some reform look good, but comprehensive, sustainable reform of the health care system must wait for another day. Republican support for President Barack Obama’s ambitious agenda is fading fast, if it ever existed. An imaginative, truly bipartisan approach that moves the system away from employer-sponsored insurance — the Wyden–Bennett plan — has failed to gain any traction. Within the Democratic majority, sharp disagreements in each house, and between the House and Senate, do not augur well for coherent legislation, even if political compromises can be struck.

Disappointment with the reaction of some of the public and gridlock in Congress might lead to the abandonment of reform this year. With the need so great, and with so much effort having been put forth by so many people, that would be a crime. Almost everyone agrees that the present U.S. health care system is dysfunctional: it is too costly, too incomplete in coverage, and too prone to avoidable lapses in quality of care. A true remedy would require major changes in the financing and organization of care; such changes currently have little support from either politicians or the public. But a start must be made.

Although comprehensive change is probably beyond reach this year, several specific reforms should and could be enacted: the creation of insurance exchanges, the elimination or limitation of the tax exemption of employer-sponsored health insurance, the appointment of an expert commission to devise changes to the way Medicare pays providers, and the provision of ensured funding for a quasi-independent institute for technology assessment. Each of these changes alone has a high probability of doing some good. Taken together, they reinforce each other and lay a foundation for further reforms.

Insurance exchanges that bring together insurance companies and potential buyers have lower administrative costs than does a system in which numerous sellers and buyers of insurance have to make separate deals. Exchanges are particularly valuable for individual buyers, for persons who are self-employed, and for small firms; they would also be an excellent alternative to employer-sponsored insurance. To succeed, the exchanges must attract large numbers of enrollees — healthy persons as well as sick persons — and must have risk-adjustment rules to protect insurance companies that enroll a disproportionate number of sick beneficiaries.

Insurance exchanges that attract large numbers of participants benefit from economies of scale, eliminate the cost of brokers, and can offer a wide choice of insurance policies. From the point of view of insurance companies, a well-functioning exchange is beneficial because it permits them to add large numbers of customers at a relatively low cost. Alain Enthoven has pointed out that the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program is a kind of insurance exchange.1 Although it is not called an insurance exchange, it works similarly to one, and it functions well for both government employees and the companies that insure them. The California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS) performs a similar function for employees of California’s state and local governments.

The revelation that top Goldman Sachs executives are given a tax-free $40,000-per-year health insurance policy highlights what is arguably the most regressive feature of the entire federal tax code: the tax exemption of employer contributions to health insurance premiums. This exemption confers huge subsidies on high-income Americans and small or no subsidies on those with low incomes. There are three reasons that the exemption has this effect: first, the higher a person’s marginal tax bracket, the larger the subsidy he or she receives; second, on average, higher-income workers tend to have more generous insurance policies; and third, the proportion of people who receive employer-sponsored insurance rises dramatically with family income, from approximately one in four among those with incomes under $30,000 to more than four in five among those with incomes above $75,000.2 Elimination of the subsidy would not only make the tax system fairer, but it would also provide more than $200 billion of additional federal revenue annually. If Congress did nothing else for health care this year, this reform would accomplish a great deal.

Some observers believe that loss of the tax exemption would cause a large decrease in employer-sponsored insurance coverage. No one knows the extent or timing of this effect; it might occur quickly, or it might occur over the course of several years. Well-functioning insurance exchanges would ease the transition from employer-sponsored insurance; synergistically, the removal of the tax exemption would spur the growth of exchanges. Thus, these two reforms would reinforce each other. Sooner or later, the country must wean itself from employer-sponsored insurance if it is to achieve universal coverage with equitable and adequate financing and lower administrative costs.

Source Information

From Stanford University, Stanford, CA. | The New England Journal of Medicine

Analysis on transparency and accountability of public service

One of factors that affect public service quality is delay of transparent and accountable public service implementation. Therefore, this public service should be performed transparently and accountably by every service unit of the government institutions in order to give impact of the bureaucratic performance in public service to the people welfare.
Effort to create a high quality, transparent, and accountable service, among others, has been legally promulgated within the State Apparatus Empowerment Minister Decree Number 63/KEP/M.PAN/7/2003 on General Principle of Public Service Administration. To give in depth explanation of the Decree, the government issued a supporting Act of the State Apparatus Empowerment Minister Decree Number KEP/26/M.PAN/2/2004 on Technical Guidance of Transparency and Accountability in the Public Service.
In addition to the quality of the public service, there must be a bureaucratic reform, in which reconstruction and modification of governmental system are prefereable, in particular, those related to institutional, managerial, and apparatus human resource aspects. Bureaucratic reform is implemented to create a good governnance. This reform, in addition, also becomes a strategic effort to build more empowered and more productive state apparatus ini carrying responsibilities to the governmental and developmental duties.
However, the bureaucratic reform can not apply effectively without adquate public control mechanism. The mechanism here relates to openness or transparency towards the public views by limiting confidentiality characteristics. In order to accommodate such target, the government, once again, has launched Government Act Number 14/2008 on Public Information Transparency.
One of important elements to implement a transparent state administration as part of public rights to get information access, the government should combat any individual interest that may deter the national goal towards common welfare in responsible manners. The rights on information access is also relevant with the needs for improving the people involvement in the process of desicision making. Public transparency is a significant aspect for the flow of the public information access. Keywords: Transparency, Accountability, and Participation in public service improvement.

Teori Konflik dan Groupthink

Sumber: Theories of Conflicts and Groupthink Definisi konflik
Konflik terjadi pada saat anggota kelompok merasa tidak sependapat mengenai dua atau lebih dua buah opsi/pilihan yang dapat diambil oleh kelompok didalam usahanya membuat suatu keputusan, memecahkan suatu permasalahan, atau mencapai sebuah sasaran. Konflik juga terjadi manakala sebuah sasaran yang ingin dicapai seorang individu tidak sejalan dengan sasaran milik individu lain. Folger dan Pool mendefinisikan konflik sebagai "interaksi orang yang saling bergantung satu sama lain yang menemukan sasaran yang tidak sama dan saling mempermasalahkan sesuatu satu sama lain dalam mencapai sasaran tersebut."
Jika sebuah kelompok tidak mengalami konflik, maka akan sedikit sekali hal yang dibicarakan bersama. Satu nilai yang terkandung di dalam konflik ialah bahwa keadaan ini memberikan ujian dan tantangan ide bagi kelompok. Konflik dapat pula bersifat merusak interaksi dan pembuatan keputusan kelompok. Konflik memberikan pengaruh negatif bagi suatu kelompok jika:
(1)menghalangi penyelesaian tugas kelompok, (2)mengganggu kualitas keputusan atau produktivitas kelompok, (3)mengancam keberadaan kelompok
Apakah penyebab timbulnya konflik? Mengapa dapat timbul konflik? Konflik timbul dari perbedaan diantara anggota kelompok (perbedaan dalam kepribadian, persepsi, informasi, dan kekuasaan atau pengaruh). Karena manusia bersifat unik, maka perbedaan sikap, keyakinan, dan nilai yang mereka miliki akan senantiasa muncul ke permukaan dan menyebabkan terjadinya konflik. Tidak masalah seberapa jauh manusia mencoba untuk berempati dengan manusia lain, manusia masih memiliki persepsi individu tentang dunianya. Manusia juga berbeda dalam kadar pengetahuan mengenai berbagai topik. Di dalam kelompok, manusia menjadi semakin sadar bahwa sejumlah anggota dari kelompok tersebut lebih berpengalaman dan lebih berwawasan luas. Perbedaan informasi berperan terhadap perbedaan sikap. Manusia juga berbeda dalam kadar kekuasaan, status, dan pengaruh terhadap manusia lain. Perbedaan dapat menyebabkan konflik. Manusia yang memiliki kekuasaan terhadap manusia lain, dan sebagian besar tidak suka diberitahu apa yang harus dilakukan atau dipikirkan.
Konflik tidak hanya sekedar "terjadi" begitu saja. Kita sering membedakan tahap-tahap atau fase-fase perkembangan konflik. Fisher menemukan bahwa pemikiran kelompok dapat diatur atau dikelola melalui empat fase: orientasi, konflik, keberadaan, dan dukungan. Beberapa orang periset menemukan bahwa fase konflik di dalam kelompok sering terjadi dalam tahap-tahap yang di luar prediksi.
Terdapat tiga fase konflik. Fase pertama adalah konflik antarpersona, dipengaruhi oleh komentar, pertentangan pendapat, dan pernyataan yang kaku dan ambigu. Dalam fase pertama ini, para anggota kelompok dapat saja bersilang pendapat, namun mereka menjaga pertentangan pendapat tersebut untuk diri mereka sendiri. Fase kedua ialah konfrontasi. Pada fase ini pertentang pendapat pribadi berubah menjadi pertentangan pendapat umum; anggota kelompok mengemukakan ketidaksetujuannya di hadapan anggota lain dalam kelompok. Anggota kelompok juga bisa memilih sisi-sisi dan membentuk sub-kelompok serta menggunakan pernyataan yang ambigu untuk menandakan ketidaksepakatan mereka. Fase ketiga disebut konflik substantif, dibuktikan dengan kesepakatan dan ketidaksepakatan yang lebih seimbang; konflik yang jelas berkurang dan anggota kelompok sering lebih konstruktif dan luwes didalam mengeluarkan komentar. Fase ketiga ini sering sulit untuk dimengerti karena ketidaksepakatan tidak diungkapkan secara langsung oleh para anggota kelompok.
Konflik yang terjadi dalam kelompok dapat diarahkan menuju manusia (konflik antarpersona), ide (konflik tugas) atau baik manusia maupun ide. Sebuah kelompok riset menemukan bahwa konflik terjadi karena adanya ketidaksejajaran pemahaman; jika kita berpikir seseorang memiliki sumber daya yang lebih dari yang kita miliki atau memperoleh bagian yang tidak sama dengan yang ia dapatkan, maka akan timbullah konflik. Jika konflik diarahkan pada manusia, maka kita sering pertama-tama berusaha untuk mengatur konflik dengan menghindarkan diskusi yang memancing pertikaian. Jika konflik lebih berorientasi pada tugas, maka biasanya pertama-tama yang kita coba ialah pendekatan integrative dengan mencari solusi-solusi yang tidak disepakati oleh seluruh pihak yang terlibat dalam pelaksanaan tugas.
Mitos tentang konflik
Manusia sering memiliki kesalahan konsepsi tentang peranan konflik di dalam kelompok karena mere konsensus dan rekomendasi untuk mengatur masing-masing jenis konflik ka berpendapat bahwa konflik adalah buruk dan harus dihindari. Dengan semakin tingginya angka perceraian, kejahatan, dan ketegangan politik internasional, maka dapat dimengerti bahwa manusia memandang konflik sebagai hal yang negatif/merugikan.
Mitos #1: Didalam diskusi kelompok, konflik harus dihindari apapun yang terjadi. Apakah kita sering merasa tidak nyaman jika konflik terjadi dalam kelompok? Kita dapat percaya bahwa kelompok tidak boleh mengalami konflik, bahwa konflik itu adalah kejadian yang luar bias, dan jika seseorang mengungkapkan pandangan yang bertentangan, maka kita harus mencoba untuk menanggulangi ketidaksepakatan atau pertentangan. Akan tetapi konflik adalah sebuah produk sampingan alami dari komunikasi; kecuali jika para anggota kelompok kita berbagi sikap, keyakinan, dan nilai yang sama (dan ini merupakan situasi yang hampir tidak mungkin terjadi), akan terjadi sedikit konflik. Beberapa periset telah menemukan bahwa konflik adalah suatu bagian yang penting, dan bermanfaat didalam komunikasi kelompok. Para anggota kelompok yang percaya bahwa konflik bersifat luar biasa dan tidak sehat menjadi frustrasi manakala mereka dihadapkan oleh berbagai konflik di dalam kelompoknya. Anggota ini sebaiknya menyadari bahwa konflik mungkin akan terjadi dan bahwa konflik adalah bagian yang alami dan sehat di dalam komunikasi kelompok.
Mitos 2: Semua konflik terjadi karena manusia tidak memahami satu sama lain. Pernahkah kita berada dalam situasi pertentangan pendapat yang memanas dengan seseorang dan selanjutnya kita berteriak, "Anda hanya tidak memahami saya!" Dengan mudah dapat kita asumsikan bahwa konflik terjadi karna orang lain tidak memahami posisi kita. Tidak semua konflik terjadi Karen kesalahpahaman. Robert Doolittle menyatakan:
"…banyak konflik terjadi dikarenakan lebih dari sekedar kesalahpahaman. Sejumlah konflik yang paling serius terjadi diantara individu dan kelompok yang memahami satu sama lain dengan baik namun sangat bertentangan. Konflik dapat terjadi bukan karena kesalahpahaman namun oleh klarifikasi yang diberikan oleh seorang anggota kepada anggota lain."
Mitos 3: Semua konflik dapat dipecahkan. Bila dipikirkan secara realistis, banyak dari pertentangan pendapat yang rumit. Perbedaan mendasar antara penganut evangelis Billy Graham dan penganut atheis Madaline Murray-O'Hare kemungkinan akan sulit untuk ditemukan jalan pemecahannya. Hal ini Karena ideologi diantara kedua orang ini sangat jauh berbeda. Jika kita berhadapan dengan konflik didalam sebuah kelompok kecil, maka hal pertama yang perlu diputuskan ialah isu atau masalah mana yang paling dapat dipecahkan. Jika kita berasumsi bahwa semua konflik dapat dipecahkan hanya dengan menjalankan teknik secara benar, maka kita dapat saja menjadi frustrasi. Pada pihak lain, kita harus waspada terhadap apa yang dikenal dengan self-fulfilling prophecy (perkiraan yang memenuhi pendapat diri?). Jika kita secara gegabah menyimpulkan bahwa konflik tidak dapat dipecahkan, maka kemungkinan perilaku kita akan menuju pada pemenuhan prediksi kita sendiri.
Mengatasi Perbedaan Jenis Konflik
Miller dan Steinberg menyebutkan bahwa terdapat tiga jenis konflik antarpersona: pseudo-konflik, konflik sederhana, dan ego-konflik. Dengan mengetahui jenis konflik apa yang terjadi di dalam sebuah kelompok maka orang akan lebih mudah mengatasinya.
Mengatasi Pseudo-konflik: Ketika Terjadi Kesalahpahaman
Sejumlah konflik terjadi karena kesalahpahaman. Pseudo-konflik terjadi jika individu sepakat, namun karena kurangnya komunikasi, maka mereka menjadi tidak sepakat. Pseudo berarti kebohongan atau kesalahan. Pseudo-konflik adalah konflik antara orang yang benar-benar sepakat terhadap permasalahan namun yang tidak memahami bahwa perbedaan yang mereka temui disebabkan oleh kesalahpahaman atau kesalahan interpretasi.
Untuk mengelola pseudo-konflik kita perlu memiliki kemampuan di dalam mendeskripsikan ide-ide serta perasaan-perasaan kepada orang lain, mendengarkan dengan cermat perkataan orang lain, dan memeriksa pemahaman kita tentang makna dari suatu pesan. Untuk menjelaskan perasaan secara tepat kepada orang lain, maka kita perlu mengembangkan iklim yang suportif (mendukung), bukan iklim yang defensif (menarik diri, misalnya). Kunci keberhasilan didalam mengatasi konflik pseudo-konflik ialah memastikan bahwa semua anggota kelompok sangat memahami isu-isu yang sedang dibahas. Kecakapan mendengarkan yang baik adalah aset yang penting didalam mengelola konflik yang menyebabkan kesalahpahaman.
Pendengaran yang aktif, sebuah teknik yang dapat membantu kita untuk memeriksa pemahaman mengenai sudut pandang orang lain, memungkinan kita untuk memeriksa kembali persepsi tentang isi pesan maupun perasaan orang lain. Untuk mempertajam kecakapan mendengar yang aktif, kita perlu untuk:
(1)berhenti, (2)mengamati, (3)mendengarkan, (4)menanyakan, (5)menjabarkan/memparafrasekan isi pesan, dan (6)menjabarkan/memparafrasekan perasaan. Mengelola Konflik Sederhana: Pertentangan pendapat mengenai masalah
Konflik sederhana terjadi pada saat dua orang sama-sama mengetahui apa yang diinginkan orang lain, namun tidak seorangpun yang mampu mencapai sasaran tanpa harus mencegah orang lain agar tidak mencapai sasaran. "konflik sederhana melibatkan seseorang mengatakan, "Saya ingin melakukan X", dan orang lain mengatakan, "Saya ingin melakukan Y", pada saat X dan Y memiliki bentuk perilaku yang tidak sama.
Jika konflik kelihatan jauh dari sederhana, maka tetap saja konflik tersebut dianggap sebagai konflik sederhana mengingat permasalahannya telah jelas dan masing-masing pihak memahami permasalahan tersebut. Jika kita terlibat di dalam pertentangan pendapat didalam suatu kelompok, maka pertama-tama yang harus dilakukan ialah memastikan bahwa kita benar-benar mengerti sudut pandang orang lain dan konflik ini bukanlah pseudo-konflik. Tetaplah jaga pokok permasalahan pada isu yang sebenarnya menjadi topik pembahasan dibandingkan pada kepribadian masing-masing anggota. Cobalah mencapai kesepakatan mengenai sasaran yang masing-masing pihak ingin dicapai. Perlakukan perbedaan pendapat sebagai suatu masalah yang akan dipecahkan. Lakukan pengamatan ulang terhadap proses pemecahan masalah pada tahap akhir. Tentukan permasalahan, kaji permasalahan, tetapkan kriteria, kenali pilihan-pilihan yang mungkin diambil, terapkan kriteria didalam memilih pilihan terbaik, dan lakukan pemecahan masalah. Kemampuan untuk memilih konflik-konflik mana yang dianggap penting dan konflik-konflik mana yang tidak penting merupakan langkah penting didalam mengelola silang-pendapat. Andalkan pada fakta-fakta untuk mendukung kesepakatan kita bukan hanya berdasarkan opini pribadi. Buatlah konflik dalam suatu kelompok sebagai tanggung jawab bersama, bukan tanggung jawab pribadi. Jika konflik tidak dapat dipecahkan atau tidak perlu dipecahkan dengan segera, maka lakukan periode pendinginan (cooling-off) dan bahas masalah yang sama pada pertemuan berikutnya.
Mengelola Ego-Konflik: Mengatasi Pertentangan antar Pribadi
Ego-konflik terjadi ketika individu-individu menjadi defensif terhadap kedudukan mereka karena mereka berpendapat bahwa mereka sedang diserang secara pribadi. Ego-konflik melibatkan emosi, dan sikap difensif didalam diri seseorang sering menyebabkan sikap defensif pada orang lain.
Untuk menengahi ego-konlik, maka cobalah mencari isu-isu yang dipertentangkan oleh individu-individu yang berseberangan pendapat. Kenali dan tekankan landasan bersama yang menghubungkan mereka yang bersilang-pendapat dan dorong mereka untuk menjelaskan urutan kejadian yang menyebabkan konflik.
Miller dan Steinberg berpendapat bahwa pihak-pihak yang bersilang pendapat perlu mengungkapkan kepentingan mereka, karena bila tidak demikian maka akan terjadi kejadian saling serang.
Doronglah pendengaran aktif dan cobalah menjaga permasalahan tetap pada intinya. Ubah konflik menjadi suatu permasalahan yang dapat dipecahkan Jika perbedaan-perbedan kepribadian menjadi semakin menegangkan dan tidak ada yang dapat dilakukan untuk meredakan ego-konflik, maka kelompok dapat menerapkan prosedur atau aturan yang memperbolehkan adanya perbedaan.Adapun teknik-teknik yang dapat meredakan ketegangan ego-konflik antara lain:
1.Pengenalan dan pemahaman terhadap perasaan orang lain 2.Penentuan perilaku khusus apa yang menyebabkan ketegangan 3.Kemampuan dalam menemukan intensitas dan pentingnya suatu masalah 4.Keputusan mengundang orang lain untuk bergabung dan bekerja sama dalam memecahkan masalah 5.Membuat pernyataan relasional yang positif.
Fokus pada Kepentingan Bersama. Gaya kooperatif dipengaruhi oleh fokus terhadap wilayah-wilayah kesepakatan dan hal-hal yang ada pada semua pihak. Konflik dipengaruhi oleh sasaran. Individu yang terlibat ke dalam konflik menginginkan sesuatu. Kecuali jika sasaran (atau sasaran-sasaran) tersebut jelas bagi semua individu maka akan sulit untuk mengelola konflik dengan baik. Jika kita terlibat ke dalam konflik maka kita perlu menentukan sasaran kita itu apa. Identifikasi sasaran dengan rekan kelompok. Terakhir, kenali sasaran mana yang terlewatkan dan perbedaan apa yang terjadi.
Kita tidak boleh membingungkan sasaran dengan strategi untuk mencapai apa yang kita dan teman yang bersitegang dengan kita inginkan. Klarifikasi landasan sasaran merupakan jalan yang terbaik untuk merunut kembali kepentingan bersama berdasarkan keuntungan kelompok.
Ciptakan banyak opsi untuk memecahkan permasalahan. Sejumlah kelompok yang saling bersitegang dapat diuraikan melalui lebih dari satu pendekatan. Ada kalanya bahwa anggota kelompok yang bertarung memiliki kedudukan yang sama kuat sehingga akan sangat sulit menyatukan kehendak mereka. Di sinilah peranan dari opsi pemecahan permasalahan. Fokus kita tidak boleh pada satu pendekatan saja, melainkan harus kreatif mengadakan pendekatan positif yang lain.
Groupthink: Tidak terjadi konflik
Groupthink adalah sebuah ilusi kesepakatan. Groupthink terjadi manakala sebuah kelompok berusaha untuk mengurangi konflik dan mencapai suatu konsensus tanpa adanya pengujian, pengkajian, dan evaluasi ide secara kritis. Jika sebuah kelompok mencapai keputusan terlalu cepat, maka kelompok tersebut tidak menganggap implikasi dari keputusan tersebut secara benar. Groupthink menyebabkan konsensus yang tidak efektif; terlalu sedikit konflik akan merendahkan kualitas keputusan kelompok. Jika sebuah kelompok tidak memiliki waktu untuk menguji konsekuensi positif dan negatif dari keputusan-keputusan alternatif maka kualitas dari keputusan tersebut akan cenderung lebih buruk. Irving Janis berpendapat bahwa banyak keputusan kebijakan pemerintah ia nilai kurang berkualitas karena dihasilkan oleh groupthink.
Gejala-gejala Groupthink
Pemikiran kritis tidak terwujud dan tidak dihargai. Jika kita sedang bekerja pada sebuah kelompok yang menganggap bahwa pertentangan pendapat atau kontroversi adalah sebuah sifat yang kontraproduktif, maka peluang munculnya groupthink akan lebih besar.
Anggota percaya baywa kelompok dapat melakukan apa saja. Individu menghilangkan ancaman yang potensial terhadap kelompok dengan menganggapnya sebagai masalah yang kecil. Jika kelompok secara konsisten terlalu percaya diri dalam menghadapi permasalahan maka kelompok tersebut menderita gejala Groupthink.
Anggota kelompok terlalu perhatian pada penilaian tindakan mereka. Anggota kelompok berpendapat bahwa mereka sedang menjalankan sesuatu dengan bentuk terbaiknya dan demi hal yang terbaik bagi kelompok. Maka dari itu, kelompok yang mengalami groupthink memiliki kebiasaan merasionalisasi kedudukan mereka dalam suatu permasalahan.
Anggota memberi tekanan bagi siapa saja yang tidak mendukung kelompok. Ada bahasa persatuan yang menyebutkan kontroversi dan konflik yang dipicu oleh anggota yang tidak sepakat akan mengancam kesatuan kelompok dan semangat kelompok (esprit de corps). Maka dari itu anggota tersebut tidak diberi kesempatan untuk berpendapat melainkan dihukum.
Anggota kelompok sering percaya bahwa mereka telah mencapai konsensus yang benar. Satu permasalahan yang signifikan didalam yang menderita groupthink ialah bahwa para anggota tidak waspada akan terjadinya groupthink. Mereka berpednapat bahwa konsensus yang benar telah berhasil diraih.
Anggota kelompok terlalu memberi dukungan kepada pemimpin kelompok. Pemimpin kelompok kecil sering terpilih karena mereka memiliki ide terbaik, dapat memotivasi anggota kelompok, atau mengabdikan dirinya untuk sasaran kelompok lebih dari orang lain. Jika anggota kelompok memberikan penekanan terlalu berat pada kredibilits atau 'kesucian' pemimpin mereka, maka akan terjadilah groupthink.
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