I have regularly complained about the appalling internet infrastructure in Indonesia and when I do there is always someone posting a comment saying that he's alright, Jack, and I should try this or that 'service'.
Since August 11th, when my ISP, Indosat M2, 'forced' me to change my password, I have been unable to use my dial-up connection. Their 24/7 call centre doesn't respond and although I received an email response to a complaint letter, it merely told me that everything was fine.
I have no choice now other than to dial up using the Telkom one-size-fits-all 'service'. Having written extensively about Telkom Speedy, including an article in the Jakarta Globe, earlier this year, I have recently been contemplating making yet another attempt to sign up with them - anything above 2kbs (max) per second connection would be wonderful.
And then, this week, the Jakarta Post has carried two more letters about that appalling service. The correspondence isn't yet (?) online, but loads of other complaints going back years are, so I'm not going to bother.
(And as I type this, the telephone rings and, hey, it's Telkom! But their message encapsulates everything that's wrong with customer service in this country - it's the amount I have to pay for my phone calls this month.)
I am a big fan of the internet. For example, I subscribe to a number of newsletters.
Jazz fans in Jakarta may, therefore, like to know that some of the most innovative musicians in the country are coming together for a one off benefit gig for those affected by last week's earthquake.
Among the artists appearing are Krakatau, B3, Fariz RM, World Peace Orchestra, Dewi Budjana & Tohpati, Riza Arshad, Barry Likumahuwa and Notturno. (I've only mentioned those musicians I've had the pleasure of hearing - there are loads more listed.)
The gig's at the Graha Bakti Budaya in Taman Ismail Marzuki, this coming Sunday (13th) from 7pm onwards. Tickets, which are Rp.100,000 (c$10), can be booked through the following numbers - add +62 21 if necessary: DKJ 3989 9634/316 2780 (Ranti), Farabi Music 722 6270/722 4407 (Dina), Wartajazz 831 0769 (Dewi), PMI 3208 84400 (Indah/Winda) or Simpay Wargi Urang 310 0551 (Yane).
Thanks to the net, I'm also very happy to relate that 'my' football club, Charlton Athletic, has just set a club record by winning its first six games of the new season, albeit in the third tier which we are top of. If I can stay online long enough, I'm also able to follow the progress of our matches via the BBC. Yet, with no thanks to Telkom or Indosat, I can't get the live commentaries.
I found myself nodding in agreement with a few; however it was the comments which seemed more pertinent.
How to write and spell in a complete sentence without using abbreviations and slang.
With social media we have redefined 'friend'. A friend used to be someone you knew for a fairly long time. You knew their strengths and weaknesses and their interests. Now a friend is anybody and you don't know for sure if they are who they say they are
Arguments In the past, you could be going on for hours and hours until one of the two parties admitted defeat. Now, you just have to close the window or ignore the person, and you can go on with your day, agreeing with yourself that you are right.
Christmas Cards (Indonesians should substitute 'Idul Fitri Cards') I used to enjoy receiving them and would turn the most creative into a traditional form of seasonal decoration somewhere in the home. The best ones included a personal greeting, letter or photo. Now I get invitations (mostly these days from corporate clients) to log on to a site for an e-card, or an SMS or Tweet well, that is instantly sent to a mailing list of hundreds of people. There's no personal touch or indication you were worth the price of a stamp or a bit of effort displayed by that.
However, the art of correspondence is lost? Maybe for some, but I correspond much more, with many more people, in more languages, and in many more countries than what I could ever have done with paper. And it is real writing, not SMS-lingo.
And the Internet rewards creativity I find this one of the most compelling attributes of the Internet. I would prefer to suggest that people don't lose memory. However, those who understand the opportunity end up being more resourceful with better critical thinking.
(And Telkom rings me AGAIN!)
Maybe I should make a comment here about the low level of critical thinking engendered by the Indonesian schooling system, otherwise termed programmed learning.
However, I'll refrain and leave you with a link to a news story about how teenage bloggers in the USA suggest Jakartass is past it.