Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Enlightening the people

An anonymous accused me for never "enlightening people or decision makers". I guess he was totally right. Because I think blogging at Cafe Salemba, Diskusi Ekonomi, and Exegesis do not count as "enlightening". In fact I do all that for a completely selfish motive: fun. I don't get paid for that, but I benefit from the comments and interaction with other people (not always in a nice way, I should add): to know what I thought I knew but I didn't. I don't care if it is enlightening or not.

Come to think of it, I'm now wondering: what is the best way to "enlighten people"? Here's what I could think of, based on what I have seen many people do:
  • There are more people watching TV than reading newspapers. So get into that TV thing. Make your way to get invited into talk shows -- preferably those with some clowns in them or comedian host with pretty actress.
  • If you don't like acting on TV, write op-eds in newspapers or magazines, preferably the populists ones. Write something that suits its editor's taste. Better yet, get a contract for regular column called "analysis" or something. Doesn't matter what you write in there (can be a total crap). But hey, the newspaper names it "analysis", so relax. People will adore you, journalists will ask your opinion.
  • Give talks in as many seminars as possible, preferably those attended by guest celebrities. Doesn't matter if you are asked to talk about Indonesian Idol or inflation rate. Just don't forget one thing: never say you don't know when you are asked something. Mumble, if you like -- just don't stay silent.
  • Make good friends with journalists -- especially the lazy ones. The professional ones would do cross-checking, fact-checking and all that -- you don't want them. The lazy ones will just print whatever you say -- or send via SMS.
  • When interviewed by a radio station, mention the word "rakyat" as many as possible. Guaranteed, you'll be on air again soon.
  • Do not blog. Blogging is stupid and does not get you anywhere: government officials don't read it, parliamentarians don't give a damn. So don't waste your time.
  • But if you can't resist the temptation to blog, make sure you obediently link to a blog authority (usually the self-declared ones work quite well) so you can be famous through his or her endorsement (some sort of blogger of the year, maybe). Oh, don't blog with fake name or even worse, anonymously. You'll be called coward -- that's not good.
What else?...

Now let's see what I have done... Oh my god, nothing! I guess I'm just incapable or I'm a selfish little bastard... Or maybe a little bit of both.

7 comments:

a.p. said...

This is the most enlightening post I've ever seen! Thanks, Co!

dendi said...

Dear Aco,
I am afraid what you are saying is not how to enlighten people, but how to be a popular economist/analyst.

It may be a case that being popular does not necessarily mean enlightening, and being enlightening does not necessarily mean popular.

Roby said...

You can be famous, or you can be right :D

Anonymous said...

Aco, you seem too intentional by saying "Analysis" in newspaper. I know what you mean, for instance to SR. We expect you to enlighten in broader public area. So, your deep, rigorous, and sharp analyses could give public what a real analysis is. So, analog with Gresham's Law, now bad analyses drive out good analyses. In this context, we expect you to remove such a clown analysis in mass media. Thanks and don't be angry, pal...

treespotter said...

oh god, i stopped bloghopping for a while and everyone now keeps a blog and actually post regularly.

Aco said...

Dendi, yeah I think I mixed that up :-)

Anonymous, I'm afraid I can't remove such analyses from media -- who am I? As a second thought, let's not remove them. They're enjoyable in their own way, don't you think?

Treespotter, what's up dude? Anymore expat-blog bashing? Hehehe...

padangmursalin said...

Topik yang sangat menarik. Menurut saya, pencerahan tidak terjadi begitu saja, melainkan karena adanya usaha, baik dari mereka yang ingin mencerahkan, dan mereka yang ingin dicerahkan. Sebagai orang yang ingin mencari sejumlah pencerahan, saya melakukan sejumlah usaha, dan salah satu usaha tersebut membawa saya membaca blog Anda.
In my humble opinion, melalui blog ini Anda tidak hanya telah berbagai pemikiran dan pendapat, Anda juga telah berbagai cara pikir dan cara melihat sesuatu melalui sudut pandang yang berbeda. Saya pribadi akan menyebutnya sebagai "englightening."