Easy Task?

front side of my bike showing the brake
front side of my bike showing the brake

The brake of the front wheel of my bicycle had lost its usual ability to grip and since I considered it unsafe, I decided to find a place to repair it. There is a nearby shack that looks like a bicycle workshop which I frequently passed by on my travel to work. Never visited it, but I guessed why not. I prepared some fund in expectation that I might have to replace some parts. I went there, talked to the shopkeeper, he looked at my bicycle, unscrewed a bolt, pulled a metal string, screwed it back, and it was done.

I think it was an interesting occasion. I paid a minuscule amount in comparison to the fund I have prepared, but looking at how easy he fixed the brake, I wondered why I had to pay at all. It did not even take five minutes. Had I known how to fix it, I could have done it myself. But I suppose this is what we call skilled work. I paid him for his expertise and knowledge, more than his sweat or time. Similar like graphic design, it might look easy, but the designer spent years and investment to master it, and we pay for such expertise. I hope I can have that kind of expertise too which make my work more valuable.

It might look easy, but it takes an effort to master the skill and knowledge!


A Career Counseling for a Bird in a Cage

It is another rambling post. “Career Counseling for a Bird in a Cage” is an episode title of “Search for a Lost Future” anime and it induced me to imagine such event with me as the counselor.

I am walking into the room to find a yellowish small bird waiting for me in front of my desk. I greet it.

The bird chirps.

I know I do not have to look for the bird’s file since I know very well it has no file; at least not in my possession. “It will be a great singer”, I think. It is the only career I can think of for the bird. But I can not force my thought about its future. A counseling is supposed to involve a two-way conversation. So I start the conversation. I start asking about its outlook for its own future, what kind of job it loves, what school subject it is good at, and what its family prefers it to have as profession.

The bird chirps.

I comprehend not what its chirp means but I am sure it responds enthusiastically. I put forward my idea about singer career for it and some alternative options;pilot, fruit farmer, and insect exterminator. I elaborate those jobs’ responsibilities and prospects.

The bird chirps.

I comprehend not what its chirp means but I am sure it responds enthusiastically. I thank it for coming to see me and I express my utmost confidence for its bright future. I show it the way out.

The bird chirps.

I comprehend not what its chirp means but I guess it asks my help to exit my room. So I take its cage and put it outside my room. I get back and I sit down with a big smile. Another satisfying day helping people.

Look at My Steam Summer Sale Loot

I cannot avoid myself from repeating myself on how people will willingly trade their money for things of value (here, here, and here). I understand that many people take a very cynical view that people will not pay for what they can get for free. Well, the empirical evidence suggests otherwise. I am one of the example. On this Steam Summer Sale event, I decided to buy some games from Steam, which I could have obtained freely through many free download sites, in appreciation of the game developers’ effort.

My Steam Library
My library of games on steam


It is interesting to see the approach deployed by services like Steam. They brought games into the market with reasonable price, discriminating buyers according to their purchase power based on country (hence, citizen in Indonesia might pay lower price than citizen in US), and providing so many extra values (community, developer diary, easy update, multiplayer support, etc) which can entice people to legally pay and support the developers. Personally, I favor this kind of approach in answering the issue of piracy, in comparison to tougher anti-piracy law, which potentially hurt the consumers and developers more (sometimes only benefiting the multimillionaire publishing corporation).

A brilliant approach that might be unthinkable ten years ago.

I guess a new era has dawned upon us. Let’s see what the future holds!