About Me

So, basically this blog was started by envy. Kulam Ikan Tetangga (the neighbor's fish pond) is a variation to the saying that goes "the neighbor's Grass is always greener". The Neighbor's Fish Pond will always have fatter and more fish (than your own fishpond). And so it is.

Engineers of Happy Land (ongoing)

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Engineers of Happy Land: Technology and Nationalism in a Colony (Princeton Studies in Culture/Power/History) Engineers of Happy Land: Technology and Nationalism in a Colony by Rudolf Mrazek



My review


Since as early as 1900 there had been worries on the lack of trees in the planning and development of cities in Indonesia, especially those in Java.
The colonial Dutch, which was actually responsible for bringing modernism to Java, complained the most about it. In Europe, there are still green gardens or green reservatoirs that kept and preserved old trees. In Indonesia the old trees were gone, replaced by trees such as Acacia that grew faster.
So, ... what actually is the cause?
is it because of ...
1. Modernization came too early, it happened before the Indonesian can actually developed adequate mindset/mind frame or awareness. Thus, Indonesians are actually have not developed enough wisdom to deal with the rapid changes caused by modernization. The resulting development is actually not a progress but rather a regress and also very destructive.
(but if this is the case, we should've grown wiser by now!)
or
2. The ignorance for the green element is actually a part of the original Indonesians culture --in this case it's the Javanese. The example came from a story told by a friend (who happened to be Dutch living in Jogja). One day she asked for a neighbor to come and clean her backyard from leaves and weeds. The helper cleaned her backyard alright-- he also cut down several trees.
or
3. is this problem with the green element just a mere demonstration of human greed?

To be continued. I haven't finished the book yet.

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