"It's only through writing that I've ever been able to suppress life's personal disappointments. When I can't write I feel anxious and out of sorts and am easily riled, though I'm usually able to control my emotions..."
- Pramoedya Ananta Toer (The Mute's Soliloquy: A Memoir)
["Hanya dengan menulis aku mampu menekan segala kekecewaan peribadi hidup. Bila aku tidak menulis, aku merasa cemas & tidak keruan serta mudah gusar, walau selalunya aku bisa mengawal emosiku..."]

Saturday, January 15, 2011


Yesterday (after for quite sometimes), I walked out from the house & see the latest world of books at Times Pavilion, Bukit Bintang KL. I spend almost an hour browsing all the latest titles, surprisingly a lot of titles were about how to deal with clandestine love affair. For me it's a cliche & I preferred something else, something that could either tolerate myself with subjects that could at least proved my rationality upon life I'm heading right now. Something to advice me in the most definite sentence of how can I describe if what I've said so far really for the benefit of others or just another 'play in the role' to suit what's going on to me lately.

First I picked up a story book, I had no faith in it but at least its a compilation of unique self-esteem children short stories from this... an unknown US writer (I assumed). Because I don't have full faith to own that book, so I kept walking around the store if I could own something better, something relevant to my need. There were so many titles by Jodi Picoult, a writer that I adored by some of her beautiful quotes. I almost thought of having 'Committed' by Elizabet Gilbert after being touched by the movie version of her 2006 memoir 'Eat, Pray, Love'. Yet I said, I didn't want to be too cliche, influenced by commercial value? So I skipped those authors & then really skipped the Teen Section because all of the latest titles totally covered the story of vampires. Teen lifestyle today is so obviously a cliche!

Almost gave up after all those browsing, I stopped at the final rack for my complete U-turn at the store. I saw this book, at a first glance I thought this writer must be so daring that he was able to express his rationality as a book to be shared by the world, especially when he's an economist (I assumed maybe his sentences could be very mind blowing... like the concept of Sudoku, I figured!) Yet this synopsis at the back cover of the book caught my attention:

"If human are so clever, why do we smoke and gamble, or take drugs, or fall in love? Is this really rational behaviour? And how come your idiot boss is so overpaid? In fact, the behaviour of even the unlikeliest of individuals—prostitutes, drug addicts, racists and revolutionaries—complies with economic logic, taking into account future costs and benefits, even if we don't quite realise it. We are rational beings after all."

So by that, I sat a while to read through the introduction. I wanted to get close and personal with the author himself, Tim Harford. I was surprised to know that an economist developed his introduction's content by taking an experience how to logically crossed a busy road with his 2 years old daughter to the toddler's art club at their local community centre. Every minute counts!

"Economist are always looking for the hidden logic behind life, the way it is shaped by countless unseen rational decisions. Sometimes these rational decisions make life better, sometimes they make it worse. But if we want to understand our world — or how to change it — then understanding the rational choices that shape it is a good place to start."

So at least with this sentence, he confided me to understand him further. But with the sentence below, I had no doubt this book is what I need right now. I rejected the other book & straight to the counter to pay for it, so the rest? I had no regret...

"There is nothing irrational about love; indeed, without our passions and our principles, where would the motivation come from to make rational choices about anything? So a world explained by economics is not a world lacking love, hate, or any other emotion. Yet it is a world in which people can generally be expected to make rational decisions, and where those rational decisions suggest some astonishing explanations for many of life's mysteries. It is the world that I would like to show you."

"But to convinced, I hope you'd want to see a little less speculation and a little more evidence."

— Tim Harford

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