7/18/17

Small Thought about Apartment or Landed House?


Lately, after got married, I had discussion with my wife whether we should provide our future house with an apartment or landed house. Today, we live in a rented studio room, close to my office. Even though we have been discussing about it for many times, I still hesitate to decide. It's so never ending thought. Every choice has strengths and weaknesses. Hence my wife and I should take the right one.

To be honest, I prefer apartment to landed house. It is cheaper (although it is still not affordable for newly weds to be purchased anyway), usually located near city center and public transportation, and nowadays it offers mixed-use concept so the residents will easily get to catch up some groceries or run for errands only by few walks. I also like living in high rise building, seeing cityscape and viewing everything from top as if they are all toys.

Source: https://www.pinterest.com/explore/city-apartment-decor/


But, of course, its main weakness is it doesn't have land property right to the owners. For some reason, it also doesn't provide enough private room, so consequently the residents should share the facility for instance, garden, terrace, parking lot, etc. It is so-called you get what you pay for. As far as I know, also the property of apartment is unable to be owned for long term or it has limit until only few decades.

Meanwhile, landed houses even though come with very expensive price almost provide all the things every family needs such as land property, private room, private garden, carport, etc. In Indonesia, this option is always be the priority no matter what your financial ability is. If you don't have a lot of money, you can buy it at the remote area, far away from city center. I think that is why Jakarta always becomes bigger every year due to its uncontrolled sprawl. But again, it feels safe if we have land property because the price will always increase like crazy. For instance, this year you buy IDR 1 million per m sq, next year it possibly will become IDR 2-3 million per m sq, and in next 5 years you'll be a billioner. It will be more fantastic if the district near your house is being build by toll road, commuter train, and shopping mall. What a tantalizing investment, isn't it? The price of apartments is also being affected by city development though, but I think it is not as high as landed houses.

My recent discussion with my wife, she and I agree that for now with our current condition, our job, our plan, our need, we prefer to own a studio apartment in Jakarta rather than to push ourselves buying (remember, not by cash, should be credit) a landed house very far from the capital. In our next years, we will live and raise our children in an apartment. We dream to buy a landed house not in Greater Jakarta, maybe in Semarang, maybe in Rembang, we haven't known yet. That dream house will be our retirement shelter some day. Or maybe if someday I have more money, I will buy a land in Jakarta's periphery just for investment not for my family's home.

Regarding raising-children stuff, at one time, I have had a thought to conduct research about how children in apartment and vertical housing are being raised and the effect of their house to their growth. I am actually very sure, those children are raised as well as the ones who live in landed houses, but somehow I need a scientific evidence. Well, I hope living in apartment is not bad.

2/21/17

Indonesia in The Global Competition


I've just read about Global Competitiveness Report (GCR) 2016-2017 since last week and I think it is so interesting. My focus in every study about global ranking is always about Indonesia. Where is the position of Indonesia right now? How come that happens? How if Indonesia is compared with other countries in ASEAN? Hahahaha such a nerd actually.

But, I do that just as casual remark. I will read it fast in order to just improve my knowledge about my country in global competition. Sometimes yeah I read thoroughly when I intend to write scientific article for instance, but it's rare LOL.

Back to GCR 2016-2017, it's interesting to know that position of Indonesia drops to 41 from 37 in last year list. The reason behind this is not because Indonesia gets bad in performance, but some countries successfully boost their performance hence overtake position above Indonesia. It can be seen from Indonesia's overall score which is 4.52 from scale ranges 1-7, still the same with last year score which was 4.52 also. But if we look back to 5 years ago, Indonesia has leaped far from 50 position in 2012-2013 or up 9 positions. FYI in 2014-2015, Indonesia got the best position in history which was the 34 position.

Compared with other countries, I usually choose Malaysia and Thailand, sometimes Vietnam also. But in my preference, Msia and Thailand are the two countries in ASEAN which Indonesia should compete with zealously hahaha. I don't put Singapore as competitor because it's too far away better than Indonesia (currently it takes the second position ha ha ha). In 2016-2017, Malaysia is ranked for 25 position and Thailand 34. What a though competition. But I can say it again that Indonesia has leaped far, compared with Msia and Thailand. In 5 years, Msia's rank is stagnant (25 to 25 again) while Thailand only ups 4 levels (38 to 34). This is not the end though. Indonesia has a lot of resources and young generations which will help this nation goes to the highest level. Go, Indonesia!!

In other sections of GCR, surprisingly, I read that Indonesia is categorized as The Efficiency-driven Stage in stage of development (pg 37-38). Based on GCRs explanation, stage of development comprises 3 stages as follows:
  • First stage: factor driven which means country relies on primarily unskilled labor and natural resources.
  • Second stage: efficiency-driven stage when country begins to develop more-efficient production processes by improving high skilled and educated labor, be able to harness the benefits of existing technologies, and has vast market. 
  • Third stage as the highest: innovation driven stage when country can compete with the most sophisticated production processes and also be innovating. 
It is surprising because I thought Indonesia was still positioned in first stage or at least transition stage from 1 to 2 ha ha ha.. I am sorry, Indonesia. I am so proud though, knowing that Indonesia is beyond my expectation. And also, India (yes, India!) which is predicted as the new power of Asia with China, is still categorized as first stage country. I can't believe my eyes honestly. Well done, Indonesia! I know you will be the great nation someday, very soon!

Indonesia is now world's emerging economy
From the report, I also find Indonesia is mentioned many times for its large economy (top 10 world's largest), its low price of commodities which undermines the growth in region (I don't really understand though, I will study it later lol), and tragically for its worst health outcomes. And again, still not changed for decades I think, Indonesia's 3 most problematic factors of doing business are corruption, inefficient government bureaucracy, and inadequate infrastructure supply. Nevertheless, the most important thing is that Indonesia is considered as emerging economy which affects a lot in region and also the world.

You can read the full report of GCR from this link. Please refer to that report for every citation you need about global competitiveness index. My post is just a casual review about this topic and not appropriate to be claimed as reference hahaha.


2/1/17

Pretend to be a (Real) Mayor

When I have spare time or even feeling need a vacation (but can't do that instantly of course, where are the money and the day off? LOL), I always run into my laptop and open a game, the old one actually. SIMCITY 4 DELUXE EDITION. That is name of the game. It was actually published by Maxis and EA Games in 2004. But I have still enjoyed this game until now. I did play SimCity (2013) but I didn't feel the same when I played SimCity 4. SimCity 4 is just simple yet challenging, and it really covers what urban planners must do.

The rule of this game is actually simple, but not as simple as when we play it: build the city as big as you can. First step, with your limit budget, add school, hospital, power generator, water pump, and landfill as the basic facility for your citizen candidates, to attract them come to your city. When they come and then build house to settle in, they will pay tax and continuously increase your city budget to build more. After that we can add police station, firehouse, library, museum, and other amenities of the city. If the city becomes rich, we can be rewarded with mayor statue or notable landmark as investor's interest such as radio station, tv station, or even spaceship station. To make city more attractive for tourists or just to make it prettier, we can add some landmarks. I always do this and prefer to choose "tower" building. I see that tower symbolizes dignity of the city so that my city has a true landmark (just my own preference).

Tower (btw it's CN Tower in the picture) shows city's dignity and good place for sight seeing to city landscape


In Indonesia, since last 2 years, smart city idea has been going viral. Some methods such as crime mapping, e-government, transportation system or traffic computation, etc have been provided by lots of local governments to implement the concept of smart city. Surprisingly, those kind of approaches were invented by Maxis in the gameplay since 2004! Below is the tool to monitor crime in the city. We can see the spread of crime happens in the city (yellow to red means low crime to the highest). 

Crime Mapping


SimCity 4 Deluxe Edition, which actually comprises 2 series: Simcity 4 and SimCity 4 Rush Hour, also provides transportation options to be built. There are many kinds for inner-city transportation such as bus, monorail, elevated rail, and subway. For inter-city, there are ferry, train, and plane to choose. Please be mindful that every option has price, much impressive one will cost a lot. We have to consider our budget.

Mass Rapid Transit with elevated rail. I love this one!
Below some captures of my cities I wanna show you. Sometimes I see them while imagine as if I were a tourist who enjoys trip in the city :)

City at night

Large park in the middle of city, like Central Park in New York City

I use Washington Monument to make Jakarta's Monas replica. Look at the name on the left corner :)

Golf course can be an alternative for green space within the city

University is needed if you want to build knowledge based city

Industry is good to boost both employment and technology development

Another pic with medium density buildings, highway, and elevated railway

Ferry terminal/port to allow citizens get out of the city, usually for going to work
Playing SimCity 4 is not only about building (and also demolish hahaha), but as a mayor we have to maintain city to be livable. If we can't provide what citizen needs, allocate budget for public needs imbalance, locate facility that reduces land value (like landfill, chemical research center, etc), citizen can protest and city is able to become chaos. Hahahaha I am serious. Mass protest is possible to happen in SimCity. Also, the worst thing is when your budget is negative. At specific rate (I forgot, probably -100,000 simoleons, SimCity currency) state government can wipe your city and remained citizens (bankrupt city will trigger population loss) will migrate to other city. Sounds scary, doesn't it? Hahahaha but don't worry, there is "Save" feature, so if you want to try something, just save the game before play an experiment ;)

Even though it is actually out of date (in 2017, it's officially 13 years after its initial release time. What a history!), I still enjoy play this game. If I feel bored with the feature, there is community site on internet, namely Simtropolis, that provides mod and other addition features. I once downloaded bus lane mod and allowed me to make BRT (Bus Rapid Transit) system. There are also various landmark all around the world, even Monas and Tanah Abang Market Building are provided there. Playing SimCity is a kind of cure of my boredom and shit mood.

8/12/16

I Miss my (Other) Past

I remember when I was in Elementary to Junior High School, I was very addicted to The Sims, from The Sims original to The Sims 2. After that, I grew up and felt it boring LOL. Well, what I love when I play the simulation games like The Sims or SimCity (FYI, Simcity is the game that I have constantly played since High School till now. I love this game so much!) is I can have another life. I feel that I can forget my problem just for a while and take a "vacation" to another place.

Now, I try to play The Sims again. Initially, I wanted to find out something that I can use to design my dream house. Google Sketch Up seemed too complicated for me. Other free applications both for Android and PC seemed the same way. Because they actually are made for Architects and they provide real measurement and other stuffs for real design of house. I just needed something that easy to use, but be able to show 3D perspective, and moreover I wished I can play it with some simulation humans in it xD

I remember that at college life I was playing The Sims 3. But at that time I was not too excited because it was boring and I preferred to play SimCity instead as it suited my major in university. Recently, I just realized that The Sims 3 was the best choice for me to design house. It is 2009 game and doesn't require high requirement, though I think it has adequate 3D graphics and smooth movement, like it just needs 512 MB RAM as minimal requirement. OMG, nowadays PC/laptop always provides 2 GB RAM as the minimum specs and 512 is just insanely too low. I was so happy! Eventually, I installed it in my laptop and yes, I can build my house now, wohooooo!

I like to design some like tiny house or small house which requires us to make limited space efficiently. I'm always so excited when I browse web and find tiny house design from container or just small cube and it looks so spacey due to the good interior design. I want to build that one.

And here it is my first 2 stories small house design. I don't know how many meter square my house area hahaha but compared to sims size (and compared to regular original house provided by the game LOL) it looks small. Actually, I really wanted to build tiny house but because the sims can't tolerate human circulation trick so that seemed impossible :(

My Small House
My house's First Floor comprises of living room, study room/mini library, kitchen and dining room, and a bathroom. Actually I think the study room is redundant but Idk I really want that room, something like just a small room to stay alone and enjoy daydreaming or reading book. I also add a sliding door just to make alternative escape.

First floor, ah looks homey!
First floor another side
Second Floor is only for 2 bedrooms and amazingly a bathroom. For making this floor right, it was too complicated honestly. The reason was again that The Sims couldn't tolerate circulation trick. It couldn't accept a double-bed located right next to the wall. It should be located in the middle and this really drove me crazy then. But after tried so many alternatives, I found the best one. One thing that I really like from this house is I can make a very small bathroom even though the space is very limited hahahaha...

To make it more attractive and challenging, I didn't use any cheats. I preferred to earn money from work and built the house from that money. What a life! Hahaha...

Second Floor from bird view
Second Floor Plan

The bonus from playing The Sims 3 is I can simulate myself finally married and make a family with my girlfriend. Before it really happens, I can make it as if it is real. What an amusing game, right? Hohoho...