I. About Me
Hello! I’m Aushaf — an aspiring writer based in Melbourne, Australia.
If you know me well, you know I spend a ridiculous amount of time pondering what it means to be human. I don’t know why I’m so bothered by that question, but it’s the main driving force behind all my endeavors, personal and professional alike — that includes my writing.
To that end, I learn Philosophy and Psychology like there’s no tomorrow. My goal is to present you with a well-constructed perspective on the human condition, so you’ll see a lot of these two subjects across my work.
I also write about Urbanism every so often, because that’s what I studied during my undergrad. Articles on this topic will still have a focus on humans because cities are the agglomeration of human life. Did you know that the global urban population has surpassed its rural counterpart since 2007? For what it’s worth, cities are now the most human place on earth.
You can expect my writing to revolve around those topics, with some miscellaneous pieces here and there. Most of them will be research-backed, drawing from academic or other authoritative sources. However, sometimes I also write fully from my own experiences and opinions, or from pop-culture references — because not everything has to be scientifically proven, right?
Some trivia about myself:
- My name is pronounced like “Joseph,” but remove the “J” and change the “E” to an “A” (that’s the name I often get on my Starbucks cup: Osaph — sometimes Ossuf or Oshav, which are all ridiculous).
- During my spare time, I like to play guitar, go photo-hunting with my film camera (#filmisnotdead!), and binge-watch Netflix shows.
- I have zero talent in music, but it’s one of the things I cherish the most in this world. My favorite band is Sigur Rós.
- I enjoy all sorts of books, from boring philosophy texts to high-octane shōnen mangas. Yes, I’m a bookworm and a weeb.
- I’m Indonesian by origin. Other than Bahasa Indonesia, I also speak Javanese and (a little bit of) Sundanese.
- I’m currently pursuing a Master’s in Cultural and Creative Industries.
II. Selected Posts
These are some of my most-read articles, and a few personal favorites. They are organized by theme with a short explanation below each one.
- The Meaning of Life Is to Give Life Meaning (my most read article so far)
An exploration of existential philosophy, drawing upon the thoughts of Søren Kierkegaard, Jean-Paul Sartre, and Viktor Frankl — with a snippet of insight from Ubisoft’s action-adventure series Assassin’s Creed.
- Hedgehog’s Dilemma: Why You Avoid Intimacy Even Though You Crave It
A retelling of Arthur Schopenhauer’s “hedgehog’s dilemma,” enriched with pop culture references from Neon Genesis Evangelion, a critically-acclaimed anime series; and Henry, a virtual reality film.
- Tetrapharmakos: 4 Epicurean Principles for a Happier Life
An explanation of tetrapharmakos (the “four-part cure”), a set of principles that constitutes a happy life according to Epicurean philosophy.
- Enantiodromia: How to Nurture a Balanced Mind
A simple guide on keeping your mind in balance using the phenomenon of enantiodromia, an idea of Heraclitus that was contextualized by Carl Jung in his ego-shadow dichotomy.
- Dialogical Self: How to Befriend Your Inner Voice
Pointers on how to cope with negative inner voices, drawing upon Hubert Hermans’ concept of “dialogical self” and Sigmund Freud’s framework of id, ego, and superego; concluded with a humble insight from Mirror, a song by Porter Robinson.
- True Self and False Self: How to Preserve Your Identity Amidst an Overwhelming World
Written as an attempt to answer Charles Bukowski’s question, this piece is a guide to remembering who you truly are. Mainly inspired by Donald Winnicott’s concept of “true self and false self.”
- 11 Principles of Placemaking: How to Design People-Centered Places
A summary of “11 Principles of Placemaking” from Project for Public Spaces, taken from their book How to Turn a Place Around. Placemaking is a community-oriented approach for urban planning and design.
- Jane Jacobs on People-Centered Urban Planning
A short biography of Jane Jacobs, an American-Canadian journalist known for her humanistic view on urban development. Despite not having an academic background in urbanism, her ideas have greatly influenced the discipline and are still relevant today.
- William H. Whyte on Human Behavior in Urban Settings
A short biography of William Hollingsworth “Holly” Whyte, a prominent American urbanist and people-watcher. Known by the moniker “The Man Who Loved Cities,” Whyte spent a large part of his life researching the behavior of human beings in urban environments.
- The Cultural Industries: A Fight for Meaning
An extended reflection on the “cultural industries” — what they are, what are their differences from the “creative industries,” and why they matter.
- Post-Truth Storytelling: Why You Should Learn to Tell Better Stories
A reflection on the words of David Ogilvy (known as the “Father of Advertising”), their relevance to today’s post-truth society, and what they mean for present storytellers.
- Factfulness: The Book That Restored My Faith in Humanity
A short review of Factfulness by Hans Rosling, a book that profoundly changed the way I think about the world and restored my faith in humanity.
III. Contact Information
Also, I’m starting a newsletter at Substack. Be sure to subscribe — it’s free!
Lastly, if you enjoy my writing and would like me to write for you personally, let’s talk! Send an email to email@example.com and I’ll get back to you promptly.
That’s it for now! Thanks again for being here, and happy reading.