Freedom of choice 11:31 on Saturday

Book cover for The Paradox of Choice

Buy The Paradox of Choice: Why More Is Less by Barry Schwartz from Amazon.com or Amazon.co.uk

This is hardly an original thought but we live in a world of endless choices. We think of choice as freedom, without realizing it is mostly a burden. Too much choice makes us miserable. More is less.

Good-willing engineers are hard at work making our world more miserable by offering us more choice over our tools, our environment, and more choice of customization.

The illusion of choice is that we can choose exactly what we want and hence be happier. The reality is that with too many options choosing becomes difficult and time-consuming. Time being the most valuable resource we have, we then need to balance our want for the best with the expense of finding the best.

The more options we have to choose from, the more options we have to leave unchosen. We can never be sure our selected option is the best for us. At worst, the abundance of choices and options will result in not choosing any of the options as the fear of a wrong decision kicks in. Despite the seemingly boundless freedom of options, we become irritated and in the end, miserable.

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