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(Telegraph)   Boo-hoo, there are too many things to choose from   (telegraph.co.uk) divider line 130
    More: Asinine, Westerners, personal freedoms, selfishness, affluent, channel, empowerment, Stanford University, Journal of Consumer Research  
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17353 clicks; posted to Main » on 22 Jan 2010 at 7:44 AM (4 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2010-01-22 08:44:07 AM
Er, I guess I only speak for myself, but it's not the quantity of choices that drives me bonkers; it's the quality. If one option is good and one is bad, I pick the good one. If both are acceptable, I choose on a whim. But IF BOTH OPTIONS SUCK, then I spend hours going over details trying to figure out the lesser of two evils trying to get screwed as little as possible. And I'm finding myself doing more and more of that lately. Either things have gotten worse or I just woke up to how I've been lied to all this time.

Food, electronics, careers, politics, whatever. . . what I'm finding is all the good choices have gone away, so I spend more and more time trying to protect my ass from an increasingly dog-rape-dog world.
 
2010-01-22 08:45:25 AM
You know what this planet needs? A good old-fashioned meteor strike.

/preferably directly onto Hugo Chavez; don't make us pull out our earthquake machine boy.
 
2010-01-22 08:46:35 AM
indarwinsshadow: Yet, it's the poorest even in our generous society constantly want more and more. They're never happy with the crap they have, and that's why both our countries are so massively in debt. It's more a problem in the U.S. then Canada but still we load poor people with the idea that for a better life. You need more crap.

Nice way to generalize, you tool. You really think the poorest have choices and want more and more? You really think the poorest class in the US are loading up on $60,000 cars they can only afford to lease?

And the little jab as opposed US rather than Canada. I watch my Canadian cousins borrowing against their houses to finance upper middle class lifestyles when they make strict middle and lower-middle class incomes. To a person they do this, because this is what their siblings and friends do.

Their time is coming.
 
2010-01-22 08:49:27 AM
Just throw bacon into the mix. The choice will always be bacon.
 
2010-01-22 08:50:51 AM
There's a certain happiness in being able to make life decisions on a whim and not regret them later.

Stop comparing your life to everyone else's, it helps.
 
2010-01-22 08:53:29 AM
Approves:
blograge.files.wordpress.com

in ancient rome there was a poem
about a dog who had two bones
he picked at one he licked the other
he went in circles till he dropped dead
 
2010-01-22 08:56:04 AM
If you choose not to decide,
you still have made a choice...
 
2010-01-22 08:57:50 AM
Thank god we have fark to counter-act the paradox of choice! There is a tenuous link between the number of selections available and... uhh... actually, maybe there's another more exciting thread going on right now. Am I missing out on an epic thread by posting here? Or am I missing my chance to take part in a soon to be internet legend? Oh GOD I DON'T KNOW ANYMORE.
 
2010-01-22 08:58:53 AM
AlanSmithee: Even being or not being is a tough binary question to answer if you're a depressed Dane.

welcome to my favorites list.

oh and new keyboard, coffee, et. al.
 
2010-01-22 09:00:12 AM
What the fark is wrong with people?
Making choices is too difficult and depressing? It's a part of life, kids. Get over it or jump off a bridge.

Although it could explain why so many people want a god to make decisions and tell them what to do.
 
2010-01-22 09:05:58 AM
Choose Life. Choose a job. Choose a career. Choose a family.
Choose a f#cking big television, choose washing machines, cars,
compact disc players and electrical tin openers. Choose good
health, low cholesterol, and dental insurance. Choose fixed
interest mortage repayments. Choose a starter home. Choose your
friends. Choose leisurewear and matching luggage. Choose a
three-piece suite on hire purchase in a range of f#cking fabrics.
Choose DIY and wondering who the f#ck you are on a Sunday morning.
Choose sitting on that couch watching mind-numbing, spirit-crushing
game shows, stuffing f#cking junk food into your mouth. Choose
rotting away at the end of it all, pishing your last in a miserable
home, nothing more than an embarrassment to the selfish, f#cked up
brats you spawned to replace yourself.

Choose your future.

Choose life.
 
2010-01-22 09:06:29 AM
ReverendJasen: Get over it or jump off a bridge.


Which bridge?
 
2010-01-22 09:09:02 AM
syberpud: So when you're trying to chose a toothpaste there is that nagging feeling that what we are assuming is true today will be proven wrong by some random medical study in the near future. Even the smallest risk is exploded into an almost certainty ("X found in toothpaste shown to cause cancer in lab rats" - means that I will get cancer if I use this toothpaste!).

I suppose if you follow those studies and put any kind of faith in them. "Studies" are not necessarily conclusive (and those performing those studies will be the first to admit this), and the fault here lies more with our media attempting to sensationalize every story they have to attract attention and make a buck.
Once you realize you can't trust these dishonest assholes writing the stories, life becomes much less fraught with danger.

I have confidence in my choices and decision making. And if by chance, I choose the wrong product, I take note of it and buy the right one next time. No stress, no depression.
 
2010-01-22 09:09:40 AM
Best use of the ASININE tag I've seen yet. I'm glad subby had it as an option to choose.
 
2010-01-22 09:10:09 AM
Ummm.... Barry Schwartz wrote an entire book on this subject called The Paradox of Choice in 2004.

Interesting read.


Old news.
 
2010-01-22 09:10:48 AM
Weaver95: whomever wrote that article is an idiot.

Pot... Kettle... Weaver95 (new window).

Get a brain, moran.
 
2010-01-22 09:12:11 AM
tototototo: ReverendJasen: Get over it or jump off a bridge.


Which bridge?


Well, an open cantilevered bridge offers a good amount of height. On the other hand truss arch bridges often have little accessible platforms for base divers and bungee jumpers. So those are good. Cable stayed bridges are dramatic, but offer very little access from the height of the tower to the water or ground below the bridge. And you can't go wrong with the beauty of a good old suspension bridge.

I'm going to have to think about this. It's going to take some time. I'll get back to you, OK?
 
2010-01-22 09:14:35 AM
NeverSaidThat: Ummm.... Barry Schwartz wrote an entire book on this subject called The Paradox of Choice in 2004.

Interesting read.


Old news.


Older news, in fact, since Schwartz was arguing the same thing in his American Psychologist article in 2000. Some of the farkers who are rejecting this idea in a knee-jerk fashion should give it a read.
 
2010-01-22 09:23:58 AM
Rapmaster2000: brap: Free will is both hell and heaven.

Free Will is total hell when sung by Geddy Lee.


It is...how do you say...This.
 
2010-01-22 09:25:06 AM
Babwa Wawa: Wow that's amazing. Casting forth such pearls of wisdom six years before his birth...

Yeah, I was going to post the same thing as you, then I figured he was referring to Marshall Mcluhan in a very confusing manner.
 
2010-01-22 09:29:11 AM
Another complaint: Too many vehicles! There are some families in this country own entirely too many vehicles! You see them on a highway, in their RV! But that's not enough for them! RV is not enough! Behind them, they're towing a motorboat, go-kart, dune buggy, dirt bike, jet ski, snowmobile, carousel, hang-glider, windsurfing equipment, a hot air balloon and a small two-man deep-sea diving bell! Doesn't anyone just take a farking walk anymore? The only thing these people lack is a lunar excursion module! Too many choices, America! It's not healthy!

\RIP George
 
2010-01-22 09:30:37 AM
bighasbeen:
Did you ever read Blink by Thomas Malcolm Gladwell?
 
2010-01-22 09:32:43 AM
MonkeyAngst:
I disagree. I'm terrible at making decisions, but my parents were of an older generation and didn't allow me much freedom. Instead of being unable to choose because I was never told I'd HAVE to choose, I was told that every choice is permanent. No one in my family ever changed anything. My dad changed jobs once. The house I grew up in has had my parents living in it since 1973. No, I'm not making choices thinking I can just toss it all out tomorrow. I'm paralyzed by the conditioning that everything I choose, I'm going to be stuck with forever. Even though of course I know that that's not necessarily true.


You grew up in my house. Apparently so did my husband. Funny, I never noticed him there. Must have lived under the stairwell.

Attempting to pick a place to have dinner paralyzes us for far too damned long. Luckily it's stupid, minor shiat. I find forcing a faster response helps, although it depends on the situation. Don't allow yourself too much time to get into the paralytic overthinking state.

But yeah, this. Time is linear and OH MY GOD CHOOSING THE CHICKEN NUGGETS WILL FORCE THE TIMELINE TO DOOOOM. Except. It's just some farking chicken nuggets. Or maybe a burger. Shiat, tacos sound good... I don't know hon, what do you want to eat? What do you mean what do I want to eat? *repeat ad nauseum*
 
2010-01-22 09:34:57 AM
I see the article's point. We are expected to make so many decisions and often don't have the knowledge and experience to feel we can make the right ones.

We are too quick to form institutions (cliches) and make it very hard to get in them ($college$), forcing people to spend significant portions of their lifetime just to get a foot in the door.

It doesn't help that society rewards the idle and worthless with massive riches (actors, bankers, athletes). It leaves hardworking people wondering WTF they did wrong. Increasingly, the key to success involves coming out of the right vagina.

Still, I think it's better to have choices than not.
 
2010-01-22 09:36:35 AM

I call bullshiat. I've lived in places with a LOT LESS dammed choices than people have in the West.

LESS CHOICE DOES NOT MAKE YOU HAPPIER


//a bit drunk
\......................... slash dots!!!!
 
2010-01-22 09:36:50 AM
offacue: Just throw bacon into the mix. The choice will always be bacon.

I was gonna say you were wrong, or at leas that it's not always that simple. But then I remembered the quick resolution of my lunchtime choice of a steak sandwich or bacon cheeseburger.
 
2010-01-22 09:39:33 AM
WAAAAAAAA!!!! WAAAAA! I HAVE EVERYTHING!
 
2010-01-22 09:39:36 AM
www.pilkipedia.co.uk

Agrees.
 
2010-01-22 09:39:57 AM
stevie1der: Babwa Wawa: Wow that's amazing. Casting forth such pearls of wisdom six years before his birth...

Yeah, I was going to post the same thing as you, then I figured he was referring to Marshall Mcluhan in a very confusing manner.


The medium messed up the message.
 
2010-01-22 09:40:23 AM
I don't know about the "science" in this study. But I can certainly say with confidence that I like having the choice of being a vegetarian, and eating that way.

On the other hand, stupid people are stupid enough as it is. Forcing them to choose between 500 different spaghetti sauces will likely drain their mental capacity, and thus take away any motivation they have to critically think about ethical decisions.

/bit of a stretch?
 
2010-01-22 09:40:37 AM
hitlersbrain: It leaves hardworking people wondering WTF they did wrong.

Yessir it does. It also leaves high-achieving lazy farkers like me wondering how we missed this "banking" career choice at school and why we went into software instead...
 
2010-01-22 09:42:17 AM
davideo_games:

On the other hand, stupid people are stupid enough as it is. Forcing them to choose between 500 different spaghetti sauces will likely drain their mental capacity, and thus take away any motivation they have to critically think about ethical decisions.

/bit of a stretch?


I don't think that's much of a stretch, nor do I think it solely hits the stupid. (although it's considerably more entertaining when an idiot gets that deer in headlights look at the bread aisle in Wal-Mart)

We get wrapped up in little shiat and then get exhausted for the big shiat. The trick is teaching yourself to prioritize, get over the little shiat, and save all that worked up energy for the big shiat.
 
2010-01-22 09:55:22 AM
All this internet porn to choose from has left me bewildered and depressed
 
2010-01-22 09:56:29 AM
johnnygew: Approves:


in ancient rome there was a poem
about a dog who had two bones
he picked at one he licked the other
he went in circles till he dropped dead


Freedom of choice is what you got
Freedom from choice is what you want

/came here for this, leaving satisfied
 
2010-01-22 09:59:36 AM
schnee: johnnygew: Approves:


in ancient rome there was a poem
about a dog who had two bones
he picked at one he licked the other
he went in circles till he dropped dead

Freedom of choice is what you got
Freedom from choice is what you want

/came here for this, leaving satisfied



Me too, me too.
 
2010-01-22 10:00:43 AM
www.jasonclint.com

/hot
 
2010-01-22 10:03:14 AM
JoeCamelToe: If you chose not to decide you still have made a choice.

-Gary Weinrib


msheda: If you choose not to decide,
you still have made a choice...


I choose free will.
 
2010-01-22 10:04:44 AM
MonkeyAngst: I disagree. I'm terrible at making decisions, but my parents were of an older generation and didn't allow me much freedom. Instead of being unable to choose because I was never told I'd HAVE to choose, I was told that every choice is permanent. No one in my family ever changed anything. My dad changed jobs once. The house I grew up in has had my parents living in it since 1973. No, I'm not making choices thinking I can just toss it all out tomorrow. I'm paralyzed by the conditioning that everything I choose, I'm going to be stuck with forever. Even though of course I know that that's not necessarily true.

I was raised the same way, and I have a lot of trouble making decisions today because of it. When I got to the age where I could start making my own decisions, my parents would hammer it into my skull that if I made the wrong one, my life would be irreparably damaged and I'd better be DAMN certain in my choice because there's no going back once it's made. Then if I made the wrong one, I had to deal with weeks/months/years of, "We tried to tell you! Were you SURE that was what you wanted? That's what you get for not listening to us!"

Funny that the article mentioned the toothpaste thing, because I can barely pick out a damn tube of toothpaste without hearing my parents' banter in my head.
 
2010-01-22 10:06:06 AM
I think the author misread the Myth of Sisyphus and tried to dumb it down using science.
 
2010-01-22 10:06:53 AM
They want us to waste time choosing things so we don't notice they are stealing our rights.
 
2010-01-22 10:07:27 AM
CheekyMunky: A coworker showed me an article on this study a while back.

My argument was that it's not the availability of choices that's the problem, it's our inability to make decisions. Or our inability to filter what's important from what's not. We are - or have become - very weak at critical thinking.

Are there more brands of toothpaste on the shelf than you could ever need? Yes. Does that mean you should stand there agonizing over them to make sure you pick exactly the right one? No. Just grab one if they're all the same. If you have a particular need, say, whitening ingredients, then filter for those... and then grab one.

Obviously not everything is as simple, or unimportant, as toothpaste, but the same principles generally apply. If you find yourself truly unable to decide among several choices, then it's probably because you've already filtered down enough that everything left is perfectly adequate, and beyond that the differences are irrelevant to your needs. So pick one... or if nothing else, let the price decide from there.

This article does raise one new point:

The study believes that the problem is that when you have too much choice, you become obsessed about what your decision will say about you.

Then when you have made the choice you worry that it is wrong.

Probably true for many people... but again, the problem is their insecurity, not the availability of choice. Understand your own needs (or those of people you're responsible for), fulfill those, and stop worrying what anyone else thinks. After that, everything is for fun - if you're stressing about it, you're defeating the purpose.

Man, I'm just full of super awesome advice. I should be a life coach.


I have a recent opening after I fired my last life coach if you're interested. I just need someone to make all my decisions for me. Monetary rewards are minimal, but job satisfaction is very rewarding.

/last one just kept making me drink beer and eat pizza
//wait.. nevermind, I just hired him back
 
2010-01-22 10:09:09 AM
www.cultofmac.com
 
2010-01-22 10:09:11 AM
FTFA:
People can become paralysed by too much variety and wracked with uncertainty and regret about whether they have made the right decision.

As much as the article makes me facepalm with a reaction similar to Subby's... I have to admit that this bit of it is pretty true (for me, anyway). I can barely choose what to order at a restaurant I've never been to before.

/ to this day, still wonders about the soup that got away
// not obscure
 
2010-01-22 10:14:01 AM
Babwa Wawa [TotalFark] Quote 2010-01-22 08:46:35 AM
indarwinsshadow: Yet, it's the poorest even in our generous society constantly want more and more. They're never happy with the crap they have, and that's why both our countries are so massively in debt. It's more a problem in the U.S. then Canada but still we load poor people with the idea that for a better life. You need more crap.

Nice way to generalize, you tool. You really think the poorest have choices and want more and more? You really think the poorest class in the US are loading up on $60,000 cars they can only afford to lease?

And the little jab as opposed US rather than Canada. I watch my Canadian cousins borrowing against their houses to finance upper middle class lifestyles when they make strict middle and lower-middle class incomes. To a person they do this, because this is what their siblings and friends do.

Their time is coming.


So, it was your cornflakes I pissed in. Sorry about that. I'll call your mom and she'll come and pick you up.

~Yep. I think it's the poorest that got your country and mine into massive debt. The poor have little understanding how wealth is generated and managed. Hence, why they're poor. They want more crap, so they over extend their credit to buy stuff they really really don't need. It's just greedy rich people who take advantage of that. You're not to bright are you?
 
2010-01-22 10:17:51 AM
Man up, nancies! Just pick something and deal with it. If it turns out that it's not what you really wanted, pick something different and see how you like it.

/It's not rocket surgery!
 
2010-01-22 10:29:02 AM
In sales, we were always told never to offer the client more than 3 options.

And sure enough, any time you offered them more options, they didnt buy any of them.

Its a psychological thing.
 
2010-01-22 10:33:44 AM
dragonchild: Er, I guess I only speak for myself, but it's not the quantity of choices that drives me bonkers; it's the quality. If one option is good and one is bad, I pick the good one. If both are acceptable, I choose on a whim. But IF BOTH OPTIONS SUCK, then I spend hours going over details trying to figure out the lesser of two evils trying to get screwed as little as possible. And I'm finding myself doing more and more of that lately. Either things have gotten worse or I just woke up to how I've been lied to all this time.

Food, electronics, careers, politics, whatever. . . what I'm finding is all the good choices have gone away, so I spend more and more time trying to protect my ass from an increasingly dog-rape-dog world.


Agreed. I usually weigh options in any decision on how much I'm going to get raped and who is going to be benefiting by raping me. Do I pay rent to a landlord who will rape me or do I move in with a friend who will rape me in rent? I say friend, because at least I know my rape is going to benefit someone of value.

Most decisions can be made simply by flipping a quarter. Someone else has to call it though, that's key. Never go against the quarter, it will always treat you well.

It's not accepting a limited existence (fear of death) that drives people to panic over decisions. People really think they are important. Dust in the wind.
 
2010-01-22 10:43:42 AM
She said: "Americans live in a political, social, and historical context that advances ;the appearance of personal freedom, choice, and self-determination above all else.
"Contemporary psychology and the advertising industry has proliferated this emphasis on choice and self-determination as the key to healthy psychological functioning."

There that's more betterly (AKA honest)

"Does Choice Mean Freedom and Well Being?" will be published in the Journal of Consumer Research.
I would also look for it to be published in Advertising Age as well . . .

Choice? Nah, not so much when you wipe away the BS.
 
2010-01-22 10:47:35 AM
buddyrtr: Man up, nancies! Just pick something and deal with it. If it turns out that it's not what you really wanted, pick something different and see how you like it.

/It's not rocket surgery!


You have chosen wisely!
 
2010-01-22 10:48:42 AM
Apparently we were referring to ourselves when we said, "They hate us because of our freedom"
 
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