Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Is choice the problem, or how we look at choice the problem?

This post is much more reading specific, mainly based on some of the ideas from The Paradox of choice by Barry Schwartz. Schwartz talked about how too many choices can really trap a person, and end up negatively effecting that person. He also stated that when people are given too many choices they usually just end up choosing not to choose. Also that if choice is eliminated that people can be happier, in some cases. My counter argument is that, yes, what he says is true to a degree, but that is only when people's priorities are in the wrong place.

There are two different types of choice, choice that effects our personal identity and the choice matters, and choice that effects our personal identity and doesn't matter. The ability to differentiate between the two at some times can be hard and at other times is easy. The choice of what potato chips you want with lunch isn't a choice that matters, but if it doesn't align with your personal beliefs that choice changes to one of importance. But lets be real for a second, if you don't eat meat and you have a choice between a vegetarian meal and a meal with meat, there is no choice because the your personal identity chose for you.

Choices that don't matter to our personal identity should have little effect on our psyche because they have little effect on us as a person. The problem is that picking between a hard and soft taco at Taco Bell can have a profound effect people because food is so personal to us. Because we put a value on the time taken to produce food, or in most cases also monetary value, it is not only a fuel but a portion of our lives to help us continue our lives. This is where the weak spot of my argument takes shape, food is part of our personal identity due to the massive amount of interaction we have with it and because it can effect our lives in almost every way.

The real question beyond all of this is "What choices should be the ones to mold who a person is?". This is the whole point of the argument, not everything is easy, but making it easier on your self is fine. Taking your time on what to eat and why you want it is fine, but deciding to buy US Weekly or Cosmo shouldn't take too long. Choosing your battles is the important choice of all.

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