Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Variety: Good or Bad?

Until taking this class and my other sustainability classes, i would not have thought that the option of choice necessarily a good thing. Look at the jean example, before the person recalls that he only had the option to buy one type of jean. All he would have to do in acquiring of this one jean type is that he had to know the size of jeans he needed. This could easily take less than 5 minutes to select the correct jean size, pay for the it and leave the store.

Now however, the notion of having choice has come into play. Instead of having to take 5 minutes of the persons time, it could now quite easily take longer hours to decide which jean to pay for and return home with. The reason is that instead of having one "default" jean type, there are now 6+ different jean types. Now the person has to spend time trying on all the different types of jeans in order to decide which type he wants to buy. Yes, its awesome that you can pick which type of jean you may want to wear but at the end of the day, the various types of jeans still provide the same function as the "default" jean would have.

I found it very interesting when the author decided to brake up liberty into both positive and negative liberty categories. I never thought that you could brake liberty up. Negative liberties are liberties that are that it provides "freedom from" whatever you do like agree with, freedom from government intervention in your business. On the other hand, negative liberties provides you with the "freedom to" do something you want, the freedom to write out against the government dictatorship.

Yes, we are often given the "freedom to" decide what should i eat today or wear tomorrow, but at the same time the "freedom from" autonomy is sometimes taken away from us when we have to always choose something instead of just relying on a "default" choice. We have been wasting more and more of our time on things that does not really need to have a choice because it could be a very trivial matter you are trying to choose the correct option. Should i drink plain milk or chocolate milk? At the end of the day, both milk options will cost the same and should provide similar health benefits.

However, should i buy a BMW or a Ford should be something that should have options because the end result would be very different. The BMW may be much safer than the Ford, but the Ford costs more than half the cost of the BMW. If you only need a car to get from A to B without any worry what others may think, then the Ford by be the best option for you.


Blog post in response to - "Paradox of Choice" reading

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