Thursday, February 28

Since choice makes us unhappy...

My buddy, Kurt send me this great TED talk by Barry Schwartz:

My notes:

no, but can people be happy without knowing they have access to all available choices?

so, if i seek fewer choices in, say, an mp3 player, i might be happier, but i might end up getting a lesser value. or i might regret it later when i come across a better one.

on the other hand, learning to make decisions more quickly and live happily wih the consequences is a much more sane way to live, from organizational and professional effectiveness to personal choices (eg, home improvement, clutter).

crazy juxtaposition with Malcolm Gladwell's TED talk about more choices in Pepsi, Prego, etc...

right: we have more choices, and can do better if we run the traps, but we feel worse.

btw, his cartoon presentation is a very effective use of PowerPoint.

'the secret to happiness is low expectations'

so is the key learning to be satisfied with lesser results? expecting less-than-perfection without being disillusioned?

i had an unconscious philosophy for many years: 'hope for the best, expect the worst and you'll never be disappointed.' and you know what? given the rest of my belief system and psychology, that didn't work very well for me.

clinical depression has exploded in the industrial world, partially as a result.

yes. i am constantly evaluating myself, including as i am re-caulking the tub and not feeling very good at it, and it gets to be awfully damn tiring.

yes: i am often disappointed and usually think i have only myself to blame.

or, i get angry at other people, or the system, but bottle it up, and that's another great prescription for depression.

but then he goes for the major socialist dogma at the end (wealth redistribution), and we know socialism is one of the best ways to kill economies. voluntary wealth redistribution (through giving to actual development) is great, but rare and difficult. there are so many choices! ;-)

but seriously: hand outs and mandated redistribution are historically proven to not work.

dang: he ends up with a very Lutheran perspective of freedom! cf The Bondage of the Will

'everybody needs a fish bowl.'
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