"Wealth will increasingly be defined by our ability to go offline whenever we want." - Fernando Gros
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Blog // Thoughts
April 26, 2005

I Want Less Choice And I Want It Now

Well it is official (sort of), email makes you dumber. The latest research suggests that being saturated with email and electronic communication can stunt your intelligence by up to 10 IQ points. It is interesting to consider this alongside the entertainment burnout that many seem to be experiencing. In the end both come down to […]

Well it is official (sort of), email makes you dumber. The latest research suggests that being saturated with email and electronic communication can stunt your intelligence by up to 10 IQ points. It is interesting to consider this alongside the entertainment burnout that many seem to be experiencing.

In the end both come down to an inability to negotiate the proliferation of choice that the consumer society bombards us with. This theme forms the basis of Barry Schartz’s telling book The Paradox of Choice. It’s not just that we face many choices and have to chose the right ones in order to keep up with the Joneses, but also that the very predicament of choice breeds discontent, since our expectations of the experiences these choices will yield becomes ever greater. In fact, our ability to fabricate unrealistic expectations for our life experiences is even more pernicious than the jealous comparisons that fuelled earlier versions of consumer materialism. What we now face is a new, heightened consumer experientalism whose rampant cancer is choice. In our desire to maximise not just choice, but the ability to choose desireable experiences we become caught in a web of disatisfaction and frustration.

The freedom to choose not to choose; now there is something worth choosing.

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