Too much choice is a bad thing, and it’s driving us all crazy
In an episode of Jerry Seinfeld’s series Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee, Will Ferrell cracks one of my favourite jokes, which I have since shamelessly lifted and
The two sit down at a table at a diner, and upon opening the menu, Ferrell says something to the effect of, “I love it when a restaurant has a big menu, because you know that means they make everything really, really good.”
This line speaks so much truth, in just a few words. The best restaurants know what their bread and butter
How many people do you know who not only hate choosing from a menu, they hate choosing a restaurant? Which couple hasn’t had an argument that revolves around just choosing somewhere to go?
Even making the trip to the grocery store brings the same issues. Colourful walls of every flavour you can imagine, of each product, 40 different types of cereals and 60 different flavours of soups. What should be a short visit easily can easily rob you of an hour or two.
In his book The Paradox of Choice, Author Barry Swartz argues that “Autonomyand Freedom ofchoiceare critical to ourwell being, and choice is critical to freedom and autonomy. Nonetheless, though modernAmericanshave more choice than any group of people ever has before, and thus, presumably, more freedom and autonomy, we don’t seem to be benefiting from it psychologically.”
This from a book that was written 14 years ago. Since then the situation has
There are countless people who have it, yet barely watch it, since they are instead scrolling endlessly through the 1000s of shows and movies, never finding the perfect film,
It isn’t abnormal to yearn for the days when TV only had a dozen or two channels. There would usually be something to watch, and if there wasn’t, well you would just go outside, or talk to someone.
It’s fair to speculate that this type of freedom could be problematic to modern day relationships, too. Most of the men in my family in the generations before mine grew up in small towns, all married someone local, and usually married very early.
It was a no-brainer to them and getting married before 25 was simply the norm. Now, with instant access to most of the population through a variety of apps, the choices are endless. Tinder, for example, seems like an endless well of partners to choose from. We think that our technology has made it easier to find “the one,” when really, we’ve done the opposite, and given everyone anxiety along the way.
The problem with choice is that when we pick one thing, we lose the other, and psychologists say that we are less satisfied with our choice the more we have to choose from.
Our generation will have chosen their life partner out of thousands of potential matches, and while that sounds almost romantic, it creates a much bigger “What If?” situation. There used to be a problem revolving not knowing where to meet a good partner. Now, websites are made to tackle that problem, specifically.
One wonders if today’s mental health crisis is caused in some part by constantly having to choose. After all, were humans really meant to make tha many choices? The prehistoric man didn’t have to choose between two hundred different frozen meals; He hunted what he could, if he got a kill, he ate and he was damn well happy about it.
Of course, not all choice is bad. Variety and competition is usually a good thing. But as was said thousands of years ago: The dose makes the poison.
I’m not saying we revert to some sort of
The largest supermarket chain in the UK “TESCO” actually cut the number of products it sold by a third as it was being caught up to by ALDI; a supermarket chain who stocked 10x fewer products than it’s rival. In TESCO there were 28 different types of ketchup you could buy, in ALDI, just one. Modern wisdom said that having
What do you think? Let us know in the comments below.
Analysts are suggesting that the anti-pipeline protests that have blockaded railways, roads and certain ports are likely to result in a spike in gas prices.
The railroad tracks in Belleville, Ont. have now been halted for the last 12 straight days and don’t have an end date in sight at this time. The protestors vow to remain there until the government cancels the proposed Coastal GasLink pipeline that will partially run through the unceded land of the Wet’suwet’en First Nations.
The consequences of these blockades are already being felt across the country as the movement of goods has been greatly delayed. Experts now say that gas prices in Lower Mainland BC are expected to rise as a result of these protests.
Kent Fellows, an Alberta-based economist at the University of Calgary predicts the spike could be anywhere from 10 to 30 cents per litre. “If blockades persist you will definitely see an increase in fuel prices… A lot of the volume that is coming in from Alberta refineries to the Lower Mainland is now on rail.”
CTV News Vancouver interviewed commuters in the Vancouver area and they expressed their frustration.
“I mean, everything goes up all the time. Especially in this city (Vancouver). So it’s just another thing to endure,” driver Mike Freides said.
“You can’t go without gas, much like you can’t go without utilities or food. It’s above my paygrade to solve that problem.”
Trudeau recently held a meeting to attempt to remedy the problem of growing frustrations on both sides of the issue.
“I understand how worrisome this is, and difficult. We are going to continue to focus on resolving this situation quickly and peacefully,” said Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
The Port of Vancouver has also been affected by the demonstrations, preventing the loading and unloading of cargo.
“Demand for anchorage is currently exceeding the availability, causing a backlog of ships waiting to get into port,” said a spokesperson for the Port.
Teenage Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg tweeted her support for the anti-pipeline protests that have stalled Canada’s economy and left tens of thousands stranded without train transportation.
On Tuesday she tweeted, “Support the Wet’suwet’en Nation and the pipeline protests happening now in Canada! #WetsuwenStrong.” Thunberg included a link to a “Wet’suwet’en Supporter Toolkit.”
The toolkit speaks of “revolution” and claims that reconciliation is dead: “The Wet’suwet’en have been violently invaded and ripped from our ancestral lands, sparking a REVOLUTION. Reconciliation is dead. The time is NOW to recognize indigenous sovereignty around the world! We are asking for folks to continue, harness the power of this catalyzing moment, create sustained action in solidarity, and #ShutDownCanada!”
Many Canadians were unimpressed including prominent conservative pundit Stephen Taylor who pointed out the negative affects these continued protests are having on the environment. “Thanks to the rail blockades, I’ve been flying more. So… win?”
The protests and blockades throughout Canada are a response to the raid of an anti-pipeline camp in northern British Columbia that was set up to oppose the building of the Coastal GasLink pipeline on Wet’suwet’en territory.
Despite the protests, the Wet’suwet’en Tribal Council and the majority of hereditary chiefs support the pipeline project.
According to Global News, Premier Doug Ford’s house is currently being investigated by Toronto police’s hazardous materials team for a suspicious package. The package was reportedly opened by Ford’s wife, Karla.
There was reportedly white powder in the package that authorities have not yet been able to identify.
A spokesperson for the Toronto police informed Global News that officers received a call to show up at a house in Etobicoke on Tettenhall road where the Premier’s house is situated.
Blockades across the country continue to put a halt on the Canadian economy as goods cannot be transported to where they need to be. Prime Minister Trudeau has said that he wants to come to a quick and peaceful solution but that does not seem very plausible at this point.
BMO Capital Markets senior economist, Doug Porter, said that the coronavirus has negatively affected the global economy and the rail shutdown is an added extra pressure for Canada’s economy according to Financial Post.
“The ultimate cost will depend on the duration of the shutdown, and we have plenty of recent evidence to make an early assessment,” said Porter. “The November CN strike, which lasted more than a week, ended up carving less than 0.1 ppts from GDP that month. However, this shutdown threatens to be more open-ended, with the situation ‘fluid.’”
Manufacturers are assuming that their revenues will also be negatively affected by the rail blockades.
Today, Maple Leaf Foods president and chief operating officer, Curtis Frank along with President of CKF Inc., Ian Anderson noted at a press conference that “every day the rail stoppages continue, $850 million worth of manufactured goods are sitting idle.”
Other guests at the conference include ArcelorMittal Dofasco, BB Résaux Électriques, Demers Ambulances, J.D. Irving LTD., Énergie Valero and more.
Chief Perry Bellegarde, the National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations was also scheduled to hold a press conference today in Ottawa with hopes of discussing the present Wet’suwet’en situation.