choice

Refers to blog of denis cheung

Many people are saying they have too many choices, and would like fewer to make.

My two cents? That’s point of view will lose your freedom very quickly: the world is full of people happy to simplify your world by ruling over you autocratically). It is a effectively saying: I didn’t want freedom. Freedom is choice.

Secondly, the tyranny of choice (too many schools, doctors, house-hold cleaners to choose amongst: can’t someone just present me with the best choice?) is greatly over-blown.

The world is becoming more complex, and that is a challenge for many people to cope with. But the too-much choice brigade (very strong here in the UK) want the government to focus on making people happy and think that choice reduces happiness (by showing people better choices than the ones they made, and creating uncertainty).

So their answer is too not give parents choices over schools, or health. There’s a good element to this (you can’t have a lot of things like hospitals and schools in a given area, so it’s good if they are all of adequate quality). But fundamentally, this school of thought wants to invoke a Mandarin culture, where wise people choose for you. The doctors will choose to give you care that involves them getting rich and not having much work to do. The teachers will give you schools where they spend as little time with the kids as possible, and do as little hard work as possible. the banks will give you inflexible accounts with no interest, and exorbitant loans.

So in this world you will get the worst of all possible services, not the best. The best services come when you choose the best amongst a series of alternatives, and that involves work on your part: choosing, and updating your choice over time, and the work of moving when your choice becomes bad.

What’s the better answer? Same as ever: Brands that build reputation for choices which are merely amongst items of the same commodity-category, and personal preference for items which are genuinely different.

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