The Tyranny Of Choice

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The Tyranny Of Choice

Postby 12ozLongneck on Tue Jan 14, 2014 11:34 pm

I normally roll though an episode of something or other from Netflix/my DVR before bed. I've noticed that lately I spend a ridiculous amount of time either deciding what to watch or starting something, deciding that I don't want to watch whatever it is that I've started watching and then starting something else. It seems like I made it through way more movies/shows back in the old school days of 3 at a time DVDs from Netflix when we did not have the gigantic number of choices that we have today. Are any of you afflicted with indecision like this? Am I just an idiot? Both?
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Re: The Tyranny Of Choice

Postby Makaveli on Wed Jan 15, 2014 12:09 am

No, it's very real and surrounds every aspect of our lives.

I read a Great book on the subject. "The Paradox of Choice: Why Less is More"

There are mountains of data that support your assertion.
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Re: The Tyranny Of Choice

Postby Makaveli on Wed Jan 15, 2014 12:13 am

Like Thoreau and the band Devo, psychology professor Schwartz provides ample evidence that we are faced with far too many choices on a daily basis, providing an illusion of a multitude of options when few honestly different ones actually exist. The conclusions Schwartz draws will be familiar to anyone who has flipped through 900 eerily similar channels of cable television only to find that nothing good is on. Whether choosing a health-care plan, choosing a college class or even buying a pair of jeans, Schwartz, drawing extensively on his own work in the social sciences, shows that a bewildering array of choices floods our exhausted brains, ultimately restricting instead of freeing us. We normally assume in America that more options ("easy fit" or "relaxed fit"?) will make us happier, but Schwartz shows the opposite is true, arguing that having all these choices actually goes so far as to erode our psychological well-being. Part research summary, part introductory social sciences tutorial, part self-help guide, this book offers concrete steps on how to reduce stress in decision making. Some will find Schwartz's conclusions too obvious, and others may disagree with his points or find them too repetitive, but to the average lay reader, Schwartz's accessible style and helpful tone is likely to aid the quietly desperate.


The stuff about different fits of jeans was fun. Turns out, people who used to go just buy the only jeans available in the right size, now become paralyzed... Leave store with nothing but confusion, anxiety. But No jeans. Everybody loses.
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Re: The Tyranny Of Choice

Postby HornMafia on Wed Jan 15, 2014 12:14 am

It is the precise reason Costco only has a certain selection of any item.
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Re: The Tyranny Of Choice

Postby Makaveli on Wed Jan 15, 2014 12:22 am

401k plans suffer a 1% drop in participation for every 5 investment options added to plan, even if prior alternatives remain unchanged. There was a study I read of the Stanford University retirement plan. It had weak participation and participants clamoring for more investment options. So they made it one of the most robust open-architecture plans in the world, adding hundreds? Of additional choices along with maintaining existing. Participation rates instantly fell off a cliff as people proactively went out of their way to GTFO. Smart people. Amazing.
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Re: The Tyranny Of Choice

Postby 12ozLongneck on Wed Jan 15, 2014 6:46 pm

Yeah... I understand that the phenomenon exists. I had just never experienced it as far as my consumption of scripted entertainment was concerned until recently. I think the Netflix DVD days were kind of the sweet spot in terms of having choice. 3 discs is enough to have some variety in what you have out at any given time, but not enough where you have to spend a ton of time evaluating your choices.
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Re: The Tyranny Of Choice

Postby Drew Corleone on Wed Jan 15, 2014 11:15 pm

On netflix I usually look for the shortest running time, and default to stuff I have seen, as I have add.
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Re: The Tyranny Of Choice

Postby beam,coke,&horns on Tue Jan 21, 2014 8:42 am

I've been only watching documentaries lately, so that helps.
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Re: The Tyranny Of Choice

Postby Makaveli on Tue Jan 21, 2014 9:25 pm

I've been major documentary addict for the last four years or so. Probably see 3-4 per week over that span. I'm running out of things to watch now.
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Re: The Tyranny Of Choice

Postby 12ozLongneck on Tue Jan 21, 2014 11:15 pm

Have you watched the Ken Burns documentary on Prohibition? Worth a look if you haven't seen it yet.
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Re: The Tyranny Of Choice

Postby Makaveli on Wed Jan 22, 2014 4:42 pm

Yeah, I saw that.
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Re: The Tyranny Of Choice

Postby dahorns on Fri Jan 24, 2014 4:18 pm

12ozLongneck wrote:Have you watched the Ken Burns documentary on Prohibition? Worth a look if you haven't seen it yet.


love the one about national parks
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Re: The Tyranny Of Choice

Postby 12ozLongneck on Tue Aug 18, 2015 10:44 am

Sepinwall on the abundance of quality TV available these days:


When I wrote my How Much Good TV Is Too Much? piece a few years ago, I feared that it was going to come across as whining from and for a very small and specific subset of the audience: #TVCriticProblems. But my fellow reviewers weren't the only ones who responded with some version of "Thank God someone finally said it!" It turns out many of you were feeling just as overwhelmed by the sheer amount of choice in the ever-expanding world of scripted television.

That expansion has only accelerated, and when FX CEO (and unofficial Mayor of Television) John Landgraf came to press tour earlier this month, he was armed with statistics showing that the number of original scripted shows in primetime across broadcast, cable, and various streaming services would top 400 by the end of this year. As NPR's Linda Holmes noted in a piece on this subject over the weekend, you could devote each day of 2015 to watching all the episodes of a different comedy or drama and not have time to finish them all. Landgraf suggested we had reached "peak TV in America," and that over the next few years, the bubble might not burst, but slowly deflate, because this number, and this rate of growth (nearly doubling the amount of original shows made just back in 2009) isn't sustainable.



Link to the rest
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Re: The Tyranny Of Choice

Postby Makaveli on Tue Aug 18, 2015 6:15 pm

The choice on Feature Films sure isn't there. In My Opinion.
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Re: The Tyranny Of Choice

Postby 12ozLongneck on Tue Aug 18, 2015 11:30 pm

I'd agree with that. I can count the number of 2015 movies I've seen on one hand and have fingers left over. While We're Young was pretty good.
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Re: The Tyranny Of Choice

Postby eochs on Wed Aug 19, 2015 10:57 am

Don't forget Terminator
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