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Old 06-22-2014, 11:59 AM   #41
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And of course, there was the brilliant Wendy's commercial about "choice".

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Old 06-22-2014, 12:24 PM   #42
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Hysterical!
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Old 06-22-2014, 05:56 PM   #43
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Have you ever gone to Starbucks and said to the gal behind the counter "I'll just have a coffee."?
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Old 06-22-2014, 06:25 PM   #44
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Have you ever gone to Starbucks and said to the gal behind the counter "I'll just have a coffee."?
Variety in coffee? Try Austria!

I was there a few years ago, and had a grand time ordering melange and einspanner. I was in line at one place with an obvious American tourist in front of me. The poor guy grabbed one of the specialty mugs, and asked the young lady for "coffee". in the Viennese coffee house, that's an ingredient, not a drink. She asked him what he would like again, and he sort of lost it. "I want a coffee, damn it! Coffee, in a mug!". I stepped in and asked him if what he wanted was an American style coffee. "Yup. They don't know how to make that!" I explained that what he wanted to ask for was called filterkaffee, that the mug he was holding was for a different drink, and that the filterkaffe would be served in a reasonable looking coffee cup instead of those little bitty cups or funny glasses.

(I very much enjoyed the Vienna coffeehouse culture. More laid back than most American coffeehouses, and often with good live entertainment in the evening.)

Different places have their own languages. Starbucks may be a bit more extreme than most...
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Old 06-22-2014, 07:04 PM   #45
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I could not disagree with that, Ha... I was looking at the subject from a different angle. Not as a comparison, but as an old timer, looking back at a simpler time.

My avatar is a symbol of my arrogant ambition. To be a second last polymath. A goal that I see being ever more impossible for anyone.

As a child, many hours were spent in my back yard, lying on the grass and seeing figures in the clouds. Many more hours were spent in the public library... going through the stacks, aimlessly, and picking out books that were far beyond my knowledge... to browse and look for interesting things.

At age 10 my folks invested in the encyclopedia Americana... all 26 volumes in small print. It was the world, at my fingertips. My choice to read or not, to explore, at my own pace, whatever peaked my interest at that time.

What I see now, is the boy of 10, in between after-school soccer, play dates
and school courses pointed to the 6 year goal of passing the SAT's... and with the entire knowledge of all mankind... from all ages... at his fingertips on his smartphone...
Overwhelmed by choices and playing Sniper Team 2 or Stickman Badminton.

I see a populace, fighting for the American Dream, but unaware of politics... not only National, but International, and except for the local referendum on the proposed new school gymnasium, not even aware of where their taxes go.

I see news sources limited to the bias of NBC or Fox and newspapers mired in hot topic editorials. No time to explore in depth, and as background, the previous headline story which was also designed to shock and amaze.

I see a society where people are expected to have opinions... expected to "know"...
............................................
And at the same time,
-beset by a government frozen in anger and mistrust
-faced with a world where poverty and fear is the result of religious choices
-dealing with laws and regulations which are evermore being twisted from constitutional guarantees, to the needs of: the corporate community, interlocking directorates, and the policy-planning network.

and... by the same logic, countered by a philosophy that the "State" exists to serve, protect, and nurture the people... and that equality trumps the personal freedom (of choice).
.............................................

Back to the subject of "Tyranny of Choice".
I don't believe the article was written as a SOLUTION, but as an attempt to explain that the advances of the past 50 or 60 years are not without a downside. The simple codeword is "information overload"...

I feel very privileged to have had the years to see the difference.


Onward and upward...
+1

imoldernu,

As a guy who is probably 30+ something years your junior, I could not agree with you more. Many of the things you described rang familiar to me growing up in the 60s & 70s and the differences these days when I look around are stark.

Being ER'd hopefully will allow me to continue the journey to polymathdom.

-gauss
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Old 06-22-2014, 07:41 PM   #46
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I would be careful with that polymath idea stuff. Still remember glossy glowing business articles on various corporate persons that featured the smiling visage of that person and described them as a "Renaissance Man". Generally the articles described how great they were and how they did mountain climbing when not in the corporate board rooms. Yech!

Not that Imoldernu has any such issues. He would be a proper polymath.
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Old 06-23-2014, 05:47 PM   #47
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I overheard a young woman laughing in a supermarket about being able to buy "feminine protection" in colors to match her outfit. Now that is a lot of choice!
Perhaps I'm obtuse, but isn't the wearer supposed to be the only one who sees those products? If so, why do they have to be color-matched?

Or perhaps I just run in a different social group....
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Old 06-23-2014, 06:39 PM   #48
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Perhaps I'm obtuse, but isn't the wearer supposed to be the only one who sees those products? If so, why do they have to be color-matched?

Or perhaps I just run in a different social group....
Probably because some women out there like to have everything color coordinated including panties, bra, pantyhose, shoes, dress, jewelry, eyeshadow, lipstick, etc. Some of those items aren't usually seen by others. The color coordinated feminine products is a new one to me, but then I get to ignore that aisle these days and just walk right on by.
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Old 06-23-2014, 08:06 PM   #49
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Beyond the Market and the shopping mall...
The loser in the Tyranny of Choice...

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Old 06-23-2014, 08:28 PM   #50
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Several friends of ours sum up this issue of choice with their selection of shopping: If we need groceries, we go to *******. If they don't have it, we probably don't need it. When we need other stuff, we go to the neighborhood Ace hardware. If they don't have it, we probably don't need it.

Today, I remembered that I wanted to get a new hoe for working in the sweetcorn at my brother's place. Thought about driving to maybe three places to comparison shop, then realized I was close to that Ace hardware store that my friends mentioned. Parked right next to the door, they had 3 models. Picked one out, got back on my way home.

The wonderful variety of goods that we have available can become overwhelming. At mega corp, the unit price made a difference because you were using several hundred thousand of these every year, and it would be in production for perhaps 8 to 15 years. When you are buying a hoe, it isn't that big a deal.

PS: I splurged, I bought the fancy one! I think it will last 4 times as long as the cheap one, and was only 2x the money!
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Old 06-23-2014, 10:03 PM   #51
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Perhaps I'm obtuse, but isn't the wearer supposed to be the only one who sees those products? If so, why do they have to be color-matched?

Or perhaps I just run in a different social group....
Exactly, even the hip young woman thought this level of choice was absurd.
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Old 06-24-2014, 01:08 PM   #52
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PS: I splurged, I bought the fancy one! I think it will last 4 times as long as the cheap one, and was only 2x the money!
Sometimes their inventory is so old that it was priced 2 years ago, resulting in significant savings or enough to compensate for their higher margins. There is also the savings in gas and time for the purists.
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