Freedom of Choice / by Raymond Schlitter

A satirical piece on how the over abundance of mundane choices can enslave us. I found this to be especially so in Japan where people seem to work non-stop. But at least they have the cutest products in the world.

One may be inclined to think the more choices at hand, the greater his or her freedom. This really depends the nature of the choice. Say you have a lethal tumor growing near your brain. The situation is dire, but you find yourself in the position to choose a life saving operation. What would you choose to do? Count down the days to your own death, or opt for surgery? With very little thought most likely you would choose to get the surgery and never look back. Easy choice, right? On the other hand, imagine you walk into a convenience store with the intention of addressing the slight tug of appetite. You stand before an entire wall of bottled and canned drinks, multiple aisles of canned goods, boxed lunches, candy, chips, and so on. The choices are almost innumerable. You're processing... what I like, what's healthy or not, what's new, whoa, they also have gift cards, DVDs, porn? Do I need this? For a time you find yourself caught in a prison of mundane choices. This choice of light consequence appears to be much more difficult than a choice of heavy consequence. Are we not more free when not choosing, merely acting as a matter of course?