Dan Scharch's Reviews > The Paradox of Choice: Why More Is Less

The Paradox of Choice by Barry Schwartz
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Jan 06, 2012

it was amazing

A select several books on my shelf have unequivocally changed my life for the better. Never has my head spun more, muttering the phrase “knowledge is power” to myself, than while chasing their words with my eyes. They’ve shown me how the world is better than 24-hour news networks, indie bands, or even silly conversations on magical substances.

Barry Schwartz’s The Paradox is Choice is the latest addition to the stack. Right out the gate, Schwartz is tackling a subject most hold dear in America: autonomy. We all believe with our heart and soul that we should harness every right and every minute devoted to building ourselves into angelic (or demonic) beings with the power to hypnotize the world with our voice and have them drooling, staring at our Tyler Durden abs. Alas, we know this is not the reality for most of us, but it is the autonomy, the ability, the dream to keep fighting and keep it alive.

Schwartz instead suggests that the recent paradigm shift to decide every choose-your-own-adventure aspect of our lives is actually making us all very, very upset. Doctors rely on us to tell them what to check up on. College course books are just as dense as the textbooks we had to buy to learn from them. The Internet has opened the doors to thousands of connections, articles, videos, and avenues of life. And despite all that, choice is giving us angst.

It is too much pressure to build a human, step by step. Schwartz takes us deep into this terrifying and insightful look into how easily we are all manipulated into thinking we know what is good for us, and finding out that it is not always true. Schwartz handpicks plenty of psychological studies to illustrate the idea and frankly there could have been way more detail and information. In the end, though, choice can be a burden and (gasp) we may do better without it sometimes.

Fortunately I think The Paradox of Choice is a good book. It is painful, true, but it also opens the doors to consciousness of these problems and provides ways for us to free ourselves from the chains of endless freedom.

When it comes to choice, make the right decision and give this book a try. You won’t regret it.
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message 1: by Dan (new) - rated it 5 stars

Dan Scharch A select several books on my shelf have unequivocally changed my life for the better. Never has my head spun more, muttering the phrase “knowledge is power” to myself, than while chasing their words with my eyes. They’ve shown me how the world is better than 24-hour news networks, indie bands, or even silly conversations on magical substances.

Barry Schwartz’s The Paradox is Choice is the latest addition to the stack. Right out the gate, Schwartz is tackling a subject most hold dear in America: autonomy. We all believe with our heart and soul that we should harness every right and every minute devoted to building ourselves into angelic (or demonic) beings with the power to hypnotize the world with our voice and have them drooling, staring at our Tyler Durden abs. Alas, we know this is not the reality for most of us, but it is the autonomy, the ability, the dream to keep fighting and keep it alive.

Schwartz instead suggests that the recent paradigm shift to decide every choose-your-own-adventure aspect of our lives is actually making us all very, very upset. Doctors rely on us to tell them what to check up on. College course books are just as dense as the textbooks we had to buy to learn from them. The Internet has opened the doors to thousands of connections, articles, videos, and avenues of life. And despite all that, choice is giving us angst.

It is too much pressure to build a human, step by step. Schwartz takes us deep into this terrifying and insightful look into how easily we are all manipulated into thinking we know what is good for us, and finding out that it is not always true. Schwartz handpicks plenty of psychological studies to illustrate the idea and frankly there could have been way more detail and information. In the end, though, choice can be a burden and (gasp) we may do better without it sometimes.

Fortunately I think The Paradox of Choice is a good book. It is painful, true, but it also opens the doors to consciousness of these problems and provides ways for us to free ourselves from the chains of endless freedom.

When it comes to choice, make the right decision and give this book a try. You won’t regret it.


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