Saturday, October 2, 2010


Listen to him from 15.10 min (by click on the 15.10 point in the bar or sliding the white button to 15.10 min) in the video.

taken from

Why you should listen to him:

In his 2004 book The Paradox of Choice  , Barry Schwartz tackles one of the great mysteries of modern life: Why  is it that societies of great abundance — where individuals are offered  more freedom and choice (personal, professional, material) than ever  before — are now witnessing a near-epidemic of depression? Conventional wisdom tells us that greater choice is for the greater good, but Schwartz argues the opposite: He makes a compelling case that the abundance of choice in today's western world is actually making us miserable.

Infinite choice is paralyzing, Schwartz argues, and exhausting to the human psyche. It  leads us to set unreasonably high expectations, question our choices  before we even make them and blame our failures entirely on ourselves.  His relatable examples, from consumer products (jeans, TVs, salad  dressings) to lifestyle choices (where to live, what job to take, who  and when to marry), underscore this central point: Too much choice  undermines happiness.

Schwartz's previous research has addressed  morality, decision-making and the varied inter-relationships between  science and society.  Before Paradox he published The Costs of Living, which traces the impact of free-market thinking on the explosion of consumerism -- and the  effect of the new capitalism on social and cultural institutions that  once operated above the market, such as medicine, sports, and the law.

Both  books level serious criticism of modern western society, illuminating  the under-reported psychological plagues of our time. But they also  offer concrete ideas on addressing the problems, from a personal and societal level.
"Whether  choosing a health-care plan, choosing a college class or even buying a  pair of jeans, Schwartz shows that a bewildering array of choices floods  our exhausted brains, ultimately restricting instead of freeing us." Publisher's Weekly

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