David Brain


  1. I don’t buy this. While he can poke holes in the bountiful choices we have open to us, the alternative is too grotesque to contemplate. The choices never go away or become fewer in number. Either we make them ourselves or we hand over our freedom to choose to someone else to make them for us. Power then becomes centralised and such a concentration of power will always attract megalomaniacs, dictators, idealogues and, frankly, corrupt bureacrats who will favour their own or the highest bidder. The repeated failure of socialism in the last century, sadly for the people involved, proves this.

    Highly distributed choice is a bulwark to defend, amongst other freedoms, democracy. It is no accident that the countries with the freest markets
    have the highest participation in free elections.

    Apart from some low-level whining about jeans shopping and salad dressing, he fails to cogently argue why having these choices is so bad.

    Ultimately this comes across as a manifesto for lowered ambitions and for people to know their place. I’ve seen far better TED videos I’m afraid.

  2. Yes I agree restricted choice is no philosophy for organising life that I would like to live under. That said, the guy comes at this from a mmore psychological point of view I thought and that is indeed valid. The point of posting it was that for those of us in communications I think it serves as a real reminder that people often find choice stressful and options difficult. The example of the take-up of pensions he used was a good one. Sometimes our job is simplifying, differentiating and finding shorthands rather than listing attributes and benefits as so many brand seem still to do.

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