Monday, March 3, 2008

Pro Choice

It's a world of choices here in the land of the taxed and the home of the victimized. We may end up picking the most white-bread, middle-class, beige-colored, middle-of-the-road thing we can, but at least we had a choice about it, by gum!

We go to our friendly, neighborhood, big-box grocery/florist/bank/book emporium/coffee shoppe/diner/drugstore to get some green beans. We walk out, having purchased a can of the store-brand green beans that were grown, harvested, and processed in Oelwein, Iowa...but we are smug and self-satisfied knowing that we passed over the vacuum-sealed, organically-grown, individually-inspected, verdant legumes of Puerto Maldonado, Peru.

This penchant for having choices available wouldn't even be worth mentioning except for the following evidence that we have gone far too far. It comes from a conversation I had with a former youth-group member who was doing some work in the admissions office of his college . . .

The question was raised, discussed and decided upon that the college's entrance application was too restrictive when it gave only two choices in the category Gender. Gender. Male/Female. Two choices. Not enough.

Then this former youth-group member told me that he knew of one college that had over 20 choices for Gender. It was at that point of the conversation that I had a brain aneurysm. I mean, I can understand three choices: Male, Female, Michael Jackson...but over 20?

I should be out of the hospital soon, assuming that I have the choice to pay my bill in either dollars or spitwads.


Joe said...

You may be interested in Barry Schwartz's presentation at Google HQ on choice entitled The Paradox of Choice - Why More Is Less (if you have 54 minutes to kill...)

Along the same lines, but dives much deeper into choices we have in many other aspects of our society.

Dewey said...

1) The fact that something exists out there that dives deeper into something I've said here is in no way shocking. Not that anything I say here is so important that--of course!--there is more talk about it going on, but that IF anyone else has anything else to say about something I've touched on here, it is practically GUARANTEED to be deeper.
2) It worries me that you knew about this 54 minute professorial lecture being available. You need to stop using your mind so much and watch more TV.