How "Freedom of Choice" Tyrannizes the American Psychology
What we are more often presented with than not--from the realm of politics to the grocery store aisle--is a phony array of options that adversely affects our individual and collective psychology.
What's the Latest?
A large portion of Daniel Kahneman's Nobel Prize-winning work in economics rests on the conclusion that humans are not great at making decisions in their self interest. And the more choices we are given, the worse we perform, becoming paralyzed by sheer variety. From this, a cottage industry of self-help books has emerged. The authors of such books claim to harness the power of decision making to improve our lives. Social scientists, however, remain skeptical. What we are more often presented with than not--from the realm of politics to the grocery store aisle--is a phony array of options that adversely affects our individual and collective psychology.
What's the Big Idea?
Choice and freedom are bedrock values in a democratic capitalist society, but today we have too much of a good thing: thousands of TV channels, hundreds of shampoos, etc. Accompanying our society's emphasis on choice is a responsibility to choose wisely, meaning that when things in life don't exactly work out, the burden is on us and the guilt can be overwhelming. It may be that the market restricts our choices as much as it enables them. After all, "the one choice not readily available to us is the choice to limit the spread of the market and its values."
Read more at The Nation
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The results come from a 15-year study that used ultrasound scans to track blood vessels in middle-aged adults starting in 2002.
- The study measured the stiffness of blood vessels in middle-aged patients over time.
- Stiff blood vessels can lead to the destruction of delicate blood vessels in the brain, which can contribute to cognitive decline.
- The scans could someday become a widely used tool to identify people at high risk of developing dementia and Alzheimer's.
What defines a dark horse? The all-important decision to pursue fulfillment and excellence.
When we first set the Dark Horse Project in motion, fulfillment was the last thing on our minds. We were hoping to uncover specific and possibly idiosyncratic study methods, learning techniques, and rehearsal regimes that dark horses used to attain excellence. Our training made us resistant to ambiguous variables that were difficult to quantify, and personal fulfillment seemed downright foggy. But our training also taught us never to ignore the evidence, no matter how much it violated our expectations.
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