Photo Prayer 2021-45 -- Too Many Choices

Given ten times as many things to choose from, we naively expect to find something ten times better. Instead, we are disappointed. Confronted with 80,000 drink choices at the local coffee shop, we are tempted to say, “Just give me a &#?@!% cup of coffee!” Search the Internet for “Too Many Choices” and we get just that. As long as we hit the “SHOW ME MORE” button, new choices appear. Is one better than the fifty we have already seen? The hundred? The authors talk of missed opportunities, decision fatigue, choice paralysis, and the escalation of expectations. I like Nobel Prize winner Herbert Simon’s concept of satisficing — a joining of the words satisfy and suffice. “Don’t look at all the choices,” he says. “Stop when you find one that is pleasing, then move on to what’s next in your life.” That is a good answer but, given so many possible answers, I expected better.

Photo of a food truck on the National Mall, Washington, D.C.
Photo copyright 2019; text, 2021 by Danny N. Schweers.

You can subscribe to these as they are created, and comment. Click here to learn more.


Audrey wrote:
Excellent Danny, you hit that point right on the many noses👊🏽

Rob wrote:
So true… and great closing sentence Danny. HA! In another realm, I hope to "satisfice" myself at the dinner table on Thanksgiving Day and not overeat!

Hugh wrote:
AMEN and Happy T-Day!

Tom wrote:
Wow! Great photo and message Danny!

Bernadette wrote:
OMG Danny: this one belongs in the upper echelons of all your Photo Prayers! (at least my collection anyway). I ABSOLUTELY LOVE THIS! Not the least of which, the humor :) Beautifully put.

Sybil wrote:
I find that when I go into grocery stores, sports equipment stores, etc., I think over and over again what refugees coming to America must see, and perhaps the horror of a country having so much and caring not so much about other countries’ welfare....

Helga (via her secretary, Burley) wrote:
I totally agree with you and have felt that way for a long time. It's also not good to give children so many choices. It doesn't make them any happier.

John wrote:
VERY nice punchline!!! (I know “satisficing” is the right approach but I’m a born “optimizer” who) keeps weighing all the options.

My Facebook post garnered the following comments:

So true, and I see what you did there 😊

Anticipation of Regret. “Anticipated regret is the experience right now of the regret that we think we may feel in the future.”

Or just settle down and open a new book. Interested. Calm.

As usual - beautiful words and image. Thank you.

Kathryn M. Jakabcin re-posted my post on Facebook and got these comments.

Wow that food truck is how it feels when I walk into Michaels Craft Store: too much information!

Michele Jackson That's how I feel looking at the toothpaste in Walgreens.

I’d faint at the threshold! Big anyplace overwhelms me — Home Depot, CostCo, et al. A zillion likes and “amens” on this one! When do lotus eaters finally get sated??!!

Avatar thinking, while holding their chin with their right hand.

I'm remembering a story about computer bloatware: They found that 80% of people only use 20% of the options available in Microsoft software. So why do they waste our time/space with the other 80%? Because people only use 20%, but they don't use the SAME 20%, so 100% gets used by SOMEBODY. Where you run into problems with choices in the store: they don't have enough shelf space for that 100% of the options! So you want toothpaste that is paste not gel, with whitening and baking soda, from Crest, and you want to kill somebody because they have hundreds of toothpastes but not that particular combination! The fact that they have all these different options is part of what makes you want specific options, but you often don't find the specific combination you want.

I always liked the half-smokes on the Mall. God only knows how long they [hot dogs] languished in that swamp water, but they sure were tasty. I think they’re the only thing I ever bought from a food truck on the Mall.

The author would love to see your comment. (Click here.)