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Facts that make you feel old


Chilly McFreeze
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On 1/28/2020 at 12:10 PM, BomberPat said:

I've always put it done to the overwhelming nature of choice - when the music you hear is dictated by radio, the music press, and what you can find in the shops, your experience is being curated. To find an album by an obscure band you love in a local record shop, or to hear a new track that blew your mind on the radio, was a moment you'd remember, and would dictate your purchases, and therefore your taste. Now, with Amazon, YouTube or Spotify open in front of me, I could find every single one of those albums by obscure bands and have them all in an instant, but there's just so much of it that I don't know where to begin, so I end up not listening to any of it, just retreating to a safer choice. That seems like a near universal experience for all but my most committed muso friends, and I see it reflected in the tastes of students at work, and younger people I know.

I've seen this described elsewhere as a "paradox of choice" whereby when a person is confronted with more choices than they can reasonably decide upon, they become anxious that their choice is not the right one for them and/or to do so would be exhausting and resource consuming.

A simple example would be tomato ketchup in a local supermarket - in an ordinary supermarket, when you get to the condiments isle and look for tomato ketchup you spot the supermarket's own brand, Heinz, Daddies and maybe one or two more brands. If a single new brand of tomato ketchup is brought in for sale, you may be tempted to buy a bottle and try it to see if it tastes better than what you usually buy.

Now say instead the supermarket goes from stocking 3-5 different brands of tomato ketchup to stocking 40 different brands overnight - suddenly, many shoppers now popping in to buy their usual tomato ketchup will find themselves overwhelmed with the options available, wondering how out of all these choices which one will be the "best". Some shoppers will (at least initially) not feel too bothered and will just buy their usual brand, but many of them will at some point later on wonder if any of these new brands are any better, or at least as good but much cheaper than the brand they presently buy, having seen the supermarket have one such brand on a special offer or from talking to others who've tried them. For many others, the choice now available is too overwhelming for them to make a conclusive judgment on their own in terms of cost, the time taken to make comparisons and holding the mental knowledge of what different tomato ketchup's tasted like which may have been several weeks ago.

Also, those brands which a significant batch of shoppers are negative on will likely see the product dumped before it is fully used. and a different one bought at the next supermarket trip, adding to food waste.

Over time, these 40 different brands will almost certainly be whittled down as the supermarket decides to no longer stock brands that are not selling enough, or that some brand manufacturers will stop production of tomato ketchup for whatever reason. Eventually this might go down to five or less but it is also possible (especially in an extremely busy & large supermarket) that there is enough justification to still stock anything from between 10 to 15 different brands if it makes business sense to do so. The regular shoppers in that supermarket will have a reasonable idea of what brand of tomato ketchup they want and will continue to buy - however for new shoppers (living away from home for the first time, or just recently moved into the area) this element of choice can still overwhelm many of them. In any case, this sense of being overwhelmed will often lead to feeling anxious about making the correct choice, especially if you are shopping for a family of picky eaters or money for shopping is tight, and when trying so many different brands none of them are at least as good as the main brand you used to buy - but you don't know if any of the other brands you've tried are better?

This "paradox of choice" is often used to refute right-libertarian & other free-market fundamentalist arguments concerning a claim that offering a consumer more choice is always good, and is a positive example of free markets at hand - of course, the above points mentioned show how it is impossible for most consumers to make a completely rational choice on what brand of tomato ketchup to buy, not to mention other factors outside of their own control e.g. one of the traditional brands responding using their capital resources by selling their product on a short term basis either on wafer thin margins or even at a loss in the hope of driving the new brands out of production and hence the market, putting the price back to normal or higher once most of the new competing brands have been eliminated for consumers to choose.

The Paradox Of Choice essentially claims that choice on its own isn't bad - it's that too much choice is nearly always not a good thing even within a consumer market - even if there is some sort of eventual "correction" from this overwhelming choice, it can't easily conclude that the end result is the right one given the doubts and resources of consumers as well as the behaviour of different brands selling their product to ensure long-term profitability based on their own resources, resulting in even modestly popular brands being eliminated and thus no longer an option to the shoppers.

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FUn FaCT: We are now further away from the release of Sepultura's Roots than it was from the building of the Pyramids

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Well it's 20 years next month since I played three songs with Green Day and the subsequent media attention that ensued for me and my (school) band at the time. 

Also, 'Umbrella' came on the car radio while I was on holiday and was like that was a BANGER back in the day and upon googling it when I got back to the hotel, 'back in the day: was 13 years ago. 

I have no idea where life has gone. 

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(What's The Story) Morning Glory is 25 Years old. That's just 2 years younger than Sgt Pepper was when Oasis released that album.

 

 

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