Monday, September 18, 2006

False Paradox of Choice

A growing awareness of "Set-Top Cop" issues combined with the myriad ways these restrictions multiply in more and more technology/media product releases, the more Barry Schwartz's Paradox of Choice appears in need of revision.

Schwartz has engaged in a running debate with Chris Anderson of THE LONG TAIL fame. Schwartz claims that Anderson's embrace of The Long Tail overlooks the toll on consumer's overwhelmed by the infinite content found on the Long Tail. Schwartz, like Anderson, ignore how digital rights management restrictions make their whole debate secondary to more fundamental issues of how technological restrictions undermines choice by limiting the range of creative expression and innovation.

We've entered into something called "the false paradox of choice". We get an exciting brand new Microsoft music player that restricts us in one way, then we figure out how Apple's new product constrains us another way only to be offered brand-new HD DVD players more expensive, more restrictive and ultimately more irrelevant than anything we don't have now.

The technology/media industries wonder why college students go outside the established networks. Could it be that they aren't bad people, but just a little frustrated at losing more and more control over their own set top boxes.

1 comment:

Elke Kolodinski said...

A revolution is on the horizon. Corporations can only insult their supposedly valued customers for so long until people learn to swim around/beneath or fly over both Scylla and Charybdis in frustration.