Choose Your Adventure

When I first got an MP3 player I began to ruin music.

Hundreds, then thousands of songs, all instantly skippable.  So much choice.   Too much choice.

I’d mostly play it on random.  Whenever a song came on I’d listen for a minute or so, then think this song is good, but I bet the next one is better.  So I’d skip.  Then the same thing would happen again, and again and again.  No track was good enough, there was always a fictional perfect song waiting, just one skip away.

I’m mostly over that problem now, at least with music, but a similar one exists elsewhere.  It’s hard to choose a film from the pile of unwatched ones.  This might be good, but this one might be better.  And this might be better than them all.

TV shows too.  I might enjoy an episode of Boardwalk Empire, but more than Deadwood or Rome?

At home, a pile of unread books presents the same choice.  But that one I can escape.  In front of my bookcase, indecision reigns.  But once a book is selected, it goes in a bag, or to my desk at work.  The decision has been made.  Reading is a Hobson’s choice: read this book, or no books at all.  I can focus on one because there are no others.

And that’s why I’m not buying a Kindle.


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