Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Freedom of Choice

... What if one doesn’t want it?

Listen to this legend:

There was a donkey, Buridan's donkey, that stood between a pile of hay and a pot of water. The donkey was hungry but it was equally thirsty too. The donkey could not make its mind whether to start by eating or by drinking. He stood there while the earth turned around itself. Nights went by and days followed. Other donkeys were eating, drinking, jumping in the woods. Yet, Buridan's donkey stood there, unable to make any rational decision to start eating hay or drinking water; it is as hungry as it is thirsty and is positioned exactly between food and drink. What happened at the end? well, Buridan's donkey died from hunger and thirst.

Can a person who sees two options as truly equally compelling be fully rational? Could a man die, between two equally plausible routes of action?

I leave you to ponder on this song, "Freedom of Choice", by Devo:

"A victim of collision on the open sea
Nobody ever said that life was free
Sank, swam, go down with the ship
But use your freedom of choice

Ill say it again in the land of the free
Use your freedom of choice
Your freedom of choice

In ancient rome there was a poem
About a dog who found two bones
He picked at one
He licked the other
He went in circles
He dropped dead

Freedom of choice
Is what you got
Freedom of choice!

Then if you got it you dont want it
Seems to be the rule of thumb
Dont be tricked by what you see
You got two ways to go

Ill say it again in the land of the free
Use your freedom of choice
Freedom of choice

Freedom of choice
Is what you got
Freedom of choice!"

4 comments:

nathalie said...

There is never "two options as truly equally compelling" unless you are talking about something insignificant like two jarrs of peanut butter or two brands of chewing gum with the same taste.

Important options in life are never equally compelling. They can be all compelling but never equal. When looking at options from different angles you can usually see the differences clearly.

People that want everything, and that's a very superficial and immature behavior, tend to see the illuison of options as equally compelling.

That's basically a way to run away from decisions and responsibility. And regret is always the result of such behavior. And often they end-up following the option selected by others on their behalf or whatever option that remains available over time.

Maya said...

Hello Nathalie,
Thank you for visiting my blog. I do agree with you that indecision is a way of running away from responsibility. An immature way, I agree as well. And useless since the indecise person suffers tremendously. Your way of expressing yourself is very familiar, do I know you?

nathalie said...

you don't know me
I got across your blog by coincidence

paisible photographe said...
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