Innovation Reading Circle
Innovation Reading Circle
The Innovation Reading Circle aims to help develop theory around innovation through rich, high-level and well-informed public discussion around key and related texts and discourses... [Read on in Objectives]
The Paradox of Choice: Why More Is Less Barry Schwartz (HarperCollins, 2004) [US sub-title ‘How the Culture of Abundance Robs us of Satisfaction’]
Barry Schwartz is the Dorwin Cartwright Professor of Social Theory and Social Action at Swarthmore College. He is the author of several books, including The Battle for Human Nature: Science, Morality and Modern Life and The Costs of Living: How Market Freedom Erodes the Best Things in Life. His articles have appeared in many of the leading journals in his field, including the American Psychologist. [Read on on the HarperCollins site, Swarthmore College site, and profile on Wikipedia.]
The Paradox of Choice claims that modern life has become “increasingly complex due to the overwhelming abundance of choice with which we are presented” and that excessive choice “can lead to decision-making paralysis, anxiety, and perpetual stress”. Instead, the author argues for the value of eliminating choices as a route to deriving greater satisfaction. The discussion will also bring in perspectives Happiness: Lessons from a New Science by Richard Layard, which argues that as societies become richer, they do not become happier.
The Paradox of Choice can be ordered from Amazon.co.uk or from one of the online UK bookstores listed in under international bookstores on the HarperCollins site.
Happiness: Lessons from a New Science Richard Layard [Suggested by Lorenzo Wood]
The Challenge of Affluence: Self-control and Well-being in the United States and Britain Since 1950 Avner Offer (Oxford University Press, 2007)
Affluenza Oliver James (Vermilion, 2007)
7–9 pm (6:30 pm for drinks), Monday October 8, 2007
We are grateful to Channel 4 Television for supporting and hosting this event. (More about the Channel 4 Building.)
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Some of the questions that we plan to discuss include:
Britain’s happiness in decline BBC News, 2 May 2006. Britain is less happy than in the 1950s - despite the fact that we are three times richer.
Google Tech Talk: The Paradox of Choice – Why More Is Less, Barry Schwartz, April 27, 2007 [video]
TED Talks: The paradox of choice, Barry Schwartz, July 2005 [video]
BT Big Thinkers series: Paradox of choice with Barry Schwartz, with facilitator Esther Dyson, 31st October, 2006 [video]
Pop!Tech 2005 talk: Less is More, Barry Schwartz, 2004-10-23 [audio]Themed issue: Are We Happy Yet? Happiness in an Age of Abundance Cato Unbound, April 2007 , including lead essay The Pursuit of Happiness in Perspective by Darrin M. McMahon and reactions by Barry Schwartz, Ruut Veenhoven, Will Wilkinson. And link to related archived content 'Pursuit of Happiness Research: Is It Reliable? What Does It Imply for Policy?' [pdf] by Will Wilkinson.
Opinions: Against unhappiness Richard Layard, Prospect, issue 135, June 2007 [paid sub required]
Don’t ask the state for happiness Helen Johns and Paul Ormerod, Financial Times, July 16 2007
Why the ‘politics of happiness‘ makes me mad Frank Furedi, spiked, 23 May 2006
Consumer Vertigo, Virginia Postrel, Reason Magazine, June 2005
Other shared bookmarks for Innovation Reading Circle 09 may be added.
Select All, Christopher Caldwell, The New Yorker, 1 March 2004
Clobbered By The Cornucopia, BusinessWeek Online, April 26, 2004
PBS: Online NewsHour: Paradox of Choice, December 26, 2003
If you have queries about the event please email Nico Macdonald