Jam Revisionism

Manzi doesn't think the paradox of choice exists:

Sure, lots of people consciously simplify their lives  this has been a real social movement for at least the past decade. In less self-dramatizing ways, all of us do this without announcing it when we use brands and other methods for restricting our considered alternatives because we have only finite time and energy to devote to a given purchase decision.

But I think that viewing this kind of decisionmaking as evidence of the need to restrict choice coercively is a mistake. We make these decisions within nested hierarchies of choice. Person A decides to shop for hammers at Home Depot because the enormous range of choices is important to him in this category, but buys his beer at 7-Eleven. Person B shops for beer at a specialty store, but buys whatever hammer he can find at Walgreens. One quick observation is that A has probably spent time learning about hammers and B about beer, or they too would have felt overwhelmed by the variety of choices on offer.