In defense of Post Raisin Bran

Glenn gave me a bit of a hard time in our inaugural episode for my opting to eat Post Raisin Bran every day for breakfast instead of using the two-and-a-half hours I make for myself between waking and going to work to whip up a batch of Belgian Waffles, French toast or some such.

As I noted during the podcast, my choice of breakfast food – especially during the work week – just isn’t that important to me. It’s fuel for the day and Post Raisin Bran, which I like well enough, does a suitable job. Is there something I might like even better on a random Tuesday morning? Probably, but I’d rather spend the time doing things that are more important to me (to wit: reading, completing a Rosetta Stone Spanish lesson and taking a shower) than deciding what I want to eat, cooking it and cleaning up afterwords. By making the decision to eat Post Raisin Bran everyday, my life is a little bit simpler.

In his excellent book The Paradox of Choice, Barry Schwartz lobbies for making such rules with regard to what he terms “second-order decisions” that are, in the end, just not that important to us.

While choice is, generally speaking, a good thing, Schwartz argues that today we have too many choices – from kind of cereal to eat to what fit and wash of blue jeans to buy, to name but two. This abundance of choice, he continues, brings about an array of unhealthy psychological results including increased dissatisfaction and even depression. Check out his thesis here.

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