chapter  11
8 Pages

Take away options

I know. I’m sorry. I just spent the previous chapter waxing lyrical about the benefi ts of ‘adding options’, and here I am proposing the opposite. Without even a buffer: without an attempt at a soft landing. I switched teams. I’m a turncoat. I’m riddled with inconsistency. It’s true. However, I’m only refl ecting the way in which we connect with the world. A world that is awash with information, and choice: a few centuries ago a lifetime of knowledge was equivalent to the amount of information contained in tomorrow’s broadsheet newspaper. (Although probably less about TV schedules, and the fi ve-day weather forecast.)

In modern times we’ve built a stable legal system – and a democracy that upholds it – in order to enjoy the freedom and opportunities of which our ancient selves could only dream. This is a good thing. This is a great thing. Except when it’s not – just ask the ice hockey federation who eliminated the risk of serious head injury for players without any loss of competitiveness by making helmets compulsory.1