Linked by Christian Paratschek on Thu 23rd Sep 2004 05:59 UTC
Editorial After reading Adam Scheinberg's original article "The Paradox of Choice" and Kevin Russo's response, I want to add my personal comments to this discussion. I will quote Adam and Russo several times and pick up their arguments.
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Dying on the Inside
by Adam Scheinberg on Thu 23rd Sep 2004 11:54 UTC

These Choice article series are superfluous. All three of them.

The enormous response to all three stories proved my original point 10 times over. Even the hint of removal of choice can start a near-civil war.

To anyone who thinks there was any "anti-choice," whatever that now watered-down crappy term means these days, read them again. There's no removal of "choice" from anything except individual distributions.

The best comment so far was the one about a guy who went to buy toothpaste and found over 60 brands. It was confusing - which is better? which tastes better? which fights tartar best? - and in the end, his 2 year old made up her mind and that was that.

Linux is, despite what a bunch of people on a technology site think, VERY INTIMIDATING for new users because there is so much choice and very little guidance. No one has to remove choice "from Linux" to fix this. But someone should start pushing an enterprise Linux distribution that doesn't require a user to choose a DE and an app for every purpose. Know why? Because it's not about philosophy in the workplace, it's about being productive. And that's a mystery to those who haven't truly experienced it. I might not have time to properly research whether AbiWord, KWord, StarOffice, OpenOffice.org, gedit, Kate, KWrite, Nedit, Jedit, etc is the right product for me for a single project. I just need to write my damned weekly report.

Don't believe me? Which is the best LiveCD? There are now about a million Knoppix spin-offs (hyperbole intended). In the end, if I need a LiveCD, I'll just choose one quickly. I'm not doing the research, because there's way too much involved in it and frankly, they all do pretty much the same thing.

With these articles, as long as everyone squabbles about the quality of the writing, the apparent rise of communism, the author(s) being "against choice," etc, there's no progress at all.

Frankly -- rather, sadly -- all these articles have actually done is start flamewars that really are quite embarassing, as they appear to be based solely on the instant reactions of people who skimmed the articles and probably had their mind made up before they finished reading it.