Sunday, August 10, 2008

Interim thought: freedom is complicated



Being born and raised in a communist country I surely appreciate freedom. It's about the only thing that would make me demonstrate in the streets. Taking responsibility over your own choices, life and mistakes is, in principle, a good thing.
In real life though, sometimes it's a nuisance. Take for example the case of one's study fund. An avergae company works with about 5 different ones you can choose from, each with its own return history (which, BTW does not predict the future) and management fee. If you are not a capital market expert (even though I hold an MBA, I don't work in the financial field), you'd probably prefer an expert's opinion. Besides, you should follow it up every 1-2 years and hop from one fund to the more promising other. For remembering to follow it up once in, say, 2 years, you may need a PDA with your favorite calendar application. By the time you should receive the reminder, your PDA or application (or both) have been updated and the data transferred - or not. To consult an expert, you need recommendations, perhaps a meeting, phone calls and payment. Matters would be much simpler in a single study fund (or no fund) situation.
Religion makes many choices for the observant, prescribing DOs and DONTs, thus simplifying life. It also offers other benefits, such as belonging to a community. Seculars have an endless choice of communities they can belong to, but do they really? Some do, most don't. Is taking a prescribed path better than no path?
Gadgets come with options you don't use but pay for. Then you watch the flashing time display (don't tell me you don't posses at least one such electronic device). 15 years ago, when we bought the shelves for our walk-in closet, we decided to just place them on rails without screwing them in, until we decide their final position. They are still loose in their initial location, but we have the option of moving them.
Costly freedom of choice or no brainers? Your choice.

1 comment:

Suzana said...

for me - the option is important