The Paradox of Choice occurs in situations when you have to chose between multiple options that have similar levels of appeal. For example, it’s easy to chose between three flavors of ice cream but when you have to chose between thirty flavors of ice cream you are most likely to succumb to the paradox of choice, you weight the pros and cons of choosing a flavor over another one and this makes your choice much harder.
If you are like me and have an open mind, have an expanded horizon and various subjects you are interested in, you might be faced with the paradox of choice when it comes to selecting the next activity you should do. For example, I have a file with various things that I’m interested in and like to do, each one of these things written on a line: reading, playing chess, learning foreign languages, writing and so on. So when I’m feeling bored and lacking the inspiration on knowing what to do next, I look into this file and select something to do. The problem is, sometimes multiple options are equally attractive and I get into an analysis paralysis and I end up doing nothing.
So I wrote a script as a solution for these types of situations, a simple script in Python that reads the file containing the random activities and interests and randomly prints out one of them in the console. That’s it. I only see one option and go with it. Does this solution work? It works for me. I outsource my decision making process to a simple script that does all the work for me.
f = open(‘randoms’, ‘r’)
randoms = f.readlines()
Python even has one neat function called choice. Random choice. A good solution to the Paradox of Choice.
Contest mobility is a system of a changing social status hierarchy which is seen as a “contest”, a competition where elite status is the end goal. Basically, a contest mobility can be seen as a meritocracy in which achievement is attributed to effort and where attributes such as enterprise and perseverance are valued.
The term contest mobility was used in a 1960 work by Ralph H. Turner in which compared the American and British systems of secondary education and found that in the American system contest mobility is the norm.
In such a system, elite status is earned through effort and dedication and credentials largely established by the society are used to identify the social status and class of the individual. Credentials can be material assets or skills.
Contest mobility is usually associated with the American Dream and the notion that through hard work and determination everything is possible.
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Tangaroa is the Māori god of the sea and is the son of the Sky and Earth. Tangaroa is in antagony to Tānem the god of birds, trees and humans, the Māori thinking of the ocean and the land as two dimensions that are in opposition. This is why before any fishing or travel expedition they had to make offerings to the god Tangaroa in order to appease him and have a safe journey through his domain.
Tangaroa is also the name for an expedition made in 2006, a replica expedition of the famous Kon-Tiki expedition. The earlier Kon-Tiki expedition of 1947 started in Callao, Peru and ended in the Raroia Atoll (the balsa raft got stuck on a reef there) after a journey of 6980 kilometers in 101 days. The Tangaroa expedition started in Ecuador and ended in Raiatea in the French Polynesia which is not far from the Raroia Atoll – the journey took 30 days faster than the original 101 days. The time record of the newer expedition is credited to the proper use of quara boards in navigation – in the documentary that I will link below you can see the exact process.
The six-man crew of the Tangaroa included the grandson of Thor Heyerdahl, one of the members of the original expedition.
Why is the Kon-Tiki expedition, and later on Tangaroa, important? Thor Heyerdahl wanted to prove his theory that people from South America could have settled Polynesia in pre-Columbian times so in the making of the Kon-Tiki raft were used materials and technology that were known at that time in that part of the world.
So, did South Americans really managed to cross vast stretches of water and did they interact with the inhabitants of the Polynesian islands? Genetic tests seem to confirm this, a test conducted on the Rapa Nui people of the Easter Island shows that there is a South American component in their DNA’s dating from about 1280 to 1495, the genetic thumbprint is small hinting to a low level interaction between the two populations.