Thursday, July 26, 2012

Opt-in vs Opt-out



The idea here is a powerful one. Do we make our own decisions or just accept the default? What are the implications here for our political beliefs? Or our religious choices? Or, on a slightly more humorous note, our food?


We inherent our diets. If our parents are vegans, then we are more likely to do the same. If our parents eat steak & potatoes, then we are more likely to do the same. If our parents eat mostly fast food, then we are more likely to do the same. These defaults become cultural norms. 

It goes beyond that though. When you go to the grocery store, what are you looking for? The most variety? The freshest produce? The best bang for your buck? The fastest way to cook food, so that you can get back to your work faster? Or, do you not go to the grocery store at all? Really though, was this a learned behavior from your parents or something you decided for yourself?


My parents go for the cheapest food. I can't stand the stuff. With rare exception, I find most of things that we call food to be flavorless GMO gobbly gook. I prefer organic, local food (with some exceptions of course) not for any great environmental reasons, but because it just tastes better.  Steak that has been force fed corn all of its life and injected with anti-biotics to keep it healthy is no where near as delicious as natural grass-fed beef. No wonder we have to layer our meat with layers upon layers of synthetic chemicals to make it tasty. 

Not Spicy is the default in most of America. Rudy's BBQ in Texas flips this on its head. Do you want Normal (which is Spicy) or Sissy sauce (which is not)? I bet you more people eat the hot sauce just because its the default. No one wants the opt-out label.



You can't choose where you live. Did the suburbs really win or did they become the default? One that our generation has to actively opt-out of to escape. It's easier just to accept the norm of our parent's choices than to form our own.

It's hard for me to wrap my head around the idea that people of my generation want to live in the suburbs. Everyone I know - granted, it is a small sample size - would prefer to either live in a City or out in the middle of no where. We see the suburbs as the worst of both worlds.

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