Voting & The Paradox of Choice

I read an article today that talked the idea that people will usually choose what’s easiest or most convenient over what’s best (however best is defined). This probably explains why people don’t vote.

I think that most people that do not vote don’t do so because it is easier to not vote and not care. Caring, and in turn voting, means that you have to think about what’s going on, think about what you like and don’t like about your current situation, think about the future. Really thinking critically about the status quo is something people are often afraid to do because not only is it difficult, but because they are afraid that they may like what they see. People often surprise themselves when they analyze what really makes them do the things they do and not do the things they don’t. It’s often easier for people to live in a state of denial.

My challenge to myself in others is to refuse to live in denial. I do not believe that “ignorance is bliss.” I think that’s a lazy-apathetic-cop-out-a$sed way to exist. That’s not even living. It sounds like the Matrix to me.

We need to re-think our concept of ‘relevance.’ If we applied the same ‘how does this effect my situation?’ test to everything that we said/did, things would be a lot different. The question is, why do people so readily apply this to voting and don’t apply it to watching Desperate Housewives?

One Love. One II.



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About Garlin Gilchrist II

I am the City of Detroit's first ever Deputy Technology Director for Civic Community Engagement. My job is to open up the city's public data and information for the consumption and benefit of all Detroiters. I currently live in Detroit, my hometown, with my beautiful wife Ellen and our twins Garlin III and Emily Grace. I'm from Detroit. I created Detroit Diaspora, and was formerly the National Campaign Director at I also co-hosted The #WinReport on "The Good Fight," a an award winning, nationally syndicated radio show that was one of Apple's Best of 2013. After graduating with degrees in Computer Engineering and Computer Science from the University of Michigan, I became a Software Engineer at Microsoft. By day, I helped build SharePoint into the fastest growth product in the company's history. On my personal time, I sought out opportunities to connect my technical skills with community building efforts across the country. This led to my co-founding The SuperSpade: Black Thought at the Highest Level, a leading Black political blog. I served as Social Media Manager for the 2008 Obama campaign in Washington, and then became Director of New Media at the Center for Community Change. I spent two years creating and implementing a strategy for the Center to take it's 40 years of community organizing experience into the digital age. I speak before diverse audiences on effective & responsive government, empowerment in revolutionary new organizing spaces, increasing civic engagement & participation through emerging technologies and protecting civil rights in the age of the Internet. Full bio here.

2 responses to “Voting & The Paradox of Choice”

  1. Anonymous says :

    Thanks for your visit. Did you vote on Blogstars …? 🙂

  2. Garlin II says :

    What is Blogstars?

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