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Keeping things simple. A reflection about having a choice in life.
We recently got inspired by a guy called Barry Schwartz who is the Dorwin Cartwright Professor of Social Theory and Social Action at Swarthmore College. He is a psychologist by discipline and he speaks and writes very eloquently on what he calls the 'paradox of choice'. His argument is simple: the more choice we have, the more difficult it is to feel happy with our choices, or indeed make a choice in the first place. You can watch his insightful – and funny – presentation to the Technology Entertainment Design (TED) conference in 2007 here: In summary, Barry's theory is that choice in itself is not a liberating force but that on the contrary, it paralyses. That is the paradox. This theory is supported by lots of scientific data about how the ability to choose decreases as the amount of choice increases. We have all done it, haven't we, when presented with too much to choose from? We choose the thing we know the best, or the thing at the top of the list. The best and most frequent example of the paradox is what we have all faced when eating out in a restaurant: menu anxiety. Choosing a fireplace might seem a long stretch from menu anxiety but the underlying principles are the same. There is no shortage of options when you are considering how to heat or decorate your living area. How do you make sense of them all, particularly when this is a choice you are probably not going to make very often? The solution you choose has to be the right one, because once you have made that choice, you're kind of stuck with it! It's not even a single choice. You have to choose what fuel you wish to use, with all the attendant supply and regulation issues. You have to choose a style – do you want a traditional or modern fireplace? Do you have to alter or adapt your fireplace, or even build a new one to accommodate your heating choices? The deeper you get into the problem, the more complex it becomes. And this feeds your paralysis of choice, doesn't it? One easy way of avoiding this paralysis is to keep things as simple as possible. Bio Ethanol Fires are an ideal solution to your fireplace dilemma in so many ways. A Bio Fire can stand pretty much anywhere in your room, so you are not limited to having to decide how best to use your existing fireplace. A Bio Fire doesn't need a chimney. It is low maintenance – all you have to do is wipe it from time to time. They come in a terrific range of sizes and traditional and modern styles (uh oh – choices!). Best of all, no pipes, no meters, no servicing and no dirty fuel to lug about. In fact, the fuel is an environmentally-friendly biofuel, so as well as the warm glow you will get from your Bio Fire, you know that you are using a fuel that is much less harmful to the environment. And if you choose to move house (more choices!), your Bio Fire can come with you. What could be simpler?

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