This is only tangentially related to my ongoing ‘Freedom Lover’s Critique of America‘; but tangent does mean touching in Latin, so this does touch the topic:
I am staying in a very American sort of place: The owner has gone out of his way to provide “conveniences”, and in America that usually involves screens–nowadays of the flat-panel variety. They must be in every room, so that you don’t ever have to miss out. Other devices must be connected to the screens so that you need not compromise on your entertainment options. You must, you see, have choice. (More on the paradoxical effect of choice on freedom here.)
And so I opened a drawer. It turned out to be the mother lode of complexity metaphors in American life. All you need to enter this American paradise was contained therein. I thought of the number of remote controls, then the number of buttons, then the number of permutations. But I’m not that good at math.
I savored the irony, then closed the drawer and opened a book.