Welcome to the home of Noah Brier. I'm the co-founder of Variance and general internet tinkerer. Most of my writing these days is happening over at Why is this interesting?, a daily email full of interesting stuff. This site has been around since 2004. Feel free to get in touch. Good places to get started are my Framework of the Day posts or my favorite books and podcasts. Get in touch.

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Debunking the Frog Myth

So you know that story about how if you put a frog in warm water it will jump out but if you put it in cold water and then slowly bring up the heat it won’t? You’ve definitely heard it. Well, it turns out it’s just not true. James Fallows offers up a replacement, cat litter, to which Rafe Colburn offers a good rebuttal:

I don’t think the cat litter box analogy is a perfect substitute for the boiled frog. The point I take away from the litter box is that people to become accustomed to conditions that make people who are not so conditioned wince. The point of the boiled frog analogy (despite the fact that it is not scientifically accurate) is that if environmental conditions change slowly enough, people will not perceive that change until it’s too late.

Anyone have a good replacement?

May 18, 2009