Boiling Frog

Boiling frog

The boiling frog is a fable describing a frog being slowly boiled alive. The premise is that if a frog is put suddenly into boiling water, it will jump out, but if the frog is put in tepid water which is then brought to a boil slowly, it will not perceive the danger and will be cooked to death.

The story is often used as a metaphor for the inability or unwillingness of people to react to or be aware of sinister threats that arise gradually rather than suddenly.

The boiling frog story is generally offered as a metaphor cautioning people to be aware of even gradual change lest they suffer eventual undesirable consequences. It may be invoked in support of a slippery slope argument as a caution against creeping normality. It is also used in business to reinforce that change needs to be gradual to be accepted. Oppositely, the expression “boiling frog syndrome” is sometimes used as shorthand to invoke the pitfalls of standing pat.

The story has been retold many times and used to illustrate widely varying viewpoints: in 1960 about sympathy towards the Soviet Union during the Cold War; in 1980 about the impending collapse of civilization anticipated by survivalists; in the 1990s about inaction in response to climate change and staying in abusive relationships. It has also been used by libertarians to warn about the slow erosion of civil liberties.

In philosophy, the boiling frog story has been used as a way of explaining the sorites paradox. It describes a hypothetical heap of sand from which individual grains are removed one at a time and asks if there is a specific point when it can no longer be defined as a heap.

Nowhere is this more evident than in Commodity trading. This is one of the reasons why Bretcrown Trading International is not a long trader. Our philosophy is day-trading, in particular sculpting.

Neil G Van Luven

Neil G Van Luven signature

President of the Crude Oil Investment Club