Frog on the stove syndrome

In reading the Capalert review of Blue Streak ( ), the author mentions that movies like this lower “His Expectations of us- the frog on the stove syndrome”.

What is this? Search engines only yield a 2nd amendment rant page.

It’s a metaphor for incrementalism.

The idea is: if you increase the heat very slowly, the frog will be cooked before he realizes it’s getting hot. However, if you immediately throw him into some hot water, he’ll jump out.

In politics, it’s often used as a metaphor to show creeping government intrusion.

I believe that the author is referring to the hypothesis that a frog thrown into hot water will immediately jump out again, whilst a frog placed in cold water, which is then placed on the stove and gradually heated, will sit quietly and let itself be boiled alive (i.e., we react to sudden changes, but get used to gradual ones).
Now, mind you, I haven’t boiled any frogs lately, so I can’t offer any information on how they really do behave in these situations. I only note that most people cite this story as if it were true, or at least believed.

“Kings die, and leave their crowns to their sons. Shmuel HaKatan took all the treasures in the world, and went away.”

Cooking a frog alive? That’s awful! I’m going to e-mail CAPALERT to ask that they clean up their metaphors before my children (which I don’t have yet because I don’t want to raise them in such an awful world) are able to read them. :slight_smile:

Thanks- That explanation seems to fit the bill.

That can’t be true. I realize that frogs are cold-blooded, and their temperature will rise along with the water temperature, but eventually the frong will reach a threshold that causes it to go “Ouch,” and jump.

Wouldn’t it?

Yer pal,

Omigod–a frog in the microwave?

Tell me it’s not true . . sob!

Come on Pinky, we have an experiment to do…

Hey Flora, it’s ok. The mama frog had an epileptic seizure and didn’t know what she was doing. So all’s forgiven. Anyway, we did make good use of its little cooked froggy legs. Yummmmm.

Ack! Dirty Devil, I thought it was CHICKEN!!

Can I keep the meat? I’ll eat frog legs.