December 4, 2007
The boiling frog story is part of business folklore. It goes something like this:
"If you throw a frog in boiling water he will quickly jump out. But if you put a frog in a pan of cold water and gradually raise the temperature, the frog will just doze off and eventually cook to death without noticing the peril that he's in."
Sorry to disappoint you, folks. Research scientists in Oklahoma have debunked the urban myth. The frog will get uncomfortably hot and seek to escape from the water.
I wish that I could claim the same sensitivity to the gradual deterioration in my environment. At some stage, my PC screen deteriorated, but I just continued to soldier on with it…
(Yes, the one on the right in this photo – and the screen brightness is turned up to max).
A friend saw me working and said "Heavens. You must be straining your eyes looking at that thing! You need to replace that." And he was right.
In truth, I had never made a conscious note that the screen had deteriorated. But now that I'm using a bright, clean screen again, the difference is obvious. I can read things with greater ease and I think that even my posture might have improved (I can sit at a more sensible distance from the screen).
Perhaps I'm equally oblivious to other environmental deterioration going on around me. It dawns on me that I haven't seen any frogs in central Tokyo recently…