We all know about the frog that is comfortable when placed in a pot of lukewarm water. And when the fire on the pot is slowly adjusted higher, the frog stays in the pot. Until it’s too late.
There’s a biological reason for this. The frog is a cold blooded creature. Thus, its body can regulate its internal temperature to the surroundings. Thus, as the water in the pot gets hotter, the frog is able to tolerate this. Again, until it’s too late.
Shouldn’t we regard this positively, as a sign of adaptability and resiliency? After all, if the water did not reach a boiling temperate that endangers life, the frog could be taken out of the pot, and it will go on living.
What’s that line between adaptability/resiliency and life threatening for the frog?
Aren’t we humans also susceptible to adapting ‘too much’ to an environment (culture, ideology, etc.), believing that we have the resiliency to bounce back to life if there’s a clear and present danger? But aren’t the dangers that are most pernicious and difficult to escape, those that have long fuses?
So, what’s that line that will help us humans assess if said environment is a question of adaptability/resilience or [ultimately] life threatening?
Here’s a possible answer. It’s our unique ability to project and anticipate. Humans are good at brainstorming various possible outcomes, and through human experience, weigh the probable outcomes. If we fail to exercise this intelligence, then, we probably become part of the Darwinian outcome.
By the way, isn’t it interesting that the history of past empires (and societies) tell us that it’s difficult to detect this slow boil is because we are benefiting from said environment! The sharpness of our intelligence (morality, spirituality, etc.) gets dulled by the pleasures and benefits of that long fuse.