Adonis Diaries

Posts Tagged ‘demands

Huge emotional differences: Glossing or framing questions, demands, options

You live in small town and there are about 600 suffering from an epidemic. The team of epidemic-control strategists is surveying the town for the best option they prefer for the actions. Four options are presented:

1. Choice A: Save 200 cases

2. Choice B: 33% chance all 600 will survive and 66% chance that no one will survive

3. Choice C: 400 dies

4. Choice D: 33% no one will die and 66% all will die.

What is your choice?

Probably you picked choice D.

Suppose you were given only option A and B. You probably selected choice A. No brainer: 200 in the hand is better than 600 on the tree.

Suppose you were presented with choices C and D? You probably selected choice D. Why?

Rationally, all 4 choices are identical in outcome, if probabilities are pretty correct, but your did selected certain choices. Why?

1. The difference in the framing of options was by changing the term life with death.

Negative connotations strike more powerful chords in our emotional worldview. We feel we had experienced far more sad, frustrating, painful moments and event in our survival process than we experienced happy and satisfying moments (and quickly forgotten to boot it)

Bad happenings are immeasurably higher in frequency and worse in consequences. This realization cannot improve our state of mind that tomorrow is going to be a “good day”

We are the descendants  of the cautious people, the luckier kinds, those who survived most of the bad happenings before they gave birth to a fresh bunch of descendants.

2. The intuitive, automatic and direct decision has a soft spot for the plausible stories.

3. We have this loss aversion bias in our genes.

Another example:

You are selecting for less fattening food. One jar says: 99% Fat Free and the other one is labeled only 1% fat. Which jar do you tend to select?

And yet, the two jars are identical in fat content.

Even if jar A says 91% fat free compared to Jar B of 2% fat, most probably you’ll pick jar A.

The term Glossing is the popular word for the technical term of Framing a questions, demands, options…

Your mother tells you:

1. The trash can is filled.

2. Could you please empty the can?

Which demand is more readily acceptable and sounds more musical to your ears?

“Instantaneous Expediencies” (April 30, 2009)


            We are experiencing a form of policies in the developed nations that is emulating the urges of its citizens for Instantaneous Expediencies related to desires, wishes, demands, acquisition, communication, gathering of intelligence, information, orders, and delivery around the world.  Our current development is characterized by accelerated paces in sciences, technologies, and communication, and delivery of our wishes either through the net, the phone, or airplanes within days if not seconds. If we understand that human history progressed in major three phases of change and dissemination of intelligence of the changes in science, technologies, social and political organization, traditions, and cultures then we might grasp our current problems and how to find common denominators for resolutions.


            There was a time when dissemination of information among the tribes was very slow and the changes taking place among tribes were even slower so that the world was at peace of rivalries and greed.  The next phase of settled communities in urban and agricultural regions experienced accelerated changes in many ways of progress but the dissemination of this intelligence was very slow and the identities of each region developed through traditions, customs, and myths.  By the 16th century and as the Portuguese and Spanish circumnavigated the oceans and discovered many maritime routes for trade and exploitation and met with various ethic groups then the third phase of human development occurred.  This third phase was characterized by the dissemination of ideas, sciences, and know-how progressed at a higher pace than the actual social and political changes in the European nations and thus, the world communities exhibited some kind of generalized uniformity in dwelling designs and forms of political and social organizations and structure.


            The world is faced with a bunch of catastrophic problems from financial and economical difficulties, to environmental disasters that will not spare the next generation, to the emergence of potential superpowers with larger middle classes that can afford and demand all the consumer goods that the west has enjoyed for over a century, and to extremism in religions and nationalism to name just a few.  All these cataclysmic problems require global resolutions but solutions and decisions are done on national basis as Amine Maluf stated in “A World Adrift”


            After the disintegration of the communist Soviet Union in 1989 Europe and particularly the US realized that they could dominate the World economically and militarily.  By 2001, the US Bush Junior administration of neo-conservatives could no longer resist to test the notion of Instantaneous Expediencies.  The US administration had the urge to put in practice its power of perceived world police force.  In no times, the administration delivered its summons to the European Union and the UN to adhere to the US plans of invading Iraq.  The material potentials were there but the moral value and culture of the US administration were fidgeted in another era of staunch nationalism and religious zealotry.


William Carlos Williams (1883-1963) wrote “Man has survived because he was too ignorant to know how to realize his wishes (desires).  Now that he can realize his wishes, then he must either change them or perish”.




April 2023

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