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  • Ever feel like an argument never ends? You move on and then they move on but there you are doing it again. Saying it again. That's because the problem's in your head. You're letting time-framing get the drop on you again and again.

    When people develop a food aversion linking feeling nausea to the last thing they ate are time-framing. Because the mild food poisoning causing it (likely Clostridium perfringes or the Norovirus) entered them from 8 to 22 hours before. And if they didn't eat anything strange then it was a 24-hour flu or "stomach flu". Again, time-framing. Because you're now attributing mild food poisoning to a virus because your time-framing doesn't include having recently eaten. (And by mild I mean it doesn't kill you.)

    For those who follow Smarter Safer Better research, they know one of my favorite vulnerabilities of the human condition to test and manipulate is time-framing. It shows up in so many types of fraud, scams, malware executions, and magic tricks that it's amazing how often people still fall for it. Basically, people break down actions into time frames which have a beginning and an end. When an action happens before or after the frame of reference, even if people notice it, it seems to have just happened, like magic, out of nowhere. But if you tell people and make them aware of it, you can still "get them" with it even if they are alert to it. Which is why I use at least three different live demonstrations of time-framing in the Practical Manipulation class. Because it stresses how vulnerable we are to it in its various incarnations and puts it in your situational awareness so you don't fall for tricks like it again.

    A lot of times the police and security professionals over-simplify why users fall victim to drive-by virus downloads, phishing, fraud, and manipulation. Especially when security awareness techniques for computer users still say things like: "Don't click on anything if you don't know where it came from." But what happens when that click happens outside the time frame when they were surfing or launches long after the mail they were looking at has been closed? You close your browser and move on to something else, launch another program, and suddenly you get a request to install an update. Your surfing time-frame is over so this update must be linked to opening this new program and this program is legit so.... That's time-framing.

    Time-framing happens. It's part of our lives and helps us move from one "scene" of our lives to the next. But just because it's over for us doesn't mean it's over. That's how magic tricks get set up and how some relationship fights never end. You never saw it coming so it surprises you again and again.
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