Monday, January 09, 2006

It's cold!

This morning the central issue on our morning meeting was not how to further democracy through training better journalists or how to support communicative rationality and ethics - it was something closer and dearer to everybodies' hearts. It's cold.

In the middle of a long, stable cold period, the college has changed the system for heating our offices. This is an attempt to save energy by lowering the temperature when there are not a lot of people in the offices: after hours and in the week-ends. It also turns the temperature up in time to have the rooms comfortably heated when we arrive Monday morning. But this means that the control of our immediate environment - the temperature in our offices - has been taken away from us.

The morning was spent discussing different strategies for gaining the control back. One inventive strategy was taking the thermo-controller down from the wall where it is mounted, and put in the fridge. Others included removing batteries from the same thing, or hacking the control system.

Lately I have been interested in such alternative strategies in games: how players exploit loopholes in order to play the game in unexpected ways. And here I get the pleasure of observing the exploit options discussed in a heated discussion and with high stakes: our personal comfort depends on it.

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