pct application

[Avery Andrews 930823]

I haven't had any useful PCT ideas for a fair while, but do seem to have
managed a practical application, reducing domestic power bills by tracking
daily consumption. A major part of the effect seems to be that the children
have stopped getting up in the middle of the night, turning on the
heater and just sitting there (typically falling asleep), presumably
because they don't want to be fingered as the cause of a major
power-usage blowout. Lights also get left on a lot less than they
used to.

For a while we kept a chart, but simply announcing the day's reading
seems to be pretty effective. I haven't managed to read Ed Ford's
book yet (there don't seem to be any borrowable copies in town, and I
haven't been able to spend,a lot of time in the National Library reading
the one there), but I'm guessing that this kind of method works by
facilitating the creation of a perception of the amount of power
that is currently being used, and bulding it into a control system whose
reference level is zero (but how the conflict between this system and
the one that likes hot showers gets resolved, I'm not sure - my guess
is that the no-power system has a pretty low gain, so that it suffices
to extinguish frivolous power usage, but not usage that serves a pleasurable
or necessary end).