Default settings are funny and often confusing. Default setting in technology refers to a preexisting value of a user-configurable setting, assigned to a software application or a device. Such settings are also called factory presets. It may sound like a bunch of technical mumbo jumbo but that’s precisely what it is, a standard origination and restoration point. New purchase? Start from default. Things don’t work? Reset to default and start all over again. But why are we discussing default values? It’s because I stumbled upon this insightful tweet by ace journalist Nidhi Razdan who is one of the star anchors at India’s number one Views channel.
Why should the state tell us the temperature at which to set our ACs? Next you’ll tell us how much rice we can eat, how much water we can drink. Nanny state 101 https://t.co/HavpHMHlYY
— Nidhi Razdan (@Nidhi) June 24, 2018
Nidhi challenges the government’s meddling in day to day affairs like the goddamned temperature of our ACs. Imagine being stuck with an AC whose temperature controller doesn’t work. Nightmarish, right? Nidhi asks the question “Why should the state tell us the temperature at which to set our ACs?”. A very good question indeed. Modi ji started with this Swachh Bharat thingy and told people not to litter around. The joys of defecating in open was snatched cruelly by him with his toilet drive. You cannot find an example of a more personal meddling than this anywhere in the world. He then went ahead and asked people to give up LPG subsidies and strangely enough, over a crore people complied. Emboldened by this, he snatched 500 and 1000 rupees from us. He even snatched good old taxes like VAT, Municipal taxes, Octrois, looped taxes, recursive taxes, nested taxes and taxes within taxes from us and gave us the GST. He is planning to snatch the different educational boards and give us one single board. He is even planning to snatch the different elections from us and give us one election. PM Modi has been on a snatching spree and snatching the joys of wearing thermals and sleeping under layers of quilts in Delhi summer is the luxury he wants to snatch next. This sounds very Orwellian to me, Modi ji a la Big Brother is watching us all the time with his deep penetrating eyes, setting rules for us, deciding what we eat, how we sleep, how much water we add in our whiskey, soda or no soda, chakhna or no chakhna, ghazal or rap.
But wait, is the government actually controlling our AC temperature? Center has proposed 24 Degrees as default AC temperature to save energy. They came up with this idea after a series of researches and the same has been proposed by Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE). Let’s go back to the previous definition of what default value means. Default setting in technology refers to a preexisting value of a user-configurable setting, assigned to a software application or a device. So, when a person switches on a brand-new AC, the temperature indicator will read 24 degrees. When the AC is rebooted (Switched off and on from the main power supply), the temperature will switch back to 24 degrees. So, does that amount to government telling us the temperature at which to set our ACs?”.
Let’s clarify it with an example:
I had purchased an iPhone on the very last day of my IT Career (just for some thrill). It was beautiful, the camera was sharp, the designing smooth, the bezels gorgeous and the feel premium. But there was a problem. I was stuck with this godforsaken Safari browser because it is the default browser on iPhones. I have never liked that one. It’s beautiful and all but performance wise it isn’t comparable to say, a Google chrome (Doesn’t have the same nostalgia element that an Internet Explorer has). As a power user of smartphones, I immediately regretted my decision. What’s the point of owning an 80K beast when you don’t even have a decent browser on it? So, I went to the App Store, downloaded google chrome and started using it. A high performing browser on a nice looking premium phone – Life was sorted.
So, guess what default doesn’t mean you are stuck with the same setting for the rest of your life. You can change it. You can blast out your TV sets at over 100 volumes even if your ceilings collapse, you can make Chutney in blender mode, and you can warm your food for 20 minutes even if the preset says 2 minutes. And yes, you can set your ACs to 16 degrees, wear a Rupa thermocot and crawl under a nice fluffy blanket. These activities may result into undesired outcomes, general inconvenience, loss of energy and stuff but your personal freedom remains unrestrained. Being a good citizen or a terrible one is a personal call anyway! So, Nidhi, don’t worry. The ACs will work just fine.