What Did You Do on 10/10/10, Daddy?

I was out for the second half of the day, helping weatherize a large building: student housing at Tufts University. There were about 30 people there. I was part of a team doing masonry renovation — repointing mortar and in many cases actually removing bricks and old rotten mortar before putting them back in.

This was a so-called “co-ternity” — essentially a co-ed “frat house.” Such a building exemplifies some aspects of the “tragedy of the commons”; its occupants are always transients and thus have no real motivation to invest time and energy in the upkeep of the building. There were lots and lots of holes; I cannot imagine how much heat got pumped into the neighborhood’s air every winter.

It was good to be part of this action. Action is the antidote to despair.

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