> "I had, and still have, no idea what that box did," he admitted, "apart from giving a sense of satisfaction and a powerful placebo effect."
One building I worked in had an office that was long and somewhat narrow. There were continual arguments between the people at one end and those at the other as to what temperature the single thermostat, situated in the middle of the room, should be set to.
This escalated to "management" (who had their own, air-conditioned suite somewhere else entirely). After a particularly sweaty summer week, the staff came into work the following Monday and found to their delight, TWO extra thermostats - one at each end of the room.
Problem solved! Situation defused! Heat, cooling and best of all ... control.
Nobody thought to tell the occupants that all three thermostats had absolutely no effect on the office temperature, which was set for the whole building in the control room. But the staff were satisifed that they had been listened to.