Skip to content
Subscriber Only
Opinion
Scott Duke Kominers

Kominers’s Conundrums: The Great TV Compromise of 2021

Roommates battling over control over the remote have a lot more in common than it seems. Can you figure out what?

The key to household harmony is this week’s answer.

The key to household harmony is this week’s answer.

Photographer iStockphoto/Getty Images

We’re all feeling a bit cooped up these days, and stresses among some roommates are running high. But even in the most heated controversy, there is often more common ground than we might think.

This week’s Conundrum, co-authored with physicist Barbara Yew, is an example to prove the point. We’ve imagined a shared dwelling that — horrors! — has only one television. Some of the roommates want to watch the NFL playoffs, but others insist on watching reruns of the New Year’s Eve celebration for the umpteenth time.