Here’s what I’ve learned about rules from spending 8 years in the IT business.
- Rules were written by people. Most people are idiots. Always be question the rules.
- Rules were created to serve people. People weren’t created to serve rules. A rule’s only true authority comes from its ability to help people.
- When a rule ceases to help people it negates its purpose for existence and thus negates its authority.
If there were one lesson to be learned throughout all of human history, it’s Rule #1. Amazingly though, there are billions of people who haven’t learned that lesson. Oh, sure they’ve learned not to kill 6 million Jews, but they haven’t learned to question their employer’s rules today. As a result they get locked into enforcing outdated rules (and in the IT field, rules get outdated pretty quickly) or even completely illogical rules that fuck shit up and make people’s lives worse. The rules they enforce might not kill 6 million Jews, but they’ll waste the short and infinitely valuable time Pam in accounting has by bogging her down with needless work. And this will cost the employer money by preventing the business from working at peak efficiency…ironically, because someone was trying to do what they thought was the right thing and enforcing the almighty rules.
That brings me to the second rule. Are our only two choices in life fascism and anarchy? Do we either have to accept or reject all rules? No. Rules should be created to help people. A lot of rules do just that. Nobody would argue against the rule “don’t kill people.” However, existing rules should be judged on a case by case basis according to whether or not they’ll help or hurt people each time they’re enforced. If a situation arises where it will help people more by not enforcing the rule then it should not be enforced…regardless of whether or not someone has pledged to enforce the rules. There’s no integrity in enforcing a rule that hurts people. Neither is there integerity in forcing people to enforce rules that hurt people. This is why I believe in euthenasia for example, and I believe it would be immoral to prosocute someone who helped someone who was terminally ill end their suffering a little early.
People who are obsessed with rules are among the most closed minded dumb asses on the planet. More importantly though, they’re the most capable of committing atrocities against humans…be that killing people or just making them less efficient at work.
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