Saturday, February 9, 2008

Purpose of rules

When each rule is being formalized, it has clear purpose during the time that they were being set. However, circumstances change, and usually more rules are added, or rules are being enhanced to tackle these changes. Similarly, some rules may become obsolete, or doesn't correctly achieve the original purpose. However, due to less urgency to look into obsolete rules, many of these remain and create unnecessary restrictions.

E.g. the 1955 rules about no cycling on pedestrian paths here. Firstly, 1955 is more than half a century ago. Secondly, this nation was underdeveloped then and has been a developed nation for about a decade. Thirdly, the meaning of pedestrian path in 1955 is different from now in many new towns where pedestrian paths are much wider.

Many a times, ... in order not to have these restrictions, the regulatory bodies ignore such obsolete rules, but this gives the wrong impression that the regulatory bodies are powerless or all rules can be ignored.

Actually, the reason that triggered me to write this post is a recent interaction with PayPerPost. My post, Yummy citrus-marinated flame-grilled chicken, was first rejected due to their suspicion that the post before it, Accountable advertising is a sponsored post. Later, they give me the benefit of doubt on my statement that the latter post is not a sponsored post. However, I re-dated the post, which was a remedy action I queried about together in my statement to them, and they didn't warn me that it was not allowed. Sadly, that yummy post was rejected due to this.

I respect their rules, and their need to enforce it by rejecting my post. However, I believe it is clear that I do not have any intention to try to do something that the rule is there to prevent, which I've yet to figure out. I also believe that there isn't any harm done to anyone during the short period when my post was re-dated and again re-dated back to the original date.

This post is triggered by the above incident, but it is not directed to PayPerPost. Rules are good because there are clear and many of them can be enforced by computer. Yet, we are humans. We create rules for us to have guidelines, but not to absolutely follow them. When applying rules, we need to exercise our wisdom, which the computer still lack behind us a lot, to decide if an act is rightfully against the purpose of a certain rule.

PS: A realisation from this. PayPerPost's Customer Love really loves their customers, and bloggers/posties are not their customers, but suppliers.

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