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Kaleb Roberts

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Why do people find the need to entrench themselves in rules and policies?

For me, whenever anyone (especially those in authority) say "Kaleb don't do that!" I feel the instant desire to do it. Although desire probably isn't an accurate synonym. It's more like I have to do it or I'll explode. I've been this way for as long as I can remember.

Now that I have entered the workforce, I find there are so many rules and regulations. Granted, some of these have real merit (such as the recycling policies, and earwig steel cap boots when you enter the workshop)

However, there are some rules that are just plain idiotic. What are some examples of this behavior, why do people do it? Is it because (This is my assumption) they are afraid of the unknown? They are afraid of taking risk? Or is something that happens during the "nurturing" phase of life with overprotective parents. Maybe it's even a genetic thing.


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    Jan 17 2013: It takes things that are high entropy and creates low entropy
    • Jan 19 2013: I could't agree more. Just rearranging your words:

      Rules and Policies reduce entropy in a social system.

      The long version:

      Rules and Policies, provide a predictable behavior for most of the society members, which reduces the risk of errors and accidents, which also leads to a better decision making for all.

      Kaleb, I understand your point, yes there are idiotic rules some people follow blindly, however bear in mind: accidents are caused by unpredictable drivers, employees, people walking in the street and even by unpredictable software. Rules and Policies make things predictable. Predictability means safety.
      • Jan 19 2013: Excellent point George QT, but some rules are specifically made to limit the freedom of others whom the rule-makers fear, thereby punishing the rule maker with a shrunken world and and those unjustly affected by the rule or policy a shrunken world of opportunity.

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