Freitag, 30. Juni 2017

Fools and rules

I like this citation which I recently found in Arkin's book about Behavior-Based Robotics:

Any fool can make a rule
And every fool will mind it.

Henry D. Thoreau

Of course, I am not against rules in general. They are important for guiding the behavior (not the thoughts) within a community. It is helpful for collaboration in software engineering, but also for living together within a country, to know what to expect, to develop trust and to be efficient.

However, we all know fools who think they can describe complex systems with simple rules and utter them in a tone of conviction that does not allow for any exceptions to the rule. However, there is no rule without exceptions. I distrust oversimplifying rules. While "It depends..." might sound incompetent, it often is the correct answer. There are no simple rules. If there were, life would be boring, experts unnecessary and all consultants were unemployed.

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