More crappy little rules please

I observe that people at a certain age get enthusiastic about creating rules in an attempt to make this a better world, or to improve engineering, or to organize people more efficiently, or whatever they love to create rules for. And then I observe that people further down the road of life get more relaxed again, most likely they learned that long catalogues of rules simply do not achieve much (the more rules there are, the less likely it becomes that they will be read, understood, and followed). Yes, I have done my own experiments in this space as well - after all, it is good to have experimental evidence, no?

In a certain work context, we started to call rules that do not really achieve anything (and which at the end only make life more complex) crappy little rules (CLRs). If you get into a place where people around you suddenly are getting eager to create CLRs, what do you do? I think you have two options:

  1. Convince people that creating CLRs is a waste of time.
  2. Encourage people to create even more CLRs so that they learn faster from experience that large collections of CLRs are not useful.

At first sight, the second option may sound a bit nasty but the second option might actually be more effective than the first option. Lets face it, there are a number of things in life that are best learned by trial and failure. And understanding the uselessness of CLRs may perhaps belong to the category of things you best learn by trial and failure.