Sunday, June 2, 2013

The Unwritten Rule, or When Should We Use Our Best Judgement

Those who want everything be in written rule, are those who have zero tolerance when some of their colleagues deviate a bit from the project's "standards." Those are the same kind of people who loves to maintain a whitelist of stuff that should be conformed to instead of just maintaining a blacklist of stuff that can't be violated.

The wife, daughter and I went some place and rode a train. There's a designated car(or is it called a coach or carriage?) of the train for women, children and elderly. Even it's not explicitly stated or written, a father can go with his family on that specially designated train's car. And mind you, I'm not an elderly, if you don't believe, you get off my lawn! A whitelist kind of person would love to make it explicit that a father can go with his family on that specially designated part of the train

To make the point more dramatic, imagine you are an employee or when you were/are still a student. It will be annoying as hell if some authoritarian opted for a whitelist of websites you can only visit, instead of just maintaining a blacklist. Does it sit well with you if the internet in your company or home has a whitelist of websites that you can only visit?

The world is abound with very creative people, don't stifle their creativity, don't make it hard for them to hone their craft. Don't make a laundry list of things that they can only do or use; instead, just maintain a list of things that people can't do or use.

So if someone or a colleague said to you, "oh we cannot do that, we have a prescribed list of things that we can only do and should be adhered to", ask the person if he/she is a whitelist kind of person or a blacklist one. And if it could help, ask his/her personality compass. So at least you can understand the person, not that you need/don't need to believe the person, but at least you can understand the person and make the right approach when dealing with them.

#ZeroTolerance policies are absurd because they, by definition, exclude the application of #CommonSense. --

I would rather mentally note 10 things I can't do, than remember 100 things I can only do. I'm not a religious person, but I believe the Bible's Ten Commandments format makes sense, basically it's just a blacklist of things that we should not do, easier to remember and follow. Everything else are mostly subjective

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