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Love rules without rules. ~ Anonymous

The terms Rule, ruler, and ruling usually refers to standards for activities, and those individual persons, objects or activities involved in maintaining them.


The realization that life is absurd and cannot be an end, but only a beginning. This is a truth nearly all great minds have taken as their starting point. It is not this discovery that is interesting, but the consequences and rules of action drawn from it. ~ Albert Camus
Any fool can make a rule
And any fool will mind it. ~ Henry David Thoreau
If a rule prevents you from improving or maintaining Wikipedia, ignore it. ~ Wikipedia:Ignore all rules
Declaring yourself to be operating by "Crocker's Rules" means that other people are allowed to optimize their messages for information, not for being nice to you. ~ Eliezer Yudkowsky
  • Love rules without rules.
    • Anonymous, translation of the Italian saying: Amor regge senza legge; as quoted in Dictionary of Foreign Terms Found in English and American Writings of Yesterday and Today, 2nd Edition (1934) edited by Christopher Orlando Sylvester Mawson
    • Variant translation: Love reigns without rules.
  • An exception is nothing else than a rule that applies exceptionally.
    • Fausto Cercignani in: Brian Morris, Simply Transcribed. Quotations from Fausto Cercignani, 2014, p. 31.
  • It is paltry philosophy if in the old-fashioned way one lays down rules and principles in total disregard of moral values. As soon as these appear one regards them as exceptions, which gives them a certain scientific status, and thus makes them into rules. Or again one may appeal to genius, which is above all rules; which amounts to admitting that rules are not only made for idiots, but are idiotic in themselves.
    • Carl von Clausewitz, On War (1832), Bk. 3, Ch 3: "Moral Factors", as translated by Michael Howard and Peter Paret.
  • Man is as much a rule-following animal as a purpose-seeking one. And he is successful not because he knows why he ought to observe the rules which he does observe, or is even capable of stating all these rules in words, but because his thinking and acting are governed by rules which have by a process of selection been evolved in the society in which he lives, and which are thus the product of the experience of generations.
    • Friedrich Hayek, Law, Legislation, and Liberty, Vol. 1 : Rules and Order (1973), Ch. 1 : Reason and Evolution
  • It is the nature of man to build the most complicated cage of rules and regulations in which to trap himself, and then, with equal ingenuity and zest, to bend his brain to the problem of wriggling triumphantly out again.
    • Bridget Ann Henisch, Fast and Feast: Food in Medieval Society (1976), p. 41.
  • Where love rules, there is no will to power; and where power predominates, there love is lacking. The one is the shadow of the other.
    • Carl Jung, The Psychology of the Unconscious (1943).
  • Rules are mostly made to be broken and are too often for the lazy to hide behind.
    • Douglas MacArthur, reported in William A. Ganoe, MacArthur Close-Up (1962), p. 137.
  • In today's regulatory environment, it's virtually impossible to violate rules … but it's impossible for a violation to go undetected, certainly not for a considerable period of time.
    • Bernie Madoff, remark in an interview (20 October 2007), "Quotations". QFinance, the ultimate resource. London: Bloomsbury. 2009. p. 1777. ISBN 9781849300001. 
  • History admits no rules, only outcomes. What precipitates outcomes? Vicious acts & virtuous acts. What precipitates acts? Belief.
  • The majority of parents are poor psychologists and give their children the most questionable moral trainings. It is perhaps in this domain that one realized most how keenly how immoral it can be to believe too much in morality, and how much more precious is a little humanity than all the rules in the world.
    • Jean Piaget, The Moral Judgment of the Child (1932), Ch. 2 : Adult Constraint and Moral Realism.
  • Pedantry and mastery are opposite attitudes toward rules. To apply a rule to the letter, rigidly, unquestioningly, in cases where it fits and in cases where it does not fit, is pedantry [...] To apply a rule with natural ease, with judgment, noticing the cases where it fits, and without ever letting the words of the rule obscure the purpose of the action or the opportunities of the situation, is mastery.
    • George Pólya, How to Solve It (1945), (p. 148 in the 2004 Princeton Science Library Edition).
  • Hillel HA-Babli, in the thirty-first book of The Sabbath in 30 B.C., raised the Golden Rule to the ultimate moral principle: "Whatsoever thou wouldst that men should not do unto thee, do not do unto them. This is the whole Law. The rest is explanation."
    • Michael Shermer, The Science of Good and Evil : Why People Cheat, Share, Gossip, and Follow the Golden Rule (2004).
  • Rule, after you have first learned to submit to rule.
    • Solon, Diogenes Laërtius (trans. C. D. Yonge) The Lives and Opinions of Eminent Philosophers (1853), "Solon", sect. 12, p. 29.
  • Ces règles ne sont que des barrières pour empêcher les enfants de tomber.
  • If a rule prevents you from improving or maintaining Wikipedia, ignore it.
    • Wikipedia:Ignore all rules policy, first expressed in the form "If rules make you nervous and depressed, and not desirous of participating in the Wiki, then ignore them and go about your business." by Lee Daniel Crocker (17 April 2002).
  • Declaring yourself to be operating by "Crocker's Rules" means that other people are allowed to optimize their messages for information, not for being nice to you.  Crocker's Rules means that you have accepted full responsibility for the operation of your own mind — if you're offended, it's your fault.  Anyone is allowed to call you a moron and claim to be doing you a favor.  (Which, in point of fact, they would be.  One of the big problems with this culture is that everyone's afraid to tell you you're wrong, or they think they have to dance around it.)  Two people using Crocker's Rules should be able to communicate all relevant information in the minimum amount of time, without paraphrasing or social formatting.  Obviously, don't declare yourself to be operating by Crocker's Rules unless you have that kind of mental discipline.
    Note that Crocker's Rules does not mean you can insult people; it means that other people don't have to worry about whether they are insulting you.  Crocker's Rules are a discipline, not a privilege.  Furthermore, taking advantage of Crocker's Rules does not imply reciprocity.  How could it?  Crocker's Rules are something you do for yourself, to maximize information received — not something you grit your teeth over and do as a favor.
  • Smokey, this is not 'Nam. This is bowling. There are rules.

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