Ignore all rules

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"Ignore all rules" is a rule to set rules aside.[1]

The stance of ignoring all rules is itself a rule, constituting a paradox. A scholar on Immanuel Kant's view of genius states that this critical stance is accordingly transcended by the autonomy of genius: "Genius demonstrates its autonomy not by ignoring all rules, but by deriving the rules from itself."[2]

Illustrating 'ignore all rules'

A famous quote of Ralph Waldo Emerson is "A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds, adored by little statesmen and philosophers and divines."[3]

In 2001, Stephen King made "ignore all rules" the second rule of reading in his autobiographical On Writing.[4]

At Wikipedia[edit]

"Ignore All Rules" is a "favorite" rule of the English-language open content encyclopedia, Wikipedia.[5] Its formulation is generally (emphasis in original), "If a rule prevents you from improving or maintaining Wikipedia, ignore it."[6] Wikipedia has a tradition of treating rules skeptically, except for this rule.[5] The philosophy or mantra was championed by Larry Sanger[7] (a co-founder of Wikipedia, active 2001–2002), who made it the first of a set of site guidelines[8] (but later rejected it);[7] it continues to be disseminated by Jimmy Wales (the still active co-founder of Wikipedia).[6]


  1. ^ Shapiro, Haim (1995-07-14). "Matters of Taste". Jerusalem Post. Retrieved 2008-06-04. 
  2. ^ Kneller, Jane (2003). Guyer, Paul, ed. Kant's Critique of the Power of Judgement: Critical Essays. Rowman and Littlefield. ISBN 0-7425-1419-6. 
  3. ^ "6279. Ralph Waldo Emerson. 1803-1882. John Bartlett, comp. 1919. Familiar Quotations, 10th ed". Bartleby.com. Retrieved 2014-05-25. 
  4. ^ Reid, Graham (2001-11-18). "Stephen King: On Writing". New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 2008-06-04. 
  5. ^ a b Cohen, Noam (2007-08-05). "Defending Wikipedia's Impolite Side". the New York Times. Retrieved 2008-06-04. 
  6. ^ a b "Wikipedia:Ignore all rules". Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation. 2012-04-13. Retrieved 2012-04-17. 
  7. ^ a b Heather Havenstein (2007-04-02). "Wikipedia founder rejects his 'ignore all rules' mantra in new online project: Larry Sanger launches Citizendium". ComputerWorld. Retrieved 2008-06-04. 
  8. ^ Schiff, Stacy (2006-07-31). "Know It All: Can Wikipedia conquer experience?". The New Yorker. Retrieved 2008-06-05.