Wikipedia:Ignore all rules/Versions

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  • Ignore all rules: If rules make you nervous and depressed, and not desirous of participating in the wiki, then ignore them entirely and go about your business. —first preserved version, suggested by Larry Sanger in 2001
  • If a rule prevents you from improving or maintaining Wikipedia, ignore it. —current version
  • Improve and maintain Wikipedia. This is more important than any other rule.
  • If a rule prevents you from improving or maintaining Wikipedia, ignore it. Every rule exists for a purpose. Sometimes a rule must be broken to achieve its intended purpose. A rule that needs frequent breaking will eventually be amended.
  • If a rule prevents you from improving or maintaining Wikipedia, ignore it. But try not to ignore people.
  • Use your best judgment, treat your fellow contributors with respect, and focus on building the encyclopedia. (circa June 2007)
  • Good sense, initiative, and consideration for others are more important than rules. (ex- fr:wiki, about July 2007)
  • Show consideration for others, use common sense, and focus on improving and maintaining content. If the 'rules' prevent any of this, ignore them.
  • The policies, guidelines and essays at Wikipedia do not constitute any kind of formal rule-set: independent thinking is encouraged in each potential "rule" situation.
  • The rules are important, but don't obsess over them. After all, sometimes they are wrong. If they prevent you from improving the encyclopedia, ignore them and use your best judgment. (from talkpage, July 2007)
Two brothers were novices at a monastery. The Zen master summoned the brothers to his chamber and said to the elder brother "Go cross the bridge over the deep valley to the west and present yourself to the master of the monastery there, as a sign of respect. Remember to ignore the rules if they prevent you from completing your task."
So the elder brother went to the edge of the valley and found that the bridge had collapsed. He returned to the monastery, saying, "Master, the bridge is gone and the valley is far too wide to circumvent. I cannot complete my task."
The master summoned the younger brother and told him "Go finish the task that I gave to your elder brother. Remember to ignore the rules if they prevent you from completing your task."
The younger brother set out on his task. He returned to the monastery the next day, and told the master "The master of the monastery across the valley sends his greetings."
Stunned, the elder brother said, "This is impossible! How was he able to cross the valley?"
The master said, "It does not matter."
And the elder brother was enlightened.
  • Ignoreallrules-notebook.jpg
  • Knowing the rules is more important than following them.
  • Stay on topic, talk sense, and you might be capable of helping.
  • Think straight please, and we'll get some work done, thanks.
Once upon a time, 'twas a blackbird mother who had three blackbird children who just had learnt to fly. Once day, she went off to collect earthworms to eat, and she told her children to be good boys and play in the tree while she was gone. She, however, forbid them from venturing down to the ground below, and warned them about the hungry lynx which eats little birds.
The three blackbirds had a fun and safe time in their tree, and they heeded their mother's advice not to leave the tree.
Suddenly, they heard a loud whistle from the sky. They looked up and saw a vile hawk, soaring over the treetops in the search for food. The three blackbirds became terrified, knowing that their tree's leaves could not hide them from the hungry predator's eyes. To save their lives, they flew down from the tree and hid in the bushes. They stayed there until the hawk were gone.
The blackbird mother returned soon, having heard the hawk herself. She found her children in a bush on the ground. The blackbirds were afraid that their mother would be outraged over that they ignored her rule and maybe even give them a spanking. But the wise mother simply said: