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Monday, February 12, 2007

A pet peeve

I hate it when people point out that "Just because that's the way we've always done it is no reason to keep doing it that way." Why do I hate this? Well, it's always true to note this, of course; it really is the case that tradition isn't in itself a good reason to keep doing something.

What irritates me is that this bit of wisdom is, in my experience, usually advanced in support of making a change, in and of itself, as though change is a priori good. The above mantra is often tossed out there as a means of shutting off debate of a change that amounts to little more than a whim on the part of whoever wants things changed in the first place.

So my response is usually to say, "I agree, but you haven't sold me on your idea yet, either. Why make a change?" If there's no convincing answer forthcoming to that, then I say, keep things the way they are.

(No, this post is not occasioned by anything specific that happened at work or in real life recently. It's just a thought that I have every so often. Kind of like my dislike of the idea of "common sense".)

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