I keep coming back to the Russian and American space programs' comparison I did earlier this month (2/3/03). Is it better to have so many rules and regulations and procedures that it's impossible (for a beginner especially) to follow every one? Or just assume that certain things are given, like in a driving test, you assume the applicant knows not to crash into any small children. Or would you have to state that a) don't hit kids and b) don't hit adults, geriatric or otherwise. The American way leaves the possibility of some serious gaps in behavior. And also some horrible excuses after the fact: "you mean I'm supposed to watch for children crossing the street even when I'm nowhere near a crosswalk?" The Russian way leaves no stone unturned, but can be so full of excessive information as to 1) provide a major impediment to action and 2) inundate the user with information making it possible to overlook the important items--for example, if every rule carries red flags and danger signs, then none of them stand out as cautionary.

Caution: Do not overbrake down hills, as this can lead to brake overheating and failure. Caution: Do not downshift when going down hill as this can lead to transmission failure. You can follow both these cautions travelling down hill and get in a fatal accident because your vehicle was going too fast and hit a tree. It's more important to follow the one, perhaps unwritten but all-important superceding caution: do not crash.

But it is important to know the first two cautions. They just shouldn't be labeled as such. The ideal combination of the American and Russian method would incorporate a succinct naming system which allows the user to filter information.