Defining Terms: Rule-Sets

I am just re-posting a comment I made on Amendmentnine some time back, so I have it for future reference (so I don’t have to type it in again)

To me, a “rule-set” is the implicit and explicit ways that a group of actors have agreed (to some extent) to operate (including feedback mechanisms for compliance and non-compliance) both internally (among themselves) and externally (among other actors distinct from them partially of wholly), to allow predictability (to an extent) of action/consequence, improve (to an extent) group stability and survivability, and give guidance when facing or reacting to unexpected events and situations.

A “rule-set” would contain things like formal laws, punishment/retributions systems, feedback/correction mechanisms, customs, rules-of-thumb, commercial relationship norms, and the like.

Note there is a lot of wiggle room in my definition. I haven’t been interested in getting too much more explicit then the above definition (which is the first time I think I have typed up anything even that detailed) because I didn’t want to get bogged down in the details at the margin.

BTW, here is Barnett’s short version Definition:

A collection of rules (both formal and informal) that delineates how some activity normally unfolds.

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