We need a word for this:

Implementing a general rule that causes a lot of bad edge cases.

For example: in India, there’s a rule that you can’t leave and come back into the country within two months on a tourist visa. This is ostensibly to prevent terrorism, but it sometimes causes a lot of annoyance for regular tourists like me. (they’ve since amended it to exclude tourism to neighboring countries; whatever.)

In programming, we’d call it a bug. Then we’d fix the code so it is more complicated but hopefully works fine. At any rate, the more the world gets bigger and more global, the more general rules we get, which means the exceptions get more common, which leads to either super-complicated rules (the IRS approach) or lots of people getting screwed (or both).

It’s a common thing. I think we could talk about it better if there were a word for it. (or is there one that I just can’t think of?)


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