This is the start of a series of posts about bridge laws and regulations. This series is about what makes a good regulation: what should be prioritized, and what should not be. It's also about the processes involved in writing, interpreting and applying these regulations. That is, I'm going to be talking about general philosophy, not about the specifics of what individual regulations mean.
Now, I always worry when talking about this stuff. Firstly, do people really care? I imagine that to most people, the idea of discussing this sort of philosophy would seem very boring, if not rather pretentious. And secondly, I've never had to take responsibility for producing regulations - so it's easy for me to talk, and a bit unfair on the people who actually have to do it. They get enough stick already.
But people really do care about the end product - they care about which systems are legal, and which calls have to be alerted. We see more than enough arguments about these things. And often those arguments can be boiled down to a question of philosophy. I think at some point we have to put aside the specifics and talk about what's going on underneath. And, sad as it may seem, I find this stuff interesting. So, here is a place to discuss that philosophy.
I should point out that this series is going to be a bit different to my series on bidding theory: that had a nice sense of direction to it, with each post building on the ones before. This new series is just a collection of thoughts, in no particular order. (And you shouldn't expect two posts a week, either!)