Covering all the bases (Re: SERIOUS: Formal vs. informal organizations)

Subject: Covering all the bases (Re: SERIOUS: Formal vs. informal organizations)
From: Matt Ion <soundy -at- SOUNDY -dot- ORG>
Date: Sun, 7 Mar 1999 19:58:41 -0800

On Sun, 7 Mar 1999 18:45:43 -0700, Ben Kovitz wrote:

>That is the danger of "just in case" documentation: continually
>trying to head off imaginary or trivial disasters led to enormous
>waste, delays, and generally poor products in the few cases when
>the project wasn't canceled because we didn't strike when the
>iron was hot.

Unfortuantely, in the overly-litigious society we live in today
(especially in the United States), where everything is always someone
else's fault, we see court cases where a someone can intentionall whack
himself in the head with a hammer, then win a lawsuit against the hammer's
maker because it didn't have a bright yellow label warning of the
possibility of brain damage from such actions.

Okay, that exact scenario hasn't happened yet, to my knowledge... but from
some of the stories I've heard the last few years, it can only be a matter
of time. Recall the woman who spilled the McDonalds coffee in her lap,
sued the restaurant claiming it was "too hot", and won a large settlement.
Golly, coffee that's hot? What will they think of next? And yet many
coffee shops (Starbucks, for example) now have printed warnings on their
cups: "WARNING! The beverage you are about to enjoy is hot!"

This "just in case" fellow may be taking it to the extreme, but it's easy
to see the source of his concern in covering all the bases. These days,
it's only a matter of time before someone uses the products he's
documenting in some (probably moronic) fashion for which it's not intended
to be used, causes himself serious damage, and sues the company because
they never told him he "wasn't supposed to do that" with their product.



Your friend and mine,
Matt
<All standard disclaimers apply>
"Reality is in alpha test on protoype hardware."
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