Yes, I know what “they” say about “Rules”! The default understanding is that someone talking about “rules” will be laying down the law, demanding, judging, imposing their standards on others. We’re a lot different here, although we do seek positive methods of measurement in many fields of interest.
Let’s start with the definition of “Rule” we are using on “RenaissanceRules”. The Merriam-Webster Dictionary ((c)Merriam-Webster, Inc.) provides several definitions for the word “rule”. The definition applicable to Renaissance Rules and RandysRules usage (… as a rule…!) is their #2, often edging toward “heuristic”:
” 2.a (1): a usually valid generalization; (2): a generally prevailing quality, state or mode – ‘fair weather was the rule yesterday’ – New York Times.
2.b : a standard of judgment: criterion
2.c : a regulating principle.”