chesterton's fence



~1 min read


122 words

The Wikitionary definition of Chesterton’s Fence is:

(public policy) The principle that reforms should not be made until the reasoning behind the existing state of affairs is understood.

The idea comes from the practice of stumbling upon a fence in the middle of a field with no apparent use. The principle suggests that before you tear down the fence, try to understand why it was built in the first place. You may not understand all of the factors at play. Something that’s worth remembering.

Farnam Street on Chesteron’s Fence: A Lesson in Second Order Thinking.

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