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jptxs and you seem to have already agreed to call them guidelines, so I will only say: in reality, this is a benevolent dictatorship, since vroom runs it and can do with it as he wills, but other than that, there can be no 'rules,' only guidelines that people can follow or not. Why are they guidelines? Because we, the users, don't have a lot of ways to really enforce them.
As for your suggestion of pointing people at threads, I'm not in favor of it. Why? Because of conciseness. If it's in the FAQ, it's really easy to point at, instead of pointing at fifteen different threads. Also, new people are far more likely to read only what's in the FAQ or the Guide to the Monastery or the "Need Help??" link at the top of the page than scroll through some fairly lengthy threads full of perlmonks politics that they know nothing about yet.
Of course, that would require some kind of consensus, which you seem adamantly opposed to. Unfortunately for you, it seems that a majority of the vocal people believe that a consensus is, in fact, needed. I agree with them. No matter what that consensus is, we seem to be headed only to further miscommunication and unpleasantness until we have some idea of what is expected in our interactions through PM1.
1 I could go on a long rant about sociology here, but I'll limit myself to: what else are mores, taboos, and other unspoken social rules but these types of guidelines? The fact that you (and everyone else) was brought up thoroughly indoctrinated2 into some of these social rules does not mean that they are not the product of social consensus. Far, far better that we state them explicitly than that people try (and fail) to apply their internal consensus, as we are not all the same person.
2 Ooooh, I get burn-in-hell points for that one!
In reply to RE: RE: No CB comment is serious, and should not be reproduced in a node without research