I have been thinking about the merits of formalism in our laid-back society. I wonder how many people even have a basic understanding of parliamentary procedure or know what Robert’s rules of order are. I suspect that more people are familiar with the details of table manners than are familiar with the details of how to run an organized meeting.
I studied Robert’s rules of order when I was starting as the president of a graduate student organization. Before that I was aware of the general structure of parliamentary procedure but not with the details. Now, as I question if these are dying arts, I start to wonder what we might gain by making people more knowledgeable about these kinds of formalisms. In the world of text messaging is there something to be gained by putting more emphasis on the rules of spelling, grammar and punctuation.
I really would like to know what other people think about this. What is the value of the details? Are we losing those skills in our society?