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Optimizing in a vacuum is Moloch.  Everything needs tension.  There needs to be opposing forces for growth.  Optimizing naturally leads to emphasizing ends over means.  You're measuring in order to maximize the end result.

It is possible to have ground rules or an over-arching philosophy because the opposing force is real life.  

There are always tradeoffs. Having constraints or opposing forces makes those tradeoffs apparent. The important thing is for the tradeoffs to be recognized. When you barrel ahead, the unseen tradeoffs become unforeseen consequences. In terms of decision-making, constraints and opposing forces force you to make better decisions.