Standards -> Suffocation?

by New Idiom


Even such simple inconsistencies as a mirror transformation can spark a chain of events leading to fatal medical errors, according to a hospital design project in Iowa:

http://www.desmoinesregister.com/article/20090826/LIFE02/908260328/1042#pluckcomments

(via core77.com)

A subtle and astute observation, this makes perfect sense in light of the value we gain from standardization across the built environment: product quality, food safety, handicapped access, even the encoding standards like HTTP make it cheaper, faster, and more predictable to navigate our world. While there are certainly lots of standards left to be created - for computer interfaces, education, social sustainability, governance - and (even more tricky) accepted and implemented - traffic rules, the UN Millenium Development Goals, and the Metric System - clearly we don’t want to live in an entirely uniform universe.

What should we watch for to know when we’ve gone too far?