Richard Dawkins recounts seeing a mother barred from bringing excema cream for her daughter onto a plane, and glimpses the larger picture:

Rulebooks are themselves put together by human judgments. Often bad human judgments, but in any case judgments by humans who were probably no wiser or better qualified to make them than the individuals who subsequently have to put them into practice out in the real world. ... Discretion can be abused, and rulebooks are important safeguards against that. But the balance has shifted too far in the direction of obsessive reverence for rules. There must be ways to re-introduce intelligent discretion and overthrow the unbending tyranny of going-by-the-book, without opening the door to abuse. We should make it our business to find them.

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