From Section I Etiquette in the Rules.
The Spirit of the Game
[This sport] is played, for the most part, without the supervision of a referee or umpire. The game relies on the integrity of the indivudal to show consideration for other players and to abide by the Rules. All players should conduct themselves in a disciplined manner, demonstrating courtesy and sportsmanship at all times, irrespective of how competitive they may be. This is the spirit of the game of [this sport].
[This sport], of course, is golf. I just got my copy of the updated Rules of Golf today and noted that they made some (what I would call) common-sense improvements. For instance, simply carrying a non-conforming club will not get you DQ'ed, only penalized, and standing on your line of putt is now legal if done to avoid standing on someone else's line.
The other proximate cause for this post is the recent rsd discussion on the intentional self-mac or airbrush. My understanding is that the rule was put in because ultimate players also used to do other disc sports such as freestyling and controlled macking and finger-delaying was a part of their arsenal of disc skills. So, the intent is that since the disc is advanced by passing, it would be an unfair advantage to advance by delaying. But the rest of the rule, I'm not sure what was intended. Was it really intended that you should be allowed to mac it to someone else? If it's so easy to mack it to yourself, it can't be that much more difficult to mack it to a teammate. And in a related rule, is it really intended that you can mack your own pass but you can't catch it or greatest it?
I know that writing specifications can be difficult. I remember once on the Board that we put in some specific language one year to cover some contingency, and the next year the statement was reinterpreted to mean something else. And this was for something that we had thought about. There are many examples where you don't actually consider a case and then the case comes up and the users are left to interpret what is written.
A problem can arise when there is mindless devotion to what is written as the be all, end all. In golf, maybe this is ok, since the individuals have pretty much no input into what the rules should be. Perhaps the rules committee does respond to public complaints, as this year's changes seem to indicate, but traditionally it doesn't seem that way. Ultimate players, however, have a more direct relationship with the rules committee, and can even take part in rules experiments through local tournaments or leagues.
So we can change stupid rules or ambiguous ones. I think one of the main purposes of the 11th Edition was to tackle this, to remove exceptions ("the rules don't prohibit it, so it's allowed") and to clarify.
Anyway, as always, I remain ambivalent to rules interpretations. I know them pretty well, follow them pretty well, but am very lax at calling them, most of the time. (An exception is when I feel that the following conditions are met: the player gains an advantage, does it on purpose, knows the rule, and does it repeatedly. I called something like this at goaltimate last week and pissed off the violator. I'm perfectly willing to let laziness or ignorance or an occasional minor semi-deliberate offense slide, though.) I too often let myself get involved in rules arguments started by other people, and I usually take the petty pro-rules side.
And just for completeness, I'm anti-ref, pro-observer, don't mind certain calls being actively done by observers.