"If you find this opens up your shadows to a tone that you like, have at it, but you might want to experiment with 15 to 25 percent underdevelopment to tame the high end if you are shooting in contrasty light."
I agree that half rating, average exposing, *followed by underdeveloping* can cover many standard photographic situations situations quite well. I also think it could make many other standard photographic situations quite harder to print than they need to be. You (as in Steve Smith; not the proverbial "You") do the "thinking" thing by basing your exposure and development on the conditions at hand. That is *not* blindly following a rule of thumb.
However, different folks will get different results, and also will *judge* results differently. Thus I think each of us has to do our own trial and error, and also accurately and honestly judge our results. No matter what any of us do, we are never going to always get ideal exposures by following rules of thumb. Via trial and error; YES. But not via rules of thumb followed blindly.