Recipes Make No Sense

What is a cup of flour? Densly packed or lightly packed? Perhaps sifted? Volume is no way to measure things like flour, or grated carrot for that matter. So many things in cooking involve air, it is nearly impossible to measure by volume and have the correct amount. Kitchen scales are more likely to be in use in modern times, so perhaps we should change the way we write recipes to reflect this and only measure fluids by volume.
I have been using recently and have discovered that as a culinary society, we are seriously lacking a standard protocol for writing recipes. There are academic definitions for things like chop, mince, slice, etc, but recipes almost never uniformly use one that they intend to use. Cooking has always been a very informal thing and recipes have been used by cooks as ways to share instructions with each other, usually people who have a clue how the person speaks and thinks, but in the sense of broader sharing, there needs to be some sort of protocol or agreement.
Also, what is with people and getting recipes almost finished, but neglecting to include the actual cooking instructions for stuff? I hate having to guess tempertures and times (moreso temps, I can gauge time).