Call For Judgement 371 - Fri, 02 May 1997 18:24:25 -0400
Subject: Paranormal Paradox
Judge: Calvin N Hobbes (selected Apr 09, 1997, 21:25h EDT)
Judgement: FALSE at Thu, 17 Apr 1997 21:31:21 -0400
Appealed by: Malenkai at Fri, 18 Apr 1997 13:43:43 -0400
Supreme Court's Judgement: FALSE
If Krycek releases a W-File Case report, AND if there exists more than one Scientist to whom the clause requiring the writing of a refuting report applies, THEN it is equally legal and illegal for each Scientist Scientist to write no such report.Initiator's Comments:
Rule 261 states:Judge's Comments:At least one Scientist must write a refuting report that should contain the phrases 'violates the laws of physics' and 'a claw is a claw and nobody has seen a talking claw'.The use of the word "must" indicates that for this to not happen is a breaking of the rules.
(It is therefore also a Crime by Rule 713: a Crime, but with no perpetrator. It would be impossible to convict any of the Scientists, as a CFCJ requires that a single player be named as having broken the rules. Note that there is no conflict here, since nowhere do the rules require someone to be eligible for conviction every time a Crime is committed. I mention this only to emphasize that this is not the seat of the paradox.)
Now, suppose that you are one of the Scientists. None of the other Scientists have written a report refuting Krycek's report. Perhaps the other Scientists have even publically stated that they will not write the report. Therefore, if you do not write such a report, the rules get broken. But did you break the rules? The rules do not require you personally to write a report. In fact, they do not require any Scientist, in particular, to write a report.
But they *do* require that at least one Scientist write a report. So perhaps you did break the rules. Or perhaps one could argue that all of the Scientists did, as a group: that the "Scientific Community" has broken the rules. But regardless of such semantic quibbling, all of the Scientists, at all times, were obeying the rules! Never was it impermissible for you, or any other Scientist, to choose to not write that report. It seems that nobody has violated the rule. But the rule has still been disobeyed, which is impermissible.
If it could be assumed that all but one of the Scientists will not write a report, then it is clear that the remaining Scientist must write the report. To do otherwise would be illegal. But that assumption is not a given, nor does it become one at any time. For any Scientist to not write a report is always a legal act.
And yet, it is still illegal for all of the Scientists to so act. Someone must write that damned report. But how can this be, when it is never illegal for any player to choose not to?
The situation is such that every player can obey the rules, and yet the rules are nonetheless broken. In short, the act of not writing a report - a report that the rules demand be written - is, for each and every Scientist, an action that is equally legal and illegal.
As a formality, I note that this is a Paradox Win CFJ, and if judged True the submitter will win the current Cycle.
[None was given.]Appealer's Comments:
Not that I believe the verdict is incorrect; indeed, I have not even considered it very thoughfully from the prospective of a Judge. However, I find it very interesting as an observer, and would like some reasoning. Moreover, this will be a chance to playtest the judicial conflict-of-interest amendment.Supreme Court's Comments:
There was one comment that I saw go by indicating that *all* the Scientists broke the rules. That didn't sit well with me on first reading.
Imagine 4 people on a desert island with a gun. One of them is shot, and the police (presumably some sort of deep sea desert island police with jet skis) show up, and no one will confess to the murder (details ommitted for simplicity). Are they all guilty? This seemed to be the implication of that statement alluded to in the preceeding paragraph, but like I said, I did not look into it; it may be a different case.
In any case, *I* find this interesting, and am willing to spend 25 points to see it kicked around more.
The question arose during the Court's deliberations as to how to interpret the CFJ statement's usage of "for each Scientist to write no such report." After due consideration, the Court agreed that it was to determine whether the actions of the Scientists, individually, were equally legal and illegal. The question of whether the combined actions are legal, illegal, or indeterminate, and any bearing that that has on the legality of the individual Scientists' actions was given the appropriate consideration, but was not considered to be part of the central question before the Court. The first issue that the Court finds relevant to the question at hand involves the timing. We agree that the legality of the actions in question potentially depends on the time at which it is evaluated. At any time before the R401 deadline, it is legal for each Scientist to not write a report -- he or another Scientist could write a report between then and the deadline and thus satisfy R 261. At any time after the deadline, it is legal for each Scientist to not write a report -- the joint effect of rules 261 and 401 is to make a requirement that a report be written within a fixed time; that has no applicability to times after the deadline. The fact that the actions are legal at almost all times might be sufficient to rule the CFJ false, but does not answer the central question. Therefore, we go on to consider the legality of the Scientists' actions at the exact deadline. R 401 says that an officer "[has] 3 days to complete the tasks and duties they are responsible for." If we interpret this to require action _before_ the end of the three days then the exact deadline itself is the same as any time after the deadline, and the the Scientists' actions at that time are therefore legal as per above. Let us assume, then, that action after exactly three days satisfies R401 (this is probably more reasonable anyway). If no Scientist has written a report before the deadline, the the rules require that at least one write a report _at_ the deadline. This, then, is the only time at which any illegality can be assessed. Suppose that no Scientist has written a report before the deadline. Is it legal for a given Scientist, A, to not write a report _at_ the deadline, supposing that none of the other Scientists does either? No rule explicitly allows any Scientist to not write a report, therefore such (in)action can only be legal if no rule forbids it. If a rule does forbid it then it is unambiguously illegal, otherwise it is unambiguously legal. The matter is further complicated, however, because it is potentially unclear whether or not the actions in question are actually forbidden. According to rule 261, it is illegal for the Scientists, collectively, to not write a report at the deadline if none has yet been written. Does that mean that it is illegal for any particular one to not write a report? In other words, can we assess individual responsability for an action required of a group? If we do assess individual responsability for group-required actions, then in the absence of other indications the only reasonable course is to assign equal responsability to each group member. That would mean, in this case, that each Scientist is guilty of violating rule 261. It also indicates a verdict of False -- there is no time at which the legality of any Scientist not writing a report is indeterminate. The alternative is to not assess individual responsability to the group members. In this situation, the group as a whole has violated the rules, but the individual members are not culpable. This may seem odd, even unpalatable, to some, but there is nothing in the rules to invalidate it. Indeed, this situation is comparable to the "limited liability" enjoyed by shareholders of real-life corporations, as opposed to the full liability associated with partnerships. In any event, this alternative still indicates a verdict of False. The Court finds nothing in the rules to favor one of these alternatives over the other, but they are mutually exclusive, and both indicate the same verdict for CFJ 371: False. It is therefore not necessary to know which should hold sway; one does and the other does not, but the verdict is the same either way. The actual determination of whether the actions are legal or illegal can be done by another CFJ. The Court finds that although there are multiple possible interpretations of the rules, they all indicate the same verdict for this CFJ, False, in agreement with that of the original judge. The Court therefore upholds the original verdict.
Call For Judgement 372 - Mon, 14 Apr 1997 19:12:24 -0400
Judge: Robert Sevin (selected Apr 14, 1997, 18:27h EDT)
If it can be verified that all non-Vacationing players are on IRC, on the same server and the same channel at the same time, anything anybody says openly on that channel is a public message.Initiator's Comments:
See CFJ 366, and the 4th paragraph of rule 422.Judge's Comments:
I don't expect the situation in the statement to happen, but it's intended as a proof of principle. If this is true, then anything that requires private messages should also be possible over IRC when the involved players are connected.
I want to allow for G&C Games which are too long for practical e-mail play to be quickened by the use of IRC for some of the messages. In particular, Spades is a fine game, but a typical game might take 8 hands, with 56 public messages (4 bids, 52 card plays) required for each hand! [I've played in a real life spades game, with rules essentially the same as ones in our G&C Spades, which took 17 hands, but that's extreme.] The bids and card plays can be replaced by messages to all the other players and the referee, with public messages being required to announce only the beginning of the game and the results when it is over. If this CFJ is judged true I will propose the appropriate amendment to Spades.
Rule 422 (Postmaster) requires that any public message meet 3 criteria:
1. 'it is distributed to all non-vacationing Players or it is sent to any mailing list indicated as a public forum in the Postal Code'
2. 'any actions performed in the message obey all restrictions in the Postal Code for that list'
3. 'the subject line contains either "Ackanomic:" or "Acka:"'
If all non-vacationing Players are on IRC (on the same server and channel) simultaneously, all messages sent to the entire channel are clearly distributed to all non-vacationing Players. Therefore the 1st requirement is taken care of.
The Postal Code says nothing about IRC, and therefore the 2nd requirement is met also.
The 3rd requirement could present a problem. I claim that the 3rd requirement is not met. Consider the purpose of including "Acka" in the subject line of a message -- for the most part, it was designed to allow for efficient filtering of Ackanomic mail. On IRC the only filtering possible is done by having separate channels, and by having the ability to talk privately. Therefore I claim that the topic of a channel is the "subject line" of the channel.
While I am forced to rule this CFJ false, I suggest that we adopt the convention that the topic of a channel in IRC will be considered the subject line for every message sent to all Players on that channel. If that is done, it would be true to say that 'If it can be verified that all non-Vacationing players are on IRC, on the same server and the same channel at the same time, and the topic of the channel contains either "Ackanomic:" or "Acka:", then anything anybody says openly on that channel is a public message.' Finally, it might be useful to define what it means to be in a channel on IRC -- lag beyond a certain level ought to qualify someone as no longer being on IRC.
Call For Judgement 373 - Mon, 21 Apr 1997 08:12:32 -0400
Judge: Vynd (selected Apr 14, 1997, 18:50h EDT)
Malenkai is not the creator of Beldin's Pants.Initiator's Comments:
Players can create trinkets and gadgets, but the rules generally create most other entities. Malenkai created proposal 1594 which created rule 1594.2 (at the time) which created Beldin's Pants. Its a fine but important distinction. I think sometimes colloqially we say 'player X created entity Y' when really 'player X created proposal Z which created rule W which creates entity Y' for convienence, but such convienent figures of speech have no bearing on the rules or game custom. 'To create' is one of those verbs that has been given special operational status by the rules, and general English renderings have no sway.Judge's Comments:
- From rule 500:> An entity may not be created, destroyed, or manipulated except as > specified by the RulesThe rules never specified a way for Malenkai to create the entity we know of as Beldin's Pants, they merely specified ways for Malenkai to create a proposal, and for other entities to creare rule 1592.2.
As I see it, the question here is whether or not the fact that Malenkai is the author of the proposal of which created the rule which created the entity known as Beldin's Pants means that Malenkai is the creator of Beldin's Pants.
It is perfectly clear that Malenkai created the proposal, and the proposal created the Rule in question. Nowhere in Rule 940, however, does it state that an entity known as Beldin's Pants is created. The Rule does indeed define an entity with that name, but nowhere does it actually create such an entity. Game custom indicates that entities defined by the rules can and do exist whether or not they were specificaly created (witness Phoebe, the Brass Monkey, Prosthetic Foreheads, and many more). I therefore rule TRUE, on the grounds that Beldin's Pants have no creator.
Call For Judgement 374 - Wed, 16 Apr 1997 23:53:30 -0400
Initiator: Niccolo Flychuck
Judge: Malenkai (selected Apr 15, 1997, 7:30h EDT)
Pumpkin Patch Nomic is not a legal Trade Partner.Initiator's Comments:
The Pumpkin is currently undergoing a two week period called a Constitutional Convention, during which all rules, excepting the Constitutional Convention rule itself, are inactive. I argue that at this time Pumpkin Patch nomic does not have rules that define and ETP procedure, and specifically they do not have rules similar to Ackanomic'sJudge's Comments:
First let me say that with the possible exception of CFJ 284, this is the most difficult CFJ I have had to deal with. I still do not know how I am going to judge it as I write this, and all 4 verdicts are in serious contention. I apologize for the length and all the factual work, but if I get this wrong, I at least want the next Court or Judge to have the recorded benefit of my research. I will also apologize for rather repetitious comments at times; I am trying to reason by writing thoughts as they come to my head, and rather than a final edit, would rather perserve my thought process on this.
Some facts and pseudo facts (search for 'end of facts' to skip):
1) I am construing 'Pumpkin Patch Nomic' (PPN) to be an extra-nomic entity as recognized by rule 501, specifically the Nomic known in Internomic by that name.
2) snowgod designated (or attempted to designate) PPN to be a "Trade Partner" per rule 530, on Apr 14:
> In my first act as Customs Officer, I am declaring Pumpkin Patch Nomic to > be a Trade Partner of Ackanomic, having found that they havbe similar ETP > rules.
I say 'attempted' because it may be found that this act was against the rules.
3) Firsthand and antecdotal experience indicates that PPN may not have a rule even remotely similar to rule 530 or 531. However, when I joined that nomic to do research for this CFJ, I received the following information, quoted below, from the nomic. I note that it is unclear from this whether their game state has no rules, or whether they have rules which are suspended, or the game is in some other state. Moreover, I cannot discern whether their game custom (if they even have game custom), allows for the Platonic existance of any rule whose existance is not explicitly provided for or regulated against. It is possible (ie, *that* Platonic rule may exist ;)). Therefore, it is with much trepidation that I would declare that they have no substantially similar rule to 530 or 531; I cannot say that with finality.
Received from PPN by me as a player there:> dr west will doubtless put you on the mailinglist since you have asked > our rules are *suspended* [emphasis mine] > our ruleset became unruly > we are in the process of starting over with an initial set and > reorganising > spelling and punctuation are optional > every so often there are those (self included) who forget that this is a > game and engage in questionable comments > these posts in now way reflect the opinions of the patch as a whole and > As you may know, the Pumpkin Patch is in disarray these days, to say the > least. On *Sunday* [my emphasis], a proposal passed which said, in > effect, that we had entered into a "Constitutional Convention", a state > of affairs where our previous ruleset is defunct and all our efforts > shall be directed toward forming a new, more perfect bureaucracy. The > Pumpkin Patch will be suspended within this chrysalis until April 27th, > I believe, at which time we will resume buniness as usual."Sunday", in this case, was Apr 13th, contrary to what snowgod said on Apr 15th, referring to the events of Apr 14th (snowgod declaring PPN a Trade Partner). The sequence of events may have a bearing on the verdict. (snowgod wrote, Apr 15th):> [reference to CFJ 374's reasoning] is true. Almost immediatly after > I declared PPN a trade partner [on Apr 14th], they entered a > constitutional convention phase.We have conflicting information here. snowgod claims the CC phase was entered *after* he declared the nomic a Trade Partner, whilst communication from a member of the PPN which I received firsthand as a player in that nomic indicates that the CC occurred on the 13th, the day *before* snowgod declared the PPN a Trade Partner. Moreover, a post to Internomic by PPN's GRAPE (which I cannot reproduce), also indicates that the PPN would enter this state on the 13th. However, a legal point that may eventually have to be considered is whether facts or custom external to our Nomic have any sway at all; it may be that snowgod's Ackanomic statement quoted above, even as apparently shown to be false in an extra-nomic sense, is game custom which holds sway in Acka, in the absence of any other *Acka* game custom.
Another wrinkle on this is that it is possible that the CC was not legally called in PPN. Perhaps the officers responsible for determining if their game went into this state made an error or broke the rules, and new facts or judgements in the PPN will come to light to retroactively void the CC, much in the same vein as CFJ 186 retroactively voided *our* Constitutional Convention, a good week after it was called and its verdict delivered!
4) What follows are PPN's ETP rules (which may or may not have been suspended or even exist at the times in question):
-------- begin PPN ETP rules (search for 'end PPN ETP' to skip ---------
M-469 Entity Transfer Protocol, Part I
1) A new office shall be established with the title "Customs Officer."
2) a) Nomics who have assigned to one of their players duties and responsibilities similar to those assigned in Pumpkin Patch Nomic to the Customs Officer and whose rulesets include a rule or rules substantially similar to Pumpkin Patch Nomic's Entity Transfer Protocol will be designated Trade Partners of Pumpkin Patch Nomic. The Customs Officer of Pumpkin Patch Nomic shall have final authority to designate Trade Partners of Pumpkin Patch Nomic. Hereafter the unmodified term "Customs Officer" shall be assumed to include both the Customs Officer of Pumpkin Patch Nomic and any player in a Trade Partner nomic having duties similar to those of the Customs Officer of Pumpkin Patch Nomic.
b) In order to be considered substantially similar to Pumpkin Patch Nomic's Entity Transfer Protocol, a rule or rules must specify definitions for all of the properties listed in section 5 below, must specify these definitions in such a way that they will not conflict with the definitions specified by the rules of Pumpkin Patch Nomic, and must institute the inspection procedure describe in section 4 below.
3) Only game entities assigned values for the properties listed in section 5 below by the rulesets of their Nomics of Origin may be transferred into Pumpkin Patch Nomic or into Trade Partner nomics. Game entities may not be transferred into nomics not recognized as Trade Partners to Pumpkin Patch Nomic, and entities originating from nomics not recognized as Trade Partners to Pumpkin Patch Nomic may not be transferred into Pumpkin Patch Nomic.
4) a) Whenever an entity is transferred into or out of a nomic, an Entity Profile must be communicated to the Customs Officer of both any nomic out of which the entity is being transferred and any nomic into which the entity is being transferred.
b)The transfer shall not take place until all Customs Officers who received the Entity Profile have approved the transfer and have notified their nomics of the transfer by communicating to their nomics the Entity Profiles of the transferred entities, and until 24 hours have passed from the time of such notification without players objecting to the transfer.
c) The Customs Officer must inspect all transfers into and out of his or her nomic and prevent any transfer that will result in an ambiguity in the rules of any nomic.
5) An entity's Entity Profile must specify its values for the following properties, which must be assigned to the entity by the rules of its nomic of origin:
Entity Behavior Rule
Nomic of Origin
M-470 Entity Transfer Protocol, Part II: Properties
In order to be transferred out of or into pumpkin-patch nomic, an entity must have rule-defined values for the following properties in accordance with the specifications and restrictions set out in the following definitions:
Entity Behavior Rule, or EBR - An entity's EBR becomes a temporary part of a nomic's ruleset when that nomic contains the entity, and is removed from a nomic's ruleset as soon as the entity is no longer present within the nomic. When an EBR becomes part of a nomic's ruleset, it is added as a temporary subsection of a rule specified in that nomic's ruleset as the EBR Host Rule. If a nomic's ruleset does not specify an EBR Host Rule, then that nomic's definition of the EBR property (if there is such a definition) shall be considered to be in conflict with Pumpkin Patch Nomic's definition of the EBR property. An entity's EBR may specify properties and states for that entity that are not defined in entity transfer protocol rules such as this one. The EBR Host Rule for Pumpkin Patch Nomic shall be the Entity Transfer Protocol, Part II.
Nomic of Origin - The nomic whose rules created the entity and define its properties. All entities defined by rules in the ruleset of Pumpkin Patch Nomic (excluding EBR's imported from other nomics) shall have Pumpkin Patch Nomic as their nomic of origin.
-------- end PPN ETP rules ---------
There are 3 notable differences between these rules and 530 and 531. Our rule 530 has the extra two pieces of language:> (in the opinion of the Customs Officers involved) > though it is considered bad form for the Customs Officer to use this > power to attempt a scam.Thirdly, our rule 530 allows a 72 hour veto period, where the PPN rule allows a similar period of 24 hours.
Of these 3 differences, I find the second and third insignificant; yet find the first a potential threat to the "substantially similar" provision. The ETP rules provide a procedure for determining if a Trade Partner is qualified; the fact that one allows for the opinion of the customs officer to hold sway, while the other does not explicitly grant this is a significant difference, IMO, (because the finding of Judges and others may hold sway in the non opinion case), and I will get back to this if it becomes necessary in rendering a judgement.
--- end of facts/pseudo facts ---
The first thing to look at is the CFJ's statement, which is ambiguous:> Pumpkin Patch Nomic is not a legal Trade Partner.Does this mean 'PPN has not been legally designated as a Trade Partner (despite the fact that it is legal to do so) and therefore is not currently a Trade Partner (ie, its not legal to trade with them), or 'is it legal to designate PPN as a Trade Partner (as of the time the CFJ was filed)'?
The statements look similar, but there are two important distinctions, one of which is a temporal one, and the other is the referrant of 'legal' (ie, legal to designate them, or legal to trade with them because they have not been legally designated as a Trade Partner). Thus a verdict of INVALID may be indicated. For another indication of INVALID, consider the following CFJ statement: 'The Estonian language contains no prepositions'. Clearly a statement that can be answered TRUE or FALSE; yet being an extra-nomic statement that would probably be ruled INVALID. I note these are *completely* different cases of INVALID.
Rather than rule INVALID here, I will attempt to explore the issue further, and then see if the rules require me to rule INVALID, and see if construing the statement more in an Ackanomic scope makes more sense.
It would appear that the distinction raised above would not matter. For example, if it can be shown that PPN does not have rules, (and didn't from Apr 13th on) substantially similar to Acka's ETP, the question is mute. However, as I have indicated in the 'facts' section, that cannot be determined with certainty, and I'm not so sure it matters after all.
I quote an important section of rule 530, section 2a):> Nomics [...] whose rulesets include a rule or rules substantially > similar to Ackanomic's Entity Transfer Protocol will be designated > Trade Partners of Ackanomic (in the opinion of the Customs Officers > involved). The Customs Officer of Ackanomic shall have final > authority to designate Trade Partners of Ackanomic,and section 2b):> In order to be considered substantially similar to Ackanomic's > Entity Transfer Protocol, a rule or rules must specify definitions > for all of the properties listed in section 5 below, must specify > these definitions in such a way that they will not conflict with > the definitions specified by the rules of Ackanomic, and must > institute the inspection procedure describe in section 4 below.The key phrase in the first quoted section is 'in the opinion of the Customs Officers involved'. 'opinion' does not require fact or knowledge; if the Customs Officer *believes* the rules to be substantially similar, he is in compliance with this clause in designating another nomic a Trade Partner, even if, in fact, the rules in question are not substantially similar. Therefore it may be legal to skirt the substantially similar issue altogether, in fact, in rendering judgement.
The next quoted section goes on to discuss certain factual conditions for the rules to be considered substantially similar. When I first started looking into this, I thought this section would hold precedence over the 'opinion' clause via the inter-rule precedence rule, but I find the second section only establishes *necessary*, but not sufficient conditions for the test for substantial similarity, and while that clause regulates substantial similarity determination, the 'opinion' clause regulates Trade Partner designation. Thus I find that even if the PPN ETP rules do not measure up to the necessary conditions outlined in the second section, it is sufficient for the Customs Officer to have the *opinion* that they do, thus inter-rule precedence is not applicable here. I also find that snowgod's first message designating PPN as a Trade Partner demonstrated that he held that opinion, that PPN's rules met the necessary conditions in the second section (as well as other criteria) at that time, despite the fact that the factual evidence indicates that PPN had called the CC before snowgod declared them a Trade Partner. The problems of poor flow of facts, and continuously tracking another nomic's game state.
Thus I find at that time that it was legal to designate them as a Trade Partner, and that they were a legal Trade Partner, given the Customs Officer's indicated opinion of their game state, which is difficult to determine, thus opinion is of paramount importance.
The reliance on the 'opinion' clause in this reasoning may seem like a cop-out. However, I must point out that that is what the rule says, and as discussed, information about another nomic's game state is not as easily to determine as our own for reasons discussed at length elsewhere, thus 'opinion' will have to have a huge sway, because facts are uncertain and unverifyable.
This CFJ was filed April 15th; that is the time to which the statement must be judged. I again qoute snowgod's statement in response to the CFJ, also made on the 15th:> [reference to CFJ 374's reasoning] is true. Almost immediatly after > I declared PPN a trade partner, they entered a constitutional > convention phase.snowgod declared PPN a Trade Partner on the 14th. Based on this quoted message, which must be assumed to represent a true statement of belief in the absense of evidence to the contrary (despite the fact that the statement represents false factual information, in my judgement), snowgod changed his opinion of PPN's game state sometime between the time he declared PPN a Trading Partner on the 14th, and the time of this statement on the 15th, after the CFJ was filed.
Was this change of sentiment before or after the time of the CFJ? In my judgement, it was most likely before, because snowgod responded to the CFJ rather quickly after it was posted on the list, and he himself uses the word 'immediately' in that message (thus establishing that he believes their game state changed on the 14th). Based on the wording of the message, I am inferring that snowgod was aware of PPN's game state immediately (or soon after) he declared them a Trading Partner. I acknowedge that this is not what the message says; I am making a judgement here. My only other recourse is to judge UNDECIDED, because pinning down the time of snowgod's change of sentiment is critical. If it comes to light that his change of sentiment occurred *after* the time the CFJ was filed, it should be appealed and a verdict of FALSE rendered, because either reading of the CFJ's statement leads to FALSE.
I have thus judged that at the time the CFJ was filed, snowgod was of the opinion that PPN did not have a rule substantially similar to ETP.
Therefore, at the time the CFJ was filed, it would have been illegal for snowgod to declare them a Trading Partner for that reason (as opposed to the reason that they were one already, which does not make it illegal). However, at that time, they were a Trading Partner; this is where the meaning of the CFJ's statement comes into question.
The the rendering of 'legal' in the CFJ's statement comes back:> The statements look similar, but there are two important distinctions, > one of which is a temporal one, and the other is the referrant of 'legal' > (ie, legal to designate them, or legal to trade with them because they > have not been legally designated as a Trade Partner).They have been legally designated a Trading Partner via a process described in the rules, yet it is illegal to designate them as a Trading Partner.
Depending on what is meant by the CFJ's statement, you can get either a TRUE or FALSE verdict here. From 211:> CFJ's with no clear statement, [...] in the judgement of the Judge, > shall be judged "Invalid".In my judgement, the statement is not clear enough for me to choose amongst these alternatives, and thus I have no choice but to, regrettably, return INVALID. (At least from the facts and the reasoning, the Initiator hopefully will get the information he wanted, if not a definitive verdict :))
Call For Judgement 375 - Sat, 26 Apr 1997 08:15:19 -0400
Subject: Not-so-Organized Crime Paradox
Judge: snowgod (selected Apr 19, 1997, 12:01h EDT) (declined)
2nd Judge: IdiotBoy (selected Apr 19, 1997, 21:03h EDT) (declined)
3rd Judge: fnord (selected Apr 19, 1997, 22:49h EDT) (declined)
4th Judge: Bascule (selected Apr 22, 1997, 20:20h EDT)
The legality of a player, who has attempted to overthrow the Godfather, speaking on behalf on the Narfalone family (ie, posting and taking bets) 7 days after the attempt was made, cannot be determined with finality (in the general case where at least 2 players (4 if the current Godfather is construed to be in the Narfalone Family) publically support the overthrow attempt) when the Godfather is not an active player (or is an active player but not actively playing).Initiator's Comments:
This is a paradox win CFJ. It is also the real-world case we face.Judge's Comments:
Rule 1060 describes the Narfalone Family. The rule states explicitly that Tammany is a member of the Narfalone Family (section 6). The rule does not state anyone else, including the Godfather, is a member of the Narfalone Family, yet describes ways for players, including the Godfather, to become members. My reading of the rule indicates that the Godfather is *not*, in fact, automatically a member, but for the purposes of this argument, it matters not; it just changes the math as indicated in the CFJ's statement. I will assume not for the remainder of the argument.
There are N+1 members of the Narfalone Family, N non-negative. It is not publically knowable what N is. Section 5 of the rule describes the overthrow process:> 5. Any member of the Narfalone Family can attempt to overthrow > the Godfather by publicly stating eir intention to do so. This does > not constitute an admittance of membership in the Narfalone Family. %gt; If 2/3rds of the members of The Narfalone Family publicly acknowledge > the challenger within one week, e shall become the new Godfather.Once a player states their intention to overthrow the Godfather, this process kicks in. If K+2 (K non-negative) players support the overthrow attempt, it cannot be determined with finality if (K+2)/(N+1+K+2) >= 2/3. (A strict-constructionalist may say (K+2)/(N+1+K+2) = 2/3; however, game custom, spirit of the game, and common sense have construed voting ratios to be >=, not =, and even under this construction, the argument holds in principle for certain values of K, and should not disqualify the statement). I also point out that the magnitude of the K+2 term cannot be determined with finality either, because the legality of a player voting in favor of the overthrow (and thus adding to K+2) is not publically knowable. (Of course, we cannot know if the overthrow attempt was legal in the first place either!).
We cannot know if the overthrow was successful, thus we cannot know if the overthrowing player has become the Godfather, thus section 10 kicks in, which says only the Godfather may take actions on behalf of the Narfalone Family; some of the possible actions being placing and accepting wagers.
Malenkai's math notwithstanding (as has been acknowledged by Malenkai, the equation above should read if K/(N+1)>=2/3 for K members supporting the overthrow attempt of the Godfather, where the Narfalone family has N player members), his reasoning is sound. ThinMan has also observed that this is not in fact a Paradox win CFJ.
Call For Judgement 376 - Mon, 05 May 1997 12:25:47 -0400
Subject: CFJ 364 continued
Initiator: xebra bod
Judge: fnord (selected Apr 23, 1997, 19:18h EDT) (failed to deliver verdict)
2nd Judge: ThinMan (assigned May 04, 1997, 20:43h EDT)
In Round 2 of the current game of Grab-A-Donkey (the results of which were released by Wrangler snowgod on 24 Mar 1997), ThinMan grabbed breadbox's donkey.Initiator's Comments:
The Supreme Court's reasoning for its decision on the highly similar CFJ 364 seemed to hinge upon the question of whether the Little Lamb was "grabbed before, after, or simultaneously with, the grabbing of Donkeys". Since the court found no clear answer to this question, it returned a decision of UNDECIDED. To be specific, it saw the "simultaneously with" case to be unplayable, but could find no reason to prefer either "before" or "after".Judge's Comments:
I wish to argue that the question itself is misguided, which is why there is no clear answer for it to be found, and that Rule 1213 is not ambiguous (though perhaps not worded as forcefully as it needs to be), and that the correct verdict for this CFJ should be TRUE.
Firstly, consider the game of Grab-a-Donkey when the Little Lamb is not involved. Upon a careful reading, one will notice that the Rule carefully avoids any situation wherein two or more players could be grabbing a single donkey (by having all such players automatically fail), or wherein a player could attempt to grab a donkey that is not there (by having players without donkeys removed from the GAL before any further grabs are possible). What this means is that the Wrangler only needs to know the state of the game at the moment the current round began, and what every player's move is.
This is important for two reasons. First, at no point does the Wrangler need to determine the outcome of one player's move before being able to determine another's. Second, the Wrangler cannot determine any of the moves' outcomes until every player's move is known.
Once these conditions are observed, it becomes obvious that this is no accident. Section E of Rule 1213 states: "At the end of the Round, the Wrangler will publicly report what each player on the GAL did, and determine the results." Clearly, the results are not determined before all the moves have been submitted. We will come back to this.
Grab-a-Donkey is structured similarly to a cellular automaton (such as Conway's Game of Life), in which, at any given "round", the state of each cell is dependent upon the states of its neighbors. Like players in Grab-a-Donkey, a given cell's state at the end of a round is determined by considering the states of its neighbors at the beginning of that round. Even though the neighbors are undergoing state changes of their own, none of these changes can actually affect the cell's outcome. It is the states of the cells at the beginning of the round that is used to determine their states at the end. To ask if the cells all change their states simultaneously, or instantaneously, is to ask moot questions, as these considerations have no bearing on determining the outcome of each round. They are non-issues.
Now: with all this in mind, let us take a closer look at what the rule actually says. The passage under scrutiny is section C. It begins: "If exactly one player ('A') chose to grab another player's donkey ('B'), and if B did not Cover their donkey, then B will lose their donkey and be removed from the GAL at the start of the following Round ..." Note that it does not say that player B loses their donkey; it says that player B *will* lose their donkey. (So exactly when does B lose eir donkey? At the start of the next round? when the Wrangler posts the results? or maybe an infinitesimal amount of time after the grab? Again, such questions are moot. They ignore the fact that either way, the results of the round - and of the following rounds - are exactly the same.)
The rule then continues: "... unless player B is in possesion [sic] of the Little Lamb, in which case A will become confused and grab the lamb by mistake and B will remain in possesion [sic] of his donkey. (In this situation, possesion [sic] of the Little Lamb will transfer to player A.)" Without specific wording to the contrary, I argue that it would be a perverse reading indeed that treated the time referred to by the clause "the Little Lamb will transfer to player A" as meaning a significantly different point in the game as that referred to by the clause "B will lose their donkey", especially considering that they both appear in the same sentence. In fact, considering the wording of Section E, I argue that the point in time referred to is none other than at the end of the round.
In the situation that forms the question of this CFJ, the round began with Malenkai, ThinMan, and breadbox on the GAL (among others), and with Malenkai possessing the Little Lamb. Malenkai made a move other than to Cover his Donkey, breadbox attempted to grab Malenkai's donkey, and ThinMan attempted to grab breadbox's donkey.
For ThinMan to successfully grab the Little Lamb would require breadbox to be in possession of the Little Lamb. Not to be at some point soon, but at the time that the results of ThinMan's move is being determined. Which means that breadbox's move must have already been completed, and its outcome already determined and enacted, at some point in time before the results of ThinMan's move is being determined.
Once again I quote Section E: "At the end of the Round, the Wrangler will publicly report what each player on the GAL did, and determine the results." Surely the results of each player's moves cannot be enacted before they have even been determined? It seems clear that breadbox cannot possess the Little Lamb any earlier than the end of the round.
Consider also: what if somebody else had also attempted to grab Malenkai's donkey? In that case, breadbox's attempt to grab anything of Malenkai's would fail, and he would not possess the Little Lamb at any point during that round. breadbox's successful possession of the Little Lamb is dependent upon the moves of every other player.
I argue that the outcome of one player's move cannot be sensibly construed as being enacted before the results of every move have been determined.
Despite being an interested party in this matter, I submit a judgement to try to get it out of the judicial system, where it has been kicking around for over a month. The general consensus appears to be in agreement with Xebra Bod's reasoning, or at least with the indicated verdict. I judge TRUE without further comment.
Call For Judgement 377 -
Subject: Silly CFJ
Judge: Robert Sevin (selected Apr 28, 1997, 19:30h EDT)
Judgement: retracted at Mon, 28 Apr 1997 19:00:59 -0500 (CDT)
Reducing your score by retracting CFJ's is a silly action.Initiator's Comments:
Call For Judgement 378 -
Subject: ZZimsy CFJs
Judge: Mohammed (selected Apr 28, 1997, 19:32h EDT)
Judgement: retracted at Mon, 28 Apr 1997 19:00:59 -0500 (CDT)
This CFJ is ZZimsy.Initiator's Comments:
Call For Judgement 379 - Wed, 28 May 1997 14:25:36 -0900 (pre CFJ 390) or Mon, 02 Jun 1997 07:14:11 -0400
Subject: A Tounge Twisting Paradox
Initiator: Atilla the Pun
Judge: two-star (selected at Mon, 12 May 1997 19:00:24 -0900) (failed to return verdict in the time limit)
2nd Judge: ThinMan (reassignment to Praetor)
The legality of an Acting Senator voting to confirm the appointment of a Justice, in the case where the Senator replaced by the Acting Senator is not on Vacation, cannot be determined with finality.Initiator's Comments:
This is a Paradox Win CFJ.Judge's Comments:
First, the applicable rules and rulings:
[all statements in brackets other than this one are my own clarifications based on the way I cut the documents.]
From Rule 416:
xJustices are appointed by the President and confirmed by Senate vote.x
The Office of Senator has four Seats. The Speaker is not eligible to hold this office. The Senators are collectively an Institution known as the Senate. The Speaker or Acting Speaker is the titular head of the Senate, with the title of ProConsul. When a Senate vote is tied, the ProConsul may cast a tiebreaking vote on the matter in question.
From Rule 409:
The Duties of an Office are the tasks that the Officer(s) are expected to carry out to facilitate the conduct of Ackanomic business. Duties tend to be typified by the compilation, maintenance, and distribution of information.
The Privileges of an Office are the considerations the Officer(s) receive according to the Rules regulating the Office. Examples can include the receipt of Ackanomic currency, the ability to cast extra votes in certain circumstance, or special consideration with regards to making appointments or issuing CFJ decisions.
(iv) Acting Officers:
The Rules may specify conditions under which a Player serves in an Office in an "Acting" capacity. In such a case, the Player is responsible for performing all of the Duties without receiving any of the Privileges of the Office, except for Privileges which are also explicitly defined to be Duties by the rules, or Privileges required to perform explicitly defined Duties, or Privileges of the office when the Acting officer is filling in for a vacationing player. For any given Seat, there can be an "Acting" Officer only if the Seat is vacant. Non-voting players may only be acting officers for offices which may normally be held by non-voting players.x
From CFJ 223:
xClearly the vote [to confirm a justice] is to "carry out to facilitate the conduct of Ackanomic business". Confirming Justices is Ackanomic business, thus a "duty" from (ii) above.
Clearly it is also "the ability to cast extra votes in certain circumstance, or special consideration with regards to making appointments", thus a privilege from (iii) above.
Therefore it is both a duty and a privilege.x
By the reasoning used by Malenkai in CFJ 223, the confirmation of Justices is a Duty associated with the office of Senator. Therefore, an Acting Senator must vote to confirm a Justice.
However, again by Malenkai's reasoning, the confirmation of Justices is also a Privilege. Therefore, an Acting Senator may only perform it if one of the following conditions is true:
(a) It is a Privilege which is also explicitly defined to be a Duty by the rules
(b) It is a Privilege which is required to perform explicitly defined Duties
(c) The Acting officer is filling in for a Vacationing player.
Obviously, (c) is not the case; this was part of the hypothetical situation set up by the statement.
At first glance, the confirmation of a Justice appears to meet criterion (a). Though confirmation, by Malenkai's reasoning, is a Privilege, it is also a Duty. However, nowhere in the ruleset does it explicitly state that confirmation of Justices is in fact a Duty of Senators; this fact must be inferred from the definition of a Duty.
The definition rule for the Senate (Rule 411, above) does not explicitly define any Duties, nor, to my knowledge, are there any explicitly defined Duties of the Office of Senator anywhere else in the Rules. Even if there are, it is difficult to see how a Duty could exist for which it is necessary to confirm a Justice, except for the Duty of confirming Justices. Therefore, since this Duty is nowhere explicitly defined, the Privilege of confirming Justices fails part (b), above.
Since confirmation of Justices is a Privilege for which none of the above conditions apply, then, by Rule 409, an Acting Senator may not confirm a Justice. However, since confirmation of Justices is also a Duty, it is possible for an Acting Senator to confirm a Justice, again by Rule 409. Therefore, it is both legal and illegal for the Acting Senator to confirm the Justice, causing a state of paradox.
I first note that the rule referred to as number 409 by the initiator appears to actually be R401.
I am satisfied with the initiator's reasoning that an acting Senator may not vote to confirm a Justice under the stipulated circumstances. I am not, however, satisfied with his reasoning that an acting Senator also may do so. Rules 411 and 416 are no help -- Justices are confirmed by the Senate, collective, which does not counterindicate any illegality of any individual Senator or acting Senator participating in such a decision. For the sake of argument, I will accept as the customary interpretation that voting in confirmation hearings is a Duty of the office of Senator. Nevertheless, the rules nowhere indicate that officers are in general required, or even permitted, to perform those tasks that are specified or interpreted as Duties of their offices. In almost every case, the defined duties are tasks that are legal by default; the mere fact of a task being a duty does not necessarilly confer legality upon the performance of that task. Nor does the possibility of negative consequences for failure to perform a Duty confer any legality upon such performance.
Even under the assumption that voting in confirmation hearings is a Duty of the office of Senator, I find no indication in the Rules to contradict the finding that in certain special circustances individual acting Senators may not legally participate in such a vote. I therefore find this CFJ FALSE.
I would like to acknowledge two-star, who submitted a late, but substantially similar judgement.
Call For Judgement 380 - Mon, 26 May 1997 20:51:36 -0900 (pre CFJ 390) or Mon, 02 Jun 1997 07:16:38 -0400
Subject: Non-Volunteering Mentor Payments
Judge: Niccolo Flychuck (selected at Tue, 13 May 1997 08:39:06 -0900)
If a non-volunteering mentor is selected, he receives the A$25 payment for mentoring only after he accepts the assignment.Initiator's Comments:
See rules 252 and 253. It is quite possible that the opposite is true -- that he gets the A$25 immediately, even if he then declines the selection; in that case, the next mentor selected also gets A$25. I need to know, one way or the other.Judge's Comments:
In the back of my mind I have this nagging feeling that I accepted CFJ about Mentors, and I was going to judge it false, and I can't find a record of it.
Anyway, if I indeed accepted this CFJ, and haven't missed the deadline,and if it me legal for me to do so, thenI am judging it false, I think that mentors, regardless of whether they are on the mentor list are allt reated identically (sorry for this way informal format - packing packing packing)
Call For Judgement 381 - Wed, 14 May 1997 17:52:01 -0900
Subject: Alien Voting Period Extension
Judge: Guy Fawkes (Selected at Tue, 13 May 1997 19:28:39 -0900)
The voting period on proposals 1944-1975 (?) was extended by one week.Initiator's Comments:
When Rule 106 was abducted by aliens, it ceased to have any game effect. Mostly this resulted in players being unable to vote on proposals, but the clause that "The prescribed voting period on a proposal is seven days" must also have been affected. There was therefore _no_ set expiry date for proposals after the rule was abducted.Judge's Comments:
Furthermore, in Rule 1131, the Alien Abduction rule proper, it says "All nomic business related to said rule will be put on hold until the rule is returned....Any deadlines that would be violated because of the abduction shall be extended one week." Now obviously the voting deadlines have been violated because it was _not_ possible for players to vote for all of the seven days' prescribed voting period.
Therefore, upon the return of Rule 106, with the added "deferment" clause, it must abide by Rule 1131 and extend the proposal voting deadlines by one week.
I find the first part of Alfvaen's reasoning to be sound: while Rule 106 was abducted, there was no set length for the prescribed voting period for a proposal. The question is: what exactly happened when it was returned?
The game has operated for the past week in the thread where upon the return of Rule 106, the voting periods for all proposals whose voting periods would already have ended had the rule not been abducted ended immediately. In this CFJ, Alfvaen asserts that instead, the voting periods for all these proposals were lengthened by one week.
The basis for the argument is the "extension" clause of Rule 1131, "The Sinister Aliens Abduction Act":> All nomic business related to said rule will be put on hold until the > rule is returned by the Sinister Aliens. Any deadlines that would be > violated because of the abduction shall be extended one week.The first sentence, which puts nomic business "on hold" until the rule's return, is obeyed in both threads -- the voting periods for proposals did not end during the week of the abduction. This sentence, however, only postpones the business until the abducted rule's return -- any additional extension would have to be effected by the next sentence, which extends all deadlines that would have been violated because of the abduction.
This leads to the question: is failing to vote during a proposal's prescribed voting period violating a deadline? Nowhere do the rules require players to vote (although in some cases they do forbid players from voting). In this game, voting is not a duty, but a privelege which players may exercise at their own discretion if the rules so permit. It is the judge's opinion that by not voting during a proposal's voting period, a player has violated no deadlines; e has simply failed to take advantage of the opportunity to vote. If voting were a required act, this aspect of the situation would be drastically changed. Likewise, if the abduction of Rule 106 prevented one or more officers from performing their duties, this sentence would attempt to extend the period in which they had to perform those duties. ("Attempt" because such an extension might violate one or more other rules.)
If one places this argument aside for the moment and allows that deadlines were violated when players were unable to vote, and that Rule 1131 does indeed extend the voting period for one week, one discovers conflicting Rules -- the returned Rule 106 does not allow for this extension, and so it becomes a matter of precedence. Rule 106 contains the sentence> This Rule defers to all other Rules which do not contain this sentence.Rule 1131, however, contains the sentence> If the Rule does not already contain the sentence "This Rule defers to all > other Rules which do not contain this sentence.", then that sentence is > appended to the Rule."This has been reduced to a matter of grammar: if a sentence, quoted within another sentence, is still a sentence a not simply some other clause, then Rule 106 has numerical precedence. On the other hand, if the quotation within Rule 1131 is not indeed a sentence, then Rule 106 defers to Rule 1131. When he released the voting results this CFJ concerns, the Promoter stated that the quotation was indeed a sentence because Rule 1131 referred to it as a sentence. The judge is not convinced by this argument. Game custom [qv CFJ 242] is that although the Ruleset must at all times be obeyed, individual statements of the rules may or not be correct. Furthermore, a quoted sentence is grammatically not indeed a sentence, the judge does not even find that Rule 1131 provides an alternate definition of sentence: it is entirely reasonable to interpret it in this case to mean that the following text string would be a added as a sentence is the abducted rule, even though it may not itself be a sentence in Rule 1131.
Looking at the entry for "sentence" in the Hypertext Webster Dictionary, the grammatical definition is "A combination of words which is complete as expressing a thought, and in writing is marked at the close by a period, or full point."
In the Unabridged Oxford Dictionary, known for its thoroughness if not its clarity, the entry is:> A series of words in connected speech or writing, forming the > grammatically complete expression of a single thought; in popular use > often (= PERIOD sb. 10), such a portion of a composition or utterance as > extends from one full stop to another. In Grammar, the verbal expres- > sion of a proposition, question, command, or request, containing nor- > mally a subject and a predicate (though either of these may be omitted > by ellipsis). > In grammatical use, though not in popular language, a `sentence' may > consist of a single word, as in L. algeo `I am cold', where the subject > (= I) is expressed by the ending of the verb. English grammarians usu- > ally recognize three classes: simple sentences, complex sentences (which > contain one or more subordinate clauses), and compound sentences (which > have more than one subject or predicate).Based on my reading of these definitions, the quotation from Rule 1131 "This Rule defers to all other Rules which do not contain this sentence." is indeed a sentence, despite its quotation within another: it has a suject and a predicate, expresses a complete thought, and terminates in a full stop. As a result, Rule 106 takes precedence over Rule 1131, and so there is not an extension even if deadlines were violated as a result of the abduction. The judge admits that though grammar is a passing interest of his, he has no extensive training in it. If another with more expertise in this area disagrees with this decision and can argue that deadlines were violated (an argument which this judge finds false), e should feel free to appeal this judgment, but as it is, the judge is compelled to rule FALSE.
Call For Judgement 382 - Tue, 27 May 1997 22:28:07 -0900 (pre CFJ 390) or Mon, 02 Jun 1997 07:20:09 -0400
Subject: Pragmatic Paradox
Initiator: Guy Fawkes
Judgement: FALSE (at Sat, 17 May 1997 09:31:05 -0900)
Appealed by: Guy Fawkes (at Tue, 20 May 1997 18:05:43 -0900)
Appeal Verdict: FALSE
If a player attempts to create a Trinket whose value exceeds the number of A$ in his possession, and the impossibility of this act goes unreported for the next two weeks, following the two-week period of non-reporting, it appears equally legal and illegal for that player to trade the impossibly created Trinket (in the case where manipulation of that Trinket has not been attempted since its creation).Initiator's Comments:
As (Mohammed?) once said, "Retroactivity is blood in the water for paradox sharks."Judge's Comments:
In this scenario (Actually, any situation where the acceptance of an impossible change to the game state has a effect on the legality of later actions would have worked), a player attempts to create a Trinket which e cannot afford. Rule 506 governs the creation of Trinkets.> A player may create a Trinket by publically announcing its name, > description, and value, as long as the player has > at least as many A$ as the announced value. Upon doing so, the > stated amount of A$ is transformed into the > Trinket, and the creating player becomes the owner of the Trinket.Clearly, the for a player to create a Trinket with a higher value than e has A$ is against the Rules. Rule 713 defines two classes of such actions, a class of illegal actions (non-retractable errors), which occur, but are punishable, and a class of of impermissible or impossible actions (retractable errors), which cannot occur, although the attempt is punishable. Both these classes fall under the broader category of Crimes, which also includes actions which are entirely within the rules but nonetheless punishable, such as submitting substantially similar proposals.> To perform an action specified by the Rules to be Illegal is a Crime. An > action specified by the Rules to be "impermissible" is, by contrast, > impossible. However, an attempt to commit such an action is a Crime > [even though the action itself does not occur].A reading of the Trinket rule, as well as game custom and practice (take, for example, CarsesraC's recent attempted creation of the A$1000 "rule book of rings" trinkets) classifies the attempted creation of a Trinket whose value exceeds the account balance of the creating player among the "impossible" or "impermissible" (retractable) class of rule violations. It does not occur, and the attempt to make it occur is a Crime.
Rule 713 goes on to attempt to add an element of pragmatism to impossible and illegal actions. Herein, however, lies the paradox.> If, however, the illegally or impossiblility of a publically knowable > change to the game state goes unreported for at least 14 days, the > action or inaction which caused that change is considered legal, but it > is still a Crime. The change is deemed to have occurred retroactively to > the time of the attempt. The preceeding does not apply to the case of > events which occur automatically, but whose occurrance is not (or > erroneously) reported [e.g., loss of the Great Trombone]. This > paragraph has precedence over rule 103.As established above, the act of creating a Trinket for which one has insufficent A$ is not an illegal act for the purposes of Rule 713, since Rule 713 uses illegal to specifically refer to the class of non-retractable, yet punishable, Rule violations. It is, instead, an impossible or impermissible act in the sense of Rule 713, which uses those terms to describe retractable errors -- violations of the rules which do not occur.
In the scenario with which this CFJ concerns itself, after the two-week period of non-reporting, the "pragmatism clause" generates a retroactive change to the game state; namely, it causes that particular instance of the (in this case) impossible action to "legal, but... still a Crime". This amusing arrangement of words is not in itself paradoxical, for Crime in specfic Ackanomic usage refers to a very broad class of actions with little in common save that they are all subject to CFCJ. Some Crimes are against the Rules and others are not. "Legal" is used throughout the Ruleset to refer to actions, names, entities, and other facets of the game state which do not violate the rules. Therefore, the effect of the Rule 713's retroactive game state change is to cause the hitherto impossible Trinket creation to become legal (within the rules), though to remain a Crime (an action punishable by CFCJ).
From both a legalistic point of view (the impossible/impermissible class of game state changes is against the rules, whereas legal changes to the game state are not) and in common language (an impossible event cannot occur; therefore all events which occur are not impossible), the effect of the "pragmatism clause" is to retroactively cause the normally impossible Trinket creation to be not impossible.
(Aside: The purpose of the retroactivity is clear. Had after creating it, Player A traded it to Player B, who donated it to the Museum thereby raising his BV above A$5000 and winning the cyle, causing the position of Archaeologist to transfer from Player C to D, allowing D to create a new OMCL, which was immediately used by Player E to obtain... Rewinding the game state for the other, unexpected but true thread is difficult if not impossible, perhaps destroying weeks of play.)
However, this useful retroactivity causes a paradox: because Rule 713 changed the game state to make the impossible Trinket creation legal at the time of the Trinket's creation, the Trinket creation is no longer impossible (it occurred, didn't it?), and so Rule 713 is deprived of a legal basis for altering the game state to its current one. Of course, if Rule 713 doesn't alter the game state, then the Trinket creation is impossible, allowing it to be altered by Rule 713, thus depriving Rule 713 of the ability to alter it, and so forth...
It's a rephrasing of the time paradox of going back in time to murder one's ancestor.
Retroactivity _is_ blood in the water for paradox sharks.
The situation described in the CFJ is (briefly) that a player attempts to create a trinket with more A$ than he owns, the impossibility of this is not reported for 14 days, and then the third paragraph of rule 713 kicks in, retroactively making the action legal.Appealer's Comments:
Guy claims that the retroactivity causes a paradox, that once Rule 713 makes the action legal, Rule 713 no longer applies since the action is no longer impossible or illegal, and that this causes Rule 713 to have never triggered in the first place, which means it *can* trigger, etc.
However, Rule 713 only retroactively makes things legal. It doesn't retroactively make things illegal, nor does it retroactively undo its own effects. The only thing it does retroactively is make an illegal or impossible action become legal. So once the conditions for making the illegal trinket creation retroactively legal occur, Rule 713 retroactively makes it legal. After this, it cannot retroactively make it legal again because the conditions for doing so cannot be met again, but this doesn't matter because the action is already legal.
If the illegality of the creation of a trinket worth more A$ than a player has goes unreported for 14 days, the creation becomes legal.
Sometimes when paradox sharks smell blood, blood is all they swallow. The bleeding man hasn't totally escaped yet though -- there may still be a paradox with this rule, but this isn't it.
Both the original judge and I agree on two things.Supreme Court's Comments:
1) The effect of the "pragmatism clause" is to retroactively make an illegal or impossible game action legal.
2) It can only do this once, and has no other direct game effects.
The original judge, however, is mistaken about the ramifications of this change. The "pragmatism clause" does not have to make a legal action illegal retroactively or _directly_ undermine its own action for paradox to exist. Because it has a retroactive effect, it can be thought of as a "retroactive cause", whose effect is the legality of the normally impossible action. This legality has several proactive (forward or normal causality) game effects; for example, once legally created, the trinket can be traded, which it could not be if it had never been legally created. Another of these proactive effects is that two weeks after the legal creation of the trinket, the "pragmatism clause" cannot kick in -- an illegal game state change has not gone unquestioned for two weeks.
The only way in which the normally impossible trinket creation can be legal is by the action of the "pragmatism clause". The pragmatism clause only applies to illegal or impossible changes to the game state that go unquestioned for two weeks. Therefore, if the game state change is legal (even if its legality is based solely on the "pragmatism clause") the pragmatism clause cannot make it legal. Thus, no non-paradoxical threads in which the trinket is created exist.
If, however, the trinket creation is illegal, and no one questions its creation, it is not illegal due to the action of the pragmatism clause. Thus, no non-paradoxical threads in which the trinket is not created, yet no one questions its creation, exist.
Basically, no game thread can contain both the retroactive legalization of the trinket creation and the legal creation of the trinket, nor can a game thread contain the unchallenged illegal creation attempt of the trinket, and that creations continued illegality.
The retroactive change to the game state inititates a host of proactive changes, one of which eliminates the original retroactive game change.
Most simply, the retroactive cause and the retroactive effect cannot co-exist in the same thread. Effects must have causes, and causes must have effects. Paradox.
If the Supreme Court disagrees, I would appreciate in its reasoning a non-paradoxical game thread in which the normally impossible trinket creations is either definitively legal or illegal, and no one questions its legality. Such a thread should begin slightly before the creation of the Trinket, end slightly more than two-weeks later, and be self-consistent.
Here is one game thread that the Court feels meets the request that Guy Fawkes' makes in the last paragraph of his appeal reasoning:May 01, time 0000: player A owns A$50. May 01, time 0001: player A attempts to creates a trinket worth A$100, which is legal by Rule 713 and therefore succeeds. May 15, time 0002: player B notices that player A did not have enough A$ to create eir trinket.And here is another such thread:May 01, time 0000: player A owns A$50. May 01, time 0001: player A attempts to create a trinket worth A$100, which is illegal by Rule 506 and therefore fails. May 15, time 0000: player B notices that player A did not have enough A$ to create eir trinket.Neither of these threads contains a paradox.
The difficulty that Guy Fawkes describes in integrating the seemingly incommensurable retroactive effects of the scenario seems to stem from attempting to assign causes and effects a bit too freely. When the illegality of an action goes unnoticed, Rule 713 does not climb into a time machine on the fourteenth day and go back and make the event legal (only to discover upon its return that it never had a time machine in the first place). It merely provides one of the criteria for determining if a game action is legal or not. Did a rule declare the action impermissible? If yes, did it go unnoticed for two weeks? If again yes, then it was legal, and at no time is it considered to be otherwise.
To look at it another way, Rule 713 does not cause a retroactive effect so much as it causes the original thread split. A thread split occurs when a determination of the game state requires information that is not yet available. (Platonists may interpret "determination" in the previous sentence as referring to the discovery of where the game state currently is, and non-Platonists may use the interpretation that the game state is actually *indeterminate* until the information is obtained. Both interpretations serve equally well here.) In the past, CFJs have been the most common vehicle of thread splits; in such a case, it is the final judgement that is the future information needed to determine the game state. (And in fact Rule 215 also gives CFJs the power of retroactivity.)
Viewing events this way, when a player attempts to create a trinket they cannot afford, Rule 713 causes a thread split to occur at that moment. In one thread, their action was successful and legal. In the other thread, their action was unsuccessful and illegal. Note that if Rule 713 had no "pragmatism" clause, there could be no thread in which the action could succeed, and so in a very real way, Rule 713 causes the thread split. Now, how do we determine which thread is the real one? Rule 713 tells us how. If someone notices that the action was illegal in less than two weeks after the attempt, the threads collapse at the moment they report the fact, and the "unsuccessful" thread is the real one. Otherwise, both threads remain viable until exactly two weeks after the original act, at which point they collapse with the "successful" thread being the real one.
Clearly, at no time is there a paradox in either thread, nor does Rule 713 at any point remove its own jurisdiction out from under itself.
Call For Judgement 383 - Wed, 11 Jun 1997 20:31:12 -0400
Subject: Partial Repeals
Judge: IdiotBoy (selected Tue, 20 May 1997 17:37:30 -0900) (left the game)
2nd Judge: snowgod (selected Mon, 26 May 1997 20:55:25 -0900) (illegal selection since snowgod was no longer acting CotC)
Real 2nd Judge: Robert Sevin (selected Jun 02, 1997, 7:24h EDT) (failed to respond)
3rd Judge: Techno (selected Jun 05, 1997, 19:15h EDT)
Judgement: TRUE (at Fri, 06 Jun 1997 21:35:30 -0400)
Appealed by: Mohammed
Appeal Verdict: FALSE Statement:
The acceptance of proposal 1992 does not cause rule 207 or rule 709 to be changed in any way.Initiator's Comments:
Proposal 1992 contained the following two provisions:Judge's Comments:Repeal Rule 207, Section V [Effect of Proposals which do not meet Quorum]The potential problem with these is that it is questionable whether it is possible to "repeal" _parts_ of rules.
Repeal Rule 709, paragraph 4. [Players in Gaol and Quorum]
The rules no longer specify in detail what changes may be made to the rules. Until recently, however, they indicated that rules could be created, amended, or repealed. No room was allowed for repeal of parts of rules. Indeed, the effect that Guy Fawkes intended to achieve may have been an amendment of the rules in question.
Because the rules no longer specify explicitly whether the changes indicated by P1992 are legal, we must fall back on game custom to interpret the rules. In the past we have excised parts of rules by amending the rules, not by attempting to "repeal" those parts. To whatever extent that indicates custom, the questionable clauses of P1992 may be ineffective. Alternatively, the judge only need find that an attempt to "repeal" part of a rule is meaningless.
I cite Rule 104:If the proposal consisted of a list of one-time effects, such as changes to the rules, then those effects shall be applied, one at a time, in the order in which they appear in the proposal. (Ambiguous, conditional, retroactive, and/or meaningless effects are ignored.)
I judge this CFJ to be TRUE. I agree completely with Thinman's reasoning.Appealer's Comments:
Usage of the word "repeal" in the sense used in P1992 has always been common in the Ackanomic public forum. Everybody knows what P1992 was saying. If P1992 were ambiguous or meaningless, its meaning would not be so clear.Supreme Court's Comments:
P1992 consists of a list of one-time effects that are neither ambiguous, conditional, retroactive, nor meaningless. It is, thus, valid, and the effects shall be applied. There is no need to turn to game custom (developed under a different rule), as R104 is clear.Penalty to original judge:
Penalty: one point from the original Judge.
Call For Judgement 384 - Sun, 08 Jun 1997 20:04:55 -0400
Subject: Possible Polythiesm
Judge: fnord (selected at Thu, 22 May 1997 00:17:01 -0900) (not legally chosen)
2nd Judge: You can call me Al (selected at Mon, 26 May 1997 20:56:50 -0900) (declined)
3rd Judge: Antimatter (selected at Tue, 27 May 1997 22:24:24 -0900) (declined)
4th Judge: Mohammed (selected at Thu, 29 May 1997 22:28:31 -0900)
(2nd-4th Judges were illegal selections since snowgod was no longer acting CotC)
Real 1st Judge: Guy Fawkes (selected Jun 02, 1997, 7:28h EDT) (declined)
2nd Judge: Atilla the Pun (selected Jun 03, 1997, 22:29h EDT) (declined)
3rd Judge: Malenkai (selected Jun 05, 1997, 18:51h EDT)
A player can be a member of more than one Church at a time.Initiator's Comments:
According to Rule 102, "Resolving Conflicts", if two sections of the same rule conflict, and there is no other section of the rule that resolves the conflict, then the statement occurring later in the rule takes precedence. I quote the revelant sections of Rule 1301, "Churches":Judge's Comments:
6. A player may not be a member of more than one Church at the same time.
7. a. Any player may petition the Founder of a Church for membership in that Church.
b. If Church Policy has nothing to say on accepting new members, then Church membership will be up to the Founder. However, a Player cannot become a member of a Church until the Founder of the Church sends a public announcement to that effect.
So, in essence, clause 6 applies only so long as it does not contradict the Church Founder's own whims regarding membership of eir Church, whose effect on Church membership takes precedence by occurring later in the rule. No player can belong to more than once Church at a time, unless the founders of the latterly-joined Churches decide that they are willing to accept the player. (Subject to Church Policy, of course, but there is nothing to say that Church Policy has to reject players who are already members of Churches, either.) Clause 6 is thus entirely nullified by Clause 7, since it can be ignored by Church Founders and makers of Church Policy with impunity.
Rule 1301 was amended on May 28th to allow membership in 3 churches.
This CFJ, due to the CFJ snafu, was officially distributed on Jun 02 (it was illegally distributed on May 22, and other times, but those actions failed). Game custom must say that a CFJ applies to the time it was distributed, because it is not publically knowable when it was submitted to the CotC (I've always wondered about this actually, but the PK custom is the only reasonable way to decide this).
Thus the CFJ is trivially TRUE.
I find the precedence argument FALSE, however, unlike the judge in the other thread, in summary because one section regulates admission *qualifications*, and the other regulates admission *procedure*.
For the BWG fans... The relavent sections of rule 1301:> 6. A player may not be a member of more than three Churches at the > same time. > > 7. a. Any player may petition the Founder of a Church for membership > in that Church. > > b. If Church Policy has nothing to say on accepting new members, > then Church membership will be up to the Founder. However, a Player > cannot become a member of a Church until the Founder of the Church > sends a public announcement to that effect.Section 6 regulates church membership qualifications.
Section 7a regulates petetioning. Even if there were no doubt as to a player's inability to be in more than 3 churches, section 7a would still allow them to *petetion* for that membership (even if membership was impossible, no conflict here).
Section 7b regulates the Founder's actions (or admission *procedure*). Indeed, if Church Policy *had* something to say about membership, such as "all players wearing prosthetic foreheads are welcome", then a player in 3 churches wearing a prosthetic forehead could *not* join the church, trivially, because 7b could not apply at all. It seems reasonable then, to construe 7b as regulating what the Founder may do and how he does it, as constrained by other rules. For example, a Founder who has taken refuge per rule 1315, and is subject to the following as a result:> That player is said to have taken refuge in solemn meditation and may > not send any public messages for 27 hours. Any witchhunt against the > player is canceled.could not ignore this rule and admit a member via public message simply because rule 1301 would have numerical precedence over rule 1315. Likewise, the Founder may not ignore the constraints of rule 1301, section 6, just because section 7b would have interrule precedence.
Thus I find section 6 a general constraint, and section 7 regulating the procedure under which the Founder admits a new member, (or regulating how the member is admitted by default), subject to the general constraints of the rules, and thus there is no conflict of regulation, and thus precedence does not apply.
For Alfvaen to perform the Acid Rain Dance is equally legal and illegal.Initiator's Comments:
Alfvaen has two contracts binding his actions. The contracts demand that he does the Acid Rain Dance, and that he does not dance. There is no means for deciding precedence between contracts, and therefore his action of dancing is both legal and illegal.Judge's Comments:
The first contract:Alfvaen shall obey the wishes of the owner of this contract with regard to performing the Acid Rain Dance. In other words, he shall perform said dance if the owner of the contract requests him to(once only), and he shall refrain from performing it under any other circumstances.The pertinent phrase that I wish to call to the judge's attention is "he shall refrain from performing it [the acid rain dance] under any other circumstances."
The contract has no owner. Thus, from "under _any_ other circumstances" we see that Alfvaen is bound by contract to refrain from performing the Acid Rain Dance.
The second contract:Alfvaen shall obey the wishes of the owner of the Brass Umbrella with regard to performing the Acid Rain Dance. In other words, he shall perform said dance if the owner of the Brass Umbrella publicly requests him to(once only), and he shall refrain from performing it under any other circumstances.The owner of the Brass Umbrella (me) has requested publically that Alfvaen perform the Acid Rain Dance, and he is bound by contract to do so.
From Rule 1995:
"Once a player has signed a contract, that player must obey any restrictions that that contract places on em"
The player _must obey_ any restrictions. As the restrictions imposed by Alfvaen's two contracts are contradictory, the legality of his performing the Acid Rain dance is equally legal and illegal, since no precedence exists regarding contracts.