Call For Judgement 281 - Tue, 17 Sep 1996 19:40:06 -0400
Subject: Party Gravity Paradox I
Initiator: Malenkai
Judge: Habeous Corpus (selected Sep 10, 1996, 19:50h EDT) (declined to judge)
2nd Judge: snowgod (selected Sep 11, 1996, 9:20h EDT) (declined to judge)
3rd Judge: breadbox (selected Sep 12, 1996, 01:12h EDT)
Judgement: INVALID


The legality of a Swinger trading a SwingVote after the Round Count is incremented to a number that, when divided by RoundFreq, results in an integer, for the first time, cannot be determined with finality.
Initiator's Comments:
SwingVotes are protected, therefore can only be acquired in accordance with the Rules. Therefore, before the first time the Round Count is incremented to a number that, when divided by RoundFreq, results in an integer, all swingers have 0 swing votes (or at least did in this case, as no used Malenkai's loophole acquire any, as we are good sports).

The first time (and each subsequent time) such incrementation and division occur, the following is relavent, per R 1116:

> a. When ever the Round Count is incremented to a number that, when
> divided by RoundFreq, results in an integer, SwingVotes are distributed
> according to the following scheme 

> The number of SwingVotes received by each Swinger= the largest integer
> smaller than [(the Swinger's SwingScore / (RoundFreq * number of
> Swingers)) +0.4]
The condition in the paragraph labelled a. is met, thus SwingVotes are distributed in accordance with the schedule in the next quoted paragraph. But what is that schedule? I quote from R 545, in full:
> A left square bracket in a rule or other text begins a note, which ends
> with the next following right square bracket, or the end of the rule or
> body of text, whichever comes first. [This means that notes do not nest.]
> In the Ackanomic language, notes have no semantic meaning, whatever
> their lexical content.
Thus the content in the schedule in [brackets] has no semantic meaning. Therefore the swinger receives swing votes in accordance with the following schedule:
> The number of SwingVotes received by each Swinger= the largest integer
> smaller than
Smaller than what? It is indeterminate. They receive, by rule, some integral number of SwingVotes smaller than [?]. It may be 10, it may not be 10, who the heck knows?. Thus the number of SwingVotes received by the Swinger is indetermine. Thus we do not know if they have zero or a non-zero quantity, thus we do not know if they have any to trade. Thus we do not know the legality of the swinger trading one, because we cannot know if e has any! A verdict of TRUE is indicated.

I note that SwingVotes are explicitly tradeable, in accordance with R 1116, so that is not a counter argument.

The initiator wins the game in accordance with R 219 on a verdict of TRUE.

Judge's Comments:
Let me say first that a strict reading of Rule 1116 would certainly find it to contain a sentence fragment. To that degree, the statement under judgement is true.

However, I find myself considering the situation in which this CFJ was not submitted, and the time came to increment the Round Count and distribute SwingVotes. Assuming the problem with the bracketed text was noticed, I believe that it would have been dealt with by invoking "the spirit of the game" and continuing play, after submitting a proposal to fix the rule.

We must realize that the error is not so ambiguous that anyone could honestly misinterpret the rule's intent. There is no other way to read the rule without getting a sentence fragment. While I do not consider this to be a valid excuse for poorly written rules, this is an extreme example. Believe me, I would not consider "looking the other way" if there were any defensible reading of Rule 1116 other than the one that was clearly intended.

Furthermore, this is a hypothetical situation. No SwingVotes were in existence at the time this CFJ was submitted. Again, I would be more favorable to this CFJ's statement if it referred to an actual event. Party Chess was still being modified at the time of this CFJ; it appears it may still being undergoing modification (especially with respect to Party Gravity).

Rule 1116 could be determined to have been invalid as a proposal, and therefore never to have existed as a rule, and it would have no serious effect on the state of the game!

I realize that differentiating between hypothetical events and events that have already occured might be seen as ignoring game custom; however, let me stress that Rule 219 is unclear on this matter. The phrase "... if the legality of some action cannot be determined with finality ..." could be read equally as referring to actions that have occured, or any action at all.

Finally, I note that this CFJ is declaring a Paradox Win because of this error.

These considerations make me hesitant to return a judgement of True. Any of them alone would probably not be enough to sway me, but, taken together, I find the spirit of the game to tip the scales. This error is *not* a result of poor rule design: rather, it is on a par with spelling mistakes (examples of which are abundant in the current rule set, by the way). Though the error does change the content of the sentence, it does not do so in a way that leaves any doubt as to the intended meaning.

Since I feel that a verdict of True would be to pedantically ignore the spirit of the game, I am returning a judgement of Invalid.

Call For Judgement 282 - Thu, 26 Sep 1996 15:53:09 -0400
Subject: Proposal Bribery and Money Scrolls
Initiator: fnord
Judge: Brinjal (selected Sep 11, 1996, 23:00h New York Time) (failed to respond)
2nd Judge: Bash (selected Sep 15, 1996, 11:09h New York Time)
Judgement: FALSE at Mon, 16 Sep 1996 11:25:40 -0400
Appealed to the supreme court by ThinMan and by snowgod
Supreme Court's judgement: TRUE


Proposal 1218 ("Scroll of Money") is an invalid proposal according to Rule 793 ("No Proposal Bribery").
Initiator's Comments:
Rule 793 states that "a proposal is invalid if the rule change or resolution discriminates in any way between players based on the way they vote on that proposal."

Proposal 1218 creates an Ackanomic entity that would contain a list of who "...voted for the proposal that created..." it. The entity would then transfer money from the Treasury to the players on that list. This is most certainly discrimination based on the way players may vote.

It may be pointed out by some that the phrase "vote for the proposal" could be translated simply as any who voted on the proposal, whether they voted "YES" or "NO". This however, still discriminates against those who abstain (either on purpose or through inaction) or chose not to vote for Quorum reasons, both of which are certainly valid "ways to vote".

Judge's Comments:
When talking about invalidating a proposal, Rule 793 talks about "the rule change or resolution it contains". Well, I couldn't find any specific definition for "rule change", so I must adopt the straight forward English meaning, according to which creating a new rule is not a rule change (furthermore, I found throughout the rules several times the phrase "new rule or rule change" which supports my interpretation). Since Proposal 1218 is about a new rule, not about a rule change, it is not invalid (according to Rule 793).

However, the second half of rule 793 (which actually doesn't sit well with the first half), means that even if Proposal 1218 passes, it won't have the effect it states, which IMHO makes this proposal useless, and I would expect Wayne to retract it.

Sorry if I was too "clever".

Appealer (ThinMan)'s Comments:
I note to Bash that if he has a web browser available then /dev/joe's list of the Rules by categories is extremely useful. In particular, under the "Proposals and Rule Changes" category you will find rule 491, "What is a Rule Change?"

You can find the link to the afforementioned list of the Rules by categories on the main web page.

You are right, though, it _is_ tough to be a judge.

Supreme Court's Comments:
The Court agrees with the Appealer that P1218 is, in fact, a proposed rule change according to R491, and thus is invalid according to R793.
Penalty to the original judge:
3 points.

Call For Judgement 283 - Mon, 16 Sep 1996 23:33:47 -0400
Subject: Cheesy Paradox
Initiator: Guy Fawkes
Judge: breadbox (selected Sep 12, 1996, 12:44h New York Time)
Judgement: FALSE


The legality of the Fuzzy Green Mold's destruction of Malenkai's Cheese Box cannot be determined with finality.
Initiator's Comments:
A decision of TRUE here means Guy Fawkes wins this cycle. The Cheese Box used R115 to become indestructible by any means other than Malenkai.

The Fuzzy Green Mold used R115 to claim to destroy it anyway. There exists in the ruleset no means of determining precedence between instantiations, so each claim is equally valid and derives its validity from the exact same source. So -- what does happen when an irresistible force meets an unmovable object?

Judge's Comments:
R115 cannot be construed to allow idle conversation to have the force of Rules. The game of Ackanomic does not attempt to define the state of everything that is ever mentioned in relation to it; to insist otherwise is to seriously miss the point of the game.

If I announce that I have a cat which I have just sealed into a box, and that box contains a mechanism which will release poison gas if a piece of plutonium inside the mechasnism decays beyond a certain point, and I then issue a CFJ saying that the state of my cat's life cannot be determined - well, that may very well be true, but certainly no one is going to consider that I have just proven that the game is in a paradox state as per R219. The rules do not care about my poor cat, and so her legal state is nil.

If, however, I then issue a proposal that no one may ask me how my cat is doing in a public forum unless the cat is alive at the time, and the citizens of Ackanomia are so unwise as to vote it in, we would have a different story.

If, instead of my cat, I had announced that I had put an existing entity in my box (such as the Little Lamb), I might be eligible for a CFCJ for attempting to manipulate a protected entity. Or maybe I would just be ignored. It doesn't matter: the entity would be alive and well.

Words in the public forum cannot affect the game state except as defined in the rules.

The legality of the Fuzzy Green Mold's destruction of Malenkai's Cheese Box *can* be determined with finality. If you ask the rules, they will reply, "Mu."

Call For Judgement 284 - Sat, 21 Sep 1996 00:06:24 -0400
Subject: Cracking down on R 115 entities
Initiator: ThinMan
Judge: Malenkai (selected Sep 12, 1996, 12:48h New York Time)
Judgement: FALSE


Ackanomic entities may not be created if they are not defined by the Rules.
Initiator's Comments:
There has recently been a series of attempts at entity creation. I might have just shut up about it if we had stopped with Malenkai's Scroll of Money, if I could have gotten certain assurances from Malenkai, but things are now getting out of hand. Now on to the actual argument:

The two rules in question are Rule 115 and Rule 592:

Rule 115/0 (Immutable)
Permissibility Of The Unprohibited

Whatever is not explicitly prohibited or regulated by a rule is permitted and unregulated, with the sole exception of changing the rules, which is permitted only when a rule or set of rules explicitly or implicitly permits it.
Rule 592/5 (Mutable)
Mohammed (Jason Orendorff)
A Protected entity may not be created, destroyed, or manipulated except as specified by the Rules. It has no effect on the game other than those effects specified by the Rules.

A Protected action may not be performed except as specified by the rules. An action's performance has no effect on the game other than those effects specified by the Rules.

All entities and actions in Ackanomic are Protected by default, unless the rule(s) which specify or define their behaviour *explicitly* state otherwise. This clause defers precedence to all such mutable rules which *explicitly* state such.


If an entity is not defined by the Rules, then it must be protected according to the third paragraph of R 592, for there is no rule specifying or defining its behaviour to state that it is not protected. Likewise, the action of creating that entity is also protected.

R 592 prohibits the creation of a protected entity and the performance of a protected action except as specified by the Rules. If an entity is not defined in the Rules then no rule specifies how it may be created, nor specifies that it is permissible to create it. Thus R 592 prohibits the creation of such an entity.

The recent entity-creators have appealed to R 115 for justification to perform their acts of creation, but as I have just demonstrated, those acts are prohibited by R592. Therefore, R 115 does not apply and the creation of the entities in question is illegal.

This argument does not address whether entities that _are_ defined by the Rules may be created; that is an entirely seperate issue which must be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.

Judge's Comments:
The Whamiol is an Ackanomic entity which, in my opinion, was lawfully created by the Inventor. Furthermore, it was, can continues to be, possible to lawfully create another Whamiol. Whamiols are not defined by the rules, therefore the statement I was asked to judge is FALSE.

This reasoning depends on the construction of the word "entity" in the statement. I construe it to mean entity in the specific, as opposed to "class of entity", which would be a construction in the generic.

ThinMan's reasoning also indicates this sort of construction:

> If an entity is not defined in the Rules then no rule specifies how it
> may be created, nor specifies that it is permissible to create it
This indicates that he means "entity" in the specific (Whamiol), and not in the class sense (Gadget) and the statement is FALSE with regard to Whamiols, hence the importance of pointing out this construction. I realise the quote is out of context, but I am using it to find a construction for the word "entity", not for judging the merits of the reasoning from which it was taken, out of context.

Now, what if the statement had been the following, which may have been what was intended. Even if it was not exactly, it seems sporting to examine it, in any case (call this the "hypothetical statement"). I will assume that ThinMan's reasoning is supporting the Truth of this statement, and if this wasn't intended either, my apologies, no slight intended, but this issue has been begging to be looked at for while anyway. This should also handle the case where I misconstrued "entity", but I do not believe I have done so:

Ackanomic entities may not be created if they, or a procedure to create the entity or an instance of a class of entity, is not defined by the Rules.

This is a nastier CFJ. The bottom line: can R 115 be used to create an entity that is not defined in the rules, and is not an instance of a Gadget, instance of a Silly Vacation Hat, etc.

There are some misconceptions about R 115 which I have seen over time; sometimes people appeal to its Immutability to give it powers over rules which seemingly restrict it. The important point about R 115 is that it implicity *defers* to Mutables which place any sorts of restrictions on what is permissible. Although this deferrence is implicit, and this type of Immutable to Mutable deferrence is not mentioned by R 210, it happens (qv CFJ 204). Without it, the game would have been toast along time ago. Thus ThinMan is correct in asserting that if it can be shown that R 592 (or any other rule), prohibits undefined (read R 115) entity creation ex-niliho, then the hypothetical statement is TRUE.

ThinMan appeals to the following clauses from R 592 to support his argument:

> A Protected entity may not be created, destroyed, or manipulated except
> as specified by the Rules.

> A Protected action may not be performed except as specified by the
> rules. An action's performance has no effect on the game other than
> those effects specified by the Rules.

> All entities and actions in Ackanomic are Protected by default,
From ThinMan's reasoning:
> If an entity is not defined by the Rules, then it must be protected
I find fault in this leap of logic, if the entity does not exist, which is the relavent case of the hypothetical statement. If the entity has not yet been created, it does not exist, therefore it cannot have any attributes; it cannot be green, nor can it be Protected. Thus the first part of R 592 quoted above, in conjunction with the third part quoted, does not apply. If it doesn't exist, its not Protected. Read the third clause which gives the blanket Protection: "All entities and actions in Ackanomic [...]". This does not offer Protection to non-extant, as yet to be created, entities.

The *action* of creating, however, is a different matter, and cannot be sloughed off so lightly. The act, or procedure required, to create an entity, or instance of a class of entity, which is not defined in the rules, is itself not specified in the rules (sorry about that).

> A Protected action may not be performed except as specified by the
> rules

> All [...] actions in Ackanomic are Protected by default
Thus an unspecified action may not be performed except as specified by the rules. If I wasn't going to be tarred and feathered for it, I would go for the paradox win again; I'll leave that to someone else this time (and call it cheesy :-)).

The only reasonable rendering of this is that the action must be specified by the rules for it to be Protected. How can you say an unspecified action works only as specified? The act of posting to the public forum is unspecified; game custom gives us that it is therefore unregulated. Another example is IdiotBoy's Bond Newsletter, certainly, if it is found to not be a Newspaper, the act of its distribution is unregulated, and can be performed via R 115. Same with snowgod placing advertisments in his .sig file. This action in unspecified in the rules, thus unregulated.

If it were otherwise, we've been crashed for a long time, inasmuch as nothing is permissible except what is spelled out in the rules, including how to read the rules! Why do visions of Phoebe and CFJ 227 and Godel and cheesecake fill my mind? [BTW, I wrote most of what is R 592 now, this is what I meant, anyway, if anyone cares].

The bottom line, the Protection of actions applies only to those actions spelled out in the rules.

So a non-extant entity has no attributes, therefore is not Protected. The act of creating one of these entities, unspecified in the rules, cannot be Protected, therefore creation of these types of entities is unregulated, and they may be created ex-niliho, thus the hypothetical statement is FALSE as well.

What happens when they are here here?

CFJ 197, and the latest revisions to R 592, tell us that manipulation of the entity, so long as it has no game effect, is permissable.

Also, CFJ 283 and common sense tells us that the attributes we may claim these entities have have no legal force whatsoever. For example, if I create the Magic Monolith that claims to be indestructable and green, that claim has no force of law, and it seems that it could be removed by the Magic anti-Monolith, so long as that had no effect on the game state either.

If, however, a rule comes along later creating some Magic Monoliths of varying colors, and then said all extant Magic Monoliths which are green give 50 points to their owner, it would seem to me that this would occur, if and only if the Monolith happened to be green at the time the rule came into force. I seem to be digressing a bit, and its late, so fortunately for the reader, I cannot go much further down this path, as much as I'd like to.

Some examples of where this has happened, thus establishing game custom of this interpretation are Malenkai's Bronze Torch (which was instantiated with no attributes), and Malenkai's Vending Machine.

One more example to look at is the recent T-shirts by snowgod. Based on the above, the T-shirts could be created as described, but the rules specify only entities explicity designated in the rules as Tradeable are actually Tradeable. The T-shirts are not explicitly designated in the rules as Tradeable, thus trading them for A$ seems in contrary to the rules.

A TRUE on this CFJ would have closed what is known as "Malenkai's Loophole". Alas, I do not believe you can find a TRUE on this CFJ, or a similar one, under the current rules, anyway.

I could talk about this forever, I wish it wasn't late.

Call For Judgement 285 - Mon, 16 Sep 1996 23:23:04 -0400
Subject: Algebraic Auction
Initiator: frozenwaterdiety
Judge: ThinMan (selected Sep 15, 1996, 09:56h New York Time)
Judgement: FALSE


Guy Fawkes bid of H+1 A$ (where H is the magnitude, in A$, of the highest bid less than 305 A$ submitted by a player other than Guy Fawkes) in the auction for the Vending Machine was a legal bid.
Initiator's Comments:
I do not care either way, I just wish to see this resolved. Included is the reasoning that Guy Fawkes sent to me with his bid.
>Hey, nowhere does it say an algebraic expression is an invalid bid.  All
>the rules say is that a bid must be an amount equal to or less than the
>amount the player making it possesses.  Any set of bids containing a bid
>less than 305 A$ made by a player other than Guy Fawkes contains a valid
>H, and the set of bids in this auction is such a set.  Since a set of
>bids containing a valid H results in a bid from me of H+1, which must be
>305 A$ or less, this bid is valid for any set of bids containing a valid
>H, and this bid is valid.
Judge's Comments:
The basic question is whether "H+1 A$" is an "amount of A$" as required by R 1023/1. I am inclined to say that "H+1 A$" _represents_ an amount of A$, but is not an amount of A$ itself. Moreover, if an algebraic expression is permissible as a bid, then when is it evaluated? When the bidder sends it? When the Auctioneer receives it? At the end of the auction? Some other time?

The situation is sufficiently unclear that I feel justified in calling on game custom and the spirit of the game to resolve the issue. Game custom indicates that auction bids are numerical, not algebraic. Moreover, to the extent that game custom allows us to call on real-world usages of the words with which our rules are written, algebraic expressions are not allowable bids.

Call For Judgement 286 - Tue, 17 Sep 1996 20:03:54 -0400
Subject: Gadget Precedence Paradox
Initiator: Malenkai
Judge: Techno (selected Sep 15, 1996, 10:32h New York Time)
Judgement: FALSE


The legality of the owner of the Green Tomato gadget (made from the Blueprint for a Green Tomato, described below), should such things exist, trading that gadget after the owner of a Scroll of Crumble has attempted to destroy that particular Green Tomato gadget via the Scroll of Crumble, cannot be determined with finality.
Initiator's Comments:
Now that I have a little more time, digging through the problems gadgets and blueprints have, once again (the pseudo-rule problem). Also, more incentive to vote YES and bring that Chartreuse Goose on-line! I believe this one is pretty solid however.

Sorry for the Byzantine statement, but there are a few legal requirements of R 589 and R 219 to comply with. A better statement might have been: "There exists a paradox in Gadget precedence", and that is the gist of this paradox CFJ claim; that if two gadgets have conflicting behaviour or specifications, there is no way to determine with finality which specification shall hold sway. Trust me, that is what the statement says :).

The Blueprint for a Green Tomato:

The Green Tomato is indestructable. Its owner may use the title "Willy Nilly" by publically announcing that they are doing so. This is the last sentence of the Blueprint for a Green Tomato.
From the Blueprint archive, the Blueprint for a Scroll of Crumble:
> The owner of a Scroll of Crumble may Read it by announcing its text
> (which the player may make up) publicly. Upon doing so that player must
> indicate some existing gadget. That gadget is then destroyed. If the
> gadget was indestructible, three points are deducted from the score of
> the Scroll of Crumble's owner. Lastly, if the Scroll of Crumble still
> exists, it is destroyed, too. 
The Green Tomato makes explicit that it is indestructable. The Scroll of Crumble makes explicit that it destroys the target gadget (Green Tomato). Which holds precedence? Is it destroyed? It cannot be determined with finality, therefore we do not know if the owner retains the Green Tomato, therefore its tradability cannot be determined with finality.

I note that the Scroll of Crumble specifies a penalty for destroying an indestructable gadget, but that sentence does not explicitly say in such case that the target will not be destroyed; in fact, it implies the opposite with the word "was" when referring to the [alledgedly] destroyed gadget. No way out there.

In other notes, I note that the Green Tomato is a hypothetical Blueprint. I have some question about doing that, but it is the exact same case as the hypothetical contract in CFJ 256.

I have submitted a proposal to fix this problem, for what it is worth.

Upon a verdict of TRUE which is not appealed, the initiator wins the cycle in accordance with R 219.

Judge's Comments:
I had originally wanted do judge it as invalid because it deals with a rethorical situation.

Call For Judgement 287 - Wed, 18 Sep 1996 19:26:50 -0400
Subject: Making Judgements in accordance with the Rules
Initiator: /dev/joe
Judge: Robin Hood (selected Sep 16, 1996, 02:09h New York Time)
Judgement: TRUE


If a CFJ is submitted, and before a verdict is reached, the rules pertaining to making judgements are changed, the judgement must be made in accordance with the new rules.
Initiator's Comments:
This complements CFJ 279; that CFJ considered the rules pertaining to the specific CFJ, while this one concerns the rules which govern making judgements in general. This would include rules 213, 214, 215, 489, 589, and probably others.

This follows from rule 101, which also has a "then in effect" clause. Although the judge must consider the rules in effect when the CFJ was submitted in order to determine the truth of the statement, the submission of the judgement must follow the rules when the judgement is submitted.

Note that CFJ 279 and this CFJ can overlap; it is possible for two different versions of the same rule to matter in this case. Should there ever be a paradox such that the legality of returning judgement on a CFJ cannot be determined, and a paradox-win CFJ is submitted on that, if the rules are then changed so as to eliminate the paradox (and make it possible to return judgement) that CFJ can legitimately be judged TRUE.

Judge's Comments:
I agree with /dev/joe's reasoning and therefore give a verdict of TRUE

Call For Judgement 288 - Mon, 30 Sep 1996 13:17:18 -0400
Subject: Pious Player Prosthesis Paradox
Initiator: Guy Fawkes
Judge: Mellon (selected Sep 16, 1996, 03:38h New York Time) (quit the game)
2nd Judge: fnord (selected Sep 16, 1996, 11:16h New York Time)
Judgement: TRUE at Sun, 22 Sep 1996 10:25:43 -0400
Appealed by IdiotBoy at Sun, 22 Sep 1996 13:05:20 -0400
Supreme Court's Judgement: FALSE


The legality of wearing a Prosthetic Forehead, if one is a member of a Church whose Church policy contains both the lines, "Thou shalt wear a Prosthetic Forehead at all times," and, "Thou shalt not wear a Prosthetic Forehead," cannot be determined with finality.
Initiator's Comments:
The relevant rule sections are R775, 3c, which reads,

"All Church members must abide by Church Policy as long as they are members of the Church."

and R818, paragraph 3, which begins,

"A player may wear a Prosthetic Forehead that they own..."

Since neither rule makes relevant precedence claims, R775 takes precedence, from which we can conclude that a Church's policy may both limit the rights of its members to wear Prosthetic Foreheads and require them to do so, and that such limitations or requirements are in this case legally binding as long as a player is a member of that Church. If a Church policy both forbids and requires the wearing of a Prosthetic forehead, since there is no means in the rules to establish precedence of contradictory statements within Church Policy, R773 3c become a self-contradictory statement, and the Church member's right to wear the Prosthetic Forehead cannot be determined.

Judge's Comments:
Yikes, this was tougher than I expected. Should have either declined it or gotten Malenkai's help while he was still my Mentor. I was equally willing to say TRUE and FALSE to this one, for rather strong reasons.

Church Rule never says that Church Policy must be determinate, nor that it must be self-consistent, nor that it be non-self-contradictory, nor even that it follow the other Rules, although one would expect compliance with the rules. Therefore, Church Policy is able to dictate the actions of the Church's members in any way it sees fit.

CFJ286 already has precedence for not judging INVALID a CFJ that is rhetorical, although it does not cover hypothetical.

In this (admittedly rhetorical, and therefore, probably should have INVALIDated the CFJ, although precedence says it's okay) instance, the people in the hypothetical Church in question should both wear the Forehead and not wear the forehead at the same time. In either case, they would be abiding by the Church Policy and also *not* abiding by the Church Policy. This would lead them to be following and also breakig the Rules at the same time. Now, while *I* personally have no problem with something being in two states at the same time (having studied entirely too much physics), the Rules do not allow for something to be both Legal and Illegal at the same time. Therefore, I cannot see any other verdict for this CFJ than TRUE.

Appealer's Comments:
I don't disagree with the verdict (it CAN'T be determined with finality.) But I don't see this is a valid CFJ, since this paradox does not exist within the rules. I could submit a CFJ of the variety ("The truth of the statement "the judge will not find this CFJ to be true" cannot be determined with finality.) Also, will prove to be true, but hardly a basis for a paradox win. In fact it is another invalid CFJ.
Malenkai's Bronze Torch Comments:
I believe CFJ 288 should have been judged FALSE. I would appeal it, but IdiotBoy has done so already. His reasoning is completely different than mine, so I at least wished to add the reasoning I would have used, and wish that the Supreme Court consider it.

First of all, I want to talk about Invalid for a little bit. I do not believe this, and other CFJs, should be ruled Invalid unless the statement is malformed, self-contradictory, or multiple statements, etc.

Hypothetical statements do not fall into this category. If the statement is worded so that TRUE or FALSE is possible, one of those verdicts should be rendered, unless it is a statement of the type above. There is a plethora of hypothetical statements in the CFJ archive that have been judged TRUE or FALSE without a problem. The fact that someone could win the game as a result of a particular CFJ verdict does not justify the cop-out of judging it Invalid. It is the statement that is under judgement, not the reasoning or the consequences of the verdict.

Thus I would like to reverse this growing trend of game custom, and am going for a verdict of FALSE, not Invalid, on CFJ 288, the proper verdict, IMO.

A verdict of FALSE can be arrived at from 2 different lines of reasoning, each of which is independent of the other:

The first is based on CFJ 298. If CFJ 298 is judged TRUE, CFJ 288 should be judged FALSE.

If CFJ 298 is judged TRUE because R 775 is neutered via R 108, then churches and church policy come under R 115. Reasoning similar to that of CFJ 283 will alleviate the alledged paradox in CFJ 288. If CFJ 298 is judged TRUE, but R 775 stands, the following will alleviate the paradox:

Hypothetical Church Policy States:
The member must wear a prosthetic forehead.
The member must not wear a prosthetic forehead.

It is not possible to follow both dictums. One or the other will be followed. In following one, the other will be not followed. This not following is a violation of R 775, 3c, hence is a violation of the rules. If CFJ 298 is TRUE, however, the provision which forces this violation of the rules may, indeed must, be ignored. Thus the paradox is alleviated. The provision opposite of what the member choose to follow may be ignored, per a TRUE on CFJ 298.

The second argument will alleviate the paradox even if CFJ 298 is not judged TRUE, although I do not see *how* it cannot be judged TRUE.

Church policy mandates doing something illegal/impossible. In order to comply with R 101, and not break R 775, 3c, the member will be forced to leave the church, per R 775, 3c, second part. Thus whether or not the ex-member may wear a forehead can be determined with finality; in fact, R 818 specifies the conditions of doing so. I note that in this senerio, all members will be forced to leave the church as soon as its policy is asking them to break the rules/do something impossible, thus the church will dissolve, leaving it with no paradoxical policy, or even existance, whatsoever.

ThinMan's Bronze Torch Comments:
It is my opinion CFJ 288 is FALSE. If a hypothetical Church Policy States:
Each member must wear a prosthetic forehead.
Each member must not wear a prosthetic forehead.
then the legality of a member of that Church wearing a Prosthetic Forehead is not at all unclear. The action is illegal, because it is a violation of Church Policy. The fact that not wearing a Prosthetic Forehead is also illegal has no bearing on the matter whatsoever. Any player who at any time was a member of such a Church would immediately be in violation of the Rules.
Supreme Court's Comments:
The Court agrees that INVALID would have been an improper decision for this CFJ, as, by R598/8, that decsion is reserved for CFJ's that contain empty, contradictory, or multiple statements, or that are fundamentally duplications of previous CFJ's.

The Court finds the argument presented by ThinMan and the second argument presented by Malenkai to be sound, namely that no legally existing Church could have such a policy, as it could legally have no members. Thus, it can be determined with finality that a player may wear a Prosthetic Forehead in accord with R818, but they must leave their Church in accord with R775(3c) part 2.

Call For Judgement 289 - Mon, 16 Sep 1996 11:36:52 -0400
Subject: Timeless Existance of Acka-Entities
Initiator: ThinMan
Judge: Robin Hood (selected Sep 16, 1996, 11:22h New York Time)
Judgement: TRUE


No Ackanomic entities other than the initial Rules, and possibly the initial players (if they are considered Ackanomic entities), existed at the beginning of the game.
Initiator's Comments:
The rules do not say one way or the other, but it makes abundant sense to me that everything started from the initial Rules and players alone. Call it the spirit of the game.
Judge's Comments:
I agree entirely with ThinMan's reasoning, and pass a verdict of TRUE

Call For Judgement 290 - Fri, 20 Sep 1996 20:24:21 -0400
Subject: Timing is everything
Initiator: Malenkai
Judge: mr cwm (selected Sep 17, 1996, 23:34h EDT)
Judgement: FALSE


The cycle or game ends at the exact moment the Speaker lawfully announces the Fat Lady is singing in accordance with R 790.
Initiator's Comments:
In this reasoning, the word cycle should be construed to mean 'cycle or game', where appropriate.

This has never been clarified to my satisfaction. I realise game custom indicates that the cycle ends when the event that makes someone a winner occurs, but CFJ 280 establishes that game custom can be superceeded by new game custom, if new thought or fact comes to light. While I don't overly much care, I'd like this clarified. I do believe the statement issued for judgement is true, however, and will make that case for the judge to pick at.

It seems that the cycle can end at one of the following three times:

1) when it is publically knowable that a winning event occurred. In our rules, that would be when a magic number score is publically knowable, or 4 days after the CotC announces a TRUE verdict on a R 219 CFJ.

2) when the appropriate officer announces a winning condition (+ any mandated waiting period). In our rules, the appropriate officers would be Scorekeeper (R 422) and CotC (R 219).

3) When the Speaker announces the Fat Lady is singing, after the occurance of an event in 1) or 2).

Our current game custom indicates 1), 2) is out, IMO, and 3) is correct. Even if this CFJ is judged FALSE, I ask the judge to clarify this (I wish we had troolean (is that a word?) CFJs).

The question is, when does the cycle end. R 666 gives us a list of things to do when a winner is declared, but does not explicitly say when the cycle ends. The closest is item k), "The game cycle number is incremented."

I think common sense indicates that is when the cycle ends, on the "execution" of step k), which would occur at the same instant the winner is declared, assuming steps a) thru k) take an infintesimal amount of time.

R 790, however, says

> Furthermore, the game, or a cycle of the game, cannot be over until
> the Fat Lady sings.
It is reasonable to construe "until the Fat Lady sings" in the context of the rule, meaning "when the Speaker announces the Fat Lady is singing on the declaration of a winner"

R 666, section k), claims to end the cycle, yet R 790 claims the cycle cannot end until a certain event occurs, assuming the above renderings of the appropriate passages.

R 790 claims precedence, via:

> This rule takes precedence over all other rules dealing with end-of-game 
> conditions.
R 666 claims, via its title, to be an "End of Cycle" rule, but I haven't known rule title to have any legal weight whatsoever. Moreover, R 666 says "when a winner is declared", without distinguising between "game" or "cycle". Furthermore, game custom and R 904 both indicate "end of game" and "end of cycle" are the same thing, thus the precedence claim above applies to R 666, and R 790 thus establishes precedence over R 666.

If this precedence claim is found invalid for "cycles" as opposed to "games", this argument will still hold sway with regard to R 219 wins, as opposed to R 422 wins, but will complicate things a bit.

Anyway, we have R 666 k) and R 790 both claiming to end the cycle. R 790 wins, and the cycle ends when the Speaker legally announces the the Fat Lady is singing on a winner being declared. A verdict of TRUE is indicated. Got this far? Now the thorns and complications.

What happens when R 790 wins that precedence claim? Does step k) hang until the Speaker annouces the singing? That is what we may like to believe, but that seems like handwaving to me (for an examination of this hanging, see CFJ 216, which was judged false for reasons unrelated to the alledged hanging). If there is no hanging, then what happens?

The cycle number is incremented on step k), but the cycle doesn't end until later. I guess that is ok, although a little weird.

Its worse. CFJ 193 establishes implicit game custom about R 666:

> R666/2(b) through R666/s(m) are Ackanomic procedures to
> be carried out beyond the bounds of Ackanomic play, much as setting up
> "queen on color" is part of chess but not part of chess play [...]
Does the Fat Lady announcement fall in there? Yes, akin to a chess referee announcing the conditions for checkmate have been legally established, and all other rules and meta-rules of chess were satisfied for a win to be declared.

The judge should also review CFJ 187, 188, 189, 193, 216 and a few others, grep for 666 or "Grapefruit" or "Juice" (with a case-insensitive grep).

Judge's Comments:
The procedure in R666/8 executes "whenever" a winner is declared, and the Speaker is required by R790/3 to announce the Fat Lady is singing "upon" a winner being declared. Neither can happen before the other (see CFJ 186), but since no conflict arises from them occurring simultaneously, that is what they must do. That is, the Fat Lady must be announced to be singing at the the same instant R666/8(a) begins executing (equivalently, R666/8(a) begins executing at the same instant the Fat Lady is announced to be singing). Note that R790/3 does not say that the cycle ends when the Fat Lady sings, only that it can not end until she does. Thus, by common usage, the cycle ends when the cycle number is incremented by R666/8(l), instantaneously before play resumes with the next cycle by R666/8(m). This is entirely permissable, since the Fat Lady must have been singing since the initiation of R666/8(a). Note, too, that even if the items R666/8(a) through (l) require only infinitesimal time, this does not mean that R666/8(l) occurs at the same instant that the Fat Lady is announced to be singing, only that the interval between the two events can be arbitrarily small.

Call For Judgement 291 - Wed, 18 Sep 1996 19:39:12 -0400
Subject: Gnomic
Initiator: Wayne
Judge: Habeous Corpus (selected Sep 18, 1996, 01:16h EDT)
Judgement: FALSE


There is no such entity as the Voting Gnome.
Initiator's Comments:
Rule 355 only proposes to create the Gnome. It does not actually create the Voting Gnome.
Judge's Comments:
Before coming to any conclusion, I did a lot of research and soul searching. I will admit that I was predisposed to finding this FALSE, but only because I feared (and still fear) that a TRUE would cause a temporary, if not permanent, game crash.

I first considered if this might be a "non retractable error"; but going through the ruleset, I find that Rules and game custom provide for a way to make this a retractable error, if indeed it turns out to be such. The various effects of the Gnome's votes over the months can be determined and undone. To merely repeal or invalidate the Gnome and ignore the changes to numerous Proposals affected by the Gnome would be a violation of R101. However, the thread lines caused by such an action would inevitably lead to a crash. How serious a crash is yet to be determined. I leave that to better minds than mine.

I next considered ThinMan's argument about "game custom". Unfortunately game custom and the spirit of the game may only be used when the Rules are unclear , inconclusive, or contradictory. This did not appear to be the case here.

I was certain I would have no choice but to vote TRUE, and let the threads fall where they may when two thoughts thrust themselves on me.

The first was the realization that Rule 355 had been ammended, by Prop 983. This amendment makes no reference to "if and when the Gnome exists". It states that "the Gnome will" do something. This amendment was voted upon and passed in this form in accordance with R105, and therefore gives some precedent that the Gnome actually existed.

The second was the wording of the Proposal (and subsequent Rule) itself. The personal pronoun "I" precedes the word "propose", indicating the intent and wording refer to the author, not the Rule. This interpretation may draw some fire based on Rule 105, but I do believe that that personal pronoun makes a significant difference. Coupled with this thought was another: there is not now, nor at the time Rule 355 was accepted, a specified wording for proposal headings, so using the phrase "I propose" to start a Proposal is not prohibited.

Game custom (and R105) has only stated that the wording must remain intact, and that the original meaning of the wording controls the effect of the Rule. How the original meaning of the exact wording is guided by a) the official dictionary, b) extant game custom, and c) common English usage.

a) does not apply, because there is no disagreement on the meanings of the words "I" or "propose". b) is unclear, because, as far as i know, this is the only Rule that starts with a personal pronoun. [If I'm wrong, keep it to yourselves, or svaer it for anothr CFJ.] c) allows us to attribute the word "propose" to the subject "I" and not the Rule itself.

So now, we have three (two and a half) areas that are open to interpretation, and NOT explicitly dictated by a Rule. Using the spirit of the game to interpret a lack of prohibition to word a Proposal in the manner it was, the plausible (even likely) interpretation of the use of the word "propose" and a de facto precedent establishing the existence of the Gnome (P983) this CFJ is judged FALSE.

Call For Judgement 292 - Thu, 19 Sep 1996 19:15:41 -0400
Subject: Gnomic Paradox
Initiator: Wayne
Judge: breadbox (selected Sep 18, 1996, 01:29h EDT)
Judgement: FALSE


It cannot be determined with finality whether the Gnome Buddy is the player with the lowest score if the player has the same score as someone else.
Initiator's Comments:
Two sentences from Rule 355:

At any time, the Player with the lowest score will have control of the Voting Gnome.

If there is more than one person who is tied for the lowest score, then the next lowest score is used, and continues until the lowest single score is found.

The first sentence declares that the player with the lowest score is the Gnome Buddy. But the second sentence chooses someone else.

This is the same reasoning as CFJ 269.

Judge's Comments:
As many people have pointed out in the public fora, Rule 210 has been amended between the submission of CFJ 269 and the submission of this CFJ, and the reasoning no longer has the same force. I quote:
If two statements in the same rule conflict with each other, and the rule doesn't define a way to resolve the conflict, then the statement which appears later in the rule takes precedence.
I trust I do not need to spell this out any further.

HOWEVER: I wish to emphasize that I would still find the statement to be False even without the above. Consider the first sentence quoted: "At any time, the Player with the lowest score will have control of the Voting Gnome." Player is singular. Thus, this sentence is silent in the case where there is no Player with the lowest score. The second quoted sentence is: "If there is more than one person who is tied for the lowest score, then the next lowest score is used, and continues until the lowest single score is found." This sentence specifically outlines a procedure that is to be used when the lowest score is tied. It is silent in the case where there is no tie and exactly one Player has the lowest score. The two sentences are disjoint; thus, they cannot contradict each other.

And between them, they are complete; they cover all possibilities. It is unclear, to this judge anyway, that having the first sentence explicitly mention that it does not attempt to define the case where no one Player has the lowest score, adding rhetorical decorations such as "however" and the like, or pasting the two sentences into one with a semicolon to discourage out-of-context quotations, would add and not subtract from its clarity.

Call For Judgement 293 - Fri, 27 Sep 1996 02:01:25 -0400
Subject: P 1211
Initiator: Malenkai
1st Judge: ThinMan (selected Sep 18, 1996, 20:00h EDT) (failed to return a judgement)
2nd Judge: Mohammed (selected Sep 26, 1996, 16:22h EDT)
Judgement: FALSE


Proposal 1211 was accepted, and had exactly one valid rule change, whose effect was to repeal R 431, thus that rule change shall be applied, to repeal R 431.
Initiator's Comments:
The fact that I worded the CFJ in the positive does not mean I feel that way. I saw an interpretation posted by /dev/joe that would indicate true, and what appeared to be an opposing point of view. My attitude is to ignore, and accept, "questionable" interpretations, unless they are "questioned", or obviously bogus. As the effects of P 1211 have been debated somewhat, a CFJ seems in order, as I can see the case for TRUE or FALSE (how about "it cannot be determined with finality" ? :-)).

I have taken the liberty of quoting the /dev/joe and Guy Fawkes.


> Somebody asked what the effect of such a proposal would be, if it passed.
> Now it has passed.
> Rule 451, the spelling rule, applies to proposals.
> I believe this spelling error (that "R432" should be "R431") is
> unambiguous, because there is no R432, and the rule is identified by
> its name.  It's a little bit of a stretch to apply this to the "spelling"
> of numbers, but IMHO it is a reasonable application of the rule.
Guy Fawkes:
> This proposal does exactly what it says it does -- which can't be
> done.  I, for one, voted for the proposal because it had no game
> effect whatsoever.
Judge's Comments:
The effect described by the proposal is not a valid rule change because the rule it proposes to repeal doesn't exist. Applying the spelling rule here would be nice (getting rid of 431 would be nice, imho, for that matter), but that's too much of a stretch. The spelling rule applies specifically to words.

Call For Judgement 294 - Fri, 20 Sep 1996 20:26:45 -0400
Subject: Overworking the CotC
Initiator: frozenwaterdiety
Judge: Guy Fawkes (selected Sep 19, 1996, 19:24h New York Time)
Judgement: FALSE


This statement cannot be judged true
Initiator's Comments:
[none - CotC]
Judge's Comments:
Rule 214 states, in part:

"There are only the following possible Judgements: (1) True; (2) False; (3) Undecided; or (4) Invalid."

Clearly, True is a possible Judgement.

This CFJ's statement claims that True is not, in this case, a possible Judgement, and is therefore in direct contradiction of the rules. As such, I proclaim that it is FALSE.

Despite the pseudo-Godelian statement, the Judge is more than able to deliver TRUE as the verdict of this CFJ. No rules require that CFJ's make logical sense or avoid creating cognitive paradoxi. In fact, I briefly considered delivering a verdict of TRUE without comment just to prove this point. The Judge's ability to deliver a TRUE verdict is in no way abridged, and so I judge this statement to be FALSE.

I CAN deliver a verdict of TRUE on this statement. I have chosen not to.

Call For Judgement 295 - Sun, 22 Sep 1996 22:12:19 -0400
Subject: The Existentialism of Prosethic Foreheads
Initiator: Guy Fawkes
Judge: Wayne (selected Sep 20, 1996, 20:36h EDT)
Judgement: TRUE


Should P1262 pass, all wearers of Prosthetic Foreheads will receive 100 A$.
Initiator's Comments:
P1262 gives 100 A$ to all players wearing a Prosthetic Forehead that they did not create. Rule 818 clearly states that players *purchase* Prosthetic Foreheads, and that an infinite number and variety of them are already in existance, making it unnecessary to create more.

Furthermore, game custom, at least on the finanacial page, indicates that the Treasury contains an infinite number and variety of Prosthetic Foreheads, further reinforcing the idea that they are purchased rather than created.

Judge's Comments:
From Rule 818:
"This rule creates a type of entity known as a Prosthetic Forehead. There is an endless supply and an endless variety of Prosthetic Foreheads. Prosthetic Foreheads are protected and tradeable."

Players do not "create" a PF. They describe the forehead that they are purchasing from the Treasury.