Call For Judgement 521 - Mon 26 Jan 1998 15:50
Subject: Valarauker's Vote II
Initiator: else..if
Judge: Fortunato (selected January 26, 1998, 2:30 p.m.)
Judgement: TRUE
Appealed by breadbox
Judgement: FALSE


19 votes were cast on proposal 2608, of which 11 were YES.
Initiator's Comments:
I stated on the main mailing list that I was casting Valaurakar YES on proposal 2608. Although Valaurakar does not state how it can be cast, the only reasonable answer is that it is cast the same way as everything else-by informing the tabulator. Since I did so, it was cast on proposal 2608 (counting as two, as specified in its blueprint.)
Judge's Comments:
First, let me say that I accept this statement as an unambiguous misspelling of the following:

"20 votes were cast on proposal 2606, of which 16 were YES"

This is perhaps not the initiator's intent, but he did cast Valaraukar on proposal 2606, which passed regardless. After looking through the Rules regarding Voting and Valaraukar's Blueprint, I see no reason to judge this CFJ FALSE.

Appealer's Comments:
Valaraukar's blueprint includes the following sentences: "Valaraukar is a unique entity capable of casting one vote on each Proposal." and "Each vote sent in by a Valaraukar is counted as if it were two two votes." Nothing else in the blueprint pertains to Valaraukar's suffrage, and furthermore the second sentence quoted is relevant to this CFJ only if Valaraukar actually votes in the first place.

So: Rule 106 states that "Entities may vote only as specified by the rules." Nothing else in the rules would restrict this, so Valaraukar is in fact capable of voting. Does it then follow that Valaraukar will in fact exercise this capability, and moreover will do so as specified by its owner?

All other voting entities (including players) have specific procedures outlined in the rules to determine if, when, and how they exercise their capability to vote on a proposal. Voting players must send email to the Tabulator. Tammany will vote only if requested to by the highest bidder. The Voting Gnome, when it was in the rules, voted only as instructed by the Gnome Buddy. All of these procedures are described by the rules, and are necessary for an entity which is capable of voting to actually vote.

If the rules contained the sentence "An ownable entity that can vote will vote as specified by its owner" - or anything even remotely similar - then I would not be appealing this judgement. But there is no such provision in the rules.

Rule 595 states: "If a Gadget's Blueprint exists, the Gadget behaves in the manner defined by the Blueprint, and may be manipulated in accordance with it." And Rule 594 states: "If a Blueprint specifies the effects of a certain kind of Gadget-related manipulation, and tells who can perform it, but does not specify how it is to be accomplished, then that type of manipulation can be performed as a public action." Valaraukar's Blueprint, however, does not specify that it will vote (only that it is capable of doing so), nor that it can be manipulated to cause it to vote. And finally, it does not specify who could perform such an manipulation if it existed.

Valaraukar, under the current ruleset, is capable of voting, but will not do so.

Supreme Court's Comments:
The Court is in full agreement with the appellant's argument, and has nothing to add to it.

The Court specifies a five-point penalty to the original judge.

Call For Judgement 522 - Tue 27 Jan 1998 15:23
Subject: Agenda Hats
Initiator: Slakko
Judge: Red Barn (selected January 27, 1998, 3:30 p.m.)
Judgement: retracted


The Agenda Hat being worn by Slakko has a condition which is TRUE.
Initiator's Comments:
Slakko was selected for CFJ 471 and declined it.
Slakko was selected for CFJ 508, accepted it, and eir judgement was not overturned.
Slakko has been selected for CFJ 517, it is impossible to currently appeal this judgement, and his judgement (because he has yet to issue one) has not yet been overturned.

Therefore the Agenda Hat Slakko is wearing, which is numbered 30, has a TRUE condition associated with it.

Judge's Comments:

Call For Judgement 523 - Tue 27 Jan 1998 15:42
Subject: Slakko's Alleged Win
Initiator: The Gingham Wearer
Judge: Crackfoo (selected January 27, 1998, 3:45 p.m.)
Judgement: TRUE
Appealed by Slakko
Judgement: TRUE


Slakko did not win a cycle of Ackanomic on January 7th 1998.
Initiator's Comments:
I believe that this should be judged true. Rule 340 states:

"I. Unambiguous spelling errors shall be treated as if the mispelled word were spelled correctly, except during the process of rule-sanctioned spelling correction."

It is therefore the case, in my opinion, that all the words in the following message should be treated as if they were spelt correctly:

"Okay. The Present vote ins reasonable when people submit proposals dealing with specific pearts of Acka that arre only looked at by a few people (e.g. Parrty Chess). Howeverr, I wass nott initially looking to eliminate the Presentt vote. I came up with the Devil's Advocate approach when I was presented with the argument that we don't want to encourage pressent voting.

So apparently we don't want to encourage present voting, in fact the ruless technically discourage it becauuse of anti-voting points. Yet at the same time we don't want to abolish it. Is everybody really sufficiently happy that we're at a happy medium?

After all, if some proposals only appeal to specific parrts of thee populace, why don't most ov them grab the attention of only a few players? Maybe people are voting on more proposals than they should?

Please note, I'm just trying to gauge opinions here. I've suggested three different tactics now, and the first two got shot down in smoke. If this one does too, then I'll shoot down any future attempts to change this on the grounds that we've already reached the happy medium. :-)"

pearts should be parts
arre should be are
Parrty should be Party
Howeverr should be However
wass should be was
nott should be not
Presentt should be Present
pressent should be present
ruless should be rules
becauuse should be because
paarts should be parts
thee should be the
ov should be of.

I believe these are all unambiguous and hence should be treated as if they were spelled correctly. This is backed up by the fact that when Slakko originally posted the message nobody questioned em on any of eir meaning.

Now, looking at Slakko's agenda hat:

"9)The owner of this hat has posted a public message containing at least 10 misspelled words, each of which has, in its correct form, a prime number of letters."

I believe that since the words are treated as if they are spelled correctly they can no longer be considered misspelled. Rule 340 seems to back me up here since it details the manner in which a misspelled words comes to be considered to be spelled correctly. This indicates to me that the two states are mutually exclusive. Dictionary definitions would also seem to convey this meaning.

While this is the main point of my argument I feel that it would be remiss of me not to mention that one of Slakko's other agenda hats is the following:

"15)The owner of this hat has at least 15 attributes listed on the Players/Entities page."

What exactly is an attribute? It is not defined in the rules (nor for that matter is the Players/Entities page). Why then does Slakko feel that he qualifies for this agenda condition? I feel that game custom and spirit of the game make it fairly clear what the Player/Entities page is but attributes is a different matter entirely. There are three options as far as I can see:

1) Since attributes are not defined they do not in any way exist.
2) Attributes are things such as titles (e.g. angry villager) or offices (e.g. web-harfer).
3) Attributes also include things such as being a member of an organisation.
4) Attributes are both those things described in 3) but also things such as the owners of certain entities.

Of these I find 1) the most appealing. Attributes are nowhere defined and the meaning is ambiguous so there is no "common sense/game custom" interpretation to make. If it is neither defined by the rules nor the spirit of the game and game custom then it is meaningless.

Failing that I propose that option two is a better than either three or four. Consider this:
If asked to pick out which of the following statements described my attributes which would you pick (all of them are true)?
I have brown hair.
I am a pupil at Bolton School Boys' Division.
I own a pair of black socks.

Now, my dictionary describes attribute (as a noun) as:

feeling, condition, object, sign, which is found in somebody/something. This doesn't really help but I have a vague feeling that ownership of an object doesn't count.

For this CFJ to be judged false it is necessary for Slakko to have accomplished both agenda conditions. Either one on its own (or, more accurately, together with the agenda concerning chrome streaks which I do not consider contentious) does not give Slakko a cycle win, and so this must be judged true.

Judge's Comments:
I return the judgement of "True", based on my reading of rule 340.
Appealer's Comments:
Let's look at the text in question, shall we:

"Okay. The Present vote ins reasonable when people submit proposals dealing with specific pearts of Acka that arre only looked at by a few people (e.g. Parrty Chess). Howeverr, I wass nott initially looking to eliminate the Presentt vote. I came up with the Devil's Advocate approach when I was presented with the argument that we don't want to encourage pressent voting.

So apparently we don't want to encourage present voting, in fact the ruless technically discourage it becauuse of anti-voting points. Yet at the same time we don't want to abolish it. Is everybody really sufficiently happy that we're at a happy medium?

After all, if some proposals only appeal to specific parrts of thee populace, why don't most ov them grab the attention of only a few players? Maybe people are voting on more proposals than they should?

Please note, I'm just trying to gauge opinions here. I've suggested three different tactics now, and the first two got shot down in smoke. If this one does too, then I'll shoot down any future attempts to change this on the grounds that we've already reached the happy medium. :-)"

There was no difficulty understanding me, so the "correct" form of each of the misspelled words was well known. The correct form of each of these words had a prime number of letters, also satisfying the requirement. However, all of these spelling errors were also ambiguous, because it 'is possible to interpret these words in more than one way'. Sure, doing so creates nonsensical meanings, but that doesn't invalidate the message (I'd sure like someone to say that Hoover 2300s messages have to be interpreted as to make sense).

So the misspelled words were:

ins - this could be in or is, and is hence ambiguously misspelled. the correct form was is.
pearts - could be parts or pears, and is hence ambiguously misspelled. the correct form was parts.
Parrty - could be party or parity, and is hence ambiguously misspelled. the correct form was Party.
Howeverr - could be However or Whoever and is hence ambiguously misspelled. the correct form was However.
wass - could be was or wash, the correct form was was.
nott - could be not or note, the correct form was not.
Presentt - could be present or presents, correct form was present.
pressent - could be present or prescient, correct form was present.
ruless - could be rules or rulers, the correct form was rules.
ov - could be of or ova, the correct form was of.

Ten words, each of which can be interpreted in more than one way, and therefore ambiguously misspelled. They were all in sentences, so they do qualify as words. Correct forms of the words all had a prime number of letters (be it 2,3,5 or 7), and hence this message satisfied the Agenda Condition on my Agenda Hat numbered 9 according to two-star's Hat numbering scheme.

Supreme Court's Comments:
The appealer's arguments are wholly out of line with the long-established game custom that a misspelled word is "unambiguous" if the correct word, in context, can be determined beyond reasonable doubt. Spelling errors worse than those offered above have been accepted in the past, and the Court can see no tenable argument that this is not a valid interpretation of the rules. If it were not, then the vast majority of past misspellings would be considered ambiguous, and the rules would undoubtedly contain at least one paradox. (And furthermore, the date in the statement under judgement would not be recognized as an unambiguous misspelling of "January 27th", and this CFJ would be trivially False.)

As the rule states that misspellings are only recognized as such during "rule-sanctioned spelling correction", it seems clear that the Agenda Hat will not recognize the twice-quoted message as containing misspellings.

It has also been argued elsewhere that Rule 340 cannot do what it claims, as by causing misspellings to be treated "as if the misspelled word were spelled correctly", the rule no longer allows itself to recognize the words as being misspelled. The Court disagrees with this line of reasoning, if for no other reason than Rule 340 itself is an instance of rule-sanctioned spelling correction.

Although the secondary issue of "player attributes" is immaterial to the verdict, the Court will make one observation in that direction, solely for the record. Contrary to some players' claims, there is one place in the rules where the term "attributes" is used to refer to something that a player can acquire, and that is Rule 854, "Ackanomic Institute of Genetic Replication". However, note that the mutations themselves are not described as attributes, but rather their effects, which are not currently listed on the Player/Entity page.

Penalty to the appealer: 20 points.

Call For Judgement 524 - Wed 28 Jan 1998 11:07
Subject: Rant
Initiator: Slagothor
Judge: Crackfoo (selected January 28, 1998, 11:00 a.m.)
Judgement: retracted


Ackanomic is discriminatory against new players.
Initiator's Comments:
I didn't understand the rules! You keep changing the rules! You never told me about that rule!
Judge's Comments:

Call For Judgement 525 - Thu 29 Jan 1998 16:49
Subject: Weasel Words
Initiator: Slakko
Judgement: retracted


"Unambiguous spelling errors" in Rule 340 are weasel words.
Initiator's Comments:
There is no clear-cut definition of how many errors it is possible to theoretically correct in a single misspelled word. If we consider the different types of errors to be letter omission, letter addition and letter substitution (not to mention the old favourite letter permutation) then we find that the Hamming distance for most words in the English language is 2 or less. That is, it is possible to turn almost all English words into some other english word with 2 or fewer spelling errors as described above. This makes determining what is "unambiguous" in a spelling error a task based on context.

However, to determine something from context requires knowing the intent of the person who made the original message. It is impossible to prove that that person did not intend to spout gibberish, if one of the interpretations produces gibberish but the others do not. Therefore it is impossible to find any spelling error which is unambiguous.

Judge's Comments:

Call For Judgement 526 - Fri 30 Jan 1998 12:26
Subject: Cycle Win
Initiator: Slakko
Judge: rufus (selected January 30, 1998, 2:15 p.m.)
Judgement: TRUE
Appealed by Malenkai
Judgement: TRUE
Appealed by Guy Fawkes
Judgement: TRUE


Slakko has won a Cycle of Ackanomic.
Initiator's Comments:
The Chrome Streak Agenda Hat has been trivially TRUE.
The Attributes Agenda Hat is currently true, if you accept that titles are attributes and membership of organizations are attributes. You don't even need to worry about trinkets.
This only leaves the misspellings.

I have submitted upwards of 30 messages containing the text "letturc". Upwards of 10 of these have included at least 10 instances of deliberately misspelled words, which could be corrected to more than one English word, and are hence ambiguously misspelled words (and therefore not subject to Rule 340). According to the definitions in the second of the fictionary dictionaries, which I omit here for brevity (and because I'm frankly sick of them by now) "letturc" is a word when it is included as part of a sentence. It is ambiguous because I have stated two ways in which it can be corrected. However, in one message I stated exactly what "letturc" should be taken to mean. Therefore it did have a "correct" form - namely the word lettuce. In that message, I used "letturc" ten times. Lettuce has seven letters, a prime number of letters. So there were at least 10 misspelled words in that message, all of which contain a prime number of letters when in their proper form.

Therefore the misspelling hat is TRUE.

Therefore all three Agenda Hats have been true simultaneously at some point in the fortnight immediately prior to the announcement of this CFJ.

Therefore Slakko has won a Cycle of Ackanomic.

Judge's Comments:
More or less what he said. Two big points really, first all spelling errors are ambiguous; second, messages sent to the lists need not make sense.
Appealer's Comments:
I'd like the Court to take a closer look at 'attributes on the Player/Entity page'. Throughout the whole discussion, that seemed the most dubious, and I personally do not feel it has been satisfied, but will accept the Court's stamp of approval or disapproval in any case.
Supreme Court's Comments:
The "Attributes Agenda Hat" says that the player must have fifteen or more attributes listed on the Player/Entity page, a web page that is currently maintained by the Speaker/Financier/Web-Harfer. On this page are listed data such as the players' possessions, titles, organizational memberships, and much other information that is necessary or useful to tracking the game state. Which of these data, if any, are "attributes"?

Since the word does not have a particular meaning inherited from the rules or game custom, standard English meaning must provide the answer. But the problem with this approach is that it provides far too much meaning; that is, the word "attribute" is used in many ways, in many different contexts, to provide a wide variety of distinctions.

For example, one Justice of the Court favors the idea that "attributes" refers to the adjectival descriptions that the rules occasionally bestow upon players, usually with the phrasing "The player is said to be...." This would include "silly", "foolish", "Weird", "Really Weird", "Enlightened", and "Guilty of Patent Infringement". However, there is no good reason to accept these but not accept Titles - which are also bestowed upon players by the rules, and which hardly differ from the previous descriptions, except in name. Titles, in turn, can be argued to be extremely similar to Offices being held. And if Offices count, then really, why not organizational memberships? And so on.

When faced with such a slippery slope, the Court has found, in the past, that there is rarely a middle ground that can be objectively defended by argument, and the best thing to do is to side with one of the two extremes. In this case, that would mean that either nothing on the Player/Entity web page is an attribute, or everything is.

The only real argument for the first choice is that the rules do not define the term "attribute", and so nothing can be an attribute until the rules define it. The Court finds this argument unsatisfying, and somewhat against the spirit of the game. The second choice seems more in keeping with the highly inclusive nature of the word's definition. The actual contents of the Player/Entity page are essentially unregulated by the rules. In the end, it seems fair to argue that, for the purposes of this Agenda Hat, a player attribute on the Player/Entity web page is simply anything that the current maintainer considers important enough to list there.

By this definition, Slakko has the number of attributes required to satisfy the Agenda Hat.

This leaves the now-notorious question of the misspellings. The requirement is to post a message with no less than ten misspelled words, all of which have a prime number of letters when spelled correctly. In an attempt to keep this brief, the Court will only review two of Slakko's messages, and hopefully the interested reader can infer from them the reasoning used to judge the remaining ones.

This message was posted at Wed, 28 Jan 1998 17:41:

> letturc letturc letturc letturc letturc letturc letturc letturc letturc
> letturc mkssage
> Happy now?

The Court does not believe this fulfills the requirement. Without sentence structure, or indeed context of any sort, there is no reason to believe that these are even misspelled words, much less words with a prime number of letters. The message makes just as much sense as it is - specifically, none at all - than it does by treating "letturc" as a misspelling of "letters" (or "letter", "lettres", "lettuce", "lattice", etc).

The second message was posted at Thu, 29 Jan 1998 14:54, and read in part:

> [...] I claim that my use of the text "letturc letturc letturc
> letturc letturc letturc letturc letturc letturc letturc" in this
> sentence, each instance of the text "letturc" as it occurs within
> this paragraph meaning either lettuce or letters but not both, is a
> blatant attempt to win....

Here, the surrounding context makes it clear (in a vacuously direct fashion), that the repeated word "letturc" is in fact a misspelling, and that the word, when correctly spelled, has seven letters. The fact that it cannot be determined from context which word was the correct word means that all instances of "letturc" are ambiguous for the purposes of Rule 340, and cannot be treated as being correctly spelled. We do not know what the correctly spelled words are, but we do know that they exist, and that they each have a prime number of letters.

Thus the Court believes that at this time Slakko fulfilled the condition of his third Agenda Hat, and, in the absence of other hindrances, received the title Agent of KAOS and won the Cycle.

The appealer is penalized 12 points.

2nd Appealer's Comments:
The public message which the Supreme Court has most recently decided has given Slakko a win (via its misspellings) is quoted in part below.

>> [...] I claim that my use of the text "letturc letturc letturc
>> letturc letturc letturc letturc letturc letturc letturc" in this
>> sentence, each instance of the text "letturc" as it occurs within
>> this paragraph meaning either lettuce or letters but not both, is a
>> blatant attempt to win....

The Agenda Hat which this sentence is believed to fulfill is to post a public message which contains at least ten misspelled words, all of which have a prime number of letters in their properly spelled forms. In this reasoning, I will show that Slakko's attempt to include this text in his public message failed.

CFJ 336, Judge's comments.

> I was at first inclined to judge FALSE, based on the argument that
> public posts were not always game actions. I do not find Rules 370 and
> 372 in conflict with that reasoning. However, the fact that Rules 374
> and 1307, and perhaps others, make the text of any public post suitable
> for invoking a game response lead me to conclude that any public post
> must be construed as a game action. As such, R 709 prohibits players in
> Gaol from making public posts. 

CFJ 336 dealt with the question of whether a player in Gaol was permitted to make a public post. The confusion arose due to a clause in Rule 709 which prohibited a player in Gaol from taking any game action not included on a list of permitted actions found in that Rule. The initiator of CFJ 336 interpreted this to mean that a Gaoled player could not make a public post except in conjunction with performing the permitted activities for Gaolbirds, holding that any public message was indeed a public action. The judge upheld this interpretation, setting a game custom that any text included in a public message constiuted a public action. This game custom is still valid today, since Rule 709 (Gaol) now includes sending up to three public messages a day on a list of actions that Gaolbirds may perform.

The implication is clear: the text of any public message constitutes an attempted public action, even if that attempted action is nothing more than sending a public message with that text.

Rule 373, paragraph 3.

> The rules may specify that certain possible courses of play are public
> actions. Any active player may attempt any public action available
> to him or her simply by sending a public message specifying the action
> to be taken. However, if any information that is necessary to
> specify the action fully and unambiguously is left out of that message,
> then the attempt fails. [An attempt may also fail for other reasons.] 

Slakko failed to fully and unambiguously specify the text of his public message, and so the message contained no text (or at the very least did not contain the paragraph which the Supreme Court has judged to give Slakko the win, which matters little for returning the correct FALSE verdict.) In most cases, character strings such as "letturc" are fully and unambiguously specified as either misspelled words whose proper spelling can be determined from context, meaningless strings of characters, or encryption (such as a Treasure Map). Slakko's message insists, however, that the use of "letturc" in it corresponds to either a misspelled form of the word "lettuce" or a misspelled form of the word "letters". What the text actually is remains ambiguous, and so his public message failed to contain that text, whose inclusion in a public message would constitute a public action.

Imagine that there currently exists a Treasure map which specifies that the Treasure shall be found by the first player in Ackanomic history to post a public message in which the first occurrence of the string "letturc" was a misspelled form of the word "lettuce". Has Slakko fulfilled the map conditions?

This illustrates the ambiguity of his public action, and the reason for its failure.

In summary:
1) Slakko posted a public message.
2) He attempted to include text in this message. This constitutes a public action.
3) He was deliberately ambiguous about what the text of his public message was. (Not what characters in what order were in the message, but what resulting text was.)
4) This results in his action being ambiguously specified.
5) His attempt to include this text in his message failed.

Any message whose text says of itself that it is a misspelled word and makes it ambiguous what that word is, is ambiguous, and the action of including that text in a public message fails.

Supreme Court's Comments:
The appealer is correct in that sending a public message is a game action. Note that the question of whether it is a public action was glossed over. This has not been determined, and the rules defining a public action have undergone minor changes since CFJ 336. Since this point is irrelevant to what follows, the Court will take this as granted for the purposes of this reasoning.

What is necessary to fully and unambiguously define a public message? The Court believes that the rules and game custom would require specifying the text alone (as well as its author, the time it was sent, and so forth). The interpretation of the text does not have to be unambiguous in order for it to qualify merely as being a public message. The problem of the Treasure Map writer, offered by the appealer, is not germane here: The rules do not forbid players from writing poorly designed Treasure Maps, or indeed Maps with conditions that they are completely incapable of detecting.

One could imagine that, upon the posting of his message, each misspelling caused a thread split, where the misspelled word was "lettuce" in one and "letters" in the other - for a total of 2048 different threads. If nothing in the game state was dependent on knowing which word it was, then all of them immediately collapsed back into a single thread. If something like a Treasure Map did require knowing which thread was the actual game thread, then some or all of them may persist. Regardless of which happened, it is incontrovertible that the message fulfilled the requirements of Slakko's Agenda Hat in all possible threads.

Penalty to the appealer: 20 points.

Call For Judgement 527 - Fri 30 Jan 1998 12:41
Subject: Cycle Win
Initiator: Slakko
Judge: Alfvaen (selected February 3, 1998, 11:50 p.m.)
Judgement: FALSE


In an alphabetical ordering of Ackanomic players, Slakko appears prior to The Gingham Wearer.
Initiator's Comments:
Rule 340 determines alphabetical ordering as follows:

VII. Alphabetical ordering shall be determined by a word-by-word comparison, each word compared letter-by-letter. For these purposes: A word is considered to be delimited by whitespace; an initial 'The' or 'the' is ignored; a single string of digits is considered equivalent to a letter; digital 'letters' precede alphabetical letters; accented letters come immediately after the unaccented form of the letter; and non-alphanumeric characters are ignored; and case is ignored. All else failing, two words that are otherwise equivalent shall be sorted in ASCII collation order.

The text "A word is considered to be delimited by whitespace" is superseded by the text "non-alphanumeric characters are ignored", which appears later in the text, as space characters are not alphanumeric. Hence, The Gingham Wearer would appear after Slakko in an alphabetically sorted list of Ackanomic players.

Just one more reason to fix Rule 340.

Judge's Comments:
This is Malenkai's fault, for making me take my lovely baroque rule "Aleph Beth Gimel" and squeeze it into a tiny little clause of Rule 340. :-)

First, I note that whether or not Rule 340 works on a word level, an initial "The" is still deleted, so if the ignoring of non-alphanumeric characters happens before separation into words, we now have(with case ignoring as well), "ginghamwearer" and "slakko". (However, I note that "Theatre Monkey", for instance, would turn into "atremonkey", and would also come before "Slakko", which is in fact broken.)

But I do agree with the main point of Slakko's CFJ, which is that the ignoring of non-alphanumeric characters may indeed happen before the delimitation of words by whitespace. Or, rather, it's ambiguous. Unlike this CFJ, which is easily settled.

Luckily, we haven't had any big problems relying on alphabetical ordering, so I encourage anyone thinking of probing deeply into this matter to think carefully before submitting CFJ's whose relevance to the play of the game is microscopic.

Call For Judgement 528 - Mon 2 Feb 1998 14:00
Subject: Judgment Overturn
Initiator: Slakko
Judge: rufus (selected February 2, 1998, 2:00 p.m.) (deadbeat)
2nd Judge: Alfvaen (selected Wed 11 Feb 1998 11:43) (deadbeat)
3rd Judge: Malenkai (selected Wed 25 Feb 1998 14:27) (left the game)
4th Judge: Alfvaen (selected Thu, 05 Mar 1998 18:26)
Judgement: FALSE


Some Judgements may not be overturned within 14 days of it being issued.
Initiator's Comments:
Rule 215 says: "All Judgements must be in accordance with all the rules in effect at the time judgement was invoked, and with respect to the game state at that time. "

It further states: "A statement verified (or nullified) by judgement applies retroactively to any past game situation it may concern. "

Therefore, if a judgement is overturned on appeal, in such a way that the original judge's interpretation of a rule was wrong, then the first judgement never happened, by Rule 215, provided (as in accordance with rule 701: "If, however, the illegality or impossibility 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.") that the judgement is overturned within 14 days.

Hence a judgement which is dependent upon the interpretation of a rule may not be overturned within 14 days of its issue.

Judge's Comments:
I was tempted to rule this one INVALID, because the statement above is less than clear, but maybe it's just the bad match in number between "it" and its antecedent that is bugging me.

Let me try to rephrase it as I believe Slakko means it: "It is possible for a CFJ to be submitted whose Judgement cannot be overturned within 14 days." That's a bit clearer.

Slakko's reasoning is equally convoluted. But I think that what it says is this: If a rule is considered to be unclear, and a CFJ's judgement declares it to mean one thing, then its retroactive effect means that it meant that _when the CFJ was submitted_, and so the judgement cannot be overturned because the first judgement has already cemented itself in place.

However, the language of Rule 215 speaks of two different kinds of things. At the beginning, it says "All Judgements must be in accordance with all the rules in effect at the time judgement was invoked, and with respect to the game state at that time." That refers to "the rules", and "the game state". After that it speaks of "game custom" and "the spirit of the game". Rule 216 goes further to state that Judgements do not become part of the rules. (Actually, it only says so in the case of a statement being judged TRUE; to be perfectly consistent it should also say the same thing about the converse of a statement that has been judged FALSE...)

The question here is whether the _interpretation_ of a rule, as "settled" by the original judgement of a CFJ, is included under the first sentence of Rule 215.

For instance, to take a recent example, there's the question of whether a fractional stock cost means that the cost is rounded up before or after the multiplication by the number of stocks. Perhaps a CFJ on the matter would initially rule that it is rounded up after the multiplication. Does that interpretation become _part of the Rules_? Would a judgement that states that the rounding occurred before _not_ be in accordance with "the rules and the game state", as modified retroactively by the judgement?

Rule 216 seems to state that "the rules" are exempt from being changed by CFJ verdicts(or, as I said, TRUE CFJ verdicts, but game custom might hold this for a FALSE verdict as well), whether the interpretation of them _is_ changed by the CFJ. Interpretation of a Rule seems to me to be _game custom_, and not the rules proper. The Rules are the text themselves. And Rule 101 states that game custom is not part of the game state.

Therefore any game custom which is created by the verdict on a CFJ does not alter the Rules or game state, and so does not change the initial combination of Rules and game state on which the verdict is explicitly to be based. Thus, it may be possible to overweigh the "game custom" that is made explicit by the original verdict with Rules and game state, or even other game custom, without causing Rule 215 to be violated.

Thus _any_ judgement may in theory be overturned before 14 days have passed (assuming that the rules, game state, game custom, spirit of the game, etc. favour such an overturn, of course).

Call For Judgement 529 - Mon 2 Feb 1998 14:02
Subject: Paradox Win
Initiator: Slakko
Judge: Balsamic Dragon (selected February 2, 1998, 2:00 p.m.)
Judgement: retracted


It appears equally legal and illegal for Slakko to perform the action of converting the Scam PWCFJ Attempt trinket into Ackadollars.
Initiator's Comments:
This is a Paradox Win CFJ.

The Scam PWCFJ Attempt trinket was only created in the event that CFJ 483 had a final verdict of TRUE.

CFJ 483 was initially judged on 10 December 1997, at 22:38:39 Acka time (I believe). It was judged TRUE. CFJ 483 was appealed to the Supreme Court, and the verdict was overturned to FALSE at 19:26:58 Acka Time on 16 December 1997. This was publicly knowable at that time.

By Rule 215, "All Judgements must be in accordance with all the rules in effect at the time judgement was invoked, and with respect to the game state at that time." However, as the Supreme Court decision was not appealed within 4 days, it ceased to become appealable, and therefore became the official interpretation of the relevant rules. Hence Slakko's judgement was not in accordance with the rules, and this was publicly knowable less than 14 days after the judgement was made. Hence Rule 701's "statute of limitations" does not apply, and hence the action of Slakko making the judgement did not occur. Hence the judgement could not have been appealed. Hence the judgement was not overturned. Hence Slakko's judgement was not against the rules. Hence it was appealed, etc. etc.

It is therefore impossible to determine whether the correct verdict is TRUE or FALSE, there is a paradox loop. Hence it is impossible to determine whether or not Scam PWCFJ Attempt, the Trinket, was created. Hence it is equally legal and illegal to convert Scam PWCFJ Attempt into cash as a public action.

Judge's Comments:

Call For Judgement 530 - Mon 2 Feb 1998 14:48
Subject: Another Slakko Scam
Initiator: Slakko
Judge: else..if (selected February 3, 1998, 11:45 p.m.)
Judgement: FALSE


It appears equally legal and illegal for Slakko to convert the trinket "A Fun Little Scam Win" into Ackadollars
Initiator's Comments:
The Supreme Court's decision on CFJ 523 implies that the statement

"I creat a Trynket ..." will be treated as if it were
"I create a Trinket ..." by Rule 340.

But then according to Rule 340 we are looking at the phrase "I create a Trinket ...". But this means that it is not a spelling error, and so no correction is made. So we are really looking at "I creat a Trinket ..."

This all boils down to the definition of "treated" in the rules. Treated, from Merriam-Webster's Dictionary, means:

1 a : to deal with in speech or writing : EXPOUND b : to present or represent artistically c : to deal with : HANDLE

Nowhere in this definition does it say "interpret" - nor does it do so in the full Merriam-Webster definition. Therefore we end up in an infinite loop, where the treatment's application implies that the treatment is not applied, which implies that the treatment is applied etc. etc.

Judge's Comments:
The relevent section of 340 reads "Unambiguous spelling errors shall be treated as if the mispelled word were spelled correctly, except during the process of rule-sanctioned spelling correction." This sentence sounds to me a great deal like rule-sanctioned spelling correction. In fact, it is. So for the purposes of other rules the word is spelled correctly, but when this rule is being applied it is not. I judge this FALSE.

Call For Judgement 531 - Tue 3 Feb 1998 12:29
Subject: Malenkai Win Attempt
Initiator: Malenkai
Judge: Hoover 2300 (selected February 3, 1998, 11:50 p.m.)
Judgement: UNDECIDED
2nd Judge: Supreme Court (selected Fri 6 Feb 1998 10:50 EST)
Judgement: FALSE


Malenkai won a Cycle of Ackanomic on February 3rd, 1998.
Initiator's Comments:
Before rule 101 was amended to its current form by proposal 2637, it said, in part:

> The rules and the game state may only be changed as described in
> the rules.

Rule 500 describes what is and is not an entity. In particular, a thing is not an entity unless the rules say it is. Thus the game state was not an entity before proposal 2637 was accepted.

Proposal 2637 did not describe a way to change the game state from non-entityhood to entityhood, nor has any other rule or proposal. The fine point here is that the game state may only be changed as described in the rules; transformation from non-entityhood to entityhood is a change; and the rules do not (nor did they) describe the process of this change, therefore it has yet to occur.

This could mean any number of things:

a) The way rule 101 was harfed with the acceptance of proposal 2637, what it says is false. I find this completely unreasonable. The rules are true by definition.

b) Proposal 2637 failed in its attempted amendment, and the Rule Harfer incorrectly represented the effects on the web page. This is possible, but unlikely, especially when another interpretation (provided below) exists that allows the amendment to have occurred as harfed. Moreover, the rules do not really provide a way to discard this amendment, unless it is ambiguous. It was clear.

c) There is a paradox here for the clever player, or the game has crashed, in the fact that the game state is not an entity while rule 101 claims it is. While this is possible, (indeed, the rules claiming the game state is an entity may cause other problems), I believe that if this is the case, then it really doesn't matter whether or not I won in fact, because I have in principle (ie, I could waste time with the other CFJ to cover the crash/paradox case; if true, the game be unplayable at this point, so what is the point).

There is only one reasonable interpretation of what actually happened when rule 101 was amended by proposal 2637 that does not wreak havoc with the above. Before P2637, "game state" meant the complete collection of all game state variables. Now, it means some entity in the treasury, but it therefore does NOT mean the complete collection of game state variables, because we have already proven that that was NOT changed to entityhood, because the rules did not describe a process by which it was, in fact, transformed to entityhood.

Given that, a few things become unregulated and unprohibited. In particular, creation of Swingpoints is now unregulated and thus permitted (the only thing stopping their unregulated creation before the fact that the collection of game state variables, of which a player's Swingpoints is one, could only be changed as described in the rules; this prohibition no longer exists). I note that this is not true of A$ and points. The rules explictly prohibit the act of creating A$, and rule 668 describes a way to change your score. Fortunately, the rules do not regulate creation and changing of Swingpoint totals.

Thus, the creation and conversion of all those Swingpoints was successful, and it gave me enough points for a point win.


a) before P2637, the game state can only be changed as described in the rules. Here, 'game state' has customarily been construed to mean the complete collection of Acka game state variables.

b) 'game state' is not an entity by rule 500.

c) p2637 claims 'game state' is an entity. However, the rules did not describe a way to change 'game state' to entity, therefore 'collection of state variables' did not become an entity when p2637 passed. (A key point here is that proposals are applied as described in the rules at the time they are applied, even if the proposal changes those descriptions. For example, if a proposal created a rule that required the Rule Harfer to post the string 'xyzzy' everytime e applied a proposal, e would not be required to post 'xyzzy' when harfing *that* rule change).

d) after p2637 passed, the prohibition on changing 'collection of state variables' was removed from rule 101. Some thing in the treasury now cannot be changed except as described in the rules, but that thing is not 'collection of state variables'.

e) Many things remain regulated, because those actions are still described in the rules, or the rules are explicit. This is true of points and A$, but NOT of Swingpoints.

f) With the prohibition on changing 'collection of state variables' gone, in the cases where the change is unregulated, as in Swingpoints, it becomes permitted, by rule 101, thus the creation is done by this loophole; the conversion and win by traditional rules.

Judge's Comments:
Supreme Court's Comments:
The initiator argues that the "game state" cannot change, from an abstraction defined as "the complete collection of all game state variables" to a full-fledged rule-defined entity, without the rules explicitly causing such a change. And yet, Rule 101 stated, quite flatly, that the game state was an entity.

While it is true that Rule 500 states that entities can only be created or destroyed as the rules specify, Rule 101 clearly and explicitly takes precedence over Rule 500.

Furthermore, the alternative offered by the initiator - namely, that the term "game state" must, under the given version of Rule 101, refer to an entity in the Treasury that is otherwise undescribed by the rules, runs afoul of the same problem: namely, an entity is being created when the rules did not explicitly describe such a creation. This objection therefore fails to lend any preference to the initiator's offered interpretation.

Given all of this, the Court feels that it is perfectly acceptable and within the requirements of the rules for the game state, meaning the completely collection of game state variables, to become an entity. And Rule 500's objections on the matter are not pertinent. (One could also argue that it was Rule 104 that actually caused the game state to change into an entity, since Rule 104 enacted the actual change to Rule 101's wording. The Court finds this interpretation somewhat questionable, but for those who would prefer it, Rule 104 also takes precedence over Rule 500.)

The term game state is not given an explicit definition by the rules, but it has accrued the above definition through its longstanding acceptance as part of the rules. A loose parallel can thus be drawn between this situation and an attempted usage of Malenkai's Loophole, in that such attempts require the usurped noun phrase to have no clear prior meaning. This is certainly not the case here.

Given this, the Court believes that there is no reason to believe that the referent of the term "game state" in Rule 101 changed due to the amendment of Proposal 2637.

Therefore the game state remained regulated throughout its time spent inside the Treasury, and Swingpoints could not be arbitrarily created outside of the processes described in the rules.

Call For Judgement 532 - Tue 3 Feb 1998 17:33
Subject: Malenkai Win Attempt
Initiator: Alfvaen
Judge: Fortunato (selected February 4, 1998, 2:40 p.m.)
Judgement: TRUE


Crackfoo was a deabeat on CFJ 512.
Initiator's Comments:
CFJ 512 was distributed by me, as Acting Clerk of the Courts, at Tue, 13 Jan 1998 10:31:27 -0500. (Well, that's the time it was received by muppetlabs, anyway...)

As far as I can tell, from looking through the Digests, Crackfoo made one public response:

Received: (from majordom@localhost) by (8.8.6/8.6.12)
id JAA31913 for ackanomic-outgoing.muppetlabs; Fri, 16 Jan 1998 09:52:41 -0800
From:	"Crackfoo" <>
To:	"acka" <>
Subject: Acka: CFJ judge selections
Date:	Fri, 16 Jan 1998 11:48:12 -0600

I can't help but wonder why over the last several months I haven't been =
selected to judge any cfj's.  But Alvaen is CotC for 24 hours and my =
name is selected.  The random selection process doesn't seem to be =
working properly.=20

(and then it turns out Alvaen shouldn't have assigned the cfj anyway?)

Then, at Wed, 21 Jan 1998 12:14:38 -0500, Crackfoo said:

I judged cfj512 that was distributed by alvaen.  my judgement was 'false'.
The message to alvaen apparently has been bouncing and may or may not have
reached him yet.

For Crackfoo to have judged CFJ 512, e must have accepted the CFJ. This was during a time of thread confusion, but in the thread which eventually prevailed, I appointed Balsamic Dragon Clerk of the Courts at Jan 15 00:18 Ackatime. I received no acknowledgement, nor verdict, from Crackfoo before that time; if Balsamic Dragon received one of the above before Crackfoo's one-week deadline expired at 20 Jan 1998 10:31:27 -0500, then the only problem is that this verdict has not yet been officially distributed.
Otherwise, Crackfoo is a deadbeat and the Praetor(Malenkai)should go on to judge it.

So this should be easy to judge if Balsamic Dragon knows whether or not e received a private acceptance from Crackfoo. I'm willing to bet e did not, since e was still trying to send me a verdict days later.

I suppose it's also possible the above fully-quoted message could be considered an acceptance, but I think that's too much of a stretch; it's a comment, nothing more.

Judge's Comments:
My reasoning stems from Alfvaen's arguments, along with Balsamic Dragon's reply. Since neither of them received a private message of acceptance (and since I do not consider either of Crackfoo's message to the public forum as acceptance), Crackfoo did not accept, could not judge as e said e did, and was therefore deadbeat at some point on Jan. 20th. Therefore, this CFJ should go to Malenkai as Praetor to be judged.

Call For Judgement 533 - Thu 5 Feb 1998 18:14
Subject: Headquarters
Initiator: The Gingham Wearer
Judge: Fortunato (selected February 6, 1998, 10:25 p.m.)
Judgement: FALSE
Appealed by ThinMan
Judgement: TRUE


There exists a building called "Rule 1 is repealed. #1 Headquarters".
Initiator's Comments:
I'm not really sure. I remember Slakko saying that there should, and some arguments about the difference between a rule stating something exists and something comes in to being, and whether or not it should be destroyed after the rule changes or not. I feel we really ought to find out.
Judge's Comments:
I couldn't find much precedent for this judgement, so I'm not on as firm ground as I would like to be, but here goes:

When Vulcan's name was changed to Rule #1 is repealed. #1, it owned the same entities it had owned originally. In this case, the important entities are 12 kaas of land and a building, named Rule #1 is repealed. #1 Headquarters. This organization also owned a building named Vulcan Headquarters, but on the same 12 kaas of land. Since Rule #1 is repealed. #1 (R1R1) Headquarters was rule-sanctioned (by Rule 1, at the time), I believe that it takes precedence over the ownership of Vulcan Headquarters. Therefore, the organization was only in possession of R1R1 Headquarters. At the point at which the name was changed back, Vulcan Headquarters was rule-sanctioned, and therefore occupied the same space; R1R1 Headquarters was destroyed.

Appealer's Comments:
I am not particularly concerned about whether Vulcan owns two Extravagant buildings or one. The dynamics of entity creation and existence in Ackanomic do interest me, however, as does the interplay of rules and custom. I think there are some issues to which the original judge did not give due consideration. The verdict may well be correct, but I require more semi-official explanation as to why. I apologize to Fortunato, in fact, for appealing this CFJ.

I argue that a building named "Rule 1 is repealed. #1 Headquarters" does, in fact, exist, as does another building named "Vulcan Headquarters," both owned by Vulcan.

Rule 1, at various times, said that the organization currently named Vulcan owned buildings named "Vulcan Headquarters" and "Rule 1 is repealed. #1 Headquarters". It also said at all times that Vulcan owned 12 kaas of land.

Rule 839 (Buildings) says that Buildings are entities, and rule 500 says that entities may only be created or destroyed as described in the rules.

At the relevant times, rule 1 had precedence over rule 500, so that the buildings it stipulated to exist in Vulcan's possession could have been and were created without a specific description in the rules. (One could also argue that these buildings somehow came into existence without being "created" for the purposes of R500. I do not favor that interpretation, but the distinction is immaterial.)

The previous judge's ruling makes (at least) two implicit assumptions that I think need to be scrutinized.

1) Only one building may occupy any paricular kaa of land.
2) The 12 kaas of land mentioned in rule 1 at all times referred to the same land.

Moreover, based on these assumptions, the previous judge apparently concluded that R500's restrictions on entity destruction were either satisfied or overruled.

(1) Seems natural, and may, in fact, be correct. In my research, however, I did not find anything in the rules to support that position directly. One might argue that for a building to "occupy" a particular kaa of land implies that it occupies it exclusively, but the rules also specify that buildings are locations, and players may be at locations. If a player can share a kaa of land with a building, then why not two buildings? (Perhaps one is inside the other.)

(2) Rule 1 did/does not say that Vulcan owned _exactly_ twelve kaas of land. If one prefers that seperate buildings be on disjoint plots of land, rule 1 could be interpreted to have granted Vulcan twelve _more_ plots of land to go with the new building.

I also comment that these two assumptions are independant, in that even if more than one building may occupy the same land, rule 1 might still have granted Vulcan additional land for the new building.

The original judge concluded, based on the above assumptions, that the rules required that Vulcan's building be destroyed and replaced with a new one each time Vulcan changed its name. I can see some justification for that conclusion, _provided_ that I accept the assumptions. Coming to such a conclusion, however, means determining that Rule 1 overrides rule 500 with respect to the destruction of entities. This is different, and weaker, than the case for the creation of the buildings, in that Rule 1 at no time said that any of the buildings it previously created did not exist. The conflict is that a situation seems to have been created which should not exist.

It is only the judge's combination of assumptions, however, which indicate that the situation is impossible in the first place. Seeing as how the assumptions, combined with the rules, lead to an impossible conclusion, it seems to me more reasonable to challenge the correctness of the assumptions than to invent an otherwise unspecified event (a building destruction) to clean up the situation.

If the verdict of this CFJ is overturned to TRUE, then perhaps the Court can also address the questions of how much land Vulcan owns and of how its buildings are situated with respect to that land.

Supreme Court's Comments:
There is an explicit asymmetry in Ackanomic game custom. When a rule is created which states that an entity exists, it is understood that the entity is thereby created if it did not already exist. On the other hand, however, when a rule which is responsible for an entity's existence is repealed (or otherwise amended so as to remove the creating statement), the entity is not thereby destroyed.

Instances of the former custom abound in the current ruleset (such as the Fat Lady and the majority of Offices). Instances of the latter custom are rarer, but do exist (such as Proposal 1331's self-deleting text which created the Badges of Many Thanks).

There is no game custom, however, that an entity can be implicitly renamed by a rule's amendment, and the Court can find no viable argument to favor such an interpretation. Thus it must be the case that both "Vulcan Headquarters" and "Rule 1 is Repealed. #1 Headquarters" both continue to exist.

At one point in time Rule 1 stated that "Vulcan Headquarters" existed, thus causing it to be created, and at another point in time Rule 1 stated that "Rule 1 is repealed. #1 Headquarters" existed, thus causing another creation. When, later, Rule 1 was altered to state once again that "Vulcan Headquarters" existed, this did not create a third building, as that fact was already true.

As to the logistics of these buildings' locations, the Court believes that they are both to be found on the same twelve kaas of land. Without rules to explicitly prohibit this state of affairs, interpreting Rule 1 to implicitly grant Vulcan possession of a fresh plot of land whenever it creates another building seems to be a less tenable interpretation.

The original judge is penalized one point.

Call For Judgement 534 - Fri 6 Jan 1998 14:20
Subject: EndGame Paradox
Initiator: Vynd
Judge: Red Barn (selected February 9, 1998, 11:45 a.m.)
Judgement: FALSE
Appealed by Vynd
Judgement: FALSE


Further play is impossible.
Initiator's Comments:
This *is* a Paradox Win CFJ.

As determined by CFJ 533, Slakko fulfilled the last of his Agenda Conditions on the 29th of January. Upon doing so, according to Rule 607, he received the title of Agent of KAOS. He then, again by Rule 607, achieved a winning condition.

Rule 666 says that "Upon a Cycle winning condition being achieved, the following steps occur, in order"...

The first of these steps is "a) Ackanomic play is suspended."

It is my belief that, upon Ackanomic play being suspended, it is no longer possible to restart play. Hence further play is impossible. Why do I believe this? Two reasons.

The only thing that can cause play to resume is clause p) of Rule 666, "p) Ackanomic play resumes." Since clause a) has suspended play, however, it is not possible to enact clause p). To enact clause p) would be playing the game of Ackanomic, which is impossible because play has been suspended.

In fact, this isn't even an issue, because of the second reason I believe further play to be impossible. This would be clauses b) through o) of Rule 666. Each of these clauses calls for some sort of game action to be taken. So to do them would be playing the game of Ackanomic. Clause a) has made it impossible to do this. So neither clause b), nor any of the other clauses between clauses a) and p), ever happen. Rule 666 tells us that the steps listed in the Rule are applied in order. So if step b) doesn't take place, step p) can never take place, and play cannot be resumed. It is for this reason that, upon Slakko achieving a winning condition, further Ackanomic play became impossible.

Judge's Comments:
This hinges on the definition of the word 'play'. I assert that 'play' refers to participation by players, not neccessarily to all game events. If this definition is seriously questioned, an appeal is neccessary.

One could make an argument that 'play' includes activity by the harfers, but actually their duties are merely to TRACK the game state, not to make it. They can, and do, do so after-the-fact (or simultaneously with it, if you prefer).

Also, we have (15, now?) cycle wins worth of custom that it IS possible to get to the next cycle...

Appealer's Comments:
I concur that the meaning of the word "play" is the key to this issue, but I am not so sure about the rest of the Judge's reasoning. Certainly the argument that we have had Cycle wins in the past is insufficient. We've been wrong in the past too, about a lot of things, and it is not at all impossible that we have been mistakenly pretending to play Ackanomic since the end of the very first Cycle.

In my review of the Rules and Game Custom, I have found what I believe to be the crucial CFJ on this issue, CFJ 193. This CFJ asked if it was possible for the steps of Rule 666 to cause Rule 666 to implement itself again (the gist of the argument for this occuring being that step three of 666 declared someone the winner of the cycle, which is exactly what causes Rule 666 to activate in the first place). Interestingly, CFJ 193 is the source of an important statement in game custom, that certain events in Acka are a part of Acka but not a part of Acka play, to quote:

"Rule 666/2(a) suspends Ackanomic play. Rule 666/2(b) through Rule 666/s(m) are Ackanomic procedures to be carried out beyond the bounds of play, much as setting up 'queen on color' is a part of chess but not a part of chess play,"

Now this is an interesting assertion to look at in the first place. Frankly, I have to wonder if setting up for chess isn't indeed part of playing the game of chess. After all, how to set up the board is part of the rules of chess, if you do it improperly then you are cheating, etc. So the very basis for this argument of "Ackanomic procedures to be carried out beyond the bounds of play" is a little shaky.

What I find really interesting, however, is what this very same CFJ 193 goes on to say in the next sentence:

"The reinvocation of Rule 666/2 would be Ackanomic play, and, thus, is impermissible, as Ackanomic play was suspended."

This is, to the best of my abilities in searching the CFJ archives and Rules, the only place where some event is specifically said to be Ackanomic play. Certainly it is reasonable to assume that, if the reinvocation of Rule 666 is Ackanomic play, invoking it in the first place is Ackanomic play. So what CFJ 193 seems to be telling us is that applying the Rules is playing Ackanomic.

What an interesting dilemma. This CFJ seems to assert that applying the steps of Rule 666 are not part of Ackanomic play, but that applying Rule 666 itself is Ackanomic play. This doesn't make much sense to me. I can understand why invoking Rule 666 would be considered Ackanomic play. But why then is actually doing the things that Rule 666 calls for not part of Ackanomic play? And why only steps (b) through (m)? It never says anywhere in Rule 666 (then or now) that any of the events described in its steps occur outside of play. Granted, the very first step is to suspend Ackanomic play, so it would be pretty hard to carry out the rest of the steps otherwise. But hey, mistakes happen, and this could have been one of Ackanomic's largest. I don't put much faith in an argument which is saying that the later steps of Rule 666 are not part of Ackanomic play because otherwise they wouldn't happen. The rules are often contradictory and occasionally demand the impossible.

To go out and just blatantly state my personal opinion, putting into practice the Rules of a game is playing that game. CFJ 193 seems to agree with me on this, it says that invoking Rule 666 is Ackanomic play. Now, if we accept this as being true there is precious little reason to believe that applying the parts of Rule 666 are not part of play. There is the statement in CFJ 193 to this effect, but there is no support for such a statement in the Rules, and the CFJ almost immediately undermines its own position. Faced with this, I think it is reasonable to assume that applying the steps of Rule 666 is in fact, play. And since play has been suspended, none of the steps after the first happen, including the one which would allow play to resume. Thus, further play is impossible.

Supreme Court's Comments:
The Court agrees that the playing out of the past dozen or so cycles does not constitue "proof" that this CFJ's statement is False. However, it does supply an ample body of game custom. Thus a True verdict would essentially require showing that Rule 666 cannot be reasonably interpreted as it has been.

The original judge argues that "play" consists of the active involvement of the players, and that its suspension does not prevent continuing application of the game's rules. The Court believes that this is consistent with common English usage, and provides, as evidence for such, examples from the rules of other games.

An excerpt from the official American rules of basketball: "If an official, upon receiving a timeout request (regular or 20-second) by the defensive team, inadvertently signals while the play is in progress, play shall be suspended and the team in possession shall put the ball in play immediately at the sideline nearest where the ball was when the signal was given." From the rules of Badminton: "When necessitated by circumstances not within the control of the players, the Umpire may suspend play for such a period as the Umpire may consider necessary. If play be suspended, the existing score shall stand and play be resumed from that point." From the ILF rules of Lacrosse: "Play shall be suspended at any time when the ball is out of bounds." From the official Golf rules: "If the Committee or its authorised representative considers that for any reason the course is not in a playable condition or that there are circumstances which render the proper playing of the game impossible, it may, in match play or stroke play, order a temporary suspension of play ..."

There are also examples, in all of these games' rulesets, of rules that detail how play comes to be resumed (such as explicitly empowering a person to do so), and of further changes to the game state that can occur during a suspension of play (such as penalties for not acknowledging the suspension). Nowhere in these rulesets is there language that explicitly indicates that suspension of play does not also suspend a person's rule-sanctioned ability to subsequently resume play; nor is it ever explicitly pointed out that the rules are still in effect, including the rules that cause play to be resumed. These things seem to be taken for granted, and it seems reasonable to assume that the same is also true in Ackanomic.

In fact, the Court can find no examples of game rules where "suspension of play" is meant to indicate that all game activity, including the further application and enforcement of the rules, is to be suspended. Why, then, does this interpretation even occur as being possible?

Admittedly the above games are, in some ways, very different from Nomic games. Nomic game activity is heavily focused on the rules and their interplay, and less so on the interplay of people striving towards goals outlined in the rules. Ackanomic's rules continuously call for effects and game state changes, so much so that the rules themselves can come to be perceived as a separate participant in the game - as almost another player. Such a view of the game would tend to give one the impression that a call for the suspension of play must surely include the rules, unless explicitly stated otherwise. For if the rules are not suspended from their interplay, what is?

The Court, however, believes that this distinction is an artificial one, and that other games are just as susceptible to this confusion. Is it the basketball player who scores two points when a field goal is succesfully made? Or does the basketball player merely change the game state in such a way as to cause the rules to increase the team's score by two points? Such questions can be asked of any game. And yet the players, referees, and coaches who participate in basketball have no trouble understanding what their rules mean when they indicate that play is suspended.

The Court would hazard a guess that their interpretation is that, while play is suspended, the actions of the players cease to be recognized by the rules as triggering further effects to the game state - except, as previously noted, this interpretation must be modified further to not exclude those effects which the rules indicate can happen during supsension of play.

And here is an important point. The interpretation of Rule 666 that game-custom seems to favor most is that the first step in Rule 666's list of effects actually does suspend, not so much the rules, but any further application of the rules. That is to say, the words "the following steps occur, in order:" which precede the list carry an implication that the suspension in the first step is not extended so far as to prevent that list of effects from being completed. The suspension of play, then, is used to avoid the issue of any of its game state changes triggering further side effects (such as causing itself to be invoked anew). Thus, steps b through m cause no other changes to the game state, outside of what is explicitly stated, until such time as play resumes.

The Court admits that, on first impression, this may seem like an arbitrary interpretation, artificially formed to fit the current game custom. However, the examples mentioned in other game rulesets do give some support to this point of view, and it is more in line with the game custom (such as the one that is reflected in CFJ 193). The Court therefore offers it as being a possible alternative to the one supplied by the original judge, namely that only the active involvement of the players is suspended. The Court does not wish to imply that this is a final judgement on the matter, though; other players may disagree with this assessment, and in either case, the statement of this CFJ is False.

The appealer is penalized 20 points.

Call For Judgement 535 - Mon 9 Feb 1998 14:05
Subject: Beavis and Guy Fawkes
Initiator: Guy Fawkes
Judge: Vynd (selected February 10, 1998, 9:00 a.m.)
Judgement: FALSE


Guy Fawkes is a butthead.
Initiator's Comments:
The only use of the word "butthead" in the Rules is in Rule 211, where it has sat since Proposal 575, explictly stating (albeit as a note) that the CFJ statement "PlayerXXX is a butthead" is indeed valid.

Quite frankly, I have no idea whether or not I'm a butthead, nor do the Rules provide any means for me to find out, nor do they entail what powers or restrictions might apply to me if I were a butthead. To top off this amazing paucity of information on the subject, the Rules do not even do the players the common courtesy of informing us whether a newly registered player is or is not a butthead, or if some determinstic or stochaistic method might be applied to determine such a status.

Nonetheless, the Rules insist that this CFJ's statement is valid, and can be answered true or false.

So, I humbly petition the Ackanomic justice system to take this matter under its [usually] wise consideration and let our dear game know whether or not I am indeed a butthead.

Judge's Comments:
The text Guy Fawkes describes, "PlayerXXX is a butthead", is contained within double brackets []. It therefor lacks any semantic meaning in the game. So this phrase has no effect on anything, its gibberish so far as the Rules are concerned.

Since there is no mention of the word butthead anywhere in the Rules outside of brackets, it is unregulated. That which is not regulated is permissible, by Rule 101. So it is possible for Guy Fawkes to be a butthead. I have seen no evidence, however, that he has indeed taken, or had thrust upon him, the descriptive of butthead. Thus I rule this CFJ FALSE.