Call For Judgement 551 - Mon 23 Mar 1998 01:21
Subject: Bits of Brie
Initiator: JT
Judge: Guy Fawkes (selected April 1, 1998, 15:40)
Judgement: TRUE


Any player who has never had a CFCJ called against them should have a cheese of type Brie in eir possession.
Initiator's Comments:
According to rule 611, A player receives a brie if no CFCJ called against em has returned a final verdict of TRUE in the last two months. If any CFCJ returns a TRUE verdict against a player, any brie they may have is destroyed.

This can be broken down into 3 cases where it might be applied.
Case 1: A player has had a CFCJ called against them in the past 2 months and it returned a verdict of TRUE. This is obviously covered by the above statement.
Case 2: A player has had a CFCJ called against them and none of them within the past two months have return a verdict of TRUE. This case is likewise clear by the above statement.
Case 3: A player has never had a CFCJ called against them. This is the case with which this CFCJ is concerned.

According to the rule 611, a player should recieve a Brie if the number of CFCJs called against them within the past two months that had a final verdict of TRUE is 0.
When a person has had no CFCJs called against them, the number of CFCJs called against them within the past two months is obviously 0.
Thus the number of CFCJs called against them within 2 months that returned a final verdict of TRUE is likewise 0.
Thus each player who has never had a CFCJ called against them should by rule 611, have a brie in eir possession.

Judge's Comments:
The relevant part of Rule 611:

> A player receives a brie if no CFCJ called against em has returned a 
> final verdict of TRUE in the last two months. If any CFCJ returns a TRUE
> verdict against a player, any brie they may have is destroyed. 

The only possible argument the Judge can see for a FALSE verdict is that for "No CFCJ called against em" to have "returned a final verdict of TRUE", that a CFCJ must have existed in the first place. The judge finds this weak, and this linguistic interpretation nearly impossible to support. If one states that there are no unicorns on Hubert's head, it does not necessarily convey one's belief that there are unicorns somewhere, simply that there are none on Hubert's head.

That said, the Judge expresses his mild amusement with the way Rule 611 is worded. In all his time in Ackanomic, the Judge has yet to see a CFCJ, or any sort of CFJ for that matter return a verdict, although it would dramatically simplify the Ackanomic justice system if CFJ's did return their own verdicts. All other instances of verdicts being returned in the Rules speak of Judges, players, or the Supreme Court returning them (though there is one instance of a Hearing returning a verdict, and there, the Rules specifically empowers the Hearing to do so.)

Non-player entities behave only as specified in the Rules, and a CFCJ is not empowered to manipulate itself (or another CFCJ, for that matter) in this fashion. Regarding this, it is entirely possible that all players are in possession of a Brie.

This last musing, however, does not affect the issue which this CFJ addresses. The Judge returns a verdict of TRUE.

Call For Judgement 552 - Wed 1 Apr 1998 23:05
Subject: Whamiol
Initiator: Alfvaen
Judge: JT (selected April 2, 1998, 16:43)
Judgement: TRUE


The Very Small Organization known as Shell#10 owns a Whamiol.
Initiator's Comments:
Political Parties cannot own Gadgets, and neither can Societies, but VSO's don't seem to be either. So the Rules don't limit what they can possess, but since they can't trade anything, the point is almost moot. Except that I can't call an Auction Them Entities auction on the Whamiol if it's still owned...
Judge's Comments:
From reading the rules, it seems clear to me that there is no restriction on VSO's owning items of any sort. Since by rule 101, anything not prohibited is permitted, I can only agree with the statement. I am starting from the assumption that the whamiol in question was aquired by Shell#10 in accord with the rules at that time.

Call For Judgement 553 - Wed 1 Apr 1998 23:05
Subject: Crumbling Vulcans
Initiator: Alfvaen
Judge: The Gingham Wearer (selected April 2, 1998, 16:43)
Judgement: TRUE
Appealed by Alfvaen


The Political Party known as Vulcan owns a Scroll of Crumble.
Initiator's Comments:
Rule 1009 states: "A Political Party may own and Trade A$, Trinkets, and Organizational Powers. Theu[sic] may not own any other type of Entity."

I have no idea whether Rule 500.2 gives this precedence enough to take place, but it might. If this is the case, then I believe that any "other types of Entity" formerly own by Organizations with Big Tents are now unowned and in the Treasury. So in that case this CFJ should be ruled FALSE.

Judge's Comments:
First off I'm going to assume that "theu" is an unambiguous mis-spelling (shudder) of "they". It is the only word simillar to theu that I can think of that makes sense (gramatical and otherwise).

I don't think that anyone doubts that a scroll of crumble is "another type of entity", nor do I believe there is any doubt that Vulcan owned one before the passage of proposal 2789.That would therefore leave us with a situation whereby it appears that they own one but the rules dictate that they may not own one. May indicates that it is not allowed rather than it is not possible. For example, if a child were to ask "Can I go to the park?" then her mother would be forced to answer yes if she were being 100% honest, presuming the child was not disabled, knew her way to the park, etc because the girl would be physically capable of going to the park. However, if the question had been "May, I go to the park?" then the mother could well have answered no, for example because it was too late and the girl was not allowed to go to the park at this time.

The question is, since the rules say it is not allowed does this equate to the same thing as being impossible? That is, if the rules say that you're not allowed to do something does it become impossible to do it, since the game is governed by the rules? Game custom would seem to suggest this, although I am not entirely happy about it. Rule 255 states:

"The one exception is that a player who has been on vacation less than 2 days may not take themselves off vacation."

CFCJ 146 determined that in attempting to remove emself from vacation before three days had passed Karma had comitted the crime that later became known as attempting the impossible (I find it interesting that in eir reasoning on CFCJ 146 Malenkai went off on a big tangent that turned out to be largely irrelevant much as I have done here).

That would therefore suggest that it is impossible for Vulcan to own a scroll of crumble so I believe I should judge this FALSE. However, that does not answer the question of what happens to the scroll. Rule 500.2 states:

"Entities may be transferred from one owner to another only through methods specified by the Rules."

Does this also mean that entities may only go from being owned to unowned as specified by the rules? It would be a reasonable assumption. If I were to post a public message saying "I am making the secret lab owned by shell #10 become unowned" then I can't for a minute imagine this suceeding. Since the rules have not specified any manner in which the scroll of crumble should have become unowned (to my knowledge) then I don't believe that this is a viable alternative either. What does that leave us with? The most reasonable alternative I can think of is that the scroll is destroyed. Let's see what the rules have to say about that:

"An entity may not be created, destroyed, or manipulated except as specified by the Rules." (from rule 500).

Again no rule has demanded the destruction of the scroll so this doesn't seem viable either.

We now have three conflicting rules (or possibly just two, the example from rule 500.2 could be considered a subset of manipulation of entities from rule 500) one of which must be true (it must either have been transferred somewhere else (normal definition, not game definition), destroyed, or remained where it was). None of the rules in question claim to take precedence over or defer to any of the other rules in question so once again we must fall back on rule 102:

"If two or more rules other than this one conflict about a particular issue, and if the rules other than this one (and not restricted to the conflicting rules) specify a single, coherent, unambiguous method for resolving the conflict then that method is applied to determine which rule or rules take precedence with regard to that issue. Otherwise, wherever the rules conflict on a particular issue, the rule with the lowest number among those rules which conflict on that issue shall guide play with regard to that issue."

Whether this is considered as two cinflicting rules or three the result is the same, the scroll is not destroyed, or transferred since both rules in the five hundreds take precedence over rules in the thousands. Therefore, the bit from rule 1009 doesn't take effect. That means that Vulcan does own a Scroll of Crumble, and so I must judge this TRUE.

Appealer's Comments:
The Gingham Wearer quotes Rule 500.2's statement:

"Entities may be transferred from one owner to another only through methods specified by the Rules."

However, an entity goes Somewhere Else(a.k.a. the Treasury)when it is _unowned_. Furthermore, Rule 505, "Treasury & AckaDollars", states that "The Treasury is a named, unownable entity that serves as a storing house for entities that belong to no Player, except for those entities for which the rules explicitly state are not in(or considered to be in) the Treasury." Interestingly enough, I think it possible that any entity owned by an Organization is _already_ in the Treasury, because it is owned by no Player, and I don't see any explicit statement to the contrary anywhere. (I don't even know if it was there before.) So perhaps Rule 500.2 says that Vulcan's Scroll of Crumble is not Somewhere Else, Rule 505 says it's in the Treasury, so maybe they're not identical. There's something that should be cleared up. Anyway.

I suppose it's possible that ThinMan's argument about the Game State, which stems from Rule 500, might hold sway. But darn it, TGW didn't have me convinced.

Supreme Court's Comments:
The appealer seems to be confused about the properties of the Treasury and Somewhere Else, particularly in the fact that they are not the same thing.

First, Rule 505 defines the Treasury as follows:

> The Treasury is a named, unownable entity that serves as a storing house
> for entities that belong to no Player, except for those entities for
> which the rules explicitly state are not in (or considered to be in) the
> Treasury. Items owned by the Treasury are said to be "in the Treasury",
> and they may not be manipulated in any way except as explicitly allowed
> by the Rules. 

It is clear here that the Treasury _owns_ items.

Somewhere Else is defined by Rule 835:

> 8a) Somewhere Else is an unownable and unmappable Location. Entities may
> not be transferred to and/or from Somewhere Else except whereas such
> transfers are explicitly permitted by the Rules. No player may ever be
> Somewhere Else.  

Also, Rule 500.2 has this to say about Somewhere Else:

>At any given time, each ownable entity is either owned by one or more
> named entities or Somewhere Else (unowned). If the Rule(s) defining an
> ownable entity do not explicitly state that it may have multiple owners,
> then it can have at most one owner.

It is clear here, that those entities that are Somewhere Else have no owner (including the Treasury), and are therefore NOT in the Treasury

>From Rule 500.2, we learn that unless the Rules explicitly state that a Scroll of Crumble can have multiple owners (which they do not), it can have only one, and if it does not have one, it is Somewhere Else. Then, before Rule 1009 entered its current state, the Scroll of Crumble in question had only one owner, and I think there is little question that that owner was Vulcan. After the passage of Rule 1009, the Scroll must continue to have no more than one owner, or to be unowned. That is, the Scroll must either be owned by Vulcan, owned by an entity other than Vulcan, or be Somewhere else.

Rule 1009 forbids Vulcan to own the Scroll. However, Rule 500.2 forbids the scroll to go from one owner to another except through means described by the Rules, and Rule 835 forbids the transfer of an entity to Somewhere Else except as explicitly permitted by the Rules. Both the Rules which deny the means for the Scroll to leave Vulcan ownership have greater precedence that Rule 1009, and so the Cortex Tweedledee and Tweedledum must uphold the original verdict -- Vulcan continues to own the Scroll.

While maintaining a Game State that violates the Rules is somewhat disconcerting, it is not unprecedented. The curious are invited to study the events surrounding CFJ's 191 and 200, in which Malenkai was forced by the Rules to be Speaker when he was already Justice, a circumstance that violated the Rules. The Court decided that until the double occupancy was resolved, that Malenkai was simply holding both offices in violation of the Rules.

It appears in this situation that even in cases where it would be impossible for a player to perform an action that would result in a Rule-violating game state, it is possible that inactions or changes to the Rules might produce such a state. Consider Iconoclasm. It is impermissible to commit this Crime, just as it would be impermissible for Vulcan to start owning a Scroll of Crumble. It is entirely possible for Iconoclasm to be committed passively, as Vulcan has passively allowed their entity owership to violate the Rules.

Penalty to Appealer: 15 points

Call For Judgement 554 - Wed 1 Apr 1998 23:17
Subject: Disbanding
Initiator: Alfvaen
Judge: else...if (selected April 2, 1998, 16:43)
Judgement: TRUE


It is impossible for an Organization to disband.
Initiator's Comments:
Rule 1003 states that "The rules may call for the disbandment of an Organization." However, there is no place where the Rules call for the disbandment of an Organization. Specifically, it does not seem to be specified that an Organization can disband as a public action, nor that it disbands when it has no members. Admittedly, this is from a cursory grep for "disband" in the Rules, so it may be expressed another way that I missed(although I looked through Rule 1003 fairly thoroughly, I think).

I note particularly that VSO's are unable to disband.

Judge's Comments:
I see no flaws with Alvaen's reasoning. Maybe I missed it, but I didn't see any way to disband.

Call For Judgement 555 - Thu 2 Apr 1998 00:33
Subject: Beldin's Scam
Initiator: /dev/joe
Judge: Rex Mundi (selected April 2, 1998 16:43) (declined)
2nd Judge: Attila the Pun (selected April 3, 1998 10:00) (declined)
3rd Judge: Slakko: (selected April 3, 1998 20:52)
Judgement: FALSE
Appealed by Slakko
Judgement: TRUE


Alfvaen's attempted amendment of R940 on April 1, 1998 did not succeed.
Initiator's Comments:
Ignoring the issue as to whether the words "Beldin's Pants" refer to the rule or the garment, the sentence in question does not empower anybody to amend Beldin's Pants anyway.

The rule states "Beldin's Pants may only be amended as described by the Praetor." The word "only" in this sentence is very important; it makes this sentence a *restrictive* one, rather than an *empowering* one which it would be without the word "only". Since Rule 101 prohibits rule changes in ways other than the rules describe, Alfvaen may not amend rule 940.

Judge's Comments:
There are two separate questions to be answered in determining this CFJ. Firstly, to what does the text "Beldin's Pants" in "Beldin's Pants may only be amended as described by the Praetor" refer, the Garment or the Rule. Secondly, if it is the Rule being referred to, then does the text allow Alfvaen to make the amendment?

Prior to the most recent amendment of Rule 940, the text which is now in question read "Beldin's Pants may only be removed as described by the Praetor." At this time the customary interpretation was that this referred to the garment - that interpretation being based on the previous sentence being "Beldin's Pants are a Garment, initially Somewhere Else."

The most recent amendment of the rule saw "removed" replaced by "amended". Can this change of a single word affect the meaning of other words? To say no to this question would be to contradict game custom which determines that we interpret the rules so as to get a "reasonable" interpretation. If a single word change made the old interpretation of some words unreasonable, then their interpretation may well change.

There is no objective, direct rule-based method for determining which Beldin's Pants is being referred to in this rule, so game custom will prevail. Existing custom dictates that the context in Rule 940, where the first sentence defines Beldin's Pants to be a garment, and the second sentence then describes when "Beldin's Pants" can be amended, indicates that the two instances of "Beldin's Pants" are referring to the same thing, i.e. the Garment.

Therefore Alfvaen did not have the power to amend R940, and thus the second question is moot, and my judgement is FALSE.

In addition, consider the actual text of the message sent:

>In this message I describe how Beldin's Pants may be amended, according
>to Rule 940.
>Beldin's Pants may be amended by Beldin's Tailor as described by Rule
>by the reader of the page "The Secret" from the Ackanomicon as described
>by Rule 910, by the Praetor, and by any player who owns a Cheez-Whiz and
>three cheeses.

Game custom tells us what "Beldin's Pants" means when it is in Rule 940. However, as this CFJ had not been judged, it was not generally known what "Beldin's Pants" in Rule 940 would have referred to, the Garment or the Rule. The amount of public discussion on this issue illustrates this. Therefore, the first sentence of this message is ambiguous, as it does not specify _which_ Beldin's Pants is being amended. Therefore the attempt to amend something fails due to being insufficiently specified. This also leads me to a judgement of FALSE.

I judge FALSE.

Appealer's Comments:
I am appealing this verdict. I made a mistake, I hope the Cortex will go easy on me.
Supreme Court's Comments:
The Court is in full agreement with the arguments put forth by the original judge, which obviously indicate a verdict of TRUE. Said judge is penalized one point.

Call For Judgement 556 - Thu 2 Apr 1998 20:34
Subject: Do notes nest?
Initiator: Attila the Pun
Judge: K 2 (selected April 3, 1998, 10:11)
Judgement: retracted


If a rule consisting entirely of the following text were to exist, Attila the Pun would not necessarily achieve a Winning Condition:

"If any player is a grapefruit, that player shall recieve five points.

[[This text is meaningless; or is it?] Attila the Pun shall achieve a Winning Condition; this sentence shall than be deleted from this rule.]"

Initiator's Comments:
Rule 340, which defines the way in which brackets are used, states the following:

IV. Text delimited by square brackets [e.g. this] is a note. Notes have no semantic meaning.

The text "[This text is meaningless; or is it?] Attila the Pun shall achieve a Winning Condition; this sentence shall than be deleted from this rule." in the above hypothetical rule is delimited by square brackets. The fact that the text itself contains square brackets is irrelevant; nowhere does the rule state that notes stop at the first set of square brackets encountered.

Judge's Comments:

Call For Judgement 557 - Fri 3 Apr 1998 09:03 EST
Subject: Antxina
Initiator: Alfvaen
Judge: K 2 (selected April 3, 1998, 09:55)
Judgement: FALSE


Alfvaen owns a unique entity called Antxina.
Initiator's Comments:
This is a long shot, because a)I would've had to have been able(as Praetor) to describe how to amend the Rule Beldin's Pants, b)either my first attempt to describe it succeeded(CFJ 555 covers this one), or c)my attempt to amend the Rule after my second description succeeded despite my only being Acting Praetor at the time. Or something like that. Frankly, I don't think so either, but I've been surprised before.
Judge's Comments:
Was amendment of Beldin's pants by the Praetor, causing the creation of Antxina, possible? The answer comes down to how the following paragraph from rule 940 is interpreted:Beldin's Pants are a Garment, initially Somewhere Else. Beldin's Pants may only be amended as described by the Praetor. Beldin's Pants are unique.

In the first sentence 'Beldin's Pants' are a garment. In the third 'Beldin's Pants' are unique. Uniqueness does not appear to be a appellation used to describe any rule rather, it appears to be applied only to entities (MTG*P*, TCG etc.).

Thus both the first and third sentences confer to Beldin's Pants the status of a unique garment entity. Interpreting the second sentence (sandwiched between the two) as referring to a rule does not seam reasonable. Thus rule 940 does not grant the Praetor the right to amend it. Alfvaen's attempt to create the rule defined entity Antxina, by amending rule 940, failed. (rule changes being a regulated action)

This CFJ is ruled FALSE.

Call For Judgement 558 - Sun 05 Apr 1998 08:40 EDT
Subject: DeeJay
Initiator: Slakko
Judge: K 2 (selected April 5, 1998, 11:40)
Judgement: TRUE


Hubert is the DeeJay.
Initiator's Comments:
While Rule 950 states that an Election is held for the Office of DeeJay on the first of every even-numbered month, it makes no mention of when an existing DeeJay is removed from Office. No rule has specified that Hubert should have been removed from Office on the 1st of April, and Hubert has not resigned as DeeJay. Therefore, e remains DeeJay.

I would also note (although this is not part of the CFJ proper) that the election part of Rule 950 is seriously flawed. It states an election will take place, but does not vacate the seats beforehand. Therefore, regardless of the result of the election, unless the DeeJay voluntarily vacates eir office, there will be 0 vacant Seats, and hence no new DeeJay will be elected.

Judge's Comments:
I am in agreement with the initiator's reasoning. When rule 950 called for an election, it failed to remove Hubert from the position. The election rule (402) likewise does not cause the office to become vacant, thus Hubert is and will remain the DeeJay, until e steps aside.

This CFJ is ruled TRUE.

Call For Judgement 559 - Sun 05 Apr 1998 17:50
Subject: Winning
Initiator: The Gingham Wearer
Judge: JT (selected April 5, 1998, 17:51)
2nd Judge: K 2 (selected April 6, 1998, 08:18)
Judgement: FALSE


The Gingham Wearer has won the most recent cycle of Ackanomic.
Initiator's Comments:
I can't really see it, but I might as well give it a go. It won't hurt to try. On the fourth of April I posted a message containing the following text:

"As a further experiment I make A$10000 that is currently unowned become owned by me. I then create a trinket called "This can't work, can it?" valued at A$5000. I believe I may be in the museum at the moment, in which case I donate "This can't work, can it?" to the museum."

I was indeed at the museum and so if I managed to create the trinket then I donated it to the museum, which would raise my benefactor value to A$5000. According to rule 850, this would cause me to win. I very much doubt I had enough money to create the trinket but you never know, I've been wrong before. If it is possible then it's probably something to do with whatever isn't explicitly disallowed is allowed (rule 101).

Judge's Comments:
>From Rule 505 II: The Treasury is a named, unownable entity that serves as a storing house for entities that belong to no Player, except for those entities for which the rules explicitly state are not in (or considered to be in) the Treasury. Items owned by the Treasury are said to be "in the Treasury", and they may not be manipulated in any way except as explicitly allowed by the Rules.

Thus if a player does not own a particular AckaDollar and the rules do not specify other wise, the treasury owns it (being a named entity it is permitted to do so). Given that to be the case to which set of 100000 'unowned' AckaDollars was TGW referring to? The Museum is a building and thus a nameless entity and (by rule 500.2) may not own anything, so any thing in the Museum is unowned (possibly Somewhere Else by rule 500). If TGW was referring to the unowned acka represented by the trinkets in the museum then e attempted the impossible by section IX of rule 850, since only rule defined movement of acka from the museum is permissible.

Alternatively TGW meant unowned, as in - not owned by a player (although the rules do not distinguish in this way between named player entities and any other type of named entity). Such a action runs a foul of rule 505 II

Either way TGW did not posses sufficient acka to create "This can't work, can it?" (due to rule 506). The ensuing donation failed and e did not 'buy' emself a win.

No other events that occurred prior to 5th of April could have resulted in a win for TGW, thus this CFJ is ruled FALSE.

Call For Judgement 560 - Sun 5 Apr 1998 21:10
Subject: Modesty
Initiator: K 2
Judge: The Gingham Wearer (selected April 6, 1998, 08:22)
Judgement: TRUE


Proposal 2800 was modest.
Initiator's Comments:
I'm not sure weather it is or not. breadbox pointed out that the modest furniture did not preface the proposal but occurred after some comments. However, since the comments did nothing they could be considered to be part of the proposals preface along with the modesty furniture.

Rule 209:
A proposal is considered to be Modest if and only if the author of the proposal prefaces the proposal with the words "This is a Modest proposal".

Judge's Comments:
One of the definitions my dictionary gives for "preface" is "make preliminary remarks". I therefore find it reasonable to assume that the [bracketed] text can also be a preface. Spirit of the game would also strongly suggest that the proposal was modest. Proposal 209 does not indicate that the proposal must *only* be prefaced by the words "This is a Modest proposal" so it is reasonable to assume that this proposal was indeed modest.

Call For Judgement 561 - Mon 6 Apr 1998 08:58
Subject: Invalidity
Initiator: Slakko
Judge: The Gingham Wearer (selected April 6, 1998, 15:04)
Judgement: TRUE


Proposal 2841 is invalid.
Initiator's Comments:
The game effect that Proposal 2840 and Proposal 2841 have are substantially similar, Proposal 2841 was distributed after Proposal 2840, and Proposal 2840 is still under voting consideration. Therefore, by Rule 309, Proposal 2841 is invalid.
Judge's Comments:
Basically, I agree with the initiator's reasoning. Although I am unsure that the effects that the two proposals would have on the game state are identical, I do believe they are substantially similar. My only worry was to whether or not the longer description in proposal 2840 might not have the desired effect, but I can see no reason why this should be the case, so proposal 2841 is indeed invalid.

Call For Judgement 562 - Wed April 8, 1998, 22:57
Subject: Step to it
Initiator: Attila the Pun
Judge: JT (selected April 9, 1998, 06:54)
Judgement: FALSE
Appealed by rufus
Judgement: FALSE


It is impossible to determine whether or not the name "Mr. Lunatic Fringe" is inscribed on any given one of the risers of the steps leading up to the Town Hall without going outside the Rules.
Initiator's Comments:
Rule 2819, which governs the Town Hall, states the following:
> At any moment in time there is exactly one more
> step than there are players enshrined in the hall of Elders (material and
> labour required for construction is generously provided by the Ackanomic
> Construction Guild Inc.). Engraved on the riser of each step in gold
> lettering is the name of an Elder, starting with the most recently inducted
> on the top most step. On the bottom most step in the language of the
> ancients is the phrase "Said the Tensor: Let Their Be Harf".

No other rule appears to forbid any of this, so it is true.

The name on the top step is that of the most recently inducted Elder. However, the rule makes no specification as to the order in which the remaining names are assigned to the remaining steps. Thus nothing forbids the name "Mr. Lunatic Fringe", which is the name of an Elder, from going on any step other than the top and the bottom. Therefore the possibility cannot be ruled out from this rule that the name "Mr. Lunatic Fringe" appears on any riser other than the top or bottom ones. Since no other rule makes mention of the Town Hall steps, there is no Rule-sanctioned mechanism for determining the position of the name "Mr. Lunatic Fringe" or any other Elder's name.

Judge's Comments:
There are two possible ways to read the rule quoted. One interpretation is the purely literal which Attila the Pun has chosen. However, there is another consistant reading which if a little bit of common sense is used can also provide a useful and consistant interpretation of the rule while at the same time providing a logical ordering over Elder's names as applied to steps.
This second ordering assumes the intent for new steps to be placed at the top of the staircase (newest inductee is always at the top) and not to change the order of any lower steps. With this, all future inductees are most certainly ordered correctly. Applying the same assumptions, it should be obvious that the ordering intended of the steps was newest inductee at the top, and then next newest inductee, down to the first inductee on the step above the first step and the words on the bottomost step.
Since there is an intelligble ordering, albeit implicit from the wording and intent of the rule, I judge this CFJ to be FALSE.

Appealer's Comments:

I appeal this (well the CFJ number is wrong, but I deleted the message with the correct number.) My objection is that the Judge has attempted to make the rules do somthing that they don't explicitly do. The middle Town Hall Steps have the names of the Elders on them, but their order is not explicitly spelled out. In fact, neither is their manipulation, so a player can reorder them, as this has no effect on game state. Further, the Judge seems to be introducing the concept of legislative intent. Acka has been free of this, and the rules do what they say, even when it is clear to all that what they say is not what they were intended to say. (Common sense reports excluded; but there is a check to them.) This leads to some silly situations; but it prevents more problems than in causes.

Supreme Court's Comments:

We agree with the appealer that the original judge's reasoning is not valid, but the verdict is still FALSE because R405 (section vi, paragraph 2) provides a way of determining which name is on each step when such determination is required by the rules. Until that time, the name on each step is indeterminate. (The statement does not say that it is indeterminate whether "Mr. Lunatic Fringe" is on step X, but that it is impossible to determine it, which is different in this case.)

Call For Judgement 563 - April 11 1998
Subject: Duels
Initiator: /dev/joe (sent April 11, 1998, 16:54)
Judge: Hubert (selected April 11, 1998, 17:06)
Judgement: FALSE


Single-Capture Go is not a valid choice of Contest for a Duel.
Initiator's Comments:
The game of Single-Capture Go played on April 11, 1998 illustrates a possible way the game may end without a winner. If all players become doomed simultaneously, and no one player has the most letters on the board immediately before this occurs, then the game ends with no winner.

In addition, I note the unlikely but possible situation where the players try to play on the same space every play, until the grid is entirely full of @'s. In this case, the game continues, but nobody can legally make a play, so each round lasts a full 3 days with no change in the grid, and nobody ever becomes doomed. This is a trickier case -- there are other games which could also theoretically go on forever without a winner, but which never reach a situation where it becomes *impossible* to have a winner, such as Spades if the players always overbid, or Viruses if the players always play symmetrically or a symmetric starting grid and never knock each other out, which we have been considering OK for duels. The other argument is a stronger case here, but this argument is another thought that came up on IRC.

Judge's Comments:
Rule 1215 states only that the Game/Contest chosen "must be playable by exactly two players... and have definitive rules for determining a winner, or a winning team."

Rule 1250.13 meets both these criteria. The fact that it is possible to end the game without a winner is moot. This is, in fact, possible in many other G&Cs, as /dev/joe pointed out. For example, in Double Crash if errors in both players' analyses are discovered simultaneously, (i.e. posted in the same message) the game ends with no winner. Does this make it an invalid choice for a Duel?

True, this is far more unlikely than Single-Capture Go resulting in a tie, but this does not make SCG an invalid choice of Contest for a Duel, just an inadvisable one.

Call For Judgement 564 - April 13 1998
Subject: Magic Number
Initiator: breadbox (sent April 13, 1998, 03:33)
Judge: Niccolo Flychuck (selected April 13, 1998, 07:36)
Second Judge: JT (selected April 18, 1998, 07:12)
Judgement: TRUE


The Magic Number is currently 347.
Initiator's Comments:
The Rule-Harfer's copy of the rules would seem to indicate that the base value of the Magic Number, and thus the current Magic Number itself, is 379. The Scorekeeper's pages clearly indicate that the Magic Number is 337. (I thank Slakko for pointing out to me this inconsistency.) However, both of these numbers are wrong.

The Magic Number's base value was 379 at the end of Cycle 17 (at which time, it should be noted, there was much confusion). Since that Cycle and the previous one were not won by points, the rules required that the Magic Number be adjusted downwards. (The Rule-Harfer never made this change to the rule, which explains the number there.) At the time, the Scorekeeper announced that the new Magic Number was 337, since this is the highest prime number less than 379 * 0.9 (thus the Scorekeeper's number).

However, Rule 666 actually required the Magic Number to be changed to the smallest prime number greater than 379 * 0.9, which would be 347.

All of these things are trivially true. The real question, then, is whether the infamous "pragmatism" clause of Rule 701 causes the Magic Number to actually become 337 instead of 347.

I believe that it does not, because said clause "does not apply to the case of events which occur automatically, but whose occurrence is not (or erroneously) reported". While it is customary for the Speaker or the Scorekeeper to announce the rule changes that take place when Rule 666 is applied, this announcement is in no way required for those changes to take place, but is done "merely" as a convenience to the players.

I believe that this fact, and thus the necessary verdict, is also trivially true. But since this could have a nontrivial impact on the game state in the near future, the Scorekeeper and I thought it best to make it official via the appropriate judicial channels.

Judge's Comments:
Upon reading the rules in question (666 and 701) it seems obvious to me that the initiator's reasoning is correct and that the Magic Number change is a event which occured automatically and which was erroneously reported. Therefore, 701 doesn't apply and the magic number correctly should be 347 regardless of when it was reported as 337 or for how long the error has gone unnoticed.

Call For Judgement 565 - April 14 1998
Subject: Bodies
Initiator: rufus (sent April 13, 1998, 18:19)
Judge: Niccolo Flychuck (selected April 14, 1998, 09:36)
Judgement: INVALID
Appealed by: The Gingham Wearer
Judgement: FALSE


Ackans have no bodies.
Initiator's Comments:
The rules seem not to say. Heads, yes. Wings, some of us. Ears, some of us. What these should attach to is not clear.
Judge's Comments:
I dont see what bearing this has on the Game State. If the rules, in their wisdom, had not seen fit to descirbe ackans' bodies, then ackans may well have any bodies they wish to have.
Appealer's Comments:
Rule 211 states:

"CFJ's with no clear statement, or consisting of empty statements or inherently contradictory statements or multiple statements, in the judgement of the Judge, shall be judged "Invalid". A statement with multiple sentences is not necessarily disqualified; it is up to the judgement of the Judge as to whether such submission is Invalid, as per above. "

This CFJ had a clear statement, only one statement, and wasn't self contradictory. The question is, "was it an empty statement?". That appears to be what the judge and yet game custom would seem to argue not. CFJs 543 and 535 were both totally irrelevant and had no bearing on the gamestate, and neither of them were judged INVALID. I don't believe this should be either.

Supreme Court's Comments:
We, the Cortex Tweedledee and Tweedledum, can find no reason in the Rules for this CFJ to be INVALID. We concur with the Appealer, that this CFJ consists of a single clear statement. If this CFJ is INVALID, then, it is because it consists of an empty statement.

The original Judge claims the statement is empty because it is utterly unrelated to the Rules or the Game State. Whether or not this causes a statement to be empty may be a matter of some debate -- though in the past CFJ's utterly unrelated to the Rules or Game State have been submitted and received non-Invalid verdicts. In this specific case, however, it is not necessary whether this is a criterion for emptiness, because the Rules have seen fit to state that Ackans do indeed have bodies.

The Ackanomicon pages "Not so Forbidden Fruit" causes the player who reads it to have "an out of body experience in which he is transported to an primordial jungle where he is worshiped as a god by the natives." Since Ackans are capable of having an out-of-body experience, this Rule strongly implies that they must have a body to have an experience out of.

Even more convincing is the description of the Ackanomicon page "Mutation," which "warps the reader's mind and body." Clearly, the reader (an Ackan) must have a body to be warped for this to work.

As such, this CFJ consists of a single, clear statement which can be answered FALSE by the straightforward application of the Rules. In this, there is no grounds for invalidity.

Penalty to Original Judge: 5 points for not following the rules relevant to invalid verdicts.