Axiom began on September 31, 1998 at 23:18:08 (pacific time) when Jennifer Mueller sent a message out on a mailing list to (more or less) the people who had been playing a defunct game on nomic called Simplex. This message began: "In an act of pure will I start the game called Axiom."
There were four messages on this list in the waning minutes of September.
In October, November and December the mailing list handled 296, 293, and 115 messages respectively (there was a slack off for Winter Break in December).
The list started with the following people subscribed:
Gabe Drummond-Cole (now dormant)
Bryan Frederico (current player)
Nick LeToureau (never joined)
Tyrrell McAllister (current player)
Jennifer Mueller (current player)
Alex Perez (never joined)
Eric Reinecke (never joined)
Jeffrey Reinecke (never joined)
Julian Sutter (never joined)
and now the following addresses are subscribed to axiom-list:
firstname.lastname@example.org ("original" player)
email@example.com ("original" player)
firstname.lastname@example.org ("original" player)
email@example.com (current player)
firstname.lastname@example.org (current player)
Eric.M.Weis@directory.reed.edu (silent observer)
email@example.com (player without a citizen)
firstname.lastname@example.org (current player)
email@example.com (current player)
firstname.lastname@example.org (current player)
Elspeth5@hotmail.com (silent observer)
email@example.com (silent observer)
firstname.lastname@example.org (player without a citizen)
Joaquin.C.Ramsey@directory.reed.edu (silent observer)
email@example.com (silent observer)
In October there were 15 proposals accepted, 1 retracted and 1 rejected. Nine of the proposals were by Frankenstein (Jennifer Mueller), four were from " " (Gabe Drummond-Cole), two were from Methian (Dieter Dehlinger), and two from Macalypse (Karl Galbreath).
In November there were 41 normal proposals: 16 accepted, 20 rejected, and 5 retracted. In addition there were 300 retracted proposals wherein " " (Gabe Drummond-Cole) proposed to "Add a rule to the rules with the lowest unused number greater than all other numbers that says 'Wibble'" over and over again. Aside from this onslaught of absurdity, the proposers of the month produced 14 from " " (Gabe Drummond-Cole), 10 from Gödel (Jennifer Mueller's new name), 8 from goatbear (Karl Galbreath's new name), 7 from Methian (Dieter Dehlinger), 1 from Mercury (Roger Carbol), and 1 from Kane (Tyrrell McAllister).
In December there were approximately 22 proposals depending on which proposals were actually created. (There was one called, for example, Prop A, which may not exist, depending.)
The initial run of proposals in October saw the Acceptance of pretty much everything as bugs were worked out of the initial ruleset and the beginnings of innovative systems were getting started. Perhaps the most intrusive system created a two-dimensional position scheme which everything in the game was oriented within. After a few rule changes (like eliminating unanimous consent for proposal passage) Axiom began advertising and looking for new players, as well.
November saw a rule which permitted changing the names of citizens, making record keeping a little harder and creating Axiom's first ontological crisis. Dieter Dehlinger (named General Relativity as of this report's publishing) changed eir name from "Methian" to "the rules" and claimed that all authority was derived from eir "text". After some debate but no CFJ it was determined that eir attempt at dictatorship failed. Arguments that seemed to hold some sway (if memory serves) were that the rules still referenced the same entities even when the address of these entities became confusable and that the authority oath people took when they became players was not to Dieter but to the actual ruleset.
December saw another attempt by Dieter to question some of Axiom's assumptions when e tried to create Prop A (which has no number as they are normally considered). This debate and the problems it poses have not been sufficiently dealt with at this time for a clear summary.
Additionally it should be noted that the acceptance/rejection ratios for the months are a bit skewed because the current voting system passes props which have Yes votes from more than half the citizens regardless of the normal resolution time (in other words, if they will definietly pass absent an influx of new players who vote No). Gabe Drummond-Cole created a slew of props to make all the initially immutable rules mutable and those that passed did so in October while the ones that failed had to wait until November for eir voting to run out.
Late November and December saw several attempts to create rule defined factions. The first, which failed required citizens to be lords or subjects, with subjects only voting when they had a lord, and lords only voting when they had enough subjects (with bonus votes for more subjects). Objections were that suffrage should not be eliminated so early in the game and that they were not enough players to allow sufficient balance among the lord groupings.
The second has been accepted but not implemented in any serious way. We can probably expect some controversy. This second factioning scheme assigns everyone a Naughty/Nice alignment and creates rule books. Various rule books have authority over various sets of positions and can only be modified by certain alignments, however no serious test has been conducted as to how this will work in practice. Axiom may have the dubius priviledge of being the first nomic to conduct a full scale, rule sanctioned, civil war. Expect more discussion in the next Quarterly Report.
CFJ #1 was probably of the more historical variety CFJ (as opposed to settling small did that happen disputes), as it established a game custom towards reading things to mean what they unambiguously intended. The actual case was over R111's Mutability. The rule that specified initial immutable only went up to R110. Then there was R111 kinda hanging there. Then 300+ rules got made mutable. CFJ#1 established that the numbering scheme and mutablility scheme showed that R111 was MEANT to be immutable. This meant that the semantic meaning of the rules was gimicked into making this so.
CFJ #4 tried to make porposal-like modifications to the rules in a CFJ's claim. This was rules INVALID due to its phrasing. CFJ #5 dealt with the issue more directly and Kane ruled TRUE that CFJs could not dirently modify the rules. eir reasoning was tricky and you might want to go look at it, but basically e based eir decision on the supposition that because all CFJ deferred precedence to all rules they could not amend rules. e took care to note that the reasoning itself had no effect on the game, but the reasoning e used might have some interesting applications to the chronology and precedence rules considering R107's clause "No rule may ever take precedence over Rule 106, Chronology or Rule 107, Precedence including rules which claim to do so because precedence itself springs from these rules."
CFJ #9 was a cry for sanity on Jennifer Mueller's (then Frankenstein, now Gödel) part. Gabe Drummond-Cole (then " " now Malaclypse) made three hundred "wobble" proposals with a small amount of text and Jennifer dispaired of harfing each individually to keep things consistently harfed. The thing is, Jennifer CFJed a Claim that batch specifications fail and Gabe placated em with a TRUE. Then it was informally determined that the CFJ couldn't have retroactive effects and kill the 300 props. So custom was using the chronology rules clause "No action may ever under any circumstance have retroactive or simultaneous effects." to prevent the CFJ from deciding what HAD occured because we informally both agreed that they occured and trecognized the CFJ. Whether this sets a dangerous precedent (dare we call it custom?) on the function of CFJs? Can no CFJ prevent something from happening, only informal discussion? Why have CFJs then?
By the end of December we had two overlapping and fuzzy yet recognizable voting blocks. Dieter Dehlinger and Karl Galbreath from Reed vs. everyone else. The Reedsters passed things, but they saw more rejected proposals then other proposers and almost always voted the same way on proposals. Is an all out civil war in the offing, considering the relatively large number of Reed emailing address among our silent watchers. If the Reedsters manage to get these folks involved, what untold bloodshed might we see?
Given the rule defined factions (with eir own private rulesets no less!) one wonders what might happen in the future.
I for one think that Axiom has the opportunity to be an excellent nomic with more explicit and logic rules (and more tangled hierarchies) than any nomic I know of. Let's get back to the game and hang our silent caps back up on eir vacation racks. Winter Break is over... Time to get kicked back into gear on the game!
Last Updated: 4/7/2000 7:00pm PST
Author: Jennifer Mueller
If you're wonder whether the game is still going, message me at firstname.lastname@example.org