FutureNomic Calls for Judgment

Where possible I included the message that invoked judgment and the judgment resulting from that invocation.



Call for Judgment #1: Judge Streator presiding
Call for Judgment #2: Judge Riemer presiding
Call for Judgment #3: Judge Streator presiding
Call for Judgment #4: Judge Streator presiding
Call for Judgment #5: Judge Kirk presiding
Call for Judgment #6: Judge Greg presiding
Call for Judgment #7: Judge Riemer presiding

[Return] to the FutureNomic home page.

Call for Judgment #1

Back to the [index]

May 22

From: rainday@scn.org (SCN User)
Subject: Re: Nomic Proposal 303 fails...I guess

As per Rule 212, I invoke Judgment.  As judge, I decree that non-voting 
participants do not count towards determining whether unaminity is 
acheived in a vote.  Thus, Proposal 303 passes and Rule 203 is thus 
amended and a proposal will now be considered passed if a majority of 
eligable voters vote for the proposal.

God, the power! The POWER.......

Another wonderful, wet day in paradise 

Back to the [index]

Call for Judgment #2

Back to the [index]


Subject: Proposal 309 Fails
From: Greg Ritter 

Proposal 309 did not receive enough votes to pass.

I've encountered a scoring problem that is probably going to
require judgment, though.


According to 202, Streator receives 3 points for his proposal
according to the equation ((309-290)*(1/7)), but loses 10 points
because the proposal did not pass (as per rule 206). In addition,
for not casting a vote Streator is penalized 5 points under rule
307. That's a total of -12 points this turn.

And that folks is the problem that Streator will probably want to
call for judgment on. Since I never received a vote from Streator
via the nomic@westjet.com or nomicvote@westjet.com addresses (or
any other address), I'm treating it as if he did not cast a vote.
Presumedly, Streator would vote YES for his own proposal, however
what I presume Streator would vote does not equate to actually
participating in the vote. 

Greg Ritter             
   gritter@saturn.vcu.edu <--NEW E-MAIL ADDRESS!         


From: rainday@scn.org (SCN User)
Subject: Re: Proposal 309 Fails

I, of course, call for judgment.  I believe that proposing is the 
same as voting absent evidence to the contrary...  Thus Riemer, I
request that you find  that PROPOSING = VOTING YES absent affirma-
tive statements to the contrary.

"Understanding is a virtue hard to come by...."

JUL 10

From: riebro@eh1.mey.nl (Riemer Brouwer)
Subject: Judgement day

All rise!

I hereby present my judgement:

The objection of Streator is overruled,
his score shall be as calculated, that is -/-12

A judge has to obey the rules as well as the game spirit.

The rules state clearly that all players should vote. If someone does not
vote, that person will loose 5 points.

game spirit:
Streator is partial right about not voting on your own proposal implies
voting YES. However since my (!) rulechange, this implication does not
longer hold. As motivated in earlier mails, it can be argued that voting NO
on your own proposal is a smart thing to do.
It seems to this Judge that Streator has waited at least 1 turn 2 long for
his experiment of intentional not voting. He could have known the results
of his action since in proposal#309 Taylor lost 5 points for not voting.


The Judge has considered the possibility of a different score, i.g. minus 6
points. After weighing all implications, it seems that this is not an
option. It's all or nothing. Such a Judgement would not be fair to other
players and it would implement a random factor to the Nomic Game (a Judge
going berzerke). If this would be allowed then perhaps the next stap will
be a Judgement of say minus 20 points.
A score of minus 12 seems harsh right now. This Judge thinks that after a
few more turns the scoring will deviate more and more and thereby limiting
the negative impact of the minus 12 score. A score-inflation can be
expected to take place in the near future, so Streator does not have to
worry too much.

(these Graham Grisham books come in handy:-)

The jury is ajourned.

Kind regards,

Riemer Brouwer

Back to the [index]

Call for Judgment #3

Back to the [index]

JUL 15 0449

From: riebro@eh1.mey.nl (Riemer Brouwer)
Subject: Re: Nomic: DON'T forget this judgment stuff


Anyway, all i am asking is :

a. a seperation between DISCUSSION deadline and VOTING deadline;
b. no VOTING deadline during the weekends (like Sunday 3 am).

On both accounts i would like to ask for judgement if possible. At this
moment we all are in the mood, so let's keep the momentum going:-)!

Riemer Brouwer

JUL 15 1018

Subject: Re: Nomic: DON'T forget this judgment stuff
From: Greg Ritter 

Riemer Brouwer rhetoricized and composed the following:

> Anyway, all i am asking is :
> a. a seperation between DISCUSSION deadline and VOTING
> b. no VOTING deadline during the weekends (like Sunday 3 am).
> On both accounts i would like to ask for judgement if possible.
At this
> moment we all are in the mood, so let's keep the momentum

Then I guess Streator has FOUR things to pass judgment on:

My three:

1) Whether a call for judgment, once invoked, must be followed
through on, even if the conditions that brought it about change

...which he would need to rule on before deciding on:

2) Whether a judge can pass judgment and the judgment go into
affect if either of the disagreeing parties is unavailable

...which determines when he can rule on:

3) Whether a 3-day time period that spans a time when a player(s)
does not have net access (like Riemer on the weekend) is
unreasonable given 111's requirement that a "reasonable amount of
time must be given for debate". (which is the same as Riemer's
(b) above)

...and this one, which is Riemer's (a) above:

4) whether there must be a separation between the discussion
deadline and voting deadline

Streator has his work cut out for him. 

Greg Ritter             
   gritter@saturn.vcu.edu <--NEW E-MAIL ADDRESS!         

JULY 15 1400

From: rainday@scn.org (SCN User)
Subject: Nomic Judgment Day

Now that everone is back on line (at least they should be), I make the 
following decisions (though I must admit that it is getting harder and 
harder to keep up with the requests for Judgment ;-)):

By moving the voting date from Monday to Tuesday, JP has effectively 
removed the reason for Riemer's invoking Judgment (his necessity of 
having to vote prior to the end of debate).  Thus, my initial reaction, in 
the interests of judical restraint and fact that the issue is no longer ripe 
for judical determination, was to refuse to provide judgment on any of 
the issues.  Unfortunately, after further consideration, I have decided 
that doing so is inappropriate.  It appears that in spite of the change, 
the issue is still being argued and Judgement is still being requested..

Therefore I Judge as follows:

I.     As for Greg's issue of whether an invocation of Judgment is still 
valid after circumstances have made the issue moot.  I find that again, 
in the interests of judicial restraint, and absent a subsequent invocation 
of Judgment (as, apparently was the case here), the requested 
invocation dies and the game goes on as if the invocation had never 

II.     A Judge can make a Judgment ANY DAMN TIME HE OR SHE 

I base this decision on the following:  As Greg aptly pointed out, there 
is nothing in the rules that places a limit on when a Judge may declare a 
Judgment.  However, under Rule 212 (probably the most quoted rule 
so far) paragraph v, it says:

      ...when the rules are silent.... on the point  at issue, then the 
     Judge shall consider game -custom and the spirit of the game 
     [which I thought was common sense, but enough whining on 
     my part] before applying other standards.

I think it is fair to say that it has been the game allow the person who is 
the Judge to make his or her decision at their own speed.  Thus, 
Judgments are at the will of the Judge not the players.

III.     That when there is a question as to reasonableness is raised, the 
benefit of the doubt shall be given to the proposer and JP's decision as 
to when to terminate debate and when to end voting is reasonable.  
This applies to both the term for debate *and* the term for voting.  
Thus if a party does not wish to differenciate between the two term, 
that is perfectly legal.

The basis for this finding is as follows:

This issue is controlled by Rule 111 which states:

     If a rule change as proposed is unclear, ambiguous, 
     paradoxical, or destructive of play, or it arguably consists
     of two or more rule changes compounded or if it is an 
     amendment that makes no difference, or if it is of otherwise 
     questionable value, then the other players may suggest 
     amendments or argue against  the proposal before the vote.
     A reasonable amount of time must allowed for the debate.  
     The proponent decides the time to end debate and vote.  
     The only cure for a bad proposal is prevention:  a negative 

Upon repeated reading of this Rule, a couple of things become clear:

1)  It is not our game-given right to have a discussion of a proposal.  
Discussion is allowed _only_ when one or more of the factors listed in 
the first sentence are met *and* someone requests that discussion take 
place.  [Now one would assume that common sense (there's that term 
again) would dictate that the mere fact of posting a message to the 
group invokes Rule 111, but I have not been asked to rule on that].  
Absent these two items being met, there is no right to discussion at all.

2)  The proponent of the proposal is given the authority (once the issue 
is raised) to set the terms of debate and voting.  

3)  Finally, the proponent *must* be reasonable in setting the terms of 
debate.  Unfortunately, reasonable is not defined anywhere in the rules, 
which reverts us back to Rule 212, paragraph v.  If we take only game 
custom, then I would have to say that reasonable is whatever the 
proponent decides it is and therefore the proponent should be given the 
benefit of the doubt as to questions of reasonableness.  

In addition, when one looks to the spirit of the game, I think that there 
is a basic assumption amongst the players that words shall be given 
their plain and simple meanings absent something to the contrary.

That being said, Webster's II New Riverside University Dictionary   
@1994 defines reasonable as:

1. Capable of reasoning: RATIONAL.  2.  Governed by or in 
accordance with reason or sound thinking.  3.  Within the bounds of 
common sense[what can I say, there's that term again]  4.  Not extreme or excessive:  FAIR 

I do not believe that either of JP's decision to cut off debate nor ending 
the vote fall outside of any of these definitions.  The fact that his 
timeline adversely affect ONE person out of the group, cannot, on its 
face, be found to be unreasonable.

Therefore, this Judgment has full force and effect as of when it is sent 
by me and the timeline proposed by JP would have stood.

Whew, hope all of this is understandable.....

"Understanding is a virtue hard to come by...."

Back to the [index]

Call for Judgment #4

Back to the [index]


From: rainday@scn.org (SCN User)
Subject: Judgment One More Time

Riemer has sent me all (I think) of the messages I missed.  Thank you 
Riemer!!!  Unfortunately, they came in out of order so its a little 
confusing trying to figure out what is going on at this point.  However, 
I believe I have been asked to Judge one more time on the issue of when 
does voting close.

Assuming that this is correct, I Judge as follows:

That we must wait until the end of the allotted period for voting and 
use only the last vote made.  I reason as follows:

Yes, Rule 207 says:

     Each Player always has exactly one vote.

But, Rule 116 says in part:

     Whatever is not explicitly prohibited or regulated by a rule is 
     permitted and unregulated.....

Clearly, this issue falls under this ruling (since it is a specific issue and 
is not controlled by a specific rule) and as an immutable rule, it controls 
(_See_ Rule 110).  Multiple voting can be a strategy just like any other.  
And since only your last vote counts (and right here I will say that what 
counts is the last vote by time received at the polls).  You do have only 
one vote, as required by Rule 116.

"Understanding is a virtue hard to come by...."

Back to the [index]

Call for Judgment #5

Back to the [index]


Yeah, okay let's get this over with. I call for judgment on the
following two points:

1) Riemer cannot cast votes on proposals that have not yet been
proposed. Rule 106 explicitly says "Any proposed rule change must
be written down before it is voted on." Furthermore, it would be
a run around the penalties laid out by rule 307. If allowed, a
person could just cast votes in advance for proposals 312 through
999 and never have to worry about actual participating.

2) Riemer cannot make his vacation conditional. I don't have his
post handy, but his actions went something like
     (a) he deactivated his vacation
     (b) he pre-emptively voted on proposals not yet written
     (c) he tried to claim his status would automatically revert
to vacation if we ruled against his ability to cast a vote in his
     Making things like 'on hold' status conditional, though--as
Riemer pointed out--is not explicitly prohibited by the rules
(see 116), is not in the spirit of the game or game-custom. It is
destructive of game play, and against the spirit of the recent
spate of rules that are intended to encourage active and prompt

Judgment requested on those issues. Thank you.

[An aside, pre-empting a potential rebuttal: Riemer might try to
argue that 116, which says "Whatever is not explicitly prohibited
or regulated by a rule is permitted and unregulated," would take
precedence over 212 & thus a judge cannot rule on Issue 2 above.
This is not the case. The disagreement regarding issue 2 *is*
something that is regulated by the rules, specifically by 307
(which regulates the penalties for people who do not vote). Issue
2 is a disagreement over the application of rule 307's
regulations how 'on hold' status is invoked, specifically whether
that 'on hold' status can be invoked conditionally. Therefore,
this is within the purview of 212 which says, "If players
disagree about the legality of a move or the interpretation or
*APPLICATION OF A RULE*, then the player preceding the one moving
is to be the Judge and decide the question." (Emphasis mine.)
Kirk will decide whether Rule 307 can be applied in the manner
Riemer thinks it can. ]

Greg Ritter


AUG 29

My judgement, a bit late (sorry):

>1) Riemer cannot cast votes on proposals that have not yet been
>proposed. Rule 106 explicitly says "Any proposed rule change
>be written down before it is voted on." Furthermore, it would be
>a run around the penalties laid out by rule 307. If allowed, a
>person could just cast votes in advance for proposals 312
>999 and never have to worry about actual participating.

I find that Riemer cannot vote on a proposal that has not been
Rule 106 says,

>      106. Any proposed rule change must be written down before
it is
>   voted on.

This seems clear.

ON the socond point, Riemer's vacation, Rule 307 states:

>       Exception: A player may publicly state that he or she
will not
>   participate  (due to, for example, lack of Internet access or
>   vacation) for a period of no less than one week and no more
>   four weeks. That player will be considered 'on hold' for the
>   specified period. Players 'on hold' are not subject to this
>   penalties during the specified period and temporarily will
not be
>   considered players for the duration of the specified period.
>   Players 'on hold' automatically revert to full, active
>   player status at the end of the specified period and not

I rule that Riemer's choice of 'threatening' to change his
indeed goes against the spirirt of the game.  But since I have
also ruled
that he cannot vote on a proposal that has not been made, this
moot.  And I feel that accepting this would open the door to
uneccisarily confusing situations.

Back to the [index]

Call for Judgment #6

Back to the [index]

NOTE: Lengthy legal brief follows. Not for the weak of heart. 


SECTION 1: Legitimacy of the Judge
SECTION 2: The Scoring of Proposal 315
SECTION 3: The Infamous TWEB Disaster
SECTION 4: The Continuance of Play

SECTION 1: Legitimacy of the Judge

I hereby declare myself to be the legitimate Judge, and therefore the
authority for ruling on the issues currently at hand in this most trying
time of confusion and disaster in our FutureNomic world.

There are two major *sets* of questions at hand. The first *set* of
questions at hand regard whether it is currently Riemer's turn or
Streator's. The second set of questions at hand regard the scoring of
Riemer's proposal 315. To determine who will settle
 the second set of questions we must first determine whether Riemer's turn has officially ended (which will in turn determine who the Judge is). 

Riemer's request for judgment on the scoring of his turn casts doubt upon
whether we can consider his turn complete. Since there is doubt as to
whether Riemer's turn has been completed, we cannot--without judgment--say
that the turn is conclusively comple ted which would mean that the turn is
*not* completed. Only if there is no doubt among the players that the turn
is complete or if judgment rules that the turn is complete, can a turn be
considered conclusively complete.

Since Riemer's turn is not complete, I am still Judge. I base this ruling
on the clause in Rule 212 that states "Unless a Judge is overruled, one
Judge settles all questions arising from the game until the next turn is
begun, including questions as to his
 or her own legitimacy and jurisdiction as Judge."

NOTE: Before any overrulings of the following sections can occur, the
Players must collectively overrule SECTION 1 which is the judgment of my
own legitimacy as a Judge. If this section is not overruled, then the
following sections will stand as legitimat e judgements (subject to
separate overrulings themselves, of course) An overruling of the following
sections without a previous overruling of SECTION 1 will be an implicit
acceptance of the legitimacy of this Judge.

SECTION 2: The Issue of Scoring on Proposal 315. 

Riemer asked for judgment on the following issue: 

> Ok, i hereby call for judgment to revert the game to the state before my
> proposal OR forget that proposal all together and pass the turn to the
> player. 

To the best of the Judge's knowledge, the nomic remailer was functioning
properly until the demise of TWEB. The Judge received all Nomic mail from
the remailer and had no problem sending mail to the remailer. The Judge
has confirmed that at least three ot her players also received mail
properly: JP, who voted on deadline; Michael, who voted on deadline; and
Kirk, who did not cast a vote but said in an e-mail on Sept. 26 that he
had received e-mail up until the 18th which was in fact the last Nomic
mail sen t by the remailer before it burned. Therefore remailer failure is
NOT a factor in this ruling.

Internet access failure, however, IS a consideration. Both Riemer and
Taylor have claimed that they suffered from lack of internet access. The
rule governing point penalty for non-participation (Rule 307) does not
make an allowance for a judgment to overt urn the penalty (though it does
list lack of access as one of the reasons for going "on hold"). Rule 312
does make allowance for a judgment to determine whether a penalty is
applied for lack of access affecting non-participation, but this rule
doesn not d eal with the penalty for not casting votes. However, in the
spirit of the game it seems that the trend is not to penalize players for
internet access holes beyond their control.

Therefore, Taylor and Riemer will NOT be penalized for not casting votes.
Kirk and Streator WILL be penalized. Neither of them has claimed internet
access problems, and the remailer was functioning properly.

Kirk has confirmed in the Sep. 26 message that he received the last piece
of mail (on Sept. 18th) sent to the mailer before it burned, so he should
have been able to send in a vote--the remailer was functioning, he had
access, and the deadline was sent on Sept. 17th a day before Kirk said he
received the last mail. (Note: the last mail was just a result of nobody
*sending* mail to the remailer, not a remailer function.)

In an e-mail on Sept. 25 Streator said "For what its worth, I didn't vote
because I couldn't figure out where to vote to....". However, the
nomicvote@westjet.com remailer was functioning perfectly. It shouldn't
have been that difficulty to *try* it, OR, i f for some reason that
failed, to send it directly to me since I am known to be the vote tallier.
'Not knowing where to vote to' is not an acceptable excuse.

Kirk and Streator have had more than adequate time to claim internet
access problems, so barring being overruled by the total of the rest of
the players, this judgment will stand. 

This directly impacts the question of whether we "erase" Riemer's turn
altogether. There were three legitimate votes cast (Greg, Mike, JP) and
two votes that were missed without reasonable excuse (Kirk, Streator). If
the remaining two voters who missed WI TH reasonable cause(Taylor, Riemer) 
had both cast YES votes, it still would have not been enough to carry the
proposal. Since we have determined that even with the votes missed with
cause, there is no way the proposal could have passed, there is no reason
to strike the turn. The turn stands, Proposal 315 did not pass, and points
will be scored on the turn. 

Giving Riemer a *very generous* benefit of the doubt we will assume he
would have voted YES on his own proposal. (For future reference, this
exception would not have been made if Riemer had just "forgot" to vote.
The only reason this exception is being ma de is because the vote was
missed "with reasonable cause", and this ruling should note be seen as
precedent or endorsement of replacing *any* missed vote on one's own
proposal with a YES vote.) 

The judge's generosity does not extend to granting Riemer the 5 points for
being in the minority since (a)there was no actual vote and (b)if Riemer
always intended to vote YES on his proposal there was no reason to wait
until the end of the deadline; he could have cast his vote earlier.

However, there is no reason to assume that Taylor would have voted either
YES or NO, as Taylor did not participate in the debate on the Proposal, so
Taylor's vote will not be considered either

Therefore the scoring of the turn will be revised as follows. Riemer's
score will be computed by the equation ((315-290)*(1/7))-10) for a score
of -6 points. Kirk and Streator each lose 5 points for not voting. The
scoring currently stands as follows: 
	Riemer		  6
	Streator	- 7	
	JP		 22
	Taylor		- 5
	Kirk		  4
	Michael		 13
	Greg		 19



Riemer also requested the following judgment:

> And while the Judge is in court, let him also rule about JP. I personally
> think that he should be considered to be on holiday so he will not loose any
> points.

Since the spirit of the game is not to penalize players for temporary lack
of internet access, JP will be granted a four-week "on hold" status that
may be reversed by a Judge if JP obtains alternate access in that period.
If at the end of that period JP h as not obtained alternate e-mail access,
a Judge must decide whether he will remain on the player roster.


Since I have ruled that it is still Riemer's turn, Streator's turn has not
officially begun even though he has submitted a proposal.

In the interest of moving the game along, I hereby set a two-day time
limit for the submission of a request to overrule all or part of this
judgment. If no call for an overrule vote is submitted in that time,
Streator's turn will be considered to have off icially begun and it will
be too late to call for an overrule. (see Rule 212: "The Judge's Judgment
may be overruled only by a unanimous vote of the other players taken
before the next turn is begun.") 

Do not consider debating these Judgments. You will get nowhere debating
them as the Judge has no intention of modifying his rulings. If you
disagree with the Judgments contained in this document, do not waste Nomic
time debating them. Simply call for an overrule--it is a much quicker way
to resolve whether the judgments will stand.

Back to the [index]

Call for Judgment #7

Back to the [index]


Among others, Kirk has asked for a Judgment on rule proposal #320.

Since it regards judgment on Streators turn, i will be the Judge according
to the rules. Greg has asked me to be fair, that is, to bypass any personal
gain i might have in judging. One could even go that far to assume Greg is
questioning the integrity and honerability of this Judge. As argued in a
seperate mail, this will not be the case, this Judge's interests lie

Also, any Judgment i make can be overruled if deemed necessary, so no harm
is done.

Back to Kirks request for judgment. He argued that Streator has made an
amendment to his rule proposal while leaving the deadline unchanged. This
has lead to a deadline of 14 hours, with time differences leading to a
deadline of minus 1 hour. This Judge was puzzled by this large
timedifference since normally one would expect a maximum difference of 12
hours. However, besides the nominal time difference, one has to take into
account the day-night rhythm which can easily extend the 12 hour maximum to
15 (14+1) hours as was the case here.

This Judge feels it important that enough time is given to allow
discussion. If an amendment to a current proposal leads to further
discussion, it could be necessary to extend the deadline. In this case,
Streator should have taken into account that

a. he made an amendment without changing the deadline;
b. discussion followed upon the amendment;
c. the unchanged deadline gave 14 hours of discussion time;
d. 14 hours became -1 hours for Kirk due to timedifferences;
e. discussion deadlines should give a reasonable amount of time.


Voting deadline for proposal #320 will be set on Thirsday 24:00 Streators
time. (day after Wednesday, i never known the difference between Thirsday
and Tuesday:-)
Any necessary score corrections shall be made by Greg.

To prevent slowing down of the game by this Judgment, i also judge that the
game shall continu as planned. Therefore, JP is free to go ahead with his
proposal who, if understood correctly by his proposal, will have no problem
with this.

Back to the [index]

Nomic Home