Judgements given in Net Waste of Time

In no way should this page be construed as an Official Document. In fact, there need be no Official Document containing Judgements.

Last modified Mon Feb 19 19:00:56 GMT 1996

Index [CFJ111]

Statement For Judgement CFJ101

Resending proposals the speaker lost the previous nomic week counts as the proposals for the current nomic week.

Request: Carolyn
Judge: Mycroft
Judgement: FALSE


I feel that it would be too much of a drag on development (not to mention an undeserved penalty) if we interpreted proposals that were submitted in one Nomic Week, but transmitted in another, to count in the week transmitted. That's the Speaker's fault - the Voter is attempting to follow the rules. Resubmission should not count as submission - just as a delay in transmission.

Note that according to Rule 205, the voting period is one week from *transmission*, so there is no conflict with 118 and 220, which specifically state *submit*.

Statement For Judgement CFJ102

The Nomic Week begins prior to 0:01UTC Monday and after 23:59UTC Sunday

Reasoning: [paraphrased - mycroft]

I am unsure whether midnight on a day is the first minute of the day or the last. So the Nomic Week could be from Monday to Monday or from Tuesday to Tuesday.

Request: Andrew
Judge: Mycroft
Judgement: UNDECIDED


There is no definition of midnight in the Rules. Neither Game Custom nor the Spirit of the Game, as I understand them, have anything to say one way or the other. So I attempted to apply "other standards" (Rule 217).

I looked up the ISO standard (well sort of - the file I found is A Summary of the International Standard Date and Time Notation) for displaying times. Here's what it has to say about midnight:

As every day both starts and ends with midnight, the two notations 00:00 and 24:00 are available to distinguish the two midnights which can be associated with one date. This means that the following two strings refer to exactly the same point in time:

1995-02-04 24:00 = 1995-02-05 00:00

In case an unambiguous representation of time is required, 00:00 is usually the prefered notation for midnight, which is also what most digital clocks display.

So there are two conclusions I can draw.
  1. There are 2 midnights, GMT, Monday. Rule 117 may be referring to either the first moment of Monday or the last moment of Monday.
  2. Midnight is "prefer[ably] notat[ed]" as 00:00, so we should assume that 00:00 is the preferred definition of Monday. Unfortunately, this is a logical fallacy ((P implies Q) does not imply (Q implies P)).
So I can't decide upon the statement. I guess I can just suggest 1) resend the statement for Judgement by someone else (who may have a different idea); 2) avoid Monday proposals :-).

Statement For Judgement CFJ103

Wed Feb 21 06:00:39 UTC 1996 Time of Submission, for the purposes of rules 118 and 220 (among others) is the timestamp registered on the proposal that reaches the Speaker.

Reasoning: Email, (all bow down to the net.gods) is significantly faster than snail- mail (can you imagine us trying to run a Nomic game through Canada Post?) However, there is still a delay between the time Player X hits "send" or it's equivalent and the time the Speaker's machine receives it. Supposing that in that timespan was the Nomic Week Changeover? Do the proposals count against the new week or the old week?

While it is impossible to reliably prove the "send" time, there is reliable proof that the message has left (been submitted). There is a timestamp attached to every mail message (Actually several, as it passes through each machine). Here is an example:

From ag746@freenet.carleton.ca Mon Feb 19 20:56:14 1996
Received: from freenet.carleton.ca (root@freenet.carleton.ca []) by
novice.uwaterloo.ca (8.6.12/8.6.12UW) with ESMTP id UAA27422 for ; Mon, 19 Feb 1996 20:56:13 -0500
Received: from freenet3.carleton.ca (ag746@freenet3.carleton.ca [])
by freenet.carleton.ca (8.6.12/8.6.4) with ESMTP id UAA14478 for ; Mon, 19 Feb 1996 20:55:49 -0500
Received: (ag746@localhost) by freenet3.carleton.ca (8.6.12/NCF-Sun-Client) id U
AA11401; Mon, 19 Feb 1996 20:55:46 -0500
Date: Mon, 19 Feb 1996 20:55:46 -0500
Message-Id: <199602200155.UAA11401@freenet3.carleton.ca>
From: ag746@freenet.carleton.ca (Andrew Archibald)
To: mdfarebr@novice.uwaterloo.ca
Subject: Re: [PROPOSAL] 307 - 30 Mutable Rules to be In Effect
Reply-To: ag746@freenet.carleton.ca
Status: RO

The submission date, should the judgment be TRUE, for this message would be Mon, 19 Feb 1996 20:55:46 -0500 (or 20 Feb 1996 01:55:46 UTC), the earliest of the machine-supplied dates.

Request: Mycroft
Judge: Carolyn
Judgement: TRUE


It is impossible to prove when someone hit the "send" key, but so there must be some standard for when a document is submitted, so e-mail sent near the deadline can be either counted or discounted. It is possible to show when the mail goes through different machines. With e-mail, the submission is not instantaneous, but I don't think that anyone will be unfairly punished. I happen to have a very slow connection, with everything going to Ottawa before going out, but I still have rarely had my e-mail arrive more than an hour after sending it.

Point being, we must have a standard, and this one seems both fair and objective.

Statement for Judgement CFJ104

The Speaker may not modify a Proposal that has been distributed to the Players unless called to do so by a rule.

[COMMENTS] Rule 107 does not state when "the form it was voted on" is to be fixed; in fact if some Player or Players had already voted on the Proposal, Rule 107 explicitly forbids this. In practical terms, what do we do with the votes that get submitted before the amendment? We need rules here; I hope to Propose some soon.

Speaker's comment: As I said before, I don't know how to handle amendments. As I read rule 213, I'm supposed to be the first Judge selected. However, as I instigated the discussion, and am intimately involved in the answer, I refuse the job. (Now I'll be told I'm not following the Rules - and if I did take the Judgement, I'd be told I'm in conflict of interest. DIYD, DIYD).

Request: Andrew
Judge: Carolyn
Distributed: Thu Mar 7 05:39:07 UTC 1996

Judgement: TRUE


Rule 107 does not allow a Rule to come into effect different than it was voted on, although I disagree with the reasoning that because of this a proposal can not be modified after it is submitted. All I infer is that the vote must be somehow retaken if the proposal is amended.

However, I'm now thinking that in the spirit of the game, it would complicate things greatly if we could all amend the proposals without having a Rule to guide how it would work. So I make my judgement.

[Speaker's note: On 313 - the only proposal to which this Judgement applies - the only Voter of note to not vote was Andrew. If he had voted AGAINST, it still would have passed (even if I hadn't consented, which I would have liked to not) - Tim just would be one point down from where he is. I'm not going to worry about that - unless anyone else does.]

Statement For Judgment CFJ105

Proposals submitted without valid voting periods shall have the end of the voting period set at the first Midnight, GMT, Monday more than one week after the distribution date.


Rule 313 states that if the voting period is left out, "the voting period shall be one Nomic week from time of transmission." A Nomic week is defined not as 7 days, but as the time from Midnight, GMT, Monday to Midnight, GMT, Monday, 7 days later. So, it seems that the voting deadline for a proposal of this sort must be Midnight, GMT, Monday - but which week? The statement reflects my belief that the voting period should be at least one week (otherwise, we could submit a proposal on Sunday, vote for it, and at midnight it passes. Likely, no-one else will have seen it.) Also, if it were the first Nomic week after submission, the rule would prescribe a voting period illegal under 313 for any proposal distributed after Friday 0200 GMT ("not less than 5 Nomic Days after transmission").

Request: Mycroft
Judge: Andrew
Distributed: Thu Mar 7 06:42:23 GMT 1996
Judgement: TRUE


The general priciple which seems (to me) to best remove the ambiguity is: when a period of time that has length T is used as an interval beginning at time t, then the effect in question takes place at the next period (of the same kind) end after t+T. In other words, round up to the nearest period. If the period is a one-time thing, well, that's another Judgement.

I feel this resolves some ambiguity about not only this rule but a few others that seem to use periods and intervals interchangeably.

Statement For Judgment CFJ106

If a block of text submitted as a proposal is deemed not to be a proposal by the rules, it does not count as one of the three weekly proposals.

Reasoning: If the rule says it is not a proposal, is it really not a proposal? Or is the word submit important?

Request: Carolyn
Judge: Mycroft
Distributed: Fri Mar 8 20:39:10 UTC 1996
Judgement: TRUE

Reasoning: (Example, really) Rule 309 states "It may be a Rule, it...but it is not a Proposal." Rule 118 states "No Player may submit more than 3 Proposals per Nomic Week". If it isn't a Proposal, then it isn't covered by Rule 118.

Counterexample: If a Rule stated: "A Proposal which [meets certain criteria] is declared Invalid and automatically fails, irrespective of Voting", then my opinion would be that it counted as one of the 3, as it was still a proposal.

Musing: What status does the fourth proposal attempted to be submitted by a Player in a Nomic Week have?

Statement For Judgment CFJ107

If a Player should justify eir vote on a Proposal with a comment that the Speaker suspects to be erroneous the Speaker should inform that Player of eir mistake & allow that Player to revote if e desires.


The Speaker is ensuring that the Voters are educated, which seems to be in accordance with the Spirit of the Game. On the other hand, the Speaker is taking advantage of information not available to the other Players in order to manipulate the results.

Request: the Reverend
Judge: Mycroft
Distributed: Fri Mar 8 23:09:11 UTC 1996
Judgement: TRUE

Reasoning: If a Voter at one point votes, then in a private discussion with another Voter decided that e was voting with erroneous information, and corrects eir vote, not only would that be legal, but point-for-point comparable with this Statement (as the Voters are taking advantage of information not available...manipulate the results, too).

Disagreements, anyone?

Call For Judgement CFJ108

Regarding Rule 203 I believe that wording "100 positive points" specifically precludes Players using negative or imaginary points to fulfill the winning condition (but I don't see anything wrong with lending imaginary points).

Comments: Thought I'd nip this in the bud...

Request: the Reverend
Judge: Mycroft
Distribution date: Thu Mar 21 22:28:32 UTC 1996

Call For Judgement CFJ109

Parallel to the first paragraph, in the second paragraph of Rule 212 the phrase "the Rules in conflict" can refer only to a set of mutable Rules or a set of immutable Rules, and not to a mixture of mutable and immutable.

Request: Boson
Judge: Mycroft
Distribution date: Thu Mar 21 22:29:42 UTC 1996

Call For Judgement CFJ110

[STATEMENT] The recently introduced Player whose name is Dave Savitt has a Nomic Player Name of "?".

[COMMENTS] The rule specifies that Dave Savitt's Player Name shall be "?": "...becomes a Player according to the norms specified _in_the_communication_" (emph. added). In the communication emitted by the Speaker (the only one that has any official standing at all), the Player Name was referred to as "?". Thus, this is the new Player's name.

[Speaker's Comment: Well, as I feel somewhat unqualified to Judge this <:-) I am refusing judgement. Judgement then goes to...wait for it... well, you can read it soon. Until the results of this Judgement come in, I shall refer to the Player in question with the Name that e has requested. I can g/s/r with little problem, if necessary.]

Request: Andrew
Judge: Tim
Distribution date: Thu Mar 21 22:47:53 UTC 1996