Dickens, David on 3 May 2002 14:33:20 -0000

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RE: [nbd] Greetings

You know, the funny thing is, I'm very much like you, Dan.

I do have reasons for being "holistic" right now (less and less later on):

1. I (with lots of help) made the ruleset as it stands.  I had a goal of
"getting the game started" with "just enough to move us along procedurally."
I knew that no matter how carefully I built the ruleset, there would be some
inconsistent terminology.  I TOTALLY agree that we need arguments both pro
and against submitted to the judge and that I got a little judgment happy
(care to make another proposal to add this to law 4?).  So I guess I'm
saying that I'm being alittle sensitive about the work I put in. *blush*

2. I don't want the game to self destruct.  This happened in our last game
we tried to start.  A couple of ambiguous rules (and one poor choice of
"turn order") basically made the game null and void (one of the reasons I
made the "escape clause" rule A1.2.

3. English is as vague as you want to press it to be.  It would not be
difficult to go down the road of "that depends on what your definition of
'is' is."   I don't see this as productive.  I think to the extent that
players find the ruleset ambiguous they should first seek to fix it more
often than exploit it.  I realize that in some sense this breaks the goal
that Peter Suber had for the original nomic (which was to demonstrate
self-amendment's contradictions), but once you have a contradiction, well,
the sandbox is taken away.  I like to play. :-)

As time goes on, I think you'll find me more and more in your camp (because
these factors I mention will decrease in time).  In fact, you may even find
me slipping to the other side of your position.  

-----Original Message-----
From: Dan Marsh [mailto:dmarsh3000@hotmail.com] 
Sent: Thursday, May 02, 2002 5:03 PM
To: notbob-discuss@nomic.net
Subject: [nbd] Greetings

OK, my "shout:"

I wouldn't mind working for the Public Defender's office, but I don't: I 
sell computers.  (If I ever get around to finishing my undergrad degree, I 
might go to law school, but I'm in no hurry.)

It's interesting to find myself grouped into a specific faction already in 
this Nomic; in the past I've found myself in what I've called the 
"constitutionalist" faction.  Essentially, I feel that the rules (and the 
law generally) say what they say, and purposely misinterpreting them because

it's easier, is cheating.  (For example, even in my 30s, it bothers me: the 
14th Amendment clearly bans a minimum drinking age for US citizens.  And I 
find many of the arguments that the income tax is collected illegally, to be


It's already been pointed out that I'm looking at bits and pieces of the law

rather than the law in total, but the law in total IS made up of those bits 
and pieces.  If a rule says that A is B, then "the overall gist of the 
rules" cannot conclude that A is A (as much as my Randroid roots would like 

I came across Nomic some years ago, and it appealed to me because I enjoy 
exploring other worlds ... hence my fascination with science fiction stories

and computer role-playing games.  I'm not an attorney, but did spend most of

the 1990s in political pursuits, so I have some of the same drives.

Anyway, that's me.


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