The OxNomicker

Issue 9, 28 March 1998



OK, well it is two weeks into the Easter vacation and the game is slowing down. However, the recent surge in Judgements seems to necessitate this update. This, being a quick(ish) summary of Judgements which have taken place this week, probably will not be the most interesting issue of the OxNomicker, so apologies for that.

There is just one vote to report on this week: the result of FT11, the proposal to clear up the finer points of the procedure for Appealing against a judgement. It passed with three votes for and two against and duly became a Probationary Rule.


The situation as this newsletter begins is neatly summed up by Colin Batchelor's article in ox.games.nomic:
J(30) has been superseded by PR482(0) "Judgements are not binding on
A(31) tells us that it is illegal for a Judge to supply more than one
J(32) has been superseded by A(31).
J(36) tells us that the Recorder can choose which Judgements are legal in
      the event of more than one Judgement being supplied.
However, there were also a few outstanding statements still to be judged. The first to receive attention was J(34) on March 24th when Terry Boon judged:

   I shall state and choose an alternative statement:
   The position of Master of Puppets does not cease to be an Office solely
   because the Puppets are in Suspended Animation.


   472 states the following: "The duties of the Master of Puppets are to
   control all Puppets in the Game except for those Puppets for which a
   Deputy Master of Puppets has been appointed, and to notify all Players
   of any appointments, dismissals or resignations of Deputy Masters of

   Even when the Puppets are in Suspended Animation, the Master of Puppets
   is still obliged to "notify all players" of certain events which can
   still happen while the Puppets are Suspended.


   It's ironic that I should receive this one to judge, seeing as it was
   my rule (410) which causes the problem in the first place. I did have a
   reason for stating that Offices must impose some obligation upon the
   holder - it was to make them distinct from other titles and the like
   that players might receive in the game. However, given the problem
   it's thrown up (and other potential problems which I have now thought
   of), I think it should go.
Terry also has a Proposal in mind to remove the obligaion on Officers, but this will be held over until Trinity Term.

So, since Simon Cozens has so far been judged blameless, Ian Collier (yes, he of authorship of this newsletter) tried a different tack - based on an observation noted in the last issue.

   I make the following Accusation.

   * Simon Cozens has broken Rule(s) 473(1).
   * Simon Cozens has not broken Rule(s) 473(1).

   473(1) states that "a Puppet may take no actions except as explicitly
   stated in its Instructions" and "The Instructions of a Puppet may not
   allow a decision to be made by a human except [if further play would
   be impossible]".  The Puppets Robin Hood, King John and Chris Dickson
   have entered Suspended Animation, which is an action not stated in
   any of the Instructions of the three Puppets.  Therefore Rule 473(1)
   has been broken.  Since Simon Cozens is responsible for the Puppets
   having entered Suspended Animation, it is he who is responsible for
   having broken the Rule.
This is the first Judgement to use the new Accusation rule and by some coincidence Terry Boon has been chosen as the Judge. Judgement is due on the date of issue of this newsletter, but so far has not been given.

Meanwhile, Tim Ricketts, the selected Judge for J(35), failed to reply within the set time and so Gordon Aickin was chosen. On the same day, he replied:

   I choose a different option.
        * J(30a), J(30b), J(31a), J(31b),  J(32a), and J(32b) are
          all illegal due to the result of A(31)


   An appeal is an attempt to overturn the decision made in a particular
   Judgement.  It is not a judgement on the legality of a Judgement.  It
   is just suggesting that the Judge chose the wrong option.

   So the result of A(31) should be treated as if it were the result
   of CFJ(31).  J(31) has been overturned, by A(31) but that does not mean
   that J(31) was necessarily illegal.

   But the text of A(31) states that "It is illegal for a judge to
   produce two judgements", so this outlaws all judgements where two
   judgements were given.
The Recorder added:
He also, rather vindictively, supplies the following:

   I hope that the banker will be applying fines to the judges of J(30),
   J(31) and J(32) for failing to produce a legal Judgement in time, and I
   believe that the Recorder needs to choose new judges for these
   statements so that they actually get judged.
(The Banker comments that no rule currently provides for CV penalties for Judges, although there is a fine of 10 ordinary points for those who fail to judge on time.)

The Recorder commented:

However, I would suggest that the questions asked by the CFJs for J(30),
J(31) and J(32) have all been resolved by A(31) and the probationary rule
from FT11, so the rules are no longer "silent, inconsistent or unclear".
Hence we have no need for new Judges to be supplied.  If you disagree,
But in the very next article he changed his mind.
Actually, he said, seeing the possibility of more Black Marks winging his
way, I shall reopen J(30) and J(32).  If you disagree with me on A(31)
superseding J(31), Call for Judgement.
And so began the reopening of old cases. Gordon Aickin was again enlisted, to re-judge J(30) which was previously answered by Colin Batchelor. The result was that
Judgements are not binding on play.
This was evident from the rules, after the passing of FT10 which said as much. The Recorder nominated himself to deliver the final verdict on J(32) which had previously been Stephen Gower's job. The result was:
  * Simon's Judgement is illegal.

You know my reasoning.
So, that appears to be that. The only matter outstanding is whether Simon Cozens has acted illegally in putting the Puppets into Suspended Animation.