I must also apologize for the lateness of this Weekly. As Adrian mentioned, yesterday was a holiday: for those non-Australians, it was Anzac Day, this year the 50th anniversary of the Anzacs landing at Gallipoli.
The most important Thring event last week would surely have been the all-pervasive influence of Rule 340, the Random Discrimination Act, which has seen phrases like "the Speaker", "all Players" and "all Voters" replaced with "mystery player X" in the distributed Proposals; in a further twist, it was revealed that the "mystery player X" would be retained if the proposals were adopted, and that "laws" (whatever they are!) would also be created following the original wording of the Proposal.
As a consequence, we have a large number of Proposals which would be meaningless or possibly dangerous if voted in. Advice on how to vote has ranged from voting AGAINST all Proposals to ensure that they don't get in, to abstaining from all so as to lose less points, through a random choice of AGAINST or abstain. Whatever happens, it is probable that the already low scores of Players will dip even lower, and many may become negative.
The mailing list has seen, again, a large number of messages this last week, apparently mostly from "multiple personality" Adrian Corston and "hyperintelligent, pan-dimensional" Kelly Martin. Along with discussion of the effects of Rule 340, we've seen some debate on the future direction of the game, including making immutable Rules easier to transmute!
This issue sees another exclusive interview, with the current Speaker: Adrian Corston (Thring Speaker the Second). He talks candidly to Thring Weekly about ... well, a few different things.
Finally, an interesting concept which may become a Proposal soon is Paul Schulz's Titles "network". If you haven't yet investigated this novel idea, see http://www.physics.adelaide.edu.au/~pschulz/thring/thring.html and start thinking up bizarre titles and convoluted paths ...
It would be hard to know anything about Thring Nomic and not know Adrian Corston (Thring Speaker the Second). He has been known as Adrian Corston the Geographically Jealous from the introduction of epithets until he won Game 1, and was a "founding Player" of Thring Nomic.
He works for Internode Systems, mainly on Technical Support but sneaking in some consulting work; one of his (many) hobbies is running Apanix Public Access Internet, a non-profit organisation; another is singing in Flinders University Choral Society. Adrian has a lady friend who lives 728km to his east.
TW:Good afternoon, and thank you for agreeing to answer these questions.
TW:How are you finding the workload of being a mystery player X - sorry, of being a Speaker?
AC:More than I expected. My work is suffering, and I'm not sure how best to address the issue.
TW:What guidelines do you use in interpreting poorly defined or ambiguous Rules?
AC:Rigorous study of the other Rules is paramount, as this often offers alternatives which alleviate potential problems. I prefer to interpret the strict wording of a Rule, rather than what the Player "meant". If neither of these two guidlines help me, I'll choose whatever course I think makes for a better Thring. The next highest priority on my list is being as fair as possible to all concerned. The next highest priority after that is organising for me to win :-)
TW:David Wilson has described the role of the Speaker as a "motherly role". How would you describe it?
AC:A pain in the proverbial, but a lot of fun. It is hard, though, to not be able to be directly involved in making Proposals and Voting.
So far this games it's mostly been a role of "interpreter of poorly-worded Rules" :-)
TW:What were the highlights, for you, of Thring Game 1?
I enjoyed the mess caused by renumbering and transmuting Rule 307.
TW:I understand that you played a game of Nomic some years before Thring Nomic began. Could you tell us what you recollect of that game?
AC:Someone invoked Judgement on a Statement that I was female, and the Statement was Judged TRUE. Later that game I managed to remedy that situation with another Judgement, although I still have this nagging feeling that it was badly worded and I am currently both male and female :-)
TW:My sources inform me that you sing in a choir. Can you see any role for music in a game of Nomic?
AC:Not directly. However, I see nothing in the current ruleset which forbids it.
TW:Would you like to respond to the allegation in a recent Thring Weekly issue that you "can seem like a lot of people all by [yourself]"?
AC:No, we wouldn't.
TW:Would you like to comment on recent developments in Thring Nomic?
AC:Recent developments in Thring have left me with a strong paranoia about all new Proposals and many of the existing Rules. There's so much that can go wrong - all it takes is a wrong word or minor discrepency and all hell breaks loose.
TW:Thank you for your time,
Week 4 began on the 9th of January. To the accompaniment of almost no comments on the mailing list, the two Proposals submitted were doomed to not achieve a quorum of votes.
Proposal 308:Voting: one AGAINST.
Sam Bushell shall gain 10 points each nomic week.
Note the discrimination inherent in this Proposal, long before Proposal 330 was submitted. Those were the days, when such Proposals could be distributed unchanged ...
Proposal 309:Voting: one FOR.
If a Player votes AGAINST any proposal, e may submit a reason for doing so, which will then be posted (anonymously) when the voting results are posted.
Perhaps this Rule might require a little too much effort from the Speaker at the moment ... but in those days, it wouldn't have added much to eir workload.
There has been minimal response so far to the first Thring Weekly competition. Remember that there's only one week (more like 6 days, now) left to get your submission(s) in ...
A reminder of what the competition consists of:
"The competition is to come up with the wittiest slogan for Thring Nomic that, if possible, relates to one of (or some of) this game's unique rules and situations. All slogans should be one sentence long (though a two sentence entry may be allowable if it's sufficiently clever) and must be submitted to the Thring Weekly Editor (at firstname.lastname@example.org) within two weeks; that is, by May the 1st. All the entries will then be published in that issue of Thring Weekly; the winning entry will be selected by a popular vote (details yet to be determined). Entry is free."
See the previous issue for details of the prizes. Selection of the winning slogan will probably be via votes for your favourite three slogans (in order).
The following is an example slogan, provided by the editor: "Thring Nomic: You Will Enjoy." I'm sure that you all can do a lot better than that ...