Glotmorf on 7 Oct 2003 00:21:36 -0000

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Re: [spoon-discuss] Proto-prop: Patents

On 6 Oct 2003 at 18:49, Daniel Lepage wrote:

> On Monday, October 6, 2003, at 04:29 PM, Mark Karasek wrote:
> > Well, the reason I created this was for, as Glotmorf
> > said, "sole-source vendor societies", so that the
> > societies wouldn't have to be specifically mentioned
> > in the rules. There's no problem with objects that
> > anyone can create being defined in the rules, because
> > no game entities need to be mentioned. Also, I was
> > considering adding a bit about being able to make a
> > patent you hold Public Domain, at which point a rule
> > would be created defining the object, the patent would
> > cease to exist, and anyone could create objects of
> > that type.
> Perhaps instead of having 'technologies' either owned by a sole 
> proprietor or in the Public Domain, entities could gain the plans for
> certain technologies through various methods; for example, vSOI could
> create and patent Gnomes, and thus be the only one capable of creating
> them; but if vSOI taught some other organization, or that organization
> "stole the plans", so to speak, they'd also be able to create gnomes,
> teach others, be stolen from, etc.
> It might be even more interesting if individual members of societies
> could, say, teach other players by notifying Dave privately; everyone
> would know that somebody in vSOI leaked the plans for gnome vats to
> OrcTech, but nobody would know who...
> Of course, secret data can get difficult, especially if we can't find
> a better way of submitting and tracking it than having Dave slog
> through everything. But I imagine we could come up with something.
> I do think we should develop some sort of material resource before
> doing this, though - I'd rather build gnomes out of Stuff than out of
> Points.

What about doing it myopic-style?  In conjunction with a new 
technology, a block of text has to be created -- the "trade 
secret".  The block of text would have to relate to the 
technology (in the judgment of the responsible administrating 
entity), and would be kept hidden from the rest of the 

Players, however, can try to "reverse-engineer" the technology 
by trying to figure out what the trade secret text is.  
Certain types of guesses can, say, positionally reveal words 
in the text; certain other guesses may cause certain words to 
be revealed.  That sorta thing.

Anyone who actually manages to get the entire block of text 
has stolen the technology and can produce it.  There might 
even be a provision for someone who has, say, 90% of the text 
being able to produce cheap knock-offs, which are similar to, 
though slightly different from, the original.

(Are Wonko and I too hung up on this myopic-nomic thang?)


The Ivory Mini-Tower: a blog study in Social Technology.

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