Daniel Lepage on Wed, 3 Nov 2004 02:33:54 -0600 (CST)

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Re: [s-d] Re: [s-b] A Statement of the Gamestate

On Nov 3, 2004, at 1.43 AM, Jeremy Cook wrote:

On Mon, Nov 01, 2004 at 07:24:46PM -0500, Daniel Lepage wrote:

On Nov 1, 2004, at 2.21 PM, Jeremy Cook wrote:

On Mon, Nov 01, 2004 at 02:57:28AM -0500, Daniel Lepage wrote:
statement about the gamestate, and Zarpint's Taxly Evasive Scam
overlooks the clause in the societies rule that says societies may
take actions that the rules say they can.

I object.
Permissibility of the Unprohibited is one of the rules. "Societies
may only take actions that the rules say they can" is the same as
"societies may only take legal actions". It would be different if the
rule said "societies may only take actions the rules explicitly allow",
but it doesn't.

My interpretation is that since the rules mention which actions
societies can take, the taking of actions by societies is thus
regulated by the rules, and so Permissibility doesn't say anything
about it.

Regardless, modifying the gamestate is regulated by the rules, so
Permissibility doesn't do anything to allow gamestate changes.

I make the following CFI:

The society "Zarpint's Tax Shelter" legally took the actions Wonko
referred to as "Zarpint's Taxly Evasive Scam", including increasing my

Defendant: Wonko


r18: Whatever is not prohibited or regulated by the Ruleset is permitted
and unregulated.

Wonko's argument is that the taking of actions by societies is
regulated, so therefore r18 doesn't mean that all taking of actions by
societies is permitted.

This is true. Not all taking of actions by societies is permitted. For
instance, societies may not Admit entities that have not Applied

However, the actions mentioned in the statement are permitted. Those
particular actions are nowhere prohibited in the rules. r578.II says
that Societies may only take legal actions. Those actions are legal
under r18.

Note that the general argument: "Gamestate changes are regulated,
therefore r18 doesn't do anything to allow them" doesn't follow.
The rule says that if X is not regulated, X is permitted. In this case,
the hypothesis does not apply where X is "gamestate changes" in general,
but it does apply for some specific gamestate changes.

Defendant's Analysis:

The real issue here is where you draw the line in your interpretation of r18. r18 could be interpreted in a very general sense - 'changing the gamestate' is regulated by the rules, and so one can't change the gamestate except when the rules say. Or it could be interpreted in a very specific sense - "the act of my altering the gamestate to change Zarpint's name to Fred Foobar" isn't mentioned in the rules, and so is unregulated and thus legal.

I claim that Zarpint's actions rely on a too-specific interpretation of r18, one that counteracts game precedent, the spirit of r18, and common sense.

First, precedent:
CFJ 251: Voting is regulated, and so nonplayers can't vote unless the rules explicitly say so. CFJ 305: The awarding of wins is regulated, and so r18 doesn't apply and players can only win as explicitly permitted by the rules. CFJ 1602: Since ways of changing dimensions were specified by the rules, r18 did not apply to any actions that altered dimensions (i.e., their legality was based solely on the other rules) CFJ 1480: Since ways of gaining Charm were specified in the rules, r18 did not apply to actions that gained charm.

The big one, though, is CFJ 340, which established "that if there was *any* regulation of an action that was considered to be sufficient to detatch Rule 18 from that action." This was judged TRUE.

It's also mentioned in passing in a few other CFJs, such as the infamous CFJ 688, "Glasses of Champagne".

If your curious as to why we even have 'Permissibility of the Unprohibited', I point you to CFJ 766, which discussed the nature of indeterminate or unidentifiable scores. Here it was judged that since the rules do not specify how indeterminate scores are to be interpreted, we are permitted to come up with our own standard method of dealing with them. This proved very useful for navigating the complex logic (or lack thereof) of the DimShip crisis. Good Times.

Secondly, the spirit of r18:
The reason we have r18 is to ensure that we can't call things illegal if they're unrelated to the rules. For example, we don't get bogged down in CFIs like 'It was illegal for Wonko to email his mother' or 'Zarpint broke the rules by using the bathroom without permission from the ruleset'. r18 serves as a blanket statement to allow all real-world actions that don't relate to the game.

It's also a useful backup tool, for cases where we really don't know what to do. CFJ 766 is a good example of this: the rules gave us no indication whatsoever of what the hell we were supposed to do when our scores were suddenly found to be undefined, and so r18 was called upon to justify an arbitrary method of dealing with it.

But it's not a generic "take anything that's not nailed down" rule. It's not there in order to force us to say "Action X cannot be taken. Action Y cannot be taken. Action Z..." for everything that we don't want to happen.

Thus, to read it as a blanket permission to do anything that's not explicitly forbidden is simply silly, and contrary to the spirit of the rules.

Finally, common sense:
Zarpint's argument hinges on the claim that although r578 regulates societal actions, it says they may take any actions that the rules permit, and r18 permits the actions he took. This is simply false - r18 doesn't permit the actions unless no other rule regulates them. What r578 actually says is that "Societies may only take actions which the rules permit them to." To claim that r18 permits societies to take actions not mentioned by the rules contradicts the claim that r578 is legalizing the actions. It is thus impossible for r578 to make an action legal on the grounds that r18 permits the action, as r18 will not permit any action that is made legal by r578.


I'll assign judges tomorrow; or somebody else can use the dice server and do it. The eligible judges are Personman and TPR. (Zarpint and I are disqualified by being Plaintiff and Defendant; this leaves only TPR in the Upper House and so members of the Middle Ground (i.e., Personman) become legal judges).


I don't know anything about music. In my line you don't have to.
    - Elvis Presley

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