Adam Tomjack on 4 Oct 2000 20:02:19 -0000

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Re: spoon-discuss: The Agent Joel Uckelman is not a Player.

(Wed, 04 Oct 2000) Thus Spake Joel Uckelman:
> There is nothing inconsistent with starting the game as a Player. To do so
> _assumes_ that I am a Player. That's what an initial condition is--an
> assumption that something is true of the game state at time 0. By R106 and
> the assumption of my Playerhood, it follows by definition that I consent
> and have "become a Player in the manner proscribed in the Rules". If you
> reject one of the initial conditions, viz. that I started as a Player, then
> we're just not playing the same game.
> Besides, even if you're right, the solution isn't as easy as declaring
> myself a Player, because if I'm not a Player I'm not the Admin, and if I'm
> not the Admin I couldn't have created the business list as a public forum,
> so *no* legal actions could yet have been taken, or will ever be possible,
> since there is no way to become Admin.

I don't see any rules prohibiting Agents from holding Offices or being 
Officers.  The rules only state (R108): "A Player holding an Office is an 
Officer."  This mentions nothing about Agents, so it must not be prohibited 
for an Agent to be Administrator.

As I see it, we needn't assume Joel was a Player at the outset.  He could 
have been (and could still be) an Agent.  We must assume though, that if the 
spoon-business list is a Public Forum, it must have been declared so by an 
Administrator.  Since the only Agent (or Player) who made such a declaration 
is Joel, then if it is a Public Forum, Joel is the Administrator, but not 
necessarily a Player.  

We would still have to assume that Joel was the Administrator from the 
Beginning.  If Joel is not a Player, things get difficult, but not impossible 
so long as he is still Administrator.

It boils down to this:  The rules don't prohibit initial assumptions about 
the game.  The only thing that is prohibited is an inconsistent initial 
state.  We can make things easy and assert that Joel was a Player from the 
start, so long as it isn't inconsisted with the state of the game.  ((We can 
assert or assume this.  It doesn't have to logically follow from anything.  
We can do what we please so long as it is consistent.))  Part of the game's 
state is it's ruleset.  If Joel's Playerhood is inconsistent with the rules, 
then the game hasn't started.  The only rule (I think) concerning this is 

A Player is an Agent who is capable of passing the Turing Test, consents to 
said designation as a Player, and has become a Player in the manner 
proscribed in the Rules.

I think Joel can pass a Turing Test ;) and he certainly consents to being a 
player.  Has he become a player in a manner proscribed in the Rules?   I 
don't think the rules proscribe a manner for becoming a player.  They list 
some properties that a player must possess (the ability to pass a TT and a 
desire to become a P), but they don't say how to become one.  Therefore, 
since there is no manner in which Joel can become a Player, he is not one.  
By that argument, I am not a player, nor is anybody else.  If it is assumed 
that having the required properties of a player is the manner in which one 
becomes a player, then Joel is a player.  If this is also the case, then in 
my opinion, all those RFCs I made regarding who was not a player should have 
been ruled false.  To consent is to give agreement.  I think it is possible 
to consent privately to oneself without notifying anybody else.  Hence those 
who posted to the non-public list clearly gave consent to be players, if to 
nobody but themselves.  Since they convinced me of their sentience, I would 
say they've passed the Turning test. ;)


Adam Tomjack