Jonathan Van Matre on 31 Jan 2002 15:14:57 -0000

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RE: spoon-discuss: RE: spoon-business: Game Action

Ok, here's what I'm getting at with this whole thing...the game action, and the CFJ: spirit of fair play.

If someone does something we don't like, and it's contravened by the rules, hooray!  They did something illegal, and depending on your platonist/pragmatist point of view it either never happened or is reversed.  An example would be Uncle Psychosis's "Join me, judge, and we will rule this nomic" CFJ, which simply on the face of it was a direct contradiction of the text of the rules.

On the other hand, if someone does something we don't like, and the rules don't prohibit it (e.g. the "YEA" vote loophole), I think the spirit of fair play dictates that we let it fly, even if it means awarding that player a win.  And we did let it fly, in that case.

Unfortunately, some of our interpretations of the rules have got a bit twisty in their efforts to avoid some undesirable state, and that's what was at the heart of Glotmorf's CFJs.  In particular, the non-player entities voting issue.  We had a ruling from Rob that since a rule says how players *may* vote, this constitutes a complete regulation of all voting practices, and non-players may not vote.  This seems to me to be completely against the letter of Rule 18, since it means that any rule specifying any way in which something *can* be done automatically prohibits it from being done any other way.  

It got even more twisty with Baron von Skippy's ruling that essentially boiled down to "this is false because I think it would ruin the game".  Pardon me if this is the naive raving of a wide-eyed nomic newbie, but I thought part of the game was trying to break the game, legally, in interesting ways.  

[It's interesting to note that there were ways to deal with the non-players that didn't require all of that--see the CFJs on whether they legally transferred their proxies.  Plus, one could have CFJed the non-player voting 4 ndays after it occurred, leaving the judge 7 ndays to rule, with voting occurring in 6 ndays.  Introduce an "Only players may vote" proposal and withhold ruling until after the end of the nweek.]

Anyway, here's the situation: I'm trying to do something highly unlikable but legal.  I'm with Glotmorf--let's once and for all decide what our policy is in this situation.  Either we embrace the spirit of fair play or we quash unwanted actions in any way possible.  And our interpretation of Rule 18 is going to be at the heart of that...  Either

1)  Any rule specifying any way in which something *can* be done automatically prohibits it from being done any other way.  


2)  Everything is permitted unless expressly prohibited, with the exception of rule changes.

We've seen examples both ways thus far.  Let's make the call.