Gavin Doig on 31 Jan 2002 18:10:31 -0000

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

> 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.
The CFJ was perfectly legal. If you take the view that "force of law" is equivalent to "equal status with the rules", then it would even have worked had it been judged true. But anyway...

> 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. 
OK, let's examine that for a bit. The letter of rule 18 says "Whatever is not prohibited or regulated by the Ruleset is permitted and unregulated". Note the "or regulated". To regulate means "To control or direct according to rule, principle, or law". I fail to see how a rule specifying how something can be done is not controlling or directing it.

> 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.  
I'd agree that that's not the kind of reasoning we should be applying, and that that is indeed one of the main aims on nomic. His analysis being wrong doesn't, however, prevent his ruling from being correct. And I'd question whether this kind of attempted abuse of rule 18 is either legal or interesting...

> Anyway, here's the situation: I'm trying to do something
> highly unlikable but legal.  
Heh. :-) Argument by asssertion. You're trying to do something which is legal under one interpretation (which I'd agree with Rob is "utterly brain-dead") of rule 18.

> 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... 
What a fantastic use of false dichotomy. The issue isn't between fair play and the (sensible) more restrictive interpretation of rule 18, it's simply between the 2 interpretations of rule 18. Using the first definition isn't unfair simply because it would cause your scam not to work.

> Either
> 1)  Any rule specifying any way in which something
> *can* be done automatically prohibits it from being
> done any other way.  
> or
> 2)  Everything is permitted unless expressly prohibited,
> with the exception of rule changes.
Which is *not* what rule 18 says. It says "prohibited *or* *regulated*".


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