Glotmorf on Sun, 14 Mar 2004 00:06:38 -0600 (CST)

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[spoon-discuss] Greetings from Benomica

It may interest you to know that I have just created a country.

The country is called "Benomica." (She's mine, I created her, and I named a country 
after her.  So there.) Benomica exists in the Pacific region of the world represented 
at is a free service that allows people to create countries, which then 
participate in "regional" and "world" politics.  They declare their basic philosophies, 
then vote on issues, and the results of both determine which way their countries go.

Sound familiar?

The system is fairly simplistic, by Nomic standards -- you can't really change the 
rules there, and issues for voting are approved by moderators.  But it does raise 
some interesting ideas in my mind...

A lot of the rules in B Nomic -- the most important rules -- concern how the rules 
themselves are managed.  Beyond that, most of the rules we have or have had 
consist of state changes, as in, X does Y with Z and gains/loses N 
points/style/charm/activity/bandwidth.  State changes, when it comes right down to it, 
are fairly easy to code...tedious and annoying to code in quantity, perhaps, but easy.

So how hard would it be to come up with a system whereby people put in specs for 
objects or actions, said specs become insta-proposals (while awful tempting to make 
insta-rules out of this, I think we still need some group say), and, if they're approved 
by the mass, said actions or objects automatically get included in the game?

Consider, say, a beer gnome: [A player] [gains] [1] [beer gnome] when [that player] 
[pays] [5] [points] to [von Skippy Overproductions Inc.]

The items in brackets are things that can be selected from pulldowns or entered in 
fields.  "A player", "gains", "that player" and "pays" can be selectable values; "points" 
and "von Skippy Overproductions Inc" would be objects that already existed; and "1", 
"beer gnome" and "5" would be values to fill in.  "Beer gnome" as an object wouldn't 
have to exist prior to this point.

In a subsequent insta-prop (or possibly in the same one, though that gets a little 
trickier server-side), someone can do: [A player] [can] [squeeze] [1] [beer gnome] so 
that [that player] [gains] [1] [beer] [[and] [loses] [1] [beer gnome]].

In this case, "squeeze" would be created, or at least that beer-gnome-related aspect 
of "squeeze" would be.

It would probably be a good idea if only one object or action were created in a single 

This is a way of, relatively painlessly once set up, creating new resources, objects, 
actions and, therefore possibly even industries.  Industries in particular interest me, 
since we'd talked about proprietary rights, trade secrets, research and the like about 
a year ago; if these insta-props appeared anonymously on the ballot, they could 
result in protected resources and technologies -- while people might not approve of, 
say, Wonko getting a new privilege, they might approve of the privilege in and of 
itself, on the off-chance it was proposed by someone other than Wonko.

Thoughts?  Comments?  Obscene gestures?


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

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