Daniel Lepage on Wed, 8 Feb 2006 23:59:12 -0600 (CST)

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Re: [s-d] Re: [s-b] [auto] Peter votes

On Feb 8, 2006, at 9:43 PM, comex wrote:

...or search the mailing list archives for him sometime this past year explaining the DimShip Crisis to all of us.

Actually, before I joined the game I saw mention of the DimShip Crisis
on the wiki but found very little in the archives.

I'm not sure the DimShip ruling applies to this proposal; the big issue with the DSC was a rule saying that some numerical quantity should be treated as though it were greater than its actual value. This caused problems when it was judged that "its actual value" should be subject to the rule's own modifications, causing all manner of trouble. One could interpret the lighting rule similarly, but one could also make a good case for how "increased by one" means "made one more than it would be *otherwise*".

For those wondering about the Crisis:

The DimShip crisis was (I think) the first major paradox in the ruleset. I claimed that I had won infinitely many times by repeatedly setting the world on fire and destroying everything. Glotmorf claimed that I had thrown all my money into a bottomless pit of redundancy. Rob settled the issue by ruling that most of the game was undefined. Hilarity ensued.

This was all during May and June of 2002. The first message that set everything off is here: http://lists.ellipsis.cx/archives/spoon-business/spoon- business-200205/msg00281.html

A slightly more detailed summary:

Rule 493/3 (http://www.bnomic.org/list.php?i=493&go=go)
There exists a type of object called a Dimensions Ship, also known as a DimShip.

A DimShip is capable of carrying a Player through DimSpace by taking on virtual dimensional values: Buoyancy (positive virtual value) and Ballast (negative virtual value). A DimShip can take on Buoyancy or Ballast or a combination of the two, in any Dimension or combination of Dimensions.

A Player employing a DimShip does not travel to a specific location in DimSpace; rather, e displaces emself from eir current DimSpace location.

Ballast and Buoyancy are each limited to 100. Each can be set to as much as 100, even at the same time, for displacement in single or multiple dimensions. That is, no matter how many dimensions Ballast is gathered for, total Ballast must be less than or equal to 100; same with Buoyancy.

The cost to produce a DimShip is 100 score.

A DimShip, once built, can be launched, which puts it into active use. A DimShip that has been launched can be landed, which takes it out of active use. DimShips can be landed at any time, and must be landed when adding equipment or conducting repairs. A DimShip is automatically landed when its ballast and buoyancy limits are zero. DimShips can be launched at the end of the nweek.

If a player owns a DimShip and has launched it, then rules that check eir dimension values will check the values of eir virtual dimensions. Rules that change the values of dimensions, though, will change eir real dimensions.

Basically, a DimShip could shift you in any of the known dimensions (Score, Charm, Entropy, BAC, etc.). It cost 100 Score to build one, but you could then add a shift of up to 100 divided amongst all your dimensions, so that although you didn't actually have more points or less BAC, you would be treated for all intents and purposes as though you did.

I bought six DimShips. I put one at +100 Score, and the other five at +100 Entropy. My claim was that this boosted my personal entropy to 500, which thus trivially made Universal Entropy larger than the 500 Entropy limit, causing the heat death of the universe. One of the side effects of the apocalypse was to set each player's Entropy, etc. back to zero and to give each player 10 points. But after the apocalypse, my real Entropy was reduced to zero but I kept my DimShips, and so I still was treated as having 500 Entropy, triggering another Apocalypse. This would happen infinitely many times, giving everyone 10 points. Every 90 iterations, the 900 points I gained plus the 100 Score Buoyancy from my sixth Dimship would push me over the 1000 points needed to win; I'd win and all scores would be reset. The process repeats ad infinitum.

Glotmorf's claim was that DimShips don't stack like that. If you have two DimShips with +100 Score each, then each one causes you to be treated as though your score were 100 more than the real, unmodified value, so your net gain was only 100 Score. By his logic, I'd just poured absurd numbers of points into buying DimShips when it couldn't profit me at all.

Rob judged the relevant CFI, and asserted that I was right that Dimships stacked with each other. But furthermore, e said "rules that check eir dimension values will check the values of eir virtual dimensions" applies to itself, so each DimShip stacks with *itself*. The result is that my score becomes equal to some number N satisfying N = N+100. This is impossible. What's more, a few other players were also flying DimShips at various levels, so we couldn't say anything about their Dimensions either. This cascades: Without knowing my score, we don't know if I've got enough points to Win, so we don't know whether the Clock is On or Off. Likewise, there could be an Apocalypse at any time; we wouldn't be able to tell if it happened. These two between them throw all other players' dimensions into doubt, which with the rules at the time called into question our very ability to make posts to the public forums.

So we declared a r0 State of Emergency, and disabled most of the relevant rules.

And now you know.


Estimated amount of glucose used by an adult human brain each day, expressed in M&Ms: 250
     -Harper's Index, October 1989

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