Daniel Lepage on Tue, 12 Dec 2006 06:51:14 -0700 (MST)

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Re: [s-d] RFJ 0008 judgement

On Dec 12, 2006, at 8:40 AM, shadowfirebird@xxxxxxxxx wrote:

>> Maybe we should have a list of "proper RFJ procedure" somewhere,
>> detailing the sort of thing that one should not do, but that might be
>> appropriate sometimes.
> The problem is - *one* of the problems is - that there is nothing to
> stop a judge ruling by tossing a coin, or by closing eir eyes and
> pointing.  Technically this would be against 2-5 since e is supposed
> to judge by looking at the rules; but how can the other players
> possibly tell if e's done that?  E is not even required to give a
> reasoning.  And even if the other players think that a ruling is in
> breach of 2-5, there is nothing that they can do about it (other than
> to Propose, of course).
> Let me say quickly that I don't think any of our judges has done
> anything like this!  But they could.

Could be even worse: on at least one occasion, a CFI was judged TRUE  
because the player who stood to benefit from the CFI's truth offered  
bribes to two of three Judges. But this is why RFJs "guide further  
interpretation" instead of being absolute law - there's no reason why  
the RFJ can't be reversed later. Even without judicial corruption or  
negligence, it's perfectly possible that a judge might simply miss an  
important rule and so misjudge an RFJ. In that case, we're free to  
simply ignore the judgment.

The whole RFJ system is just a formalization of what happens in  
Monopoly when you realize that you're not supposed to be able to buy  
houses if you've mortgaged a property in that color block - you argue  
with the other players until you all agree that that's what the rules  
meant, and then you decide what you're going to do about it, which  
might be "Well, we'll just keep playing the way we were, and we'll do  
it right next game".

In other words, RFJs are a fast way to reach a consensus about what  
to do: we pick a player and let em decide how we should do things.  
RFJs only have power because we all agree to abide by them. If a  
judgment is obviously bad, say because a judge forgot to take another  
rule into account, or because e didn't actually think about it at  
all, then we're under no obligation to follow it.

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