Peter Cooper Jr. on Sat, 23 Jun 2007 14:09:05 -0700 (MST)

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Re: [s-d] Proposal

"Roger Hicks" <pidgepot@xxxxxxxxx> writes:
> As a Game Action I submit the following proposal:
> Organisms
> {
> Modify Rule 0 "In Case of Emergency" by replacing the first paragraph with:
> {{
> For the purposes of this rule, the term "Potential Emergency
> Participant" (or PEP) shall mean each of the current players of the
> game as defined by other rules. However, if who the current players
> are in the game is unclear, uncertain, or ambiguous, or if there are
> less than four such players, then it shall instead mean who the
> players were before such uncertainty or drop in player count. For the
> purposes of this rule any player that is not a natural human person
> can not be a PEP.
> }}

This certainly deals with my objection to societies interfering with
emergency procedures, although I think I'd personally still prefer to
have humans called Players and other things called other
things. Although I guess it's just all how one wants to think about
the terms.

> create a rule titled "Organisms" with the text:
> {{
> An Organism is an External Force created by two or more other External
> Forces (members) through a binding agreement governed by a legal
> authority that assigns any rights, responsibilities, and obligations
> it incurs to it's members.
> }}

First of all, "its". Don't make us bring back the Grammar Nazi. :)

Second of all, this seems pretty broad, and difficult for us to be
able to confirm via the Internet. Is my marriage to my wife an
Organism? If I claim that I have 50 agreements with 50 other people,
none of whom ever use the Internet, how are others here going to know
if I'm lying? What counts as a "legal authority"? I'm assuming that
you intend for non-physical-governmental authorities like Agora or B
Nomic to count? Can I create my own legal authority and then create
agreements under it? And again, if a description of the authority and
the agreements aren't on the Internet, how is anybody else going to
know if I'm telling the truth? Also, do the parties to the agreement
have to give their consent to be a part of the agreement? If not, then
I can create 50 such agreements right now.

> Modify Rule 1-4 Joining and Leaving by replacing the second paragraph
> (including the bulleted list) with this text:
> {{
> An External Force that is not an Organism may become a Player by
> posting a message to a Public Forum containing a request to become a
> Player and a uniquely identifying name that e wishes to be known by. E
> may do this if and only if e fulfills the following requirements:
>     * E is capable of passing a Turing Test
>     * E is not currently a Player
>     * E has a working e-mail address

So if I create an agreement that *isn't* governed by a legal
authority, or somehow otherwise doesn't count under your Organism
definition, but can pass the still-vague Turing Test criterion, then
it can join as a Player too? I don't think this is really fixing the
problem we have.

> An Organism may become a Player by one of its members posting a
> message to a Public Forum containing a request for the Organism to
> become a Player and uniquely identifying the name of the Organism and
> the binding agreement that governs it. The Organism must also identify
> an email address where it will receive messages (this may be the
> e-mail address of one of its members). In order for an Organism to
> become a Player it must fulfill the following requirements:
>   * It is not currently a Player
>   * The set of natural human persons who directly or indirectly
> compose it's membership is distinct from the same set for any other
> Organism that is a Player.

Again with the "its". :)

I think your last bullet is a good try, but

- Nothing in your definition of Organism requires any part of it to
  have involved natural human people.

- What if the set of people in the membership change? As long as it's
  distinct when it becomes a Player, that's okay?

- How is everybody else supposed to be able to confirm that my 50
  agreements are in fact with 50 different natural people? Especially
  if the agreements don't make their membership list public in any

- If say, 4 people wanted to, they could make 11 Organisms (2^4, minus
  sets of 0 and 1 player), even with your wording working as
  intended. That'd make it very easy to submit a bunch of last-minute
  votes if people were organized enough.

> A member of an Organism may (when permitted by the agreement that
> governs that Organism) act on behalf of that Organism within B Nomic.
> Such actions, when clearly designated, are distinct from actions that
> member would take on their own behalf as an Outsider.
> }}
> }

I certainly admire your efforts, but trying to add arbitrary non-human
players without adding plenty of chances for abuse is very, very

Peter C.
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