Daniel Lepage on Thu, 19 Jul 2007 13:07:58 -0700 (MST)

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Re: [s-d] [s-b] repeal monopoly

> It's also true that Peter Suber's initial ruleset specifically
> contains a clause stating that anything which is not forbidden or
> regulated by the rules is allowed and unregulated.  I couldn't tell
> you whether Suber himself believed when he added that rule that it was
> necessary because otherwise anything not permitted would be forbidden,
> but either way I think it's best to be explicit.  We recently had a
> bit of debate over in Nomicapolis whether the successor of Suber's
> Rule 101, which states that all players must follow the rules, is
> necessary.  Granted it's arguable that such a rule just means that if
> someone breaks another rule they're now violating 2 rules instead of
> 1, but I see it as the foundation that gives all of the other rules
> whatever authority they have.   Of course, it's also recently been
> argued there that Players don't actually have to follow the rules as
> long as they can get the Judge to go along with their rulebreaking
> activity. I think at some point you get into a philosophical crisis
> about unwritten metarules.

We used to have a rule (Rule 10, to be precise) that said that all
players had to follow the rules. We argued about it for a while;
eventually we all started piling mechanisms atop mechanisms on it to
make it hard to do away with, not because we thought it necessary, but
because we had one player who felt it was not only unnecessary but in
fact somehow unholy and evil, and tried numerous scams solely to
repeal that rule.

The general consensus, IIRC, was that the rule isn't needed because in
an abstract game such as Nomic, there's no notion of "breaking the
rules" - the gamestate only changes in accordance with the rules.
Thus, saying that all players "must" follow the rules is an empty
statement - you couldn't break them if you tried.

In terms of following judges, I think a judge only has power if the
players allow it. CFIs guide interpretation, but don't force it, so we
can all choose to interpret a rule that says "Players may do X" as
forbidding players from doing X if we want. We just need to agree
among ourselves. It's much like how people playing a game they're not
familiar with might play it the wrong way, but realize halfway through
that they're doing it wrong. Then somebody will say, "Well, let's play
it right from now on, but do X, Y, and Z to make up for the problems
we caused by playing it wrongly earlier". Or someone will say "Eh,
let's just keep playing it the wrong way". Whatever is said, the
players somehow agree on how they're going to do it, and play the game
that way; that's the game that they're playing, even if it doesn't
precisely match the written rules.

A long time ago, I tried to make a Society (sort of like modern
Agreements) called Reality that asserted that B Nomic was actually a
subgame of Reality, and I still maintain that it would've worked if
everyone had gone along with it. There's nothing logically
inconsistent about it.

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