==============================  CFJ 1263  ==============================

    Goethe is not a Player.


Caller:                                 Blob

Judge:                                  Steve
Judgement:                              FALSE



Called by Blob:                         05 Feb 2001 01:01:05 GMT
Assigned to Steve:                      05 Feb 2001 02:11:05 GMT
Judged FALSE by Steve:                  09 Feb 2001 03:24:10 GMT


Caller's Arguments:

Rule 869 requires that prospective Players "[send] a message to a Public
Forum requesting registration." Goethe has not _requested_ registration in
this, or any other message to the Public Forum. E has _stated_ eir
attempt to register, but I do not believe that this is the same thing.

While this is nit-picky, I believe that it is a fine tradition that
should inculcate some humility into new Players. I hope that R869 can be a
ppropriately annotated so that future prospective players should understand
what is expected of them.


Judge Steve's Arguments:

Rule 451 instructs me that my Judgement of this CFJ must be "based on
the truth or falsity of the Statement at the time the CFJ was issued."
Blob's Call for Judgement was issued at Mon, 05 Feb 2001 01:01:05 GMT.
So the question is whether Goethe was a Player at that time. (All times
reported in this Judgement are given as GMT).

Rule 869 is clear that a person registers by sending a message to the
Public Forum, and that e is immediately registered upon doing so. In
reaching a decision, we should use the time at which the messages were
sent. These are the times given below.

Goethe sent four different messages which might have had the effect of
registering him as a Player. But Goethe's fourth message was sent at
Mon, 05 Feb 2001 01:05:00, about five minutes too late to have any
bearing on the truth or falsity of this CFJ. The question is: of the
three messages sent by Goethe before Mon, 05 Feb 2001 01:01:05, did any
of them have the effect of registering Goethe as a Player?

1. Goethe's first message

   Date: Sat, 3 Feb 2001 20:33:19
   From: Kerim Aydin <kerim@u.washington.edu>
   To: agora-discussion@gecko.serc.rmit.edu.au
   Subject: On the eve of "read the ruleset" week...

This message contained a clear request for registration ("It does me
great honor... to choose this time to request admission, to Make Myself
Registered and Active"), and was sent early enough, but was not sent to
the Public Forum. Hence this message did not register Goethe as a

2. Goethe's second message

   Date: Sat, 3 Feb 2001 12:35:09 -0800 (PST)
   From: Kerim Aydin <kerim@u.washington.edu>
   To: agora-business@gecko.serc.rmit.edu.au
   Subject: Declaring active

This message was sent early enough, and to the Public Forum. But the
text of the message was only this:

   I declare myself Active with the nickname Goethe.

Registrar Murphy chose not to interpret this as a request for
registration. I think this was a reasonable decision. In most
circumstances, the text "I declare myself Active" would be used for a
quite different purpose, that of coming Off Hold. So this message, too,
did not succeed in registering Goethe as a Player.

3. Goethe's third message

   Date: Mon, 5 Feb 2001 00:22:49
   From: Kerim Aydin <kerim@u.washington.edu>
   To: agora-business@gecko.serc.rmit.edu.au
   Subject: one more re-registed

This message was also sent early enough (by about 40 minutes) and to the
PF. The relevant portion of its text was:

   To make it clear, I hereby register and declare myself Off-Hold
   (Active) under the nickname Goethe.

This is the message that the Caller, Blob, focusses on. E argues that
Rule 869 requires that a person *request* registration, and not say only
"I hereby register."

I reject this argument on two separate grounds. Firstly, it is clear
from Rule 869 that the "request" for registration is a "request" in name
only. In fact, sending the message is sufficient for registration; no
Player is being requested to do anything in order to make the
registration legally effective. Thus, in saying "I hereby register",
Goethe stated nothing more or less than a fact.

Secondly, as a general principle, I think it is a bad idea to be too
nit-picky about the precise forms of words used to effect game actions.
This is especially true where new Players are concerned. It may be true
as Blob says (although I doubt it), that forcing new Players to phrase
their registration messages explicitly as requests might inculcate some
humility into them. But I think it's just as likely that being so severe
on New Players will humiliate rather than humble them and make their
first official experience with Agora the negative one of being
nit-picked on for trivial reasons. First impressions last. In the
spirit, if not precisely in the letter, of Rule 754, differences in
phraseology should be regarded as inconsequential as long as the meaning
is clear. Any message expressing a clear desire or intent to register as
a Player should count as a request for registration, whether or not it
is explicitly phrased as a request.

My Judgement is therefore that Goethe's third message succeeded in
registering him as a Player, about 40 minutes before this CFJ was
issued. So the Statement is FALSE.