==============================  CFJ 1290  ==============================

    Goethe is a Contestant in the Agora the Beautiful Contest.

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Caller:                                 G.

Judge:                                  solublefish
Judgement:                              TRUE

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History:

Called by G.:                           27 Apr 2001 22:29:07 GMT
Assigned to solublefish:                04 May 2001 01:03:39 GMT
Judged TRUE by solublefish:             10 May 2001 23:44:52 GMT
Judgement distributed:                  11 May 2001 02:13:41 GMT

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Caller's Arguments:

 Goethe has made several statements which are on the "Notification List"
of the Agora the Beautiful Contest, since the Contest was created by Tim,
whose eight-year-old immaturity is the stuff of legends, even among
eight-year-old immature people.  Statements include, but may not be
limited to:

 'Blob is a doo-doo head.'
 'Syllepsis is a newt-neck.'
 'Murphy is a commie mutant turnip.'
 'So now you know, Spamface.'
 'Goethe is a yohgurt-brain.' (insulting oneself counts).

 HOWEVER.  Note that Goethe has NEITHER (1) explicitly GIVEN Consent to be
entered in said Contest, nor (2) explicitly DENIED Consent to be entered
in said Contest.  It should be assumed that Goethe has not had the
opportunity to make any such statement of consent/nonconsent.  By Rule
1617:

      "No Player shall ever be made part of the Jurisdiction of the SLC
      of any Organization without eir consent.  This takes precedence
      over any Rule that would permit a Player to be involuntarily
      made part of the Jurisdiction of such a SLC."

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Judge solublefish's Arguments:

Language:
- I'll abbreviate "the Agora the Beautiful Contest" as ATB.
- I will say that a ruling of TRUE on this cfj is "for" or "in favor" of the
Contest, since  clearly Tim's goal in creating ATB was that a statment of
this form be ruled TRUE. A ruling of  FALSE will correspond in my language
to being "against" ATB.
- I'll use the term "insult" to refer to any statement that conforms to the
requirements set  out in the notification list in the SLC for ATB.

I) I like the deliniation that has been made by several people between the 3
types of  statements that would have to be considered for joining the ATB.
I'll quote Goethe's text:
VVVVVV
 Take the following three statements:
  1.  "Goethe is a yohgurt-brain.
  2.  "Goethe is a yohgurt-brain.  This statement is made in order to
become a Contestant in the Agora the Beautiful Contest."
  3.  "Goethe is a yohgurt-brain.  This statement is NOT consent for me to
become a Contestant in the Agora the Beautiful Contest."
^^^^^^

The statement that is the subject of this CFJ concerns a number of type-1
statements. There  seems to be no real argument about the status of type-2
statements, and very little about  type-3 statements. Note that I'm somewhat
unsure how type-3s should be interpreted, but that is not germaine to this
CFJ.

I) The issue at stake seems to be how we are intended to read the use of
'consent', specifically in rule 1617.
VVVVVVV
> Hrm... That is interesting, but I don't think it will hold water. I think
> it falls foul of:
>
> Rule 1617/1 (Power=1)
> Changing the Jurisdiction of an Organization's SLC
>
>       The Jurisdiction of an Organization's SLC shall only be changed
>       in accordance with that SLC and with the Rules.  If there are no
>       provisions for changing such an SLC, then the SLC can not be
>       changed.
>
>       No Player shall ever be made part of the Jurisdiction of the SLC
>       of any Organization without eir consent.  This takes precedence
>       over any Rule that would permit a Player to be involuntarily
>       made part of the Jurisdiction of such a SLC.
>
> I'm pretty sure a Judge would not rule in your favour when it came to
> the question of consent.
^^^^^^^

Presumably, the part in conflict is: "No Player shall ever be made part of
the Jurisdiction of  the SLC of any Organization without eir consent."


V) As usual, there is an argument that a given ruling is "bad for Agora",
all legal questions  aside. In this case, the sentiment seems to be against
ATB. Again, I'll quote Goethe:
VVVVVVV
...the existence of an Organization which
"traps" Players based on actions not intended to trap is not in the best
interests of the game, and I am a strong believer that no Player should be
forced into an SLC against their will.
^^^^^^^

I pretty much agree here. If this 'implicit consent' phenomenon is valid,
then the Contest rules are flawed in a way that allows them to be used for
ill.

        I think we all understand that _if_ consent is allowed to be
'implied' in the manner of ATB, there are tricky consequences. Goethe's
reductio ad absurdum shows exactly how heinous the situation could get.
However, I do not think that this amounts to an argument that ATB's form of
consent is legal. I accept that it's possible that the Contest rules (or
SLCs in general) are flawed.
        In fact, I think it's likely. I know that Agora has had it's share
of problems with these and other 'subgame' rules, and I've seen problems in
at least one other nomic.

        I think that it's at least reasonable to accept Tim's argument for
the legality of implied consent. Goethe could not possibly have made the
statements he did without realizing that he was joining ATB, so he consents
to joining ATB. There may exist a counter-argument that this is not
consent, but I can't construct it and I haven't seen it. I don't see how
this is fundamentally different from a statement like: By bidding in an xyz
auction, the bidder consents to be bound to [pay the price and get the xyzs]

Crito responds:
VVVVVVV
I think this would be arguable, depending on what kind of action the ATB
attempted to "capture".  If it was an action that a person would normally
be expected to perform for some reason other than joining the contest, and
the action was clearly done for that other reason, then 1513 should provide
this protection.  In other words, I don't think the default assumption, in
this
case, should be that the person consented to anything.  The default should
be that e did not consent and it should be up to those claiming otherwise
to come up with proof.  OTOH, if the action is NOT something that one would
do under normal circumstances, other than as consent for ATB, then the
default assumption should be for consent.

--Crito
^^^^^^^

I think this is a pretty good characterization of the circumstances in which
implied consent is bad and those in which it is acceptable. I still am not
convinced that it argues that it's illegal in either case. I agree that 1513
(or some other rule) _should_ provide protection to Goethe in this case. But
I think there is no clear indication that any rule does. It is probably
possible to avoid interpreting any particular rules and simply focus on the
word consent. The question then is whether it allows the sort of 'implicit'
consent we're talking about. My favorite dictionary is the American
Heritage, and it says:
VVVVVVV
con.sent (kn-snt)
v. intr. con.sent.ed, con.sent.ing, con.sents.

To give assent, as to the proposal of another; agree. See Synonyms at
assent.
Archaic. To be of the same mind or opinion.
n.
Acceptance or approval of what is planned or done by another; acquiescence.
See Synonyms at permission.
Agreement as to opinion or a course of action: She was chosen by common
consent to speak for the group.
^^^^^^^

Sadly, this doesn't help much. There seems to be an about equal footing
between implicit and explicit consent. I'll note that the noun version (as
used in the ruleset) has a more implicit cast to it. Crito argues, however
that for the good of Agora, I should use the 'explicit' interpretation
unless compelled otherwise:
VVVVVVV
If the Rules require consent,
then it should be interpreted to mean *willful* consent, and in case of
dispute, the burden of proof, that the consent was a conscious, willful act,
should be on those who claim consent was given.
^^^^^^^

This is a reasonable view, I feel. I'll start off from the point of view
that consent is normally explicit, and force others to prove otherwise. Now
I just have to decide whether Tim's 'proof' holds legal water. Here's his
argument:
VVVVVVV
Given that every player knows exactly what it is that constitutes a request
to join, and that any such "request to join" has to be made intentionally, I
think it is possible for a reasonable judge to conclude that the use of such
phrases constitutes consent.
^^^^^^^

and Goethe's version of the same point:
VVVVVVV
In the current
case (my membership in the Contest), I clearly *knew* about the Contest
regulations---this can be reasonably proven through examining my other
posts on the matter.  And even *knowing* about the Contest, I did not seem
to feel it necessary to *withhold* consent, while making statements on the
Notification List.  Remember, issues of knowledge crop up in the Rules:
for example, did the Player knowingly or unknowingly put forward false
information?
^^^^^^^

I haven't really seen arguments that Goethe didn't know what e was doing,
and I'm pretty sure e did.


Now, unfortunately I'm still in the same bowl of soup. I'm basically
convinced by the arguments that:
1. This method of notification does, by the rules, cause Goethe to be a
contestant. E tried to be a contestant.
2. This method of notification _should_ not cause Goethe to be a contestant.

I'm bound, of course, to judge by method 1 instead of 2. Thus, I rule TRUE.

        I could slime out of it somehow. I could say that "Oh, I don't think
that Goethe was consenting. I don't think e wanted to join the contest." But
e was making statements that were _clearly_ intended to invoke the ATB
notification list. I could say, "The rules are ambiguous enough that I will
use the other factors in making my judgement." If the statement were "Kelly
is a contestant in ATB", I might be mroe tempted to go down that path.

        I recognize that this will probably not be a popular ruling. But I
urge Agorans to consider that the judgement system is here to enforce and
disambiguate the rules. It is not here, IMHO as a crutch for when we screw
up the ruleset. If we wanted a system where people couldn't do these
scammish, sneaky things when the rules are flawed, the judgement rules would
prioritze "the good of the game" above legality. I think that would be too
bad. Above all, whether this judgement gets appealed or not, I suggest that
someone more talented than I draft a fix for the Contest rules, or perhaps
to 1617 or 1513. I'd be willing to pay the distribution cost, as I'm still
in my grace period and can recoup the papyrus.

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Judge solublefish's Evidence:

 Rule 1617/1 (Power=1)
 Changing the Jurisdiction of an Organization's SLC

       The Jurisdiction of an Organization's SLC shall only be changed
       in accordance with that SLC and with the Rules.  If there are no
       provisions for changing such an SLC, then the SLC can not be
       changed.

       No Player shall ever be made part of the Jurisdiction of the SLC
       of any Organization without eir consent.  This takes precedence
       over any Rule that would permit a Player to be involuntarily
       made part of the Jurisdiction of such a SLC.

Rule 1513/4 (Power=1)
Authority of Non-Rule Entities

      The Rules may grant to certain entities the power to require
      Players to perform (or refrain from performing) actions.  Such
      Entities shall have whatever power is granted to them by the
      Rules.  In the event that the requirements of such an Entity
      conflicts with the Rules, the Rules shall always take
      precedence.

      If two or more such Entities conflict with one another, then the
      relative precedence of the respective Rules which grant coercive
      Power to the Entities in conflict shall determine which
      requirements take precedence.  If two or more Entities
      authorized by the same Rule conflict, then the Entity mentioned
      first in that Rule takes precedence over the others.

      No entity (including any body of text) may require a Player to
      perform or refrain from performing any action unless that
      Player has previously been provided with the information of
      which actions may be required of or prohibited em by that
      entity.



The Agora the Beautiful Contest ACO
(message submitted to the Public Forum by Tim, delimited by ####):
####
Notary Razl,
 This is an ACO (Application to Create an Organization).
 I hereby create the following Organization, Class Contest, entitled "Agora
the Beautiful".
 I am the Contestmaster of this Contest.
 The Regulations (SLC) of the contest are the "- - - - -" delimited text
below.

- - - - -
 Agora the Beautiful Contest Regulations
  1.    Agora the Beautiful is stable
    a. The Regulations of this contest may not be changed.
    b. The Contestmaster of the Agora the Beautiful Contest may not change
    c. A Contestant of the Agora the Beautiful Contest may not cease being a
Contestant until the Contest has ended.
  2.    Ending the Contest
    At any time the Contestmaster of Agora the Beautiful may announce Intent
to Dissolve the Contest.  This Contest dissolves three days after the
Contestmaster's announcement of Intent to Dissolve. All players who are
Secondary Contestants at the time of the announcement are required to
transfer one Indulgence to the Contestmaster within three days of the
announcement of Intent to Dissolve the Contest.  Any Secondary Contestant
who fails to do so gains 2 Blots.
  3.    Entering the Contest
    a. Any Active Player of Agora may become a Secondary Contestant of the
Agora the Beautiful Contest by notifying the Contestmaster (no Entry Fee is
required).  The Notification list (Section 4 of the regulations) is a list
of valid ways in which players may notify the Contestmaster of their desire
to become a Secondary Contestant.  Such Notifications may be posted to any
Public Forum or to the agora-discussion mailing list.
    b. Any Active Player of Agora who is not a Secondary Contestant of the
Agora the Beautiful contest may become a Primary Contestant of the Agora the
Beautiful contest by stating the desire to do so.  A Primary Contestant of
Agora the Beautiful may become a Secondary Contestant by notifying the
Contestmaster in one of the valid ways listed in the Notification List.
Such Notifications may be posted to any Public Forum or to the
agora-discussion mailing list.
    c. Both Primary and Secondary Contestants are Contestants of the Agora
the Beautiful contest.
  4.    The Notification List
    a.  Any demand of or request for an apology
    b.  Any claim that a player has insulted another player
    c.  Any threat of leaving the game of Agora in response to some game
situation
    d.  Any insult of the intelligence or character of a player
- - - - -

 I sign this application.
- Tim
####

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