==============================  CFJ 1357  ==============================

    If rule 1467 were repealed, currencies would still be properties.

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Caller:                                 Maud
Barred:                                 root

Judge:                                  Sir Toby
Judgement:                              TRUE

Appeal:                                 1357a
Decision:                               SUSTAIN

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History:

Called by Maud:                         29 Apr 2002 02:32:29 GMT
Assigned to Sir Toby:                   05 May 2002 19:20:16 GMT
Judged TRUE by Sir Toby:                06 May 2002 23:42:02 GMT
Appealed by root:                       07 May 2002 04:48:50 GMT
Appealed by Maud:                       07 May 2002 04:58:27 GMT
Appealed by Sir Toby:                   07 May 2002 13:04:39 GMT
Appeal 1357a:                           07 May 2002 13:04:39 GMT
SUSTAINED on Appeal:                    16 May 2002 23:09:48 GMT

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Caller's Arguments:

The only rule that indicates what currencies are, besides placing
additional requirements on them, is rule 1467.  However, proposal
4018 (Property and Democracy) indicates that currencies are a type
of property.

Comments:

Proposal 4018 is approximately 900 lines long.  Therefore, I will
include only the relevant text from the proposal and a URL at which
the entire proposal may be found.

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Caller's Evidence:

1.  Rule 1467
2.  Excerpt from proposal 4018
3.  URL at which proposal 4018 may be found

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1.  Rule 1467

Rule 1467/7 (Power=1)
Definition of a Currency

      A Currency is a category of entities established by the Rules.
      Each instance of a Currency is a Property. Instances of a given
      Currency are fungible. The size of a single instance, or
      "unit", of a given Currency is its Minimum Unit Quantity (MUQ).
      Individual units of a Currency cannot be divided; therefore,
      the final result of all computations involving numbers of units
      of Currency shall be rounded off to the nearest integral
      multiple of its MUQ.

      Unless otherwise specified, the MUQ of a Currency is one (1).

      Since units of Currency are fungible, it is not necessary for
      the Recordkeepor of a Currency to track the individual
      ownership of each unit; rather, it is sufficient to maintain a
      record of the total number of units possessed by each entity
      which possesses any number of units of that Currency.

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2.  Excerpt from proposal 4018

A new concept, Property, is introduced. Currencies are a type of
Property. The reason for creating Property is that there is really
nothing about the transfer and debt rules that is specific to
Currencies.

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3.  URL at which proposal 4018 may be found

http://www.escribe.com/games/agora-official/m196.html

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Judge Sir Toby's Arguments:

        When I first read over this CFJ, I wasn't sure what it was trying
to accomplish. I thought it was an odd hypothetical question to consider.
I was perplexed by the inclusion of proposal 4018 as evidence by the
caller. In order to help clarify these issues for me, I issued a
proto-judgement to agora-discussion and started a brief discussion about
this CFJ.

        Although not direcly specified in the CFJ itself, I now understand
the crux of the caller's argument to be that proposals have "standing
invisible effects". In particular, the caller identified comments within
proposal 4018 that could possibly have an effect on resolving the question
at hand.

        When attempting to answer the question at hand, I am directed to
rule 217 which specifies which items are to direct my judgement. I argue
that the possible standing invisible effects of proposal 4018 can have an
effect on my judgement, under the provisions of "other standards", as set
forth in rule 217. However, "other standards" can only be used after all
of the other items listed have been used.

        Now, onto the issue of deciding the question. I first look to the
rules for guidance. In this case, I must consider the hypothetical state
of the ruleset if rule 1467 were to be repealed. In this state of affairs,
currencies are no longer directly declared to be property. In looking over
the rules discussing currencies, it becomes clear that several rules
assume that currencies are property. One may argue that what the rules
assume to be true must be true, but for the sake of argument we'll say
that there is enough ambiguity in place to look beyond the rules for
answering the question.

        Onto game custom. I'm still a relative newcomer here, but I'll
take a shot at it. Agorans tend to live by the word of the rules. No
assumptions are taken as truth. Ambiguity is resolved by Calling For
Judgement until the issue is reolved. No help there.

        Onto commonsense. My commonsense tells me that the sheer number of
rules assuming that currencies are property indicates that this might be a
safe assumption to take as truth.

        Onto past Judgements. I am not currently aware of past judgements
along these lines. Unfortunately I don't have time to search through past
judgements for something relevant.

        Onto the best interests of the game. If this hypothetical
situation were to come to pass, and this CFJ were to be judged false, it
seems lots more ambiguity would arise. What would currencies be exactly?
What do all the rules assuming currencies to be property actually mean?
The sheer number of issues to resolve is enough to convince me that it's
in the best interests of the game for currency to be assumed to be
property.

        After all that, if there was still any doubt in my mind about how
to judge this CFJ, I would then apply "other standards". Those standards
would very likely include the invisible standing effects of proposal 4018.
Since the caller deemed it important enough to include it as evidence, I
would certainly evaluate its effect on the case.

        However, in this particular case, I did not need to evaluate the
standing invisible effects of proposal 4018. After evaluating the rules, I
felt there was sufficient reasons to assume that currencies are property.
After taking into account commonsense, I am even more convinced of this.
After considering the best interests of the game, I saw no reason to
continue further into "other standards".

        To support my claim that the rules assume currencies to be
property in the absence of rule 1467, I submit the following argument:

        Rule 1942 specifies that "a property is an entity which the rules
permit to be possessed by another entity." There are tons of rules that
talk about currencies. Several of them refer to owning or possessing
currencies. One example is rule 1471 governing the creation and
destruction of units of currency. For minting units of currencies, it
states that "the newly created units are added to the Mintor's
possessions." For destroying units of currencies, it states that "the
units destroyed are removed from the possession of the entity performing
the destruction." I'm certain more examples of currencies being owned by
entities can be found. However, just one example should be sufficient to
answer this CFJ.

        I submit the following logic:
           Property is an entity that can be owned by another entity.
           Currency is something that can be owned by another entity.
           Therefore, currency is property.

        If that is insufficient, I also offer this argument:

        Rule 1853 specifies a procedure for levying taxes of various
currencies. When taxed, an entity incurs a debt in that currency. Part of
Rule 1596 defines a debt as "an obligation arising under the Rules for one
entity (the "debtor") to make a transfer of one or more Properties to some
other entity (the "creditor").

        I submit the following logic:
           Only property can be the subject of a debt.
           Currencies can be the subject of a debt.
           Therefore, currency is property.

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Judge Sir Toby's Evidence:

Rule 217/3 (Power=1)
Judgements Must Accord with the Rules

      All Judgements must be in accordance with the Rules; however,
      if the Rules are silent, inconsistent, or unclear on the
      Statement to be Judged, then the Judge shall consider game
      custom, commonsense, past Judgements, and the best interests of
      the game before applying other standards.

Rule 1942/2 (Power=1)
Property

      A property is an entity which the rules permit to be possessed
      by another entity.  The term "possess" refers to the legal
      status of possessing a property; the terms "possessor" and
      "owner" are synonyms, as are "possess" and "own".  Individual
      properties may not be created or destroyed, or their ownership
      changed, except in accordance with the rules.

      Each property shall have a recordkeepor, which is a player
      required to maintain a record of who owns that property.  The
      Treasuror is the recordkeepor for each property that would
      otherwise have no recordkeepor.

      If one of the official duties of an officer is to be the
      recordkeepor of a property, then eir Weekly Report shall include
      this record and any changes thereto since the last posting of
      eir Report.

Rule 1471/2 (Power=1)
Creation and Destruction of Units of Currency

      New units of a Currency are created when the Mintor of that
      Currency transmits to the Recordkeepor of that Currency a notice
      that e is creating new units of that Currency, specifying the
      number of units that e is creating.  The newly created units are
      added to the Mintor's possessions.

      Units of Currency are destroyed when any entity which possesses
      units of that Currency transmits to the Recordkeepor of that
      Currency a notice that e is destroying units of that Currency,
      specifying the number of units that e is destroying.  An entity
      cannot destroy more units of a Currency than e possesses,
      however.  The units destroyed are removed from the possession of
      the entity performing the destruction.

Rule 1853/8 (Power=1)
Levying Taxes

      Taxes may be levied only by an Officer explicitly permitted by
      the Rules to do so.

      An Officer levies a tax by announcing that e does so, and
      specifying:

        (1) The Currency being taxed.
        (2) The percentage of the tax.
        (3) Any exemptions applying to the tax.
        (4) The Rule authorizing em to levy the tax.

      Upon such an announcement, each taxable entity becomes liable to
      the Bank for a debt equal to the specified percentage of eir
      taxable holdings of that Currency at the time of the
      announcement.  As soon as possible after this happens, the
      Recordkeepor of that Currency shall publish a report listing
      each entity's holdings of that Currency as of the time of the
      announcement.

      All entities are taxable, except for:

        (a) the Bank
        (b) all Rebellious Players who were Rebellious at the time the
            intent to levy was published
        (c) entities explicitly specified by the Rule authorizing the
            levy as tax-exempt for that levy

      All Currency holdings are taxable, except for holdings
      explicitly specified by the Rule authorizing the levy as
      tax-exempt for that levy.

      The percentage of the tax may not exceed 50%, unless the Rule
      authorizing the levy explicitly permits it to do so.

Rule 1596/8 (Power=1) [Section (a) only]
Debt

      (a) A "debt" is an obligation arising under the Rules for one
          entity (the "debtor") to make a transfer of one or more
          Properties to some other entity (the "creditor").

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Appellant root's Arguments:

[initial text]
The point of the CFJ was to determine whether standing invisible effects
of Proposals can arise under the Rules.  If they can, then I would say that
the Rules are clear as to how this CFJ should be judged.  Therefore, this
should be the first point examined, IMO.

[deciding the question]
Just because some Rules seem to "assume" that something is true does not
mean that the Rules declare that thing to be true.  At best this allows
you to declare a state of inclarity, as you do, but even that is sketchy.
I believe this topic has come up before, in the discussions surrounding
the Zombie crisis from last August.  I'm aware that you weren't around
then, and I'll see if I can dig that up.

[game custom]
[commonsense]
Again, I disagree.

[past Judgements]
[best interests of the game]
You seem to be finding that the highly unlikely possibility described by the
Statement (that, for some reason, Rule 1467 might be repealed, with no other
changes) is more of a threat to the game than the real possibility that
forgotten clauses from forgotten proposals over the past few years are
still in effect, disturbing the gamestate.  I disagree with this view.

[final text]
Again, I argue that what you label "other standards" should follow directly
from the Rules and so be the first evidence considered.

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Appellant Maud's Arguments:

I don't necessarily agree anymore that the judge should have answered
the question of whether standing invisible effects, well, stand, since
that wasn't what the statement explicitly was about (although the
arguments were).  However, the basis for the judgement appears to be the
claim that whatever the rules assume to be, is, which is false.

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Appellant Sir Toby's Arguments:

        Well, for one, I just want to see if I can appeal my own
judgement.

        But, more importantly, it seems that several people want to see
this treated more in depth, or at least differently, than the treatment I
gave it. I also want to see what the appeals process will make of it.

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