==============================  CFJ 1813  ==============================

    The AFO won the game as a result of comex's message with Message-ID
    <6bf32280711281839g6adde4a4wdf21f00d231c776b@mail.gmail.com>.

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Caller:                                 root

Judge:                                  G.
Judgement:                              FALSE

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History:

Called by root:                         29 Nov 2007 22:01:26 GMT
Assigned to G.:                         29 Nov 2007 22:10:14 GMT
Judged FALSE by G.:                     06 Dec 2007 18:18:43 GMT

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Caller's Arguments:

comex announced 104 (allegedly -- I haven't counted them myself)
identical actions, each attempting to spend 0 VCs in order to decrease
the AFO's VVLOP by -1.

comex did not specify any colors for the 0 VCs e attempted to spend,
but I argue that this does not matter, since the number of distinct
colors in a set of 0 VCs must be 0.

I argue that "spend 0 VCs" is a non sequitur; no VCs are spent, and so
no action is performed.  I recall there being a precedent on this
topic, but I've been unable to dig it up.

I argue that "decrease by -1" is also a non sequitur; there is no way
to modify an integer value such that it is decreased and such that the
amount it is reduced by is -1.

pikhq's announcement was similar, but each action read "decreate"
rather than "decrease".  I argue that this difference is meaningless
per Rule 754(i).

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Gratuitous Arguments by root:

Oh, and I have one other gratuitous argument that I neglected to
include when I initiated the case.  Rule 2134/1, which empowers the
win, does not refer to VVLOP but rather to "voting limit on ordinary
proposals".  Since there are three different kinds of "voting limit on
ordinary proposals" (VVLOP, EVLOP, BVLOP), it is not clear which of
those (or, perhaps, the sum of all three) is to be used in determining
the win.

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Judge G.'s Arguments:

CFJ 1813 judgement:

The relevant portion of R2126 is:
      c) A player may spend N+1 VCs of different colors to decrease
         another player's VVLOP by N (to a minimum of zero).

There is nothing limiting the choice of values for the letter N (or any other)
in R2126(c).  However, the choice of N must result in an action that isn't
otherwise forbidden.  For example, if the outcome results the transfer of a
negative or fractional asset object, it can't be performed.

By choosing an N of -1, there is an attempt to "spend 0 VCs" and "decrease
VVLOP by -1".  Both of parts of this must be possible. Are they?

In the old currency fee-based rules, fees were paid by transfers, and a
transfer explicitly had to transfer "one or more" objects (R1598/12).  So
attempts to transfer 0 weren't transfers, so 0 fees couldn't be paid.  This
was true at the time of precedents in CFJs 1456-1459.  This is no longer true,
so these precedents no longer apply.  In fact, the later Rule governing fees
(R1941/2) explicitly allowed fees to be 0 by allowing any "non-negative" cost.
So in terms of "spending 0 VCs", old rules support either interpretation, and
current rules are silent. CFJ 1444 precedent (on dependent actions, which are
regulated similarly and the only still-relevant precedent) implies this is
possible.  Since it's not forbidden to spend 0 VCs, it's possible to perform
an action in this manner.

What about "decreasing by -1"? There is nothing restricting VLOPs to
non-negative.  There is some implication that they should be real numbers in
R2156.  There is a slight implication they should be non-negative in R683, but
it is not compelling (the N in R683 could be 0 for any VLOP < 0). They are not
assets, but rather "parameters" which are implied to have integral values but
not restricted. Therefore, there is nothing forbidding specifying operations
on VLOP using negative numbers.

But the term "decrease" needs some interpretation.  Arguments have been
supplied in discussion that it is meaningless to "decrease" something by a
negative amount.  In fact, a googling of a linkage of "decrease" and negative
terms only yields one context in which the terms are meaningful together.
That occurs where an amount of something is decreased, but that something has
a negative property. For example, a "decrease in negative ions" in a solution
results in positive increase in charge, but that comes about through removing
a positive number of negative ions.  Once the charge reach zero (there are no
more negative ions), one can't raise the charge by removing more imaginary
negative ions; at this point, one must add positive ions.  If we followed this
model, we might allow players to "decrease the negativity" of VVLOP while the
VVLOP itself was in negative territory, but not to increase it into positive
territory.

The complication is that VVLOP is a "parameter" which is implied to be a
number.  As a pure mathematical quantity, it can be seen as a sum of an
arbitrary set of +1's and -1's, and in fact, there is no reasonable reason not
to allow this abstraction, we are encouraged by the Rules to use mathematical
abstractions by R754(3), and in fact by defining VVLOP as a "parameter" and
not an asset, the legislative intent is biased towards such mathematical
abstractions. In this context, it is quite possible to remove ("decrease") a
certain number of -1's from the equation, if such a thing is done by a
mechanism specifically allowed by the Rules, such as in 2126(c). If VVLOP were
defined as a type of asset, this would not be possible.  But as a parameter,
it may even be considered the sum of a set, so it is possible.

Let me state for possible appeals this is a judge's reasonable interpretation
where the rules are unclear, and so hopefully should be sustainable even if an
argument can be constructed for the other position.

root wrote:
> Oh, and I have one other gratuitous argument that I neglected to
> include when I initiated the case.  Rule 2134/1, which empowers the
> win, does not refer to VVLOP but rather to "voting limit on ordinary
> proposals".  Since there are three different kinds of "voting limit on
> ordinary proposals" (VVLOP, EVLOP, BVLOP), it is not clear which of
> those (or, perhaps, the sum of all three) is to be used in determining
> the win.

R683 states:
      Among the otherwise-valid votes on an Agoran decision, only the
      first N submitted by each entity are valid, where N is the
      entity's voting limit on that decision.
which means that R2134 "voting limit" refers to the EVLOP, not the VVLOP.
At the time of this CFJ, EVLOP of the AFO is not such that it allows a
win, so the result is FALSE.  Note that since the message in question
will "lead to" a win when EVLOP is set to VVLOP, the same CFJ statement
called after the week ends at the end of December 2, 2007 will yield
TRUE (unless the VVLOP in question changes in the meantime).

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Gratuitous Arguments by G.:

I'll add in passing that if VVLOP was even defined as a "number" or "integer"
or something, I'd forbid the action.  But defining it as a "parameter", where
"parameter" is not rules-defined and very broad in its common and mathematical
definitions, opens the door to all sorts of mathematical and semantic
abstractions (e.g. sets) being performed on it, only limited by the context of
the mechanisms allowing the changes.

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