==============================  CFJ 1840  ==============================

    WALRUS is a player.

========================================================================

Caller:                                 pikhq

Judge:                                  Murphy
Judgement:                              TRUE

Appeal:                                 1840a
Decision:                               REASSIGN


Judge:                                  Zefram
Judgement:                              FALSE

========================================================================

History:

Called by pikhq:                        20 Dec 2007 00:38:57 GMT
Assigned to Murphy:                     20 Dec 2007 03:40:16 GMT
Judged TRUE by Murphy:                  20 Dec 2007 07:31:04 GMT
Appealed by Taral:                      20 Dec 2007 17:18:00 GMT
Appealed by root:                       20 Dec 2007 17:24:47 GMT
Appealed by Zefram:                     20 Dec 2007 17:28:10 GMT
Appeal 1840a:                           20 Dec 2007 21:12:56 GMT
REASSIGNED on Appeal:                   31 Dec 2007 17:17:50 GMT
Assigned to Zefram:                     09 Jan 2008 18:34:19 GMT
Judged FALSE by Zefram:                 14 Jan 2008 15:46:08 GMT

========================================================================

Caller's Arguments:

Arguments for: It registered as such.
It is a private contract.
It qualifies as a partnership.
There is no requirement for it to be declared *as* a partnership.

For evidence, contact H. Notary Goethe about the WALRUS Contract.

========================================================================

Gratuitous Arguments by omd:

Its name is in all caps, and pikhq assumed that e is allowed to act on
behalf of it; for these reasons I implicitly assumed that it was a
partnership.  Perhaps pikhq might have done well to be more clear, but I
think Zefram is being overly pedantic in refusing to recognize WALRUS's
first attempt at registration, and subsequently questioning the validity
of this message:

> > WALRUS is a partnership between myself and avpx. Its governing contract
> > is private.
> >
> > If WALRUS is not already a player, it registers.
> > If WALRUS was not a player before this message, it submits the CFJs that
> > it would have submitted if it were a player before this message.
> > If WALRUS was not a player before this message, it submits the proposals
> > that it would have submitted if it were a player before this message.
> >
> > WALRUS sticks its tongue out at Zefram.
> > I pointedly do not do so.

whose intent was even more clear.  I note that complex conditional
statements are not usually accepted in Agora, so standing on its own I do
not think it could ever have any effect.  However, taken with the other
attempt at registration, of which only one existed, the message could be
taken as clear shorthand for "I do the same stuff as in my message with
message-id <blah>, quoting this now:"

========================================================================

Judge Murphy's Arguments:

I accept the caller's arguments (in the absence of evidence refuting
any of eir assertions) and judge TRUE.

========================================================================

Gratuitous Evidence by G.:

As Notary, I confirm that a partnership with at least two members, with
Pikhq as one member, and known as the WALRUS contract, existed from the
moment of this time/date stamp:  Date: Sun, 16 Dec 2007 16:55:09 -0700

========================================================================

Gratuitous Evidence by root:

On Dec 24, 2007 9:40 PM, Ed Murphy <emurphy42@socal.rr.com> wrote:
>  From context, Telescope is presumably a partnership with root as the
> front man.  Its playerhood depends on CFJ 1840.

I was hoping that somebody would make this presumption.  I might as
well reveal at this point that Telescope is, in fact, myself.

========================================================================

Judge Zefram's Arguments:

At the time of the attempted registration that this case is concerned
with, the word "WALRUS" had not been publicly defined to refer to any
single entity.  It could reasonably be interpreted as referring to
the aquatic mammal species that goes by that name, or to the Agoran
entities formerly defined by rule 818.  However, both of these are
classes of entities, and so inconsistent with the singular usage in
the attempted-registration message.  Thus no sense could be made of
the message if interpretation of proper nouns is restricted to require
definition before use.

It has been argued that, due to the context, "WALRUS" was implicitly
defined to refer to an otherwise-undisclosed partnership.  That is
certainly one interpretation that makes the attempted-registration message
make sense, but not the only one.  As root subsequently demonstrated,
the previously-undefined term could instead be an alias for a first-class
person.  If one insist only that the message make sense, and not that
it constitute a successful registration, the options are much wider:
the sentence would be meaningful with "WALRUS" defined to refer to any
specific entity whatsoever.

Implicit definition is a dangerous path to tread.  In addition to the
problem of deciding which implicit definition to use, it risks accidental
invocation, with extensive unintended consequences.  (Just ask a FORTRAN
programmer.)  It also makes the historical record more difficult to
follow.

I find that it is a matter of common sense, and also greatly to the good
of the game, that terms used in game messages must be reasonably defined
in order to mean anything.  Therefore the use of an undefined proper noun
as the subject of an attempted registration makes the message materially
unclear, and so ineffective.  I judge CFJ 1840 FALSE.

========================================================================