==============================  CFJ 1882  ==============================

    watcher is a Player


Caller:                                 omd

Judge:                                  woggle
Judgement:                              TRUE

Appeal:                                 1882a
Decision:                               REMAND

Judge:                                  woggle
Judgement:                              TRUE



Called by omd:                          25 Jan 2008 03:55:47 GMT
Assigned to woggle:                     25 Jan 2008 04:02:07 GMT
Judged TRUE by woggle:                  29 Jan 2008 16:48:02 GMT
Appealed by Zefram:                     29 Jan 2008 17:01:03 GMT
Appealed by Taral:                      29 Jan 2008 22:24:40 GMT
Appealed by pikhq:                      29 Jan 2008 22:31:16 GMT
Appeal 1882a:                           29 Jan 2008 22:38:05 GMT
REMANDED on Appeal:                     30 Jan 2008 22:43:08 GMT
Assigned to woggle:                     30 Jan 2008 23:00:31 GMT
Judged TRUE by woggle:                  05 Feb 2008 19:28:14 GMT


Judge woggle's Arguments:

There are two seperate issues here:
(1) Whether the entity with the e-mail address celestialcognition@gmail.com
(henceforth Pavitra) successfully registered;
(2) Whether watcher is a valid way of referring to em.

On issue (1):
The exact text of Pavitra's relevant announcement is:
I request to be registered as a "watcher".
If the above causes me to be registered as a player, then I switch my
posture to Leaning.


R869's define the verb "to be registered" and, since there is no other
rule-recognized defintion, its definition should take precedence per R754.
Thus, the message in fact announces in the R869 sense that Pavitra "requests
registration", which is sufficient to cause Pavitra to attempt to register in
the R754 sense. Pavitra's awareness that e might become a player through this
statement suggests that there is no need to attempt to find other meanings
of "to be registered" though the modifier 'as a "watcher"' seems not to make
sense in context. All indications are that Pavitra is a first-class  person,
and there is no record of Pavitra being prohibited from registering by an
active sentence of EXILE or by having deregistered by announcement in the
past 30 days, thus this registration was effective.

There is some evidence that (despite eir awareness of the possiblity) Pravita
did not intend to become a player. This might be seen to create a R101 issue,
since per R2171, the registration process is to preserve player's rights as
if entering the rules were a binding agreement. Problematically, every
relevant rule here takes precedence over R2171, so R2171's declaration cannot
make ineffective R869's process for registration in spite of R101's
requirement for "explicit and willful consent" to become party to a binding
agreement. Ignoring R2171, the rules cannot constitute a binding agreement
that is joined by becoming a player as they (as far as the rules themselves
are concerned) are equally binding on players as non-players. (This is
especially relevant in this case as Pravita is party to an R2145 agreement
and thus was already subject to some obligations under the rules.)

On issue (2):
"watcher" is a valid way of referring to Pavitra because eir announcement of
registration can be reasonably interpreted as requesting the
nickname "watcher".

Thus the question is whether "watcher" is ambiguous -- perhaps designating one
or more of the (non-rule-recognized) "watchers" that appear in the
Registrar's report. The statement's use of "watcher" clearly implies that it
is intended to name an single, unique entity. Since the
Registrar-recognized "Watcher" is an unofficial title or position and not a
name and since there are many watchers unofficially recognized by the
Registrar, this usage cannot be reasonably attributed as referring to those
watchers. Thus, the Registrar report watchers do not create sufficient
ambiguity to require a judgement of UNDETERMINED.


Appellant Zefram's Arguments:

>R869's define the verb "to be registered" and, since there is no other
>rule-recognized defintion, its definition should take precedence per R754.

Per R754 that definition applies *by default*.

>                      though the modifier 'as a "watcher"' seems not to make
>sense in context.

It makes perfect sense as a modifier to make "register" refer to
something other than the default (registration as a player), specifically
to refer to listing in the registrar's report as a watcher.  You have
completely omitted to address whether such modifying clauses can overcome
a rule-supplied default meaning.

>           this usage cannot be reasonably attributed as referring to those
>watchers. Thus, the Registrar report watchers do not create sufficient
>ambiguity to require a judgement of UNDETERMINED.

You've completely omitted to address whether there is adequate basis
for the word "watcher", when used as a singular proper name, to refer
to any particular entity.


Appellant pikhq's Arguments:

I SUPPORT, recommending a) remand to woggle b) woggle, please proto this. :p


Gratuitous Evidence by Pavitra:

I wrote the first line intending to be listed as a watcher. Upon reading it,
however, I realized its ambiguity due to the use of "register". I probably
could have changed it, but (as I considered that paradox is the soul of any
good nomic) I, reflecting that I was equally prepared or unprepared to
interact with Agora either as a player or as a watcher, chose instead to
leave the sentence as it was, and proceeded to add the second line in for
good measure.


Judge woggle's Arguments:

Examining Pavitra's message in the context of the panel's concerns, I must
examine what effect the modifier 'as a "watcher"' as upon Pavitra's alleged
message of registration. There are several plausible interpretations:
(1) Pavitra intends to be unofficial recognized as a Watcher in the next
unofficial Registrar's report;
(2) Pavitra intends to be known as watcher (or as 'a "watcher"');
(3) Pavitra is merely acknowledging that e is currently a watcher of the game
and that eir interest is registering is dervied from this status;

Because of Pavitra's admission that e might become registered by the
message -- and a definite attempt to participate (by setting eir posture to
leaning) in that case -- interpretation (1) is not as believable as it would
ordinarily be.

Because watcher is quoted (2) is an especially plausible interpretation in
this case (though this can also be used to support interpretation (1) as a
indicating a lack of familiarity with termionlogy). The use of 'a' obviously
makes it less plausible but can be excused a simple typo or as an attempt to
be known by the literal nickname 'a "watcher"' or 'a watcher'. Perhaps the
best argument against this interpretation is that E signed eir message
Pavitra and not watcher; however, there is no restriction against players
holding two or more nicknames.

Interpretation (3) would be more plausible if 'as a "watcher"' were somewhat
parenthetical and didn't seem to then be a misplaced modifier under this

Both (2) and (3) are, however, made more plausible by the game custom of
supplying a nickname when registering.

Because interpretation (2) and (3) are sufficiently plausible (and it is not
very clear that interpretation (1) was intended) and defined in a rule, I
choose to favor the message causing Pavitra to register. This is the only
choice consistent with the spirit of R754 and the general principle that the
rules remain supreme. Allowing otherwise would be allowing a
non-rule-recognized game custom to override what would otherwise be a fairly
straightforward interpration given the rules by themselves. (If there were no
evidence of a listing-watchers game custom, "I register as a watcher" would
almost certainly be considered a player-registration due to R869's
definition.) It would be far less surprising to allow "I register as a
watcher" to work as its writers would probably intend; however, given the
rules' definition of "register" with a rather different meaning than the
ordinary-language term, this cannot be supported without generally allowing
the plain text of the rules to be subverted by game custom.

Zefram has put forward the argument that "register as a watcher" is a
different term, and thus not subject the R754's default definition. I believe
that "register as a watcher", in the game custom usage, is most plausibly
interpreted as an attempt to use the ordinary-language term "register",
modified by the adverbial phrase "as a watcher". (The relevant
ordinary-language definition is in this case "To enter oneself or have one's
name recorded in a list of people (freq. as a legal requirement), as being of
a specified category or having a particular eligibility or entitlement."
(OED).) This yields exactly the game custom definition of "register as a
watcher". This is unlike genuinely multiple word terms such as "run out" in
the sense of coming to the end of one's resources. There, the
ordinary-language definitions of the parts obviously do not suffice to create
the ordinary-language definition of the larger unit.


As for H. Appeleate Panelist Goethe's arguments, I do not believe that R101's
- Hide quoted text -
requirement of consent applies to becoming bound by the rules. The rules are
not a binding contract (they are not structured as one, they are not
adjucated as one), and as I discussed in my original arguments R2171's
attempts to make them into a binding contract for R101 purposes are
ineffective due to precedence. Even if they do trigger consent conditions
under R101, this does not apply in this case because Pavitra was already
materially subject through the rules through the binding public rule-governed
contract the Perl Nomic Parntership and because Pavitra provided some consent
in this message. The only issue is whether eir consent was willful. Eir later
statements about eir intent in registering explicit state that e believed eir
message would cause em to become a player. Given this belief, and eir prior
knowledge of the rules from having previous been a player, this is no reason
to believe that eir consent was not explicit and willful.

Regarding the game custom that it be easy for players to register H. Goethe
mentions, I believe this is enshrined in the very explicit defintion
of "register" of R869 (as well as the many accepted forms of announcement of
registration in R869). That Pavitra in fact registers in this case is a side
effect of how this game custom has become enshrined in the rules.


H. Levi asks me to consider whether the message did not register a player
called 'watcher' but did register a player. I do believe that Pavitra
intended to be known as Pavitra, but because interpratation (2) was plausible
and there was no other referrent for 'watcher' as in this CFJ's
statement, 'watcher' was an unambiguous way of referring to em. As long as
they are unambiguous, nicknames chosen for players need not be chosen by or
even consented to by the players themselves.

I judge CFJ 1882 TRUE.