==============================  CFJ 1980  ==============================

    comex CAN initiate an equity case concerning the Gnarlier Contract


Caller:                                 ais523

Judge:                                  omd
Judgement:                              UNDECIDABLE



Called by ais523:                       29 May 2008 17:12:48 GMT
Assigned to omd:                        30 May 2008 07:35:17 GMT
Judged UNDECIDABLE by omd:              03 Jun 2008 20:28:45 GMT


Caller's Arguments:

See my arguments on CFJ 1975. That particular CFJ was
judged FALSE due to rule 2197. However, whether a non-party can
initiate an equity case depends on whether the contract is a pledge,
and this depends on my gnarlierness, which I don't know; initiating
an equity case is also not affected by rule 2197, as it is not a
Contract Change. To repeat my arguments: TRUE and FALSE are both
inappropriate, because my gnarlierness is unknown (and ehird's, being
slippier, is definitely not mixier, so my gnarlierness is the only
one that matters here), IRRELEVANT is inappropriate because for all I
know, comex might want to initiate an equity case, and anyway whether
e does or not the knowledge of whether e can is relevant to the game,
and so only UNDETERMINED or UNDECIDABLE can be appropriate. I feel
that UNDETERMINED is inappropriate because the lack of knowledge of
my gnarlierness depends on the interpretation of the rules (for
instance, if there were a rule "Whenever an exiled entity is ever
not a player, e is registered", it would cause the same sort of
trigger loop as this one, and interpretation of those rules would
determine whether the entity in question were a party. UNDECIDABLE is
appropriate, however; the statement is not capable of being accurately
described as either true or false because it depends on unknown and
unknowable information.


Caller's Evidence:

the following message (heh, a legitimate reason to top-
-----Original Message-----
From: agora-business-admin@agoranomic.org on behalf of Alexander Smith
Sent: Thu 29/05/2008 18:00
To: agora-business@agoranomic.org
Subject: BUS: RE: Salvaging the Gnarly Contract

I hereby publish the text and membership of the Gnarlier Contract,
a public contract:

1. This is a public contract.

2. This is a pledge if and only if the gnarlierness of any of its
parties is mixier.

3. Any player CAN join this contract by announcement.

4. There is a property associated with each party to this contract,
known as eir gnarlierness; it acts much like a switch possessed by
parties to this contract with values in the set {slippier, spikier,
twistier, mixier}, with slippier being the default. (It is not a
switch because it is not defined by the rules, and it is not tracked
by an officer.) A party's gnarlierness CAN be flipped as described
in this contract, and by this contract, and CANNOT be flipped except
as allowed by this contract.

5. Any party to this contract may flip eir gnarlierness to either
slippier or twistier by announcement.

6. Whenever a party's gnarlierness becomes twistier (including, but
not limited to, being flipped to twistier), it is flipped to mixier.

7. Whenever a party's gnarlierness becomes mixier (including, but
not limited to, being flipped to mixier), it is flipped to spikier.

8. Whenever a party's gnarliness becomes spikier (including, but
not limited to, being flipped to spikier), it is flipped to twistier.

9. A party CAN leave this contract by announcement.
Membership: ais523, ehird.

I flip my gnarlierness to twistier.


Judge omd's Arguments:

The Gnarlier Contract does create a paradox that, were it in the
rules, would definitely deserve a Win by Paradox.  The issue is
whether the contract is, in fact, allowed to state something like:

6. Whenever a party's gnarlierness becomes twistier (including, but
not limited to, being flipped to twistier), it is flipped to mixier.

and have that actually happen.

Contracts certainly cannot take infinite game actions, by CFJ 1584.
But flipping some internal gamestate is not a game action.

By Justice Pavrita's arguments in the appeal of CFJ 1936, contracts
are at heart a primordial thing that, while perhaps governed by the
rules, are at some lowest level external to them.  The Rules could
perhaps restrict the type of gamestates contracts can keep (although I
don't support this), but without any specification of this, it should
be assumed that contracts can keep whatever vague or ambiguous
gamestate they like, just like a foreign nomic.  (Indeed, we have had
instances of foreign nomics proposing rules which make them Agoran

I propose that, for the good of the game, contracts should keep that
right (which I judge they do presently have) to have paradoxical or
ambiguous gamestates.  Any Rule that depends upon a contract's
gamestate (e.g. the Pledges rule, or allowing partnerships to take
actions) should require that the gamestate be unambiguously in
whatever state is required (i.e. claiming to be a pledge).  They
presently do not, "escalating" a contract ambiguity into a Rules
ambiguity.  It's not just that these paradoxes shouldn't become
tortoises; they shouldn't be allowed to create a Rules ambiguity at

Since tortoises have to remain such for two weeks, it is worth noting
that (if passed) a prompt proposal could eliminate any Win by Paradox
resulting from this case.

Now, I don't agree with Judge Pavrita's quantum theory from eir
judgement of CFJ 1936.  I don't think contracts should be allowed to
force us to make such complicated and arbitrary interpretations of
such concepts as time.  Instead, I think the Gnarlier Contract's
switches are simply in an undefined state.  This makes UNDECIDABLE a
clear-cut appropriate judgement.

But from Rule 591:
     * UNDETERMINED, appropriate if the statement is nonsensical or
       too vague, or if the information available to the judge is
       insufficient to determine which of the FALSE, TRUE, and
       UNDECIDABLE judgements is appropriate; however, uncertainty as
       to how to interpret or apply the rules cannot constitute
       insufficiency of information for this purpose

I am uncertain as to how to interpret and apply the Gnarlier Contract.
 The statement about uncertainty as to how to interpret or apply the
rules implies that uncertainty as to how to interpret and apply
*something* COULD potentially be an insufficiency of information worth
an UNDETERMINED judgement, as long as it is not the rules.  The
Gnarlier Contract is not the rules, so UNDETERMINED is also


The fact is that, as a bug in the Rules that must be patched with a
Proposal, the ability of contracts to engineer Rules paradoxes is a
valid scam.  The scamsters should not be deprived of their Win by


Gratuitous Arguments by omd:

Correction: the aforementioned "quantum theory" is from eir judgement
of CFJs 1975-6.  My other reference to CFJ 1936 was correct.