==============================  CFJ 2227  ==============================

    I created a pledge in the above quote from ##nomic.

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Caller:                                 Machiavelli

Judge:                                  ais523
Judgement:                              FALSE

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History:

Called by Machiavelli:                  15 Oct 2008 02:35:25 GMT
Assigned to ais523:                     16 Oct 2008 05:55:25 GMT
Judged FALSE by ais523:                 20 Oct 2008 09:29:55 GMT

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Caller's Arguments:

Sgeo's not-really-a-pledge was not in good faith;
my not-really-a-pledge was.

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Caller's Evidence:

A recent quote from ##nomic on freenode:

22:29 < ihope> I agree to the following: {This is a pledge. The Bell
of Opening, the Candelabrum of Invocation, the Book of
               the Dead, and the Amulet of Yendor are singleton
assets, known as Artifacts. Ownership of Artifacts is
               restricted to active players. On Agora's Birthday, if
the Speaker is the same person as e was on Agora's last
               Birthday, e can once transfer one of the Artifacts to
emself; this Artifact cannot be the Amulet of Yendor
               unless e possesses all three other Artifacts. If a
person possesses all four Artifacts and is the only
               Minister Without Portfolio, e CAN ascend by announcement.
22:29 < ihope> Oops, I didn't mean to agree to that.
22:29 < ihope> Therefore, it's not really a pledge.
22:29 < Sgeo> ..
22:29 < ihope> (I thought I had removed the "I agree to the following"
bit. And it probably got cut off anyway.)
22:29 < Sgeo> I didn't mean to agree to that pledge where you'd give
me stuff and I'd give you everything
22:30 < Sgeo> >.>
22:30 < ihope> Yes, but you didn't immediately make it clear that it
wasn't actually a pledge, and that you weren't intending
               to scam people.
22:30 < Sgeo> I was intending to scam people, via my belief that it
wasn't actually a pledge
22:30 < ihope> You were intending to scam people, in fact.
22:31 < ihope> So, not a pledge.

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Gratuitous Arguments by root:

I think this should be FALSE.  It would appear that either you're
telling the truth and you never intended it to be binding; or you're
lying, and your intent was to pretend to agree to it and then back out
in order to test it.  Either way, you never intended it to be binding.

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Gratuitous Arguments by ais523:

this is an obviously NetHack-themed pledge which
attempts to redefine 'ascend', possibly to scam ihope out of an
equation.

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Gratuitous Arguments by Machiavelli:

the equation requires that I "ascend in a nethack
game on NAO", which this obviously would not fulfill.

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Judge ais523's Arguments:

Looking at the caller's evidence, it is clear that no pledge has been
made here. The main issue here appears to be whether someone can
accidentally say something pledge-like on a random forum and have it
turned into an Agoran pledge, but there are several other things wrong
which makes that point moot:

      * Probably most importantly, there is no closing } of the
        purported pledge. As a result, the full text of the pledge was
        presumably never communicated in ##nomic; it would certainly be
        unreasonable to believe that everything said in that channel (or
        even everything said by Warrigal, I like the new name btw)
        constituted a pledge. (Incidentally, I've just said } in ##nomic
        just in case.)
      * Also, the preamble was "I agree to the following:". Although
        from context the pledge seems likely to have been an Agoran one,
        ##nomic has no particular association with Agora in particular
        (B Nomic, Canada (which is currently dead), and PerlNomic are
        also discussed there from time to time (Normish has its own
        channel)); although it is not possible to form a pledge with
        that wording in any of those three nomics at present, this is
        clearly just an accident of history, and nothing about the
        purported pledge identified itself as Agoran other than the
        wording used. I don't think that this is sufficiently
        unambiguous to constitute the creation of an Agoran contract.
      * Looking at the text of the purported contract, "Oops, I didn't
        mean to agree to that." appears to be inside the contract itself
        (probably because part of it got cut off), which arguably would
        cause the contract to have no legal force.
      * Finally, the main point of the case: posting a proto of a
        contract privately for discussion does not cause someone to
        agree to it. ##nomic is not currently an Agoran forum (although
        I have a current intention to change it to a DF). I can imagine
        a set of Scamsters privately circulating the text of a message
        that they intended to send to a PF at some point, and as long as
        there was an understanding in advance that everything in that
        message was not intended to be valid /yet/ it wouldn't matter.
        However, this argument does not necessarily apply; it depends on
        context as to whether the intention was to create a pledge, or
        to merely talk about the creation of a pledge. I have submitted
        the context in question as evidence in this case, and it doesn't
        give a clear indication either way; my immediate conclusion from
        reading it was that Warrigal intended to create a pledge to scam
        them out of the equation of CFJ 2119, in which case the pledge
        would presumably be valid, although if it were part of a scam
        Warrigal would presumably have sent it to a-b, as scams tend to
        be very careful except in the parts that they are testing.
        (Given Warrigal's track record, though, I can't be sure.) On the
        other hand, the chance that Warrigal was just messing around is
        also quite high, again given eir track record. I think on
        balance I'd probably rule that a pledge would have been created
        ("Pledge time." to me indicates an intent to create a pledge
        soon), were it not for the other problems, but that it's quite
        subjective and context-based whether a contract is in general
        created or not when someone attempts to do something that
        resembles agreeing to a contract, and must be taken on a
        case-by-case basis. The forum, the wording, and the
        understanding (or lack thereof) between the people involved in
        sending and receiving the messages are all important. In this
        case, pledges have been made in ##nomic before, and there was no
        indication at the time the pledge was purportedly made that it
        was not meant to be an agreement to a contract; also, there is
        no evidence that the other people in that channel were talking
        about the protoing of contracts or another similar situation in
        which the text starting "I agree" might have been considered to
        be mentioned rather than used. (Contrast "I agree to the
        following" with "Contrast 'I agree to the following' with ...").
        On IRC, as opposed to email, it is hard to tell the difference
        between a quotation and a sentence that's meant to do something
        (and incidentally, this sort of thing created a major row at
        Canada once), but in this case it looked like it was an
        action-statement, and there was no clear evidence otherwise.
      * One final issue is about whether Warrigal's statements
        immediately presumably-after the presumed pledge constituted a
        disclaimer that prevented it being created. I suspect probably
        they do, because there was very little time involved in between
        the messages. For email messages, sending a message and then
        disclaimering it in a future message would obviously not be
        valid, as convention is that the entire content of an email
        message is in one email. On IRC, however, there is a convention
        that messages can be split over multiple lines. For instance,
        #ubuntu at high-traffic times sometimes has a rule that messages
        have to be written in one line for pragmatic reasons (during
        high-traffic, the parts of the message may end up very separated
        and hard to read otherwise); for email, this rule would be
        pointless, because nobody splits up messages anyway. Due to a
        multiple-lines convention, it seems reasonable that a purported
        contract and the disclaimer that it's only a proto ("Oops, I
        didn't mean to agree to that.") are really part of the same
        message in this case, especially as there were no intervening
        lines and a very short timeframe. (As such, it's also plausible
        to conclude that no contract is created via IRC until a few
        seconds after the message arrives, so as to be sure that the
        message itself is actually finished; the same presumably applied
        to game actions in #really-a-cow, but I don't believe anything
        happened for which this would make a difference.)
Although in general it is possible to create a contract like that over
IRC, in the case of this CFJ it failed for several reasons: the message
was ambiguous and incomplete, and it was effectively disclaimered.
Therefore, I rule CFJ 2227 FALSE.

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Judge ais523's Evidence:

This is from my own private ##nomic logs, and covers some of the
conversation in ##nomic immediately before the evidence presented in
this case so far (with a few lines of overlap shown):
[Wed Oct 15 2008] [14:47:59] <ihope>    So, in Agora, I am now obligated to
ascend in the next 30 days.
[Wed Oct 15 2008] [14:47:59] <Pavitra>  Good luck.
[Wed Oct 15 2008] [14:47:59] <ihope>    And by ascend, I mean win a game of
NetHack on NAO.
[Wed Oct 15 2008] [14:47:59] <ihope>    Pledge time.
[Wed Oct 15 2008] [14:47:59] Join       flojistik has joined this channel
(n=no@AMontsouris-108-1-4-166.w80-11.abo.wanadoo.fr).
[Wed Oct 15 2008] [14:47:59] <Sgeo>     ihope, why do you keep making these
pledges?
[Wed Oct 15 2008] [14:47:59] <ihope>    I didn't make a pledge this time.
[Wed Oct 15 2008] [14:47:59] <ihope>    That was an equity judgement.
[Wed Oct 15 2008] [14:47:59] <Sgeo>     What?
[Wed Oct 15 2008] [14:47:59] <ihope>    An equity judgement requires me to
ascend in the next 30 days.
[Wed Oct 15 2008] [14:47:59] <Sgeo>     That doesn't start for a week, does
it?
[Wed Oct 15 2008] [14:47:59] <ihope>    Oh, that's likely.
[Wed Oct 15 2008] [14:47:59] <ihope>    I agree to the following: {This is a
pledge. The Bell of Opening, the Candelabrum of Invocation, the Book of the
Dead, and the Amulet of Yendor are singleton assets, known as Artifacts.
Ownership of Artifacts is restricted to active players. On Agora's Birthday,
if the Speaker is the same person as e was on Agora's last Birthday, e can
once transfer one of the Artifacts to emself; this Artifact cannot be the
Amulet of Yendor unless e posses
[Wed Oct 15 2008] [14:47:59] <ihope>    Oops, I didn't mean to agree to that.
[Wed Oct 15 2008] [14:47:59] <ihope>    Therefore, it's not really a pledge.
I can't remember offhand whether the timestamps are UTC or local time,
but that isn't relevant here.

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