==============================  CFJ 2507  ==============================

    It is POSSIBLE to enact a power-4 rule reading in part {This rule
    takes precedence over all other rules.}


Caller:                                 scshunt

Judge:                                  omd

Judge:                                  ais523
Judgement:                              TRUE



Called by scshunt:                      07 May 2009 00:08:59 GMT
Assigned to omd:                        08 May 2009 06:09:09 GMT
omd recused:                            17 May 2009 21:31:40 GMT
Assigned to ais523:                     17 May 2009 21:38:44 GMT
Judged TRUE by ais523:                  22 May 2009 21:21:35 GMT


Caller's Arguments:

I each case, it is possible that Rule 1482 makes the supposed changes
impossible. Depending on whether 1482 applies based on the current state
of the ruleset or the potential state of the ruleset, the answers may
well be different. If the judge wishes me to explain in more detail, e's
free to ask; but I'm having a hard time getting it down right now, so
I'll defer explanation.

I think the answers are FALSE to all but the second, which is TRUE.


Gratuitous Arguments by G.:

When talking about what is possible by changing the rules anything can
change.  These should all be TRUE, as it is possible to remove the
blocking section of R1482 (removing it would not in itself change
precedence so it doesn't block its own removal) and then enact any of
these within the same proposal.


Gratuitous Arguments by scshunt:

The possibility or illegality of an action cannot take into
consideration the ability to change the rules or else all such inquiries
would be TRUE - it is referring just to the ability to do that precise


Judge ais523's Arguments:

These are only of academic interest now we've changed the rules, but:

First, I note that Goethe's technicality is correct, in that the
proposal in question has various ways to work around the precedence
freeze and satisfy the statement of the CFJ. Therefore, I judge CFJs
2507-2510 all TRUE on a technicality. Now, for the essence behind the

The essence of these cases is what "takes precedence" means. In
particular, is the rule attempting to invoke the definition in the old
R1030, to influence the equal-priority without having any legal force,
or not? Unfortunately, although it fits a best-interest-of-the-game
argument, I don't see how a portion of a rule claiming to take
precedence over another can have no legal effect in itself (specifying
something non-legally-binding in order to trigger things in other
rules); a mechanism for doing something like that certainly could have
been added to the ruleset, but it wasn't. A legally binding claim to
take precedence over other rules, therefore, is likely to cause problems
with the old R1482.

There are two possible ways that such proposals could succeed; if there
was actually no conflict (so R1482 did not block the change), or if the
proposal somehow managed to gain precedence over R1482 (a strange loop,
given that R1482 itself defined precedence).

The rule that allows proposals to do anything is rule 106. It doesn't
claim to take precedence over anything but another rule which would
permit a proposal to take effect, and no rules did so at the time;
therefore, rule 106 definitely isn't trying to take precedence over
1482. It also specifies that preventing a proposal taking effect is
secured; rule 1482 had sufficient power to overcome such security, and
therefore, rule 1482 is capable of preventing a proposal passing without
even conflicting with rule 106. However, one interesting point here is
whether it's rule 106 or the proposal enacting the rules; it seems very
clear that it's the proposal itself (especially because it's the
proposal's power that matters to enact the rules), and interestingly,
there are no rules for governing precedence between rules and proposals.
It's not completely clear what "takes effect" means; however, an
explicit clarification in R1482 that a proposal taking effect can't
cause the ruleset to leave any rule but R1482 determining precedence
between rules with unequal power means that this is not a get-out

What about a lack of a conflict? It seems to me that any rule which
claimed to take precedence over another rule of a different power would
be specifying a method of resolving precedence claims that contradicts
R1482. (Another irrelevant technicality giving an irrelevant verdict of
TRUE: the new rule itself could define terms or add disclaimers such
that the text fragments shown in the CFJs don't mean what they appear to
say.) Rules that claim to take precedence over all other rules are
definitely claiming to take precedence over rules with a different
power, so if not for the technicalities, CFJs 2507 and 2509 would be

As for CFJs 2508 and 2510: the question here is if the rule "conflicts"
with another rule of a different power. (If these rules were enacted
indirectly, incidentally, they would be very dangerous, as they'd
prevent the enactment of another rule of a different power that
conflicted with the original rule!) It would certainly be possible to
have a minimal rule with nothing but the text in the CFJ; that has the
fewest conflicts, and so is the case I will consider.

So think about two rules with the following text, one power-3, one
{{{This rule takes precedence over all other rules with which it

What rules can it possibly conflict with (under the ruleset at the time
this CFJ was called)? Only 1030 and 1482, which were the only
precedence-setting rules at the time the CFJ was called. (Because,
presumably, none of the "this rule takes precedence over all other
rules" rules ever existed, until they were ratified into existence after
R1482 was fixed, but that's after the CFJ was called and so irrelevant
here.) The problem here is that the rules claim precedence over R1482
iff they conflict with it; in the case of the power-4 rule, it conflicts
with R1482 iff it claims precedence over it! The argument here goes: is
it R1482 or the new rule that determines precedence, even though they
agree? If it's R1482, then by R1482 it's the new rule, which is a
contradiction. If it's the new rule, then it doesn't exist in the first
place, which is also a contradiction. So for the new rule to claim
precedence over R1482 is a contradiction, and when there are two equally
consistent interpretations of a logical loop (X iff Y, Y iff X), it
makes more sense to take the consistent one. So in the case of the
power-4 rule, CFJ 2508, TRUE even without the technicalities.

The power-3 rule is slightly easier; given that both R1482 and R1030
were power-3, claiming to take precedence over them doesn't trigger
R1482, so there's no need to evaluate whether they conflict or not.
Therefore, CFJ 2510 is also TRUE even without the technicalities.

Whew, am I glad all this doesn't matter any more!