============================  Appeal 2867a  ============================


Panelist:                               Machiavelli
Decision:                               AFFIRM


Panelist:                               Taral
Decision:                               AFFIRM


Panelist:                               Murphy
Decision:                               AFFIRM

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History:

Appeal initiated:                       24 Sep 2010 11:23:40 GMT
Assigned to Machiavelli (panelist):     04 Oct 2010 00:54:37 GMT
Assigned to Taral (panelist):           04 Oct 2010 00:54:37 GMT
Assigned to Murphy (panelist):          04 Oct 2010 00:54:37 GMT
Murphy moves to AFFIRM:                 04 Oct 2010 01:24:41 GMT
Taral moves to AFFIRM:                  04 Oct 2010 02:10:16 GMT
Machiavelli moves to AFFIRM:            11 Oct 2010 00:54:37 GMT
Final decision (AFFIRM):                11 Oct 2010 00:54:37 GMT

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Gratuitous Arguments by ais523:

omd wrote:
> On Wed, Sep 22, 2010 at 5:19 PM, ais523 <callforjudgement@yahoo.co.uk>
wrote:
> > Further gratuitous arguments: This is a case of "if X, then ..." where X
> > is impossible being trivially true. It's different from "if the rules
> > were somehow modified such that X could come about, then most
> > likely ...", which is what the judgement addresses.
>
> Gratuitous: CFJ 1895
>
> Further gratuitous: By that argument, what ratification does is
> completely indeterminate (or was before the "minimally" clause was
> added; now it just does nothing?).

CFJ 1895 states that counterfactuals with an impossible condition are
"rejected"; in other words, the counterfactual interpretation of the
statement in question is absurd. If so, then the other possible
interpretation - that it's a simple logical implication, like it always
has been - makes more sense. The fact is that, in the past, it always
has been possible to initiate the decision in question (maybe via an erg
or Card expenditure), so it's been very much a case of an if-then; it
used to be true that "IF an Orange decision is initiated, THEN ais523's
voting limit on it is...". Thus the victory condition generally wasn't
achieved. In general, with an implication, the narrower the if part, the
easier it is to meet; with an if part so narrow as to be impossible, the
implication is always correct.

>From the point of view of the (meaningless) counterfactual
interpretation, I point out that allowing an ordinary democratic
decision would require such a radical rules change (separating it into
two separate switches, perhaps?) that's it's hard to predict /what/
voting limits would be in that case. None of the existing voting limit
rules would likely apply, unless they were modified to allow for
different concepts of "ordinary" and "democratic", as the two are by
definition mutually exclusive (rule 2196).

G. wrote:
> I think you're both off-base here at where the impossibility lies.
> "an ordinary decision with a specified Chamber" is simply duplicative
> language, as saying it's an ordinary decision specifies that the
> chamber is ordinary.  If you specify a different chamber, it's not an
> ordinary decision, so has no bearing whatsoever on clout.
>
> So it's just like saying "In situations where X=1 and a value for
> X is specified, Y is true" which simply means that if X is not equal
> to 1, the phrase isn't invoked or evaluated at all.
>
> So basically, it's impossible to specify a non-ordinary chamber for
> a decision whose chamber is ordinary, so it's impossible to apply a
> clout win to non-ordinary decisions.

The problem with this interpretation is that it assumes that the rule
suddenly changed meaning when an entirely different rule was amended,
something that fails to meet judicial precedent in all sorts of ways
(CFJ 2585 comes to mind, but I suspect there are others). The language
of the rule is ambiguous, in that it could mean "decision whose Chamber
is explicitly specified at the creation of the decision" (which would be
equivalent to just "decision" in the context of rule 2134 under the
current ruleset, but might not be under other hypothetical ruleset),
G.'s interpretation, or "decision with a Chamber specified in the win
announcement", the obviously intended meaning of the rule, and the one
that we've actually been using up to now. Before the definition of
Chamber changed, the first interpretation was completely absurd, and the
second one perfectly sensible and intended. It makes no sense that
changing the meaning of Chamber from one pseudo-switch (or actual
switch? I can't remember) to another pseudo-switch would suddenly cause
"specified" to have a different meaning!

In other words, the only plausible reading of the rule, given its
history, is "In situations where X=1 and X=A for some A, Y is true",
rather than "In situations where X=1 and a value for X is specified, Y
is true".

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Panelist Murphy's Arguments:

If an impossible counterfactual is interpreted as implying anything,
particularly that the Clout condition would be satisfied, then it
equally implies that the Clout condition wouldn't be satisfied.  This
is hardly a satisfactory (ahem) view IMO; here are all the others
that I can come up with, all of which agree with the original judgement:

  a) If a decision were somehow both ordinary and democratic, then
     Rule 1950 would prevent the Clout condition from being satisfied
     (the original judgement).

  b) If a decision were somehow both ordinary and democratic, then
     it would not have *a* (i.e. exactly one) specified Chamber, which
     would prevent the Clout condition from being satisfied.  (This is
     the weakest of these three possibilities, as "a" can also be
     interpreted as "at least one".)

  c) A decision both ordinary and democratic is so at odds with the
     current ruleset that it cannot be meaningfully interpreted (the
     CFJ 1895 argument) without further context (e.g. a hypothetical
     set of rule changes), so in particular it cannot be interpreted
     that the Clout condition would be satisfied by it.

This argument by ais523:

> The problem with this interpretation is that it assumes that the rule
> suddenly changed meaning when an entirely different rule was amended,
> something that fails to meet judicial precedent in all sorts of ways
> (CFJ 2585 comes to mind, but I suspect there are others).

doesn't hold water either.  CFJ 2585 pertained to a contract attempting
to re-define some terms used but not defined by the Town Fountain rule,
without any rule backing.  In contrast, Rule 2134's use of "Chamber" was
governed by R754(2) before Rule 2290 was repealed (they both had Power 2
and R2134 made no attempt to reject R2290's definition), and by R754(3)
or (4) afterward (CFJ 2854).

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Panelist Machiavelli's Arguments:

[no opinion given]

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