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>From: Andre Engels <csg419@wing.rug.nl>
Subject: OFF: CFJ 803: Judgement
To: nomic-official@teleport.com
Date: Tue, 15 Aug 95 13:08:54 METDST
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Status: RO


CFJ 803

Caller: Zefram

Statement: The second clause of the second sentence of rule 1488/0 is
without legal effect.

Judge: Michael


  Called by Zefram Mon, 7 Aug 1995 11:51:20 BST
  Assigned to Michael Tue, 08 Aug 1995 19:59:53 -0500
  Judged FALSE by Michael Tue, 15 Aug 1995 11:17:50 BST

Effects of this CFJ (Scorekeepor, take note!):
  Michael gains 3 Points for timely Judgement.


Arguments of Caller (Zefram):

The first sentence of rule 1488/0 states "Let there be an Entity known
as the Nomic Potato".  Note that there was already, prior to the
creation of this rule, an Entity known as "the Nomic Potato"; it is a
Contest, created on 1995-08-02, and its Contestmaster is Zefram.  Much
of rule 1488/0 is concerned with who shall possess the Nomic Potato,
and this does not conflict with any other rule, as no other rule states
anything about the possession of a Contest.

The second sentence of rule 1488/0 states "There is only one Potato
which cannot be destroyed".  This obviously refers to the Nomic Potato,
already referred to in the first sentence.  Rule 1011/0 requires that
there is only one Nomic Potato, because if there were more than one
then they would have the same name, violating that rule.  Rule 1488/0
therefore, despite the lack of a clarifying comma in that sentence,
states that the one Nomic Potato cannot be destroyed.

Rule 1446/3 states that a Contest can be dissolved under certain
circumstances, including "when there is no Contestmaster and no
provision for replacing em".  Regulation 2 of the Nomic Potato states
"The Contestmaster shall be Zefram, and may not be replaced.  The
Contestmaster may resign at any time by indicating eir intent to do so
to the Public Forum".  Thus rule 1446/3, applied to the Nomic Potato,
clearly indicates that it can be destroyed.

Rule 1446/3 states that the Nomic Potato can be destroyed, and rule
1488/0 states that it cannot.  They are in conflict, and 1446/3 takes
precedence by virtue of a lower number.  Hence, the Nomic Potato can be
destroyed, and the part of rule 1488/0 that says otherwise has no legal


Arguments of Judge (Michael):

Judgement:  FALSE

Argument:  This statement is one that attempts to use the prior
           existence of a Contest called the Nomic Potato to
invalidate the claim in 1488/0 that the Entity defined there can not
be destroyed.  This argument rests on the assumption that the Entity
defined in 1488/0 has the same name as the Contest, and so to avoid
conflict with 1011/0 must be the same Entity.  (Contests can be
dissolved so, if one accepts the reasoning thus far, the clause of
1488/0 in question is invalidated by reason of it conflicting with
1466/3 "Contests".)

I attack this claim by showing that the assumption about names is
false.  In particular, rule 1488/0 nowhere claims that the Entity in
question has 'Nomic Potato' as its name.  It merely states that it is
known as the 'Nomic Potato'.  There is a world of difference between
being known as something and actually being named something.

Now, one might claim that the Nomic Potato Contest is an Entity known
as the Nomic Potato.  This is true, but it does not necessarily follow
therefore that the 1488/0 Entity is the same one.  The use of "let" in
Agora is used in a creative role; it creates a fresh instance of some
type.  Note that if 1488/0 had tried to name its Entity, then it would
have failed because of 1011/0.  It would not have suddenly merged two
distinct Entities, simply because two rules (of lesser precedence than
1011/0, which has MI = 2) asserted that they had the same name.

This argument may seem pedantic and slightly unworthy, but I believe
it is cast at the appropriate level given the circumstances in which
this CFJ was called. 




Evidence provided by Caller (Zefram):

1. Rule 1011/0: Game Entities May Not Be Arbitrarily Changed
2. Rule 1446/3: Contests
3. Rule 1488/0: The Nomic Potato
4. Message creating the Nomic Potato


Rule 1011/0 (Semimutable, MI=2)
Game Entities May Not Be Arbitrarily Changed

      Any Entity which is created by the Nomic Rules, and which exists
      only within the context of Agora Nomic (such as Points, Votes,
      Currencies and any Official Records) may *not* be changed by any
      action other than those specified by the Rules.

      No two Nomic Entities (including Players) shall have the same
      name or nickname.
      (*Was: 450*)

Created by Proposal 450, Sep. 10 1993
Amended by Proposal 1011, Sep. 5 1994
Mutated from MI=1 to MI=2 by Proposal 1593, Jun. 2 1995


Rule 1446/3 (Mutable, MI=1)

      A contest is a subgame of Agora Nomic, having its own Name,
      Entry Fee, Regulations, Contestmaster, and Contest Fund.

      It is created when a Player posts to the Public Forum an
      announcement of the contest, including the Name and Regulations.
      Participants in the subgame are called Contestants of that
      contest.  The player making the post becomes the Contestmaster.

      The Contestmaster for a given Contest is a Player who has
      responsibility for administering the subgame.  He reports all
      currency transfers taking place under the Regulations, is the
      Executor of the Contest Fund, and maintains the Regulations.

      The Contest Fund is a Treasury, as provided for in other Rules.
      The owner of this Treasury is the Contest, and the Executor of
      this Treasury is, at all times, the Contestmaster of the

      The Regulations specify the operation of the Contest.  All
      Contestants, and the Contestmaster, are bound by the Regulations
      except where these conflict with the Rules.  They may also
        1. how a Contestmaster is replaced. However, no person may
           become Contestmaster without eir consent;
        2. how the Currencies in the Contest Fund shall be spent, so
           long as this does not conflict with the Rules;
        3. the amount of the Entry Fee for the Contest, in the form of
           units of one or more Currency;
        4. additional restrictions on Players to become Contestants, 
           and conditions under which Contestants cease to be
        5. how the Regulations may be changed.  If they do not so 
           specify, the Regulations may not be changed. Whenever the 
           Regulations are changed, the Contestmaster must post the 
           new Regulations to the Public Forum, and no such change is
           effective until it is so posted;
        6. how the Contest may be dissolved.

      A Player becomes a Contestant by notifying the Contestmaster and
      paying the prescribed Entry Fee to the Contest Fund.  A
      Contestant may quit a Contest at any time by so notifying the
      Contestmaster, or by so posting to the Public Forum.  A
      Contestmaster may resign at any time by posting a message to
      that effect to the Public Forum, at which time e ceases to be

      A contest is dissolved when there is no Contestmaster and no
      provision for replacing em, or upon unanimous agreement of the
      Contestmaster and all Contestants, or as otherwise provided in
      the rules, or in the Regulations.  When this happens the Contest
      Fund is distributed as provided in the Regulations; if no
      provision is made the Fund is divided equally between the

      If the Contest Regulations require a transfer to be made, but
      the Contest Fund has insufficient currencies to permit that
      transfer to be made, sufficient currencies to cover the transfer
      shall be involuntarily transferred from the Contestmaster's
      Treasury to the Contest Fund.  The Contestmaster shall report
      this transfer to the appropriate Recordkeepors.

      No Blots shall be assigned by this Rule.

Created by Proposal 1509, Mar. 24 1995
Amended(1) by Proposal 1574, Apr. 28 1995
Amended(2) by Proposal 1601, Jun. 19 1995
Amended(3) by Proposal 1644, Aug. 1 1995


Rule 1488/0 (Mutable, MI=1)
The Nomic Potato

      Let there be an Entity known as the Nomic Potato.  There is only one
      Potato which cannot be destroyed.  The Potato can be possessed by
      any Agora Player who owns Extra Votes (EVs).  A Player with no EVs
      cannot possess the Potato, and if the Player possessing the Potato
      ever ceases to own EVs, e also loses possession of the Potato.

      If the Potato's possessor ceases to possess the Potato though
      ceasing to own EVs, or ceasing to be a Player, or in any other way
      not otherwise described by the Rules pertaining to the Nomic Potato,
      the possession of the Potato immediately passes to the Player who
      owns the greatest number of EVs.

      If more than one Player is tied for the greatest number of EVs, the
      Potato is transferred to the tied Player who:
	i) Has not previously possessed the Potato; providing all other
	   tied Players have previously possessed the Potato.

       ii) Has not possessed the Potato for the longest consecutive period
	   of time immediately prior to the Potato's transfer; providing
	   all other tied Players have previously possessed the Potato.

      iii) The tied Player randomly determined by the Assessor, provided
	   neither i) or ii) apply.

      As long as at least one Player owns EVs, the Potato is always in
      some Player's possession. The only time that the Potato is not
      possessed by a Player is when no Player owns EVs.

      The Assessor keeps track of who possesses the Potato.

Created by Proposal 1647, Aug. 7 1995


>From: Zefram <A.Main@dcs.warwick.ac.uk>
Message-Id: <27163.199508020122@stone.dcs.warwick.ac.uk>
Subject: BUS: Announcing a new contest
To: nomic-business@teleport.com (Agora Nomic business mailing list)
Date: Wed, 2 Aug 1995 02:22:14 +0100 (BST)
X-Loop: zefram@dcs.warwick.ac.uk
X-Stardate: [-31]6070.28

I hereby announce a Contest, entitled "The Nomic Potato".  The
Regulations of The Nomic Potato are as follows:

1. These Regulations may not be changed at any time in any way.

2. The Contestmaster shall be Zefram, and may not be replaced.  The
   Contestmaster may resign at any time by indicating eir intent to do
   so to the Public Forum.

3. Currencies in the Contest Fund may not be transferred.

4. The entry fee is 100 Marks.

5. No Player is permitted to become a Contestant.

6. This Contest shall be dissolved when there is no Contestmaster, and
   may not be dissolved for any other reason.



End of CFJ 803