From owner-nomic-official@teleport.com  Fri Feb  9 05:12:09 1996
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	(1.37.109.8/16.2) id AA08738; Fri, 9 Feb 1996 10:57:01 +0100
From: Andre Engels <csg419@wing.rug.nl>
Subject: OFF: CFJ 849 Judgement: FALSE
To: nomic-official@teleport.com
Date: Fri, 9 Feb 96 10:57:00 MET
Mailer: Elm [revision: 70.85]
Sender: owner-nomic-official@teleport.com
Reply-To: nomic-discussion@teleport.com
Precedence: bulk
Status: RO

----------------------------------------------------------------------

TIA disclaimer: This message has no legal effect and makes no claim
on truth whatsoever in any Gamestate in which I am not CotC

----------------------------------------------------------------------

======================================================================

Judge:		Andre (defaulted)
		Chuck
Judgement:	FALSE

Eligible:	Chuck, dcuman, favor, Jtael, Kelly, KoJen, Wes, 
		Zefram

Not Eligible:	
Caller:		Steve
Barred:		Morendil
On Hold:	Blob, Dave Bowen, elJefe
1005:		Michael, Murphy, Pascal, Swann, Vanyel, Vlad
Defaulted:	Andre

======================================================================

History:
  Called by Steve, 23 January 1996, 17:18 +1100 (EST)
  Wrongly assigned to Steve, 23 January 1996, 12:57 MET
  Wrongly assigned to Swann, 24 January 1996, timestamp lost
  Assigned to Andre, 25 January 1996, 11:57 MET
  Defaulted by Andre, 2 February 1996, 11:57 MET
  Assigned to Chuck, 2 February 1996, 14:59 MET
  Judged FALSE by Chuck, 8 February 1996, 16:41 -0600 (CST)

======================================================================

Statement:

Rule 113 should be interpreted such that a Player may only avoid
incurring a penalty by deregistering, if the penalty has not yet been
incurred.

======================================================================

Reasons and Arguments:

My argument is based on a simple but powerful premise: that it is
impossible to change the past, and impossible to act in the past (at
least without a time travel machine). Since it makes no sense to
speak of someone's right to do the impossible, Rule 113 cannot
guarantee such a right. Rule 113 can guarantee a right to do only
that which it is possible to do, namely, to avoid penalties not
yet incurred by means of deregistration. It cannot guarantee a
Player's right to avoid penalties already incurred: one cannot
speak sensibly of avoiding the past.

======================================================================

Decision & Reasoning Judge:

I Judge this statement to be FALSE.

First, let me address Steve's argument: that the past cannot
be changed.  While it is true that the past cannot be changed in Real Life,
there is nothing in the Rules that prohibits the past from
being changed (in the general case; Rule 108 prohibits it in
some specific cases.)  And I can find no _ab initio_ reason
why the past cannot be changed in Agora.  Thus, if the
Rules allow it, the past can be changed in Agora.

Now we turn to the specific case of Rule 113.  It seems to me
that there are 3 possible interpretations:

1.  A penalty may be avoided only by announcing one's deregistration
    before the penalty occurs.
2.  A penalty, which one considers worse than deregistration, is avoided
    by deregistering before the penalty occurs, although the deregistration
    may not be announced until later.
3.  A penalty which has already taken place may be retroactively
    avoided by deregistration.

CFJ 847 rules out possibility #2, so we need not consider that.

So is #1 or #3 the correct interpretation?  Let's look again at
113:

      A Player may always deregister from the Game rather than
      continue to play or incur a Game penalty.  No penalty worse
      than deregistration, in the judgment of the Player to incur 
      it, may be imposed.

Previous CFJs have rules that the second sentence does not stand
alone, but rather must be interpreted in the light of the first
sentence; that is, a Player cannot simply say, "That penalty
is worse than deregistration, so it may not be imposed."
A Player must actually deregister in order to avoid a penalty.

Looking at the first sentence alone, it would seem that a penalty
can only be avoided by deregistering before the penalty takes place.
But this, in fact is exactly the opposite error made above!!  Just
as the second sentence is not interpreted in a vacuum, but must
be considered in the light of the first sentence, the first
sentence cannot be considered alone (even though at least one
Player has explicitly advocated doing so), but must be considered
in light of the second.  We cannot simply ignore the sentence,
"No penalty worse than deregistration, in the judgment of the
Player to incur it, may be imposed."  Since a penalty may often
be applied without the knowledge of the Player it is being imposed
on, I find the only possible interpretation is #3 above:
it is possible to avoid a penalty in the past by deregistering.

Some people will object that this leads to unpalatable results:
how far in the past may a Player avoid a penalty?  There seems
to be no limit.  Can a Player avoid a penalty in June 1993?
If so, it's certainly not practical to go back and recompute
the game state from then!!  I reply that this is an
unpleasant consequence; however, that is of no concern to
this Judge, as it is the only reasonable interpretation.

======================================================================

Evidence:


1. Rule 113
2.  Rule 108 (added by Judge)
3.  CFJ 847 (excerpts) (added by Judge)


Rule 113/1 (Semimutable, MI=3)
Players May Always Forfeit

      A Player may always deregister from the Game rather than
      continue to play or incur a Game penalty.  No penalty worse
      than deregistration, in the judgment of the Player to incur
      it, may be imposed.

===2.  Rule 108

Rule 108/0 (Semimutable, MI=3)
When May Rule Changes Take Effect?

      No Rule Change may take effect earlier than the moment of the
      adoption of the Proposal in which it is contained, if it is a
      proposed Rule Change, or the moment of the adoption of the
      current form of the Rule which requires the Rule Change, if it
      is a non-proposed Rule Change.

      No Rule Change may have retroactive application.

===3.  CFJ 847 (excerpts)

       "The Rules should be interpreted that deregistration, by
        definition, when inintiated by the deregistering Player, occurs
        at the time the Player makes the request to deregister-- even
        when Rule 113 is invoked upon deregistration."

Judge:          Murphy (defaulted)
                favor
Judgement:      TRUE

From owner-nomic-official@teleport.com  Mon Feb 19 05:34:27 1996
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	(1.37.109.8/16.2) id AA18684; Mon, 19 Feb 1996 12:13:06 +0100
From: Andre Engels <csg419@wing.rug.nl>
Subject: OFF: CFJ 849 Final Judgement: TRUE
To: nomic-official@teleport.com
Date: Mon, 19 Feb 96 12:13:05 MET
Mailer: Elm [revision: 70.85]
Sender: owner-nomic-official@teleport.com
Reply-To: nomic-discussion@teleport.com
Precedence: bulk
Status: RO

======================================================================

		CORRECTED ASSIGNMENT UPON APPEAL CFJ 849

	"Rule 113 should be interpreted such that a Player may..."

======================================================================

Judge:		Andre (defaulted)
		Chuck
Judgement:	FALSE
Speaker:	Kelly
Judgement:	FALSE
CotC:		Andre (must delegate eir duties)
pro-CotC:	favor
Judgement:	TRUE
Justiciar:	Steve (must delegate eir duties)
pro-Justiciar:	Michael
Judgement:	TRUE
Final Judgement:TRUE

Eligible:	Coren, dcuman, Doug, elJefe, favor, 
		Ghost, Jtael, Kelly, KoJen, Michael, Murphy,
		Swann, Wes, Zefram

Not Eligible:	
Caller:		Steve
Barred:		Morendil
On Hold:	Blob, Dave Bowen
1005:		Pascal, Vanyel, Vlad
Defaulted:	Andre
Judged already:	Chuck

Effects:	Andre gains 3 Blots for defaulting
		Chuck gains 3 Points for timely Judgement
		Kelly gains 5 Points for speedy Judgement
		favor gains 5 Points for speedy Judgement
		Michael gains 3 Points for timely Judgement
		Chuck loses 3 Points for being overturned

======================================================================

History:
  Called by Steve, 23 January 1996, 17:18 +1100 (EST)
  Wrongly assigned to Steve, 23 January 1996, 12:57 MET
  Wrongly assigned to Swann, 24 January 1996, timestamp lost
  Assigned to Andre, 25 January 1996, 11:57 MET
  Defaulted by Andre, 2 February 1996, 11:57 MET
  Assigned to Chuck, 2 February 1996, 14:59 MET
  Judged FALSE by Chuck, 8 February 1996, 16:41 -0600 (CST)
  Appealed by Steve, 10 February 1996, 02:27 +1100
  Appealed by elJefe, 9 February 1996, 10:33 -0500
  Appealed by Michael, 9 February 1996, 15:48 GMT
  Delegated by Steve to Michael, 12 February 1996, timestamp lost
  Assigned to Kelly as Speaker, 13 February 1996, 15:33 MET
  Assigned to Andre as CotC, 13 February 1996, 15:33 MET
  Assigned to Steve as Justiciar, 13 Febrary 1996, 15:33 MET
  Judged FALSE by Kelly, 16 February 1996, 01:19 EST5
  Delegated by Andre to favor, 16 February 1996, 16:08 MET
  Judged TRUE by favor, 16 February 1996, 10:20 EST
  Judged TRUE by Michael, 19 February 1996, 10:10 GMT

======================================================================

Statement:

Rule 113 should be interpreted such that a Player may only avoid
incurring a penalty by deregistering, if the penalty has not yet been
incurred.

======================================================================

Reasons and Arguments:

My argument is based on a simple but powerful premise: that it is
impossible to change the past, and impossible to act in the past (at
least without a time travel machine). Since it makes no sense to
speak of someone's right to do the impossible, Rule 113 cannot
guarantee such a right. Rule 113 can guarantee a right to do only
that which it is possible to do, namely, to avoid penalties not
yet incurred by means of deregistration. It cannot guarantee a
Player's right to avoid penalties already incurred: one cannot
speak sensibly of avoiding the past.

======================================================================

Decision & Reasoning Judge:

I Judge this statement to be FALSE.

First, let me address Steve's argument: that the past cannot
be changed.  While it is true that the past cannot be changed in Real Life,
there is nothing in the Rules that prohibits the past from
being changed (in the general case; Rule 108 prohibits it in
some specific cases.)  And I can find no _ab initio_ reason
why the past cannot be changed in Agora.  Thus, if the
Rules allow it, the past can be changed in Agora.

Now we turn to the specific case of Rule 113.  It seems to me
that there are 3 possible interpretations:

1.  A penalty may be avoided only by announcing one's deregistration
    before the penalty occurs.
2.  A penalty, which one considers worse than deregistration, is avoided
    by deregistering before the penalty occurs, although the deregistration
    may not be announced until later.
3.  A penalty which has already taken place may be retroactively
    avoided by deregistration.

CFJ 847 rules out possibility #2, so we need not consider that.

So is #1 or #3 the correct interpretation?  Let's look again at
113:

      A Player may always deregister from the Game rather than
      continue to play or incur a Game penalty.  No penalty worse
      than deregistration, in the judgment of the Player to incur 
      it, may be imposed.

Previous CFJs have rules that the second sentence does not stand
alone, but rather must be interpreted in the light of the first
sentence; that is, a Player cannot simply say, "That penalty
is worse than deregistration, so it may not be imposed."
A Player must actually deregister in order to avoid a penalty.

Looking at the first sentence alone, it would seem that a penalty
can only be avoided by deregistering before the penalty takes place.
But this, in fact is exactly the opposite error made above!!  Just
as the second sentence is not interpreted in a vacuum, but must
be considered in the light of the first sentence, the first
sentence cannot be considered alone (even though at least one
Player has explicitly advocated doing so), but must be considered
in light of the second.  We cannot simply ignore the sentence,
"No penalty worse than deregistration, in the judgment of the
Player to incur it, may be imposed."  Since a penalty may often
be applied without the knowledge of the Player it is being imposed
on, I find the only possible interpretation is #3 above:
it is possible to avoid a penalty in the past by deregistering.

Some people will object that this leads to unpalatable results:
how far in the past may a Player avoid a penalty?  There seems
to be no limit.  Can a Player avoid a penalty in June 1993?
If so, it's certainly not practical to go back and recompute
the game state from then!!  I reply that this is an
unpleasant consequence; however, that is of no concern to
this Judge, as it is the only reasonable interpretation.

======================================================================

Decision & Reasoning Speaker:

The Statement of CFJ 849 is trivially false.  There are any of a
number of ways in which a Player might avoid a penalty other than
deregistering, even under the current Rules.  One such method would be
to arrange for the Rules to have been amended such that the penalty is
not able to be incurred at the time it would otherwise have been
incurred.  This may not be possible in all circumstances, but it
conceivably could be in some, and I cannot grant the truth of an
unqualified statement if there exists even one possible circumstance
under which it is not true.

Rule 113 does not prohibit a Player from avoiding a Penalty without
deregistering; it merely allows a Player to deregister to avoid a
penalty.

Since there exist (potential) means to avoid a penalty without
deregistering, the Statement is FALSE.  I therefore uphold Chuck's
Judgement.

Kelly Martin,
Speaker, Agora Nomic
--

======================================================================

Judgement, Pro-CotC:
  TRUE

Reasons and Arguments, Pro-CotC:

  First of all, I should make clear that I am interpreting the
  Statement to mean

     Rule 113 should be interpreted such that a Player may
     (do X) only if (Y), where X is "avoid incurring a penalty
     by deregistering", and Y is "the penalty has not yet been
     incurred".

  Under other parsings of the slightly-ambiguous statement, it
  might have other truth-values.

  Parts of the meaning of Rule 113 are uncontroversial.  The
  question at issue here is whether or not it allows a Player
  to deregister in order to avoid a penalty which has already
  been imposed.  On the fact of it, this seems absurd: how could
  *any* Rule allow someone to prevent something which has
  already happened?  At first glance, the Statement therefore
  seems TRUE.

  But we must consider the arguments of Judge Chuck.  While it
  may seem unusual to allow the past to be changed, he says,
  if the Rules say that it can be, then it can be.  How convincing
  is this?

  First, does Rule 113 even attempt to do this, to make the
  past malleable?  It's not entirely clear.  The origins of
  Rule 113 were in face-to-face Nomic, where the question
  would not ordinarily come up; it was assumed that one would
  always have time to shout "Wait, I deregister, don't hit
  me with the gourd again!".  In face-to-face Nomic, where
  the action is closely tied to the Real World, it would
  clearly be impossible for any Rule to allow one to change
  the past.

  Is Agora further from the Real World, far enough that we
  can, within the framework of the Game, do the impossible?
  Consider: what would be the implications of a Rule that
  said "Concrete is lighter than air" or "Seven is not prime".
  Would these Rules be functional?  Would concrete float once
  they were passed?  Well, real-life concrete would remain
  steadfastly fixed to the ground; we could define a Nomic
  Entity called Concrete, of course, and do with it whatever
  we liked.  But seven would remain prime, even within the
  Game; no attempt to divide it into equal integers greater
  than one and less than seven would succeed.  Is the
  fixedness of the past more like the non-bouyancy of
  concrete, or more like the primality of seven?

  The Rules make no attempt to define a within-game notion
  of time that is distinct from the real-world flow.  When
  the Rules refer to times, they refer to real-world times.
  A day is a day, a week is a week.  There is not even a
  Rule that would temporarily decouple Game time to the
  extent of allowing a Christmas pause; so many Rules
  refer to real-world time that it would be difficult to
  enact such a thing.  We can only conclude that Agoran
  time is just real-world time.  The past of Agora is the
  past of the real world.

  The past of the real world cannot be changed.  Therefore
  the past of Agora cannot be changed.  Once a penalty has
  been imposed, it is too late to make it never have been
  imposed.  It is too late to avoid it.  It is, of course,
  *not* too late to adjust the *current* gamestate to look
  the way it would have if the penalty had never been
  imposed, but that's different.  It's also not too late
  to discover that we were mistaken, and the penalty was
  never in fact imposed.  But if the penalty *has* in
  fact been incurred, that fact is fixed in the flow of time,
  the flow that moves both Agora and the (rest of the) real
  world.

  The Statement is therefore TRUE.  To the extent that the
  Rules allow me to do so, I instruct the Rulekeepor to
  annotate Rule 113 accordingly (I'm not sufficiently
  conversant with the Injunction Rules to know whether or
  not this has legal force; my apologies).

Respectfully submitted,

Pro-CotC Favor

======================================================================

Decision & Reasoning Justiciar:

Judgement: TRUE

Argument:  Given our normal understanding of time, the only way in
           which this statement could be false would be if Agora
redefined the notion of time so that it was possible to change the
past.  The original Judge felt compelled to conclude that this was
indeed the case, but as my fellow Appeal Justice favor has pointed
out, there is no reason to assume that Agora has redefined the nature
of time in this way.  

Agora does not exist in a vacuum, so without some clear indication in
the rules that we are playing with a special Agora-time entity, we
must conclude that the nature of time is such that the past can not be
changed.  

Nor can the original Judge's arguments be said to lead us to the
conclusion that "Agora time" must be different from "real world time".
Much is made in the original judgement of the second sentence of R113,
"No penalty worse than deregistration, in the judgment of the Player
to incur it, may be imposed."  The tenses of the verbs in this
sentence make it clear that a penalty may not be imposed on a Player,
if, before it is imposed, the Player decides that it is one worse than
deregistration.  In particular, the sentence does not say "in the
judgement of the Player who incurred it".

-----

Michael.

======================================================================

Evidence:


1. Rule 113
2.  Rule 108 (added by Judge)
3.  CFJ 847 (excerpts) (added by Judge)


Rule 113/1 (Semimutable, MI=3)
Players May Always Forfeit

      A Player may always deregister from the Game rather than
      continue to play or incur a Game penalty.  No penalty worse
      than deregistration, in the judgment of the Player to incur
      it, may be imposed.

===2.  Rule 108

Rule 108/0 (Semimutable, MI=3)
When May Rule Changes Take Effect?

      No Rule Change may take effect earlier than the moment of the
      adoption of the Proposal in which it is contained, if it is a
      proposed Rule Change, or the moment of the adoption of the
      current form of the Rule which requires the Rule Change, if it
      is a non-proposed Rule Change.

      No Rule Change may have retroactive application.

===3.  CFJ 847 (excerpts)

       "The Rules should be interpreted that deregistration, by
        definition, when inintiated by the deregistering Player, occurs
        at the time the Player makes the request to deregister-- even
        when Rule 113 is invoked upon deregistration."

Judge:          Murphy (defaulted)
                favor
Judgement:      TRUE