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From: Steve Gardner <>
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Subject: DIS: Repost of CFJ 933
To: (Agora Nomic Discussion List)
Date: Tue, 19 Sep 2000 11:09:45 +1100 (EST)
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This was originally posted on Fri, Oct. 11 1997. In my last post I said
it was elJefe's Appeal Judgement that was relevant, but actually it's
Chuck's. It's the last Judgement, at the bottom.


                               CFJ 933

"All Voting Tokens were destroyed as a result of the Pragmatic
 Currencies Proposal taking effect."


Judge:       Elde
Justices:    Chuck (pro-S), Vir (pro-C), elJefe (J)

Judgement:   TRUE
Final Judgement:

Eligible:    Blob, ChrisM, Chuck, Harlequin, Kolja A., Michael, 
             Morendil, Murphy, Oerjan, Steve, Vir, Vlad, Zefram

Not eligible:
Caller:       Crito
Barred:       General Chaos
On request:   Vanyel
On hold:      Swann
Past Judges:  Swann
Past Justices:Andre, Calabresi, Elde, elJefe


  Called by Crito, Mon, 04 Aug 1997 12:13:15 -0400
  Assigned to Swann, Tue, 5 Aug 1997 12:14:21 +0100
  Swann becomes ineligible, 28 Aug 1997
  Assigned to Elde, Tue, 16 Sep 1997 13:01:01 +0200 (MET DST)
  Judged TRUE by Morendil, acting on behalf of Elde, Fri, 
   19 Sep 1997 22:47:56 +0200 (MET DST)
  Appealed by Kolja A., 22 Sep 1997 16:23:39 +0200
  Appealed by Chuck, 22 Sep 1997 20:33:54 -0500 (CDT)
  Appealed by General Chaos, 22 Sep 1997 21:41:25 -0500
  Assigned to Andre and elJefe as Justices, and wrongly to General
   Chaos, 23 Sep 1997 13:38:27 +0200 (MET DST)
  Wrongly assigned to Calabresi as Justice, 
   25 Sep 1997 14:15:39 +0200 (MET DST)
  elJefe SUSTAINs Judgement of TRUE, 29 Sep 1997 10:04:56 +0000
  Andre defaults
  Assigned to Chuck and Vir as Justices, 2 Oct 1997 15:13:01 +0200 (MET DST)
  Vir SUSTAINs Judgement of TRUE, 05 Oct 1997 19:35:29 -0500
  Chuck SUSTAINs Judgement of TRUE, 7 Oct 1997 22:47:03 -0500 (CDT)


(Caller's) Arguments:

As Oerjan pointed out, there was an instant of time when Voting Tokens
also ceased to have a Mintor.
Decision of the Justiciar: TRUE (sustaining the original Judgement)


Decision & Reasoning Judge:

In CFJ 933, Elde Judges the Statement to be TRUE.

The reasons for thinking so are briefly outlined as follows :

* before 3533 passed, the Mint was a Nomic Entity
* the Mint was defined by Rule 1470
* 3533 amended 1470 so that it no longer defined the Mint
* by Rule 1586, the Mint ceased to exist
* at that time, the Mintor of VTs was still the Mint (1696)
* by Rule 1579, all VTs were therefore destroyed at that instant
* (thereafter, 1696 was amended to make the Bank the VT Mintor)

Rule 1579 stated :

      If the designated Mintor of a Currency ceases to exist or ceases
      to possess Mint Authority, all units of that Currency are
      destroyed and the Currency ceases to exist.

It has been suggested that Rule 1579 was at that time in conflict 
with Rule 1471, which stated

      The Mintor of a Currency may, at any time, destroy those units
      of that Currency which it currently possesses in its Treasury,
      so long as this destruction is permitted by the Rules.  Units of
      Currency may not be otherwise destroyed except as specifically
      authorized by the Rules.

separate support for this position being sought from this provision 
in Rule 1467 :

      Neither Currencies nor units of Currency shall be created or
      destroyed except as specified by the Rules.

It must be noted that Rule 1579's provisions both authorize, and
specify the manner of, the destruction of units of any Currency
falling under its purview; therefore, no conflict exists, precisely
because of both 1467's and 1471's conflict-avoiding provisions.


Decision & Reasoning Justiciar:

Judge Elde/Morendil argues that during implementation of the Proposal, a
rule change caused the Mint to cease being a mintor when it was the mintor
of VTs, before another rule change made the Bank the mintor of VTs.

There are several different interpretations on how the provisions of a
Proposal are implemented, which may affect the argument.  (For example, if
the provisions are implemented simultaneously, then the Mint did not cease
to be a mintor _before_ the Bank was mintor.)

But no matter which interpretation is chosen, it remains that the Mint
_did_ cease to have Mint Authority.  CFJ 828 (Destruction of Group Coins)
teaches that this is enough to satisfy the precise wording of Rule 1579,
even if it could be shown that VTs had a mintor at every legally
significant time.

1. Original Judge's argument

Proposal 3533, the Pragmatic Currencies proposal, was implemented under
authority of Rule 594.  Judge Elde argues that at the time Rule 1470 was
amended (depriving the Mint of Mint Authority),  Rule 1696 still named the
Mint as the Mintor for VTs. The conclusion is that Rule 1579 acted at that
moment to destroy all Voting Tokens.

2. How the provisions of a Proposal are implemented

There are several interpretations of the Rules on how the provisions of a
Proposal are implemented.

The Sequential View:   Each provision is implemented in order, if allowed
                       by the Rules then in effect, and the Game State is
                       adjusted to include consequent effects of this before
                       turning to the next provision.

The Atomic View:       Each provision is implemented in order, if allowed
                       by the Rules in effect at the adoption of the Proposal,
                       but no consequent effects cause an adjustment to the
                       Game State until all provisions have been dealt with.

The Simultaneous View: All the provisions are considered to be implemented
                       simultaneously,  if allowed by the Rules in effect
                       at the adoption of the Proposal, except where
                       dependencies among the provisions require that some
                       are implemented in sequence with other ones.

All three of these are consistent with the Rules, and the choice between
them must therefore rest on "game custom, commonsense, past Judgements, and
the best interests of the game."

The present decision does not require us to choose among these, and thus we
refrain from expressing an opinion as to which is preferred.

3.  Destruction of Game Coins, CFJ 828

It's fair to compare the present situation to the one arising in CFJ 828.
In that case, Proposal 1760 had revamped the Group rules but had forgotten
to provide that each Group was the mintor of its own Group Coins, or in
fact that Groups were permitted to be the mintors of anything.  However, a
Rule (1467) provided that "The Mintor of a Currency is the Mint if it is
not otherwise defined."

But the clear meaning of Rule 1471, worded very much like the two most
recent forms of Rule 1579, is that when one entity ceases to have authority
to mint a currency and another begins to have that authority in its stead,
then that currency is indeed destroyed.

The judgement in CFJ 828 states:
>Rule 1474/0 clearly said that the Mintor for a Group's Coins was the
>Group. That language was amended away by Proposal 1760, and the Group
>issuing the Coins then ceased to have authority to be a Mintor, that
>authority now going to the Mint.
>Rule 1471/0 states that
>   If the Mintor of a Currency ceases to exist, or ceases to have
>                                                ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
>   the authority to be a Mintor, then all units of that Currency
>   ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
>   are immediately destroyed, and Currency ceases to exist.
>Therefore the old Coins ceased to exist upon adoption of Proposal 1760.
>Even though a conclusion is inconvenient, the temptation of avoiding it
>by misinterpreting the Rules, or language, must be resisted.  The change
>of Mintor means that one entity ceased to have the authority and another
>one began having it.

Rule 1579/1 partly stated:
      If the designated Mintor of a Currency ceases to exist or ceases
      to possess Mint Authority, all units of that Currency are
      destroyed and the Currency ceases to exist.

Rule 1579/2 partly stated:
      If the Mintor of a Currency ceases to exist, or ceases to have
      the authority to be a Mintor, then all units of that Currency
      are destroyed, and that Currency ceases to exist.

The inclusion of "designated" in Rule 1579/1 is not enough to change the
result.  The meaning of "mintor" and "designated mintor" have at all times
been the same, namely the mintor designated by the Rules.

Thus I rule that the statement was correctly judged TRUE.

-- elJefe, Justiciar


Decision & Reasoning pro-CotC:

To judge this statement, I asked myself a few questions:

Q:What was the state of the world before the Pragmatic Currencies Proposal?

A:The Mint, as defined by Rule 1470, was the Mintor of VTs.

Q: What changes to the game state were made as a result of this Proposal?

A:Rule 1470 was amended so it no longer defined the Mint and Rule 1696 was
amended to make the Bank the Mintor of VTs.

Q:What were the effects of this change?

A:Since the Mint was no longer defined, it ceased to exist, by Rule 1586.
At the time it ceased to exist, it was the Mintor of VTs. The Bank became
the Mintor of VTs.

Q:Were the VTs destroyed?

Rule 1579 states:

      If the Mintor of a Currency ceases to exist, or ceases to have
      the authority to be a Mintor, then all units of that Currency
      are destroyed, and that Currency ceases to exist.

A:The Mintor of VTs was the Mint.  The Bank ceased to exist.  Therefore,
the Bank, being the Mintor of VTs, ceased to exist, so all VTs were
destroyed.  In my opinion, there was no instant in time when VTs did not
have a Mintor.  R1579, however, states that all units of a Currency are
destroyed "If the Mintor of a Currency ceases to exist".  It does not state
that they're destroyed "If a Currency does not have a Mintor".  These are
two very different phrases.

Q:Do the rules have authority to "interfere" in the execution of a
proposal?  Do the rules have the authority to stop a proposal in
mid-execution and change the game state?

A:The answer to this question does not alter the judgement of this CFJ.
Whether the rules interfered or not, the Mintor of VTs was destroyed.  The
rules did not make an exception in the case that a new Mintor of VTs was

I hereby rule that CFJ 933 was correctly judged TRUE.


Decision & Reasoning pro-Speaker:

My decision on the Appeal of CFJ 933 is to SUSTAIN the original
Judgement, TRUE.


First, I agree with Justice Vir that VTs were destroyed even
if the "atomic" paradigm (wherein a Proposal represents only
a single game state change, although the effects of that change
are as if the provisions were applied sequentially) were
the correct one; as well as with his basis for that decision.

As for the question of whether the "atomic" or "sequential"
paradigm is correct, I cannot decide--based on any of the
four preferred standards of Rule 217 (Game Custom, common sense,
past judgements, the best interests of the Game)--and since
I do not need to decide in order to judge this Appeal, I choose
not to.  However, I will make some lengthy comments on my
inability to decide. :)

I began writing these R&A with the intent of coming down
in favor of the sequential model.  Along those lines,
I had written:

>However, I agree with Steve that the annotations and Amendment
>Number of Rule 1551 establish a Game Custom that the "sequential"
>paradigm--wherein each provision of a Proposal is applied
>individually, and the Rules may act on the intermediate
>game states--is the preferred one.  (Rule 1551 counts
>two "amendments" from a single proposal as two distinct
>First, I note that some have argued that even under the
>atomic (or, for that matter, the generally discredited
>simutaneous) paradigm, the two alleged amendments would
>still be two distinct amendments.  With this I disagree.
>"Amendment" is nowhere distinctly defined in the Rules,
>and thus it must have its normal English usage (possibly
>as modified by Game Custom)--which I (intuitively) take
>to mean "a change to the text of a Rule."  Given this
>definition, if the atomic paradigm held, two alleged
>amendments by a single proposal would in fact be
>only one amendment.  

However, I realized there is a flaw in this reasoning.
I will bring it up below, but there is another issue
I wish to address first.

>Second, the possibility has been raised that the Rulekeepor
>was in error in counting the two "amendments" of Rule
>1551 as two actual amendments, and e should have counted
>them as a single amendment.  I reject this argument on
>the grounds that there is no other evidence from the "preferred
>standards" of Rule 217 supporting the atomic view.  If some
>of those preferred standards supported the atomic view,
>then the strength of the Game Custom of the annotations
>and Amendment Number of 1551 would have to be weighed
>against that other evidence.  But given the lack of
>any other evidence, Rule 1551 must be counted as valid
>Game Custom, rather than an error on the Rulekeepor's part.
>(This is also supported, I believe, by Rule 1575, "Standards
>of Proof".)

As I obliquely allude to above, not all Game Customs are
of equal strength.  Rule 217 provides four preferred
standards for judgement but does not (IMO) provide
any sort of order in which those standards should be
applied--a Judge is free to give precedence to whichever
standards e thinks best.  However, one thing a conscientious
Judge ought to consider, in deciding how to apply the
standards, is that some Game Customs are stronger than
other Game Customs.  A Judge might decide, for example,
that a strong Game Custom is to be preferred over common
sense, but common sense is to be preferred over a weak
Game Custom.  (This is a bit of an oversimplification--not
all common sense is equally strong, either.)

I will not go into a detailed dicussion of what constitutes
"strong" versus "weak" Game Custom, but there are two
issues which I believe are relevant.  First, how many
times has the Game Custom been applied?  A Game Custom
applied dozens of times is stronger than one applied only
once or twice.  Second, how carefully has the Game Custom
been scrutinized in the past?  A Game Custom which led to
a win, for example, or a player deregistration, is likely
to have been very carefully scrutinized, and thus is stronger
than a Game Custom with no major effects, which may not
have been closely scrutinized.

Returning to the issue at hand, we find that we have
only a very weak Game Custom supporting the sequential
view--there is only one example (Rule 1551), and amendment
numbers and Rule annotations are not likely to be closely
scrutinized.  However, even a weak Game Custom can
be decisive, if none of the other standards of Rule 217
apply.  There are no (to my knowledge) past judgements
on this issue, and common sense does not seem to prefer
either view over the other.  I personally hold the
"best interests of the game" standard in low regard,
and choose to place even a weak Game Custom above this
standard, but even if I did not, I do not see that
either one of TRUE or FALSE would be better for the
game than the other.

And so I was about to argue that the sequential view was
the correct one, as noted in my first quoted argument,
until I realized the flaw.  (Note that the second
argument, concerning the possibility of Rulekeepor
error, hinges on the first: if the atomic view can
support counting two alleged amendments in a single
proposal as two actual amendments, the second argument
is irrelevant.)

I wrote that since "Amendment" was not clearly defined
in the Rules, it had to be given its normal definition
of "a change to the text of a Rule."  However, this
does not fit with another Game Custom--the custom
that a Null-Amendment is a valid, legal Amendment.
This, IMO, is a moderately strong Game Custom--although
it also resides in the poorly-scrutinized area of
Amendment Numbers and Rule Annotations, it has been applied
many times.  Given this, we cannot define "Amendment"
simply as "a change to the text of a Rule."  A likely
definition is "Any alleged amendment to the text of a
Rule by a Rule or adopted Proposal, not prohibited by
the Rules."  Given this definition, two alleged amendments by a 
single Proposal may be two actual amendments, even under
the atomic view.

Thus, I find no reason to prefer the sequential model to
the atomic, or vice versa, under any of the preferred standards
of Rule 217.  If this CFJ hinged on that issue, I would have
to make a decision based on any other standards I cared to
apply, but since it does not (VTs are destroyed in both
models), I leave the issue to future CFJs (or, perhaps
preferably, legislation).


Evidence (added by pro-Speaker):
1. Rule 217/3
2. Rule 1551/4
3. Rule 1575/0

Rule 217/3 (Power=1)
Judgements Must Accord with the Rules

      All Judgements must be in accordance with the Rules; however,
      if the Rules are silent, inconsistent, or unclear on the
      Statement to be Judged, then the Judge shall consider game
      custom, commonsense, past Judgements, and the best interests of
      the game before applying other standards.

[CFJ 684: An Injunction on the interpretation of a Rule is part of
 Game Custom.]

Initial Mutable Rule 217, Jun. 30 1993
Amended(1) by Proposal 1635, Jul. 25 1995
Infected and amended(2) by Rule 1454, Aug. 7 1995
Amended(3) by Proposal 2507, Mar. 3 1996

Originator: Peter Suber
Authors: Peter Suber, ...

Rule 1551/4 (Power=1)
Documents Subject to Ratification

      The ratification of an Official Document conforms the Game State
      to what it would be if the valid Official Document thus ratified
      was completely true and accurate at the time of the Document's
      publication in the Public Forum.  In other words, the State of
      the Game, upon such ratification, becomes that specified within
      the Document, plus all subsequent legal changes between the time
      of its publication and its ratification.

      All Game State changes due to the ratification of an Official
      Document occur at the time of such ratification; no retroactive
      effect is expressed or implied.

      A Document, once ratified, is for all legal purposes a true and
      accurate report.  The Game State it references may not be
      retroactively modified prior to the time it was published in the
      Public Forum, even to reflect a prior mistake, retracted or
      illegal move, or an Injunction.  This Rule takes precedence over
      any Rule that would allow such retroactive alterations or
      corrections to the Game State.

      In no way does the ratification of a Document invalidate,
      reverse, alter or cancel any prior moves or transfers, even
      unrecorded or overlooked ones.  Nor does the ratification of a
      Document change the legality or illegality of any prior move.
      Ratification only adjusts the actual Game State to conform to
      that perceived by the Players and Officers in Official

      After a Document has been ratified, the Player in charge of
      maintaining that Document shall annotate all subsequent
      publications of that Document with the date of publication of
      the last such publication that was ratified..

Created by Proposal 2425, Jan. 30 1996
Infected and Amended(1) by Rule 1454, Feb. 4 1997, substantial
Amended(2) by Proposal 3445 (General Chaos), Mar. 26 1997, substantial
Null-Amended(3) by Proposal 3445 (General Chaos), Mar. 26 1997,
  cosmetic (unattributed)
Null-Amended(4) by Proposal 3452 (Steve), Apr. 7 1997, cosmetic

Authors: ..., General Chaos

Rule 1575/0 (Power=1)
Standards of Proof

      A CFJ alleging that a Player has violated a Rule or committed a
      Crime shall not be judged TRUE unless the evidence is sufficient
      to be certain of that Judgement beyond reasonable doubt.

      In all other CFJs, the Judgement shall be consistent with the
      preponderance of the evidence at hand.

Created by Proposal 2469, Feb. 16 1996



Steve Gardner                     |   Appearances to the contrary,
Dept. of Philosophy, Monash Uni.  |  things are just what they seem.    |