============================== CFJ 1214 ==============================
If we post to a Public Forum a message in the form "If and only if
we have not transferred VTs to t in the last 2 days, we transfer 10
VTs to t.", and we have indeed made no transfers to t in the 2 days
previous to sending this message, and if there are no general
conditions preventing any transfer of 10 VTs (such as a lack of
funds), then 10 VTs are transferred from us to t. If, however, we
had transferred VTs to t 4 hours before this message reached the
Public Forum, then no VTs would be transferred as a direct result of
Called by Wes: 14 May 2000 21:30:53 GMT
Assigned to Taral: 15 May 2000 20:07:49 GMT
Judged TRUE by Taral: 20 May 2000 03:10:17 GMT
> You can't point a gun at someone and declare, "If you are evil, I
> hereby shoot you" and have the gun fire if and only if the person is
> evil. Why should speech acts be subjected to a different analysis?
On the other hand, if we call our stockbroker and say "if and only if
we have not already bought shares of this stock in the last day or two,
we want to buy X number of shares."
This way, if we leave this message on his office voicemail, home answering
machine, pager voicemail and cellphone voicemail, we will only get X
shares of the stock, rather than 4X shares of the stock.
One may argue that in this case, the stockbroker is atually performing
the action rather than the caller. We disagree. One never says that
"one's stockbroker bought shares of a stock". One says "we bought shares
of a stock". Actions which require cooperation on the part of a third
party are still refered to as actions performed by the instigating
agent. In fact, if one is not familiar with the nature of buying stocks,
one might not even know that the action was not performed directly. It
is not obvious to an uninformed observer.
Agora is in a similar situation. When we post to a Public Forum that we
transfer some Currency, in one way we are directly performing an action.
The legal fiction is that the Currency automagically transfers from one
account to another without any intervention whatsoever.
The reality, evident to those actually in the situation rather than some
spectators, is that what we are really doing is instructing the Currency
Recordkeepor to adjust some numbers for us. Because we are, in reality,
giving instructions to an imperfect agent, there is the potential for various
sorts of miscommunications, thus conditional messages like we constructed
above are not only necessary, but logical and consistant with the current
legal situation. Of course, such instructions are only meaningful if the
cooperating agent (the Recordkeepor) can determine without question the
truthfulness of the condition. Otherwise, the statement ceases to be a
simple action and becomes more akin to Kelly's example where the action's
state of fulfullment is uncertain.
There is also the simple fact that, as Kelly pointed out, actions in the
context of Agora only have meaning as provided by the Rules. The Rules
provide a specific effect for those statements made in the form "We
transfer X Currency to Y". Since Agora furthermore complies with the
basic function of the English language, and since no restrictions are
put upon the use of additional language constructs, and since the Rules
do specifically permit the unrestricted, one can embed this sort of a
statement within a conditional statement, so long as the conditional
statement complies with the linguistic rules of the English language.
Thus, for a couple of different reasons, statements of a conditional
nature would be perfectly effective.
Judge Taral's Arguments:
There is a reasonable reading of the Rules in which the sending of a
message of the type in the Statement is the execution of an Order whose
action may be a nullity. To render this reading invalid by precedent would
be to modify too heavily the definition of an Order. However, in the
interest of the coherent execution of the Game, it is only reasonable to
allow conditions which can be fully resolved by consultation of the
information publicly available within the scope of the Game at the time
the conditional Order is issued.
Since the Statement's condition satisfies this constraint, I Judge it
Judge Taral's Evidence:
Rule 1793/0 (Power=1)
An Order is a command, executed by a Player and directed to some
entity requiring that entity to perform exactly one action, or
to refrain from performing one or more actions.
An Order may be directed to the holder of an Office or other
official position in eir capacity as that Office or other
official position, and in this case if the Office or position
changes hands before the Order is satisfied, the duty to abide
by the Order automatically attaches to the new holder of that
Office or position.
Notwithstanding the foregoing, an Order, the purpose of which is
to affect the operation of a prior Order, is as valid as any
other Order, and is said to be directed at the prior Order it
Rule 1808/1 (Power=1)
Administrative and Private Orders
Administrative Orders are executed by being published in the
Public Forum, and take effect upon publication.
Private Orders are executed by submitting them to the Player to
be commanded, and take effect upon submission.