Index ← 1259 CFJ 1260 1261 → text
==============================  CFJ 1260  ==============================

    Elysion committed the Crime of Misrepresentation in eir message
    dated Mon, 08 Jan 2001 14:54:47 -0500.


Caller:                                 Elysion

Judge:                                  Steve
Judgement:                              TRUE



Called by Elysion:                      22 Jan 2001 01:29:05 GMT
Assigned to Steve:                      22 Jan 2001 10:41:12 GMT
Judged TRUE by Steve:                   29 Jan 2001 02:08:31 GMT


Caller's Evidence:

(the message is reproduced here)

  Subject: Re: Proposal Distribution: 4094-4104
     Date: Mon, 08 Jan 2001 14:54:47 -0500
     From: Joshua Boehme 
       To: agora-business 

Joshua Boehme wrote:

> No.      | Title                          | By           | AI | Date
>          |                                |              |    |
> 4094D+   | Billing winning bidders        | Steve        |  1 | 13Dec00
> 4095+    | Make Stems Transferrable       | Blob         |  1 | 18Dec00
> 4096*D+  | Fix Rule 1840                  | Elysion      |  2 | 18Dec00
> 4097+    | Scores                         | t            |  1 | 31Dec00
> 4098*D+  | Spelling Fixes, Part 2 of 2    | Murphy       |  2 | 25Dec00
> 4099D+   | Spelling Fixes, Part 1 of 2    | Murphy       |  1 | 25Dec00
> 4100D+   | The Dole                       | Murphy       |  1 | 25Dec00
> 4101*+   | Compensate for Complacent      | Murphy       |  2 | 25Dec00
>          |   Oligarchy                    |              |    |
> 4102+    | More Ways to Win               | Murphy       |  1 | 25Dec00
> 4103+    | Adjust Elections               | Murphy       |  1 | 25Dec00
> 4104U+   | Alternate Adoption System      | Elysion      |  1 | 31Dec00


4096: FOR
4098: FOR
4101: FOR


4094: 3xFOR
4095: 3xAGAINST
4097: 3xFOR
4099: 3xFOR
4100: 3xAGAINST
4102: 3xFOR
4103: 3xFOR
4104: 3xAGAINT

I note that if an Oligarch is the only player to vote FOR proposals 4095,
4100, and 4104, e will gain some points.


Judge Steve's Arguments:

Briefly, the facts of the case are these: Elysion made a private
arrangement with Assessor t, establishing a code that for the purposes
of voting on Proposal 4104, "AGAINT" would mean "FOR". He then sent a
message to the PF voting "3xAGAINT" Proposal 4104. Later, in response to
a COE claiming that Assessor t had misrecorded Elysion's votes, Elysion
denied any misrecording of his votes and produced the message
establishing the code. The voting message, and Elysion's response to the
COE, which includes a copy of the message establishing the code, are
reproduced in the Evidence section.

The Crime of Misrepresentation is defined by R1497 as follows:

      A Player who presents as correct information which e believes to
      be incorrect as part of any message sent to the Public Forum...
      commits the Class 4 Crime of Misrepresentation.

The prima facie case against Elysion is that he presented as correct
information to the effect that he voted AGAINST Proposal 4104, when in
fact he believed he had voted FOR it. That he did believe that he had
voted FOR P4104 is evidenced by his response to the COE.

What remains to be established is that Elysion presented as correct
information to the effect that he had voted AGAINST P4104. Two arguments
have been advanced that this is not the case.

1. Misrepresentation is impossible in a voting message.

Kelly advanced this argument

      Prior to the message being sent, there are no Votes to
      (mis)represent. The message is the mechanism by which the Votes
      are created.  I do not see how a message which on its face
      instantiates a set of Votes can also misrepresent them.

According to this argument, since votes are created by the act of
sending a voting message, the message cannot misrepresent them. If
Elysion's message succeeded in casting votes FOR P4104 (the subject of
CFJ 1261), then it must have represented votes FOR the Proposal.
Likewise, if Elysion's plan failed and he actually voted AGAINST P4104,
then his message did not misrepresent his votes.

What this argument misses is the fact that there were effectively two
different audiences for Elysion's message, who were intended to
understand different things by it. One audience consisted of Elysion
and Assessor t. The other consisted of the other Players and Watchers
who were unaware of the coded nature of Elysion's message.

Kelly is correct that a voting message cannot misrepresent the votes it
casts *to the Assessor*. For a message to succeed in casting votes, it
must inform the Assessor (R683), and so the message cannot misrepresent
to the Assessor the votes cast in it. But a voting message sent to the
Public Forum does not only make representations about those votes to the
Assessor, but to all who read it. The possibility exists that the
message might misrepresent to those others the nature of the votes the
sender of the message is seeking to cast. An even clearer case of this
would have been provided had Elysion chosen to employ the code "AGAINST"
= "FOR". I don't think there can be any doubt that had Elysion used this
code, he would have misrepresented himself to those unaware of the code
as voting AGAINST the Proposal.

2. Voting AGAINT vs voting AGAINST.

This brings us to the second argument advanced in Elysion's defence.
Elysion knew that his scam might run up against R1497 (see, and so he did
not employ a code which clearly would have involved him in an act of
Misrepresentation. Instead, he used a code word, "AGAINT", which he knew
that others would take as an innocent misspelling of "AGAINST". Can
Elysion succeed by this artful dodge in side-stepping a conviction for

Kelly (and also Crito, although in different language) distinguishes
between lying, directly saying that something is true when you believe
it is false (or vice versa), and deception, saying something which will
lead your audience to believe that something is true, when you believe
it is false (or vice versa). E argues that R1497 prohibits only lying,
whereas Elysion is guilty only of deception.

I think R1497 is unclear about whether it prohibits only lying, or both
lying and deception. The term used by the Rule is "present as correct".
One could read this narrowly as "saying directly that X" or more broadly
as "saying something would lead a rational person to infer that X".
Given that the Rule is unclear, I could rely on R217 and argue that the
best interests of the game are served by reading the Rule broadly, on
the grounds that deception in messages sent to the Public Forum should
be discouraged.

But the Judgement need not rely on resolving the issue about exactly
what R1497 prohibits. All agree that R1497 prohibits lying, and my view
is that Elysion did not merely deceive, but lied. Consider the case
where there was no private code between Elysion and Assessor t, and
Elysion's simple intention was to vote AGAINST P4104. But by accident,
he sends the typo "AGAINT".

In this case, Elysion could argue, on the basis of R754, that the typo
does not change the meaning of his message. He would be quite right to
do so. As Palnatoke has shown (,
"AGAINT" is a common misspelling of "AGAINST". No competent reader of
English has any difficulty in understanding the meaning of the misspelt

It would be no defence to a charge of Misrepresentation that one
happened to misspell whatever it was that one was presenting. Were I to
claim in the Public Forum that "Kelly is not a Playr.", the misspelling
of "Player" would be no defence to the charge.

This is the crux of my argument. R754 says that differences in spelling
are inconsequential as long as there is no ambiguity in meaning. For
those unaware of the code, the difference in spelling between "AGAINST"
and "AGAINT" created no ambiguity in meaning, and was therefore
inconsequential to the way in which they understood the message. In
short, the message "I vote 3xAGAINT P4104", says directly "I vote
3xAGAINST P4104". To those unaware of the code, it says it just as
directly as it would have done had there been no code. Whether we
understand R1497 narrowly or broadly, this constituted Mispresentation.

Sentencing Orders

Since Misrepresentation is a Class 4 Crime, in accordance with R1504, it
is hereby ordered that Elysion gains 4 Blots. H. Herald, please do so

H. GWoTO Murphy, please note that as a result, Elysion ceases to be an
Oligarch, and a vacancy in the Oligarchy arises.

In accordance with R908, I hereby order the Ninny Elysion to submit a
Formal Apology, "explaining the Ninny's error, shame, remorse, and
ardent desire for self-improvement", and containing the words:
coruscating, consanguineous, contumely, conveyancer, creole, craquelure,
celibate, crayfish, coagulate, carboniferous.

I really think that is punishment enough. :)