Index ← 1361 CFJ 1362 1363 → text
```==============================  CFJ 1362  ==============================

In the context of the rules, fungible means indistinguishable by any
value other than ownership.

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Caller:                                 Syllepsis

Judge:                                  G.
Judgement:                              FALSE

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History:

Called by Syllepsis:                    08 May 2002 13:58:38 GMT
Assigned to G.:                         09 May 2002 19:03:38 GMT
Judged FALSE by G.:                     14 May 2002 16:57:30 GMT

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Caller's Arguments:

R1467 States:

Since units of Currency are fungible, it is not necessary for
the Recordkeepor of a Currency to track the individual
ownership of each unit; rather, it is sufficient to maintain a
record of the total number of units possessed by each entity
which possesses any number of units of that Currency.

The presupposition made here by the rules is that since currencies are
'fungible' the only thing that needs to be tracked (i.e. is worth noting
as far as the game is concerned) is how many are owned by what parties.

This implicitly defines fungible to mean 'indistinguishable other than
by ownership'.

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Caller's Evidence:

Rule 1467/7 (Power=1)
Definition of a Currency

A Currency is a category of entities established by the Rules.
Each instance of a Currency is a Property. Instances of a given
Currency are fungible. The size of a single instance, or
"unit", of a given Currency is its Minimum Unit Quantity (MUQ).
Individual units of a Currency cannot be divided; therefore,
the final result of all computations involving numbers of units
of Currency shall be rounded off to the nearest integral
multiple of its MUQ.

Unless otherwise specified, the MUQ of a Currency is one (1).

Since units of Currency are fungible, it is not necessary for
the Recordkeepor of a Currency to track the individual
ownership of each unit; rather, it is sufficient to maintain a
record of the total number of units possessed by each entity
which possesses any number of units of that Currency.

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Judge G.'s Arguments:

First of all, a note on definitions in general.  It is possible, even in a
single body of law (the Rules) for a word to have more than one meaning,
especially if the word is not explicitly defined by the Rules, but rather
taken from common English usage.

For example, "reasonable" has a general meaning and is not Rules-defined,
however "reasonable" error (R1497) and "reasonable" interpretation (R1665)
may come to have different meanings, especially if judicial precedent sets
more explicit tests for "reasonableness" in the context of each usage.

So may it be with fungible.  We must examine each use of fungible
carefully to determine the truth of this blanket statement.  'Fungible'
occurs in exactly 5 places in 4 Rules.  Arranged from higher to lower
precedence, R1993, R1467 (twice), R1596(e), and R1966.

Rule 1993 is not discussed further: since it simply states that Land is
*not* fungible.  Further examination of Land will tell us nothing about
fungible, in the same way that (since Land isn't a black crow) further
examination of land won't tell us anything about black crows.

In the remaining Rules, there is no explicit definition, so we must assume
that we begin with a reasonable English interpretation of the word.
The implicit definitions to consider are R1467 (Fungible in terms of
currencies) and R1966 (fungible in terms of bonds) and R1596e(fungible
in terms of satisfying debts).

None of the dictionaries This Court has searched for fungible included the
idea of "indistinguishable" but rather the idea of "interchangeable in
terms of satisfying debts and/or obligations."  In fact, as suggested by a
quote on www.word-detective.com, fungible items may be distinguishable in
all characteristics except for debt-satisfaction: "...if I owe you a sum
of money, and you agree to accept several aged cows plus a few bushels of
wheat and maybe a couple of old video games as payment, that debt would be
said to be fungible."  This is clearly the meaning intended in R1596(e).

Since fungible doesn't start out meaning "indistinguishable", the burden
of proof is placed on the Caller to show that the Rules give it that
meaning. Starting with Rule 1467:
A Currency is a category of entities established by the Rules.
Each instance of a Currency is a Property.  Instances of a given
Currency are FUNGIBLE.
This, in itself, doesn't forbid individual units of currency from being
distinguished and tracked, just as noting that U.S. dollars are fungible
"legal tender for all debts" doesn't prevent them from possessing serial
numbers.

However, the second mention of fungibility (R1467) states:
Since units of Currency are FUNGIBLE, it is not necessary for
the Recordkeepor of a Currency to track the individual
ownership of each unit; rather, it is sufficient to maintain a
record of the total number of units possessed by each entity
which possesses any number of units of that Currency.

Therefore, it is not the responsibility of the recordkeepor to distinguish
two units of currency.  Does this mean that two currency units may become
distinguishable in the Game State (other than ownership)?  If, for
example, I decide to name one Stem "Bonny" and one Stem "Clyde", do they
become distinguishable in the Game State?

No.  This Court finds that the Game State is defined by its mandated,
ratified Records.  The strongest support for this position is found in the
concept of ratification (R1551):
[...] 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.

However, only certain types of information can be ratified into the Game
State (R1552):
In order for an Official Document to be valid for the purpose of
a Ratification, it must satisfy all the following criteria at
the time the Proposal which would Ratify it is Proposed:
i) The Rules require some specific Player to produce and/or
maintain the document.
ii) The Rules required it to be published.
[...]

The recordkeepors of each currency are each responsible for records
subject to ratification.  However, R1467 specifically *exempts"
recordkeepors from tracking individual units of currency, and thus
R1552(ii) prevents such information from being ratified by the
Recordkeepor.  And no other Rules require any other entity to track this
information.  Therefore, it is not possible for ownership of individual
units of currency to be ratified into the Game State.  And therefore,
these units are indistinguishable in the current Ruleset.

But this indistinguishability does not arise out of re-defining the word
fungible.  It arises out of a further recordkeeping allowance.  IF SOME
OTHER RULE specified a requirement of distinguishing units of a currency
(for example, through serial numbers), and SPECIFIED some other "specific
Player to produce and/or maintain the document.,"  the currency would
still be fungible by R1467, but could be distinguishable as well, and
these distinguishing features could be ratified into the gamestate.

This is what happens for Bonds.

A species of Bond consists of all Bonds with the same issuer,
face value and maturity date.  All Bonds of a given species are
FUNGIBLE.  In any transaction involving Bonds, it is sufficient
to identify the Bonds involved by species.

This is actually two seperate statements:
(i)  Bonds of a given species are fungible
(ii) In any transaction...it is sufficient to identify...

In our current multi-CFJ crisis, it is not (i) that is causing the large
degree of problems, it is (ii).  It would be possible to have fungible
entities (i) with different characteristics (redeemed vs. unredeemed)
which might be tracked by a recordkeepor.  However, (ii) specifies that
species is sufficient information in any transaction, and that is causing
us problems.

Rule 1966 states that Bonds, as kept as a record by the Usuror, can be
identified by Species alone.  However, Rule 1969 states that Bonds of the
same species can be split into Redeemed and Unredeemed Bonds.

Clearly unredeemed and redeemed bonds are properties.  According to 1969,
they are different even if of the same species.  However, they are not
properties that must be tracked by the Usuror according to 1966(ii).
They are *subtypes* of Bonds of the same species, and thus not identical
to the general "Bonds" defined in 1966, in much the same way as limited
executors are subsets of executorship, but each one is distinct and thus
subject to different Rules.

So is there a recordkeeping responsibility for these subtypes?  Yes.
Rule 1942 (with precedence over 1966 and 1969) states:

Each property shall have a recordkeepor, which is a player
required to maintain a record of who owns that property.  The
Treasuror is the recordkeepor for each property that would
otherwise have no recordkeepor.

This Court concludes that, while the Usuror is the recordkeepor of Bonds
by species, the Treasuror is the recordkeepor of Bonds that have subtypes
by Redeemed/Unredeemed status.  This interpretation resolves the conflicts
between R1966 and R1969 without one contradicting the other.

Since all Bonds have Unredeemed/Redeemed status, the Treasuror is the
recordkeepor for all bonds.  Past transfers of Bonds, when they *have been
effectively clear* (for example, when all Bonds of that Species in the
posession of the Transferor were Unredeemed), should be held to be valid,
as the Usuror's Reports have served to inform the Treasuror of the
transfers.  But in cases where this status was ambiguous, the transfers
should be held invalid as they failed to provide the Treasuror with
sufficient information.

However, this has nothing to do with the definition of fungible.

The Court returns a judgement of FALSE.

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