Index ← 1450 CFJ 1451 1452 → text
==============================  CFJ 1451  ==============================

    Peekee has published a message containing the text "MessageXX", in
    emails with titles 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9.


Caller:                                 Peekee

Judge:                                  root
Judgement:                              TRUE



Called by Peekee:                       06 Mar 2003 20:31:22 GMT
Assigned to root:                       10 Mar 2003 06:49:48 GMT
Judged TRUE by root:                    18 Mar 2003 04:49:06 GMT


Judge root's Arguments:

The Rules do not give any clear statement as to what constitutes a message.
The American Heritage Dictionary gives the following definition:

1. a. A usually short communication transmitted by words, signals, or other
      means from one person, station, or group to another.
   b. The substance of such a communication; the point or points conveyed:
      gestured to a waiter, who got the message and brought the bill.

Not much help there, although definition b suggests that a message may be
defined by its contents rather than its framing.

We could assume that "message" means "email message", but nothing in the
Rules indicates that Agoran communication must be conducted over email.  In
fact, R478 appears to have been specifically designed such that fora need
not necessarily be mailing lists, a notion which I've always liked and have
no desire to destroy here.

Perhaps we should go with the identity given in Hofstadter's _Godel,
Escher, Bach_*, which defines a message as having 1) a frame message, a set
of signals that indicate to the message receiver that there is a message to
be interpreted; 2) an outer message, a set of signals that indicate how the
message is to be interpreted; and 3) an inner message, the ideas that are
intended to be communicated.

Applying this identity to Peekee's "MessageXX" and "This is a single
message" emails, we might produce the following mappings:

Frame message: In each case, a set of emails was received. Since we are
accustomed to receiving email, and since we are accustomed to finding
messages inside email (so long as the subject is not "Lose weight in the
shower!"), it is reasonable to conclude that the frame message is the email
medium itself.

Outer message: Peekee's first of emails were sequentially numbered 1 to 9,
and the second set were marked A and B.  They were also sequentially
ordered by date and were very closely spaced in time.  I can say that I for
one immediately began to piece the messages together when I saw this
connection, and it seems likely that others did the same.  Therefore, it is
not unreasonable to conclude that this ordering comprises an outer message
suggesting that the individual emails should be pieced together to form a
whole message.

Inner message: Once the frame message and outer message have been found,
the inner messages are clear: "MessageXX" and "This is a single message"
are the two inner messages.

Therefore, I find that Peekee did publish the messages "MessageXX" and
"This is a single message", and I return judgements of TRUE in both CFJs
1451 and 1452.  However, I note that both of these were exceedingly simple
cases of non-standard messages. Messages that are more complex or less
clear will require testing by CFJ and may be found to lack one or more
components of Hofstadter's identity of messages.

*I don't know off-hand whether the idea was Hofstadter's or somebody
else's, and I don't have my copy with me to check, so I'll just cite
Hofstadter here.