Index ← 2375 CFJ 2376a 2376 → text
============================  Appeal 2376a  ============================


Panelist:                               Wooble
Decision:                               REASSIGN


Panelist:                               ais523
Decision:                               REASSIGN


Panelist:                               cmealerjr
Decision:                               REASSIGN

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History:

Appeal initiated:                       14 Feb 2009 22:23:18 GMT
Assigned to Wooble (panelist):          17 Feb 2009 00:07:36 GMT
Assigned to ais523 (panelist):          17 Feb 2009 00:07:36 GMT
Assigned to cmealerjr (panelist):       17 Feb 2009 00:07:36 GMT
Wooble moves to REASSIGN:               17 Feb 2009 20:07:21 GMT
ais523 moves to REASSIGN:               18 Feb 2009 14:36:26 GMT
cmealerjr moves to REASSIGN:            24 Feb 2009 00:07:36 GMT
Final decision (REASSIGN):              24 Feb 2009 00:07:36 GMT

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Gratuitous Arguments by G.:

I agree that Murphy's argument was generally not enough for the reasons put
forward by ais523.  As long as this case is continuing I would like to add
something:

I had forgotten, previously, about R754(c), which suggests that we might
give weight to legal definitions.  Leaving aside "document" (there are
amendable and non-amendable legal documents) and all the example's we've
used (text documents, messages, contracts et al.) let's take a look at
"proposal" in the most analogous setting possible, a legislative setting.

In the United States Congress, a Bill (a proposal to change the Law) is
presented as a body of text (a document).  Before the Bill is voted on as
a whole, Amendments to the Bill may be offered and voted up/down.  Now,
each Amendment is a Proposal (a proposal to change the Bill, and a
document), as well.  But each amendment, after being presented, cannot be
changed; any change must be offered as a new amendment.  [My understanding
of these processes is as an informed layperson so may miss some details,
hopefully without compromising the discussion.]

So the Bill is a changeable Proposal to change the Law.
And an Amendment is an unchangeable Proposal to change the Bill.

And both are Documents within a single legal/legislative system.

Thus showing the whole thing is strongly process-dependent, that there
can really be no strong "common definition" to help us at all.

So that leaves us, merely, with some good-of-the-game questions, as
follows:

Anti-scam:
- The process of R106, and of Agoran Decisions, does suggest, rather
  strongly, immutability;
- The history of the process also strongly suggests immutability;
- Insomuch as that we have never, finally rejected that "Rules are an
  Agreement", a proposal change made seconds before voting close would
  certainly run afoul of R101(iv);
- Even if the Rules aren't an agreement, the strong guidance from
  R101(iv) might be considered;
- We altered R754 to downweight low-powered definitions in the Rules,
  with presenting precisely this sort of scam in mind (direct
  legislative intent).

Pro-scam:
- The low-powered Rule in question comes right out and says a proposal
  CAN be altered, as opposed to the indirect (though strong)
  suggestions of higher-powered rules;
- That CAN is in fact a process, and as I argue above, the definitions
  in question are process-dependent;
- We are still permeated by the spirit of "what's not forbidden is
  possible", and the low-powered rule makes the change possible (this
  is the balancing side of the R101 argument above);
- By apathy or design, we voted in a (possibly low-powered) dictatorship;
  not living with those consequences is stepping outside the law,
  not living within it (justified perhaps in a real society, but
  less so for the "good" if this is a game).  This is the balancing
  side of the legislative intent argument, above.

This morning, I find myself more swayed by pro- than anti-.  That
changes each time I think about it.  The only thing I'm *sure* of is
that I think a judge needs to come right out and say they are weighing
these closely-balanced sides on the interest of the game, and perhaps, as
much as anything, commit emself to a subjective opinion rather than
looking for a final piece of hard logic.  It may be that we admit
that this decision relies solely on the luck of assignment and mood
of the judge.  We'll also have to admit that in such a case, an Appeals
Court that constantly REMANDS would only switch back and forth between
subjective judgements; thus an AFFIRM at some point (perhaps not this
one) would be necessary even if the appeals court doesn't wholly agree.

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Gratuitous Arguments by G.:

I should also say that now that the dictatorship has ended one way or
the other, and voting on proposals to fix the bugs are in progress,
making a "good of the game" argument solely based on "it's not for the
good of the game for comex to have a power-3 dictatorship" seems like
Bad Form.

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Gratuitous Arguments by Murphy:

Goethe wrote:

> I had forgotten, previously, about R754(c), which suggests that we might
> give weight to legal definitions.  Leaving aside "document" (there are
> amendable and non-amendable legal documents) and all the example's we've
> used (text documents, messages, contracts et al.) let's take a look at
> "proposal" in the most analogous setting possible, a legislative setting.
>
> In the United States Congress, a Bill (a proposal to change the Law) is
> presented as a body of text (a document).  Before the Bill is voted on as
> a whole, Amendments to the Bill may be offered and voted up/down.  Now,
> each Amendment is a Proposal (a proposal to change the Bill, and a
> document), as well.  But each amendment, after being presented, cannot be
> changed; any change must be offered as a new amendment.  [My understanding
> of these processes is as an informed layperson so may miss some details,
> hopefully without compromising the discussion.]
>
> So the Bill is a changeable Proposal to change the Law.
> And an Amendment is an unchangeable Proposal to change the Bill.

This comes down on the anti- side.  Neither a Bill nor an Amendment
can be changed once the process of voting on it begins.

> This morning, I find myself more swayed by pro- than anti-.  That
> changes each time I think about it.  The only thing I'm *sure* of is
> that I think a judge needs to come right out and say they are weighing
> these closely-balanced sides on the interest of the game, and perhaps, as
> much as anything, commit emself to a subjective opinion rather than
> looking for a final piece of hard logic.  It may be that we admit
> that this decision relies solely on the luck of assignment and mood
> of the judge.  We'll also have to admit that in such a case, an Appeals
> Court that constantly REMANDS would only switch back and forth between
> subjective judgements; thus an AFFIRM at some point (perhaps not this
> one) would be necessary even if the appeals court doesn't wholly agree.

There should also be at least one CFJ along the lines of "even if the
proposal's text did change, did the decision and associated votes put
into effect the old text, the new text, or neither?".

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Gratuitous Arguments by omd:

The issue is whether a proposal is fundamentally mutable (like a
contract) or immutable (like a message).  In the former, there's
nothing in the Agoran ruleset to prevent it from being changed once
voting begins, regardless of whatever happens in the U.S. Congress.
The process of voting is well laid out and defined in the rules and we
don't need to use external precedent for it; the definition of a
proposal, however, isn't.

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Gratuitous Arguments by ais523:

Another interesting point here is BlogNomic; it allows proposals to be
edited even after voting is open, but not after any votes have been cast
on them.

Also, IIRC in the UK new laws have to be voted on multiple times before
being enacted, and can be amended between some of the voting phases.

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Panelist Wooble's Arguments:

REASSIGN.  The appellants' argument that the judge did not fully
explore the issues in the case are compelling, and the judge has
requested not to have the case remanded to em.

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Panelist ais523's Arguments:

My problems with this judgement are a matter of public record, and
Murphy's request to the appeals panel not to REMAND is pretty strong
evidence that e is unlikely to deliver a better verdict given a second
opportunity. AFFIRMing the judgement would simply be incorrect when it
is disputed this much (especially as I don't agree with it), and
OVERRULEing it would be inappropriate as I have such an interest in the
case. Therefore, I move to REASSIGN CFJ 2376, and therefore judge
REASSIGN on CFJ 2376a.

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Panelist cmealerjr's Arguments:

[no opinion given]

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