============================== CFJ 2427 ==============================
Rule 105 can, in whole or in part, prevent an instrument from taking
Called by scshunt: 22 Mar 2009 21:25:00 GMT
Assigned to G.: 23 Mar 2009 19:24:29 GMT
Judged TRUE by G.: 25 Mar 2009 19:08:43 GMT
After some discussion in ##nomic, it isn't really
clear whether 105 actually prevents something from taking effect, or
whether it simply prevents the action caused by it taking effect.
Noticeably, there is nothing in the rules actually letting proposals
make rules changes; merely to cause them to take effect. This leads to
some interesting conundrums.
Judge G.'s Arguments:
First: To "take effect" is not defined in the ruleset. After much
browsing, MW-online called to "take effect" as the intransitive form
of "to act", and Dictionary.com calls it "to produce a result; to go
into operation" and "effect" as a verb has the same sense.
With this in mind, I find it consistent with interpretation and Agoran
usage that to "take effect" is a grammatical variation of performing an
action. In other words, it is the same to say "I act to transfer 5
peanuts to coppro" and say "I cause a transfer of 5 peanuts from myself
to coppro to take effect." And of course, we drop the "I act", so "I
transfer 5 peanuts to coppro" is the same as "A transfer of 5 peanuts
from myself to coppro hereby takes effect."
It also means that, whenever the rules say "an entity CAN/CANNOT X by
mechanism M", it's equivalent to saying "an entity CAN cause the
action of X to take effect via M". Further, if an action is prevented
by a CANNOT in a Rule, that's the same as saying "this Rule prevents an
attempt to do X from taking effect". (Note that an explicit synonym
for CANNOT in R2152/4 is INEFFECTIVE).
I can't find any place in the ruleset where this interpretation breaks
the notion of "taking effect"; in fact it clarifies the notion.
Second: A proposal (or instrument in general) can contain multiple
Rule Changes as separate provisions (separate effects), as Rule changes
are defined by R105/3 (see CFJs 1638-1645).
For individual rule change provisions, the phrase "take effect" is not
actually contained in R105; rather, individual provisions can be "void
and without effect" if not well-specified, but this is not a substantial
difference. So it is TRUE that R105 can prevent any (or all) of a
proposal's rule change provisions from causing any changes (having any
effect, performing an action that causes change, or "taking effect") on
the ruleset, and therefore can prevent part of an instrument's attempted
actions from taking effect.
However, there is a confusion introduced by R106/19, in the following
If the option selected by Agora on this decision is ADOPTED,
then the proposal is adopted, and unless other rules prevent it
from taking effect, its power is set to the minimum of four and
its adoption index, and then it takes effect. It does not
otherwise take effect.
This implies that the proposal as a whole, after becoming an instrument
"takes effect" in a manner outside of its individual provisions. For
example, If I send a message containing actions, it might be reasonable
to say "the message took effect" upon being sent, which caused the
provisions in the message to "take effect." In other words, a hierarchy
of taking effect.
However, this is incorrect. The proposal is not the message medium, the
proposal is "the causal mechanism" (an instrument). Saying, literally,
that a proposal "takes effect" would be the same as saying "Goethe
takes effect" whenever I send a message. This is a poor interpretation,
and perhaps a poor and/or depreciated reading of R106.
The most consistent interpretation is thus that R106/19 is not wholly
grammatically correct, when it states that a proposal "takes effect"
after it becomes an instrument, what actually happens is that the
proposal (as an instrument) causes its provisions to take effect, in
other words, the instrument acts (takes actions) to cause rule changes
and do other things. This (that the proposal takes actions) is
consistent with the first paragraph of R105, if "can" is treated as CAN.
Therefore, "an instrument taking effect" in the sense of R106/19 is
best interpreted as the sum of its provisions taking effect (the
instrument performing actions), and as R105 can block provisions, it
is reasonable to say that R105 can block part of its provisions from
taking effect, and (reversing the interpretation across the depreciated
use) say that R105 can "in whole or in part" prevent "the instrument"
from taking effect, in the sense that this term is used in R106. TRUE.