Index ← 2482a CFJ 2482 2483 → text
==============================  CFJ 2482  ==============================

    The right of participation in the fora (Rule 101) takes precedence
    over the prohibition against excessive Notices of Violation (Rule


Caller:                                 Murphy

Judge:                                  omd

Judge:                                  ais523
Judgement:                              TRUE

Appeal:                                 2482a
Decision:                               REMAND

Judge:                                  ais523
Judgement:                              TRUE



Called by Murphy:                       02 May 2009 17:01:12 GMT
Assigned to omd:                        04 May 2009 07:24:52 GMT
omd recused:                            04 May 2009 12:49:28 GMT
Assigned to ais523:                     04 May 2009 15:33:38 GMT
Judged TRUE by ais523:                  04 May 2009 16:39:38 GMT
Appealed by Wooble:                     04 May 2009 18:02:16 GMT
Appealed by Rodlen:                     04 May 2009 18:09:31 GMT
Appealed by Murphy:                     04 May 2009 18:16:17 GMT
Appealed by scshunt:                    04 May 2009 18:19:14 GMT
Appeal 2482a:                           04 May 2009 18:19:14 GMT
REMANDED on Appeal:                     12 May 2009 00:03:00 GMT
Assigned to ais523:                     12 May 2009 00:03:00 GMT
Judged TRUE by ais523:                  18 May 2009 19:55:09 GMT


Judge ais523's Arguments:

I judge this TRUE; rule 101 has higher Power, so by rule 1482 it does
indeed take precedence.

At this point, I'd normally answer the question that this case probably
meant to ask, which is whether there is a conflict between the two rules
such that the precedence relationship actually matters. However, I have
a rather obvious conflict of interest concerning this matter, so I won't
opine on it in this judgement, and instead I'll CFJ on it.


Appellant Wooble's Arguments:

I intend, with 2 support, to appeal this ruling.  R1482 only applies
in conflicts between 2 rules, and the judgement explicitly doesn't
consider whether such a conflict exists.


Appellant Rodlen's Arguments:

I support.  I don't see how preventing someone from flooding the game with
NoVs, or the punishment for flooding the game with NoVs, prevents access
to/use of the public fora.


Appellant scshunt's Arguments:

I support and do so.

There's also the issue of self-interest to consider, so I would
recommend avoiding REMAND.


Gratuitous Arguments by Pavitra:

Kerim Aydin wrote:
> On Mon, 4 May 2009, Ian Kelly wrote:
>> On Mon, May 4, 2009 at 12:25 PM, Kerim Aydin 
>>> Note that R1482 doesn't explicitly define precedence when there's no
>>> conflict, so precedence is not defined in the rules, so a "rules are
>>> silent" argument can be made on either side.  It's all semantic.  If
>>> Sentence A is in Rule A, and Sentence B is in Rule B, and Rule A >
>>> Rule B, but Sentence A and Sentence B are wholly unrelated and have no
>>> conflict, you can say either:
>>> 1.  Rule A > Rule B, therefore sentence A > sentence B, but it doesn't
>>> matter or affect anything at the moment (ais523's opinion).
>>> 2.  Rule A > Rule B, but sentence A and sentence B aren't in the same
>>> units, so comparisons aren't meaningful (Wooble's appeals argument).
>>> I personally prefer #1 (ais523) out of aesthetics, and also (in case
>>> Sentence C in Rule C somehow makes A and B conflict) the lines of
>>> precedence remain constant.
>> Proto:
>> Create a new power-1 rule titled "Paradox!" reading:
>>      Unless Rule 101 takes precedence over this rule, persons have no
>>      rights.
> Nice.  A very good argument for keeping ais523's opinion.  -Goethe

Unfortunately, this is Agora, and "interpretation X would have
potentially catastrophic consequences" does not automatically imply
"interpretation X is wrong". Reductio ad absurdum must be handled very
carefully to ensure that the 'absurdity' is actually false rather than
merely absurd.

Goethe's arguments on this matter are rather more persuasive:

Kerim Aydin wrote:
> On Mon, 4 May 2009, Ed Murphy wrote:
>> That's the point.  For two rules not in conflict, precedence is
>> undefined (specifically, R1482 does not define it).
> So the rules are silent on the matter, and ais523 (as judge to whom
> we defer) can reasonably define it to follow the rules of conflicts.

Is this interpretation allowed? Rule 1482 (Precedence between Rules with
Unequal Power) says:
      No change to the Ruleset can occur that would cause a Rule
      to stipulate any other means of determining precedence
      between Rules of unequal Power.  This applies to changes by
      the enactment or amendment of a Rule, or of any other form.
      This Rule takes precedence over any Rule that would permit
      such a change to the Ruleset.

I would like to be able to argue that this only restricts defining
precedence between Rules, not between sentences. However, I can find no
justification in the Ruleset for doing so. Precedence between sentences
in Rules only appears to occur because conflict between sentences causes
the Rules containing those sentences to conflict.

Now, it is possible there may be a way out. Rule 217 may offer a
definition of 'precedence' if and only if the relevant language was
added to it before the second paragraph of Rule 1482 was added.
R1482par2 only forbids _changes_ that would define precedence; it does
not stamp out _preexisting_ definitions of precedence.

According to the annotations on the Full Logical Ruleset published 01
May 2009, Rule 217 was last amended in August 2007. Rule 1482 has been
amended twice, once in 1997 (labeled as "cosmetic") and once in May 2007.

Examining the archives reveals that the relevant amendment to R1482 was
the last one, by Proposal 4942

The last amendment to Rule 217, by Proposal 5105
is the only substantive one after P4942 (the other merely retitled the

P5105 replaced the text of R217 outright, so I refer to the last
publication of the ruleset before then to determine what the prior text was.

This ruleset is found at
and Rule 217/5 is found to have read as follows:

Rule 217/5 (Power=3)
Judgements Must Accord with the Rules

      All Judgements must be in accordance with the Rules; however, if
      the Rules are silent, inconsistent, or unclear on the Statement
      to be Judged, then the Judge shall consider game custom, common
      sense, past Judgements, and the best interests of the game
      before applying other standards.

      When a Judge is considering eir Judgement of a Statement
      contained in a CFJ, e shall make eir evaluation based on the
      truth or falsity of the Statement at the time the CFJ was

For side-by-side comparison, the current Rule 217/6 reads:

Rule 217/6 (Power=3)
Interpreting the Rules

      When interpreting and applying the rules, the text of the rules
      takes precedence.  Where the text is silent, inconsistent, or
      unclear, it is to be augmented by game custom, common sense,
      past judgements, and consideration of the best interests of the

The key change, then, appears to have been to generalize the standards
that applied to judicial findings to a more general context.

In particular, Proposal 5105 did not "cause a Rule to stipulate any
other means of determining precedence between Rules of unequal Power".
The stipulation was already present; Proposal 5105 merely extended the
scope in which that stipulation applies.

Lest anyone argue that the extension of scope does in fact infringe
R1482par2 on the grounds that R217 now stipulates the definition in a
context where it previously did not, I observe that this case, by virtue
of being a call for judgement, falls within the umbra rather than the
penumbra (as it were). As the question before us is the subject of a
Call for Judgement, and the answer ultimately provided will be a
Judgement, for the purposes of the Court we may say that the guiding
principles given in Rule 217 are not restricted by the second paragraph
of Rule 1482.

Therefore, since the text is silent on precedence between nonconflicting
rules of unequal power, let us consider game custom, common sense, past
judgements, and consideration of the best interests of the game.

Consideration of the best interests of the game is the most easily
evaluated of the four. root provides a very succinct and persuasive
example (quoted above) of why it is in the interest of the game for
precedence to be defined as if the rules conflicted.

Game custom also appears to support this. I am a relative newcomer to
Agora, and have little knowledge of its frankly vast history, but unless
an older player contradicts me I will assume for the time being that the
most directly relevant precedent is Rule 1482's definition of precedence
between conflicting rules of unequal power.

I do not remember seeing any past judgements cited in relation to this
case so far. If anyone knows of any relevant precedents, please bring
them up.

Common sense at least appears to be forked two ways here. On the one
hand, it seems extremely reasonable for the rules of precedence to apply
in a latent sort of way when rules don't conflict. On the other hand,
one tends to feel that if one rule takes precedence over another, then
the trumped rule is thereby invalidated and rendered nonfunctional.

A simple application of the idea, however, puts the lie to this second
interpretation. When two rules only partially conflict -- that is, for
example, when a higher-powered rule prevents part but not all of a
lower-powered rule, common sense and game custom both immediately insist
that the non-trumped part of the lower rule be allowed to stand.
Although the two rules as wholes do indeed conflict, the precedence
(which in this case can uncontroversially be said to exist) is latent
with regard to the nonconflicting clauses of the lower-powered rule.

A little thought, then, reveals that the common-sense interpretation
must be that precedence occurs latently between nonconflicting rules.

Considering the relative difficulty with which the present judicial
panel was assembled, unless someone can find either a logical fallacy in
the arguments here presented or a relevant judicial precedent implying
FALSE, I recommend a ruling of AFFIRM with the above arguments as a
concurring opinion and an error rating of 25 (since the original judge's
arguments were correct, but incomplete).


Judge ais523's Arguments:

Given that CFJ 2482 was remanded to me by accident, more or less, I'm
not sure what else I can say. I don't believe my judgement in it was
incorrect nor self-interested (due to a flaw in the question); I
re-judge CFJ 2482 TRUE, like I did first time, this time per Pavitra's
arguments in CFJ 2482a (which supported mine but went further in
explaining the reasons why).

The only argument against my judgement itself, as opposed to claims of
self-interest, that I've seen is Rodlen's; however, I feel that Rodlen's
argument was relevant to CFJ 2488 (which was judged in the direction eir
argument was arguing), rather than 2482. I hope that the extra
supporting arguments given by the appeals panel, and the judgement in
the issue that /actually/ affected me, will help avoid the perception of
self-interest in the rather technical question which was asked by
mistake in CFJ 2482, and which lead to an appeal.