============================== CFJ 2650 ==============================
I CAN destroy The Pier by announcement.
Called by scshunt: 07 Aug 2009 02:37:06 GMT
Assigned to Pavitra: 08 Aug 2009 16:12:27 GMT
Judged UNDECIDABLE by Pavitra: 12 Aug 2009 00:46:37 GMT
Now that I am an inactive player, I am ineligible to own The Pier. As
such, according to R2166, it would be transferred to the LFD, but R2166
contradicts itself directly by stating that fixed assets cannot be
transferred. There is no way to properly resolve this; R217 says that
the text of the rules take precedence over everything else. As a result,
any attempted application of common sense, game custom, etc. will always
be defeated one of the rule's contradictory clauses. As a result, the
only appropriate judgment is UNDECIDABLE.
I agree to the following pledge:
This is a Public (Disclosure) Equitable Pledge entitled Pairs of Docks.
coppro CAN terminate this pledge by announcement.
No asset defined by this document has a recordkeepor.
The Pier is a fixed asset. Owneship of The Pier is restricted to active
players. coppro is the initial owner of The Pier.
I go on hold.
Gratuitous Arguments by Pavitra:
Nice try, but R217 actually says this:
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
In particular, "the text is ... inconsistent" here. Therefore we are
fully justified in using CSJI* to determine precedence.
At any rate, you seem to have overlooked the following sentence from R2166:
If an asset would otherwise
lack an owner, it is owned by the Lost and Found Department.
I argue that it is in the best interests of the game for this to mean
that, upon your inactivation, The Pier became owned by the L&FD by
another mechanism than transference.
I've always said you're a friend without pier. (One bad pun begets another.)
(* This really needs an acronym, considering how much it comes up and
how verbose it is in full. CSJI: custom, sense, judgements, interests.)
Gratuitous Arguments by scshunt:
> Nice try, but R217 actually says this:
> 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
> In particular, "the text is ... inconsistent" here. Therefore we are
> fully justified in using CSJI* to determine precedence.
Fair. However, I would then argue that Agora is a Nomic. We even have a
rule specifically saying that. Nomics seek to eliminate paradoxes by
awarding those who find them, especially where the finding of such a
paradox is nonfatal to the game, as in Agora. If we could simply wash
away all inconsistencies by choosing a definite interpretation that we
liked, there would be no paradox, making the winning condition quite
useless. The Nomic game custom, even older than Agora's, is that a
definite and explicit contradiction between two rules is a discovery
that results in a reward for the discoverer.
Furthermore, it is in the best interests of Agora that this CFJ be ruled
UNDECIDABLE, as fixing Paradoxes in innocent situations such as this one
is very good for Agora compared to them deing discovered after a
significant bout of gameplay reliant on one behavior or the other. By
providing an incentive for players to present Paradoxes in a harmless
manner, the quality of Agora's ruleset is improved.
> I argue that it is in the best interests of the game for this to mean
> that, upon your inactivation, The Pier became owned by the L&FD by
> another mechanism than transference.
That also fails. There is no reason that, if the clause transferring it
the LFD fails, it would lack an owner. It is owned either by me (the
transfer fails due to it being a fixed asset) or by the LFD (the
transfer succeeds due to me being inactive). As a result, a paradox of
Gratuitous Arguments by ais523:
A Contradiction is not a Paradox. Why do people seem to shout "paradox!"
at every inconsistency in the rules? A genuine paradox is indeed
UNDECIDABLE, and good to catch via the CFJ system, with a reward for the
person who catches it. However, in the mere case of a contradiction
between rules, we have rules for resolving that (i.e. 1030, 217).
In this case, note that rule 2166 states "Each asset has exactly one
owner.", which means that it has an owner, and all we need to do is to
find out who it is. In this case, no way "The Pier is a fixed asset. "
overrules "If an asset would otherwise lack an owner, it is owned by the
Lost and Found Department."; CANNOT means "Attempts to perform the
described action are unsuccessful.", and platonically being given to the
L&FD due to there being no valid owner is not an action.
Judge Pavitra's Arguments:
Reading the gratuitous and non-gratuitous arguments, it has become clear
that the question in this case is not technical or mechanical but
cultural. There appears to be no controversy that CSJI determines the
outcome; the controversy is over what exactly that implies.
I am therefore going to attempt to rule on what constitutes a
Nomic-quality paradox in the fullest spirit of the game.
We can gain a first approximation by examining the Rules.
Suber's Rule 213, the probably undisputed origin of the tradition of
Wins by Paradox, reads in part as follows:
If the rules are changed so that further play is impossible, or if
the legality of a move cannot be determined with finality, or if
by the Judge's best reasoning, not overruled, a move appears
equally legal and illegal, then the first player unable to
complete a turn is the winner.
(I read "legal" and "illegal" in Suber's rule to mean "POSSIBLE" and
"IMPOSSIBLE" in modern MMI jargon.)
Rule 2110/5 (Win by Paradox) reads, in part:
A tortoise is an inquiry case on the possibility or legality of
a rule-defined action (actual or hypothetical, but not arising
from that case itself, and not occurring after the initiation of
that case) for which the question of veracity is UNDECIDABLE.
For the definition of UNDECIDABLE, I quote Rule 591/30 (Inquiry Cases):
* UNDECIDABLE, appropriate if the statement was logically
undecidable or otherwise not capable of being accurately
described as either false or true
The primary 'competitor' to UNDECIDABLE is generally UNDETERMINED, so I
will also quote that here.
* UNDETERMINED, appropriate if the statement is nonsensical or
too vague, or if the information available to the judge is
insufficient to determine which of the FALSE, TRUE, and
UNDECIDABLE judgements is appropriate; however, uncertainty as
to how to interpret or apply the rules cannot constitute
insufficiency of information for this purpose
The chief difficulty here is that the rules and precedent clearly imply
a different conclusion than the one I want.
It is obvious to me that, according to the Rules, any straightforward
contradiction in Rule text automatically qualifies whoever notices it
for a Win by Paradox.
I feel, and I think that I am not alone in feeling this, that that
_should not_ be the case.
I would like to examine why.
The intuitive sense that "mere" contradiction shouldn't qualify as a
paradox implies that there must be some stronger sense of the word
"paradox", a type of situation more truly paradoxical.
The "contradiction" clause in R217, too, might be taken to mean that we
now expect a higher standard of paradox than Suber envisioned, or even
than our current definition of UNDECIDABLE implies.
What, then, is that higher standard? What do we, implicitly,
unwrittenly, expect of our paradoxes?
Before proceeding further, I wish to more clearly name the three degrees
of paradox I am trying to distinguish:
strong paradoxes, which satisfy the as-yet vague intuitive sense of
what "deserves" a win;
weak paradoxes, which possibly might be either seemingly or genuinely
unresolvable problems in the Ruleset, but which nevertheless don't
"deserve" to be called paradoxes; and
falsidical paradoxes, which aren't paradoxes at all, but fallacious
arguments that appear to demonstrate the existence of a strong or weak
In 2005, Goethe (now G.) Won by Paradox, the first such win in recorded
Agoran history. E played Discard Picking to obtain Not Your Turn, and
then played Not Your Turn to prevent the play of Discard Picking. This
created what we may call a causal or temporal paradox. This is a strong
paradox, a paradox in the strongest, purest sense of the word.
How can we generalize this? We can hardly require all strong paradoxes
to be temporal, since we have carefully sanitized the Rules of all
retroactivity. We must find a better definition of paradoxicality.
(Since Goethe's win, there have been four more Wins by Paradox. One
resulted from a CfJ directly on a straightforward liar paradox; one from
non-statement CfJs that therefore had no truth value; and two from a
(single) contract engineered to have undeterminable internal state.
Each of these relied on deliberately exploiting loopholes in the Win by
Paradox rules themselves, and so cannot really be considered precedent
for what constitutes a proper paradox.)
All causal paradoxes are strong paradoxes, but it is undesirable that
all strong paradoxes be causal. (It may or may not be helpful, but I
also believe that Curry's paradox is of the strong variety, or would be
if finagled into an Agoran CAN.)
My goal is to provide a general rule to distinguish between strong and
I submit that strong paradoxes are based on subtle contradictions
arising in non-obvious ways from seemingly consistent axioms (read:
Rules), while weak paradoxes are based on direct contradictions present
in the Rules explicitly.
But this is much too subjective a criterion. It is hardly better than a
simple rephrasing of the original question.
A fairly good indicator seems to be that weak paradoxes are always "in
effect" as long as the relevant Rules are broken, while strong paradoxes
require some unusual combination of actions to bring about even after
the problematic Rule text is in place.
This criterion is somewhat stilted and certainly imperfect, but it is
the least worst objective rule that I can think of.
An example of a strong paradox by this rule:
The Approval Rating of a non-vacant office is a real number equal
to the ratio of votes for the current holder to all votes in the
most recent election for that office.
If there are no votes in an election for a held office, what is the
office's approval rating?
An example of a weak paradox:
The Approval Rating of a non-vacant office is an index equal to
the ratio of votes for the current holder to all votes in the most
recent election for that office. The Approval Rating is an
The rule contradicts itself straightforwardly (index/ratio vs. integer,
no mechanism for rounding or truncation specified).
Another weak paradox:
The Model Citizen is an imposed office, held by the player that
has least recently been an officer, or the longest-registered of
all such players in the event of a tie.
Gaining MC immediately disqualifies one for the position, leading to a
Gnarlier-style infinite loop.
By this measure, The Pier's ownership would be a strong paradox, and
therefore deserves a win.
(This is fortunate. If it had been a weak paradox, I would have had to
choose between awarding a win where it was undeserved and inventing a
weak rationalization for ignoring the Rules.)
I therefore judge that it is in the best interests of Agora for the
Pier's ownership to be UNDECIDABLE. I extend my congratulations to H.
Caller coppro for discovering the paradox and for drawing it out into