============================= CFJ 3460 =============================
ais523 holds the patent title Silver Quill 2015/07.
Called by G.: 22 Aug 2016
Assigned to ais523: 09 Sep 2016
Judged FALSE by ais523: 14 Sep 2016
Rule 649/37 (Patent Titles) is Power 1.5, and reads in part:
Awarding or revoking a Patent Title is secured.
Rule 2444/1 (Silver Quill), purporting to authorize the awarding
of Silver Quills, is only power 1.
Note that Patent Titles do not self-ratify, and have not been
ratified since, uh, I dunno, the ratification date seems to
have been dropped from the report a while ago.
Rule 649/37 is worded pretty badly. First, note that "authorized" is
not defined in the rules. We can see two possible meanings: a) a
description of legality, e.g. as a synonym for MAY; and b) as a word
with no defined meaning that's used as a marker by the rules. Meaning
a) here is clearly ridiculous in the context of rule 649, as it would
translate to "if a player CAN and MAY award a Patent Title to a player,
than that player SHALL do so in a timely fashion"; this seems to create
entirely too many (possibly infinitely many) obligations, especially as
there doesn't seem to be an "unless that player already has the Patent
Title". As such, the only sensible reading is b), in which case the
rule translates to "if a rule states that a player is authorized to
award a patent title, and that player CAN do so, that player SHALL do
so as soon as possible".
As far as I can tell, the conditions authorizing the Herald at the time
to award the Patent Title existed at the time of the attempted award.
However, the penultimate sentence of rule 649 is also conditional on
the CAN. The only relevant CAN is that in the last sentence of rule
649, and 2 Agoran Consent did not exist at the time (due to a lack of
intent), and thus the penultimate sentence didn't trigger; the
"authorized" was there but the CAN was missing. As such, there was no
SHALL obligation, meaning that there's no need to look into analyses
along the lines of "SHALL implies CAN". Thus, the original attempt to
award the Patent Title failed. (As an aside, it seems as though many
other rules-triggered attempts to award Patent Titles may also have
failed, depending on what the precise wording of the rule was at the
time; I can't see any way to get "CAN" from "authorized", as its normal
English meaning is much closer to "MAY".)
Has the patent title been ratified since? A complete list of things
that self-ratify is: switches, undistributed proposals, and Agoran
decision resolutions. (Some other things have self-ratified in the
past, but Patent Titles do not seem to have been one of them, at least
since 2015.) There /was/ an Agoran decision resolution, but as it was
not a decision about whether to adopt a proposal, all that ratified was
the existence of the decision itself and the fact that it was resolved
with the given outcome (not any events that were conditional on that
resolution). Thus, the only other option would be a manual
ratification. There was an intent to ratify the list of Patent Titles
on 22 August 2016 (as a response to the problem that this CFJ
mentioned), but as far as I can tell it was never acted upon. As such,
the Patent Titles in question were never awarded.
(As a side note, Ribbons do self-ratify, being switchs, so the Ribbon
that was gained as a consequence of the attempted Patent Title award