============================== CFJ 3541 ==============================
A nickle's worth of shinies is exactly 5 shinies.
Called by o: 17 Jul 2017
Assigned to grok: 18 Jul 2017
Judged DISMISS by grok: 20 Jul 2017
On Jul 16, 2017, at 6:58 PM, Quazie wrote:
> I pay nichdel a nickel's worth of shinies for taking over as
Judge grok's Arguments:
Well this one is actually pretty easy on face. Since o misspelled
"nickel" in the statement, I could easily dismiss for a malformed
question if I really wanted to, or if I was lazy.
But I think I'll be a good Judge and answer the CFJ as if the second
word spelled in the question was "nickel" anyways.
I intend to view this CFJ in context, rather than as the statement
alone. While it would be completely reasonable to view the statement
in a vacuum, I believe that including the context of the initial
announcement adds more texture and depth to the decision without
changing its outcome.
We start with the initial action. Quazie attempts to pay shinies to
nichdel with the following announcement: "I pay nichdel a nickel's
worth of shinies for taking over as Assessor." There are clearly a few
things that are true here. First, Quazie is clearly attempting to pay
number of shinies. Second, nichdel is the intended recipient of those
shinies. Third, and most important, Quazie was attempting to pay a
number of shinies comparable to the value of another thing. This will
be important to the implications of the case.
The opinion of the judge comes to three questions: Is the value of a
nickel determinable, is the value of a shiny determinable in the unit
"nickels," and the CFJ question, is a nickel's worth of shinies equal
to five shinies?
Determining the value of a nickel at all is a prior question to
determining if that value is five. If the value is completely
indeterminible , the action necessarily fails.
There is some ambiguity of what, exactly, a nickel is. Common
knowledge tells us it is a metal, but one would rarely refer to an
amount of nickel as "a nickel" without qualification--a lump of
nickel, or a vein, or an atom. Nickel is ultimately an adjective in
this sense--using it as a noun alone is not common in the language and
grammar used in Quazie's initial statement.
So clearly we are looking at "a nickel," used as a noun. There are
alternative uses, other than currency, but most are not in common
lexicons. Kelly Nickels is "a nickel," in a sense, but few know the
last name of the bassist of the L.A. guns. Similarly, a defensive line
with five defensive backs in American and Canadian football could
certainly be called "a nickel," but recent CFJs about cultural and
linguistic diversity lead me to believe that would be a difficult bar
By far, the most common use of "a nickel" in noun form is to refer to
coined moneys. Of these, there is again variation. Wooden nickels and
three-cent pieces hold the phrase "a nickel," but none are so
widespread as the American and Canadian nickel. These coins are both,
in fact, worth five cents. Their fiat value is equal to five units,
with one cent as the base unit. I believe, to this point, that there
is no ambiguity major enough to fail the test of common language.
We are presented with a different problem after determining the value
of a nickel. While a nickel is equal to five cents, the cent is a
subdivision of the dollar. Five cents is one-twentieth of one dollar.
While it is out of the realm of common knowledge, the banking industry
and financial sectors in both countries that use the nickel also deal
in fractional amounts of the penny, although I find this argument less
I get put in a hard place between determining if a nickel is equal to
five units. In one way, it is equal to five pennies. In another, it is
equal to one-twentieth of a dollar, and pennies are equal to
one-hundredth of a dollar. I personally am compelled that a nickel is
determinable as worth five pennies, and continue to the next test of
truth in this assumption.
Clearly the most difficult test of truth for this CFJ is determining
the value of a shiny. There is, as far as I am aware, no precedent for
an exchange rate between shinies and any other currency at this time,
whether it be a crypto-currency or a fiat currency recognized by a
government. With no baseline, it is apparently the decision of the
court as to the value of a shiny.
It would be very easy for me to claim that the exchange rate for a
shiny is indeterminable if it weren't for the exchange of one shiny
for $20 USD in response to this case. Now I have to talk about
First, the singular purchase of a shiny for $20 USD does not
inherently set a market price. Markets, as defined by (nearly all)
economists, are systems or institutions by which money is regularly
exchanged for assets, trade is facilitated, and resources are
distributed. This definition relies on regular and ready exchange of
goods in certain ways. Absent any other purchases of a single shiny,
there's no way to evaluate if a single shiny is worth $20.
Additionally, absent any purchases of multiple shinies, there's no way
to evaluate if multiple shinies scale multiplicatively. There's just
no way to extrapolate that singular data point in a meaningful way, so
it does not inform my decision on the value of a shiny.
Further, I take ais's and Veggiekeks's analyses in good standing. That
singular data point just tells us that, at that moment, one person
valued any one shiny at $20. It doesn't give shinies intrinsic value
equal to $20 or, in fact, even give shinies intrinsic value equal to
We also cannot value the production of shinies using any value-labor
function, because we have no fiat or crypto-currency baseline for the
value of the labor performed by players, for being players, or for the
value labor by officers for performing eir duties, outside of eir
Frankly, I think there is nothing that gives shinies any reference of
value outside of Agora's ruleset. The pend price, the auction values
of estates, etc. all give shinies a value. But none of that compares
to anything outside of the game. I find that the value of shinies is
in no way defined by fiat or crypto-currencies, which makes it
impossible to compare them to a nickel.
Intriguingly, I find no reason why players cannot use non-numerical
methods to express the number of shinies ey give to other players. The
current rule for shinies does not express that players must use a
number. I'm fairly certain this allows for some weird things to happen
with shinies and I would recommend amending the shinies rule to
prevent vexatious use of that hole.
This brings us to the statement. I find that, although a nickel is
likely equal to five pennies, there is no current way to compare fiat
currency and real currency. Because of arguments in section IV, if the
announcement was worded as "I pay nichdel a nickel's worth of pennies
in shinies," I would find that five shinies were paid. In the way
expressed above, "I pay nichdel a nickel's worth of shinies," I find
that it is impossible to determine what a nickel's worth of shinies
As it is the only decision I can make in an instance in which
something is indeterminable, I rule DISMISS and recommend play
continues assuming that Quazie's attempt to pay shinies to nichdel has
failed due to indeterminabilty of the number of shinies paid.