=============================== CFJ 3663 ===============================
My definition of the reiteration of votes is effective.
Called by Aris: 24 Sep 2018 01:55:11
Assigned to G.: 28 Sep 2018 14:07:43
Judged FALSE by G.: 28 Sep 2018 18:02:26
Motion to reconsider self-filed: 05 Oct 2018 14:42:54
Judged FALSE by G.: 12 Oct 2018 14:37:39
On Sun, Sep 23, 2018 at 6:15 PM Aris Merchant wrote:
> TL;DR: To reiterate your vote on a proposal means to vote and have
> your zombie vote the same way you did last time the voting on the
> proposal was open.
> As a general definition, let "I reiterate my vote on X", where X is a
> proposal such that the voting period of an Agoran Decision on the
> subject of whether to adopt X is currently open and that an Agoran
> Decision on the subject of whether to adopt X has previously been
> resolved, be defined as meaning "I unconditionally vote, and act on
> behalf of each zombie that I own to unconditionally vote, the same on
> the Agoran Decision on the subject of whether to adopt X as I did the
> last time I voted on an Agoran Decision on the subject whether to
> adopt X, or PRESENT if I have never before voted on an Agoan Decision
> on the subject of whether to adopt X".
> This message is not part of a scam.
> [This is an informal general definition that is helpful for proposals
> added again to the pool. The Assessor already has this information,
> which means that it's legal under past precedent to cast a vote that
> requires em to retrieve it.]
Gratuitous Arguments by Ørjan and Aris:
>> [This is an informal general definition that is helpful for proposals
>> added again to the pool. The Assessor already has this information,
>> which means that it's legal under past precedent to cast a vote that
>> requires em to retrieve it.]
> The obvious question is why e should be required to keep the information
> in the definition message.
> This is intended to work the same way TTttPF works, by becoming a part of
> the Agoran dialect. This formal definition is merely supposed to enter
> the information into our collective consciousness.
> I don't think that works when "I reiterate my votes" has an obvious
> natural meaning that _isn't_ what you want.
> "On behalf of myself and my Zombie, I reiterate our votes." should work,
> and then you can shorten it to ObomamZ after people get used to it. :P
Judge G.'s Arguments:
The Caller has attempted to assert that a certain short phrase (hereafter
the Jargon) can be substituted for a set of actions (hereafter the
Actions). In this context, "effective" in the CFJ statement could have
two meanings: (1) Does the Jargon effectively enter the Agoran lexicon as
a replacement stating that one performs the Actions, and (2) do the
Actions themselves (i.e. if announced without the Jargon) have the desired
game effect. In other words, is it effective in word AND in deed? I'll
opine on both of these.
I'll start with the second one. The Actions in question are:
"I unconditionally vote, and act on
behalf of each zombie that I own to unconditionally vote, the same on
the Agoran Decision on the subject of whether to adopt X as I did the
last time I voted on an Agoran Decision on the subject whether to
adopt X, or PRESENT if I have never before voted on an Agoan Decision
on the subject of whether to adopt X"
First, I'll note that Agora favors "natural language" in talking about
"definitions", not the "computer programming" sense of definitions. In
the computer programming sense, one would substitute the Actions for the
Jargon before evaluating the statement, then treat the statement as if it
contained the exact quote. However, in natural language, we look at
context and parts of speech, and don't perform "exact substitutions"
Looking at the Actions, there's an unexpected side-issue, specifically
with Zombies, in R2466(Acting on Behalf):
the agent must, in the message in which the
action is performed, uniquely identify the principal and that the
action is being taken on behalf of that person.
The key phrase here is "in the message...uniquely identify". For actions
in general, we have a weaker standard, we've allowed "specify" in R478
to include outside references (e.g. to other Reports or messages).
However, "in the same message uniquely identify" is a stronger standard.
Specifying "each zombie I own" or even "my zombie" does not IN THE SAME
MESSAGE identify the principal - instead it refers to outside
information. The only Rules-supported way to uniquely identify a person
in a standalone message is in R2139: using "information sufficient to
identify" the principal, which by long-standing tradition is the person's
name or nickname (and yes, variant spellings count as long as there's no
Therefore, for ANY zombie action, the zombie's name must appear explicitly
in the action message, AND a clear indication that it's an act-on-behalf
action (via verbs like "I act on behalf" or "I make" or "I cause" or "I
have" or explicitly indicating that the explicitly-named person is the
agent's zombie). And importantly, "in the message" means NO substitutions
Therefore, these actions, by using "each zombie", would fail, even if used
directly without the Jargon. And further, since the Jargon does not
explicitly include the "act on behalf", using the Jargon would have two
points of failure.
Important to note, this affects our general interpretation of zombie
actions. Past actions that use "my zombie" instead of a name have been
accepted, that was incorrect (but those have self-ratified I believe).
The zombie part aside, I find that some variant of "I unconditionally vote
as I did on my most recent vote" is fine and functional, provided the
record is reasonably clear. But the zombie part makes the Actions
as a whole ineffective.
NOW: on to the Jargon. Has the Caller successfully introduced "reiterate"
as a synonym for a particular set of Actions?
In general, Agorans use Jargon a fair amount, and there's nothing wrong
with that. However, each player is not free to adopt Humpty Dumpty's
maxim of choosing words to mean just what *they* want them to mean, that's
chaos rather than communication.
Further, CFJ 1460 set a long-standing precedent that announced actions
cannot take an unreasonable effort to interpret (this is captured in R2517
for conditionals). This needs to be considered collectively as well as
individually - while it isn't unreasonable for an Assessor to remember a
few, well-used pieces of Jargon, it would be unreasonable if 20 players
introduced 20 different pieces of Jargon with slightly different nuances.
So what's the appropriate filter? After some considerations about how
jargon enters Agora, I offer 3 tests that a judge might consider.
1. Is the Jargon contained in a Rules-sanctioned legal document? (E.g.
the Rules or a Contract)? [*]
2. Does the Jargon stand out as a term-of-art? (that is, is its proposed
use sufficiently different than the jargon's common use, or is it clearly
an acronym, so that a typical Agoran reader would recognize it as jargon,
even if e didn't know the exact meaning?)
3. Was the Jargon introduced with context initially (and repeatedly)?
(E.g., in its early use, it was used as "I [Jargon], as per the [Jargon]
Contract" or quoting the meaning of the jargon).
These are guidelines, not hard-and-fast proscriptions. These are not
meant to stifle the natural evolution of a community's communication
practices. However, these should CERTAINLY be examined when attempts are
made to *purposefully* introduce a new term.
My feeling is that, for most cases, having 1 of the above elements isn't
enough. Just being in a Contract isn't enough if the term is otherwise
common and hasn't been introduced with context. Just being a stand-out
word isn't enough if there's no reference for the meaning. Being
introduced in context isn't enough if it doesn't stand out later. So
maybe 2 of the 3 is enough (e.g. the Foundry contract satisfied (1) and
(2) for Shipping and Receiving, TTTTPF satisfies (2) and (3)). But this
should be judged on a case-by-case basis.
So how does the Caller's attempt fare?
1. The document in questioned is not rules-sanctioned, so 0 points there.
2. Not only does the chosen term ("reiterate") have a common use that
makes sense in context of voting, but the common use is actually opposite
the proposed meaning! To "reiterate" means to "restate clearly". If you
say "I hereby restate my name for the record" but don't actually restate
your name, that's "I Say I Did" - it's not true that you did it.
Similarly, if you say "I reiterate my vote" without actually restating
your vote, you're not telling the truth in common language. Since this is
a complete reverse of the term's common-language use, and the common-use
makes perfect sense with respect to restating a vote, I'd give a -1 there.
3. The term has seen one "actual" use, without context in the message.
So 0 there. (Maybe 0.5, as the proximity of other threads on the subject
might offer context).
Again, these are guidelines, it's not as if summing them is trying to meet
a set level. But overall, taking the tests both individually and
collectively, it seems here that this particular Jargon introduction would
not be effective at conveying the intended actions, so the definition is
Having noted that the caller's definition is ineffective both in word and
in deed, I find this CFJ FALSE.
[*] Addendum following Motion to Reconsider:
> There's one part of this CFJ I strongly disagree with, which is the
> special status accorded to contracts. Contracts have no extra, magical
> power to define things. If a rule or regulation defines something,
> then no further test should be required. If a contract defines
> something, I see no reason why that should be accorded a special
Judge G. wrote:
> You are correct that I was over-broad in suggesting that *any* contract
> would work. Obviously, for example, Hashed contracts wouldn't do the
> I would amend that with a simple asterisk, to say "Is the Jargon in a
> Document that is public in content that has a firm legal status resistant
> to change (i.e. tracked by Agora, or prevented from changing without
> reasonable notice)?. Certain contracts would qualify if the change
> mechanism required a public process at least equivalent to With Notice."