=============================== CFJ 3694 ===============================
It is generally IMPOSSIBLE for a zombie to be transferred to the
winner of a lot in a zombie auction.
Judge: D. Margaux
Called by twg: 11 Jan 2019 02:04:05
Assigned to D. Margaux: 20 Jan 2019 13:52:21
Judged FALSE by D. Margaux: 20 Jan 2019 13:52:21
Judge D. Margaux's Arguments:
I judge this CFJ FALSE for the reasons I have previously given regarding
this CFJ and CFJ 3693.
[Arbitor's Note: "reasons previously given" are in the below conversation]
From D. Margaux:
The CFJ is FALSE, because a necessary implication of the Rules is that
Agora CAN transfer a zombie pursuant to a properly initiated Rule 1885
Under Rule 2545 (power=2), “An Auction is a way for entities to give
away items in exchange for a currency.” By necessarily implication,
if a Rule with high enough power authorizes some player to initiate an
auction with a particular item as a lot, then that Rule also
necessarily authorizes that player to initiate a process that would
“give away [that] item in exchange for a currency.” That’s what an
auction _is_ under the Rules.
Under Rule 1885 (power=2), at the start of the month, “the Registrar
CAN put [a] zombie [that meets certain conditions] (along with any
other zombies that fulfill the same conditions) up for auction.” By
necessary implication, read in conjunction with Rule 2545, that means
that a zombie can be transferred pursuant to that auction. Otherwise
it wouldn’t be an auction at all—a way of transferring an item for
currency. It would be something else entirely.
This interpretation is consistent with the best interests of the game
and ordinary language. There’s no reason to adopt a contrary
interpretation, which would break auctions and zombies.
Response from twg:
Well this is an interesting argument. The implication would seem to be
that rules can redefine what other rules mean. I.e., in this case,
there is a rule that says there is a process by which zombies can be
transferred as part of an auction, so there is such a process, even
though the rules that are supposed to define the process technically
I think this argument doesn't work because, according to the FLR, CFJs
1911-1914 set the precedent that "Physical realities supersede the
Rules by default" - in this case, the physical reality that no rule
defines a process for zombie transferral overrides the rule that says
zombie transferral is possible, somehow, as part of an auction. But
I'm not confident enough in that interpretation to judge the case.
Response from Ørjan:
The content of the Rules surely must be the exact opposite of what
"physical reality" refers to in those judgements?
Response from twg:
All right, I'll concede the text of the rules is technically a
"physical" reality. But if, say, we had a rule saying "All rules begin
with the word 'Tangelo'.", a statement which is manifestly untrue (at
least at present), surely that should not be interpreted as a
requirement to play the game _as if_ every rule began with the word
"Tangelo". (Perhaps it could be interpreted as a redefinition of the
word "rule", but then it would need to be at least power 3, to
override rule 2141.) I think the logic is similar.
Response from D. Margaux:
> The implication would seem to be that rules can redefine what other
> rules mean.
This does seem to me to be one reasonable approach to interpreting a
code of rules—to interpret a provision in light of provisions in other
rules, in a manner that tries to harmonize the rules into a consistent
whole. That might feel reasonable to me because it’s a common
discursive move in the area of my specialty (law). People from other
backgrounds might find it less satisfying or reasonable, though, which
could be an example of the sort of diversity of interpretive method
that I think can be very cool about Agora.
> But if, say, we had a rule saying "All rules begin with the word
> 'Tangelo'.", a statement which is manifestly untrue (at least at
> present), surely that should not be interpreted as a requirement to
> play the game _as if_ every rule began with the word "Tangelo".
> (Perhaps it could be interpreted as a redefinition of the word "rule",
> but then it would need to be at least power 3, to override rule 2141.)
> I think the logic is similar.
In this hypothetical, i can see several approaches:
Maybe the Tangelo Rule would have no effect if it were contradicted by
a higher powered rule (e.g., Rule 105, which purports to be the “only
mechanism by which rules can be created, modified, or destroyed, or by
which an entity can become a rule or cease to be a rule”).
Absent a contradictory higher powered Rule, I think the Tangelo Rule
(1) could invalidate any lower powered Rule that does not begin with
Tangelo, on the theory that it wouldn’t actually be a Rule, or (2)
alternatively, it could cause us to insert the word “Tangelo” at the
beginning of any lower powered Rule, on the theory that the lower
powered Rule, qua Rule, must include the word “Tangelo” at the start.
And for higher powered Rules, we might either (1) insert “Tangelo” at
the start (if that does not affect the functioning of the higher
powered rule) or else (2) ignore the Tangelo Rule altogether (because
contradicted by higher powered Rules).
I suppose we could also just decide that the Tangelo Rule states an
untrue fact about the world and therefore has no effect, but that
approach seems to me to be in tension with Rule 217: “When
interpreting and applying the rules, the text of the rules takes
precedence.” Simply disregarding as factually wrong a
high-enough-powered Tangelo Rule, I think, would give precedence to
something other than the text of the rules. Maybe.