=============================== CFJ 3734 ===============================
A Player with Blots CAN destroy a Blot in eir possession if e has
neither gained blots nor expunged any blots from emself in the
current Agoran week.
Caller: Jason Cobb
Judge: V.J. Rada
Called by Jason Cobb: 11 Jun 2019 02:10:58
Assigned to V.J. Rada: 12 Jun 2019 05:18:31
Judged FALSE by V.J. Rada: 14 Jun 2019 05:15:55
I argue that when a player announces that e expunges a Blot from emself,
then e is the one destroying the Blot. Thus, under Rule 2577, the Blot
CANNOT be destroyed, as it was not destroyed "by a proposal or rule,
other than [Rule 2577], specifically addressing the destruction of
indestructible assets or that asset in particular", but rather by the
I argue that Rule 2240 ("No Cretans Need Apply") does not apply, as the
definition of an asset being "indestructible" does not occur in Rule
2555, but Rule 2555 rather defers to Rule 2577 for the definition, and
then later attempts to override the definition in Rule 2577. Thus the
conflict is between two Rules, rather than within the text of a certain
If the above two arguments are found valid, then Rule 1030 ("Precedence
between Rules") states that the Rule with the higher Power takes
precedence. In this case that is Rule 2577. This would mean that Blots
CANNOT be destroyed.
I thus argue that the ruling on this CFJ should be FALSE.
Excerpt from Rule 2555/2 ("Blots")
Blots are an indestructible fixed currency with ownership
restricted to persons.
To expunge a blot is to destroy it.
If a player has neither gained blots nor expunged any blots from
emself in the current Agoran week, e CAN expunge 1 blot from
emself by announcement.
Excerpt from Rule 2577/1 ("Asset Actions") [Power=3]
An asset generally CAN be destroyed by its owner by announcement,
subject to modification by its backing document. An indestructible
asset is one defined as such by it backing document, and CANNOT be
destroyed except by a proposal or rule, other than this one,
specifically addressing the destruction of indestructible assets
or that asset in particular; any other asset is destructible.
According to rule 2577, an indestructible asset "CANNOT be destroyed except
by a proposal or rule, other than this one". Rule 2555 provides that Blots
are an "indestructible fixed currency", and according to Rule 2578, "[a]
currency is a class of asset". Rule 2555 also provides that "If a player
has neither gained blots nor expunged any blots from emself in the current
Agoran week, e CAN expunge [destroy] 1 blot from emself by announcement.".
The question is whether this method of destroying a blot is "by a proposal
Unfortunately my answer is that it is not. The word "by" either refers to a
method of performing something ("by announcement" or "by shooting someone",
say) or to an agent that must perform something ("This asset can only be
destroyed by Jeff). "[A] proposal or rule" is unambiguously an _agent_
rather than a method. It is not an action that can be taken, it is
unambiguously the actor in this case. Therefore, the definition at power 3
of indestructible assets overrides the power 1.7 provision for players to
destroy Blots "by announcement". I fully adopt the caller's argument
regarding Rule 2240. The latter clause doesn't conflict with the
designation of Blots as indestructible, just the higher-power
_consequences_ of that designation.
Therefore, as it stands, only a proposal or rule can expunge blots, and it
must do by its own terms. The consequences of this are limited due to
self-ratification, and easy legislative fixes are available. Rule 2555 can
easily be amended to _itself_ destroy the blots or "by" can be changed to
"as provided by". But as it stands, the rules specify an agent or actor who
must destroy indestructible assets, and that agent is not "a player" "by
I am a pragmatist and I like to find plausible interpretations that lead to
obviously intended outcomes. In fact, if Agora wasn't so determinedly
textualist, I would do so here. But our traditions allow me no ability to
manufacture ambiguity where there is none. This CFJ is FALSE.