Index ← 3739 CFJ 3740 3741 → text
===============================  CFJ 3740  ===============================

      In Rule 2125, "required to be a recordkeepor" refers only to
      recordkeepors as defined in Rule 2166.

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Caller:                        omd

Judge:                         G.
Judgement:                     FALSE

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History:

Called by omd:                                    17 Jun 2019 04:58:04
Assigned to G.:                                   18 Jun 2019 07:51:13
Judged FALSE by G.:                               30 Jun 2019 18:24:58

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Caller's Arguments:

Or is it simply an ordinary-language reference to the act of keeping
records?

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Caller's Evidence:

------------------------------------------------------------------------
Rule 2125/10 (Power=3)
Regulated Actions

      An action is regulated if: (1) the Rules limit, allow, enable, or
      permit its performance; (2) describe the circumstances under which
      the action would succeed or fail; or (3) the action would, as part
      of its effect, modify information for which some player is
      required to be a recordkeepor.

      [..]
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Rule 2166/28 (Power=3)
Assets

      [..]

      The recordkeepor of a class of assets is the entity (if any)
      defined as such by, and bound by, its backing document. That
      entity's report includes a list of all instances of that class and
      their owners. This portion of that entity's report is
      self-ratifying.
------------------------------------------------------------------------

I think this is when the language was first introduced, in 2005:

https://github.com/comex/flr/commit/e7e0a863c1fa13ba405d022a559693ee80f993a5

The ruleset at the time did not define "recordkeepor":

https://raw.githubusercontent.com/comex/flr/e7e0a863c1fa13ba405d022a559693ee80f993a5/current_flr.txt

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Judge G.'s Arguments

First, I'm going to take it for granted that "required" in the quoted
part of R2125 should be read REQUIRED - that is, "required by the
rules".  No other reading makes sense really.

So there are two ways to interpret "Recordkeepor" as used in R2125.  The
first is as Agoran dialect for the generic concept of "record keeper".
If so, then other synonymous phrases in the rules would make someone a
recordkeepor for R2125 purposes. For example, requiring someone to "to
track" something (switches in R2162) or making something part of an
officer's report ("a list of players interested in judging" in the
Arbitor's Report in R991) would make someone a keeper of the record of
the tracked quantities, and therefore a Recordkeepor for the purposes of
R2125.  I'll call this the "loose" definition.

The other interpretation is that Recordkeepor in R2125 is a term of art
that only applies when the rules explicitly require someone to be a
"recordkeepor", using that word and spelling.  This is the "strict"
definition.

Either definitions has its plusses and minuses in terms of current
gameplay.  The strict definition may leave some things unregulated that
we think should be regulated.  Conversely, the loose definition would
regulate things like "the list of interested judges" which are generally
handled informally (and have no formal mechanism for changing).

In the current ruleset, "rulekeepor" is associated with specific records
in two situations.  The first is for Assets, e.g. in R2555:
>      The Referee is an office, and the recordkeepor for blots.
However, other assets use the "tracked by" language instead of the
"recordkeepor" term, e.g in R2483:
>      Coins [...] are tracked by the Treasuror.

This seems to argue for the loose definition ("tracked by = recordkeepor
but this mapping is actually an explicit mapping for assets found in R2166:
>      For a class of assets to be "tracked by" an entity is for that
>      entity to be its recordkeepor.
This makes the link between "tracked by" and "recordkeepor" explicit,
but only for assets, so this doesn't tell us much about the general
case. In fact it argues for the "strict" definition, because if we were
using the loose definition generally, we wouldn't need this text to
exist for assets.

The single other context for "recordkeepor" in the current ruleset is
found in R2438:
> The Tailor is an office, and the recordkeepor of Ribbons.

However, the issue is that this phrase has no actual legal effect.
Ribbons, per se, do not exist as a regulatable quantity.  R2438 states
that Ribbon *ownership* is a person switch "tracked by the Tailor". And
"tracked by" for switches maps to a specific set of responsibilities in
R2162:
>      3. Optionally, exactly one office whose holder tracks instances of
>         that switch. That officer's (weekly, if not specified
>         otherwise) report includes [...]
This maps "tracked by" to reporting requirements for switches, bypassing
the "recordkeepor" term entirely.  Further, ribbon ownership is clearly
regulated by the R2125's "limit, allow, enable, or permit" clause, so
additionally calling someone the "recordkeepor" for ribbons adds no
regulation nor reporting requirement.

So what can we make of this usage, and what does it mean?  The answer is
historical. And since dialect develops over time, a historical view of
the term may provide insights.

"Recordkeepor" has a deep Agoran history.  It was first introduced circa
1994 in Rule 612/0: [0]
>      A Player is defined as the Recordkeepor for a Currency if e is
>      required to keep an accurate record of the number of that
>      Currency owned by each player and non-player Nomic entity which
>      is permitted to own that Currency.

A couple things to note about this definition:

First, Recordkeepor is specific to currencies; strictly speaking,
"Recordkeepor for a Currency" is explicitly defined, but no other type
of recordkeepor is defined or used in the rules.  This argues in favor
of strict interpretation.

Second, it is applied operationally - any time another rule requires
someone to generally keep a record of a currency, that makes em the
"Recordkeepor" for that currency.  So synonyms could be used to require
someone to keep currency records, and that defines em as a recordkeepor.
This argues in favor of loose interpretation.

Some help - either interpretation seems possible at the introduction of
the term.

Jumping to the first ruleset in the mailman archives (Nov 2002), R1064/9
says: [1]
>      If a Player is mandated by the Rules to maintain a set of
>      records, these records must be available for perusal, unless
>      such records are designated by the Rules as private.  A Player
>      who maintains such records must provide a copy of these Records
>      to any other Player upon request within one week.

Note that, if "recordkeepor" were interpreted loosly as an allowable
synonym, "If a Player is mandated by the rules to maintain a set of
records" could be replaced easily with "If a Player is recordkeepor
for", the fact that it wasn't indicates that "recordkeepor" wasn't a
common synonym for the concept of keeping records.  Further, at the
time, "recordkeepor" was strictly defined for assets in R1942/2 (in this
era, assets were known as property):
>      Each property shall have a recordkeepor, which is a player
>      required to maintain a record of who owns that property.

Again here, the fact that "recordkeepor" has to be explicitly equated
with the concept of keeping records argues against it being a common
term for record keeping, and argues for the strict definition.  However,
we also see general uses in that ruleset:
Rule 1975/3:
>      The Assistant Director of Personnel (ADoP) is an office; its
>      holder is recordkeepor for offices
Rule 1955/7:
>      (a) The Grand Warden of the Oligarchy (GWotO) is an office; its
>          holder is recordkeepor of Oligarchs
In each case, "Offices" or "Oligarchs" was a general umbrella concept
(similar to "Ribbons" today) and the actual kept records were detailed
separately (e.g. for the Oligachy "a list of all Oligarchs, the identity
of the Speaker, and the date of the next quarterly Speaker transition.")

This "general use" language was introduced in a restructuring of Offices
performed by Proposal 4250('Omnibus Office Reform') in Februray 2002.
While a copy of this proposal is not available to this judge, Murphy's
Agoran Weekly Journal of the time summarizes part of the proposal as
follows: [2]
> Proposal 4250 - Adopted 2/18
> [...]
> Rules defining Offices are conformed to this template:
> "The _____ is an office; its holder is recordkeepor of/for _____ and is
>    responsible for _____.
>   "The _____'s Weekly/Monthly Report shall include _____.

At this point, "recordkeepor" becomes a very general term, referring to
the *category* of records a particular Officer tracks, but without
detailing individual record types (that's left for the Weekly/Monthly
report definition).

This brings us to Proposal 4833 (6 August 2005) that introduced the
concept of regulation and tied it to "recordkeepor": [3]
> Change the title of rule 101 (Obey the Rules) to "Agora May I?",
> and amend it to read:
>
>      Any player is permitted to perform an action which is not
>      regulated.  An action is regulated if:
>      [...]
>      (c) the action would, as part of its effect, modify information
>          for which some player is required to be a recordkeepor;

However at the time of Proposal 4833's adoption, "recordkeepor" had
changed. Switches had been introduced to the ruleset, and
assets/properties were not generally defined.  Recordkeepor was now
defined in terms of switches (again, a strict definition): [4]
>      The recordkeepor for a class of entities shall also maintain
>      records of any switches associated with that class, as well as
>      the current state of the switch for each entity of the class.

So for example in Rule 2091/1:
>       The Secretary of the University (SotU) is an office; its holder
>      is recordkeepor for the University.

"The University" wasn't itself a record, but an entity, and every switch
associated with the university was part of the required recordkeeping.
"The University" as a concept wasn't regulated, but all of the switches
associated with it were.  The "regulation" cascaded from the concept of
being "recordkeepor for the university" to each tracked switch.

So here, we have "strict but cascading" - the "recordkeepor" is a term
of art that cascades down to specific records, all of which are under
the "recordkeepor requirement".  But the strict term is still necessary
at the top of the cascade.  Interpreting it more loosely would have been
dangerous at the time, because it might stretch regulation into general
concepts (e.g. regulate everything remotely connected to "the University").

And that's where we are today.  "Recordkeepor" historically has always
had some kind of strict definition, but that definition might cascade to
other properties (e.g. with Ribbons, to all Ribbon switches).  That
seems to be the most reasonable.  By explicitly using the term
"recordkeepor" in a rule, this regulates all records that are placed
under that term.  But if the term is nowhere used explicitly for a set
of records (e.g. in the case of the Arbitor, for the "list of interested
judged"), then the R2125 regulation due to recordkeepor does not apply.

This brings a sort of mixed verdict for the CFJ statement.
"Recordkeepor" in R2125 refers strictly to instances where the term is
used in the rules, and any records cascading from that explicit use.
Currently, this only applies to the R2166 definition cited by the
caller, but also the "Ribbons" that cascades recordkeeping to Ribbon
switches in general (duplicating the "tracked by" lanugage for
switches in R2162).

While this is FALSE due to that Ribbons useage, the more general records
(e.g. interested judges) are not regulated by this R2125 clause.

I find FALSE.

[0]http://www.fysh.org/~zefram/agora/rules_text.txt
[1]https://mailman.agoranomic.org/cgi-bin/mailman/private/agora-official/2002-November/000004.html
[2]http://zenith.homelinux.net/awj/20020309.txt
[3]https://mailman.agoranomic.org/cgi-bin/mailman/private/agora-official/2005-August/002403.html
[4]https://mailman.agoranomic.org/cgi-bin/mailman/private/agora-official/2005-July/002388.html

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