Index ← 3746 CFJ 3747 3748 → text
===============================  CFJ 3747  ===============================

      Jason Cobb made an announcement of intent to banish the Ritual
      with 2.1 Agoran Consent that meets the clarity standards of
      R2595/0.

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Caller:                        G.

Judge:                         Aris
Judgement:                     TRUE

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History:

Called by G.:                                     25 Jun 2019 18:02:42
Assigned to Aris:                                 30 Jun 2019 20:03:52
Judged TRUE by Aris:                              07 Jul 2019 23:07:49

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Caller's Evidence:

On 6/24/2019 11:17 PM, Jason Cobb wrote:
> This is probably the easiest way to do this:
>
> For each number X that is an integral multiple of 0.1 not less than
> 1.0 and not exceeding 5.0, I do the following:
> {
> I declare intent, with X Agoran Consent, to banish The Ritual,
> pursuant to Rule 2596 ("The Ritual").
>
> I engage in DIABOLICAL LAUGHTER about the intent created in the
> previous sentence.
> }

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Caller's Arguments:

tl;dr it probably works, but some recent rule changes *might* mean some
old precedents need to be revisited via CFJ.

Longer answer:  There's some deep precedents around this type of thing.
 Strictly speaking you haven't declared intent at all these different
levels - you've just *said* you did.  To actually do it, you have to
write all of those out (all 501 of them).  However, it was long-ago
recognized that absolutely requiring 501 statements was a pain in the
butt for everyone and was actually *less* clear than a loop like you
did, because someone could hide something in a long list.  So we (wholly
through precedent) found that "shorthand" works (e.g. a loop procedure)
- on the condition that it would be fairly trivial to write out the
whole thing anyway.

The logic is as long as you're just saving us all a little time and the
looping is really clear, it's just a shorthand.  But if you try to do
things that would be "hard to impossible" to write out in full, it fails
because you're saying you did something that you couldn't practically do.

So, for example, you couldn't use an infinite loop to make an infinite
series of intents.   You couldn't use a finite but "excessively large"
loop either - there's an email size limit on the archives (a bit bigger
than the FLR, idk exactly) so the idea is if it was really long, we'd
say "since a fully-written out email wouldn't be possible to send, a
loop of that size doesn't work either".

In your case 501 single-line intents is pretty small, so no problem.

HOWEVER.  That's the general case for all actions.  We recently changed
the langauge for intents in particular.  We changed:
>      1. A person (the initiator) announced intent to perform the
>         action, unambiguously and clearly specifying the action and
>         method(s)
to:
>      1. A person (the initiator) conspicuously and without obfuscation
>          announced intent to perform the action, unambiguously and
>          clearly specifying the action and method(s)

The addition of "conspicuously and without obfuscation" was purposefully
added for the sole purpose of cracking down on attempts to hide intents,
including through algorithmic processes that are opaque.  This is one of
the strictest communication standards in the rules, and we haven't put
too much case law into figuring out what it means.

Does your loop meet these standards - it seems *reasonably* clear to me,
but in light of the new stringent standards I wouldn't be too horribly
surprised if a CFJ found the other way.

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Judge Aris's Arguments:

This case concerns the exact meaning of the phrase "unambiguously,
clearly, conspicuously, and without obfuscation". It is well established
what it means of someone to say something "unambiguously" and "clearly"
(and clear that the announcement in this case was both), but current
Agoran law does not define the terms "conspicuously" and "without
obfuscation", which may well be the highest standard that has ever been
imposed for publication.

First off, I'm going to discuss how this absurdly high standard came to
be, not so much because it's judicially necessary as because I think
it's interesting. It used to be that announcements of intent to perform
dependent actions only had to be public, unambiguous, and clear. At some
point, players realized that they could slip such announcements into
places where others would be unlikely to read them. While such actions
had perhaps previously happened from time to time, they became a day to
day occurrence. At first everyone was just amused; there was a general
feeling that players needed to be more careful, and that the scamming
player had gotten one up on the others. However, as such scams continued
to be repeated, it became clear that no reasonable quantity of effort
was sufficient to prevent further scams. Some players began to add an
section to every public message they sent objecting to intents. Some
scammers began using complex patterns of obfuscation to evade detection
via search. Eventually, everyone got tired of the whole mess and decided
to deal with it one and for all. The solution was the addition of the
conspicuously and without obfuscation standard.

Something is conspicuous if it "stand[s] out so as to be clearly
visible" (Google). Of late, a few players have taken to putting warnings
in all caps at the top of messages containing dependent actions. This
works, but is probably more than necessary to make a dependent action
clearly visible. All that is really required is that a reasonable player
would be able to tell after glancing at a message that it contains the
dependent action. E should not need to read thoroughly, merely to look
at the message. For long messages, a warning is probably necessary, but
for short messages any part is probably conspicuous, since a player
glancing at a short message likely skims all of it.

Without obfuscation is a harder standard to pin down. To "obfuscate"
something means to "render [it] obscure, unclear, or unintelligible"
(Google). What this means in practice is harder to say. It does seem
pretty unlikely that it would forbid all indirection though; the ban is
more on the misleading kind of indirection. I propose a two part
standard. First, a reasonable Agoran reading the message must, at a
glance, be able to understand the gist of the dependent action being
announced. The rationale for this rule is that it is unreasonable to
expect that player will pay attention to an announcement unless e has
enough information to decide whether it is relevant to em. However,
the details of the action may require more thought, just so long they
remain easy to understand (I'd say anything that requires the average
Agoran more than 30-60 seconds is probably out). Anything more than that
is obscure enough that it's obfuscated. For instance, an announcement
that required following a complex page long algorithm to figure out the
value of N would be obfuscated, since a player would have trouble
figuring out the value of N even if e cared enough to try.

Let's apply this standard to the actual case. The announcement of intent
was certainly conspicuous, appearing in plain view and taking up most of
the body of a message. It is easy, at a glance, to tell the basics of
the situation: it is an intent to banish the ritual with Agoran Consent.
Finally, it is possible to work out what's going on without much
trouble. It maybe requires a single reread to determine what's going on,
but it wouldn't take the average Agoran more than that. I therefore
determine that this intent met the clarity standards of R2595/0. TRUE.

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Judge Aris's Evidence:

Rule 2595/0 (Power=3)
Performing a Dependent Action

  A rule that purports to allow a person (the performer) to perform
  an action by a set of one or more dependent actions identified in
  Rule 1728 thereby allows em to perform the action by announcement
  if all of the following are true:

  1. A person (the initiator) published an announcement of intent
     that unambiguously, clearly, conspicuously, and without
     obfuscation specified the action intended to be taken and the
     method(s) to be used;

  2. The announcement referenced in paragraph (1) of this Rule
     unambiguously, clearly, conspicuously, and without obfuscation
     states:

     * the value of T, if the action is to be taken with T Notice;
       and

     * the value of N, if N is not equal to 1 and the action is to
       be taken Without N Objections, With N Support, or With N
       Agoran Consent;

  3. The announcement referenced in paragraph (1) of this Rule was
     published:

     * within the 14 days preceding the action, if the action is to
       be performed With N Support;

     * between 4 and 14 days preceding the action, if the action is
       to be performed Without N Objections, With N Agoran Consent,
       or With Notice; or

     * between T and 14 days preceding the action, if the action is
       to be performed With T Notice;

  4. At least one of the following is true:

       * the performer is the initiator;

       * the initiator was authorized to perform the action due to
         holding a rule-defined position now held by the performer;
         or

       * the initiator is authorized to perform the action, the
         action depends on support, the performer has supported the
         intent, and the rule authorizing the performance does not
         explicitly prohibit supporters from performing it;

  5. Agora is Satisfied with the announced intent, as defined by
     other Rules; and

  6. The conditions are all met, if any conditions were stated in
     the announcement of intent referenced in paragraph (1) of this
     Rule.

  The performer SHOULD publish a list of supporters and objectors if
  the action is to be taken with N Agoran Consent.

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