Index ← 3761 CFJ 3762 3763 → text
===============================  CFJ 3762  ===============================

      The investigator of the Finger-pointing done in this message CAN
      impose a fine on Jason Cobb for the Crime of Oathbreaking for the
      pledge in evidence.

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Caller:                        Jason Cobb

Judge:                         twg
Judgement:                     TRUE

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History:

Called by Jason Cobb:                             24 Jul 2019 06:34:12
Assigned to twg:                                  03 Aug 2019 00:10:53
Judged TRUE by twg:                               03 Aug 2019 18:56:13

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Caller's Evidence:

Pledge:
https://mailman.agoranomic.org/cgi-bin/mailman/private/agora-
business/2019-July/041044.html

Breaking of the pledge: [message in which I create this CFJ]
> I pledge, under penalty of a Class 0 Crime, not to make any pledges for
> the next 5 seconds.
>
>
> I point my finger at Jason Cobb for the Class 0 Crime of Oathbreaking.
> 
> I fully admit that I am guilty of the above accusation.

Excerpt from Rule 2450 ("Pledges"):

> If a Player makes a clear public pledge (syn. Oath) to perform (or
> refrain from performing) certain actions, then breaking the pledge
> within the pledge's time window is the Class N crime of
> Oathbreaking, where N is 2 unless the pledge explicitly states
> otherwise. The time window of a pledge is 60 days, unless the
> pledge explicitly states otherwise.


Excerpt from Rule 2557 ("Sentencing Guidelines"):

> When the rules authorize an investigator to impose the Cold Hand
> of Justice for a violation, e CAN do so by levying a fine of B on
> the perp by announcement, within the following guidelines:
>
> - B is at least 1 and at most twice the base value of the
>   violation.
>
> - If the violation is described by the rules as a Class N crime,
>   then N is the base value; otherwise the base value is 2.

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Caller's Arguments:

Under Rule 2450, I have violated an Oath by making an Oath after I had
made an Oath not to make any Oaths (how fun). The Oath explicitly states
that the Oath was under penalty of a Class 0 Crime. Thus, under Rule
2450, I am guilty of the Class 0 Crime of Oathbreaking. Thus, under Rule
2478 ("Vigilante Justice", not quoted here), the investigator CAN (and
SHALL) impose the Cold Hand of Justice on the perp (me). E is authorized
to impose the CHoJ, and, under Rule 2557, therefore e CAN impose a fine
on the perp (with certain specified numerical bounds, but we'll get to
that later).

I note that the Rules do not explicitly state that N in a Class N crime
must be positive, or even an integer. I thus argue that a Class 0 Crime
is a thing that can happen.

Since the crime committed was a Class 0 Crime, the base value for the
crime (in Rule 2557's parlance) is 0. Thus, under Rule 2557, the
investigator CAN levy a fine on me of at least 1 and of at most 0. This
is a mathematical impossibility. There is no valid number of Blots that
the investigator CAN fine me, yet the Rules assert that e CAN levy a fine.

At this point, I will attempt to argue what I think the judgement should 
be.

I think this is clearly not IRRELEVANT. I don't believe this is
INSUFFICIENT, as I have (hopefully) provided everything that supports my
argument. I don't think it should be DISMISS (this statement is not
malformed, sufficient information does exist to make a judgment, and the
judge clearly can assign a valid judgment).

That leaves TRUE, FALSE, and PARADOXICAL.

The following is admittedly somewhat shaky, but here it goes:

I know of no rules or precedent that states what happens when the Rules
require a mathematical impossibility. The Rules also do not state
whether or not the rules of math take precedence over the Rules.

Regarding TRUE: The Rules define "CAN" as "Attempts to perform the
described action are successful." This does not describe applying a fine
here, as there is no valid number of Blots that I could be fined that
would be permitted under Rule 2557. Thus any attempts to do so (to levy
a fine) would NOT be successful.

Regarding FALSE: I think this might be a valid outcome, but the Rules
explicitly state that the investigator CAN levy a fine, so who are we to
tell the Rules that they are wrong?

Regarding PARADOXICAL: I think this might be a valid outcome. Both TRUE
and FALSE have significant issues, as I have described above. The Rules
state that a person CAN do something that is mathematically impossible
to do. That sounds like a paradox to me.

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Judge twg's Arguments:

The "investigator" referred to in the inquiry is the Referee, who at the
time of the CFJ's initiation was R. Lee. Rule 2479/6, "Official Justice",
says that the Referee CAN impose Summary Judgement (i.e. levy a fine of up
to 2 blots) on a player for any reason, including but not limited to the
Crime of Oathbreaking. Therefore, I judge CFJ 3762 TRUE.

But that's a bit of a cop-out (no pun intended), so let's look at the
situation in more detail...

The other rule authorising the imposition of fines (disregarding Cabinet
Orders, which are irrelevant here), and presumably the one the caller
meant to take advantage of, is Rule 2557/2 "Sentencing Guidelines", which
reads in part:

      When the rules authorize an investigator to impose the Cold Hand
      of Justice for a violation, e CAN do so by levying a fine of B on
      the perp by announcement, within the following guidelines:

      - B is at least 1 and at most twice the base value of the
        violation.

      - If the violation is described by the rules as a Class N crime,
        then N is the base value; otherwise the base value is 2.

      - [other irrelevant guidelines]

The issue at hand is that the crime in question is a Class 0 crime, making
the base value of the violation 0. The first guideline is therefore
impossible to meet, because there is no negative number greater than 1.

Contrary to the caller's arguments, I see no contradiction in this rule.
Rule 217/12, "Interpreting the Rules", instructs us that "definitions and
prescriptions in the rules are only to be applied using direct, forward
reasoning", and that it is perfectly acceptable to conclude an absurdity
from provisions in the rules. R2557 states very specifically that the
investigator CAN levy a fine of at least 1 and no more than 0 blots, which
does not contradict any other provision in the rules, however nonsensical
it may seem to us.

The caller points out the definition of "CAN" in Rule 2152/7, "Mother, May
I?":

      5. CAN: Attempts to perform the described action are successful.

This is perfectly in line with the above interpretation: should the
investigator attempt to levy a fine of at least 1 and no more than 0
blots, e would be successful in doing so. Of course, this isn't a
situation that seems likely to arise, at least under the laws of
mathematics as presently understood.

Having established that the rules are not self-contradictory in this
regard, we turn to the matter of the caller's question. Would it still be
POSSIBLE for the investigator to levy a fine, even if R2479 did not exist?

Rule 2555/2, "Blots", defines the levying of a fine as an action that
requires a positive integer to be specified as the number of blots to be
levied. In this situation, as discussed above, R2557 only provides a
mechanism for the fine to be levied when this positive integer is at least
1 but no more than 0. No such positive integer exists, so the rule does
not apply. It is thus IMPOSSIBLE for the investigator to levy a fine, on
Jason Cobb for this crime, other than by Summary Judgement.

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