Index ← 3764 CFJ 3765 3766 → text
===============================  CFJ 3765  ===============================

      Agora is ossified.

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Caller:                        D. Margaux

Judge:                         Jason Cobb
Judgement:                     FALSE

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History:

Called by D. Margaux:                             31 Jul 2019 20:42:59
Assigned to Jason Cobb:                           03 Aug 2019 00:13:00
Judged FALSE by Jason Cobb:                       03 Aug 2019 19:39:26

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Caller's Arguments:

Under Rule 1698, "Agora is ossified if it is IMPOSSIBLE for any reasonable 
combination of actions by players to cause arbitrary rule changes to be 
made and/or arbitrary proposals to be adopted within a four-week period."

I can prove that "arbitrary rule changes" are IMPOSSIBLE by identifying a 
proposed rule change that would be IMPOSSIBLE to adopt within the four 
week period.

There are many rule changes that are IMPOSSIBLE to adopt. Here is one 
example of an IMPOSSIBLE rule change: "Enact a power 100 Rule that 
provides, 'It is IMPOSSIBLE to change the Rules, rules to the contrary 
notwithstanding.' Leave the Ruleset otherwise unchanged." That rule change 
CANNOT take effect because the Ossification rule itself would prevent that 
rule change from taking effect.

Another rule IMPOSSIBLE rule change is: "Repeal Rule 1698 (Ossification). 
Enact a power 100 rule that procides, 'It is IMPOSSIBLE to change the 
Rules, rules to the contrary notwithstanding.'" That rule change CANNOT go 
into effect, because it is an "inseperable group of changes to the 
gamestate would cause Agora to become ossified," and is thus prevented 
from going into effect by Rule 1698 itself.

I have established that, if Rule 1698 took effect, then Agora is ossified. 
Here's where it gets confusing. If I am right, then Rule 1698 may have 
prevented itself from taking effect!  That is because enacting Rule 1698 
changes the game state in a manner that ossifies Agora, and "If any other 
single change or inseperable group of changes to the gamestate would cause 
Agora to become ossified . . . it is cancelled and does not occur, rules 
to the contrary notwithstanding."

That means that the enactment of Rule 1698 was "canceled and does not 
occur."

It also means that, when the ruleset was ratified with Rule 1698 in it, 
that action was “canceled and does not occur.”

BUT! The only thing that cancels the enactment of the rule is the rule 
itself! So, Rule 1698 cycles infinitely between cancelling itself and not 
being cancelled.

I think that makes one or both of these CFJs PARADOXICAL. 

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Caller's Evidence:

Rule 1698
Agora is ossified if it is IMPOSSIBLE for any reasonable combination of 
actions by players to cause arbitrary rule changes to be made and/or 
arbitrary proposals to be adopted within a four-week period. If, but for 
this rule, the net effect of a proposal would cause Agora to become 
ossified, or would cause Agora to cease to exist, it cannot take effect, 
rules to the contrary notwithstanding. If any other single change or 
inseperable group of changes to the gamestate would cause Agora to become 
ossified, or would cause Agora to cease to exist, it is cancelled and does 
not occur, rules to the contrary notwithstanding.

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Judge Jason Cobb's Arguments:

I will begin by reading into the record this message from G. ([0]):

> A little gratuitous for CFJ 3765-3766:
>
> It's likely that an "arbitrary rule change" can be made by first
> making other rule changes to remove any impediments, and then making the
> arbitrary change.  However, in judging whether some kind of change is
> POSSIBLE, we judge based on the current ruleset - not the hypothetical
> ruleset in which a few other changes have been made.  This point (in 
what
> the judgement covers) is worth addressing explicitly.

I agree that if a Rule 1698 were to specify that Agora is ossified if it 
is IMPOSSIBLE "to cause arbitrary rule changes" (without specifying a time 
period), then there might be an issue. However, R1698 does not say such a 
thing, it instead reads:

> Agora is ossified if it is IMPOSSIBLE for any reasonable
> combination of actions by players to cause arbitrary rule changes
> to be made and/or arbitrary proposals to be adopted within a
> four-week period.

I note that there is a slight grammatical ambiguity here: the above quote 
could read as either "(to cause arbitrary rule changes to be made) and/or 
(arbitrary proposals to be adopted within a four-week period)" or "(to 
cause arbitrary rule changes to be made and/or arbitrary proposals to be 
adopted) within a four-week period". I believe the intent is the latter 
reading, and I use the "common sense" test in Rule 217 to impose this 
reading.

Given this reading, the action in question is not "cause arbitrary rule 
changes", which would indeed be IMPOSSIBLE to perform under the current 
ruleset, thanks in part to Rule 1698 itself. The action in question is to 
"cause arbitrary rule changes _within a four-week period_". With the 
current proposal process, it is indeed possible to cause any such rule 
change within a four-week period:

   Day 0: A proposal that repeals any protections is distributed

   Day 0-7: Voting

   Day 7: Resolution of decision to adopt proposal that repeals any
   protections.

   Day 7: A proposal that makes any arbitrary rule changes is distributed.

   Day 7-14: Voting

   Day 14: Resolution of decision to adopt proposal that causes
   arbitrary rule changes.

By this method, arbitrary rule changes can be enacted. This also certainly 
constitutes a "reasonable combination of actions by players", and it would 
succeed even if a small number of days were to elapse between the endings 
of voting periods and the resolutions of decisions.


For completeness, I consider each type of rule change outlined in Rule 105 
and whether or not it is possible for the above process to cause them 
(after repealing any blocking protections):

1. enact a rule: this is possible with a proposal of any power
2. repeal a rule: this is possible with a proposal of sufficiently high
   power
3. reenact a rule: this is possible with a proposal of sufficiently
   high power
4. amend a rule: this is possible with a proposal of sufficiently high
   power
5. retitle a rule: this is possible with a proposal of sufficiently
   high power
6. change the power of a rule: this is possible with a proposal of
   sufficiently high power

Furthermore, Rule 1698 is protected against possible future changes in the 
definition of "rule change", as I must interpret the Rules with the 
definitions currently in effect, and Rule 105 very explicitly states what 
a "rule change" is. I thus do not need to consider any possible future 
changes to the definition of "rule change", even within the four-week 
period.


To decide whether or not it is "IMPOSSIBLE for any reasonable combination 
of actions by players to cause arbitrary rule changes [...] within a four-
week period", I consult the definition of "IMPOSSIBLE" in Rule 2152:

> 1. CANNOT, IMPOSSIBLE, INEFFECTIVE, INVALID: Attempts to perform the 
described action are unsuccessful.

I have shown above how it is possible for an attempt to perform this 
action (causing arbitrary rule changes within a four-week period) could be 
successful, therefore it is not IMPOSSIBLE to perform the action. In 
addition, it is possible to cause arbitrary proposals to be adopted. Thus, 
under Rule 1698, Agora is not ossified. FALSE.


The caller provides some possible "rule changes" that e believes are 
IMPOSSIBLE to enact; for completeness, I will show that these are not in 
fact counterexamples to my above claims:

One such example is:

> "Enact a power 100 Rule that provides,
> 'It is IMPOSSIBLE to change the Rules, rules to the contrary
> notwithstanding.' Leave the Ruleset otherwise unchanged."

Per the definition of "rule change" provided in Rule 105, this is not a 
rule change, although it does contain a rule change:

> Enact a power 100 Rule that provides,
> 'It is IMPOSSIBLE to change the Rules, rules to the contrary
> notwithstanding.'

This is indeed possible to enact in a four week period, with the method 
described above. Even the specification of "power 100" does not make this 
IMPOSSIBLE to enact because Rule 105 provides that the power of the 
enacted rule is "the minimum of the power specified by the enacting 
instrument [...] and the maximum power permitted by other rules".


The caller also provides this as an example:

> "Repeal Rule 1698 (Ossification).
> Enact a power 100 rule that procides, 'It is IMPOSSIBLE to change the 
Rules,
> rules to the contrary notwithstanding.'"

Again, this is not a rule change. This time it consists of two rule 
changes, and it is possible to cause each one of them in a four week 
period, as described above.

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Judge Jason Cobb's Evidence:

[0]: https://mailman.agoranomic.org/cgi-bin/mailman/private/agora-
discussion/2019-August/055219.html

Rule 1698/5 ("Agora Is A Nomic"):

> Agora is ossified if it is IMPOSSIBLE for any reasonable
> combination of actions by players to cause arbitrary rule changes
> to be made and/or arbitrary proposals to be adopted within a
> four-week period.
>
> If, but for this rule, the net effect of a proposal would cause
> Agora to become ossified, or would cause Agora to cease to exist,
> it cannot take effect, rules to the contrary notwithstanding. If
> any other single change or inseperable group of changes to the
> gamestate would cause Agora to become ossified, or would cause
> Agora to cease to exist, it is cancelled and does not occur, rules
> to the contrary notwithstanding.

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