=============================== CFJ 3776 ===============================
The person known as ais523 is a player.
Called by pikhq: 23 Oct 2019 00:40:58
Assigned to twg: 24 Oct 2019 15:07:13
Judged FALSE by twg: 05 Nov 2019 11:05:59
Public message from ais523 purported to be a registration:
On Sun, Oct 20, 2019 at 12:04 PM AIS523@alumni.bham.ac.uk
> Right now, I submit the following proposal, "Undo This Proposal", AI 1:
> Create a new Power-0.5 rule, "Repeal This Rule":
> When this rule is repealed by a proposal, the author of that proposal
> wins the game.
> When this rule is repealed by means other than a proposal, the author
> of the most recent message that was a causal factor of the repeal of
> the rule wins the game. (A message is a "causal factor" of an event if
> the event occurred, but would not have occurred if the message had not
> been sent.)
Followup discussion from ais523 (evidence of previous consent?):
On Sun, Oct 20, 2019 at 12:15 PM AIS523@alumni.bham.ac.uk
> On Sun, 2019-10-20 at 15:12 -0400, Jason Cobb wrote:
> > On 10/20/19 3:04 PM, AIS523@alumni.bham.ac.uk wrote:
> > > Right now, I submit the following proposal, "Undo This Proposal",
> > > AI 1:
> > R2350 says that only players can create proposals, so I think this
> > fails.
> I was aware of this at the time I wrote the message.
Judge twg's Arguments:
The uncertainty at the heart of this CFJ is whether or not ais523's
message on 2019-10-20 was a successful attempt to register.
Rule 869/46, "How to Join and Leave Agora", says that:
An Unregistered person CAN (unless explicitly forbidden or
prevented by the rules) register by publishing a message that
indicates reasonably clearly and reasonably unambiguously that e
intends to become a player at that time.
This phrasing intentionally allows some leeway in what qualifies as a
registration, loosening some of the requirements necessary to perform
actions by announcement. Instead of "unambiguously and clearly specifying
the action [of registration] and announcing that e performs it", ais523
needed only to "indicate" eir intent to do so.
The word "indicate" (or "indicates", "indication" etc.) is not defined
anywhere in the ruleset, although at present it appears 16 times. For
example, Rule 2581/2, "Official Patent Titles", says:
The following Patent Titles CAN be awarded by the indicated
Officers with 2 Agoran consent.
Here, the situation is not one of a message indicating a fact but of a
rule indicating an entity. Nevertheless, the meaning is straightforward.
Wiktionary defines "indicate" as follows:
(1) To point out; to discover; to direct to a knowledge of; to show; to
(2) To show or manifest by symptoms; to point to as the proper remedies.
(3) To signal in a vehicle the desire to turn right or left.
(4) To investigate the condition or power of, as of steam engine, by
means of an indicator.
Common sense suggests it is the first of these definitions that is meant
here, and at other places in the ruleset. To rephrase for an Agoran
context, this means that for a body of text such as a message or rule to
successfully "indicate" a fact or entity, it must generally cause readers
to come to have knowledge or awareness of that fact or entity. This
interpretation seems consistent with the use of the word "indicate"
elsewhere in the rules.
Did ais523's message, then, "indicate" eir desire to become a player
reasonably clearly and unambiguously? To determine whether or not this was
the case, I solicited feedback from players on 2019-10-23, asking whether
readers generally became aware, on receiving the message, that ais523
thereby intended to become a player.
Five players (Aris, Gaelan, Jason Cobb, pikhq and twg) stated that they
did not initially interpret the message as a registration attempt. Gaelan
further explained that e did not interpret the message as a registration
attempt even after ais523 published the further clarification quoted
above in Arbitor's Evidence; this clarification will be discussed in
greater detail below. The only player to give any suggestion that e
recognised the message as a registration attempt was Falsifian, who said:
> I suspected e was at least trying to raise the question of whether
> that message registered em, but I wasn't sure whether e really
> expected it to work.
Overall, it seems clear that most readers did not understand ais523's
message even to have been an attempt at registration, whether successful
or otherwise. I therefore find that the message did not "indicate" an
intent to become a player, regardless of its clarity or unambiguity.
A final question to consider is whether ais523's later followup was
sufficiently explanatory to make eir previous message a successful
indication of eir intent. I find that it did not. Not only did at least
one player (Gaelan) still not recognise the registration attempt, but to
allow future messages to retroactively change the meaning of a past
message would be totally antithetical to the game's customs and best
interests, allowing for example important rule-defined mechanisms such as
dependent actions to be bypassed arbitrarily.
In summary, ais523's message did not successfully indicate eir intent to
become a player, and therefore e did not register at the date and time in
question. In the absence, to my knowledge, of any other mechanism by which
e might become a player, I judge this CFJ FALSE.