Index ← 3791 CFJ 3792 3793 → text
===============================  CFJ 3792  ===============================

      The above-quoted message contained a valid Promotor's weekly


Caller:                        Alexis

Judge:                         G.
Judgement:                     FALSE



Called by Alexis:                                 12 Jan 2020 08:24:30
Assigned to G.:                                   12 Jan 2020 21:27:32
Judged FALSE by G.:                               14 Jan 2020 17:11:18


Caller's Evidence:

On Sun, 12 Jan 2020 at 03:14, Aris Merchant wrote:
> I hereby distribute each listed proposal, initiating the Agoran
> Decision of whether to adopt it, and removing it from the proposal
> pool. For this decision, the vote collector is the Assessor, the
> quorum is 4, the voting method is AI-majority, and the valid
> options are FOR and AGAINST (PRESENT is also a valid vote, as are
> conditional votes).
> ID     Author(s)                AI    Title
> ------------------------------------------------------------------------
> 8280   Murphy, Jason Cobb       3.0   Resolve the troubles v1.1
> 8281   Gaelan                   1.0   Nothing to see here, Rule 1030 v2
> 8282   Falsifian                1.0   Let's do this the hard way v1.1
> 8283   Alexis                   3.0   Ex Post Ribbon
> 8284   Alexis                   3.0   Line-Item Power
> 8285   Alexis                   3.0   Line-Item Roulette
> 8286   Aris                     1.0   I Forbid Vetos!
> The proposal pool contained only the above proposals at 4:30 AM UTC
> on Wednesday the 8th of January, 2020.

Caller's Arguments:

The statement "The proposal pool contained only the above proposals at 
4:30 AM UTC on Wednesday the 8th of January, 2020." is clearly a statement 
about the contents of the proposal pool. However, it is not a list of all 
proposals in the proposal pool, but rather, a list of all proposals that 
were in the pool at an earlier time. Rule 1607 provides that "The 
Promotor's report includes a list of all proposals in the Proposal
Pool, along with their text and attributes. This portion of a public
document purporting to be a Promotor's report is self-ratifying." Rule 
2143 provides "If any information is defined by the rules as part of that
person's weekly report, then e SHALL maintain all such information, and 
the publication of all such information is part of eir weekly duties."

In other words, at least once per week, the Promotor must publish a list 
of all proposals in the Proposal Pool. Thus, this does not meet the
requirement to be a Promotor's report. It would additionally be dangerous
if officers could publish self-ratifying reports that aren't about the
present; an officer could conceivably make a report that was stealthily
about some point in the past, and thereby allow em to move changes in the
information they track "back in time" if this was not caught and doubted.


Judge G.'s Arguments:

The Promotor's specific Proposal Pool report is defined in R1607:
>     The Promotor's report includes a list of all proposals in the
>     Proposal Pool, along with their text and attributes. This portion
>     of a public document purporting to be a Promotor's report is
>     self-ratifying.

Of particular interest for this case is the phrase "a public document
purporting to be".  This is a common phrase used for self-ratifying
documents.  The important thing here is that, to publish a report, the 
Rules don't require the Officer to display intent, e.g. to say "I hereby 
publish the following report" as they would if they were publishing a 
report "by announcement".  Rather, the rules require that the person 
simply "publish all the information".  It's the document itself that 
purports that it's a report, not the direct expression of the Officer's 

It's important not to interpret this "ability to purport" too broadly.  
Part of the purpose of this language is so that uncertainty in the 
identity of the Officer doesn't undo the self-ratification (a protection 
put in place due to the Annabel Crisis).  However, it's a double-edged 
sword.  If a simple list of switches (without being labelled as a report) 
is taken "purport" to be a self-ratifying document, then we'd be in a bit 
of trouble. We'd have to watch every statement we made in public about a 
switch (whether quoted, or part of a judgement, or whatever) to ensure it 
didn't self-ratify.

To that end, this Court finds that, in order for a document to "purport" 
to be a Report, it must contain sufficient evidence of the publisher's 
intent, that the specific publication be a self-ratifying report (and if a 
report is by definition self-ratifying, any document that does not contain 
such intent is not, by definition, the self-ratifying report).  To give 
discretion to the Officer, the purporting can take multiple forms - a 
clear heading of "Report", within-message delimiters, a new subject line, 
or if it's a quoted message a "TTTTPF", etc.

H. Promotor Aris's style of Promotor Pool report has, for some time, been 
a single sentence inserted with a proposal distribution, tucked within the
distribution itself.  (e.g. "the proposal pool is empty" [0]) without
delimiters separating from the distribution.  At some times in the past,
when I've noticed that a proposal I wrote was missing from the 
distribution, it has been confusing for me to figure out which part of the 
"distribution document" to CoE.  However, as long as the Pool was empty, 
and the statement was a clear statement of fact about the time of 
publication, it (just barely, IMO) qualified as the Proposal Pool report.


However, in the current situation, the single sentence is:
> The proposal pool contained only the above proposals at 4:30 AM UTC
> on Wednesday the 8th of January, 2020.

This included backdated information, referred to information that was
"outside the quote" (e.g. part of the Distribution) so did not clearly
delimit the "document".  To me, it could just have easily been read as a
comment e.g. "Remember that I'm not required to distribute more recent
proposals so please don't CoE the distribution".  Only the context of
knowing the Promotor's habits makes it clear that this was some attempt at 
a Report.

Therefore, as it is a messy, backdated, out-of-order thing, and since, for
the good of the game, we should limit the scope of what "purports to be a
report", this Court finds FALSE.

To be clear, this judgement is a technicality - simply encapsulating that
statement as "Promotor's Report" would lead to a different result by 
setting out a clear intent (or rather a "clear purporting").  If it were
so-encapsulated, we could then proceed to ask the question of how to deal
with the back-dating.  Agoran judicial traditions would probably allow me 
to opine on that here, but I'll only go partway down that road.

We have not required information in a report to be "platonically correct" 
to constitute a report - some inaccuracies are ok.  CFJ 3462 notes "the
standard is that the purported report has to exhibit gross sloppiness and
negligence, equivalent in severity to lying in the report or not 
publishing it." to be disqualified.  [Side note: it may be worth noting 
that this is a repeat argument, in CFJ 3462, it was Alexis who was arguing 
that a report must be perfect to be a report, and the judge who found 
differently was Aris].

Accidentally missing a few days (within the rules-mandated maintenance
period, e.g. weekly) is generally not rising to this level of negligence.
Further, applying the "negligence" standard should be done case-by-case, 
but I believe that being honest within the report, e.g. a statement such 
as "This report does not contain the past 2 days of transactions for 
[reasons]" does not automatically prevent it from being a report.

The real question is if a (properly delimited) report is back-dated, 
what's appropriate for CoEs?  BOTH of the following approaches are 
somewhat reasonable:

1.  "COE:  The date on the report is wrong, and it's also missing
[transactions of the last 2 days]."

2.  "No CoE, because the Report was accurate on the indicated date".

This is a very interesting question, and seems to be the focus of case
discussion, but to answer that I'd rather deal with an actual report that
does not fail on a technicality, as various detail aspects (e.g. how the
date is specified) might matter, and I don't want to make up a bunch of
hypothetical reports.  I think that stretches judicial discretion a bit,
even in Agora.  So for now I'll leave it as saying that honest statements
(e.g. "this statement is missing [X transactions]"), if they don't rise to
the level of negligence (e.g. are limited to issues within the weekly
reporting period or issues subject to ongoing CFJs etc.) do not
automatically disqualify such a document from being a report.