Index ← 3807 CFJ 3808 3809 → text
===============================  CFJ 3808  ===============================

      Jason has, in the last two weeks, made a single intent to enact
      multiple Editorial Guidelines and twg is both a Supporter and
      Objector to it.


Caller:                        Alexis

Judge:                         G.
Judgement:                     IRRELEVANT



Called by Alexis:                                 07 Feb 2020 04:43:31
Assigned to G.:                                   09 Feb 2020 08:55:24
Judged IRRELEVANT by G.:                          09 Feb 2020 22:05:05


Caller's Arguments:

As discussed, this is likely a single intent/action rather than
multiple. However, beyond that, by trying to support and/or object to
individual components, has twg thereby supported and objected to it?
Or has this failed and e is neither?

Caller's Evidence:

On 1/27/2020 3:43 PM, Jason Cobb wrote:
> I've finally gotten around to drafting these, so I intend, with Agoran
> consent, to enact the following Editorial Guidelines:
> [Informal title: "Capitalization"]
> {
> Capitalization of terms of art should follow, as closely as possible,
> existing usages of the term. In the event of inconsistent usage, or when
> creating new terms of art, prefer using lowercase letters, except when
> the term of art contains a proper noun.
> Example: prefer "blots" to "Blots".
> Specifically, all dependent action methods besides "Agoran consent" are
> entirely lowercase.
> }
> [Informal title: "Lists"]
> {
> There are two types of list numbering: ordered and unordered. Ordered
> lists are marked with a marker that monotonically increases with each
> item. Unordered lists are marked with the same marker for each element.
> Example: "*" is the marker in:
>     * Alice
>     * Bob
> There are two types of list formatting: inline and block. Inline lists
> are contained with in the prose, and are not separated from the
> preceding prose by line breaks. Block lists have newlines before and
> after each element. Inline lists should not exceed more than 2 to 3
> elements; if they do, consider making the list a block list.
> Inline ordered lists should have the marker "X)", and block ordered
> lists should have the marker "X.", where X is either the number of the
> list item or a letter. Block unordered lists should have the marker "*".
> When there are multiple ordered block lists in a single rule, prefer to
> give each of them a different numbering style. For example, one could
> use "1.", "2.", "3." while another uses "A.", "B.", "C.".
> }
> [I wanted to put something about how each list item should end, but I'm
> not quite sure how to phrase it, and the current rules diverge a good
> bit on the matter.]
> [Informal title: "Pronouns"]
> {
> The singular non-gendered pronoun is "e" in the nominative, and "em" in
> the accusative. Do not use "they" as a singular pronoun. Do not use
> "he/him/his" or "she/her/her" as a singular pronoun when referring to a
> person of unknown gender.
> }

On Thu, 6 Feb 2020 at 19:26, Timon Walshe-Grey wrote:
> Jason wrote:
>> Sorry, do people have other support/objections for these? I would 
>> not to just let them die.
> I object to the capitalisation one for the same reason as Alexis.
> I object to the lists one because the example given is very confusing.
> It's not an inline list because it's separated from the surrounding
> prose, and it's not a block list because the elements aren't separated
> by line breaks. And why are those spacing restrictions needed anyway
> when R2429 lets you, as Rulekeepor, change spacing freely?
> I support the pronouns one, although I think it could do with amending
> to specify the other declensions ("eir", "eirs", "emself") too.
> -twg


Judge G.'s Arguments:

In general, for action specifications, we allow some flexibility,
especially in the name of efficiency.  For example, if I state "I vote FOR
all of the following decisions", that's taken to expand to individual
ballots (one per decision), because the rules are very clear that a single
ballot doesn't apply to multiple decisions, so there's no alternative
interpretation (i.e. no such thing as a single simultaneous ballot).

So the first question is:  for changing the Editorial Guidelines, do the
rules explicitly make the creation of each new editorial guideline a
separate action, or can multiple guidelines be implemented as a single 

R2599 reads in part:
>   The Editor CAN, with Agoran consent, enact regulations, collectively
>   called "Editorial Guidelines".

First, this makes it reasonably clear that each "guideline" is a separate
"regulation", so if a person talks about "two guidelines", e is talking
about two separate regulations.

Second, this is written with a plural mapped to a singular ("enact
regulations with Agoran consent"), which seems to imply that multiple
regulations can be enacted as a single with-Consent action.  However this
usage is not certain - for example, it's perfectly natural to say "I can
vote on decisions by announcement" while still meaning that each decision
gets its own vote.  So this could be read either way.

Looking at the definition of Regulations in R2493, gives us the following:
>    A regulation CAN be enacted, amended, and repealed as specified by
>    its parent rule. By default, a person CAN, with 2 Agoran consent,
>    enact, amend, or repeal a regulation for which e is the
>    Promulgator.

This has the strong implication that each regulation is changed singly.  I
find this interpretation compelling in terms of common sense - the rules
make it reasonably plain that each regulation is a separate entity (as
opposed to, say, clauses in a contract which might be replaced en masse),
and it's reasonable (in the absence of contrary text in the rules) to use
the "rule change model" in which each change is a separate action.

To be sure, R2493 allows a "parent rule" to specify change methods, and
that parent rule could specify simultaneous changes.  But the ambiguous
sort-of plural in the power-1 R2599 (that could be read either way) is not
sufficient to override power-3 default, of one regulation change per 

Thus, I find that the best current Rules interpretation is that each
regulation change is a separate act, with a separate intent required.  And
since each guideline is its own regulation, this means one separate intent
per guideline.

So, as per the CFJ text "a single intent to enact multiple Editorial
Guidelines" would be an intent to perform an IMPOSSIBLE action (modifying
multiple regulations simultaneously).  If Jason had written very
specifically "I intend, as a single act, to enact the following set of
guidelines", the follow-up action attempt would fail, because it is not
POSSIBLE to perform a single act that changes multiple guidelines.

Does Jason's specification of intent expand (in the manner of the vote
example) to being multiple intents, one per regulation?  Requiring
separate intents does not mean the word "intend" has to be used multiple
times.  For example "I intend to enact each of the following regulations
separately" would do the trick. The question, then, is whether Jason's
message met this threshold:
>    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;
with respect to specifying that these were multiple actions?

In this case:

1.  Jason makes it clear that e is enacting multiple guidelines, therefore
multiple regulations;

2.  Jason uses both titles and parenthesis to indicate that each titled
section is its own regulation;

3.  We have clarified, via this CFJ, that the alternative of one action
for multiple regulations changes is IMPOSSIBLE.

4.  However, the "I intend" portion is written singly, "I intend, with
Agoran consent, to enact".

If the standard was merely "clearly" and not "unambiguously, clearly,
conspicuously, and without obfuscation", point 4 would not be sufficient
to override points 1-3, and this would work- this is still reasonably
clear, conspicuous and without obfuscation.

But what about "unambiguous"?

On one hand, when there's only one interpretation that works (see point
3), we can be a little less strict, as there is only one possible mapping.
But point 3 wasn't clear in the Rules until this CFJ - going forward,
given this CFJ, it might work better, and we might be a little less
strict.  But going into this CFJ, point 3 was ambiguous.  Secondly,
there's evidence from the conversation that both interpretations were
assumed by different readers.  Given that the purpose of dependent actions
(as reflected by the high standard) is to have a very explicit
parliamentary procedure with the maximum ability for players to respond,
overall this intent is to ambiguous to set up a future action.

Since overall the intent is ambiguous, it wouldn't work whether it was an
intent to perform one action or many.  Therefore who has objected or
supported what doesn't really matter, as the actions cannot proceed based
on the quoted announcement of intent.  I find IRRELEVANT.