Index ← 3815 CFJ 3816 3817 → text
===============================  CFJ 3816  ===============================

      The Arbitor is REQUIRED to grant Gaelan 5 coins by announcement
      for the judgement of CFJ 3806.


Caller:                        G.

Judge:                         twg
Judgement:                     FALSE



Called by G.:                                     14 Feb 2020 21:04:12
Assigned to twg:                                  19 Feb 2020 15:23:27
Judged FALSE by twg:                              19 Feb 2020 18:46:26


Caller's Arguments:

On January 29, R2496 read as follows [0]:

>    Each time a player fulfills a reward condition, the officer
>    associated with the condition CAN once, and SHALL in an
>    officially timely fashion grant the associated set of assets to the
>    player.
>      * Judging a CFJ that e was assigned to without violating a time
>        limit to do so: 5 coins (Arbitor).

On February 9, Gaelan judged CFJ 3806 (without violating a time limit).  
However, because R2496 did not contain the phrase "by announcement", it 
was REQUIRED but IMPOSSIBLE for the Arbitor to make this grant.

On Feb 13, Proposal 8311 [1] both (a) fixed the by-announcement problem in 
R3496, and (b) granted rewards to everyone who should have earned them 
(such as Gaelan for CFJ 3806).

HOWEVER, Proposal 8311 did not explicitly remove the Arbitor's requirement 
to grant the reward in question, nor did the proposal make it true that 
the "officer made the award once following the condition" - the proposal 
just made it POSSIBLE to meet the REQUIREMENT, and the proposal, not the 
officer, is what granted the reward.

So:  Is the Arbitor still required to make the award?  This question would 
apply to all rewards that were granted due to Proposal 8311.

[0] I'm not sure that version of R2496 appears in a published SLR, it is 
the results of proposals 8295 and 8304, found here:



Judge twg's Arguments:

I accept the timeline provided by the caller as true and accurate. To

29 January   Rule 2496 provides that the Arbitor "SHALL in an officially
             timely fashion" grant 5 coins to the responsible party each
             time a CFJ is judged, but does not provide a mechanism for
             doing so.

9 February   Gaelan judges CFJ 3806.

13 February  Rule 2496 is amended to introduce a statement that the
             Arbitor "CAN once by announcement" grant 5 coins to the
             responsible party each time a CFJ is judged.

14 February  This CFJ is initiated.

The CFJ was initiated in an officially timely fashion (before the end of
the next Agoran week) after the judgement of CFJ 3806. Therefore, by the
text of Rule 2496, the Arbitor was undeniably REQUIRED at the time of the
CFJ to grant Gaelan 5 coins; this part of the rule was not amended by the
rule change on 13 February.

However, this REQUIREment is not precisely what is referred to by the
statement of this CFJ, which asks whether the Arbitor was "REQUIRED to
grant Gaelan 5 coins _by announcement_" (emphasis mine). This is an
unusual form of words. Where the rules impose obligations on players to
perform specific actions, they rarely if ever demand that those actions be
performed by specific methods, except insofar as it is only POSSIBLE to
perform them by those methods. Therefore, I believe that the most sensible
and plausible way to interpret this CFJ is that it is TRUE only if the
following all hold TRUE:

    (i) the Arbitor was REQUIRED to grant Gaelan 5 coins;

   (ii) it was POSSIBLE for the Arbitor to grant Gaelan 5 coins by
        announcement; and

  (iii) there existed no other mechanism by which it was POSSIBLE for the
        Arbitor to grant Gaelan 5 coins.

I have already indicated that point (i) holds; now I examine point (ii).

The caller asserts that the language added to Rule 2496 on 13 February
made it POSSIBLE for the Arbitor to grant Gaelan 5 coins for this CFJ.
However, I do not see that this assertion is supported by the rules.

The language in question reads in its essential parts, "Each time a player
fulfills a reward condition, the officer... CAN once by announcement...
grant [the reward] to the player." This is presented as simple cause and
effect: whenever a triggering event (the fulfillment of a reward
condition) occurs, the rule immediately causes an additional, subsequent
event (the authorisation of the officer to grant the reward). It is this
authorisation that makes it POSSIBLE for the officer to grant assets, not
the mere existence of rule text on the subject.

There is no suggestion here that the rule can retroactively insert an
event into the game's history. Nor does the rule indicate in any other
way that, upon amendment, it authorises officers to grant rewards for
arbitrary past events. Even if there were some ambiguity on this point,
such an interpretation would be in manifest contravention of the game's
customs and best interests: it would also apply to the REQUIREment clause,
obliging the Arbitor to reward the CFJ judgements that occurred prior to
its enactment. This would be both impossible in the ordinary-language
sense (because details of many early CFJs have been lost to history) and
IMPOSSIBLE in the game-sense (because many past judges - perhaps even the
majority - are no longer players, and ineligible to earn coins).

Consequently, Rule 2496 does not make it POSSIBLE for the Arbitor to grant
5 coins to Gaelan by announcement. Nor, to my knowledge, does the Arbitor
hold any other office with which a reward condition is associated. The
only other circumstance in which the rules authorise the granting of coins
to a player is when it is that player's Agoran Birthday; however, the most
recent Registrar monthly report indicates that Gaelan's Agoran Birthday is
in May, and so it does not apply in this situation. It was therefore
IMPOSSIBLE at the time of this CFJ's initiation for the Arbitor to grant
5 coins to Gaelan by announcement.

Point (ii) above having been rejected, there is no need to examine point
(iii). I judge CFJ 3816 FALSE: the Arbitor is REQUIRED to grant Gaelan 5
coins, but e CANNOT do so by announcement, so e is not REQUIRED to grant
Gaelan 5 coins by announcement.