Index ← 3845 CFJ 3846 3847 → text
===============================  CFJ 3846  ===============================

      CFJ 3835 is G.


Caller:                        Jason

Judge:                         Aris
Judgement:                     FALSE



Called by Jason:                                  12 Jun 2020 02:08:56
Assigned to Aris:                                 13 Jun 2020 18:35:47
Judged FALSE by Aris:                             20 Jun 2020 05:35:57


Caller's Arguments:

[Arbitor's note: 'previous CFJ' is 3845].

If the previous CFJ that I called was found TRUE, then that provides
evidence for the statement of this CFJ being TRUE: at some point, CFJ
3835 "became" G. Nothing would have caused CFJ 3835 to cease being G.,
which would imply that CFJ 3835 remains G. right now.

Even if my previous arguments were not adopted, there remains a case for
this statement being TRUE. Rule 991/31 uses the following wording:

>       When a CFJ's judge is unassigned, the Arbitor CAN assign any
>       eligible player to be its judge by announcement, and SHALL do so
>       in a timely fashion.

The only way it can be said that a CFJ "is" unassigned is if it "is" the
value of its instance of the judge switch. I argue that this should
extend to other possible values of judge as well - even those that are
not explicitly named in the rule, i.e. persons. We also use the phrasing
elsewhere - officeholder is a switch possessed by offices, and we say
that "the Arbitor is G.".


Judge Aris's Arguments:

The former of the caller's arguments, regarding Rule 2162, has already been
dealt with in CFJ 3845.

That leaves eir second argument, which is as follows:

1. A CFJ with a judge switch set to "unassigned" is unassigned.
2. The reason for this is that any entity "is" any the current value
   of each of that entity's switches.
3. Therefore, CFJ 3835 is G.

I think we can all agree with #1. The weak step in this argument is #2.
The argument fails if the reason for #1 is something other than #2.

First, and most obviously, the word unassigned has a meaning
Without even having to look it up, I can tell you it means "not assigned".
It could mean "not assigned ever" or "not assigned right now", but it darn
well means one of those things. One of the values of a CFJ's judge switch
is "unassigned". That clarifies which of the two senses of the natural
language word "unassigned" is meant: the one that accords with the
value of the switch. Incidentally, this works much the same way for
offices being vacant.

That explanation is enough to resolve the argument set forth by the caller.
However, there is another argument that could be produced.

Imagine a rule that stated "Exploded is a negative boolean proposal switch."
Perhaps exploding a proposal is method of disabling it, and exploded proposals
CANNOT be adopted.

People might begin to refer to exploded proposals as "exploded proposals", as
I've already been doing. If you're an average Agoran, I'll bet you didn't even
notice me referring to proposals with an exploded switch set to true as
"exploded proposals" until I pointed it out. It just makes sense. What else
would anyone mean by an "exploded" proposal? And once you've gone that
far, why not start referring to proposals that have their exploded switch set
to false as "unexploded"? After all, unexploded means "not exploded", so it
seems like a sensible enough conversion. It would be just as sensible to do
the same if the proposal switch was "explodedness" and the values were
"exploded" and "unexploded". So what's going on here?

I don't have a tidy explanation for this. The best I have is this: language
means what people think it means. We've gotten so used to using adjectives
to describe nouns that if we see something that looks adjectival being
a property of something that looks nounish, we just naturally speak with
the adjective describing the noun. This is how our language works. Because
everyone understands it, it's meaningful. To be honest, I'm pretty sure
that most of Agora's interpretative woes could be solved by rigorous
application of the principle that language means what people think it means
coupled with rigorous adherence to the text of the rules, but that's a
matter for another day (I may write a thesis).

The same principle, if applied to this case, resolves the matter conclusively.
No Agoran would say that CFJ 3846 is G., just because e is its judge.
The adjectival principle I mentioned above does not apply to nouns. Making it
apply to nouns would like require a major change in Agoran language, rather
than a mere shift in usage.

The long and the short of it is, no matter how one explains the fact that
a CFJ can be unassigned, CFJ 3846 doesn't come even remotely close to being