=============================== CFJ 3863 ===============================
Aris MAY Call Destruction Down Upon the contract Amusing Test
Called by Aris: 01 Jul 2020 04:32:11
Assigned to Murphy: 05 Jul 2020 18:23:17
Judged FALSE by Murphy: 12 Jul 2020 15:39:52
This case is very simple. Rule 2162, "Switches", defines flipping
switches. This contract attempts to override the definition for its
own purposes. The question is whether the definition in the Rule has
preclusive effect. Definitions ordinarily don't, at least in ordinary
language (i.e. texts regularly redefine special terms). However, Rule
2162 doesn't say it's defining anything, it just does so. It arguably
overrides the definition in the contract. I request the judge also
rule on whether things would differ if Rule 2162 used the word
"define", rather than simply stating the meaning of the term.
On 6/30/2020 9:32 PM, Aris Merchant via agora-business wrote:
> I create, consent to, and become a member of the following contract.
> Amusing Test Case
> Any player CAN become a party to this contract by announcement.
> Amusement is an untracked singleton negative boolean switch.
> Destructibility is an untracked singleton negative boolean switch.
> Any other definition notwithstanding, "to flip the amusement switch to
> true" (and similar variations thereof) means to change the value of
> the destructibility switch to true, and has no effect on the amusement
> Aris CAN flip the amusement switch to true by announcement.
> Aris CAN Call Destruction Down Upon this contract by announcement.
> This instant after e does so, this contract is destroyed. Aris SHALL
> NOT Call Destruction Down Upon this contract unless the value of the
> destructibility switch is true.
> One week after this contract comes into existence, the value of
> destructibility switch is set to true.
> I flip the amusement switch to true (under the definition specified by
> the contract).
Rule 2162/13 (Power=3)
A type of switch is a property that the rules define as a switch,
and specify the following:
1. The type(s) of entity possessing an instance of that switch. No
other entity possesses an instance of that switch.
2. One or more possible values for instances of that switch,
exactly one of which should be designated as the default. No
values other than those listed are possible for instances of
that switch, except that, if no default is specified, then
rules to the contrary notwithstanding, the "null" value is a
possible value for that switch, and is the default.
3. Optionally, exactly one office whose holder tracks instances of
that switch. That officer's (weekly, if not specified
otherwise) report includes the value of each instance of that
switch whose value is not its default value; a public document
purporting to be this portion of that officer's report is
self-ratifying, and implies that other instances are at their
At any given time, each instance of a switch has exactly one
possible value for that type of switch. If an instance of a switch
comes to have a value, it ceases to have any other value. If an
instance of a switch would otherwise fail to have a possible
value, it comes to have its default value. A Rule that designates
a switch as "secured" (at a given power level) designates changes
to the properties of that type of switch as secured (at that power
level) and designates changes to the value of each instance of the
switch as secured (at that power level).
"To flip an instance of a switch" is to make it come to have a
given value. "To become X" (where X is a possible value of
exactly one of the subject's switches) is to flip that switch to
If a type of switch is not explicitly designated as
possibly-indeterminate by the rule that defines it, and if an
action or set of actions would cause the value of an instance of
that type of switch to become indeterminate, that instance instead
takes on its last determinate and possible value, if any,
otherwise it takes on its default value.
A singleton switch is a switch for which Agora Nomic is the only
entity possessing an instance of that switch.
A boolean switch is a switch with values True and False. A
positive boolean switch has a default of True; a negative boolean
switch has a default of False.
Attempting to flip an instance of a switch to a value it already
has does not flip the switch. However, if a person is REQUIRED to
flip a switch instance to a value it already has, then either
attempting to do so using the required mechanism, or announcing
that the switch already has the required value, fulfills the
requirement without flipping the switch.
Rule 1742/22 (Power=2.5)
Any group of one or more consenting persons (the parties) may
publicly make an agreement among themselves with the intention
that it be binding upon them and be governed by the rules. Such
an agreement is known as a contract. A contract may be modified,
including by changing the set of parties, with the consent of all
existing parties. A contract may also be terminated with the
consent of all parties. A contract automatically terminates if the
number of parties to it falls below one. It is IMPOSSIBLE for a
person to become a party to a contract without eir consent.
Parties to a contract governed by the rules SHALL act in
accordance with that contract. This obligation is not impaired
by contradiction between the contract and any other contract, or
between the contract and the rules.
Rules to the contrary notwithstanding, any change that would cause
the full provisions or parties of a contract to become publicly
unavailable is canceled and does not take effect.
The portion of a contract's provisions that can be interpreted
with reference only to information that is either publicly or
generally available are known as its body; the remainder of the
provisions are known as the annex.
A party to a contract CAN perform any of the following actions as
explicitly and unambiguously permitted by the contract's body:
* Act on behalf of another party to the contract.
* By announcement, revoke destructible assets from the contract.
* By announcement, transfer liquid assets from the contract to a
Judge Murphy's Arguments:
While the contract attempts to overrule the Rule definition of the
phrase in question, it does not explicitly attempt to overrule this
clause from Rule 2613 (Effects of Instruments):
An instrument or body of law is not, except where it specifies
otherwise, bound by or restricted in any way by any subordinate
law and implicitly overrides and takes precedence over all
provisions, including outright prohibitions or definitions, of all
It's questionable whether Rule 2613 should be interpreted as implicitly
carrying the same force as Rule 1030 (Precedence Between Rules)
explicitly sets out at the end:
Clauses in any other rule that broadly claim precedence (e.g. over
"all rules" of a certain class) shall be, prima facie, considered
to be limited claims of precedence or deference that are
applicable only when such claims are evaluated as described within
the above sequence.
No change to the ruleset can occur that would cause a Rule to
directly claim precedence over this Rule as a means of determining
precedence. This applies to changes by the enactment or amendment
of a Rule, or of any other form. This Rule takes precedence over
any Rule that would permit such a change to the ruleset.
I consider it in the best interests of the game to interpret that it is,
but I'm prepared to be called to reconsider this, and in any case I
recommend legislation to add similar text to Rule 2613 (lest a new
contract set up a stronger paradox of precedence, which could get really
messy if not for voluntary restraint).
I also find that the construction "'To do X' is to do Y" defines "To do
X", even if it doesn't explicitly use any form of the word "define".
* The contract's attempted re-definition is ineffective.
* At the time in question, the destructibility switch was not true.
* At the time in question, it was ILLEGAL for Aris to Call Destruction
Down Upon the contract.