Index ← 3900 CFJ 3901 3902 → text
===============================  CFJ 3901  ===============================

      The cashing of one or more promises created by G. has been
      EFFECTIVE at changing the final vote tally and/or number of voters
      on the referendum to adopt Proposal 8543, for the purposes of
      R208, R879, and/or R2623.


Caller:                        G.

Judge:                         Gaelan
Judgement:                     PARADOXICAL



Called by G.:                                     28 Feb 2021 23:59:40
Assigned to Gaelan:                               07 Mar 2021 19:16:30
Judged PARADOXICAL by Gaelan:                     20 Mar 2021 20:14:03


Caller's Evidence:

On 2/28/2021 3:58 PM, Kerim Aydin wrote:
> I grant myself a promise, "Neverending PRESENT", with the following text:
>    1. I grant myself a new promise with a text identical to the text of
>       the "Neverending PRESENT" promise.
>    2. If I have cast a non-withdrawn ballot on the referendum to adopt
>       Proposal 8543, I withdraw it; otherwise I vote PRESENT
>       (unconditionally) on the referendum to adopt Proposal 8543.
>    3. I cash the new promise.
> I cash the above-created promise.

The above message was sent via agora-business before the voting period on
the proposal 8543 referendum ended.  This CFJ was called immediately after
the voting period ended and before any attempt at resolving the referendum
was published.  Quorum was met by other voters regardless of this ballot.

Caller's Arguments:

For the purpose of cashing a single instance of the above promise, every
step should be determinate (and the conditional in step #2
well-determined), so the cashing should succeed and have the effects
described in its text.

Collectively, I believe this makes the status of my ballot indeterminate
(alternating infinitely between being cast and not) and therefore make
this CFJ PARADOXICAL.  It is not irrelevant even if the proposal is
resolved by publishing two separate announcements (one for each state), as
the resolution method propagates to affecting the vote count for quorum
and/or popularity.

Even if the gamestate was converged after the calling of this CFJ (e.g. by
resolving a proposal batch in a different-than-typical order to prevent
it from affecting future quorum), the fact that it took a positive effort
on the part of the Assessor to do so meant that it certainly was relevant
at the time this CFJ was called.  Further, I think, as a general
principle, that votes are part of the historical legislative record, and
ballots are prima facie relevant even if they don't change an outcome.


Judge Gaelan's Arguments:

At question is a promise that purports to recursively create and cash a 
promise with identical text, causing G's vote on proposal 8543 to 
fluctuate indefinitely between two values.

# What does it mean to cash a promise?

2618/2: { A promise's bearer CAN, by announcement, cash the promise, 
provided that any conditions for cashing it specified by its text are 
unambiguously met. By doing so, e acts on the creator of the promise's 
behalf, causing the creator to act as if e published the promise's text, 
and destroys the promise. }

# Can a promise create a promise?

Promise creation is permitted by 2618/2: { A consenting player CAN, by 
announcement, grant a specified entity a promise, specifying its text and 
becoming its creator. }

G. is a player, and 2519/2 explicitly states that a player consents to an 
action if { the action is taken as part of a promise which e created }; no 
issues there. What about the "by announcement, specifying its text" bit? 
If G. just published the text of the promise, it'd certainly qualify, so 
"act[ing] as if e published the promise's text" should work fine.

No issues here.

# Can a promise cash a promise?

Sure, it's by announcement. We've already seen that works.

# Wait, can you cash your own promises at all?

This one's interesting. 2466/2 only gives the phrase "acting on behalf" 
any special meaning when it's on behalf of another person, so "acting on 
one's own behalf" doesn't really have any special meaning or significance. 
By a plain-English reading, acting on one's behalf to do something is just 
doing the thing. So I think this works just fine.

# What about that conditional in the promise?

Good question, heading. Agora's support for conditional actions is 
famously not specified by the rules, only precedent, rooting from 478/38's 
definition of performing an action "by announcement" as "unambiguously and 
clearly specifying the action and announcing that e performs it". It's 
widely held that, at some point, a conditional can become too difficult to 
resolve to meet the "unambiguously and clearly" standard. Do we run into 
that here?

We generally permit conditionals based on ambiguous game state, for 
converging the game state and such. This might fall into that category. 
But this doesn't really matter, as I shall show below.

Let's say there exists some point at which the state of G.'s vote is so 
ambiguous that it can no longer be used as a valid conditional. Where 
would that point be? Certainly not after the first flip—at that point, 
it's just been flipped once, so it's still perfectly clear. It remains 
clear after the second flip, or the third flip, or indeed any finite 
number of flips; the ambiguity arises only after an infinite (or 
arbitrarily large) number of flips back and forth. Even if the conditional 
stopped functioning at that point, the state of G's vote is already 
unknown. After all, if it was known, the conditional wouldn't be 

So even if the conditional stops functioning at some point, it would only 
be after the damage was already done.

# So what's the verdict?

I find PARADOXICAL. Congratulations, G.!