Thursday, February 22, 2007

Proposal: A Useless Proposal

6-3. Timed Out. Does nothing, ‘cos all rules were named more than four times.—Chronos

Adminned at 25 Feb 2007 16:17:51 UTC

Just thought I’d make an attempt at clarifying the basic rules, though I’ve snuck in a few minor changes as well.  I’d be happy to know what you guys think.

Modify the text of Rule 1.1 to read

This is the Ruleset for BlogNomic. Section One consists of the basic game mechanics; Section Two contains the rules of the current dynasty; and Section Three contains the glossary, which exists solely to clarify the remainder of the ruleset. Rules may be referred to by their type and entire number or type and name. (e.g. This Rule may be referred to as Rule 1.1 or the Rule entitled “Ruleset and Gamestate”).

The Ruleset and Gamestate can only be altered in manners specified by the Ruleset.  This document is only a reflection of the current Ruleset; changes made to this document do not alter the Ruleset .

No Rule may contain a provision that bars itself from being altered and/or repealed. If at any moment a Rule exists or is altered in a manner that renders it to contain such a provision, the entirety of that Rule shall be considered void and with no effects on the Gamestate. The provisions on this paragraph supersede any text in a Rule.

Spivak pronouns, as defined in the Glossary, shall be used whenever the Ruleset refers to an Actor.

Modify the text of Rule 1.2 to read

Each participant in BlogNomic, or Actor, must obey the Ruleset.  Anybody may apply to join BlogNomic (if e is not already playing) by registering at via the Register link in the sidebar, and then making a post announcing eir arrival. Upon eir addition to the roster in the sidebar in the main page, e becomes an Actor.

An Actor may leave the game at any time by posting an entry to the BlogNomic weblog requesting such an action.

An Actor may not create multiple accounts to participate in BlogNomic.

Add a Subrule to Rule 1.2 titled “Player Status” with the following text:

An Actor may have one or more of the following status effects:
* Admin: Admins are responsible for updating the site and the Ruleset, and are signified as such in the sidebar.  An Admin may make corrections to obvious spelling and typographical errors in this document at any time.

* Idle: For the purposes of the Ruleset, excluding Rules 1.1 and 1.2, Idle Actors are not counted as Actors. Admins may render an Actor Idle upon that Actor’s request, or if that Actor has not posted a entry or comment for more than 7 days. Admins may de-Idle a Actor at eir request - the Actor’s personal gamestate retains the values it had immediately prior to eir going Idle. If one or more values would be undefined, it is set to the value new Actors receive, if such a value exists.

* Investor: The Actor responsible for the theme of the current game of BlogNomic.

Modify the text of rule 1.4 to read

Any Actor may cast eir Vote on a Pending Proposal by making a comment on that entry using a voting icon of FOR, AGAINST or DEFERENTIAL.

If the Actor who made a Proposal has not cast a Vote on it, eir Vote is counted as FOR. If an Actor casts more than one Vote on a Proposal, only the most recent of those Votes is counted. If an Actor leaves the game or goes Idle, eir Vote no longer counts. If an Actor votes AGAINST eir own Proposal, that vote may not be changed.

The Investor may choose to cast a VETO in the place of the normal vote choices.

A vote of DEFERENTIAL is a vote of no opinion, or of faith in the decision of the Investor. The vote will count as the same as the Investor’s vote. The Investor cannot cast a vote of DEFERENTIAL. If the Investor does not cast a vote of FOR or AGAINST, or there is no Investor, a vote of DEFERENTIAL counts as an explicit vote of Abstention.

Change the text of rule 1.5 to read

The oldest Pending Proposal may be resolved by any Admin if any of the following criteria are met:
* The Proposal has either a number of FOR votes or a number of AGAINST votes greater than half the number of Actors.
* The Proposal has been open for voting for at least 48 hours.
* No comment or vote has been made on the Proposal for at least 24 hours.
* The Actor making the Proposal has voted AGAINST it, or the Investor has cast a VETO on the Proposal.

Upon resolution, the Proposal’s status shall be changed to Failed if any of the following are true:
* Half or fewer of the votes (not counting Abstentions) are FOR the Proposal.
* Fewer than two votes have been cast on the Proposal.
* The Actor making the Proposal has voted AGAINST it.
* The Investor has cast a VETO on the Proposal.

Otherwise, the Proposal’s status shall be changed to Enacted, and the changes to the Ruleset or Gamestate described in the Proposal made.  A Proposal has no power until it is Enacted (and thus cannot delineate the process of its own Enactment).

The Admin resolving the Proposal shall mark eir name, as well as the criteria under which the Proposal was resolved.

Change the text of rule 1.6 to read

If there is a disagreement regarding the interpretation of the Ruleset, or if an aspect of the game requires urgent attention, any Actor may raise a call for Judgment by posting an entry in the “call for Judgment” category.  If the Actor wishes, e may post anonymously by choosing “Call for Judgment” from the Author drop-down menu on the OPTIONS tab. The post shall go on to describe the issue, and measures that shall be taken to resolve it.

The Call for Judgment is voted upon and resolved like a Proposal, except that the maximum time limit is 72 hours rather than 48 hours.  If more than half of the cast votes are FOR the Call for Judgment, the Gamestate and Ruleset shall be amended as was specified.  If not, the Call for Judgment is Failed and has no further effect.

Modify the text in Rule 1.9 to read

If an Actor (other than the Investor) believes that e has achieved victory in the current Dynasty, e may make a post to the Blognomic weblog in the Declaration of Victory category detailing this.

While there is an active Declaration of Victory, the only game actions that may be taken are those covered by Rules 1.2, 1.6, 1.7 and 1.9.

Every Actor may respond to an active Declaration of Victory saying whether or not e believes the poster has achieved victory in the current Dynasty (using the FOR and AGAINST icons).

The oldest Declaration of Victory may be resolved after 24 hours, or after 12 hours if the Investor has voted on it. Upon resolution, if at least half of the Actors have cast a vote, and more than half of the votes are FOR the Declaration of Victory, it passes.

When a Declaration of Victory passes, all other active Declarations of Victory are failed, and a new game of BlogNOmic begins with the Actor who made the Declaration of Victory as its Investor and all current Dynastic Rules repealed. (That Actor may pass this role to another Actor at this point, if they wish.) The new game shall be named by the name of the Investor and the number of games of BlogNomic e has headed (e.g. “The First Dynasty of Myke”).

No Proposals can be made until the new Investor posts an Ascension Address to the BlogNomic weblog - this shall specify the Investor’s chosen theme for the new Dynasty, and may optionally include any of the following:
* A Proposal.  This Proposal may only add Dynastic Rules and automatically passes unless 60% or more of the votes are AGAINST it.
* A term to replace all instances of the word “Actor” in the Ruleset.
* A term to replace all instances of the word “Investor” in the Ruleset.

Delete Rule 1.8.

Delete Rule 3.3.

When this Proposal is Enacted, if a Rule is mentioned in 4 or more counted FOR votes for this Proposal, the proposed changes to that Rule shall not be effected.



02-23-2007 05:31:47 UTC

for Changes are well written and make some things much clearer.


02-23-2007 10:16:04 UTC

against If it ain’t broke… And “counted FOR votes”.


02-23-2007 13:41:40 UTC

agreed against


02-23-2007 14:10:12 UTC

In general, it looks good.  What functional changes are there?


02-23-2007 14:19:42 UTC

The problem with allowing “against” votes to take part in this sort of thing is that (from experience),all they do is try to sabotage the proposal in any way they can.


02-23-2007 14:29:40 UTC

by only counting “For” votes for changes you allow people who ahve problems with small sections of the proposal to still vote for, and just change those small sections, if you allow those that vote against, you are basically giving them double veto-power.  You say no, and then you say and…every rule I also disagree with.  4 people vote like that and even if a quorum is reached, no changes are made.

I’m not sure if there are any changes in how the game it played…I could be wrong but what I’m seeing is wording changes to make certain rules clearer, as well as regrouping rulings to make more sense.


02-23-2007 14:49:46 UTC

against because the proposal is just too darn long to carefully parse.


02-23-2007 16:08:38 UTC

for Rule 1.6. There’s a reason why CfJ’s are not proposals.


02-23-2007 16:10:05 UTC

against COV. On second thought, why are we repealing 1.8?


02-23-2007 16:36:06 UTC

Aye, we would have double veto power under the current text. Change that. It is your duty as the proponent of this proposal to phrase the rules to have the proper effect, especially when, historically, an alliance of noble voters have, at great personal risk, banded together to selflessly combat proposals that utilize similar mechanics in an underhanded attempt to tyrannize the brave opposition into submission to the nefarious schemes attempted therein by crushing the inalienable right of every man, woman, and child in this great society should they dare to rise against the egomania-smitten black-guards whose naked ambition should shock even the most jaded of souls. Those who vote against should not be entirely disenfranchised from the process and barred from neutralizing particularly onerous sections.


02-23-2007 19:00:31 UTC

against These are the Core Rules we’re talking about here.  I doubt I’d be willing to change 4 pages worth of Core Rules under any circumstances.

Specific issues (but only some of them.  I mean I could go on and on…) :

“Changes to this document do not alter the Rulest” is bad, especially since LEGAL changes to the document do, in fact, alter the Ruleset.  We’ve had rules which allow for the Ruleset to be manipulated directly, with the intent that those manipulations DO alter the actual Ruleset (provided the manipulations are legal).  It goes without saying that ILLEGAL changes to the document have no effect (that’s what “illegal” means).

Creating the subrule for “status effects” (LOL) in the core rules is needlessly complicated.  We don’t need to lump “admin” “idle” and “investor” together under a single heading.

While I’m aware that the Rules are (and probably always will be) blurry on the distinction between an Actor, and the real-life human(s) who control the Actor, I think you’ve made it way too blurry in the place it matters the most:  the line “A single person may not control more than one Actor within BlogNomic.” replaced with the weak “An Actor may not create multiple accounts to participate in BlogNomic.”  Also, the current sentence explaining what punishment is to be expected for breaking this rule should not be removed.

Major changes to the voting and enactment process are being made here (not all of them for the better), and should be proposed separately.

Proposed changes to the Call for Judgement system are not acceptable at all.  For starters, the Investor should not have VETO power.  Nor should IMPERIAL votes be allowed.  Nor should the poster’s vote automatically be FOR, nor should the poster be disallowed from changing eir AGAINST vote.  Remember that, sometimes, in the interest of fairness, a CfJ will be raised by someone who does not want it to pass; or the same Actor will make 2 CfJs, which suggest opposing solutions to the same problem.

Major changes to the Hiatus rules, and the Victory process in general.  Of particular note are the fact that Dynastic Rules are automatically repealed upon victory; the new Emperor is forbidden from changing keywords other than “Actor” and “Investor”, and even then, only in the Ruleset; and out of the blue, the new Emperor suddenly gets a magical rule-creating power.

The proposal does not take into consideration the automatic renumbering of Rules that will occur should Rule 1.8 be deleted.  (in particular, no one will be able to vote on a DoV during Hiatus, as the rule which permits doing so will not be one of Rules 1.2, 1.6, 1.7 or 1.9.

Finally, because you have moved vital information all around from one rule to another, it would be a disaster if, as you are allowing to happen should 4 FOR voters wish it, some rules are changed by this proposal while some are not changed.

Fortunately, it only takes 4 of us to veto this entire proposal, as I now intend to do.
for Rule 1.1 Rule 1.2 Rule 1.4 Rule 1.5 Rule 1.6 Rule 1.8 Rule 1.9 Rule 3.3


02-23-2007 19:23:23 UTC

for CoV. Rule 1.1, Rule 1.2, Rule 1.4, Rule 1.5, rule 1.6, Rule 1.8, Rule 1.9, Rule 3.3. What Hix said, and more.


02-23-2007 19:31:24 UTC

for CoV. Rule 1.1, Rule 1.2, Rule 1.4, Rule 1.5, rule 1.6, Rule 1.8, Rule 1.9, Rule 3.3. What Hix said, and more.

Just one more…


02-24-2007 06:59:19 UTC

Hey.  Sorry for the monster post.  Thanks to everyone for the comments.  I realize that changing the core rules is a big step and must obviously be taken carefully.  I’ve tried to keep the functionality of the rules (except in certain areas where I’ve introduced deliberate changes), and close some existing loopholes while not introducing new ones (though I’ve probably not succeeded in that endeavor).

I suppose it might help to give a bit of commentary with what I was trying to achieve with this proposal.

First, the cosmetic changes:
-I tried to eliminate instances of using a term before it is defined.  Not a big change but hopefully it makes things clearer.
-The changing of abbreviations of game terms into the actual terms.  Again, for clarity’s sake.

Now the functional changes:
-Added a provision to make the wiki ruleset a representation of an abstract Ruleset.  This is to prevent the wiki page being changed through a loophole and the game coming to a standstill.  The situation I’m thinking about is something like an admin deciding that the rules for Calls for Judgment and Proposals are an “obvious” typographical error.  While this may seem like an obvious violation of the rules, it is a judgment call on the part of the admin/players, with the ability to launch Calls for Judgment removed (according to one interpretation of the rules), the game would grind to a halt.  While this has only a minor effect in reality (the players could form a new game and exclude the admin), why have the loophole in the first place?
-Changed the requirement for the use of Spivak pronouns to be limited to the Ruleset.  The previous rule was too broad (I’m violating the rules since I’m not using a Spivak pronoun to refer to myself.  And even if you construe the rule to refer to the third-person case, why should I be restricted in referring to another Actor if I know eir gender and the Actor doesn’t have a problem with my use of a specific pronoun?)
-Slight change in the way a majority is calculated… this should be the same as the previous ruleset in most cases but may be off by a vote or so in some cases.  I don’t think this will have any significant impact.
-The Investor can cast a vote of deferential… I don’t think this should have a significant impact either.
-A Proposal can be resolved if no one has commented or voted on it for 24 hours.  This is just a way to speed up the resolution of the proposals… I don’t think this breaks anything, as anyone can keep it from being resolved by making a comment (up to the 48 hour mark), and it could help to shave off the deadweight proposals that get a few negative votes and then just sit in the queue until they time out.
-Slightly changed the ascension process by automatically repealing all dynastic rules, as well as changed what the Investor can do with eir Ascension Address.  The reason for the automatic repeal is that the point of themes for the dynasties appears to be to provide some sort of variety and differentiation among games of BlogNomic.  Since Dynastic rules are generally closely tied to the theme (at least from what I’ve seen so far), they are probably ill-suited for the new theme.  If the Investor does wish to keep some rules, e can merely introduce them in eir proposal.

Now to address some comments:

Rodney is right about Rule 1.6.  I screwed it up.  Hopefully that change won’t go through and I can try again.

The deleted rules have had their contents subsumed by other rules.

I deliberately made the limit to overturn changes low so that if there was something amiss it could be easily excised.

I know that it’s a lot of work to make changes to the rules, but perhaps the work can be divided among Admins?  Or maybe if Rule 1.1 passes, the wiki page is only a reflection of the rules, and since it doesn’t specifically bar non-admins from making edits to wiki Ruleset page, some non-Admins could take on the load.

I’d be interested in knowing what rules allow for modification of the document that can’t be done just by modifying the abstract ruleset.  In any case, one could include a provision to allow those rules to work (since none exist now, I don’t see how this is a problem… the proposal introducing such a rule could also include the above provision).

I agree that status effects is a lousy term.  I apologize; it was late (but we can change the term at any time).  However, that was done just for clarity (as part of the above cosmetic changes), and it makes it clear that one can have multiple modifiers to one’s status.

How is the multiple accounts statement blurry?  An Actor is a person participating in BlogNomic, and that person may not make multiple accounts.  I agree that it could be worded more strongly, but I don’t think it will break the game as it stands.  I removed the other statement because it was a little vague and because a CfJ can accomplish the same thing.

Yes, I messed up Rule 1.6. :(

My motivation for automatic repeal is listed above.  I limited the Investor to changing those terms only because as far as I could tell they were the only ones related to the theme; allowing all keywords could allow the Investor to turn the ruleset into an unreadable mess.  Of course, more terms could easily be added to the list of words that the Investor may change.  The Investor’s Ascension Address Proposal power could be reworded, I agree.  Nevertheless, it isn’t that much more powerful than a normal proposal; it’s just intended to let the Investor get the ball rolling.

It’s true that no one will be able to vote on a DoV if 1.8 is deleted.  However, this can easily be amended if that portion of the Proposal passes.  The DoV will still time out in normal time in the meantime.

The amount of information that has been moved around is relatively small.  I have tried to keep important, relevant game mechanics in the same rule as they were previously.  I think that any discrepancies that arise can be amended.

In any case, thanks again to everyone for their comments.  I know that this seems kind of overwhelming, and that tinkering around with the Core Rules will inspire a knee-jerk reaction regardless.  Also, I realize that the proposal could be worded better.  But, I think that this proposal closes a couple of loopholes, and adds some functionality without breaking the system (except the CfJ rule).  It may not be much of one, but I think it is a marginal improvement over the current ruleset.  The rules are a continual work in progress, and I just want to take it one step in the right direction.  I’m just asking for everyone to consider this with an open mind; if the Proposal still doesn’t pass muster, I’d be interested in knowing what the sticking points are (since I think everything raised so far can be handled).  Thanks again!

for  (just to be clear, I’m mentioning Rule 1.6 here).


02-24-2007 14:57:11 UTC

Axeling: I also see mentions of Rules 1.1 and 1.8 in your comment, not just Rule 1.6.  So, given Hix’s, Robert’s, and Chronos’s votes, that only leaves the changes to Rule 1.2, Rule 1.4, Rule 1.5, Rule 1.9, and Rule 3.3.

for (Oh, look at all those rules that I just mentioned.  I guess all the changes go away.)


02-24-2007 15:34:08 UTC

Axeling, why don’t you try and propose once change at a time?


02-24-2007 18:52:37 UTC

All right.  I’d be interested in knowing what else is wrong with it in any case.
for Rule 1.1, Rule 1.6, Rule 1.8 (just making sure Rule 1.8 is counted)