Monday, March 20, 2006

Call for Judgment: english usage

Timed out and failed, alas. Josh

Adminned at 24 Mar 2006 04:30:34 UTC

Bucky and I apparently disagree on what ‘a’ and ‘an’ mean, so I may submit this CfJ.

I feel that Bucky believes that to “nominate an Avzur” means e can nominate four and that “a number between one and ten” can mean “ten numbers between one and ten” (although since his vote was an AGAINST vote in the specified place, it doesn’t matter).

dictionary.com may not be the best dictionary, but I’ll take ‘a’ or ‘an’ to both indicate “a single but unspecified person or thing”.  Therefore, if this CfJ passes, add the following rule (in a place determined by the enacting Admin, who should take advice given in the comments):

References to “a X” or “an X” refer to only one unspecified X.

Also, it’s fair to read Bucky’s nominations as being 4 nominations of one at once.  In this case, I feel the Ruleset needs some severe attention regarding what can be done at once.  I recommend adding the following (again in a place determined by the enacting Admin):

No two or more game actions may be taken at the same time if the order in which they were taken would matter.

This allows something like setting a Happy Gostak’s mood to Content and moving em up a floor, but not something like nominating four Avzurs since the order matters: the last one nominated & voted for would be Avzur.

Comments

Bucky:

03-20-2006 04:47:07 UTC

While I agree with Lars that my nomination of four Avzurs in the same post was illegal, I beleive this is due to formatting.  Specifically, if it passes, the result would be undefined.

However, I strongly disagree with the proposed solution for several reasons.

1)There are places in the ruleset where “a” or “an” clearly can refer to several instances e.g. “If the Gostak who made a Proposal has not cast an explicit Vote on it, eir Vote is counted as FOR” applies to both of Lars Atomica’s pending proposals.

2)We do not always know when we take a batch of actions if their order would matter, given that new rules can reference past actions.

3)The fix for multiple actions being taken at the same time does not account for the possibility of a case where several actions designed to happen at the same time would have different effects if they happened at different times, or for rules which explicitly allow two otherwise separate actions to happen at the same time.

4)Matter for what?  The ruleset wording? The overall Gamestate?  My ego?  The order in which the changes are recorded in the GNDT log?

These are major issues, and I don’t see any way around them.  against

ChronosPhaenon:

03-20-2006 14:55:27 UTC

(I Unidle) for (I go Idle again). Note that the CfJ rule doesn’t preclude me to do that, nor it does exclude my vote after I go Idle.

ChronosPhaenon:

03-20-2006 16:07:36 UTC

Forgot to comment: “If the Gostak who made a Proposal (...)” does not apply to an indefinite number of Proposals, but to each instance of Proposals in existance at a given moment.

Hix:

03-20-2006 19:35:01 UTC

against This is not a good solution, I think.  Of course, the “a” or “an” itself refers to a single thing, we don’t need a rule or a CfJ to tell us that.  If it could be a problem, a rule which says something like “...may post a comment containing an integer between 1 and 10…” should specify that the action may not be taken more than once.  Or more than often.  Or occasionally.  etc.  If it doesn’t say otherwise, the implication is that it may be done repeatedly.  For example: “Any Gostak at the Distimmery [2.3] may Distim a Dosh”.  Is the correct interpretation of this that any Gostak may only Distim ONE Dosh EVER?

Also, I don’t agree that it is necessary to have the default be that simultaneity is not allowed.  Of course, simultaneity must not cause a contradiction, but, otherwise there’s no reason to disallow it (assuming it is actually possible to do the things _exactly_ at the same time (such as Bucky’s nominating several Avzurs at once)).  Yes, this can (rarely) cause some unpredictable results if the rule in question is flawed (in the sense that the unpredictable results may also be undesireable), but, usually simultaneity is useful to have around.

predisastered:

03-22-2006 00:14:27 UTC

against What Hix said. That’s why we have often and occasionally and so forth.

smith:

03-22-2006 18:35:56 UTC

I read that rule to specify one Avzure nomination per post. In fact, I read all rules to allow sequential actions, not simultaneous actions, by default. Is that too restrictive? Just picking the last rule in the ruleset as an example: Upward Dosh Mobility: if you could give 10 other Gostaks X Dosh at the same time, that would render the cost of losing X Dosh basically negligable!

So I am voting against this CfJ because it does not go far enough. I think simultaneous action should be impossible, unless specifically allowed by the ruleset.

against

Angry Grasshopper:

03-23-2006 02:14:49 UTC

against

Heh, I still get to vote on this when I’m idle.

As it should be, actually..

Angry Grasshopper:

03-23-2006 02:15:10 UTC

Though in reality that could cause some quorum issues.

Bucky:

03-23-2006 03:14:25 UTC

Smith: Common sense indicates that you can’t lose or give what you don’t have.  That is what happened last time it was tried…
Also, you lose X dosh times the number of targets.