Friday, November 21, 2008

Proposal: David Hume’s nightmare Mk. II

Fails 1-7. I hope we’re all still pals after this little fun moment lol. Darknight

Adminned at 22 Nov 2008 19:48:00 UTC

Add the sub-rule coherence to the rule 2.1 Plot.

Define an attribute of a character/object to be any aspect of said character/object having objective reality (as determined by the objective reality of an identical character/object in our reality) and that can be verified according to an established standard of evaluation (e.g. physical attributes, nationality, religion, occupation, etc.). The GNDT constitutes a valid standard of evaluation with respect to location and occupation, but not with respect to relationship towards the protagonist.

If a character, called the “author of statement X”, makes a plot seeding post containing statement X, which contradicts an attribute previously established in the plot, then any other active character may lodge an objection to statement X. To lodge a valid objection, the critic will title his comment with the word OBJECTION (with identical capitilisation), and list all the statements he objects to, including references from the plot summary describing the discrepancies. An objection to statement X requires a nomination and seconding to be passed, and these may be offered by any active character, with the exception of the author, the critic, and the narrator by using the word SUPPORT (with identical capitilisation) in the comments following the objection, accompanied by a statement of X. Even after an objection has been passed, the narrator may veto the objection by placing the VETO symbol in a comment following the objection, accompanied by a statement of X.  Any objection that has passed in this manner shall result in statement X being altered by the author on the wiki page “plot summary”.



11-21-2008 04:45:12 UTC

against Changing it away from voting icons does not change the fact that this is still confusing and unnecessary.

Also, you have to vote against  on your proposal to s/k, not just make a comment of s/k.


11-21-2008 04:50:18 UTC


This is hardly an effective nomic if a proposal like this goes down. Sure, in it’s current application it doesn’t do much, but if you applied it to proposals instead of plot points, it would allow proposals to be edited by vote, rather than just being static objects that can’t be altered once they’ve been proposed. I just wanted to suggest it in context, so it could be generalised later.


11-21-2008 05:00:54 UTC

ps. big for


11-21-2008 05:02:11 UTC

against Hardly an effective Nomic? I think one of the important aspects of BlogNomic is that it is very open so that regular public can join it without having to memorize pages upon pages of complicated rules before starting to play. Our proposal system is very basic, because it is grounded on the idea of it being simple, not complete. Could it be better? Yes. Should it change drastically? Maybe not. The problem with this proposal is that I don’t think it adds “playability” to the game, because it makes it more difficult to play instead of easier, thus making it harder for new people to join and possibly causing existing players to get bored and leave, if suddenly playing becomes a chore. Also, the elaborate wording and usage of complicated definitions (no matter how correct they might be) makes any rule harder to understand, and thus to be followed correctly.


11-21-2008 05:08:20 UTC

I admit that over-complicating things can rapidly get boring and no-one likes pages and pages of rules with no application, but don’t you think that an ability to ammend proposals is a bit fundamental to be ignored? I contend that it is infinitely more boring to have to repost an entire proposal when you just want to make a few small changes.


11-21-2008 05:13:10 UTC

All it takes is one person to make a reasonable point about one tiny aspect of a proposal and you can defeat the entire thing. This nomic is a bit resistant to evolution, that’s all I’m saying.


11-21-2008 05:31:18 UTC

against Simply make a comment to the Seeding post pointing out the error and requesting that Yoda correct it.


11-21-2008 05:37:20 UTC

It’s not about seeding posts. If you’re talking about reception to new users, the first thing I thought when I came here was “oh, a story, that should be interesting, it’ll take me a while to get the rules, but I’m sure there will be a way of changing things if I’m wrong, so I don’t have to know every nuance of the rulebook right off the bat.”

Then I found there wasn’t.


11-21-2008 05:53:42 UTC

Although it isn’t explicit in the Ruleset for stuff besides the GNDT, it is generally understood that if you accidentally do something illegal than you can immediately revert it.


11-21-2008 06:03:38 UTC

yeah, fine, but you are still required to have your proposal in exactly the form as it will when it is entered into the rulebook, with no revision process whatsoever. Look at how carefully I had to word the above to make sure it even had a chance of passing without encountering a technicality on the way from proposal to rule.

It’s almost an insurmountable challenge for all but the most trivial rules.


11-21-2008 06:13:13 UTC

On that matter, even though I was forced to word the proposal as deliberately as possible, and at the same time, such deliberate wordings are rejected as “confusing” and “over-complicated”.


11-21-2008 07:40:14 UTC

If modifying a proposal before it is ennacted is a concern, this nomic has a perfectly valid resource: Calls for Judgement. A CfJ can change anything like a proposal can, as long as players believe it is something important that needs addressing now (instead of waiting for a proposal queue to resolve).

Furthermore, I’ve also made a lot of proposals that wind up rejected, but I don’t think thats the system’s fault: I’ve had plenty of proposals pass fine in the past. With time you become better and better in making clear wordings, which I believe is a good skill even for real life, where something you do or say on impulse stays forever with you and cannot be revised so easily.


11-21-2008 07:50:13 UTC

And one other thing: Proposals are not only improvements on rules, they are active vehicles that players use to win the game. Perhaps I wanna make a proposal that if left unchecked makes me win. Allowing people to revise such proposals would muck with your plans easily, because it will be easier to fail them or reset them so people will get a second chance of looking at them.

Finally, if you really want to make a complex and over arching proposal , perhaps you can make a non-official post first asking for feedback on it, then propose it once people have reviewed it. I’ve done it and it works, as long as your idea is interesting enough to garner feedback.


11-21-2008 09:15:53 UTC

First of all, the CfJ doesn’t allow you to edit currently proposed proposals,

Secondly no sense to reject a proposal simply because not editing them makes it easier to put holes in the rulebook. You should put up every barrier to winning possible without precluding the win.

Thirdly, This was not a complex and overarching proposal, it was quite specific and targeted, it is only the obvious generalisation of it that was overarching. I posted it to gauge feedback on whether the more general proposal would be worthwhile.


11-21-2008 12:39:24 UTC



11-21-2008 13:45:59 UTC

The proposal parses to me; then again, I’m a lawyer.
It’s up to Yoda whether this dynasty is about the creative aspect of telling a story, or defense of continuity.


11-21-2008 13:51:06 UTC

jockawo and spikebrennan voted during hiatus


11-21-2008 16:25:02 UTC

I’m really confused.
Who’s David Hume anyway?


11-21-2008 17:57:11 UTC

From what I understand just from a casual search through wikipedia is that David Hume came up with the is-ought problem, which calls attention to the difference between is and ought.  The only application that I would see here is that the plot is one thing but ought to be something else?


11-21-2008 19:42:00 UTC

Hmm. My understanding of is-ought arguments is that a statement will be made along the lines of,say, “Life on earth _is_ carbon based. Therefore any life on other planets _ought_ also to be carbon based”.
I’ve no idea how that could fit into the saga of Jason Smith!


11-22-2008 01:48:53 UTC

against I would have voted deferential, but you said that this is basically a weak nomic if this proposal fails.


11-22-2008 03:17:51 UTC



11-22-2008 08:38:28 UTC

Insults aren’t exactly a good way to state your case, I was frustrated. The nomic IS ineffective however, because it is too easy to defeat an entire proposal on a simple technicality. If a proposal IS defeated, all you have to go on when editing and reposting said proposal is a couple of comments, and you don’t have much idea about the consensus between different commenters. It presents an almost insurmountable barrier for new laws to enter the rulebook.

If that’s the way you like things though, then I’ll probably drop down into the idle list pretty quickly, because it’s kind of pointless having a nomic where it’s almost impossible to change the law.

On another subject though,

David Hume was an 18th century empiricist who in one of his most famous treatises on causation, wrote about “god’s dream” and argued that human reasoning was imperfect and this was evidenced by the fact that human dreams were not necessarily consistent. If a fire is lit in the the reality of a dream then if you return in the same dream later the fire may or may not be burning, there may even be no trace that a fire had been there.

In our reality, however, the usual laws of causation apply even in cases where there is no observer present to record the events.

It should be noticed that even though our reality was referred to by Hume as “god’s dream”, Hume was one of the first openly aethiest thinkers in modern philosophy.

As the purpose of this proposal was to establish consistancy in the reality of the story, I thought it was an apt, though slightly esoteric title.


11-22-2008 11:15:17 UTC

“ almost insurmountable barrier for new laws to enter the rulebook.”

Just look back at the posts from the past few days. I count at least 7 proposals that have gone through for this round of the nomic already.

Maybe if you apply some of Hume’s objectivism and read back your proposals with a cool, impersonal eye you’ll see why they’re in danger of not being enacted ;)


11-22-2008 20:35:58 UTC

Wait, isn’t the whole point of a nomic that the players can make their own rules? Who are you to decide what our ruleset should look like?

Every (sufficiently evolved) nomic has a distinct way of handling changes to its ruleset. This game has adopted the polder model: in general, rules can only be adopted after a consensus has been reached that they function properly, are easily understood and that they’re needed in the first place. In the case of this proposal, the consensus is, as Yoda succinctly put it, that it is confusing and unnecessary, so people are voting against. Demanding that people vote this in because ‘it wouldn’t be an effective nomic otherwise’ (paraphrased) won’t magically solve those problems.

There are many great nomics out there. If you’re truly not satisfied with this one, we can only encourage you to find another one that fits you better.

On the topic of proposals: if we get more signals from players that they’re having difficulties writing successful proposals, maybe we could create a wiki page on this topic with tips and examples. This to me seems much simpler and friendlier towards newbies than installing a complicated system of editing proposals.


11-23-2008 01:49:55 UTC

I’m not one to decide what the ruleset should look like. I can only propose things and argue in their favour, it is the popular vote which determines what the ruleset looks like.

I didn’t mean to say it wasn’t an effective nomic if THIS proposal wasn’t passed, that would be wankerish of me. I was just trying to state the case as strongly as possible in favour of a mechanic for modifying proposals while the voting was underway. I was somewhat rash, but the reasonable debate, and the good points you’ve made in favour of the system you employ have swayed me.

I’ll give up on my argument now though, as I’m convinced popular opinion is resoundingly against such a mechanic, and I’d just look like a predjudical mole if I continued on my path much longer.