Thursday, February 24, 2022

Proposal: Execute Omega Protocol [Appendix]

Reaches quorum, 6-2. Enacted by Brendan.

Adminned at 25 Feb 2022 21:18:42 UTC

Add a subrule entitled “Archives” to the rule “Prioritisation” as follows:

This document is considered to be, in effect, the only Ruleset for BlogNomic, so long as it is located at at the URL

As Josh has pointed, there are many archived documents that also make the claim that they are the Ruleset for BlogNomic. Most of those also have the clause specifying that contradictory rules resolve in favor of the more specific one, though, which creates a window for this to override them.


Kevan: he/him

24-02-2022 19:59:16 UTC

I’d rather bury this very niche clarification in the Appendix than interrupt the ruleset’s classic, straightforward opening sentence - which, apart from cycling the player term, has remained unchanged since the game stated.

Brendan: he/him

24-02-2022 20:14:12 UTC

I can think of worse times to finally update it than the onset of Dynasty XX, but I suppose I see your point. I’ll edit.


24-02-2022 20:16:02 UTC

Contradictory rules? Like Prioritisation 4? Are you trying to say that Prioritisation 4 would apply to inter-ruleset-doc contradictions?

If this passes, we’d have to change it if we ever moved the ruleset, or if something changed in URLs, as in http->https. Not a big deal, but it makes the ruleset less transitory/flexible.

Brendan: he/him

24-02-2022 20:20:56 UTC

a) Yes, I am saying that Prioritisation 4 applies to two documents that both say “this is the Ruleset for BlogNomic.”

b) Yes, we would. I think that mild hypothetical loss of flexibility is worth it to lock down a point of potentially fraught ambiguity.

Josh: he/they

24-02-2022 20:22:22 UTC

@Brendan Dynasty CC, surely

Brendan: he/him

24-02-2022 20:28:57 UTC

@Josh stop ccing me

Josh: he/they

24-02-2022 20:33:17 UTC

bcc = brendan200


24-02-2022 21:25:20 UTC

I’m going to ABSTAIN. I don’t see a problem with the way it stands. (Other ruleset versions’ legitimacy doesn’t hold a candle to the trunk version’s, from my perspective.) And I don’t see a problem with changing it, other that what Kevan said about the aesthetics/tradition.

Clucky: he/him

25-02-2022 06:35:28 UTC


Josh: he/they

25-02-2022 09:06:21 UTC


Kevan: he/him

25-02-2022 09:50:16 UTC

Seems a bad idea to tie the validity of the ruleset to what a specific URL resolves to. If a MediaWiki upgrade unexpectedly alters the URL format, or if the wiki just crashes for half an hour and puts an error message on that page, we no longer have a ruleset. We can’t play on and raise a CfJ on the grounds that we know what the ruleset should legally say, we cannot take any game actions until that exact URL is back.

Saying that the latest wiki revision is “the only Ruleset for BlogNomic” also feels precarious. If I make an invalid edit to the ruleset right now, the “true” ruleset will now be accessible only at - does that mean that it stops being the ruleset?


Josh: he/they

25-02-2022 10:27:08 UTC

@Kevan I’m not sure that I buy the second objection - the most-recent-but-one edit of the ruleset page shouldn’t be the legal ruleset under any circumstances, and I don’t think that this change removes or undermines the principle that you can always correct the ruleset such that the page shows its correct value.

Again, I think that this awkwardly reflects a question of ruleset platonism. Under this change, is the ruleset whatever is shown at the URL, or is the URL just the cave wall upon which the ruleset is cast, sometimes imperfectly?

Kevan: he/him

25-02-2022 11:33:48 UTC

If the current ruleset is imperfectly cast then we can still agree that the correct version exists platonically, and continue to take actions under that version of it.

This proposal is essentially saying that if the ruleset is imperfectly cast, it is not the ruleset. If the wiki goes dark and we turn to the platonic ruleset to play on, it tells us “I am not at the following URL so I am not the ruleset”.

Kevan: he/him

25-02-2022 11:47:04 UTC

... which I think also goes for wiki page versions. If I illegally blank the ruleset, we ignore that I’ve done that and play on using the platonic version of it. But if the platonic version has an “if I am not cast on a specific wall, I am not the ruleset” clause, we can’t.

I don’t think we could argue that even though the text wasn’t actually at the URL, it should be, so we can act as if it is. “so long as it is located at the URL” is introducing very concrete terminology.

Josh: he/they

25-02-2022 12:03:56 UTC

Okay, but if you’re starting from a position of ruleset platonism then you’re implicitly accepting that the ruleset and its contents are separable entities, no?

So a rule that says “the ruleset is located here” doesn’t trouble that concept, as the contents of the ruleset are already to some extent divorced from the concept of the ruleset.

I don’t think I personally fully agree with the platonic ruleset argument - my view of the ruleset is that it exists as a sequence of edits, or a kind of blockchain arrangement, if you will - and that view is a bit more troubled by this proposal, which separates the ruleset from its own edit history, a bit, although I can live with it. The platonicist view doesn’t look to be threatened, though, from here, as it already starts from the position that the text of the ruleset does not define the concept of the ruleset, and all this proposal is doing is enshrining where the concept of the ruleset lives, not its contents.

Losing the wiki could cause a problem but I guess we’d fix it the same we we fix everything: change it by CfJ then uphold the change.

Kevan: he/him

25-02-2022 12:29:01 UTC

I’m reading the clause as saying “if this text is not located here, it is not the ruleset” rather than “the ruleset is located here”.

Which is what this proposal is trying to do, isn’t it, to unambiguously decommission archived rulesets? If it’s taken as “the ruleset is located here” then at the start of the next dynasty we’d have two documents on the wiki both saying that they should be located on the [[Ruleset]] page.

Raven1207: he/they

25-02-2022 13:38:25 UTC


Lulu: she/her

25-02-2022 13:45:37 UTC


Brendan: he/him

25-02-2022 14:39:55 UTC

I don’t expect I’ll convince you to change your view, Kevan, but I do want to have my own intended interpretation on the record here. The use of the word “only” is deliberate, and I meant it to be the hinge of the sentence. If the document is not located at the URL, then the implication is that it may not be the only document calling itself the Ruleset of BlogNomic, which is already the case. The specificity-precedence rule just privileges the document at the URL as long as it’s there, and the clause breaks that privilege as soon as it’s moved away.

Kevan: he/him

25-02-2022 15:48:14 UTC

Thanks, that does help clarify the intention, I wasn’t quite seeing the “only” from that angle.

Ultimately I don’t feel like this is something we need to fix, though, and that it’s a bit of a fool’s errand to start work on doing so. I can see your point that when this fails it’s not saying anything that the existing ruleset doesn’t, but it is introducing the implications that if the current Ruleset wiki page becomes invalid (even by someone blanking it) then BlogNomic might have 200 multiple rulesets at that point, and that if another piece of paper ever claimed to be the BlogNomic ruleset with even stronger precedence, it could be right.


25-02-2022 18:12:43 UTC

Well put, Kevan. There’s really no point in relying on precedence comparisons, so long as other documents aren’t protected from alteration.

Not to mention that Prioritisation begins, “If two parts of the Ruleset contradict each other”, and thus it only applies to the ruleset at hand, not to comparisons between parts of separate rulesets.

My view is that the foundation of having a (one true) ruleset is common consent, it’s not the text of the ruleset that gives itself sole legitimacy. Hence why I don’t mind as much if this passes, because in the event that a poor transition accidentally breaks that legitimacy, we just go fix the website written on the thing, and carry on, (call it BN 2 or what you will).

Lulu: she/her

25-02-2022 18:18:27 UTC

against cov

Snisbo: she/they

25-02-2022 18:25:01 UTC


Darknight: he/him

25-02-2022 21:15:08 UTC