Wednesday, January 31, 2024

Proposal: I’m So Meta, Even This Acronym

Timed out, 1-3. Failed by JonathanDark.

Adminned at 02 Feb 2024 22:10:46 UTC

In the rule Official Posts, a subrule of Gamestate Tracking in the Appendix, change

An official post may only be removed as allowed by the Ruleset. An official post may be altered by its author if it is less than 4 hours old and either no Agent has commented on it or (if it is a Votable Matter) if all comments on it contain no voting icons; otherwise this can only be done as allowed by the Ruleset. However, despite this, official posts can never be changed from one category to another, or changed to be a different sort of official post, if they have been posted for more than fifteen minutes. The Admin processing an official post is allowed to append to the post to reflect its new status. Anything appended to a post in this way must be placed in the Admin field of the post, and the post’s Status must be changed to reflect its status. An official blog post that has the status of Enacted or Failed cannot change categories, except that a votable matter’s illegal resolution may be overturned. An official blog post’s status may never be altered except in accordance with the rules that define that official post.

to

An official post may only be removed from the blog or edited as allowed by the Ruleset. The title or contents of an official post may be altered by its author if it is less than 30 minutes old; otherwise this can only be done as allowed by the Ruleset. No official post may be changed from one category to another, or changed to be a different sort of official post, if they have been posted for more than fifteen minutes. The Admin processing an official post is allowed to add to the Admin field of the post, and should as directed amend the post’s Status; an official blog post’s status may never otherwise be altered, except in accordance with the rules that define that official post, or as directed by another Votable Matter at the time of its enactment.

Some minor wording tweaks for brevity and clarity, and cutting the edit window down to 30 minutes, a long-standing bugbear.

Comments

Desertfrog:

31-01-2024 15:51:36 UTC

I’m strongly against making the edit window any shorter and would rather want it to be longer

Josh: he/they

31-01-2024 16:04:17 UTC

I understand that feeling but I think it has a really perverse effect on the game.

Vovix: he/him

31-01-2024 20:46:25 UTC

I actually think it’s quite helpful. I think what you’re referring to is the dynamic of “the proposal isn’t actually locked in until the edit window is closed so you can make sweeping changes rather than working with what was originally proposed”, but the edit window is also very helpful in allowing for small changes/fixes/cleanup to be made smoothly. Making a good proposal is a lot of work, and needing it to be entirely free of errors without feedback or peer review just discourages people from making proposals for fear of slipping up somewhere. I get that things can always be patched later, but I don’t think having a bunch of “clean up wording here” and “this sentence used the wrong term” proposals in the queue actually makes the game more interesting.

Josh: he/they

31-01-2024 20:52:14 UTC

A half-hour of typo correcting is more than enough.

Making a good proposal is a lot of work, and needing it to be entirely free of errors without feedback or peer review just discourages people from making proposals for fear of slipping up somewhere

Experientially, that’s not what happens. What does happen is that the pressure to create mechanics that are fully-formed, feature-complete and standing in perfect isolation goes away, and instead we move to a place where mechanics become collaborative efforts - where proposing a stub is okay because the meta allows for other people to slowly add to it. The ruleset becomes more dynamic, more fluid, more flexible and we move away from 500 word proposals which cover every contingency and edge case and towards mechanics that are genuinely co-created.

No guarantee that we’d necessarily get back to that with this one change but it wouldn’t hurt. The odd clean-up-wording omnibus is a small price to pay - and we know this because it currently occasionally has to happen anyway.

JonathanDark: Sovereign he/him

31-01-2024 20:57:07 UTC

Josh, is this the key argument here, from your essay on the Wiki?

“A tendency to insist that rules be iron-clad to be worth enacting, brought about by the length of the edit window and a shift away from pass-and-fix as the default response to mild proposal loopholes”

If so, I get that the edit window can inspire such things, but Vovix also has a point about the small changes and cleanup. Forcing those into their own Proposals makes the Proposal process less meaningful as a whole when a fair portion of it is spent on maintenance tasks rather than furthering gameplay.

It feels like we need to somehow separate the two desired reasons for editing a posted Proposal:
* Edits for clarity / spelling / accidental incorrect terminology
* Edits for loophole closing and game balance

I’m not saying I know exactly how to do this, but a wholesale narrowing of the edit window just swings the pendulum in the other direction without regard to collateral damage.

Vovix: he/him

31-01-2024 21:28:09 UTC

Eh, with the timezone differences between players and the fact that people aren’t always watching the blog live, a half-hour window could easily pass by without anyone else seeing the proposal at all. I do definitely support your point about stub mechanics and piecemeal design, that’s much more fun and dynamic in my opinion compared to one proposal spelling out the whole core gameplay loop and later proposals mostly adding bits of content or tweaking minor things. I’m just not sure that has anything to do with the edit window. It’s more of a philosophy shift, and regardless of whether it’s editable or not, it’s just a question of proposal content.

Vovix: he/him

31-01-2024 21:40:05 UTC

With regards to loopholes/balance/wording/robustness, I think you’re definitely right that a long edit window encourages discussions about how to change/improve/fix a proposed rule before it’s enacted and leads to tighter wording and fewer missed loopholes overall. The question is whether that’s actually a bad thing. A rule can still have loopholes deliberately snuck in, the proposal author gets to choose whether to fix any identified issue and how, players might be incentivized to stay silent about a loophole they can exploit, etc. The fixes that end up applied are fixes the proposal author would have included anyway if they had more time/attention/experience.

Zack: he/him

01-02-2024 14:11:22 UTC

I see good points on both sides. However Josh, I think the pressure to create such fully formed, bug free proposals comes not from having such a long edit window, but from the fact that it might take 2-3 days for you to get those proposal slots back, and the that proposals must be resolved in order so other proposals might build off the ones before them so a bug in one proposal can have a waterfall effect that breaks others. I would almost rather a solution that fundamentally changes how we make proposals in the first place.

Desertfrog:

01-02-2024 14:15:55 UTC

against what if we make it a building block and let the emperor choose whether they prefer proposals to be long and complete or short and incomplete?

Desertfrog:

01-02-2024 14:17:04 UTC

Also, addind a new “Minor fix” post category might help

JonathanDark: Sovereign he/him

01-02-2024 19:04:15 UTC

I agree with the problem but not the solution.

against

Zack: he/him

01-02-2024 20:00:19 UTC

Also, this would let you edit a post in the first 30 mins even if someone has voted on it.  against