Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Declaration of Victory: Mortgage Loan

After 48 hours, the voting is 12-5. Since Quorum Sheep have voted, and more than half of those votes are FOR. This DoV is Enacted. ~lilomar

Adminned at 22 Apr 2011 06:14:52 UTC

With 9 Baabucks, I spent 69 to buy every other Sheep’s Land at once. I now clearly own more than everyone else combined and therefore claim victory.

How I could spend more than I had:

First, rule 2.8 says I can spend any amount I like:

As a weekly action, a Sheep can spend any number of Baabucks to make that many simultaneous Land Transfers.

What is ‘spending’? From the fourth bullet point of Rule 3.2.1 in the glossary:

“{...} to spend X of a numeric value “V” means to subtract X from V (i.e. replace V with V-X)”

But what if X > V? Well, according to the fifth bullet point, a voluntary action cannot be performed if “the action would change one or more [game variables] to an illegal value.” In other words, if this action would leave me with negative Baabucks, it would be illegal.

However, the first bullet point of the same rule says that:

any action that would set [game variables] below zero instead sets them to zero.

The ‘instead’ here is critical, and is what prevented my action from ever causing my Baabucks to become negative. At no point during or after my action did any gamestate variable hold an illegal value, therefore I see no reason to disallow it.



20-04-2011 08:47:20 UTC

For the record, I only spotted this loophole yesterday and was about to write a CfJ to fix it when I saw the opportunity to win.

Josh: he/him

20-04-2011 09:01:18 UTC

It’s remarkable to me that after 8 years we’re still falling for this scam. Haven’t we tightened up the wording on negative values roughly a hundred billion billion gajillion times?

Anyway, yes, I can’t see a reason why what you did was illegal so as far as I’m concerned you’re clearly correct in the wording of the rule, so for


20-04-2011 10:13:47 UTC

for So sad… Nice win btw.

Kevan: he/him

20-04-2011 10:21:51 UTC

Forgive me trying to think through a heavy head cold this morning, but I’m not entirely sure that setting-to-zero necessarily takes precedence over being-illegal, because they both use the future-tense term “would”, and are checked before you take the action. If you “would” set a GNDT variable to an illegal value as a result of an action, then it is both an illegal action, and it also gets set to zero. It being an illegal action stops you from taking it. This may or may not make sense.


20-04-2011 10:39:05 UTC

I think precedence is on my side here. We’ve had a lot of times where “Decrease everyone’s bla by X” actions would have caused one or more variables to be negative if not for the set-to-zero clause, and we never ruled any of those illegal.

Roujo: he/him

20-04-2011 10:53:26 UTC

Wow. Good ol’ classic scam. =P

I’ll see how the discussion goes, but for now I’m pretty much FOR.


20-04-2011 11:10:15 UTC

I read it as “since you can set that to 0, it is not illegal”
I think that the “illegal check” is the last control to be performed for any action.


20-04-2011 11:57:53 UTC


Corny but effective.  Baaaaaaaaah


20-04-2011 14:02:41 UTC

I think this is a complete draw in the rules; they blatantly contradict themselves here. (If the action would be illegal, it’s legal, if it’s legal, it would be illegal.) Note that I think that decrease-everyone’s-by-blah actions probably are illegal if some people have values too low to be decreased, although this seems to be different from other people’s readings of the rule.

I tried once to get a precedence clause added to the BlogNomic ruleset to cover cases like this, but failed. So as it is, I suppose we’ll have to vote on it, to resolve which way round it is. Finding a ruleset error like that, for ages, has been grounds for a win in Agora (marked separately from other types of wins), so I’m quite happy to give you a “win by paradox”. However, I think we at least need a CFJ to resolve the situation, and a DoV by itself cannot do so, so I’ll hold off on voting by now.


20-04-2011 15:16:45 UTC

against .  Precedent from previous CfJs is that the ‘can’t set to an illegal value’ bit overrides the ‘what happens if you try’ bit.

Josh: he/him

20-04-2011 15:31:05 UTC

Bucky - I know it’s a tough ask, but can you link to any of those CfJs?


20-04-2011 16:09:47 UTC



20-04-2011 16:12:50 UTC

for Because it’s clever, and because this sheep dynasty was getting rather confounding.


20-04-2011 17:08:08 UTC

I love Subricinator’s motivations.


20-04-2011 17:11:25 UTC

@Josh - Ironically, there aren’t any since the current wording in the glossary.


20-04-2011 18:25:45 UTC

for Clever.
@ais: actually, if a DoV passes, the win is legal, regardless of the whether or not the author legally achieved victory, so Voting for on this DoV does the same thing as your CfJ :-).


20-04-2011 18:32:46 UTC

for  Ingenius, though a bit sketchy.  I like it.


20-04-2011 20:59:32 UTC

@lilomar: I know, but I don’t think that Purplebeard actually won. I think the scam’s deserving of a win, but I think it just broke the gamestate, rather than accomplishing anything. against


20-04-2011 22:47:48 UTC

against per ais523


20-04-2011 23:28:22 UTC



21-04-2011 01:48:39 UTC

for Clever.


21-04-2011 02:01:00 UTC

for I don’t like it, but I don’t see a flaw in the logic so I can’t argue against it.

Darknight: he/him

21-04-2011 02:11:01 UTC

no clue how to vote


21-04-2011 02:20:20 UTC

The full fifth bullet reads:

“A Sheep who has a choice in whether to take an action defined by a dynastic rule may not take that action if both of the following conditions are true: a) the action’s effects are limited to changing values tracked in the GNDT and/or similar gamestate-tracking entities (such as a wiki page), and b) the action would change one or more of those values to an illegal value.”

Condition “a” is not true in this case because the effect isn’t limited to a change in values, the effect ends the dynasty.

Looks like PB doesn’t even need that second loophole to DoV, because the move wouldn’t be illegal in the first place.


21-04-2011 03:22:21 UTC

for baanking crisis.


21-04-2011 07:11:05 UTC

Travis: That’s a bit of a stretch; that condition only considers direct effects of the action. The action itself did not cause me to achieve victory, the resulting gamestate did (assuming it was legal).

Kevan: he/him

21-04-2011 08:24:37 UTC

against Afraid I don’t buy “precedence” here - that we may have interpreted this mechanic differently in the past (although I don’t actually remember “decrease everyone’s X by Y” things coming up that often) doesn’t change the legality. We have an action that triggers two “woulds” when you prepare to perform it, and one of those woulds says that you can’t take the action.

Josh: he/him

21-04-2011 09:34:39 UTC

I’m not sure that I understand your argument, Kevan. Doesn’t the use of the term “would” actually prove PB’s case, meaning that the action is is corrected to zero before it is undertaken and ensuring that it never actually occupies a stage of illegality?


21-04-2011 12:47:15 UTC

I agree with Josh.
It might be that that “decrease everyone’s X by Y” does not come that often, but I’m quite sure about a “any caveman may reduce the intelligence of a random caveman by 2 (including himself)”, two dynasties ago.
And someone (?) took 2 intelligence from cavemen with no Intelligence, wasn’t it? Isn’t it the same? If it’s the same, and this is illegal, then it was illegal too, and we’re back at prehistory. :)
(actually not, since enacted DoV on not legal basis is vaild DoV)

Josh: he/him

21-04-2011 15:02:50 UTC

Re-opened - this can’t be passed until 48 hours have passed without quorum being reached.

Kevan: he/him

21-04-2011 15:17:34 UTC

I’d say that it was corrected to zero and declared illegal at the same time, since they’re both just operating with same wording of “if X would happen, Y happens instead”. That the correcting to zero would make the illegality redundant gets no more or less precedent, in terms of timing, than the illegality making the correcting-to-zero redundant.

[Ely] For what it’s worth: no, I stopped reducing Cavemen’s Intelligences once they fell below two.


21-04-2011 18:57:51 UTC

[Kevan] Well, that’s the same thing as here, in my current reading it was not legal*, in yours this DoV isn’t. So we’re at the starting point.
*you rolled the die and performed no action. (Actually, I don’t know if it is illegal…)

Roujo: he/him

22-04-2011 01:40:40 UTC

Heh. I just noticed I haven’t voted yet… for