Thursday, April 01, 2021

Proposal: No Gods, No Masters [Core]

Timed out 4 votes to 4. Failed by Kevan.

Adminned at 03 Apr 2021 16:26:06 UTC

In the rule Votes, change

If a Player other than the Dealer casts a vote of DEFERENTIAL, then the Vote of DEFERENTIAL is an indication of confidence in the Dealer. When the Dealer has a valid Vote other than VETO on a Votable Matter, then all votes of DEFERENTIAL on that Votable Matter are instead considered to be valid and the same as the Dealer’s Vote for the purposes of other rules unless otherwise specified.

to

If a Player other than the Dealer casts a vote of DEFERENTIAL on a Votable Matter that does not affect the Core Rules or the Appendix, then the Vote of DEFERENTIAL is an indication of confidence in the Dealer. When the Dealer has a valid Vote other than VETO on such a Votable Matter, then all votes of DEFERENTIAL on that Votable Matter are instead considered to be valid and the same as the Dealer’s Vote for the purposes of other rules unless otherwise specified. On any Votable Matter that amends or otherwise alters the Core Rules or the Appendix, a vote of DEFERENTIAL is an explicit abstention and counts as neither FOR nor AGAINST for the purposes of determining the Popularity of the Votable Matter.

At the moment, Things Are Still Broken is failing, 3 votes to 3, despite only one player being Against it.

The Emperor having outsize influence on Dynastic rules makes sense, but when it comes to the Core, the Emperor should be just another player. Yes, Kevan is a reliable and experienced player who a newer player should feel comfortable putting their faith into, but when Kevan is against a Proposal and other players of long standing - in this case Brendan, Clucky and myself - are in favour of it then Kevan’s vote by itself really shouldn’t be enough by itself to sink the issue.

Yes, those voting DEF on a proposal presumably know what it means, but the problem with a DEF is that it is the only way of voting on a proposal that disclaims responsibility. There is no explicit abstention mechanic; no deference to a specific non-Emperor player; no deferal to the majority; no deferal to all players who have been around for more than a decade. In the absence of fine-tuned levers, the presence of votes that echo the Emperor’s position shouldn’t be considered an endorsement of it: they are the only way of making a vote that doesn’t require a player to steep themselves in the arcane history of core rule changes and, unless I’m mistaken as to Jumble’s and lemonfanta’s intent, that’s exactly what they mean here.

Meanwhile, the Fair Play prohibition on core scams means that the ruleset is, to a great extent, protected from malicious actors.

The Emperor still has the veto for issues that are irrevocably broken. But on issues where some players want change and some players don’t feel qualified to make a judgment, the Emperor should not have the ability to override the majority.

Comments

Kevan: DEALER HE/HIM

01-04-2021 17:10:31 UTC

A 3-vs-3 tie “against players of long standing” makes that proposal sound more protracted than it is - Clucky’s view is that the upholding clause is a “bit risky [but] probably okay to pass and fix” (which I agree with, except for my “probably” starting from the other end of the dial) and Brendan gave it a silent FOR prior to the upholding mechanic being mentioned, and hasn’t said anything else about it.

This DEF change makes some sense, though, particularly for also handling the opposite situation where a cavalier Emperor can wave a bad Core idea through while veteran players are still mulling it over or even objecting to it.

Clucky: HE/HIM

01-04-2021 17:27:45 UTC

I disagree with “when it comes to the Core, the Emperor should be just another player”. If that were the case, we’d remove the Emperor’s veto from core proposals as well.

If a proposal that changes the core rules only has the support from less than quorum, with a larger number of players expressing either “I don’t want this” or “I’m deferring to someone else here”... I really don’t think we should risk passing it.

Josh: HE/HIM

01-04-2021 17:34:14 UTC

@Clucky I think the veto will always be necessary as a fallback measure; if a proposal is at 47 hours and a fatal flaw is spotted, getting the emperor to veto is a more sure-fire way of preventing catastrophe than whipping votes.

I also disagree that we shouldn’t “risk” passing core rule changes unless they can reach strict quorum. It’s possible to be too precious about the core ruleset, and it’s also true that the core ruleset an area where a significant number of people will often defer, meaning that a requirement of strict quorum is - de facto - an argument for “the emperor decides” - a more brittle scenario than one in which the emperor is one voice amongst interested parties.

@Kevan - Justify your effective veto however you wish. You are correct that this change protects us as much from the outsized power of a trigger-happy emperor rather than an overcautious one.

Bucky:

01-04-2021 20:06:24 UTC

If you don’t want the Dealer to have an overly large influence on core rule changes, don’t vote DEF on those proposals.

Josh: HE/HIM

01-04-2021 20:09:05 UTC

I mean, I don’t? Can’t control what other people do though.

Brendan: HE/HIM

01-04-2021 20:20:06 UTC

for

Jumble:

02-04-2021 00:15:52 UTC

for

lemonfanta: SHE/HER

02-04-2021 00:31:01 UTC

for this is a good point. i wish it would like, defer to the majority of admins or something like that? but seeing as almost everyone active is admins… oh well :u

Jumble:

02-04-2021 03:48:15 UTC

becoming an admin is a rite of passage more than anything

Jumble:

02-04-2021 03:48:30 UTC

...i think

Clucky: HE/HIM

02-04-2021 04:11:19 UTC

against

shouldn’t be able to bypass defs just because your proposal also edits the core rules, and it shouldn’t be easier to edit core rules than it is to edit dynastic rules

Josh: HE/HIM

02-04-2021 09:08:30 UTC

@Clucky - I’m not sure where “easier” comes from - if Defs are pure abstentions on Core props then it’s harder for them to get to quorum? And that means they stay open for longer and are subject to more scrutiny & discussion?

Kevan: DEALER HE/HIM

02-04-2021 10:38:23 UTC

I’m leaning to AGAINST on this one on grounds of unnecessary Core complexity: it’s more text for a new player to digest, and becomes something an admin can trip over if they illegally enact something that looked like it should have failed, or vice versa.

The problem it’s solving doesn’t feel big enough to merit that - particularly when the proposal that sparked this, where Josh was unhappy that Imperial caution would cause it to fail, has now passed.

against

pokes:

02-04-2021 11:36:57 UTC

against per Kevan.

Josh: HE/HIM

02-04-2021 12:03:51 UTC

I’m not completely sold on the core complexity argument - if we’re worried about core rules that add verbiage and create traps for proposers and admins to trip over then we should be taking a long hard look at the Tags rule rather than the forty-odd words that this adds to the ruleset.

But I do want to clarify that this isn’t just a petulant response to what I saw as a bad Imperial vote. On the one hand: yes, as Kevan has 28 dynasties under his belt, the Deferential has over time prioritised his interpretation of the ruleset over anybody else’s, but under those circumstances Kevan’s caution may be considered a mild asset. But that still leaves nearly 160 dynasties that were led by someone else, including 75 that were run by a first-timer. This is a small change that would, to a certain extent, normalise core rule changes - making them less subject to individual whim and more in line with the will of the community and the majority.

Kevan: DEALER HE/HIM

02-04-2021 12:57:54 UTC

Don’t take an objection to something as a belief that no existing core rules have that problem: I’d agree that the current Tags rule has similar issues, both in complexity and the potential for an admin to miss something.

Darknight: HE/HIM

02-04-2021 13:39:28 UTC

against per kevan