Friday, October 21, 2011

Okay, look.

Bucky’s re-enacting the old CfJ was illegal, and it has been undone. Darth’s CfJ to make it legal retroactively is ugly, but perfectly within the rules of BlogNomic. This is not a game of Calvinball, and suggesting otherwise is offensive. We’re all nomickers here, and we can fight this battle in a civil manner.



10-21-2011 06:08:57 UTC

In my defense, my particular comment of “calvinball” was based on a off-the-cuff gross interpretation of the CfJ, somewhat based on people going “eh, let’s just pretend the state is $foo.”


10-21-2011 06:12:42 UTC

arrow  arrow , and arrow .


10-21-2011 06:14:17 UTC

arrow =)


10-21-2011 06:18:49 UTC

for, but Darknight’s interpretation would constitute Calvinball, so it was a legitimate complaint.


10-21-2011 06:24:19 UTC

1. Yes, a majority “because we said so” without regard for the rules would be Calvinball.

2. WHAT DID I JUST SAY? Civility. No one cares who was right. Let’s all, collectively, move on.


10-21-2011 06:31:30 UTC

So here’s the thing.

This was not originally intended to be a massive Agora vs. BlogNomic extravaganza. BlogNomic had gotten itself into a constitutional crisis (although apparently some players still disagree on this point, the fact is that it spent several weeks without gameplay). A large part of the thought was that it would be fun and it would solve BlogNomic’s problem at the same time.

I’m not upset—-and I don’t think anyone else is either—-that the ‘invasion’ was resisted. It’s part of the fun. You don’t go playing capture the flag expecting the other side to let you waltz and grab the flag. The hope, however, was that everyone would shake hands afterwards and get on to playing BlogNomic no matter what happened.

Now, Bucky’s scam was brilliant. Absolutely brilliant. I’m jealous that I didn’t come up with it instead. But the fact is, after a careful reread of the rules, it was discovered to be invalid.

As Nomic players, our highest authority is our rulesets. I will pull a quote from A Paradox of Self-Amendment here:

Nomic even makes some rules explicit in order to make them amendable, when in most games they are implicit —rules to obey the rules, rules that players each start with zero points, and so on. No tacit understanding that one brings to most games simply qua games, let alone any explicit rule, is beyond the amendment power of Nomic. After Nomic was first published in Scientific American, a German philosopher wrote to me insisting that Rule 101 (that players should obey the rules) should be omitted from the Initial Set and made part of a truly immutable shell. He missed an essential point of the game. Rule 101 is included precisely so that it can be amended; if players amend or repeal it, they deserve what they get.

This is the truly great thing about Nomic. Every rule is removable, even the rule that says players must follow the rules. There is no reason that a rule couldn’t be enacted allowing a player to violate the rules with impunity—-and indeed, when one looks at Agora, one sees that there are circumstances where violations are allowed.

But this also comes with a cost. That cost is that the rules must be followed, every one of them. In many gaming groups, it is acceptable to fudge the game a little bit when the rules are unclear or get accidentally ignored. Ignoring this is anathema to the very concept of a Nomic. Many seasoned nomic players will agree that when the game state appears irreperable, the correct thing is to admit that the game got locked and start a new, suspiciously identical one. Not to go and pretend the lock never happened (as an aside, Agora gets to pretend it never happened, but it has a rule to this effect, so that’s fine).

Now at this point, I would like to get back to playing the game of BlogNomic. It’s been one of the most fun evenings in recent memory. But it’s getting a little heated, and things need to quiet down. I state without bias that the CFJ to make Agora a victor currently has the most votes FOR and will repair all the immediate problems; thus voting for it is the quickest way out of this mess.

I state with bias that I believe that there are other reasons this should be adopted. If it is, it will encourage Agorans to play BlogNomic and BlogNomickers to play Agora. This is only good for both games. Cross-pollination would benefit both Nomics immensely, as any seasoned Nomicker knows that more players is only a good thing.

A few people think of this as being a terrible travesty of giving Agora an undeserved victory. I disagree. For starters, the CFJ doesn’t actually award Agora a win. But more than that, I don’t think it’s worth putting too much stock in dynasties. We’ve had some dynasties in the past that I think were much less-deserved than this, especially ones started by enactment rather than victory. We’ve also had people put in charge of dynasties simply because they were there and the emperor wasn’t. In the end, let’s try not to put too much stock into dynasties. They’re fun and all, but it doesn’t really matter.

I mean, Canada’s won Agora.

One last note: Agora is a slow game. I don’t expect that an Agoran dynasty will vary much from a meta, and it will probably be much more interesting.

Now we’re all in this for fun and I will be happy with any outcome other than the one where we pretend that an illegal scam was legal. But I do think that putting Agora in charge is the quickest, most painless way to do it.


10-21-2011 06:32:41 UTC

oh, and arrow


10-21-2011 06:34:04 UTC

Sorry about the quote there; the quote is the one paragraph after I mention self-amendment


10-21-2011 06:39:01 UTC

coppro captures my thoughts on the matter perfectly.

Prince Anduril:

10-21-2011 12:58:32 UTC

Well said coppro. My concern is that it’s felt more like a hijack than an invasion, leaving BlogNomicers to pick up the pieces. BlogNomic worked because there was no overall consensus, and when we’re attacked by a group of people who do have an consensus, we’re comparatively weak.

What annoys me is that we still haven’t fixed the problems in the core ruleset. And this needs doing. I don’t mind a war, but attacking BlogNomic before we’ve really sorted out some fundamental problems, makes the whole thing less fun.


10-21-2011 13:05:54 UTC

[Anduril] The proposal-blocking core problems will be fixed when this CFJ (which predates Agora’s arrival) is enacted after timing out fifteen minutes from now.

Ienpw III:

10-21-2011 18:49:00 UTC

Coppro: I’d like to point out that we had actually resolved most of our issues before Agora decided to “liberate” us.