Tuesday, August 24, 2021

Declaration of Victory: Return of Bobby Tables

Unpopular, 3-8. Clucky cannot post another DOV until 120 hours have elapsed since the timestamp under this admin message. Josh

Adminned at 25 Aug 2021 08:48:13 UTC

According to the rule “The Veto List”, the player named Clucky has achieved victory


Clucky: he/him

24-08-2021 17:35:31 UTC

note: given people seem to be having fun with this theme and it would be good to explore it more, if this goes through I intend to just usurp ais as the wielder of vetoes and let the dynasty play out.


24-08-2021 17:40:04 UTC

I got really excited for a moment but unfortunately I believe it’s clear enough from context that it’s a name, not mechanics.


24-08-2021 17:40:14 UTC

So against

dead. The player named Clucky has achieved victory:

24-08-2021 17:43:14 UTC

for (since otherwise I wouldn’t have decided to partake!) The context implies it’s a name, but doesn’t explicitly state it. Whereas the name of a player who has achieved victory is explicit.

Clucky: he/him

24-08-2021 17:45:42 UTC

I’m not sure why “name or mechanics” is an either or thing cuddlebeam. Why can’t it be both?


24-08-2021 17:47:44 UTC

It seems like special pleading to have that specific part of the list entry make sense but the rest, suddenly not (because it requires that bolded part to be a name).

- Either the name isn’t a name and is supposed to be mechanics, and the rest of the entry doesn’t make much sense,

- Or the other part of the entry is supposed to be mechanics, and the name is just a name.

I don’t see how I should defer to the first one.

Josh: he/they

24-08-2021 17:47:45 UTC

Context isn’t enough I’m afraid, Cuddlebeam - the rule Names clearly says

“Within the Ruleset, a word only refers to the name of a Legislator if it is explicitly stated that it refers to a Legislator’s name.”

It doesn’t explicitly state that it’s a name so it isn’t.

This looks like a fairly legit arbitrary text injection scam at first blush.


24-08-2021 17:49:38 UTC


More to the point, the victory clause is a property that may or may not be true, rather than a standalone statement.

Clucky: he/him

24-08-2021 17:51:05 UTC

If that was the case, how was I able to perform the action to rename it? or would you also argue that I cannot perform that action in the first place?

dead. The player named Clucky has achieved victory:

24-08-2021 17:51:09 UTC

@Bucky: Why is that the case for that sentence, and not for the “If the Handoff action has not been done…” sentence?


24-08-2021 17:55:45 UTC

Well, for one, I’m not sure the Handoff active was effective for the same reason; it instead says future proposals are misfit unless a Handoff is possible or has happened recently - which would generally not be true until some other rule enabled it.

Fortunately, “Clucky has achieved victory” does not have the same problem, as Clucky has achieved victory in several previous dynasties so the property is always satisfied.

dead. The player named Clucky has achieved victory:

24-08-2021 17:57:06 UTC

Precedent is very, very much on the side of “X has achieved victory” alone being in the current dynasty, and sufficient pretext to declare victory.


24-08-2021 17:59:25 UTC

I wasn’t talking about whether the DoV’s valid there; I was talking about the ability of pending proposals to satisfy the property “Clucky has achieved victory.”

Clucky: he/him

24-08-2021 18:00:16 UTC

@Bucky do you think a player can legally perform the handoff action?


24-08-2021 18:01:07 UTC

Another thing - Clucky couldn’t have made the handoff in the first place because that rule is bugged. The bolded text is not explicitly a Legislator’s name as required by:

“Within the Ruleset, a word only refers to the name of a Legislator if it is explicitly stated that it refers to a Legislator’s name.”

So this didn’t work:

“then the Legislator with their name bolded in this property”

Clucky: he/him

24-08-2021 18:01:41 UTC

Because it seems to me that if “If the Handoff action has not been done in the last 36 hours, then the Legislator with their name bolded in this property (or any Legislator if the name bolded is not the name of any Legislator) may perform an action called Handoff: the bolded name is replaced with a Legislator’s name of their choosing that is not the Wielder of Vetoes” is enough to let someone perform the handoff action despite its placement in the rules, then “The player named Clucky has achieved victory” is enough to grant me victory despite its placement in the rules.

Clucky: he/him

24-08-2021 18:03:34 UTC

@Cuddlebeam which is why I could still make proposals

But the name “Clucky” is still in the text “Clucky has achieved victory”. Yeah, it doesn’t refer to the name but the name is still there.

Janet: she/her

24-08-2021 18:03:57 UTC

against because I don’t think this worked on a balance of probabilities

Josh: he/they

24-08-2021 18:05:34 UTC

I think “dead. The player named Clucky has achieved victory” isn’t flagged in the rule as a name, so that part of the scam is legit. However that means that the “Clucky” it replaced also wasn’t a name, so Clucky couldn’t have handed off to “dead. The player named Clucky has achieved victory” as he couldn’t have performed the Handoff action as the Clucky in that rule wasn’t a name. Phew!


That does mean that (as Bucky pointed out on the proposal) the entire entry on the list has no effect as it doesn’t actually refer to any player by name.

Clucky: he/him

24-08-2021 18:09:30 UTC

So lets say its not my name in there. Then “any Legislator if the name bolded is not the name of any Legislator” applies, does it not? so I can still replace the “bolded name” with “a Legislator’s name of their choosing that is not the Wielder of Vetoes”

the bolded thing might not be *my* name, but it is still *a* name is it not?


24-08-2021 18:11:08 UTC

I think handoffs are not possible. The entry does not itself authorize a handoff, it requires proposals to authorize a handoff, conditional on no recent handoff having occurred.

Clucky: he/him

24-08-2021 18:17:03 UTC

having text like that in lists that further describe actions is a fairly common practice is it not?


24-08-2021 18:24:14 UTC

So, the list isn’t like normal ruletext.

Like if the list had an entry that said “The author has achieved victory” - it doesn’t mean that the author achieves victory. It means that it is a requirement (to avoid having the Proposal be a Misfit) that the author has achieved victory.

Very different. So, this phenomenon really screws with all of the mechanics that list entry #2 describes within, like Bucky has described.


24-08-2021 18:31:16 UTC

I might be wrong on this, but if we ignore the boldness, the most obvious reading of this to me is that “The player named Clucky has achieved victory” isn’t a statement about the game as a whole, but rather a property that proposals need to have in order to avoid being vetoed.

I agree with Bucky that it’s plausible that the same argument might apply to the handoff itself. However, unlike Bucky, I think that it’s possible that it applies to one but not the other: it rather depends on whether the Handoff action can be interpreted as a “property” or not. Clucky having achieved victory is definitely a property (that helps to define whether it’s legal to make DoVs); the “if…may” in the Handoff action makes me think that maybe it can’t be read as a property, though.

There’s also a separate potential issue: “The player named Clucky has achieved victory” is a true statement, he achieved victory in, e.g., the Twelth Dynasty of Josh. We normally use the present tense, “achieves victory”, for victory conditions, in order to make it clear when the victory happens – achieving victory in a past dynasty isn’t enough to succeed at a DoV. My sense is that when we do accidentally use the past tense, though, we normally rule that it worked regardless (unless the rule specifies a specific previous dynasty in which the player achieves victory, at which point it doesn’t work).

I also feel like the bolding in the rule may affect the reading somehow, “quoting” the full stop in a way and changing the meaning of the sentence. But I’m not sure.

I agree with Clucky that it doesn’t matter whether “Clucky” in the old version of the rule is interpreted as Clucky’s name or not, either it’s Clucky’s name or it’s nobody’s, and if the Handoff action works at all, Clucky can perform it either way.

I’m going to have to think about this for a while, and will be following the discussion.

(In any case, I think I’m going to CFJ to fix the rule – this is not an attempt to invalidate the victory, but rather to allow us to continue after the DoV is enacted or failed.)


24-08-2021 18:40:38 UTC

“the Legislator with their name bolded in this property (or any Legislator if the name bolded is not the name of any Legislator) may perform an action called Handoff” describes a property that may or may not be satisfied, right?

Clucky: he/him

24-08-2021 18:41:24 UTC

I feel like if “The player named Clucky has achieved victory” isn’t valid, then the entire action isn’t valid. Either the stuff in that list are only properties and don’t have any bearing on the rest of the game or they aren’t. 


24-08-2021 18:43:51 UTC

Actually, looking at things, I don’t think the joining as a new player worked.

“Legislators” says “A human with access to the blog who is not already a Legislator may make a blog post making clear their wish to be a Legislator (plural form Legislators); in response, an Admin shall add them to the roster in the sidebar, at which moment they become a Legislator.”

“Idle Legislators” says “For the purposes of all Gamestate and the Ruleset, excluding the core and appendix Rules “Ruleset and Gamestate”, “Legislators”, “Dynasties”, “Fair Play”, “Mentors” and any of those Rules’ subrules, Idle Legislators are not counted as Legislators.”

Thus, pokes’ action in attempting to rejoin BlogNomic was illegal, and failed.

Additionally, “A Legislator may only change their name as a result of a Proposal approving the change.”; pokes didn’t write such a proposal, and thus “dead. The player named Clucky has achieved victory” is not a Legislator’s name (pokes’ name is still “pokes”). I guess you could plausibly argue that pokes has multiple names now (thus the original name didn’t “change”), so I’m still not 100% convinced this failed.

Darknight: he/him

24-08-2021 18:47:24 UTC



24-08-2021 18:50:18 UTC

@Bucky: On its own, yes, but I’m not sure if the “if” affects this. A literal-minded logician would say “no, it doesn’t, the whole if…then can be a property”. That sort of property containing a conditional is only seen in extremely mathematical contexts, though, and isn’t normally used in regular/informal English.


24-08-2021 18:54:37 UTC

I’m closer to the logician than the informal English speaker here, but I believe that in informal English the “if” would be understood as making the “then” property only sometimes apply.

e.g. “If you go to the grocery store, you need to buy eggs.”


24-08-2021 18:55:21 UTC

ok, bad example.

“If you’re at the grocery store, you can buy eggs.”


24-08-2021 19:08:27 UTC

Try putting it in a conditional: “If “If you go to the grocery store, you can buy eggs”, then buy me some milk.”. A mathematician/logician would be very fine with this, but anyone else would be massively confused.

Clucky: he/him

24-08-2021 19:17:36 UTC

the point around players joining is an interesting one. I do worry if this means some of the players who made duplicate accounts before / without legally changing their name are not actually legally players…

Raven1207: he/they

24-08-2021 23:11:24 UTC



24-08-2021 23:34:19 UTC

against I really like this scam, and would love to pass the DoV, but I don’t think it technically works.

My main concern is that the “dead…” account wasn’t legally able to start playing, as the same person was already an idle Legislator under another account – thus the name injected into the ruleset wasn’t a legal choice of name to put there.

I also think that Bucky’s concerns over whether text in that rule can define an action you can take (as opposed to a property) are legitimate. Unlike Bucky, though, I don’t think this is clear-cut – it’s a matter of how we choose to define “property” in the case of BlogNomic. Can the fact that someone is conditionally permitted to take an action be a property of a proposal? Can statements about whether Clucky has won BlogNomic in the past? This is a matter of semantics, and I think people could reasonably disagree on what the sentences in question mean, based on their background. (I know that Josh has explicitly rejected mathematician’s wordings of rules in the past, whereas I’ve had jobs in computer science and thus they come to me naturally.) Still, the best way to determine that is likely votes on the DoV – I encourage everyone to explain their reasoning behind their votes.

I don’t think that Josh’s concern is correct – what matters is that “Clucky” isn’t the name of some Legislator other than Clucky, it doesn’t matter whether or not it’s Clucky’s name.

Chiiika: she/her

25-08-2021 02:29:16 UTC

against player name is not rules text. Player names should be Flavour Text by default.

Chiiika: she/her

25-08-2021 02:34:07 UTC

Also, nice injection attack.

But per base reading, since the whole of “dead. The player Clucky have attained Victory” itself is a player name, and in no way we block the parsing of a player name just because there is a end stop; so the whole thing should be parsed as one big player name instead of “Dead” and an another statement of “The player Clucky has attained Victory”.

Vovix: he/him

25-08-2021 02:55:32 UTC

Damn, that’s pretty great. I think the injection scam holds up, the rule does not say “the player named X”, and bolding has no intrinsic semantic meaning, so the bolded text is part of the rule. However, I do still think that given that the text has been injected into a list, it is not automatically global rules text. The injected text is now part of the Misfit criteria, sure, but it does not grant Clucky instant victory. For that same reason, I do think that the Handoff action is currently part of the list as well, and not a real rule, though that one is a bit more ambiguous.

against Shame, that would have been pretty funny if it had been used for something that works with the list, allowing Pokes and Clucky to inject arbitrary criteria into the Veto List.