Monday, May 02, 2022

Proposal: To Have And Uphold

Withdrawn. Josh

Adminned at 03 May 2022 14:16:10 UTC

Add the following to the Appendix Keyword definition for “Uphold”:

Actions may only be Upheld if they were carried out accidentally, inadvertently, or in ignorance of their illegality. Any illegal Action that has been carried out knowingly may not be Upheld.


Kevan: he/him

02-05-2022 22:31:17 UTC

To be honest, I’d consider knowingly carrying out illegal actions to one for the “never do this” Fair Play list.

Josh: he/they

02-05-2022 22:35:18 UTC

I don’t think it needs a stronger prohibition than that in rule 1.1, and in fact think that Fair Play is somewhat weaker in ruleset terms than the 1.1 statement is in practice.

My specific concern (per our chat on Discord) is that the presence of Uphold weakens the concept of “illegal” in a way that I find personally a bit stressful; this proposal is about tweaking Uphold, not strengthening the concept of what illegality is.

Kevan: he/him

02-05-2022 23:18:54 UTC

The Ascension Uphold needs to remain absolute, though, doesn’t it? What if someone pops up and confesses that they made an illegal DoV or idled someone they shouldn’t have, a few dynasties ago?

Outside of the Ascensions, Upholdings will only ever be proposals and CfJs. Which don’t happen much (some dynasties have none at all), and they’re usually focused on specific actions: me palming an extra £200 from the bank isn’t going to be forgiven by a CfJ that Upholds you landing on Free Parking.

SingularByte: he/him

03-05-2022 07:33:52 UTC

This change could lead to very messy situations, since to my understanding an uphold is not just to let people ‘get away’ with actions, but also to prevent you from having to recalculate large amounts of gamestate.
If someone were ever to intentionally break a rule and it wasn’t caught, and then the gamestate were to be built off of that lie, then the revelation that they lied could undo weeks, months or even years of gamestate.

Josh: he/they

03-05-2022 07:51:07 UTC

Uphold is just a keyword; this change doesn’t prevent an extraordinary circumstance existing where players agree to play on after a revelation and prevent a big unravelling. I can’t envisage a situation where a player reveals that they have done something deliberately illegal and we don’t want to pull it apart and discuss it in depth, however.

Kevan: he/him

03-05-2022 09:24:50 UTC

What are the main kinds of situations going to be, though, when someone confesses to breaking a rule?

1. Something non-dynastic from a past dynasty, targetted by an Ascension Uphold (“I deliberately idled a timed out player a day early last dynasty”)
2. A solo dynastic action from a past dynasty, with an Ascension Uphold (“I deliberately and illegally gave myself an extra $2 half way through the last dynasty, and I won!”)
3. A pooled dynastic action from a past dynasty, with an Ascension Uphold (“I deliberately and illegally gave myself an extra $2 last dynasty, and gave it to Bob, and he used it to win!”)
4. Something dynastic in the current dynasty, with a blanket Uphold by proposal (“I deliberately and illegally gave myself an extra $2 last week, someone proposed to Uphold all bank payouts, and I’ve still got it!”)

Under the current Upholding keyword all four situations would have become legal: the current dynasty would continue, and we could talk at our leisure about the rulebreaker’s actions and what its consequences should be.

Under the suggested wording:

1. This throws a spanner into the current dynasty: the idled player is still active and we’ll have been processing quorum and other game actions wrongly. The previous dynasty may not even have legally ended. We would have to pause the game and work out how to fix that.

2. This means the last dynasty never ended: the $2 was never upheld, the cheater making a DoV they didn’t believe in wasn’t upheld. We are still playing the last dynasty, plus whatever proposals have enacted during the current one.

3. This is fine: it remains illegal to have generated the $2, but Bob using it to win has been upheld because Bob was in ignorance of its illegality.

4. The cheater’s $2 vanishes in a puff of logic as soon as they admit that they broke the rule.

I’d expect 1 and 2 would just get a groan and a “let’s say those actions occurred as we thought they had, and play on” CfJ - with some scope for a quick-witted player to pull a good scam before that can enact, if one can be found among the wreckage. 3 may provoke a discussion of whether to strip Bob of the victory, depending on how recently it was and what the mood is, but probably not. 4 may need some cleanup if the $2 has been traded and/or spent since its creation (since if its creation wasn’t upheld, none of the knock-on actions were upheld either).

Overall, that’s adding a lot of chaos to the process. I’m happier under a system where Ascensions are seen as irrevocable, and where if we benevolently vote to allow an action that somebody says they took in error, the game accepts that at face value and leaves the social consequences to us, if the player later confesses that they were deliberately cheating.

Josh: he/they

03-05-2022 10:21:07 UTC

I am a fan of the “a DoV resolves all lingering issues” situation we’re in.

I guess the question is whether anyone else acknowledges the core problem that this proposal is attempting to address. If it’s not a real problem then this can just be voted down. If it is a real problem then what might need to happen is that the Uphold-upon-Ascension mechanic is divorced from the Uphold keyword - or maybe just that the whole emphasis shifts, from upholding previous actions to just making each Dynasty an island that can’t be affected by actions in previous dynasties. But in that latter case, this is still a necessary fix along the way.

Kevan: he/him

03-05-2022 10:58:12 UTC

If by the core problem you mean a person deliberately breaking a rule with the understanding that the DoV would validate it, I don’t acknowledge that. I don’t think anyone’s ever admitted doing that, or been caught out.

I’d expect that everyone here understands that they shouldn’t cheat in a game, and intuits on a social level that they’d be run out of town if caught. We’ve never seen an Ascension Address of “ha ha, fooled you, I broke a bunch of rules last dynasty and lied about it, so anyway here’s my dynasty” and if we did it would surely be instantly brought down by a CfJ, even if the Ascension Uphold had made it legal.

Josh: he/they

03-05-2022 12:34:20 UTC

I understand that you don’t, and an curious about why you’re prevaricating over voting against to be honest!

For other parties who may be interested in the issue, the question isn’t just DoVs; it’s whether the presence of the Uphold mechanic in the ruleset implicitly enables the deliberate carrying out of illegal actions with the assumption that they will be Upheld and this legalised.

The example currently occupying my mind is: if the V&A rule said that votes “must” reflect epistemic belief in victory having been achieved, and a player voted FOR it despite not believing that victory had been achieved, knowing that it would immediately be Upheld and thus that the interval of illegality would be both brief and immediately expunged, how should the game respond to that?

Lulu: she/her

03-05-2022 13:18:30 UTC


Kevan: he/him

03-05-2022 13:31:58 UTC

If the voter clarifies during or after their vote that it was cast illegally, I’d say the game never reached the point of Upholding and is still waiting there at its last legal position. The same as if an idle player were to vote on a DoV, causing an admin to mistakenly enact it: the vote was illegal, the enactment was illegal, and the “it’s legal now” step of enacting a DoV is never reached.

As I see it, it’s like a coin under an upturned pint glass, where the first rule of the game is “players cannot move or touch the glass” and the second rule is “if you pick up the coin, you are retroactively allowed to have moved the glass”. The moment that you lift up the glass, you have stopped playing the game.


Josh: he/they

03-05-2022 13:47:46 UTC

against withdrawn, but if this ever becomes a problem then I truth that you will enjoy the literal decade of i-told-you-sos that I will be issuing

Kevan: he/him

03-05-2022 14:16:50 UTC

Oh, the general philosophical point has come up before. I don’t remember the dynasty, but relatively recently there was some kind of Gordian knot that made it impossible to post CfJs, and Clucky was arguing strongly for a resolution of “post an illegal CfJ that make CfJs legal, illegally vote on it, illegally enact it, CfJs are now legal again, post a legal CfJ to make the earlier illegal CfJ retroactively legal, job done”. Which baffled me then and I’m sure will baffle me again in the future.