Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Declaration of Victory: Total Lockout

Reaches quorum against and fails, 8-3. We’re out of hiatus, for what it’s worth, although we may or may not still have an ongoing constitutional crisis. Josh

Adminned at 12 Oct 2011 23:16:18 UTC

At this point, nobody but me can legally submit proposals, CFJs, or DoVs. This is forced by a combination of rules (one of which is dynastic), so I can effectively hold the entire nomic hostage until I win (at which point I can repeal the rule via Ascension Address, and we can continue play).

Rule 1.4 contains “Any Artist may submit a Proposal to change the Ruleset or Gamestate, by posting an entry in the “Proposal” category that describes those changes (unless the Artist already has 2 Proposals pending, or has already made 3 Proposals that day).”. In other words, posts in the Proposal category are Proposals (a type of Official Post). There are similar rules to define CFJs and DoVs; all these rules are core rules.

Rule 2.8 contains “The Faux Pas is a list of grave stylistic errors tracked on the Wiki page “The Faux Pas”. If a Work of Art commits any of the errors on the Faux Pas, it may not be Exhibited or Printed.”. In other words, posts fitting defined criteria (based on the Faux Pas entry I just added, being a proposal/CFJ/DoV submitted by anyone but me) are “following the format specified by a rule” (by reference).

Rule 3.2 contains “Proposals, Calls for Judgment, and other official posts, as well as specific gamestate information, shall be tracked by the BlogNomic blog at http://blognomic.com. Any Artist may post (http://blognomic.com/update/index.php?C=publish) to the blog at any time, but may only make official posts to the blog when the Ruleset allows it. Posts following the format specified by a rule are considered official posts. A proposal, call for judgment, or declaration of victory cannot simultaneously be any other type of official post unless otherwise specified by dynastic rules.”. The most notable effect of this is that any proposal, CFJ, or DoV authored by anyone other than me is two sorts of official post (a Proposal/CFJ/DoV, and also a Faux Pas/“Treacherous” post). But that’s against the rules, so it can’t happen.

The precedence rules in rule 3.3.6 state Appendix > Dynastic > Core for resolving precedences. Thus, 3.3.6 wins in that a post in the “Proposals” category authored by a player other than me, for instance, can only be one sort of official post. Then 2.8 wins out against 1.4; the post is a faux pas, not a proposal. In other words, the precedence rules have it that nobody can submit proposals.

This situation is a win for me, as I can choose an arbitrary outcome to the situation; nobody else can do anything to resolve it. Once this DoV is adopted, I’ll submit a CfJ to amend rule 3.2 to try to avoid the problem in future; 2.8 will anyway be removed by the Ascension Address (I don’t plan to keep it cross-dynasty). Thus, voting for a win for me now will fix the situation. On the other hand, if you vote down the DoV, you won’t be able to do anything at all to change the ruleset, nor to win, without my permission, and I’ll easily win the dynasty as a result.

There are no images in this post, as a similar argument could be made about the Zeitgeist as about the Faux Pas rule.



10-11-2011 15:01:42 UTC



10-11-2011 15:04:59 UTC

for Gosh, 3.2 is very exploitable.

Well spotted.


10-11-2011 15:11:04 UTC

against I don’t buy that 2.8 “specifies formats” for entries, nor do I buy that it authorized the Faux Pas to create categories of official posts.


10-11-2011 15:20:13 UTC

Sure it does, it specifies them by reference to the Faux Pas document.


10-11-2011 16:17:29 UTC

against Nope, don’t agree with this.

The problem is this line “cannot simultaneously be any other type of official post”. A Proposal containing a Faux Pas is not simultaneous an “other type” because it is not “other”. Whether or not I accept your argument that the Faux Pas rule makes this a kind of official post, there’s nothing to say that it cannot be a subtype of proposal. Nothing says that it becomes a new kind of official post.

(As an aside, you wouldn’t win anyway because the other players could just veto everything you proposed. So at best you create a deadlock!)

Prince Anduril:

10-11-2011 16:35:17 UTC

Most impressive. The only serious challenge to this that could be made, would be to say that rule 1.9 has been broken:

“An Artist should not do any action meant to make the game unplayable”

Unfortunately, the only possible punishment of ais523 is for:

“a proposal or CfJ may be made to reprimand or punish the perpetrator”

Unfortunately, ais523 is the only Artist allowed to make a proposal or CfJ at the present time. The word used is ‘may’ so he is permitted to punish himself, but not required to do so (as it doesn’t say ‘shall’). One option is for us to threaten ais523 to make a proposal removing his Faux Pas, or we will punish him when he next gives us a chance, but that assumes:

1. He will not hold the game hostage forever
2. That we would want to punish him for an action, which I personally feel is a brilliant scam (:ARROW:)

Another possible resolution is for the players to allow BlogNomic to dissolve, and creating a new website with a few more watertight Appendix rules - Calling ais’s bluff as it were. But this might seem overkill for the sake of a loss of a dynasty.

On a side note, the ‘Fair play’ rules currently say “An artist [is recommended that] not”, which turn those sentences to nonsensical fragments. Which also render option (2) above to be a bit silly, as ais523 is the only one who can (at the moment) propose an amendment to the tune of:

Add the following Keyword to the Appendix:

Should not
“is not recommended to”

So given the choice between abandonment of BlogNomic and giving ais523 a dynasty, I think I’ll choose the latter.


Prince Anduril:

10-11-2011 17:00:40 UTC

bateleur: Yeah, I went down this line of thinking too, but I came across this. Official posts are defined as:

“Posts following the format specified by a rule”

The Faux Pas rule states:

“If a Work of Art commits any of the errors on the Faux Pas, it may not be Exhibited or Printed.”

If we input the definition of a Work of Art we get:

“If an entry posted by an Artist commits any of the errors on the Faux Pas, it may not be Exhibited or Printed.”

A Treacherous Post is:

“any post in the “Proposal” (including “Idle”), “Call for Judgment”, or “Declaration of Victory” categories, except if it was authored by [ais523]”

So the Treacherous Post follows the “format of a rule” because it is defined in the Faux Pas page, which is defined by the Faux Pas rule.

Prince Anduril:

10-11-2011 17:04:05 UTC

My arrow didn’t process before


10-11-2011 17:05:25 UTC



10-11-2011 17:07:10 UTC



10-11-2011 17:35:29 UTC

@Anduril - No, you’ve missed my point. It is the word “other” which breaks the victory attempt.

A Proposal is a kind of official post. If you were to make a Proposal now, it might also be considered a Treacherous post. But that would just make it a Treacherous Proposal.

Or to put it another way, some Proposals are Treacherous, some CfJs are Treacherous, some DoVs are Treacherous - in all cases by definition - and there’s nothing in the rules that says or implies that Treacherous posts are an OTHER kind of post. Quite the reverse, in fact.

(By analogy: Bananas, Apples and Pears cannot simultaneously be any other kind of fruit, but a Rotten Apple doesn’t cease to be an Apple just because it is Rotten even though Rotten fruit is a kind of fruit.)


10-11-2011 17:44:57 UTC

The Faux Pas wiki page is by definition a “list of grave stylistic errors”, not a ‘list of format specifications’, no matter what the wiki page contains. The format for ‘Treacherous’ posts is not “specified by a rule”, as I see it.

Actually, supposing we accept this way of defining types of Official Posts, isn’t “having been posted by an Artist” then also technically a ‘format’ for a post? If so, this entire discussion is null and void, as the nomic has been frozen since the first proposal of the dynasty (because ‘Work of Art’ is also a type of Official Post under this premise).


10-11-2011 17:56:46 UTC

I think this either breaks the game or doesn’t affect it, but it doesn’t leave you better off than anyone else.

Your argument seems to come down to Rule 2.8 making everything an official post because it divides all posts into “Faux Pas” and “not Faux Pas” (I don’t see that it makes any difference whether your rule says that one type of post is “known as” Treacherous).

If this is false, then this is a flawed DoV. If it’s true, then it’s been true for all posts made since the Faux Pas rule enacted, so this is an illegal DoV.



10-11-2011 17:58:53 UTC

@Prince Anduril: I don’t think the game is unplayable; dictatorial nomics have existed in the past, and there’s nothing inherently unplayable about them. My action was at least in part an attempt to prevent the game becoming unplayable by accident; I was originally just going to point the issue out (one of Kevan’s “proposals” isn’t a proposal as a result because of the Zeitgeist thing), but then I noticed the scam.


10-11-2011 18:04:41 UTC

@Kevan: in that case, each proposal is also a not-CFJ, and BlogNomic has been doomed forever. I don’t think it makes sense to say that rules that list a required format for a post to be official are also listing the lack of the format; it’s more a case of defining a certain type of post by its format, and the opposite isn’t defined by its format, but rather by not being a particular sort of post.

Prince Anduril:

10-11-2011 18:11:23 UTC

Purplebeard - It ‘follows’ the format of the Faux Pas rule, albeit indirectly. And works of Art *are* Official posts, which is why no posts can be made at all until we resolve this. I don’t really get why the dynasty is frozen from the beginning, surely it only freezes since ais made his Faux Pas amendment?

Kevan - The ‘known as’ thing doesn’t seem to make any difference, I agree. Surely the DoV isn’t illegal because the Faux Pas excludes his own posts. The division is really between ‘Ais posts’ and ‘non-Ais posts’.


10-11-2011 18:19:51 UTC

Independently of whether your scam attempt worked, you have not achieved victory yet.  I suggest filing a CfJ.


10-11-2011 18:34:36 UTC

What’s the ‘format’ we’re discussing here? The Treacherous qualifier is obviously not specified by a rule; it’s specified by a thing which is referenced by a rule, sure, but that thing is by definition nothing more than “a list of (...) errors”. Its contents therefore cannot have any other meaning to the Ruleset. If the format is “a Work of Art [which] commits any of the errors on the Faux Pas”, then that seems tenuously true, but then the same would hold for the ‘format’ for Works of Art.

My point is that if we accept ‘Work of Art” as a type of Official Post, then since all Proposals, CfJs and DoVs are necessarily also Works of Art rule 3.2 prevents them from being posted at all.


10-11-2011 18:37:37 UTC

@Purplebeard: I’m genuinely worried by your point. If it’s correct, then we’re not even in Hiatus at the moment. I think I know a fix, but I’d like to wait for this DoV to pass or fail before I can pull it off.


10-11-2011 22:45:39 UTC

against  arrow

I think this was illegally submitted because you did not think you had actually achieved victory in the current Dynasty.  Ditto on the CfJ.

Ienpw III:

10-12-2011 02:42:08 UTC

arrow  arrow Very impressive, but I (idle) believe it is an illegal DoV per Bucky.

Ienpw III:

10-12-2011 02:42:56 UTC

(bonus arrow for this not being a core rules scam)

Soviet Brendon:

10-12-2011 04:32:41 UTC

Taking Purplebeards point all proposals since “work of art” were illegal.
We cannot propose nor submit cfjs or this dov. I cannot see a way out of this so…

Prince Anduril:

10-12-2011 07:32:33 UTC

Yep, Purplebeard’s comments are well made. Since I agree with ais523’s position, it seems that all official posts made since the Work of Art proposal need reverting. In which case, this is the current legal gamestate:


Surely (once we’re out of hiatus) we are allowed to CfJ to revert to the legal gamestate, since we haven’t currently got a Quorum agreeing that the current gamestate *is* illegal. Not entirely sure what we do once we get there, but I’m willing to cross bridges when we come to them.


Prince Anduril:

10-12-2011 07:35:33 UTC

Though, thinking about it, this may be our last chance to get out of the situation (sort of) legally.

We could all just give ais523 victory, though the gamestate is illegal on his own premise. Since we do not need to actually make a new DoV, this might work. It’s a bit unfair, I agree, but a neat(ish) solution.


10-12-2011 07:39:42 UTC

I think the first thing to do is to go back over all the arguments presented in this thread and establish a reasonable consensus on which are correct and why.

The thing which bothers me a bit about some of the above is that there seems to be a preference for interpreting the ruleset in perverse ways which don’t match the style and precision of the language it uses at all. From my perspective, I either want to clean up the entire ruleset to be the pedantic and meticulous document people seem to want it to be or (far preferable) clarify that the play of this Nomic should be about exploiting genuine loopholes in rules interactions rather than perversely misinterpreting wordings.

(Not intended as any slight to ais523, whose insight into potential problems is nonetheless impressive.)


10-12-2011 08:34:17 UTC

There’s actually an easy way to fix this, which incidentally also defeats this scam regardless of the interpretation of Works of Art as official posts.

While idle, write a non-official post. This post is not a Work of Art (since its author isn’t an Artist) and it will not retroactively become one when the author unidles (see the first sentence of rule 2.1). Then, unidle and edit it into a proposal or CfJ. Bam, crisis averted.


10-12-2011 08:43:04 UTC

CoV against While I agree with ais’ interpretation of the scam, it becomes clear that the victory that arises from it is not a fait accompli.


10-12-2011 08:44:11 UTC

Ooh, that’s really clever!

Although I’d still much prefer that the deadlock was found to be not valid to begin with.

Prince Anduril:

10-12-2011 12:38:15 UTC

bateleur - It seems a bit strange to make rules defining how the rules should be interpreted. Surely interpreting rules is what Nomic is all about. I think we’re agreed that the deadlock is invalid, because:

a) If ais523 is wrong, then it is simply a failed DoV
b) If ais523 is right, then all Works of Art are illegal, including this DoV.

Personally being in the ‘ais523 is right’ category, it seems that the problem of the deadlock is more about what we do after we revert the ruleset. Purplebeard has provided us with a rather elegant solution, but it does need to be done by an Admin because of this rule in 3.2 Gamestate Tracking:

“Whilst a non-official post has been posted for less than fifteen minutes and has no comments, the author may change the categories as they wish.”

It would probably be good to have 2 CfJs proposed in this manner. One to sort out ais’s Faux Pas and fix the loopholes in Gamestate Tracking, the other to establish whether Work’s of Art are a type of official post.


10-12-2011 12:49:38 UTC

No, I’m not suggesting rules about how rules should be interpreted (indeed, BlogNomic already has too many of those in the form of the Appendix). The point is that the rules in BlogNomic are written in a very informal, chatty style. I regard this as a good thing, but they don’t have to be. If people want to play in a very legalistic style then it’s going to be necessary to reword virtually every rule to properly lock it down against this kind of nonsense (see, for example, OxNomic).

Because no, interpreting rules isn’t what Nomic’s all about. For me at least it’s about the interactions between rules, intended or otherwise. However, there’s a world of difference between an unintended consequence of a rule and tortuous linguistic gymnastics used to find new meanings in rules which were never there by any remotely natural interpretation.


10-12-2011 17:12:01 UTC

Every so often in Agora there used to be CFJs about really torturous interpretations; this doesn’t even come close.  I don’t know whether ais523 is right, but I know the line between unintended consequences and linguistic gymnastics is not always clear, especially when the clause with alleged unintended consequences is a definition.  Is it merely nonsense to interpret something that doesn’t look anything like an X as an X, if it meets the criteria in the definition of X?

Also- I don’t buy the argument that Works of Art are a type of Official Post, as “posted by an Artist” is not any kind of format for the post itself.


10-12-2011 18:42:37 UTC

I think I’ve come up with an uncontroversially working way to get us out of this mess, allowing for the possibility that Works of Art are indeed a type of Official post. It requires me to idle; then when my unidle timeout has run out, I make an ordinary post (with no images), unidle very quickly afterwards, then edit it into a CFJ. It won’t have been originally posted by an Artist, it won’t have been disqualified by the Faux Pas rule (as I’m me; that’s why I’d have to do it), and then it can fix all the resulting problems.

I thought of Purplebeard’s counter-scam when making the scam of my own. The Faux Pas I added still recategorizes proposals/CFJs/DoVs not made by me even if they’re made by a non-Artist. (Of course, if no posts have been made correctly since the Works of Art rule, the Faux Pas rule was never created and so anyone can use the unidle method to fix things.)


10-12-2011 18:49:04 UTC

No, actually, ais523’s move has locked the game, I think, as the Faux Pas clearly says “by the Artist formerly known as… (that is, the Artist know as…)”.


10-12-2011 18:50:16 UTC

Sorry, I should be more clear. If Works of Art are an Official Post, I think we are screwed. I do need to post a detailed analysis of this to make a decision, though.


10-12-2011 19:57:00 UTC

ais523: Then we come back to the point that the ‘Treacherous’ qualifier isn’t specified by a rule, but by a wiki page that happens to be referenced by a rule.


10-12-2011 20:07:44 UTC

Incidentally, those of you who think there’s some substance to ais523’s argument may wish to be aware that everything that’s being said about “Works of Art” applies equally well to “Votable Matters” (by which I mean they are a kind of official post in the same sense). As such, there isn’t any problem with the current dynasty that wasn’t present in quite a number of previous dynasties…

(Not that I agree with any of this.)


10-12-2011 20:14:04 UTC

@coppro: we aren’t in trouble if Works of Art are an Official Post, because that would make the proposal that introduced Faux Pas not a proposal, so the rule doesn’t actually exist. Thus, the idling-out method might work.


10-13-2011 00:58:57 UTC

Ah, yes. Good catch.


10-13-2011 01:38:26 UTC

The definition of “Votable Matter” as the union of certain types of Official Post is clearly not trying to define its own type of Official Post, but if it were defined as “a post in the Proposal, CfJ, or DoV category”, it would arguably do so.  “Works of Art” is not defined by reference to any kind of Official Post, although I do not think it makes things Official Posts because it does not specify a format.


10-13-2011 04:34:10 UTC

against  against  against  against  against


10-13-2011 04:38:48 UTC

Simply put Ais, hold the game captive and be the only one left playing cause I’d rather quit then be in a game held hostage by a play, legal scam or not.


10-13-2011 05:24:31 UTC

In addition, go aestivate under a rock somewhere!


10-13-2011 05:39:03 UTC

@com: who was that aimed at?