Monday, August 09, 2021

Proposal: Your Number 1 Priority

Times out 3-5.  - Jumble

Adminned at 11 Aug 2021 23:05:28 UTC

Add the following to the rule Prioritisation, at the beginning of the rule:

When being enacted, a CfJ has priority over the ruleset, except as pertains to its own enactment and this rule. Where a CfJ and any rule other than this one contradict at the time of its enactment, the enacting admin should enact the CfJ faithfully, insofar as is possible.


Kevan: City he/him

09-08-2021 20:49:52 UTC

This might need more present tense: we have a lot of old, enacted votable matters.


09-08-2021 20:53:08 UTC

This is a really bad idea.

Josh: he/they

09-08-2021 20:59:49 UTC

@Kevan Thanks; better?

@Bucky Why?


09-08-2021 21:13:44 UTC

I think this is a good idea because votable matters should be omnipotent. The mere “should” makes me uncomfortable though, not sure how to solve it.


09-08-2021 21:14:17 UTC

(The mere “should” in “the enacting admin should…”)

Josh: he/they

09-08-2021 21:16:24 UTC

Yeah, it does need to be should as sometimes proposals will ask to do things that are flatly impossible. For example, earlier in this dynasty a CfJ called for the game to be arbitrarily placed into an Interregnum, when an Interregnum as defined has to be the time between a DoV and an AA; as an enacting admin I’d call that impossible, regardless of what the CfJ might say.

It’s also a bit of a bulwark against the CfJ instant-enactment scams, like the one that Jason found in this dynasty.


09-08-2021 21:33:00 UTC

I’m not going to say the main reason just in case this is actually enacted.

However, one example where things can go horribly wrong is that it lets a votable matter set any dynastic variable to any value regardless of any rules restricting that value; a proposal that says “reduce everyone’s Cogs by 4” will accidentally set various players’ Cogs to negative values that, because of “Invalid values for game variables can never be used” in 4.4.1, effectively disables any dynastic rules w.r.t those players’ cogs.


09-08-2021 21:37:12 UTC

It also, incidentally, disables Tags.

Josh: he/they

09-08-2021 21:40:08 UTC

The coyness is not persuading me to self-kill this, or edit it to preclude this so-called worst case scenario of yours.

The example you paint seems fine; if it disables the dynastic rules then it’ll require a cfj to fix but can’t be abused, which is no different from the obverse, where a votable matter doesn’t end off firing in the way it’s supposed to due to bad drafting or temperamental gamestate and needs to be fixed by a follow-up anyway.

Josh: he/they

09-08-2021 21:40:32 UTC

Oh boy am I ever fine with Tags being disabled

Clucky: he/him

09-08-2021 21:44:20 UTC

the tags point is an interesting one. But if the proposal says to reduce everyone’s cogs by 4, and people want that, i think I’d rather reduce it and then go “okay now what” than to go “wait we can’t actually do what people want” especially because it becomes unclear what happens. Can the whole proposal not be enacted or does “If the Admin enacting a Proposal reaches a step which cannot be applied immediately” mean just that step is skipped? Is it all of “reduce everyone’s cogs by 4” that is skipped, or just the reductions that can’t be done?


09-08-2021 21:45:31 UTC

I suppose that, this early in the dynasty, it is safe to point out that this allows a DoV to make rule changes, and Workers may not vote against it so long as they believe the author has achieved victory.

It’s not the worst problem I’ve spotted with this proposal, but it should be sufficient to demonstrate that the proposal is poorly thought out.

Josh: he/they

09-08-2021 21:47:33 UTC

Thanks. Easily fixed; I’ve limited its scope to CfJs.

What else have you got.


09-08-2021 21:53:58 UTC

A few variants on “This CfJ may be enacted by its author as though it had a quorum of additional FOR votes”

Josh: he/they

09-08-2021 22:02:13 UTC

I assumed that’s what you were getting at. I really don’t understand why you’re being so coy about it though; it’s much better to talk about things openly and deal with them than to be all allusive and superior about them, don’t you think?

For example: this proposal doesn’t change that. The clause regarding VMs not being able to affect their own enactment? It only applies to proposals. CfJs have always been able to affect their own enactment; the scams you’re thinking of are legal under the current ruleset.

And that’s not all; there’s already four or five ways that a player could, if they wanted to, seize control of the ruleset. I suspect that any player who’s won more than three dynasties has been in a situation where they could legally have declared themselves BlogNomic’s tyrant for life; I can think of one or two that I could use right now that would stand up to at least cursory scrutiny. I’m not super worried about it, though, because for the most part people don’t want to use those scams. They’re boring and not very impressive, and just piss off the other players. While I do think it’s best practice to avoid opening the door to them, I don’t think it’s something that you should let be the enemy of the good; you can’t prevent someone from flipping over the gameboard or taking their ball and going home. If someone wants to tear up the ruleset then they will. I’m pleased that in nearly 20 years, no-one has; that supports my thesis that it’s not really a problem, for meta-game reasons.

But if you really want to… Sure, it’s an easy fix.

Josh: he/they

09-08-2021 22:12:13 UTC

I have to go to bed but if you have something truly game-breaking then feel free to spill it; I’ll s/k if there’s something that can’t be worked around in the morning.


09-08-2021 22:14:37 UTC

We could probably do with something along the lines of the existing rule “An illegal CFJ cannot cause itself to become legal.”, but for enactment instead (but I’m not sure how to word it).

The Tags rule is an interesting point, because its current version is very good at things breaking accidentally (whilst being trivial to bypass if you want to break them deliberately), and yet it interferes with CFJ enactment. Limiting it to proposals would fit the spirit of “CFJs can do anything”, but increase the chance of a CFJ breaking things accidentally.

Perhaps we need some sort of super-FOR vote on CFJs, that allows them to override the rules if they accumulate enough.

Clucky: he/him

09-08-2021 23:23:16 UTC

I feel like it’s not worth fussing too much over

At the end of the day, as long as if someone feels “no a cfj shouldn’t have been able to do that” and can post a CfJ that deals with the issue, then we still have the power to deal with any shenanigans that come up


10-08-2021 03:45:33 UTC

@Bucky: Insincere voting has always been a thing. People could still vote AGAINST such a DoV.

Heck, I’ve even had people explicitly recognize that I did technically win, but still vote AGAINST because they felt like I didn’t deserve the win (because it was accomplished via scams).

What do you do then? Say that they didn’t actually vote AGAINST?

lemon: she/her

10-08-2021 06:55:03 UTC


Kevan: City he/him

10-08-2021 08:23:12 UTC

I’m a bit lost on what “enact the CfJ faithfully” is asking admins to actually do or not do.


10-08-2021 08:54:04 UTC

I’m with Kevan, here: a) this looks like an improvement even though b) I’m not sure exactly what it does. So I’m going to hold off on voting for a while in order to think about it.

Lulu: she/her

10-08-2021 13:12:27 UTC


Clucky: he/him

10-08-2021 13:47:09 UTC


Kevan: City he/him

10-08-2021 14:08:15 UTC

against as I’m not sure what instruction “enact the CfJ faithfully, insofar as is possible” is giving to the admin. Faithful to the perceived intent of CfJ, faithful to the literal wording of the CfJ, acting in good faith for the sake of the game, or something else?

Josh: he/they

10-08-2021 14:20:10 UTC

The answer I’d give to that question is “Yes” but also, per ais, I think that this is still better than the status quo. It’s not supposed to be full and final and can undergo future revisions.

Kevan: City he/him

10-08-2021 15:48:13 UTC

What is the relevant status quo? That if a CfJ enacts saying “give Robinson 10 Cogs” and a dynastic rule grumpily says “Cogs can only ever be gained via Machines”, it’s core-vs-dynastic (since CfJs are an arm of the Core ruleset) and dynastic wins, Robinson gets no Cogs?

“CfJs take precedence” does seem like it makes more sense in that kind of situation, but “faithfully” blurs it away again, if an admin can apparently say either “I’ll be faithful to the CfJ and give Robinson 10 Cogs” or “I’ll be faithful to the idea that Cogs only come from Machines, and enact this CfJ to no effect” depending on how they choose to interpret the adverb.

Josh: he/they

10-08-2021 16:09:01 UTC

In that situation I’m not sure that it is core vs dynastic; a passing CfJ isn’t a rule unless it makes a rule. If a CfJ passes that just awards Robinson 10 cogs then it’s dynastic vs ???. Prioritisation even specifically says that it’s only handling conflict that emerges within the ruleset, and I don’t think that the argument that CfJs are ‘an arm of the Core ruleset’ holds water for me.

I don’t have a problem with the language being changed but we’ve had no shortage of CfJs attempting to change gamestate directly lately and I’m not completely sure that they can do that; nor is ais, evidently.

Kevan: City he/him

10-08-2021 16:26:05 UTC

I’d have thought it fell to “When a CfJ is Enacted, the Admin Enacting it shall update the Gamestate and Ruleset [...] as specified in the CfJ” - at that point in the game, Core Rule 1.6 is instructing an admin to update the Gamestate to increase Robinson’s Cogs by 10, and hypothetical Dynastic Rule 2.X is saying not to.

Josh: he/they

10-08-2021 16:50:41 UTC

Okay, sure.

So we’re still left with the word “faithfully” as a problem, which I get. I still think passing this and fixing it or litigating around it makes more sense than failing it and not having anything on the books at all, but your call.

Kevan: City he/him

10-08-2021 17:05:23 UTC

Afraid I’ve either missed a Discord discussion or am failing to remember something from the right angle, over recent game history - what is the pressing issue with the status quo?

Josh: he/they

10-08-2021 18:48:03 UTC

You have not missed a discord discussion.

I’m surprised that this is proving such a heavy lift - you agreed with this approach when I suggested it on Clucky’s CFJ on the same topic.


10-08-2021 19:45:30 UTC

against I’m 100% on board with the intent, not this specific implementation of it.

Admittedly this stuff is… tricky. Maybe worth Proto-ing over on Discord?

Josh: he/they

10-08-2021 19:55:55 UTC

As per Kevan’s comment above, Discord discussion isn’t quite public-forum enough for it to be worth sinking a bunch of energy into; it’ll only get voted down by parties not present.

By all means use this thread to discuss, however; I won’t personally repropose this but happy for someone else to take it up.


10-08-2021 20:09:28 UTC

Maybe we could make a new variable status or add more variable definitions to solve the case where a omnipotent CfJ could set the gamestate to illegal values?

Some high-priority clause that goes something like:

“The gamestate can be set to any value, but only via a CFJ, otherwise the gamestate can only take on values that are allowed by the rest of the Ruleset. A gamestate value that is allowed by this rule but not the rest of the Ruleset is an Eldritch variable. Workers cannot take dynastic actions contingent on the value of an Eldritch variable.”

Kevan: City he/him

11-08-2021 09:43:11 UTC

Illegal gamestate values are a hypothetical example case here, I think, rather than a real problem? The issue Clucky was addressing is that it’s possible for a rule in the appendix (specifically only the appendix?) to inadvertently block CfJs from being made or enacted.

And actually, I’d missed that we have “This Rule may not be overruled by Dynastic Rules.” in the CfJ rule, so I think the “set Robinson’s Cogs to -10” issue is already resolved in favour of the CfJ. But Core doesn’t also say that Votable Matters cannot be overruled, which is where some of the CfJ machinery happens, so it won’t cover all cases.

Raven1207: he/they

11-08-2021 13:29:48 UTC



11-08-2021 17:47:28 UTC

against This is about to time out, and has only 3 FOR votes, with several players at least somewhat uneasy about it.

I still agree with the intent behind the proposal, but hope that there’s some wording for it which would give overwhelming support. (For changes this major, I generally prefer it if the votes aren’t close to 50:50.)