On 2014-02-21 11:59 PM, Charles Reiss wrote:
(a) whether my ruling was based on the meaning of "win the game", or was based
on R2419 having insufficient.
The primary basis of my judgment is that, in the Agoran tradition, "win the
game" does not imply ending Agora. I considered whether R2419 had the power to
end Agora because it provides an alternate and much clearer basis for judging
FALSE, but I believe the CFJ is resolved without reaching this issue.
Agoran tradition is that there are many winners and gameplay continues after
winners are declared. Agoran rules on continuity of the game like R1698
strongly support this tradition. Past judgments (e.g. CFJ 2987) also support
this contention. Also, the last time "winning the game" was more explicitly
defined in the rules, it was not defined to not end play of Agora, and there
is no evidence that the new game-winning rules were intended (or must be read)
to change this custom.
On the contrary, it used to be explicitly stated "winning the game does
not cause Agora to end", and moreover rule 101 used to say Agora "since
its inception has functioned not only a game but as a society". Then the
ruleset was radically overhauled.
In the new ruleset there were no statements that winning the game does
not end, no statements about how Agora has functioned since the start.
"Agora is a game of Nomic." If this does not signal an intent to break
from tradition, it should at least signal that the prior tradition lost
a lot of weight.
The context of R2419 provides additional evidence for this non-destructive
mode of "winning". R2419's "reset scores to 0" procedure clearly does not
envision an Agora-destroying interpretation.
Is this the argument that, if the game ends, then "reset to 0" has no
effect, and we should prefer an interpretation where the clause has effect?
But if winning didn't end the game, it seems it had no effect. (No
titles, no nothing.... gosh, what a ripoff!) We should prefer an
interpretation where "winning" has effect, and "winning" seems like the
more important one to give effect to.
In addition, even if it were
still close call, we can reasonably prefer an interpretation that R2419 that
can be effective at its Power over one which would require it to have a higher
No argument is advanced that ending the game is secured, other than R1698.
(b) whether, if R2419 clearly called for ending Agora, this would be barred by
R1698 since the game would not exist to be ossified.
This, I believe, is a mistake in reading R1698. R1698 defines the term "Agora
is ossified"; it does not general define what it means for a nomic to be
ossified. Under R1698's definition, something can "cause Agora to become
ossified" even when Agora does not exist. Since R1698 also replaces the
offending gamestate change rather than resetting it after the fact, that R1698
might be destroyed by some gamestate change does not render R1698 ineffective
against that change.
It is correct that R1698 had a chance to act before the game ended. So
Alex Smith's proposed amendment would have been effective in preventing
the end of the game. But in absense of that amendment, it remains to be
shown that ending Agora falls under "causing Agora to become ossified".
Agora's not ossified, it's just done. Now, G. objects that it depends on
what the meaning of the word "is" is... A finished game still "exists",
and is therefore ossified, therefore ending is prevented by R1698. I
don't see in what sense this could be true.
Agora blurred the lines somewhat between what G. called "in-game" and
"meta-game", but no amount of blurring could make the rules compelling
per se. They compelled because we agreed to play the game, and such
agreements, even if implicit, are still necessarily outside of the game.
They are conceptually distinct from the in-game "Citizenship" switches.
Ending the game discharges our agreement. Now, we could all agree to
restart with the rules as we left them. But that would be a new
agreement (like "double-or-nothing?" "Best two-out-of-three?"), and
those who do not agree aren't said to be _quitting_ the game. Agreed? :-)
(c) the wisdom of evaluating the "best interests of the game" when the game
might not exist.
No, that wasn't it. Of course there was a game to consider the best
interest of, prior to ending it. What remains to be shown is that it was
in the best interest of the game to continue it indefinitely. People
win, games end; this is not harmful. To assert that Agora isn't the sort
of game that ends is to beg the question!
-Dan, for Queen Davy.