Re: Dare I say...testing?/Round Summary #1

From: Aron Wall (
Date: Sat Mar 02 2002 - 14:34:30 PST

Matthew Cooper wrote:

> Hi.
> I'm not sure whether I've successfully subscribed to the frc list.  Is this
> getting through?  Is the list still alive?  The last references I found to
> it on the web are dated no later than the middle of last year.
> Apologies if this /does/ get through and annoy everyone, but my patience is
> merely virtual.
> Cheers,
> Matthew.
> --
> Rule Date: 2002-03-02 15:00:04 GMT

Welcome!  It appears that you have gotten through.  I am the Judge of Round
178, and the round summaries on the web are usually about half a year behind,
so don't worry about that.  I have no idea why you think that we might be
annoyed at your presence; new players are welcome at any time.  The Round is
themed "Peculiar Restrictions" and you still have time to post a rule this
round if you want to.  Only rules 1, 2, 3, and 8 are VALID so you only really
have to worry about them.  I am mailing this both to the mailing list and to
you directly, so you should recieve this message twice.  At the bottom of this
message is a copy of the Regular Ordinances; these should be scrutinized
closely as they are the permanent rules of the game.

I shall now put out a summary of the round to date:

Player                                        Eligible
Until:                            Total Style:
Jonathan Van Matre              03-5 20:19:09 GMT                    +1
Richard S. Holmes                  03-6 21:05:06 GMT                     0
Michael Slone                          03-5 20:19:09 GMT                     0

Alan Riddell                              03-6 21:30:06 GMT
Factitious                                   03-5 20:19:09
GMT                   -1
Karl Low                                   03-5 20:19:09
GMT                     0
James Willson                          03-7 14:19:09 GMT                   +2
(style and eligibility leader)
Everybody Else                       03-6 20:19:09 GMT                     0

Rule Judgements:

[Rule 178:1    VALID    +1]

 Jonathan Van Matre wrote:

 Ah!  The joys of etymology.  As I consult, I find the following
luscious tidbit of

 "Main Entry: 1pe·cu·liar
 Pronunciation: pi-'kyül-y&r
 Function: adjective
 Etymology: Middle English peculier, from Latin peculiaris of private
property, special, from peculium private property, from pecu cattle; akin to
Latin pecus cattle"
 Isn't it delightful that the word peculiar derives from one of the most
mundane of modern

Therefore, all Fantasy Rules will make reference to cattle, in honor of the
humble bovine
origins of the term peculiar.

Rule Date: 2002-02-27 20:19:09 GMT

Validity: TRUE
Style: Well, I suppose this is a little amusing. +1

The Wizard

[178:2    VALID    0]

"Richard S. Holmes" wrote:

> Consulting the Shorter Oxford English Dictionary, we also find:
> "peculiar:  B n 1. Eccl.  A parish or church exempt from the
> jurisdiction of the docese in which it lies."
> How to incorporate this idea of exemption?  I am too cowed at the
> prospect of proposing a temporary override of the R.O.s, but no such
> proposal is needed for the following:
>   No future rule shall obey its own restriction.
> Whether this rule obeys its own restriction I leave to others to
> figure out.
> --
> - Rich Holmes
>   Syracuse, NY
> --
> Rule Date: 2002-02-27 21:05:06 GMT

Validity:  VALID

Style:  While this rule follows in the footsteps of the first rule in
seeking a nice etymological meaning for peculiar, the manner in which it
implements the restriction is anything but peculiar, in the ordinary
sense of the word, it having been used innumerable times in the past.
So no points. 0

The Wizard

[N.B. to Matthew: Rules are required to obey their own restrictions if they
say that "All rules must...", or possibly even "From now on, rules must...".
Make sure to only apply restrictions to future rules unless you know that the
other rules that you are applying the restriction to obey it (and in this
round, you cannot apply your restriction to your own rule, due to this rule).]

[178:3    VALID    -1.5]

Alan Riddell wrote:

> 178:3
> ====
> I have a cow hat on my head...  It stops me from shaking my head, else my
> ears would fall off. Future rule makers shall not wear cow hats.
> ====
Rule Date: 2002-02-27 21:30:06 GMT

While restricting authors not to wear cow hats might be considered peculiar
in that it is a rather odd rule to impose, I cannot see that the restriction
is very much of a restriction.  It is absolutely unenforcable unless the
author of a rule confesses to be wearing a cow hat in their rule, which is
unlikely to happen to say the least.  Just becuase your restriction is to be
peculiar does not mean that it should also be pointless. -1.5 style.

Note to future rules: if I see a restriction of a dramatically different
kind than is found in most rules, that shall be rewarded.  It is easy enough
to have a restriction be peculiar in the sense of having nothing to do with

The Wizard

[178:4    INVALID    -1]

Jonathan Van Matre wrote:

I am not wearing a cow hat.

All future rules will use the Exquisite Cow method of generating rules.
Exquisite Cow bears a
marked resemblance to the surrealist composition method known as "exquisite
corpse", and is played in the following manner:

A new or valid player submits a private e-mail to a valid player containing
exactly one word for the rule-in-progress.  That player adds one word and
forwards the rule-in-progress privately to another valid player.  Each player
should also add eir initials in parentheses following eir word, to keep
everyone honest.

This process continues until a player in possession of the rule-in-progress
deems it complete, at which point the player sends the rule to the author of
the first word.  The author of the first word then submits the rule to the FRC
forum and receives credit for its composition, unless e believes it to be
INVALID, in which case e may circulate it again for further revision.  The
author of the first word may also punctuate as necessary before submitting the


 Rule Date: 2002-02-27 22:26:34 GMT

Judgement: INVALID.  This rule violates the Regular Ordinances:

#1: "Fantasy rules shall have no effect on play except as provided for in the
regular ordinances." Yet this rule restricts players in a domain (their
private emailing), which is nowhere allowed by the R.O.'s.  The only effect a
rule can have is that caused by its status (VALID, INVALID, UNSUCCESSFUL) and
being inconsistant with future fatasy rules.

#10: "All actions under these rules must be accomplished by a public posting
in the official
committee forum."  This seems to be problematic with respect to this method of
generating fantasy rules, as the forum is currently the FRC mailing list, and
private email is not part of that forum.   I might be prusuaded to take a
lighter view of this R.O., that only the actual actions specified in the
R.O.'s, (submitting rules, proposals, etc.) must take place in the
forum, and that this does not mean that rules cannot make other rules
consistant or not based on non-Forum information (i.e. websites, stock quotes,
ancient Earth history, etc.).  But in this case it would be impossible for the
Judge to determine whether a rule has been constructed
according to the Exquisite Cow construction, so this rule is unworkable.

Also, what on earth is a "new or valid" player?  Only rules are VALID or
INVALID.  Players are eligible or ineligible, and new players are
automatically eligible.

Style: -1 due to multiple inconsistancies with the Regular Ordinances, and
confusion of terminology.

The Wizard

[178:5    INVALID    0]

Michael Slone wrote:

> -----begin rule-----
> This rule is exempt from the requirements of 178:4, pending patent
> litigation from beyond the grave.
> A cow hat is a method for determining whether certain restrictions are
> in effect.  The cow hat is worn by a rule maker with respect to a rule
> just when that rule obeys its own restriction.  For instance, 178:2
> indicates that rules submitted after it, shall not obey their own
> restriction.  Because 178:2 restricts only rules submitted after it,
> it vacuously obeys its own restriction; therefore, Rich Holmes wears
> the cow hat with respect to 178:2.  The next rule, 178:3, attempts to
> extend the restriction of 178:3; it requires future rule makers ---
> that is, those besides Johnathan Van Matre, Rich Holmes, and Alan
> Riddell --- not to wear the cow hat, not just with respect to the
> rules they write, but with respect to any rules.
> It might appear that Alan Riddell wears the cow hat with respect to
> 178:3 --- after all, the first sentence seems to indicate so, and Alan
> Riddell, who is not a future rule maker, could not possibly be a
> future rule maker who does not wear the cow hat.  But 178:3 is valid,
> which implies that Alan Riddell does not wear the cow hat with respect
> to 178:3, a contradiction.  According to Cowine, we may reject even
> seemingly sensible hypotheses instead of patently absurd ones in the
> face of contradiction and obtain a consistent system, but we are then
> forced to reinterpret sufficiently many terms of our language, though
> perhaps not in the same rule, in order to do so.  Hence we may
> conclude that wearing the cow hat with respect to a rule, while having
> the definition given in the second sentence of this rule, is such that
> it is never correct to say of a rule maker that e does or that e does
> not wear the cow hat with respect to any particular rule.
> Buzz.     Moo.     Buzz.
> ------end rule------

Judgement: INVALID.  Cowine may think it permissible to clam that Alan
Riddell both did and did not wear the cowhat, and that this is the way to
escape from the contradiction.  But the possibility that THIS rule is
INVALID was apparently not considered by the learned authority, which the
Judge thinks is even more reasonable.

Style: Densely inconsistant -1.


It having been brought to my attention that Michael Slone is a new
player who has submitted 178:5 as his first rule, that rule shall
recieve a traditional bonus to its style due to that fact.  The bonus
shall be one point, bringing the total score of the rule to 0.

The Wizard

[178:6    INVALID    -1]

Factitious wrote:

>     The seaside town of Fanshore is hosting a boat race. Each fantasy
> rule from now on will state the name of one vessel competing in the
> race.  My boat, the Cowfish, is the only submarine in the race.
>     Oh, wait; now that I think about it carefully, that restriction's
> been used before.  I'd better include my own restriction, too.
>     Future rules must correctly use semicolons at least as many times as
> they include the letter 'u', not counting uses of 'u' in the word
> 'udder'.
> --
> Rule Date: 2002-02-27 23:27:19 GMT

INVALID.  The statement "I'd better include my own restriction too" implies
that the first restriction IS in effect.  Yet this rule obeys that
restriction, despite being commanded by 178:2 not to do so.

Style: Merely pointing out the unstylish and unthematic qualities of a
restriction is not stylish if the restriction is included nonetheless.  No
format for a restriction is more worn out and common than the "All rules
shall name a..." type.  The absurdity in the repitition had an element of
humor, but when I am glad that a rule is INVALID, I must assign negative
style. to it. -1

The Wizard

[178:7    INVALID    0]

Karl Low wrote:

> I'm amazed we've herd no bad puns up til now. A good thing too, I assume,
> udder-wise I could see people really milking it. Let's keep it that way.
> --
> Rule Date: 2002-02-28 09:28:17 GMT

INVALID.  I'm sorry, but the statement that there have been no bad puns until
now is inconsistant with the rules to date.

Style: 0

The Wizard

[178:8    VALID    +2]

James Willson wrote:

> 178:8
> >>>>>>>>>>
> All subsequent rules which reference cattle must include
> a slightly modified restriction from another nomic
> or nomic variant not referenced this way
> and tell us the source of the restriction.
> >>>>>>>>>>
> --
> Rule Date: 2002-02-28 14:02:04 GMT

VALID.  You know, I think I'll give this rule 2 whole style points for
the reason that the rules to date really require only reference to
cattle and not to obey their own restriction, which seems easy enough,
yet the last four rules have all been INVALID.  And the restriction is
genuinely peculiar. +2

The Wizard

[Note that text in square brackets is not part of the Regular Ordinances]

[Historical Note:

The FR Committee began life as a registered committee of the Nomic World
on-line game, but has survived the disbanding of Nomic World and
continues as a fully independent game.


Regular Ordinances of the Fantasy Rules Committee (FRC)

1. Ordinances.  There shall be two types of ordinances: regular ordinances
   and fantasy rules.  Fantasy rules shall have no effect on play except
   as provided for in the regular ordinances.

2. Membership.  Any person may become a member of this committee by
   posting in the committee forum a statement of intent to join.
   A member may resign from the committee at any time.

3. Starting a Round and posting Rules.
   Whenever a round of play ends, a new round should begin as soon as
   possible thereafter. The (new) Judge shall determine the exact time
   of the start of the round, and e may also suggest a theme for the
   round and nominate a member to post the first fantasy rule.
   All members are eligible as if they had posted a valid fantasy
   rule at the start of the round.
   Only those persons eligible to play may post fantasy rules.
   The Judge is not eligible.

4. Eligibility to play. Each valid fantasy rule makes its author eligible
   to play. This eligibility period lasts for seven (7) days from the
   time of the rule's posting minus one (1) day for each invalid fantasy
   rule posted by the same person after the valid fantasy rule.

5. End of Game.  If at any time after the seventh day of a round, there is
   only one person eligible to play, then
   (a) all current fantasy rules are repealed
   (b) the round ends
   (c) the sole remaining player is declared winner of the just ended
       round and becomes Judge.

6.  Judge.  The Judge is responsible for interpreting the ordinances and
    determining the validity of fantasy rules. If a fantasy rule is
    inconsistent with itself, previously posted valid fantasy rules, or
    the regular ordinances, then the Judge shall declare that rule invalid
    or unsuccesful, otherwise e shall declare it valid.

6a. A fantasy rule can only be declared unsuccesful if the only rule or
    rules it is inconsistent with are other fantasy rules for which it
    is reasonable to assume that the poster of the rule had not seen them
    before e posted the rule.

6b. Resignation.  The Judge may resign if e appoints a successor who agrees
    to serve as Judge until the end of the round.
[The new Judge becomes ineligible to play upon the old Judge's resignation.]

7.  Style Points.  For each fantasy rule posted, the Judge shall award X
    points, where -3<=X<=3.  The Judge may use any criteria e sees fit for
    such awards.  At the end of a Round the Player who has collected the
    most Style Points will be the Wizard in the next Round.

8.  Restrictions on Judge's Power. The decision of the Judge may be
    changed if a proposal is made to do so and that proposal
    receives a two-thirds affirmative vote of the members voting on
    that proposal within three (3) days after the posting of that

    Default. If the Judge does not declare judgment of a fantasy
    rule within three (3) days after its posting, e shall be
    considered then to have decided and declared that rule valid.

9.  Amendment.  The regular ordinances may be amended if a proposal is
    posted to do so and said proposal receives a two-thirds (2/3)
    affirmative vote of the members voting on that proposal within seven
    (7) days after the posting of that proposal.
    Overrule. The regular ordinances may be overruled for a single
    round if a proposal is posted to do so and said proposal receives
    a two-thirds (2/3) affirmative vote of the members voting on that
    proposal within three (3) days after the posting of that proposal.

10.  Where to Do Things.  All actions under these rules must be accomplished
     by a public posting in the official committee forum.
     The Judge may determine the location and nature of the official
     committee forum.

[As of now, "Public posting" is posting to the mailing list .]
[The official time of a post is the time on the "Rule Date" timestamp
 appended to that post]

The Wizard Judge

Rule Date: 2002-03-02 22:37:02 GMT

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