Looney Labs Icehouse Mailing list Archive

Re: [Icehouse] [Zendo] Another Spock Rule question

  • FromJody Chandler <windblownhermit@xxxxxxxxx>
  • DateMon, 1 Aug 2011 07:56:01 -0700 (PDT)
I'm no Trekkie, but from what I've seen of Star Trek, Spock does speak English.  But that's beside the point for me.
I would say that incorporating the rules of other games counts as an invalid reference outside the koan, but it is in that gray area of things that are not specifically made example of in the rules of Zendo, that I am aware. 

The problem is that while it is technically possible, with a Master that has memorized the scrabble dictionary, to come up with the rule in other terms, it has been pointed out it would be ridiculously complex.  For example, I looked up the letters brygopc (blue red yellow green orange purple cyan) in an online scrabble word-finder since it was obvious you were using both rainbow and zeno, and it came up with 42 valid scrabble words.  If I add just the letter "t" for "transparent," it jumps up to 70 words!  Just imagine stumbling on the rule that produces that many combinations of colors without reference to scrabble rules!  Once any Zendo master has to start getting out his phone to check for valid words (you can't grab a scrabble dictionary you'd give it away; and I don't imagine the master knowing for sure all 42 of these combinations), I imagine players starting to cry foul. 

Add to this the ambiguity of certain colors that you mentioned.  Cyan is Cyan, but Cyan is also Blue.  Purple is also Violet.  Clear is also Transparent.  These are valid ways of referring to the colors of the pyramids and it adds an ambiguity that simply destroys the functionality of the rule. 

--- On Mon, 8/1/11, Ryan Hackel <deeplogic@xxxxxxxxxx> wrote:

From: Ryan Hackel <deeplogic@xxxxxxxxxx>
Subject: [Icehouse] [Zendo] Another Spock Rule question
To: icehouse@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Date: Monday, August 1, 2011, 7:53 AM

Since we're on the subject of the Spock Rule, I have a question from a recent session that I've been meaning to bring up.

The rule was "A koan has the Buddha Nature if the first letter of each color in a stack of pyramids, read from top to bottom, spells out a legit Scrabble-acceptable word."  For example, a stack of pyramids with a "B"lue on top of an "O"range on top of a "G"reen spells "BOG" and thus has the Buddha Nature, while a stack of Red-Purple-Yellow spells 'RPY" and lacks the Buddha Nature. 

Our cunning master argued that the BH was a function of the pyramids alone, independent of other things, and met the Spock Rule.  I countered, saying that it falsely assumed that Spock can spell in the English language. (We also argued about whether purple also counted as violet.)

Bottom Line: Does a rule that involves spelling or language violate the Spock Rule?

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