Looney Labs Icehouse Mailing list Archive

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

  • FromShadowfirebird <shadowfirebird@xxxxxxxxx>
  • DateWed, 3 Aug 2011 22:50:09 +0100
On Wed, Aug 3, 2011 at 8:41 PM, Jake Eakle <jseakle@xxxxxxxxx> wrote:
(Apologies if the following sounds a bit harsh. I sometimes come off that way when I'm just trying to be precise, and email can amplify the effect. I do think you're mistaken, but I don't think less of you for it :-)

Not at all -- I'm taking your comments in the spirit of logical discourse, and assuming that you are making them in the same spirit.
I would like to respectfully but emphatically disagree with this argument. Many billions of words have been written in argument over mathematical concepts, and yet they are not open to interpretation.

Um, no.  Unless it were possible to come to more than one interpretation, then billions of words could not, by definition, have been written in *argument*.   They would have all had to agree with each other.  (With even the simplest scientific hypothesis, there is always two arguments: "this is true" and "this is false".)
A large number of people have argued publicly that vaccines cause autism, but their verbiage lends no weight to their utterly unscientific results.

True, but that verbiage is still evidence that they disagree.  They hold a different opinion.  Whether it's one that makes sense is a separate (and no more or less important, from our point of view) point.
In this case, I think the rules (or at least, this rule) are quite well specified. That we have 25+ posts on the subject is an indication only that they are sometimes counterintuitive and confusing, not that they contain ambiguities.

If they are sometimes counterintuitive and confusing, then they are by definition ambiguous, surely?  Ambiguous just means open to interpretation in more than one way.  How can they be counterintuitive and confusing *without* being ambiguous?

But my point was this, really: the amount of discourse provides evidence that there are multiple interpretations of the rules.  Not necessarily *good* interpretations.  Just the fact that there are many interpretations suggests that the rules are not clear.

I would go further and suggest that some of these opinions are in fact good ones, and that some of these good ones are in conflict.  The amount of discourse doesn't prove this, it just hints at it; but If this is the case even once - if a rule can rationally be interpreted in two different, perfectly playable ways -- then this isn't the end of the world.  But it does suggest that the rules aren't perfect.

As I said, my feeling is that the intention of the game is that you create rules that can be reasoned out during the play of the game purely by reference to the pyramid pieces.  If the rules really allow anything else, then that to me suggests that there is either something wrong with the way we are interpreting the rules, or something wrong with the rules.
"May God us keep From Single vision & Newtons sleep."  -- William Blake