View Full Version : Public Investigation#2: May 29 chat - Science queue

May 30, 2002, 12:50 PM
Public Investigation#2: May 29 chat - Science queue
chiefpaco reported that the science advisory queue was not followed in the turn chat of May 29th. This is a mayor violation of the constitution.
Details can be found here (

The discussion is started here.

If there is no negative post in this thread about the incident, this thread is closed and no poll is held. If there is a minimum of one negative post, a poll will be held.

May 30, 2002, 01:24 PM
I am concerned about this violation. Clearly this relates to many issues I, and others, have explored in previous discussions regarding the shortfall of chat decisions.

However, this clearly is a significant problem constitutionally. The law is clear, as since a learning queue was posted by Civinator, only the Science Leader, or his appointed chat rep, could deviate from that queue without a Cabinet Vote. There are damages due to this act, in terms of lost research turns, but in the bigger picture, that is a minimal problem compared to the issue of ignoring posted instructions.

I am confident that no one had evil intent when pushing this through, nevertheless, this is a valid investigation. I would welcome further research and details from the participants as to how this came about.

Bill PDX

May 30, 2002, 01:27 PM
I wanted to follow the science advisor in the turn chat, as the logs show, but there was a spot vote, which overturned it. Even though I was the 5th, and I wasn't 100% sure about going for that tech myself, the majority would have been reached by people currently chatting. And I did say magnatism earlier. Even if I selected mag. like I wanted, it would have been 4 to 1, still a majority for theory of gravity.

May 30, 2002, 01:37 PM
I question the need for a spot vote in that situation, and therefore the validity of such a vote.

Nothing critical to the events in that turn session itself would occur that required it. On the other had, the elected leader of that department had left exceptionally clear instructions as to what the queue should be.

This appears, at this early point, to be a situation where those assembled at the chat disagreed with the Department Head, and used their power as chat attendees to override the instructions of that elected leader.

In my opinion, this is a gross violation of our constitution, and highlites the dangers of our chat based game playing.

Again, no ill will meant for those involved, as I am certain they have the best interests of Phoenatica at heart.

Bill PDX

May 30, 2002, 01:39 PM
Here are the log details. At this point, we had just finished researching Physics:

[20:54] <Chieftess> what's next for science?
[20:54] <donsig> we need a vote on that CT
[20:54] <Chieftess> ok.
[20:55] <Curufinwe> Theory of Gravity, what do you say?
[20:55] <sike> Free Artistry?
[20:55] <Chieftess> Free Artristy in 9, metallurgy in 8...theory and magnet in 12
[20:55] <chiefP> Civanator said Free Artistry or Metallurgy
[20:55] <donsig> NSD says magnatism in firth post
[20:55] <chiefP> oops, missed that. yes
[20:55] <donsig> *first post
[20:55] <Falcon02> I say Theory
[20:55] <Curufinwe> AS do I
[20:56] <donsig> I call for a vote on theory of gravity
[20:56] <Curufinwe> Who wants Theory of Gravity?
[20:56] <Curufinwe> say I if you do
[20:56] <Curufinwe> I
[20:56] <donsig> I
[20:56] <sike> i want sanitation so theory is good
[20:56] <chiefP> I vote against going against civanator
[20:56] <Chieftess> Better shipping, but England may have their area filled.
[20:56] <Curufinwe> Newton's
[20:56] <Chieftess> It's a pangaea map, so no real hope for small islands.
[20:56] <BlueStrider> Newton's sounds good I
[20:56] <Chieftess> I was thinking mag.
[20:57] <Curufinwe> 4 for it
[20:57] <Curufinwe> who wants Magnetism
[20:57] <sike> what's the vote count?
[20:57] <Curufinwe> SAy I
[20:57] <Curufinwe> 4 for theory
[20:57] <Chieftess> mewtons.
[20:57] <Chieftess> We need the science.
[20:57] <Curufinwe> 5 for theory
[20:57] <donsig> one vote a t a time please
[20:57] <Chieftess> I think there's a bug that says we know the secrets..
[20:57] <chiefP> umm, didn't our science advisor say magnetism?
[20:57] <Chieftess> When I try to click th. of gra.
[20:58] <BlueStrider> What happens?
[20:58] <Chieftess> Ayang expands!
[20:58] <donsig> yes, CP but we are trying to fulfill the citizen's wishes by building Newton's University
[20:58] <Chieftess> It says "We know those secrets"
[20:58] <sike> cool
[20:58] <Curufinwe> What, check if we can build NEwton's then
[20:58] <Chieftess> El-Armarna expands!
[20:58] <sike> smartewr than we thought
[20:58] <sike> smarter
[20:58] <chiefP> ok. investigation pending.

May 30, 2002, 01:42 PM
Just to clarify, I'm still not 100% familar with all of the rules, and I thought this spot vote was just like any other.

May 30, 2002, 01:44 PM
ok. we should wait for donsig statement now. as he initiated the poll, he should state why here.

May 30, 2002, 01:48 PM
but one thing: as we see from the chat, chieftess is relieved. donsig startet the vote.
maybe the only thing ct will have to do is get more experience with the chat.

May 30, 2002, 01:51 PM
I'm concerned about a few facts here:

The vote.

- Was called by the domestic leader. I'm pretty sure he has the authority. I'd rather the player start the vote, so it is easy for them to follow, but that is ok.
- Justification was provided: Wonder building program.
- Not very clear to the voting results. The best I can tell, 4 citizens wanted to research ToG next and 2 seemed against. But there wasn't a yes/no vote to make it clear.

The queue.
- No justification is provided for science techs and there is a clause in the queue that research is debateable.
- The queue is over-ridable by a cabinet vote. Or is it citizen vote? We had a citizen vote in this case.

I'd suggest:
- Science queues be given some reason and discussion prior to game turns.
- Votes be controlled by the player or at least very clearly held by another citizen.
- Facts about the ramifications of a vote be repeated before the vote. We still had some debate going over the merits of the vote during the vote.
- Getting a reaction by Civanator. His queue was changed. What does he think?

May 30, 2002, 01:57 PM
Originally posted by disorganizer
but one thing: as we see from the chat, chieftess is relieved. donsig startet the vote.
maybe the only thing ct will have to do is get more experience with the chat.

And it was one of my first times playing a full chat.

I've played 2 or 3 partial ones (a couple of turns), and atleast 1 full one.

May 30, 2002, 02:01 PM
I called for the spot vote since there was no one from the NSD present at the turn chat.

I had posted the following in the NSD thread in the governemnt sub-forum ( at 5:48 PM (GMT) on May 29.

I have made the two trades and we once again have Indian silk imports. We also gained democracy from the Aztecs.

We are researching physics and will have it in 7 turns since I am upping the research rate. We need Theory of Gravity next and Free Artistry after that in order to implement our wonder building program.

Would the NSD please implement this research order?

Since there was no reply at all, either yeah or nay, from the NSD, I called for the spot vote.

Here is an information poll the domestic dept. conducted regarding

building great wonders. (

Here is an information poll the domestic dept. conducted regarding

which wonders should be built. (

Here is a citizen discussion started by the domestic department about building wonders. (

Given the fierce competition we face in building these wonders and the sentiments put forward by citizens I felt it appropriate to make a push for the required technologies. I asked for NSD authorization and gettig no response I called for a spot vote.

May 30, 2002, 02:02 PM
* in the chat, all votes are citizen-votes. all citizens in the chat are full-voters.
* it is not the player, but the highest rank coc-officer to start the vote. in this case, ct started play as at that time highes coc, then donsig came in. he is higher in the coc, so he was able to start a vote.
i think this all adds to the fact the constitution hase some flaws. but thats life. thats why we discuss here.

May 30, 2002, 02:05 PM

You raise excellent points.

I would counter by saying that justification is not provided in many instructions posted in the turn chat instructions themselves. Civinator was the elected representative, and he left clear instructions.

I would guess that the "research is debatable" comment is intended to spur discussion within that thread, and not be used as an open invitation to ignore the research queue during chat. But Civinator can speak to that himself.

I would also like to know more about your comment indicating that some concern about the validity of the vote. From the snippet posted, it appears that you were the only attendee to argue that the queue should have been followed.

Bill PDX

May 30, 2002, 02:07 PM
Also recorded on the first PI thread, Chiefpaco noted that the NSD said research was debatable:

May 30, 2002, 02:15 PM
donsig: do i see it right you changed the research queue to comply to the will of the citizenry of the order of wonder-building?

if yes, good. this should be ok then, maybe a warning.
if no, bad!

second question:
how long was the time between you post in NDS and the chat?

May 30, 2002, 02:22 PM
Originally posted by donsig
I called for the spot vote since there was no one from the NSD present at the turn chat.

Since there was no reply at all, either yeah or nay, from the NSD, I called for the spot vote.

I asked for NSD authorization and gettig no response I called for a spot vote.

Hail donsig!

I voted for you in the Presidential race, and hope that you will prevail.

On this issue though, I am afraid I differ. Given the times posted (and correct me there if I am reading it wrong), it would seem that you allowed about two hours for receiving a response from Civinator.

Given that not everyone can attend chat, and that he had posted clear instructions, I can't see why a spot vote was needed. This is just an example of how the wishes of department heads can be overriden when they cannot attend chat.

Whatever the outcome here, I hope we all recognize that this ongoing issue is a fundamental problem with our game. The ability to call a spot vote to directly ignore instructions from a department in a non-time critical situation, is not a good thing in my view.

Thank you though for being forthright and clear in your reasoning.

Bill PDX

May 30, 2002, 02:31 PM
I guess we have another issue then. Does the Wonder program qualify as an emergency enough to override a Leader's queue.

I'm for spot votes for handling emergencies, but I don't think we can set a precedent for chat-room changes that are not critical.

It appears the science queue was set at 8:43PM of the day before the chat. This should be enough time for debate. 1 citizen debated the queue before the chat. I think more than one has to object before it is set to a poll, no? Or does the chatroom qualify as a place where it may be seconded/objected?

May 30, 2002, 02:39 PM
Well now that i'm on i am a little mad that instructions were not followed. What i meant by "Research is debatable" is to debate before the turn chat. no one questioned the research so the queue should have been followed.

May 30, 2002, 02:42 PM
i had a misinterpretation of the constitution in my post before:
* the citizen-spot-polls in the chat are not defined in the constitution!
* a cabinet-spot-vote would have been needed to override the queue in the sense of the constitution.

the question will be: how will citizen-spot-votes be counted?

to other posts: are post-times local-timezoned by the forum? i think yes, so be careful with the times!

May 30, 2002, 02:47 PM
I thing that irks me, though, is that, IIRC, we've never had a poll concerning where to go with science.

May 30, 2002, 02:59 PM
On this issue though, I am afraid I differ. Given the times posted (and correct me there if I am reading it wrong), it would seem that you allowed about two hours for receiving a response from Civinator.

No, it was over six hours.

Civanator last editied the first post in the NSD thread at 1:43 AM (GMT) on May 29.

Four minutes before doing that Civanator posted this in the NSD thread: (

i'm sorry i didn't respond for a while i had a memorial day party and was setin up all weekend. Yes we should start pre-building newton's Uni in PDX

He seems to also want to build Newton's University but then queues up the required tech in spot five or six in the science queue.

I laid the ground work for the wonder as domestic leader but needed NSD cooperation to complete the project. I asked for proper authorization and did not receive an answer.

Now that I look at things, isn't Strider the deputy for the NSD? Is Strider the same as BlueStrider in the turn chat?

[20:56] <BlueStrider> Newton's sounds good I

So much for the reasoning behind calling for the vote. I wouldn't even know where to start on whether we should have done a cabinet or citizen vote.
I would still like to address the issue of whether the vote was necessary or not. Stay tuned. Same Bat Time. Same Bat Channel.

May 30, 2002, 03:00 PM
That's the other concern. Timezones. I think everyone's starting to assume that we all sit at our computers reloading the forum every minute or so, just waiting for a message. Someone in Belguim writing at 8:00AM there time, would be 1:00 AM, my time, I believe. If there was to be a debate (i.e., that person wrote it), it would be atleast 8-10 hours before I replied. This doesn't take into account the fact that I might be working all day, and can't post until 6:30 PM (after my dinner) - 30 minutes before chat time. That would give me 30 minutes to find a post that I never knew existed. (out of a good, maybe 50-70 posts). I also only have a 56/7K modem, not an ISDN line, or cable, like some people. So, it takes MUCH longer for me to load the pages and read them.

This is just an example.

May 30, 2002, 04:10 PM
From the constitution: (
Article 6: There will be a separate instruction thread for each chat turn. This thread should be set up as soon as the chat turn is scheduled. All instructions to be played out in that chat turn should be placed in this thread. Any instructions that are not posted to this thread before the start of the chat turn are not considered official. [Added May 17, 2002]

Here is the May 29 turn chat thread. (
Constitutionally, there was no science queue. In the absence of turn chat instructions on important issues we have routinely called for spot votes in the past.

In reality there were instructions from the NSD. I pointed them out and then called for the vote to further the aims of the domestic department which in my belief were based on the wishes of our citizens. I did (and still do) believe that the time element is important in getting wonders built right now. There is fierce competition right now for wonders. We lost Copernicus's Observatory and there were cascades to Magellan's Voyage. Researching magnetism first would have taken twelve turns. The science rate was already as high as it could go without causing a deficit and the treasury was about empty. In my opinion not reseaching either theory of gravity or free artistry would have cost us a wonder.
Finally, there is the question raised earlier about whether the NSD science queue is even based upon the wishes of the citizens. If the NSD thread is reviewed for the period of May 25 through May 29 it will be seen that there were citizen calls for either theory of gravity or free artistry.

May 30, 2002, 04:59 PM
Instructions have to be posted in the turn chat instruction thread. - The instructions weren't posted so weren't technically valid. They were known, however. No foul in the turn chat, based on instructions not being where they were supposed to be.

A Cabinet Vote is required to overrule a Leader's instructions. - Citizen Polls handle all of the in game occurences. This was an error in the turn chat but no foul as there was no valid Leader instruction. The poll was properly a Citizen Poll.

The Designated Player is the only one who can call a Cabinet Vote. - The highest COC member called the Vote. No foul. As there were no valid instructions it was proper for Donsig to call a Citizen Poll.

A Cabinet member may be impeached for disobeying the results of polls. - The polls on the forum clearly showed what the citizens wanted. Kudos for steering the game along the lines desired by the citizens.

Verdict - Drop the case due to lack of a crime. No punishment.

May 30, 2002, 05:10 PM
i am sorry about what i said cause i messed up. when i posted i had a huge migraine and couldn't think straight. i didn't even remember posting that. Donsig made the right decision. i'm sorry for gettin mad. so no one should get mad any more cause it was mostly my fault for posting 2 different things. and right now my head is hurting too form allergies so i'm probably not thinking straigh either.

May 30, 2002, 05:32 PM
We're not mad Civ!:)

I think spot votes are supposed to be investigated no matter what. This is not a 'witch hunt' but an honest effort to ensure that government officials are not mis-using their offices against the wishes of the citizens.

May 30, 2002, 05:34 PM
Hope ya feel better civ!

May 30, 2002, 05:58 PM
Given Shaitan's review of the constitutionality, donsig's forthright explainations, and the fact that Civinator no longer objects; I too withdraw my complaints about the spot vote.

As always, as cast no suspicious on those involved, I merely was hoping to learn details sufficient to justify the overriding of a cabinet member.

Bill PDX

May 30, 2002, 06:10 PM
Another good point was made by Donsig: Between this turn and the last, there were not 1 but 4 pleas made in the science thread for techs of either Theory of Gravity or of Free Artistry to be researched next. No pleas were made for Magnetism. Why these pleas were not at least addressed is perhaps a result of Civanator's recent health. I think there should have ideally been a thread & perhaps a vote on the next science to be researched. In this case, Strider was on hand to provide guidance during the chat.

On these grounds, and with Civanator accepting the vote, I believe the vote is justified.

In order to avoid this in the future, should we state that the science queue must be included in the chat instructions? Or is it enough to assume they are updated in the first NSD post?

Also, I think we should remind our cabinet to try to act on the pleas of the citizenry and for deputies to work as close as possible with their department head to provide help in times of need.

May 31, 2002, 12:14 PM
ok. so i believe there are no negative comments left?
if there are, they should be stated till sunday. otherwise the investigation will be closed and no action will be taken.

May 31, 2002, 12:32 PM
Good decision, Dis. I agree. (But if we take out the ". I", it says Disagree...):)

Jun 02, 2002, 02:13 PM
investigation closed due to lack of public interest