Moment to moment assent

Take it four people are playing monopoly. Two of them, while on a smoke break, decide they will collect $300 every time they pass go, instead of $200 (say everyone gets it from the bank themselves, or one of the smokers is the banker).

From moment to moment, the two smokers assent that it’s $300 that you take when you pass go.

From moment to moment the other two players assent that it’s $200 that you take when you pass go, and are unaware the smokers are taking $300 each time.

Are the other two players in assent with the smokers, since they keep ‘going along’ with it? What do you all think?

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16 Comments

  1. Tommi said,

    29 July, 2009 at 2:15 pm

    I would say there is cheating and deceit happening, at least. That the other players go along is irrelevant, since they don’t know what is going on.

    I’m not sure “in assent” is well-defined in this situation. I don’t know what you mean by it, at least.

  2. Callan said,

    29 July, 2009 at 5:59 pm

    That’s pretty much what I was thinking, Tommi!

    Did you follow ‘The smelly chamberlain’ on Vincents anyway blog?
    (Damn, my internet is acting up or I’d give a link to it)
    Basically the rule is the GM decides if an NPC is smelly, but the group decides, by themselves (the GM doesn’t know this) that they will act like the chamberlain is smelly. Basically the same as the monopoly example – the rule is one way, but part of the group decides to act as if it’s another way.

    Then there was a thread on anyway, about authority. It seemed to lead to frustration for all, in terms of my enquiry. But as you wonder about how ‘in assent’ is being used, I started asking about the words used.

    I think Vincents using the word ‘assent’ like…hold on for a bad analogy…like someone who isn’t a vegetarian might call meat ‘food’. And I’m coming to it like a vegetarian going ‘No, that’s not food!’ and he keeps saying ‘Yes it is! It’s moment to moment food!’

  3. Tommi said,

    31 July, 2009 at 1:21 am

    (I could swear I already responded. Strange.)

    I do follow Anyway.

    I think that assent is a fundamental thing in all roleplaying. Explicitly assigning authority here and there is a way of making assent easier and making certain fiction and ways of playing possible or easier. This view is less useful when analysing normal games, where something like authority typically makes the activity possible.

    If we take assent to mean that everyone accepts what happens in the fiction/on the formal level, than what is relevant is that the activity can continue as long as nobody openly objects to something or the activity as a whole. Assenting people don’t object, but not objecting does not always mean assent.

  4. Callan said,

    31 July, 2009 at 8:01 am

    “Assenting people don’t object, but not objecting does not always mean assent.”
    Well, I agree that’s the physical situation. In the monopoly example, the two non-smokers aren’t objecting, but they aren’t assenting either. They just don’t know.

    I think in the smelly chamberlain examples, the GM doesn’t know what the players are doing (atleast at first, and in some, he never knows) to assent to it. How can someone assent to something/moment to moment assent trump prior agreement, if they don’t even know it’s happening?

    In some of the smelly chamberlain outcomes, the GM second guesses what the players are doing. And this is a bit more sublime – can you assent to something, if the other guy doesn’t give a fuck whether you do or not? Like my smokers example – say the non smokers realise what’s happening and decide they are going to take $300 each time they pass go, as well. Is that assent? The smokers don’t care – they’d keep doing it regardless. They are not inviting the other players to do it as well.

    If some people in a crowd start waving a flag and then you start waving a flag too, are you assenting to you all waving a flag, or are you just taging along – only waving flags near each other?

    I still don’t think assent is possible there, either. Before it was not knowing what was happening, that stopped assent. Now it’s the lack of an invitation to join the party, so to speak, that stops assent.

  5. Tommi said,

    31 July, 2009 at 4:56 pm

    I’m not sure I can continue this discussion productively unless I know where you are going with it.

    From practical point of view, assent does not matter, as it is unobservable to other people. Signs of assent matter. Assent does not.

    From philosophical POV, this all depends on how assent is defined. Is the goal to construct a useful a definition, or to make some point? Where are you going with this?

  6. Callan said,

    31 July, 2009 at 9:28 pm

    Vincent made the assertion that moment to moment assent trumps prior agreement, giving the smelly chamberlain examples to support that. I’m trying to illustrate how either the people don’t know whats going on, to assent to anything, or they aren’t being invited to assent to something.

    I don’t think any moment to moment assent exists, to trump prior agreement, as much as it doesn’t exist if I tuck some goods under my shirt and walk out of the store without being stopped.

    I do agree that if everyone who’s playing monopoly suddely agree to arm wrestle to determine the winner, that trumps prior agreement. Somehow, though, I think that’s been twisted.

    Maybe you don’t know where I’m going with this because it’s largely self evident – kind of like if I was saying the sky is blue, where would I be going with that. Not any further really – just saying the sky is blue.

  7. Tommi said,

    4 August, 2009 at 4:20 am

    I don’t know what Vincent actually means, being insufficiently advanced at mind reading, but I do assume people usually make sense. Given that assumption, how I read mister Baker’s posts is that the moment to moment assent, to the degree it exists, trumps whatever else.

    I can assent to what I know, and that is sufficient for the game to go on and to determine how it happens. What I don’t know is simply irrelevant to the way the game goes on.

  8. Callan said,

    5 August, 2009 at 2:59 pm

    Tommi, you don’t have moment to moment assent if the other person isn’t assenting with you.

    Assent/agreement takes two to tango – and the other guy isn’t assenting/agreeing. He’s just doing shit as much as the guy who’s stuffing goods under his shirt and walking out the store and your the oblivious clerk.

    Or are you saying it just needs you agreeing with yourself about what’s happened?

  9. Tommi said,

    6 August, 2009 at 2:46 am

    All I am saying is that assent need not be binary. You can assent on something and not know about something else, or not assent on something else.

  10. Callan said,

    6 August, 2009 at 8:55 am

    And all I’m saying is your not assenting to that something else you don’t know about *shrug*

  11. Tommi said,

    8 August, 2009 at 3:28 am

    I’m not assenting regarding whatever I don’t know about. There may or may not be assent about other things.

  12. Callan said,

    8 August, 2009 at 12:07 pm

    Physically, there may be that lack of a binary condition on the matter. Is that good enough for you? Do you assent to that?

    I think you and Vincent are looking past what you assent to yourselves, as part of your theory on assent.

  13. Tommi said,

    9 August, 2009 at 6:14 am

    I don’t understand the first sentence of your reply. Can you write it in some other way?

  14. Callan said,

    9 August, 2009 at 8:29 am

    Well, you refered to the idea before that assent need not be binary. Could you rephrase the sentence to fit in whatever you meant by that?

  15. Tommi said,

    10 August, 2009 at 3:13 pm

    I don’t understand the sentence. It simply does not parse.

  16. Callan said,

    11 August, 2009 at 8:34 am

    You mean you cannot parse it – it’s not unparseable in some galactic sense, because I can parse it (otherwise I wouldn’t have written it).

    “All I am saying is that assent need not be binary. You can assent on something and not know about something else, or not assent on something else.” Is that good enough for you? Do you assent to that?

    In some countries they call it marriage when 12 year olds are ‘married’. But that’s nothing to do with my use of the word marriage.

    Here the word assent is being used in a way that has nothing to do with my use of the word assent. If you or Vincent want to use the word that way, you need to clarify how your using the word.

    I’m sensing the usual ‘We don’t have to clarify it, our use is the one true use in the whole world!’ will crop up. Even so, it needs to be clarified for us infidels who don’t understand the one true way to use the word ‘assent’.


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