Robert Frick rfrick at rfrick.info
Tue Nov 6 02:18:28 CET 2012

On Mon, 05 Nov 2012 17:49:10 -0500, <richard.hills at immi.gov.au> wrote:

> Alain Gottcheiner:
>> AG : well, Herman at least asks the right question.
>> A game creates its specific rules, which might differ
>> from common behavior rules. (re-read Huizinga and
>> Levi-Strauss if needed)
> Johan Huizinga (1872 - 1945), Homo Ludens page 77:
> The judge's wig, however, is more than a mere relic
> of antiquated professional dress. Functionally it has
> close connections with the dancing masks of savages.
> It transforms the wearer into another ″being″. And it is
> by no means the only very ancient feature which the
> strong sense of tradition so peculiar to the British has
> preserved in law. The sporting element and the
> humour so much in evidence in British legal practice
> is one of the basic features of law in archaic society.
> Alain Gottcheiner:
>> But can it escape the rules of logic ?
>> I think it may not, because in particular the syllogism
>> is the basis of applying any law. Whenever a player
>> commits infraction X, the penalty will be Y. This
>> player has committed infraction X, whence the
>> penalty will be Y for this player.
>> If two rules were contradictory, without any way to
>> decide which one has priority, then there would be
>> a logical problem, and I don't think that any Authority
>> would solve the logical problem by giving their
>> personal interpretation. There would simply be no
>> way to rule correctly. But this we know only because
>> we accept the laws of logic.
> Richard Hills:
> Herman De Wael astutely observed that the 1997
> Law 75C and the 1997 Law 75D2 were apparently
> contradictory. And their 2007 replacements, Law
> 40B6 and Law 20F5 Herman again astutely
> observed had the same apparent contradiction.
> Alain Gottcheiner:
>> That the laws of logic supersede other laws, or
>> rather are necessary to allow other laws to work,
>> is difficult to avoid.
>> And the flaws which are still present in
>> propositional logic, as showed in Asimov's work
>> and some others, arise from situations which do
>> NOT happen at the bridge table, and fair enough.
> Richard Hills:
> But the central point of Isaac Asimov's "Reason" is
> that a syllogism may be logically perfect, but ...
> Isaac Asimov (1920 - 1992):
> "You can prove anything you want by coldly logical
> reason - if you pick the proper postulates."
> Richard Hills:
> In 2008 the Authority of the WBF Drafting
> Committee, with the concurrence of the Authority
> of the WBF Laws Committee, and ratified by the
> Supreme Authority of the WBF Executive cut the
> logical Gordian Knot of the De Wael School by
> creating a new Proper Postulate.
> 2008 WBF Laws Committee minutes, Law 20:
> There is no infraction when a correct explanation
> discloses that partner’s prior explanation was
> mistaken. The words “nor may he indicate in any
> manner that a mistake has been made” (in Law
> 20F5(a)) do not refer to compliance with the over-
> riding requirement of the laws always to respond
> to enquiries under Law 20F with correct
> explanations of the partnership understandings.

So, to paraphrase, Heman thought his method was consistent with the laws  
and the WBFLC agreed. They then outlawed his laws so that some wimpy law  
that loses every other contradction wins out.

And of course you cannot ask your observing captain for advice in  
explaining a bid. Or maybe this minute says you can. But the blml position  
is that you can use what he says if he volunteers the information.

> Best wishes,
> R.J.B. Hills

Wisdom is the beginning of seeing.

More information about the Blml mailing list