Duncan Richer

Imperial Nomic


The Infrequent Ackan

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Volume 1, Issue 21

May 2, 1998

This issue's slogan:
"More Bandwidth, More Gizz, More Often"

In this issue:

  1. Editorial
  2. Apologies and Retractions.
  3. Poll Question #7
  4. More Ackanomic News
  5. The Way We Were
  6. Party Chess Report
  7. Sub-Game Summary
  8. Advertisement





Millenial Bug

Ackanomic is almost ready to celebrate the millenium. Proposal 3000 lies just over the horizon, a milestone which should no doubt be celebrated.

After the game lethargy of January and February, the last couple of months have seen a resurgence in the intensity of Ackanomic play. The proposal queue remains consistently full, thanks to the tweaking of the queue and breadbox's implementation of nomicbot. A large influx of new players, almost all of whom are becoming heavily involved in the game (a trait not always seen in newbies by any means, well done people) has kept enthusiasm high.

So will Acka do anything to celebrate the millenium? Or would it be considered inappropriate as an excuse for a party? Perhaps not enough time has passed since Acka's second Birthday for such a general party to be welcome.

No Opinion

Strikingly, there hasn't been much to complain about this week. Ackanomic appears to be performing very inoffensively, so there's nothing more I can add to my soapbox.

Letters to the Ackan are always welcome. We will publish contributors within reason, because our aim is to provide Ackans with a comprehensive news and opinions service. This includes opinions contradicting the paper, so feel free to criticise editorial comments.

If you want your opinions heard, or letters published, please send them to dcr24@cam.ac.uk.

Send a stamped self-addressed email to the address listed above, marked "Acka: Ackan" and we'll do our best to get back to you.

Have another good Ackan week - banna willing we'll be back next week.

Editor, The Infrequent Ackan 


Apologies and Retractions

The Ackan has nothing to apologise for this week. We are deeply sorry about that, knowing here how much it means to people when they can have a public execution of a sub-editor appear in their weekly paper. It appears that I must have ordered too many fact checkers from the Acknomic Institute of Genetic Replication. I thought about getting them all pointy ears so they could start complaining all my articles were illogical, but decided that giving non-entities pointy ears was probably a waste of time.

The Ackan heartily apologises for any damage or difficulties caused by these errors and/or omissions.


Poll Question

Question Number 7 this week. Here it is:

7. Who do you believe should succeed Slakko as President?

No list of responses here - I don't want to suggest a candidate. Just write in your own choice (active players are of course the most likely to succeed).

The minimal guaranteed reward remains in place - one lucky reply will be chosen to receive a Trinket of guaranteed minimum value A$10. Yes, that's double the value of previous Poll Questions - thanks to the recent Shell Script I now have a little more money to use in promotional campaigns. It's not much, but if it gets a response it's worth every Ackapenny (even though they may be indivisible).

Remember, your opinion does matter to us here at the Ackan (but we of course reserve the right to ignore opinions which are obviously based on malice and/or sheer stupidity :-))

It costs very little of your time to enter, and there's always the chance of that Trinket, so please respond to the Great Infrequent Ackan Poll Competition!



More Ackanomic News

Religious Feudin' Intensifies

The uneasy truce between the Church to the Evil Ballot Stuffer and the Church of the *spit* Good Ballot Stuffer has collapsed. Koxvolio, holy Founder of the Church to the EBS, has challenged The Gingham Wearer, the sneered-at Founder of the GBS Church, to a Duel. The response of The Gingham Wearer, who even holds a trinket proclaiming eir cowardice, is not yet known.

Stripey Stuff

Alfvaen, ProConsul, usurped the traditional Stripe role of the President and gave the President a Silver Stripe this week on reaching a Blue Cross Rank of 80. The ceremony, occurring as it did on the banks of the Ackanomic River, was somewhat unorthodox. Vague mutterings were heard that this "was a travesty of a ceremony."

Despite that, it appears that Alfvaen is still intent on handing out Silver and Gold Stripes whenever possible. Can this threat to the Presidency's paramount ceremonial role be permitted to stand much longer?

Sanity Restored in Auction Market

Crazy prices and deals that couldn't be worsened if you tried - that has been the order of the day lately when all kinds of goods have been up for auction.

This week, however, a level of sanity was restored. A Scroll of Crumble, no doubt a highly prized prize in the current GBS-EBS war, was procured by JT for the knock-down price of A$55. Meanwhile, the Really Big Blue Thing That Doesn't Do Much, Really created by new Archaeologist K 2 is currently under auction for A$111. A slightly high price, but not the most expensive it has ever been seen at.

Rehash of Map Reveals Lost Building

The Map-Harfer, Slakko, this week revealed that the Ackanomic Map e had been producing for the last four months was in fact bogus. "It's a really unfortunate situation", he told Infrequent Ackan reporter Joey Monalythe. "The rule creating the Monolith was passed only just before I got here, yet the old Map-Harfer never even made a note saying to add it. No-one complained about my map design - they all thought I did a good job. *sob* Do you know where I can get any decent frinks?"

A sad spectacle - a Map-Harfer, out of ideas and out of luck, reduced to frinking away eir salary. Don't let it happen again - tell him when something goes wrong.


Financial Follies

else...if has returned from vacation with some useful ideas to reform the Stock Market. The new structure of the Stock Market sees the Chair of the Ackan Reserve joined by two other Board Members, to ensure no bias is present in stock exchange decisions.

However, at the same time the powers of the Ackan Reserve have been greatly expanded. While stock prices are still free to fluctuate while the Chair of the Ackan Reserve remains filled, the manner in which they fluctuate is to be under more effective control.

This reform, combined with the introduction of commission for trades to and from the Treasury, should see the Stock Market rise above its current poor reputation as an easy source of riches, and become a truly interesting aspect of Ackan life.

In actual Stock Market news, the Positivity Index has skyrocketed over the past week, breaking through the 100 point barrier yesterday. This takes the overall Stock Value over 125 Ackadollars, slightly more than six times its initial value. This represents significant gains for the long-term investors, but should not dissuade potential new investors from picking up shares.

The percentage gain for the week, in excess of 50%, shows that while the initial extrapolations of annual returns may be erroneous, significant high returns are still possible. Such gains would require a significant excess of accepted proposals over rejected proposals, as well as high volatility day-to-day in activity. Given the current genial attitude of most Ackans towards rule changes, and the sporadic nature of proposal submission and distribution, these two conditions appear to be reasonably easy to meet.

The Infrequent Ackan Stock Indicator Tip for the week is: New investors BUY BUY BUY. Yesterday's positivity gain was close to, if not, a record. The percentage of accepted proposals far outstrips that necessary to maintain level pegging, indicating that long-term gains are still there to be made.

It's a Zombie - No Wait!

An Elder has arisen from eir grave to rejoin Ackanomic. That's right, this very week Malenkai has re-registered as a player. With all of eir wordly possessions hidden in a Treasure for which only e knows the Map, one wonders how effective Malenkai's play will be. Alternatively, perhaps a little visit from the Chartreuse Goose will be enforced in the near future.

We wish Malenkai all the best, and hope eir return to Acka is long and joyous.



The Way We Were

30th Apr 1997: Discussions of the day included the matter of what happened with the Zzimsy entities. It is hoped that record keeping these days in Acka is such that such a situation will never happen again.

For those who came in late, the Zzimsy entities were a class of entities temporarily defined so that they could be easily destroyed. It was designed because the Undead-Harfer had lost track (or possibly not even ever kept track, if the job had been created not long before this situation) of which undead owned what, and even which undeads existed.

mr cwm talked to Phoebe, albeit in a non-talkative kind of way which enabled the rest of us to miss out on her Wisdom.


The Aliens had abducted Rule 106, which specified restrictions on voting periods. There were uncertainties as to what the restrictions actually were in the interim, and whether the abduction automatically delayed all proposals for a week as compensation.

Alfvaen became registered as a player on this day as well (two observers also joined the list). Happy Ackabirthday for last Thursday, Alfvaen!

Alfvaen's first message was not until the following day (and hence month). He wanted to use the name Den of Ubiquity for eir house, but because of the name of Bascule's house Alfvaen's house then, and ever has been, Tamson House.

Alfvaen found a Treasure within 2 days of eir joining, an interesting achievement. Anyway, they were the days that were, one year ago!





Party Chess Report

One change in Swinger during the past week. J. M. Bear has taken over the job at MetaMorph Headquarters, replacing long-time Party Chess stalwart Alfvaen. Alfvaen's time at MetaMorph was very productive for the Organisation's Members. On a number of occasions e was able to catapult into first place on the Swinger Weight list at the right time, passing on bonus Swingpoints to the members of eir Party.

Time will tell if J. M. Bear is as good as Alfvaen was, but rumour has it that there is a potential Party Chess expert waiting to be uncovered. Unfortunately, the transfer happened just hours after Alfvaen failed to make a play, and so the Party Chess genius of J. M. Bear will have to wait for a week, maybe two, before it can reveal itself.


Sub Game Summary

Every week - every subgame going.

Abstract Crescent

Abstract Crescent appears to be perpetually balanced on the edge of a win. Even the addition of two new players this week, JT and H*bert, was not sufficient to prevent at least one player from remaining within one round of a win (potentially).

The last completed Round, Round 17, was the shortest on record, taking just over 90 minutes to complete. Thanks to the new improved Abstract Crescent ruleset, there was no need to wait for everyone to put in their moves, as the 1 of JT and 2 of Hubert put the result of the round beyond doubt.

With 1, 2 and 3 being played in the last completed round, we wonder what the future trend will be. Will rounds continue with permanently low numbers, or will a jump in the median number chosen suddenly appear, like a staggered price-war system? Only time, and the turns of all 8 players, will tell.

If you're not currently playing Abstract Crescent, and you want to be, then as Umpire I'm still accepting submissions from people who want to play. I'll be inserting them into the rolling congruences as soon as possible after I receive them, provided the game is not over first. So come and play Abstract Crescent!


Hints? What Hints?

Questions abounding in Eleusis are centred not on the games themselves but on the manner of play. Hubert's role as Deus in Game 1 has led em to seriously consider handing out some kinds of hints. The value of allowing hints, and what kinds of hints are permissible, are still under debate. It is likely that no concrete answer will be forthcoming, rather that individual cases will be judged appropriately and sanctions taken only if general consensus is achieved.

The apparent pattern discovered by /dev/joe in Game 1 has evaporated, as a triple of failed moves managed to ensnare all players.

Meanwhile, Game 2 proceeds, with Attila managing to play the same card two rounds running (albeit the first time with the help of the Deus) and have it accepted.


Game 3 of Fictionary has completed Round 4, with The Gingham Wearer as Brainiac. For the second time in this game, definition guessing failed to proceed. This time four players knew the term "mho", and hence The Gingham Wearer was the victim of much sneering.



Meanwhile, Hubert and JT have rocketed up the scoresheet, now both on 12 points after only 4 rounds. JT has guessed the correct definition in 3 of those rounds, but, to be fair, e did provide the correct definition in the other round. Such definition knowledge has never been seen before in Fictionary. One hopes that the knowledge is a temporary anomaly, and that sufficiently obscure choice of words will finally flummox em into actually providing a definition to be guessed.


A new game of Ghost has started, the first official non-Duel Ackanomic ghost game for quite some time. With 9 players involved, it will take a little time to complete, but should no doubt be very interesting. So sit back and watch the words form - it promises to be very interesting.

Pure Skill

A game of Pure Skill has been started by Ayla, and J. M. Bear has another in the works. This game has not seen much play in Acka, but, as the name suggests, is a true test of the skill of players. The three-corner contest makes it quite interesting, and may lead to a cross between single player strategy and multi-player negotiation. Good luck with the games.

Word Un-Association 

Slakko's supposedly directly-linked (no, rufus, Hubert said no :-)) round of Word Un-Association again came perilously close to providing the linker with maximum points. Only Koxvolio provided a successful link between ridicule and biting, to join Slakko atop the table on 5 points.

It is currently rufus' round, with the link being to "plumber". Stay tuned for more late-breaking Word Un-Association news.


The Gingham Wearer's last play is still awaiting confirmation from Umpire /dev/joe. In addition, there is a pending interrupt from rufus. Other than that, not much has happened, as the quest for the Talisman of banna continues.

What will it do? Why is it needed? And, more importantly, how are the loose ends ever going to be cleared up in this game of YORL?


Duel Summary

The Spades Duel between Hubert and Goldenmean grinds on. Early in Round 5, we are waiting on Goldenmean, who defaulted back on Thursday. /dev/joe should be choosing a random legitimate card to play, enabling the game to get back on course. Given that it has taken two and a half months to get this far, we could well be seeing the first ever six-month Duel, provided none of its combatants go on Holiday first. 


The Ackan is still looking for more interviews. If you have yet to respond to the Ackan call for interviews, and have held a public office in Acka for at least one month continuously at any stage in Acka's history, then the staff of the Infrequent Ackan would like to hear from you. Just email us at dcr24@cam.ac.uk with the keywords "Acka: Ackan" and say you would like to do an interview. That's all. If you are accepted (which, let's face it, is still pretty likely at this stage) then someone from the Ackan will be around to contact you shortly.








The Infrequent Ackan, first to you with Ackan news.

Copyright © Duncan Richer writing under the pseudonym of "Slakko", 2nd May 1998.

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