The Harfonian Institute

The Harfonian Institute is governed by Rule 851.

The objective of the Harfonian Institute is to preserve Acka's entity heritage, in a way which enables people to remember the past without being doomed to keep track of now pointless entities forever.

Exhibit the First - The Widget of Yendor
This exhibit created: 28th April 1998

The Widget was created by Proposal 1726 (which enacted Rule 942) on February 20, 1997. The rule defining the Widget was repealed by Proposal 2407, November 26, 1997.

The Widget was a unique entity, which could exist in one of two states: tweaked and frobbed. When the Widget was frobbed, its owner's score was protected from change. When tweaked, the Widget was just a questionable fashion accessory.

A Eulogy for the Widget (as supplied by breadbox. We at the Institute are indebted to him for his good work.)

Ah, the Widget of Yendor. It was the first rule I created. (Until just recently, it was the only rule I created.)

snowgod (aka Mr. Lunatic Fringe) was the only person to put it to use. He frobbed it six days after submitting two goofy proposals that were obviously going to fail - in fact, one of them was submitted with a note specifically indicating that he was trying to lower his score. I don't know if he actually had some trickery in mind or if he was just being silly. In any case, it backfired on him, because one of them actually passed; that was Proposal 1743, aka the Alien Abduction rule.

When he decided to pass it on to someone else, I took it. I was thinking of waiting for the next cycle, and then after the scores had been reset I would, for a change, actually try to play for points. However, soon after that happened we had our summer crises, and I wound up being the Promoter and Tabulator. This made it too hard to play for points fairly - not only did I have privileged information to anti-vote almost perfectly, but I could easily control the timing of when voting results were released. And so it went.

Widget of Yendor, you're decodified.
Waiting in vain for a score you could shield,
Tweaked you lay languishing by my side--
Frobbed only once and now only repealed.

Exhibit the Second: Beldin's Pants
This exhibit created: 8 May 1998
Still looking for pictures: submissions welcome

Beldin's Pants were created by Proposal 1594, on January 11, 1997. This proposal created two rules, 939 and 940. 939, known as "Beldin's Tailor", described the methods by which Rule 940 could be amended. It was designed to allow the owner of the Magic Potato to amend the rule, effectively by changing just a single word. Rule 940 defined the Pants, and specified (initially) that their owner would gain 1 Ackadollar every week. Over time the rule was gradually changed, firstly to change which entities would grant their owners the Ackadollar, and then to change what the prize would be.

The rule which defined Beldin's Pants was responsible for one Cycle Win, when the rule was amended, five minutes before noon on a Thursday, so that "Each recipient of Beldin's Parka receives one win every Thursday at noon." After some intense debate about the meaning of a win, both Alfvaen and Malenkai were deemed eligible for the win, but random determination for Alfvaen meant that only Malenkai actually won a Cycle.

The rules reached enormous scambait proportions when the "Beldin's Pants are a Garment" section was changed to read "Beldin's Pants are a Rule". It seemed to allow the Praetor to amend Beldin's Pants at will - but it was determined that the rule made no such allowances for a list to be created, and hence the Praetor remained restricted. The severe scambait that the rule turned into signalled its demise. Without the rule, the Pants themselves were pointless, and so were consigned to the Harfonian for safekeeping.

Exhibit the Third: The Chocolate Frog
This exhibit created: 27 October 1998

The Chocolate Frog was created by Proposal 2682 on February 9, 1998. It was created as the Chocolate Frog, because of the previous existence of the Golden Frog. At the time, it was noted that there was no chocolate in the Golden Frog, and so the Chocolate Frog was created.

Rule 927 defined the Frog, and gave its holder the title of First Citizen.

The purpose of the Chocolate Frog was to confer a small advantage on its owner, to be determined randomly once every month. The main advantage was that anti-voting on the First Citizen's proposals would not be rewarded with points. As a result, the abolition of anti-voting points led to the Frog becoming useless, and eventually it was repealed courtesy of Proposal 3658, authored by saaremaa. The rule's repeal led immediately to the Chocolate Frog being put in the Harfonian.

Page by Duncan Richer.
Ackanowledgements: Brian Raiter (breadbox).
Last Updated Saturday, December 05, 1998