Thank you Pranay for your article on this interesting case. I am impressed with your methodical approach to this case, starting with the literal and then moving on to the teleological interpretation. However, I diagree with your result of the literal interpretation in which you say that the image “clearly displays an animal, which is either a cat or a doge.” The literal interpretation of this rule can be understood as follow: 1. it must clearly recognizable whether it is a cat or a doge OR 2. It must clearly show an animal, whether that is a cat or a doge. It all depends on the understanding of the word “or” as inclusive or exclusive. The literal interpretation of this sentence ends here. I see a similar result with the 2nd sentence (“hidden doges or cats”). The literal interpretation of “hidden” can be understood as identity (then it refers to the “or” between doges and cats) or visible (then it refers to doges and cats as a whole).

Based on the example given “e.g.” the systematic interpretation speaks for the visible interpretation. You can interpret this differently again. Since it is only a non exhaustive example (“e.g.”), the previous rule can be interpretated as more than the example. Otherwise it wouldn’t be “e.g.” but “i.e.”. Due to the ambiguity of language, the importance of the teleological interpretation should not be underestimated (purposive interpretation). The purpose of the Doges on Trial was to test how agents respond to economic incentives. In Kleros’ view, this was limited to the “cryptoeconomic robustness of the Kleros system”. In order to test a system and obtain usable data, it would not make sense to create a difficult rules application. As we know, there are many different views on legal issues. If an unidentifiable doge/cat were allowed, the purpose of the experiment would not be achieved as well. You need to have a clear outcome on each image. Only when you have a clear case can you test the robustness of the Kleros system when adding economic incentives. Whether one can bribe or whether people do (in itself) “useless” work for economic incentives, cannot be tested if one has unclear cases at hand.

However, the examination of the economic robustness of the Kleros system includes flaws/ambiguities in the rules itself. Almost all legal norms are ambiguous to a certain extent. Shouldn’t the point of the test include all problems with a case? If the rules were open to interpretation, then the test shows that there is a vulnerability that can be exploited by parties. Didn’t the test achieve its purpose then? I would say so. While it doesn’t say too much in detail about the economic incentives in the Kleros system, it does show that agents are reviewing the images and that the existing problems with unclear rules still exist. The purpose of the experiment (Kleros) was not communicated well enough within the literal wording of the experiment rules. There was no reference in the payout policy to limiting itself to non-case related robustness such a bribery.

In summary, I see a defensible argument that rejects the payment of 50 ETH. However, the better arguments speak in favor of a payout, even if the stress test of cryptoeconomic robustness would have been more effective if it had been limited to non-case-related topics.

~ @Mauritz_vW

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Really great write up. Thank you!

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