Schadenpuppies & EPH

Worldcon events have brought out the former Sad Puppies to claim that things once again (via means never explained) prove them right (about what is always unclear). I’ve personally not had a lot to say on the Worldcon programming issue as I can’t attend due to a whole pile of things and life and the circumference of the Earth. However, I think the people who spoke up did the right thing in the best way they could.

Ah but the Sad Puppies? Well, I know my beat is varied but they are clearly within my mandate of stuff to blog about – and will be until I get completely bored of them, which doesn’t look like anytime soon.

I won’t bother linking to the various takes I’ve seen from the right. They are largely misinformed & confused at best and a nest of slurs & prejudices at worst. Calling fans ‘freaks’ and mocking their gender is inherently anti-fan and anti-fandom. The other element to these takes is various reprises of the history of the Sad Puppies and these are the usual revisionist nonsense*.

But one theme keeps coming up that I don’t think I’ve addressed before. This is not a direct quote of anyone individual pup but a composite:

“They even changed the rules to exclude us!”

The “they” being the well-known grammatical element known as the ‘conspiracy they’ to indicate the nebulous people conspiring against you. Now the rule changes aren’t specified but based on other reactions in the past, the main reference here is the nomination system known as EPH.

I’ve talked about EPH ad-nauseum and I think I may even be the first person (in 2017) to not be a finalist because of EPH when I would have been a finalist under the old rules. Which is really neat, if true. What I want to focus on though, is EPH and the Sad Puppies specifically. The Rabid Puppies is a different story because Vox Day engaged with it in a different way and clearly attempted to size up its effect in 2017.

The Sad Puppies though never engaged with EPH. By the time it was implemented Sad Puppies had withered into nothing. The causes of the Sad Puppy collapse are manifold:

  • Larry Correia was already disenchanted with repeatedly losing by the end of Sad Puppies 2 (hence passing it on to Brad Torgersen & withdrawing as a finalist in 2015).
  • High numbers of votes for No Award demonstrated that Sad Puppies would never have the votes to get close to winning an award and their reach was purely confined to impacting on finalists IF they were sufficiently coordinated.
  • Vox Day’s Rabid Puppies kept hijacking all the attention while leaving all the attempts at positive PR to the Sads.
  • There was never actually a huge reservoir of right-leaning quality fiction to nominate (put another way, any bias in results that might have been there was a supply issue before it was a voter issue).
  • Organising a slate that was open and as fan based as the Puppies claimed it should be was a much harder and complex task than they imagined, resulting in low participation in the more open Sad Puppies 4.
  • Post-SP3 campaigns got little support from notable male Sad Puppies. Whether that was sexism or burnout or both is an open question.
  • Functionally I think the No Award votes were the main thing that killed the Sad Puppy campaign rather than EPH. That’s not to say EPH didn’t have an impact, just that it was a lesser factor. It’s main impact was three-fold:
    • It demonstrated that Worldcon could adapt its rule via member participation. That made the Hugos a moving target.
      The Sad Puppies had nobody within their leadership who could understand how it worked. The reaction to it was almost at a superstitious level, as if it contained some kind of Sad Puppy detection algorithm. Vox Day’s approach was more analytical and showed more understanding that it was a fairly basic number crunching algorithm that in theory could be gamed.
      It stopped the tactic of trying to sweep the nominations.

    That last point was limited, EPH isn’t that great at stopping as SP3 style sweep but it is definitely an improvement.

    But here is an interesting flaw/feature in EPH. There was not only nothing in it that would prevent Sad Puppy participation but in fact it had the capacity to ensure that a stable and consistent Sad Puppy faction would have been more-or-less ensured nominees. The actual change in the nomination process undermined sweeps but did so by roughly guaranteed finalist slots to large but minority voting blocks.

    That isn’t a secret, it was a criticism made of EPH at the time that it could be seen as essentially conceding ground to the Sad Puppies and giving them a proportion of finalists each year…if they participated. While EPH isn’t quite that crude, there truth there. A consistent grouping of right leaning members (with the added advantage of drawing from a small pool of works) would get a ‘seat at the table’ under the EPH. I don’t want to portray algorithms as necessarily unbiased but of all the many opinions surrounding the Sad Puppies and the Hugos, the one closest to an objective fact is that EPH actually addressed a claimed core concern of the Sad Puppies.

    As I said above, Sad Puppies fizzled out for multiple reasons. However, EPH was only a minor factor** in that it helped prevent Sad Puppy *sweeps* but sweeping the nominees was something that Sad Puppy leaders said they didn’t particularly want. Put another way the concessions to the Sad Puppies contained within how EPH would operate called ‘bluff’ on the Sad Puppies. Given an opportunity to claim a fraction of the pie, the Sad Puppies cried loudly (and still do) that rules that stopped them taking the whole pie with a minority of the votes were rules that excluded them. And I’m going full circle here – they are right that EPH excludes them *IF AND ONLY IF* the Sad Puppies were always about trying to push everybody else out. “They change the rules to exclude us!” Is only true if “us” means “the people who wanted to push everybody else out.”

    [There was a comment about me from a regular Puppy support who asked rhetorically why, if something was nonsense, was I so interested in it. I’d have thought even a passing familiarity with what I say, do and write is that NONSENSE is something I’m very interested in. It’s repetitive nonsense that bores me.]

    [Apologies to the German language for ‘Schadnepuppies’ – I know it makes no sense.]

    **[Minor factor in the Sad Puppy demise, a bigger factor in keeping the Rabids at bay and a bigger factor in an overall improvement in nomination process.]

    Advertisements

    86 thoughts on “Schadenpuppies & EPH”

    1. “The Sad Puppies had nobody within their leadership who could understand how it worked. The reaction to it was almost at a superstitious level, as if it contained some kind of Sad Puppy detection algorithm.”

      One of the weird things about the Puppies for me is that they are remarkably un-nerdy for a group of SFF fans.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. That is weird the more I think of it. It’s not that they don’t have people in numerate disciplines (e.g. Dave Freer has a marine science background, Kate Paulk is a software tester) but they don’t have any graph drawing nerdy stat-junkies, whereas the anti-Puppy ‘side’ was awash with ‘em. You’d think that would be a non-partisan split and it might just be because in reality the anti-Puppy side was just so much bigger and hence had people engaging with the arguments in different ways. Also its not enough to have people drawing some graphs & crunching some numbers, you need an audience who wants to read that kind of stuff (e.g. I didn’t crunch as many numbers as Greg Hullender did but I was a ready made audience for Greg’s analysis). The Pups were never that interested in establishing the facts of the matter one way or another.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. camestrosfelapton: That is weird the more I think of it. It’s not that they don’t have people in numerate disciplines (e.g. Dave Freer has a marine science background, Kate Paulk is a software tester) but they don’t have any graph drawing nerdy stat-junkies, whereas the anti-Puppy ‘side’ was awash with ‘em.

          It’s possible that none of them were trotting out statistical analyses because they realized that such were going to debunk, rather than strengthen, their arguments.

          But yes, I think it’s weird too, that none of the Puppies seem to be of that drill-down, let’s look at what the numbers really mean mentality — whereas File 770 is awash with them.

          Like

        2. I think this ties in with what JohnQPuzzle says below to some extent. Anybody who was engaging in reality wouldn’t have wanted to be involved with the Puppies even if they were relatively right-leaning.

          More to the point, ‘stat-junkies’ and ‘conspiracy theorists’ should be pretty much exclusive sets (though you can certainly find conspiracy theorists who present themselves as stat-junkies), and the Puppies made it pretty clear early on which of those two sets their membership leaned toward.

          Liked by 3 people

        3. @JJ:
          I’d say Making Light was even more awash with them than File 770; that’s a lot of where the nuts and bolts really got hashed out. Of course, given the hosts work as acquisitions editors, those are people for whom ‘what do the numbers mean’ is part of the job.

          Like

        4. Jenora Feuer: I’d say Making Light was even more awash with them than File 770; that’s a lot of where the nuts and bolts really got hashed out.

          With regard to EPH and the Puppies, yes (and of course there is a lot of participant overlap on the two sites). But on File 770 people are constantly presenting statistics on all kinds of SFF and fandom-related things, which I don’t see as much on Making Light.

          Like

        5. Well, Dave Freer did make an attempt at using statistics and probability to prove his “The Hugos hate conservatives” conspiracy theory. Unfortunately, he doesn’t seem to understand either statistics or probability at all.

          Liked by 3 people

        6. Cora: Well, Dave Freer did make an attempt at using statistics and probability to prove his “The Hugos hate conservatives” conspiracy theory. Unfortunately, he doesn’t seem to understand either statistics or probability at all.

          OMG, you’re right. I had completely forgotten about that irrational mess of his; it was so poorly done, it made no impression on me as an example of “SF fan engages in geeky statistical analysis”.

          Liked by 1 person

        7. They don’t have people who do complicated work for funsies. If they’re going to exert themselves, it either has to bring in money or make them wildly admired. Running statistics just for your own pleasure is something that (to continue the dog metaphor) makes them turn their heads sideways and go “Baroo?”

          They really are remarkably intellectually un-curious and fundamentally uninterested in expanding their horizons, or looking for sensawunda and novelty.

          Liked by 1 person

      2. Worth remembering that, in a lot of the nastier corners of online culture, interest in statistics is seen as “autistic” and therefore shameful. I can remember one Puppy author accusing Contrarius of “sperging over arbitrary figures” for going into depth about Hugo nomination data, for example.

        Liked by 3 people

        1. I just now realized what “sperging” means. I’d seen the term used online before but never got the meaning other than that it was some sort of insult. So, uh… thank you?

          Like

      3. If I’m remembering WSFS business meeting reports correctly, there was one Sad Puppy supporter in attendance who supported EPH because it would suppress Rabid slating and thus allow the organic grassroots popularity of the Sads to shine through. Good times.

        Like

        1. Wavedoesn: If I’m remembering WSFS business meeting reports correctly, there was one Sad Puppy supporter in attendance who supported EPH because it would suppress Rabid slating and thus allow the organic grassroots popularity of the Sads to shine through.

          Yes, they were certainly an outlier among the Puppy crowd, all the rest of whom didn’t seem able to recognize that if a Tor Cabal did indeed exist, EPH was going to hammer it the same way EPH would hammer the Puppy slating.

          There were also, much to my disappointment, several long-time Worldcon fen who were unhappy about the works which had been making the ballot in recent years, who defended the Puppies and opposed EPH — one of them quite vocally, and I fully expect that he will try very hard to get EPH dropped when it comes up for re-ratification.

          And then there was the Puppy who kept making objections during the WSFS Business Meeting that the Puppies were being “slandered”. 🙄

          Liked by 2 people

        2. It’s true that the thing that suppressed Sad slating the most was Rabid slating — but EPH wouldn’t necessarily stop it.

          But at least that Puppy had some vague clue about how the thing worked.

          Like

    2. Like their political counterparts, the sad rabids believe that the only way to win is to cheat. Therefore anti-cheating methods designed to protect the ballot are spun as “they changed the rules to exclude [them]”.

      If only there were some form of participation where their stories could stand on their own merits or something.

      Liked by 2 people

    3. I don’t think its entirely fair to say its a supply-side problem, and its difficult to really quantify that statement. I would describe it more that they did a crappy job of claiming right-leaning writers and presenting right-leaning works with wider appeal. A lot of writers that I would consider right-ish (or at least libertarian) generally avoided the whole thing and they weren’t really claimed the Sad Puppies, them being as clique-ish as they were.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I think this is a really important point.
        I mean, they had all the sturm und drang, going on about oh, the horror, all the wonderful conservative works being suppressed, eek.
        And then all they pulled out of their hat was pathetic Castalia House crap and much too too much Wright.
        So yeah, a lousy job of making their case.
        But I also think there is something about the supply-side stuff, and I think it’s almost structured into the nature of their project.
        They aren’t a forward-looking bunch, and that limits their options in something like science fiction: “I want the world to look like 1950” will only take you so far.

        Liked by 1 person

    4. I think this analyzes the whole thing really well. The Sads could still get stuff on the ballot under EPH if it was in fact about quality instead of “exploding the liberals heads” * or “yay conservatives” or “more nutty nuggets” or WTF they happened to claim that week. I mean, how else is Clipping on the ballot two years in a row? Not that they aren’t awesome, but it must be a solid block to get something so non-traditional on the ballot, esp. last year.

      Sad and Rabid were both, in the beginning, middle, and end, about getting nominations for the friends of the organizers. Nothing to do with quality. Everything to do with cliques. And since Larry happily brought Teddy in on the plot, he’s got no room to disclaim the bad press and bad results the Rabids subsequently accrued.

      I’ve read many works by right-wing authors which are really good. Some of them even have won a lot of Hugos. Heinlein’s been dead for 30 years and he’s STILL winning Hugos with the current membership who supposedly hate all right-wingers. The exact same people who nominated Bogi Takacs and KM Sparza this year also nominated Heinlein 4 times, along with Asimov and Campbell. Campbell! The guy MOST responsible for the “square jawed straight white manly man nutty nugget” subgenre.

      They didn’t understand how the awards worked, then or now. There seemed to be a bit of magical thinking that somehow everyone would be forced to vote for the least bad work in each category, guaranteeing one of their works would win. They didn’t understand that that’s what No Award is there for, and that NA had won in years when all the nominees were honestly on the ballot. Like the 1977 Dramatic Presentation, for which the non-winners Logan’s Run, Carrie, Futureworld, and Man Who Fell to Earth were all reasonable nominees**. Then they (at least the Rabids) got the idea that once NA was given, the category would for some reason cease to exist ever more. Disproved in 1978 by Star Wars and then by all the movies we’ve all seen, and the category becoming TWO awards in the 1990s.

      The Sads don’t understand instant runoff, statistics, the history of the SF field, Worldcon culture, and “wishing doesn’t make it so”, or pretend not to. They certainly aren’t well-read in the genre.

      Previous to Puppies, the rules were backed up by a very strong gentlemen’s agreement not to cheat.
      Perhaps by ignoring this for their own egos, it shows they aren’t gentlemen?

      BTW, Cam, you said you’re not coming b/c of the circumference of the earth. If we lived on a flat earth, would you? 🙂

      * No, Larry, we haven’t forgotten that was your original statement.
      **Sadly for those movies, between nominations and voting, everyone had seen “Star Wars” and went “Huh. Nothing last year was that awesome, was it?”

      Liked by 1 person

    5. I had lots of fun with that mathematical analysis, although I didn’t always get it right. 🙂 (Predictions are hard, especially about the future.) But I’m still super proud of the appendix to “Fix the Slating Problem Forever, which worked through all the math for measuring how resistant to slating the various systems would be, and “Slate Voting Analysis Using EPH Data: 2014-2016, which (I think) is still be best estimate of who the finalists would have been had there been no slating. These things weren’t like work; they were a joy to put together.

      It’s not just math that you don’t see over there; it’s a lack of respect for science in general. These are people who not only don’t believe in climate change, they don’t believe in evolution either. (This is consistent with them being conservatives, of course. And, yes, I know there are exceptions, but this is the way to bet.)

      Why does someone read SF if he/she hates science?

      Liked by 2 people

        1. I’m sorry you were subjected to such an awful book, but that was an amusing review. I’m also very glad we’re not seeing something like this book on the Hugo shortlist this year.

          Like

      1. Beale is the archetype here, and he catches it well–he likes the idea of Science, as an authority he can appeal to, but not actual science, as that can tell him things he doesn’t want to here.

        His thoughts on religion are unsurprisingly similar.

        Liked by 5 people

    6. The Sad Puppies did not technically cheat. There was no rule against voting slates. It was simply considered rude to do. The Sad Puppies justified having a voting slate (on which they tried to force authors to participate against their will,) by claiming that an evil SJW conspiracy had been doing a voting slate and consequently taken over the nominees and winners of the Hugos with poorly known SJW authors for years. The statistical record showed that this was complete nonsense, as numerous people pointed out to them with both math and just basic fact pointing. Consequently, the Sad Puppies kept changing the date as to when the supposed SJW conspiracy started to try and get around the issue, which didn’t help, and then just started trying to claim whatever they could think up of next.

      To the Sad Puppies, the Hugos having a reputation meant they saw the Hugos simply as a promotional tool to which they felt they were being denied access. So they never tried to understand the actual awards or accepted it as being primarily an award of the convention members’ interests for things that were not always dazzling profit centers like short stories. They tried to couch it as a conspiracy of large publishers against Baen, led by Tor — the publishing house whose founders helped finance Baen. That made no sense either, but allowed them to hash various grievances they all had. As part of those grievances, they brought in Beale, who promptly took over the place to make more effective voting blocks and hog all the media attention so that he could attach himself better to Gamergate/Breibart. The Sad Puppies were seen as no longer really making a voting slate but instead just being led around as an adjunct to Beale’s Rabid Puppies slate which Gamergaters were brought in to vote. The Sad Puppies got nobody on the nominee lists — Beale and then his Rabid Puppies did.

      It was the Rabids that prompted the proposed rule change to make it harder, though not impossible, for voting slates to swamp the nominations further down the road. The Sad Puppies were already out of it and insisting that they were completely different from the Rabid Puppies who had an active and open voting slate still going. (These days they all seem to have gone back to regarding it as no difference between groups.) EPH never affected them because the Sads never really came up with an effective voting slate except for maybe Sad Puppy 2.

      But if the Sads are counting themselves as part of the Rabids, then the claim that EPH was enacted to “exclude them” has some accuracy to it in the sense that EPH was approved by majority vote in the business meeting at the con as a way to limit swamping nominees with voting slates — from any group, not just conservatives but prompted by the actions of the Rabids. The members of WorldCon — whose award the Hugos are and who always have had the right, often excised, to adjust the voting system — voted for EPH after considering several other possibilities to limit the effect of organized voting slates so that the voting results are fairer and less easy to game. EPH doesn’t block votes. No Award is a vote that doesn’t block votes. And the Hugo Awards are for the members of WorldCon to chose what things they liked most, not for promotional purposes. None of the Puppies have been excluded from voting or getting on the ballot. They just can’t try to game the awards by busing in voters in organized concert — that’s the exclusion.

      And since they don’t care about the actual convention itself, they see any problem at WorldCon as the convention falling apart because of the Hugos. It just does not seem to sink in that WorldCon is an organization that deputizes a different convention each year to hold their events and thus there are different issues and problems each year that have to be worked out with each new set of convention runners. It’s a regular feature of WorldCon, not a sudden disaster. Although it does point out that the folks at WorldCon maybe need to screen bids to hold the con a bit more stringently.

      Like

      1. Yeah, it’s funny how the Sads consider themselves sooo different from the Rabids, until it comes to bleating “the SJWs don’t like us”; then they’re happy to take all the credit for things like stuffing the ballot. It fits their persecution theory and hides that it was simple greed (and them hating the “SJWs” to start the whole thing) and the Sads wanting shiny toys that they could brag about and market. THEN they conflate the groups. Poor Larry wouldn’t have gotten so tired of losing and all the bad press if he hadn’t happily brought in Teddy Boy right at the start.

        But if their work was so good, it wouldn’t need all the maneuvering, and if their cause was so righteous, it wouldn’t take so much exaggeration, retconning, and outright lying. And whining.

        They can go be DragonCon’s problem now. The awards are even shinier, DC’s book program is tiny instead of the main thing, and not as many people care about pronouns. (At least they’re not legally required to turn over any more of their profits to a child molester any more, so… progress!)

        Although even with the Dragons being set up to enable and encourage bloc voting, a whole lot of big name, big publisher stuff is making it in in the categories that overlap with the Hugos (Though, see earlier analysis of how we don’t know what’s going on with the nominations and votes there).

        Maybe they’ll retreat to their safe spaces where this kind of behavior is acceptable? The cons that don’t enforce CoC and think we all should have guns a’blazing. An award from those would probably be better-received by their readership anyway, right? I’d say they should start up PuppyCon, but that’s a lot of genuinely hard, unsung, unpaid work and they don’t seem to be interested in that. It’s all about money and egoboo for them, with as little effort as possible. They couldn’t even collect the bucks to throw a Fun Zone party at MAC II like they promised. Or buy a bench, unlike some extremely fannish sites did twice. It would have made some amends. Instead they hid in Puppy Safe Space and doubled down on the insults, with Dave’s props and ranting at the audience instead of letting the panelists talk.

        At least they didn’t go to Helsinki to make the rest of American fandom look worse, and they’re probably too scared to come to California where they don’t get to wave their guns around, will encounter vegans and legal dope, and the con is run by a gay man and full of people who do care about pronouns. And Mexicanx being sponsored to come! With the con overseas the next two years and probably in Washington DC after that, we should be free of them.

        The way they bleat “SJWs don’t read/like what they nominated!” makes me wonder if that’s more projection. Are they virtue-signalling to their peers? Who the hell goes around waving their Hugo ballot at people to prove anything other than that they are a big ol’ nerd?

        Regardless of ideological differences, I am still pissed off about how Larry and Brad foisted off the last years of SP onto women and then gave them absolutely no support whatsoever. No matter how burned out you are, it’s simple decency to drop a link regularly when someone’s still trying in good faith to actually do what you claimed needed doing. It wouldn’t have killed the SP boys to have a cut and paste link to inform their followers that Sarah and Kate were carrying the flag every couple weeks.

        @Kat: Bids can be vetted only if more cities bid. New Orleans didn’t try very hard, and their facilities weren’t good. Helsinki only managed by the permanent floating worldcon committee and English speaking SMOFs helping it from idea, through all the bidding, and such, with everyone agreeing not to bid against them. (Even then, the disabled access wasn’t good, they refused to admit that the program book was going to cost until someone insisted — for which they then were fired for having the audacity not to lie, and let’s not forget the “put a woman in the same group as the man who harassed her” debacle, plus crowd control issues, which was all at the local level). Nobody’s thrilled about the facility or timing of New Zealand, but there aren’t any other bids for that year either.

        Puppies’ inability to understand that Worldcon has an entirely different structure/staff/attendance every year is probably a combo of not caring enough to learn that, not knowing enough about fandom to know that, and their authoritarian streak. They don’t understand people doing something just b/c they love it, through a loosely organized structure. Their paradigm is that of the military and government, where Big Daddy at the top orders everyone else what to do. That’s what they’re used to, and what they’re comfortable with. No ambiguities or improvising, rigid roles for all.

        Their experience is mostly with giant media stuff, like the gate shows where it’s all about the money and the stars. The attendees are mandatory consumers who buy tickets, not memberships, and are there only to line up, sit down, and be sold things. Capitalism uber alles. And maybe a couple things like ConCarolinas and LibertyCon, where it never moves (and certainly not to a foreign land where they might not even speak English or Support Our Troops!), the same people are always in charge, and they won’t ever have to allow for anyone who has different ideas than them getting all uppity and demanding that the pros and concom also abide by the CoC. None of that pronoun nonsense for them! Or if the “little people” do demand a nonstandard pronoun, not to be leered at and asked about their tits, or want to know if there are untrained gun nuts present, they can be safely ignored, because they’re aren’t friends of the concom and aren’t famous. You only volunteer if you’re going to get attention, a sales opportunity, or get to hang with the stars.

        It’s all about sucking up, aggrandizement, and money. Pure ego. Or maybe pure id.

        Like

        1. You are pissed that the women who attacked women authors and women’s civil rights, who support discrimination as a political ideology while benefiting from the past work of SJW feminists and women authors, were themselves discriminated against by the men who don’t consider them fully equal human beings? You are a nicer person than me.

          Liked by 2 people

        2. @Kat: I’m pissed off more on principle than on their behalf. 🙂 So I’m not THAT nice.

          OTOH it is another example of schadenpuppies (live by the sword, die by the sword, Sarah and Kate) and how the righties turn on their own tokens as soon as they’ve purged everyone else (See also how all the “great people” who used to work at the current White House are terrible as soon as they leave). Even being “one of the good ones” didn’t save them, just like it hasn’t saved anyone in that category of collaborators throughout history. Or smarten them up as to the kind of people they’re hanging out with and how they’re used. But you can’t fix stupid. <– not nice at all

          Like

        3. Nobody’s thrilled about the facility or timing of New Zealand, but there aren’t any other bids for that year, either.

          As you perhaps know, the timing’s really not their fault. The desired time slot (for one of the essential facilities) got taken by a much, much bigger event in a way that the concom would have had no power to prevent unless it had firm facility contracts already signed and paid for. So, they’re (IIRC) now about a month earlier than planned, end of July / early August. (I won’t say ‘summer’, because don’t forget the southern hemisphere thing.)

          When you say ‘facility’, I’m unclear on whether you mean the buildings (Michael Fowler (convention) Centre, TSB Arena & Auditorium, and a hotel) or Wellington. I’ve not been inside any of the three buildings/complexes cited, and can only say that on paper they look totally fine for a Worldcon, and not too far apart. (The InterContinental is northernmost; TSB Arena is 1.5 blocks SE, and then Fowler Centre is about 4 blocks S of that, so not ideal but about as spread out as, say, Chicon. They haven’t said if there will be shuttle service, but I’d not be surprised, and I suspect all daytime programming will be at Fowler Centre.)

          What I can speak to is Wellington itself, because my wife Deirdre and I have enjoyed its charms twice, for the August 2010 and July 2013 NZ natcons (‘Au Contraire!’), both held at the Quality Hotel on Wellington’s most bustling street, Cuba Street (which has a several-block-long pedestrian mall and many good and varied restaurants). Let’s just say Wellington is compact, friendly, civilised, and has many quirky charms. I love the place to death. On account of its position right near Cook Strait, the city’s quite windy, not to mention July/August being the rainy season, so I kept joking that Wellington’s well-washed and blow-dried. Everything’s pretty close, and there are unique attractions very close-by, such as Zeelandia and Museum of New Zealand / Te Papa Tongarewa, that shouldn’t be missed.

          Deirdre and I love NZ and (especially) Wellington enough that we were early pre-supporters and eagerly look forward to this con (assuming it happens).

          Like

      2. To the Sad Puppies, the Hugos having a reputation meant they saw the Hugos simply as a promotional tool to which they felt they were being denied access. So they never tried to understand the actual awards or accepted it as being primarily an award of the convention members’ interests for things that were not always dazzling profit centers like short stories.

        Hence all the earlier discussions of ‘log-rolling’ (you vote for me this year, I’ll vote for you next year) and the sort of ‘priority escalation’ (so-and-so has been in second or third place for the last few times, it’s time for them to actually win this year)… both of which are things that occur much more commonly in industry-run, juried awards like the Oscars.

        A lot of the ‘cabal’ assumption probably comes from the fact that a lot of the publicly more well-known awards demonstrably are run by a cabal of some sort. The Hugos pretty explicitly are not, given nobody even knows who’s going to be voting on them until pretty late in the process. The Nebulas are closer, but even there (as I understand it) the jury’s only real power is to add to the nomination list things that might have been left off, and the voting is still pretty much ‘anybody with an SFWA membership’, so while it may be more of an ‘industry’ award it’s a lot more loosely controlled than most industry awards.

        The Hugos aren’t an industry-granted award. Some people still seem to refuse to accept that, at least partly because all they really have seen are industry awards. And probably some projection as well, knowing how they would run the award if they could.

        Liked by 4 people

      3. It was the Rabids that prompted the proposed rule change to make it harder, though not impossible, for voting slates to swamp the nominations further down the road. The Sad Puppies were already out of it and insisting that they were completely different from the Rabid Puppies who had an active and open voting slate still going.

        EPH was first proposed and approved in 2015, which was the year of the big Sad Puppy onslaught. Moreover some features of EPH were clearly thought up with the Sad campaign in mind. the emphasis on proportionate representation was backed up by the thought that ‘they’re fans too’ and that if a section of fandom has a preference it ought to be represented. The more openly disruptive Rabid campaign of 2016, on the other hand, led to the widespread perception that EPH was not enough (though in the end no further action was taken, the proposed cure being thought worse than the disease).

        Like

        1. My big fear is that well-meaning-but-misguided fans who think EPH is too complicated will manage to get enough votes at a business meeting to remove it. It only takes a simple majority to suspend it for one year. It’s really important to make the case that EPH was one of those things we should have done anyway. It’s quite beautiful when you really understand it.

          Liked by 2 people

        2. Yes, I mean aesthetics alone aren’t a wining argument for a voting system but EPH really is a thing of beauty. Voting is simple, the algorithm is quick and the results are defensible and it stops the biggest minority getting everything.

          Liked by 1 person

        3. But the Sad Puppy 2 onslaught was basically run by Beale once Larry brought him in. It was Beale who assembled the outside voters to vote and get a handful of puppy slate choices onto the nominees list. The Sad Puppies themselves never managed an effective voting block without him. It was the concern over Beale and his ability to use a voting block to effectively ram in a slate on the nominations that led to EPH. So technically he and his voters, who became the Rabids, were the prompt.

          Liked by 1 person

        4. Well, perhaps, but nevertheless the SP at that point weren’t insisting they were already out of it – on the contrary they were insisting they were totally in control.

          Like

        5. What they were insisting and what was actually happening were two different things. They insisted a lot of things that weren’t true and often contradictory. LC wasn’t trying that hard to really launch a voting slate. He invited Beale in and Beale took over and provided the slate voters, coordinating the two slates so that they were nearly identical. Then there was the split because the Sads didn’t like being lumped in as auxillary Gamergaters with Beale, book division. But now I guess they have returned to seeing themselves as kind of part of a community with the Rabids around the Dragon Awards and other issues.

          Liked by 1 person

    7. I must say, I got a chortle out of the choice of hashtags on this tweet:

      “Get woke, go broke! Now pardon me while I praise an award that’s honoured G. Willow Wilson, Victor LaValle, Naomi Novik, Neil Gaiman, Anita Sarkeesian and Zoe Quinn.”

      Liked by 2 people

      1. snerk.

        They’ve noticed GWW is a headscarf-wearing Muslima, right? And are obviously choosing to ignore Anita and Zoe, teh debils incarnate.

        Oh, and “Black Panther”. It sure made Marvel go broke. Nobody went to see that at all, with all those black people and smart, strong women and sociopolitical talk. Turned audiences right off.

        Like

    8. “I think I may even be the first person (in 2017) to not be a finalist because of EPH when I would have been a finalist under the old rules.”

      You’re actually tied for that honor with Sam J. Miller, Patrick Nielsen Hayden, and Tommy Arnold.

      Like

    9. Andrew M: EPH was first proposed and approved in 2015, which was the year of the big Sad Puppy onslaught… The more openly disruptive Rabid campaign of 2016

      I think that you’re misremembering. 2013 and 2014 were minor Sad Puppy years. 2015 was the first major onslaught by the Rabid Puppies, which brought the Sad Puppies along for the ride, and 2016 was just 2015 Rabid Puppies Mark II.

      Like

      1. (Rewritten to get italics right, since my meaning may not be clear without them. Camestros, could you delete the previous version?)

        2015 was the the year of the big Sad Puppy onslaught – the first (and as it turned out only) one to attempt an almost complete slate. It was also,/i> the year of the first RP onslaught, but at that point this was riding on the coattails of the SP campaign, with Torgersen and friends making most of the selections. The 2016 RP campaign, of which VD had complete control, was indeed more openly disruptive, with dinosaur porn and rape allegations and what have you.

        Like

    10. Damn it, try again.

      2015 was the the year of the big Sad Puppy onslaught – the first (and as it turned out only) one to attempt an almost complete slate. It was also the year of the first RP onslaught, but at that point this was riding on the coattails of the SP campaign, with Torgersen and friends making most of the selections. The 2016 RP campaign, of which VD had complete control, was indeed more openly disruptive, with dinosaur porn and rape allegations and what have you.

      Like

      1. Andrew M: It was also the year of the first RP onslaught, but at that point this was riding on the coattails of the SP campaign, with Torgersen and friends making most of the selections.

        The SPs later admitted that they colluded with VD on the creation of their slate in 2015 (“You should thank us for getting VD to moderate his slate! He wanted to burn the whole thing down!”). For deniability, BT left empty Editor spots where VD’s name would go on the RP slate. But VD screwed with the Sad Puppies by removing some of their other nominees and substituting his own.

         
        For special formatting in my comments on this blog, I will frequently write them in a File 770 edit window and check them in Preview before cutting&pasting them into a comment here. You just have to remember you’re doing this, and not click “Post” in File 770 (which I have done at least once 😉 ).

        Liked by 2 people

        1. Yes, I thought Andrew was referring to Sad Puppies 2, which Beale actually did run by getting voters to come block vote Larry’s slate. But Sad Puppies 3 showed that the Sad Puppies were already completely out of it. SP3 did not have Rabids riding their coattails — SP3 rode the Rabids’ coattails. Beale formed the Rabids to give the Sads some respectability cover and also so that he had more control. The SP3 and Rabids slates were nearly identical and clearly had been put together mostly by Beale. Those who were on the SP3 slate but not on the Rabids’ slate did not make the Hugo nominee list — only those also on the Rabids did. And some of the Rabids’ slate not on SP3 made the Hugo nominee list. That’s because it was Beale who brought in the Gamergate voters as a bigger voter block that gamed the nominations. The Sads brought in basically nothing, not enough votes at all. Which is why the Sads cheered having Gatergamers brought in by Beale for both SP2 and SP3/RP1.

          The launching of EPH was to suppress all slate voting blocks, not simply Beale’s. But it was the realization that Beale was bringing in the Gamergate voters in block voting effectively that did prompt them to discuss what had been discussed previously but not, I think, come up for a vote at WorldCon before. In any case, the only year that the Sads launched a workable voter block for their slate was SP2, and that was only effective because they included Beale in the slate and Beale brought in voters. Beale bringing in voters helped them out in SP3, but by then it was really the Rabids’ show. At first they were thrilled with media coverage but then they realized that the media lumped the Rabids as part of and the controlling interest of the Sads and that the media coverage wasn’t positive but instead saw the Sads/Rabids as simply an extension of Gamergate. So then they tried to separate themselves from Beale and the Rabids for a bit and gave up all together.

          But currently they seem to be identifying themselves with Beale, his site and publisher, etc. once again. So even though the Sads could use EPH to their advantage if they made an effort, they instead just see themselves as “excluded” — along with the Rabids who ran the show. It’s kind of weird, actually.

          Liked by 1 person

    11. The weird thing is that, strictly in terms of the Puppy’s original complaint that a small clique prevented conservative SF from getting nominated, they ought to be singing EPH’s praises. They actually got what they asked for: a voting system that produces a more diverse ballot and prevents cliques from hogging all the slots.

      Liked by 3 people

    12. (various) ‘they don’t understand worldcon, fandom, fan history…”
      A fact I picked up on very early and which formed the basis of my “predictions” that No Award would win the day at Sasquan (and that subsequently got me accused of having inside knowledge of the voting).
      This complete disconnect with fandom in all of its aspects (even unto not recognizing the bear trap they were stepping into by violating a non-rule based cultural convention) had me puzzled for quite some time, until I realized the following:
      1. Most of them probably came up through gateshow “fandom” (thus, never being exposed to real fandom)
      2. treating the entire thing as nothing but a market that they viewed tthemselves as uniquely positioned to take advatantage of

      In other words, they’re Poachers, and nothing but poachers. Poachers, out for profit and nothing but, and damn the consequences of the slaughter they leave behind them. (Thank god there are laws against doing such, it means we can command a higher price….)

      Using that analogy, just about everything they did and are doing makes near complete sense.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. They remind me of spammers. They are completely amoral parasites upon the thing which gives them their livelihood, and unwilling to let themselves understand that wrecking it will inevitably lead to their own demise as well.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Nope to that last. Parasites just move on to the next grift after leaving a smoking ruin behind them, to mix metaphors like a blender in a tornado.

          Like

    13. Depending on the breaks, I ‘may’ be on a panel at Worldcon with this remit:

      Overcoming Fannish Tribalism
      Fans aren’t immune from the very human impulse to form “tribes.” This is fine until warfare (usually with words as weapons) breaks out. How are the tribes best pulled back together into the bigger tribe we call fandom?

      This would seem to be at least somewhat directed at bringing ‘puppies’ back into the fold.

      It also begs the question “what is a fan”?

      “Fan” (within the context of fandom) used to be about as well defined as “science fiction” has been. In other words, a “fan” is what I’m pointing at when I say, ‘that’s a fan'”

      There’s been a lot of argument on that topic of late, somewhat entangled with the concepts of openness and acceptance of diversity (starting with the right’s canard about being hypocticial if you aren’t willing to accept their calls for exclusion as part of the picture).

      Personally, I largely hew to the older quasi-definitions of fandom – someone who engages with fandom, engages in fanac, proclaims themselves to be a fan and demonstrably exhibits the qualities of being a fan –

      and I consider one of those qualities to be familiarity with fannish ways and only critiquing fannish ways from a background of experience and knowledge. (I’m not talking all-encompassing pass the fannish culture test; I’m talking about recognizing that fannish culture is its own thing and that if you want to fully participate, you understand, fundamentally, that you are in a learning environment. Like traveling to a foreign country; the neo-fan understands they speak a different language and may have customs they are unfamiliar with. They visit circumspectly, accept these different ways and try to understand them, knowing they may not understand all at the get go but ought to follow the local customs if only to be polite, rather than showing up in Paris and yelling at the ignorant savages because they don’t speak english…)

      In other words, you’re enculturated and somewhat knowledgeable BEFORE you start telling the rest of us that we’re doing fandom wrong. And you got enculturated in fandom because YOU wanted to be an accepted member of the culture. It was your personal desire to join that started the whole thing and your desire to “be” a fan that has led you to learn what you have about it.

      And like any other self-defined group or sub-culture, there ARE things you do, things you don’t do, customs, traditions, fables that teach lessons, knowledge you are expected to acquire, a specialized language you should learn – even a pantheon of Ghods you ought to have some passing knowledge of. All of that can be questioned, opened up for reinterpretation, changed, even eliminated – but attempting to do so is necessarily an “inside job”.

      You can’t join Scouting USA and become an Eagle Scout immediately. There are pre-conditions imposed by the society. If you signed up and immediately made a hairy ass out of yourself because you disagree with the fundamentals of that organization, they’re justified in removing you.

      You don’t take a college course on H.R. Mencken and insist during every lecture that everyone ought to be talking about Mark Twain. You’re being disruptive and preventing the class from achieving its purpose. Papers you submit about Mark Twain will justifiably receive a failing grade.

      If you show up to rent a car and refuse to provide the agency with a driver’s license, they won’t give you a car.

      Fandom is very much about beginning with shared interests and being willing to tolerate someone else’s passions (perhaps even learning something from them) because they’re tolerant of your passions and yes, we all agree that “science fiction” (that great, amorphous concept) is wonderful and anyone who loves it like we do is a kindred soul. (That guy likes so-and-so the author. I HATE so-and-so the author, but that guy is a fan, even if their taste in literature sucks. They’re doing exactly what I’m doing, even if they are doing it ‘wrong’. We can have some great fannish ‘debates’ about why one or the other of us is ‘wrong’).

      But I also think, as unfannish as this may sound, there are limits to acceptance, and I think one of those limits are folks who may act like fans, but who actively work towards the dismantling of fandom while being ignorant of it.

      Comments?

      Like

      1. I strongly agree that we ought to find some way to bring the puppies who’re actual fans back into the fold. Eric and I visited LibertyCon earlier this month, and we were both struck by how much it resembled any other fan convention. They laugh, smile, make jokes, wear costumes, and talk about the same famous SF writers of old that that rest of us do.

        Looking at it as a relative newcomer, it seems to me that what happened here was:

        a) A group of conservative fans convinced themselves the Hugo nominations were rigged against them by a small group who dominated the voting.
        b) They mounted a protest by exploiting a hole in the nominating rules. (I’m sure they never thought of it as a protest, but that’s what it amounted to.)
        c) When their first attempt didn’t work out, they invited outside help from unsavory people. The outside help was too effective, almost ruining the awards entirely. (Another problem familiar to protest organizers around the world.)
        d) From there on, the original point of the protest was completely forgotten; the tactics drowned the message.
        e) Ironically, the EPH voting scheme to fix the hole in the rules should have also addressed their original concern.

        It would seem to me, then, that the key to any rapprochement has to be getting key Puppy leaders to accept and promote the idea that EPH really represented a victory for their side. (It was a victory for everyone, something that should have been done a long time ago.) Beyond that, people have just got to be willing to forgive each other and leave the past in the past.

        That’s not an easy thing to do, but, short of that, I don’t see any end to the “tribalism” problem.

        Like

        1. I strongly agree that we ought to find some way to bring the puppies who’re actual fans back into the fold.

          That speaks to you and Eric being warm and friendly people. Getting key SPs to recognise the honest truth, that, as Camestros says, EPH actually guarantees them or any faction of comparable size the ability to have Hugo finalist slots, is a sensible and straightforward strategy but IMO won’t work within this decade because their victim narrative continues to be so strongly entrenched. (I must say, the vogue for bogus self-proclaimed persecution by the non-persecuted continues to astonish me, in both real-world and fannish politics. It’s not only the weirdest damned thing, but you’d think participants would eventually get embarrassed, on account of it being undignified and preposterous. Just shows I’ll never make it as a futurist.)

          Remember that bizarre moment when Kate Paulk rose at the Kansas City WSFS Business Meeting and made a very strange speech darkly condemning EPH? I had a very difficult time parsing what she said for quite a while afterwards: It was confusing, and I was trying to be generous of spirit in discussing what she said with some fellow attendees during a break afterwards, but botched recounting her remarks’ substance. Perhaps I should re-find them among the marathon video clips. It might be enlightening.

          But I’ll advocate the Taoist approach: Leave the people who want their victimhood bubble alone, be a Worldcon for everyone, don’t pick fights or insist on perpetuating feuds, and rely on reality slowly seeping in spontaneously through unplugged holes and finding new fans, the same way Worldcon has for 79 years.

          Me, I’m not only willing to have civil conversations with Sad Puppies, but (with my wife Deirdre) even had some pleasant e-mail exchanges with the Lord of Darkness, Mr. Beale, back in 2015. I am careful about repeating in public things from private e-mail discussions, but think I can describe this without revealing anything said in confidence, as to my knowledge nothing said was particularly confidential: Theo had considerable respect for Deirdre because she’d broken the Moira Greyland / MZB story on her blog, and then forthrightly and politely stood her ground when he challenged her on some matters during subsequent discussion on his blog. (For the record, Deirdre is glad to have broken the story, but certainly doesn’t endorse in any way the sweeping accusations, very far afield from the MZB topic, that comprise the second half of Greyland’s Castalia House book.) So, we were having an e-mail discussion about that, and other matters where we either successfully sought common ground or at least agreed to disagree. (Theo’s basic take on me and Deirdre was that we are harmless left-liberals distinct from his SJW enemies, for what it’s worth. Interesting. He also say he admires the fact that we don’t have much truck with group shunning. And that we find ideologues and their symbol-obssessions, including on our mundane-politics side, the Left, tedious.)

          One of the many things I attempted to politely challenge Theo on was his implication that the RPs’ messing with WSFS was another phase of his prior hostilities with SFWA and with Patrick & Teresa / Tor Cabal / Scalzi / Jemisin/ / Kowal / etc. I said we were fairly typical of minor SMOFdom in having no compelling reason to hate him, only annoyance at his tactics and a likelihood of acting to curb them. I said that the notion, then-prevalent, of Helsinki’s selection over DC for 2017 as a ploy to keep ‘conservatives’ (or whatever) away from the Business Meeting was bushwah because more than 4/5 of the Business Meeting regulars are going to be present and behave exactly the same way irrespective of where in the world that year’s Worldcon is held. And I explained why any Business Meeting motion to further some agenda of either real-world politics or in-group vs. out-group feuding would be a non-starter: SMOFdom is almost pathologically hard on the appearance of ‘elitism’ or the appearance of unfairness or unlateralism in WSFS governance, and trying to wield WSFS as anyone’s bludgeon would IMO fail hard. (I said: “The WSFS regulars don’t like the shambles that recent events have, in their view, made of the Hugo Award process, but they would rather eat glass than do anything that would seem partisan against you or either of the two Puppy factions, because they’re just incredibly stubborn that way.’) Theo said he’d heard that an alliance of PNH and a couple of allies to push through a Business Meeting motion hostile to his cause. I replied that offhand I didn’t even see how that could work at all: The Business Meeting is a very experienced parliamentary assembly, one tamper-resistent and not easily swayed, and one that’s gone through decades of much worse fighting without erosion of its strong devotion to a level playing field.

          I wish I could find my exact wording (can’t at the moment): Following up on my ‘WSFS is not SFWA’ point to him, I asked Theo near the end of our discussion, I asked (paraphrased): ‘If you seriously believe that WSFS is hostile to you and your group, what specifically would a non-hostile WSFS look like? In what particulars would it differ in structure or conduct?’ That was a serious question. For whatever reason, Theo didn’t address it. (Yes, I could cynically speculate about why, too.)

          Theo and RPs always struck me as pretty easy to understand, and, oddly enough, to communicate with. The SPs I found more difficult, because it seemed all about emotive fixation on (imaginary) victimhood and (farfetched) grievances. The closest I’ve come to engaging with one of their leaders directly was at the 2014 Westercon when I attended Correia’s one-person GoH presentation, in which he paraded his pile of grievances. After listening carefully, I considered raising my hand and trying to discuss things with him, but must admit I chickened out, because all the conversation-openers I could think of seemed doomed, e.g., ‘Hi, I’m an extremely minor Worldcon conrunner and S.F. Bay Area liberal who enjoys your books and doesn’t mind in the slightest that they’re somewhat cheesy gun-porn, but is having a difficult time buying your angry oppression narrative, especially the claims about the Reno Worldcon that you seem to have conjured up suddenly years after the fact, and wonder if you wouldn’t be happier if you just calmed down, enjoy being a successful midlist fantasy author, and keep working at writing a novel that truly kicks ass and wins because of y’know, people voting for it.’

          That wouldn’t have ended well.

          Liked by 2 people

      2. Steve Davidson: Personally, I largely hew to the older quasi-definitions of fandom – someone who engages with fandom, engages in fanac, proclaims themselves to be a fan and demonstrably exhibits the qualities of being a fan

        I pretty much disagree with everything here but your last five paragraphs. There is a huge difference between fandom and a rental car agency or a university literature course or Scouting: all of those organisations have set rules and a legal chain of authority, and fandom does not. I get that you have a picture of what fandom is in your mind, but it’s not a universal picture, and I would oppose efforts to insist that everyone agree with and conform to it.

        Like

      3. I think you need to differentiate between fans of various SFF and SFF-related things and people who are involved in things like SFF media and running conventions. A fan is anyone who is enthusiastic about and very interested in something. That does not involve being knowledgeable and certainly not being knowledgeable about say a convention’s history or the entire run of genre literature. People who have been very involved in magazines or SFF organizations or putting together conventions or events at conventions tend to have this idea that they are the “fannish” culture. But they are a very tiny sub-section of fans who happen to be doing particular things and know a lot about one small area. That doesn’t make them more a fan than someone else. Conventions, all types, are a very small part of speculative fandom.

        The Sad Puppies are fans and authors. They are unhappy that other fans and authors are not doing what they want politically and are not who they want politically. I don’t think most of them are going to change their politics because they see it as their identity. And POC fans, gay fans and women fans are not going to change to a political view that they don’t deserve to be at SFF events, or get awards, etc., and that they should put up with accusations that they’ve rigged awards, are trying to kill the Sad Puppies or put them in cages, or are lying to destroy all the white people, etc.

        A lot of what is called “tribes” are people who have been forced into groups by discrimination where their civil rights are seen as conditionally granted and their persons as inferior. And in order to be able to participate in spaces and in what they are interested in as fans, those groups are going to keep pointing out discrimination and insisting that it be dismantled. This is not going to be liked by those who want to ignore discrimination or keep it in place because they think the old way was fine and they’ll lose out in various ways if it’s changed.

        The impasse isn’t different types of fandom. The impasse is fundamental, institutional hierarchies of discrimination in our societies that shift very slowly. We are in the middle of a major but more diffuse and global civil rights movement. SFF organizations, conventions, publishers, book readers, etc. are not exempt from that. And the issues in those areas are much bigger than the Puppies — discrimination in publishing, cover whitewashing, discrimination in reviews, etc. People in marginalized groups will keep pushing to be in spaces and less marginalized. People like the Puppies — who benefit from the civil rights efforts of the marginalized but refuse to acknowledge it — will either eventually accept a reduced hierarchy or they will keep trying to maintain it. The main issues really don’t involve the Puppies at all — they aren’t the main people who are limiting marginalized people’s access. They just reiterated the tired old arguments of exclusion.

        All the nice mainly white people who keep trying to make peace between “tribes” — they are maintaining the hierarchy of discrimination. They are insisting that the marginalized justify their attempts at equality and access as worthy, justify themselves as worthy because the marginalized are seen as petitioners rather than equals on these issues. And that they concede some of their civil rights so that those who benefit from the hierarchy continue to feel comfortable — and in charge. That the marginalized stay quiet and stop pushing on discrimination.

        Which isn’t going to happen. So instead of trying to define what makes a “fan” as if participation of fans occurs on a level playing field which has never existed or required some special certificate, instead of trying to give up civil rights efforts and not make anyone angry, all the fans are going to have to accept that it’s going to be a continual discussion and unfortunately often a struggle to reduce and dismantle discrimination and increase access. And that a lot of people are going to be unhappy about that because it is different from what they are used to and how they want to think about the world.

        Conflict is not the problem — it’s the on-going improvement. Discrimination is the problem and always has been. And qualifying who is a “fan” is unfortunately mostly part of that discrimination.

        Liked by 1 person

    14. greghullender: I strongly agree that we ought to find some way to bring the puppies who’re actual fans back into the fold.

      There is a very easy way to accomplish that: the Puppies have to stop the abusive badmouthing and the ridiculous conspiracy theories about the rest of fandom, and start participating in good faith.

      I would welcome that, but I don’t see it happening, because it’s their chief method of monetizing their fanbase and selling books, so they’re not likely to be willing to give it up. As long as they keep doing what they’ve been doing for years now, “forgiveness” is out of the question.

      In the meantime, I see no need for “rapprochement” with them. There is no requirement for everyone to like the same things or be one big happy family — and neither of those things will ever happen, anyway. They can do the things that they love, I’ll do the things that I love, and I’ll continue ignoring them as long as they aren’t attacking friends of mine or things that I love, including the Hugo Awards.

      Liked by 1 person

    15. “I strongly agree that we ought to find some way to bring the puppies who’re actual fans back into the fold.”

      WHY?

      I look at the vicious, mendacious, obnoxious, whining, and snide things that all the Puppy bloggers and commenters have written online and said in interviews over and over and over for the past 4 years, showing us very consistently over a long period of time exactly who they are and how they behave… And I don’t want anything whatsoever to do with them.

      I am completely opposed to the longstanding “hey, they may be abusive assholes, but they’re OUR abusive assholes, so let’s embrace them” view of fandom. One of the symptoms of that is this idea that now that the Puppies have lost their confrontations with the Hugo Awards, fandom should “bring them back into the fold,” as if none of their related behavior matters AND as if none of their related behavior is ongoing (as it certainly is).

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Exactly. They’re still acting like abusive assholes all the time, so I don’t want them at our “family reunions”. They’re free to go to their own where this behavior is accepted (OH JOHN RINGO NO).

        To do a party metaphor: Puppies used to be hogging the chip and dip table *and* insulting everyone else at the party. They’re not hogging the chips and dip any more, but they’re still insulting the same people in the same way.

        No invitation for them. Begone unless you can behave like civilized people and develop some manners.

        Like

    16. I was still bothered by having not really followed what Kate Paulk said during the 2016 (MidAmericon II, Kansas City) WSFS Business Meeting, so I actually found it online, with help from the redoubtable Alex Acks’s liveblog — from which I saw that her comments concerned not EPH but rather that year’s Three-Stage Voting aka 3SV proposal (which unlike EPH in the end was not adopted). (Direct link.) Transcribed:

      “I’m Kate Paulk. Some of you may recognise my name. I don’t care if you do or don’t. I would like to point out that, as written, this candidate… this proposal is for a vote of all the membership. Since some of the membership are committed — and I’m not naming names — but since some of the membership are highly committed to having works of their choice stay in, and works of their… works that they dislike stay out, what precisely does this do, to prevent a highly motivated antithetical group from taking membership, and then using that to knock out worthy candidates? What does this proposal do to enhance the reputation of the Hugo Awards? What does it do to increase the membership, which, given the popularity of science fiction as a whole, and the increasing popularity of young people, should have a voting base more than double its current base? It should be wildly popular. And, if there are thousands upon thousands of voters, and thousands upon thousands of nominators, the ability of any one specific faction to dominate anything is massively diluted. Whereas, this proposal is really going to expose the awards to even more likelihood of manipulation, and do a great deal of damage, in my opinion, to the reputation of the Hugos as a whole, to the reputation of the Hugo Committee for honesty, and to the future of the Hugo Awards.”

      As a reminder, 3SV was one of several reactions to the (in the view of many) polluting of the finalist pool at Sasquan that resulted in the unprecedented spectacle of Hugo voters bestowing ‘no award’ in five major categories. Seeking to prevent that extreme remedy being needed again, 3SV would have added, in effect, a review stage at which the voters could de-nominate particular entries from the final ballot before they became finalists. Ultimately, it failed adoption in part out of concerns over practical considerations, partly out of cumulative proposal fatigue, but (IMO) mostly because outright voting against nominees left a bad taste in people’s mouths. (They’d rather the voting be structured as for things.)

      Paulk’s comments were, for starters, so far out of left field that I wasn’t the only listener whose face at the time conveyed ‘Eh? What was that again?’ It didn’t obviously address the merits of the proposal at all, nor the prior speech by proposer Colin Harris. Also, once assessed and parsed, one finds that it was maths-challenged, to boot. An evil cabal wanting to ‘knock out worthy candidates’ at the (proposed) semi-final stage would need to marshal for an entry more ‘no’ votes than it got ‘yes’ votes. There’s a conventional name we have for that outcome: We call it ‘democracy’ (not ‘faction’). And the rest of Paulk’s screed was the old logic-challenged song about democracy-I-don’t-like is somehow horrible, disreputable, and why-you’re-not-Dragoncon, tra la.

      During the break that followed soon after, not having quite assessed the substance of Paulk’s calmly stated but weirdly emotive stump speech, I tried to say nice things about her having made her case in a civil fashion and participated in our assembly — which is true. Apparently (I later heard at the Filer meetup), this made several listeners think I was a Sad Puppy. Some days, you just can’t win.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Rick Moen: Paulk’s comments… didn’t obviously address the merits of the proposal at all, nor the prior speech by proposer Colin Harris. Also, once assessed and parsed, one finds that it was maths-challenged, to boot. An evil cabal wanting to ‘knock out worthy candidates’ at the (proposed) semi-final stage would need to marshal for an entry more ‘no’ votes than it got ‘yes’ votes. There’s a conventional name we have for that outcome: We call it ‘democracy’ (not ‘faction’). And the rest of Paulk’s screed was the old logic-challenged song about democracy-I-don’t-like is somehow horrible, disreputable, and why-you’re-not-Dragoncon, tra la.

        I didn’t, and still don’t, support 3SV — but during her little speech, I pretty much sprained my eyes from rolling them so hard. Not only for the reasons you cite, but because of the ultimate hypocrisy of one of the ringleaders of the incrediblly dishonest Puppy attack on the integrity of the Hugo Awards, having the sheer audacity to speak about the reputation, the honesty, and the future of the Hugo Awards — after being one of the people who was trying to destroy them.

        She then later made a comment about how the majority of the Business Meeting attendees seemed to be nice and not part of the “SJW Cabal” simply because the people there treated her with the courtesy which Puppies would not have shown a Worldcon member, had the situation been reversed. She utterly misconstrued politeness as meaning that people agreed with her. 🙄

        Liked by 1 person

        1. JJ, I’m fond of partially quoting Winston Churchill on how to treat belligerent people (where he was speaking of his polite letter to the Japanese ambassador, announcing Britain’s declaration of war after the attack on Pearl Harbor): ‘It costs nothing to be polite.’ If people happen to know the other half of that quotation, all the better. ;->

          Taking notice of conspicuous failures of reciprocity is good for amusement, absolutely, but I’ve found it seems to make little impression in the current age, sadly.

          Like

        2. That whole business meeting stump speech as it has been labeled was nothing more than a puppy trying to beard the lion in its den. Counting Coup. Look how brave I am, I stood in a room surrounded by puppy kickers and MADE them listen to me!
          It was not done for the benefit of the business meeting, the Hugo awards, Worldcon or Fandom, it was done only to raise her prestige among her base.

          Like

        3. Steve Davidson: It was not done for the benefit of the business meeting, the Hugo awards, Worldcon or Fandom, it was done only to raise her prestige among her base.

          Oh, it was definitely also done because she was trying to stop the anti-slating measures. She also showed up at the session where 5/6 and EPH got ratified and tried to speak against them as well, with little success.

          Like

        4. no doubt, but given their rhetoric online prior to the con, they themselves were stating tha they hoped everything would be passed because it would surely hasten the end of worldcon, the hugo awards and fandom.
          What Paulk did was the equivalent of a sports team, ahead by an insurmountable margin, giving their second and third string some on-field time because nothing they might do could possibly affect the outcome.

          Like

    17. JJ: It was the first Paulk speech (during the 3SV debate) that really tripped me up and motivated me to look up and ponder it again, for the reasons I mentioned. I’d frankly forgotten she’d spoken the next day (Sunday session) during the EPH & 5/6 ratification discussion later; it didn’t leave much of an impression on me — but I was curious enough to find that since you mentioned it.

      She rose twice. Once was while Jameson Quinn and Dave McCarty (the latter’s 51-page report) were presenting data-analytical results on what specific effect EPH would have had on various Hugo categories, based on the raw voting data that had been available at that point for less than 24 hours. (The two of them had been up all night running the numbers.) McCarty explained the algorithm’s effect on about a dozen categories, but said he’d made the judgement call to skip figuring out what effect it would have had on the BDP categories because it would have taken more work than the other categories to run that simulation, and he just didn’t feel like doing it (while tired and on extremely short deadline). (FWIW, Quinn later wrote on Acks’s blog his own view that this was an unfortunate call and why, but at the time McCarty made that decision didn’t feel like challenging him.)

      It was at this point that Paulk rose to ask, as a point of information, how much work will this place on future management. This was ruled out of order as debate, since it was not directly about the data analysis that was, y’know, the meeting’s focus at that moment. You can sort-of call this Paulk tepidly trying to ‘stop’ EPH, but, if so, very ineptly, since this digression was instantly terminated by the chair on obvious parliamentary grounds.

      Half an hour later was the second occasion, when we’d moved on to 4 of 6, which was just about to be amended at Stephen Desjardins’s suggestion to 5 of 6, that amendment was the motion on the floor, and debate concerned whether this was a greater change requiring another year of ratification, or a lesser change. (It was eventually ruled lesser, and ultimately 5 of 6 passed because it pleased Hugo regulars to nominate more entries. it also turns out that EPH functions better with more input data, so there’s more of a synergistic effect between the two anti-slating measures with five ballot slots instead of just four.) On the greater vs. lesser change matter (while this question was pending), Paulk rose: (Direct link. I’m the doofus in the Panama hat.)

      “The wording on the last sentence of 3.7.1 states: ‘Four equally weighted nominations. Is that required to be changed?” (Answer heard: “No.”) “And, if so, is that a greater or a lesser change?” (Todd Dashoff, from the chair, answered the query that all references to 4 would change to 5.) “I am asking if a change is needed for ‘equally weighted’, in the light of EPH.” (Various people say “No.” Tim Illingsworth, the parliamentarian, says: “That would have been changed by EPH. This could stand as an independent change to the constitution.” In other words, this is thus a non-issue. Todd rules out of order someone’s attempt to clarify the meaning of ‘equally weighted’ in this context, calls the question, Desjardins’s amendment (ruled a lesser change) passes using the ever-popular serpentine vote method, then 5 of 6 swiftly passes. EPH+ was proposed, passed its first year (but later was declined by the Helsinki assembly), and we were adjourned sine die, all dog tired. Yay!

      So, again, you could (somewhat cynically) call Paulk’s interjection a lukewarm and futile attempt to bog down progress and defer 5 of 6 by a year, but it wasn’t much of one and was immediately answered and set aside. And her query certainly was not out of line; it was, after all, phrased as a request for clarification, and addressed as such.

      Like

    Comments are closed.