So the original French title of the song “Windmills of Your Mind” translates as “Windmills of My Heart”. Somebody with more talent than I could probably spin that factlet out into a lengthy essay on the difference between the Continental and Analytic strands of philosophy in the Twentieth Century.
Instead it behooves me to bow to the inevitable wheel within a wheel and present to you like a tunnel within a tunnel, like a turd within a loo, Vox Day reviewing Jordan Peterson’s Twelve Rules for Life. Regular Link and Archive Link.
Fairs fair, I’ll concede to agree with a lot of what Vox Day writes about Peterson here. Elsewhere, Vox is going further off the rails trying to dismantle Peterson’s theory of truth. Of course, Peterson doesn’t actually have a theory of truth, he’s just spouting the first thing that comes into his head and then covering up the mess with argle-bargle. Vox’s main concern is that Peterson is offering a heretical alternative to Vox’s more extreme position on the question of ‘how pro-fascism can we be without admitting it’. Peterson I’ll grant is somebody who really doesn’t want to be a fascist but for reasons best known to him has accepted a whole pile of premises which makes him susceptible to right wing authoritarianism. Is ‘fascist ideation’ a concept? I feel uneasy just making up a term by adding ‘ideation’ to it.
“However, the more sophisticated reader cannot help but notice that Peterson does not follow his own rules, particularly the three which relate to speaking precisely, telling the truth, and getting one’s own house in order before trying to fix the world.”
Correct and I think this is the most obvious and negating of Peterson’s book. He fails on all three fronts in the book itself and even more broadly when you look at his wider statements, videos etc.
This next paragraph by Vox Day also is hard to disagree with:
“Peterson is an engaging and accessible writer when he is simply recounting events of the past or relating experiences from his own life. He is a sympathetic author, and he effectively communicates the way in which the tragedy and suffering he has experienced throughout his life have made a deep impression on his psyche. It is when he tries to wax profound and articulate his underlying philosophy that his writing invariably wades into a swamp of nonsensical name-dropping that is less Jungian than Joycean, a meandering waking stream of consciousness that not only fails to substantially support the nominal premise, but often bears no relationship to it whatsoever.”
After that Vox’s review becomes less insightful. His agenda here is to try and negate the influence of Peterson on people within Vox Day’s target audience – the ideologically adrift anti-left seeking order. His capacity to critique Peterson is limited by his inability to address many of Peterson’s more silly ideas because Vox shares many of them (e.g. IQ essentialism, dominance hierarchies as the main tool for analysing society etc.)
Vox correctly points out that Peterson is not a conventional Christian but then neither is Vox Day. He also says that Peterson is not of the right but fails to explain how he is of either the centre or the left. Vox is closer to understanding Peterson when he focuses on his essential incoherence but pushes on as if the contradictions Peterson pushes don’t matter and a single message can be divined within the details.
Who is worse? Vox is a clearer writer when it comes to non-fiction but then he says much worse things than Peterson does but then again Peterson seems to be a more prevelant gateway drug for this nonsense. It’s just a layers of appaling really…it’s like…it’s like…
Like a fascist reviewing fascists,
Like a heel reviewing heels,
Like some nonsense written clearly,
Like some similie on wheels,
Like some appalling human being
With a mega-selling book,
Like a wannabe sci-fi author,
With a podgy skin-head look,
Like a tunnel in a tunnel with a tunnel underneath,
Like a really boring lecture on the nature of belief,
Like a song with too many lyrics,
Like Canadian academe,
Like you really hate this party,
But you don’t want to make a scene,
Like the windmills that you start,
In the Netherlands of your heart.
So, on average a rabbits weighs say 2 kg and I don’t know, maybe a lobster typically weighs 0.5 kg? Rabbits can be surprisingly aggressive but lobsters have a thick exoskeleton and claws. Obviously, rabbits can run away more easily but we haven’t determined where this conflict is occurring. Sure, a rabbit can adapt well to a wide range of terrestrial environments but they aren’t aquatic mammals and would simply drown if they tried to engage a lobster on the sea floor. You’d think that lobsters aren’t cut out for sustained warfare in burrows but if we extend our range of what we count as a ‘lobster’ then we’d need to consider the Engaeus aka the Tasmanian Burrowing Crayfish. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Engaeus Burrowing crayfish also live on mainland Australia in southern Victoria – so it’s not impossible that there are recorded cases of rabbits fighting crayfish. Having said that, if we are extending out the definition of “lobster” to a completely different species we may as well extend “rabbit” to include wombats.
Now imagine the same argument but I said that a rabbit weighs 55 pounds based on a misunderstanding of this article https://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/04/03/ralph-worlds-largest-bunny-rabbit_n_3006487.html It is worthwhile considering if the quality of argument has actually got much worse if it included that error. One way to think of this is in terms of local versus global issues in an argument. I’m borrowing freely from how Imre Lakatos talked about counter-examples in mathematical arguments and applying it badly to the exact opposite – nonsensical arguments.
- The rabbit mass error is an error but it has little impact on the whole argument (which is a silly argument). The scope of the error is highly limited. The pro-lobster side of the argument may feel happy when they debunk the error but their position hasn’t improved.
- The redefinition argument, so as to include crayfish under ‘lobster’ has a much wider scope. It changes the nature of the argument and has a much broader impact.
- Neither of those two issues actually address the broadest level of the argument which is that the premise is silly. Lobsters and rabbits are not in direct conflict because of the kinds of animals that they are. For them to actually be in a direct conflict they would need to be different kinds of animals and hence none of the actual features of either rabbit of lobsters is relevant to the question.
‘Yes, thank you for clarifying that,’ I hear you say as tiny voices in my head, ‘but what has this got to do with anything and could you maybe just draw more beard pictures instead?’
It’s Vox Day feuding with Jordan Peterson – yes I’m sure Vox would prefer wolves rather than rabbits but obviously, lobsters would beat wolves*.
I was tempted to discuss the argument in more depth but it really is about as silly as lobsters versus rabbits but with added racism (specifical anti-semitism). The problem with looking at either of their arguments in any detail is that they globally make little sense and are full of local errors. To discuss the local errors in any detail requires assuming for the sake of argument the more absurd premises – which would be one thing if we were looking at, say, homoeopathy but in this case, the absurd premises are particularly venomous ones i.e. anti-Semitic or more generally racist ones.
Both Peterson and Vox Day are IQ essentialists. That is they think
- that IQ *is* intelligence (which it almost certainly isn’t),
- and that evidence of hereditary aspects of IQ demonstrates that intelligence is overwhelmingly genetic (which is doubly questionable),
- and evidence of some correlations between IQ and social success in modern societies demonstrates that social success is genetic (which is now a stack of suppositions),
- and that different degrees of social success among different ethnic groups/nations is CAUSED by differences in IQ of those groups (which we can probably assume now is just plain wrong),
- and that those differences are genetic.
It is a house of cards but one with some numbers based on research of very variable quality. Also, it is definitively a racist theory, as in it is literally a theory that asserts that different groups of humans are more or less inferior on a very broad range of traits due to inherent differences. I’ve discussed IQ many times before, so I won’t rehash all those arguments, other than to say the first point is the core error: we can collect interesting and useful numbers using scientific and ‘objective’ methods but the INTERPRETATION of those numbers is not simply established by having reliable numbers. That the numbers used in IQ arguments such as these tend not to be that reliable ANYWAY is a more local issue.
Peterson and others that we might call ‘moderate racists’ if that wasn’t an oxymoron, like these IQ essentialist style arguments because they see them as being a bulwark against demands for equality. For them, it demonstrates that modern societies are a meritocracy and that inequality of outcome is due to fundamental biological differences between people.
Vox Day’s ideology is far more overtly racist but the rationalisation is much the same. So shouldn’t Vox Day and Peterson be pals? Ah, you might think that but remember both Vox and Peterson also both believe strongly in dominance hierarchies as a biological imperative and as a kind of the social norm for masculine behaviour. Which is a kind of weird self-fulfilling psychological theory i.e. Peterson’s psychology is largely bunk but it does actually sort of work for people who believe Peterson’s psychology. Put another way: Vox and Peterson are warring lobsters. They’ll react to others encroaching on their territory as either:
- Obviously superior lobsters – who they’ll acknowledge as such.
- Lobsters of equivalent rank but who are both willing to stay a safe difference away in the neatly defined territory.
- Rival lobsters that require a showy dominance display so they stick to their own territory.
- Lower ranked lobsters who can be easily chased away.
Note, when I say ‘lobsters’ these are Petersonian-lobsters, not the actual crustaceans who actually have nothing to do with this at all. Also humans don’t really behave this way – this is a kind of self-imposed behaviour.
Peterson isn’t smart enough to impress Vox (here Vox is correct) but Peterson is getting a lot of fuss and attention as a thinker on the right. Hence, following the psychological theory of both of them, they have to fight. Specifically, they are fighting over anti-Semitism and when I say ‘fighting’, I think is mainly Vox moaning about Peterson rather than vice-versa.
Peterson decided to counter anti-Semitic arguments by arguing that the success of some Jewish people in Western society was due to on an average higher IQ of Ashkenazi Jews. That offends Vox as he likes to push anti-Semitic conspiracy theories. Of course, the factual basis Peterson’s claims is based on weak and dodgy research and requires assuming complex social phenomenon can be explained by one numerical parameter. Vox’s could then mount a counter-argument that picks holes in Peterson’s position by pointing out errors and weaknesses. Now it doesn’t matter to Vox that many of the weaknesses he points out are actually the same weaknesses in Vox’s own arguments about IQ (e.g. over generalising from a weak study with few participants who aren’t a random sample) nor does it matter that neither of them address relevant questions about who exactly they are talking about.
Peterson set up his argument as a false dichotomy (success of some Jewish people in America being either genetics or conspiracy) and then arguing for ‘genetics’. By doing so, the very way he framed the argument helps more overt anti-Semites because somebody like Vox Day can point to weaknesses and errors in his argument (mainly local ones) and declare that they’ve proved the other part of the false dichotomy. Put another way: bad arguments generate worse arguments.
Peterson thinks he’s scoring a point against anti-Semitism when he uses what is racial theory in a positive light towards a group that has been persecuted and marginalised. However, there is never any positive way to use racism – all he manages is to create a strawman for more overt racists to knock over. The effect is like a ratchet of prejudice – Peterson pulls readers into accepting a set of dodgy ideas that once accepted make it difficult to avoid believing a whole set of even worse ideas.
*[wolves are basically just dogs and any dog I know, if it saw a lobster would just freak out and run away. So, in this specific case, the question has an answer: lobster beat wolves by being weird looking.]
Sometimes a song stays at the top of the charts so long it seems to become a permanent fixture. For such a long time Elsa’s signature song “Let it Go” from Frozen was the song that the alt-right loved to hate, whether it was this blog’s go-to rabid Vox Day or this blog’s go-to pseudo-intellectual Jordan “nope lobster” Peterson.
But finally, there appears to be a contender! From the hagiographic biopic musical of a historical racist and exploiter P.T.Barnum aka “The Greatest Showman”, the song “This is Me” has upset Vox Day with feelings.
The song can be seen here:
I should note that I don’t think much of the song or the film. The song is representative of the main approach to the music and the plot – start dejected/maudlin and then shift gradually to triumphalism. The body-positivity message is repeatedly overwhelmed with a Horatio Alger myth of hard work and believing in yourself etc etc. to overcome adversity. I didn’t feel stirred or moved by it but I’m a soulless monster who lives in a cave in a dark forest.
“My first response to hearing the song and seeing the video was to feel the profound and programmed emotional stirring. My second response was to put that emotional effect in intellectual context, and think, kill it with fire. And my third response was to reflect upon how good these evil rhetoricians are, and realize how far we have to go in order to effectively counteract their influence on the mass culture.
Don’t be surprised if you find yourself feeling oddly defensive of the song. That defensiveness you are feeling is testimony to the power of the rhetoric. But review the lyrics and analyze the imagery. It is powerful cultural programming, but it loses its power and becomes transparent when viewed through coldly dialectic analytical eye. “Reaching for the sun” indeed…..”
Zoiks! His reaction appears to be genuine and I’m forced to reconsider whether a song that discombobulates the alt-right so effectively that it sends them into a struggle with their own emotions, can be all that bad.
Maybe because it has some elements which are positive but wrapped up in a message of centre-right of self-esteem it hits a nerve. This is not unlike “Let It Go” where the self-affirmation by Elsa is nearly-but-not-quite the same ideology/pseudo-psychology of Peterson, that they find it more viscerally unsettling because it is a woman who is affirming her individualist independence from society.
Anyway…Vox then heads off into more alarming rhetoric of his own:
“Just remember that we’re the ones with the guns. We’re the side with no reason for shame. We are servants of the King and the defenders of the West. They know they are guilty, they know they are damned, and they are openly flaunting their sin. They are warriors and they are at war with our God, our civilization, our faith, and our nation.”
The takes a detour into anti-semitism and homophobia and then declares:
“Their satanic hymns will not save them from the justice of the Almighty God in the end.”
As you know, I’m not religious but I enjoy theology. If I was religious I really would have to wonder what god it is that Vox Day worships. There was an earlier piece a few days ago where Vox said something unintentionally revealing and disturbing once you pause and think about his position on many issues: (direct link, archive link)
“Here is a reliable heuristic for evil: does it justify, rationalize, excuse, defend, encourage, advocate, or require sex with children in any way, openly or covertly, directly or indirectly? Then it is evil, topped by an evil sauce, with a side of evil.”
Does that strike anybody else as deeply unself-aware of things he has actually said?
Vox Day has repeatedly cast doubt on the claims of victims of sexual assault and abuse. For example this comment from is pickup-artistry site in 2013:
“Sexual abuse is a problem. But as is often the case, the overreaction to it has created problems of its own, as children have become aware that they can create massive problems for adults by falsely accusing them. Perhaps the awareness that they run the risk of bankruptcy if they don’t control their progeny will convince parents that their little angels may, in fact, be little devils in disguise.”
He has repeatedly opposed Codes of Conducts generically for example saying:
“This is just straight up thought, speech, and behavioral policing, and it explicitly goes in one direction, the direction that provides the SJWs with political control of the organization.”
…about a code that sought to prevent:
Physical contact and simulated physical contact (eg, textual descriptions like “hug” or “backrub”) without consent or after a request to stop. Threats of violence, both physical and psychological. Incitement of violence towards any individual, including encouraging a person to commit suicide or to engage in self-harm. Deliberate intimidation. Stalking or following. Harassing photography or recording, including logging online activity for harassment purposes. Unwelcome sexual attention, including gratuitous or off-topic sexual images or behaviour. Pattern of inappropriate social contact, such as requesting/assuming inappropriate levels of intimacy with others.
Of course that code didn’t expressily mention child protection, but don’t forget Vox’s caveat: ‘openly or covertly, directly or indirectly’.
Even his much vaunted campaigns against pedophiles is something he primarily uses to attack critics, push homphobia or demonise immigrants. The conspiracy theories he promulgates (and which his vandalised version of Wikipedia promotes) serves to hide the danger and prevelance of sexual abuse and exploitation of children.
I don’t know. It’s probably just routine malice mixed with incompotence and confusion about his own semiotics. Maybe it is just his tendency to mix his own messages (like attempting to ironically surrounded himself with pseudo-satanic imagery while styling himself as an evangelical Christian) but given the whole of the picture, I keep returning to the question: if Vox thinks gods are real what kind of god is it that he worships and would deem itself happy with his efforts?
https://voxday.blogspot.com.au/2015/09/weaponized-codes.html and yes, the bits I quoted were not the only thing in that code of conduct but they were parts that Vox also quoted and he clearly objected to them being in the code. }
[ETA: sorry that got a bit darker at the end. For added amusement, Vox trying to get his minions to understand his point in the comments is funny in places.
“It isn’t about YOU. It isn’t about YOUR reaction. Why is that so damned difficult for so many of you to understand? You do not win by holding your ground, you win by taking the enemy’s ground.
FFS, next I’m going to have to write fucking musicals. I don’t want to write fucking musicals.”
Gosh, why IS it so difficult for a bunch of alt-right/MRAs to understand that it isn’t about them and their reaction? 🙂
Also, the witchfinder general of SF has stepped into the discussion: http://www.brianniemeier.com/2018/04/what-were-really-up-against.html
“The Disney paypigs who continue subjecting their children to satanically inspired princess movies no doubt blissfully hum this song to themselves as they wait in the drive-thru at Starbucks. But among the disaffected engineer types who, while smarter, tend to make a vice of excess pragmatism, the equal and opposite problem emerged.”
? No, I’m not sure what he is trying to say either. ]
I covered the revisionism of Sarah Hoyt’s account of the Sad Puppy debarkle yesterday. Lots of people noticed a very weird issue with her account – no Rabid Puppies were mentioned. Now true the two campaigns were different (we are a polypuppyist school here unlike those monopuppyists) but it is weird to discuss the actions and motivations of everyone else involved without mentioning the Rabid Puppy campaign. By omitting the ‘alt-right’ from the account, Hoyt herself blurred the distinction between the campaigns.
What is obvious to the critics of the Sad Pups is also obvious to the hydrophobic hounds also. Here is Vox Day’s commentary on the Hoyt piece (direct link and archive link if you don’t want to give clicks).
“I find this rather fascinating for what it omits. The Baen cum Sad Puppies crowd is in an uncomfortable position not terribly different from that of Never Trump and the cuckservatives. They are accustomed to being the sole opposition to the SJWs in science fiction, and viewing themselves as the proper and respectable opposition, so they really don’t know what to do about the Rabid Puppies…”
And the lyssavirus labradors continue:
“So, they push a narrative to the public in which we don’t exist, even though without us, Sad Puppies would have remained what it was prior to our involvement, a minor bump in the road that didn’t even require any suppression outside of the usual routine. This is not to say that what they did was not admirable, and indeed, their construction of the Dragon Awards will likely prove to be more significant in the long run than our demolition of the Hugo Awards. I merely observe that their efforts would have been insufficient in our absence.”
Vox is also prone to self-delusion but not to the same extent as Hoyt perhaps because he’s already accepted that his positions are appalling and inimical to freedom. Of course, he’s still deluded that somehow the Hugos were destroyed when they continue at least as actively as prior to the Sad Pups. However, parts of his analysis there are correct – the Sad Pups want credit for the scale of their actions but want to pretend the Rabids had nothing to do with – to the extent of airbrushing them out of the photo.
Sarah A Hoyt designated leader of Sad Puppies 5 aka The Pups of Ennui, has written a piece ostensibly about John Ringo pulling out of a con at Pajamas Media. https://pjmedia.com/trending/of-conservatives-and-conventions/?singlepage=true
The piece re-litigates the Sad Puppies campaign (which as Chris Chupik has told us, the Pups all moved on from years ago).
Let’s count the errors, omissions and statements whose relationship with the truth varies from “It’s complicated” to “Not in a relationship”.
“For those of you wanting to follow this at home, the score card is this: Five years ago, my friend Larry Correia started a movement called Sad Puppies, which was a half joking attempt to get books not of solid leftist bent (not even right wing, just not preachy left) nominated for the Hugo”
The campaign being, of course, the “How to get Correia nominated for a Hugo” campaign and the books he wanted to get nominated for a Hugo were his own. http://monsterhunternation.com/2013/01/08/how-to-get-correia-nominated-for-a-hugo/
The revisionist stance of the Puppies means a rationalisation for later campaigns propogates backwards in time to change the rationalisation for earlier campaigns.
“When Larry tired of the game after two years, my friend Brad Torgersen took it over…”
i.e. After Larry got tired of repeatedly losing.
“Brad ran it creditably, suggesting fan-favorites who had never got nominated (over the last decade, the Hugos have become a log-rolling club of leftists.) He got people who’d never before nominated to nominate, increasing the number of people involved by three fold. “
Brad set out to create a slate of works. He did ask for suggestions: “Thus, I am going to slowly compile a slate. Of books and stories (and other things, and people) for the different categories.” https://bradrtorgersen.wordpress.com/2015/01/07/announcing-sad-puppies-3/ but comparisons of suggestions given in the comments and his final slate show that basically Brad just picked people he liked with little regard for the quality of the work or whether the authors wanted to be associated with the slate.
Sarah then gets into a list of complaints about how the Sad Puppy slate was characterised:
“Imagine our surprise when we found out that:
1.We’d promulgated an immutable slate, that had to be voted for in order. We must have managed that by cleverly telling people to read and vote for those they liked, or add others, or whatever, just get involved.”
It is true that Brad did not ask people to stick tightly to his slate but he also made it clear that the works needed extra effort to get nominated: ‘As noted earlier in the year, the SAD PUPPIES 3 list is a recommendation. Not an absolute. Gathered here is the best list (we think!) of entirely deserving works, writers, and editors — all of whom would not otherwise find themselves on the Hugo ballot without some extra oomph received from beyond the rarefied, insular halls of 21st century Worldcon “fandom.”’ https://bradrtorgersen.wordpress.com/2015/02/01/sad-puppies-3-the-2015-hugo-slate/
Sarah is also magically ignoring that this was part of an escalating campaign of rhetoric about the Hugos from her side including combative rhetoric around awards from Baen chief editor Toni Weiskopf: “So the question arises—why bother to engage these people at all? They are not of us. They do not share our values, they do not share our culture.” https://accordingtohoyt.com/2014/03/10/the-problem-of-engagement-a-guest-post-by-toni-weisskopf/
‘2. We were against the participation of women, people of color, and people of different gender identification and orientation in science fiction and fantasy. (How we were supposed to divine all that except perhaps women, is beyond me. And even there, there are gender neutral names.) The fact that three of us, in the “inner council” were women made no difference. Since we’re not leftists, we’re obviously not “real women.”’
Sarah once again forgetting that the Sad Puppy 3 leader Brad Torgersen has repeatedly refered to women and people of colour winning Hugo Awards as example of “affirmative action” and has forgotten that people could see and read the comments and attacks by Sad Puppy supporters and who they tended to be directed at. People had already seen two years of Sad Puppy campaigns and the kind of nasty rhetoric used by those campaigns. Larry Correia make claims like this about Saladin Ahmed way back in 2013 “just having nominated a guy with an ethnic name will make the SMOFers feel all warm and tingly inside and good about themselves” was stuff that PEOPLE NOTICED https://burger-eater.livejournal.com/982918.html
A core part of Sad Puppy rationalisations requires heavy compartmentalisation of facts. People are not supposed to put 2 and 2 together or notice patterns of behaviour, repeated themes or even overt statements made at different points.
3. We’d done this to oppress people by being gatekeepers. Note our coalition was one best selling author (Larry Correia), a promising beginner (Brad Torgersen), a midlist author (me), and two indie authors (Kate Paulk and Amanda S. Green). None of us had or had ever had gatekeeping powers. In fact, the people who called calumnies against us to Entertainment Weekly (who later retracted) and other national publications were gatekeepers, since everything points to their working for TOR.
That the Sad Puppies 3 slate was gatekeeping is a simple fact. Brad picked who he felt should be nominated and asked people to vote for those people as part of what he saw (and other puppy leaders had characterised) as a culture war. He literally tried to set up a gate and tried to control that gate and had some success (not without help from the rabid elephant in the room*). That the Sad Puppies have not had much in the way of gatekeeping powers prior is irrelevant to whether they were attempting to gain gatekeeping powers. Manifestly they did attempt to do that. Claiming otherwise is just silly.
Nor did that attempted gatekeeping end with the Hugos. The sad story of the collapse of Sad Puppies 5 centred around Sarah Hoyt’s attempts to control and gatekeep what had originally be characterised as a wide movement: https://camestrosfelapton.wordpress.com/2017/06/07/where-is-sad-puppies-5/
Failing to be GOOD at gatekeeping is different from never attempting to be gatekeepers. The Sad Pups were just bad at it, that’s all. Failed gatekeepers but still wannabe gatekeepers.
“After our nominees were treated horribly at the 2015 Hugos, after leftists bought memberships by the dozen for the express purpose of voting “no award” over people they proudly admitted they’d never read, we thought there was no point.”
“Treated horribly” was people not voting for them and being happy when they didn’t win. Oh the horror! “Leftist” bought memberships for many reasons but the SAD Puppies where a side show – people where more motivated to vote against the Rabod Puppy campaign run by kyrpto fascist Vox Day (the said elephant in the room mentioned earlier).
No evidence of any individual buying multiple memberships for themselves. That claim is just a lie.
Onto Sad Pups 4:
“My friend Kate Paulk, probably the most conciliatory woman in the world, ran it the next year and did everything the left said they wanted done. They still attacked her.”
Who is “they”? Many of the so-called “Puppy kickers” that Hoyt could name either were neutral about Sad Puppies 4 or praised Paulk for trying to fix some of the worst issues of previous campaigns. Several noted Sad Puppy critics pariticpated in the recommendation process in good faith.
“I and Amanda claimed the right of succession, but never took it, because it was obvious the Hugos were dead, their reputation destroyed and only academics seeking tenure could be interested in them. The only reason we claimed them was to prevent a few deluded people from trying to ride a movement they had nothing to do with to fame.”
Except that is NOT what they said at the time. Sad Pups 4 had segued initially into Sad Pups 5 like this:
“In the near future, this site will be shut down and a new site for Sad Puppies 5 will go live. In the meantime, if you have any books, movies, etc., you think award-worthy, please list them in the comment section. Your recommendations will be migrated to the new site when it is ready.” http://sadpuppies4.org/2017/01/10/sad-puppies-5/
And in January 2017 Amanda Green had said this:
“So, let’s be very clear. The New Year is here and with it comes the time when we need to start thinking about the books we read and whether we feel they are worthy of being nominated for any of the various awards being offered this year. Be it the Hugo, the Dragon, the Rita or whatever, it is something we need to keep in mind and, if we are so moved, we need to nominate them for the appropriate award(s).” https://madgeniusclub.com/2017/01/10/sad-puppies-5-and-recommendation-lists/
Now, true the emphasis was off the Hugo Awards but that was already true for Sad Puppies 4. The campaign was ‘always’ (where ‘always’ means the rationalisation of the day which changes the next day), about promoting science fiction.
As for the claim that the Hugos is for academic seeking enure, I’ve debunked that more than once https://camestrosfelapton.wordpress.com/2017/07/08/hugos-for-academics/ It is a claim that has almost no basis in anything factual.
Ho hum. One reason I began compiling a timeline back in 2015 was that I expected a degree of revisionism from the Puppy camp. The Ministry of Truth-style rewrites of past events was to be expected and along with it the unshakeable faith that this weeks re-write was always true even when it was at odds with last weeks re-write.
The Pups haven’t ‘moved on’. They can’t move on because that implies an element of personal growth that requires some engagement with facts and reality. Repeatedly lying to oneself is not the way forward.
*[Elephants can catch rabies]
I’ve hopped into my boat and hoisted the sail and set off on my navigation of the archipelagos to listen to what can be heard on the many Isles of Interest. The answer is: nothing much.
The Hugo Awards have moved on from the pups both melancholic and hydrophobic but have the pups moved on from the Hugos? Based on the overall reaction: yes. The two major organs of the two Puppy campaigns of yesteryear have remained silent on the topic aside from brief references in the comment section. That’s healthy for them.
I count around eleven finalists who Vox Day has ranted about by name before (+/- a couple I guess) but given the highly visible presence of John Scalzi and N.K.Jemisin on the list, if he was going to have a rant about the Hugo finalists it would be those two. The Hugos are being studiously ignored at the Rabid end.
The newer Scrappy-Doo element was more overt about the nomination announcement but that has been well covered elsewhere.
Maybe then they have all moved on emotionally as well as functionally?
Oh, not quite.
A Felapton Towers intern points towards a Facebook post by not-at-still-bitter Larry Correia: https://www.facebook.com/larry.correia/posts/2109322645745320
“If I had made up a fake April Fools Day list of Hugo noms trying to point out what an insular, inbred, political circle jerk they are, turns out it wouldn’t have looked much different from the real one.”
Magnanimous in defeat as always…
The comments follow the usual canards: “It’s all Tor!” and Scalzi bashing.
“Dave Truesdale Social, political and gender views trump literary quality. Many in various Arts fields tend to be liberal in the first place. You layer in the infiltration of the current far Left political views currently overwhelming society at large and SF in particular and these folks will stick together come hell or high water. They smother anything not in line with their views, talk and chat online together, stick together at cons, and you end up with a built-in, ready-made “informal” bloc of like-minded awards voters.”
“Dave Truesdale And yes, as Richard D. Cartwright says, Tor buys a lot of advertising each year, AND they get reviewed and promoted for free in the most widely read genre and media outlets who are also sympatico with their Leftist worldview. And they also buy memberships for their large staff (don’t know if everyone at Tor get a paid membership from Tor’s budget or not, but I imagine a lot of them do, which are solid Tor votes nevertheless).”
I presume people who attend Worldcon in a professional capacity on behalf of a publisher would get their membership paid, just as I assume self-employed writers would treat con attendance as a work expense. Aside from that, I find the idea of Tor paying willy-nilly for a bunch of employees to get voting memberships highly unlikely (happy to be shown to be wrong on the basis of some actual evidence). I would have hoped David Truesdale would only make such claims on the strength of something more than “I imagine” but it seems I’d have hoped wrongly.
Meanwhile, Brad T hasn’t mellowed either:
“Brad Torgersen, I had forgotten that today is the day the list comes out. Wow, yeah, it would be difficult to parody this list, because the list itself is a parody. Basically, if you publish with TOR, Orbit, put stories thru TOR-dot-com, or that SJZ mag Uncanny, and are female, you’re gonna get a Hugo nom.
Clearly, when we pointed out that the Hugos are a politically-strangled award increasingly dominated by identity politics, we didn’t sufficiently state the scope of the problem! ;)”
It is fascinating that somebody who said that what they really cared about was the quality of the stories rather than the group-identification of writers continues to complain NOT about the quality of the stories but about the group-identification of the writers.
Finally, Sarah Hoyt returns to an old and debunked complaint:
“Sarah A. Hoyt Yes, but you guys miss the point. the point of their getting the Hugos is that the universities many of them teach at don’t know how corrupt the award is, and will be impressed by it in their resume. Period. Full stop. Readers have nothing to do with this.
Richard D. Cartwright Sarah, so you are saying that the Hugos have degenerated into a university cv puffing award?
Sarah A. Hoyt Richard D. Cartwright yep. That’s why they fought so hard. it’s their livelihood at stake.”
I can’t see many academics in the list (Puppy fantasies about me notwithstanding), although one book in Best Related Work is from a university press and one Fan Writer is a PhD student/Research Fellow (but not in a literary discipline or one were a Hugo nomination would carry any weight). There could be more with some academic aspect but it’s clear few (maybe zero) Hugo finalists over the past years are overtly using that status to further academic careers. The very nature of Hoyt’s claim implies that such finalists wouldn’t be promoting themselves *secretly* in this way. It is a fantasy of Hoyt’s that she has mistaken for fact.
So time has not yet healed old wounds and grudges remain fueled by fantasies. However, the noise has lessened and the urge to distance themselves from the failures of half a decade has moved them on somewhat.
According to Vox D himself, his vanity encyclopedia has had a speed upgrade since my last post. Now you can get out-of-date partially vandalised Wikipedia pages even quicker!
A positive side to this (for me, if not for anybody else) is getting a recent changes log for more than three days no longer takes forever. So I thought I’d crunch some numbers on how much actual editing is going on.
The answer is ‘not a lot’.
I made a dataset that avoids minor edits, resource file uploads, and log changes so that the focus was on actual changes to encyclopedia entries. The dates run from 23 December 2017 to 21 March 2018 – about a quarter of a year. 1225 significant change to entries in total.
Of those edits 94% are by just ten people, 72% are by six people and three people alone account for more than half of the edits. One editor alone accounts for nearly a quarter of all of those edits!