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Falling Out of Love With EPH

In 2015, I was pretty clearly on the EPH train. I sure did vote for its passage. And now it’s 2016, and I’m tweeting out stuff like this:

So yeah, I am not surprised that got some confused reactions.

To be perfectly frank, this year I voted with the minority against ratification of EPH. I’m not going to claim that the passage of EPH is going to Destroy Life As We Know It And The Cats And Dogs Will Play Shuffleboard Together. I am not upset that it passed. But I’m no longer convinced that it’s the great solution I thought it was in 2015, because I’ve been doing a lot of listening and thinking.

First of all, we had some data to look at with how EPH would have processed this year and previous years.

  • It’s become very obvious that EPH isn’t the silver bullet that will slay all slating that I think a lot of us convinced ourselves it was. For the most part, it would have only made a 1-2 nominee difference in this year’s categories, and a weaker difference in 2015, which seems very counterintuitive considering the slating was much stronger last year. (This year there were actually more nominating ballots than final voting ballots, which is weird.) So yes, it’s better to have one or two “genuine” nominees in a category than none at all. But having categories that are still composed mostly of shit is really not a workable long-term solution.
  • I’m extremely concerned how EPH will affect the dramatic presentation categories, which were not included in the report on Sunday just because they were such an unholy mess to figure out. But one point we can’t ignore is that for those categories, there’s so much less on offer that people are likely to cluster around certain works in ways that will act as a natural slate—and considering that this is all about trying to stop the deliberate manipulation by the shitbag faction of the fandom, I don’t think it’s fair that the organic growth of something that would appear slate-like to the un-nuanced eye of an algorithm be treated in the same way.
  • Looking at the previous year’s data, EPH would have eliminated one of the Hugo winners from 2014. In the meeting, Dave mentioned this as something of a surprising aberration. And if it’s a thing that only happens once, good. But I find myself very concerned that similar unintended consequences could happen. The rule should really be first do no harm, here.

After talking to a lot of people and listening, I’ve also got some concerns about how EPH as a system will affect voter confidence in the process.

  • It’s still damn complicated. Yes, I’m aware that you can boil an explanation of EPH down to a single powerpoint slide. And if you grasp it well enough to explain it from that slide, good for you. I know I can’t, and I rarely have a powerpoint at hand when this comes up in conversation. I don’t think this is terribly good when it comes to trying to promote participation in the process. (Seriously, it’s hard enough to explain how the ranking works for the final voting.)
  • And considering all the points above? If I’m concerned and I’m among the group of high information voters when it comes to the mechanics, how is someone who hasn’t gotten to go through the all the presentations and question times and the like going to feel?
  • EPH is effectively a black box. It doesn’t really allow for simple hand verification. That doesn’t help efforts at transparency, which is the number one thing that encourages people to have any kind of faith in the system. And let’s not forget the conspiracy-mongering, just-repeat-something-until-it’s-true shitbag that made all this necessary. It’s not that I give a crap one about actual comic book villain Theodore Beale’s good opinion, but the less transparent something is, the easier it is to make up things about it.

I’ve become a convert to the Three Stage Voting proposal. We get told again and again that the practice has always been to leave it to the voters and have faith in them. And we’ve seen over the last two years that the voters as a whole have definite opinions about people who try to manipulate them, the system, and their beloved award. So I’m willing to have faith that the voters can decide in a semifinal if they think someone doesn’t have any business being one the final ballot with a purely up or down vote.

That said, I think we’re going to be fine. EPH has been amended so that it can be easily suspended for a year by the business meeting if there’s something going really haywire with it. We’ll see what 2017 brings.

By the way, Cheryl Morgan has written a good post that covers this and other WSFS stuff. You should read it.

Originally published at Rachael Acks: Sound and Nerdery. You can comment here or there.

Greetings from the McDonald’s in Russell, Kansas. Writing a summary whilst eating chicken mcnuggets. As you do. Today was the final business meeting, which was one hell of a ride. You can get granular detail of The Amazing Adventures of the Committee of the Whole from the liveblog.

NOTE: I will be referring to all amendments by their working titles. If you want to know the substance of these, refer to the WSFS agenda linked to from this page. Or I have my quick and dirty readings of them here, with some helpful clarifications provided by people in the comments.

There was a lot of arcane Roberts Rules of verbal fisticuffs shit that went on today that is best left to the complete liveblog. Here’s the highlights:

  • Three Stage Voting started the day. The amended language that was sent to committee yesterday was reported back, then defeated. The amendment is voted on with its original language, passes, and will be up for ratification in Helsinki.
  • The rules are suspended with unanimous consent to re-form the YA committee with all the same people, just a different chairperson.
  • A clause is added to EPH to allow the WSFS business meetings each year to vote to suspend it, if so chosen. Due to debate time running out, we went into first a question time with Mr McCarty and Mr Quinn, and then a committee of the whole so we could discuss the issue in more detail. EPH was then ratified and will take effect next year.
    • A resolution was passed to request that the Hugo Administrators provide the meeting data next year about what the ballot would have looked like without EPH so we can compare. Note that this is a request, because we don’t actually get to tell the administrators what to do.
    • Shit got intense here, people.
  • I named my newly-evolved Electrode Mr Dashoff because I’m pretty sure the chair was making that exact face at several points.
  • 4 and 6 is amended to become 5 and 6 instead at the request of its author. This means that everyone will get to make five nominations, and six slots will be on the ballot for finalists. The new 5 and 6 then passes.
  • EPH+ passes with shocking speed considering the incredibly labyrinthine state of the rest of the morning, and will be up for ratification in Helsinki.
  • We adjourned with 12 minutes to spare, if you can believe it. I still don’t.

And that’s it for this year, guys! Tomorrow, assuming I can brain things, I will be writing a blog post to explain this tweet. My feelings on EPH have… shifted.

Previous days:

Originally published at Rachael Acks: Sound and Nerdery. You can comment here or there.

WE ARE LIVE.

Liveblog will begin shortly. As usual, apologies in advance for missing/misspelled names. I will do my best to keep up!

And we have tea and coffee thanks to generous donation of lots of people. YAAAAAAAY.

1009: Business meeting is in order.

1009: Starting with Three Stage Voting and the committee report to amend.

1010: Mr Rosen gives the report. The big change is that we no longer remove rejected entry from the list of finalists. If there are rejected entries above the fifth non-rejected one. People say it’s an honor just to be nominated. If a majority of fans say that something is unworthy, they can just ban it. 3SV as it stands is not a good way for the fan community to have works that only a few people like. This amendment gives minority groups the ability to get their stuff on the ballot.

1013: Question from Ari Goldstein. To clarify, if there is a longlist of 15 and the first 10 are rejected, that means we’d have a list of 15? Yes.

1013: Dr Adams speech against. It is indeed an honor to be nominated/be a finalist unless you finish under no award. We already list the top 15 plus whatever gets more than 5%. Finalists this year who ended up under No Award and were unaware of the situation.

1015: Motion from Kevin Standlee. Moves to call the question on the immediately pending amendment. No objection. The motion fails. 3SV will not be amended with this language (thank goodness).

1016: Colin Harris giving his opening remarks on 3SV, key points as yesterday. Committee of the whole is the best way to address this; willing to trust the voters. The appropriate rubric needs to be on the ballot. But if we’re not going to trust the voters, what’s the point of having the WSFS meeting? Re: gaming this year, once again we are looking toward the committee of the whole and let the voters judge what is appropriate. We chose up/down over the ranking of a semifinal; we don’t expect people to positively rank 15 items. It’s a way to let people

1019: Gary Blog: Wants to add a sunrise/sunset amendment. Chair notes there is already a sunset clause for every year between now and 2022. PoI: sunrise is meaningless too, since 3SV wouldn’t go into affect until 2018 anyway.

1021: Ben Yalow speech against. 3SV forces voters to make a political decision. We should be looking at the merits of works. I want to judge the works on their merits. There isn’t time as 3SV is constructed to make the decision anything but political. “I don’t want to play Vox Day’s game.”

1022: Cat Faber for; it’s very clear when you look at these works which of these was nominated for harassment and griefing purposes. It doesn’t take a long to judge that.

1023: Stephanie Sullivan against; it’s adding more negativity to our community. The best way to stop the gaming of the system is to be positive. Getting more people involved will fix this.

1025: David Dire-Bennett for; he likes Ben’s hope for less obvious politics and trusting people. Two cases last night where winners felt it necessary to comment on this is political.

1026: Mr Goldstein against; the more time pressure you’re going to create the voters, the fewer who will make the decisions. Won’t have time to make informed decisions.

1028: Dave McCarty for; we are already engaged in what 3SV is doing. We’re just forced to do it at voting time. The nomination process is not a majority vote. We’re taking small pluralities and picking the best; this is how the system is game. We can either adopt a democratic process, or we can let the administrators weight things, which I don’t think we want to do.

1029: Daniel Rego question; how much time is allocated for the rejection phase, and would there be a packet?

1029: Ms Fozard answer; one month period, no packet. The purpose of the semifinalist is to move forward the No Award phase and not the actual voting.

1030: Question about definition of eligible voters. Voters, so this current year’s membership. Not number of ballots returned, but total count of members. This sets a very high threshold for how many people have to reject work.

1031: Ms Nichols against; this can be gamed. Fan factionalism will be encouraged.

1033: Mr Bacon for; I’m a train driver. I understand 3SV. Understanding transparency is fundamental to every system. Last year was an incredible stress and pressure for the nominees and winners of the Hugo; he won the Hugo last year and he cried because of the stress. “I would much rather be a loser at any stage than undergo all this stress and pressure again.” He urges us to vote for 3SV.

1035: Mike Stern against; I’m a procrastinator, and this is another round of voting for which I can procrastinate. If I don’t have time to read the work, I’m not going to work.

1037: Mr Kovalcik for; does not believe that any one author is going to get the threshold needed to game this.

1038: Ms Bons against; need to look to the future of the Hugos. This sounds like collusion. How is this going to look in the future?

1040: We’re about out of debate time. Kevin Standlee moves to extend debate. Motion fails.

1040: Mike Willmouth against; needs data and encourages everyone else to do so.

1041: Mr Quinn moves to add language that it is the sense of the meeting that no work should be voted down for aesthetic reasons but this should be for winnowing off illegitimate nominations.

1042: Mr Standlee has a PI on the motion. Is this to be in the constitution or commentary? Into the constitution.

1044: There is no time for debate. There is some parliamentary shit going on.

1046: Okay, we have language now. “No qualifier should be voted down for purely aesthetic reasons.” The motion fails.

1047: Mr Rett wants to know why we are discussing this when we have data on it that hasn’t been discussed. Ruled as debate on the issue when debate time is out, he is out of order.

1049: “I would really like to vote on this.” — the chair. Who already needs a hug and some chocolate.

1049: Move to amend by Daniel Rigo, does not get seconded.

1050: Mr Kovalcik points out that this will be up for ratification in Helsinki so we’ll have another year to look at it.

1050: The question is called by multiple people, to the immense relief of the chair. We vote, ayes have it! Three Stage Voting will be passed on to Helsinki for ratification.

1052: WE ARE TAKING A BREAK. COLLUSION. COLLUSION ALL THE WAY DOWN!

1059: And we are back in order.

1059: Mr Standlee immediately has a parliamentary inquiry. Pointing out that should a member get a ruling from the chair he or she disagrees with, the proper thing to do is appeal the ruling of the chair.

1101: Warren Buff moves to suspend the rules and reconsider the motion to reform the YA committee with a different head. Membership would remain the same, chair would just be different. Motion passes with 2/3 majority.

1103: Now we get to EPH. BUCKLE UP KIDS. I have a fresh cup of tea, I can handle this.

1104: Mr Quinn offers a technical fix to deal with withdrawn nominations that will make things easier for the administrators. Seconded.

1106: Dr Adams PI: is this a lesser change? Yes. Ben Yalow appeals the ruling of the chair.

1110: We are in wibbly-wobbly parliamentary-warlmintary shit here. I’m catching Pokemon, tbh, as we explain in several different ways what is going on.

1112: The chair believes this is a lesser change because he believes the body last year would have accepted it. Ben Yalow believes that this an orthogonal process.

1117: Chair’s ruling is upheld. Now we are on to trying to deal with the actual amendment. Motion to call the question. We vote to close debate on the amendment. Then we vote on the amendment. The motion is amended.

1118: Kevin Standlee moves to add a renewing sunset clause until 2022, similar to the one on 3SV. Seconded. We need to move faster than we have, but it is better to give ourselves flexibility while we test this so we can get out of it now.

1119: David Wallace against; he has a different amendment to offer instead if this one is voted down. His amendment will be that every business meeting can vote to suspend EPH for a year rather than removing it from the constitution.

1121: Kate Secor with a Parliamentary Inquiry on the amendment. If we amend it during re-ratification, does that mean it would trigger two year re-ratification? Yes.

1124: Ingvar Mattson asks if this would be a lesser change. Yes. We shall vote on Kevin Standlee’s amendment.

1125: BUCKLE UP KIDS, IT’S TIME FOR A SERPENTINE!

1130: The amendment fails by three votes. Yikes.

1131: Now we’re addressing the other amendment that was offered as an alternate to Kevin’s. Mr Wallace’s.

1133: Mr Quinn tries to move to call the question. There’s been no speech against yet. Actually, no speech for yet either, so Mr Wallace gets to finish.

1136: Speech against; it’s always going to be one year too late.

1136: Mr Kronengold calls the question because he is a hero.

1137: Mr Wallace’s amendment passes. Now FINALLY we get to EPH.

1138: Motion to end debate and call the question for EPH. Vote overrules objections. We are going to vote on this without further debate on the underlying motion.

1139: Mr McCarty explaining the report in brief with unanimous consent. Gets interrupted a bunch.

1140: Mr McCarty’s report is 51 pages long and didn’t get finished until 6 in the morning which is why there are only 5 copies of it. We get it up on the screen. Here we go.

1141: In the longlist that was released last night. There would have been no change to the ballot for novel and novella. Something in novel would have been knocked off the longlist. There were nine categories that would have had 1-2 works different. It will also change things in the longlist where no slating is present. It makes unintentional changes that do have an effect. This is an incredibly unintuitive system.

1144: We as a body natively slated the dramatic presentation categories; they have been excluded from the report.

1145: Mr Olson asks to have question time with Mr Quinn and Mr McCarty without opening to debate. Yes. It’s a suspension of the rules. (Good, this is probably way more useful than debate.)

1146: EPH would have knocked a Hugo winner from LonCon off the ballot. McCarty doubts we will see an occurrence like that again, but this is very concerning.

1147: Dave we trust you, what do you recommend? That is considered debate, which has now been cut off. Questions must be limited just to the data.

1148: Dramatic presentation results were not included, but they will still be applied. Quinn and McCarty felt that they were not germane, but it is asked, aren’t they germane if they will be applied?

1149: It was mostly because there was way too much work involved.

1149: Ms Paulk asks how much work will this place on future management? Ruled as debate since not directly about the data.

1150: A committee of the whole is moved for the next five minutes. Jared explains. “Does everyone understand that? I heard one no, but I’m not going to deal with that because I don’t want to.” Someone give this poor man a drink.

1152: “Chairman, I believe you aren’t allowed to preside at this point.” “Oh goodie!” Jared appoints Mr Illingworth to run the committee of the whole and then runs for the hills.

1153: McCarty: If you have blind faith in computers, this is fine. If you want to check anything, it’s extremely difficult. This makes me very uncomfortable as an administrator.

1153: “Okay Dave, we trust you implicitly–” “That’s a bad idea.” “–What do you think?” Dave says he doesn’t like this as an administrator at all. This is an interesting voting system, but… he’s been trying very hard to not let his personal feelings affect that.

1155: McCarty feels EPH was stronger this year against weaker slating than it was last year against stronger slating.

1157: There is some stuff here about types of voting systems. Basically, no slate can fill a category entirely.

1159: I ask how easy Dave thinks this is will be to explain to voters and what this will do to the faith of voters in the system. He says he is not a PR dude, but he thinks it is very difficult. Someone else answers that you can boil it down to one slide (We going to be showing sides to potential voters?)

1200: Dramatic presentation will be the most changed category. Erk.

1204: EPH is ratified.

1205: 5 minute break MY BLADDER THANKS YOU.

1215: Meeting is back to order. We have two items left!

1215: Mr Quinn moves for resolution to thank the Hugo Administrators and Mr McCarty for staying up so late preparing the report.

1217: Mr Kovalcik moves to require the Hugo Administrators to gives us the Hugo longlist and the data for how it would look either way. (Resolution.) Mr Dashoff “We can ask for it. We can’t tell them to do anything.”

1222: Against publishing sets of data: “If this data is published people will know who should have won.”

1224: Ms Fozard, deputy admin for EPH, has no input on this because they will implement it as directed, and feels she has no standing to offer it.

1226: Ayes have it on the resolution. Next year’s Hugo Administrators are requested to run both mechanisms and report back. On to 4 and 6.

1226: Mr Goldstein moves to amend 4 and 6 to add the same suspension clause we added to EPH. Seconded.

1227: Mr Desjardins moves to change 4 to 5 (making it 5 and 6) and the chair rules that is a lesser change. He did a quick review of the 2015 and 2016 data and it would allow more non-slate works to get on when applied with EPH. Is this a good change on its own merits when the slates go away? He believes so due to the diversification of the pool of works along all axes.

1232: Ms Hayes points out that last year’s WorldCon meeting spent a lot of time picking out very specific numbers. That’s what we should be voting on, is what the previous meeting picked.

1232: Kate Paulk asks about “four equally weighted nominations” — lesser or greater change? What about the equally weighted in terms of EPH?

1235: We vote to call the question. We are now voting to the amendment that will change 4 and 6 to 5 and 6. Results unclear, WE GETTING ANOTHER SERPENTINE.

1239: Motion passes. The amendment is now 5 and 6.

1239: 5 and 6 is ratified with no one wishing to speaking against.

1240: EPH+ next.

1241: Mr Kovalcik moves to suspend the rules and adjourn Sin Die (without EPH+ being addressed). Suspension of the rules is required because we postponed EPH+ definitely to today.

1243: Nope. We are taking up EPH+.

1244: Mr Quinn moves to add the suspension clause to EPH+ as we did with EPH and 5 and 6. Motion is withdrawn when it’s pointed out that it’s unnecessary.

1244: For EPH+, Mr Quinn says the administrators already have to do all the work, this is no extra work with extra benefit.

1245: Mr McCarty against because there is no data to show right now. Please delay until Helsinki.

1246: Warren Buff has moved to call the question. We vote to call the question.

1247: Mr Kronengold wants to make a motion, which is out of order. “I don’t have words, but no.” — Mr Dashoff.

1248: Question is called. We vote on EPH+. It passes and will be up for ratification in Helsinki.

1248: Mr Wierda, the most beautiful human being who has ever walked this earth, moves that we adjourn.

1248: AND WE ARE ADJOURNED.

Originally published at Rachael Acks: Sound and Nerdery. You can comment here or there.

I am so very sorry that this is so late. It has been one hell of a day today and I only just got time to sit down and write this summary. Tomorrow might be a late as well depending on how things work out. Anyway, here is the summary of today’s liveblog.

NOTE: I will be referring to all amendments by their working titles. If you want to know the substance of these, refer to the WSFS agenda linked to from this page. Or I have my quick and dirty readings of them here, with some helpful clarifications provided by people in the comments.

Today got rather fractious on a lot of fronts. I’m going to just stick with the cut and dry summary. If you want deets, go read the liveblog.

  • The most wonderful time of the year — site selection!
    • WorldCon 2018 will be in San Jose! website
    • NASFiC 2017 will be in San Juan! website
    • Both cons will have paper publications available at no extra cost, but which will require an opt-in. And both will be going with the room party model rather than the fan village model. For more details, please see the websites.
  • Mark Protection Committee special report: “Hugo Award” has now finished being registered in the EU.
  • Nominee Diversity up first. After a lot of wrangling that I cannot summarize without shaking out a mountain of salt, the amended language from the committee assigned yesterday was accepted. Nominee Diversity is then ratified and will be in the constitution.
  • Two Years Are Good Enough passes and will be up for ratification in Helsinki.
  • There was a lot of very excellent debate on the YA Award, I think. (Starts around 1144 on the liveblog.) The ayes have it, and the YA Award will be up for ratification at Helsinki. It should be noted that there are certain portions of the award (including the fact that it currently has a blank instead of a name) that will need to be amended in Helsinki. Depending upon if the chair rules that to be a minor or major change, it might take another two years for ratification rather than one year. The YA Award committee will be considering over the intervening year until Helsinki matters like the naming and will report there.
  • Three Stage Voting was sent to committee, to be reported back tomorrow, after amended language was proposed for it that was too complicated to be fully considered by the meeting at the time.
  • The three items for Retrospective Improvements were next.
    • Item #3 passed and will be sent on to Helsinki — this amendment will add a note to the Retrospective Hugos to make it explicit that they were retrospective when awarded.
    • Item #1 passed and will be sent on to Helsinki — this amendment is mostly to clean up the language of the Retrospective Hugos and allow for them to be awarded for the WWII years.
    • Item #2 FAILED. This would have added a category Retrospective Hugo, which would have effectively empowered future WorldCons to overrule the No Award  giving in a category by running a new set of nominees. The committee of the whole found this very objectionable.
  • Universal Suffrage passes and will be sent on to Helsinki for ratification.
  • Non-transferability of Voting Rights was taken up despite an attempt to adjourn the meeting because we were almost out of time.  I had to leave before directly observing how this one went, but I was told that the amendment failed after a extremely abbreviated debate.

Previous days:

Originally published at Rachael Acks: Sound and Nerdery. You can comment here or there.

AND WE ARE LIVE. I have tea. You can all stop worrying about me now.

Same rules as usual apply. I am sorry in advance if I misspell or don’t catch a name. Newer stuff at the bottom, I’ll update about every five-ish minutes.

1002: The business meeting will be in order! Many thanks and introductions. We’re starting with site selection today.

1004: 2018 site selection question time will be dispensed with so we can move on to the agenda after that’s done. 2017’s time is constitutionally protected, but there is unanimous consent to skip over that too.

1006: And here comes the report! 1,321 valid votes. New Orleans had 594. San Jose got the other votes (didn’t catch the number). So it’s San Jose in 2018!

1007: Motion to thank the tellers, finalize the results, and destroy the ballots. Unanimous consent.

1009: Kevin Roach who has amazing hair holy crap. Thanks the New Orleans bid committee for a wonderful and friendly campaign. Many people in the New Orleans campaign will be involved in San Jose. Their website is worldcon76.org. If you find any typos and come tell them about it, they will give you a new t-shirt.

1012: Information about guests, etc. Refer to the website if you want the deets. It should be going live very soon.

1015: Note, if you want paper publications for WorldCon 76, you will need to opt-in, but it will not cost extra.

1017: Mr Lee recognized for run-down of 2017 NASFic Results. 425 votes total, San Juan wins the bid!

1019: Mr Vasquez with the presentation for San Juan. Starting with a hearty, “Buenas dias, familia!” He gets a buenas dias back. Oh I am excited about this bid! This is going to be great.

1024: PLANTAINS AND RUM god I already wanted to go, now I MUST.

1025: NATIONAL PARK RAINFOREST.

1026: This will be the first major fan-run convention in San Juan. Oh my gosh.

1027: Mr McCarty comes up to say ChiCon 7 set aside $1000 for the winner of the NASFiC bid.

1027: Gary Blog asks if there will be room parties or fan village for 2017 NASFiC and 2018 San Jose. Answer is that both will have room parties.

1028: Mr Kovalcik asks when hotel reservations will be open for NASFiC — in the next few months. Charging extra for paper publications by mail? No.

1032: DetCon passes on $6000 to San Juan!

1033: Mark Protection Committee report. The registration of “Hugo Award” in the EU has now been completed.

1037: 2 minute recess.

1040: Back to order. Report from the Nitpicking and Flyspecking Committee.

1041: Mr Illingworth reports that both the major change and sunrise/sunset clauses are feasible. Question of if the sunrise/sunset is preferred. Motion is made and seconded.

1045: But this resolution wouldn’t be binding. But we pass it anyway.

1046: Committee on Nominee Diversity report. The report will come out of the 8 minutes of debate time. Dr Adams reports. They have modified the language to a lesser change that will put the amendment more in line with the original intent.

1053: The Chair rules that this is a lesser. Kate Secor appeals the ruling.

1054: Kevin Standlee suggests that the procedure for dealing with an appeal be reviewed, because it’s different from everything else we do. Let’s go down the parliamentary rabbit hole. Process: Chair gives an opening statement. Everyone else can speak for or against, but only once. Then Chair gets to give a closing statement. Then the floor gets to vote if we think the ruling is correct by majority.

1057: Debate time is running out, proposal to add 4 minutes evenly divided. Approved by 2/3 vote.

1102: Proposal to walk the mic around to those with accessibility issues. It failed.

1103: Now we’re going back and forth on the ruling.

1109: Ben Yalow points out that under current practice, we do not notify someone that if they withdrew their work, another of their works would pop on. Until they withdraw one, they don’t know.

1111: The question is called and seconded so we can get out of this. Motion is made to close debate other than 30 seconds for the Chair to make a closing statement.

1113: Now we are voting on the ruling. The ayes have it, the chair’s ruling is sustained.

1114: Ms McNeil motions to extend debate by 4 minutes, equally divided. Debate is not extended.

1115: Question is called. We will now vote on the amended language. Maybe. Maybe not.

1116: Jason Spitzer has objections/questions. Proposes rewording it again and sending it back to committee.

1117: Mr Eastlake says that if it’s not clear, it’s up for the administrators to decide from year to year.

1119: Voting on amendment from the committee now. The amendment passes. Language is accepted. AT LAST.

1119: Back to the underlying motion (Nominee Diversity). We have 15 seconds of debate left for and three minutes thirty seconds debate left against.

1121: Discussion of if finalists would be told how many nominations each of their works has. Dr Adams says that this came up in committee and a finalist could just say “please pick the two with the greatest number of nominations.” Mr Eastlake points out that this is the equivalent of the author not withdrawing anything at all.

1123: Try to call the question, but Ben Yalow points out that there has been no actual debate on the amendment. Kevin Standlee motions that we erase all debate times and give one minute to each side, to be limited to one person.

1124: Mr Eastlake as author of the amendment, for: “This is a great constitutional amendment. It does wonderful things… and boy golly everyone should vote in favor of it.” Oh, we needed this, Don. I’m afraid I didn’t catch the name of the person against.

1126: Mr Kronengold moves to amend by adding a sunrise and sunset clause. The amendment fails.

1126: “I’d now like to vote on the underlying motion. I’d really like to do that now.”

1127: The motion is passed. Nominee Diversity is ratified. We are taking a five minute break. I hope someone gives the chair a chocolate bar and a hug.

1140: The meeting is now back in order — for what purposes does the member rise? Proposal to move the YA Award up in discussion. Do we really need to debate this? NO.

1141: Ayes have it. B.2.3 then B.2.11. We will address Two Years Are Good Enough now.

1142: Warren Buff for. The number of new nominators gained from the work of tracking the N+1 memberships is relatively small, but requires a ton of administrative overhead. It’s a recent innovation that we’ve found to be impractical from an administrative standpoint.

1143: No debate against. Question is called.

1144: The ayes have it, Two Years Are Good Enough will be sent on to WorldCon 75.

1144: Now we are on to the YA Award.

1144: Katie Rask for the YA Award. The YA committee was voted in again for next year to discuss some of the remaining issues. The work this year was to addressing the feasibility of the award. Did not want to put award administration specifics into the constitution because that is not normal practice. There is a three year sunset clause for after ratification. The first provision for the insertion of the amendment provides that the naming of the award will not be considered a major change for the purposes of ratification. Next year’s committee will address the naming issue.

1147: Kate Secor, speech against. Not actually against the idea of a YA award. But objects to the specific proposal. Thinks it’s bad for YA. Creating a non-Hugo YA award would ghettoizing YA. There are a lot of authors to whom winning a Hugo-branded Hugo is very important to them.

1148: David Peterson for. They have spoken to a number of YA authors, including ones who are here. All of those authors have had the same opinion–it would be great if there was a Hugo award, but understanding the feelings of those who vote to put the Hugos on, a Campbell-like award is not a bad alternative. We have heard your objections to YA, with the Hugo being voted down again and again and again, so this is the best alternative that addresses it.

1150: Colin Harris is in favor of this proposal. Against it this year, but for one simple reason because the name is left blank. Administration is not finalized. If we pass this now, we’re going to put something into the constitution that will require major modifications next year. Against is just for that purpose.

1151: Mike Stern proposes an amendment to make it the Gernsback award. Not seconded.

1152: Chris Barkley in favor of the award. Thanks the committee members and the loyal opposition. Urges people to please vote for this, even in an incomplete form, it is the best way forward.

1153: Dr Adams says awards are currently under attack and this is not a good time to be adding a new one. (So where was this argument against Best Series?)

1154: Warren Buff asks that as we did yesterday with Best Series, let’s use the YA Award to bring the awards closer to the state of the industry.

1155: Mark Olson, parliamentary inquiry. The part that would affect the business meeting next year isn’t in the constitution and thus cannot dictate for the next business meeting. Speech against is now that, like Colin, he believes this is half baked.

1156: Cat Faber for, if there’s a major change, it’ll be a major change. If we kill the amendment and bring it back next year, it’s still going to take three years.

1157: Rene Walling would rather have a fully-baked solution.

1157: Kevin Standlee, last 20 second speech in favor. “The perfect is the enemy of the good.” If we don’t move ahead now, we may never move forward.

1158: Seth Breidbart moves to add a sunrise clause to go with the sunset.

1159: Mr Kronengold has speech against the sunrise clause. A sunrise clause is useless here. If we make a major change, it’s delayed anyway. (Yep.)

1201: Question is called — one year sunrise clause amendment. Amendment fails.

1201: Question is called on underlying motion. Ayes have it over objections, we are voting on the YA Award. The Ayes have it on the motion BY A LOT! YA AWARD IS PASSED ON TO HELSINKI!

1204: Next business: Three Stage Voting. Colin Harris speaks for. Points out that the reputation of the Hugos is on the line; methods like EPH will make sure there are a couple good finalists, but does having a couple good ones in a field of puppies really save the awards from damage? Asking that we pass this now, so that it is poised for ratification next year if needed. This is not about looking for edge cases, “oh I don’t like Dr Who.” This is about the committee as a whole standing up and saying “we don’t want this.” (Similar to the mass No Award of last year.) Understands that 3SV looks rather bad, but running it as a ranked Semi-final would be unrealistic and too much of a burden on both readers and administrators. Historically people wouldn’t put things under No Award because it wasn’t their taste. They’d just not rank them. No Award has been used when something is really not deserving, as was used last year. The intent of the makers is that nominators should vote yes on anything in 3SV unless the work shows up due to an abuse of process and is something they would be absolutely No Awarding in the future.

1207: (Colin, you may have argued me around again, you silver-tongued bastard.)

1208: Kate Paulk points out that this is a vote of all the membership. Since some of the membership are highly committed to playing the slate. So how does this prevent a group from taking membership and knocking out worthy candidates? Where are all the massive numbers of voters that we should have that would dilute the effect of a dedicated group.

1210: McCarty, 3SV does something unintended that does a great good. This crowd-sources eligibility assessment in a way that doesn’t damage the Hugo reputation.

1211: Mr Rosen proposes to amend this to keep the accept/reject voting, but rejected entries are not removed from the finalists, but the ballot is lengthened to keep through the 5th non-rejected entry and keep the rejected ones down to that number on there too. Motion is seconded.

1216: I ask if in this extended list, the rejected items would be marked. The answer is no. So the finalist list would just be unusually long and we wouldn’t know if it was because of ties or whatever.

1217: We’re trying to get the text up on the screen so we can all see what we’re debating, as the chair feels we should know what we’re talking about before we get a speech against. “The hell you say!”

1218: Mr Eastlake moves to refer to committee. He feels this is too complicated to get through today. The motion is referred to committee. Three Stage Voting will now be addressed tomorrow.

1220: We are now moving on to the three Retrospective Improvement items. Motion to reorder the items so that we start with item 3 first and then move to 1 and 2.

1222: Mr Eastlake for item number three. This would add a note for the retrospective Hugos that they are retrospective and when they were awarded.

1222: Motion to make this a resolution rather than an amendment because it’s specific instructions about administration. Do we need to debate? “NO. Good.” Motion fails.

1223: Me: We haven’t had a serpentine yet today. Immediate calls for division on that motion. But before we do the serpentine, Kevin Standlee calls for a vote for division, which requires 20%. It fails. Kevin, you beautiful killjoy.

1224: Retrospective Improvement #3 passes. On to #1.

1225: Mr Eastlake says that this cleans up the language. Also allows awarding of Hugos for during the WWII years.

1225: Speech against, because who read what was good in WWII? Most of the people who were reading during that year are dead.

1226: Speech for, “I found the retrospective Hugos this year to be much easier to nominate for than the regular Hugos this year.”

1227: Stacy Helton against, this removes the restriction so we could go back 200, 500, whatever years.

1228: For: The Hugos exist as a larger cultural heritage, so it doesn’t matter if there’s a writer alive to appreciate the award.

1229: Mark Richards against. He doesn’t want to see the retrospective Hugos entrenched forever. Right now, once we get through 75 and 100 year cycles, they’re done.

1230: Voting on motion. Ayes have it for Retrospective Improvement #1.

1230: Time for part 2. Mr Eastlake for this one. More controversial, but hey we have a small debate time! This adds the concept of a category Hugo rather than a year Hugo. If in the previous year No Award was given in a particular category, if the WorldCon believes there was something peculiar in that particular year, they may decide to run a category retrospective Hugo. (Oh Don, this is fabulous.)

1232: Don clarifies that nominations would be completely open.

1233: Ben Yalow believes that this motion is completely inappropriate. We do not judge the decisions made by the voters under any circumstances. No Award is listed just like any other candidate, and if the votes choose No Award, we should not second guess them.

1234: Priscilla Olson, in 24 years we can rerun Sasquan, this would be so cool. We’re all gonna be around in 25 years to do this.

1235: Elspeth Kovar against; no award means that category has been voted on, it cannot be voted on against.

1235: Kevin Standlee against; this is a fatally flawed proposal for administrative purposes. It would be impossible to recreate the rules used in that year.

1236: Mr Quinn against; this is a good idea, but it’s not the time to do this.

1236: We are out of time. Mr Kronengold moves to change 25 to 50 years. No second, so we’re voting.

1237: Question is called. Retrospective Improvements #2 fails.

1238: Two minute videography recess.

1239: Meeting is back to order. For the record, we will have coffee tomorrow. CHEERING ALL AROUND!

1239: We will now be considering Universal Suffrage.

1240: Ron Oakes speaking for. As he went through the constitution, he discovered that there was nothing in there to prevent a future WorldCon from violating all tradition and creating a membership class with no rights.

1241: Mr Walling against. The economics of the matter would force the committees to not create such a membership.

1241: Ms Olson is concerned the word sell because she knows this WorldCon gave away many free memberships that did include voting rights. Motion to change the word sell to provide.

1245: Elspeth Kovar, we’re not selling, we’re providing. Provide is a simple, one-word change that will clarify what is going on.

1246: Lenore Jones against, points out that the current motion doesn’t say anything about free memberships to people such as the CART operator and ASL interpretor. The amendment would force us to offer voting memberships to them.

1250: Motion fails to change sell to provide.

1252: A few more speeches for and against, my apologies that my attention is wandering a bit, because I need to zoom to a panel really soon.

1253: Universal Suffrage passes and will go on to Helsinki.

1253: We’re going to do one more item, but I can only give it two more minutes.

1254: Ben Yalow would asks that we put this off to tomorrow because he has something he needs to go to at 1300. Motion to adjourn.

1254: There is an objection. We vote. Adjourning fails. Argh.

1255: Sorry guys, I have to go. :( Not going to be able to cover the last bit.

Originally published at Rachael Acks: Sound and Nerdery. You can comment here or there.

Summary and highlights of today’s liveblog of the main business meeting, for those who prefer their business meetings to be low-sodium and use only fake sugar.

Just remember, unlike Aaron Burr, everyone is welcome in the room where it happens.

NOTE: I will be referring to all amendments by their working titles. If you want to know the substance of these, refer to the WSFS agenda linked to from this page. Or I have my quick and dirty readings of them here, with some helpful clarifications provided by people in the comments.

  • Committee reports were given for Nitpicking and Flyspecking Committee, WorldCon Runners Guide Editorial Committee, YA Award Committee, and Best Series Hugo Committee. I’m not going to summarize the reports here, you can find them all in the agenda. But I would particularly encourage you to read the YA Award report, which starts on page 37 of the pdf.
  • Financial reports accepted for previous WorldCons. ChiCon 7 is finally done, they have left the building, buh-bye!
  • Business passed on from previous WorldCons, excepting the items definitely postponed until Sunday (EPH, 4 and 6)
    • Best Fancast is re-ratified as a category, so it’s here to stay!
    • The Five Percent Solution passes and goes into the constitution, so yay no more 5% threshold for short story! (One argument for this measure provided by actual statistician Mr Quinn.) There was a minor change made to the language of this amendment that removed a section that didn’t actually have anything to do with nominating thresholds and got put in by mistake, giving us all a lesson on the dangers of global find and replace.
    • Nominee Diversity is referred temporarily to committee, to be reported back tomorrow. The committee will address some questions about how it should be dealt with if someone gets more than two nominations in a category and has to withdraw the extra works from consideration.
    • Electronic Signature passes.
  • There was a major parliamentary kerfuffle about if it would be possible to pass something this year and then delay the ratification an additional year (so it would be set to be ratified in 2018 rather than 2017). That got referred to committee as well, because a nitpicker and flyspecker’s work is never done.
  • New business for this WorldCon:
    • The committee’s modified language for Best Series was accepted. A sunset clause was added, set to expire in 2021. Best Series then gets first passage and will be up for ratification in Helsinki.
    • December Is Good Enough receives first passage and will be up for ratification in Helsinki.
    • Unanimous consent given to take up Defining North America since it was likely to be a less contentious item and we were running short on time. The measure then received first passage and will be up for ratification in Helsinki.

We got a lot done, as you can see! Tomorrow we’ll be going through site selection, and then more of the new business.

Previous days:

Preliminary meeting liveblog | summary

Originally published at Rachael Acks: Sound and Nerdery. You can comment here or there.

AND WE ARE LIVE.

Many thanks to Eric, for letting me use his phone hotspot while I’m waiting for my friend with the hotspot to arrive.

Usual rules apply; I apologize in advance for all my misspellings. Do not be surprised if personal opinions show up. I will be summarizing at times. Newest items will be at the bottom of the post, so it’s all in chronological order. I’ll be updating every five minutes or so.

Just waiting for the meeting to be called to order.

1009: The business meeting is called to order. Introductions.

1011: Rules are suspended to elect the members to the Mark Protection Committee since the number of nominees equal the numbers of empty spots.

1012: Nitpicking and Flyspecking Committee report. Proposed the amendment to define North America for the purposes of NASFIC that is before us today. No more nitpicking for now, perhaps in future, less contentious years.

1013: WorldCon Runners Guide Editorial Committee. Catastrophic failure on the conrunner website; unable to recover from backup. Mike had PDFs of the site and they have extracted data from those and are reloading.

1015: Katie Rask gives YA committee report. Majority consensus of the previous year’s committee, YA was not feasible based on wordcount (which defines all other categories). This year was focused on considering a Campbell-like award for Young Adult. A Hugo in general addresses a work. A Campbell addresses an author. A YA award would address an age group. Basics of what a YA award would look like is in exhibit 2. (Exhibit 1 is comparison of the Hugo and Campbell.) YA award would be a WorldCon-sponsored award; each Hugo Administration committee is in charge of administering YA Award as with Campbell. Dual eligibility allowed.

1019: (YA Award report continued) Some issues need to be addressed by third committee, particularly naming of award and what the award would look like. Asks that committee is extended to address these issues. A Campbell-like award does solve problems that have come up repeatedly, particularly the definitional issue, and how it would be categorized. Last year had a discussion of how YA is defined. A strong definition of YA is probably not a good idea because trends change; best to leave it to the voters. If it’s not a Hugo, we don’t have the definition problem that has loomed so hard in the past. There is a huge variety of YA wordcounts; this is not a good definition.

1023: (YA Award report continued) Talked to a number of YA authors about Campbell-like award, got a lot of positive feedback. The award would name and honor (at discretion of the meeting) up to five books a year.

1025: Question from Mr Blog. Any feelers as to long-term sponsorships?

1025: Rask–we spoke to the Hugo Committee to see if a sponsor was even necessary. The Campbell has one due to tradition; grandfathered in. Because the YA Award would be added, it would not need to be sponsored. Not included in report since this would be best addressed in the following year’s committee. All expenses associated with this award are essentially the same as you get with a Hugo Award.

1027: Question from Ben Yalow. Has there been any kind of survey of the potential nominating pool? How many people who nominate for the Hugos actually read YA and can competently address this?

1027: Rask gave this in last year’s report. Numbers from LonCon in the YA track, number of panels, authors participating, author interest. The numbers were very large; most YA panels were standing room only. Numbers are very good.

1029: No objection to re-appointing committee for this year.

1030: Best Series Hugo Committee report, given by Warren Buff. Report is on page 67, appendix two. Appendix one is MIA.

1031: Buff–committee report was put online in July. Committee feels that industry has gone from standalone novels to long series over the years. A lot of in-series novels get nominated but don’t win. It would be good for the health of the Hugo novel category. Renewed eligibility because when a work is significantly expanded to effectively be a new work, it gets renewed eligibility. Committee feels that when a series is expanded, it becomes a new work.

1033: No questions for the committee.

1033: WorldCon committee reports. Are there any questions for any of the committees.

1034: Lenore Jones–what is the distinction between the LoneStarCon Reports?

1035: Ben Yalow is not an official representative of LSC. There are two distinct reports, one for LSC and one for Alamo. If any funds are turned over to a successor organization, that successor organization is bound by the funding report rules. Funds were turned over to Alamo, so they decided they were close enough to be bound by the reporting.

1036: Terry Neil commends the granularity of Sasquan’s report.

1037: Geri Sullivan notes that there is money in two reports money is given to the video archaeology project. Thanks all contributors who have given money to this project. More info in the fan lounge.

1038: Dave McCarty this is the final report for ChiCon, the money is gone, as soon as they file the papers with Illinois the corporation is no more, bye bye!

1039: Business passed on commences. First order of business is passed on from ChiCon–Best Fancast. (McCarty, from back: “Hello!”)

1039: Kate Secor for. This category has a sufficient diversity of nominees, and also the podcasts act as great advertisement for the Hugos.

1040: Question called. Ayes have it, Best Fancast is re-ratified and remains.

1040: Bringing up The Five Percent Solution. This will strike the 5% reporting requirements for short story. Kevin Standlee has a modification. Kevin wishes to admit to the body that he made a mistake. He got rid of every reference to 5%, a few of which have nothing to do with the purpose, which is to remove the threshold for being a finalist. He wants to strike the section that has nothing to do with the threshold, is seconded.

1043: Parliamentary Inquiry–if we modify this, will we have to re-ratify? Dashoff: this is a lesser change, so it does not require ratification next year if we pass it this year.

1044: Stephanie Sullivan wanted to clarify that final numbers will still be reported. Yes.

1045: No one wants to speak against Kevin’s amendments. Question is called, his modification passes.

1046: Mr Desjardins speaking for the 5% Solution. Points out that the vote gets divided too many ways for short story and in many years we have had less than a full short list for the category. The magazine market is larger and much more fragmented now. It’s much harder for any one work to appear on 5% of the ballot. Times have changed. The rule is no longer doing any good.

1047: Mr Yalow against the motion. When you get down to that level, there’s a lot of noise and not a lot of signal. The difference between fifth and sixth place is close enough to a random number that he’s not convinced that it’s real signal and not statistical fluctuations.

1049: Mr Quinn in favor. STATISTICIAN IN THE HOUSE BOOYAH. If the difference between 5th and 6th place is a statistical fluctuation, the difference between 5% and 6% might be a fluctuation too. The way we make sure it’s not a statistical fluctuation is the second round of voting on the finalists.

1050: Daniel Rico if no one is bothering to nominate it, it might not be Hugo-worthy.

1051: Chris Gerrib it’s not that there are too few voters; it’s that we’re spreading 2000 votes over a lot of nominations.

1052: Kate Secor (who does not understand statistics, per herself) motions to add a three year sunset clause. This is a lesser change that can be allowed.

1053: Dr Adams points out we have lots of data already and we don’t need a sunset clause.

1053: Kevin Standlee moves to end the debate and call the question. No objection.

1053: We will vote on adding a sunset clause first. Motion fails, no sunset clause.

1054: Now we vote on The 5% Solution. Motion passes, we get rid of the 5% threshold!

1054: On to Multiple Nominations. This will explicitly codify that you cannot be nominated in multiple categories for the same work.

1055: No one wants to speak against. Question called. Motion is ratified.

1056: Nominee Diversity. Mr Eastlake as maker of motion and speaks first. He made a study where duplicates (multiple episodes in same series, etc) have happened throughout Hugo Awards, but this has become increasingly common over the last 15 years. This really crowds out options and limits the choices of the voters. This would limit the slots on the ballot to no more than two per category.

1057: Question from Dr Adams. How will this actually be implemented? Will you be contacting people and saying “you have four finalists, you can only have two, would you like to withdraw two of them?”

1058: Eastlake–this sounds how it would probably be administered; this will be up to the particular administrators of the awards that year. This would leave the decision of what to be on the ballot to the author deciding what is most representative for them.

1059: Mr Matthews asks if there will be instructions on the ballot saying you’re not allowed to nominate more.

1059: Answer is no. People can still nominate as much as they want, though the provisions will be in the packet.

1100: Follow-up would this be up to the creator, or up to who has the most nominations?

1100: Answer is that this would be up to the administrators(?)

1101: Dr Adams is not satisfied with the answers given. Proposes to give to a committee that will report back tomorrow to clarify these things with minor change-type language.

1102: Seconded.

1102: Inquiry–section 3.2.5 is mentioned, what does it say? This is the rule allowing authors to withdraw a work if they feel it is not representative.

1104: Mr Olson against, doesn’t want to write too many of the Hugo administration rules into the constitution. If it is necessary, it wouldn’t be a lesser change.

(There’s some more back and forth, none of the arguments particularly stand out as new.)

1108: Colin Harris points out that every year, nominees are allowed to withdraw more broadly defined than in 3.2.5.

1111: Debate time has run out with regards to referring to committee.

1112: Ben Yalow moves to extend debate time by two minutes. Does not pass vote; debate is not extended.

1113: Vote on if to send to committee. It’s close. BUCKLE UP KIDS, IT’S TIME FOR A SERPENTINE.

1117: Motion to refer to committee passes. Dr Adams will chair the committee.

1118: Ten minute recess.

1133: Meeting called back to order.

1133: Next item is Electronic Signatures.

1134: Speech for Electronic Signatures from Terry Neil. Recommends that both electronic and paper ballots be available. Recommends particularly because international WorldCons are coming up.

1135: Joanie Brill Dashoff site selection administrator for last year. They didn’t accept adobe signatures last year due to a glitch.

1136: Kate Secor for. Enormous desire from the membership for us to do this. “Why can’t I do this online like everything else?” This motion doesn’t force us to do it right away; requires agreement of all parties. But we can tell membership that we are at least working on it.

1137: Geri Sullivan against. Says this would put the pressure from site selection and onto the bid managers.

1140: Cliff against; concerned we will get a flood of votes from people who don’t know anything about the bids. Brings up specter of ballot box stuffing by bids.

1140: For: A voting flood is already possible. Electronic signing might be required in the future. And everyone wants it. Being progressive as an organization is kind of what we do.

1143: Against: electronic signatures will destroy friendships(?). (Sounded like for to me, but hey.)

1143: For: the data privacy concerns are overrated; personal information can be separated out.

1144: Kent Bloom against. The privacy concerns are real. The idea that everyone can agree on my behalf is a false idea. My rights as a member are not having my vote available for anyone else to see.

1145: Seth Breidbart for; as a professional in the field, there are several ways that privacy can be protected.

1147: Proposal to extend debate. It fails. Question is put to the floor.

1147: Motion is ratified! Electronic Signature passes.

1148: The other business passed on has been postponed definitely to Sunday, so we are on to new business.

1148: Dr Adams asks if there’s a way to delay ratification on items not next year but until the year after.

1150: The answer would be no.

1150: Kronengold asks if we can add a major change that could be removed in the next year as a minor change functionally do what we want. Yes.

1151: We’re getting into some parliamentary shit here.

1152: Ben Yalow is the only person I know who can make an entire room laugh with parliamentary procedure. I cannot explain the joke. You had to be here.

1154: “Is there any objection to that resolution?” “Yeah, because I don’t understand it.”

1157: We’re having some delayed ratification problems here, folks.

1158: “Sunrise, sunset clause.” “I made that proposal on the SMOFs mailing list and was rightly shot down as stupid parliamentary gamesmanship.”

1158: We’re referring this ????? delayed ratification thing to nitpicking and flyspecking committee. Maybe? We’re trying.

1159: Kate Secor asks that the committee meeting be open. Nitpicking and Flyspecking FOR EVERYONE.

1200: Objection from Ms Hayes because she would like her husband for at least some of the convention. :)

1201: Motion to refer to committee passes. Those opposed are mostly the members of the Nitpicking and Flyspecking committee.

1203: Next up is Best Series.

1204: Colin Harris on our committee report for yesterday. We restricted ourselves to the re-eligibility criteria. Considered a number of options on merit: 1) Everyone can be permanently eligible with new material, 2) Exclude winners but allow those who had been nominated and lost, 3) Exclude all nominees. After some discussion we got rid of #3 unanimously because it would cause too much churn, and agreed with the original committee on #1. Winners should be perpetually excluded from nomination even if new work is added. Here is the language we propose to clear up things to be more understandable.

1213: Amendment by substitution for our modified language from committee. Ayes have it. Motion has now been amended.

1213: Now let’s actually debate Best Series.

1213: Warren Buff in favor. Commends the committee for improving their language. :) This is an attempt to bring our awards in line with the state of publishing as it has been in the last few decades. Passing this will help improve the best novel category as well as reflect the state of the art.

1216: Point of information from John Dawson, who was on the committee. This does not clearly explain what would happen if an author writes multiple series in the same universe, etc.

1216: Warren Buff says that multiple series would be eligible.

1217: Kate Secor against. We know there are going to be frequent fliers. Concerned this isn’t going to be great for the Hugos with a lack of variation. Also places a massive burden on the voters.

1219: PRK speech in favor. Juror in Australian award that recognizes series. For them, the series had to be finished. Additional works became a new series. Their best series demonstrated a significant difference between best novel and best series.

1220: Question as to how series will be defined.

1221: Chris Gerrib, the answer is, you all get to figure it out. Leave it up to the voters.

1224: Mr Bloom, a speech against in the form of a question. What if series-ception happens? We are getting into some deep stuff here.

1225: Colin Harris — if we vote for this, we are going to accept the judgment of the voters. There is no way to precisely legislate the definition of the series and it’s against the spirit of how we do things in general.

1226: Mr Eastlake points out that per the constitution, all of this is ultimately up to the Hugo Administrators.

1226: Terry Neil moves to add a sunset clause. I second. Amendment passes. There is a sunset clause set to expire on 2021.

1228: Question of moving the second clause from Mr Ilingsworth. Colin Harris points out that we split it up like we did to make it easier to read, but we want to keep all the text together.

1229: Back to the matter at hand.

1230: Best Series is passes at first passage. It will be on the agenda at Helsinki.

1230: Five minute recess.

1236: Back to order, we are starting with December Is Good Enough.

1237: This is a cutoff for which members can nominate, not which works can be nominated. Further clarification on what this all means.

1239: Question gets rapidly called by 2/3 vote.

1239: December Is Good Enough receives first passage.

1239: Unanimous consent for taking up Defining North America now. Insert your continental drift joke here. (Come on people, plate tectonics. We’re not in the 80s any more.)

1241: Kevin Standlee points out that the current definition of North America would require that we had a NASFIC if WorldCon took place in Hawaii.

1242: Question from Mr Matthews.

1243: Question as to why Alaska, Hawaii, and DC? Because something to do with parliamentary stuff. Kevin explained it, I promise.

1245: Warren Buff against the motion. Does away with too much fannish silliness. He opposes this motion because he wants us to keep being silly. :)

1245: Jason Spitzer against, why is this necessary? If we want to hold a NASFIC in a year WorldCon is in Hawaii, why not.

1246: Put question to the floor. The ayes have it. Defining North America passes on to next year.

1247: Motion to adjourn. The ASL interpreter and CART person get a round of applause.

1248: Reminder that site selection closes at 6 today. Informal EPH and EPH+ Q&A immediately after this meeting.

1248: We stand adjourned for the day.

Summary to follow, but I need lunch!

Originally published at Rachael Acks: Sound and Nerdery. You can comment here or there.

For those to whom the liveblog is too long or too confusing, I shall summarize.

The Preliminary business meeting is for setting the agenda for the main business meetings on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. I will be referring to all amendments by their working titles. If you want to know the substance of these, refer to the WSFS agenda linked to from this page. Or I have my quick and dirty readings of them here, with some helpful clarifications provided by people in the comments.

Highlights:

  • All amendments from the 2015 business meetings were successfully put on the agenda with debate times set.
  • EPH and 4 and 6 were both postponed definitely to the Sunday meeting, so that they could be considered in light of the results of this year’s Hugos. We’ve been promised a report particularly on how EPH would have affected the nomination outcomes for the last five years at Sunday’s meeting. After much back and forth, EPH will be considered before 4 and 6 because if the former passes, the latter should be considered for modification.
  • There will be an informal discussion about EPH after the meeting tomorrow.
  •  Best Series will be debated in the general meetings, with a report from a committee (which I was on) with some recommendations to modifying the language. (Spoiler here: In committee, Colin Harris eloquently talked me down from what I was trying to do, but we did come up with some necessary clarifications.)
  • The proposed amendment to turn Two Years Is Enough into This Year’s Hugos, This Year’s Nominators was defeated. Two Years Is Enough (which will remove the current right of year N+1’s WorldCon attendees to nominate for the Hugo) will be considered in the main business meeting.
  • Additional Finalists is postponed indefinitely and will not be considered this year.
  • December Is Good EnoughThree Stage VotingEPH+Retrospective ImprovementsUniversal SuffrageNon-transferability of Voting Rights, and Young Adult Award will all be considered during the main business meeting. (YA Award with the rather surprising statement from Mr McCarty that though he has thoroughly objected to YA proposals in the past, he feels that this one deserves to be debated.)
  • EPH+ will be considered on Sunday after EPH due to definite postponement.
  • Retrospective Improvements has been split into three separate parts, each of which will be debated and voted on in the main business meeting.
  • No change to the Mark Protection Committee; all retiring members are nominated again.

If you have any questions/corrections, please feel free to leave a comment, I promise that I do go through and deal with the moderation queue.

Originally published at Rachael Acks: Sound and Nerdery. You can comment here or there.

AND WE’RE LIVE.

Thanks to Corina Stark for hotspotting her phone so I can use her data for this liveblog.

Rules as usual: I will be updating this post every few minutes once the meeting starts. Newest things will be at the bottom so this will eventually be chronological. Don’t be surprised if I interject opinions occasionally. There may be some misspelled or missing names as I go along, so this post may be corrected later. Apologies in advance if I miss your name the first go round!

The agenda is rather… robust this year. 69 pages. Already hearing a lot of comments about that.

We’ll be starting… soon.

AND HERE WE GO.

1009: Just going over parliamentary procedure for the meeting via a short video…

1016: Jared Dashoff calls the meeting to order and introduces everyone. Tim Illingworth, Linda Deneroff, Donald Eastlake, Lisa Hertel. Reminder that the meetings will be recorded and then loaded to youtube as quickly as possible.

1018: Point of parliamentary code, clarification on how we will be doing serpentines if necessary.

1019: Reminder today is the preliminary business meeting, going over what the next several meetings will be. If we are not done with the agenda on Sunday. we will be in this room UNTIL WE ARE DONE. Today we will be setting debate time for all motions. Any amendments are in order on new items, no amendments in this meeting for items already passed.

1021: We can vote on any resolutions coming out of committee today. Any motions coming from a committee report have to be voted on at the main business meeting. Reminder: we can postpone indefinitely today or object to consideration.

1022: On to business passed on.

1023: Kevin Standlee question of privilege: requests that all questions be spoken or repeated into the mic for recording purposes.

1023: Business passed on. Eastlake reminding us that there is a time dilation issue, so propose brief debate times.

1024: Yes, we can reorder items today.

1026: What if it’s a tie? Jared: Then I get to vote.

1027: Best Fancast. No objection to six minutes of debate.

1027: The 5% Solution. 10 minutes suggested. 4 minutes proposed and seconded. 6 proposed and seconded.

1028: Six minutes debate set for 5% solution.

1029: Kevin Standlee serves warning that he is planning to amend the 5% solution.

1029: 10 minutes suggested for Multiple Nominations. Several other times suggested.

1030: Time set at 8 minutes.

1031: Nominee Diversity suggested at 10 minutes. Time set at 8 minutes.

1032: Josh Kronengold moves to postpone Nominee Diversity definitely until after EPH is voted on. There is no objection to moving it until after EPH.

Everyone is being so agreeable so far.

1033: Electronic Signature has a 12 minute suggested debate time. Multiple objections.

1034: Someone suggested 20 minutes. Everyone else is opposed.

1035: Debate for Electronic Signature set at 10 minutes.

1035: Cliff Dun moves to postpone EPH definitely until after 4 and 6. Multiple objections. Cliff argues that 4 and 6 is the least destructive proposal and should be considered first.

1036: Mr Dejarden is one of the makers of 4 and 6 and argues that the effect cannot be considered until we know if EPH will be in or not. If EPH passes, he will be moving to amend his own proposal.

1037: Jason Spitzer seconds the least destructive point. Also points out that some amendments are much more difficult to implement. It would be a waste of our time to consider more complicated amendments when we could just pass 4 and 6 and end it there.

1039: Motion to postpone EPH definitely until after 4 and 6. Motion does not pass. Order remains the same.

1040: 20 minutes of debate time suggested for EPH. Multiple objections. Someone suggests 30. Oh sweet Jesus.

1041: Time set at 20 minutes anyway.

1041: David McCarty moves to locate 4 and 6, EPH, and Nominee Diversity to the Sunday meeting so we can see the Hugo data. They have a report ready for us (which they presumably can’t share til after the ceremony). EPH is being tested this year; the data is being run both ways.

1044: Gary Rob questions why Nominee Diversity is related to EPH and 4 and 6.

1044: They’re not actually related, but Nominee Diversity has already been postponed definitely until after EPH, so perforce it must move. Anyway, we have five data sets of EPH processed data we can look at on Sunday.

1045: Rick Kovalcik against: we have enough data now to shoot down claims.

1049: Call the question for postponing definitely. Objection because someone has remarks against. Some debate on how this works, moving to vote on the question.

1051: Motion to postpone definitely until Sunday passes. We’ll be looking at 4 and 6, EPH, and Nominee Diversity on Sunday.

(Missed a little bit of stuff here because I had to take a phone call.)

1057: Kate Secor argues that Nominee Diversity is an issue of itself and should be debated on its own merits rather than linked to other amendments that have no direct relation.

1058: I have no idea what just happened. We’re getting into the parliamentary stuff here, baby.

1059: Mr Bloom votes to suspend the rules so we can get ourselves out of this tangle and vote to just move Nominee Diversity back.

1100: We are now going to vote to move it back. Motion passes. Nominee Diversity is no longer on Sunday.

1101: Now we have to set debate time to 4 and 6. Much objection. Such suggestions. Wow.

1103: 10 minutes of debate set for 4 and 6.

1103: Now for the new items.

1105: Meeting back in order after a brief recess.

1106: Best Series. Motion to amend by Mr Kronengold. He wants to add a Best Epic category and some other portions.

1107: Mr Buff says this is the best compromise they were able to work out.

1107: PoI from Ms Seacourt question if this creates two new categories?

1108: Mr Kronengold says this would not create a second category, but would open it up for works in other categories that get substantially longer.

1109: Amendment fails.

1110: I object to the re-eligibility portion of the amendment and move to remove that.

1111: Someone from the committee speaks for.

1112: Kate Secor shares my concerns.

1114: Speech against. Mr Kronengold points out that he wants to strike the thing that prevents the same work from being nominated again.

1115: Question of intent. If we strike this part, will that mean the series can’t be eligible again or will be every year.

1116: Striking this would make it eligible endlessly? I would hope not.

1117: Mr Olson moves to return this to committee and return tomorrow with an up or down motion showing different consequences. Colin Harris will be chairing committee. (I’m going to try to get on that.)

1118: Now we’re actually going to set debate time.

1119: Ben Yalow brings up that the motion has been referred to committee and is no longer under the meeting’s control. Eastlake points out that we are still in control of our own agenda.

1120: How can we set debate time if we don’t know what the actual item will be?

1121: Motion to set debate time independently for the amendment and the motion.

1122: Colin Harris plans to come back with something simple and concise to clear up the intent of the motion.

1124: Setting debate time for the main motion. 10 minutes set.

1126: Setting debate time on my amendment. 6 minutes.

1127: Move to postpone Best Series and amendment definitely to after EPH. On Sunday. (WHY?) Points out that series are particularly subject to slate voting; he cannot vote well without knowing how the slate voting has been addressed.

1128: Rick Kovalcik says there should be as little as possible to do on Sunday. Motion to call the question.

1129: Motion fails. Best Series stays put.

1130: 10 minute recess.

1142: Meeting called back to order. Committee about series will meet after this meeting. Informal discussion of EPH, etc, will occur after the meeting tomorrow

1144: December Is Good Enough.

1144: Motion to suspend the rules to limit debate time per person so if there is 10 minutes, you only get one minute of speaking time. Etc.

1145: Ben Yalow points out that motions are sometimes complex, “I’d rather hear a really good two minute speech than a bunch of really lousy 30 second speeches.”

1146: Kate Secor points out that a motion to extend the entire debate can be made.

1147: Gary Blog wants to hear more opinions rather than just one person dominating the debate time.

1148: Warren Buff moves to amend so that debate time is automatically extended by 30 seconds until five people get a chance to speak.

1149: Kronengold moves to amend so that if fewer than five have spoken on a given side, the voting threshold to extending debate drops to 50% rather than 2/3.

1151: Ben Yalow brings up germaneness. Jared Dashoff rules it is germane.

1151: Question is called. Motion fails.

1153: Okay, now we’re voting on the limitation of debate times per person. This motion fails as well.

1154: Back to December Is Good Enough. Time set at 8 minutes.

1155: Two Years Are Good Enough. 10 minutes debate time set.

1157: This Year’s Hugos, This Year’s Nominators. Ben Yalow speaks for it.

1158: Colin Harris is against. The future year is a moving target with new members being added all the time. The future voters only add a few hundred to an already huge pool. Makes things more game-able(?). Believes it exposes the awards to being much more easily gamed in smaller years.

1201: Mr Kovalcik is for. This would have caused more supporting member income for MidAmeriCon.

1204: I speak against. I’m interested in more participation.

1204: Kate Secor for. Very valid point that it allows nomination, not voting.

1205: Speech against; point that this cuts off people who join after the deadline and they get no shot at nominating ever even if they bought the full membership.

1206: Warren Buff for; Getting people to join early and encouraging that is very good for the planning of the WorldCons.

1207: Adrian Foster against; the reason we started the two year process is because of the cut-off date. If we take the previous years nominators off, we should remove the cut-off date as well.

1208: Ms Rudolph acknowledges that the nomination process is broken/has some serious deficits. This will help focus the nominations on the people who care the most about the outcome of the Hugos. This only impacts nominations, not voting. This will discourage people who are not invested in the process.

1211: Ms Hayes against. Anyone who joined the day of should get something for that membership. (They didn’t get a chance to nominate/vote this year, so…)

1212: Mr Kovalcik when we went from one year to two years, it was hard to buy a membership. It’s easier to buy a membership now.

1213: Debate time has expired. Vote on the amendment by substitution. The amendment fails. This Year’s Awards, This Year’s Nominators FAILS. So we will be considering “Two Years Are Enough” rather than the stricter version.

1216: Three Stage Voting comes up. There is a seconded motion to postpone indefinitely.

1217: Mr Blog really LOATHES this amendment. Points out this will just make Approval Wars basically. Additional stage of voting gives the administrators even more to do.

1218: Colin Harris asks that this at least gets open debate.

1219: Mr Kronengold moves to call the questions. Seconded. Question is called.

1222: Motion to propose indefinitely fails. Three Stage Voting stays on the agenda.

1224: Mark Protection committee nominations. Three retiring members re-nominated.

1228: Moving on to Additional Finalists. Motion to propose indefinitely. There’s some scrambling.

1230: Now a speech against Additional Finalists as anti-democratic.

1231: Ms Hayes as maker of motion. It has numerous flaws. It deserves the chance to at least be debated.

1231: Kate Secor in favor of postponement. This is completely antithetical to the spirit of the Hugos and does not even deserve open debate.

1232: Question of postponing Additional Finalists indefinitely is called. Hands are unclear. IT’S SERPENTINE TIME, KIDS. BUCKLE UP.

1236: 36 Against to 81 For. Additional Finalists is postponed indefinitely.

1236: EPH+ is next. Mr Blog moves that EPH+ is moved definitely to be after EPH and 4 and 6 on Sunday.

1238: Mr Blog declines to give a speech in favor of his motion. Ms Hayes against. Because if EPH+ is better than EPH, let’s just talk about that first.

1239: Mr Quinn even if we pass EPH+, for this year EPH still matters.

1239: Question is called. Mr Dashoff reminds us that the way to show there is no objection is with silence.

1240: Motion passes. EPH+ will be on Sunday. Now time is set for debate. 16 minutes of debate time set.

1242: Defining North America. 2 minutes of debate time!

1243: Retrospective Improvements. Ben Yalow stands to move that the question be divided. He believes that 3.13.1 and 3.13.2 are sufficiently different that they should be divided. Seconded.

1248: Parliamentary scrambling, the conclusion is this is not debatable so let’s vote. The division passes.

1249: Kevin Standlee proposes dividing so it’s three parts and now two. He asks unanimous consent. Mr Buff objects. “I tried!” –Standlee. Then we devote anyway and the division goes through.

1250: Dashoff proposes six minutes per. Objection. Dashoff says debate time will be all three at once though. Four minutes.

1251: Universal Suffrage. Six minutes is adopted with no objection.

1251: Non-transferability of Voting Rights. Eight minutes adopted with no objection.

1251: Young Adult Award. Mr Blog moves to postpone indefinitely. Seconded.

1252: Mr McCarty says he has been opposed to YA awards in the past, but he thinks this should be debated. Applause for him.

1253: Question is called. Motion fails. YA is not postponed. We set debate time now. 14 minutes set.

1254: Motion to adjourn. Seconded. Meeting comes in just under the wire.

I’ll write a summary of this a bit later, time for my committee meeting. Thanks for following!

Originally published at Rachael Acks: Sound and Nerdery. You can comment here or there.

Voldemom

So yes, I know all about Voldemort’s tragic backstory(TM)1, I’ve read the books. But think how much more interesting it would have been if, at the beginning of book four when you-know-who is about to murder hapless Frank Bryce, the Voldemom comes shuffling out of the shadows in a floral print housecoat and carpet slippers, curlers in her hair and a cigarette dangling from between her lips.

TOMMY. What are you doing?

Um. Nothing mom. Just going to kill this muggle.

Tommy, you’re being too loud. Why does there have to be so much screaming? My soaps are on. I can barely hear them.

It’s just going to be another minute, mom.

But Steve is about to propose to Angelica, and all I can hear is you hissing and spitting at this–whoever he is.

It’s called parseltongue, mom.

I’ll parseltongue you. And put your snake out. She’s shedding scales all over my carpet.

Nagini is a very clean snake. She’d never do that.

Fine, then you do all the vacuuming.

Why do I have to do all the work around here?

All the work? All the work? Fine, then you can start washing your own robes. Do you have any idea how hard it is to get blood stains out? Well, do you?

But mom–

And what thanks do I get? A sink full of skulls and half-full cups of coffee. Why can’t you empty your bloody coffee cups out and put them in the dishwasher like everyone else?

Mom, I have more important things to do.

Well I’ve got lower back pain and my eczema is acting up, but does that stop me from doing everyone’s dishes? No.

Okay fine, I’ll just be another minute.

 

It’s always another minute with you. I’m still waiting for you to go to the store and buy more kitchen towel.

Mom, you’re embarrassing me.

No, you’re embarrassing me, I can’t even tell the neighbors what my son does any more. Who ever heard of “Dark Lord” as a profession. I wanted you to go to accounting school, but no–

I’m not going to be a bloody actuary.

Actuaries make good money. You’d have a pension. And promotion prospects! And you always were so good at numbers. If you’d just applied yourself…

I hated maths. Just like I hate muggles.

Now you’re just being dramatic.

I am not being dramatic! This is why I tell everyone I’m an orphan!

Don’t you take that tone with me, young man!

I’ll do whatever I want. Avada–ow! Ow! Mom, stop it!

You might not have a nose any more, but you’ve still got two perfectly good ears.

 

Then the book would have ended very quickly.

And these are the things I think about when it’s one in the morning and I’ve been driving for ten hours. Goodnight.

 

1: Cool story, still murder.

Originally published at Rachael Acks: Sound and Nerdery. You can comment here or there.

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