The Left Paw of Darkness 5/16

aka An alternate dimension based on String Theory.

Vox Day, Lela E. Buis, Bob Nelson, Jack Hastings, Floris M. Kleijne, Martin Wisse, John Scalzi, Brian Niemeier, Steve Green, Bruce Arthurs, Ampersand, Immanuel Taal, Lis Carey, Larry Correia, Spacefaring Kitten, Elisa Bergslien, Brandon Kempner and Pip R. Lagenta and Pab Sungenis. (Title credit belongs to File 770’s contributing editors of the day Laura Resnick and John King Tarpinian.)

Vox Day on Vox Popoli

“#GamerGate has more fun” – May 16

#GamerGate has got to be the first consumer revolt that managed to bring together unequivocally evangelical Christians, unabashed porn stars, and undeniably fabulous homosexuals. Among many, many others. How evil are the SJWs, how universally loathsome is their ideology, that it can inspire such diverse tribes to unite against them? We need a word to describe anti-SJWism. Then again, I suppose we’ve already got one. And that word would be “freedom”.

 

Lela E. Buis

“Establishing a brand with controversy” – May 16

Before this month, how many people had heard of Theodore Beale (aka Vox Day)? Come on, let’s have a show of hands. Nobody? Same here. I had never heard of the man. Somehow his accomplishments had escaped my notice. However, he is on the national radar now, as he has managed to subvert the Hugo Awards. Not only has he received two nominations for his own work, but his publishing house has won nine nominations. He accomplished this through a political and financial campaign that took advantage of how the awards are run.

 

Bob Nelson

“Hugos, Sad Puppies and The Game of Thrones” – May 16

The Baen Books website includes a forum called Baen’s Bar. I was banned for not agreeing with Mr Ringo’s vision of the universe. That really pissed me off, because I had in fact bought several of his early books, before he went completely wingnut… In fact, I bought books by just about every one of Baen’s considerable stable. Eric Flint is still a favorite of mine.

Which brings us to Sad Puppies… this time for real.

A couple years ago, a Baen writer named Larry Correia, on the belief that the Hugo Awards had been kidnapped by radical left-wingers whom he calls “Social Justice Warriors”, decided to recruit enough John Ringo True Believers to effectively take control of the Hugo Award ballot process. This year, his successor at the head of the Sad Puppies movement, Brad Torgerson, was brilliantly successful. The Ringo Faithful successfully packed the nominating process, ensuring their victory in the final voting. Baen authors won everything.

I am a Vietnam vet. That war was epitomized by a young lieutenant’s phrase, “We had to destroy the village to save it.” The Sad Puppies had to destroy the Hugo to save it. It is not clear whether the Hugo Awards will ever carry the kind of aura that they had before the Sad Puppy coup d’état.

 

Jack Hastings on Half-Forgotten

“The Great Hugo Kerfuffle of 2015” – May 16

Disclaimer

Let it be said at the outset that I am an armchair socialist who very much dislikes Tea Party apparatchiks, Fox News demagogues, religious zealots, Rush Limberger and the Sad and Rabid Puppies who have mounted a campaign to hijack Science Fiction Fandom’s Hugo Awards. Furthermore, I am not going to provide links to any of Correia’s, Torgersen’s or Beale’s (the Sad and Rabid Puppies, see below) web posts because I don’t have to and that’s what Google is for anyway. You’ll just have to trust me that the quotes provided are accurate and not taken too far out of context. You can do that, can’t ya?

 

Floris M. Kleijne on Barno’s Stables

“The Modified No Award Proposal: SPUNARPU” – May 15

To put it bluntly: I accept Brad Torgersen’s Sad Puppies, and I reject their Rabid cousins. And to put my money where my mouth is, I’m proposing the SPUNARPU voting approach: Sad PUppies, No Award, Rabid PUppies.

What does that mean in practice? I will read/watch/listen to all nominated works and artists that were either on the Sad Puppies slate (regardless of their presence on the Rabid slate), or on neither slate. I will neither peruse nor vote for works and artists that were only on the Rabid Puppies slate.

Therefore, my amended SPUNARPU approach to this year’s Hugo vote is thus:

  1. Slush-peruse (read, watch, listen until I’ve had enough) all nominated works and artists except the ones slated by Vox Day and his Rabid Puppies.
  2. Vote for the works and artists I believe are Hugo-worthy in order of how much I think of them.
  3. If voting slots remains, put No Award
  4. If voting slots still remain, vote for the works and artists I believe are not Hugo-worthy below No Award, in order of how little I think of them.
  5. If voting slots remain even after this exercise, put the Rabid Puppies nominees in there.

This approach minimizes the chance of works and artists slated by Vox Day and not by Brad Torgersen winning a Hugo

 

Martin Wisse on Wis[s]e Words

”Puppy-Proofing the Hugos” – May 16

LonCon3 had over 10,000 members: get all those to nominate and slate buying becomes slightly more expensive. But how do you get them to vote? Once LonCon3 was over, it was up to Sasquan to rally voters, but that only started in January, or four months later, far too late for those not into core Worldcon fandom to remember to nominate. What’s needed therefore is for the nomination process to open earlier, something which the WSFS rules don’t say anything about, so which can be done without needing that lengthy rule changing process. And while it is easier for a Worldcon to only start considering nominations in January, I think this is important enough to justify that added difficulty.

What I would like to see is having electronic nomination ballots open as soon as possible, either in January of the eligible year (e.g. January 2015 for 2016 nominations) or, if that’s too confusing, too much of a hassle, perhaps after the previous Worldcon has finished (September 1 for the most part). That way it also becomes easier for those already involved to keep a running tally for the year. It would also need not just opening the nominations, but promoting the nomination process as well. Get the members of the previous Worldcon involved, get them enthusiastic about nominating. It’s something next year’s Worldcon, MidAmeriConII, could start up already.

 

John Scalzi on Whatever

“Reader Request Week 2015 #10: Short Bits” – May 16

Noblehunter: “What are your thoughts on bad actors in anarchic/unorganized social movements? From looters hi-jacking civil rights protests to gamergate (some people seem to actually believe it’s about ethics in video game journalism) and Puppies (likewise), the stated goals of the group are undermined or by those calling themselves members of the group while acting in counter-productive ways. Can these groups police themselves despite a lack of central authority? Do you have any suggestions for people who are genuinely concerned about ethics in videogame journalism or other populist causes?”

Well, I’d first note that in the cases of Gamergate and the Puppies, the “stated goals” of the group were tacked on as afterthoughts/justifications for the precipitating action (harassment of women — and of a specific woman — in the case of Gamergate, personal desire for a bauble in the case of the Puppies). That’s not an insignificant thing, and it’s not something the fig leaf of a “stated goal” is going to cover up. This is a different situation, obviously, than looters attaching themselves to a protest movement already underway.

If I were truly interested in ethics in video game journalism — which is a laudable goal — or in seeing more representation of the sort of SF/F subgenres I liked in awards — less concretely laudable, but sure, why not — or whatever, I would probably start fresh, far away from those already tainted movements.

 

Brian Niemeier on Superversive SF

“Transhuman and Subhuman Part IV – Science Fiction: What Is It Good For?” – May 16

According to Wright, the end of science fiction and fantasy’s exile was decreed by the advent of a single film: George Lucas’ cultural juggernaut Star Wars. “When…the President of the United States can make casual references to Jedi mind-powers or the One Ring from Mordor, then space opera and fantasy epic have sunk into the marrow bones of the popular imagination.”

Having examined how genre fiction’s banishment came about, and how it ended, Wright turns to the questions of where sci-fi is going, and what it’s for.

 

Steve Green

My latest mug/t-shirt/poster/tattoo design. As a republican, I’d rather not have included the crown, but it’d look odd otherwise.

THIS SPACE INTENTIONALLY LEFT BLANK
ED COX DOODLE HERE
 

Bruce Arthurs on Undulant Fever

“Mad Libs: Sad Puppies Edition” – May 16

The Wall Street Journal published a recent story about the Sad Puppies/Rabid Puppies gaming a vulnerability in the Hugo Awards nomination procedure to almost completely dominate the 2015 ballot with their own, ah, particular point of view. I was reading the comments (yes, I should know better than to read comments on posts about this subject by now; doing so mostly just raises my blood pressure)….

 

Ampersand on Alas

“In Which Amp Realizes That Two Arguments That Frustrate Me Are Actually The Same” – May 16

As regular readers know (and by “know,” I mean, “are probably sick of hearing”), I’m against it when folks organize to economically punish others for their political views.

Very frequently, when I write or talk about this, I’ll run into some fellow lefty1 who doesn’t see any substantive difference between an organized boycott or blacklist against (say) hiring Orson Scott Card, and an individual reader choosing not to buy Card’s books.

Then I realized that one of the Sad Puppy/Rabid Puppy arguments about the Hugo awards that I find most frustrating, is really the exact same argument. One side is saying that collective organization – be it an anti-OSC petition or slate voting – is substantively different than individuals making individual decisions. The other side is denying that there’s any meaningful difference.

 

Immanuel Taal on Medium

“An Ode To Flatland” – May 16

Good Science Fiction answers a “what if” question with the guiding hand of its author. A good social message that grows naturally out of this story can help make the setting that much more rich, the characters that much more realistic, and the themes that much more intriguing. But a good social message imposed on a story contrived to push the author’s social views is bad Science Fiction. It comes down to the “science” part of Science Fiction. Good science starts with evidence and reaches conclusions. Good Science Fiction starts with imaginary evidence and reaches imaginary conclusions. Bad science and bad Science Fiction alike start with the conclusion and try to support it with flimsy (and often imaginary) evidence. The author has complete control over their created world and the social message, if any, they wish to convey. If that world doesn’t naturally grow to show the message it’s probably a boring world and a weak social message.

 

 

Lis Carey on Lis Carey’s Library

“The Journeyman: In the Stone House, by Michael F. Flynn” – May 16

Structurally, this isn’t a bad story. The plot is a little thin, with much of the little that happens relying on events in the prior story.

 

Spacefaring Kitten on Spacefaring, Extradimensional Happy Kittens

“’The Journeyman: In the Stone House’ by Michael F. Flynn” – May 16

The main character is an adventurer who has been adventuring in some earlier Analog story as well. He isn’t terribly interesting in any way, and nothing of interest happens in the story, so I was left wondering what was the point, really. There’s some military training, sword-fighting and snappy dialogue that is meant to be smart-ass (I guess).

I didn’t enjoy it at all and have trouble seeing why it’s on the ballot.

 

Elisa Bergslien on Leopards and Dragons

“A peak into The Goblin Emperor” – May 15

The one ‘fun’ thing I have managed to do in the past few weeks is to start reading works nominated for a Hugo award. All of the short works I have read so far have ranged from meh down to yuck!  Thankfully the novel category has some lovely rays of light.  I have been reading The Goblin Emperor by Katherine Addison and greatly enjoying it.

 

Brandon Kempner on Chaos Horizon

‘Hugo Award Nomination Ranges, 2006-2015, Part 5” – May 16

Let’s wrap this up by looking at the rest of the data concerning the Short Fiction categories of Novella, Novelette, and Short Story. Remember, these stories receive far fewer votes than the Best Novel category, and they are also less centralized, i.e. the votes are spread out over a broader range of texts. Let’s start by looking at some of those diffusion numbers:

 

Pip R. Lagenta on Facebook – May 16

First Sad

My Hugo burns at both ends.
It will not last the night.
But ah, my foes, and oh, my friends—…
Those Puppies are a blight

 

Pab Sungenis on The New Adventures of Queen Victoria – May 16

queen victoria naqv150516

488 thoughts on “The Left Paw of Darkness 5/16

  1. Well Rick, most human beings who are actually interested in “facts first” do things like a. use a search engine while also b. asking someone for evidence. This is especially the case if they suspect the evidence will not be forthcoming, or if forthcoming, will be insufficient.

    You didn’t bother, because you’re not actually a “facts first” type. You’re a “gotcha” type. But the only one who got got is you.

  2. If I were to become a naturalised French citizen, I would absolutely be French by the laws of the Republic, but in a different sense not French at all, but rather a Norwegian-ethnic who is a French citizen and speaks French with a horrific accent. Beale the ethnic essentialist presumably feels that French people of Algerian descent or birth are not French in the ethnic-French sense either, and when ‘War is coming’ in his view, both are (in his view) going to not to be welcome among the ethnic French.

    There have been Jews in France since the Roman period (if not earlier). Singling them out as not-French, even in the not-ethnically-French sense, is antisemitism.

    And in the context of the whole paragraph, Beale is saying that the Jews’ non-Frenchness rightly disqualifies them from having their safety protected by actually-French police forces. Even a naturalized Norwegian-ethnic French citizen with a horrific accent deserves better than that. And as you point out, he goes on to accuse the French Jews of disloyalty. His remark does not merely “resemble” an antisemitic talking point, but repeats it. And then there’s the other line I quoted earlier:

    The diaspora Jews must understand that they will never rule over the more numerous nations for long.

    No person untainted by prejudice could believe that “the diaspora Jews” as a class are ruling “the more numerous nations”. It’s another classic antisemitic talking point. If you scroll down that page, there’s a follow-up comment from Beale, where he repeats the accusation:

    The West is Israel’s natural ally, but the two parties cannot become genuine allies until the diaspora Jews stop trying to force the West to serve what they see as their interests. Remember, even Hitler had no pressing desire to slaughter the Jews.

    And then, somewhat farther down, he says to someone arguing with him:

    See how it works? First, you’re tolerated. Then you annoy people with your behavior. And then they get rid of you.

  3. Yep, a whole 1/4, up from 13% (2 out of 12) last year. So they came close to doubling their female representation. I think if this had been more widely acknowledged, the puppies might have been willing to work harder and read farther afield next year. As it is now, I wouldn’t be surprised if they retrenched. If they’re only going to get slammed, why should they try?

    For the sake of comparison, let’s compare this to corporate America:

    “Although they hold almost 52 percent of all professional-level jobs, American women lag substantially behind men when it comes to their representation in leadership positions: They are only 14.6 percent of executive officers, 8.1 percent of top earners, and 4.6 percent of Fortune 500 CEOs.” Source: https://www.americanprogress.org/issues/women/report/2014/03/07/85457/fact-sheet-the-womens-leadership-gap/

    If corporate America doubled the percentage of female executive officers in a single year, it would be recognized as a (very large) step in the right direction.

    So how many female nominees should there be? Personally, if the works are all awesome, I’d be fine with all of them being female.

    Does 25% necessarily imply sexism because it isn’t half? That’s harder to say. Do we want to base the assertion on submission statistics (which we mostly don’t have)? On gender breakdowns in pro pubs? How do we account for variance by sub-genre where, for instance, we see fewer women in hardSF or milSF as compared to, say, fantasy, YA and/or SF-romance. For a list with origins in hardSF and milSF, I’m not sure 25% is all that far off.

    Did I see someone (Glyer?) state that there have been 19 Hugos awarded to conservatives of nearly as many years? So just over one a year out of how many categories? Anybody got the source or a percentage for that? It seems kind of small.

    At any rate, yes, I’d like to see the Puppies make further strides in the area of diversity. Did they take steps in that direction this year? Yes, they did.

  4. Fun fact: I asked Glyer who he had in mind, and compared it to my list of conservatives who have won Hugos over the past twenty years and there was an overlap of two individuals.

    Also, the diversity issue, to the extent that it is one, isn’t best measured by comparing SP2 to SP3, but by comparing the actual Hugo nominees this year—dominated by SP/RP—with the past several Hugo ballots.

    Why should anyone take Puppy claims to be supported the overlooked writers who are nevertheless central to the market seriously, if they’ll only (maybe) do field-wide reading if various people are nice to them?

  5. At any rate, yes, I’d like to see the Puppies make further strides in the area of diversity. Did they take steps in that direction this year? Yes, they did

    Nominating one guy to 5 different spots doesn’t seem like a direction of increased diversity to me.

  6. @Kary English: “At any rate, yes, I’d like to see the Puppies make further strides in the area of diversity.”

    Frankly, I’d greatly prefer that they simply take their thumbs off the scales. I am much more concerned that people are pissing in the punch bowl than I am the precise demographics of those involved.

  7. Also I didn’t see Rick as defending anyone aside from the general civility of the conversation, as in asking that people not through around terms like anti-semite so easily without citation. Which I don’t think is a bad plea to make.

  8. @Kary: We understand that the distinction is meaningful to you–after all, you were approached by Brad Torgesen and not by Theodore Beale. But there’s quite a bit of evidence that for all that the SP slate claimed to be crowdsourced and democratically arrived at, in practical terms it was a few people sitting down together and picking a slate, and that there was a lot of collusion between the RP slate-makers and the SP slate-makers. And that it was the RP slate that actually mattered in practical terms–for all that Brad insists that his was a separate effort, when you look at the places where they didn’t overlap (which are very few), it was the RP slate that won nominations. Pointing out that the RP slate was a “better” slate in terms of representation doesn’t matter much in practical terms as a result, because the slate that was voted for by the Puppies was the RP slate. If they cared about diversity, they didn’t show it in their votes–they went for the less diverse of the two slates.

  9. Yep, a whole 1/4, up from 13% (2 out of 12) last year.

    Meanwhile, the 2014 Hugo ballot had seven works by women and one cowritten by a woman in the fiction categories, out of a total of nineteen nominees.

    This year’s Hugo ballot has three works of fiction by women, two of which weren’t part of the Sad Puppies, out of a total of twenty nominees.

    Seventeen out of eighteen Sad Puppy works of fiction on the ballot were by men. If you want to count Bellet’s work, that makes it slightly better, but then you have to count Kloos’ work too, making it eighteen out of twenty Puppy-nominated works were written by men.

    The claims of “increased diversity” ring kind of hollow when one looks at the actual results.

  10. @Nick I keep wondering if we’re going to establish a Bureau of Statistics and Measurement to enforce all this standard-distribution stuff. Something tells me the negotiations on what and how to measure *might* get a *little* contentious.

  11. Kary – One guy, five spots – that was RP, not SP. I’m talking about SP.

    Sorry. Then I don’t see as much diversity outside of people who are friends, colleagues, or contributors to things Correia and Torgerson are involved in. At least I’ve never seen nepotism/cronyism considered a more diverse way of selecting anything.

  12. @Matt Y: It’s not a bad plea to make, but at some point you have to be aware that asking someone to prove the Earth is round at the start of every discussion on celestial mechanics isn’t a “plea for honesty”, it’s pedantic and tedious. At this point, Theodore Beale has a sufficiently large body of work out there that defending him, even as a narrow or technical exercise, even simply to play Devil’s Advocate, is derailing the conversation into unproductive territory for no useful purpose. It is exactly the sort of thing Beale does himself, parse everything on narrow and semantically unlikely grounds to avoid having to discuss the substantive content of his opinions, and it’s depressing as hell to see that he’s found someone who will do it for him when he’s not here no matter how good their intentions.

  13. @Steven Schwartz: I don’t know *why*, but you really do seem to be going to great lengths to argue a point that, apparently, you don’t care about that much — or consider a bad discussion.

    No, I said I considered merely calling someone, especially over and over, names is essentially a crap discussion.

    it comes across as mere pedantry

    I will readily admit to being pedantic. (But you should go over and chat with that LJ crowd who pronounced me anti-intellectual. Maybe you can work out a joint position.)

    I am beginning to wonder why you are making such a big deal out of giving Beale so much benefit of the doubt

    First, I didn’t make a big deal out of anything. I asked @Owlmirror one very simple question, once. He/she never commented further, to the best of my knowledge. Second, I try assume everyone is telling the truth-as-he/she-sees until/unless I see compelling evidence to the contrary, because in my experience that’s generally the case. If you don’t like that, I can live with the existence of your opinion, and it is duly noted and ignored.

    However, the worldview he foments (such as the example of France above) certainly play into the hands of active anti-Semites at *best*

    Yeah, probably. Not that this addresses the question I asked @Owlmirror.

    and at worse are just a mask for how Beale really feels

    Quite possibly so. I don’t spend a lot of time trying to remotely psychoanalyse total strangers 1/3 of the way around the world over the Internet, but, if you care to do that, go right ahead. I have other concerns I’d rather spend my time on. (I nowhere denied the view you hold. I merely asked one person for an example of why he/she holds it.)

    No, but I, as someone named Schwartz with curly-ish hair and a hooked nose, do prefer to know my anti-Semites.

    Cool with me. But I’ll note that you aren’t going around calling them that on File770 many times a day just to ensure that everyone hears, over and over.

    And now that you’ve been presented with a bunch, by people who were not the speaker, you appear to have gotten on the discussion’s seat and started pedaling, instead.

    Nope. Opted out. Honestly don’t care. I just asked @Owlmirror whether he/she had at least one specific example of that specific vague handwave. All the rest of this was chaff.

    Again; why do you feel it so important to, in effect, defend Beale?

    Trying to understand where someone is coming from in condemning a third party is nothing like being a partisan of the third party. I am not on Mr Beale’s ‘side’. When something is said about him that is simply incorrect, such as misrepresentations of the ‘throwing acid’ text soundbite he wrote during his squabble with PZ Myers, I sometimes take the trouble to debunk it. Why? Because I see something being gotten transparently wrong for no better reason than not caring about the actual facts, and because it damned well pleases me to dissect the very mistaken analysis.

    I am on my side. I am on WSFS’s side. I am not on Mr Beale’s, and it’s looking rather like I’m not on yours. And your charge that I am ‘defending’ the man, when I merely asked @Owlmirror what he/she specifically meant, applies a gratuitous attack/defend narrative that is wholly out of place.

    Oddly enough, I am raising the latter point from my experience as a feminist (joined N.O.W. in ’76), because one of that movement’s many interesting points is to try to stop casting everything in attack/defend terms in contexts where that is not productive, which frankly is most of them.

    Rick Moen
    rick@linuxmafia.com

  14. John – that there was a lot of collusion between the RP slate-makers and the SP slate-makers

    Specifically: http://monsterhunternation.com/2015/02/02/sad-puppies-3-the-slatening/

    Now that the registrations for memberships to nominate for the Hugo are closed, here is what the Evil League of Evil authors came up with in discussion.

    Was VD one of the ELoE authors this was discussed with? Because if the person who came up with the Rabids slate influenced the Sads slate, you can see why people might conflate the two.

  15. 4 Analog stories in the Sad Puppies out of the 13 SP3 short fiction nominees. Not a single one from Tor.com, F&SF, Asimov’s, Lightspeed and Clarkesworld. Such diversity. No doubt it’s just a coincidence that Torgersen is an Analog writer and so are some of his buddies…

  16. Yes, the distinction matters to me in part because, based on how the noms shook out, the Rabids outnumber the Sads. That means the ballot reflects Rabid activity moreso than Sad. In places where the Rabids and Sads diverged, the Rabids won.

    I guess I don’t think it’s particularly accurate or fair to make assertions about Sad motives based on Rabid results.

    That said, since I’m looking at numbers and representation, here are some more. I don’t know everyone’s sexual orientation on the Sad list, but I know of at least two QUILTBAG individuals among the fiction nominees. So – Novels, Novellas, Novelettes, Shorts – 20 spots, 2 nominees = 10%. If I’m not mistaken, that’s in line with estimates of QUILTBAG individuals in the general populace.

  17. @John Seavey: It’s not a bad plea to make, but at some point you have to be aware that asking someone to prove the Earth is round at the start of every discussion on celestial mechanics isn’t a “plea for honesty”, it’s pedantic and tedious.

    Quite so. This is why I asked one person, exactly once, to please provide one example, or preferably two, that illustrated that person’s view.

    I am not now, nor have I ever been, a member of the Pinniped Party.

  18. Kary English: “Yep, a whole 1/4, up from 13% (2 out of 12) last year. So they came close to doubling their female representation. I think if this had been more widely acknowledged, the puppies might have been willing to work harder and read farther afield next year. As it is now, I wouldn’t be surprised if they retrenched. If they’re only going to get slammed, why should they try?”

    The problem with this statement is that its foundation is the idea that the Puppy slate was an acceptable move to begin with. It wasn’t.

    I know you want to believe that Sad Puppies was a completely separate thing than Rabid Puppies. But I’ve seen way too much evidence to convince me otherwise. The two Puppy slates were a coordinated effort, styled on a good cop-bad cop theme, in an (what turned out to be extremely poor) attempt at giving the Sad Puppies “plausible deniability”. In my opinion, the deniability there is utterly implausible.

    Both are slates. Both were deliberately intended to subvert the normal Hugo nominating process, and both succeeded. Both were incredibly non-diverse — not to mention lacking in quality.

    Your position that the Puppies should be praised and rewarded for what little diversity they did manage so that they will try to make their slate even more diverse next year is utterly nonsensical to me. They shouldn’t be doing a slate next year at all.

    You can defend the Sad Puppies all you want. But what they did was wrong.

    We’ll probably have to put up with another year of their crap next year. But the nomination process is going to be fixed, and in 2017, the Puppies are going to have to settle for what the rest of us get every year: a couple of things they like will get on the ballot, and a lot of things that other people like will get on the ballot, too.

  19. “I asked @Owlmirror one very simple question, once.”

    I’ll say the same thing to you that I said to Vox: OK, that one made me chuckle, I admit.

  20. @Kary I think you’re being perfectly sincere about your reasons for staying in, but I also think you’re trying to thread a needle that has quite frankly been sealed shut on you by the increasing politicisation of SP3 (accepting your belief that it was meant to be non-political at the start).
    You bring up VD/Rabid Puppies. You’ve made your dislike of Beale and rejection of RP quite clear, and I don’t believe anyone on here has tasked you over it. Bringing up RP doesn’t address the issues with SP3, which you deal with as “SP got political. I didn’t.”
    Which leads into “if you consented to a non-political rec list, that you also therefore consent to everything that came next.” Well, I haven’t made this argument, and I haven’t spotted others making it, but I take your word that it has been made. The issue I am pursuing is that once events unfolded, and SP3 moved from what you believed was a non-political starting point, you had various opportunities to change your agreement, clarify it, or restate it. You took some of those opportunities and used them to disassociate yourself from RP, and declare you were sticking with SP3. The distinction here is that I’m not claiming that early association with SP3 is irrevocable, but current association certainly is. I do not see describing your position and the choices you had the opportunity to make as shoving you into a narrative.
    There’s a common and unwelcome technique of declaring that someone is insufficiently opposed to something, or pointing out that they didn’t condemn something they weren’t involved with, to paint them as being wrong on an issue, and it’s frequently an unfair move. But I don’t think this is the same thing. You’re not on the edge of the SP issue, you’re in the very middle of it, actively benefiting from it, and that is why you’re getting questioned, and that is why stating you’re a non-political SP hasn’t got you very far. I’m genuinely sorry that the experience of being on SP3 has felt so hostile to you, and I must state my admiration for your actions in stepping into a neutral space and engaging with all sides so fully and honestly.
    I’m afraid I find your assertion that SP3 being 25% female was a step in a good direction, considering that Hugo noms had made it to better than 50/50 in the 3 years prior to SP2/3, as ignoring the inadequacy of SP3 in this area. The fact that it was up from an appalling low the year before is hardly cause for celebration.
    Did Annie Bellet withdraw because of the pressure that undoubtedly existed? She says not, and you do not directly gainsay her, but then you seem to imply that it was. Did you see Brad Torgersen try (and fail) to speak for Juliette Wade over her withdrawal, to paint it as being under pressure and out of fear, only to have Wade herself step in and slap down his attempt to be her mouthpiece. You seem to be coming uncomfortably close to the same error as Brad.
    To answer your question towards the end, I’d like to have a good quality spread of short stories to vote for, and SP3 denied me that, replacing it with BTs personal choices. Even if there are some gems in there (and I’ve said that reviews suggest yours may be worthwhile) other gems have been buried beneath the SP3 flood. You bring up the blanket No Award, and that is where I get concerned: criticising the ongoing discussion of the no award option (which is by no means a done deal; I’m certainly leaning towards reading and deciding, although not with much optimism in some categories) has been a major SP talking point used to present their opponents as the destructive ones. I find your suggestion that people are maneuvering to make No Award easier to be unwarranted.
    So what do I want? I want a Hugo award that gives meaningless yet precious rockets to works that represent, if not _the_ best in SF, at least _a_ best. I want to be able to pick up the Hugo winning novel and think “Huh, even if I didn’t like this the best this year, I can totally see why other people did”. I want this to come about by the curious alchemy of just letting anyone who makes a minor effort wander up and vote, because that alchemy has done remarkably well over the years. I don’t want an award decided by someone wandering up with a few hundred near-identical ballots in their pocket and handing them over. I want to vote for a Hugo that says something about SF, not to be forced to vote for an empty base because there are no credible nominees.

  21. Your position that the Puppies should be praised and rewarded for what little diversity they did manage so that they will try to make their slate even more diverse next year is utterly nonsensical to me. They shouldn’t be doing a slate next year at all

    Really if they were all about trying to get recognition for authors they thought were being left out they’d start a Sad Puppies reading group, to discuss works that are out right now and coming out this year, to give people additional choices to think about and time to read them, instead of throwing up a pre-filled slate in February. They’d at least be helping those authors through sales during the year as well.

  22. Yes, but that sort of thing wouldn’t stick it to the SJWs and their Affirmative Action hires like John Chu and his gay story about water dropping on people’s heads.

    Let us be absolutely clear what is happening and why.

  23. Re: a reading group… I’ve been tempted to start one, but man, oh, man, time sink. Plus milSF really isn’t my thing. I’d really like to see them talking about the works rather than about… everything else. 😉 Then again, not my monkeys, not sure I should build a circus.

    Anyhow, it’s a good idea.

  24. @Seth Gordon: And in the context of the whole paragraph, Beale is saying that the Jews’ non-Frenchness rightly disqualifies them from having their safety protected by actually-French police forces. Even a naturalized Norwegian-ethnic French citizen with a horrific accent deserves better than that. And as you point out, he goes on to accuse the French Jews of disloyalty.

    The disloyalty bit is the most troubling bit, as I see it — because of the horrific history of that rhetoric. It’s unstated whether he might argue that French police might cease patrolling the streets to protect other non-local ethnics, but in the post-Hebdo context those other non-local ethnics haven’t been threatened.

    As a point of interest, the president of my college from 1902 to 1910, one Woodrow Wilson, who spent some time in public office thereafter, was notorious for deeming any American presumptively disloyal who merely professed ethnicity: if you were a hyphenated anything, per Mr. Wilson, you were suspect of being a traitor.

    No person untainted by prejudice could believe that “the diaspora Jews” as a class are ruling “the more numerous nations”.

    Well, no, and it was at best a peculiar sentence, but is he actually asserting that? The next sentence goes on to say that he’s talking about wealth and influence, not literally ruling.

    Remember, all I challenged was that Mr. Beale’s editorial claims France’s Jewish citizens don’t deserve citizenship there, which I said you were reading into it. You’re relying heavily on what you say are implications. Maybe. But all I disputed was that he said what you claimed, or so I understood, was there in the blackletter text.

    If you scroll down that page, there’s a follow-up comment from Beale

    I notice that you’ve just changed the subject. You asserted something upthread about the editorial. So, I re-skimmed the editorial and said I didn’t see that specific thing there.

    Since you wish to talk about the blog comments, and not just the editorial:

    “The West is Israel’s natural ally, but the two parties cannot become genuine allies until the diaspora Jews stop trying to force the West to serve what they see as their interests.”

    The classing of ‘the Diaspora Jews’ as a single thing with a single set of interests is a troubling sign here, come to think of it. If Theodore Beale thinks there’s a single set of interests involved, he really ought to get an issue of Tikkun magazine and consider that there’s no more unanimity of interests than there is between me and Michele Bachmann. You can grind wheat between an issue of Tikkun and one of Yedioth Ahronoth (or, God forbid, Commentary, sticking to out here in the Galut/Disaspora).

    But the notion of trying to force others to pursue your interests doesn’t equate to actually a charge of ‘ruling’ those others.

  25. Nick – Let us be absolutely clear what is happening and why.

    No doubt, from the discourse on puppy blogs and from some puppies here it seems much more interesting to discuss political drama than the books involved. Which is annoying because there’s already so much of that.

    Then again, not my monkeys, not sure I should build a circus.

    Anyhow, it’s a good idea

    Thanks! I’ve been thinking about making a Happy Kittens reading group, though I don’t want to have the Spacefaring Happy Kittens blog feel ripped off. There’s a lot coming out this year though, from all corners, and the smaller authors are going to have a lot more trouble getting out of the shadows of giants for award season next year. But it’d be a lot of work involved, I’m lazy, and I do read milSF/literary SF, and horror, mystery, whatever. I’d hate to pigeonhole for a year.

  26. @Nick Mamatas: You are perfectly well aware that my googling ‘voxday antisemitism’ as you retroactively advised me would (1) not have addressed in any way my aim to find out what specifically @Owlmirror had in mind (and if</em he/she had anything specific in mind), (2) would not have had the salubrious effect I find is often produced by asking people posting lots of vague rhetoric to kindly furnish an example, (3) would probably have just found a whole lot of angry rhetoric, and (4) just wasn't my job in the first place.

    I still don’t work for you, and you can take your ‘gotcha’ rhetoric off to LJ troll land with the rest of that lot. And I repeat, if you want to make yourself useful, please fetch James May, as he’s a whole lot better at the creative misrepresentation business, and better value for one’s entertainment dollar.

  27. ‘Actually, as I’ve reminded several people, I asked @Owlmirror what he or she had in mind as at least one, preferably two, specific examples of antisemitism. (Unless you are sockpuppeting rather outrageously, you are not @Owlmirror.) We’ve now heard from several people who have now acted as if I had asked their view, including you. But @Owlmirror has for whatever reason not spoken to that or any other question since I asked, so we don’t know what he or she had in mind.’

    What a very Theodire Bealish approach. I’m not sure why you feel the need to take his place at the bunco booth to deal a few hands of his bad-faith bait-and-switch for him. He flirts with these things in part to provide intellectual cover for people who embrace them fully, cf his comment section. That flirting has left a stink on him, and he knows it and he likes it. If he’s as smart as everyone claims, he knows what he doing, therefore I don’t think noble intentions are going to cut it when it comes to justifying defending this guy.

  28. Repeating yourself isn’t an argument, Rick. Yes, I get it: you don’t care about anti-Semitism, you only care about the contents of Owlmirror’s mind.

    i’m just pointing out that you’re not playing “facts first”, you’re playing “gotcha”, and a dumb version of “gotcha” too if you don’t actually have any interest in real-world results. You got called out privately; you decided to whine publicly. Boo-hoo—this is just a good way of letting everyone know that you’re not to be taken seriously. The discussion wasn’t crap until you spread your cheeks wide and took a shit all over it, and yourself. The least you can do now is wipe, but yes, I get this too, you won’t because Nobody Tells Rick What To Do.

    You seem very concerned about jobs—well the job of someone who wants to be taken seriously is to take the questions he asks seriously. Congrats, you have decided to die on the hill of “It’s not that I’m too dumb to Google; I just categorically *refuse* to for transparently ridiculous reasons, which I’m pleased to present in list form!”

    You have formed a bloc with the people who oink away at the pig trough of Scientology. They don’t need to Google either.

  29. @Rick: ” And your charge that I am ‘defending’ the man, when I merely asked @Owlmirror what he/she specifically meant, applies a gratuitous attack/defend narrative that is wholly out of place.”

    No; you did not “merely ask Owlmirror”. You went on to attempt to explain away the examples other people presented. *That* is when you went from sticking a spoke in the wheels once to something much closer to “defending” the man. Arguing against the arguments in favor of his antisemitism, at that point, reads to many outside observers, I suspect — since I had my own opinion of Mr. Beale, I do not count myself — as a “defense”.

    You may not have been defending him qua him (if I use my Latin correctly ;)) — but that is how I suspect it read to many people, that or minimizing anti-Semitic language by finding reasons why it *might* not be anti-Semitic.

    To be clear: I don’t think you’re a bad person, Rick: I think you, like I have more than once been called out on, have placed the argument above the people — and when the subject is a sensitive one, that’s a problem.

  30. @Nick Manatas: Yes, I get it: you don’t care about anti-Semitism

    I did not say, and would not say, that I don’t care about antisemitism. Once again, I will gladly accept your non-existent apology: What I said was that repeatedly merely calling someone an antisemite in an online discussion is uninteresting.

    You need to get a better script.

    a dumb version of “gotcha” too if you don’t actually have any interest in real-world results

    To the contrary, I am primarily interested in real-world results and thus jaundiced about vague ideological handwaves continually re-posted.

    You got called out privately; you decided to whine publicly.

    I mock, and you call it whining? Get a better dictionary. And take your personal namecalling with you. Maybe they’ll give you a 2 cent discount for it.

    You seem very concerned about jobs

    No, I’m just politely telling you you can get stuffed with your notion of my having to personally answer to you on anything. But, please, do have an adequate day.

    Rick Moen
    rick@linuxmafia.com

  31. Rick: I did not say, and would not say, that I don’t care about antisemitism.

    Oh boy, I can play “gotcha” too: I didn’t say that you said you didn’t care about antisemtism.

    I said you didn’t care about antisemitism.

    Indeed, if you were very concerned about that misconception, you might have responded with “Of course I care about antisemitism.”

    But you didn’t.

    Because you don’t.

  32. @Matt Y
    “Also I didn’t see Rick as defending anyone aside from the general civility of the conversation, as in asking that people not through around terms like anti-semite so easily without citation. Which I don’t think is a bad plea to make.”

    I felt the same way at first, hurray, let’s have facts and references! Some of the responses cited articles where VD actually hadn’t said anything horrible for once!

    But then there were the posts pointing to VD saying all the things about how Jews are not authentic members of whatever country they are citizens of, that they have apparently been conspiring to rule secretly rule the world… And Rick ends up complaining that the evidence he was asking about was provided by the wrong person. He seems to have become emotionally invested in not paying any attention to the evidence.

    It’s… Weird.

  33. @Steven Schwartz:

    No; you did not “merely ask Owlmirror”. You went on to attempt to explain away the examples other people presented.

    I gave my honest assessment of what people I didn’t ask at all kept throwing in from the sides, because that appeared to be appropriate. (If you don’t want to hear people’s assessments, you probably want some other Internet.) I’m sorry you didn’t like it. No, truthfully, I’m not actually sorry, but I was glad to hear your view.

    Saying I ‘defended’ the man because I didn’t concur with some parsings I considered tortured is pretty over the top, and I’ll be goddamned if I’m going to prove to you or anyone else that I’m not on his side. I hope you get a better perspective. If not, oh well. C’est l’Internet.

    You’re certainly right that I was ‘putting the argument before the people’ in the sense that persons were not under discussion. Nor should have been, in my apparently insufficiently personality-oriented view. If you think otherwise, you are or were trying to have a discussion I never signed up for. Sure, the charge made was ‘sensitive’, but the rest is unmerited, and I’ll just leave it at that.

  34. @Nick Manatas: Because you don’t.

    Or, alternatively, I don’t have a single blessed thing to prove to you, told you so in stark terms, and proceed accordingly. Have fun with the cheap character assassination. Maybe someone will be impressed.

  35. think if this had been more widely acknowledged, the puppies might have been willing to work harder and read farther afield next year.

    When a dog poops on your rug for the second time, you don’t praise it for having eaten a slightly more balanced diet.

  36. Yes, that’s the important thing. Nobody Tells Rick Moen What To Do is a lot more important that Rick Moen Isn’t An Anti-Semite.

  37. @Rick Moen: “If you don’t want to hear people’s assessments, you probably want some other Internet.”

    Perhaps you should consider your own advice. Playing the “I didn’t ask you, I asked him!” game in a public comment thread is exactly the same thing.

  38. “I gave my honest assessment of what people I didn’t ask at all kept throwing in from the sides, because that appeared to be appropriate.”

    It’s not inappropriate. On the other hand, you may want to consider how it appears to other people, if you care at all about what they think about you. If you don’t, then so be it.

    Also: This is why it’s not “only” asking Owlmirror. You then went on to do more. Got it? It’s not whether or not I liked it, it’s that you were doing more than you appear to claim you were to keep the argument going. *That* is why I said you got in and started pedaling, when you decided to offer comments on the evidence you were presented.

    “Saying I ‘defended’ the man because I didn’t concur with some parsings I considered tortured is pretty over the top, and I’ll be goddamned if I’m going to prove to you or anyone else that I’m not on his side. I hope you get a better perspective. If not, oh well. C’est l’Internet.”

    You were arguing that statements that other people offered as proof he was anti-Semitic were no such thing. *Why* you did it was irrelevant. It had the effect of defending him.

    As I said, I don’t think you’re on his side. But we’ll get back to this.

    “You’re certainly right that I was ‘putting the argument before the people’ in the sense that persons were not under discussion.”

    Nonsense. If nothing else, Mr. Beale was under discussion — the fact that you are abstracting that away is a large part of the problem. It also doesn’t help that you repeatedly invoked your own relationship to Jewish people/etc. as part of the discussion — that made it, once again, about the people.

    Here’s a clue: anti-Semitism is not an abstract notion to a lot of people; and when they see someone arguing every little point in an attempt to say “No, that’s not *really* anti-Semitic, it could mean X!” (which is how your arguments appeared) they will wonder why. They will conclude that either a) this person is anti-Semitic themselves, b) this person is defending an anti-Semite for some reason or another, or c) this person feels that detailed points of pedantry and intellectual etiquette are more important than something that people feel is a potential threat in their lives.

    To anyone who wasn’t trying to win an intellectual point, there is ample evidence in the pattern (despite nitpicking over individual cases) to make the case that Mr. Beale is an anti-semite. Arguing over individual cases, as I said, makes peopel who see that wonder “Why?”

    You are free to play intellectual games with things that matter to other people on the Internet. I hope you do not have the experience of finding other people treating *your* concerns as subject matter that way, and brushing off your feelings/conclusions/etc. as irrelevant.

  39. @Perhaps you should consider your own advice. Playing the “I didn’t ask you, I asked him!” game in a public comment thread is exactly the same thing.

    You certainly would have a point if I’d said I had any problem with other people commenting, other than the person I asked. But I didn’t.

    The immediate context was someone (@Steve Schwarz? someone) claiming I’d raised a big commotion on this subject. I merely pointed out that all I did was ask @Owlriver to please provide at least one, preferably two, examples of what he or she had in mind. A bunch of other people commented. I then rather mildly concurred with some and at least in part took issue with some others: All of those other people were quite literally not responding to my question because what I asked was what examples @Owlriver has — which fact I correctly point out in passing — but I nonetheless didn’t ignore them. Possibly if I had, I’d have been accused of some sort of wrongdoing in ignoring them, but in the event I gave my assessment as best effort in relatively limited time and available effort.

    @Steven Schwartz chooses to call the parts where I took issue with some of the parsing as ‘explaining away’. He’s entitled to his opinion. Guess what? I don’t object to him expressing that, either. But I don’t happen to share it, and said why.

    (Meanwhile, we have the ever-helpful Nick Mamatas who’s never, ever been a notorious sh*tkicker anywhere, nosirree, who will simplify everything by explaining all.)

    Rick Moen
    rick@linuxmafia.com

  40. @Rick Moen:

    Repetition and close parsing are not helping your case. Might I suggest dropping the shovel while the pit is still shallow enough that you can see daylight?

  41. @Steven Schwarz: You were arguing that statements that other people offered as proof he was anti-Semitic were no such thing. *Why* you did it was irrelevant. It had the effect of defending him.

    Suppose, stipulating for the sake of discussion, an example were entirely wrong, as I hope we can agree that examples can be.

    Suppose I state my assessment that the example lacks merit and state why. You would call that ‘defending him’, then, right?

    (I would say this situation of an example being entirely wrong existed concerning another Beale matter, the ‘throwing acid’ one, which as I mentioned I took apart a week or so ago.)

    In my opinion, however arrogant you might consider it, pronouncing someone taking issue, even in part, with a claimed example of a person’s misdeeds as that someone ‘defending’ the other person, is using the word ‘defending’ in a way that deprives the word of all meaning, and is at odds with the way the world at large uses it.

    More broadly, classifying as the defender of one’s enemies someone who’s merely not concurred with what you’ve said (even partially) is In My Very Arrogant Opinion irrational even given presence of ‘sensitive’ topics.

    Mr. Beale was under discussion

    You’re ignoring the point: You seemed to feel that you were under discussion. Else, whom were you talking about, when you said I’d been guilty of putting the argument before the people? Beale, I was discussing to the extent of asking @Owlriver what he/she felt could be cited (of his words or deeds) as an example of the claim: I hope you weren’t suggesting I was being insensitive towards Beale. You seemed to be suggesting I’d been insensitive towards, e.g., you.

    invoked your own relationship… that made it, once again, about the people.

    Unless your claim is that I was insensitive towards myself, your point is unclear. Your whole ‘putting arguments before persons’ thing clearly isn’t about insensitivity towards me, nor Beale. It’s towards you, right?

    Here’s a clue

    Yep, not news to me for, oh, fifty years, now. And, if you don’t care for my assertion that you went way over the top, that’s your business.

    To anyone who wasn’t trying to win an intellectual point, there is ample evidence in the pattern (despite nitpicking over individual cases) to make the case that Mr. Beale is an anti-semite.

    Did you notice the bits where I agreed that, at bare minimum, a pivotal paragraph of the ‘And why might that be?’ editorial (which I’d not seen until then) indeed looked exactly like that? Or were you too busy calling me the man’s defender?

    Also, I didn’t call anyone’s feelings/conclusions/etc. irrelevant. I politely differed with some bits, agreed with others. By you, that makes me ‘defending’ the man. I politely dissent. OK?

    Rick Moen
    rick@linuxmafia.com

  42. We’re all talking to him as if he’s having a conversation and not doing a performance piece for a Cylon tribunal someplace by hidden camera. I’ve seen this a bunch of times now; it seems to be a formal tactic of some kind. Usually it begins with a mildly offensive statement to test the waters, then uses supposedly unfair responses to justify escalating attacks. The play is the initial troll: it must be sufficiently subtle to be pointed to for the duration of the performance, but sufficiently loaded to provoke anybody with a human brain. It’s…something. Attrition seems to be the goal, so the trick is seeing the initial troll play, I think, to head it off and save time.

  43. Rev. Bob: I suspect the plan is to keep digging until he pops out the other side.

  44. @Rev. Bob: Repetition and close parsing are not helping your case.

    A moment ago, you were going off on a supposition that I’d objected to people other than the person I asked commenting. Which at least was a novel error, so thanks, but I pointed out your starting assumption was wrong.

    Is ‘Actually, I didn’t say that’ on something you said that I’d never heard before a repetition, or are you talking about some other subthread? Also, I didn’t know that all this had been declared ‘my case’, another innovation you’ve brought to the table.

    Tell you what: I’m betting that discussion of SFF would indeed be more interesting than your imitation-helpful metadiscussion.

  45. Why, Captain, this tape’s been runnin’ for…

    What is it, Scotty?

    She’s been runnin’ for 10,000 years, Jim.

Comments are closed.