The coffee and baked goods setup adds a highly civilized touch to meeting room 300 CC and there’s plenty for those here since the SRO audience Kevin Standlee worried about has not materialized. At least not today. More later, with actual news content…
Exactamundo. Kent Bloom’s argument to the contrary was an error wearily familiar to anyone who’s worked in network security. Once an exploit is generally known, all the years before it happened don’t mean squat.
To put this in everyday terms: Your Kryptonite bicycle U-lock was reliable for 20 years. Then in 2005, someone noticed it can be picked using a Bic ballpoint pen, and posted a tutorial onto YouTube.
Do you call the exploit a one-time occurrence and talk about your 20 years of excellent security? No, you don’t. Neither did Allegion, PLC, which redesigned the lock, and offered prior customers free exchanges.
The figurative bag has no cat in it. Time to close the nominations loophole.
I didn’t say anything about all business meeting regulars being familiar with open source. Obviously not. But the attendees who know enough about software to have an opinion about the proposal are more likely to associate open source with reliability and accountability than some kind of auditing provision for closed source code.
Counting Hugo nominations and votes is not a difficult software problem, even with instant-runoff voting and the EPH proposal if it is enacted. I see no reason why it couldn’t or shouldn’t be open source. If programmers don’t want their code to be licensed that way, fine. Worldcon will be able to find programmers who are fine with writing this code and sharing it open source. I’d be one of them.
@Patrick May @Dex
I agree entirely. If the Puppies think that Jim Butcher should make the ballot more frequently, or that we need more Nutty Nuggets, or even that it’s unfair we don’t see more Narnia fan fic being nominated, I think they probably do deserve finalist slot for whatever their fancy is. Any significant minority of fans with similar tastes should be able to see things they like nominated now and then. I might then read it and decide it belongs below No Award on my ballot, but they might feel the same about the things I love. The nice thing about EPH is that it gives people who nominate in good faith a chance at that.
Nor did I so aver. Is this really a good use of our time?
Possibly both of those attendees are. ;->
I’ve only been attending Business Meetings since the 1990s, so I’ll gladly defer to anyone whose impressions are older than, say, disco. Yr. humble observer’s impression is that few attendees have even the slightest idea what the term means, but an excellent notion what ‘right to inspect’ does. Moreover, they also know what ‘This motion would deprecate future use of Ron Oakes’s software that we have relied on for many years’ means.
(Worldcon conrunners as a group have an extremely strong preference for people, arrangements, etc. that have been proven effective, as the cost of something or someone flaking out can be real and severe.)
Is engaging in a quasi-religious discussion of programming and open source a good use of my time? Always!
I don’t see how it would. B.2.4 “recommends that software [involved in WSFS business] shall be made available to any member upon request or as an open-source project …” If Oakes makes the software available for inspection to any member, that would meet the standard even though it’s not open source.
I’m happy to make my code available under an Open Source license as well.
Of course if enough people genuinely think that Jim Butcher and Kevin J. Anderson have the best works of the year, and vote for them on that basis, they deserve to be on the ballot. I don’t think anyone disputes that.
But that is not what actually happened this year. People voted for Butcher and Anderson, not because they actually considered them the best, but because they had been urged to do so in order to achieve an external goal (probably a different goal for different groups of Puppies). This seems to me intrinsically unfair. Slates have an inbuilt unfair advantage, in that while traditional voting works by aggregating people’s independent choices, slate voting makes people vote in lockstep, creating blocks of votes which would not exist if people voted their own preferences. The two hundred and whatever votes for Wisdom from my Internet don’t represent two hundred and whatever people’s preferences; they represent three people’s preferences.
This will still be unfair, even if the voting system is reformed so that slates only get places on the ballot proportionate to their (expressed) support. Slates will still be getting things on the ballot which do not deserve to be there on the basis of people’s actual preferences, and knocking things off the ballot that do deserve to be there.
If the works loved by the Puppies actually have enough support, they can get them on the ballot without a slate. Urge people sympathetic to their outlook to sign up, point out, one by one, some notable works you think deserve votes, and let people make their minds up. I think if they did this, they probably have enough support that it would get some works on the ballot, some of the time at least, possibly including Anderson and Butcher, though not any of the Puppy short fiction or Related Work entries.
It may be that no one really means this, but I’m getting a worrying impression from things people are saying that some people think the only problem with slates is their power to take the entire ballot over, and that if they were represented proportionately that would be fine. But last year they did not take anything over, they did not get more than two finalists in any category, and yet that was a distorted ballot that excluded deserving candidates. We should not suggest that slates are ever acceptable.
The two hundred and whatever votes for Wisdom from my Internet don’t represent two hundred and whatever people’s preferences; they represent three people’s preferences.
You could make a case that they don’t represent anybody’s preference.
@rcade: Hmm, good catch. In that regard, it’s something of a pity that the motion title is ‘Open Source Software’, as that’s a bit misleading for your average caffeine-challenged Business Meeting attendee.
The issue is that the slate pushing everything off the ballot, as happened this year in many categories, is something that can be handled entirely programmatically by something like EPH, and handled without any value judgements as to why a particular person put something on a ballot.
While you are right that a slate even pushing one deserving nominee off the ballot can be a bad thing, that is much less fixable by anything other than purely social solutions. Any mechanism for detecting slates will either be gamed once that mechanism is known, or be subject to biases by the people counting the votes.
The main point of something like EPH is that while, yes, it will still allow a large enough slate to get one thing on the ballot, it can be run without adding to the workload of the people running the counting, and it’s completely agnostic as to why people make the nominations they do. Even if the why is important, the why is also something that is next to impossible to work safely into a proposal.
Jenora Feuer: Oh, I agree. The disproportion between votes and outcome is fixable: the disproportion between actual preferences and votes isn’t, at least by any method I’ve seen so far. I’m just worried that some people are saying things that suggest (perhaps unintentionally) that slates are fine provided they don’t crowd everything else out, and afraid the Puppies may take this as an encouragement. If EPH is presented as ‘We can’t solve the whole problem, but here at least is a solution to part of the problem’, that’s fine. If it’s presented as ensuring a fair outcome (and some things in the EPH FAQ suggest that), that worries me.
True. I didn’t realize it until I was composing my reply and checked B.2.4’s wording. I mistakenly thought it only was recommending open source.
I do not see people here saying slates are acceptable. Instead they fear them to be inevitable. This is a proposal to mitigate slates and other forms of log rolling.
And I think it will actively encourage people to show increased independence even for slate voters. When considering a slate the temptation will be to instead nominate just the people on that slate the actually consider worthy. Giving a whole vote to the one you like rather than a fractions of a vote shared with works you are indifferent to is bound to tempt.
Popular Ratification was just defeated by a serpentine vote of 69-99.
JJ: Did we meet at the meetup? If not and you are here in the room say hi afterwards. I am in front on the right.
Oops, sorry Mike, I just now got this. Yes, we met last night (but you had to meet a lot of new people). I will try to find you in advance of the meeting tomorrow (Sat) morning.
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