Saturday Sasquan Business Meeting

Here’s a post where you can pin your liveblogging comments.

JJ: I am on the front left near the EPH guys this morning.


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171 thoughts on “Saturday Sasquan Business Meeting

  1. They seem nicely made, I think people are being respectful as they obviously cost money to produce.

    That’s part of what makes them so sad. Someone went to a lot of trouble and expense to produce a bunch of ribbons that essentially say nothing more than “fuck you” to most of the other participants at the con.

    Were I running a con at which they showed up, I’d probably take them off the freebie table, because people wearing a ribbon saying “fuck you” to other con attendees is not something I’d want to condone with con resources.

  2. Morris Keesan: When Scalzi sat down at the table beside me at our 3 pm panel (w/ Mixon and Flint) he showed that CABAL badge. THEN he pulled out one of those Filee 770 hive buttons that were given the other night at the meetup and pinned it on his lanyard too. That was three kinds of hysterical.(Somewhere along the line Dern gave him one.)

  3. @aaron
    “Strawman Larry: That Guy’s A Jerk” and “Ask not for whom the puppies bay” does not come across as a f-you to me but I can understand viewpoints can be different than mine. I would characterize it as *eye-rolling* but I might ask someone at a con wearing a ribbon like that if they had nominated anything and why they liked it.

    It’s a tribal thing, but I would rather sad puppies feel included and recognized rather than ostracized, especially as I hope next year will be a reading list more than a short slate.

    ETA: I would love a SJW ribbon personally, and the Hive770 ribbons sound fun.

  4. “Strawman Larry: That Guy’s A Jerk”

    That’s basically an attack on anyone who disapproves of the Puppies.

    “Ask not for whom the puppies bay”

    This one is less overtly obnoxious, but as it appeared in conjunction with the other I’d get rid of it.

    I wouldn’t prevent people from wearing them, I’d just stop con resources (i.e. the freebie table) from being used to distribute them.

  5. I noticed that Sarah Hoyt seems to agree with most commentaries I’ve seen on the Best Novel category that the Butcher and Anderson novels are “unexceptional”. She also seems to be admitting that the Puppies considered the books unexceptional even before slating them.

    As has been noted by others, the worst things that can be said about the Puppies are their own words.

  6. Someone went to a lot of trouble and expense to produce a bunch of ribbons that essentially say nothing more than “fuck you” to most of the other participants at the con.

    I don’t see them as FUs. Both just seem like insider humor for Puppies to signify to each other they’re a member of the same pack. (Not terribly witty, but not offensive either.)

    Somewhere during Sasquan Tom Galloway held up a sign that read “Spay & Neuter Your Puppies,” per a tweet I read. If a Puppy raised a stink about that being offensive I’d scoff.

  7. I noticed that Sarah Hoyt seems to agree with most commentaries I’ve seen on the Best Novel category that the Butcher and Anderson novels are “unexceptional”.

    Hoyt calling those books unexceptional would be a remarkable admission from one of the Evil League of Evil authors. She’d be admitting the whole Sad Puppies 3 put unworthy books up for best novel.

    When she referred in today’s post to “unexceptionable best sellers like Anderson and Butcher,” I bet she meant “unobjectionable” — as in “no one could object to these books being nominated because they were best sellers.”

  8. ‘Entertainment-industrial LEFT’

    Does ‘Hamlet’ count as industrial? The current production at the Barbican was the fastest selling in the history of the theatre in London (the tickets for the entire season were sold on the first day that tickets were available to the general public, the theatre holds over 1,100 people, and the cheapest tickets were £30=$45) so a hell of a lot of people are going to see it, and even more will see it in cinemas.

    We are, therefore, talking about serious money, but I’m pretty sure that Shakespeare didn’t write it to establish a beachhead to destroy the cultural soul of the west. After all, he is a pre-eminent creator of the cultural soul of the west, so how could he?

    This is self evident nonsense, but to cover all the bases I should note that the people who came together to stage this production of ‘Hamlet’ certainly hoped it would succeed, but would laugh in the face of someone claiming that instead they were part of a conspiracy to destroy the soul of western culture. It’s nonsense, not least because these are people who are utterly committed to preserving the soul of western culture, and they have been doing it for a long, long time…

  9. Whattaya know. Unexceptionable is a word that means “not open to objection,” according to Sergey Brin and Larry Page. So I’m right, but not for thinking her word was wrong. She thinks no one can object to those Butcher and Anderson offerings being nominated.

  10. The two ribbons as described actually sound perfectly appropriate for Worldcon snark. Personally, I would rather know who the pups are so I can avoid talking to them. In fact, my only complaint is that “ask not for whom the puppies bay” is a little too oblique. I saw one of those and wasn’t one hundred percent sure it was a pro-puppy thing.

    Something like “Vox Day is my Master Now” would have been much clearer.

  11. The concom are trying to do a tough job in a hurry under very little sleep, so it’s perfectly understandable they’ll get some things wrong. But pulling those ribbons was asinine.

  12. Guise, “unexceptionable” is a word that is not “unexceptional.”

    Which makes Hoyt wrong again. The two novels are easy to take exception to on the grounds that they are unexceptional. In fact The Dark Between the Stars is downright bad. I expect it to finish firmly behind “No Award”.

  13. But pulling those ribbons was asinine.

    We don’t know if the ribbons were put back out or not. All we know is someone took them to the organizers to review. I asked @dori, who had shared a photo of them on Twitter, and she replied, “Someone else reported the ribbons (they were, imo, more stupid than offensive), so I don’t know what — if anything — happened with them.”

  14. Will R. on August 22, 2015 at 12:39 pm said:
    So there was, ahem, filkabustering?

    Mike Glyer on August 22, 2015 at 12:47 pm said:
    Will R.: “Filkabustering” — a genius bit of coinage!

    Argh.

    Well done, Will R. Well done.

  15. I expect that too, but here’s a dissenting view from one of my commenters, basically identifying its badness as within Hugo-nom norms.

    Being long, slow-moving and having too many characters were the least of the book’s problems. It was long without having enough substance to justify a book half of its length. It had lots of characters, and each of them could only aspire to be one-dimensional. The plot was ridiculously thin, and didn’t even show up until a couple hundred pages in.

    The books from A Song of Ice and Fire are long and have lots of characters, but they have interesting characters, and the books have enough plot to fill out their length. One might also note that The Wheel of Time was an odd aberration, and did quite poorly in the actual voting.

  16. Wildcat on August 22, 2015 at 2:55 pm said:
    Now I’m in the room for the panel on “Writing About Controversy,” including our gracious host Mike Glyer, moderator William Frank, Laura Mixon, Eric Flint, and John Scalzi. I’ve been looking forward to this one.

    What a lineup!

  17. In fact, my only complaint is that “ask not for whom the puppies bay” is a little too oblique. I saw one of those and wasn’t one hundred percent sure it was a pro-puppy thing.

    Yeah, I’d be inclined to pick one up and add a tag that says “they don’t know, they didn’t read any of it.”

  18. Best guess: The con organisers have been facing the nightmare of a highly disruptive and rude shouting match (or worse, an actual altercation) for weeks now; people actually going and making badges to indicate what side they’re going to be on ahead of such an unpleasant event isn’t making their lives any easier (and quite a lot of research into how humans think points out that once you start down the road of differentiating between two sides with physical tokens, be they biometric or otherwise, you rapidly accelerate towards confrontation).

    With that in mind, their actions seem fairly reasonable.

  19. Mark Dennehy on August 22, 2015 at 5:29 pm said:
    Best guess: The con organisers have been facing the nightmare of a highly disruptive and rude shouting match (or worse, an actual altercation) for weeks now; people actually going and making badges to indicate what side they’re going to be on ahead of such an unpleasant event isn’t making their lives any easier (and quite a lot of research into how humans think points out that once you start down the road of differentiating between two sides with physical tokens, be they biometric or otherwise, you rapidly accelerate towards confrontation).

    With that in mind, their actions seem fairly reasonable.

    Seriously, yes.

    The Puppies have been boasting for months about how much of a showing they will put in at WorldCon; at the same time quailing about the violence they fear from the evil SJWs; and some even making threatening noises about videoing events to identify people.

    It’s not surprising if Sasquan organizers are being extra super careful about possibly provocative materials.

    Frankly I’d much rather come out of Sasquan thinking boy, that was a damp squib of a Puppy protest rather than the con having had to deal with anything remotely like the melodramatic fantasies of conflict (tanks! shouts! weeping guests of honor!) that the Puppies kept promising.

  20. “The con organisers have been facing the nightmare of a highly disruptive and rude shouting match (or worse, an actual altercation) for weeks now. . . .

    With that in mind, their actions seem fairly reasonable.”

    See, this is why I couldn’t do this. After all this time and energy and probably getting close to exhaustion, If someone had brought those to me to complain I probably would have just tossed them back and told them to return them and bother me if they had something to REALLY get their panties in a knot about.

  21. See, this is why I couldn’t do this.

    Me either. I mean, forget the puppy stuff – you’re organising a Worldcon, and a few days before the off, everything from here to the horizon catches fire and the President declares a state of emergency because nobody can breathe the air.

    I mean, at that point, I’d be in the bar trying to have Mr Smirnoff erase my memory, not trying to prevent what – from this side of the pond via youtube – really does look like a punchup between the old men propping up the bar just before closing hour.

    Seriously, who has a contingency plan for oh darn, the entire world has caught on fire and we can’t breathe?

  22. I suspect at least part of the reason KSA hasn’t produced a book I’ve wanted to read in a long time is that he no longer writes his books; he dictates them into a digital recorder while hiking/walking. (I don’t know how much revision or rewriting he does after those initial recordings.)

    This puts him into the company of Earl Stanley Gardner and Harold Robbins, two other writers who dictated their books. Entertaining, maybe, but not much more than that.

  23. Good news about both Helsinki and Walter Jon Williams serving as GoH. He’s a brilliant writer.

    Taking the pro-Puppy ribbons was low class. They weren’t vulgar and, if you are (as I am) of a pro-Puppy bent, funny.

  24. Taking the pro-Puppy ribbons was low class.

    They were on the freebie table. Explain how taking them was against the rules.

    They weren’t vulgar and, if you are (as I am) of a pro-Puppy bent, funny.

    You have very low standards for humor.

  25. @Bruce Arthurs

    David Weber also dictates his books which have a tendency towards info dumps. I wonder if dictating can lead to certain kinds of narrative.

  26. It appears from online comments that they weren’t confiscated or even banned, but that samples were handed in to the organisers from several people, they were reviewed, and then taken off the freebies table and returned to the original producers. Seems fair enough to me unless the original producers own the freebies table instead of the con organisers, which I don’t believe is the case…

  27. Taking the pro-Puppy ribbons was low class.

    They were taken to the convention organizers for review after being left there by the same source of the creepy flyer addressed to a female about genitalia. That’s a reasonably prudent thing to do.

  28. @rcade, @McJulie, @Jim Henley, @Shambles, and Laura “Tegan” Gjovaag: Concur about the ribbons. (@Aaron, the point is not whether the con has a right to regulate its freebies table, but rather the impression created.)

    Returning briefly to the Tom Monaghan motion to adjourn sine die: Rachael Acks’s liveblog reminded me of his specific wording. As Rachael recounts, Tom said adjournment was appropriate ‘because everything needed has been covered and some of the motions in the future are rushed and disorganised’. And listen, folks: That’s a near-twin to what 2008 Worldcon chair Kent Bloom said, just yesterday, about 4 of 6 and EPH.

    Thus, a radical proposition: How about assuming people mean what they say, absent compelling reason to think otherwise? In both cases, it’s a legitimate opinion. The opinion — which I very much do not share, and would have voted against, if the motion had not been ruled out of order, first — does not suddenly become morally suspect just because its author posts to Flint’s, Correia’s, and Edward Willet’s blogs. Remember also, it’s not like several hundred Business Meeting regulars were ambushed and taken unawares. This was not Pearl Harbor. It was just a motion. If not for Kevin’s ruling that obviated the need, the assembly would have said ‘no’, and then moved on. Just life in the land of Robert’s Rules.

    Parliamentary manoeuvres (and failed attempted manoeuvres) happen. Best not to waste time getting upset over them and ‘othering’ their authors, or you’ll spend a lot of time doing so and have nothing to show for it.

  29. And yes, I wouldn’t have called them offensive, but I’ve not been in a personal slagging match with Beale for weeks either. I also wouldn’t call them funny to be honest, they’re so specific to a very narrow political fight that there’s not enough room for real humour, only puns.

    And I’m trying to bear in mind that I’m also not dealing with hotel staff, fighting ten million logistical hiccups, getting very little sleep, fielding four requests a minute from people who haven’t read the documents they were sent with their membership or who can’t read a map and who are convinced there aren’t a few thousand other people looking for my time, and I’m definitely not worrying about the press or the media or keeping track of financial accounts or data security for voting data that has to be anonymised for distribution tomorrow or any one of the million other things the con organisers are working on right now, including the upcoming expected row over EPH and 4+6 at the business meeting that has to be mediated by the chair. Oh, and whether or not several thousand people will be able to breathe tomorrow or if anyone will need medical treatment or evacuation or even if mass evacuation is on the cards or has to be planned for.

    Like I said above, the con organisers have more than enough on their plates right now, that kind of thing isn’t helping. And seriously, anyone who’s there, if you’ve not found an organiser or a volunteer and said thanks or brought them a cup of coffee or a drink at the bar, you ought to be doing that, no matter what side you’re on…

  30. The opinion … does not suddenly become morally suspect just because its author posts to Flint’s, Correia’s, and Edward Willet’s blogs.

    As the person who mentioned that he posts to those blogs, I think it’s unfair to suggest this was done to make him seem morally suspect. It was simply an attempt to figure out who he was.

  31. I don’t think I’d agree with Monaghan on much of anything, but he appeared to have a speech impediment and some social anxiety, guys.

    Which doesn’t actually avoid the “Is this the best they could do?” question. If the best person they can come up with to argue that the business meeting should be shut down is someone who can’t make a good argument- in fact is unsuited to standing in front of an audience, then that says something about their strength and organization.

    Maybe they are husbanding their strength for Sunday, and this was an opportunistic attack. But in either case I’m not impressed with their grasp of Parliamentary Procedure.

    The Puppies more than have a case regarding the ribbons.

    What, they bought in bulk? :’/

  32. …‘othering’ their authors…

    Uhm, maybe we could do that for over-exagerrated rhetoric as well? Some of us are new to this, and are trying to figure out who these people are.

  33. @Rose Embolism:

    Which doesn’t actually avoid the “Is this the best they could do?” question. If the best person they can come up with to argue that the business meeting should be shut down is someone who can’t make a good argument- in fact is unsuited to standing in front of an audience, then that says something about their strength and organization.

    I think the fact not in evidence here is that Monaghan was put up to his motion to adjourn as part of an organized attempt by Puppies to shut down EPH. The alternative theory, with at least as much going for it, is that he did what he did on his own because he wanted to.

  34. or even if mass evacuation is on the cards or has to be planned for

    That’s unlikely. It would be stuff that would come from the state (or the city), and they’re the ones who have to do that part of the planning and worrying. FWIW, urban areas are in much less danger. It’s the people at the edges who generally get evacuated. It’s mostly a precaution, to get people out of the way of equipment and firefighters, when you’re in a built-up area. (I live in L.A., a couple of miles from Not Urban but in sight of it, and I haven’t had to evacuate, although people I know who live up above the freeway have done it.)

  35. @rcade: OK, sorry about the implication as to you specifically. Unless I’m greatly over reading, that’s been the general tenor of the comments upthread about Monaghan. It reads to me like ‘Oh, underhanded sabotage of EPH by a Puppy.’ I was re-reading that thread, suddenly thought ‘Wait, wasn’t this nearly exactly the view of the 2008 Worldcon chair, and wasn’t Monaghan using nearly the exact same language?’

    I think Kevin Standlee sets a really good example by treating all participation by Business Meeting attendees with impartial respect. I try to do the same, even when I strongly disagree with a fellow attendee, and think it a good habit.

  36. I wouldn’t know Tom Monaghan* from Adam’s off ox, and I’m sure there are any number of folk who might gain joy from taking the linchpin from the axle of EPH’s chariot — so am hoping they are as thin on the ground as some prior posters think.

    But knowing WHO he associates with elseWeb is a fair indicator of where his sympathies may lie. And he may have been hoping to have the luster of having stopped the the changes to the Hugo voting system single-handed. It would seem a very “puppy” thing to do…sort of like Horatius at the bridge.

    And he may just want to sleep late on Sunday morning rather than attend another iteration of the Business Meeting…

    *And I’m wondering if he’s a candidate for my “don’t bother reading” list.

  37. The convention I am associated with tries to run a YA/Juvenile track most years so our tolerance for BS is quite low. Captain Comic may well have been asked to explain why he shouldn’t be turfed after his leaflet drop, and even if the committee decided in his favour he would be on a short leash.

    Dropping the ribbons after the leaflet would probably be seen as a provocative act against the con itself. If any con-goer complained (as it seemed happened at Worldcon), that would probably be enough for further action.

  38. @snowcrash: Well, point taken, and I’ll try to avoid rhetorical overreach. Let’s say instead then, I’m tired of (what comes across as) the gratuitous declaration of ‘sides’.

    I was there when Monaghan tried the ‘adjourn’ bit. It seemed in his interaction with Kevin Standlee that he might have been actually unclear on the difference between adjourn and adjourn sine die. Kevin was, as always, patient and informative, explaining the difference and asking him which motion he was trying to make. At that point, my impression (though it’s only an impression) is that he opted for ‘sine die’ for the first time, quite possibly not having previously realised it was a possibility at all.

    But the point is, there was nothing all that exceptional about the motion, and it could have equally well have come from any of the regulars during any past year, without our going around saying someone must have put him/her up to it.

  39. That’s a near-twin to what 2008 Worldcon chair Kent Bloom said, just yesterday, about 4 of 6 and EPH.

    You know, I could agree with him about 4+6 — if you can swap out any number for any number and you agree to let that bit go to the floor, then you have either got a seriously elegant (in the mathematical sense) solution or you’ve not thought it through.

    But I can’t agree with him about EPH, there’s been too much work on it, too much discussion, too much testing with actual code on actual data, and too many people who are experts in this specific area have put time into it. Not to mention, it might sound complicated to you guys in the US or UK, but it’s essentially how we elect politicians in Ireland for the last 90 years or so, and in several other countries for far longer. It’s just not that complex an idea really, and honestly some of the reaction from the floor was downright puzzlingly luddite for a science fiction meeting!

  40. By the way, it was a rather luddite reaction to the open source proposal too — and that debate brushed past something rather odd – at one point Ron Oakes (sp?) was arguing against opening the source code to software used by WSFS (and his argument on the professional hassles side seemed really odd to me after twenty years of working on both closed and open source software btw), and he said (and I’m transcribing from youtube here):

    “A small portion of the Hugo voting source code was based on code originally written by Steve Stanton (sp?) for Lone Star Con 3. That code is GPL. But the remainder of the code including that that I use to cross-check the counts of the Hugo voting is [not GPL]”

    You would have to audit the code to be certain — and it’s by no means certain you understand — but depending on how the code is structured and how it was extended or evolved from the Lone Star Con 3 code, it might not be legal for the code to be licenced to WSFS at all, it might be legally required to be GPL’d regardless of the business meeting vote. That’s a feature of the GPL licence – you can’t take someone’s GPL’d code, change some minor stuff and then close the source and call it a separate product, that’s illegal (and has been defended as such in the courts).

  41. rcade on August 22, 2015 at 6:03 pm said:

    Taking the pro-Puppy ribbons was low class.

    They were taken to the convention organizers for review after being left there by the same source of the creepy flyer addressed to a female about genitalia. That’s a reasonably prudent thing to do.

    Yes.

    I am glad to hear the convention organizers are so on the ball. The last thing fandom needs is pervy obnoxious transphobic “humorous” fliers lying around on the freebie table.

    And if the ribbons came from the same person who left those fliers, extra scrutiny is certainly called for.

  42. That’s unlikely. It would be stuff that would come from the state (or the city), and they’re the ones who have to do that part of the planning and worrying.

    The state/city would worry about the actual evacuation, yes, but the con organisers would still have to worry about their contract with the hotel, whether refunds were necessary, how to alert several thousand people to this and brief them on what the state wanted done and so on. Nobody would show up and take over and send the organisers home and wrap things up neatly for them 🙁

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