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April 20, 2015

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It's hard for them to double down. They see denouncing people as a leftist thing (I see this on their blogs all the time). They've been cooler in their support of him, but they CAN'T let him go.

This is really about Ethics in Science Fiction Awards, you know. :)

Seriously, they've been explicitly recruiting from Gamergate and promoting this whole thing as 'sticking it to the SJWs'.

It'd be a fascinating study, if it wasn't crapping on the Hugos.

It's especially ironic that one of the 'complaints' is about some bias against MilSci-Fi (seriously? Try being urban fantasy) -- when a military sci-fi story won last year!

Of course, Ancillary Justice doesn't count because PRONOUNS. And Redshirts contained subliminal social justice warrior messages like "Introducing characters for the express purpose of killing them later for added drama is crappy tv writing".

THE HORROR.

Honestly, this reads like one guy threw a snit-fit because he didn't get an award he felt he deserved, then the whole thing got taken over by a relentless self-promoter with a grudge. Also, John Scalzi is apparently the devil.

I don't get the Scalzi hate, but dear god -- they loathe him so very, very, very much.


You cannot steal the Hugo.

If the canids succeed in winning the ballot, every list of Hugo winners will have an asterisk on 2015, and it won't be a real Hugo -- just a formal Hugo, the appearance of having won.

It's not an accomplishment to win a game by cheating; in fact, it's something of a disgrace.

http://www.ericjamesstone.com/blog/2015/04/20/ruminations-on-nominations/

As far as I can see they are constitutionally incapable of admitting they made a mistake. My money is on doubling down.

I'll cop to it: every time I see "Brad Torgersen" in a post, I replace it with "Buck Turgidson" in my head and the world becomes a slightly better place.

that brings up a picture of Sad/Rabid puppies, scheming in their lair

"Gentlemen! We cannot allow a Hugo GAP!"

"You cannot steal the Hugo."

I suppose you could theoretically steal the Hugo, by swapping ballots, or some such measure. But, short of that, no, you can't. Because if the vote goes their way, they have won fair and square.

And the only asterisk will be, "The losers were sore."

gotta defend your ideological bretheren, doncha.

It's a vote. Whoever gets more votes has won, fair and square, unless the voting was rigged somehow, and I haven't heard any allegations of that.

Are you claiming there will be votes cast by people who aren't qualified to vote? People buying multiple Worldcon memberships under fake names, something like that?

It seems to me your position boils down to, "I don't expect to like the outcome, so they're cheating."

I couldn't care less about the Hugos (well, a little less, since I'm bothering to comment), but it sounds to me, even if it isn't technically a matter of stealing the Hugos, it's still a matter of rendering the whole exercise pointless to a large portion, possibly a majority, of the people who care about it.

It's like going to an open house and peeing in the drinks. You didn't "crash" the party, since it was open, but you still ruined it for everyone else.

So, still not cool, to put it mildly.

Seriously, how is secretly contaminating beverages people are going to consume in any way a good metaphor for campaigning for a slate of works? I don't see it, this is just perfectly ordinary behavior in any voting process.

All they did was try to get people to vote for a list of works. That's all. If the people do vote for them, they have won, perfectly fairly, no asterisk.

"conservatives" exploited a process to achieve an explicitly "conservative" (and commercially beneficial!) outcome. and Brett, always a good "conservative", knows that he should defend them. because what matters most, to Puppies and to their transparent apologists, is sticking it to liberals.

What rule did they violate, Cleek? Cite it. Go ahead.

Seriously, how is secretly contaminating beverages people are going to consume in any way a good metaphor for campaigning for a slate of works?

You added "secretly." And don't get hung up on it the aspects of the analogy that don't apply.

The point is, whether or not they broke any rules, they fncked up something a lot of people were into, so they could grind some ax and/or cash in. You're okay with that, but that's still what it is, AFAICT.

What rule did they violate, Cleek? Cite it. Go ahead

where did i say anything about violating a rule? go ahead, cite it.

If they didn't break a rule, then the only "asterisk" is indeed that the losers are sore.

"The point is, whether or not they broke any rules, they fncked up something a lot of people were into,"

By, "a lot of people", read, "Too many to fit in a phone booth." The only reason announcing a slate worked, is that very few people qualified to vote on the Hugos actually bothered to. So all they had to do was get a few of the people who weren't bothering to participate to get involved, and they could dominate the vote.

Which kind of is the point here: That the Hugos have, for years, been selected by a tiny fraction of SF fans, and not a particularly representative fraction, either.

I can see how that tiny fraction would like to keep it that way. But if the end result of this is that the Hugos actually start being chosen by a larger group more representative of SF fandom, that's a good thing from my perspective. The tiny clique dominating because most fans blew it off model was nothing to admire.

Here's a list of previous years' votes. It makes quite clear how small that clique really was.

This year, there were 2122 nominating ballots submitted. 3-4 times the number in a typical year, but about as many as last year.

But if the end result of this is that the Hugos actually start being chosen by a larger group more representative of SF fandom, that's a good thing from my perspective.

if...

Yes, if.

Sad Puppies didn't break the Hugos. They've been broken for years. A tiny, tiny fraction of the SF community were controlling who won, because of the apathy of everybody else.

All they did was draw attention to their being broken. This pisses some people off, because they liked the particular way they were broken.

Admitting you've got a problem is the first step to doing something about it. We will now see if anything gets done to fix it.

I'm guessing the most likely outcome is a desperate attempt to rig the system to restore the previous broken state, and make it unalterable. But I'm cynical that way.

I suppose you could theoretically steal the Hugo, by swapping ballots, or some such measure. But, short of that, no, you can't. Because if the vote goes their way, they have won fair and square.

So you are saying that, since he won fair and square twice, you are accepting that Obama should be going forward with what he campaigned on? Even though you intensely dislike what you see as his approach to governing. Good to hear.

Well, I wouldn't claim that he's not legitimately President, at any rate. There ARE three branches of government, though, and he does seem to have trouble admitting his isn't the one that writes the laws.

But, he is legitimately President. For a bit under two more years.

To be clear, Obama should go forward with what he campaigned on doing, to the extent this is actually within his constitutional powers, and not to the much greater extent he has been.

DNFTT

And another thread bites the dust.

So, what significant action of his do you feel does meet that criteria? Or even just things that he campaigned on, even if he hasn't done them. If any?

As President, he has the power to negotiate international agreements, though until the Senate ratifies them, they don't mean squat.

He can nominate judges, and other officers, though they still must face confirmation votes.

He's commander in chief of the military, though Congress retains the power to declare war.

He spends money, but Congress appropriates it.

The Constitution says that he is to "take care that the laws be faithfully executed". This obviously puts a bit of a crimp in his efforts to go forward with what he campaigned on, where it runs contrary to the laws that he's supposed to be faithfully executing.

"And another thread bites the dust."

At the hands of WJ, take note.

How it all looks from the outside:

The Sad Puppies have an ideological ax to grind. They gamed the existing system to prevail. Where, for "gamed the system", I mean they got a lot of people who like their stuff and/or their point of view to vote.

Basically, it looks like the Puppies caught everyone else napping.

Next year, folks who aren't happy about all of that should get their folks to show up and vote.

But yeah, this year will have an asterisk. It seems like the Hugos, and SF fandom in general, is more like a big club made up of people with common interests, and less like a political entity.

Big clubs made up of people with common interests typically operate under social norms - etiquette, basically - that don't necessarily apply to more heterogenous populations like large polities.

It's great to win, but if the path to winning is pissing everybody else off, sometimes things get broken.

So, an asterisk.

Best of luck with it all. The whole thing sounds like a quite cool community, hopefully this will be no more than a speed bump in the long run.

Next year, make sure your folks cast their votes.

As President, he has the power to negotiate international agreements, though until the Senate ratifies them, they don't mean squat.

I hate to FTT, but the above is, as a simple point of fact, plainly false.

Carry on. Or, preferably, not, but it ain't my circus. I won't stand in your way.

I hate to break it to you, but the US never ratified the Vienna Convention on the law of treaties, so, as a simple point of fact, this is plainly true. Presidents may chose, to the extent they have discretion, to act according to unratified international agreements, but they have no legal force.

"It's great to win, but if the path to winning is pissing everybody else off, sometimes things get broken.

So, an asterisk."

I think it's a huge exaggeration to say that the Sad Puppies have "pissed everybody else off". The Hugos used to be awarded according to the preferences of about 400 people, an infinitesimal fraction of SF fandom. They are now, thanks to Sad Puppies, being awarded according to the preferences of about 2000 people, still an infinitesimal fraction of SF fandom.

This has pissed off some people, to be sure. Starting with that 400, and their ideological allies. But nothing like everybody. This is a fight in a puddle, and the ocean doesn't notice.

they have no legal force.

They are inferior to the Constitution and federal law, as regards domestic law.

A great number of very important things happen outside the scope of US domestic law. The scope of the executive's discretion as regards dealings and relations with other nations is, as it turns out, fairly broad.

And not for nothing, but other countries don't really care all that much about internal US power dynamics. If we sign, they expect us to perform. As we expect of them.

The vast majority of our agreements with other nations are not treaties. We're not really at liberty to blow them off. Or, ultimately, we are, there really aren't any other countries in the world that are likely to go to war with us over much of anything, but as a practical matter and a matter of good faith, it's not in our interest to blow them off.

"Don't mean squat" is basically an asinine statement. No need to be that guy.

But nothing like everybody.

No doubt. "Everybody" is something north of 7 billion people.

I'll be more precise in my language.

They've apparently pissed off a lot of the people involved with the Hugo awards, for better or worse.

So, since "the people involved with the Hugo awards" are the people who might do things like place an asterisk next to the list of nominees and award winners, there's likely to be an asterisk.

It ain't my party, I'm not invested. Just noting how it all looks from the outside.

Brett, thanks for the list of Presidential powers. But I note that no significant, specific, actions are listed.

norms and customs are for saps who don't have the sociopathy to bend established systems to their own benefit.

If one is asserting that the Hugos are broken because they are not very representative, then one cannot also simultaneously claim to be acting to restore the Hugos to some unsullied prelapsarian state. The pre-SP Hugos were just as representative of SF fandom as a whole as all the previous Hugos ever were. It's always been a small group, but none of the Sad Puppies complain that Bester, Heinlein, Niven, etc. are not legitimate choices because too few people had a hand in the nomination process.

Nope, this is a bunch of people complaining that the country club has gone to hell since they started letting in all the riffraff.

I think maybe our disagreement isn't as deep as it appears. My position is that unratified agreements are not legally binding. That doesn't mean that abiding by them won't frequently be the prudent thing to do, so long as it doesn't contradict actual law.

It does, however, mean that an Executive faced with a Congress that's rejected his agenda can't unilaterally obligate the nation just by signing an international agreement.

"So, since "the people involved with the Hugo awards" are the people who might do things like place an asterisk next to the list of nominees and award winners, there's likely to be an asterisk."

So, the 2015 Hugos will have an asterisk as far as 400 people are concerned. Ok, that's plausible.

Yeah, the power to defer deportation of undocumented immigrants seemed to be missing from Brett's list.

DNFTT

Yup, mea culpa -- I was the troll on this one.

So, the 2015 Hugos will have an asterisk as far as 400 people are concerned. Ok, that's plausible.

To another outsider, the Hugos sound like they were a reliable point of reference to a lot of SF fans, regardless of whether or not those fans bothered to vote. It sounds like the works nominated and awarded Hugos were things people would go out of their way to read, because the people who voted for them were respected for their ability to pick some good stuff, based on it being good stuff.

Now it's about people picking things for other reasons, so it's not a good point of reference for people looking for some of the best SF books out there.

If the 400 people who bothered to vote before consistently voted for things lots of other people liked to read, but the 2000 who are voting now don't, what good was expanding the pool of voters?

Because, based on everything I'm reading, here and elsewhere, this looks to be bugging a lot more than 400 people. It seems to be a bit of a "thing."

an Executive faced with a Congress that's rejected his agenda can't unilaterally obligate the nation just by signing an international agreement.

It depends.

Seriously, how is secretly contaminating beverages people are going to consume in any way a good metaphor for campaigning for a slate of works? I don't see it, this is just perfectly ordinary behavior in any voting process.

Brett, the entire point is that it was not "perfectly ordinary behavior". If it was, there would be unabashed slate voting every year in which various publishing houses rallied their fans to try to push all or most works unaffiliated with them or in their subgenre/style/ideology off the ballot. There is not. They did not cheat. They did not stuff the ballot. They did, however, violate well-established community norms and game the system IOT seize control of the nomination process. 2000 people didn't decide the ballot; Vox Day did. That's the beef. If a slate sweeps the ballot, the person who assembles the slate decided the outcome. So, good work; it's no longer the tyranny of the 400; it's now the tyranny of the popular 1 or 3, or 10, but far less than 400... and judging by the analysis of the strength of the SP slate vs. the RP slate, far more likely the the tyranny of the 1.

*not "perfectly ordinary behavior" in this voting process

more likely the the tyranny of the 1

and Brett's normally highly-sensitive sense of corruption apparently detects no problem that the 1 in question stands to benefit from being able to put "Hugo Award Winner" on the merchandise he sells.

to benefit from being able to put "Hugo Award Winner" on the merchandise he sells

as well as "Hugo Award Nominee"

"Yeah, the power to defer deportation of undocumented immigrants seemed to be missing from Brett's list."

Because of that "take care that the laws be faithfully executed" business in the Constitution. Immigration laws are laws, too.

If there is not enough money to enforce all of the laws, then somebody has to make some kind of decision about priorities. (Or else the Congress needs to vote more funding -- and, therefore, either raise taxes, increase the debt, or actually cut something else. So far, they show no such inclination.)

So what you are saying would appears to be that you would prefer a different set of priorities. Or else just that you would prefer that decision on priorities be made at a much lower (i.e. less visible) level -- so nobody has to be aware of what those priorities are, and how the differ from place to place.

No, what I would appear to be saying is that the President has simply decided he doesn't like a law, and so it will henceforth not be enforced. He's actually decided that fairly frequently.

And I don't think spending priorities have anything to do with it.

what I would appear to be saying is that the President has simply decided he doesn't like a law, and so it will henceforth not be enforced.

I'm not seeing that as an unusual practice.

See also, "signing statements".

Brett, are you really saying that there is enough money in the CIS budget to round up and deport all of the 10 million plus illegal immigrants? Really???

Is there enough money to accomplish that in the next month? No. But, by that standard, he'd be just as justified in ceasing enforcement of every other law.

Is there enough money in their budget that they didn't have to flat out stop enforcing the law? Yeah. Their budget hasn't declined, deportations have dropped precipitously. He's spending just as much money to not deport illegals as was formerly spent to deport them, making any claim this non-enforcement is due to budgetary discretion a joke.

Another Puppy nominee withdraws

http://aletheakontis.com/2015/04/in-which-edmund-schubert-withdraws-from-the-hugos/

Still waiting to see anyone defend Correia or Torgersen by means of actual reference to their writing. Still not surprised that Puppy fans are unwilling/unable to do so.

Here's a rather good review that sums up many, if not all, of Correia's deficiencies as a writer:

http://escapepod.org/2011/01/16/review-monster-hunter-international-by-larry-correia/

"I had a warm spot in my heart for Larry Correia after reading his HK rant. (“Because you suck. And we hate you.”) Unfortunately, I decided to read his novel, Monster Hunter International. This book was originally self-published, and owes its success to Mr. Correia’s marketing instincts. I don’t have space to cover all the flaws in this book, so I’ll just hit the highlights. Because it was self-published and only later picked up by Baen, Monster Hunter International shows no sign of an editor’s pen. The characters are flat. The prose is stale and repetitive. The plot reads like something intended for a weekend of tabletop gaming, complete with prophetic visions from the storyteller to keep the protagonists on track."

I don't know why you'd still be waiting for somebody to defend the quality of Correia's writing. Miss all the times I did that?

Repeating 'It's good, it's really really good, lots of people buy it' is, I suppose, a defense, but you aren't really doing it by "means of actual reference to their writing".

I am forced to believe that Brett simply hasn't read the literary "masterworks" he extols in such vague and piteous tones. Not so much a puppy as a sheeple. A rabid sheeple, even.

Their budget hasn't declined, deportations have dropped precipitously.

Well, that depends.

I was particularly taken with the note at the end of the article Bobby links to. The "immigration courts have a backlog of 363,239 immigration cases" But hey, there's plenty of funding to deport more people....

why, it's almost as if the particulars of what Obama does or doesn't do aren't important; what's important is that he is always wrong. and it's the good partisan's job to make today's facts fit that conclusion.

"I am forced to believe that Brett simply hasn't read the literary "masterworks" he extols in such vague and piteous tones."

Go ahead, assume I'm lying when I say that, thanks to this topic coming up, I've been re-reading them. Currently halfway through Monster Hunter Alpha. Next up, Monster Hunter Legion.

"Well, that depends."

Why, Cleek, it's almost as if you're utterly incapable of taking any criticism of Obama from the right seriously.

Yeah, depends on whether or not you redefine "deportations" to include turn-backs at the border, which no previous administration counted as "deportations".

To put it bluntly, if you have to redefine "deportations" in order to claim to even be keeping up, you're not keeping up.

Also, your link's numbers end in 2012. Care for some more recent numbers?

"Go ahead, assume I'm lying when I say that, thanks to this topic coming up, I've been re-reading them. Currently halfway through Monster Hunter Alpha. Next up, Monster Hunter Legion."

So, why is it that you are consistently evasive when we ask for evidence that these are works that deserve a Hugo and were unfairly passed over? You've been running away from that topic with your ass on fire for as long as we've been discussing this issue. If you have read these works, you don't seem to have much positive to say about them as fiction, which is an unconvincing stance at best. One thing I've found to be true of people who genuinely love a book is that they can discuss it in detail - favorite characters, best scenes, great lines etc. You don't, which leads me to believe that either you haven't read the books, or you didn't think they were really that good and are just squirming away from that fact because of your ideological commitment to the VD contingent. I cited a detailed review which was absolutely devastating to Correia's work - and you couldn't refute anything it said. No-one is stopping you from making a real case for the puppies, except you, Brett, and your consistent refusal to do so makes the opposite case look ever more convincing.


"Why, Cleek, it's almost as if you're utterly incapable of taking any criticism of Obama from the right seriously."

After nearly 7 years of birtherism, death panels, Benghazi... gosh, it's almost as if the right has nothing of substance to say on any given topic. You want to be listened to, earn it by arguing like rational people rather than screeching out the latest hysterical, racist nonsense that Fox comes up with.

Funny, isn't it, how the common theme in both cases is conservatives who have nothing to say except that they are victims and who won't make a case when given the chance to do so?

what Morzer said.

Also, your link's numbers end in 2012.

seems unlikely.

Another fascinating display of conservative victimhood:

http://talkingpointsmemo.com/livewire/chris-christie-polls-media-coverage


"New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie ... on Monday placed blame on the media for his low approval ratings.

During an interview with NJ101.5 radio's "Ask the Governor," Christie dismissed the hit he has taken in the polls since the Bridgegate scandal broke.

"If you're going to have relentlessly negative coverage from the media, it's going to affect your poll numbers," Christie said."

Morzer,

On another forum, I've been watching aghast as a Sad Puppy claims "Old Man's War" is not military sci-fi.

It fits the standard definition of military sci-fi to a T, but the person in question claims OMW is not military sci-fi, but cannot and will not actually say why, or even what he means by 'military sci-fi'.

It's just...so self-evidently not military sci-fi that he literally can't explain why it isn't.

A cynical man would assume that given one of the complaints was a lack of military sci-fi, and Scalzi being a frequent target as the sort of person unsuitable for winning Hugos, the fact that most of his nominees are for his military sci-fi would be...problematic.

Morat20:

Where is this train wreck? I want to goggle!

Never mind, I found it.

He ran off after half the people there, libertarian and liberal and "Don't even have a word for your politics" all chimed in with "It's totally military sci-fi".

I suspect what he meant was it's not hardware porn sci-fi (Tom Clancy in space) which, well....it's not. Weapons and such are described fairly thoroughly, and their abilities and uses are important, but there is not the big information dumps of technical schematics that is often popular in military sci-fi.

(Not that I mind. I've read ALL the Honor Harrington books, and the Safehold books. I like me a lengthy description of how a cannon or sailing vessel works).

But saying "It's not super detailed on hardware, or lovingly describing every missile in a battle" is...well, if that's what the Puppies are complaining about, then they'ld be idiots by any standards, even their owns.

Because "military sci-fi" is neglected is a valid (if utterly wrong based entirely on the winners and nominees of the last decade) statement -- but "super technical Tom Clancy in space military sci-fi never wins" is laughable because neither does "Best Urban Fantasy Involving Two Lesbian Vampires and An Emo Werewolf".

"super technical Tom Clancy in space military sci-fi never wins" is laughable because neither does "Best Urban Fantasy Involving Two Lesbian Vampires and An Emo Werewolf".

That's *next* year's "were-puppies" slate.

I only know (rural) lesbian vampire killers* against a gay werewolf (whether the latter is emo, I do not know).

*the vampires are lesbian, not the killers.

Hey, look, a proposal for a reasonable fix.

Brett, that doesn't do anything to help the problem of a minority of votes running the table (which is both what the puppies were accused of and what they are formed to expose and oppose). I favor RAV as voting system.

Sure it does. The reason that can happen, is because the number of people voting is minute. Before Sad Puppies, in the hundreds, now a couple thousand.

If you make it easy enough for SF fans to vote in the Hugos, manipulating them becomes harder without huge expense. You'll need to influence thousand upon thousands of voters, instead of hundreds.

Now, there might be other systems that would help in different ways. But I can't see a downside to helping random SF fans vote on the Hugos.

There's a good, highly-technical, discussion going on about changes to the nominating system to make slates less of a problem. However, this takes a minimum of 2 years to be implemented.

The Hugo Voter Project doesn't sound bad in theory, except there is absolutely no info about who is running it. It may not be a scam, but it *smells* of scam.

Well, for that matter, changing a voting system in response to the "wrong" people winning the vote *smells* a bit, too.

Anything involving anything of worth can be a scam, but this seems easy enough to audit.

And why would the Hugos, having operating for 70 years, change the already minimal requirements for voting to fix the problem when there exists at least two fixes? This is a group that deliberately keeps Worldcon small enough to move from city to city, yearly, so that while the conventions are small, more fans can actually attend by simply waiting until the con is near them.

Fixes that have nothing to do with punishing the 'wrong people' and come straight from mathematicians who developed techniques for handling this sort of vote without running into that specific sort of problem?

RAV, as noted, is entirely viewpoint neutral. It handles all slates, whether deliberate or accidental (if 15% of the Hugo nominators coincidentally choose the 5 same works, their ballots are treated exactly as if some cabal had voted a slate).

It doesn't even punish slates -- run a slate over a certain (very minimal) % of the ballots (say 10 or 15%) and you'll get at least one work on the ballot. Probably 2. But unless your slate is close to 100% of the ballots received, you won't get all 5.

Which honestly seems absolutely perfect! The Sad Puppies were sad because either a liberal cabal was secretly slate voting, or their tastes were in a minority of the nominees. (Either explanation works). RAV would help out any work that was heavily beloved of a minority of voters.

What you can't do -- liberal, conservative, Sad, Happy, Rabid -- is own an entire category through slate voting. Which I'm sure we can all agree is bad, hmm?

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