« Pension Reform -- The Wisdom of Crowds Weekend Open Thread | Main | Congratulations to Castalia House's Marketing Department! »

April 20, 2015


Eric S. Raymond, "Sucker Punch"

holy crap.

that ESR?


Charles Stross (author of Accelerando and the Laundry Novels) posted on this: The Biggest Little SF Publisher you never heard of pulls on the jackboots

pulls on the jackboots?

can't be true. for VD is an honorable man.

Yeah, I doubt the ballot stuffing argument can be proven.

The Sad Puppies/Rabid Puppies counter argument will be to point to alleged whisper campaigns that puts a lot of Tor nominees on the ballot.

In fact, Brad and Larry had to tone down their coterie's hatred of Tor that had gotten whipped up by the allegation that Tor is ruining SF and they should be boycotted.

Every community must, from time to time, find a way to defend itself against those who would exploit it for their own profit at the expense of the community. It is not always an easy road to find and walk. But those who do not can expect that their community will not long survive.

Best of luck to Worldcon and the Hugo Awards Committee. You have your work cut out for you. And even if you succeed, you can count on some measure of bile being spewn in your direction.

Reweighted Average Voting.

Vote all the slates you want, won't matter. End result is superior AND encourages diversity.

Basics of the algorithm: After the work with the highest nominations is chosen, every ballet with that 'winning' nomination on it has it's remaining choices reweighted down slightly. Then the ballots are tabulated again, with the reweighted votes, and a new winner added.

Reweighting occurs again (each ballot with the second chosen work has it's remaining votes rewighted downward). Rinse and repeat.

In short, the more 'winners' you've nominated, the less your remaining nominations count. A slate vote would pick up one or two entries for sure, but any remaining entries would only pop-up if large swathes of non-slate voters picked it.

Actually encourages a more diverse nomination slate.

Possibly a nitpick, but Eric Raymond is on the SP slate for Campbell Award (with "Sucker Punch" as his only fiction), and on the RP slate for short story with "Sucker Punch".


crumbs, you're right. I may have to re-do the charts ... after supper.

whew, I double-checked. Raymond was on both SP & RP slates for the Campbell, Day just helpfully specified a work for each Campbell candidate.


Yes, I've been impressed at the simulations I've seen for RAV. What I'm suggesting is an approach to tide us over the years until a rule change can take effect.

Does anyone, anywhere, find this realization surprising?

Scalzi, whose take I like
(sorry, can't find the exact post)

notes that if there are any changes in voting procedures, they need two years to be enacted, so there is probably going to be another shitstorm next year.

I actually feel that the solution is to point out that this whole kerfluffle has pulled in George R R Martin, potentially taking him away from finishing A Song of Ice and Fire. Sic the Game of Thrones fans on them and they will rue the day they were born.

"Sic the Game of Thrones fans on them and they will rue the day they were born."

Are "heads on sticks" too much to hope for?

Oh, I think the rest of the world would even be willing to grant them a Viking funeral. Although the world might prefer not to have them actually dead before the boat is set on fire....

Gotta be careful, I remember when one of the bloggers at LGM said something about someone's head should be on a stick and they tried to get him fired. You start linking some of the creative endpoints in GRRM (a lot taken from history) and you are going to get accusations that you wish bodily harm on people.

Perhaps the solution is to specify a desire for heads on sticks achieved in a completely non-harmful way. Think of it as the "moderate conservative" option.

Incidentally, there's quite a bit of evidence collected by people on the web that Correia and Torgerson knew who Pox Spray was,admired him, thought of him as an ideological comrade, and gloated over the possibility of involving him because it would offend the people they hate. They've tried to disappear most of the evidence, but the internet remembers these things. That, of course,was before they realized just how widely despised Pox Spray was, at which point there was a hasty scurrying to disassociate and deny, much as they have tried to do with their attempt to involve the GamerGate sociopaths. (You can clearly see Correia puppy-whistling to that rabble in his blog posts, especially in the references he makes to their preferred victim Brianna Wu.)

slate voting can success because most voters didn't have time or inclination to check every SF (several hundred per year) before vote.

making every voters can put any novels in his ballot make voters chose based on popularity or recommendation.

This is computer age, give every voters random perssonalised ballot, with ten random answer, they pick best two among ten.

Just asterisk every Hugo that's awarded with the statement "The SFWA has evidence of groups gaming the voting process in a way that excludes the most popular works released this year."

Keep doing it until they stop, redoing the rules is a fool's errand. There's always a way to game the rules.

As long as all of the rabid puppy nominating ballots were cast by individual human beings, there's nothing in the rules that would make them "illegal ballot stuffing". The only requirement to nominate is that you're a human being, you have a membership of the convention (or the one before or after), and you only nominate once even if you have more than one membership for some reason.

If you can draft a rule change that would make this illegal and doesn't require the administrator to exercise discretion (no change that requires such discretion has any chance of getting passed), then go for it.

HankP: SFWA doesn't have anything to do with the Hugos; they run the Nebula awards. It's WSFS that's responsible for the Hugos, but it doesn't have any body that could release such statements. The Hugos each year are entirely administered by that year's Worldcon.

What I don't understand is how one gets from "Vox Day persuaded something like 100 people to vote for the authors he preferred, particularly those who were published by Vox's own company" to "Vox and his company engaged in illegal ballot stuffing."

If Vox had bought multiple memberships under different fake names and voted them all, then that would be cause for disqualifying all those votes (the WSFS Constitution specifically allows no more than one ballot per person). But merely encouraging slate voting (even for one's own financial benefit) is not a violation of the Hugo rules as they currently exist.

Mike -

Thank you for the clarification. But the question remains, can the Worldcon vote on and then add such a description to the awards?

HankP: It takes two years to change the rules, so such a description could only be added from 2017 onwards. But you need some mechanism for deciding whether or not to invoke your new rule, and I don't think you're going to find one. Bear in mind that it is extremely unlikely that any rule change giving discretion in the matter to any person or group of people will be passed -- you need a purely mechanical or algorithmic process.

"The only requirement to nominate is that you're a human being, you have a membership of the convention..."

Wait, we're talking about SF fandom, right? I'm not sure the "human being" think is an actual rule; more like a suggestion.

The membership requirement, on the other hand, is ironclad.

The Secret Masters Of Fandom will just have to step in and resolve the issues. Beware! They are subtle and quick to anger, and Vox Day is crunchy and good with ketchup.

Remember VD is not for everybody.

Use a condom.

as always, late to the party, but is "vox day" supposed to be a pun on "vox dei"?

That was always my assumption, russell.

It's an expression of his humility, obviously.

ok, so "imaginative fiction" after all...

The Secret Masters Of Fandom will just have to step in and resolve the issues.

Such a pity that there's never a real conspiracy running the world when you need it. :-(

...other than the Trilateral Commission and the Council on Foreign Relations, that is.

Plus, the Templars and the Rosicrucians. The Hospitallers are, if still around, probably the best-kept sekrit conspiracy evar.

so, I went and checked out vox day's website, out of curiosity.

what a wanker.

next year, turn out the happy puppy vote and blow these clowns out of the water.

Slartibartfast: The Hospitallers aren't a secret at all. The Sovereign Military Hospitaller Order of Saint John of Jerusalem of Rhodes and of Malta is a sovereign state with no territory (other than its offices and headquarters), and has observer status at the UN.

they used to own Rhodes and maybe Malta. also a couple of Caribbean islands.

whenever I read about the military orders it makes me think of the Revolutionary Army of Jesus from Bunuel's "Obscure Object of Desire".

nothing will ever be weirder than real life.

The Hospitallers aren't a secret at all

That's just a cover operation, I am sure.

wasn't Obamacare supposed to put the Hospitallers out of business ?

"wasn't Obamacare supposed to put the Hospitallers out of business ?"

Ah, you fell for their cover story. The Hospitallers were started by Obama, using his Time Machine, to prepare the ground for Obamacare. The whole Benghazi thing was to cover up the connection between them.

"He put up the Rapid Puppy slate one week after the SP3 slate went up"

Reading the posts that announced the two slates it looks like he put up the Rabid Puppy slate just a few hours after the Sad Puppy slate went up.

Which some consider part of the evidence of collusion.

Brad seems to be very cadgy on this. He's saying "We're not the Rabid Puppies, I'm not Vox Day, their views are more extreme than ours". But seems to be carefully not answering criticism about how involved VD was in the discussions that he had with people about what should be on the SP3 slate (and Larry made comments that suggested there was a fair bit of discussion between him, Brad and VD). Nor has Brad said anything about what advance notice VD had about what would be on the SP slate before Brad announced it.

Hence various people are claiming a degree of collusion between the SPs and RPs. Which is *not* the same as saying "The SPs are the same as RPs".

If Brad wanted to deny that collusion, he has had plenty of opportunity. To my knowledge, he has not. So I'm inclined (for now) to believe this collusion occurred, though I'm keeping an open mind as more details emerge.

Happy to see links if people have evidence that suggests I'm wrong.

This might upset you stats again but I would argue that the Sci-phi Journal and possibly Show should also count as in-house Castalia items.

The journal is sold only by Amazon and Castalia House, and the writer/presenter, Daniel J. Lewis, is one of Castalia's in-house bloggers, so possibly one of their readers, but I can't check that as the readers use pseudonyms.

"Nuke them from orbit. It's the only way to be sure."


Thank you for that info! I am not in the *least* surprised -- I was expecting (hoping?) for people to make more Castalia House connections on the RP ballot.

Do you know if anything on the RP ballot in the non-pro categories is connected to VD or Castalia House?

"The Hospitallers were started by Obama"

No,no,no, no, no.

Obama started the Teutonic Knights. Honestly, I don't know where the internet community gets its information from these days.

"Obama started the Teutonic Knights."

Ohhhh...that's some subtle 11-th dimensional chess, there.

How can I subscribe to your newsletter?

But since both are Christian orders, obviously Obama could not have started them. Get a clue, guys! ;-)

Sad Puppies/Rabid Puppies is pretty clearly good cop/bad cop.

Slates went up a few hours apart, with slate specific artwork done by the same artist in the same style.

I'm blanking on the proper word. The picture of the puppies thingy.

Anyways, that didn't happen coincidentally. It was clearly planned and coordinated. Beale and Correria didn't accidentally release slates twelve hours apart, with plenty of overlap, complete with matching artwork done by the same guy.

Correria's the 'good cop'. The guy you want to cooperate with, because otherwise the 'bad cop' will be in charge, and you don't want that? Best to do what the good cop says.

Get a clue, guys!

Hewing to well established tradition, we'll just blame the Rosicrucians or the Illuminati instead.

Either one will do.


That may have been their plan, but pretty clearly the bad cop is already in charge. I just don't know if that's really sunk in with the "good cops" yet.

also: these are self-appointed cops.

Well no, it probably hasn't. Unless, of course, the 'good cop' is playing the 'sympathetic face'.

Saying good cop/bad cop implies the good cop, at least, knows the bad cop's behavior is unacceptable (Beale is not 'playing' at bad cop. He really is that noxious). He's just prepared to use it to get what he wants.

However, it's possible that Correria and Torgeson actually AGREE with Beale on lots of things, they're just letting Beale bring in the noxious folks while pretending to have nothing to do with those particular noxious views.

I prefer to give them the benefit of the doubt, and that they are using Beale rather than being Beale's more pleasant, public face.

Morat20 and Dr Science, if you think reweighted average voting is going to prevent tactical voting, you're going to be disappointed.

If you think the selection should be like a parliament, where different interests should be represented proportionally - and I think that's reasonable for a nomination process, particularly a politically polarized one - you need to use something more complicated.

Good multiple winner systems try to ensure that if you control 50% of the votes, you can still only decide 50% of the winners - even if you have complete control of how your block votes.

Reweighted Average Voting does not in fact ensure that very well. The problem is that if one candidate is elected in a landslide, it "throws away" a lot of those votes, unfairly discounting them. It's optimal under such a system to try to ensure that each of your picks is only barely successful enough to be elected. That's a lot easier to pull of for someone with a bloc at their disposal.

You can do better by using one of the STV versions used in the real world, like in Ireland or Australia. But as any Australian can tell you, there's still a lot strategy involved in setting up the ballots. The best would be to use a modern Single Transferable Vote version like Schulze's.

President Obama does have one obvious connection with the Knights Templar: both were accused of being secretly Muslim by people who have only the haziest notion of Islam (I have little doubt that if you drew a diagram of the White House and marked a room as the location where the Obamas bow before a marble bust of Muhammad, a substantial part of the Republican base would nod their heads and hit FORWARD).


Are you following the discussion at Making Light? What do you think of SDV-LPE?

Harald: In the absence of extensive polling, RAV will prevent effective tactical voting.

Any election system can be gamed. Not all can be gamed easily, and given the nature of the Hugos -- most reweighting systems (like RAV) cannot be gamed effectively.

No polling. No real ability to poll, and sample sizes and irregular voting in the nominations that would make polling fairly inaccurate even if someone DID manage to poll the nominators.

The comments to this entry are closed.