WSFS Meeting #2 (Friday): Liveblog 19

1247: Meeting is adjourned.

1245: A2, 3, and 4 are remaining for tomorrow as well as new amendments. Tomorrow’s meeting starts with site selection business. Chair urges them to keep it short.

1245: Negative has it, resolution fails.

1245: We are out of time. Vote to close debate and vote on resolution.

1243: Against: the definition of the software and scope isn’t great. There are a lot of people who would think twice about volunteering with this kind of thing.

1243: Dr Adams for says he doesn’t believe making code available does not professionally threaten anyone.

1242: Another move to amend by Caswell to remove last six words “or as an open source project.” No debate needed. Amendment passed.

1240: Debate on the amendment to the resolution ends. Amendment to resolution passes.

1239: Move to amend the amendment oh my. Amend by substitution–and KS says no, so it’s out of order.

1238: Kovalcik for amending says that this will remove the onerous things Oaks is concerned about.

1237: Jack Foy against amending, says this is to build trust, needs to build trust in infrastructure, so these bug reports and studying software part is very important.

1236: Propose to amend, getting rid of the bug reports, contact info etc requirements. Generally in favor of transparency but feels these muddy the issue.

1233: Oaks strongly in opposition. All software has rights belonging to the Worldcon exclusively. This does not preclude reasonable requests for information, but it is not to be put out widely.

1232: Secor speaking for the open source software resolution; measure to restore trust in the process. Does not require open source software use.

1230: Glazer moves to take B24 from the table. This will take up the rest of the day.

1229: Damn damn damn damn damn.

1227: 69 votes in favor. Damn damn damn. 99 against.

1224: Question is called, in the opinion of chair, nos have it. But we’re going to do a Serpentine. HERE WE GO. I AM NUMBER ONE IN FAVOR OH YEAH.

1223: Speech against, noting the problem with slates and supporting members and yeah.

1222: I GET TO SPEAK FOR. And the chair recognizes that I am dapper as fuck in my vest. I have ten seconds and say, “If you want to keep the World in worldcon, you need to make voting more accessible to international members, which means allowing remote voting.”

1221: Against because social media something something?

1220: Debate is extended so Buff can speak for.

Rachael breaking in here for a moment to have an opinion because I’m not going to be allowed to speak since we’re out of time. But one, it pisses me off that there’s this egotistical notion that those of us able to attend the meeting are somehow superior to those who can’t for whatever reason. And frankly, if we want this to be a true WORLDcon, we need to make things more accessible across the board for members worldwide. Since America seems to be maintaining its stranglehold on WorldCon nicely, we are constantly making it much, much harder for international members to participate.

1217: Rosenblat against because there is no requirement in voter being well-informed.

1216: LeAnn Hildebrand for, as election inspector in California; it’s important to enfranchise electorate. We trust them enough to vote for the Hugos and site selection. Time for the amendment has expired. Still plenty of time against.

1214: Blog against, agreeing with Kate Secor.

1213: Yalow for: generally agrees with Secor’s points about the flaws, but thinks it’s worth giving a try because it has a mandatory sunset clause. If we don’t like the results in five years, we fix it.

1212: Secor against because of technical legal language. Nothing in resolution that requires a simple language explanation of the nomination.

1211: Tim Miller: Lots of people don’t come to the business meeting. Lots of people also don’t nominate for the Hugos or vote for site selection. This allows but doesn’t require more participation.

1210: Gerrib against because he says people who give a damn about Worldcon make the time to be here. (I HAVE OPINIONS ABOUT THAT.)

1206: A1 Popular Ratification. KS recuses himself and speaks on the matter for debate. A1 would add a third step to ratification. If this motion is ratified, it will add a third year to ratification. This will not apply to anything this year. Why should we pass this? The WSFS meeting has about 200 attendees, as opposed to 11K members. We currently allow all members to originate business, but only people who can get to the meeting have a right to vote? Making the right to vote across the board will make WSFS more credible and allow greater participation. Also a note that this will have to be re-ratified in five years, so it’s an experiment.

1205: Time for Constitutional Ammendments Pending Ratification–these from LonCon! Okay let’s go!

1204: Millenium Philcon is officially discharged! WOO!

1204: Glazer notes that check for winner of 2017 site selection will be available at the meeting, from him.

1202: Note that Philcon distributed its moneys without outside pressure from WSFS; motion to thank them for fulfilling these duties passed.

1201: Financial reports from previous worldcons! Millennium Philcon has now distributed the last of its surplus. Sasquan has agreed if they don’t need the additional money, it will be distributed to the 75th worldcon, the MPC, and the historical worldcon thingy.

1200: All resolutions except the one on the table have been dealt with. Invitation from YA committee for anyone interested to come sign up and provide e-mail address.

1159: That was not two minutes! HEY! Anyway, KS withdraws the MPC funding request with unanimous request thanks to promised funding from Sasquan.

1158: Technical time out! TEA TIME!

1155: Moving on to B25. Debate set at 8 minutes.

1154: Question of Privilege from Glazer, moves to set the resolution aside because Oaks had to leave; want to wait til he comes back.

1152: Back to resolutions. B24, Open Source Software.

1149: MPC election results. 128 ballots, first round no majority. Donald Eastlake, Steven Baucher, Bruce Farr.

1149: Regular meeting called back into order by KS. CotW recommends 4 and 6 proposal be taken up in fill in the blank form.

1148: Committee of the Whole ends.

1146: What about unintentional slates? (Sorry, I don’t personally have a lot of sympathy for the continual Dr. Who domination of short form drama.)

1146: Question is if this is like single, transferrable vote. Watt: It’s closest to the Australian system, instant runnoff. Jameson notes that it requires no ranking of nominees.

1145: Dr. Lurie notes that this is supposed to discourage slates; the elimination of them is a feature, not a bug.

1144: Code is freely available for anyone who wants to look at it; Watt has it on USB stick with him.

1143: Slate with perfect discipline issue? It’s something to do with the constitution I don’t know, too nitpicky for me and I can’t summarize it easily.

1140: McCarty says he has completely anonymized LonCon data from last year. His modeling produced a change, but he doesn’t know if that’s his modeling or not. Watt notes that it doesn’t have to formally be a slate for EPH to have an effect; but things like the Dr. Who fan effect will also narrow things down.

1139: Dr. Adams wants to know if there is anyone who has access to more real data to allow for test runs.

1138: Dave McCarty (Hugo administrator for 2016) says that regardless of if this passes or doesn’t this year, he will be working with the EPH people to do results checking.

1137: Mike Stern: is there an independent manual verification system? Watt: Yes, but it’s tedious. Code puts out an audit file which can be checked. You can also do it in excel to double check. Chair confirms that currently there are two independent systems that verify each other for the Hugo.

1135: Anyway, apparently cage matches between top works can occur in non-slated works theoretically, but it’s very unlikely.

1135: Illingworth has a question–BINGO!

1128: This causes slates to compete against each other; will eliminate all each other until only one slate nominee is left. This is fair, since they are still part of fandom, so still deserve a slot.

1127: “Points” are mechanism for redistributing support. One point per category, subdivided between all nominees. So every time one of your nominees get eliminated, each of your remaining nominees get a bigger slice of your points. Remaining works get more points over time. This concentrates support into final ballot.

1125: The point of EPH is to make sure Hugo voting behavior doesn’t have to be changed. “The true cause of the problem is that we as fans nominate a wide array of works. This is a feature, not a bug… but a slate that has good discipline can dominate the rest of us.” This is an interesting point.

1124: Watt comes up to present EPH. OOOH POWER POINT. Buckle up we are apparently going to blast through this.

1124: KS points out that this is moving into substantive debate and not technical aspects. Unanimous consent then to move on.

1123: Person who spoke too fast for me to catch her name–what about multiple independent slates.

1122: Kovalcik points out that any set of number is eminently gameable. Answer is that this requires more effort to game, and if there is that big of a majority they deserve it.

1121: Question pointing out that this can still yield a portion of each category can still be controlled by slates. So this is problematic. Answer is it’s going to be up to people to decide what they’re comfortable with.

1119: Seth Breitbart proposes amendment by substitution, suggests that numbers will be filled in by fill-in-the-blanks substitution at the main business meeting since we know it’s going to happen anyway.

1118: Proposed amendment is 5/8. Suggested that all number proposals be considered now and we’ll “see what shakes out.”

1117: KS makes point of order that a recommendation can be voted on. Chair recognizes that this point is well-founded.

1116: Milt Stevens wishes to amend the motion; parliamentarian indicates that this is out of order. Substantive changes need to wait til Sunday.

1113: Presentation from 4/6 (Chris Gerrib I think?); how does it work? Everyone nominates 4 unranked works. There are 6 plus ties in the final categories. The intent of the amendment is 1) people feel compelled to fill out the whole nomination list; this will send the signal that you are always going to nominate fewer than end up on the final ballot, so just nominate who you really like. And 2) This will make it harder for Lord Voldemort to put forth a slate. Then yields to questions.

1113: Meeting returned to order. We are now in the Committee of the Whole; we will appreciate 4/6 first, then EPH.

1101: Disaster averted, napkins acquired, we’re in recess until 1111 and then it’ll be Committee of the Whole for 4 and 6 and EPH.

1058: meeting is about to be adjourned OH SHIT I SPILLED MY TEA WHY HAVE YOU BETRAYED ME

1057: FIRST BINGO! Dangit, I just needed Illingworth!

1055: B27, 8, and 9 are accepted with no objection. Committees reappointed, and may supplement members at discretion of committee chairs.

1052: Glenn Glazer has a question regarding Hugo administration–while many of them have grave reservations about this resolution, they intend to comply. Oaks, who is developer of web app: says they have capability to deliver anonymized data in file before Sunday meeting. Glazer says he knows of one particular request for the data, and they will deliver that one on a stick. NOT A PIKE. (LOL) If anyone else is interested in this data, email hugoadmin@sasquan.org — they are not comfortable just having the file up on the website.

1052: Affirmative has it, the resolution is adopted.

1050: We vote to end debate. People in the other room, in a display of AMAZING timing, yell WOOO!

1050: “We are supposed to proceed with deliberate speed, not excessive speed.” –KS, on us not letting the secretary catch up.

1049: Dr. Lurie proposes that the motion be amended to 2015 and 2016 administrators, not just 2015. Motion passes.

1049: Amendment to motion fails.

1046: Move to extend debate by Glazer fails. Kronengold moves to amend to add to resolution “and not including any nominees receiving fewer than 5 nominations.” Motion seconded.

1045: Reminder from KS that this will be continuing so we will be setting a precedent one way or the other. At a vote, those in favor of the Chair’s ruling win.

1044: Mike Stern for notes that the defining words are “at least.”

1042: Ben Yalow against to say that historically nothing was released; the current wording is a compromise between people who wanted everything should be released and nothing should be released. Nothing else was intended.

1041: Leslie Turec for chair’s ruling; the wording is in there to reduce burden, but it’s clear that it does not preclude it.

1038: Parliamentary Inquiry (PI) from Carl Fink(?) what is the exact wording of the constitution so we can all see this [nitpick at home, kids!]

1037: The question is now if the chair’s ruling on the point of order stands. KS says adminstrators are allowed but not required to release more data, but not blocked from doing so.

1035: John Lorentz believes this violates the WSFS constitution (3.11.4) about the vote totals. This is ultimately a point of order. KS rules this point of order is not well taken because the constitution is about minimum of data released, not max. Lorentz immediately appeals ruling and the wheels fall off the little red wagon.

1033: Mr. Watt (EPH Guy) gets preference as author of resolution. Notes that actual data very helpful for development; they had actual 1984 nominating ballots; this was very helpful. It’s useful and historic information. This should not violate anyone’s privacy.

1030: B23 Hugo Nominating Data Request (originally showed 16 minutes debate, corrected to 6 because KS made a booboo on powerpoint). KS observes that the data request is merely a request. The Hugo administrators have total discretion of if they will comply. 6 minutes finally adopted for debate.

1028: B22, extension of eligibility for Predestination due to limited release. Michael Kingsley argues that film (which is Australian) is worth of Hugo; originally presented to public at SXSW. Film was unavailable until 2015 when it was released on DVD and On Demand. More than 2/3 for, eligibility of Predestination is extended.

1026: Time for resolutions! First up, I Remember the Future extension request. 4 minutes of debate allowed. Proposer also gives support to Predestination. There is objection to resolution, overwhelming majority votes for. Eligibility extended for a second year for I Remember the Future.

1025: Meeting back to order. I have spilled my tea into my saucer as I rushed back to my seat. :(

1023: Technical time out? I think you mean TEAchnical time out!

1021: Polls closed on MPC election. We pass our ballots in.

1019: WSFS Memberships Types and Rates submitted written report.

1018: KS notes that if the committee continues he will reappoint existing membership, plus Mr. Kronengold(???) who asked both the questions.

1016: Question in regards to looking at targeting YA with a length category. Would there be a word length limit? Answer: Committee would like to research this more. Return question: Would it be possible to specifically target YA using just a length category. Answer: Can look into this in more detail. KS asks that the committee move on.

1010-1016: Formalization of Long List Entries Committee has written report. Next is YA Hugo Study Committee: Katie Rask. Report is at end of the agenda. Find that a YA/teen lit Hugo is a necessary and reasonable request. Came to a conclusion that under the existing methodology of Hugos, they could not put together a YA award; current methodology defines works by word count, not age group. Hugos have not done a good job of representing YA works in the past. In the last 50 years, 5 speculative fiction YA works have gotten Hugo nominations, as opposed to 36 in the Newberys. YA is an age category, not a genre. There is good reason to think that Worldcon attendees are reasonably well versed in YA. Committee believes that they need a second year to continue study, so they can take on new people and work on creating a non-Hugo (Campbell style perhaps) aware.

1009: Worldcon Runner’s Guide editorial committee report: Mike Willmoth. Not much progress made due to distraction of running Sasquan, incremental progress. KS reappoints all committee members.

1008: We’re going to put off the MPC committee election a little longer since people are still coming in. MPC report was done yesterday, as was Nitpicking and Flyspecking.

1006: We didn’t get a lot of business done yesterday, so we’re starting with that today. MPC Elections, Committee report. Then it’s Resolutions, constitutional amendments (ratification from last year), then new constitutional amendments. At 1100 we will break for the meeting of the Committee of the Whole for 4 and 6/EPH.

1004: All segments of yesterday’s meeting are now on youtube. Higher resolution versions will be uploaded later.

1002: After two practice whacks (I think he was just trying to get everyone to quiet down) KS calls the first main business meeting to order and starts introducing everyone.

1001: Also please note, the CART screen has been moved to the left side and I’m still sitting on the right; I can no longer see it. My already terrible spelling guesses for names are about to get a lot worse.

1000: Kevin Standlee (KS) asks how many people were at yesterday’s meeting; overwhelming majority so we don’t need to rewatch the orientation video.

0958: Tea and chocolate muffin acquired. Liveblog post set up. Business Meeting Bingo card filled out. Yesterday’s meeting was quite wild, today’s is going to be even more energetic, I think. (I’ve already heard a couple people arguing about puppies, I think. Oh dear.) Let’s do this. Photo on 8-21-15 at 9.57 AM

19 thoughts on “WSFS Meeting #2 (Friday): Liveblog

  1. Reply Stacey Aug 21,2015 13:48

    Re: Kovalchek(???) – You were fairly close, it’s “Kovalcik”.

  2. Reply radlein Aug 21,2015 14:22

    “Gerrib against because he says people who give a damn about Worldcon make the time to be here. (I HAVE OPINIONS ABOUT THAT.)”

    If you had analytics of how many people are reading this and Mike Glyer’s comment thread on File770, that would be an excellent counter-point.

  3. Reply Mercy Aug 21,2015 14:32

    Are the against voters going to start a scholarship fund to sponser international and poor people’s travel and other expenses to attend? No? Then they should have voted for. >.<

  4. Reply Cat Aug 21,2015 14:57

    I’m sorry the popular ratification amendment didn’t pass. I would also be concerned about adding the extra year to make changes, but I think it’s unfair to claim that those of us who can’t afford WorldCon “don’t care.” Especially when non-US fen almost always have to fly to WorldCon that just seems… blind.

  5. Reply Tasha Turner Aug 21,2015 15:00

    One has to be financially well off, healthy, easily able to take time of from work, able to travel (possibly internationally yearly) to “give a damn”. The word “privilege” comes to mind… Wish I were healthy enough to travel and attend.

  6. Reply Chris Gerrib Aug 21,2015 15:43

    My “give a damn” was in reference to the 4500+ people at Sasquan who didn’t come to the business meeting. I was one of the many who didn’t care – 5th worldcon and 1st meeting.

    • Reply Rachael Aug 21,2015 16:14

      Fair enough, but those aren’t the people who would have been helped by this resolution.

    • Reply Stacey Aug 21,2015 17:10

      If they don’t care, they don’t have to vote. Just like voting in the Hugos or Site Selection. No one would be holding a gun to their head to force them to vote. The *majority* of members do not vote in either of those things, but that doesn’t stop us from doing them.

      But MANY of us DO care, and just can’t afford to be there every year. I’ve known for a little while that I would not have a job to be able to afford to attend Worldcon this year. But I damn well DO care, and would have welcomed the chance to vote in a popular ratification.

      Quite frankly, I could easily see popular ratification making people more aware of and more interested in the process of the governance of Worldcon. Unfortunately, now we don’t even have a chance to see if that would actually happen.

      • Reply Rachael Aug 21,2015 17:22

        Yes, this. So few people at WorldCon still even realize they have a right to go to the WSFS meeting…

      • Reply Tim Illingworth Aug 21,2015 20:41

        There are some who would be at the BM if they could, but they’re stuck somewhere else, like my wife who is a dealer, and those working Registration and other essential convention functions.

  7. Reply Patrick Aug 21,2015 15:57

    Thank you for live blogging this!

  8. Reply Stacey Aug 21,2015 17:14

    Re: 1125: The point of EPH is to make sure Hugo voting behavior doesn’t have to be changed. “The true cause of the problem is that we as fans nominate a wide array of works. This is a feature, not a bug… but a slate that has good discipline can dominate the rest of us.” This is an interesting point.

    Personally, I think that the authors of EPH have a complete and utter failure to understand human nature. When rules change, people change their behavior. That’s just how it is.

  9. Reply Adam Israel Aug 21,2015 17:43

    re 1243, could someone point me to or explain the context of “or as an open source project”?

    • Reply Rachael Aug 21,2015 17:52

      Here’s the full text of the failed resolution. Strikethrough is everything that got deleted before the resolution failed. I’ve bolded the phrase in question:
      Resolved, that the WSFS Business Meeting recommends that software (including but not necessarily limited to, custom-written applications, spreadsheets, and databases, but not including the hardware, operating systems, or commercial applications upon which such software is dependent) used by a seated Worldcon committee to carry out any function mandated by this constitution (including, but not necessarily limited to, administration of the Hugo Awards and of Future Worldcon Selection), shall be made available to any member upon request or as an open-source project;

      That if a Committee makes such information available upon request, it must make readily available contact information for feedback including bug reports;

      That no Worldcon shall be obligated to use any patch or upgrade suggested during its seating period; and

      That such patches or upgrades be considered for inclusion if the software is to be reused by Worldcons seated after the submission is made.

    • Reply Rachael Aug 21,2015 17:53

      Apologies for multiple comment edits. Fun with html.

  10. Reply Jonathan Baker Aug 21,2015 20:49

    I wasn’t sure about the ratification amendment. Probably without the sense of crisis aroused by the slate voting, that Something Must Be Done, there would have been more sympathy for membership ratification.

  11. Reply JT Richardson (@jtingermany) Aug 22,2015 02:59

    Thanks again for doing this — excellent work! I’m also bummed that the remote voting wasn’t allowed.

  12. Pingback: WorldCon 2015 Highlights » Death Is Bad

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