[WorldCon] WSFS Business Meeting 1 Liveblog 7

The agenda is available here.

Alex: Sorry that I didn’t get a summary of the preliminary done for y’all yesterday. My schedule was kind of a garbage fire–thankfully today is a bit calmer. I’m hoping to catch up on things this evening and get you TWO whole summaries. Also, I appreciate your patience on spelling corrections, etc. Liveblog will commence shortly under normal rules, courtesy of my super awesome housemate Corina, long may she reign.


0959: GOOD MORNING BUSINESS MEETING FANS! I have been told I should direct you all to my Twitter, which is @Zeteram. Mostly I post pictures of my cats.

1007: Business meeting commences a little late as the head table was having a discussion about something. A new Resolution is added to the meeting called B4: Credit to Translators of Written Fiction, to say that when a work in translation for Novel/Novella/Novelette, and Short Story wins a Hugo, that a Hugo is also awarded to the credited translator.

1009: Kent Bloom has a response from Helsinki regarding surplus funds.  There are funds, and they will consider the applications but have not currently made any grants.  He cannot find anyone representing MidAmericon II for the same question.

1012: Commentary on item C3 (A Response to the Proposal to Eliminate the Membership Deadline for Hugo Award Nominating Rights) is distributed. Ballots for MPC membership voting are distributed.

1017: Voting for MPC completes. Tellers will count the ballots.

1020: The meeting moves to Business Passed On. Debate for item C1, Adding Series to the Series, commences. Jo Van Eckeren states it is a tidying-up measure. No speeches against. Motion passes unanimously.

1026: Item C2: Comic Books and Graphic Stories. Kate Secor explains that the Graphic Story category should include “or Comic” as a clarification for comics fans. Rene Walling crunched the numbers and explains that 54% of the winners and 63% of the finalists have been comics.  Also, manga fans may feel excluded as may other fans of similar media. It should not be our responsibility to list everything. Joshua Kronengold speech for, explaining that “Graphic Novel” has been used by people who dislike comics and it is a sign that we don’t dislike comics if we use the term “comics”. Perianne Lurie for, the title makes no difference compared to the substance so if the title is offensive we should fix that. Chris Barkley for, explains there was initally a debate to add Comics in the first place and that it was always his intent to do so eventually. Motion passes.

1035: Item C3, Notability Still Matters. Dave McCarty speech for, explains it would lower the burden on administrative staff as many administrators publish a long “long list” anyway. B y getting rid of the “must”, it leaves this open. Cliff Dunn moves to amend the motion by adding “Notwithstanding the 4% rule, any round that affects the elimination of a candidate that either appears on or changes the final ballot shall be included in the results”.  Chairperson refers the question of whether this is a lesser change or greater change to the body of the meeting. Motion to refer the amendment (and thereby the entire motion) to committee to report back tomorrow. There is some confusion as to whether this is permissible and whether it is a lesser or greater change.  Chairperson declares a pause to consult with the head table.

1043: Confusion about parlimentary procedure abounds.

1047: Motion is referred to committee after reading aloud from Robert’s Rules of Order. Cliff Dunn and Dave McCarty will be on the committee along with anyone else they choose.

1048: MPC election results reported. Kevin Standlee, Ben Yalow, and Jo Van Eckeren are elected to the MPC for the current year. Recess to reconvene at 1100.

1100: Meeting reconvenes. Now with more coffee! Or tea, as the case may be.

1108: The committee that was told to report back tomorrow is now finished and reports back. Dave Wallace points out if the committee reports back tomorrow we will reset the time limits, but if they report today we have no time left. Chair says we can extend the time today if necessary. Vote to allow the committee to report today (passed). Cliff Dunn reports. The intent was to avoid a situation where something had not made 4% but had made the final ballot, but due to the way EPH works this would have effectively done nothing. Amendment withdrawn.

1112: Debate time on C3 reset to six minutes. Speech against, Dave Wallace. Summarizes the handout as he was a co-author, largely that the Short Story category is disproportionally affected and that it would have left off many excellent stories by well-known names in the field. As this helps Hugo voters to discover new works, the harm of leaving this information off outweighs the benefits of the proposed amendment.

1118: Ben Yalow in favor, less than 4% nominations are noise not signal. Kate Secor against, statistically they may not be significant but emotionally they are.  The field is full of great material and any attention paid to outstanding works is helping promote them, and this is a good thing. Rene Walling in favor, “may” be withheld is not binding and he trusts the Hugo administrators on this. Dave McCarty in favor, as an administrator it is unlikely this would ever be used on a “live” Hugo and would benefit administering single-digit nominations, mostly for Retros, because we use the same rules for both. Leave the judgment to the administrators, who care deeply abvout the awards. Lisa Padel speech for, recognize that administrators are human and this places a tremendous burden on them. Vote to adopt C3. CLOSE CALL…HOLD ON TO YOUR BUTTS!

1121: Serpentine results show 41 for, 44 against. C3 fails.

1124: Moving on to new constitutional amendments. If these pass, they will be passed on to next year’s Business Meeting to be ratified. Item D1, Clarification of Worldcon Powers. Kevin Standlee explains the reasoning for the amendment – the Worldcon for each year has the authority over Hugos for that year, and a future Worldcon cannot affect the Hugos for any other year, to make it mechanically impossible for a future Worldcon to “take away” Hugos from a previous year. Motion passes unanimously.

1130: D2, Disposition of the NASFiC Ballot. Would resolve Site Selection if it crashes at a NASFiC, which has never happened, but this would allow for a safety net and call a Business Meeting at a NASFiC solely to deal with site selection. Couple questions clarifying this take up the time allotted for debate in favor. Kent Bloom speech against as he believes it is unnecessary as the NASFiC rules currently stand, and that it would only encourage recreational parlimentarianism. Motion passes.

1133: D3, A Problem of Numbers. Technicalities to clarify that you can vote in the Final Hugo Awards and the Site Selection even if you do not know your membership number or it has not yet been assigned, as the staff may supply it for you. Joni Daschoff relates a personal experience when it was difficult to find that number, so she supports the amendment. Motion passes unanimously.

1135: Item D4, The Needs of the One. Clarifies that an item can be moved around on an individual ballot, while the other clauses in the line item applies to categories as a whole. Motion passes unanimously.

1142: Item D5, The Forward Pass. Clarifies that the pass-along of member information to future Worldcons must be done in compliance with all appropriate laws such as GDPR. Perianne Lurie believes it is unnecessary because site selection is purchasing a membership, and if you did not want this information transferred you do not want your membership and should not vote in site selection. Kate Secor argues it is not our job to keep people from being stupid, and as we are written we are not in compliance with the law, so it is important to explicitly state this. Move to divide the question – it should be part of the ballot process, so 2.7 amendment and 4.1.3 amendment should be voted on separately. Are we really going to call a division on dividing the question.  Are we really.

1144: A division on dividing the question is not called. The question is not divided. The Chair cracks down on people rising for non-privileged questions.

1155: Rene Walling moves to change the wording of “addresses” to “contact information” as we live in a rapidly-changing informational technology society. New wording approved. Dave Wallace would like to further amend 4.1.3 to give permission to reject payment of those who do not choose to pass along their information. Several people rise to speak against this amendment – we should allow people to give a donation to the winning Worldcon, as it were. This amendment fails. Kate Secor wishes to amend the 4.1.3 to say “to those who have not opted out” rather than “to those who have given permission for”. (As the liveblogger understands it, that would violate GDPR, but the liveblogger is by no means an expert in privacy laws.)

1200: Todd Daschoff notes that 4.1.3 does not have the language about local law so we may be requiring something illegal and should not do this. Donald Eastlake says we should put in “as the agent of the winning committee” and suggests moving the pending amendment and motion to a committee to report next year. Item is referred to the Nitpicking and Flyspecking Committee. Ten minute break.

1212: Meeting called back to order with item D6, That Ticket Has Been Punched.

1222: Jo Van for, explains the intent of the motion. Kate Secor against as it introduces an inconsistency, as the same rules do not apply to Novel.  Understands the intent, but the result is troubling. Terry Neill speech for, it is not inconsistent with Novel as if a novel was a finalist when originally published it is not eligible again with a second international publication. Movement to add the words “in English” (did not catch name of mover) to the amendment. Jo Van against amendment as it is not fair to recognize a series twice on the merits of a single work even if the work is not in English. PRK for amendment as a single work in translation can substantially change the series (although methinks this is missing the point of the original motion). Dave Wallace thinks amendment is unnecessary. Joshua Kronengold likes intent of amendment but dislikes the effects. Ben Yalow points out we have a lot of inconsistencies and special cases, no reason to argue against this just for that reason. Vote on the “in English” amendment. Results unclear, so. SERPENTINE!

1226: Movement to add “in English” to the amendment has 39 for, 29 against. Vote on the amended motion passes.

1229: D7, Five and Five will take significant time to discuss and debate, so there is a motion to adjourn for the day. Motion fails. Todd Daschoff suggests we take up D8 instead, which passes.

1240: Nicholas Whyte speaks to D8, No Deadline for Nomainations Eligibility. It was originally proposed to facilitate three-stage voting, which did not pass at that time.  Being as this was unnnecessary, as a two-time Hugo administrator he now understands Dec 31 is a bad deadline as it is holiday, etc. It is easier to allow any members to nominate until nominations close. He understands there are problems with this, but we shouldn’t be scared of the bad guys and should try to run the best awards we can. Terry Neill is against as she has been the Hugo Helpdesk person for several Worldcons. We are still facing slating. Ira Alexandra is for the amendment as there are economic reasons people may hold off on buying memberships until after January 1. Jo Van against as it helps keep entryism down; the Christmas issue is a non-issue if they vote in site selection. Cathy McMahaffee speech for as she buys membership in Jan as she has no money in the summer, and does not participate in site selection. It is the will of the community, so we should encourage people to nominate rather than discourage them. Martin Pyne moves to add a sunset clause for 2024. We will adjourn for today and take this up tomorrow with proper wording of the sunset clause.

1242: Meeting adjourned. Important note: we will be moving to address D13, the video game amendment, immediately after Site Selection and D8 tomorrow, as the maker of D13 cannot be here on Monday.

7 thoughts on “[WorldCon] WSFS Business Meeting 1 Liveblog

  1. Pingback: Dublin 2019 WSFS Business Meeting Day 2 | File 770

  2. Reply Laura Aug 17,2019 05:47

    Thanks for live blogging!

  3. Reply Kendall Aug 17,2019 05:50

    Thanks for doing this!

  4. Reply Peter Wilkinson Aug 17,2019 15:11

    As I’m not in Dublin, it’s good to have a blow-by-blow account of the Business Meetings. Thanks!

    Also, a couple of comments that I might have tried to make if I were there – just in case someone reads this far into the comments and wants to take them up.

    Firstly, on D8 (No Deadline for Nominations Eligibility): December 31st certainly feels too early but effectively allowing anyone who joins any time up to when nominations close feels far too late – if there are any last-minute shenanigans, it leaves the adminstrators trying to deal with them in one of their busiest periods. Four weeks (or 28 days or 40,320 minutes, if one wants greater precision) seems about right to me, though any time after nominations open and at least a week or so before they close seems OK to me.

    Secondly, on C3 (Notability Still Matters): it’s a little late to be saying this as the vote has already been taken, but I can sympathise with the arguments both ways on this. Even if 1,000 members nominate, the fact that 25 of them have effectively declared that a possibly obscure work was one of the year’s best can be useful information for readers (and encouraging for the author). On the other hand, looking at some of this year’s Retro-Hugo nomination figures, the fact that I can tell not only that two 1943 fanzines were nominated by exactly one person each but also that the unique nominators were two different people, that each of them made exactly two other nominations, and what fanzines those nominations were for – is really too much information, and might even raise some (fairly weak) privacy considerations. Rather than going for 4% on this one, I’d have wanted something more like 4% or 10 ballots, whichever was the lower – it reduces the chances of releasing embarrassingly detailed information about individual or very small groups of ballots, while (to use Ben Yalow’s simile) still allowing people to look for weak signals in rather more general background noise.

    • Reply Martin Pyne Sep 13,2019 23:01

      I tried to amend the proposal in San Jose to be “less than 10”, but said amendment failed by a lot. Didn’t really see the point in trying again.

      I also tend to think that we shouldn’t be letting the Retro Hugos drive policy (although for what it’s worth I would have also supported a Notability Still Matters limited specifically to the Retros — the long tail on those is honestly pretty ridiculous).

  5. Pingback: [WorldCon] WSFS Business Meeting 2 Liveblog ← Alex Acks: Sound and Nerdery

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