Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Two (no, three) more essential points about the Hugos and the Sad Puppies

Continuing from Four essential points about the Hugos and the Sad Puppies:

5. For anyone who thinks the Sad Puppies are racist and sexist, EW made the same claim, then issued this:
CORRECTION: After misinterpreting reports in other news publications, EW published an unfair and inaccurate depiction of the Sad Puppies voting slate, which does, in fact, include many women and writers of color. As Sad Puppies’ Brad Torgerson explained to EW, the slate includes both women and non-caucasian writers, including Rajnar Vajra, Larry Correia, Annie Bellet, Kary English, Toni Weisskopf, Ann Sowards, Megan Gray, Sheila Gilbert, Jennifer Brozek, Cedar Sanderson, and Amanda Green.
One of the books on last year's Sad Puppy slate, Sarah Hoyt’s A Few Good Men, has a gay protagonist.

In response to the claims of racism, Brad Torgerson has posted a picture of his lovely family. And, yes, everyone expects the usual raging identitarians will mock him for it, because in their "all white people are racist" world, a target's black friends and lovers don't fit their narrative, so they're simply ignored. While it is true that some racists will have sex with people of other races, racists of all hues hate miscegenation.

6. The people who complained about a non-existent influx or "ballot stuffing" by GamerGaters may succeed in bringing about an influx for the final vote. On Gamergate forums at Reddit, people are noticing that they're being blamed for something they didn't do and, in the discussion, learning that for the price of a Worldcon supporting membership, they can get a whole lot of books.

What should be stressed here is that this mostly seems to appeal to Gaters who love f&sf. So if there is an increase from the GG crowd, it'll be an increase of actual fans. The rest of GG is far more likely to drop $50 on a game than the chance to vote for something they don't care about.

If you insist there was "ballot stuffing", consider this comment Judas Unchained made at the link above:
Let's look at the number of valid nominating ballots for the last 5 years.

2010 -> 864
2011 -> 1006
2012 -> 1101
2013 -> 1343
2014 -> 1923
2015 -> 2122

Between 2010 and 2011 there was a gain of 142 votes, between 2011 and 2012 95, between 2012 and 2013 242, between 2013 and 2014 580 (!) and between 2014 and 2015 199.

There were only 199 extra votes this year and this gain is perfectly comparable to past years. In fact, it is less than the last two! For this to be GamerGate's fault, we have to assume that the higher profile Sad Puppies campaign didn't pull in any extra people, there was no upswing in anti-Puppy votes to try and counter the puppies and general interest in the fandom didn't grow at all.
At the same link, I shared a Facebook comment by David Levine, who points out that there could be some Gamergate influence:
Chicon 7 total membership: 6197 [1]
LoneStarCon 3 total membership: 6060 [1]
Loncon 3 total membership: 10833 [1]
Sasquan total membership as of 2/28/15: 5147 [2]

Total potential nominators at LoneStarCon: 6197 + 6060 = 12257
Actual LoneStarCon nominating ballots: 1343 [3]
Ballots per eligible nominator: 0.1095

Total potential nominators at Loncon: 6060 + 10833 = 16893
Actual Loncon nominating ballots: 1923 [4]
Ballots per eligible nominator: 0.1138

Total potential nominators at Sasquan: 10833 + 5147 = 15980
Actual Sasquan nominating ballots: 2122 [5]
Ballots per eligible nominator: 0.1327

Sasquan received 1.16 times as many ballots per eligible nominator as either of the previous two conventions. I'm no statistician, but I think that might be statistically significant.

[1] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Worldcons
[2] http://sasquan.org/member-numbers/
[3] http://www.lonestarcon3.org/hugo-awards/statistics.pdf
[4] http://www.loncon3.org/.../2014%20Hugo%20awards%20full...
[5] http://sasquan.org/hugo-awards/nominations/
But the only thing the numbers clearly show is that the percentage of members who nominate has grown in a time of controversy. For people who care about democracy in general, growth is desirable—as I've said elsewhere, democracy means sometimes I lose, and I’d rather pay that price than accept any of the alternatives. I've seen at least one person propose raising the price of Hugo voting in order to ensure the proles don't affect the system again. As a democratic socialist, I'm doubly appalled by that notion.


7. The Sad Puppies and the Rabid Puppies offered different slates. They are broken down at Entering the Lists | File 770. Conflating them only confuses the issue—which may've been the intent of the people who created the Rabid Puppies slate, of course.

Related: On Star Trek and the dark history of "Social Justice"—a post for David Gerrold

About Morlocks, Eloi, and Social Justice Warriors; or John C. Wright doesn't understand H. G. Wells

ETA 2: A beginner's guide to "Social Justice Warriors" in the F&SF community

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