On Teacher’s Kids, and Hugos

Now, I was a teacher’s kid – a child at the same school my mother taught at. Teachers’ kids tend to meet other teachers’ kids. I’ve never heard any one of them have this experienced any differently, so I would guess it is pretty universal: besides, it makes sense. Authority is assumed to bias in favor of its own (whether children, or friends, or merely those like themselves). It is a perception which needs no proof – but needs a lot constant visible evidence to counter. If you’re a sensible teacher who loves their child, you make sure there are no signs of favoritism, and in fact are harsher and less trusting with them, than other kids. If you’re the kid… no matter how much you love your mother or father the teacher, you do not ever show this affection or close bond at school. In fact, if you’re smart, you’re a somewhat naughty brat, and get in trouble with the authorities (the teachers) – worse trouble than the other kids doing the same thing.

Because it is about perceptions, and credibility.

The same is true of competitions or governments. Your friend or cousin Freddie might have the best picture in the show, or might really be the best man for the lucrative government job… but if you want to have any credibility, any trust, any value… you can show no favoritism as the authority. You have to actively display bias against Freddy.

If your foes start saying you’re being a bit harsh on Freddy, you’re doing it right.

They trust you, you have credibility. Your prize (be it the Hugo or the Toronga Junior Prep art prize) is worth having. Your government is an asset, not a predatory liability.

That trust is a hard won.

And very easily lost.

Regaining it is twice as hard, if not impossible.

Now after the Hugos last year, a cabal centered on the site ‘Making Light’ asked for the Hugo Nomination data.

Making Light is essentially the mouthpiece of Tor Editor Patrick Nielsen Hayden and his wife Theresa. Tor as a company are financially affected by the outcome of various awards, they appear to be rapidly moving toward being the leading literary sf/fantasy publisher. Literary sf is really the only part of the genre positively affected in any major way by awards.  Many of participants in the site are at least in some way beneficiaries of grace-and-favor from Tor. Making Light was the site on which PNH revealed knowing the outcome of the Hugo Novel category nominations while the result were embargoed, making either the Hugo administrators to be dishonest and unethical (having informed someone with no right to know and a financial interest), or himself part of some form of corruption. It is thus established it is not a disinterested group, or one with a good reputation for ethical behavior. Among them are the prime suspects in the orchestrated media smear against the Sad Puppies last year in which they got libeled as racists, sexists and homophobes. This was retracted (as it was a provably false libel) but mysteriously popped up in other publications. Where possible we tracked back the linkages, and yes, it’s a very interconnected group, and those having both the motive and the opportunity for this are rare.  They’re also plainly the teacher’s kids. We have public statements on file from Kevin Standlee, saying what a friend PNH was and asset Tor was.

The people from Making Light wanted the data to test a new voting scheme going by the acronym EPH.

Everyone else out there thought releasing the anonymized data would be a great idea. On the puppy side of the table, we wanted to see if there was evidence that cabals (such as the group centered on ‘Making Light’) were conspiring to do in secret what the puppies had done in public (which it seems is supported by the evidence laid out in here). Now, there is nothing illegal about voting in concert or as a block. To do so in secret – and then to be outraged because others do so in public is, to put it mildly, hypocritical, especially if you have financial interest in the outcome.

The Hugo administrators for Sasquan refused. They cited the fact that it was impossible to sufficiently anonymize the data to avoid breach of privacy rules.

Which was irritating, but their decision to take. I took it as the teacher protecting their kids’ secret little slate. This is always the problem that authorities face with people they are known to favor. They bring their actions under suspicion of bias very easily.

Fast forward to this year. To File 770. Where Jameson Quinn – one of the Making Light cabal plotting to institute EPH announces that he and Bruce Schneier have been given the anonymized data, and tested it. Incidentally (because he’s not too bright, it seems) he announces that there is a weak correlation between the non-puppy nominations and what was nominated, but that this was much stronger in the puppies and what they nominated. Now, it doesn’t take a genius to work out that, without knowing the ‘secret slates’ Quinn and Schneier could not separate voters for those cabals from other voters. So: if a ‘weak’ correlation shows up with ALL of the data, there is a high probability that indeed, there was secret concert voting by some. After all, the pattern of ‘you nominate mine, I’ll nominate yours’ is well known and documented from the Nebula Awards, before they anonymized that nomination process. It may well still go on, but it is harder to see. Many of the same authors come up in Hugo nominations, which should be unlikely. The one is supposed to be a peer award, the other a fan award.

Which leads us to: how did Quinn and Schneier get data which was not available to everyone because giving it to anyone breached voter confidentiality and privacy rules? I don’t know either from Adam  — but Quinn & Schneier came from a group which has a questionable reputation, has a financial interest in the outcome of the Hugos. Unless they are babes-in-wood those who provided the data to Quinn and Schneier knew that they were not people who could be considered neutral by a substantial number of the people whose data they were handing over. The two ‘researchers’ also knew full well they were not considered neutral or trusted: Quinn posts on File 770, another well-known anti-puppy site.

As previously announced, it was determined that the data was unable to be sufficiently anonymized for a general release, so the researchers were provided data under a non-disclosure agreement.”

I see. A non-disclosure agreement… with a pair of ‘researchers’ from a partisan group with a questionable reputation and a financial interest. In secret.

My, that looks REALLY ethical. And no one spoke up. Not one of the Hugo Admins involved went public. Even those who objected… thought if they kept quiet, they’d get away with it. I see. Rather like: “I complained to him when he was molesting the little girl, I tried to get him to stop, but he did it anyway, and I didn’t go to the cops, because he was one of us.” My word! We can TRUST you after that. You would never permit anyone to diddle the system for their favorites.

And Jameson Quinn promptly breached their non-disclosure agreement. Well, what did you expect? Rules are for little people. They’re hoping for publication in a journal. I suggest they target the Huffington Post. Or Mother Jones, and even those might balk at this. Having breached a NDA makes it unpublishable. So does having data which cannot be independently assessed and verified. The ethical standards required by almost every reputable Institution make the use of confidential data without consent… pretty much a fire-able offence, let alone being able to use it in a publication. “Do you want fries with that?” is a phrase I would start practicing, were I a ‘researcher’ of this caliber. Or go into Social ‘science’.

I liked this this comment by Brian Z – which summed up effectively my feelings on the matter.

“I find it alarming that multiple administrators have chosen to secretly hand nomination data to persons associated with one of several rival factions within the membership.

The polite fiction that this data was provided for research purposes has already been exploded by Mr. Quinn, who is attempting to achieve his personal and political goals by selectively releasing information in order to convince 2016 voters to radically alter their voting strategies during the 2016 nomination phase, as he described in the original post.

We may assume that Mr. Schneier has more integrity than Mr. Quinn, who wants to “stop the puppies” by hook or by crook, but he has also violated your NDA. He has revealed additionally that he was given access to confidential nomination data from prior years. As a Loncon 3 member, I would also like to know whether 2014 data provided was raw, or “badly anonymized.” What additional years were provided? Was there any NDA signed with the other administrators to cover data from other years? Do the terms of the NDA really allow Mr. Quinn and Mr. Schneier to continue using the data for their desired political or research agendas after violating it? Halting the research immediately certainly seems like it would be the ethical thing to do.

And if other WSFS members are not allowed to review the same data on the same terms, well ahead of the close of nominations, the Hugo Awards may have lost all integrity for good.”

Well said, Sir.

That’s pretty much what I would have said, except that I would have also called for those who were involved to be named and shamed, and made an example of to try and fix it.  Look: the harsh treatment that a teacher would meet out to their son or daughter, is the only way they can hope regain credibility for Hugo Award process. I hope – for the sake of prior winners, they have the courage and integrity to do what needs to be done.

I am still shocked that the Hugo Administrators thought that bias like this for their ‘favorites’ was acceptable.

Maybe they hoped no-one would notice – which makes them even less fit.

Well, we have.

And like Patrick Nielsen Hayden’s advance knowledge of the nominations, we’re going to bring this unethical behavior from Hugo Administrators up at every opportunity. If they allowed unethical behavior once to help out their favorites, without punishment or consequence… what’s next in cooking the process?

How can we trust them?

What’s any award worth, without that trust?

For years the Hugo Awards participation has been dropping, and its value declining. That is sad for the great authors who lifted the award’s prestige and made it something important.  For their sake I hope some dramatic remedial action is taken.

389 thoughts on “On Teacher’s Kids, and Hugos

  1. I am thinking about voting for the Top Puppy pick in each category and then voting No Award

    1. That’s an option that definitely looks good, and getting better every damn day.

      Play with the bull, get the horns.

      Of course if Noah wins big again this year, the retards will claim victory again. They’re retards, they can’t seem to help themselves.

  2. They played the fair card while the nominations/voting was ongoing but once they had that, and as much money as they could milk, wow Sasquan’s organizers turned vicious. After all, all they really wanted was the cash, they knew the system was going to be gamed in their favor.

    1. Agreed. I can afford a WorldCon membership this year. The question is, given who will be having use of the money, -should- I?

      I paid Sasquan, and look at the shenanigans. Therefore I may very well exercise my existing right of nomination and leave it at that.

      After all, it doesn’t matter who does the voting if I do the nominating. ~:D

      Incidentally Shadow, have you fixed the comments on your blog? I wanted to ask you if you’d like to be a test reader for me.

    2. This. You’d think having gained a hell of a lot of money even the most braindead con-runner would figure that politeness, and you know maybe even encouragement – (let’s say Toni Weisskopf had been allowed to win – she WAS the popular choice) would translate into more income in future, bigger better easier-to-afford cons. But I have yet to see even the smallest sign of it. So maybe we should all just with-hold our money.

            1. Hopefully to a different venue right next-door, and for a very narrow time-window, so that Worldcon organisers can see how many fans they stand to lose if they keep shenaniganising.

              I don’t know what your sales figures are like but if you can peel off a big enough chunk of Worldcon attendees so that the convention feels half-empty for an hour or so, it might send a pretty powerful message.

                1. Everyone can vie to win the glamorous Golden Kennel Award for Best Novel, the Copper Chew-Toy for Best Short Fiction, the Brass Tennis Ball for Best New Author, and the beloved Platinum Manatee — the Wendell — for Lifetime Achievement….

            2. We know a good restaurant in the area that we could arrange to meet at, if people are interested. Far enough from downtown to avoid most convention bleedover (I think), near enough that people could get to fairly easy. You might want to car pool.
              TXRed met us there, what, is it two years ago already?

              1. I am up for it meeting like minded people engaging in conversations about things in common was why I wanted to go and since I have already paid for the Con and my Motel room and I have bunches of FF miles and I have already arranged to take the time off from work I am pretty much committed but if there were some place to spend a day with people like I see here and on a few other sites It would be great

        1. Dang, Sarah, Em and I thought you were — for the business meeting if nothing else. Now we may have to recast our plans; we were going to support Sad Puppies instead of trying to make LibertyCon.

          1. I’d much rather go to Libertycon. This time without breaking my shoulders! The drive from TX to TN should be pleasant.

              1. You’re welcome to visit Nemo. I don’t think he’s allowed in the con hotels or con ctr. We’ll be at the Residence Inn.

          2. We were considering it, Steve, it’s only in the last few months I’ve decided it’s not worth it. But Kate will be there, and she needs moral support.
            I’ll confess part of my decision is that I’m not sure I can drag my men there. Our vacation time is limited this year for various reasons (including one move and another looming, and a trip we HAVE to take to Portugal) and spending two or three days to be sneered at is not something the guys are happy with.

      1. This is actually something that my family said. You don’t throw hard earned money at something you don’t enjoy,and I’m not into being treated like I’m less than human.

        I’m Asian. And one of the Asian cultural traits that’s deeply ingrained is the concept of ‘face’ – that bad behavior can cost you face. In this case, the Sasquan comittee and the Hugos lost a LOT of face – especially in refusing to let things happen with grace. And then on top of that, they’re losing a shitload of trust.

        So this year, my money went to a Star Trek artist’s proof print that has both the artist’s signature AND Shatner’s. I might be bloody installment paying for that thing, but it’s 2 grand of my money those assholes don’t get.

        1. This. Worldcon has been gradually shrinking, becoming more of an aging clique of the same people, who go every year… to see just a few less of the same people. But, Shadow, I don’t think THEY see that as a problem. They’d rather be the queenbee of a small, shrinking. dying hive, than just worker bees in a huge, healthy and growing one. They’re not long-term thinkers. But the money might hurt.

  3. since it has been stated (by the puppy kickers side), that winning a Hugo raises the sales of the winning book. (personally I think that time is past). And person or persons are violating the written rules of the Hugos. does this not constitute fraud? And since this is happening not only across state lines, but across international borders, does this not constitute Federal crime?
    this is a real question … I am asking for opinions, not legal advice.
    also, last year at the Hugos, the asterist (spelling) that was used. it reminded me of the COPYRIGHTED symbol used by Walmark. does anyone know if the were informed?

    1. The usual spelling is “asterisk”, though in the context of the Hugos the ‘s’ is doubled. (The word is sometimes pronounced “asterix” and sometimes even misspelled that way.)

      The asterisk is a fairly generic symbol. Walmart’s use would fall under trademark not copyright, and would be limited in scope; they would have exactly no case against the Hugos ever were they so inclined.

      As for fraud, the best (but still poor) case I could make would be for false advertising; even there, case law recognizes “mere puffery” as distinct from actionable false claims.

      1. The word is sometimes pronounced “asterix” and sometimes even misspelled that way.

        There is also a French comic called Asterix where the character names are all puns, usually on words ending in -isk or -ic. The titular character is Asterix, his best friend is Obelix, their dog is named Dogmatix (Idéfix in French, but “idée fixe”, a fixed idea or obsession, doesn’t translate into a good English pun so the English translation changed the name), and so on. I read those at an early age (in French since I grew up in France), and the names actually taught me quite a lot of advanced French vocabulary.

    2. No, no, no. Sales of books marked “Hugo nominee” prop up the Hugo award and sell Worldcon memberships.

      Seriously, I wonder if that is far more the case than any increase in sales by having “Hugo nom/win” on the cover.

      Also, symbols are trademarked, not copyrighted. Trademark filings must specify everything they’re used for, and anyone can use the same symbol (and name) for something NOT covered in the trademark declaration. Hence Ford Cars and Trucks does not conflict with Ford Eyeglasses.

      1. Still he is risking a hard earned reputation getting involved with this. I know his is uselessly liberal, but I have followed his crypto and data security stuff for years. I’m surprised he is allowing this to be done to him.

        1. Perhaps he is more unethical, and less to be trusted on security matters, than you had thought.

            1. But then again, that’s always true of anyone who works on security – especially if they seem to be on your site.

        2. Maybe “uselessly liberal” (as in totalitarian progressive) is all you really need to know. The in-group is everything, and the end always justifies the means.

          1. Does he consider advancing his sf career worth imperiling his day job –by besmirching his reputation for honesty and impartiality?

    1. Not very surprising. If he is surrounded by Puppy Kickers, he’ll think that’s the right thing to do. Being good at one area doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll do well in others.

      1. This, Ori. And he may have believed that was the world and the norm. But really an intelligent man should run a few background checks, and see what is happening in the wider world.

  4. IANAL, but I know there are several that post here. Do the Hugo voters have grounds for a class-action lawsuit? or grounds for filing a complaint with the FBI charging Sasquan Admins and these two “people” individually and as a RICO conspiracy to violate the Privacy Act?

    1. PS: having had multiple training courses on what is required to handle Personally Identifiable Information, and knowing they didn’t get my or my wife’s permission before handing it over, I’m about 80% sure I CAN file such a complaint.

      1. If they made even a cursory attempt to anonymize the data there shouldn’t be any PII information. The database should just have the randomized value ballot identifier for each category, category number, rank, and nominee in each row, like so:

        qxgd3434,1,1,”Skin Game”
        qxgd3434,1,2,”Trial by Fire”

        This is what the business meeting voted was sufficiently anonymized. The excuse given by the Hugo Admins for not releasing the data as requested is that this isn’t anonymous enough.

        1. The committee is correct to be paranoid about this. Remember the big AOL data breach of about 15 years ago? This was far more anonymized; it was nothing but lists of IP addresses visited by each client, with no names or “personal info” whatever. The only clue was the grouping of the IP addresses. Nonetheless, a significant number of users were promptly ID’d (some rather embarrassingly) by one of the hacking groups. All it takes is two data points that can be matched elsewhere, and boom, identify established.

          If the “anonymized” data were to be released, remember that “our” side wouldn’t be the only ones able to work out connections like that. Given the current climate, I’d rather the committee erred on the side of paranoia.

          1. “This was far more anonymized; it was nothing but lists of IP addresses visited by each client, with no names or “personal info” whatever.”

            Your memory appears to be quite wrong about the issue. It was 3 months of what the user had searched for through AOL, not IP addresses they had visited.

            “No. 4417749 conducted hundreds of searches over a three-month period on topics ranging from “numb fingers” to “60 single men” to “dog that urinates on everything.”

            And search by search, click by click, the identity of AOL user No. 4417749 became easier to discern. There are queries for “landscapers in Lilburn, Ga,” several people with the last name Arnold and “homes sold in shadow lake subdivision gwinnett county georgia.”

            This is >multiple< orders of magnitude more information assigned to a user ID than their 5 picks for best novella of the year. Not even close to comparable.

            1. Maybe this was a different incident. I saw some of the data from the breach I remember, and it was basically a list of visited IP addresses.

    2. Sorry to jump in here late, but, IIRC, the Privacy Act only applies to the Federal government (there may be similar state statutes which apply to those gov’ts). It does not apply to private entities. You’d have to find something else to hang a RICO charge.

  5. Just another nail in the coffin lid of credibility for the APs and Worldcon itself. This may be the last year I have any thoughts on the Hugos, as I just do not care to be around people who do not have integrity.

  6. During the discussion at File 770, some other details emerged.

    First, there are no restrictions in the WSFS Constitution regarding what Hugo administrators are allowed to do with the ballot data, or who they are allowed to give it to.

    There is, however, a strong six-decade tradition of Hugo ballot secrecy. Which has now been thrown out the window, setting the precedent (in my opinion) that all bets are off, and future administrators will be free to give data to anybody they like. One way to counter that might be to introduce an amendment requiring that the ballots be kept secret, and be destroyed after the final results are announced.

    Meanwhile, this year, the Sasquan Hugo administrators have handed the data over to the MAC II Hugo administrators, who shared it (along with some previous years’ data, apparently) with Mr. Quinn and Mr. Schneier. Mr. Schneier is an old Worldcon regular. Mr. Quinn is a grad student who just got involved in Worldcon last year through the Making Light EPH design, if I’m not mistaken. According to MAC II’s Hugo administrator, it was agreed that that no analysis should be released until it was “substantially agreed” by both parties (the researchers and MAC II) and a submission was prepared for the MAC II Business Meeting. I think that’s all we know so far.

    1. “First, there are no restrictions in the WSFS Constitution regarding what Hugo administrators are allowed to do with the ballot data, or who they are allowed to give it to.”

      Other than state and Federal law. Which is what someone might want to establish.

      1. If one wanted to make mischief, one should research European Data Protection regulations. European voters could use that as a lever against Sasquan, and all voters could have a complaint if LonCon if were released. After all, the Hugo administrations determined it could not be sufficiently anonomized, and released it anyway.

      2. I don’t know.

        Since the MAC II Hugo subcommittee is created to handle matters concerning MAC II, and is a completely separate entity from WSFS and the Worldcons past, I’m not sure why handing out Sasquan data or insisting on having final say in what analysis of it is sent to the MAC II Business Meeting are related to their official job, which is simply to administer the 2016 Hugo Awards.

          1. Yes, It does cast MACII in a very bad light. I suspect — although it is ‘quite local’ for many of my fans, Sarah’s fans, Brad’s fans and Larry’s fans… that the will not have any interest in attending.

            1. I’ve decided to skip Worldcons completely. They are overpriced and not as much fun as Libertycon or any other good con. This June I’m going on a road trip . Soonercon end of June in Oklahoma then 2 weeks laker Libertycon at Chattanooga taking advantage of the lower gasoline prices.

    2. Firstoff — Brian Z, I gotta say I’ve been continually amazed by your patience with the F770 hangers-on. Some of ’em apparently exist solely for the purpose of hurling clever insults.

      I knew Bruce Schneier from APA-L many years ago, and have followed his entire career as a security professional. If there is one person I’d trust completely here, it’s Bruce. He’s the reason I am not profoundly disturbed by EPH. He will not screw anyone over, nor allow himself to be knowingly used to do so. I have never seen him play factions, and he’s always called a spade a spade.

        1. Well, =they= think they’re clever… tho mostly it’s just virtue signalling: “We know who to hate, therefore we’re one of the Right People.”

      1. Mike and File 770 and some of the longtime commenters there are our living heritage and connection to fandom’s traditions. I didn’t see why I should cede that territory to the Making Light Brigade and Occupy 770 just because I got called a few names. Thanks.

        As for Bruce Schneier, as far as I know he is interested mostly in the academic issue of the design of the “SDV-LPE” system. AFAIK his last public position was on April 7 2015 on his Making Light thread, when he said it was best to do nothing, and the second best option was to change the electorate not the voting rules (whatever he meant by that), but he was interested in discussing what to do with the voting system if those two options were rejected.

        1. Well, I’m not too hot on many of fandom’s traditions. The idea of wrongfans having wrongfun is a grand old tradition in SF and Fantasy. Star Trek fans weren’t real SF fans. Star Wars fans weren’t real SF fans. D&D players aren’t real Fantasy fans. You aren’t a real SF fan if you haven’t slogged your way through all the Foundation series… etc etc etc.

          1. Draven stop whatever you are doing right now and go read the rest of the Foundation series. :p You must read them in the order they were published not the order in which they appear in print. :p

          2. What’s wrong with pedophiliac commies as a core tradition of fandom? I think I’m going to stick with my definition of the Hugo’s as the DPR’s… Devalued Plastic Rockets, the prize awarded by a shrinking convention to a publisher dominating shrinking bookstore shelf space.

            1. I phrased things, specifically, the way I did because my mother was a Star Trek fan while i was a Star wars (and Trek) fan, and that was exactly the attitude we got.

        2. Who knows, you might convince some folks to actually investigate beyond the Hate Brigade. I myself wound up over here because someone (mighta been Brad) came into one of these hostile discussions and tried to be a voice of reason against all odds.

          I’ll trust Bruce Schneier based on his professional history until proven otherwise. He’s generally pretty literal and not given to loaded remarks.

          By coincidence, what was the next thing in my emailbox after notice that this mess was re-erupting? Schneier’s newsletter.


        3. “the second best option was to change the electorate not the voting rules (whatever he meant by that)”

          He probably meant that at face value. Anybody can sign up for a vote if they pay their money, if you dont like the way the votes are coming out then do a voter drive.

          It’s a simpler and more predictable approach.

          Changing voting rules (or any policy really) in ways that don’t have unforeseen consequences is at best, very difficult. Bruce knows this. The EPH promoting fools will learn this quite quickly I suspect, assuming worldcon doesn’t simply implode from lack of interest.

        4. I suspect “change the electorate” would translate loosely into “Hey, guys, get out the vote! That’s what the Sad Puppy people are doing, after all!”

          The really sad thing is that EPB is going to change nothing, if the real issue is that Sad Puppies are telling everyone they can that “you, too, can become a member of WorldCon, and you, too, can vote!”. If Sad Puppies really are taking advantage of the current voting rules, they’ll just figure out how to manipulate the new rules (because *every* system of voting is subject to manipulation!); if Sad Puppies is really just a “get out the vote” scheme, and they tend to get the message to like-minded people, then changing the voting rules will do nothing to prevent Sad Puppies to dominate, if the Old Guard do nothing to get their people to vote as well (assuming that there’s enough Old Guard to counter the Sad Puppies, of course…)

          1. Here is what he said in the original post that kicked off what became EPH:

            “If we choose to ignore [the choice of not doing anything], the second-best choice is to modify the electorate. The problem isn’t the rules of the vote; the problem is that a voting bloc was able to recruit voters from outside the usual community. Trying to fix that problem by changing the voting rules is very difficult, and will have all sorts of unintended consequences.”


            1. Doesn’t he realize how Stalinist “changing the electorate sounds”? These people have no sense of history or feel that it doesn’t apply to them. There’s a new Superman comic coming out called ‘Rise of the Master Race’. I am afraid of what these people will do.

              1. Dimitri was walking towards the voting box when he started to open his ballot. Dimitri! The Political Commisar shouted WHAT are you doing? Excuse me Comrade Commisar I just wanted to see who I was voting for, Dimitri you Fool growled don’t you know this is SECRET Ballot! I figured “Change the Electorate” meant make sure only the right type of voters who would cast the right types of votes got to

      2. Reziac – he may himself be straight, but he has made some serious errors of judgement here. Firstly it is plain he has fallen in with an extremely partisan group. He has made no effort to distance himself, but instead set up office in their midst. Secondly blind Freddy can see there is an obvious conflict of interest. Thirdly if you’re refused data because it cannot be anonymized enough for public release… the one damn stupid thing you don’t do is accept it in secret. That’s almost like hanging a ‘kick me’ sign on the back of your trousers. Fifthly you don’t work with some young jerk who goes and boasts about the result on Puppy Kicker site.

        EPH per se is not a major problem. HOWEVER It’s a LOT easier to game, which is what the Tor Cabal want, I think. It gives them a guaranteed place in final nominations always, which they can again game.

  7. Well said, Dave. It’s a sad thing indeed to have lost that trust. More than that, to have thrown it away like it didn’t matter at all, when in reality, that’s what matters most of all.

    We’re science fiction fans, the most of us (waves to the fantasy fans!). We’re all aware of the method that underpins that fiction we love to read. Another facet of this is what we’ve been attempting to do for some time now:

    Peer review. As fans, voters, readers, whatever you’d like to call us, we share that, at least. Differ on precisely *what* SF we like to read, but so what? There’s a lot of variation within our own tastes, too. Without putting the data out there, no one can try to replicate the study these ‘researchers’ committed. No one can look at the methodology, refine it if it is wonky, and be reviewed and critiqued in return. The point of peer review is to come to a conclusion that stands, regardless of the agenda of one researcher or one group- seek out the fundamental facts, not firmly held beliefs.

    If the point was to seek out those facts, would it not be done in an open and honest manner. Sure, it would require work to scrub out the names on ballots and such identifiable info- but it ain’t impossible. I doubt that’ll happen, though. Even with the best intentions in the world, intentions are not facts, and reports without data aren’t convincing.

    I’m a teacher’s kid, too. I know how tough it can be, if it’s done right, on the kid. It’s good practice for the real world- where first impressions count, and people judge you unfairly all the time. It helps to have a history of consistent trust earned to counter those impressions- but all too easy to lose, as you said.

    1. “More than that, to have thrown it away like it didn’t matter at all, when in reality, that’s what matters most of all.” This, Dan. It was unnecessary, but basically they don’t give a damn if we trust them, or support the Hugo Award. In fact they’d rather we didn’t. Then they can lord it over a slowly shrinking small pond. Short sighted, stupid.

  8. > financial

    Cort of a negative correlation there. I rate the last 30 years’ worth as “birdcage liner”, and only about a 50% “pretty good” before that.

    For that matter, most of the later nominees were a waste of my time too.

    A big “HUGO WINNER!” on a new book has been a “do not want this” indicator for a long time. I read most of them anyway (public library, yay!) just to keep up with the newer stuff, but if I’d paid cash for them I would have been very disappointed.

    1. That is exactly it isn’t it. The label becomes a negative not a positive. I’ve felt this way about the Oscars for years. An Oscar winner is almost definitely not a movie I will enjoy or have any interest in.

    2. TRX – what you say is true… for me. Or Larry Correa. Where it isn’t true is precisely where Tor are turning their efforts – Literary sf/fantasy. Some of which an award provides provides library sales. We had one of the more useless winners boasting that it had earned her 20K as advances (meaning 10K a book, which she will never earn out). That’s not big money to a commercially successful author. To vicious feminasty who was getting 2-3K abook for bashing men, it’s a lot. And to her the prestige was wonderful and important.

          1. Eh. Well, Phil – that is relative. There’ve been various surveys and authors in trad pub are mostly earning under the poverty line. We – Sarah and I are providing books into a market of scarcity – we’re midlisters but unlike most ‘midlisters’ we’re not writing party manifestos into a market jammed solid with party manifestos. I would guess in the top 10% of those, for earnings. In that area 1)advances have been dropping (and they never earn out) 2) getting 7K a book is good – plenty of 3K or less in ‘small press’ – do the math – 17K of books will get you onto NYT bestseller list, and I’d guess1-3K hardbacks would be more typical, possibly with no PB – The author gets 10% -so let’s say books at $25 – Author earns $2.50 a book. They’re doing it tough, and thus many are trying indy having railed how evil it is. I struggle to have readers find me, but I KEEP (book after book) most of those who do.

          1. Wombat-socho at Stacy McCain’s site might be interested, but you’d have to wait until after the tax season festivities are over.

    1. …Dave Freer, probably Kate Paulk, probably John Ringo, probably TRX, probably Jeff G., probably John V. S., probably Jim W., technically me,…

      1. I hadn’t gone and looked up names. When I wrote Jim W., I was thinking of Joe Wooten.

  9. > ballot secrecy

    …aaaand… just because *they* want it to be secret doesn’t mean *you* have to. Unless you’re ashamed of what you voted for, or something.

    Put your voting list up in public. See if Kate will post them all on the SP4 site. It would give a lower-boundary check against Worldcon’s tally.

    This isn’t the Siege of Athens here, rednecks in pickup trucks aren’t going to beat you down for wrongvoting.

    1. “Rednecks in pickup trucks aren’t going to beat you down for wrongvoting.”

      They aren’t? Aw, man talk about false advertising . . .

      1. Hey……I am a redneck and a wrongfan, and the only beatdown I am interested in performing is on the TOR crowd. They give fandom a bad name.

      1. Pickup trucks are traditional. There was a bill to consider accomodating other vehicles, but it’s still stuck in committee.

  10. Well said, Dave, and I reblogged this. You said everything I wanted to and better because you waded into the morass that is File Whatever and Making Light.

  11. Stunning that Bruce Schneier is so willing to put his reputation on the line over the Hugos. He brings “a lot to lose” to the table in personal reputation in the cyber security community. And an EFF member to boot.

          1. you’ve got carp cannons, you’ve got carp missiles, you’ve got sonic electronic carp-breakers, you’ve got knives, sharp sticks…

          2. Please don’t damage him too much, O BbESP. He’s my treasured proofreader, and I NEED him!

            (Nicely played, Anachronda! That was a really wretched pun…)

              1. I proofread too; working on a doctorate right now, so less time available, but it breaks up the wonky stuff for some respite. And, no, I’m not volunteering for statistics duty either!

    1. Schneier’s PoV was probably “Oooohhhhh, interesting voting data, let’s see what shows up”. I somehow doubt he was consulted before Dumbass McGee spouted his mouth off. As for the strong correlation in the voting data, that’s unsurprising given the publicity and the fact that a population of sci-fi readers heretofore uninterested in the Hugos became interested. It is the weak correlation that is interesting. This is especially true if that weak correlation we to consistently show up throughout the last decade of votes.

      1. Schneier’s PoV should be “Lay with Puppy Kickers and get fleas” “Associate with those known to violate data security or not?” and run away from them to preserve his reputation.

    2. He must have known that he was associating with a particular faction, and that they have a financial interest in the outcome. So he can hardly be un-aware of a the perception of a conflict of interest. Unless he’s oblivious he would have done an elementary analysis of number of books produced per publishing house: chance of a Hugo. VS actual numbers won. That should make any wise back away, because the results are… improbable. So: he chose to associate with them, and with a not very bright appearing sidekick in the shape of Jamison Quinn. Getting refused access to the data… and then getting it in secret should have rung every alarm bell in his head. But he plainly thought he was above criticism.

  12. Either I don’t understand what the ” researchers” are trying to discover, or the researchers have undertaken a task which is similar to proving that the Great Wall Of China exists by counting the number of bricks which are missing from cities across the world.
    Here’s my summary of the 2015 Hugo conflict:
    1. During the nomination process, both the Sad Puppies and the Rabid Puppies advocated for certain nominees they felt were deserving of the award. When the nominations were closed, it was revealed that a very high percentage of those nominees had made it onto the ballot.
    2. This angered other people greatly. Fussing commenced.
    3. When the selection votes were tabulated, none of the primary Puppy candidates had received an award, and in five categories, no award was given. Between 2000 and 3000 votes for ” No Award” in those five categories were needed in order for this outcome to take place. This is just one of the unprecedented results in the 2015 Hugo balloting.

    So: what are the researchers trying to prove? Is anyone saying that the thousands of votes cast for No Award had nothing to do with some anti-puppy movement?

    1. since the person given the numbers is someone that assisted in the invention of the EPH scheme, he’s probably trying to clique-proof the hugos.

      1. Correction:”since the person given the numbers is someone that assisted in the invention of the EPH scheme, he’s probably trying to clique-enable(proof) the hugos.”
        PNH wants the Hugo noms to become a juried system with him as the jury.

      2. Based on the long history of bad policy and unintended consequences, I say best of luck trying to do that.

        The only way to insure only “the right stories” make the cut is to remove the voting entirely.

        Hmmm ,,, maybe they will add Democratic Primary style SuperDelagates to the voting process … shit i’m giving them ideas.

    2. Remember, any algorithm they come up with to “prove” a Puppy slate has to also show that No Award was *not* a slate.

      Of course they could use the time-honored method of discarding “anomalous results” when presenting their findings…

    3. They stuck to the nice, safe, nominations process. It’s the voting stage where the block vote of No Award showed up. I’d love to see _that_ data in an accountant’s hands.

  13. Once again, they’re already mad at us over at Vile:

    “steve davidson on February 15, 2016 at 5:26 am said:

    Freer at MGC: that someone writes something like that to make political points and pander to their base is not all that surprising.
    That someone actually might believe that bullshit is….words fail me.
    Anyone know which international drug manufacturer makes the most popular anti-psychotics? I want to buy stock. I’m beginning to think Flint’s problem with lead in the water is a national problem….”

    Please remember this next time Davidson wants to portray himself as the calm voice of reason.

    1. So Davidson shows his true colors again, but gets his facts wrong.

      Please, correct me if I’m wrong, it’s not like I pay close attention to this or anything, but I thought Dave Freer wasn’t American?

      1. Dave’s as Aussie as they come, though he wasn’t born there. We’d be happy to have him, but I think he likes it where he’s at, and good on him for finding his place and earning it the right way, too.

        1. What I’m debating is the root behind this rather sad oversight.

          A) He’s just a trumped up nobody playing at relevance with his purchase of a defunct magazine name that used to mean something, and simply doesn’t know jack.

          B) America = Bad, so anyone opposed to them must be American.

          C) The staggering amount of Ameriocentrism from many of the usual suspects.
          1) What I mean by that is not that they think America superior, but that they just don’t seem to incorporate the rest of the world (or more generally anything not Western Europe and North America) into their reality. Like how they talk about White people ruling the world, managing to discount places like Africa, South/Central America, and most of Asia in the process. Or how they talk about poverty in American terms, when our poor are vastly better off (as a whole, there are still truly needy people here, but in terms of percentage it is much smaller) than even the middle/upper class in many parts of the world.

          Of course D) All of the above is also an option.

          1. This. I’ve found the oikophobes really don’t know anything about anything outside the US and unself-consciously write the US in to all those interesting places where they vacation, so abroad is like the US with better landscape and leisure. (Rolls eyes.)

  14. Two minor corrections:

    1) Hugo Participation and voting are up, starting with Sad Puppies 1. Sad Puppies 3 had double the number of average nominating ballots as participated pre Sad Puppies, and even subtracting the bloc votes for No Award, had about a 60% increase in votes over pre-Sad Puppies Hugos. Toni Weisskopf would’ve won Editor, Long Form by roughly triple the total number of voted in prior years. I had nearly the same impact on Best Related Work.

    2) I was a Hugo finalist, and got a Jovian Award for taking second place to No Award. It’s boosted my sales in a noticeable fashion. I recently released the sequel to The Hot Equations, and have had a nice sales turn on it.

    http://www.adastragames.com/products/bundle-objects-in-motion-the-hot-equations for those interested…

    1. I had to look up The Jovian Award. Despite the fact that it appears to be made from a literal paperweight, it’s very pretty. Kudos to the folks who thought that up and their reasons for doing so.

      May it never be needed that way again.

      1. Despite the fact that it appears to be made from a literal paperweight…

        I don’t know that that’s bad. Set-on-the-mantle art and awards are nice, sure, but there is much to be said for practicality, too.

        1. I’ve seen those glass globe paperweights. I like them, myself. I wouldn’t have thought of using them as a planetary stand-in.

      2. Kudos to the folks who thought that up and their reasons for doing so.

        Seconded. One of the first public comments I made after the Hugo results were announced (I think it was on Larry’s site) was along the lines of, “Since the No Award votes were amply demonstrated to be based on politics rather than the work’s quality, they should be thrown out, and the second-place winner should be considered to have won that category.” And I then listed who that would be. Glad to see someone took it as far as making actual trophies.

    2. Ken, strictly speaking, I should have said has been going down for a number of years only increasing because of the Sad Puppies.
      My congratulations on your Jovian Award, it was well deserved.

  15. As a Puppy nominee, I asked others so nominated whether they had received their notification. Some had, others hadn’t. From the responses, I knew who had made it or not.

    It is possible that the Tor people asked all those they had nominated if they had received the notifications, and if they all had not, they knew that their mom skate had been skunked.

    In this way, they did not have to have any leaked or advance knowledge of the final moms, only that none of their own had made it to the ballot.

    The anti-puppies were coarse, vulgar and insulting, costing me some long time acquaintances, but they were not necessarily cheats just because they figured out they had lost in the nominations race.

    1. You’re missing an important factor. “As a puppy nominee” — the other side says there is no secret list for the Hugos. So who would she call?
      Taking them at their word, they’re double damned either way.

      1. I think it was pretty clear from the “ozone and thunder” post that the Neilson Hayden knew exactly what the noms were however way they got the info. As the ultimate insiders, I suspect that they have operated on the principle that rules are for little people. I suspect that people cave to their demands because they know that the Neilson Haydens will ruin you r career if you don’t.

        1. An exchange I had back in September with Glenn Glazer, Sasquan’s Business and Finance Vice-Chair:

          Dear Mr. Glazer:

          I was disappointed to learn that Sasquan has opted to ignore the non-binding resolution passed at this year\’s business meeting to release anonymized nomination data from the 2015 Hugo Awards. As a supporting Worldcon member who nominated and voted in the 2015 Hugos, I demand that this information be made available.

          Best regards,
          Brian Niemeier

          Mr. Niemeier,

          I, too, am disappointed, but I must take into account the trust the entire membership has given Sasquan to securely and privately record their votes. That must be of, as I wrote, of paramount importance and specifically, of greater importance than the release of the data.

          As to your demand, you have no basis to make such and your membership does not grant you either more or less privilege in this regard. There is nothing in either the WSFS Constitution or the non-binding resolution that forces Sasquan to expose this data. It is completely and utterly at Sasquan’s discretion to do or not do.


          Glenn Glazer
          Vice-Chair, Business and Finance
          Sasquan, the 73rd World Science Fiction Convention

          1. Brian – He sounds really appreciative of the extra money. Just what I would expect from a Business and Finance Vice-Chair. I think we’re going to have to point this out to them.

      2. TNH gave the game away with her “the Hugos belong to us” post last spring. She claimed she felt the Puppies had claimed a bunch of noms by the “change in tone” of Brad’s posts and Williamson’s early announcement.

        My theory? John Scalzi called her up and whined about not getting his nom notification. She called the rest of the back scratch whisper club and figured out that she and her forty to fifty weren’t enough that year…

        1. If I were a gambling man, I’d have a long bet you pegged it perfectly. I think with their 50 or so ‘captive’ votes they would have been able to manipulate things for years. And as just this used to happen in the Nebulas (which involved many of the same people) I find it hard to believe that if it worked for them there… they wouldn’t do the same for another award.

  16. Playing Devil’s Advocate here, there’s one way this could be settled: ask Sasquan for their data under a NDA. They then can either give you the data to look at, outright deny your request (which would demonstrate bias), or try to stealth-deny by giving you an unworkable NDA. Only the last one’s not a guaranteed win, and even then if Quinn’s violating the NDA they offered you, you still win because either they offered him a better NDA or allowed him to violate his NDA, both of which are evidence of bias.

    1. If you wade into the 770 vileness you will see that the Hugo Admin has told those requesting the data that only the EPH proposers will be given access to the data. Others who have requested the data under NDA have already been denied.

        1. http://file770.com/?p=27476&cpage=1#comment-398401

          “Other than the EPH validation, it is not our intention to release nominating data in any form, even to other people wishing to test software under an NDA. The Hugo administrators already have sufficient software to handle the needs of the awards even if the nomination counting rules ends up being confirmed as changed at the business meeting in Kansas City.”

              1. Thank you. My experiences in having dealt with a stalker who would regularly defame me using multiple aliases have taught me the value of ‘record what you see first, ensure it cannot be erased and THEN report.’

                Also, seeing how effective it was to GamerGate’s favor when using evidence-based arguments.

          1. > it is not our intention to release
            > nominating data in any form,

            So, with a secret ballot, non-disclosed data, and control of the entire process, beginning to end… you can trust them to be honest and do the right thing.

            Just like last time.

            And the time before.

            And before that…

            Exactly why does the process of a popularity contest have to be a secret? And who benefits from that?

            1. Sounds more like someone inviting people to a party than a contest. I mean that invitations can seem random or chosen for unknown factors rather than the assumed ones.

    1. Rules are for the “LITTLE” People.

      Why’s Hillary Clinton using Sarah’s account to blog? 😛

      1. Hacking is a two way street. You say “private server” and I say “hackbot coordinator”.

        1. Finding out why Hillary needed a private server rather than use the secure State Department one is a vital question.

          I’d like to know why Benghazi has been dismissed. The results were ghastly and preventable. We had assets nearby that could have helped but were told to stand down. It was known when setting up that embassy that it was insecure and vulnerable.

          1. You read of David and Bathsheba’s husband, right? I have no proof, but I think something like that (only with reputation not a woman) went on in Benghazi. AND that’s what I’m using in the space opera that involves a similar incident.

            1. To be willing to place your reputation higher than someone’s life. Whoever did this for whatever reason is complicit Amb Stevens’ and the other embassy people’s deaths. And those were hard deaths. I believe that the Ambassador Stevens was tortured to death.

    1. They are wanting to see how a proposed voting system would work with real data. What Dave is leaving out is that the people involved have an academic interest in voting systems and how they function.

        1. I wouldn’t call being a statistician an ‘excuse’ for conducting statistical research. That isn’t actually something scary, bad or forbidden – although it does sometimes seem to be presented as if it were witchcraft by some sections of society.

          Dave presents the researchers as if their only affiliation in the world is that they post comments at Making Light (heck I post comments at Mad Genius – do I now have a ‘financial interest’ in Dave Freer’s career?)

          1. I have a very important question — given his previous performance here and in his “safe blogs” and at least one unprovoked attack on Kate, why is anyone listening to a camel felator?He’s proven himself bias incarnate. Do we need him on our blogs?
            Hey, Camel, sir, can you please get over yourself? Your having and interest in Dave Freer’s career? I don’t know. Do you derive income from posting here. If you do, you sure do have it. If you don’t, please grow up and/or go to the playroom and let the adults talk.

            1. You may wish to read my comment slightly more carefully. No, I don’t have a finacial interest in a person simply by commenting on their blog – just as people who comment at Making Light don’t have a finacial interest in PNH. Seriously, that wasn’t such a hard conparison.

              1. And perhaps you should go back and read Dave’s post more carefully.

                You know, I find it interesting that you make nothing but basically innocuous comments on non-Hugo posts but the moment someone posts about the Hugos, you come in guns blazing. You don’t discuss, you dismiss. Of course, after looking at your blog, it does’t surprise me. You have an agenda and you try to peddle it here. Yes, peddle. If you wanted to actually try to convince anyone of anything, you would discuss and present facts and figures to support your point of view.

                1. Which is why I’ve settled for hitting sh/he/it. Critter won’t listen to reason, but sh/he/it’s empty head makes a satisfying sound when hit with a baseball bat. It’s life’s simple pleasures that make it worth living.
                  And not joking, given that they ban us for much less than this, perhaps its tendentious, incoherent walls of post that make eyes glaze should earn it the “drunken uncle at the wedding” treatment. Lock him outside so the adults can discuss in an adult manner.

                2. I discuss – which is why I posted a reasoned argument. Your reply is an example of being dismissive rather than discussing. Better tgan Sarah’s comment but not exactly substantive. Try addressing points raised rather than whether I’m a horrible person. Let’s assume I am a horrible person and deal with the issues logically.

                  1. I’ve never said you were a horrible person. However, you do have an agenda. That is clear when you look at your comments regarding any Hugo related post vs. other posts on the site. Then there are your posts on your own blog where you clearly go after the Sad Puppies, often — shall we say — clouding the issue. And no, you don’t discuss. You talk at and around. You don’t apply the same standard to your own side that you want to apply to the Sad Puppies. Finally, we might be more inclined to discuss things with you if you didn’t come in dismissive of what we state in our posts.

                    1. I have a point of view – which I’ve never made a secret of and which I’ve explained openly and in detail. You can call that an ‘agenda’ if you like but so what? It would be a horrible world in which everybody things the same. Yes, I have been strongly critical if the Sad Puppy campaigns and I have given my reasons. The question is do you only ever want softball discussion?
                      If you would like me to go away and not comment here than I’ll honor that request.

                    2. What I would like is a real discussion. Not one where you talk around an issue. One where you present facts and figures — gee, I think I’ve already said that — to support your criticism of what is posted here. You’ll find that, when presented with evidence that proves our position wrong, we tend to admit our mistakes. But — again, this sounds familiar — coming in with a condescending tone, pushing the goal posts when it suits your purposes and refusing to present proofs, even circumstantial, to support your claims isn’t going to win you any support here.

                      You keep saying we can ask you t go away and you will. Tell me this, how long would it be before you ran back to your blog and complain (or maybe crow) about the fact we told you to go? Unlike TNH who takes pleasure in removing vowels from posts she doesn’t like or other sites that ban for simply presenting an opinion the blogger doesn’t like, we have a higher level of tolerance. I can count on one hand and have fingers left of the number of people who have been banned here. However, if you continue to dodge the questions asked you, if you continue attacking posters here without cause, we won’t ask.We will show you the door.

                    3. What I attempted was a real discussion. I don’t always put facts and figures in a blog comment because of time & space but my extended commentary on the Puppy campaigns have been grounded on facts & figures. Likewise with things like EPH – I didn’t take peoples word for it but built my own model and tried it out. I find some people here reasonable and others less so but yes, I will argue strongly and I am overt about my politics.
                      1. If you ask me to leave AND ask me to tell nobody (I don’t know why you’d do that) then I’ll tell nobody. I don’t know why that worries you but I’m a guest here and your-house-your-rules.
                      2. As for “attacking posters” I think the comment thread speaks for itself as to who is attacking whom.

                    4. So, are you saying we are supposed to go search out your supposed facts and figures from around the internet? Because that’s what it sounds like. With regard to attacking posters, as I noted in an earlier comment, I took the time to look up your comment history on this site. You have a history of being condescending and, of late, attacking our posters and commenters here. Sarah has already referred to your attack on Kate. We do tend to remember things like that.

                      I will repeat yet again, if you want a discussion, it is best not to start out sounding like you think yourself better than the rest of us and to at least give the appearance of being willing to support your position with facts, etc.

                    5. No I’m saying my track record on supporting my arguments with facts and figures can be verified.
                      As for attacks then I do not believe I have attacked anybody – I have criticised what they saud NOT who they are. Sorry but Kate is nit above criticism and I pointed out where I thought she was wrong – I don’t mince words but I dont waste time making gratuitous insults either. I’m not going to call you a f-ckwit or call you a camel ‘felator’ etc. However I’m not going to dance around people’s feelings either. I support my positions with facts and reason rather than insults or vague claims of ‘agendas’.

                      So, would you like me to go or not?

                    6. Sorry, I had to go buy a new microwave.
                      I don’t know if you are still here or not, but there’s something I’m wondering about: What is the thought process behind going to internet forum where you have substantial reason to believe you will find something you don’t like, and then posting about it? And a follow-up question: Does this behavior extend into contexts where you have face to face contact with peers?

                    7. Why am I interested in ideas other than my own? I don’t honestly get why other people aren’t interested in ideas other than their own. I think Dave writes interesting things that are often wrong in interesring ways. No, that isn’t an “attack” – fir example I think Plato was wrong in intereating ways also. Seriously it is ok to read stuff you disagree with and articulate why you disagree with it. Would you rather people pretended MadGenius or Sad Puppies didnt exist?

                    8. No, I did not ask you why you were interested in ideas other than your own. I wasn’t looking for an answer to that question, because you are only describing the learning process, and I’m familiar with it, and I’m not asking about that.
                      What I asked was: what is the thought process that leads you to come to a forum where you KNOW you aren’t going to agree with the ideas put forth, and THEN post your own ideas?
                      OVERSIMPLIFIED (greatly) the question is: why do you go somewhere and try to pick a fight?
                      I think that’s a legitimate question. Could you respond to what I asked, this time?

                    9. Sophistry, at best. I’m not interested in that.
                      Intellectual dishonesty, most likely. Again, I’m not interested in that.
                      Self-delusion, not LIKELY, but possible. Just in case it is, though, I invite you to consider the proverb and its’ application to your life: If one man calls you a horse, you may call him a fool. If two men call you a horse, you should think about it. If three men call you a horse, buy a saddle.

                    10. Can I say he/she/it/idiot is a horrible person? Because I can. I’ve seen his/her/its comments in other blogs, and his/her/its posts. Yeah. If he/she/it is not a cover for pedo-phil, he/she/it is a bosom buddy. Terrible person. And boring. And annoying.

                  2. Horrible person? That’s psychologically interesting, since no one has ever called you this. That tells me quite a bit about how you view yourself, and I suspect you know just what kind of a biased, arrogant jerk you’re being. Every time a discussion turns to the Hugos on any blog, there you are snottily defending what happened. You claim you’re so reasoned, and yet your agenda-driven bigotry is pretty obvious. You claim that you’re out to participate in a reasoned discussion, but you merely spew your claims, chastise people for not living up to some nebulous standard you have set about logical argumentation, and act like a pedantic cock nugget.

                    So, yeah. You’re dull. You make unsubstantiated claims. You superciliously instruct instead of laying out facts, and then you CLAIM you have posted facts.

                    No one cares, douche. Go away.

                    1. Note pedantic doesn’t not mean smart or intellectually superior. It has come to mean giving yourself unmerited airs of intellectual superiority. Yeah. You should own it.

                    2. I really do wish he had answered my question. I’m very interested in what is going on with people who enter discussion spaces only to antagonize people. I had a small amount of hope that he would answer with honesty. It’s not a CRIME, after all; just puzzling. Ah, well. I do not know this person and am not familiar with their body of work.

                    3. *shakes head* I’m honestly not certain if you are deliberately missing the point- the points- that are being made or not.

                      C, *I’m* pedantic, and I know it. There are ways to mitigate the negative side of it- being a know-it-all jerk- and emphasize the positive- sharing your knowledge and teaching those who don’t know the things you learned the hard way. It doesn’t take much mental wattage to pick one from the other. Most folks here could do it in their sleep.

                      Humility helps. Humility is not endless quiddities, provocations, passive-aggressive diversions. Humility is the opposite of the pridefulness many here have seen in you. Close your mouth, still your fingers, and consider that other folk than you are intelligent, educated, and wise.

                      When you have this in mind, remember that you owe an apology, if for nothing else, than for wasting our time with your need to satisfy that pride.

                    4. Can’t be Clamps. Hasn’t ranted about Vox going through his friend’s videos yet.

              2. You may wish to read my comment slightly more carefully.

                As you are someone who has demonstrated ample evidence of arguing in exceptionally bad faith, no, nobody here wishes to read your natterings with any care at all. Point and laugh, certainly, but treat your word salads with seriousness?

                I mean, that’s not even a bad joke. That’s just sad.

          2. But their behavior after the fact is what he is commenting on, therefore no ‘supposition’ is required, they have shown their true intentions by their actions.

              1. Actually, they didn’t really tell much of anything. They put out some suppositions, no real supporting evidence, and apparently violated their signed agreements.
                If they really wanted to prove their point, they’d be sharing their data and their methods to prove what they did.
                Instead, they’re just peddling the approved narrative. It’s called ‘targeted science’. It’s the academic version of you.

                1. Sharing the raw data would be a violation of their agreement. Publishing their results and methids is what they intend to do. The only secret bit is the bit they are legally obligied to keep secure.

                    1. You mean what Dave said in the column? What you’ve been arguing is NOT the case for the last 8 hours.

                      Jesus, I’ve met some dumb sonsabitches in my life, but you take the cake.

                    2. I’ve never un-subscribed to a thread before, but I just did to this one. It’s as if we are trying to play basketball, and Ray’s bratty little brother keeps running onto the court and screaming ‘NEENER NEENER NEENER.’

                    3. I don’t know what you’ve been arguing about fot the last 8 hours but I haven’t been saying people shouldn’t treat unreplicated results with scepticism. You should – that isnt the same as suggesting conflicts of interest ir fraud or malfeasance or whatever. Replication plays a role in verifying empirical results.

                  1. Yes, sharing their data would be a violation of their agreement. But then they’ve already violated their agreement, so why would that matter? And if they are already guilty of violating their agree shouldn’t they violate it in a useful manner, and back up their results with proof?

                    Unless of course the facts either a) don’t support their conclusions ( and I believe the facts do, do so) or b) the facts have some embarrassing tidbits that they don’t want exposed.

              2. Except if I was analyzing data on a contentious issue and wanted to be able to post results that people would deem reliable, I would have really only a small number of options options.

                Option 1 is only do it on publicly available raw data with a fully disclosed process people can pick apart for flaws.
                Option 2 is to have a team consisting of people from multiple points of view.*
                Option 3 is to have multiple teams working independently, from multiple points of view.
                Option 4 is not to do it.

                That’s pretty much it.

                Not like there aren’t other people (like Chaos Horizon) that like number crunching and have a fairly evenhanded rep.

                * – note, this means ‘diametrically opposed’, not like the Sasquan panel that went all the way from ‘SP are misguided and wrong’ to’SP are ebil’.

                1. It depends on who you want to have consider the results reliable. It would appear they have no interest in having them seen as credible by anyone who would not believe them, not matter what they said.

          3. Dave presented the argument that when bias is perceived that extraordinary effort needs to be taken to preserve a perception of fairness, even when decisions are made fairly they can not be seen to be playing favorites or trust is destroyed. You apparently do not dispute the claimed affiliation with Making Light. This is why you claim Dave, instead of saying “this affiliation exists” is saying “only this affiliation exists.” which he never said. You’re claiming that a claim of “I’m a real scientist” excuses all possible perceptions of favoritism, bias, or shenanigans. Since Dave didn’t present this as true, you’re accusing him of not mentioning it at all.

            Pro tip: if you EVER have to insert the word “only” into your typification of another person’s argument and it’s not a direct quote, you’re not arguing in good faith and your bad faith is fully visible and public.

            1. No I’m saying the claims of bias etc don’t add up Dave’s focus on MakingLight gave the appearance that this was the only pertinent affiliation or interest of the researchers. Perhaps he didnt intend that

              1. The “only” person given that impression is the person looking for it. Particularly as every example of teacher’s kids implicitly assumes that this fact of life isn’t necessarily fair to the kids. Since Dave seems to have gone to a great deal of effort and many words to show how mushy and muddled it all is, turning around and claiming he should have done better so that his argument could not be misperceived by those invested in doing so… In a post about the need to make an effort to manage appearances is, simply, ironic.

                  1. “The fault, dear Brutus*, lies not in our stars, but in ourselves.”

                    That you “got that impression” says far more about you than about anything else.

                    *And my deepest apologies to Brutus for even that oblique comparison, but it was the allusion that came to mind.

            2. Succinctly put: “Dave presented the argument that when bias is perceived that extraordinary effort needs to be taken to preserve a perception of fairness, even when decisions are made fairly they can not be seen to be playing favorites or trust is destroyed.”

              That’s it. And they have. I’d like to see them rectify that.

        1. Well that is true without the data. Now of course we can assume that these researchers won’t tell the truth about how EPH will function with real data but despite all the dark murmurings above what exactly would there interest be in lying about it.
          1. if they find that EPH doesn’t work *as intended* then it won’t do the things it is supposed to do (minimize the impact of slate voting). Given that is why people at Making Light were proposing EPH, they would have a interest in pointing that out.
          2. if they find that EPH is working as intended then for exactly the same reason they would point that out.
          People do lie, people do decive but typically when they have a reason to do so. The motive here is does-EPH-do-what-it-is-supposed-to-do and neither researcher has a interest in lying about that.
          So what else? Well Dave suggests above that the research may uncover other hidden slates. OK, maybe it could. Dave backs that up with a comment the researchers made about correlation between non-Puppy votes…um, but if the researchers can’t be trusted to reveal this kind of information (as Dave implies) how come they ARE revealing this kind of information? Dave ascribes this to stupidity but given this is the only possibly terrible secret that researchers could be covering up, it would seem Dave’s fear’s are baseless. Seriously, I don’t think Dave thought this through very well.

          1. Actually, you neither read Dave’s post, or the links he included, closely. Or, if you did, you failed to note — or perhaps you just don’t care? — the point that others have wanted to do their own studies of the vote and have been turned down, even with DND agreements in place. Why? Because the anonymity of the voters couldn’t be guaranteed. So pardon the rest of us if we have to wonder why, suddenly, these two can have the data and no one else.

            1. Actually I did both. The data was given to teo researchers for the purpose of testing a proposed voting algorithm – which is a sensible thing to do. I’d like suitably anonymized data to be released publically but I understand why thet are reluctant to do so.
              It isn’t unusual for academic researchers with affiliations to a Higher Education institute to negotiate access to data after demonstrating how they will maintain the privacy of the data.

              1. Awwww, so as long as it fits your own narrative, it’s okay? Funny how you just assume that those others who were requesting the data couldn’t do the same sort of demonstration regarding privacy.

              2. Just putting this here for the record: this is a complete falsehood.
                You could test the voting algorithm on a single category’s data set.
                Secondly: no one releases contentious data to people who can be perceived as partisan. A researcher has be above any perception of partisanship.
                Thirdly academics work towards publication. Journals set a far higher standard of the privacy of voting data of any kind than MACII or Sasquan have. Voting data, that was obtained without consent… holy shit. Are you trying to be banned for life?

                  1. You have commented – by an order of magnitude – more than any other commenter. That’s a level of tolerance you would not get anywhere else. I have said that is enough.I have been working my way through hundreds of comments. Some of yours are very misleading and needed a reply. They do not need further comment from you.

          2. There are the open motives of the Tor cabal, and the covert ones. They want to stop the open public slates of the puppies, while continuing to allow their covert slate to get their works nominated.
            Having the actual data allows them to better plan their gaming of the system, and determine how many memberships they need to buy to ensure they get at least 1 nominee per category on the ballot. This helpful tool is denied to everyone else

            EPH makes it easier for a slate with one nominee to get on the ballot than the current system, which is why Vox Day supports it. The point of EPH is to enshrine the nominations as a prize for the top 5 cliques. By only allowing EPH proponents to study the data, we can be assured the “Results” will be spun to make it seem great at stopping the puppies, and ignore or downplay how it empowers covert bullet slates.

            They will call the 50 straight TOR slate ballots a weak correlation, without anyone able to factually dispute their falsehood.

            1. Plausible data certainly helps – although we don’t know how voting patterns will change. As for planning some nefarious strategy, the EPH algorithm is publically available and running simulations under multiple scenarios is already possible. I.e the data would help a bad-actor a little but nit having it wouldn’t be a big impediment to looking at ways of gaming EPH

            2. “Having the actual data allows them to better plan their gaming of the system, and determine how many memberships they need to buy to ensure they get at least 1 nominee per category on the ballot. This helpful tool is denied to everyone else.” This. It is obvious their motive was to look for ways to game it, and we can guess — based on past history, that the data is not secure from that cabal. If they’ll tell PNH the nominations they’ll assist in any other way he wants.

          3. if they find that EPH doesn’t work *as intended* then it won’t do the things it is supposed to do (minimize the impact of slate voting).

            Why do you assume that is the intention?

            1. Well I assume that mainly because of the way EPH works. For example if the intention was to eliminate slates altogether EPH would be a poor choice. If the aim was to make slate voting more effective then EPH would be a poor choice. However it should reduce the impact of slates without causing side effects.

                    1. I’ve run implimentations of the algorithm and found that it does – assuming the size of the block vote isn’t too large. The elimination process means that the chances of the most popular item in a set of items with highly correlated support gains an increased chance of being nominated while the least popular of that set has a reduced chance. Therefore the impact of a slate is not eliminated but the chance of a slate gaining all the finalist slots in a given category is reduced.

                  1. Camestros for someone who claims to like mathematics you plainly can’t count. I gave you tolerance of FOUR further comments. You’re two over. Enough. I am trying to politely reply to comments and I have you constantly adding irrelevant verbage. Stop. Any more will be deleted.

                    1. I replied to “comment 4. Camestros. Enough, thank you.” If you explained what that was in refrence to it wasn’t in my feed. Just saying 🙂 but happy to ignore any subsequent messages that come through from MGC.

              1. Ill admit that I haven’t looked at it in depth, but it seems to me to be an overly complicated way to do what its proponents say they want… and easy to game if you have inside information.

      1. (Dryly) – so given that both MACII and Quinn and Schneier knew that doing so, particularly in this fashion, was going to make them look like a bunch of rogues, and that they are strongly associated with people with a financial incentive to game the awards and for whom the data could provide information on how to so… that they are so stupid as to wish to use this particular set of data? Please! If they’re that stupid and able to get a place in academia, then academia is in more trouble than I thought.

        1. Well looking like a bunch of rouges is somewhat subjective – particularly when a person isn’t intending to engage in shenanigans it can be hard for them to see why somebody else may see this as looking dodgy.
          Personally I’d rather suitably anonymized data was released for all.

          1. Except when you are accused of shenanigans at least weekly (which they have been for the last year+) then they should be smart enough to notice something that is likely to appear to others as “looking dodgy.” Regardless of whether they are actually being “dodgy” or not (and I believe they are) they should be well versed on what the puppies will THINK is “dodgy.”

  17. //So: if a ‘weak’ correlation shows up with ALL of the data, there is a high probability that indeed, there was secret concert voting by some.//

    Take an example with some non-anonymous data. In the current Sad Puppy 4 Best Novel Recommendation thread there is a degree of correlation between people recommending Somewither and people recommending The Areonaut’s Windlass. Is that pointing to a secret cabal infiltrating SP4? No, it is indicating that people’s likes and dislikes aren’t distributed randomly but cluster around authors and genres and themes and even various kinds of self-identification with cultural groupings. Amazon uses those weak correlations to generate those people-who-bought-this-also-bought… lists and push out recommendations to you.
    Lots of weak correlations is what you would *expect* to see in the data. No weak correlations at all would be suspicious as it would suggest faked data.

    And yes I’m ‘biased’ etc – those aren’t substantive arguments as to why I’m wrong.

    1. Funny, that same argument could have been used to counter the “slate” accusations of last year. Oh, wait, it was but it was thrown out by the folks at File Whatever and Making Light because people weren’t voting the way they wanted them to. Before accusing Dave and others of misrepresenting the facts, or of anything else, I suggest you apply the same standards to your own side.

        1. And where did Brad tell anyone that if you supported SP3, you had to vote the “slate”? So let me ask you this, if he had called it “our recommendations”, would you still have objected?

          1. He didn’t which is one piece of evidence against SP4 being a slate amid several other pieces that it was. Logically (& empirically) I consider the balance of evidence when considering the truth.

        2. you ignorant fuckwit, do you know what the word “slate” actually means as opposed to what the puppet masters with their hand up your cloacca told you it means?

          It’s a list of suggestions. That’s it. That’s ALL we who were behind SP3 put forth. A list of suggestions. “Hey, here’s some work we like, if you like it, vote for it.” That’s FUCKING IT.

          1. > do you know what the word “slate” actually means

            slate: n. “The results weren’t as we intended, therefore someone is gaming the system.” see also: paranoia

      1. Arrgh hit ‘send’ accidentally
        Yes an argument could be made but
        1. Sad Puppies 3 was called a slate by Brad T
        2. Previous Sad Puppy campaigns had been called stacking campaigns
        3. The Rabid Puppy campaign was clearly functioning as a slate (yes, yes I know that the Sads don’t control what Vox does etc)
        4 . The quality of the works nominated were highly variable – strongly indicating that some peoples were voting along a slate rather than judging works by their quality (e.g MZW’s excellent ‘Soft Casualty didn’t get nominated but his execrable Wisdom From… did)

                1. If you can’t find out what’s good until things are voted on, then the Hugos have bigger problems than any confusion over slate voting. Multiple assessments may or may not be sound methodology. I don’t really care. If all you can point to as “good” are those things that win, then by extension, everything that doesn’t win is bad. And the key is *you can’t know until after the fact.* Nominations might as well be random, as the act of winning is what imputes the characteristic of quality. For an award that bids to be the “best of” in any given year, well, that’s telling. Additionally, it leaves no room to point at a work and say, “that: that is not up to standards” beforehand, which is what has been claimed all along. Larry’s writing is too poor to win a Hugo. Sarah’s likewise, and Kevin Anderson’s. Mad Mike’s or Oh, John’s, leave us not even speak thereof. From day one.

                  Only there aren’t any standards past, “I like this thing more than that thing.” Once you’ve established a basic level of comptency of craft, of readability, all you’ve got to distinguish between them is personal taste. And we’ve never claimed otherwise.

            1. What, the ten people who sometimes decided a Hugo? Please?

              And guys this is why I say the ban hammer is a good thing and the camel felator has been on my sh*t list since the biased, twisted post on Kate.
              And Camely no, I am not in perpetual rage. It’s just you bringing it out!

                1. Awwwww, isn’t that cute! He’s pretending to be superior!

                  I, for one, am convinced. Where’s my kneeling pillow, so I can worship his greatness? I’m sure I left it around here somewhere…

                  1. It’s cute how he keeps pretending it’s not his pompous jerkitude that’s the real reason why he’s disliked intensely. Oh no, the awful person who is so hostile to poor Camel must not like any sort of disagreement at all.


                2. If you can’t cope with disagreement


                  Hey, folks. Is there anyone here I haven’t disagreed with at one time or another?

                  Folk here cope with disagreement fine. Your problem lies elsewhere.

                    1. He was? Oh, my.

                      I always read WIB’s comments – he may not shut up, but he has interesting things to say, even when he is not agreeable.

                  1. Hey, folks. Is there anyone here I haven’t disagreed with at one time or another?

                    I cannot recall if I have argued with you before.

                    So perhaps we are in perfect lockstep.

                    Except for religion, taste in fashion, and likely politics.

                    Well, maybe we have similar ideas about thermodynamics.

            2. Only if backed up by independent empirical data. Your taste is not everyone’s. This is a fan award – a measure of popularity, which can be measured independently by sales. So one can fairly say Dune was a quality nomination. A novel which after a couple of years has gone out of print is not.

              1. Ok but neither past Hugos nor any of the Sad Puppy picks have been simply the best selling SF/F. So while we would expect some relation with popularity there us at least some other latent trait in play.

                1. Jim Butcher, Larry Correia Aren’t ‘bestselling’!? That’s probably the most bizarre thing you’ve yet managed to say, and you’ve come up with some doozies.

                2. I’ll look into any sort of correlation there over the next couple of days. I don’t think I’ll get it all together tonight. Maybe by Saturday?

                    1. This is going to be delayed. I wanted at least two points in the Amazon sales rankings, but some of the books have had quite wild swings. So I think another couple of data points is warranted. I’ll shoot for the first weekend in March (fingers crossed), and post the results over on my blog at that time.

            3. ones that people end up voting for as winners is usually a good indication

              Perhaps in general, but not applicable to the Puppy Kickers and their slate.

        1. A voting slate never has more than one entry in a single category, I would say the No Award voters are the only ones who qualifies as Slate Voters in the 2015 Hugos for 2016 I wold be for a single Sad Puppies consensus entry in each category then vote No Award for second place , They created that as an ethical action so they cannot complain, Thanks to the Puppy Kickers we know about how many votes we need to bring the roof down Fiat justitia ruat caelum

                1. Then take the hint and go away. You troll at Sarah’s; you troll here. I’m wasting no courtesy on you.

                    1. When you accuse others of trolling, it’s pretty sad. Your name is a troll.
                      Yes, I know you feel superior for having chosen it.
                      Me I’m just tired of your BS. You only come here to incite, hence your name.
                      I honestly don’t know why you haven’t been banned. It is one thing to welcome diverse opinions, but when someone’s entire purpose is to troll, as witnessed by their name, should you really welcome them?

                    2. He hasn’t been banned because some of the people here are more tolerant than I am. And I want you to realize in the entire time on my blog I’ve banned 3 people that weren’t the infamous Chlamydia by any other name.

                    3. No, I get my comments by e-mail and didn’t get to his removal before you showed up.

                      However, there’s an unsubscribe that even you should be able to figure out.

            1. Camestros – you make comments about you socialist beliefs. I merely help you to live by them – rather than allow you to hog the bulk of the resource, you are allocated an average number of comments, now and on future posts. Neither your need nor desire for more are going to change that. From now on you can comment four times or eight lines, whichever comes first. Use it wisely and conservatively, or you will be unable to reply.

      2. Amanda, ‘I suggest you apply the same standards to your own side.’
        They can’t. If they did, they would have nothing.
        They have yet to display any integrity.
        They have been shown to be wrong time and time again, to have acted in bad faith, to have lied. to have libeled, to have willfully attempted to destroy careers. They NEVER do what honest decent men do: say ‘I was wrong.’

    2. Oh, please. Yeah, wall of text, self-contradict and dance a little faster.

      Sure, Theresa knew who had been nominated because she called every single author published that year. Oh, and everyone with a free short story on the web. In days.
      The odds, they are not in your favor.
      And you’re repulsive. Go infest your kind, you two faced vomit inducing status signaling abomination.

            1. OK, look, you’re clearly slow, so I’ll spell this out for you:

              You are beneath argument. You need to earn the status, to deserve to have your words taken with even the slightest seriousness. You forfeited it long ago, and have done nothing to make up that forfeit.

              So sneer away, slowboy, and sniff, and disdain, and all your other posturing. I mean, it’s gotten you so much respect and admiration thus far, doing more of the same should really get you places, right?

      1. Wow, this Camel Fallopian guy certainly has a hard-on for Sad Puppies. Puppies living in his head rent-free. Maybe he should change his handle to FreePuppyKennel…

  18. That File 770 analysis is not really to be taken seriously.

    As a matter of scientific ethics this is not hard. If the data publicly available, I don’t think it would be hard to find people who know how to do this kind of analysis to apply themselves to it. If not than any conclusions regarding voting patterns are not to be taken seriously.

    That notwithstanding, claiming that a vote outcome would have changed under a different counting method after the vote has been made is unreasonable. You are not accounting for how people will vote knowing the system.

    In fact, there is a theorem – Arrow’s Impossibility Theorem – that proves that when you are voting for more than two candidates there is *no* system that will satisfy a list of “fairness” criteria.

    The idea of rejiggering the voting system to get some kind of result will probably not go where the Hugo people want. I predict that this-sounds-good-let’s-try-it approaches will make the system either more autocratic or more susceptible to strategic voting.

    This is a well studied area by academics. In addition to studying voting systems, there are numerous statistical tools used for analyzing rank data. This article – https://projecteuclid.org/download/pdf_1/euclid.aos/1176347251 – contains a fairly famous analysis of ranked data. The data he analyzes (among other things in the article) is from an acrimonious presidential election of the American Psychological Society that almost led to the group being split. Seems like that is the kind of analysis you want here.

    1. Joe – “I predict that this-sounds-good-let’s-try-it approaches will make the system either more autocratic or more susceptible to strategic voting.”
      I think that is exactly what they plan.
      Very intelligent comment – the more you change a system the less you can predict the outcome.
      Thank you

    1. Daddy Warpig. It’s not corruption when _they_ do it. It’s for the children or diversity or women… except, oddly it just HAPPENS to benefiting their friends. Strange.

  19. The history of withheld data almost universally proves it is withheld in defense of either malfeasance or bad science, whether a Ponzi scheme or Michael Mann’s hockey stick. Cameloscopy should consider that.

  20. I don’t think the Hugos have any bearing on my life or sales. I simply don’t care about their drama and politics.
    —— also ——
    Little people = people not us

    1. The only area they have a positive effect on sales is in Literary sf/fantasy – which is also the smallest, least lucrative and most ‘virtue signalling’ sub-genre.

  21. Gentlemen, Ladies. Try to be polite. I would appreciate it if we left the idiocy to Flie 770 where they do it so well. It seems a waste of effort to duplicate it.
    Camestros your screen name is too much of mouthful. Either change it or accept a short form. Why don’t you just use your own name, which would indicate honesty and prepared ness to accept the consequences of your statements. I know you have ample time on your hands, but you are one poster, reasonably entitled to a very small share of my or anyone’s attention. Try to keep it to two lines, and not more four posts in future, please.

    To try and briefly address your comments 1)The point is not that by occasionally posting on a site you have a financial interest. It is that by basing your discussion forum on a site which financially benefits from the competition you create a clear perception of a conflict of interest. This is as true of Making Light as it would be of Vox Popoli, or here.
    2)Schneier would have to be a moron who needed help changing diapers — which he is not, not to know that data which had been denied to the public but was given to him in secret – under any conditions whatsoever would be perceived as extremely suspect, and that in receiving this, he was opening himself up to suspicion of misconduct. Unless he is unfit to call himself a security consultant, he will have counted the number of Tor nominations over the years and worked out what their market share actually was, and smelled a rat. He knew who and what he was associating himself with.
    3)The data, by category, of successful nomination numbers was publicly available. To test their latest attempt to diddle the dupes in their favor – all they needed was ONE string of data from ONE category of the number of votes nominations that did not make it got. The names of the nominated works could be replaced by letters. That would be anonymous, as there are no cross-reference points. No ‘security expert’ could not work that out.
    Most of the rest of your commentary comes sea-lioning or squirming. Stop it.

    1. > Schneier would have to be a moron

      …or one of the 99+% of people who never heard of Worldcon or the Puppies, and wouldn’t care anyway.

      We’re in a *very small* teapot.

      On the one side we have a major publishing house, an old and prestigious convention, and dozens of prize-winning and best-selling authors, editors, and industry professionals.

      On the other side, you have a bunch of mostly-anonymous internet complainers, probably 4Chan sock puppets, trying to cause trouble.

      A little spin, some cherry-picked data, some out-of-context blog posts, and, really, why should he care about the politics? He’s only supposed to be looking at the process.

      1. …or one of the 99+% of people who never heard of Worldcon or the Puppies, and wouldn’t care anyway.

        We’re in a *very small* teapot.

        This. I work in computer programming, where Bruce Schneier is a Big Name. And while there are a lot of I.T. people who enjoy science fiction, if I started talking to another I.T. person about why Schneier shouldn’t have done that, the responses would go something like this:

        “Okay, hold on. I know what the Hugos are, that’s a science-fiction award. But who are these Sad Puppies you’re talking about? Never heard of them. Why would it matter that the Hugo committee wouldn’t give them data even under NDA? That just means the committee doesn’t trust them, whereas it does trust Schneier. Good for him. Why would that be any kind of stain on his reputation? As far as I can see, it just shows how well-known and trusted he is.”

        Note that this is a hypothetical interlocutor who is not in any way biased against the SP movement. He just wouldn’t care. (Whereas mentioning, say, the latest patent-troll lawsuit to him would result in a fifteen-minute rant, because he does care deeply about software patents.)

        So I don’t think Schneier gave two seconds’ thought to how the science-fiction community would perceive his reputation. The people he cares about, whose opinion of him matters to his bottom line, won’t think any less of him for taking this job — because the Sad Puppies movement just doesn’t matter to them one way or another.

  22. People should keep in mind that this whole mess is about the nominating stage of the Hugos, and not the block-voted, highly manipulated final balloting.

    Since the nominating information is not public, we have no idea how anonymized it is at all. Personally, I don’t see how it would be difficult to make a copy of the database, run a few SQL commands, and totally eliminate all PII without scrambling the integrity of the nominating ballots.

    What I’m more concerned with is that it might not be anonymized at all, and the purposed of finding correlations is to try to identify actual Sad Puppy voters as opposed to fans with similar tastes, and single them out for future shenanigans. Since we don’t have the dataset, we don’t know if this is in the works.

    1. Dr Mauser – given their history, it is VERY hard to trust them. Assurances won’t really work. MACII will have to prove it. So far, they’re not willing.

  23. If they were unaware of the perceptions, Camestros, then they really are too stupid to be allowed out without a minder. As we know this is not the case: they knew, THEY JUST THOUGHT THEY COULD AWAY WITH IT. THAT NO-ONE WHO MATTERED, WOULD SAY OR DO ANYTHING.

    And indeed, from their point of view they are right. It’s only the untermench who are upset, and we aren’t important. We’re not even human.

    There’s a sort of arrogance that comes with long term power. It’s common in publishing. It’s common on Making Light.

    1. Can we just pause for a moment and be in awe of the arrogance implied in titling your blog “Making Light”? One hopes they were being ironic.

        1. I think it more accurate to say they are bringers, or bearers, of light. There’s a term, or perhaps a name that encompasses that quite nicely. What was that name…. oh, yes. Lucifer.

            1. But can you get them to bet a fiddle of gold, against your soul, because you think you’re better than them?

              1. Love that song. But, after hearing Heather Alexander’s version (when Heather was still around), I liked hers far better.

            2. And Lucifer wouldn’t take them; he has standards:

              The Devil he bowed his head on his breast and rumbled deep and low: —
              “I’m all o’er-sib to Adam’s breed that I should bid him go.
              Yet close we lie, and deep we lie, and if I gave him place,
              My gentlemen that are so proud would flout me to my face;
              They’d call my house a common stews and me a careless host,
              And — I would not anger my gentlemen for the sake of a shiftless ghost.”
              The Devil he looked at the mangled Soul that prayed to feel the flame,
              And he thought of Holy Charity, but he thought of his own good name: —

      1. I always figured “Light Bringer” was already taken or they just translated poorly from the Latin.

      1. Well, I’d like to think of idealistic group of people sitting in big circle around a broken light bulb holding hands and singing kumbaya (because many hands make light work) but let’s be honest that site has yet to produce that much of a ‘positive’. It’s a toxic swamp of competing nasties to see who can please the source of grace and favor.

        1. Isn’t that what they call a ‘cargo cult’? I especially like the broken light bulb reference–maybe a CFL, per chance?

  24. I’m not sure that analysis of the 2015 Hugo nominations will be able to detect the usual logrolling-that-isn’t-a-slate-shuddup-no-it’s-not given that the Puppy Gladdeners were such a large part of the nominating crowd.

    What I would be very curious to see is how the slate-busting EPH algorithm would do on the nominations of 2012 and earlier.

      1. The thing that got me was the example data in the five million slide original presentation, which attempted to simultaneously argue that a) SP voters almost only vote SP; but b) in the year of SP 1, a reasonable data set would have absolutely not changed the results so that the 6th place nominee (ILOH) would have been 5th, no way, no how.

        Pretty sure they only get to pick one, there.

  25. Because I paid to play last time I can nominate this time but I doubt I’ll bother and I won’t be sending any more money to the WSFS. What a contemptible bunch of weasels.

    1. RP – do you mind if I quote you? (merely a poster, RP). I’d like to ask them what they plan to do to rebuild trust and encourage people to participate.

  26. After tiring of the paraphrasing of the business meeting resolution I hunted it down on the web:

    “Moved, that the WSFS Business Meeting requests that the Administrators of the 2015 and 2016 Hugo Awards make publicly available anonymized raw nominating data from the 2015 and 2016 Hugo Awards, including the works nominated on each ballot in each category, but not including any information that could be used to relate ballots to the members who cast them
    and Resolved, that it is the opinion of the WSFS Business Meeting that releasing such anonymized raw nominating data after the announcement of the results of the 2015 or 2016 Hugo Awards is not a violation of the privacy of members’ ballots.”

    Nothing about only if it can be anonymized to some impossible to achieve perfection, it lays out what information is to be included, what information is to be excluded to sufficiently anonymize the raw data, and declares that the required information is explicitly not a privacy violating.

    The Tor cabal got the data first, and it probably showed their Tor slate not only existed, but was more lockstep than the puppies, who actually used the recommended list a reading list, then voted for what they liked. This would destroy their narrative and would not be allowed. The business meeting being democratic like the actual voting was beyond their direct control to try something as blatant as releasing the data only to them , but the admins in their sphere of influence were much easier to control. Citing impossible standards of anonymization and wildly implausible scenarios where someones vote might be determined, they shut down anyone else getting the data. They argue the Hugo admin has sole discretionary power and can choose to release data to who he wants and deny it to anyone else.

    EPH was created to guarantee their nominee slots on the ballot would continue no matter how many science fiction fans joined and voted for the best works of the year. The people who created it on Making Light are the only ones with access to the data. They will surprisingly enough release a report telling everyone how great EPH is and how horrible the puppies are. The Torlings with their SJW allies will lead the low information voters around by their need to virtue signal.

    The Hugo is lost. There are too many layers of administrators who have been captured by the Torlings, and they will act to counter any kind of democracy powered reforms.The fix is in, and the Hugo is revealed as what it has become, a Tor marketing gimmick.

    Sad Puppies 4 is predicated on their being a chance to save the award, and frankly this latest fiasco proves it’s a lost cause. I have the ability to nominate from my Sasquan membership, and will be sending in a straight Rabid Puppies slate as a last middle finger raised in my exit. I see no need to fund these fascists further.

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