Friday, May 6, 2016

Reduxing Vox Day: PermaBanning Puppies

Almost every other rule change proposal other than E Pluribus Hugo I've seen leads to a situation similar to EPH. The rule changes will not be enough to squeeze the Rabids out, leading to a Temporary Cease-Fire or Balkanization.

There is one exception, that being banning people from WorldCon based on their nominations. This is one that could actually work, and at less cost than you may think.

Banning people based on "griefer" nominations will transform behind-the-scenes Hugo manipulation into open control. But that doesn't really matter.

The average Sci-Fi reader knows very little about the Hugos (part of why $2,000 could buy you a Hugo before the Puppies). Before PuppyGate, I couldn't have told you the difference between a Hugo, a Nebula, and a Newbery. It's just something on the cover that makes your eye linger another second.

Turning the Hugos into an openly controlled award will do nothing to undermine its value to the controllers. The average person's eye will linger for the extra second. The Affirmative Action Crew will get their diversity winners (less than you may expect, judging by how white last year's winners were). 

If think about it, the only way to prevent people from nominating the "wrong" books is to ban people who nominate the "wrong" books. Yes, it will reduce the Hugos to a sham, but a truly open and democratic voting system is not what everyone wants. And much of the core fanbase will go along with it, in the same way they went along with No Award/

In a way, the Puppy Revolt could end up making things easier on the Controllers, because it gives them an excuse to seize control under the cover of protecting everyone from the Puppies. Not that this will stop the slow death of traditional publishing, but whatever.

Now, Vox wants us to believe he can use the proposed PermaBan rule against the Kickers. That remains to be seen, but the man has an excellent track record on these things.

I'm torn on whether or not Vox can pull that off. My gut tells me that this is at least partially a bluff, but I have no evidence and it runs counter to Vox's pattern of saying what he will do and then doing it. But the gut will say what it says, regardless of reason.

Predictions Time:

-The Powers That Be will move forward with PermaBanning, and will implement it if they think they can get away with it.

-If PermaBanning is implemented, the Hugo base will go along with it.

-If Vox can flip PermaBanning on the PTB, I will give my gut a very stern talking-to.


  1. Doesn't this entirely prove the Puppies' point? That the Hugos are controlled by an insular clique who will do anything to preserve their lock on the awards?

    So why are you trying to come up with strategies to support this insular clique? Are you hoping to be invited to join? Simple power-worship?

    Your "killing Vox Day" series has more than amply confirmed everything he says, so why aren't you a Pup yourself?

    1. He/She has already come out as a sad puppy.

    2. As mentioned several times, this is war-gaming. The anti-Vox position is simply more interesting than the pro-Vox position, because he is currently running roughshod over them.

  2. What you are suggesting is asinine. Banning people because of how they nominated? Will you just give them a giant yellow star of David next? Disgraceful.

  3. Trauma-anon here. Rigoberta is at it again. At this point, there are two ways for the kickers to take back the Hugos.

    One, by bringing in a large number of new sympathetic SF fans willing to pay the membership fee and nominate books. That's what they tried last year, turns out, more people who fit that description are sympathetic to the puppies.

    Two, remove current puppies, and prevent the addition of new members with puppy sympathies. That's what they're trying this year.

    Here's the problem, it only works if the kickers have more internal discipline and unity than the puppies. If the process is a democratic one, that permits any current member in good standing to on the list of 'acceptable nominees', the organization that is able to motivate more numerous and disciplined members will always carry the day. So in the end, it is at its' base vulnerable to the same strategy as the first tactic they tried.

    If the kickers make the rules permit expulsions, but leave the determination of the rules under which an expulsion can happen to either a democratic process, or a group with insufficient internal discipline, it is vulnerable in the first case to a larger body, and in the second, to a more disciplined body capable of subverting the inner party.

    SJWs haven't shown themselves to be particularly internally disciplined, or willing to enforce the hierarchy necessary in an anti-democratic institution.

    I suggest democracy, accepting the validity of puppies as true fans, and praising the puppies for their efforts to promote and popularize a niche award convention to a tremendous number of folks who had not participated before the 'team Edward vs team jacob' show last year.

    1. So ultimately, the Sad Puppy position. I agree about the SJW lack of discipline.

  4. permabanning

    This would appear to be the Second Great Exclusion.

    For those of you a tad younger than I am, the Great Exclusion happened at WorldCon One (1939), and excluded a bunch of members of the Futurians from attending. You can read about them in recent issues of The National Fantasy Fan magazine of the National Fantasy Fan Federation (founded 1941) at The recent coverage was written by Jack Robins, who until his death last winter was the next-to-last living Futurian.

    Among the excluded were Donald A. Wollheim, Frederick Pohl, and Robert A. W. Lowndes.

  5. As I see it the Prog Hugo people are trapped and have only one slight chance at victory.

    Basically any action the Hugo people makes is a win for Vox and the Puppies.

    They can either kick out "bad-think" and fully converge the Hugo's losing all pretense of legitimacy.

    They can do nothing and lose power.

    Or they can let other non Prog forms of SF get the nod in which case Vox wins

    The closest to a winning move would be to get a In order for them to "win" they have to get a lot of Progs to read SF, understand it and vote the Prog line.

    If they just vote swarm, the lose legitimacy.

    1. Yeah, the problem with this argument is that it assumes that the SJWs operate in an objective reality, where they would acknowledge losing all pretense of legitimacy.

      But, see, SJWs, well, they lie. To themselves, to each other, and to anyone else who lacks the good sense to ignore them.

      And they double down, when they get called out for lying.

      And then they project their own neuroses onto others.

      If they can enact a permaban, they will.

      They don't care about the future, they care about the present. That means banning the puppies, handing out Hugos as they see fit, and declaring victory.

      And then doing it again next year.

    2. Bingo, ish. Kickers and Puppies are perceiving reality differently, and thus have different definitions of victory/failure. Kickers will accept PermaBan, because it fits with their perception of victory.

      The long-term consequences of that decision are debatable, but not its inherent acceptableness to the PTB/hardcore Kickers.

  6. I wrote an android and web app to see how the proposed changed voting methods would work. I used the 1984 data that was available so I could get it debugged and working when the 2015 data was released and could be plugged in. They decided to only release the data to the EPH people, and they may or may not make their results known. I've enhanced the web app to use multiple slates with configurable levels of discipline to better compare how the new methods compare with different levels and complexity of slating. It's far from perfect, but it does seem to give a good basic idea of how things will work.

    While working on it I came up with what seems to be a far superior anti-slate method. I call it Highlander Slate Elimination because there can be only one. If 20 people have the exact same nominations in a category, only 1 of the ballots counts for that category, compressing the 20 votes into 1. It seems counterintuitive, but it's really effective at removing slates while leaving the original 84 outcome unchanged, except for the curious case of Joel Rosenberg and his consecutive ballots with only him listed for the Campbell. It does it's job and removes his proto-slated nomination. The more disciplined the slate, the less effect it has on the results with this method. It can also be used in conjunction with EPH or 4&6. VD could still manage to game it I'm sure, but it'd require orders of magnitude more work and collaboration than he currently puts into trolling Worldcon. In terms of programmatic solutions I can't see anything superior.

    The web app can be accessed here:
    Any suggestions for improvement would be appreciated.