- Comedy Duo Create An Extremely Detailed Portrait In A Portrait 18 Levels Deep – DesignTAXI.com
- Women of Reddit, when did you first notice that men were looking at you in a sexual way? How old were you and how did it make you feel? : AskReddit Content warning for many, many stories of adult men sexualizing girls when they are 11 or even younger.
- Experiment Shows Teachers View ‘Deshawns’ More Harshly Than ‘Gregs’ | Colorlines “…teachers reported higher levels of being personally troubled by the report when the student had a name like “Darnell” or “Deshawn” than when the student had a name like “Greg” or “Jake.” They were also more likely to call for harsher punishment…”
- Written testimony to Congress by Nancy Chi Cantalupo: “It is downright dangerous to conflate civil rights and criminal justice approaches to sexual violence and allow criminal justice responses to dominate our collective imagination regarding how to address this violence. If we did so, we would eliminate sexual violence victims’ civil rights to equality, specifically student victims’ rights to equal educational opportunity.” (PDF link.)
- Republicans Like Class Warfare—So Long As It’s Against Hillary Clinton | Mother Jones
- Appomattox: How did Ulysses S. Grant become an embarrassment of history and Robert E. Lee a role model?
- Man Camp I wish this were a joke, but I don’t think it is.
- Americans’ Spending on Dining Out Just Overtook Grocery Sales for the First Time Ever – Bloomberg Business
- Why We Let Prison Rape Go On – NYTimes.com
- New Type of Boredom Discovered, and It’s Rampant The headline sounds like a parody, but it’s not.
- i want to remind people that if there had been no video of michael slager executing walter scott, he would have just been another cop who got away with murder. he knew the exact story to tell, the exact evidence to plant, and delivered the exact easy bake bullshit that you hear every time they slaughter a black person. and yet you wonder why we question every death— why we never believe them when they say someone tried to take a gun. wake the fuck up! #farfromover
- I Posed As A Man On Twitter And Nobody Called Me Fat or Threatened To Rape Me For Once – xoJane.
- “Rape is good fodder for comedy”: Amy Schumer makes a case for the feminist rape joke – Salon.com
- Fannie’s Room: Researchers Study Online Antisocial Behavior
- Will Hillary Clinton be too weak on climate change?
- Democratic voters love marijuana legalization. Hillary Clinton doesn’t.
- A Miscarrying Woman Was Denied Medication Because of “Conscience”
- Corporations now spend more lobbying Congress than taxpayers spend funding Congress
- Academic Freedom versus Academic Legitimacy: The UNC Case. Amp’s comment: David has it right here. Criticism of a choice of speaker is not censorship.
- New York A.G. to Investigate Employers Who Keep Low-Wage Workers “On Call”
- As Cities Raise Their Minimum Wage, Where’s the Economic Collapse the Right Predicted?
- California Bill Would Require Crisis Pregnancy Centers to Discuss Abortion Options. Heh. I’m of course against this idea writ large, because free speech; however, I don’t necessarily object to this law, because it limits itself to government-licensed facilities which provide pregnancy-related services.
- What If MLK’s “Letter from Birmingham Jail” Had Been a Facebook Post? This is a post about the ways that prisons forbid prisoners from using social media – and punish them when they do. Alarmingly, Facebook is cooperating with the prisons on this.
- McSweeney’s Internet Tendency: Lesser-Known Trolley Problem Variations.
On The Murder Of Rekia Boyd
- A Judge Just Let A Cop Walk After A Deadly Shooting. Legal Experts Say The Reasoning Is ‘Incredible.’ | ThinkProgress
- Rekia Boyd Fact Sheet
- RIP Rekia Boyd: November 5, 1989 – March 21, 2012 | Gradient Lair
- On Rekia Boyd, Freddie Gray and the Cost of Police Impunity
- America’s big criminal justice lie: What one cop’s acquittal reveals about police violence & Rekia Boyd’s death – Salon.com
- We Do This for Rekia | Transformative Spaces
Puppies, puppies everywhere!
- “In other words, of the 16 written fiction nominees on Torgerson’s slate, 11 – more than two-thirds – had not actually been nominated by anyone in the crowd-sourced discussion from which, we are told, the slate emerged.” Amp: How very democratic and non-elitist!
- On screaming “We’re not VD!” while ignoring your relationship with VD — Jason Sanford
- Some Sad Puppy Data Analysis. The blogger, a puppy supporter (the most civil one I’ve encountered), attempts to use data to support the Sad Puppies; I debate him in the comments.
- Philip Sandifer: Writer: Guided by the Beauty of Their Weapons: An Analysis of Theodore Beale and his Supporters “Ultimately, that’s all Beale is doing: he’s hiding what he actually means behind a paper-thin veil so that it is communicated with deniability. (Fittingly, the usual name for this rhetorical technique, a favorite of political campaigns of all leanings, is “dogwhistling.”)” Warning: this one is very long.
- Why I Won’t Be A Presenter At The Hugo Awards This Year | Connie Willis. (Willis, for those who don’t know, has won 11 Hugos for her fiction, and been nominated 24 times.)
- Back To The Future – Of The Hugos | Barno’s Stables Another blog post where I’m debating the author in the comments.
- ETA: (3) Captain Christian White, supreme commander of… This parody of Puppies, written by Adam-Troy Castro, totally cracked me up. Thanks for the link, Myca!
closetpuritan: Your comment above mentions Friedersdorf and the appropriate punishment for sex on the beach, but it links to the Atlantic’s article about Bernie Sanders. I think you meant to link to this very good Atlantic piece by Conor.
(Unless you were trying to make the point that the appropriate punishment for sex on the beach is Bernie Sanders for president? Which doesn’t make any sense, but is appealing to think about. Wouldn’t that be awesome, if the way to get around the Citizens United money blockade and put a genuine populist in the White House would be for citizens to all go to the beach and … unite?)
[Also, spoilers for Avengers- Age of Ultron, even more than closetpuritan and Harlequin’s comments… maybe I should make a Age of Ultron discussion post?]
That Banner-Romanov scene read the same way to me. Both Bruce and Natasha were using their respective literal incapacity to have kids as a way of talking about the fact that one of them has uncontrollable violent rages and the other of them is a cold-blooded killer (whose flash-back showed us that her training included target practice on live prisoners as well as including being sterilized). I also agree that it wasn’t that well written of a scene. In general, I thought the Banner-Romanov romantic plotline had lots of reasonably good parts, but not a very good through line (more or less like the movie over all). It also definitely suffered from the Smurfette problem: Black Widow wouldn’t read as a representative of woman-kind if she weren’t the only major female character of the series (Scarlet Witch made it less of a problem, but she still didn’t really feel like a main character of the series yet).
Also, I agree that having her angsting about family wasn’t necessarily sexist. Being coercively sterilized is pretty traumatic, so it isn’t inherently sexist writing to have a character who has been coercively sterilized in the past and then telepathically forced to relive the experience be less than perfectly reasonable when talking about the fact she can’t have kids (again, better writing would definitely have helped!).
Of course, on the other hand, she has friends who can 3-d print living bodies out of metal-infused flesh, so it is hard to imagine Helen couldn’t make her a new reproductive system if she wanted one (or print a baby made with Natasha and Bruce’s genetic material). On a third hand, it seems reasonable to me that she could not generally want to have kids (given her current life), feel like a monster because she was sterilized, and not have ever thought seriously about getting a replacement reproductive system- particularly since it is super-new technology and her feelings about being sterilized are probably something she avoids thinking about.
Thanks, ballgame! Yeah, I accidentally grabbed the wrong Atlantic tab; it was one of the links for my next comment.
I’ve also seen stories about people getting put on the sex offender registry for peeing in public. As Friedersdorf touches on in his article, in addition to not being a punishment that fits the crime, it makes the sex offender registry less useful if it’s clogged up with people who aren’t actually dangerous to the public.
I wouldn’t mind an AoU thread, if other folks are interested.
Interesting election the U.K. just had, eh? Based on my new-found appreciation for BBC World News via satellite radio in the morning (got a free 2-month trial for satellite radio in general because they know I own it and am not using it) the pollsters were quite wrong about the results. The Tories (can’t bring myself to call them “Conservatives”) won an outright majority. So P.M. Cameron will a) try to cut a new deal with the E.U. and then b) sell it in an “In/Out” referendum to the U.K. electorate sometime afterwards. The timeframe I heard bandied about by the pundits is 2 years.
It’s so weird that the British can make coherent projections about their governments policies based on who wins elections. Redundant veto points say what?
Speaking of interesting election results, the New Democratic Party just broke a 4-decade long stretch of domination by the Progressive Conservatives in Alberta.
“It turns out that the Wall Street bonus pool in 2014 was roughly twice the total annual earnings of all Americans working full time at the federal minimum wage.”
Yep, the pollsters consistently called it neck-and-neck during the last few weeks of the campaign.
I did a little better, in that I predicted that the Tories would get more seats than anyone else, though I didn’t think they’d get a majority. On the other hand, I predicted that leftwing parties overall would outweigh rightwing parties.
In another Atlantic article (this one in honor of Mother’s Day): Why do so many children’s stories — especially cartoons — involve dead mom?
Let’s ask Mirka!
I tend to flip flop a lot of my feelings re minimum wage. It seems clear (to me at least) that some sort of minimum wage is needed on balance, but I am also convinced that you can’t make it too high without some odd effects, and that even a lower one will have some ancillary (though less weighty) costs.
Anyway: I try to make sure that i read a lot of stuff from both sides. For those of you who might be interested in a single link with a lot of collected stuff re recent increases, here is one:
“… if the way to get around the Citizens United money blockade ….”
Blockade? Citizens United vs. FEC opened up a blockade of money.
Well, in somewhat-local-to-me news, there are some serious allegations involving a state senator, Norm McAllister–he’s basically a rapist and wannabe pimp. It looks like it’s starting to get picked up nationally–USA Today is covering it–I kinda thought it would since I can’t think of other politicians who’ve done anything quite this bad in their private lives.
Many of the news stories, because they don’t want to get too explicit, don’t make it sound as bad as it actually is–an interesting reversal of the media’s usual bias towards sensationalism. This version has many disturbing details–content warning for disturbing details, obviously. (The rumors I heard before that story was published were also anti-sensational–they made it sound less bad than even the USA Today version.)
His failed prostitution scheme reminds me of the White Slavery Panic, except it wasn’t imaginary. Also interesting is that other media are merely reporting that Victim #2 refused to go along with the scheme to transport her to other farms and so it didn’t happen; according to the article above, in a wiretapped call
Despite being caught in a police wiretap confirming at least some of the allegations, McAllister is pleading not guilty.
An interesting set of links, g&w, though I’ll note that your introduction to it seems a little odd, since all of the links are mildly to severely negative about the impact of a minimum wage increase. (Perhaps you thought most of us here would be familiar with the arguments from the other side?)
The most persuasive, I thought, was the second set of links (“Why Minimum Wage Increases are a Terrible Anti-Poverty Program”)–particularly the return per dollar on the money that goes into increased wages.
A couple of pieces mention that pro-raise arguments would work even if we raised the minimum wage to $150 instead of $15; I would counter that many of the opposing arguments would work as well if we lowered it to $0. (To be fair, one of the linked articles explicitly argues for a lower minimum wage, so it’s not like all people making these arguments are unaware of that fact.) There is some sweet spot, I think, that balances employing the maximum number of people with guarding against the exploitation of the workers; the question is whether we have reached that point or not. I was curious and checked out the history of the minimum wage in constant dollars on Wikipedia; the minimum wage was significantly higher 1955-1980, significantly lower in the 1940s, and equivalent to or somewhat below where it is now from 1985-present. Interesting, anyway.
Sady Doyle’s got a great piece about the most recent Avengers movie. I don’t agree with everything in it on balance, I think, but it’s got a lot of thought-provoking ideas in it. (And laugh-out-loud funny in bits, as you’d expect.) Spoilers, obviously.
Oh, and McAllister’s fellow legislators are reacting with the typical “I’m amazed he would do that” stuff, mostly. Mostly.
The Oberlin College Choir responds to the recent protests over Christina Hoff Sommers’ speech at Oberlin College.
I do love me some good choral singing. Not a very complex piece, but well done on short notice. Unfortunately there’s no credit to the composer.
Note their redrawing of the Oberlin College seal.
Meet some of ours:
My favorite proposal thus far for how to modify the Hugo Voting so as to avoid slates.
It’s really interesting to read something like this – an extremely technocratic, process oriented, discussion focusing on how to patch an exploitable hole in the nomination process – and stack it up against the (at best) delusional or (at worst) deliberately disingenuous claims about how “the SJWs are trying to change the process to blacklist conservatives!!!” The contrast is striking.
Making Light: Discussing Specific Changes to the Hugo Nomination Election: A Post Not By Bruce Schneier
Here’s a quote from the link (there’s more there):
I strongly approve of this idea. It would eliminate the problem of slates dominating the ballots – not just puppy slates, but ANY slates, including secret SJW slates that may or may not exist, and future slates. People would still be free to vote in slates, of course, but
I’m okay with thatthat’s not nearly as important a problem.
Whoops! Should have refreshed, Myca beat me to it.
My favorite from the FAQ was:
Man, who would have thought that all the people saying that they ‘object to slates’ actually object to slates and aren’t using it as crypto-code for something else? Why, it’s as if they actually said what they actually meant or something.
I think it’s a bit facile to pretend that this is somehow more objective. It merely gives weight to a particular type of voting. Since the group you’re dealing with is a very strong willed minority, this particular method is designed to basically disempower them. Sure, their votes would count…. so long as they contributed to disenfranchising themselves. That’s a Hobson’s choice.
(Let’s say that they think that Torgerson ought to win Best novel. But they’re not sure he will. They think it’s likely that the Bible and the Odyssey are going to be competing for the finals. In the system you propose, they can’t maintain “a vote that counts” unless they grant at least 1/8 of a point to one of them, at which point they have made it less likely that their own favorite will even make it past nomination.)
So generally, there is no way that a small but determined # of fans can get something on the ballot.
And also, it allows for some majority gaming. Most obviously, folks can just “give 1/100 of a point to everything that isn’t Sad Puppies.” Voila: No Sad Puppies nominations. Not even one. Which may seem good to you, though it might sounds a bit less appealing if you replace Sad Puppies with “generic minority.”
Similarly, if you are reasonably secure that enough other people will vote for your things (say, if you work for a major publishing house or perceive your novel to be in the “in group”) then you can spend almost all your points on your preferred target without much risk. Minorities can’t stop you, or even effect you
As a comparison, imagine a rule where you got a similar # of points, and you can spend your points as you wish, across as many categories as you wish…. but without the initial popularity screen.
In that scheme, if you want to spend all 10 points on “best novel,” you can do so. But you lose your say for all other categories. OTOH, if you care a bit about every category instead of caring strongly about only one, then you can spend one point on each… but not have as much effect. You can’t do both. And since there are multiple categories and multiple nomination slots, you basically have to choose how much you care about things–you can’t game multiple categories.
This would practically limit the effect of slates, but would not eliminate minority preference. It’s a bit like politics: if they reeeeeeally care enough about a very small and limited # of nominations, why shouldn’t they be able to get it done?
Also, it deters worthless voting. IOW it forces people who are nominating to actually consider what is important to them. You can certainly “give 1/100 of a point to everything that isn’t a Sad Puppies recommendation” if you want to, but if you were planning to do that for 40 books which you hadn’t read just because they were published by a house you like, perhaps you’ll reconsider.
You could include popularity if you really wanted to. For example: starting at the bottom and working up, for any two submissions within some range of points (say, 25%) you could make it a popularity “how many people spent at least 1/2 of their ten points on this book?” elimination. (This allows for some gaming of the popularity aspect, but limits it to 20 submissions across all categories.)
Now: one of those is not necessarily better than the other. But it’s pretty clear that one of them is designed to specifically disempower the SP. And that isn’t actually needed.
I’m not sure that I understand your argument?
If I’m following you correctly, you’re saying:
1) The only way to maintain “a vote that counts” is to vote for works that are likely to win a nomination (i.e., works that are liked by a large number of Hugo voters).
2) Therefore, people who’d prefer to vote for a work that isn’t likely to win a nomination are being disenfranchised.
Is that seriously your argument? I’m not being snide – that’s honestly what your argument looks like to me. Am I missing something?
I don’t think this is true. As I understand it, there are a maximum of five works that any Hugo voter can nominate within each category.
The touted benefit of this theme, if I’m reading it right, is that you can vote for multiple nominations, but that if your preferred nomination doesn’t win, your vote still counts. That is because your vote gets “passed on” to the other items on your list in order of preference.
Assuming, that is, that your list contains other items that are still in the running.
So to use an example with movies: you can nominate a random indie if it makes you happy–and you have no real tradeoff, so long as you also nominate LOTR, because so long as
That is because it’s based on the value judgment “it is better to have mass popularity than high popularity.”
To use a musical analogy, that could make Sound of Music more popular than the latest under-30 top hit, because something like 90% of Americans would recognize the former and only 25% would recognize the latter. This could be true even if nobody actually thought Sound of Music was their favorite song, and even if the “real” choice should be between the over-30 and under-30 hits.
It’s good if the goal is to eliminate “all that music the kids like these days,” i.e. SP. Not so good if you’re trying to figure out a way to accommodate both the preferences of the minority and majority.
This is a bit easier to illustrate if you actually compare methods, which is why I posted an example of an alternate method.
Your argument sounds to me like “it’s unjust for works that are popular with Hugo voters to have an advantage when it comes to getting nominated for a Hugo award.”
How is that unjust?
Yes, popular works among voters will have a greater chance than unpopular works. I don’t see why that’s a problem.
In your previous post, you said “it’s a bit facile to pretend that this is somehow more objective.” But I didn’t see anyone arguing this is “more objective” than the status quo; the argument is that it would make it “not possible for slates to control the -entire- ballot.” As far as I can tell, that goal is achieved.
This wouldn’t be true for a group as large as the Puppies – they could easily band together to get one or maybe two works on the ballot (multiplied by however many categories they vote in). What they wouldn’t be able to do is control the entire ballot.
Of course, if the “small but determined number of fans” is small enough in number – if they were a group of three people, for example – then they couldn’t get something on the ballot by themselves. That seems fair to me.
Finally, I’d argue that the appropriate basis for comparison should be the status quo.
g&w: respectfully, you don’t seem to understand what this voting system entails, or how it would actually work in practice.
As Amp says, you should compare this to the current nominating system. Under the current system, let’s say 40% of people vote for the Odyssey, 40% for the Bible, and 21% for Torgersen, with the rest of the votes distributed in some way to a large number of works (total is anywhere from 100%-500% depending on how many items each ballot nominated); only two works will make it to the final ballot in this toy model.
CURRENT SYSTEM: The Odyssey and the Bible make it through.
PROPOSED SYSTEM: We have to divide it into a few cases.
– Nobody who votes for the Bible votes for the Odyssey, and vice versa. The Odyssey and the Bible make it through.
– Everybody who votes for the Bible also votes for the Odyssey, but none of them vote for Torgersen. Each Bible and Odyssey vote is halved, so the ballots end up the equivalent of 20% Bible, 20% Odyssey, and 21% Torgersen; Torgersen gets through, plus whichever of the Bible and Odyssey win the tiebreaker.
– Some votes overlap from each category. The Bible and the Odyssey win.
Torgersen might get in in the proposed system. But if he wouldn’t get in in the proposed system, he’d never get in in the current system, unless he was the second choice of a bloc of voters voting similarly–basically, if he wrote the Bible or the Odyssey in the middle case above, not if he was Torgersen as you described it in your hypothetical. Essentially, this system does something like “figure out what the approximate voting blocs are–people with similar tastes, not necessarily organized slates–and take the most popular work or works from those blocs, relative to their representation in the voting population.” It’s not exactly that, but most cases are approximately that.
This is not how the voting system works. You get to choose up to 5 works (or whatever the limit is). You don’t get to choose how the points are awarded–if you nominate n things, then each one gets 1/n points. Again, there are sort of two branches of the decision tree here:
– Everything you nominate is more popular than what the SPs nominated, by a multiplicative factor of at least n, in which case no SP nominees would make the ballot in either the current or the proposed system.
– You nominate a bunch of popular things. Let’s say there are p people who vote like you for your least-popular nominee, and q people who vote SP, where p<q*n (if p>q*n we’re in the previous branch of the tree). Each SP nominee gets struck off the ballot until they only have one left, meaning q total votes for that item. Now your least popular item has p/n votes, but we know p<q*n, so your least popular item gets eliminated, and the SPs get at least one nominee–which they wouldn’t have under the current system, because p>q.
How is this different from the current system?
*looks around at the Internet for the last month*
A lot of people sure disagree with you about the necessity of reducing the impact of slates.
No, it doesn’t guarantee that your vote will continue to count–no system can do that except one that says “we will put forward as many nominees as it takes for each nominating ballot to have one representative on the final ballot”. But it makes it much more likely that at least one of your nominees will make the final ballot, because it makes your vote for your most popular choice count more as that most popular choice gets less popular relative to the other ballots in the race–so you might get one thing in, whereas before in that situation you were pretty much guaranteed to get none.
Again: How is this different from the current system?
But the question isn’t who recognizes things, it’s who cares enough to nominate them for the award. In which case, if 90% of people think the Sound of Music should be on the ballot, I’m pretty sure that…it should be on the ballot. And again: the system proposed makes it more likely, not less, that the SP-equivalent would make it onto the final ballot.
Actually, to slightly amend that case with the ps and qs, it would have to be your lower 2 nominations that were less than n*q votes, since otherwise the SP winner would be eliminated at the elimination stage for having fewer total ballots nominating it. However, that’s still a pretty low bar (the most popular SP nominee just has to have >21% of the votes of your fourth most popular nominee, in this situation, rather than the fifth most popular).
That all seems to be an improvement on the current system. The only thing I would change would be this bit:
I think the system could handle people giving a weighting to each of the works they nominate, so that their vote is divided the way they wish, rather than forcing everything to be equal. Although that would add some complexity to the process.
That Sady Doyle Avengers post was good! I find myself agreeing with most of it, but not the overall opinion of the movie–despite all its flaws, and despite her being absolutely right that it’s not as good as Avengers 1, it still had enough good parts that I enjoyed it. I’m also less pessimistic about future Marvel movies–most of the existing Marvel movies had more or less the same constraints, and most of them were pretty good. Admittedly part of the problem is that the Marvel universe has gotten bigger so it will be a bigger problem for future movies.
Daran: Yup, that’s pretty bad! “Right Honorable”, indeed!
Technical note for Amp: I keep forgetting to mention, my blog is listed twice in the blogroll, once as “Closet Puritan”, once as “The Closet Puritan”. (I guess I prefer no “the”.)
And there have been bomb threats made against gamergaters. Does that make antigamergate a violent movement?
Responding to Kate’s comment over on the Oberlin thread:
Reading that news article, its clear the author doesn’t know that much about gamergate. Specifically this quote is important:
The “baphomet” board is not, and has not ever been, the subforum for gamergate. If you want to hate on the actions of baphomet, then go ahead, and you’ll find a lot of gamergate’s hating along side you. I’m sure some people will consider them the same thing since they’re both on 8chan. However equating the two is like equating the Palestinian Authority and ISIS, because hey, they’re both in the middle east and kinda Islamic right?
News sites mislabelling internet mischief as “linked to” or “related to” gamergate, despite having no clear link, is a pattern that’s been observed over the last few months. Presumably it’s just buzzword click-bait, however it’s having the effect of distorting what’s actually going on with gamergate.
Well, my pose went away. that’ll teach me to overuse control-W.
Most obviously: it is designed to stop minority groups from banding together in any effective way. It even prevents them from “issue focus,” which is to say that they can’t even effectively pool all their efforts on a single highly limited issue, with any particular guarantee of success.
This isn’t an unusual analysis, but it is an interesting one. Mostly because a lot of folks in favor of it–like Amp–are generally very supportive of minority participation and voting rights. And are generally very squeamish about a majority changing the rules (openly or not) to make sure that a dedicated minority group gets shut out.
Not here, though.
And although nobody has taken me up on my request to actually compare the system I proposed (oh well,) it would actually have helped to illustrate the difference a bit. Under my system, ANY group who cares enough (whether it’s the “Right Wing Warriors of America Group” or the “SJW Forever Club”) would theoretically have a decent chance to possibly get at least one nomination in one category, if they focused their efforts. Competing groups can’t wage war, but they can win a tiny bit of territory. Which, IMO, is generally a decent way to avoid having people feel entirely disenfranchised, and therefore react differently.
A minority group can band together to get one nomination on the ballot per category, maybe even two nominations per category. Do you not consider that effective?
God, I wish they’d written a FAQ that covered these questions.
Why, I bet those fuckers are just trying to make sure that no small, committed, organized group can get even one nomination on the ballot! Also I am apparently unable to read English. I’m typing this phonetically. My apparent fluency is the result of constant repetition (of this untrue argument).
I feel like your recent comments on the Hugo nomination system really do not show an understanding of how the proposed system works. The proposed system does not punish slate voting (so your Hobson’s choice comment is completely wrong, as Harlequin explained and you failed to acknowledge her correction of your error at all), nor does the proposed system silence minority factions (any more than the existing system does) and you merely assert that it does, without working through a meaningful example (if you did work through an example, you’d discover that you were mistaken).
This proposed system does still allow any group that makes up a reasonable (small) fraction of the Hugo nominator pool to get a work on the nomination list, it just makes it impossible for a small group to get their entire list of 5 (that no one outside the small group likes) onto the nomination list.
Also, despite that, it does not punish creating slates. If the SJW Kittens leadership tells the SJW Kittens to nominate 5 specific things, whichever of those things has the most cross-over appeal will still get the full weight of the SJW Kitten numbers (once the other 4 get eliminated, it is as though the SJW Kittens had only nominated the one remaining work, so having nominated the other four has no harmful effect).
Actually, if the Puppies claims were true and in most years most of the top 5 nominees were all being voted for by the same 10-15% of Hugo nominators, this new voting system would solve the Puppies’ complaint, and only one of those works would get through to the final list. Likewise, even if the not-Puppies formed a not-Puppy party to vote the not-Puppy list, with 70% of the ballots being for the not-Puppy 5 and 15% being the Puppy 5, one of the Puppy 5 would still make the list, so even in an absurd example like that it is still likely to ensure minority faction presence on the final list (in any example that actually reflects normal Hugo nomination behavior, any minority larger than 10% of the nomination pool will make the final ballot (as they would now), but they’d need to be 20% of the nominating pool before they could get two of their candidates on the list, and they’d need to be more like 80% of the nominating pool before they’d dominate the entire list. So even a majority of Hugo nominators forming a party and voting a list can’t shut out a minority faction.
So this proposed system actually responds to the supposed complaints of the Puppies (that secret literary or social justice slates have been dominating the nomination list), as well as continuing to not exclude significant minority preferences. In fact, the new system goes further to protect the voices of minority factions than the old system did. (That protection is unneeded given actual Hugo nomination patterns, but it is stronger in the new system than in the old system.) And the new system does not punish slate voting.
G&W, I’m not sure how I can say more clearly, “The proposed system makes it more likely that minorities will get on the ballot, not less.” Your analysis is wrong. I don’t just mean that I disagree with it or dislike its implications, I mean it is factually not how the system works.
It does not let minority voters dominate the ballot, that’s true. But it makes it more likely that they have at least one nominee. In other words, this proposed system makes it more likely that the Sad Puppies would have been more successful last year, although it would have reduced their success this year. (As a reminder, Sad Puppies 2 managed to place 7 of its 12 nominees, but that included no placements in some categories, and two placements in I believe only one category.) But reducing (not eliminating) their success this year is what we are trying to do, because of the widespread agreement from non-SP Hugo voters that it is unfair that ~1/6 or ~1/7 of the electorate dominated 100% of the ballot.
That was not a general question; that was in response to the two specific statements “this makes wildly dominant groups insensitive to small minorities” (which is currently true) and “wide mild popularity is better than narrow very high popularity” (which is also currently true).
In addition, your answer,
is literally the opposite of what this system does.
Hmm, or Charles could say that more clearly while I was typing…
Or I could have waited a few minutes and let Harlequin take care of it!
[anti-g&w snark deleted]
I think “appears the same to the nominators” was a goal of coming up with a new system, which is why this system doesn’t involve ranking, either.
That’s a good way to put it, I think. I agree with almost all of the criticisms she raises, but I weight the parts I liked more heavily than she does in my final analysis, so I was annoyed by those things, but they didn’t destroy my enjoyment.
It’s been pointed out that MPs elected to the 2005-2010 Parliament were four times more likely than the general population to end up in prison. And that’s just for fiddling their expenses. None (yet) have been jailed for fiddling children.
Is it? Well, that’s certainly possible. I read it fairly rapidly, and I’ll go read the proposal again.
I did consider trying to address that claim without talking about GG, but to do so would require so much circumlocution that the Daleks could reconstruct GG from the hole left in their records.
No need to litigate. I hadn’t even noticed CHS’s participation when I posted the link. But it’s relevence is independent of what I was thinking about when I posted it.
They suceeded in their attempt, in so far as discussions that would have taken place at the meeting didn’t, because of the bomb threat.
Ah yes, there are vile assholes in the feminist and progressive movements, but that isn’t what feminism and progressivism is about. On the other hand GG is a hate movment. The rotten apples don’t completely spoil feminism. The rotten apples are GG. (I’m not saying that you have argued this, but it is the position implied by the Oberlin Review piece.)
The thing is, I suspect that only discussions that took place (or would have taken place) at the GG meeting were about censorship, about corruption and collusion between game producers and journalists, possibly some complaining about Sarkeesian’s analysis, and general moaning about the way they’ve been tarred as violent and misogynist. (To be clear, I’m not taking a position on any of these issues except the last.) I’ll be willing to bet that nobody there made any rape threats, or doxed anyone, or planned any swattings. The people who do these things tend to hide behind their keyboards.
In short, my bet is that nobody at a GG meeting said or did anything remotely connected to what its critics define GG to be about.
The tendency to define its opponents as haters, combined with the institutional power to make that mud stick, is one of the things that most scares me about the feminist movement.
And another: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greville_Janner,_Baron_Janner_of_Braunstone#Child_sexual_abuse_allegations
In the interest of balance, here’s one who was certainly falsely accused.
It’s possible that some of the others I have linked to are also innocent. This seems less likely in some cases than in others.
But, but, but…
Isn’t the definition of racism “prejudice plus institutional power”? And while “institutional power” is rarely defined, it appears to mean “having people of your race in positions of power”.
So if all the people in the relevent positions of power are black, then there can’t be racism against black people, can there?
This of course is a simplistic argument, and in case it’s not obvious, I don’t agree with it. The analogous argument about men is the foundational principle of mainstream feminism. Everything, from “Patriarchy” to “male privilege” flows from it.
Whitecisheteropatriarchy and its permutations are the non-falsifiable original sins from which all evil flows at a definitional level. Deny or question its application as an explanation of specific events or attitudes and you’ve outed yourself as part of the problem. If you call something *ist, it’s impossible to be wrong (see comment 3), so why fix the broken record?
Daran and LTL FTC,
Both of you are engaging in absurd strawmanning. Please quit it.
Complete aside from the topic and just out of curiosity…
Does “LTL FTC” mean “Less than Truckload, Federal Trade Commission”?
How is my comment a straw man? A google search for “prejudice plus institiutional power” turns up scores of results declaring this phrase to be the definition of racism, sexism, etc. A similar search on “institutional power”, turns up numerous sources defining it to be the power wielded by governments, corporations, etc.
Here‘s a source making exactly the argument (in respect of men) I was deriding above:
And here’s tigtog, a feminist who runs a blog other feminist frequently direct people to, to explain fundamental feminist ideas:
That is some ridiculous bullshit made of straw.
It’s not bullshit. I have spent the past decade trying to get a coherent answer from feminists as to why the shit that some women have to put up with, but men don’t is male privilege, but the analogous shit that men have to put up with and women don’t isn’t female privilege. And the answers I get are invariably one of
1. You’re male, so shut up.
2. mumble, mumble, men have institutional power.
If you think you can honestly defend these positions, then have at it. Equally if you an alternative foundation upon which the feminist edifice can stand, then I’m all ears. But if all you’re going to do is say “straw man” when I am linking to feminists making the exact argument I am criticising, then you are clearly not arguing in good faith, and I am gone from this discussion.
Thanks to Amp for moving all of this to the open thread. I probably would have just rolled my eyes and scrolled on if Daran’s argument had not boiled down to: “You know what is most important about police violence under white supremacy? The fact that feminists suck.”
Daran, it is a basic thread of feminism, going at least as far back as Ti Grace Atkinson’s “A declaration of war” that men are harmed by patriarchy. It is clear in Dworkin, it is clear in Bem. “Female privilege” is not a way of framing that that you get any takers on because it is not informative and does not appear to be useful for decreasing the harm that men suffer under patriarchy. In just reads as a tendentious attempt at point scoring. It is not because feminists don’t understand that kyriarchy hurts men too.
And yes, please just move on. I have seen you make this argument many times, I’m pretty sure I’ve engaged with you on it previously to the extent I have any interest in doing so. I engaged with you to the extent of telling you to stop mostly because I found it offensive that you were trying to derail that other thread into your personal hobby horse, not because I wanted to see another go round of that argument. When I want to engage in a discussion with you, it probably won’t start with me telling you “stop.”
I thought I would highlight a post of mine, since it’s got a comment by Charles S (the same one who comments here, I’m assuming) and discusses a Skepchick post that I saw Harlequin comment on (again, I assume the same Harlequin who comments here). The Fat Nutritionist also has a recent post on a similar theme. One of the comments she made on her own post that I thought made a particularly good point:
Yup, that was me!
Since that Skepchick post I’ve slowly been putting together an essay on what I see as the scientific basis of disputing the “fat people should always be trying to lose weight” position. Don’t know that I’ll be done with it anytime soon, though. I liked your post quite a bit, by the way (clicked on it from the blog roll :)).
That was a good quote, and thanks for the link.
Harelquin, let me know if your essay needs a home after you’ve written it. :-) (And even if not, please let us know when and where it’s published.)
I just read that Skepchick thread, and thought you (ClosetPuritan) and you (Harlequin) were both very impressive in the comments.
Also, great post, ClosetPuritan!
I’m not too proud of my response at the very end–I try not to respond equally badly when people respond badly to me–but I don’t blame myself too much either since it was after multiple unfair (IMO) readings of comments.
Hi closetpuritan, that Charles S was indeed this Charles S.
(see, we even have the same Modest Medusa Charles ‘not a fish scientist’ icon.)
A few interesting and worthwhile pieces by various novelists on the subject of scenes in media depicting rape or other sexual assault, and of scenes describing consensual sex:
(Content Warning for discussion of rape and sexual assault in fiction.)
* A Useful Moment From a Mentor (John Scalzi)
* Why are you writing a rape scene? (Robert Jackson Bennett; linked in the above John Scalzi post; Content Warning for discussion of sexual abuse of minors)
* Things I will not do to my characters. Ever. (Seanan McGuire)
* The Importance of Writing Sex Scenes (Foz Meadows; this one complements the others quite well I think, and is quite interesting from a ‘writing craft’ perspective as well; it’s also by far the least “Content Warnable” post, so even if you need/want to skip the others, this one is worth checking out I’d day.)
dragon_snap, your first link got borked somehow–here’s the right one.
DAMN it. The very promising “you can change people’s mind about social issues by presenting it right” study appears to have been completely faked, as it “never actually conducted the surveys.”
I hadn’t really seen any news about this before it happened, but apparently Nebraska abolished the death penalty (which the governor has said he’ll veto, but it seems to be a veto-proof majority). It’s interesting because the backers are mostly small-government conservatives and religious folks–the kind of people that liberals often say should oppose the death penalty but who often don’t. So, good on them!
I’m pretty sure I’ve linked this on Alas! before, but since the subject has come up again:
The Rape of James Bond
–Often people will compare rape to murder, and ask “why is it okay to have so many murder scenes/joke about murder/etc.?” I wonder if the more relevant gender-neutral comparison to rape is not murder but torture. FWIW, I have similar subjective reactions to rape scenes and torture scenes. Neither one automatically rules out a book/movie/etc for me, but it does make it a lot more likely that I’ll avoid it.
–Both rape and torture have two negatives that I, and I suspect many other people, sometimes have trouble separating: one is that they are unpleasant scenes to watch even if they’re done well and I don’t have any issues with their politics. The other is that their politics are often messed up (see Amp’s recent “Enough with the torture scenes” post).
–Arguably, including a lot of rape can have a disparate impact on certain types of readers/viewers/etc in a way that raises questions of fairness*, especially if the rape is just to establish the grimdark world, the aftermath isn’t a big focus of the book, and other readers enjoy the work for escapist reasons. Pretty much any rape scenes would probably have a disparate impact on rape survivors. Having the rapes always or almost always have women as victims may have a disparate impact on women–it certainly seems likely that would have a disparate impact on women’s ability to enjoy the it. With GoT in particular, I’ve gone back and forth whether this is true, because there seem to be quite a few women, including feminist women, who enjoy GoT. OTOH, I was talking to my dad (who is a big GoT fan, both the books and the show) about a scene from the first book that I still am reminded of sometimes, that I found particularly disturbing**. My dad said he didn’t even remember that scene. My response: “I do! I sure wish I didn’t!”
–I’m not sure I can completely explain why–I’m not sure if the reasons are more political or if I just don’t find them as upsetting for other reasons–but I’m less bothered by rape in media where the character goes on in the story (even the sorta cliche rape-as-backstory/motivation) than rape where the victim is never heard from again, whether that’s because the victim gets killed or is only important to the story as someone for the rape to happen to.
*I almost hesitate to say that could be an issue, since there are so many books out there to read, so many movies to watch, etc. But between not always knowing exactly what’s in a book before reading it, and the fact that you basically can’t escape hearing about GoT if you’re an sf reader (have I mentioned how sick I am of hearing about GoT?), I think there is a fairness issue there, though it’s at the “annoyance” level, not the “great injustice” level.
**It bears some resemblance to this “Stories We’ve Seen Too Often” category:
“30. Brutal violence against women is depicted in loving detail, often in a story that’s ostensibly about violence against women being bad.
“a. Man is forced by circumstances or magic to rape a woman even though he really doesn’t want to, honest.”
The Boy Scouts of America must reassess its ban on gay adults, according to the BSA’s president.”We must deal with the world as it is, not as we might wish it to be.”
Meanwhile, the Girl Scouts of America continue to welcome trans girl members, critics be damned. “Luckily, we don’t serve our critics,” [GSA USA’s “chief girl expert”] told CNN. “We are proud to serve all girls.”
@Harlequin – thanks for noticing and correcting my error!
In addition to the excellent points you bring up, I tend to find instances of rape in fiction in which the victim is the subject hard to read or watch because so often the description/depiction of the event and/or its aftermath doesn’t speak to me. I have not been raped, but I have experienced (as the victim, obviously) sexual assault/attempted sexual assault on multiple occasions. Because it is a difficult subject I think a part of me yearns to read/watch something and feel represented in it – something to make me feel less alone (my circumstances were somewhat unique), and something that I can point others to and say, look at this, and maybe you will begin to understand.
Interestingly, I have noticed a somewhat similar tendency to be frustrated by most of the YA novels featuring LGB characters I’ve read. I don’t know why that is at all – whether it’s because I don’t often find them representative of my own experiences (I’m bisexual) – or for some other reason(s).
Meh. After the last change in membership standards everyone knew this was coming. The people who oppose it are either quitting or are resigned to it. Mostly the latter, as most of the former quit after the last change.