kevin_standlee: (WSFS Logo)
2017-09-25 04:30 pm

Banner Arrived

The small WSFS Banner that we have been hanging from the front of the Business Meeting head table since the 2015 Worldcon commissioned it has made it "home" to Fernley. I didn't want to fold it because it would get creased, and the poster tube wouldn't fit with my luggage. (I was within a few grams of the limit as it was.) So I mailed it from Helsinki on August 16, paying €32.90. It arrived in Fernley today, 40 days later. I was starting to worry. Of course we don't need it until next August, but I did want it to get here.

Also in storage with me is the Gavel of WSFS until I can do something to make its storage box more obvious. One of the reasons I think we lost the previous gavel was that its storage box was too plain looking and it was lost in the clutter.
kevin_standlee: (Hugo Logo)
2017-09-19 06:05 pm
Entry tags:

A Blast From the Past

Yesterday, I had called to my attention the list of what we would today call the finalists for the 1956 Hugo Awards. The historical listing on The Hugo Awards web site did not include finalists because we did not have a list of them, nor did any of the other historical archives on which we based our initial load of finalists/winners. So I spent some time between the end of work and heading off to BASFA entering the data. (And for the most part it appears faithfully reproducing typos in the original, some of which I've now corrected.) So we now have the 1956 Hugo Awards page updated with finalist information.

It's important to realize that 1956 was only the third time the Hugo Awards had been presented. The 1954 Worldcon didn't present them after 1953 ran them. The Awards could easily have been a "one-off" thing had 1955 not decided to present them again, and 1956 continued them. However, in those far-off days, there wasn't a long document listing the rules for the Awards. The members didn't make the rules through the Business Meeting. It was all made up on the fly by the individual Worldcon committees, who as far as I can see could do as they pleased subject only to their own scruples and how they thought they'd be treated by their fellow fans. Thus you end up with variable-length finalist lists (and no indication of how a work/person made the short list), write-in votes, first-past-the-post voting, and (if rumors I recall reading can be trusted), cases where "close enough" was enough to generate a "tie." I don't know if that tie in Best Fanzine is "real" or not, and it's quite possible that we'll never know for sure.

As time has gone on, Worldcon's model for running the Hugo Awards has evolved considerable, to the model today where the rules are specified by the members through the WSFS Business Meeting, and the Administrators are expected to release just about every piece of information other than the raw ballots themselves. This is pretty consistent with an assumption that runs throughout the structure of WSFS, which is "I trust nobody but thee and me — and I'm none too sure of thee." We cede the bare minimum necessary to keep the organization running, and deeply distrust all central authority. This structure seems crazy to many people, and yet it has lasted for more than 75 years.
kevin_standlee: (Business Meeting)
2017-09-18 05:26 pm

2017 WSFS Business Meeting Videos Posted

Having finally reached a high enough bandwidth connection to do so, I have now posted the four official 2017 WSFS Business Meeting videos to the Worldcon Events channel. These are the recordings taken by the WSFS videographer (Lisa Hayes), supplemented in a couple of places by cuts from the live-streaming video that Worldcon 75 shot when there were gaps in the official recording. These official recordings also omit everything outside of the meeting, skipping over recesses and other non-meeting time.

I would have pushed this out sooner, but since the Worldcon 75 live stream video was available, I elected to take my time getting the official recording edited together and making sure everything was in place. WSFS.org is also now similarly updated.
kevin_standlee: (Business Meeting)
2017-09-10 06:01 pm
Entry tags:

Video Grind

I've completed the editing of the last two WSFS Business Meeting videos. Due to a number of gaps in the recordings we did, this was a lot more time-consuming as I filled the gaps with the material that Worldcon 75 shot (with their permission). It is of course tricky to find the spots where you can cut from one recording to the next, but I managed to make it work without being too jumpy, I think. The video generation is now grinding away on another computer. Next week when I'm at an internet connection with acceptable upload speed, I will upload the four files and post about it when they've made it to the Worldcon Events Channel.
kevin_standlee: (Business Meeting)
2017-09-08 08:03 pm
Entry tags:

Short Week, Long Days

It was a short work week, but for some reason it seemed extra-long to me. I'm glad the weekend is here. Although I'll be spending a bunch of it at the computer anyway, editing together the remaining WSFS Business Meeting videos now that I have permission to use some of the Worldcon 75 footage to fill in a couple of gaps in our recordings caused by technical issues with the camera.
kevin_standlee: (WSFS Logo)
2017-09-07 02:18 pm
Entry tags:

2017 Worldcon Fannish Inquisition Videos

I have finally managed to upload the eleven different Fannish Inquisition videos from Worldcon 75 that Lisa recorded. These presentations were also live-streamed on the Worldcon 75 channel, and an archive of it as one continuous item is there, but this playlist has each of the Worldcon, Worldcon bid, and NASFiC bid presentations as separate files. These are all creative-commons licensed, so you certainly can feel free to share these with anyone you think would be interested in them.

That was Lisa's longest day. We were at the Business Meeting at 9:00, an hour before it started in order to set up, and while I was done when we adjourned at 13:00, Lisa had to stick around for all of the inquisitioning as well. I was there as well, but Lisa had to work harder than I did that day. We were both tired and hungry after that was all done.
kevin_standlee: (Worldcon 75)
2017-09-05 03:45 pm

Constrained Uploads

My DSL upload speed here at home is abysmal. It takes hours to upload what should be pretty easy short videos. So don't expect the official recordings of the Business Meeting (which are much larger than the short Fannish Inquisition videos that are slowly going up to the Worldcon Events YouTube Channel) to post until later this month, when I can take advantage of better upload speeds when I go down and work for a week at the Bay Area office.
kevin_standlee: (Business Meeting)
2017-09-02 06:07 pm

2 Down, 2 To Go

I spent a bunch of today editing WSFS Business Meeting videos. I have two of them done, and two left to go. There's some missing footage due to technical issues with the small camera. (That's one reason Lisa says she'll never record another Business Meeting using that camera again; it's much more difficult to use than the big P2 camera that we'll have in San Jose.) I'm hunting around for footage I can use to bridge the two gaps. Conversely, there is at least one segment missing from the live-streaming coverage from Worldcon 75. Between all of the recordings, we should manage to eventually cobble together complete coverage.

When I have all four videos completed, I will upload them to the Worldcon Events Channel.
kevin_standlee: (Gavel of WSFS)
2017-08-14 08:41 am

Business Meeting Note: I Made a Mistake

At the third and final Main Business Meeting on the last day of Worldcon 75, we considered (and ratified/adopted) six constitutional amendments, and for the most part we breezed right through them. In the process of doing so, I repeatedly allowed the introduction of motions to "suspend the rules, end all debate, and adopt the motion immediately" as ordinary motions to Suspend The Rules, requiring a two-thirds vote. This was wrong.

WSFS Standing Rule 5.5 reads, in part: "The motion for the Previous Question (also known as the motion to 'close debate,' 'call the question,' and 'vote now') shall not be in order when... either or both sides of the debate have yet to speak to a question." Previous Question requires a 2/3 vote ordinarily anyway, which is the same vote as Suspend the Rules. Therefore, this standing rule must be protecting a minority smaller than one-third. I think that this rule must be protecting a minority as small as a single individual present at the meeting (not absentees), because it says you can't end the debate unless at least one speaker from each side of the question has had the opportunity to speak. (It doesn't require that a speech actually happen, just that both sides get an opportunity to do so.)

In parliamentary law, there is a hierarchy of rights in the rules. For example, the majority has rights, which surprises at least one person I spoke to this past weekend, who looked at me with a confused, blank expression on his face when I told him that super-majorities of two-thirds generally have the right to not have their time wasted. Furthermore, some rules can't be suspended at all: a rule that protects absent members can't be suspended.

A rule protecting a minority of a given size cannot be suspended except by a larger majority. What that means is this:
A rule that protects the right of an individual member can only be suspended by unanimous consent.

This doesn't mean that there is an unlimited right to debate. If at least one other person has spoken to your side of the question (and the other side has had an opportunity to speak, regardless of whether they actually do so), the meeting can then vote (2/3) to shut off debate, and your right as an individual to speak can be overridden. But if your side hasn't spoken at all, you as an individual member have the right to stop the entire rest of the room from shutting down your side's debate until you get a shot at it.

Thus, the motion as it was first made by John Pomeranz was correct, as it was to "suspend the rules and adopt by acclamation," which is to say unanimous consent. But in such a case, if even one member objected, the motion should have failed, and both sides of the question should have been given the opportunity to speak to the matter if they choose to do so. After that, the motion for the Previous Question (end debate, 2/3 required) would have been in order.

Please be mindful that I'm not saying we should have "sham debate" where people take the floor to say one or two words to just barely meet a technical requirement for debate. That's foolish. But it was wrong of me to allow a motion that protected individuals (a minority of one) to be passed on anything less than a unanimous vote.

Now, my mistake doesn't invalidate the actions of the meeting. Someone, anyone could have made a Point of Order about this. Nobody did, and thus the result stands. But I don't want to make that mistake again, and I want others to learn from my mistake so that it doesn't get repeated.
kevin_standlee: (Worldcon 75)
2017-08-13 11:50 pm

Worldcon 75 Day 5: And So We Finnish

For the third year in a row, we had a WSFS Business Meeting on the final day of Worldcon. However, unlike the previous two years, the "overflow" business was far less contentious than what had come before. Consequently, I decided that I could lighten up a little bit and "dressed down" for the final meeting.

Meet the Entire Team )

Today's final meeting took around 30 minutes (out of the five hours scheduled), and every one of the relatively minor items remaining received ratification or first passage. We then adjourned sine die and Lisa packed up the camera gear. She was done, but I was not, because we still had the WSFS Mark Protection Committee meeting. The MPC meeting was nearly without a quorum (fifteen members, thus needing eight people), but we were able to make it work because Worldcon/NASFiC appointees serve "at the pleasure of the appointing authority," so I (in my Worldcon 76 San Jose WSFS Division Head role) could temporarily appoint someone at WC76's representative. (I'm an elected member, not the San Jose rep.) We got such work done as we had to do: I was re-elected Chair, Linda Deneroff was re-elected Secretary, and Bruce Farr was re-elected Treasurer. The rest of our business is done mostly through the committee's e-mail discussion list.

I found out later that the live streaming of the Business Meeting ended up also including the MPC meeting. I hope I didn't say anything embarrassing on a live mic. Note that I also used my new personal gavel to preside over the MPC meeting.

After the meeting, I carried all of the stuff (including the small WSFS banner) up to the hotel room, then went back down to find Lisa, and met up with Linda Deneroff in the Volunteer Lounge. We also picked up our volunteer t-shirts before we joined Linda and Elinor for our final lunch in the convention center. This also gave us a chance to use up the last of the "groats" (tokens issued to volunteers at the rate of €1 per hour worked, redeemable in convention centre food venues, Sales to Members, and selected vendors in the dealers' room.)

Rockets, Benches, and Hugo Trophies )

During lunch, I ran into con chair Jukka Halme, to whom I delivered the Gavel of WSFS for him to use later that afternoon. After lunch and a couple of hours of looking around the convention, Lisa went back to the Luna Society table and I went to the Closing Ceremony. But that's another story.
kevin_standlee: (Business Meeting)
2017-08-13 03:16 pm

2017 WSFS Business Meeting: Third Main Business Meeting

For the third year in a row, we were unable to complete the entire WSFS agenda in three days of meetings and had to go into overtime. (Prior to that, the last time we had to use the "overflow" session was 1992.)

Here's the summary of what happened at the Third and Final Main Business Meeting. As yesterday, you'll need to refer to the 2017 WSFS Business Meeting Agenda to understand what's happening. Anything not mentioned either happened previously or was not considered yet. If a vote count is not listed, it means it was either by unanimous consent or by a show of hands.

Constitutional Amendments Passed on From Last Year. Ratified items take effect at end of current Worldcon and first apply to next year.

C.8. Retrospective Improvement Pt. 1. RATIFIED
C.9. Retrospective Improvement Pt. 2. RATIFIED
C.10. Universal Suffrage. RATIFIED

New Constitutional Amendments

D.1. What Our Marks Really Are. After making a minor correction clarifying that it applies to all WSFS-sanctioned conventions, not just Worldcon, this was RATIFIED.
D.2. The Reasonable Amendment. RATIFIED
D.3. Make Room! Make Room! RATIFIED

There was no debate to speak of on any of these six items. All "debate" time was taken up with people asking questions about the effect of them. Some of the questions frustrated me greatly, especially when people were asking if the rule would require [insert absurd thing here] and I had to point out that the existing rule is substantially the same and doesn't require that, so the amendment that makes a minor tweak to the rule certainly would not do so.

After only about thirty minutes (out of the five hours allocated due to the potential for another year of long discussion), the 2017 WSFS Business meeting ADJOURNED SINE DIE, meaning that we were done for this year. I'll post an overall summary later when I get a chance.

The WSFS Mark Protection Committee met at 10:50 for about half an hour. We had difficulty making quorum because one member had already left for the airport, one had forgotten that there was a meeting at all, and another assumed that the Final BM would last much longer than it did. I think that next time, we will schedule the WSFS MPC meeting as "Not Before XX," which means that we might have a dead spot, and if we run long before it, people who show up at XX have to wait, but we will definitely not start before XX.

And so we are done. We took down the WSFS banner from the front of the head table and I packed it in my poster tube. Tomorrow I need to go to the post office and mail it home (along with other posters Lisa acquired here from the nuclear power plant tour). It will take me quite a while to process all of what happened here and update the WSFS/Worldcon/Hugo Award web sites, but I'm very happy that we did not have to turn anyone way and that we managed to get through the whole agenda without an overflow error. Thank you to everyone who made it work and who made me look better up on the head table.
kevin_standlee: (Business Meeting)
2017-08-12 03:21 pm

2017 WSFS Business Meeting: Second Main Business Meeting

Here's the summary of what happened at the First Main Business Meeting. As yesterday, you'll need to refer to the 2017 WSFS Business Meeting Agenda to understand what's happening. Anything not mentioned either happened previously or was not considered yet. If a vote count is not listed, it means it was either by unanimous consent or by a show of hands.

Constitutional Amendments Passed on From Last Year. Ratified items take effect at end of current Worldcon and first apply to next year.

C.1. Best Series (as amended by C.1.1. RATIFIED, 51-39.
C.4. Three Stage Voting (3SV): FAILED, 41-45.
C.5. Motion to Suspend E Pluribus Hugo for one year: FAILED
C.6. EPH+: FAILED
C.7. Defining North America: RATIFIED
(Item C.12 was moved up on the agenda by a 2/3 vote)
C.12. Motion to suspend 5 and 6 for one year: FAILED

At that point the meeting adjourned, so we once again will go to an "overflow" meeting on the final day of the convention, starting at 10:00.

Constitutional Amendments Passed on From Last Year. Ratified items take effect at end of current Worldcon and first apply to next year.

C.8. Retrospective Improvement Pt. 1. (8 min)
C.9. Retrospective Improvement Pt. 2. (8 min)
C.10. Universal Suffrage. (8 min)

New Constitutional Amendments

D.1. What Our Marks Really Are. (4 min)
D.2. The Reasonable Amendment. (4 min)
D.3. Make Room! Make Room! (6 min)
D.5. Requiring Electronic Payments (This was killed by being postponed indefinitely at the Preliminary Business Meeting.

(The three Hugo Category splits/revisions were referred to the Hugo Award Study Committee and will not be considered this year.)

Once we get past C.10, the meeting can adjourn sine die without considering any of the remaining new proposals.

The WSFS Mark Protection Committee will meet about 15 minutes after the final adjournment of the Sunday Business Meeting.
kevin_standlee: (Hugo Trophy)
2017-08-11 11:55 pm

Worldcon 75 Day 3: Hugo Award Night

Worldcon 75 elected to present the 2017 Hugo Awards on the third night of the convention, which in this case was Friday. So this evening it was time for the Hugo Awards web site's annual live coverage of the Hugo Awards Ceremony.

Meet the Team )

Susan de Guardiola did stellar work doing advance research on the finalists and taking scads of photos. When Cheryl rejoined us before the ceremony (just after we kicked off the "pre-show" on CoverItLive), she brought additional photos. Susan provided photos and posted the finalists in each category. I posted the winner in each category (which is a great time-saver; this live coverage is harder than you might think it is). Cheryl moderated comments, provided descriptions of what was happening, and did her usual great job of telling us how the event was unfolding.

Now there are some people who question the utility of mere "text-only" coverage of events like this now that video-streaming has become more common. However, tonight, I think the Hugo Awards Marketing Committee got their $200 worth. (That was the cost of upgrading our CoverItLive account to the level necessary to support such a large event.) That's because for whatever reason, the live video stream that Worldcon 75 intended to provide (and they've generally been pretty good at producing such streams, such as the one they're providing of the WSFS Business Meeting) failed to work. There were "casual" streams such as one produced by a fan in the audience, but the official video feed from the convention failed to materialize. As with the time that the UStream feed was shut down by a 'bot, our CoverItLive event attracted a lot of attention from the "refugees" who had gone to the YouTube site.

At peak, we had more than 1300 people watching our coverage, and I think that it may be the best show we've done yet. Besides being the place to go when the video streaming fails, CoverItLive uses a lot less bandwidth than video streaming, and thus people who have lower-bandwidth connections can watch it without being overwhelmed by the amount of data. Bandwidth out for us was not a problem, though. Wireless connectivity in the convention center is excellent, and we were also given access to the separate "press" wi-fi so we didn't have to compete with all of the people in the audience using social media during the event.

Cheryl and I had invitations to the post-Hugo party. Indeed, as Worldcon 76 was co-hosting the event with George R.R. Martin, we'd been encouraged to come down and work a shift. However, Cheryl is staying at the airport (and the trains don't run all night), and I have to be up earlier than most for the Business Meeting. (Yes, others attending have to be up early as well, but I'm one of those who needs to be there an hour before the meeting starts to do setup.) Furthermore, there had been something of a confusion over the delivery of certain boxes of WSFS papers that should have gone to 208 (Business Meeting) instead of the Hugo Backstage, so I said goodnight to Susan and Cheryl and moved a cart of boxes over to 208. And I got out of the hall just in time; they turned off the lights just as I was leaving!

You can see the 2017 Hugo Awards results here. We'll also clean up the Hugo Awards web site and get pictures of this year's trophy online soon — I hope tomorrow. We were not provided with photos in advance, nor did we get the detailed results until right after the ceremony, so we haven't had time to do more than the basic work on the site, and I need to get some rest, because the Business Meeting tomorrow is scheduled for four hours.

I am very grateful to Cheryl Morgan for sorting out our base from which we did our coverage, to Susan for the color commentary, photos, and analysis, and to everyone on the Worldcon 75 committee who came together to make our coverage of this year's Hugo Awards Ceremony a success. Thank you all!
kevin_standlee: (Business Meeting)
2017-08-11 02:58 pm

2017 WSFS Business Meeting: First Main Business Meeting

Here's the summary of what happened at the First Main Business Meeting. As yesterday, you'll need to refer to the 2017 WSFS Business Meeting Agenda to understand what's happening. Anything not mentioned either happened yesterday or was not considered yet. If a vote count is not listed, it means it was either by unanimous consent or by a show of hands.

Standing Rule Changes:

A.2. No Vanishing Business: Revised version allowing items to be withdrawn up to two weeks before the final deadline for submitting new business PASSED and takes effect next year.

Constitutional Amendments. Ratified items take effect at end of current Worldcon and first apply to next year.

C.1. Best Series. POSTPONED to Saturday.
C.2. December is Good Enough: RATIFIED.
C.3. Two Years is Enough: RATIFIED (but includes grandfather clause that effectively means it does not apply until 2019 Worldcon.
C.11. Young Adult Award. Blank award name and provision related to it struck out of the proposal. The new award RATIFIED 65-27 and will be first presented (as the "Award for Best Young Adult Book" without a further specific name) in 2018.
D.4. Naming the YA Award. New proposal, moved up in the agenda by order of the Preliminary Meeting. "Lodestar Award for Best Young Adult Book" PASSED and sent to 2018 for ratification. The new YA category is not currently named "Lodestar." If this proposal is ratified next year, future YA Awards will be called "Lodestar."

D.6/D.7/D.8 (Hugo Category Change proposals). REFERRED to Hugo Award Study Committee. Will not be considered this year. Committee to report next year with recommendations.

That's where we ran out of time. Therefore, the remaining items for discussion on Saturday are, and in this order:

C.1. Best Series (10 min)
C.4. Three Stage Voting (3SV) (20 min)
C.5. Motion to Suspend E Pluribus Hugo for one year (10 min)
C.6. EPH+. (20 min) (Amendment C.6.1 debate time 5 min allocated from the 20 min.)
C.7. Defining North America. (4 min)
C.8. Retrospective Improvement Pt. 1. (8 min)
C.9. Retrospective Improvement Pt. 2. (8 min)
C.10. Universal Suffrage. (8 min)
C.12. Motion to suspend 5 and 6 for one year. (10 min)

New Constitutional Amendments

D.1. What Our Marks Really Are. (4 min)
D.2. The Reasonable Amendment. (4 min)
D.3. Make Room! Make Room! (6 min)

The Mark Protection Committee reported. The three incumbent members (John Coxon, Linda Deneroff, and Dave McCarty) were re-elected to three-year terms.

The Nitpicking & Flyspecking Committee and Worldcon Runners Editorial Guide Committees reported and their members re-appointed.

The Long List Committee was continued as previously constituted.

IMPORTANT SCHEDULE NOTE

The Saturday Business Meeting convenes at 10:00 for Site Selection business, but other substantive business will not start until 11:00. However, there will be a report distributed in writing by this year's Hugo Award Administrator at 10:00 that people will probably want to read before voting on proposals coming up on Saturday. I therefore recommend that people interested in the substantive Hugo Award business but not in Site Selection come by between 9:30 and 10:00 and collect the report, then come back for 11:00.

After Site Selection for 2019 and Question Time for 2018 and 2020, the meeting will recess, and the Worldcon Chairs Photo will happen as fast as we can rearrange chairs. Not before 11:00 the meeting will reconvene for the Second Main Business Meeting. We are scheduled from 11:00-13:45 for this meeting. Anything not resolved on Saturday will hold over until Sunday, where was have 10:00-15:00 set aside. (Yes, I know some of you are leaving. There's nothing I can do about that.)
kevin_standlee: (Business Meeting)
2017-08-10 11:45 pm

Worldcon 75 Day 2: Giving Myself the Business (Meeting)

Day 2 included the first (preliminary) WSFS Business Meeting, which meant a lot of work and stress for both Lisa and me. But fortunately, the worst case scenarios did not come to pass, and we (barely) managed to complete the business we had to get done, although not everything that we would have preferred to get done.

Our biggest fear going in to today's meeting was that we would have more people wanting to attend than the room capacity of 240 seats. Unlike every other item at this convention, where you can turn people way, the WSFS Business Meeting cannot refuse admission to any attending member who wants to attend. Had we overflowed the room, a contingency plan with Programming would have been activated that would have allowed every member who wished to participate a chance to do so, but would have been massively disruptive and expensive. I think we were very fortunate that only around 100 people attended, so there was plenty of room. I fielded a complaint from someone griping that we were using a room that was too big for such a small turnout, and when I tried to explain that we have to try to use rooms that are "too large" due to not being able to turn people way, he just looked sort of blankly at me. Most people just don't get that the WSFS BM is really the only required program item at the entire convention, and that every member is guaranteed attendance, and that you can never really tell how many people are going to show up.

I don't know the exact attendance count. The total of the one counted vote we did won't tell you that, because not everyone votes on such things, and calling for abstentions is meaningless. (Because people who don't answer when you call for abstentions have abstained just as much as those who do answer.) I'm pretty sure it was more than 100 but less than 150. We'll know later when the sign-in sheets are tallied.

Business Meeting Team )

As has been our practice since 2015, we started by showing the WSFS Business Meeting Basics video. But before I called the meeting to order, Lisa wanted to make an announcement and presentation.

Springing a Surprise on the Chairman )

I was very surprised and flattered at the gift and the applause from the meeting.

I wrote earlier today about a summary of how the Business Meeting went. I had the time to do this because immediately following the Business Meeting and in the same room was the Fannish Inquisition, which Lisa was also recording. I was sitting over to one side writing that report while bids for future Worldcons talked about their plans. Lisa logged several more hours than I did today, and when we went back to the hotel room after the Inquisition ended just before 15:00, she sent me out to get some lunch while she got some rest and made lunch out of some of the supplies we had cached in the hotel room.

After sitting with Ron Oakes and Mike Willmoth in the food court for lunch, I walked with Cheryl over to the Green Room, where she and I prepared for our respective panels. At 17:00 I was on a panel about different SF/F genre awards around the world. Unlike many of the panels here, this one was not over-subscribed and nobody was turned away from the discussion. We had panelists from Germany, Japan, Australia/New Zealand, and me. It went pretty well, and the audience seemed to like it.

Even though it was early, I knew I wouldn't have the time or energy to go off-site, and the food court restaurants close too early. (In some cases because they're running out of food as we're eating and drinking them out of stock.) Cheryl (who I met as she came out of her panel) and I got food, and we were joined by Susan de Guardiola, who will be the third member of the Hugo Awards Web Site CoverItLive coverage team tomorrow night as we bring you live coverage of the 2017 Hugo Awards Ceremony.

After dinner, I headed up to my room for a little while to cool off for a bit. Lisa had gone on to have dinner with Chris Carson and his friends (making use of their convention-supplied transit passes to go downtown on the train). I then put on my San Jose "bowling shirt" (many San Jose committee members are wearing matching bowling-league-style shirts this weekend to show a "brand identity" for Worldcon 76) and went down to the Winter Garden to help our convention set up our party.

Worldcon 76 at Worldcon 75 )

I may end up with my picture in Locus because they took a group photo of all of us who were there in our San Jose team shirts.

A Present from Kansas City )

I spent a lot of time talking with many people at the party about a lot of things, although admittedly much of it was WSFS Business, but around 23:00, Lisa and I headed back to the hotel room. We still have to be up early to be at the Business Meeting room for 9:00, but we now have much less worry about overflowing that room.
kevin_standlee: (Business Meeting)
2017-08-10 01:59 pm

2017 WSFS Business Meeting: Preliminary Business Meeting

Here's a relatively quick summary of what happened at today's Preliminary Business Meeting. You'll need to refer to the 2017 WSFS Business Meeting Agenda to understand what's happening.

Standing Rule Changes:

A.1. No Candidate Regions: PASSED, takes effect immediately
A.2. No Vanishing Business: REFERRED TO COMMITTEE to report tomorrow due to a dispute over wording
A.3. Debate Time Streamlining: PASSED, takes effect immediately (and thank goodness it passed, because we never would have been able to complete the base agenda otherwise)
A.4. Electronic Documents are a Thing: REJECTED
A.5. Butt Out (officially bans smoking): PASSED

Note that "smoking" is undefined. Whether it includes e-cigarettes would be up to the individual meeting. However, in practice, all facilities prohibit smoking anyway. This rule would only apply in the unlikely event that the venue permitted it.

Resolutions:

B.1. Eligibility: your name: PASSED, extending the work's Hugo Eligibility for one year
B.2. Hugo Award Study Committee: Alternative version B.2.1. PASSED. Vincent Docherty to chair.
B.3. Provision of Convention Publications to Members: Alternative version B.3.1 PASSED.

Constitutional Amendments and Business Passed On
This is mostly setting debate time limits.

C.1. Best Series. Debate Time 10 min. Amendment C.1.1 Debate time 4 min in addition to the 10 min
C.2. December is Good Enough: Debate time 8 min.
C.3. Two Years is Enough: Debate time 8 min.
C.4. Three Stage Voting (3SV): Debate time 20 min.
C.5. Motion to Suspend E Pluribus Hugo for one year: Debate time 10 min. POSTPONED to Saturday.
C.6. EPH+. Debate time 20 min. (Amendment C.6.1 debate time 5 min allocated from the 20 min.)
C.7. Defining North America. Debate time 4 min.
C.8. Retrospective Improvement Pt. 1. Debate time 8 min.
C.9. Retrospective Improvement Pt. 2. Debate time 8 min.
C.10. Universal Suffrage. Debate time 8 min.
C.11. Young Adult Award. Debate time 20 min. Amendment C.11.1 Clean up amendment. Debate time 4 min in addition to the 20 min.
C.12. Motion to suspend 5 and 6 for one year. Debate time 10 min. POSTPONED to Saturday.

New Constitutional Amendments

D.1. What Our Marks Really Are. Debate time 4 min.
D.2. The Reasonable Amendment. Debate time 4 min.
D.3. Make Room! Make Room! Debate time 6 min.
D.4. Name That Award (Naming the YA Award). Debate time 16 min. SCHEDULED to come up after C.11 and only if C.11 ratified, with the assumption that nominations for the name will come up then, with voting on the proposals the next day.
D.5. Requiring Electronic Payments. KILLED by postpone indefinitely.
D.6/D.7/D.8 (Hugo Category Change proposals). REFERRED to Hugo Award Study Committee. HASC to report to Friday meeting with a recommendation. Expect HASC to recommend that the proposals all be sent back to HASC for further study.

No Committee Reports were received. We ran completely out of time. Nominations were received for the WSFS Mark Protection Committee; election for the 3 positions (4 candidates) will be at the start of the Friday meeting. Committee reports are included in the agenda.
kevin_standlee: (Worldcon 75)
2017-08-09 10:23 pm

Worldcon 75 Day 1: And This Was Supposed to be the Easy Day

Worldcon 75 is up and running at a flat-out run. There are thousands of members on site already. I was surprised at how well the registration queues ran, but also worried about the huge queues in the halls of people trying to get into programming rooms. There is nowhere near enough programming space for the number of people wanting to attend panels.

Welcome to Worldcon )

After breakfast, Lisa and I and Don Eastlake (WSFS Deputy Chair) went to check out Room 208 where the WSFS Business Meeting was to be. The room was... suboptimal.

Room Reset )

My biggest worry is not having enough room. There are by my count just over 230 seats in this room. The rated capacity is 280 people, which means we have a bit of standing room possible. But we can't exceed that, and we can't turn people away. Every attending WSFS member has to have the right to attend. If we get over capacity, we'll have to suspend the meeting, work with Programming, and make enormous and expensive changes. I have to hope that we don't go into overflow, because it's going to be a real mess otherwise.

Opening Ceremony )

After the Opening Ceremony, I chased down the Gavel of WSFS, which I need for my WSFS functions, then went off to the panel and meeting on which I was scheduled. That was a panel about getting the most out of the Business Meeting. I've been on this panel and variants of it for years. We had more people at this one than at the last four combined, most of whom had never attended it. I had a lot of fun demonstrating how bits of the Business Meeting worked.

After the panel, I swam through the packed hallways to the WSFS Mark Protection Committee meeting. There are 15 MPC members, and we were lucky that 8 members made it to the meeting so we actually had a quorum. The meeting was, however, relatively short before we adjourned so that Linda Deneroff could head off to the Ghost Tour for which she'd signed up.

Errands and a bit of tram-spotting )

Lisa was still feeling ill and had gone to bed early when I got back to the hotel. I went off to find dinner. Coming across Linda Deneroff, who also wanted dinner, we first checked out the locations in the convention center, but they were all closed, and all of the functions were shutting down. The hotel restaurant was overloaded. I suggested we try downtown Helsinki, so we headed there. Having the transit passes helps. Frequent trains and a five-minute train ride make this even easier. Linda and I had a pasta dinner, and I brought leftovers back to the hotel room in case Lisa wanted to have anything, but she was asleep, so I put it in the 'fridge, which is now full.

I went back downstairs to see if there was anything interesting. There is almost no way of doing convention parties in the way we're accustomed to doing in North America, and there wasn't enven a "Fan Village" like London did. There was one large space in the hotel where New Zealand in 2020 was hosting a party at one end with Finnish Fandom hosting at the other end. I did not stay long. I have to be up early enough to be at Room 208 for 9 AM to make sure everything is set up properly.

As I said, the convention already has huge attendance. Goodness knows what's going to happen tomorrow.
kevin_standlee: (Business Meeting)
2017-07-31 03:40 pm

Nearly Final

As I write this, it hasn't yet posted, but a new revision of the WSFS Business Meeting agenda has been submitted to the Worldcon 75 webmaster by Linda Deneroff (most of the work) and I (last eyeballs and some light editing). When it's posted at the WSFS Business Meeting page, I have some hope that we've reached the nearly final version of the agenda.

There are a few more changes coming down the pipeline for posting (probably by tomorrow sometime), but no more Hugo Category changes or other large-scale changes. There are some things on the agenda that I hope will give us the ability to cover everything within the amount of time we have allocated.
kevin_standlee: (Business Meeting)
2017-07-25 05:06 pm
Entry tags:

How I'll Be Spending My Worldcon

It does appear that as the deadline for submitting new business for this year's Worldcon (14 days before the first Business Meeting on August 10) nears, people are continuing to send in new proposals. By my count, there are currently 25 proposals in our hopper, and there are new ones that either just arrived today or are promised to arrive by Deadline day.

We have meetings scheduled thus:

Thursday, Friday, Saturday: 3 hours each
Sunday: 5 hours

Note further than those first three meetings really need to be adjourn 15 minutes before the scheduled slot end in order to clear the room for the following items.

Thus we have somewhere between 10 and 13 hours to cover all of this business. I am starting to think that we may not cover it all, even running for many hours on Sunday!

Personally, I'm thinking of submitting a proposal for next year's meeting (where I'm not presiding) to advance the deadline for submitting new business from 14 to 30 days prior to the first Business Meeting. If the workload continues to increase, and if, as seems likely, the members want to make the Secretary responsible for doing all of the logistics of printing and distributing the agendas for them, they need to give the Secretary more time do get it arranged. Furthermore, it's unreasonable to effectively insist that the Secretary sit at home at their computer until the day before the Worldcon in order to deal with this flood of business.

This year's Secretary has already started her European trip (and I see elsewhere that her travels have already gone awry). I know that she'll manage to get all of this late business sorted, but I was prepared to rule that anyone who didn't submit before she left for Europe would be required to abide by the default rule and make their own copies and deliver them personally to the meeting.
kevin_standlee: (Business Meeting)
2017-07-19 11:21 am

2017 WSFS Business Meeting Staff

Because some private correspondence shows me that not everyone with a concern about WSFS politics is aware of it, let me make it clear that the people managing the 2017 WSFS Business Meeting in Helsinki are:

Chair: Kevin Standlee
Deputy Chair: Donald Eastlake III
Secretary: Linda Deneroff
Timekeeper: Paul Dormer
Videographer: Lisa Hayes

WSFS Division Head: Michael Lee

I take no offense that not everyone knows I was chairing this year. I am, however, proud of my ongoing accomplishment, as this will be the fifth country in which I've presided over WSFS. (Scotland, USA, Canada, and Japan — the last pictured in my user icon here — are the earlier ones.) I don't think other past WSFS Chair has more than two countries under their belts. I hope to justify the Worldcon 75 committee's faith in my ability.