Kevin Standlee (kevin_standlee) wrote,
Kevin Standlee

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Worldcon Day 2: Heavy Duty SMOFfing

After breakfast, Lisa and I carried the camera gear to the ExCel. I make it about 1850 Standlees from the front door of the Crowne Plaza to the East Entrance of the ExCel, before heading up the escalator to the programming space. (My stride is between one yard and one meter, take your pick.) That includes a coffee stop along the concourse.

The Preliminary Business Meeting used up the entire programming slot allocated to it: from 1000 to 1300. It was a long agenda, and we managed to get through it, but only just.

Preliminary Business Meeting
Here's the Business Meeting just before it started. More people came in later. There were seats left, which was a relief. I was worried we'd run afoul of the ExCel "no seat, no entrance" policy.

WSFS Head Table
Loncon tech staff were able to scare up a floor microphone stand for us, which was a relief and made the meeting work better. The head table staff of Jill Eastlake (timekeeper), Don Eastlake (chair), and Linda Deneroff (secretary) were joined by Lisa Hayes (videographer) at the back of the room. I unofficially did lots of announcements (repeating the same set of announcements as the room began to fill because there were more new people coming in every few minutes, for example) before the meeting.

The seven constitutional amendments passed along from last year were routinely assigned debate times for tomorrow. All six constitutional amendments proposed in the agenda this year survived the PBM, but two of them were referred to special committees to work out issues raised about them. For convenience, the same seven people were appointed to both committees, with me chairing one and Warren Buff the other. It turned out that the only common time we all had to meet and still get something done before tomorrow was 5 PM.

Costumes at the Food court
Lisa and I had lunch in the food court area on the concourse. There were multiple people in costume coming and going. I only got a picture of this cute one.

We returned to the hotel and I eventually got signed in to the higher speed internet. Loncon has graciously agreed to pay for the upgraded upload speed so I can get the videos updated this weekend instead of waiting until I get home, as the basic free internet in the hotel is too slow. The upgraded service isn't great, but it is better.

Because of the length of the meeting and the recording constraints of the camera, the Preliminary Business Meeting is in four parts. I managed to get Part 1 uploaded before we had to pack up and return to the ExCel. Lisa went and sat at the SJ in 2018 table while I went to meet up with the other six members of the ad hoc committees from this morning's meeting.

Don't Ask
While waiting for the others to join me in the designated part of the concourse, I spied this pair shambling past.

More or less on time the seven WSFS samurai committee members turned up and we went upstairs to the coffee bar where it was slightly quieter.

First up was tackling my Popular Ratification proposal. We produced an alternative version ("2+1") that instead of replacing the second year's Business Meeting with a popular vote, it adds the popular vote as a third step in the process. That leaves the current vote year one, ratify/revise year two process in place, but then submits anything that is ratified by the second year's meeting to the members of the following (third year) Worldcon for final ratification. Yes, this means that it would take three years to finally ratify WSFS Constitutional changes. I'm prepared to compromise on that to get the important part to me, which is getting the rest of the members, particularly those who cannot attend the Worldcon, a stake in the process.

With the existing two-year process left in place with a third-year overlay, the proposed replacement process does not itself need to be submitted to a popular ratification. That is, if this alternative passes this year and is ratified next year, it would start working the year after that, with a vote/ratify/re-ratify process in place starting with anything first passed in 2016. However, the alternative proposal also comes with a kind of sunset clause: The 2022 Business Meeting must vote to retain the Popular Ratification process, and if it does not do so, then nothing passed after 2021 would be subject to popular ratification and the system would revert to the current Business-Meeting-only process. This provision is there to deal with the concern that the members would reject every proposal, no matter how sensible it is, on general principles.

Again, I'm prepared to accept these changes and will vote for them as compromises as I think they are necessary to make the entire proposal pass in any form at all. It is then the responsibility of the members to exercise the franchise responsibly and not just donkey-vote no on anything they see.

I then adjourned the committee on Popular Ratification and Warren called the same seven people to order as the committee to discuss the Value of the Vote proposal that would set a minimum price on any membership class that includes WSFS voting rights. The intent is that you can't charge less than whatever the Voting Fee (technically the Advance Supporting Membership) was in the election that selected your Worldcon for any class of membership that includes any WSFS voting rights. Alas, the wording originally proposed, while clear enough to most of us, seemed to confuse people who thought it had something to do with the ASM/Voting Fee at the election being held at that Worldcon. So we sweated out an alternative wording that we hope is more clear, and added a couple of lines of commentary to go into the legislative history that we hope will further clarify the intent and discourage people from finding absurd interpretations.

After the Twin Committees adjourned, I e-mailed the results (both proposed amendments-by-substitution for the original proposals) to Linda Deneroff for inclusion in tomorrow's agenda. I happened to run across her shortly thereafter and confirmed that she received them. By then it was after 6:30 and I headed for the Fan Village, where Lisa had been sitting at the SJ2018 table. Most of the tables in our general area were closing (there was no set time because the same area is used for the parties in the evening), so we called it a day.

We were too tired to do much more than go to the concourse and buy a couple of Cornish pasties and have our simple dinner there. On the way back to the hotel, we picked up more groceries from the store next to the hotel. Returning to the room, I set the other three WSFS videos to uploading. I hope that they are done sometime tonight. For reasons only YouTube knows, they are uploading out of sequence. Watch my YouTube channel for videos. I'll also post to Twitter when I get a chance when they are available, and try to make other general announcements about them.

It's questionable whether we'll go back out tonight, because in order to be at the Business Meeting and set up in time for a 10 AM start, we have the alarm set for 6:30 to give us enough time to shower, eat breakfast, and trek to the SECC. We're both tired, and we hardly got to see anything of the convention what with nonstop WSFS commitments (Lisa did get a brief trawl through the exhibits while I was playing at being Master of WSFS), but we did get a lot done.
Tags: business meeting, lisa, worldcon, wsfs

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