August 2nd, 2007

Hugo Trophy

Sour Grapes

As usual, there are people out there who feel the need to complain about how unfair it is that you have to pay to vote for the Hugo Awards. Some of them, including the first comment to this blog post, feel obliged to significantly exaggerate the cost by more than 100% to make their point.

Yes, I'm sarcastic in my reply to him, because I'm pretty sure the underlying complaint, like that of many people who criticize awards, is that "You should do what I say, and I shouldn't have to do anything other than run my mouth to make you do what I want. And if the awards don't reflect my personal tastes, then they're obviously Bad Things and the Whole System Is Flawed. And those grapes were probably sour, too."

And what I said in my comment is definitely how I feel: WSFS is a voluntary society -- a club, if you like. Clubs can charge whatever dues they want to their members. The club also gives out a set of awards, and only allows its members to vote on them. What's so wrong with that?

Anyone who thinks that a system where you have to join the club in order to vote on the club's awards is "unfair" is encouraged to go out there and set up their own awards run however they think is "fair." Just don't call them "Hugo Awards" because you don't own that name. And, to be honest, if you use the phrase "Hugo Awards" in a place that Google can index it, eventually someone from WSFS will notice you and make sure you're not mis-using the society's service mark.

(Merely mentioning a WSFS mark doesn't mean you're mis-using it, any more than saying, "I ordered a Coke" is mis-use, assuming you did indeed order a Coca-Cola®. Indeed, using the WSFS marks in their proper context is a good thing. But setting up your own awards and declaring that they are the "Real Hugo Awards," for instance, would attract attention you don't really want. Note that I'm not accusing anyone of doing that; I'm just giving it as an example of something You Don't Want to Do.)

Edit, 9:35: Fixed spot where a couple of words dropped out of a sentence, rendering it less than understandable.
Conrunner Kevin

We've Always Suspected That Rule Was Silly

American Airlines to Test Inflight Internet

So, the rule against running devices that transmit or receive a radio signal isn't so important after all? Particularly when there's additional revenue to be had from charging for internet access?

As it happens, American is currently my employer's preferred carrier. I expect that if I were traveling on company business, I'd pay for internet access in flight as long as the company were paying for it, and assuming I was able to access one of the in-flight power outlets.
Manga Kevin

Selling Your Membership And Voting It, Too

[I am not speaking officially for Nippon 2007. This message is not in my official capacity as Chairman of the WSFS Business Meeting. It it merely my advice based on past experience dealing with Worldcons' membership and voting policies.]

It is Nippon 2007's policy to not allow you to retain your membership voting rights when you transfer your membership to someone else. This means you cannot sell your membership to someone else and retain the right to vote on site selection or to nominate on next year's Hugo Awards. Collapse )

If you want to vote on this year's site selection election and still transfer away your membership, I suggest you go ahead and mail your site selection ballot to the official address now. Yes, I know the official deadline has passed, but if you vote this week, the administrator will (99% certainty) receive your ballot and be able to process it and take it to Japan. Remember, administrators are not really trying to find excuses to disqualify people. The Hugo Awards have a "hard" deadline because they need to count the ballots this week and start preparing the award material (envelopes and trophy plaques). Site Selection voting, however, doesn't actually end until September 1. I suggest you include a note with your ballot telling the administrator that you're transferring your membership after voting it.

After mailing your ballot, proceed with the transfer. Be certain that the person to whom you're transferring the membership knows that the membership is "used" and that s/he won't be allowed to vote in site selection. (S/he will be allowed to nominate in next year's Hugo Awards, and you won't be, unless you buy a membership in Denvention 3 or a supporting membership in Nippon 2007.)

Aside from the matter of next year's Hugo nominating rights, doing things the way I describe above has the same effect as "reserving voting rights" and still abides by Nippon 2007's policy that says you can use your voting rights before transferring your membership but you may not reserve them when you transfer your membership to someone else.