August 12th, 2013

Business Meeting

Avoiding Scope Creep

The Decoupling Worldcon Publications amendment has attracted some criticism that specifying "paper publications" doesn't address whatever flavor of technology the person favors, nor does it address accommodating people with disabilities. The current constitution does not do this, either. The current state of affairs is that by default, paper publications must be factored into supporting and attending memberships. The WSFS constitution is silent on the subject of accommodation of people with disabilities as well. The only purpose of the proposed amendment is to invert the polarity on the existing situation and to not require those existing paper publications be factored into the cost of a supporting or attending membership if the convention does not want to do so. In my opinion, introducing other matters like open-source technology, accommodating disabilities, and so forth are distractions to the main point and are likely to confuse the subject to the point where people will reject the proposal because they don't understand it. I have accordingly added the following to the explanatory comments in the proposal:

There are other non-print objects (for example, CD-ROMs) that conventions have given to their members, and also conventions have to a greater or lesser extent attempted to accommodate members with disabilities; however, as these subjects are not addressed by the current WSFS Constitution, this amendment also does not address them.

Again, let me emphasize that the lack of language about the subject of technological standards or accommodation of disabilities has nothing to do with any feelings the motion's sponsors might have about the matter. It is solely to keep the scope of the motion from creeping away from the primary matter at hand, which is to take the current state of affairs and invert the default from paper-publications "on" to "off."

Other members who feel that any change of this sort must also address their concerns are, naturally, welcome to introduce amendments that do so. The Preliminary Business Meeting is the best place for doing so in my opinion. One the final version of the motion is stated by the Chair of the Business Meeting, it doesn't belong to Lisa (or any of the other co-sponsors) anymore; it belongs to the meeting, which can choose to amend it or dispose of it as they see fit. We're just not interested in modifying our proposal on our own initiative. Unlike certain other persons on the SMOFS list, I actually know this and don't consider the introduction of amendments — even openly hostile ones — to be "shenanigans" at the Business Meeting. Complaining about someone introducing amendments to your proposals is like a baseball team complaining that the other side is stealing bases or bunting; it's part of the game, and if you don't like it, you shouldn't be playing.

Last Chance on Publications Amendment

I have updated the Decoupling Publications Amendment with all of the co-sponsors who I know of, and included the comment changes consistent with the maker's intent. Sometime on Tuesday (Pacific Time) I will finalize it and turn it in to the Business Meeting, so if you want to be on the bandwagon, it's your Last Call.

Lisa thanks you all for your support!