August 13th, 2013

SMOF License

Magical Driving Thinking

My van is in with my mechanic today in order to install a part that wasn't available when I first took it to him a couple of weeks ago and to do a final check-up on it in preparation for driving to San Antonio. For logistical reasons, I can't do the transit-only trick this time and have to rent a car, so I walked the couple of blocks to Enterprise after dropping the van at the shop. While they were setting up the rental, I explained why the van was in the shop and that I would be driving to San Antonio later this month.

"How far is that," said the agent.

"Oh, about 1500 miles one-way."

The agent said, "Oh, wow, so that's, what, one full day of driving, right?"

Either this fellow has never actually driven cross-country or else he doesn't need food, sleep, or restroom breaks. Heck, we didn't even allow that much distance in my long-haul truckload modeling with team drivers, where one driver sleeps in the back of the truck while the other one keeps moving on.

I made the San Antonio trip plans based on roughly 350 miles/day. Yes, I could probably go more than that (and we will on a couple of the days). But I don't want to spend 16 hours/day driving, and I simply can't drive without a break every couple of hours. I'm getting old and cranky about this.

Decoupling Publications Submitted

I have formally submitted the Decoupling Publications Amendment to the 2013 WSFS Business Meeting on behalf of its lead advocate, Lisa Hayes. As I hope y'all know by now, it removes the requirement that Worldcons must provide paper versions of their publications by default, but requires them to provide paper copies (at approximately their production and distribution cost) to members who request them.

I'm informed that there will be an amendment introduced to it at the Preliminary Business Meeting to strike out the words that it adds to the Constitution; that is, if the amendment passes, then all that will be left is striking out section 1.5.3. This would allow (but not require) Worldcons to drop paper publications as part of a membership's default package, but would not require them to provide paper publications if they decide to go all electronic. It would not require conventions to discontinue all paper publications, but it would permit it. Like many other things having to do with Worldcons, it would be up to the Worldcon to decide whether or not to do it.

Personally, I can live with it either way, and indeed, my original suggestions in this matter was do do exactly what this does: delete 1.5.3 and leave it up to Worldcons to decide what to do. But this motion is actually Lisa's, and she's concerned that Worldcons would immediately scrap all paper publications and say to people who don't have computers and e-mail, "Who cares? Stop bothering us." I don't know how she'll react to it.

I know that I will vote in favor of either the motion I've submitted on Lisa's behalf or the version that would be there if the amendment to be laid onto it passes, although as an interim transition to a speculated no-paper future, I think the proposal as it initially is written is better.

Note, however, that I haven't acted as if it were "shenanigans" to move amendments to the proposal I co-authored. I even consulted with the person who will be making the amendment to see if we can get it into the simplest parliamentary form. While the amendment is "hostile" inasmuch as it significantly changes the original proposal (to the point that it is possible the proposal's original author would vote against it), there's nothing unethical or underhanded about doing so. I say this because the author of the motion now titled "No Representation Without Taxation" accused me of "shenanigans" when I suggested amending her proposal to also include the deletion of 1.5.3 because I considered the two subjects deeply linked. She also informed me that it was all about my ego.

I make no secret that I will use the rules to attempt to get my way, and that I will encourage people who agree with me to come and support me. I will offer compromises to try and get some of the things I want in exchange for giving people some of what they want. But if your attitude is, "I don't have to compromise, because I Am Right" or somehow consider all forms of negotiation to be "politics," with the implication that "all politics of any form whatsoever is Evil," then you end up setting yourself up for all-or-nothing battles. Personally, I think that's a bad idea, but maybe you'd rather have no loaf than half of one.