April 30th, 2016


April Showers Continue

We've had rain off and on this week. It rained more heavily here in Fernley than it did at Reno last night. A couple of days ago, the timing on the storm of the day was very good, and I got this pair of photos from my front porch.

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The desert is blooming considerably with all of this rain. Unfortunately, the mosquitoes are also responding to all of the water in the area as well.
Hugo Logo

Hugo Awards: Double Nominations

An intriguing idea floated on File 770 by Hampus Eckerman for which I take no credit is a more positive way of handling the Semi-Final Stage of any three-round Hugo Awards system. 3-Stage Voting (3SV) frankly admits that the Semi-Final stage is a negative vote. It effectively gives in to the desires of people who want to vote against things. It takes the Hard Choices that so many people want the Administrator to make for them ("Daddy! Hurt the Bad Man!") and forces individuals to make their own decisions on what should be disqualified. But there is a more positive way of putting it.

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This "Double Nomination" voting system means that the members vote for things, not against them as the 3SV system does. It also removes the need for a complex quorum calculation to prevent griefers from gaming the second round. As long as the griefers continue to be only about 20% of the electorate, it seems unlikely to me that they can dominate the field at this point. If they somehow grow to an actual majority, then they win, and they deserve to do so. The Hugo Awards are not actually about minority representation, despite what some people have falsely claimed. They are designed to reflect the wishes of a majority of the members who participate.

Again, I didn't come up with this. I take no credit for it. But if someone wants to propose it to the WSFS Business Meeting, I will help you draft it into the correct technical form if you want me to do so.

ETA, May 5: There is a suggestion from David Goldfarb on Making Light that instead of "vote for 5," this would could use approval voting, in which you could vote affirmatively for any or all of the semi-finalists. (And presumably also for your one write-in.) The five that got the most votes (not marking a candidate is the same as voting No) would go onto the shortlist. This idea has merit as well, I think.