August 18th, 2016

Gavel of WSFS

Worldcon 2016 Day 2: Busy with Business and Site Selection

Today at Worldcon I was tangled up in Business Meeting work a good chunk of the day, and with Site Selection the rest of the time.

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It was an early morning for us, but at least the view was nice out the hotel window.

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Once the meeting started, there was no time for photographs. I had to concentrate on not only business (some of which involved me), but also getting Business Meeting videos online whenever Lisa could do a cartridge swap to give me files.

Above is the beginning of the 2016 WSFS Business Meeting playlist on YouTube. I was puzzled by the individual segments seeming to be only half the length of last year's meeting. Eventually, I figured this out: Lisa is recording at twice the resolution of last year's recordings. The low-res files come off the proxy card, which is programmed with an upper file-size limit, not a time limit. With twice the resolution, the segments shrink to half the previous length in order to maintain the same maximum size. Thus no segment is more than just under ten minutes long.

Due to another issue with the time-stamps on the segment files, I ended up uploading four of the sixteen files in the wrong order. I have since corrected this, but it took some hours after it was pointed out on Twitter because I simply didn't have enough time to work on it; not if I wanted to eat or carry out my other commitments like that to SJ in 2018.

The Preliminary Business Meeting was long (it used up pretty much all of the scheduled three-hour slot). It mostly consisted of establishing time limits for the debate that will happen at the subsequent meetings and determining the order of the agenda. This meeting can also kill new proposals, and one proposal met the axe: Additional Finalists. Lisa expected this. It was closer than the 81-36 vote suggests, because it takes two-thirds to postpone indefinitely; had six more people voted in favor of consideration, the proposal would have made it to the Main Meeting. However, if anyone pops up again saying "WSFS needs a Strong Man to Give Orders and Disqualify Finalists," we're going to point at what happened today and say, "WSFS refused to even allow the Administrators to add a couple of extra finalists when they think it was necessary; it seems very unlikely that they'll pass rules that allow the Administrators to pick and choose which nominees they consider worthy to be on the ballot. In other words, WSFS just sent a message that it's up to the members to sort out who should be on the ballot. You're not going to get a Strong Man any time soon.

I do wish that people wouldn't take such obvious delight in suggesting lots of different debate time limits. We spent more time voting on debate time limits than we saved by limiting debate!

Despite the huge agenda, we managed to (barely) establish debate limits for every piece of business and adjourned just before 1 PM. It took me most of the next hour to get the remaining video segments online and then get the equipment ready to go back to the minivan and the hotel room. We hope things will go smoothly on Friday, now that the equipment is in place.

Congratulations to Jared Dashoff for his first full day as a Business Meeting chair. He did a good job.

We met up with Linda Deneroff for lunch in the Exhibit hall. I had more stuff to do for the Hugo Awards web site. Cheryl Morgan had helped as well, getting photos of the Hugo Award trophies shared with us up on the Hugo Awards web site. However, I simply didn't have enough time to get things done quickly.

After my shift at Site Selection, Lisa and I went out to dinner with Linda. I had a proper steak dinner for the first time since we got here.

After dinner, Lisa and I went back to the hotel room rather than to the convention. I spend the rest of the evening getting the Hugo Award trophy announcements online. By then, the 1946 Retro-Hugos were complete, and I got the announcement for that online as well. (We weren't covering the Retro-Hugos live.)

I hope things are a little less frantic tomorrow. On the other hand, I'm part of the SJ in 2018 ballot counting team, so I'll be on the 4-6 shift again tomorrow plus counting time. Regrettably, this means I'll miss another chance to perform in Girl Genius Radio Theatre. But Duty Calls.
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