Kevin Standlee (kevin_standlee) wrote,
Kevin Standlee
kevin_standlee

Telling the Wrong Person

While getting copies of the new proposal that would add a woman to the Hugo Awards ballot in the written-fiction categories if no women appeared among the top five places in the nominations, I was struck by the number of people who wanted to engage me in what amounts to substantive debate on that proposal and the other ones on the agenda, including the Youth Memberships proposal and the Semiprozine Hugo Removal. I try to tell people that I am, quite literally, the last person with whom they should be trying to convince. Unless a vote is so close that my vote could make a difference (either by breaking or creating a tie -- ties lose, remember), I don't express an opinion or vote on anything. Spend your energy convincing people whose votes are more likely to count.

Now, discussing the technical aspects of a proposal is perfectly appropriate. What I wish more people would understand is that just because I'll help anyone craft a proposal in the technically correct way doesn't mean that I personally approve of the proposal or oppose it. What I hate is long-winded technical neepery on the floor of the business meeting. (Such neepery in small private discussions can be amusing in an intellectual sense, but that's not the same thing.) Ideally, we'd spend all of our precious formal debate time discussing the substance of proposals, not the technicalities.

So neep away with me on comma placement or cross-references, but save your ire or ardor against or for a particular proposal for the Business Meeting.
Tags: business meeting, worldcon, worldcon09, wsfs
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