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» Hatrack River Forum » Active Forums » Books, Films, Food and Culture » Sad and Rabid Puppies (Page 5)

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Author Topic: Sad and Rabid Puppies
Samprimary
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no award beats every puppy candidate

all sides declare triumphant victory

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Destineer
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Hard to believe such a thing exists, but here is a rather reasonable conservative perspective on Sad Puppies:

http://difficultrun.nathanielgivens.com/2015/08/24/lots-of-hugo-losers/

quote:

At this point, the reasonable thing would have been for the Sad Puppies to state publicly that sweeping the ballot was not the intended goal of the Sad Puppies and that they would take steps (Sad Puppies 4 had already been announced) to avoid slate-sweeping next year. They did not.

At this point, the reasonable thing would have been for prominent critics of the Sad Puppies to concede that the Sad Puppies were reacting to a legitimate grievance. The insular sci-fi community is highly susceptible to favor-trading (aka “log rolling“) and the high percentage of social justice warriors in the community made an unwelcome atmosphere for conservatives or libertarians and could certainly have had an effect on the composition of the awards in recent years. They did not.

Instead, the critics of the Sad Puppies launched a truly breathtaking campaign of slander and intimidation that focused on calling the Sad Puppies campaign misogynist, racist, and homophobic. The best example of this is the Entertainment Weekly article that had to be “fixed” almost beyond recognition when Torgersen threatened a lawsuit over the obvious lies. (Original version. Current version.) As a result of these tactics, Torgersen and other Sad Puppies supporters were in absolutely no mood to concede their mistake and make concilliatory gestures. So nobody from Sad Puppies suggested that their tactic had been a mistake or made promises to alter the tactics for next year. In addition, several Sad Puppies nominees backed out of their awards when they saw how angry many in the sci-fi community were, including Marko Kloos. He pulled his novel Lines of Departure (which was really, really good and deserved to be on the slate) and as a result The Three-Body Problem was placed on the ballot instead.

And yet the Sad Puppy / Rabid Puppy tactics obviously were a mistake. First, as I said, there’s the immense problem with The Three-Body Problem not even making the ballot. Sure, taste is subjective, but this book was really, really good. More importantly, however, it’s a book that was originally published in China in 2008. You want real intellectual diversity? Well there you go: a book that is literally off the American socio-political map. Additionally, the Sad Puppies again and again defended many of their choices (like Kevin J. Anderson’s The Dark Between the Stars) by referring to the author rather than the work. Best novel is an award for best novel. It’s not some kind of lifetime achievement award. So the repeated references to Anderson’s contribution to the genre (he’s written over 100 books) were not only irrelevant, but a real give-away that the Sad Puppies 3 slate had basically no serious thought behind it. It was just a haphazard collection of books a few of the Sad Puppies folks had happened to read last year, without sufficient regard for quality of the individual works.


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kmbboots
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Depends on your definition of "reasonable", I guess.
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NobleHunter
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Not frothing at the mouth? A willingness to admit that maybe the other side actually has a point? Compared to the stuff on Torgenson's or Correia's website, that was quite reasonable.
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kmbboots
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Reasonable compared to "frothing at the mouth" I will concede. [Wink]
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theamazeeaz
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quote:
Originally posted by kmbboots:
Depends on your definition of "reasonable", I guess.

The entire blog post was more reasonable IMO.

What I'm getting out of this, is that I should read "The Three Body Problem".

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Destineer
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You have to understand, Correia and Torgersen are basic run of the mill gun culture Republicans who got mobbed by people calling them Nazis and white supremacists. I think his claim that there was a campaign of slander is entirely fair.
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TomDavidson
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If you're a loud-mouthed reactionary willing to team up with Theodore Beale, you don't deserve the benefit of the doubt.
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Destineer
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The thing is, from what I can tell they just didn't vet VD before they added him to the team (actually, he was only ever on the team when Correia was running it, so it's probably not fair to say that Torgersen "teamed up" with him at all). But once Correia had already involved Day, people sent him links to the crazy shit Day said, and Correia started rationalizing his decision by saying VD isn't so bad.

I don't think it would have worked out this way if he'd known about VD's views beforehand.

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Destineer
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And yeah, I do think loud-mouthed reactionaries deserve the benefit of the doubt when it comes to calling them Nazis and racists.
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theamazeeaz
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Did they team up with him though? I got the impression that Beale just kind of copied them, but in a worse way/is legit crazy, and they all get lumped together thanks to Beale getting his slate on there, and the SP stuff just happened to overlap.
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Destineer
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During Sad Puppies 2, Beale was on the slate, and Correia did sort of co-plan some aspects of the process with Beale.
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TomDavidson
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And both Brad and Larry have spoken in Beale's defense (of both his tactics and his views.) Their position has largely been "oh, he's not so awful once you get to know him." Which, to be fair, is sort of the opposite of what I'm hearing from people who know Torgersen: that they thought he was nice enough until they really got the chance to hear him.
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Mucus
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Has anyone else here read "Three Body Problem?" I'm kinda curious what Americans (or Canadians for that matter) think of it.
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Wingracer
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I read a sample chapter from it before release that was full of people telling each other what they all already knew. It seemed so amateurish to me that I never bothered reading any more. The rest could be brilliant but that turned me off hard.
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Mucus
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To be clear, I wasn't a fan of it. But I'm curious if other people didn't like it for the same reasons (or if they liked/didn't like it for completely different reasons).
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theamazeeaz
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Putting Beale on the slate backs up their assertion that they are picking good stories* and ignoring who the author is and their politics. Co-planning stuff with him, and backing up views not so much (well, I guess it depends on which ones, but not the ones I've heard repeated, that's for sure). And that undermines the idea in my first sentence that including him is objective.

*I've never read any of Beale's stories.

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scifibum
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My problem with Nathaniel Givens's analysis is that he repeatedly lumps the "Puppies" together. He says that Correia and Torgersen get unfair treatment, and at least in the case of the EW article he's right, but I can't help but feel that Givens is also taking a lot of the anti Rabid Puppies hate and saying it's not fair to the Sad Puppies.

The SP aren't malicious, and aren't nearly as odious as Beale/RP. But they have acted pretty stupid throughout this mess, and deserve plenty of criticism. At the very least, the SP should have acknowledged by now that it doesn't look like the "SJW" crowd had been slate voting the way the Ps did, but I haven't seen them admit they manipulated the awards much more thoroughly than anyone else ever has, and that the trends they don't like actually represent voters' *preferences*, however (as the Ps view them) identity politics-based they might be.

I think Givens has the same problem - he's saying there was a legitimate grievance, but he's not articulating the difference between what he sees as "SJW" trends in Hugo nominations and organized manipulation.

I do think the EW article (original version) was incredibly sloppy, and unworthy of such a paragon of journalism. ( [Wink] ). But since that's the only evidence offered of unfair treatment against the SP, the rest of the blog also seems pretty sloppy, since it doesn't really do an adequate job of backing up assertions with evidence while keeping distinctions between SP and RP clear.

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kmbboots
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For starters:

"At this point, the reasonable thing would have been for prominent critics of the Sad Puppies to concede that the Sad Puppies were reacting to a legitimate grievance. The insular sci-fi community is highly susceptible to favor-trading (aka “log rolling“) and the high percentage of social justice warriors in the community made an unwelcome atmosphere for conservatives or libertarians and could certainly have had an effect on the composition of the awards in recent years. They did not."

This is only reasonable in the way it would be reasonable to concede that black people sitting at whites only lunch counters made an unwelcome atmosphere for racists. While true, it is hardly a bad thing.

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NobleHunter
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kmbboots, I think the author (and a great many other puppies) see themselves as the black people. They just want to sit at the counter and all the "SJW" are the ones getting uncomfortable. Conservatives just show up and then get heckled and harrassed or have people pick fights with them. These stories mever have the conservatives doing anything offensive.

I'm somewhat skeptical of the truth of their stories since they repeatedly demonstrate a total lack of self-awareness. They might think they didn't do anything abrasive or annoying but I'm not sure they would be able to tell.

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kmbboots
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They have owned the lunch counters for generations. Their gripe is that they have to share them now.
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Destineer
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quote:
I'm somewhat skeptical of the truth of their stories since they repeatedly demonstrate a total lack of self-awareness.
That is a fair point... but on the other hand, the behavior I've seen from left-wing fandom online makes the stories seem very believable (I'm a leftie btw).

quote:
But since that's the only evidence offered of unfair treatment against the SP, the rest of the blog also seems pretty sloppy, since it doesn't really do an adequate job of backing up assertions with evidence while keeping distinctions between SP and RP clear.
I agree with you that the article conflates SP and RP quite a bit.

However, it's very easy to find more misrepresentations of a similar sort. From the recent NPR coverage of the Hugos:

quote:
NPR – “’Sad Puppies’ Fail To Stuff Ballot Box At Hugo Awards”

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

There was no love for puppies at this weekend’s Hugo Awards. The sad puppies are a group who say the fan-chosen science fiction and fantasy awards have become too liberal and inclusive, so they nominated their own slate of candidates. And as NPR’s Petra Mayer reports, Hugo voters had other ideas.

PETRA MAYER, BYLINE: Over the past few years, more Hugo awards have been going to women and writers of color. The sad puppies – mostly white, mostly male – came together as a backlash. Right now it’s relatively easy to get a work on the Hugo ballot, so the puppy slate pretty much took over this year, causing months of controversy. But when it came time to hand out the iconic silver rocket ship trophies on Saturday night, Hugo voters chose to give no award in five puppy-packed categories, including best novella and best short story.

The night’s big winner was Chinese author Liu Cixin, whose book “The Three Body Problem” was the first work in translation to win the Hugo for best novel. Award organizers have now approved a rules change aimed at making it harder to nominate slates, though, it won’t take effect for two years. Petra Mayer, NPR News.

The Sad Puppy leaders have never said they have a problem with women and POC getting more nominations. They have a problem with what they see as politically biased nominations and voting.
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Destineer
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quote:
Originally posted by kmbboots:
They have owned the lunch counters for generations. Their gripe is that they have to share them now.

White guys have owned them, yes. Republicans, no. Conservatism has never been an especially popular thing in SF, and its popularity is at an all-time low right now.
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NobleHunter
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They seem to believe that they're trying to share the counter but "SJW" aren't letting them.

ETA: And they're quite offended that people suggest they aren't willing to share.

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TomDavidson
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quote:
The Sad Puppy leaders have never said they have a problem with women and POC getting more nominations. They have a problem with what they see as politically biased nominations and voting.
Yes, they truly are whiny babies with no sense of perspective, aren't they?
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Destineer
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I have more sympathy for the whiny babies than the rabid activists on the other side, if we're comparing that way.

There are reviewers for major SF magazines saying "It is no coincidence that my book review column features no white male authors.," (Sunil Patel, Lightspeed) and "I Challenge You to Stop Reading White, Straight, Cis Male Authors for One Year" (Tempest Bradford, XOJane and The Guardian). That is genuine discrimination. And there are many, many fans who've come out and said their consciences won't allow them to vote for an award for a story written by a conservative. It's a toxic environment they've created.

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Destineer
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And anyway, my point in quoting NPR was not to establish that the SPs are right, but to establish that they are being misrepresented by their opponents at every turn.

(Correia and Torgersen are also trying to misrepresent their opponents in much the same way--tar all leftists with the "crazy SJW" brush--but they haven't been as successful at it.)

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NobleHunter
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One of the frustrating things about following this is how quickly people adapt it into their pre-existing narratives. I'm inclined to blame the puppies since they initiated this conflict in context of the culture wars but I wish opposing commentators didn't follow them so gleefully.
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Destineer
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I just wish the people in this conflict made reasonable arguments against the things their opponents actually say. But that's a lot easier when it's individual people in an argument, rather than big online coalitions.
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Destineer
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GRR Martin, though, has been very good about actually responding to what the Sad Puppies are saying without getting them mixed up with the Rabid ones.
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NobleHunter
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Eric Flint, likewise.
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Destineer
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Absolutely. If anything, Flint's posts have been even better than GRRM's.
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Destineer
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There is still a miscommunication problem in those two cases, though, although it's nobody's fault. Martin and Flint are liberals of an earlier age. In my opinion, they don't really grasp how toxic the social justice movement has become.
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TomDavidson
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quote:
That is genuine discrimination.
Indeed it is.
I wouldn't call it "rabid activism," however. I would call it openly admitting to deliberate bias in favor of a specific goal. Which is something like 1000% more honest than anything either of the Puppies tried to pull off.

Do you think you need to be a "crazy SJW" to make the deliberate decision, as a reviewer, to only review books that represent what you believe are historically underrepresented positions or viewpoints?

Because here's the thing: the Puppies aren't going to have an impact on reviewers who, for whatever reason, are consciously ignoring their fiction. Such reviewers are deliberately limiting their scope, in the same way that someone who deliberately reviews only indie games is not going to review, say, the latest Call of Duty. If EA were to suddenly flip out about the existence of indie game reviewers and complain that Metacritic scores of indie games are trending higher than the latest Gears of War, it would be equivalent to what the Sad Puppies claim to be doing.

What this whole kerfluffle has made crystal clear to me is that people who are paranoid and poisoned about "social justice" are just tired retreads of those idiots who complained about "political correctness" in the late '80s.

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Destineer
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quote:
Do you think you need to be a "crazy SJW" to make the deliberate decision, as a reviewer, to only review books that represent what you believe are historically underrepresented positions or viewpoints?
Let's be clear: Not positions or viewpoints. Races and genders. (Perhaps you just mean social positions and viewpoints "from a social location," though.)

If you write a blog on underrepresented voices, or a special review column that is set aside for underrepresented works, it's fine to do this.

If you write the only review column for a major magazine that purports to cater to the whole SF&F audience, no, I don't think it's appropriate.

And in Bradford's case, keep in mind, it wasn't just "I will only review work by certain types of authors," it was "I will only read work by certain types of authors, and so should you."

In general, I think a better and more ethical way to raise exposure for underrepresented people is to review their work proportionately (or maybe a bit more than proportionately) in venues where everybody gets a shot. But don't set a lockstep rule of refusing to review others.

I know this doesn't settle the argument by itself, but it really is relevant that writing a "whites only" review column would be wrong. Fighting systematic oppression is important, but not at the price of discrimination.

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Destineer
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quote:
What this whole kerfluffle has made crystal clear to me is that people who are paranoid and poisoned about "social justice" are just tired retreads of those idiots who complained about "political correctness" in the late '80s.
Have you read about Requires Hate and RaceFail09??

http://www.dailydot.com/geek/benjanun-sriduangkaew-revealed-to-be-troll-requires-hate-winterfox/

http://fanlore.org/wiki/RaceFail_'09 - this is a social justice-skewed narrative of what happened, but if you read carefully you will find that the real bad behavior that started the whole thing came from SJ people attacking Jay Lake and Elizabeth Bear for their very reasonable comments

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Destineer
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I mean, I support affirmative action, but the solution to the problem of underrepresented minorities isn't "from now on no white males can get into Harvard."
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NobleHunter
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I thought those were mostly internal to the "social justice movement." Since the puppies are determined to be outsiders, those sorts of circular firing squads aren't something they need to worry about.

And if there were enough reviewers refusing to cover white males that they were in danger of going uncovered then your metaphorical solution would be valid.

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TomDavidson
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Requires Hate is a freakish troll, Destineer, and has as little impact on the concept of "social justice" as Vox Day has on the concept of "religious conservative." (It should be noted that RH primarily preys on liberals; actual conservatives are almost never targets.) I can match you outlier for offensive outlier long before we run out of offensive outliers opposed to "social justice," I promise you. [Smile]

quote:
I support affirmative action, but the solution to the problem of underrepresented minorities isn't "from now on no white males can get into Harvard."
Serious question: why couldn't it be? If it were your highest priority to see this sort of thing equalized, why would this be an unreasonable part of the solution?

And, of course, that question contains within itself the real issue: that if equality is your highest priority, other things are going to suffer. Presumably equality is not your highest priority, so you will see injustice where someone fighting for equality will see an acceptable cost. And this is fine. It's not actually unexpected or unreasonable or insane. It is perfectly fine for people to disagree about the priorities of our society. Nor is it unreasonable for someone who feels victimized by our society to care more about eliminating that victimization and tearing down the framework that permitted it than someone who has -- at minimum -- not suffered as a result of that framework.

Let 'em rant. We're a long, long way from a world where "social justice" is in a position to do measurable harm.

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Destineer
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quote:
Requires Hate is a freakish troll, Destineer, and has as little impact on the concept of "social justice" as Vox Day has on the concept of "religious conservative."
RH still has several prominent defenders, including Tempest Bradford, last I read.

quote:
Serious question: why couldn't it be? If it were your highest priority to see this sort of thing equalized, why would this be an unreasonable part of the solution?
If your highest priority was equality, and nothing else mattered to you, I suppose you could kill all white people and all rich people. That would completely "solve" the problem.

Conclusion: if equality is really someone's highest priority, above all else, that person is morally bankrupt. Equality has to be one goal among others. And one goal that should not be completely thrown under the bus is fairness and non-discrimination.

quote:
Let 'em rant. We're a long, long way from a world where "social justice" is in a position to do measurable harm.
I disagree. They did measurable harm to Jay Lake and Elizabeth Bear, and Patrick and Theresa Nielsen-Hayden, during RaceFail. Yes, these are a few individuals, but they matter. Just like the harm Vox Day did to NK Jemisin matters.

As people of conscience on the left, we have to be better than the Correias and Torgersens who look the other way when Vox Day goes nuts and say "Let him rant."

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NobleHunter
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quote:
I disagree. They did measurable harm to Jay Lake and Elizabeth Bear, and Patrick and Theresa Nielsen-Hayden, during RaceFail. Yes, these are a few individuals, but they matter. Just like the harm Vox Day did to NK Jemisin matters.
Yet they never go on about Social Justice Warriors. Or how there's an ongoing conspiracy to keep them from getting awards or blacklist them or whatever. Not to mention the Nielsen-Haydens are considered to be prominent members of the "social justice movement."
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Destineer
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I think the Nielsen-Haydens realized that it's safer and easier just to shut up if you're not going to toe the most radical party line.

I agree that talk of a conspiracy is bonkers. But there are very many individual fans who are not going to give conservative authors a fair hearing come award time. We have to be realistic about that.

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NobleHunter
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Neither of those assertions seem particularly provable. Conservative authors do get nominated for Hugos and some ridiculously liberal authors never get nominated. I think it's far more reasonable to assume that it's more about what authors write than authors being on the right.
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Wingracer
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quote:
Originally posted by Destineer:

I agree that talk of a conspiracy is bonkers. But there are very many individual fans who are not going to give conservative authors a fair hearing come award time. We have to be realistic about that.

Of course there are. There are also many conservative fans who will not give a more liberal or diverse author a fair shake come awards time.
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Destineer
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quote:
Neither of those assertions seem particularly provable. Conservative authors do get nominated for Hugos and some ridiculously liberal authors never get nominated. I think it's far more reasonable to assume that it's more about what authors write than authors being on the right.
I'm not sure that's wrong, but I'm also not sure that Correia and Torgersen are wrong about discrimination. Certainly there were examples of people during Sad Puppies 2 who said they couldn't separate the author from the work and would vote against Correia's novel because Correia was a bigot. (Difficult thing to google, so I can't find the examples ready to hand, but I definitely read some people saying this.)

As far as PNH and TNH go, you're right that this is my guess, but if you read what they wrote during RaceFail it's clear that they felt they were being treated unfairly by SJ fans. There really is no good way to respond to an online mob except to apologize and pretend you agree with your attackers.

I believe they are serious about SJ, but they're also not as radical as many online fans are, so I think they now keep some of their views to themselves in self-defense.

quote:
Of course there are. There are also many conservative fans who will not give a more liberal or diverse author a fair shake come awards time.
Absolutely. And the conservative fans are outnumbered by the liberal ones, and the good conservative authors are outnumbered by the good liberal authors, and that is the environment we find ourselves in. I don't claim to know the net effect of all this, but it may well be to rig the awards against conservatives. I doubt it's rigging the awards against liberals.
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TomDavidson
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quote:
RH still has several prominent defenders, including Tempest Bradford, last I read.
How are you defining "prominent?" Because Tempest Bradford references are themselves pretty damn inside baseball.

quote:
Conclusion: if equality is really someone's highest priority, above all else, that person is morally bankrupt.
Why? Would you say the same if someone's highest priority were compassion? Or politeness?

I think a much better rule of thumb is this: if you are willing to sacrifice other principles for the sake of your highest principle, you should be especially careful to ensure that you are not doing so in error.

quote:
They did measurable harm to Jay Lake and Elizabeth Bear...
What metric are you using to measure that harm? Bear lost no sales. She had no upcoming awards or appearances spiked. She had to put up with stupid people insulting her on Twitter.

quote:
But there are very many individual fans who are not going to give conservative authors a fair hearing come award time.
I....I honestly don't know how you can ultimately call that a real problem that people should worry about.
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Destineer
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quote:
Originally posted by TomDavidson:
quote:
But there are very many individual fans who are not going to give conservative authors a fair hearing come award time.
I....I honestly don't know how you can ultimately call that a real problem that people should worry about. [/QB]
Because a literary award should be given based on the literary merit of the work!
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Destineer
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quote:
What metric are you using to measure that harm? Bear lost no sales. She had no upcoming awards or appearances spiked. She had to put up with stupid people insulting her on Twitter.
You're right, she didn't suffer career consequences. (Elizabeth Moon, on the other hand...)

But it sounds like you need to read Jon Ronson's writings about the effects of online mobbing: http://www.nytimes.com/2015/02/15/magazine/how-one-stupid-tweet-ruined-justine-saccos-life.html

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NobleHunter
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By starting SP2, Correia made it political. Or at least, reinforced whatever politics already existed. Though I agree there are people who refuse to support authors solely due to their politics. I just don't think that group is decisive in nominations or voting.

ETA: I think it's safe to say online mobbing is usually bad.

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TomDavidson
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quote:
Because a literary award should be given based on the literary merit of the work!
*blink* Is there anyone on Earth who really, truly believes that the Hugos are reliably awarded to the works with the most literary merit in a given category? Or who thinks that "literary merit" is something that voters can use a consistent metric to determine?

quote:
But it sounds like you need to read Jon Ronson's writings about the effects of online mobbing...
And yet, you'll notice, those things did not actually happen to Elizabeth Bear.
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