Tuesday, August 25, 2015

sometimes it speaks to somebody's heart

IO9 has an article complaining about the attempted hostile take over of sci fi award the Hugo.

Sarah Hoyt has a lot of articles (her latest) about how she and others got disgusted at the PC takeover of sci fi and attempted to stop the takeover by a small group of experts aka SJW.

The short version of my comments is:
Sad Puppies which is a loosely connected (we’re not organized) group of fans (some of us are writers, but fans first) suspected that a small clique (whether motivated by power or politics, we don’t care) held sway over the Hugos.  This was in part because so few people voted in the award.  So we set out to increase the voter pool and we called attention to supporting/voting memberships and a group of people we thought were deserving of the award. The reaction from the clique was one of fury and name calling.  (For details look herehttp://accordingtohoyt.com/2015/08/12/the-goat-kicks-back/.) 
and Instapundit links to this article about the kerfuffle.

so Hoyt said they tried to increase the voters who decided what to award, and got kicked out and screamed at in all sorts of mainstream journals and called names.

I stopped reading sci fi years ago because it got too nihilistic. (I gave up Game of Thrones after ten minutes on HBO).
So I am not making judgements in this matter.

But one little item in the IO9 article made me sit up and notice:

Based on the newly released statistics, Brandon Kempner of Chaos Horizon has a good analysis of the Hugo vote, (as does Nicholas Whyte in From the Heart Of Europe)—they estimate that the Rabid Puppies bloc was composed of 550-525 voters, while the Sad Puppies bloc made up 500-400 voters: around 20% of the 5,950 total voters. 

5900 votes total.

In other words, this is about a tiny number of people, not about ordinary fans.

And these 5900 voters can have a huge impact on sales (especially to libraries) and a person's career and his ability to write for a living.

So who decides who votes? If I have it right, it seems if you join the organization you can vote.

In other words, a self selected group. And easy to manipulate by anyone: which is the accusation of both the sad/rabid puppies who object to the coterie who runs the award program, and those who object to outsiders trying to change thing.

For example, BoingBoing dismisses them by saying that the various puppies (i.e. dissadents to the mainstream types who run the Hugo awards) are only one third of those who voted, so why worry about them?

Translation: Ignore them and they will go away.

Alternate translation: Geeks have other interest and are harder to mobilize to stop the SJW who can spread two minute hate message to millions on Facebook before anyone bothers to check the truth.

So the mainstream response is to keep them out. Change the rules.

Again, from BoingBOing:

At today's Worldcon business meeting, members of the Worldcon will consider a significant rule-change for Hugo nominations and voting, co-designed by Bruce Schneier, crafted to make the Hugo nomination system harder for small groups to sweep through slates. Update: It passed. It will need to be ratified at next year's Worldcon business meeting to take effect.
so all we need is for geeks to go to the meeting and vote against it, right?


In other news: Helsinki was selected as the site for Worldcon 2017.
Helsinki? Why not Ulan Bator?

well, anyway: the fight reminds me of how political correctness types slowly take over institutions.

The political enthusiasts with an agenda join a group (or some people for various reasons are converted while members).
Because they are politically active in the organization (while the rest of us have a life to lead) they end up in leadership positions.

They then make a lot of decisions (putting out opinion statements in the name of the organization, as if the membership agreed with them, deciding who writes in the publications read by the members,  deciding who to give awards or who needs to give talks to their membership meetings).

As a result, a lot of people quietly vote with their feet and leave the organization.
Others just stay for other benefits while ignoring the politics. (e.g. professional organizations like the AMA)
Still others are too busy to even notice what is going on.

Voila, the elites take over of cultural institutions and use them to push a larger agenda, as if the members agree with them.

As I said: The AAFP members opposed Obamacare, but it didn't stop the bureaucrat from pushing it in congress, even to the effect that he was there when the bill was signed. A similar ploy was done by the nun in charge of the Catholic health organization. Agenda before representing the interests of your members.

So how can you oppose those in power?

Well, When the elites start the takeover, if you point out they are a minority, and they should not push their agenda on the rest of us, they object we are wrong and insist they are on the side of the future, so resistance is futile.

When dissadents wake up and realize what is going on, and try to stop them, the dissadents are stopped, called names, ignored or otherwise ostracized.

This is true be it the AMA and the AAFP or the politically correct nuns of the catholic health organization, but it is also true in the US Catholic Bishop's Conference's various committees. Heck, it is true even in the Vatican, (as shown when a report changing Catholic dogma was released, never mind that no one had voted on this).

One also see it in the the "Leadership" conference of Catholic new age nuns (who support policies against traditional life, i.e. no prayer, no community, no poverty, and do your own thing,policies that drove out most of the Catholic sisters, which is why there are so few left). And I suspect it is true in many of the mainline churches.

These are the groups that I am familiar with.

You could probably think of quite a few others.

Yet a small group that stays committed to truth can keep the faith alive, and it springs up in the most unlikely places.

If the Catholic church in the US stays christian, it might be because a crippled Italian American cloistered nun in Alabama was invited to give talks on a small local Christian radio station, and decided to spread the gospel via the media.
The rest is history. And yes, we get EWTN here in the Philippines.

The Little Sisters of the Poor noticed the takeover of the sister's organization, and started their own group to represent Catholic nuns in the USA. They rarely get noticed in the MSM, but they tend to be younger and more traditional. Another 20 years and you might just see nuns wearing veils again.

In the AMA etc. the bad news is that there are yet splinter groups for dissdents: This bodes ill for you, because the newly trained doctors are being taught to obey the flowcharts of the bureaucrats rather than to actually take care of you. Which is why alternative medicine is thriving.

As for the media: There are now alternatives.

The internet allowed Andy Weir's book The Martian to be read by thousands of fans: started as a serial on the internet, published on line, and then self published on Amazon, and only later did someone bother in a publishing house to read it. It is now a paperback bestseller and now a movie.

and a side effect of the book?

it may save NASA.

self publishing music and art and writing on line will spread to others with a love of art and music that will not pass through the gatekeepers because it is not what the public wants (or rather what those in charge of the culture thinks the public wants)

In literature, the Tolkien phenomena is a good example of how the disdain of the politically correct could not stop a book that spoke to people's hearts.

So take heart, puppies and non puppies. If the story comes from your heart (and not from talking points to please the powerful) your story/music/art will reach those who want to hear or view it.

the phrase "spoke to somebody's heart" comes from Alan Sherman in this witty album, from the Boston Pops, about censorship of artists.  Watch/listen to the whole thing.

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