Blog in progress

Midday update

No line but a steady stream of people. Let’s see what after work looks like. It continues to be a beautiful day.

Election day.

The line is snaking outside the doors of my polling station (which, unlike Russia, I can see from my house). It started just after the polls opened at 6 a.m.


Hugo Awards 2015

After much excitement and apprehension, the Puppified Hugo Awards were announced last night. For those who want a thorough overview of the backstory, Wired has a very good article. Beware the comment thread.

The list of winners and finalists is here. You’ll see that No Awards cleaned up in a number of categories.

Natalie Luhrs has a summary of an “alternate timeline Hugo awards“, or what the finalists in each category might have been had Puppification not occurred. Her inferences are based on the full nomination and award counts (the link is a cached version of the pdf), which were released right after the awards ceremony. If I’m reading her post correctly, she assumes that none of the Puppy votes would have been transferred to any other nominees or finalists. (I’m describing, not criticizing, since there’s no better alternate way I can think of to infer a non-Puppy outcome.)

If you’re on Twitter you’ve already seen a lot of discussion, but I wanted to provide some information and links for readers who aren’t.

[I’m trying a new type of post, which WordPress calls “aside” posts. They’re supposed to be like notes, and this theme supports them, but they seem to look like every other post but without a title. Which is not really that helpful in distinguishing them from regular posts. So if you don’t see a title, it’s an Aside post.]

The GOP debate is so frustrating to me. On the one hand, this is five months before the first primaries, ten months before the last primaries, and nearly a full year before the Republican Party’s nominating convention. Most voters aren’t paying attention. The main people who care are scholars, political junkies, and media types who have to fill the 24/7 news hole. And you can probably add to that list, people who enjoy reality shows with a substantial humiliation component. Nate Silver observed that the correlation between GOP candidate standing and media coverage is .92, which almost entirely explains Donald Trump.

On the other hand, campaigns don’t run on votes, they run on money. And right now is when candidates are jockeying for donors. Not the you and me kind of donors, but the Koch and Soros kinds of donors. And if they don’t get money now, they won’t be around when the you and me donors (and voters) start to pay attention. So even though the whole enterprise feels like a sideshow with clowns, it has important consequences. However much we hate it, this is our circus (if you’re a US voter), and they’re kind of our monkeys.

I didn’t get into political science for politainment, but that seems to be the main course these days.

Still not watching, though.