The World Science Fiction convention/awards were attacked again. How can its unusual governance structure deal with this?

The activities of the World Science Fiction Society, the unincorporated club which chooses the location of the annual World SF Convention (WorldCon) and the annual Hugo awards, have once again encountered a scandal, the 3rd in the last 8 years, and people aren't quite sure how to repair the damage and/or fix it long term. Below, I'll discuss many of the possible and proposed approaches.

Elon Musk Gets Booed On Stage In SF - How Much Is That Hurting Tesla Stock?

Musk himself was surprised to see how controversial he had become when he got a lot of booing on stage with Dave Chappelle in San Francisco last night.

Musk has always been somebody who refused to give a crap what other people think, because he can afford it. But now that his personal brand is so tied to the success of both Tesla and Twitter, he has to deal with the fact that personal brand is largely what other people think.

Analysis of this problem, and how it affects the success and stock price of Tesla, is in this new article on the Forbes site:


Zelensky can up his game in translation to win more to his cause

OK, this is probably the last thing on Zelensky's mind right now, which is full of more pressing issues. I watched him speak to parliament and to the US congress using the standard technique of a simultaneous translator. And he got a huge round of applause because his cause is dire and just.

Designing Olympic sports for the spectator

Most sports are for the athlete, and should be. Some gain an audience, and bend to it to some degree. Perhaps the pinnacle of spectator sport is the Olympics. The are an international stage. While the medals are highly coveted by the athletes, almost all sports have their own world championships and other tournaments which are mostly for the athletes and a more limited cadre of serious spectators. The Olympics are about showing the world, as well as a bit too much national pride.


The World Science Fiction Convention (worldcon) goes to China, and of course there's politics

I used to be a lot more involved in the annual science fiction Worldcon and the Hugo awards, but have drifted away of late. One of the reasons is that, even more than before, they have become more about politics than science fiction or community. There was a huge controversy over an attempt at bloc voting to change the Hugo awards, which both succeeded and failed, and had somewhat faded into the past. But the intrigues continue.

Google Meet and others up the video meeting game, what's next?

New in Meet

Recently, Google showed off some new features for Google Meet. The key new feature, with the odd name of "companion mode" addresses a major problem of meetings which have a central meeting room with multiple people, and a variety of people outside "calling in."

Make virtual conferences live, not pre-recorded

There is a disturbing trend in virtual conferences. Due to the tempting technical advantages, many of them are switching to using pre-recorded talks rather than live ones to prevent technical glitches. It's obvious why organizers like it, but it sucks the soul out of the event. Nobody would imagine going to a physical conference to watch pre-recorded video of the speakers. Here's some advice on how to resist the temptation.


Virtual meeting tools need to interoperate

There are many tools now being used to replace physical conferences and meetings -- not just Zoom. And no one system is complete, or even best-of-breed in all the various functions it provides. It's time for these tools to develop a way to interoperate, so people can build an event mixing and matching tools, but allowing attendees to flow smoothly between the tools without needing to create different accounts, re-authenticate or have a large learning curve.


Twitter and FB shouldn't ban political ads. They should give them away to registered candidates

Twitter's decision to no longer take political advertising is causing a stir, and people are calling on Facebook to do the same. Political advertising isn't just an issue now that we've learned that Russians are doing it to screw with elections. It's the sink for almost all the money spent by campaigns, and thus all the money they raise from donors. The reason that people in office spend more than half their time fundraising is they feel they have no choice.

Reflections on 30 years of the dot-com

Tomorrow, June 8, marks the 30th anniversary of my launch of In the 1980s, there was a policy forbidding commercial use of the internet backbone, but I wanted to do a business there and found a loophole and got the managers of NSFNet to agree, making ClariNet the first company created to use the internet as a platform, the common meaning of a "dot-com."