Author Topic: Artemis Rising Discussion  (Read 29260 times)

danooli

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Reply #25 on: February 19, 2016, 12:29:06 PM
I think that the fact that people can be annoyed by the existence of an event like Artemis Rising speaks volumes on the necessity of it.

I want to write this on paper just so I can draw all the hearts and stars around it that it deserves. Well said, Danooli, and dead on!

Thank you Varda!

We're all having a great time. You're invited to the party too, and we want you there! You don't have to come, and you don't even have to compliment the cake if you*do* come, but don't be That Guy. Don't be the ungracious dude loudly complaining about how we shouldn't ever have parties at all, because you can eat cake for any occasion and anyway it tastes the same every day of the year. It's someone's birthday, and she is enjoying the nice party we threw for her, and that's something I hope we can all get behind.

I absolutely love this analogy.


In a book which I've been working on and thinking about almost constantly for the better part of a year, the men outnumbered the women two to one and my brain was recording that as "hardly any."

That certainly illustrates the topic and, yes, issue, very well.



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Reply #26 on: February 19, 2016, 01:20:45 PM

In a book which I've been working on and thinking about almost constantly for the better part of a year, the men outnumbered the women two to one and my brain was recording that as "hardly any."

That certainly illustrates the topic and, yes, issue, very well.


As a rule, this illustrates a bias that Windup has (keep in mind that I am using the scientific meaning of bias). As he is male (according to his profile) he most likely finds it easier to identify with male character, thus his mind remembers the exceptions (the females) more often than the males.  Does this make Windup sexist?  Absolutely not.  He's just identifying with similar individuals. 

For a female author, this bias should be the reverse.  I have no data on hand, but I do not think that this is the case.  We spend so much time reading male characters (Try to find a woman in a lead role in Foundation, even Ursula K. Le Guin's The Dispossessed and Joanne K. Rowling's Harry Potter are disproportionate if I remember correctly...) that women too may share this bias.

Of course, there are some pieces where the author can't help a disproportion (Stories about a girl's boarding school, or stories about a high school wrestling team), but Windup is doing the right thing by being mindful of the bias.

As a side note, my lab is 10:4 female to male.  The other labs around me are similar.  So if you are writing a story in a biology lab, and you want your proportions to reflect reality, put more females in it than males.       



danooli

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Reply #27 on: February 19, 2016, 01:28:10 PM
Does this make Windup sexist?  Absolutely not.  He's just identifying with similar individuals. 

For the record, I never intended to imply Windup is sexist. If anyone interpreted my comment in that regard, I apologize.



Not-a-Robot

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Reply #28 on: February 19, 2016, 01:29:33 PM
Does this make Windup sexist?  Absolutely not.  He's just identifying with similar individuals.  

For the record, I never intended to imply Windup is sexist. If anyone interpreted my comment in that regard, I apologize.

I didn't think that you did.  I just wanted to highlight the difference between a bias and a prejudice and discuss the issue that you alluded to.
« Last Edit: February 19, 2016, 01:36:16 PM by Not-a-Robot »



Varda

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Reply #29 on: February 19, 2016, 02:06:54 PM
Really helpful distinguishing between subconscious bias and conscious prejudice, Not-A-Robot. Very well said. If anyone's curious about seeing how this applies to themselves, I recommend checking out Harvard's Implicit Association Test to see how strong your own subconscious associations are on a variety of topics.

Quote
For a female author, this bias should be the reverse.  I have no data on hand, but I do not think that this is the case.  We spend so much time reading male characters (Try to find a woman in a lead role in Foundation, even Ursula K. Le Guin's The Dispossessed and Joanne K. Rowling's Harry Potter are disproportionate if I remember correctly...) that women too may share this bias.

This lines up well with the research data I've seen on this topic. It's reasonably well-documented that people perceive a group composed of roughly 30% women and 70% men as being "gender balanced" if they don't actually take measurements, both quantitatively (as in Windup's example of overestimating the number of named women in a novel) and in spoken language (when women speak up more than 30% of the time in a meeting, they're perceived as "talking too much" or "dominating the conversation.") And since we're talking about a biology lab, here's a recent study on male biology students underestimating the contributions of the female students. Interestingly, in this case the bias only went one direction. The women were much more accurate and fair in their estimates of the men than vice versa.

This applies to short fiction zines as well. The Sad Puppies incident of last year was especially laughable in that it bemoaned too many women getting Hugo nominations, and insinuated these women hadn't earned it, when the very easy-to-assemble data shows a clear trend toward gender equality in the award. Which is what we'd statistically expect, given that creative talent has never been shown to correlate with gender. But we *perceive* a gender imbalance because we're not used to what equality looks like. The gender divide runs through SF publication in particular right along that 70/30 line.

But interestingly, some of the most prestigious and well-decorated zines (such as Lightspeed) have no gender divide. There are a lot of ways they manage this, but two of the easiest ways to attract high-quality stories from really gifted female author is 1) explicitly *asking* women to send you their stories (which counteracts the Dunning-Kruger Effect), and 2) making female editorial presence publicly visible (which counteracts the outward Sausage-Fest perception you get when your editors and hosts are predominantly male).

Artemis Rising, incidentally, allows us to do both, and have a hell of a lot of fun doing it. So let's eat cake and enjoy the party, because everything is better with cake! :D

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Not-a-Robot

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Reply #30 on: February 19, 2016, 02:47:21 PM
And since we're talking about a biology lab, here's a recent study on male biology students underestimating the contributions of the female students.

I've seen that study. *disappointing*

The female post docs and professor that I work with make it very hard for me to underestimate their contributions  ;).



Fenrix

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Reply #31 on: February 19, 2016, 03:09:02 PM

I'm not sure I'd agree with that. During 6 months of 2015 PseudoPod received double the submissions of what we received for all of 2014. We had to reject a lot of excellent stories that would have made great episodes. And we're still comfortably ahead on purchases for the calendar.


Sure, but did you get double the number of quality, usable submissions? You may have, I wasn't speaking specifically about anybody, just generally what I have seen in a variety of venues accepting content submissions from non-staff contributors. But more to the point, I was really just illustrating that there are reasons the 80%:80% assumption might not be true. Perhaps it would be more precise to say that the gender ratio for submissions does not necessarily directly correlate to the ratio of usable content that comes out the other side of the slush machine.


Without running numbers, I'd say that we did. We rejected a lot more great things (as opposed to just rejecting good things). The pass-through percentage to the editors stayed about the same, and the proportion of gems in the pile was about the same. The number of episodes available per year did not go up.

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eytanz

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Reply #32 on: February 19, 2016, 09:01:54 PM
This applies to short fiction zines as well. The Sad Puppies incident of last year was especially laughable in that it bemoaned too many women getting Hugo nominations, and insinuated these women hadn't earned it, when the very easy-to-assemble data shows a clear trend toward gender equality in the award. Which is what we'd statistically expect, given that creative talent has never been shown to correlate with gender. But we *perceive* a gender imbalance because we're not used to what equality looks like. The gender divide runs through SF publication in particular right along that 70/30 line.

I feel like you're giving the puppies too much credit here - I don't think most of them perceived a gender imbalance where there wasn't one. I think most of them were very well aware there wasn't a gender imbalance favouring women, they just explicitly wanted to maintain a significant gender imbalance favouring men.



Windup

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Reply #33 on: February 20, 2016, 04:22:59 AM
Does this make Windup sexist?  Absolutely not.  He's just identifying with similar individuals. 

For the record, I never intended to imply Windup is sexist. If anyone interpreted my comment in that regard, I apologize.

If by "sexist" you mean "deliberately treating women as less than full human beings and encouraging others to do the same," I certainly didn't take it that way, and it would take a pretty tortured interpretation of what you wrote to read it that way.

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FireTurtle

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Reply #34 on: February 21, 2016, 03:19:09 AM
We're all having a great time. You're invited to the party too, and we want you there! You don't have to come, and you don't even have to compliment the cake if you*do* come, but don't be That Guy. Don't be the ungracious dude loudly complaining about how we shouldn't ever have parties at all, because you can eat cake for any occasion and anyway it tastes the same every day of the year. It's someone's birthday, and she is enjoying the nice party we threw for her, and that's something I hope we can all get behind.

Preach!

I'm totally, totally enjoying the party. It's great to finally HAVE a party! (And Varda, as always, gets +1 Internet for Best Analogy)

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DerangedMind

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Reply #35 on: March 02, 2016, 07:33:51 PM
I'd like to thank the staff and authors for making this a great Artemis Rising event.  I enjoyed most of the stories, and loved the fact that so many talented writers submitted stories for the event.
 



trogs

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Reply #36 on: March 02, 2016, 07:37:25 PM
I've listened to Escape Pod for 5+ years.

For the first time, I've made a profile, exclusively for the purpose of logging in here and telling you guys to please never do any "affirmative action" stuff like this again.

The stories are noticeably less good. You do a disservice to women, and to Escape Pod.

Science fiction is either good, or it's not. The genitalia of the author shouldn't enter into it.



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Reply #37 on: March 02, 2016, 09:12:30 PM
I've listened to Escape Pod for 5+ years.

For the first time, I've made a profile, exclusively for the purpose of logging in here and telling you guys to please never do any "affirmative action" stuff like this again.

The stories are noticeably less good. You do a disservice to women, and to Escape Pod.

Science fiction is either good, or it's not. The genitalia of the author shouldn't enter into it.
This post is exactly why I think Escape Pod should not only keep doing this, but maybe even do it more often.  Trog is entitled to his (I have no doubt about pronouns here) opinion but I think the best way to change that opinion and make the world a less-shitty place is to keep up the good work.  I dig Artemis Rising and respectfully submit my opinion as a nullification of the above poster.  :)



adrianh

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Reply #38 on: March 02, 2016, 09:35:00 PM
Thoroughly enjoyed AR this year, as I did last year.

In fact in the case of EP & PC I probably like the editorial voice a bit more than normal (not that I hate current EP or anything — but tastes differ and I think the Eley/Tolbert/Lafferty era was a bit more aligned with my personal preferences than Norm Sherman's stewardship — but my memory is poor so I may just be making shit up ;-)

It's introduced me to some new authors. I enjoyed the majority of stories. Certainly not seen any drop in quality.

Carry on!



Unblinking

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Reply #39 on: March 02, 2016, 10:12:20 PM
Yeah, quite a few of the Artemis Rising stories have been unqualified amazing, IMO. 

(Not all of them, but I'm particular enough that not all of any group of stories is likely to hit me with all cylinders.  I don't take that as a dip in quality but a matter of taste.)



danooli

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Reply #40 on: March 03, 2016, 02:03:14 AM
Yeah, quite a few of the Artemis Rising stories have been unqualified amazing, IMO. 

(Not all of them, but I'm particular enough that not all of any group of stories is likely to hit me with all cylinders.  I don't take that as a dip in quality but a matter of taste.)

I don't like every story, but I don't like everything of anything. On my favorite albums, theres always a song I like least. In every book I love, there's always a character I dislike. Every TV show I watch has an episode that I wished I would have skipped.

Nothing can appeal to 100% of the people 100% of the time.

But that's ok.

That's what makes the world interesting.



trogs

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Reply #41 on: March 03, 2016, 06:11:07 PM
Trog is entitled to his (I have no doubt about pronouns here) opinion but I think the best way to change that opinion

This is a science fiction podcast.

I get that your goal of changing the opinions, and nullifying the opinions, of the listeners, is real important to you.

But I don't think gender politics should be a factor in what story goes up, and I don't think we should have to listen through monologues about gender theory bookending our science fiction podcast.



Thunderscreech

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Reply #42 on: March 03, 2016, 06:19:59 PM
This is a science fiction podcast.

Is there something inherently non-sciencefiction about stories authored by women?  I ask because I've been getting science fiction stories during the Artemis Rising event; if you haven't been, then maybe there's a technical problem with your podcast software worth checking.
I get that your goal of changing the opinions, and nullifying the opinions, of the listeners, is real important to you.
I'm busted, that's me in a nutshell.  Literally the most important thing in my life was that time I could respond to your post, now I'm like one of those expended party poppers with no purpose but to clutter landfills, forever reliving memories of that one time I got to blow confetti into the air.

But I don't think gender politics should be a factor in what story goes up, and I don't think we should have to listen through monologues about gender theory bookending our science fiction podcast.
Good news!  Unless you're involved in some sort of Clockwork Orange situation where, between bits of the ol' Ludwig Van you're being force-fed women-written science fiction and commentary, you can skip the introductions and outros.  Heck, you can even skip the entire episodes themselves! 

Trogs, take this sock.  You are a free elf, you are beholden to nobody evermore on this subject. 



matweller

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Reply #43 on: March 04, 2016, 02:42:27 PM
It's just not open to be changed right now. This is something we like to do. This is something that has overwhelming support from the audience. This is something we plan to continue for the foreseeable future.

Your input is welcome. It has been heard and understood. It just doesn't jive with our priorities at this moment.



trogs

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Reply #44 on: March 04, 2016, 07:55:20 PM
Fair enough, Matweller.

For what it's worth, I agree that blind submissions are a good idea to remove any unconscious bias from the process.  And, in fact, Escape Pod's guidelines (and Cast of Wonders's guidelines) now ask for manuscripts to be submitted without author name attached.

I think that's great.  I think that it's the best way to make it clear that story trumps all.  I think that, practically speaking, it has more of an effect on the bias of name-fame.  With names attached one might be inclined to accept a mediocre story from a big name over a great story from a lesser name--with names stripped off the stories have to be as good regardless of name.

My own slushpile, when I occasionally open for submissions, is blind for that same reason.  I don't have solid numbers about the demographics of the submitters, but of the stories accepted 14 of the 25 were written by women with the name of the author not being a factor in the actual choices.

This sounds like a non-exclusive way of removing the gender bias of the reviewer.

As Unblinking says, it also removes the name/fame bias of the reviewer, neutralizes affirmative action stigma, does not encourage "opinion nullification" / general political behaviour, and will also help to remove ethnic bias. Just quality.

If not everyone at Escape Pod already does as Unblinking does, maybe you should experiment with a Snowblind Winter, of blind submissions only. People might even give a crack at guessing the sex or identity of the author, if they care about that kind of thing. I think they should be encouraged not to care, though I realize that this is not very fashionable.
« Last Edit: March 04, 2016, 08:01:47 PM by trogs »



Fenrix

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Reply #45 on: March 04, 2016, 08:07:51 PM

If not everyone at Escape Pod already does as Unblinking does, maybe you should experiment with a Snowblind Winter, of blind submissions only. People might even give a crack at guessing the sex or identity of the author, if they care about that kind of thing. I think they should be encouraged not to care, though I realize that this is not very fashionable.


Several of the casts already do blind subs for the general call for submissions. But it's always easier to sling a stone than check first.

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trogs

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Reply #46 on: March 04, 2016, 08:31:33 PM
I did check, Fenrix. The submit page encourages you to submit on the basis of your "diverse" identity, and the contracts all include fields for name and even have a clause for being able to request your photo, nothing is mentioned about blind submission there. And nothing in the "about", or anywhere in the forum that I could see, or in any episode that I've ever heard (and I've been listening pretty regularly for 5 years) says that you can be published blind. Also, almost all of the published stories have names and photos attached.

Not saying that it isn't out there somewhere. But, I did check. And I think it was pretty clear from Unblinking's description that his method is not universally adopted by everyone.
« Last Edit: March 04, 2016, 08:37:45 PM by trogs »



Unblinking

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Reply #47 on: March 04, 2016, 08:34:29 PM
As Unblinking says, it also removes the name/fame bias of the reviewer, neutralizes affirmative action stigma, does not encourage "opinion nullification" / general political behaviour, and will also help to remove ethnic bias. Just quality.


trogs, could you kindly not put words in my mouth?  I said some, but not all of those things.  If you want to make these statements yourself, that's your choice, but don't claim that I made statements that I didn't.  You can insert your own foot in your own mouth if you like, but I don't care for the flavor.

1.  "Removing name/fame bias is a definite plus.  "

This I definitely said, and I believe it to be true.

2.  "neutralizes affirmative action stigma"

I certainly never said "affirmative action". It is one of those phrases that, while I understand what it means, makes me immediately question the motivations of the person saying it because it is so often used in specious arguments.  

I like the goal they are trying for, which I see as: "Let's change the publishing environment so that women have the same publishing chances as men."  I applaud this goal.  Women have not had as much chance, and it's not because women can't write.  Limited-demographic slushpiles are not my favorite thing, but I think they have some positive effect of reaching the aforementioned goal.  

I haven't heard much of a stigma on the strategy at any publication that's tried it, apart from a very vocal minority.  Look at the fundraising results of Lightspeed's Women Destroy Science Fiction and tell me that there's not a readership interested in seeing this shift happen.  I guess one could claim that the success of such fundraisers is due to the organizing of a secret cabal in the same way that the sad puppies claimed that the Hugos were being rigged against them before they became the heroes of their own story by actually rigging the voting themselves.  But the evidence would have to be pretty convincing, and I've seen not a whiff of that evidence.

IF Artemis Rising stories were of a low quality, then perhaps I could say that the month has done the publication a disservice.  IF.  But, as far as I'm concerned, they have been of an overall very good quality, maybe even a tick above EP's average.  I have no complaints.  You do.  That's fine. Fiction is art.  Art is subjective.  If you really dislike the stories, let's talk about why, but at this point all I've heard is opposition to the concept of the month, not about the stories themselves. If it really is about story quality, then let's talk about the stories.

3.  "does not encourage "opinion nullification" / general political behaviour"

I'm going to be honest, I have no idea what you're referring to here.  

What is opinion nullification?  
--Are you saying that your opinion is somehow being suppressed here?  As far as I know, no posts have been deleted, you have been free to say what you think, and you have said what you think.  Both fans and staff members have responded to tell you what they think.  But, as Matweller said, the fact is, the publication's decisions for editorial direction are in the hands of the staff, and all evidence points to there being mostly support for Artemis Rising, with a vocal minority opposing.
--Are you saying that moderating the Artemis Rising criticisms into their own thread is bad?  That's good just for thread drift purposes. The main story thread should be about the stories, and this discussion has not been.  I salute the moderators in keeping threads separate as much as possible.

What is general political behavior?
--Do you honestly think that your contributions here have been not-political?  IMO, the only political parts of Artemis Rising have been complaints about its concept.  Everyone else has been talking about the stories.  Let's talk about the stories, shall we?

4.  "will also help to remove ethnic bias."

Sure.  But, there is a historical ethnic bias that, again, is worth pushing back against.  Unless one wants to claim that the only writing worth reading is written by white dudes.


If not everyone at Escape Pod already does as Unblinking does, maybe you should experiment with a Snowblind Winter, of blind submissions only.

I have already said that ESCAPE POD ALREADY DOES THIS.  It's right in Escape Pod's guidelines. A big deal hasn't been made about it on the show, but ESCAPE POD ALREADY DOES THIS.  You're preaching to the choir on this point, at least.
« Last Edit: March 04, 2016, 08:37:27 PM by Unblinking »



Fenrix

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Reply #48 on: March 04, 2016, 08:39:48 PM

If not everyone at Escape Pod already does as Unblinking does, maybe you should experiment with a Snowblind Winter, of blind submissions only.

I have already said that ESCAPE POD ALREADY DOES THIS.  It's right in Escape Pod's guidelines. A big deal hasn't been made about it on the show, but ESCAPE POD ALREADY DOES THIS.  You're preaching to the choir on this point, at least.


Cast of Wonders, too.

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Fenrix

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Reply #49 on: March 04, 2016, 08:41:23 PM
I did check, Fenrix. The submit page encourages you to submit on the basis of your "diverse" identity, and the contracts all include fields for name and even have a clause for being able to request your photo, nothing is mentioned about blind submission there. And nothing in the "about", or anywhere in the forum that I could see, or in any episode that I've ever heard (and I've been listening pretty regularly for 5 years) says that you can be published blind. Also, almost all of the published stories have names and photos attached.

Not saying that it isn't out there somewhere. But, I did check. And I think it was pretty clear from Unblinking's description that his method is not universally adopted by everyone.

Blind submissions =/= blind publication.

All cat stories start with this statement: “My mother, who was the first cat, told me this...”