Friday, August 5, 2022

Mythcon, day 4

There were no papers scheduled for Monday. This is unusual for a Mythcon. All there was was a Tolkien trivia contest - some of the questions were a little too easy: What do hobbits call a ...? mathom - before the members' meeting. The Council of Stewards, our board of directors, is large enough now that merely introducing them took up most of the time, and much of the rest was devoted to a formal motion to allow the Council to get even larger. I was actually coaxed into voting in favor of this one, ironic as on a previous occasion when the Council was enlarged I was about the only person who opposed it.

However, we did have some time to discuss a major policy question, which is what to do about future Mythcons. Last year we held an online-only event, and this year's though in person allowed remote participation, if in a sketchy way - future years will be smoother. So should we change so that in-person Mythcons are only every other year instead of annually? Arguments in favor included:

1. We're mostly older and slower and not up to doing this that often. (Actually, judging by the number of younger faces on Council, I'm not sure that's so.)

2. Online meetings are almost as easy as in-person ones now. (They do allow you to get to things you otherwise couldn't attend. But otherwise I'm of mixed feelings about their easiness.)

3. The moral question of contributing to climate change by voluntary plane flights. (In my opinion, fighting climate change by cutting back plane flights from every year to every other year is like bailing out the Titanic with a teaspoon - it only wastes your time to worry about it and it insults the scale of the problem with its triviality. If we're not prepared to restructure civilization at the very least - and we're not - we should stop invoking moral imperatives.)

4. The potential difficulty of finding willing and able committees. (I raised that one.)

Nothing was decided - it was only a discussion session - but we also brought up another matter, membership opposition to holding Mythcons in states that prohibit abortion. (It's not just moral opposition. Those are dangerous places for women.) As a non-profit educational group, the Society can't take political positions, but if a significant portion of our membership says "we won't travel to that state," that's an economic argument.

The only nonstop flight home left at 1.15 pm, so we decided not to leave on Monday because it would interfere with attending any of the above, and scheduled ourselves for Tuesday. That left an afternoon free. I'd already gotten to Old Town for some shopping on Friday. Today I spent part of the afternoon at the Sandia Lab's new museum on the history of nukes. Extremely conventional in viewpoint, and with a woman stationed outside the men's room to prevent any adult men from going in while boys were in there: apparently fear of molestation has gotten that psychotic.

Flight home the next day was uneventful save for 1) the far greater intensity and intrusiveness of security at ABQ than at SFO; 2) the extreme shortage of wheelchair pushers when we arrived.

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