Hobson's Choice

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A Hobson is a SlabCitizen who has been selected in the regional bi-cycle lotteries (note Valley exception) to act as an abitrator and/or mediator for group activities where formal rules have either not been adopted, have been discarded, or the majority decision is to modify a set of rules but no general consensus can be reached. Once the shout of "Hobson's Choice" goes up, the current Hobson for the region is be called upon to respond either in person or by avatar.

All decisions made by Hobsons are binding upon the group who call upon their services. The Hobson's fee is variable and a function of the time of day multiplied by the average hourly wage of the group members (see nightzone exception) and is automatically shared by all of the group present. This means that Hobson's choice is rarely called by small groups, especially late in the day[1].

Current Hobsons

While all Hobsons have the right to work under anon-untrace status, many decide to publicise their roles and use their real name or, as is obviously the current case, invent a temporary DoName in a misguided attempt at humour.

Region SlabCitizen
Seacombe UpSide Erik(a) 412 276 76111
Seacombe SideUp Cxyx Steer (deceased - contact negotiator avatar 104.0012.7762)
Mitchell UpSide John-John Reynaldo-Thynne
Mitchell SideUp Anonymous - avatar only (contact Sis)
SpinEast Tenten Tenchan
EastValley Adjunct Mhinge
SpinCentral Instancalmer Sgonnagecha
MidValley Peripatetic Elvis
WestSpin Anonymous - avatar only (contact Sis)
WestValley Dagnusson Grinning VIbE

NightZones

Nightzone rules regarding Hobsons are less formal. Anyone within shouting distance can be nominated, but they have the right to decline and may charge up to five times the standard dayzone rates. This leads to some people trolling around nightzone hangouts where particularly contentious issues are often debated, waiting for a "shout" - as the practice of calling for a Hobson is known. Shouting can only be carried out in turns, hence the expression; "it's my shout".

Valley Hobsons

Due to the confidentiality, mindwarping complexity and the commercial sensitivity of most Valley-based arbitrations, Valley Hobsons are selected by merit and not by chance. The selection task falls to the Valley Association which is composed of the longest established residents and cannot be delegated. These residents are, naturally, extremely busy people and therefore the task of coordinating their diaries is a major PITA. As a result of this, there has only been one full Hobson Selection Committee meeting in the last century[2]. So it looks like you're all stuck with Peripatetic Elvis for a lot longer[3].

AllWeather and endzones

No decision has yet been made about whether AllWeather will have randomly selected Hobsons or if the franchises will be sold off to the highest bidders as has been recently suggested by Louie Drago. Slabwide consensus regarding EndZones is, however, firm; Sis is oversee/exec and there is zero possibility of Hobson's Choice.

Trivia

On the 34th of 987 a group of inebriated choreographers in SpinStanbul decided to call Hobson's choice over a minor disagreement about sub-spacial grav-assisted footwear. The anonymous Hobson turned out, by pure coincidence, to be one of the drunken choreographers at the table. The Hobson's choice, which was, of course, binding, was never revealed, although the legend goes that the drinking session lasted for more than 100 days and was only concluded by the entire party choosing to voluntary Reset.[citation ??][4]

Misuse

  • It has become common recently to set up a smooze with predetermined Hobson's choice rules circulated in advance, which really completely misses the point.
  • Some individuals have been shouting Hobsons to compensate for their pathetic lack of ability to make up their own minds. Decisions such as; "should I get my hair cut into a bob?" are NOT the domain of Hobsons (nor Sis for that matter). That's what partners and friends are for.[5]

Footnotes & references

  1. and is now the number one reason why fist-fights break out in ToNight High
  2. it has been suggested that the failure of the association to meet has been influenced by Adjunct Mhinge's declared intent to non-renew
  3. funny how no-one will own up to making that decision huh?
  4. Well, you can ask for validation if you like, but you're going to have to wait until after 2k when they're supposed to be waking up. But of course, they're not going to remember, right?
  5. Actually, they don't want to hear this blocks either, learn how to make a decision for Dicesake.