I happen to also believe that computer animation is unusually blessed or cursed with the intangible glamour of the various entertainment industries which acts as a lure to the unwary. (1) I can tell you that when I made the choices to go into this field I had no idea, no one told me and I did not understand, that I was going into a niche industry and very likely would experience long periods of unemployment. Had I realized that, I would not have gone into this field. Such a choice would have been completely irresponsible on my part.
And yet we keep on encouraging young people to go into this field without a hint of caution even though we do not even know the size of the disaster that has already occurred. I believe that this is both irresponsible and morally wrong.
After years of complaining and trying to figure out how to change things I came to the conclusion that the only way to be heard was to become a member of the Executive Commitee of ACM SIGGRAPH (the EC). Although the EC is nominally elected by the membership of SIGGRAPH, in reality to be allowed to run for the EC one must be approved by the Nominating Committee and the Committee lost no time making it clear to me that they had no interest in my contribution.
There is however in the By Laws of ACM SIGGRAPH a provision for write-in candidates to be nominated and were I to wish to persevere it would be through this mechanism. Unfortunately, the details of this mechanism are undocumented as far as I can tell, but a friend has done a lot of work and seems to be able to extract the needed information from the relevant people.
I would however be a voice for the disenfranchised and be certain that their plight was at least discussed at least to some small extent.
So were I to run, I would run on the following platform (certain to be revised).
It is equally unclear to me whether my efforts would result in any tangible benefit to anyone and whether or not it would be a good use of my time.
1. One year SIGGRAPH has a panel celebrating 25 years of Rhythm and Hues. The next year R&H is out of business, 1000 people are dumped on the street, and SIGGRAPH says nothing. Dreamworks lays off all of their Nothern California studio, but SIGGRAPH does not notice or mention it. Last year, SIGGRAPH had a presentation about 30 years of ILM. Not a word about all the people ILM has laid off as they downsized. A young person attending SIGGRAPH might draw the conclusion that this was a glamourous and rewarding field to be in and that unemployment was not an issue. Pixar is huge, right? It never lays off people, right?