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Advice Corner #2




So, after I get off work, most days I'll browse the forums, especially if I haven't gotten much of a chance to get on in the past few days. Most days I'm greeted by awesome updates from Jamie, or information on the next big thing on the server. But some days, I'm greeted by......well, pure, unadulterated genius.


For the unflogged and uninitiated, the Advice Corner is where I post tidbits of information forwarded to you great people for the sole purpose of making your lives easier, and quite possibly the lives of everyone around you. I do so not demanding that you think or behave exactly as I do, instead simply to share life experiences and things that might make your day suck a little less.

Discussion is encouraged, flaming is not, and especially in the case of things that are related to the JR community, I don't name names and *neither* *will* *you*. That way lies flamewars, and there will be none of that.


Today we're talking about the much-vaunted concept of "freedom of speech".

The term "freedom of speech" is pretty much what it sounds like. An individual is free to express his opinions and beliefs, whatever they may be, without fear of legal reprisal, and is protected from reprisal from outside entities under the law. Whether or not whatever is said offends people can be an important question, but legally, not relevant.

Under this concept, an individual is in fact allowed to walk down the street proclaiming that Hitler was right and they are a walking jelly donut, destined to be eaten by the masses. Just because they can say it doesn't make it true, but they can say it without being accosted by the law, and are protected by the law from people seeking to do physical and psychological harm because of said comment.

Like all basic freedoms, however, this one ends when it infringes on the rights of others. Pertinent example: Individual 'A' thinks the world is going to end. So he stands in the driveway of a house owned by individual 'B', demanding repentance from passersby. 'A' has the right to free speech, he can say whatever he wants. 'B' comes out of the house, and demands that 'A' leave. Who gets what they want?

Since the property is owned by 'B', he has sovereignty on his own land. After asking 'A' to leave, if 'A' doesn't, he is infringing on 'B's right to sovereignty. While 'A's right to freedom of speech doesn't exactly end in whole, it does end in that particular spot, since standing where he was infringes on someone else's rights. He can still say whatever he wants, he just has to do it someplace else.

Examples aside, let's boil down to the issue that prompted this wonderfully long speech: Free speech in Minecraft.

Short version? Doesn't exist.

Seriously, it doesn't. Players are no longer in their home, on their country's soil. They are on the "soil" of the owner of the server. As owner, he has sovereignty, and a player's freedom of speech doesn't apply on someone else's property. The player can say whatever he wants to at his house, or on the street, but then they aren't infringing on the rights of the property owner by spouting on his lawn.

It's also not particularly intelligent to anger the people the owner has hired and given the express ability to determine when, where, and how to kick people off the lawn. Making sure the meaning of what's being said is clearly understood by both sides in a limited chat environment is very important, but I'll cover that next article.

In short, try not to piss people off. Especially not the local law.


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