In our continuing discussion on Free Speech, this episode centres mainly on why free speech is important, and the laws that potentially undermine it.
Before that, spring has sprung and Morgan tells a vegetarian why he’s called his newborn lambs ‘Shish’ and ‘Doner’. He then reflects on being unsure of his own name and apologises (unnecessarily, in my opinion) for his sometimes tangential comments. NotMorgan details his forays into ‘climate denial’ and the work of Dr Don Easterbrook, before discussing Facebook’s acquisition of the Oculus Rift virtual reality (VR) headset. Airing the massively under-reported comments of Mark Pesce and the Stanford Research Institute’s findings on the Sega VR headset, he asks: why did big corporations abandon VR research in the 90’s, was negative research “buried” and is there any possibility that VR could be harmful to its users?
We then start to get in-depth with our continuing discussion on Free Speech, giving several examples of why free speech is important and must be protected, detouring briefly into the age-old problem of politicians not keeping their promises and failing to do what we elect them to do. Morgan makes an excellent point on the difference between having free speech and, through communicating well and responsibly, doing our best not to insult or offend others, versus having laws that limit free speech and living in fear of saying ‘the wrong thing’.
We then detail some of the laws that impinge on or undermine free speech, including the apparently positive ‘hate-speech laws’, before beginning to detail and discuss examples of when these laws have been used in ways that limit our free speech rights. We begin with the recently reported case of a Christian street preacher and how two gay teenagers had him arrested when they didn’t like his answer to a question they’d asked him.
Morgan closes by encouraging listeners to get involved with the show and lists some of the many ways people can contribute. Links to things discussed on the show are, as always, in the notes for each episode. We hope you enjoy the show – thank you for listening and get in touch!
Audioholics’ article on the possible health dangers of 3d virtual reality headsets and environments (including link to Australian Department of Defense Technical Report ‘Side Effects of Virtual Environments’, 2004-05)
Books mentioned in the show:
‘The Men Who Stare at Goats’ by Jon Ronson. ISBN-13: 978-0330375481
The music sampled for our intro music is:
Introview (con Jim Raing) by Nuerma Pópulis Chicla, found on Jamendo
released under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Licence.
The music played for this episode’s outtro track is:
We would like to thank the artists who make their music freely available for others to use.
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