Jumping to conclusions

I was inworld with an alt and decided to stop by the sandboxes to see if anything was happening before logging out. I popped in to Sandbox Island, and didn’t see anything interesting except one of those Police Department SUVs that seem to be everywhere. You know, the kind that includes the constant, annoying radio chatter? So I stood there for a couple of minutes to see what they were doing. There were two avatars, one tall and one short, near the SUV, and the tall one was speaking on voice. It was either a young lady or a very young man, with the microphone gain turned up so high that you could only catch every third or fourth word. From some of what I did catch, it appeared that the tall one was trying to teach the short one how to patrol the sandbox, and using plenty of obscenities while making the explanations. After a minute or so, they both got into the SUV and drove up to me. They both got out, and the tall one said something to the short one, to the effect that he/she was going to allow the short one to handle this call. It went something like this:

  • Shorty (using text chat): You can’t be out here alone.
  • Me: Why not?
  • Shorty: You will get hurt if you’re by yourself.
  • Me: I’ve been in Second Life for several years and I’m very familiar with the sandboxes. I will be fine, but thank you for your concern.
  • Me: This is a PG-rated sandbox. You should be careful about using obscenities here. You could get into trouble.

So this was the fabled group of police officer wannabees who run around giving people orders with no authority to do so. I had heard stories about them but hadn’t encountered any until now. I didn’t feel like participating in their roleplay, so I flew to another part of the sandbox. They got into their SUV and followed me, so I TPed into the east side of Sandbox Goguen where I could watch to see who else they tried to intimidate.

I looked at their profiles to see which PD group they belonged to, and discovered that they weren’t in any PD groups. I zoomed in to recheck their avatars, and they were indeed wearing police duty belts with holstered gun, radio, handcuffs, etc., but they weren’t wearing any kind of police uniforms. I had jumped to the conclusion that these were the standard stereotypical Police Department thugs, and I was dead wrong. So far, I have never met those stereotypical thugs, even though people assure me that they exist.

It reminds me of a somewhat improbable email that was passed around recently, about a new resident who was engaging in some particle spam in a public place and was told that it was a problem. Apparently the person who told her this said that his name was Kalel, so the person passing the email around jumped to the conclusion that it was Kalel Venkman, leader of the Justice League Unlimited (JLU). If you do a search for the name “Kalel” in Second Life, you’ll find there are 68 people with that name (or something similar). And anyone could say “My name is Kalel” to a new resident no matter what their name was, and the newbie wouldn’t know any different.

The moral of my little story is that jumping to conclusions can cause you to make mistakes. It’s best to verify information before passing judgment on people.


About Hal Jordan

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