An un-qualified opinion

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...is of less value than a qualified one.

This statement has caused me some problems on various forums when asking for people's frame of reference, past experience, actual experience, or other qualifiers to an opinion.

Someone posts that "this class was amazing!", yet when pressed, admits that the only other class they ever had was the two hour lecture at the gun show to get their CWP.

Someone posts "I love my XYZ carbine!", yet eventually concedes that they have had the thing for 3 years and are still on the first case of ammo they bought with the gun.

Someone posts "the ABC bolt-on made by XYZ is the best!", but come to find out that they've never even laid hands on one, let alone used one.

Which isn't to say that these opinions are completely worthless, so long as they are properly qualified.

If the guy in example one said "I've never taken any training before, but this instructor really took the time to walk the new guys through and I absolutely loved the experience", then others that are new to training could perhaps put themselves in his shoes and figure out that this might be a class they would be interested in.

If the guy in example two just fessed up to the relatively low round count, and the virtual lack of experience with the gun, perhaps someone else with a similar intended use could benefit from the opinion and save $200 over buying more gun than they "need".

If the guy in example three just admitted that he got the information off the internet, but said "I've never used an ABC from XYZ, but both Pat Rogers and Larry Vickers have posted on various forums that they love them" (and preferably provide links to those posts), then at least they're sort of shifting the qualifier to someone else, and providing the resource where someone could go and ask questions of Pat and Larry to further their inquiries.

Yes, contrary to what your mommy and your third grade teacher told you, while everyone may be entitled to their opinion, some opinions are of less value than others.

When seeking advice on the internet, you need to include two things:
1) What do you intend to do with the product? Whether you are asking about Jeep parts, rifles, electronics, whatever, but don't leave out what you want to do with it. TELL US WHAT YOU WANT TO DO WITH THE ITEM IN QUESTION. What optic someone suggests will depend on whether you want to defend your barricaded family in your home or pop prairie dogs at 800 yards.

2) What is your frame of reference? If you're asking for suggestions on a new product, and you've already owned 3 of the competitive products, let people know that so they can save time and streamline their advice. If you're asking about 123 because you've already tried ABC and didn't like it, then say so. That way the people that prefer ABC can save themselves the trouble of suggesting it. If you're asking about a class to take, post your previous training experience as it will have an impact on what people recommend.

When reading advice on the internet, you need to make sure of two things:
1) Does the advice-giver have any real frame of reference for their opinions? If they don't post their qualifiers, or get upset when asked to, then you can pretty easily discount their opinion. Make sure that the guy posting on the other end actually has some kind of experience to back up his opinion, or at least tells you that he has none.

2) Does the advice-given share your frame of reference? While cops can learn from non-LE, and civilians can learn from soldiers, and soldiers can learn from competition shooters, there are times when the needs of someone in a role different from yours may not translate well to your needs. Make sure that you understand where the other person is coming from, their application and level of experience, and that you understand how their frame of reference translates to your own.

When offering advice on the internet, you should do two things:
1) Post your qualifiers. "I love my XYZ" is an absolutely useless post. It helps nobody, does nothing but strokes your own ego, and chances are you are only actually recommending the only brand/model/example/version of the thing that you have ever even seen in person. Stop it. There is nothing wrong with posting an opinion based largely in ignorance, but own up to it. Say "I bought an XYZ as my first AR and I've put x# of trouble-free rounds through it". Don't say "flawless". Please. For the children.

2) Post your frame of reference. If you use an item as a PMC in Iraq, say so. If you use an item for competitive shooting, say so. If you use an item as an LE, say so. While there may be some carryover, oftentimes there isn't. Preferably you should ascertain what it is that the other guy is planning on doing with his XYZ, and then qualify whatever advice you give based on same.
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I think the biggest issue, is that this IS the internet.

In being such, you can never take anything for face value....ever!!!


The other issue is that people always think that THEIR stuff is better than everyone else's.

"I own a Glock 22 in .40 cal, it is the most accurate gun I have ever shot" = there is nothing better because this Glock is mine!!!! (not to mention the fact that it could be the only gun he/she has ever fired)

IDK, my 2 cents ( and I usually get change back )

:s0155:
 
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wichaka
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"I own a Glock 22 in .40 cal, it is the most accurate gun I have ever shot" = there is nothing better because this Glock is mine!!!! (not to mention the fact that it could be the only gun he/she has ever fired)

IDK, my 2 cents ( and I usually get change back )

:s0155:

Exactly my point.
 
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I have to agree with what was said. In spirit of the original post BUZO71 can you update yours to reflect the wisdom that was given?

That's the best post ever
Is this only because you have read 6 posts in your life? Why do you think it is the best, is it because the speling was corect? I know you have much more to say that five words, so please, Sagen Sie uns, was Sie wirklich denken :s0155:

This is not a flame just words between friends:)
 
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In addition to unqualified posts supporting a product or service, there seems to be an avalanche of similarly unqualified posts bashing products or services, often by people who have never owned/used them.

Generally I don't bother asking for background unless I have a serious interest in what's being discussed. I usually gloss over "these suck" and "those are the best" comments. The person's opinion may be worth something but his post certainly isn't.

Sometimes it seems like everyone wants to be an expert, but no one wants to invest the time and effort to actually become one.
 
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Superb post/rant, (PosAnt?) but please doan' be slammin' MY XYZ, cuz I'll be taking it out to shoot, someday, as soon as I get one.

Many of these points have bugged lots of us (as I try to remember how many of them I might have violated, myself) and it is a chore trying to separate the latest "buzz of the week" from actual user experience.

I use the 'net as a source in the intital stage of data gathering, you plan on having to winnow down a lot of the data as you evaluate the credibility and weigh the value, rarely counting on any one opinion as the be-all and end-all of the issue.

Good thoughts, especially providing a context for what purpose in a question, and conversely for answers, who is receiving the advice. :s0155:
 
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"How do you know what you know" - One of my favorite questions.

I have had great luck on the internet for answering techincal questions in pointed forums. Like how to weld HK sights on AK rifles or remove rear trunion rivets.... or how to fire lap a 45 Colt blackhawk and why...yadda yadda yadda. Usually you get a few responses that point you in the right direction..
 
"How do you know what you know" - One of my favorite questions.

I have had great luck on the internet for answering techincal questions in pointed forums. Like how to weld HK sights on AK rifles or remove rear trunion rivets.... or how to fire lap a 45 Colt blackhawk and why...yadda yadda yadda. Usually you get a few responses that point you in the right direction..
Ya, it seems like 1 out of 5 responses are correct sometimes.
 
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Yeah, I like getting the opinions of other people- doesn't mean I'm going to give them much weight, but hearing what they think or know is good- especially when I've asked the question. It might get more weight if they've had personal experience, but even hearing the stories THEY'VE heard, is sometimes useful.
 
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wichaka
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I was questioned recently about the original post of this thread, and it's origin.

And to my mistake and embarrassment, I did not give credit where credit is due. I thought I had put that in the original post, but looked and it was not there. In my editing of the post, it was there on the draft.

So, without further ado, the original writer of the post is an acquaintance of mine known as Rob_S on some other forums.
From the comments from myself and many others over the years, Rob wrote this piece which so much describes the dilemma many are in when reading this and other forums.

My apology for not giving him the credit for bringing this subject into better light.
This post was done with his permission.
 
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What it boils down to when soliciting opinions on the internet is doin g YOUR OWN RESEARCH. Don't let the opinion of some internet commando sway ya. It's just like writing a paper, you have to have facts to back up your opinion.
 
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