UCOF
UCOF

Carpal \'Tunnel

Member Since: 17th Apr 2002
Total posts: 15414
Posted:BAH!

I've recently become a member on a well known computing hardware forum, where there are a number of experts and a number of hobbists (some are both). Due to the nature of the forum, lots of new, and less technology savvy people come for advice.

One thing that annoys me more than anything else (at the moment) is idiots posting their opinion as fact and not saying so.

For example, blanket statements such as:

"Product X is sh!t."
"Everyone knows product Y is only good as a doorstop"
"Product Z is the best in the world."
"X is better than Y which is way better than Z"

...all without posting any sources or proof to back up their utter crap statements.

It's gotten to the point where I'm trying to be as neutral as possible by stating:
"I believe X..."
"I think that Y.."
"In my opinion, Z..."

....just so Im not being a hypocrite!

It just really confusing for users who come to this computer site, ask for people's recommendations or opinions, and idiots post one-sided biased opinion, and make it sound like it's fact, which only results in confusing the original asker.

Im not really expecting this post to go anywhere or for there to be any discussion about it. I also chose to post it here as I think its the most likly place to get any educated and decent thoughts.

EDITED_BY: UnscrupulousChavOffersFoot (1237245483)


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duvan
duvan

ancient oachkatzlschwoaf
Location: germany
Member Since: 13th Nov 2002
Total posts: 249
Posted:omg your post is totally unnecessary and stupid lol ZOMG!!1

grin


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UCOF
UCOF

Carpal \'Tunnel

Member Since: 17th Apr 2002
Total posts: 15414
Posted:Ok, so I was wrong about the educated and decent thoughts.

nana


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MRC
MRC

Funky Blessings Daily

Member Since: 17th Jun 2008
Total posts: 215
Posted:This is why I like stuff like cnet. Their reviews are comprehensive. They look at a lot of details, and while it's still opinion they also test the computers with a standardized method, to be able to say conclusively which ones are better at specific tasks.

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Pyrolific
Returning to a unique state of Equilibrium
Location: Adelaide, South Australia
Member Since: 10th Jan 2001
Total posts: 3288
Posted:Personally - I often give more credit to an opinion that at least recognises that it is an opinion, than one dressed up as statement of fact.

But yeah, what you have noticed is a social phenomenon that seems to be embedded in our society ie "I believe it, so its a fact to me" (the 'to me' is implied unconsciously). I think this has arisen since we educators began emphasising the teaching of students to voice their opinion on topics they don't know much about, over spending time building solid valid arguments based on evidence and the like.

Obviously I'm not talking about all students in all places, but I do have what I think is some basis for this opinion... I have worked in teaching Logic and Argument to 4th year Education students, I've marked hundreds of essays written by people about to become teachers, and to be honest, only a small fraction seem to be able to grasp that there can be a big difference between stating an opinion and making a valid argument, neither of which necessarily establishes 'facts'.

Facts are slippery little suckers.

smile

J


--
Help! My personality got stuck in this signature machine and I cant get it out!

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simta
simta

compfuzzled
Location: hastings
Member Since: 11th Apr 2006
Total posts: 1182
Posted:sounds like the threads over on ubuntuForums which go either

"OMG UBUNTU is teH cool screw winblows"

or the opposite

"UMBUNTU DOESNT WORK DONT INSTALL IT WILL BREAK YOUR COMP!!11!"

and after you question and ask why they said it doesn't work its something stupid like the fact it isn't preloaded with mp3/dvd drivers even though this is expressly stated.

just too many n00bs that need to STFU!!11!!!


"the geeks have got you" - Gayle

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Fine_Rabid_Dog
Internet Hate Machine
Location: They seek him here, they seek ...
Member Since: 26th May 2004
Total posts: 10530
Posted:Originally Posted By: simtaSTFU!!11!!!

Ahhh... the golden rule of the internet smile


The existance of flamethrowers says that someone, somewhere, at sometime said "I need to set that thing on fire, but it's too far away."

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aston
aston

Unofficial Chairperson of Squirrel Defense League
Location: South Africa
Member Since: 2nd Dec 2007
Total posts: 4061
Posted:simta: I think it is like that on many of the *nix forums.

But yes, at least acknowledging that your milage may vary is a good start.

Random example: for some reason Linux sound drivers do not like my laptops sound card (at least, I have not found one that works). I still use it one another box and it works fine.

And I agree with STFU, but even better is adding ATF afterwards. (And Think First)....


'We're all mad here. I'm mad, you're mad." [said the Cat.]
"How do you know I'm mad?" said Alice.
"You must be," said the Cat, "Or you wouldn't have come here."
- Lewis Carroll, Alice's Adventures In Wonderland

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Mr Majestik
Mr Majestik

coming to a country near you
Location: home of the tiney toothy bear
Member Since: 9th Mar 2004
Total posts: 4693
Posted:lol.

my girlfriend has this problem in social situations. she speaks speculatively but uses words authoritively. i call her on it all the time.


"but have you considered there is more to life than your eyelids?"

jointly owned by Fire_Spinning_Angel and Blu_Valley

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simta
simta

compfuzzled
Location: hastings
Member Since: 11th Apr 2006
Total posts: 1182
Posted:Originally Posted By: astonsimta: I think it is like that on many of the *nix forums.

But yes, at least acknowledging that your milage may vary is a good start.

Random example: for some reason Linux sound drivers do not like my laptops sound card (at least, I have not found one that works). I still use it one another box and it works fine.


it seems to be especially bad on ubuntuForums, simply because it has become the most well-known distro. i post sometimes on the fedoraForums and there just isn't the same kinds of thread posted.

have you got the intel onboard soundcard? hda...something or other? i did have some problems with that, but as long as i don't try to use it with jack then its fine. i use it to run my music production software when i'm away from my main usb desk/soundCard.

i think a big reason for all this fiction as fact is that alot of forums that have threads of that ilk, people realise that writing balanced opinion just won't get the same notice as STFU N00B.


"the geeks have got you" - Gayle

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Fire_Moose
Fire_Moose

Elusive and Bearded
Location: Scottsdale, AZ
Member Since: 2nd May 2007
Total posts: 3597
Posted:The internets are the best! Don't use anything else!!!

O.B.E.S.E.

Owned by Mynci!

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Lev
Firedance Philosopher
Location: Vancouver BC Canada
Member Since: 19th Jan 2009
Total posts: 79
Posted:People tend to speak on forums somewhat like real life sometimes, take that into consideration and you'll find that you really can't judge people's statements for it's text... to them it seems right and if you were 'speaking' to them it would be.

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simta
simta

compfuzzled
Location: hastings
Member Since: 11th Apr 2006
Total posts: 1182
Posted:would it still be right? they would still be presenting opinion as fact, even in spoken language you make a distinction generally.

"the geeks have got you" - Gayle

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Groovy_Dream
Groovy_Dream

addict

Member Since: 26th May 2005
Total posts: 449
Posted:Originally Posted By: LevPeople tend to speak on forums somewhat like real life sometimes, take that into consideration and you'll find that you really can't judge people's statements for it's text... to them it seems right and if you were 'speaking' to them it would be.

Yep it's definitely not just an internet phenomenon, imho.

At school we were taught to leave out phrases like "in my opinion" or "i think" in essays and arguments, because it makes the argument appear weaker.

So who's responsibility is it to make sure people aren't being persuaded by overly authoritative statements? Should the statement-maker take this into consideration and add "in my opinion" to everything? Or should the reader think more critically and not take every authoritative statement as fact?
^^ This isn't a rhetorical question btw.


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fanged_angel
fanged_angel

poiromaniac
Location: liverpool, uk
Member Since: 11th Jul 2007
Total posts: 162
Posted:Well essays and arguments are there as persuasive writing, while the very definition of a forum is a place for open discussion

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