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Topic # 31058 3-Mar-2009 12:34
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Ok so i'm angry. I've just been having an argument via IM with a friend about whether people can have "valid" opinions if they are not privy to complete information, particularly in the scenario of making an opinion about the actions of a corporate entity.

He thinks that no one except those that have a complete knowledge of the company's actions can have any opinion because in order for the opinion to be valid it has to be based on actualy complete information with perfect understanding and interpretation and foresight.

I think he is wrong. I think that anyone with some amount of knowledge or experience with something can make a valid opinion. What started our argument is that I suggested that the movie industry should release movies via the internet sooner such as one way to help tackle piracy, given that one of the factors leading to piracy is the availability of movies via P2P vs Legal methods.

He says that my opinion isn't valid because i dont know the complete reasoning behind why they don't do that. I think my opinion is entirely valid as an opinion because I have some understanding of copyright, piracy and media distribution, and have suggested a possible option to tackle things, and I think that is something they should do. Perhaps later on it turns out I'm wrong, but without opinions such as that, would anything creative get done or changed?

What do you think about opinions and whether people can have valid opinions about things they don't have omniscient knowledge of?

(Please dont focus on piracy, its just an example)

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  Reply # 198947 3-Mar-2009 12:48
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Well when it comes to big companies then I guess none of us have "valid" opinions because finding out all the details would be nigh on impossible.

An opinion or theory on anything is valid until evidence to the contrary overrides it.... in my OPINION... LOL.




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Reply # 198948 3-Mar-2009 12:53
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I have an opinion about your quandry, but its not valid.







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  Reply # 198950 3-Mar-2009 13:00
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In my opinion your IM friend's head might even contain a brain. But since I can't open his head to prove it then I am wrong and it could be in fact full of air (or any other material).






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  Reply # 198960 3-Mar-2009 13:36
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Does your friend understand the concept that most of what the world considers fact, is simply just opinion. (Some of it well informed, some of it.... not so much).

And no, I am not just talking about the cult.







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  Reply # 198961 3-Mar-2009 13:37
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tonyhughes: I have an opinion about your quandry, but its not valid.


this made me laugh......I like your sense of humor




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  Reply # 198963 3-Mar-2009 13:42
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Hmmm I think his point is about arrogance.

He thinks it is arrogant of us to suggest that a corporation should do something other than what they've done because they have a higher level of knowledge about themselves than we do.

I think that is crap though. I dont think you have to have a complete knowledge of the reasoning behind a particular action to have a valid opinion as to why its right/wrong and how it could be done better.

As far as i'm concerned, businesses should encourage debate and opinion generation so that they can learn and understand alternative perspectives and perhaps change their actions in a positive manner. Without opinion and debate, even if not 100% informed, a lot of things would never change.

I think there are plenty of examples of "bad" opinion where people make totally uninformed statements with absolutely no reason or understanding, but even so it still gives the opportunity for debate and knowledge generation/sharing.



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  Reply # 198972 3-Mar-2009 14:54
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Ok so we argued some more, and I thought we were getting somewhere, but then it came back to qualification of an opinion:

Name edited and swear words censored:

Me: Ok
  Anyhoo
  so
1:57 PM Please
  Make me understand your meaning better
  Like
  when you say
  "valid"
  what do you mean
  and what does it imply as to what actions people can take
  I take you to mean that no one can tell someone else what to do unless they have complete knowledge of why someone else is/isn't doing it already.
1:58 PM And therefore they shouldn't even suggest it.
 Bob: I am saying that people shouldn't presume to tell a corporation that they should do something.
 me: Only a corporation?
 Bob: They can suggest that an idea would be good
  yes
  A government is different
  I am talking about a corporation that is not a necessity
1:59 PM me: Ok
 Bob: It is like me telling Rolex to include another hand for the ancient chinese calendar
 me: And why shouldn't a corporation be told how to act? (and by "be told" i mean people with no authority suggesting that they should/shoudn't do something)
2:00 PM Bob: People can submit research that highlight things such as the uptake of movie sales by downloading and customer feedback
  As a package. Then with consideration, they can make a decision
2:01 PM me: Ok so what if you said "Rolex, you should include the chinese hand thing because it would be useful for the chinese people to have this available to them"
  Is that invalid?
 Bob: They would say "on what grounds"?
  how many people?
  How can we make money from this?
 me: Assuming you have some amount of knowledge of chinese culture
 Bob: They would then take it into consideration
  And may or may not decide to do it
2:02 PM If you emailed Sony right now and asked why they didn't release movies immediately and they said "Because of licensing issues" (which is the main reason). Then your opinion that "They should release movies faster" is not valid
2:03 PM me: Ah ok, but if you come up with an idea of something that might be good for a company to do, should you only tell them about it if you have hard evidence that there is a significant positive impact on their profits?
 Bob: Yes
 me: Or, should you tell them anyway, and maybe someone there has some vision and takes it further to analyse whether it's worth it?
 Bob: It doesn't have to be that significant. It just has to have relevance
  No
  That is unsolicited advice
 me: Ok by significant i meant not-insignificant
 Bob: And I'm sure they get plenty of anonymous letters
2:04 PM Take this for example:
  I build an amazing piece of software
  I know that there are a few bugs
  And things I wanted to do
  But the management wanted to push it out
  Now you
  Come to me and say "Hey you should add this feature!"
  That would f*** me off
  Because you don't know anything about what happened to get to that point
 me: But is it wrong for a person to suggest that?
 Bob: Yes
  It is arrogant
  And it is annoying
2:05 PM me: Ok but what if it was a feature that you hadn't thought about?
  And suddenly realise "hey yeah thats a good idea"
 Bob: Are you saying that corporations don't know about releasing movies immediately?
2:06 PM me: No, but back to the situation where someone suggests something to you that might be useful to do
 Bob: On a large scale that is impractical
 me: OK
 Bob: I'm sure corporations are flooded with opinions
 me: nuy
  but
  should the person tell you?
 Bob: Only if they can provide some reasons to back it up
2:07 PM And they shouldn't expect to have anything as a result
  As in, if the corporation decides not to
  Then that is their choice for their own reasons
  Just like the movie industry
  They are not releasing movies immediately for their own reasons
 me: Ok so how does the person decide whether or not to tell you about a suggestion?
2:08 PM Bob: When they have gained enough evidence that they are convinced this is something worth bringing up with the corporation
 me: And would you still be angry if they had some reasons to back up their idea but you had already thought of it?
 Bob: A research group does a study for instance
  Doesn't matter if you had "thought of it"
  They say "licensing issues"
  You have thought of that, so what
2:11 PM me: I think that a corporation should encourage feedback and engage with people. Of course they should only take action based on well reasoned and supported ideas, but engaging with people helps to generate that, as well as improves the corporate image of being responsive to customers
  I think that everyone has some input to offer. Even a 5 year old.
 Bob: It works when it is solicited, like Windows 7
2:12 PM If Sony said "Here's some info - help us speed this up"
  Great
 me: Yes but I think a lot of what has changed microsoft over the last 5/6 years has been driven by unsolicited feedback.
  Of course that has translated into a huge amoutn of solicited feedback
2:13 PM and action has mostly only taken place based on feedback which was either well reasoned to start with, or then taken and followed through with reserach internally etc
2:15 PM Bob: Microsoft has listened from the sales
  not from your opinion
2:16 PM me: Umm i beg to differ. I dont think they wait to see what sales do before listening to feedback.
  I think they take into account feedback, solicited or unsolicited, to have an idea of what they need to do to maintain/improve sales
  I think any business does that
  They need to
  They're too slow if they wait to see what sales do.
2:17 PM That have to anticipate how their actions are going to translate
2:18 PM and part of that is monitoring the public's opinion, especially those people in the public who are/could be customers, to see what actions they shoudl take
 Bob: They listen to Vista having poor saleas
 me: Of course they wont listen to one person and say "oh we should do that" just off the cuff
 Bob: then they did the Mojave experiement
 me: But what about before Vista
 Bob: right
  Oh
  IE 6
  That's right
  Now EVERYONE loved that
  no complaints
 me: Lol
  I mean
 Bob: Wait
  They listened
  For 8 years
 me: Take security for example.
 Bob: of no development
  No take IE
2:19 PM Peopel bemoan no png support still
 me: They made a big change in their stance on security between XP and Vista
  especially in server products
 Bob: And yet they probably haven't read the IE blog article on it
 me: eg MSSQL
 Bob: What changed?
 me: Things like security on by default
  like no root access from other machines by default
 Bob: They would have listened to security experts on that
  No you or me
2:20 PM Who would have provided research papers
 me: But those security experts didn't have total knowledge on it...
  And i'm sure they would have monitored popular demand
 Bob: err
 me: If customers demand something
 Bob: I doubt it
 me: then they need to do it (usually)
 Bob: In the case of a monopoly
  They don't need to do s***
2:21 PM me: Ok well thats a unique position for microsoft
  I think that they still look at consumer opinion about their products
 Bob: um
 me: What about google and accepting ideas for new products and services?
 Bob: Apple
  iPhone
  Now
  Everyone CRYING OUT for a video cam
2:22 PM They bring out the iphone 3g
  oh
  wait
  no video phone
  umm
  what else
 me: Ok so they decided not to implement it now...
 Bob: OHHHH
 me: Doesn't mean they dont take the opinion seriously...
 Bob: They should do it
  For you
  As a consumer
  That makes sense
  apple is stupid not to
  I mean
  "I would use it"
 me: I think it would be a good thing for them to do it.
  I think they should do it
 Bob: but they have their reasons
  And you don't know them
 me: For sure they have reasons not to
2:23 PM Bob: So you can all stfu
 me: I can think of reasons not to
  But that doesn't mean i shouldn't tell them
  If i'm the only person then they will discard my idea
  If its lots of people, i'm sure they will think about it
  And maybe even they still dont do it
  But i bet they value the feedback
  Especially when it comes to prioritising new features.
2:26 PM Bob: If you can prove that x million amount of customers want a video camera and it would be good for y many reasons then apple would probably consider it
  But the choice is theirs
  There m ight be an outweighing issue
 me: Of course
2:27 PM Bob: Suggest, not presume to tell
 me: But there is still value in people giving their opinion
 Bob: No
  There is weight in numbers and actions
  Actions speak louder than words
  As it happens the iphone is selling merrily without a video camera
 me: Yeah... so people should give their opinion. The more people who give the opinion, the more importance they should place on it.
 Bob: nope
2:28 PM You should just nto buy one
 me: But by default people should give their opinion to aide in gaining critical mass.
 Bob: And lots of other people shouldn't either
  People don't care enough
  A ciorporation wants to get as much money for as little effort
 me: We can't all wait till there is a critical mass then add our opinion
  someone has to start the opinion
2:29 PM Bob: If you said "I am not buying an iPhone because it doesn't do video" fair enough I might think about it
  Apple wont care
  It's a lost sale
  Which is annoying for them
  But weight in numbers
  Let's say apple released an iPhone without a screen
  What would people do?
2:30 PM me: And if apple sees "oh lots of people are saying this is dumb and will impact negatively on sales" then maybe they will change or
  OR
  maybe they'll be "nah we have our reasons, we'll keep it the same"
2:31 PM Bob: Yup
 me: and not care about the lost sales
 Bob: And you will accept that
 me: Yes
 Bob: Yup
 me: But i'll still think its dumb
  I'll still say apple has more sales to gain
 Bob: Well it's your choice to be stubborn
 me: Yeah
  BUt i still think it has value to do so
 Bob: Meh
  self satisfaction
  Doesn't have any weight anywhere
2:33 PM me: I think it does. If they make the decision, and then see there are still lots of people not buying, maybe they will change their minds
  Maybe they wont
 Bob: It's the "not buying"
 me: But they definately wont if no one says they're wrong
  But they also want to know who will buy in the future
 Bob: They'll then ask "hey guys, why aren't you buying"
  then you say "well it doesn't have xyz"
2:34 PM me: But they dont have to ask cos they already know cos i'm telling them
  Makes it cheaper!
 Bob: Bah
  Untarget unsolicited advice
 me: Makes market research a lot cheaper if people are already telling you!
 Bob: good workout for the spam filter
2:36 PM me: Heh i think companies like to be more proactive than that. Take charlies for example
  Actually no
  bad example
  Cos i guess that was somewhat solicited
  Because they invite feedback.
2:37 PM ALthough in saying that, most companies invite feedback
  So suggestions wouldn't necessarily be unsolicited
2:39 PM Bob: I think companies should be way more proactive
  in fact I read somewhere that they are doing that
  It's cheaper
  Dell ahs an ideas hub
  But just having an opinion and sending it to "Dell Corporation" wont do s***
  Putting it into a solicited ideas hub provided and listened to by the corporation is great
  Google does it with all their Labs things
2:40 PM They have official replies
  And respond directly to the requests
  It allows discussion with the people and engineers
  The corporation can sift through them
  And people can see what has been posted before
2:42 PM me: For sure, but do they only take information from people who have deep understanding, or do they take it from everyone who is not obviously-wrong
2:43 PM Bob: They will ignore john doe until there are lots of john does
  And it affects the image
  of the company
  Or sales
 me: Yah
  So
  Is John Doe's opinion valid in that case?
 Bob: They may or may not respond favourable
 me: For sure
 Bob: It is their feeling
  John Doe feels this isn't goo
  d
 me: But is there value in Joe Doe giving that opinion
2:44 PM Bob: Something happened to them
 me: Or shall i say - is there potential value?
 Bob: If they lost data, sure
  If they want a feature
  Maybe not
 me: For sure there will be times where someone gives an opinion and its discarded
 Bob: If 1,000,000 people want the feature
  Then it's fine
 me: Yes
 Bob: They will listen to that
2:45 PM me: But in order to know whether there are 1 milion people, every one of those people have to give their opinion is some way
  *in some way
 Bob: I guess I am meaning that your opinion could be valid but worthless
 me: They cant wait and say "oh look theres a million people, now i'll give my opinion"
  Yes
  I would absolutely agree with that
  I give opinions all the time
  And sometimes they get no where
  And sometimes I'm wrong
  But i keep doing it for the times i am right.
  And for me to learn
2:46 PM Cos when i give an opinion i accept feedback as to why i'm wrong.
  I posted on geekzone because i wanted to know whether i'm right or wrong
 Bob: It depends on whether you need to have a knowledge of what you're doing. I shouldn't have an opinion on astro-physics
 me: Of course i want to be right
  But i know i'm wrong often
 Bob: Just like people shouldn't have an opinion on Movie industry law
2:47 PM me: No, i shouldn't have an opinion on astrophysics either, or least i shouldn't have an opinion on the details of it
  Maybe i could have an opinion on whether it should be studied in a wider context of what should/shouldn't be studied
  But thats because i know absolutely nothing
 Bob: Are you saying you should have an opinion on movie industry law?
 me: I should have some opinion.
2:48 PM I should have some ideas which might be useful
 Bob: But you don't know about it?
 me: I know some amount about it.
  I know enough to suggest some things.
 Bob: You know as much about astro physics as you do about law
  Um
  no you don't
 me: What
 Bob: Of course you don't
  jesus
  We are talking lawyers with PhDs
  And you
 me: I know more about law than i do about astrophysics
 Bob: Who don't even know any law or have done any study
  wtf
  That's pretty cocky of you
 me: I've studied some law, actually.
 Bob: Ohhh
2:49 PM me: Copyright law in particular.
 Bob: I forgot about the degree you have
 me: Part of which was studying copyright law in an electronic context...
  well
 Bob: I am talking industry EXPERTS lawyers. you know. they guys who wrote your f***ing books
 me: IP law actually
  and Ethics
 Bob: Oh right
 me: Yah
  And i can disagree with them if i want
 Bob: So you think you know enough to have a conversation with a real lawyerS?
 me: A company shouldn't blindly listen to me
 Bob: A doctor in licensing?
2:50 PM You don't know s*** all enough
  You have no legal credibility
  They shouldn't listen to anything you say
  Yo ucan't even write a proper court document
 me: So is a prerequisite of having an opinion that you have to match the highest level of knowledge?
 Bob: no

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  Reply # 198975 3-Mar-2009 15:11
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mushion22:I think there are plenty of examples of "bad" opinion where people make totally uninformed statements with absolutely no reason or understanding, but even so it still gives the opportunity for debate and knowledge generation/sharing.


There's nothing worse than someone arguing a point that has no foundation or basis in reality, even when they've been shot down... it becomes a power-struggle, and no longer about the point in question. So many arguments (having lived with a woman for 10 years) often end up being about who's right or wrong, rather than the problem at hand.




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  Reply # 198979 3-Mar-2009 15:28
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BurningBeard:
mushion22:I think there are plenty of examples of "bad" opinion where people make totally uninformed statements with absolutely no reason or understanding, but even so it still gives the opportunity for debate and knowledge generation/sharing.


There's nothing worse than someone arguing a point that has no foundation or basis in reality, even when they've been shot down... it becomes a power-struggle, and no longer about the point in question. So many arguments (having lived with a woman for 10 years) often end up being about who's right or wrong, rather than the problem at hand.


For sure, but I was more meaning that people having and sharing an opinion is an important part of generating and refining knowledge. Part of that is via theoretical/philosophical argument, and of course a large(r) part of that is via taking opinions and researching them and being right/wrong. For example, posting about thigns here on geekzone improves the knowledge of people and I think it's important for people to post an opinion, even if it might be wrong or poorly reasoned, so that they can learn. Of course they need to think first, and some people are better/worse at that and they need to be careful about how they frame their opinion as to not sound like an arrogant twirp or a 5 year old, but its still relevant to hear them.

That also ties into principles of group discussion and involvement. When holding meetings, I try and get the input of everyone present, even if some people are not overly knowledgeable compared to others. Sometimes even people who aren't skilled in something can offer useful input, and of course there's the engagement/enrichment aspect to involving people.

I think sharing opinion is important even just as a way to make people feel a greater self worth and to encourage them to learn and develop their understanding because of the possibility it will have some real effect.

For example, I am tellling you this stuff because it is my opinion. Maybe you decide i'm full of crap and you ignore me, but having me tell you this stuff gives rise to the possibility that I can refine my knowledge and perhaps even affect your knowledge or opinion in a mutually beneficial way.


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  Reply # 199023 3-Mar-2009 19:20
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mushion22: Ok so i'm angry. I've just been having an argument via IM with a friend about whether people can have "valid" opinions if they are not privy to complete information, particularly in the scenario of making an opinion about the actions of a corporate entity.

He thinks that no one except those that have a complete knowledge of the company's actions can have any opinion because in order for the opinion to be valid it has to be based on actualy complete information with perfect understanding and interpretation and foresight.

I think he is wrong. I think that anyone with some amount of knowledge or experience with something can make a valid opinion. What started our argument is that I suggested that the movie industry should release movies via the internet sooner such as one way to help tackle piracy, given that one of the factors leading to piracy is the availability of movies via P2P vs Legal methods.

He says that my opinion isn't valid because i dont know the complete reasoning behind why they don't do that. I think my opinion is entirely valid as an opinion because I have some understanding of copyright, piracy and media distribution, and have suggested a possible option to tackle things, and I think that is something they should do. Perhaps later on it turns out I'm wrong, but without opinions such as that, would anything creative get done or changed?

What do you think about opinions and whether people can have valid opinions about things they don't have omniscient knowledge of?

(Please dont focus on piracy, its just an example)

By logical extension, his opinion isn't valid as he doesn't know all the reasons behind how you reached your opinion.  Does he have issues with self esteem?

Any opinion is valid, no matter how flawed, because it is exactly that - an opinion.  It belongs to the individual.  When flawed opinions become known, steps can be taken to help adjust them, but at the end of the day it's up to the individual.

To suggest you're arrogant for having an opinion is arrogance in the extreme.  I wouldn't bother with such people myself.

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  Reply # 199033 3-Mar-2009 19:59
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mushion22:I was more meaning that people having and sharing an opinion is an important part of generating and refining knowledge. Part of that is via theoretical/philosophical argument, and of course a large(r) part of that is via taking opinions and researching them and being right/wrong. 

I totally agree... you need people constantly questioning things. For one thing, if people constantly accept things there is the tendency to believe a lot of things because they're "just the way they are", and you end up with people believing a lot of garbage, without question or contention... religion, for example.
I firmly believe in seeing thing from all angles, and often there's more sides to a story than people are willing to admit for the sake of their own beliefs or agendas.
I also believe it's worth bouncing ideas off other people. We're all different, and see things differently; a fresh perspective can often solve the most puzzling of problems.




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  Reply # 199034 3-Mar-2009 20:00
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{removed image}

M/Internet - same thing ;P

 

[Moderator (N8): Removed image as it has swearing in it and it may offend some on here]

 


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