How is your trust in Straight Dope?

I pretty much believe almost everything on this forum. I started out checking out if Cecil’s answers were correct and then decided there is no point of fact checking him. He is as accurate as you can get.

Then I figured out that there was a forum here. I checked the stuff posted in GQ for a while. Then I realized that if someone is wrong in GQ another doper, with advance knowledge of the field in question, will correct the mistake.

So now I will believe anything said in GQ. It helps that most people provide evidence to support their claims

I dunno about believing everything you read. There are plenty of threads that you’ll come across where only one or two people will answer and they’ll likely not be fully informed, but the posters with real knowledge of the subject happen to miss your post.

Pretty soon, you’ll figure out who is the “go to guy” on most topics and will know that if they chime in, they’ve most likely finished your answers.

The columns (and staff reports), on the other hand, are probably 99% perfect. Every now and then someone will challenge something that was written, but the only thing I’d have to worry about those is whether new information was discovered/revealed after publication. For the most infamous (and funny) example of Cecil being wrong, check out the “Exception that proves the rule” debate.

I believe pretty much everything I see in “My Humble Opinion.” But I’m kinda daring that way.

As for “General Questions” I am 100% certain of at least 75% of what I see there, and about 75% certain of the rest for the reasons Chairman Pow gave. There are so many backgrounds patrolling the questions and making posts that cross-references and fact checks pretty much take care of themselves most of the time. Most folks are up front enough to indicate when they are making a Wild Assed Guess (WAG) as an answer, but even in those cases there is a good probability that the answer will be nearly correct, or at least right enough to elicit a contemptuous correction from an expert.


And should you manage to dig up the membership fine, “welcome.”

I think it’s important to approach anything you read, especially on the internet, with a healthy dose of skepticism. Remember that the whole reason the Straight Dope and the GQ/Great Debates forums are so reliable is because people will call other posters out if they see something fishy. They’ll demand cites, and won’t accept anything at face value.

The Urban Legends Reference Pages ( taught me this lesson early on. Apparently, so many people would figure “if it’s on snopes, it must be true,” that they started to just accept whatever was written there. So the Mikkelsons set up a section called “The Repository of Lost Legends” with deliberately untrue stories presented as true. They got me, as well as a lot of other people, and that taught me not to immediately trust anything I read on the internet.

Unless it’s from Cecil.

I pretty much believe almost everything on this forum.

You must think for yourself!

Yes we must think for yourself

You are all individuals!

Yes we are all individuals

Holy shit all my coding dissappeared. How did that happen? It looked good on preview :smack:

Single voice: I’m not!

I’ve learned so much from SDMB (Straight Dope Message Board) and its Teeming Millions[sup]TM[/sup] that I’ll be forever grateful. I do, however, have a pretty sensitive bullshit meter.

The Master himself, however, and the SDSAB (Straight Dope Science Advisory Board) and Staff absolutely rock. The research on everything I’ve read appears to be very well done.

Hope to see you stick around as a member, Paulies.

Technical questions are answered here very well, I usually believe the answers that are given. Many times though, a question on a practical matter will be turned into a theoretical debate, but that’s OK I guess, as long as the original question eventually gets answered.

Some of the “advice” answers I don’t particularly agree with though. Seems like any time someone has a problem with a neighbor, or ex, or whatever, the SDMB answer is - CALL THE AUTHORITIES!!! I’m not so sure you should run to the police or your lawyer for every little problem you have in your life.

I’m never wrong. Listen to me always.

Convince yourself of this, and all will be fine.

Do me a favor too. Once you are convinced, sell my wife on it too, k?

Wur never rong.

I have run into literally hundreds of dopers who believe absolutely that they are never wrong.

Cecil, however, is actually rarely wrong, because he does careful research.

Bias? What bias?

Skeptic bias?

How else can we be sure what is REAL unless we are skeptical?

Liberal bias?

How dare you!