Who Should You Trust For Prepping Advice?

24 Oct

Demcad has a great post about shopping for guns and the advice you’ll receive at gunshops.

Demcad: “Frankly, if the salesman is under 50, I would ignore him.  …As far as the customers, too many people repeat crap they’ve heard from people who know nothing about the product.”

I want to generalize this to all the information you’ll ever receive in your life about anything. Who do you trust? Here’s my advice:

1) Is the person speaking an expert or even knowledgeable? Do they have “real world” experience?

Listening to somebody who doesn’t know what they’re talking about makes no sense and is a waste of your time. This is why the more you know the better… you have a better BS detector. All of us will have some errors in our knowledge and we’ll only know so much. But that little bit will help us weed out the real hacks when we seek further advice.

I can’t recall the show or movie, but I remember Ricardo Montalbán playing a race car driver who has somebody trying to kill him. He assures the police that his car will be safe to race because it will be inspected by the best mechanic in the world. When his mechanic is murdered, he assures police, “Don’t worry, the car will be inspected by the second best mechanic in the world, me.”

Metaphorically speaking, aim to be your own second best mechanic in the world.

2) Does the person have an agenda? Even an expert with an agenda shouldn’t be blindly trusted. They might just want to sell you something or influence you in some other way. This is why we commonly hear the good advice “Get a second opinion.”

Better: “Get a second expert unbiased opinion from somebody you know and trust.” Be especially careful of the random “opinions” of those who you don’t know on the internet. There is whole army of people posting false propaganda, fake reviews, and other BS on the internet. This applies to reviews of TVs and to analysis of political positions. This article shows Russians are hired by their government just to sit around all day and make comments online. Wasn’t that a job description in Brave New World?

The good thing about being your own expert is that you’ll have your own best interests at heart. You’re not just trying to sell yourself a new set of expensive brake pads or manipulate yourself into voting a certain way.

3) Is the expert willing to take the time to explain what you need to know and do they understand your position?

This is easily overlooked. What works for one person might not work for another. The best example I can think of is professional fighters teaching self defense. Yes, pro fighters know a lot about fighting. Too often, though, they teach techniques that take too much training for the average person. Too often, they teach techniques that require substantial power or physical skill.

Budget is another consideration. Somebody can recommend a tricked out 1911 for defense, but if you’re budget is $500, the advice isn’t useful to you.

Whenever you seek advice, ask yourself: 1) Is the person knowledgeable? 2) Are they biased? And 3) Do they understand my situation? Get insight from other experienced preppers, but ultimately remember, you’re your own best expert.

Here’s a solid post about disaster preparation basics.


2 Responses to “Who Should You Trust For Prepping Advice?”

  1. thoughtfullyprepping October 25, 2013 at 8:25 pm #

    Body language is my guide. That and my personal B.S. meter.

    • preppernextdoor October 26, 2013 at 12:46 am #

      I’ve tried to learn to read body language, but have never been too successful at it. For those with good instincts/insight that’s probably the best.

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