There’s a big difference between skepticism and blind negativity. It’s through negativity that many experts attempt to differentiate themselves from a herd. Expertise is often some sort of competition – a game by which some people are more expert than others. Over time, that negativity can accumulate in a community, causing stasis and then retreat.


  • The sample size involved seems awfully low. We need more evidence that this relationship holds up before declaring that this is a natural law of marketing.
  • The author didn’t consider a few factors from prior work in this field – probably a genuine oversight on their part – so I’d like to see this report replicated with those factors to see theĀ  link.
  • If I accept the authors assumptions, then yes, the conclusions are logically sound. However, I have a problem with the realism of one particular assumption. As a result, the model might not be predictive of events in the following sets of circumstances.


  • The study is stupid because correlation isn’t causality – you can’t ever say that these factors cause this to happen. It’s impossible to prove, so we shouldn’t try. And you’re an idiot for trying.
  • I disagree with one point, so the entire thing just falls apart.
  • I disagree, therefore, the entire study is invalid.

It’s good to be skeptical.

I’ve watched tremendous harm done because of negativity. I’ve watched it over and over again for the past fifteen years. It’s always the same pattern.

People frequently choose to disassociate themselves from a spinning black hole of negative energy. What happens when experts don’t have an audience to shout at?


I’m Christopher Berry.
I tweet about analytics @cjpberry
I write at