Trust Not the Net, Mother of Fake Reviews

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By Gordon Duff, Senior Editor

Like many from my generation, who are still alive anyway, we grew up spending with care and fixing stuff ourselves.  As time has gone on, cars, motorcycles, power tools, appliances, computers, guns and guns, even restaurants and vacations, the internet has its own opinion on things and, in general, that opinion is fake.

I will make this short.  Most review sites for everything are fake.

Added to that are the lonely idiots who write about things they will never own, based on fake things they read elsewhere.  Bashing products, faking reviews is an industry, a financial game to blind do-it-yourselfers by putting out fake intel on everything.

Need info on a car problem?  Go online, most of what you will read on your Toyota or BMW or Ford truck was underwritten by reptile funds paid to troll groups in Israel or Macedonia, giving you repair data that will destroy anything you touch.

Brand bashing is the same thing, from guns to bikes to wall ovens, all of it is fake, with negative posts carried over from fake review sites even to Amazon.

It it weren’t bad enough that faking good or bad reviews is now an industry, you have the idiots.  Before VT opened a custom shop, Mike and I spent a few weeks on the gun boards.  Yes, there are some bright guys, real shooters out there.

However, most are hopeless fools, fabricationists and fakes, reviewing weapons that they will never own.  Then again, why do so many manufacturers build total junk, things that never work?

I take things apart, you don’t want to see the inside of a Chrysler automatic transmission, how much plastic is in there.

Then you have the super brands.  Try buying a $300 toaster.  It’s easy to do but a $10 Black and Decker will work better and last longer, better design and QC.

I just spent months ripping out a kitchen and replacing it.  This put me in fake appliance review town, oh god, not only are they all liars but illiterate as well.

Some products, Blue Star, Wolf, a few others, are monumentally good.  Others?  Everything written about this is a lie.


Motorcycle crap is worse.  Most who write about bikes, with the exception of high mileage Harley and BMW folks, and I have big respect for them, don’t ride at all.

Few ever get on a superbike and, for me anyway, it took endless hours to master pushing 600 pounds of 160 plus horsepower around city streets.  These monsters are top heavy with horrible seats but, when let loose on the highway, dance like Fred Astaire.

You either ride every day, ride hard and fast, or need to stay the f. away from motorcycles.

But if you read about them in “blogs,” god help you.  I live inside the motorcycle community much of the year, it is a lifestyle that supersedes politics, education and social crap.  You are “bike people” or not.

The other “worst part” isn’t the fakery but the censorship.  Real interest blogs, be it UFOs or refrigerator repair are delisted or shut down, replaced by the fakes.  Check.

It gets even worse for snow blowers, lawn tractors, power equipment with a very few sites for professional grade users and consumers victimized by industry financed fake reviews on fake sites.

I live with snow, lots of it, trees, thousands of them, and have to play landscape guy or lumberjack way too much.

Past that, I keep a machine shop for gunsmithing, and am a Not so Advanced woodworker, hoping to improve those skills.

As much as I hate YouTube, it has been a lifesaver though it delisted me and VT years ago as “dangerous to the public.”

For those who know what they are doing and put out videos where they don’t say “Hi YouTubers!,” I give my thanks.

There used to be a time when any of us could pull the heads on our Ford pickup and change a headgasket, deal with an oil leak or pull a distributor.  I remember changing a water pump on a Fiat 124 outside in the winter, a nightmare.

None of that is possible with today’s cars.

This reminds me of decades ago at the Rose Lake shooting range near Lansing, Michigan.  From time to time I would hustle ‘pudknockers’ who thought they could shoot.  Without a scope, few could cut a 24 inch group at 50 yards, even from a bench.

I had a couple of custom pistols that could do a bit better than that, perhaps much better.  It was fun.

Have we become a nation of fakes, dilettantes and mama’s boys?  Who can afford to hire anyone anymore?

Worse still, the crazy fake crap I read about politics and global events, so wrong its funny, is nothing compared to restaurant reviews and travel blog idiocy.

It seems that the whole idea is to create fake everything, everything you read or hear originates somewhere from people paid to lie to you.

Nobody knows where things come from and the same lies, the same useless craziness takes on a life of its own.  It’s one thing voting for an idiot, it’s quite something else dropping a Buick on your ass in the middle of a failed brake job.

Then again, we haven’t begun yet, as I won’t even talk about food supplements, cancer cures and “financial services.”

Time to return to making only things real people can fix.  Repair parts are impossible for so many things that were never made to be fixed in the first place.

I’ve got Mike Chester replacing a circuit board for a very expensive Dacor gas range, by “replace,” he has to actually make the board himself.  Parts don’t exist, you are supposed to simply throw away 400 pounds of $2000, only a few years old, and for what reason?

Do we need to get into computers and mobile phones?  How about operating systems?

Want to talk Facebook and Google, I warned the world years ago that they were designed to feed an AI, no other reason.  Mostly, I am sick of buying things that need fixing right out of the box.  I am sick of things that don’t work.

I am sick of being hustled, kitchen counter tops, polishing tools, lighting fixtures, that’s this week, nothing what it is supposed to be.  I could get a job designing real power tools, so many out there are childish fakes.

Printers where ink costs more than the printer?  Specialty saws whose blades cost more than the saw?

This is typical.

I look for comments.

48 COMMENTS

  1. Gordon-
    Kudos on the Meme! We Veterans need to expose the Hasbara Cyber Terrorists. We took an oath to defend the United States of America against enemies foreign and domestic.
    Other Memes exposing Hasbara Cyber Terrorism can be found at:
    Google> Images> Hasbara Trolls

  2. I do watch Youtube for the R/C videos. Especially the /C crasher videos…as long as it isn’t one of my planes…LOL! Lots of giant scale vids from across the pond. The Europeans and Brits like to build ’em big.

    I used a couple Youtube videos to replace the blower motor in my 06 T&C which I have now done twice as the cheaply made but expensively sold at the local “discount” auto parts store went south again Labor Day. Also handy to find out how to change the dash lights.
    As for cars, I worked in Holland, Mi. for a small company that performed warranty and non warranty service on electronic systems for one of the big three. This included radios, body computers, overheads and instrument clusters. Do you really believe the clutz working at the dealer service shop really knows what he is doing?
    Don’t ask. I have stories to tell though. Some of them, many of them not so reassuring. I bought a Volvo 760 turbo wagon. Swore I would never buy an American made vehicle ever again. here I am driving a Town And Country. At least I can haul my planes around.

  3. I ran out of black ink for my printer up in Mass this summer working on my mother’s house and called Staples, the only office supple store in my part of the county to see if they had them, which they did. I rushed down to get up with a smile on my face until he said, “That will be $34.95 with tax sir.” I said, “Excuse me…how much do your non-Brother ones cost?” He said “We only carry this one”. I said, “You guys want SEVEN times what the generic ones cost when you buy then from China anyway?” He said nothing. It was my fault for letting my reserve inventory run down, but when you are on the road and juggling too much this is when they nail you.

    • I get ink for my HP PhotoSmart form Meijers at $14.00 per. reloads. just like ammo. I seem to buy more black ink than color.
      Stay away from Epson.

  4. Russians can fix anything – they try like hell not to buy new parts unless totally necessary.. I did a total rebuild on my 350 IZH Planeta with side car using mostly Russian tech manuals – wrote soo many notes and drawings in English – I could publish a book but no one would care – LOL -Alaskans used to fix everything from our trucks to our planes – because that how it was. Our generation was pretty dam good with our hands because back in the 50s 60s we could see the things we had to work on and they were made from – metal. Thanks VT.

  5. I drive a 93 M3 bmw, 30 mpg and a joy. It looks like total shit.

    I am using mostly my x5 which has half a dozen WTF lights on, i no longer care.

    I have an Alpina in the garage, oil leak now from sitting too long. It’s a 95 and cherry.

    On bad days I use the Land Cruiser, which is Carol’s. It is the “respectable” vehicle.

    • My BMW supermoto gets around 45 mpg on the track, and up to 70 mpg on the street, while my twin Rotax BMW sport-tourer gets over 50 mpg when traveling fast on two-lane curvy roads.

    • Love to have a BMW – In the 90s in Switzerland, the shops had BMW t- shirts for sale – Front all BMW – on the back – Japanese MC in a big round Cross Hairs of a rifle scope. My wife had a Honda 1000 touring and we would go to Ralley’s {Tent ins for the weekend} called Concentrations – Loved Switzerland and France back then.

  6. A friend’s friend had sold me a 1991 Suzuki GSX 1100g one of the last of the practical all around Universal Japanese Bikes with a detuned oversized race bike engine for almost nothing after he had failed to diagnose a electric fuel pump problem. After many failed investigations and useless part replacements, I found and fixed the problem. I started looking at new bikes that might have its performance or be more impressive. The “G-men” cult of the bike’s devotees made a good argument that the current production bikes from Europe and Japan are actually inferior. I noticed that much of what 15k to 20 k bikes were being reviewed over was the problem of getting fuel injection systems to respond with the precision required by a rider to push the bike to its limits. All complex computing and inferior digital approximations (i.e. “riding modes”) of what properly set up and maintained carburetors do magically and joyfully on two-lane twisting highways. My “G” was stolen this Summer.
    I have now purchased for a few hundred dollars the earlier and even simpler 1980 GS 1000g. Reportedly parked for after 15 years after scaring its former owner in the way only a bike that can so easily do 130mph can. With only a few screwdrivers and wrenches, vinegar and Pinesol, along with Youtube videos by other riders doing the same tasks, I should have it up and running. Thankfully, there is no rich market for parts to justify paying disinformation services to protect

    • The Kaw 1400 is a great platform. You can hit nearly 200 hp with minimal mods, mostly fuel and exhaust.

      Mine weighs in a 700 pounds and you still can’t open it up until 3rd. The traction control will shut down first and it lifts the front end any time you tweak it. Feeding it out in second then doing a full rpm, open throttle third, it lifts again there, is a rush. That happens at about 105 in under 6 seconds after rolling.

      I do 100 miles a day or more, sometimes much more, 7 days a week. You can’t have enough motorcycles.

    • The older bikes ran better because they did not have to meet EU Tier and CARB emissions standards.

      As for the ZX-14R (ZZR1400 in most other countries), a friend’s peaked at 205-hp on a rear wheel dynamometer after new exhaust and ECU reflash. Quarter mile times in the high 9 second range with trap speeds in the low 150 mph range.

    • I once owned a Honda CX 650 Custom. Not a bad bike but during the summer it would roast you with all the heat coming off the road surface, the radiator and the engine. At times I still wish I had it. would be a lot funner driving it around up here in Norther Michigan. I drove that one around the Grand Rapids area…..dangerous as hell…..G.R. drivers are narcissistic, self absorbed and stupid. That’s why I sold it.
      Maybe I should keep an eye out for something on Craigslist.

  7. Planned obsolescence is nothing new, and as unlikely to go away as compound interest.
    Once one has a 3D printer the first job would be to build it’s replacement before it breaks, only bigger.
    Today common sense seems it have an expiration date.

  8. We get fined for not wearing a seat belt, but brake lines dissolve in salt water and that’s ok.
    3 glasses of rum get’s the truth better than torture or jury trials.
    Remodeling the kitchen is a true test of a good marriage. To stay young and vibrant, never give more than 5 minutes advance notice before cutting the power and water. After a few decades of residential remodeling, I was unsure if I was a carpenter or a marriage counselor. I never write about either.

    • I dumped my 15 year old Nissan pickup (built in Tennessee) since everything (except the body panels) was rusting out from road salt, and would have been 2 to 3 times the resale value to fix up properly.

  9. Someone noticed that the turning point in the production system, begins making crap things after or around after 2001 year ?? Until the end of 90’s the quality in all kind of manufactured things was relatively good…. I think not only fell the towers with the begins of century 21th….

  10. Good one Gordon !!!!

    “Printers where ink costs more than the printer? ”
    I chucked my HP LaserJet for a older model where the cartridge does not have the “You must buy from HP” chip. This HP business model is BS plain and simple.

    • ditto. And couldn’t believe how cheap it was until I discovered how expensive the ink was, and that I had to use it up within a certain time ! From that moment, I never used it again. I would not buy more ink on principle.

    • Ever buy replacement battery packs for that cordless drill? Sometimes more than the drill itself as for those big packs of cordless power tools….not worth it. If you shop around you can find some deals on battery packs.

  11. With respect Mr Duff,

    You should ride a bicycle.

    Seriously an American industry to this day.

    Those that ride them build them as easily fixed by anyone

    The best of them the simplest with but one gear

    Only the best cyclists ride them

    Just an opinion

    N

    • One of my bikes and one of the trikes were made in a small shop in Minnesota, the other two trikes in small shops in Oz.

      As for sew-ups, modern clincher tires are good enough I would not want the hassle of glue and sewing (to repair punctures).

    • Unfortunately very few people can ride those bikes that do over 100 mph in 6 seconds close to anything like their capability except in a straight line (which as the saying goes a monkey can do) according to a crusty old retired racer who is a multiple FIM World Endurance Champion team member.

  12. Bit hard to ride a motorcycle every day in the Upper Midwest, but I usually get in about 10 to 15 commuting days a month December through March – the cost of BMW parts discourages me from riding on ice and snow. Saving the really “hard and fast” riding for the track where the only thing to hit is air-fence or the ground from a high-side fall.

    • Had the same problem with my 06 Town and Country. I tried to change the plugs but the firewall was in the way and I didn’t have the proper sockets to get to it. They were tucked right up to the darned firewall.

  13. Remember up to 1983, getting one’s business cards printed was not only dull but if you dared make a mistake you ate the cost. Newspaper copy and brochures were a lousy cut and paste proposition. Then, Pagemaker on the little “toy” Macintosh pumped out beautiful graphics on the first lazer printer, an Apple. It cost more than 5K and my Honda Accord cost 6K. The Lazer broke up the cabal of big printing houses and huge capital outlays, as entry barriers to the business, and turned the it into a cottage industry.
    Today, there is a design and manufacturing revolution going on around the world.
    The 3D printer is the champion of this revolution. Why? I make my own junk.

    • Like you, I bought a new range and as soon as the warranty was out, one by one all the knobes controlling the burners, broke. I simply designed a new knob and printed four copies, and voila saved $80 and the cost of the plastic was $3. It has been two years and nothing broke. Yesterday, I was sent the pics and schematics of the first ebike made completely on a 3d printer using carbon fiber filaments.
      We are in the middle of a paradigm shift. Built in obsolescence a prerequisite of mass production and sales rates that have been trying to keep up with compounded interest rates is not working out for manufacturers. They are switching to moduler everything. In the future the cooling system in a car is a module. The transmission is a module and so on. You go in and trade the deffective module for a new one. Pretty soon a high quality CNC, Lazer Cutter and a 3d printer will cost under 10K. You can even print custom circuit boards for you kitchen appliance and buy all the standard parts to complete the board. The Arduino is an Open-source electronic prototyping platform enabling users to create interactive electronic objects.
      The computer isn’t dead it just got started. Custom manufacturing will be replacing mass production in a great deal of things. Make a design and send it ovrr the net to a printing service and you don’t even have to own a printer for large objects. Actually, people are learning alot more than they did before.

    • The most important thing is, people are beginning to make their own tools. I have customized the parts of my 3D printer by printing replacements on the same printer. Any one who works with tools will tell you that tools afford you a freedom to undertake projects. Freedom to make things becomes exponential when you can make your own tools. We are at the threshold of this revolution.

  14. Excellent article Gordon. We have become a disposable society. When it breaks we just throw it away and go down to the store and or online and buy a new one. I can’t help but think they deliberately make stuff this way to guarantee a constant turnover in product. Mass producing landfill daily for profits to satisfy shareholders and to justify exorbitant CEO salaries at the expense of our environment and our exploitation of third world countries labor forces. As you say “welcome to how the world really works”.

  15. Cars are designed so it takes the mechanic 2 hours to replace the headlamp — because the entire engine has to be removed in order to get to the socket, more or less.

    Small businesses have been ruined by the sound the dogs makes when you step on it — rating site. Do not “claim” your business on ANY OF THESE SITES. You can NEVER delete your business profile, they have their rules, and once you claim it . . . they own it! Basically, they can’t let share/stake holders know that businesses are DELETING their review profile, because there would be hundreds of thousands dropping that rating site. So they FORBID any company profile to be deleted.

    They design products to fail. What happens when the iPhone battery is fired? Can’t replace it, can’t open up the phone. Oh, and you can’t remove the GPS and other fun circuits they have shouldered into the mother board.

    • MOAB… when the battery on my SPen pad was fried, i got on YouTube and sifted through the good and the silly and came up with a service that sends you a do it yourself kit and a new battery for $30. Not bad after 3 years. Just got to want to learn.

    • Too funny . . .

      I DO want to learn . . . just not how to replace the headlamp on my ride.
      The video I found on Youtube was complicated. I drive a Mercedes.

    • On a new model Jeep, you have to drop the front wheel well to get at the battery.
      Also be aware that the new cars with auto engine shut off and re-start at the stop light, will wear out the battery twice as fast.

    • That’s just about it. Whoever is designing these cars do not have service in mind.
      Consider that the little ayatollahs in Washington are as involved in automotive design as the people at the drafting computers at a car company.
      I would go so far as to say that Washington now designs cars and the companies simply build them to Washignton’s demands.

  16. Totally agree with you on this one Gordon. I see these guys at the range with their 9mm Glocks emptying their magazines at practically point blank range, then I back up to 95 ft. and shoot 6-8 in. groups with my 1851 Colt Navy. I can’t get greater range without switching over to the rifle range which is usually full and me showing up with a muzzle loading pistol tends to annoy them. I am having the same problem with parts for my “new” 4wd suv. Oh how I wish I still had my VW dune buggy! The computer killed itself, and it was like throwing a switch. One second a useful vehicle, the next a paperweight. I actually had to repo it from the dealer when I found out I knew more about the truck (I had copies of the dealer manuals) than their most experienced mechanic. Now I have to come up with the money to buy the programming interface to flash the replacement computer. I hope you or Ian have time to respond to my comment over in your Bush article. 73