Man Gets Opinions From Critic
John Man, earnest nodder and smiler, was slightly concerned after hearing some of his colleagues discussing a concert they had recently attended. Though they discussed it for some time, they could not agree whether it had been a good or bad concert; luckily, Man had read some random critic’s review of it, so he was able to settle the matter.
“They were lucky I was able to explain it to them,” he said. “If not, they might have just kept discussing their own opinions fruitlessly.”
Man’s colleagues were interested to hear what he had to say and asked him several questions about the music and what he thought of the musician’s performances. “Yes, that was very confusing,” said Man. “I had already told them that it was a two-star concert, so I don’t know why they wanted to ask about all that stuff. How am I even supposed to know all that if I wasn’t there?”
Bravely, his coworkers persisted in asking him about the two-star rating, hoping to find out why he thought the concert was not deserving of more. “Well, I know it is worth two stars because it had two stars in the paper,” he said, getting exasperated. “If it was better than that, it would have had four or maybe even five stars in the paper. You see, it’s the prevalence of stars which indicates quality.”
Man’s friend Sally McNally wondered if perhaps he was relying too much on the views of one critic. “Oh no,” he said, “of course you can’t rely on just one critic to get your opinions; that would be absurd. The trick is to rely on at least two critics. When they agree on something, it’s because that thing is true.”
After the conversation had finished, Man was pleased that he was able to present his friends with a verdict they could trust and use for themselves. “Even if I had gone to the concert and enjoyed it,” he said, “well…you just can’t argue with two stars, can you?”