05-25-2013, 07:35 AM
#1
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The Curse of YMMV.
Oh How it sits there, watching, waiting, judging. shaving is ruled by one force, and that is YMMV. This, what I loath to call 'hobby' of ours, is so varied in terms of opinion that you cannot trust what anyone says. Everything from our brushes, razors, soaps and even down to the razor blade, our opinions differ on what is best. For every person who agrees with you, there is another who thinks your opinions is bollocks, And you can never truly know if a product is good unless you try it for yourself, because often you find yourself disagreeing with what your friend, weird youtube guy or Mantic have said...
Every time someone offers their take on a product, YMMV pops up at the end of the comments, almost as if to say 'everything you wrote, might as well not have been written at all'. YMMV renders every comment, opinion and review utterly worthless.
I have several other hobbies (scuba diving, reef building, rock climbing to name a few), but each of them have a set of standard goal posts which is agreed upon because it is needed for the task to be completed, the equipment we use needs to full fill certain criteria so it is easy to find out if it is good or bad so opinions and reviews are largely agreed upon by the masses, the only YMMV which is found is the size of my wetsuit, or the compartment size of my new filter, or the colour of my belay device. there is little room for YMMV and it is left to the small things, it is easy to find what works for you and what doesn't. But not so in shaving. In fact I did not even know what YMMV meant until I entered the wet shaving arena, it is so prevalent you cannot ignore it.
So why oh why do we hairy men continue with the futile task of sharing our thoughts about shaving when really it does not matter what so ever as everything which is said becomes nullified by the oh so infuriating YMMV.

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 05-25-2013, 07:48 AM
#2
  • Johnny
  • Super Moderator
  • Wausau, Wisconsin, USA
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I have no idea what you are talking about. I am always right.Biggrin

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 05-25-2013, 07:49 AM
#3
  • OldDog23
  • Senior Member
  • BeanTown MetroWest
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because that's what makes the ponies run ? Biggrin

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 05-25-2013, 08:34 AM
#4
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"YMMV" acknowledges that the opinions you draw from your own experience matter most.

Don't know much about scuba or reef building, but there are plenty of hobbies out there whose boards are abuzz in debate on best products or practices.

If someone wants to be assured they are using the very best combo by someone else's experiences, then wetshaving is not the hobby for them. Skin varies. Facial hair varies too. And both change as we age.

I am so much better off reading the findings of the members here and incorporating that in my own pursuit of ever improving shaves. When I see YMMV, I see that as an encouragement to see for myself and form my own opinion.

I perceive "YMMV" as a plus, not a curse. YMMV. Wink

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 05-25-2013, 08:54 AM
#5
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You say it's a curse, I say it's a blessing - which goes to show that YMMV Tongue

Opinions differs, and rightly so. But if several people say a product is good, it'll probably be good for me - and if several people say it's not good, I'm unlikely to bother trying.

Part of what makes shaving so susceptible to YMMV - more so than scuba diving - is the fact that our faces and beards have as much personalities as we have. So while I have slightly greasy skin and steel wool stubble, you might have dry skin and silky fuss... so the combination of soap, blade and razor that works great for me might be too aggressive and not moisturising enough for you. When it comes to scuba diving you either breathing or not breathing, which is slightly easier to measure... that said, I prefer a drysuit and a heavier belt (so I'll have to have a bit of air in my west) as opposed to other guys preference for wetsuits and minimum weight belts. So even in scuba diving you can run into YMMV - even if it may not be called that.

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 05-25-2013, 08:59 AM
#6
  • Hanzo
  • Senior Member
  • Oakland, California
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YMMV not only because its true that we all have different reactions to shaving gear based on perceived efficacy of function, values, taste etc. Also because forum goers laying down the line on what's best for others causes conflict and anger, best avoided.

Few in wet shaving have tried ALL the soaps , creams, blades, razors, after shaves , colognes, scuttles etc for large lengths of time and evaluated each against the other,so in the end what you get is opinion, YMMV.

Too in your other hobbies failed gear means serious injury or death so hobbyists demand serious evaluations, its less extreme regarding shaving soap.Smile

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 05-25-2013, 09:29 AM
#7
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YMMV is a stupid saying. Opinions are just that, opinions. In no other area do people bookend an opinion with YMMV. Ask me which ice cream I think is the best and I will tell you without anyone assuming that my opinion is being held up as solid scientific fact. Ask anyone outside of wet shaving what their thoughts are in regards to "the best" of any particular thing and they will tell you, with the unspoken understanding that it is their opinion, and you may disagree. YMMV should be an understood, unwritten, unspoken given any time any opinion is offered about anything. Why folks in the wet shaving community feel the need to qualify their opinions as opinions is beyond me.

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 05-25-2013, 09:44 AM
#8
  • vferdman
  • Artisan
  • Western Massachusetts
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The amount of content in various shaving forums certainly suggests that YMMV may be THE reason why we continue to expound so much upon our experiences.

Not only YMMV applies to other people, many a time YMMV applies to the same individual on a different day. Such is the inexact nature of our skin, hair, nutrition, mood, weather, etc. Look at it this way. YMMV should really be YMMOMNV (Your Mileage May Or May Not Vary). I think most people assume this and listen to the opinions of others with hope that their experience may be the same as others' in some cases.

And in many cases we do agree on things. Few people will call a Feather blade dull, for example. It may not work for them or they may not LIKE the way it works for them, but that blade is the sharpest DE blade sold. You will not get many variations of opinion on this. YMMV mostly refers to the way we like things, which is very personal and individual. So, if I say X is a great razor, this really means that I like razor X. Regardless of whatever else I say, really what I am saying is that I enjoy razor X. What your experience with it will be is impossible to know even for you until you've tried it.

Wet shaving is pretty much a pleasurable activity, you can get it done with just about anything, but we like to do it a certain way which is inherently indicative of our personal tastes and physical attributes (skin type, hair type, etc.). This is not a highly technical area where X follows Y and if X is bigger, Y will be bigger. This is about what we enjoy.

Regardless of YMMV I have learned a lot on the forums and more importantly got ideas of things to try (with YMMV caveat). Did my mileage vary? You bet! Would I hear about some of the products and techniques if I didn't read the forums? Probably not. That's the point and that's why we read and pay attention to others' experiences even though they have little to no chance of applying to ourselves.

That's my story and I am sticking with it, YMMV.

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 05-25-2013, 11:04 AM
#9
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Some excellent points gentleman. the original post was just a little light humor at this hobbies strange ways Smile but it has created some superb opinion on the subject of YMMV.

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 05-25-2013, 02:28 PM
#10
  • Hanzo
  • Senior Member
  • Oakland, California
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(05-25-2013, 09:29 AM)Jabberwock Wrote: YMMV is a stupid saying. Opinions are just that, opinions. In no other area do people bookend an opinion with YMMV. Ask me which ice cream I think is the best and I will tell you without anyone assuming that my opinion is being held up as solid scientific fact. Ask anyone outside of wet shaving what their thoughts are in regards to "the best" of any particular thing and they will tell you, with the unspoken understanding that it is their opinion, and you may disagree. YMMV should be an understood, unwritten, unspoken given any time any opinion is offered about anything. Why folks in the wet shaving community feel the need to qualify their opinions as opinions is beyond me.

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But dogmatic opinions and religiously held biases have blighted the forums for years. They created anger, messy arguments, bans and even new forums. That I qualify my opinion just says its humble enough to realize its not the last word on the topic, opinions of the poster and community are bound to change anyway.

When I see YMMV or IMHO to me its positive because the poster is saying he/she is not claiming authority or universality and respects the fact that others in the community could see/experience things differently. Its not a lack of courage of conviction of opinion just consideration of the thoughts and opinions of others in a community.

If a man calls himself " Williams Warrior" do you really want to get him started in a argument about new Williams .Smile

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 05-25-2013, 04:56 PM
#11
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It's unfortunate that people could not get beyond the idea that others may not agree with their opinions. It would be foolish to believe that just because I love a particular soap or cream or whatever that everyone would feel the same way. It would be even more foolish to be upset by someone who suggests a different way to do things or a different point of view. I have a hard enough time understanding why folks get so worked up over political differences, starting a blood feud over something like face lathering vs. bowl lathering is simply beyond insane to me. I suppose in a community that was beset by legendary arguments over trivial matters, I could see the need to be absolutely clear about a statement being a matter of opinion.

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 05-25-2013, 05:23 PM
#12
  • tgutc
  • Senior Member
  • Michigan
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I agree to a certain point. There is never a guarantee that because one person really likes a certain product that I'm going to like it too. Especially when it comes to scent which is the most subjective of all. However, I think you can get a pretty good feel for which products are quality and which aren't from the forums. For instance, I would guess 90% of members who have tried Mike's Natural Soaps agree it's a great soap. I would also assume that 90% of members who have tried the new formula of Penhaligon's soaps would agree they are very poor.

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