If You Don't Like It...

I frequently comment on gadget and technology blogs, and I will often get this response when someone disagrees with me:

"If you don't like it, don't buy it." 
"Vote with your wallet." 

You have been directed here because you responed to a comment with a variation of the above phrase. This response is what's known as a "non-sequitur." When having a discussion, debate, or structured argument, certain rules must be followed. One of these rules is that you not derail the discussion with the inclusion of dismissive replies of this nature.

You see, when I'm talking about how terrible the Super Widget 3000 is, I probably already don't intend to buy one. What I'm conveying in my comments are the reasons for my decision. Now here's the thing: it's possible that I want to buy the SW3K, but its flaws make it unsuitable for the task it was designed to accomplish.

In either way, telling me to not buy it is not just redundant but counter-productive. You have simply dismissed the person's thoughts and feelings as not important, because they should "vote with their wallet," rather than make their complaints known.

SO... let me set up a straw man and knock him down for you. The Super Widget 3000 is the hot topic of the day, but due to its [short battery life|bad design|fatal bugs], nobody buys it. This product will quickly be discontinued, and the world will continue to suffer as the task for which the Super Widget 3000 was designed will not be filled. On the other hand, if the company listens to the impassioned pleas of its potential buyers and fixes the problem with the SW3K, the company can go on to be successful, and society can be enriched by the beneficial effects of the widget. If users had not made clear why they rejected it, then the company would never have had the opportunity to make things right and fix the problem. 

This actually happens quite frequently: Windows Vista is the perfect example of customer feedback in action. Customer feedback regarding the flaws in Vista pushed Microsoft toward fixing those flaws with Windows 7, which was a commercial success. If users had silently ignored Vista without commenting on their specific complaints, Microsoft would not have known what to fix.

So, you now see that "if you don't like it, don't buy it" does not actually accomplish anything, but rather simply dismisses one's concerns out of hand. Since this dismissive response does not further the discussion, you should not expect a response from the person who sent you to this page - as they have clearly identified your comment as the dismissive gesture that it is.

Thank you for your time.
-The management
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