I got some Christmas gifts early this year — we wanted to open gifts with my mother-in-law while she was in town helping us adjust to life with the new baby. One of the gifts I received was this neat-looking credit-card-sized multi-tool from my Amazon wishlist. Though I could discern on sight how to use most of the elements of the tool, there were a few that baffled me, so I swallowed my man-pride and actually took a look at the instructions.
There was one problem, though: The instructions were all in Chinese. I couldn’t read them.
I went to the product’s Amazon page, and lo and behold one of the pictures was a key that showed the uses of each element (though now I have to go figure out how to use a “direction auxiliary indication”). Out of curiosity, I proceeded to read some of the reviews, and I noticed that many who had received the tool had the same problem that I did with the instructions. What struck me the most about these particular reviews was how many users gave the product a negative review based solely on their inability to understand the instructions. Ironically, in leaving their review, they had to visit the very page where I was able to discover clear instructions, so they could have easily overcame the linguistic difficulty, just as I had — and yet, their entire opinion of the efficacy of the tool never ventured beyond their inability to understand how it was meant to be used.
Isn’t this exactly how so many people base their opinions on the inefficacy of intercessory prayer? Once they realize the tool doesn’t work they way they thought or assumed it did, they give the whole system a negative review and state that “it doesn’t work.” (more…)