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Trusting Lab Reports

A list of lab reports: https://gist.github.com/KamajiTheBoiler/033b571ac3a77b2709b9

Many people have brought up concerns with the idea of trusting lab results. Energy Control themselves say "our Drug Testing Service is specifically designed for final users. Our results shouldn't be used as a guarantee of quality of any drug vendor or product. Energy Control declines all responsibility in this sense." This is because other people could lie, and this is because vendors could sell 2 identical batches of drug, except 1 is pure and 1 is not. The person who sent in the test may have gotten pure drug, and you may have ordered the same thing but gotten impure drug.

The bottom line is that lab reports are not a golden bullet. They don't magically solve problems unless the drug you are taking is the same drug that you tested yourself. And even then you need to trust that Energy Control (or whomever) is doing the tests correctly.

So are we doomed? The answer is no. Having lab reports from unknown soruces is substantially better than having to trust the subjective opinions of internet strangers who may or may not be the same people selling you bad product. At least with lab testing, you know that someone spent $70 to get the results, without knowing exactly what the results would be.

The truth is that you should be testing your own drugs. If you've spent more than $500 on drugs in the past year+, it should be resonable to spend $70 to verify the quality of your purchases. And once you've done that much, it should also be reasonable for you to share your results with the community, even if they are the same results that everyone was already expecting.

If a significant portion of the community starts testing drugs and posting results, it will be difficult for a vendor selling bad product to convince the community that they are a good vendor. If a vendor has 5 good reviews and 3 bad reviews, people will not trust the vendor. 37% bad reviews is simply more than most people will be willing to tolerate, especially if there are other vendors with 80% or 100% good reviews.

Additionally, when reviews are posted you get the full context of the review. You can see the threads where people debate about the validity of the reviews or talk about other controversies related to the vendor. You can see who posted the review, see if that poster has a reputation, and see if the reviews they post generally align with the reviews that other people post.

One thing that is more difficult to control for is vendor sniping. If I were a vendor, I could potentially take out my competition by sending in nbome to be lab tested and then saying it was my competitior's product. There's not a great way to defend against this. We do request that all lab reviews by accompanies by a picture (to prove you actually bought from the vendor), but this is by no means foolproof. There are however many vendors, and it is expensive for a vendor to give unfavorable bad reviews to all of them. The community might also be able to see that something is wrong if reviewers with no reputation start posting really controvertial results for vendors who have good reputations. It's not a perfect system, but having lab results is better than not having lab results.

The biggest way to make this trustworthy though is to get many lab results. 1 or 2 a month is great, but there are hundreds of orders going out every day. If we can get even 2% of these orders tested, we'll have an enormous pool of reports to draw from and it'll be that much harder for vendors to maliciously insert fake reviews and trick the community.

Finally, you as an individual can decide how to interpret reviews. You can choose to be paranoid and reject any vendor with bad reviews, you can choose to only trust reviews from certain accounts, or you can try to use your gut to determine which vendor is the best for you. You don't have to use the same strategies or ratings or metrics that anyone else uses. Lab reports make it easier for you to make educated decisions about the products you are buying.

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