Originally posted by Kami
The only way you can definitely judge a man is by personal contact. If you are really interested in Steven Seagal, you should contact him, talk with him, watch his classes, listen from his students and make your opinion. All else is more or less hearsay.
That is certainly true, but is Steven Seagal that accessible so she can make the most credible assessment of him?
She has to start somewhere. I also suggest asking on the Aikido-L list. Arn't there people on it with access to Mr. Seagal?
In regards to your final comment...
Hearsay is not necessarily bad. It depends on the context that it is being used. For example if an investigator is doing discovery for a case and if the hearsay will also lead the investigator to where they may find the credible information, it is not a bad thing. In legal terms, during the discovery (information finding/investigatory) process inadmissible evidence (such as hearsay) may be asked and received if it would lead to admissible evidence (non-hearsay aka from the horses mouth). But at trial, obviously the inadmissible evidence can not be used in the final decision. You obviously don't want someone's fate, whether it is a civil or criminal wrong, based on the word of what someone heard what someone else said.
So please don't discredit her question right away. But warning of the pit falls before making that final judgment is not a bad idea.
In this case should she endorse S. Seagal or not? Obvsiously her decision would be faulty if she based it on the opinions of others who don't know him, it would be less faulty if based on the opinons of people who do know him, and it would be credible if she actually had the chance to meet him.
Anne Marie "who always finds a typo after she posts" Giri