After having been a piano teacher for a long time, I changed profession 13 years ago. I had my ceramics education mainly in the following ceramics schools: el torn, Barcelona (Spain), La Meridiana, Certaldo/Firenze (Italy) and Keramikakademie Freiburg (Germany). I feel especially drawn to alternative firing (pit fire, barrel fire, saggars fired in pits).
Tyler, I think it's necessary that, from time to time, one or the other should bring up that theme (rant) of yours. It is important that people get the advise to only give advise, if one has a knowledge (out of experience!). Questions like: should the wheel turn clockwise or counterclockwise we all here on the forum can answer. But if a question concerns chemical elements, salts, minerals, metals etc., most of us should let the real (again, out of experience or schooling) experts answer those questions.
And, of course, what John said: check the source.
Thank you for being so honest in telling us your embarrassing stories. Great way to learn being humble!