They're not THAT abstract! If you are trying to push the edges, then you are looking for the kind of certainty that doesn't exist in life. And if you do that, then you should know what edges you pushed on when something blows up.
In my experience on this forum, problems come up for people when they don't really read or pay attention to what Google says. Instead they read what other people say ABOUT what Google says. Then the mythology starts.
People say Google generates FUD. That maybe true at times, but it's nowhere near the amount of FUD that webmasters and SEOs turn out.