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Messages - gzl

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Hi Gonzolaw,

Thanks again, but my last post was on a different example. There are NO conditions or instructions other than to diagram the fact that Y is examined before X and Z are examined. It tells us only that there are 6 total examinations, and, like you said, no information as to whether perhaps 1 might occur on separate occasions.

I'm not sure whether those 4 scenarios that you typed up pertain to my last post, or my original post. The variables you chose and language are mixed up.

At any rate, I'm about to send you the pages that I'm talking about. You'll see what I mean then.



Hey Noumena,

Scenario D above fits this example, using the same variables.  C and D mimic the example you posted, just demonstrating why whether they can occur simultaneously or not does not lead to what you think it does.  I just looked at the page.  They are off in having ~Y in the last two, if X and Z can occur together.

The elimination of X and Z from the first slot and not the second though is not a recognition that they can occur together.  That would still be the case, whether they can occur together or only separately.

"They DO recognize that X and Z could occur together in the second slot, and so just eliminate the possibility of them occurring first" <<<<<< That is where you are confusing yourself.  They eliminate it from the first slot only, regardless whether X and Z can occur together or not.

Work it out on paper.  Put Y in slot one.  Slot two can be filled with X or Z or both.  You can't eliminate them as possibilities for slot 2.  That's true whether they can occur at the same time or not.  That's why they aren't having you eliminate them from slot two.

General Board / Re: Awful 1L year
« on: June 06, 2009, 09:54:54 PM »
I did poorly during my first semester of law school and the second semster ended similarly. I'm currently enrolled in summer school and am doing two judicial internships. I go to a T2 school w/ a B curve. Is it worthwhile to continue (i.e. will I have any job prospects)?

Of course you will.  There are people graduating from tier 4 and even non-ABA schools doing quite well.  Make sure you pass the bar on the first try. Work your a** off networking and the like.  Top tier and excellent records open doors, for sure.  That doesn't mean that's the ONLY way to open some of those doors.

Not to belabor this...but here's a paraphrase of one of their drill questions:

Diagram the following statement: Y is examined before X and Z are examined. There are 6 examinations:

-................ -.....-.....-.....-........-

What the hell?! Now they've flipped. They DO recognize that X and Z could occur together in the second slot, and so just eliminate the possibility of them occurring first, but now Y for some reason cannot occur 2nd last. But that presumes X and Z cannot occur simultaneously in the last slot!

That's it...I'm throwing away this book.

The above reasoning is off...  even if X and Z could not occur together in the second slot, you can't know for sure that neither of them is going to be there, so they (powerscore) are not having you make a note of it.  If you were to make a note of it, best you could do is ~Xv~Z (with v='or').  That's not much information, and would likely confuse most people when they were working out the problems.


Okay, I hate to put it this way, but you may be confusing yourself.  Know that I don't have access to the Powerscore materials you're talking about, and so I can't give you direct references,  also keep in mind that even when it's not stated explicitly in one of the rules/conditions, the set up will often tell you or give some reason that there can only be one element per 'slot.'  I suspect that there is something in the examples you are giving that would indicate this.

Going one possibility at a time.


6 slots.  P after both Q and R (only one element per slot):

We can deduce that there is no P in slots 1 or 2.

We can deduce that there is no Q and no R in slot 6.

We don't really know anything about slot 5, as P, Q or R could still be there individually.


6 slots.  P after both Q and R (more than one element possible per slot):

We can deduce there is no P in slot 1.  (unlike case A above, we don't really know anything about slot 2, if Q and R are together in slot 1, P could go there.)

We can deduce that there is no Q and no R in slot 6.

We STILL don't really know anything about slot 5 as P, Q or R or (Q and R) could still go there.


6 slots.  Y before X and Z.  (One element possible per slot.)

We can deduce that neither X nor Z can go in slot 1: that would give no place for Y.

We don't really know anything about slot 2.  Y or X or Z could each be there.

We can deduce that Y can not go into slot 5 or 6, as there must be room for X and Z in two separate subsequent slots.


6 Slots.  Y before X and Z. (More than one element possible per slot.)

We can deduce that neither X nor Z can go into slot 1, as above.

We still  don't know anything about slot 2.  No matter how many elements can go there, Y or X or Z or (X and Z) could go there.

We can deduce that Y can not go into slot 6.  Here, we don't know about slot 5 though.  Y could go there, with X and Z in slot 6.

There is a "strategy" in Powerscore's Logic games bible that I'm not sure is really sound; it concerns the diagramming of uncertain relationships.

For instance, it says that if you are told only that 2 items, say P and Q, must occur before another, let's say R, in a 6 day week, then you would diagram something like the following:

....-.........-   -   -   -      -
~R   ~R               (~P,~Q)

(periods inserted to simulate the diagram as it would appear in your own notes...just imagine they aren't there)

I have doubts as to whether it is wise to so quickly eliminate R from possibly occurring second in the sequence. First of all, the Logic games Bible states that since we are not told what the relationship between P and Q are, we only know that it may be that P occurs before Q, Q occurs before P, or they occur concurrently. But if we can't rule out that last possibility of P and Q occurring at the same time, then how can we presumptively cross out R underneath the second slot? That presumes that P and Q cannot occur at the same time, and so that R cannot occur second in the sequence.

Furthermore, the logic in their notation for these first two slots and the last slot seems inconsistent. In the last slot, the possibility of P and Q's occurring simultaneously is taken account of--the 5th slot doesn't eliminate P and Q from possibly happening together, and so notes correctly that R might occur last. Otherwise the author would have indicated that because P and Q might occur separately, if R occurs right after either P or Q, then there is a chance that because one of the disjuncts (i.e., P, Q) might "bump" R out of the last slot, then ~P and ~Q should likewise be indicated below the 5th slot.

If anyone can shed some light on this, I'd be really grateful.


p.s. following the tradition of philosophical logic, I have represented all 'nots' in my "diagram" with the tilde (~) symbol.
p.p.s. if you want to follow along in your copy of the Bible, I have the Webcom edition, and it's on pgs 17-18.

If we don't know that it's one element per 'slot,' then you are totally right about not being able to eliminate R from the second slot.  I'm not following your diagram or the reasoning for the last slot though.  May just be a case of study burn-out.  In all cases allowable under those conditions, neither P nor Q will occur in the last/6th slot, as both have to be before R... there's no 'bumping' R from the last slot unless it was that P v Q occurred before R.

Given the conditions as described, all you can put in the diagram is -R in the first slot, and -P,-Q in the last.

Where should I go next fall? / Re: Ranking California Law Schools
« on: June 06, 2009, 04:27:08 AM »
The list seems pretty accurate, but also highlights the weakness of rankings.  Santa Clara is a good example.  Outside of the Bay Area, a JD from there doesn't mean much.  Within the Bay Area though, it's a different story.  Santa Clara alum are close-knit and look out for each other, a lingering affect of its jesuit roots.  The connections made there often get students into positions they have no "right" being in, if you're just looking at the school's ranking... positions a Stanford grad would be more than happy to have.

General Off-Topic Board / Re: Why Does Torture Bother So Many People?
« on: June 02, 2009, 03:41:02 AM »

"believe it or not but some laws come out of moral standards..and some things which are morally questionable may not be considered legal or illegal...until they come up...prostitution is a victimless crime...but it is illegal...morally questionable...perhaps...but as far as "Waterdunking" or "waterboarding" prosecution is a waste of time...aye think if you spent some time in a nicaraguan jail for something miniscule...and were tortured...really would think how wonderful our country is that the usa does not torture prisoners...however if one or two dangerous prisoners were tortured so that american lives were saved along the way...then you would be able to sleep at night..."

My argument isn't that the U.S. is as bad or worse than X.  My argument is simple and straight forward.  Maybe reading it again will help.

"we are still bound by our laws...and if the usa sometimes has to bear down and do some dirty work once in a while to save be it...we can go back to being principled...and aye think it naive to think that there aren't other prisoners in our recent past who were tortured."

Fine, maybe it's even a moral imperative to torture under certain circumstances.  That doesn't mean that it's a) legal or b) should not be prosecuted, for the reasons given above.  It's like quixote took a tab... tilting at invisible windmills and non-existent straw men.

"khmer rouge...ha ha mean "kilo romeo??"....good comparison...yes...usa is like "charley".ha ha ha..."

The point is that one of the factors that keeps governments from devolving into that type of regime is being bound by the rule of law.

"the waterboarding question is not going to be prosecuted and "waterboarding" is not necessarily the method where k.s.m. gave useful information...sometimes laws come out of moral aye think it is questionable to have waterboarded k.s.m...but if lives were saved then who cares? they essentially tricked this guy into giving information which helped to save american so what?..k.s.m is still alive...right?...who who cares?...those who are sore over bush being in power for eight years?...obama doesn't even care...he wants to move on...and our economically hampered country needs to move far as my concerns as a taxpaying citizen aye think it is a waste of time and money to go back and rehash...just like aye thought it was a waste of time and money to go back and rehash the monica lewinsky lie."

I care. People who think that rule of law should mean something in fundamental areas like war crimes care.  Next question...

"aye believe in the death penalty as a form of retribution...and to be applied in certain cases.."

And that's precisely why I don't believe in it.  It moves beyond punishment to state-enacted revenge.  That's one of the fundamental purposes of Law: to curtail the cycle of revenge and the "accursed share" of violent vengeance.

"aye am glad you understand the point of morally questionable decisions...and their consequences..."

No, not really.  You don't want there to be consequences.

"...aye think aye am right that we will move on beyond this...and sorry if that is cold...but rehashing is a waste of time..."

I think we'll brush it under the rug as well.  Like I said, I don't see you as a cynic though.  More a wide-eyed innocent who trusts institutions of power far too much.

"our new democracy will continue and other nations will continue to torture their this case aye am a cynic."

Like so.

"um...and you might want to check those cases..."waterboarding" is gray area?  because dunking a guys head in a toilet is assault...but is it torture? is it "waterboarding"?"

Maybe you should read the cases more closely.  Here's a start:

the water cure, "a specie of torture well known to the bench and bar of the country" is described reasonably explicitly citing another case:

"he was laid on the floor, and a white man stood on his body and they administered to him the “water cure,” which consisted in pouring water into his nose,"

Sound familiar?

Studying and Exam Taking / Re: Are study groups worth the trouble?
« on: May 31, 2009, 01:55:51 AM »
The best study groups are those made up of people who generally don't need a study group.  Those same people tend to get frustrated in groups that actually do need the study group, and so leave after the first time.  Which means that you usually have a good study group that's unnecessary for its members, or a bad study group that doesn't have the members necessary to make it good. 

Studying for the LSAT / Re: Must be true? Inferred?
« on: May 31, 2009, 01:46:30 AM »
I seem to get must be true, inferred, main point questions wrong the most.  Are there any efficient ways to go about this?

must be true = cannot be false  (I know that's obvious, but sometimes that formulation helps clarify what you're supposed to be looking for.)
Most "must be true" questions are looking for an assumption (assuming you're talking about the arguments section and not the games section).  An assumption is just an unstated premise.  "Must be true" assumptions are assumptions that, if they are untrue, make it so that the premises given don't work together to reach the conclusion.  So, pretend te nswer choices aren't true and see if the argument still works.  f it does, eliminate the answer choice.  If you mean "must be true" for the logical games section, first look at any previous work.  Then, instead of plugging in the answers and seeing which one is true in every case, set up scenarios where the answer choice is false/not the case.  If you find even one instance of it being false and the "puzzle" still works, then you can eliminate it.

The answers to "inferred" question stems can always be grounded in the text.  They aren't asking you to make anything up.  You should be able to say something like "because X (some line from the text), it must be that Y (some answer choice.)"

Main point questions can be a pain.  The most common mistakes are choosing answers that don't include enough about the passage.  Be careful of answers that address some aspect of the passage but not the whole thing.  You should be able to narrow it down to 1 or 2 choices, see what is different about them, and see how that difference makes one of them wrong.

Studying for the LSAT / Re: A if, but only if, B
« on: May 26, 2009, 09:07:24 PM »

here are my thoughts ... in 'a if, and only if, b' makes sense because it's both 'a if b ... if b then a' and 'a only if b ... if a then b' ... can someone break 'a if, but only if, b' down for me like that? Thanks!

Think of "but" as just giving the contrapositive of "and". "if not b then not a"

consider yourself lucky, eddie. This will give you more time to do research about how there are far fewer jobs that applicants for them and how there is far less work for all the solos than there are solos.

Don't do it. Just don't do it.

Your logic does not make sense. There are always fewer jobs than there are applicants for them, which is why there will always be a positive unemployment rate. If we followed your logic, then nobody should complete any level of education.

well, seeing as how I am a practicing lawyer and you are a law school applicant, guess which one of us is more knowledgeable about the facts on the ground?

And being unable to fit known facts into simple elementary logic, I'd be worried about your ability to fit them to the law.  If this level of thought is the competition out there, the OP has little to worry about.

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