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Messages - dbmuell

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Studying for the LSAT / Re: Were you one of these LSAT test takers?
« on: October 06, 2006, 08:47:19 AM »
I was that guy.  I'm actually worried that if my cursive is as illegible as it seemed to be that they would withold my score.  Can this happen?

Even though I know he is likely being sarcastic, I think that Mr. Future hits on a very interesting consideration that  reflects on how our society defines "earning" something.  It seems to me that one of the core foundations of capitalistic society is that there are 3 ways to justly achieve a higher income or status: hard work, luck, and assumption of risk.  The first two are obvious but what of "assumption of risk?"

Ingrained in our notion of "success" is the fact that one need not necessarily be the smartest or hardest working to achieve it. Sometimes the successful person is just the person with the "biggest stones" who puts the most on the line in hopes of achieving the highest award (IE- putting your life savings on the line to invest in a risky venture that takes off). Likewise, when someone makes the decision to cheat on the LSAT, they are making a huge gamble in hopes of a (likely) moderate increase in score. They put it all in and take a risk that most of us would never dream of: banking their entire (legal) future on the fact that they will not get caught.  Considering the the odds are heavily stacked against them, they are taking a perilous bet and it could be argued that they have technically "earned" their higher score by virtue of being willing to take that gamble and risk losing out on LS altogether. 

My favorite analogy  for this is the guy on the motorcycle that weaves in and out of a traffic jam, conceivably arriving at his destination sooner than everyone else.  This angers a great deal of people, as they feel that it is "unfair" that he should arrive sooner than them at his destination and they should have to wait.  In reality, I submit that he is "earning" his early arrival by assuming a litany of potential consequences. These include expensive traffic tickets, or simply being splattered all over the pavement.  This avenue of "unfairness" is available to everyone but most choose not to assume that risk- a choice on both sides of the issue.

While none of this really affects the issue of whether to "tell" on someone who is cheating (still your choice on whether to bring the risk of their venture down upon them), to me it raises some interesting considerations as to the ethics of cheating in a capitalistic society.  I would argue that cheating is neither just nor injust- simply a different way of playing the game.  Likewise, getting caught is neither just nor injust, but merely the laws of probability paying a visit to someone who made a lofty gamble. Much like with short-term winners at poker, those laws of probability seemingly would assure that someone who makes a lifestyle of cheating will get caught eventually.  A gamble that they choose and a consequence that they will have to live with.

Studying for the LSAT / Re: TESTMASTERS Weekend Course...Worth It??
« on: October 05, 2006, 02:14:36 PM »
Having done the PS full length course, I tend to think that you would be bored to tears in just about any class if you are practicing in the low 170s. Remember, when you take a course, the class will slow down and wait EVERY time somebody does not understand an answer.  You will spend most of your time listening to the instructor explaining material to people who are crossing their fingers and praying for a 150, while the material will come almost immediately to you (disclaimer: not intended as a dig on people scoring in the 150s).  I was not a particularly high scorer (low to mid 160s on my preps) and I was often bored stiff.  The courses offer generally good instruction but if you're already scoring well, you're much better off with private tutoring, self-study or just an insane amount of practice.

I agree with all above but I find some added bonuses.  I feel like all the time spent with RC passages has really increased my overall rate of comprehension.  When I ready magazine articles/essays/news I find that I am retaining a lot more of the little details and finer points.  I also feel like I've learned to really pick apart people's bulls**t at a much faster rate by immediately identifying faulty logic.  Overall, I'm better off for having done it!

Studying for the LSAT / Re: What do I do with my life now?
« on: September 30, 2006, 01:43:22 PM »
Drink, heavily.

Studying for the LSAT / What's with the people who can't follow directions?
« on: September 30, 2006, 01:33:46 PM »
Is it normal for the LSAT that some f**ktard that can't follow directions requires the rest of us to sit there while the proctor deals with them?  We had Ms. "Writing on the book when we've clearly been told we shouldn't have pencils in our hands," Mr. "My watch is beeping so now we all have to wait while the proctor puts it outside" and the killer duo of the anonymous "My cell phone is rining while the proctor reads the instructions" and Ms. "it couldn't be me because my cell phone is right here and it's not ringing."

Is it possible that this many people taking the LSAT are incapable of reading the simple, one-page directions that print right along with your admission ticket?  If you are one of these people, we all thank you dearly for extending our torture because you can't handle elementary directions...

Studying for the LSAT / Re: Test Masters vs Testmasters?
« on: July 31, 2006, 08:42:57 AM »
As I research more, it seems that this is par for the course for this company.  I got suspicious when I started reading the "Terms and Conditions" while in the process of signing up for the "other" Testmasters. They seemed just a bit too emphatic about the jurisdiction in which the lawsuit would be handled if you decided to sue them, then basically put in big bold letters that there are two companies operating under the same name.  A little more research saved me from a big mistake.  Thanks for the help!

Studying for the LSAT / Test Masters vs Testmasters?
« on: July 31, 2006, 08:21:01 AM »
Okay, I'm thoroughly confused.  After registering for a PR course in my area, I began reading up on this board and saw that everyone highly reccomended Testmasters.  I cancelled my PR class and was about to sign up for a Testmasters class, when I discovered that there are two companies doing business under this name.  It seems that one of them has a stellar repuration, while the other has a reputation for ripping people off.  Has anyone else made this mistake?  Can anyone point me to the URL of the real Testmasters site? 

Okay, okay. Apologies for the personal attack. Uncalled for and the result of a late night and a head full of cold medicine.  I do maintain my assertion, however, that it is overtly presumptuous to judge a person's character, intellect, or personality traits having never interacted with them.  The assumption that "whenever that situation has arisen in your life" represents a sample group large enough to make an assertion about people in general is a dangerous generalization that can lead down a troubled road. 

If I were to apply that logic to my (likely incorrect) assumption that your number of posts were reflective of your character, I could just as easily have replied that "people that I have interacted with that post thousands of messages a month on message boards don't have much social interaction outside of cyberspace and tend to lack social skills."  I know nothing about you, nor am I qualified to make that assertion, but you can see how my presumption based on experience led me down a dangerous road and would have for anyone following that path of presumption.     

Again, I objected not to the comment or its meaning but the presumptuousness required to achieve your conclusion.  My reaction was innapriopriate but my premise remains the same  ;)

" she doesn't want to be exposed to anything that she hasn't already taken in herself.  Interesting."

Gosh, thanks for the even handed and well considered analysis of someone that you've never interacted with.  While I'm sure that the string of successful social interaction that gives you the time to log 6000 posts since December keeps you awfully busy, you should really think about foregoing a law career long enough to consider becoming a relationship counselor.  With a perceptual accuity nearing psychic, it may be your calling. 

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