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Messages - jamie9

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21
General Off-Topic Board / Re: I'm an idiot on Economics
« on: October 15, 2007, 07:15:46 PM »
"Usually they draw it as a slightly bowed line on a Cartesian coordinate system, with S and D as the axes. You've seen it before. I have another question for these supposedly mathematically rigorous Economists. If the grid has supply on one axis and demand on the other, and the little curve is supposedly a line representing the function which is the relation between supply and demand, then how the @#!* does that chart tell us something about price? PRICE ISN'T ON THE AXES! It's not PART OF THE GRAPH AT ALL!"

Wait, am I the only one that has looked at an S/D graph today? S and D are not labels for the axes. They are the actual curves on the graph. The axes are labeled with P (Price) and Q (Quantity). At equilibrium, S and D should intersect at a given P/Q relationship to give you the market quanity supplied and the market price. This may be one of your fundamental errors. This may be the trouble you are having interpreting the graph.

Yes, I've seen those supply-demand graphs, too. You make an important point. But my misgiving still addresses them -- if the axes are Price and Quantity, then we still don't know jack sh*t about Supply or Demand, except as implied by Quantity (which, itself, could have relationship to S and D by inverse, direct, or any other relation).

We need a picture or two ...


Despite being a person about to finish up his Econ degree, I'm having a real hard time understanding what you're talking about, but I'll take a stab at it.  Supply and Demand are not some quantifiable numbers, they are functions, relationships between quantity and price.  At price P, suppliers supply quantity Q.  At price P, demanders buy quantity Q.  At competitive equilibrium, suppliers and demanders can agree on a quantity and price.

DON'T CONFUSE QUANTITY AND SUPPLY.  They are two very different things.  For example, if quantity supplied goes up and price goes up, then demand increased, supply need not even have changed.

As for your complaint about the fundamental principles of Microeconomics not working in practice, it all depends on how complicated you want the model to get.  If supply goes up and price goes up, something else was going on to make it so---everything else was NOT equal, end of discussion.  There are so many interrelationships and externalities that the Supply and Demand model they teach in Introduction to Microeconomics is not going to get you the whole picture, but it gets the basic concepts across. In reality, while you can take more and more pieces of the puzzle into consideration, nothing can be perfectly modeled, there are just too many factors to consider, but the underlying concepts are nonetheless valid.

For example, Econ 101 almost always assumes perfect competition, no transaction costs, no barriers to entry, etc. – does this ever happen in reality? No, Econ 101 models a fantasy world.  But the basic principles are the same, and in many situations the assumptions are immaterial enough that the model is a good approximation for reality.

They’re not lying to you, they just start out with an easy fantasy world so your head doesn’t explode, and then reduce away the assumptions until you come closer to reality.

By the way, I’ve never seen Supply and Demand as axes, as this would make zero sense whatsoever, are you sure you’re interpreting the graphs right?

22
Take my advice with a grain of salt, this is just what I've found to be the case.

Ignore subject matter/order of arguments altogether.

One of the first things I always do is look for the conclusion.  Does it mirror the stimulus at all?  If your stimulus offers a prescription for a course of action or policy (a "should") as its conclusion and an answer makes an if-then statement ("will") or matter of fact statement ("does"), that answer is wrong.  If an answer introduces a degree of certainty in its conclusion that the stimulus does not, that answer is wrong. 

Just by looking at the conclusion alone can usually eliminate 2-3 answers.  Then you can look to see if the arguments build upon each other in the same way as in the stimulus.

Also make sure that you're not using an answer with flawed logic to parallel a stimulus with proper logic, or vice versa (although Parallel Flaw Q's are tremendously more easy to handle IMHO).  This is more of something to keep in the back of your mind than anything, if you've done your comparison of the structure of the arguments properly, you won't run into this problem.

Some people like to paraphrase the stimulus to a very general form, which allows you to ignore subject matter and ordering of the logical elements altogether, and then doing the same with suspected answers to compare. I've found that this sometimes works, but often makes matters more complicated. It all depends on your personal preferences.

As for your second question, if there are marked differences in structure, but the logical path for reaching a conclusion is similar between the stimulus and answer, you shouldn't assume the answer is wrong, but send up that a red flag in your mind and check and see if other answers fit better.

The same goes with negatives.  Even if something is negated in the answer, and not in the stimulus (or vice versa), does not necessarily mean that the answer is wrong.  I find it easier to mentally turn all negatives into positive statements before determining whether the reasoning is parallel.

A problem I've had is failing to link the stimulus and correct answer as parallel by wrongfully thinking that LSAC couldn't possibly want people to make some common sense assumptions, and have missed several Parallel Reasoning and Principle questions because of this.

23
Studying for the LSAT / Re: Lowest acceptable score?
« on: October 10, 2007, 02:30:30 PM »
Anything lower than 166, retake and reconsider law school altogether

166-170, absolutely retake

170-172, retake unless it's something that probably won't go away on the next test (e.g. I realize based on my responses that I was more nervous than i thought i was, nasty scale, etc.)

173-174, keep, but with disappointment

175-176, happily keep -- this was about my expectation/goal, but I don't think I made it

177+, pass out from shock and then happily keep

24
Studying for the LSAT / Re: Predict Your Score
« on: September 29, 2007, 07:16:31 PM »
Hard to say: I did more educated guesses than usual which may or may not have hit badly, particularly on RC, and depends on whether the scale was nice or not but I'd say 170-173, and I wouldn't be shocked to see as low as 168.

(My last 6 practice tests have been over 175.)

25
Studying for the LSAT / Re: Ear plugs
« on: September 09, 2007, 05:12:27 PM »
Quote
I'm sure they're afraid that they won't be true earplugs but receivers of some sort to cheat.

I'm sure, plus I'd also bet that they don't want a test-taker to be able to claim that s/he innocently missed an announcement to end a section, in which case I'd bet cotton balls in the ears would still be restricted.

26
Recommendations / Re: Probably a dumb question...
« on: September 08, 2007, 09:05:31 PM »
Your professors don't send the recs directly to schools, if you're doing it right. You need to register for LSDAS at LSAC.org and use their LOR service.  Your professors will send the letters to LSAC and LSAC will send out your LOR's with the applications. 

27
Studying for the LSAT / Re: ..just got rocked by the june '07 test...
« on: September 05, 2007, 11:36:49 PM »
Funny, I had the exact opposite experience. I thought this test was relatively easy comparatively speaking.  I even triple checked to make sure I had the right form.  I had been getting in the high 160s when I got a 177 practicing on the June 07 test.  Now I'm consistently in the 170s, but I went back down to 169 before I ever built my score back up again to the 177 level.

To be fair though, RC is my weakest and least consistent section and (1) I prefer the Comparative Reading to the alternative-this being the first and only practice test I have taken to include comparative reading in a scored section, and (2) this particular RC section appealed to my particular strengths quite well.

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