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Topics - halftheloop

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Studying for the LSAT / comets
« on: October 20, 2007, 01:52:43 PM »
When astronomers observed the comet Schwassman-Wachmann 3 becoming 1,000 times brighter in Sept 1995, they correctly hypothesized that its increased brightness was a result of the comet's breaking up - when comets break up, they emit large amounts of gas and dust, becoming visibly brighter as a result.  However, their observations did not reveal comet Schwassman-Wachmann 3 actually breaking into pieces until November 1995, even though telescopes were trained on it throughout the entire period.

Which of the following most helps to resolve the  apparent conflict in the statements abovve?

I chose: Comets often do not emit gas and dust until several weeks after they have begun to break up ( I interpreted this as: so there's the possibility that they broke up, then they started to emit gas/dust weeks later but by the time that gas and dust became bright enough for astronomers to start watching, their observations were too late to cover the actual breaking-up-into-pieces)

Right answer:  Gas and dust can be released by cracks in a comet even if the comet is not broken all the way through. 

ummm someone pelase tell me why my answer is wrong and why the right answer is so?

Cotrell is, at best, able to write magazine articles of average quality. The most compelling pieces of evidence for this are those few of the numerous articles submitted by Cotrell that are superior, since Cotrell, who is incapable of writing an article that is better than average, must obviously have plagiarized superior ones.

The argument is most vulnerable to criticism on which one of the following grounds?

A) (I picked) : It simply ignores the existence of potential counterevidence  (doesn't it??? the blatant evidence that Cotrell HAS written superior articles???? or is it the "potential" that makes the answer a no-no)

B) Right answer: presupposes what it seeks to establish.  <-- i HATE these answers

can someone please give me a good explanation of the right answer, how it works in this stimulus, and how i should look out for it in general?  i'm not good at seeing circular reasoning if it's anymore complicated than: the sky is blue because the sky is blue.

Studying for the LSAT / simple type 5
« on: October 20, 2007, 12:02:19 PM »
The higher the altitude, the thinner the air. Since Mexico City's altitude is higher than that of Panama City, the air must be thinner in Mexico City than in Panama City.

Which one of the following arguments is most similar in its reasoning to the argument above?

Right Answer: The older a tree, the more rings it has. The tree in Lou's yard is older than the tree in Theresa's yard. Therefore, the tree in Lou's yard must have more rings than does the tree in Theresa's yard.

Simple enough - and I got it right.  But I got lucky in picking it over the other one I was considering:   

As one gets older one gets wiser.  Since Henrietta is older than her daughter, Henrietta must be wiser than her daughter.

Why exactly is that one wrong?

Studying for the LSAT / hmm, help?
« on: October 20, 2007, 08:30:50 AM »
Some statisticians claim that the surest way to increase the overall correctness of the total set of one's beliefs is: never change that set, except by rejecting a belief when given adequate evidence against it. however, if this were the only rule one followed, then whenever one were presented with any kind of evidence, one would have to either reject some of one's beliefs or else leave one's beleifs unchanged. But then, over time, one could only have fewer and fewer beliefs. Since we need many beliefs in order to survive, the statisticans' claim muts be mistake.

The argument is most vulnerable to criticism on the grounds that it:

I thought it was: neglects the possiblity that even while following the statisticans' rule, one migth also accept new beliefs when presented with some kinds of evidence.

Apparently the right answer is: presumes without providing any justification that the surest way of increasing the overall correctness of the total set of one's beliefs must not hinder one's ability to survive.

I just don't get it. Please explain.

Studying for the LSAT / is anyone else confused...
« on: October 19, 2007, 01:28:29 PM »
as to why some people who are clearly not busy studying for LSATs or law school would actually choose to spend their free time trolling LSD???  i'm looking at all these failed "score!!!" threads authored by the same person/people and i feel like i'm reading the mind of a person with multiple personality disorder

Studying for the LSAT / UN
« on: October 19, 2007, 07:37:27 AM »
After the UN Security Council authorized military intervention by a coalition of armed forces intended to halt civil strife in a cetain cuntry, the parliament of one UN member nation passed a resolution condemning its own prime minister for promising to commit military personnel to the action. A parliamentary leader insisted that the overwhelming vote for the resolution did not imply the parliament's opposition to the anticipated intervention; on the contrary, most members of parliament supported the UN plan.

Which one of the following, if true, most helps to resolve the apparent discrepancy presented above?

My choice: The parliament would be responsible for providing the funding necessary in order to contribute military personnel to the UN intervention. ( I figured, they thought they would only provide MONEY and not PEOPLE, so they were pissed when the parliamentary leader violated this promise?)

Right answer:  In the parliamentary leader's nation, it is teh constitutional prerogative of the parliament, not of the prime minister, to initiate foreign military action.  ( I guess i get this one... but why is it that much stronger than my choice???)


Studying for the LSAT / new tax plan
« on: October 17, 2007, 05:59:45 PM »
Since anyone who supports the new tax plan has no chance of being elected, and anyone who truly understands economics would not support the tax plan, only someone who truly understands economics would have any chance of being elected.

The reasoning in the argument is flawed becaue the argument ignores the posibility that some people who:

a) truly understand economics do not support the tax plan
b) truly understand economicshave no chance of being elected
c) do not support the tax plan have no chance of being elected
d) do not support the tax plan do not truly understand economics
e) have no chance of being elected do not truly understand economics

I'm pretty sure I'm thinking about the logic of this right. 
Supports New Tax Plan --> No chance being elected
Truly understands economics --> not support tax plan

Flawed conclusion: Elected --> Truly understands economics

I'm just confused as to how to deduct what exactly the stimulus is ignoring in making this rather jumbled conclusion?

Studying for the LSAT / argh
« on: October 17, 2007, 05:27:35 PM »
At the end of the year, Wilson's department store awards free merchandise to its top salespeople. When presented with teh fact that the number of salespeople receiving these awards has declined markedly over the past fifteen years, the newly appointed president of the company responded, "In that case, since our award criterion at present is membership in the top third of our sales force, we can also say that the number of salespeople passed over for these awards has similarly declined."

Which one of the following is an assumption that would allow the compnay president's conclusion to be properly drawn?

My answer: Wilson's calculates its salespeople's sales figures in the same way as it did fifteen years ago.
TCR: The criterion used by Wilson's for selecting its award recipients has remained the saem for the past fifteen years. 

I'm confused about this "passed over... declined" wording.  So the president is saying that since the present criteria is being in the top 3rd, not as many people are being rejected?  i'm confused how that makes sense.

Studying for the LSAT / clarification of the flaw please?
« on: October 17, 2007, 04:55:36 PM »
Government official: Clearly, censorship exists if we, as citizens, are not allowed to communicate what we are ready to communicate at our own expense or if other citizens are not permitted access to our communications at their own expense. Public unwillingness to provide funds for certain kinds of scientific, scholarly, or artistic actvities cannot, therefore, be described as censorship. 

This is a flawed method of reasoning question. I can tell that the flaw is an incorrect negation, and I got the right answer because I was able to identify so, but I'm unclear on how the government official even proceeds with his argument in the 2nd sentence.  What does "public unwillingness to provide funds..." have to do with communicating what we're ready to or if other citizens are not permitted access?  Or is the whole point that he (illogically) thinks that just because what he's talking about is so irrelevant from the sufficient condition in the first statement, it must lead to it not being censorship (using an incorrect negation)?

Studying for the LSAT / infants and adults
« on: October 17, 2007, 04:39:31 PM »
People cannot be morally responsible for things over which they have no control.  Therefore, they should not be held morally responsible for any inevitable consequences of such things, either. Determining whether adults have any control over the treatment they are receiving can be difficult. hence in some cases it can be difficult to know whether adults bear any moral responsibility for the way they are treated. Everyone, however, sometimes acts in ways that are an inevitable consequence of treatment received as an infant, and infants clearly cannot control, and so are not morally responsible for, the treatment they receive.

Anyone making the claims above would be logically committed to which of the following further claims?

My Answer:  An infant should never be held morally responsible for an action that infant has performed

TCR: No adult should be held morally responsible for every action he or she performs.

?!?!?!?!  and the difference is....

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