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Messages - halftheloop

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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 / Re: simple type 5
« on: October 20, 2007, 04:35:43 PM »
In terms of age and altitude, everything starts at the same base: 0.  With a human quality like wisdom, Henrietta could have begun at a much lower level of wisdom than her daughter.  So even though Henrietta has gotten wiser, she may not still be as wise as her daughter.

i don't entirely follow your explanation.  i get how you compare the first elements of each age and altitude as both starting at zero.  but you say the reason why the answer about Henrietta is wrong is because wisdom is a relative human quality, and it doesn't start at zero.  but the parallel to that in the stimulus is being "thin," which is also a relative quantity and doesn't necessarily start at zero.  clarification?

Studying for the LSAT / simple type 5
« on: October 20, 2007, 03:02:19 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, 11:30:50 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, 04:28:29 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 / Re: UN
« on: October 19, 2007, 12:11:03 PM »
okay, that's definitely a good tip to keep in mind about avoiding the unnecessary leaps to justify my own answer.  thanks guys!

Studying for the LSAT / UN
« on: October 19, 2007, 10:37:27 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 / Re: burglars
« on: October 19, 2007, 09:34:04 AM »

Q: the statement that burglar alarm systems, unlike car alarm systems, are effective in deterring burglaries plays which one fo the following roles in teh argument?

my choice: it justifies placing more restrictions on owners of burglar alarms than on owners of car alarms.
TCR: it provides a basis for excluding as unacceptable one obvious alternate to the proposal of fining owners of burglar alarm systems for false alarms.

Your Answer:  You don't know enough about car alarms to make the comparison.  You know they don't work, but you don't know anything else, like if false car alarms waste police time.  So you can't compare.

TCR: Because burgular alarms are effective in deterring burglaries, you can exclude the option of banning them outright (which would be in order if they were not deterrents and were causing all those false alarms).

But in terms of my answer, you do know enough that the car alarms are less effective than the burglar alarms (as you said in your explanation for TCR)... so is tha tnot enough to justify more restrictions on the burglar alarms?

Studying for the LSAT / new tax plan
« on: October 17, 2007, 08:59:45 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 / Re: argh
« on: October 17, 2007, 08:40:43 PM »
At present they award the top 1/3 of the sales force.  The president is saying that if the number represented by that top 1/3 is getting smaller, then the number *not* getting awards ("passed over") is also getting smaller, since it's a fixed ratio.  If the criteria for determining the top salespeople 15 years ago were different, it's possible that the ratio of those who won awards to those who didn't was different than it is today, and no inference can be drawn about the relative sizes of the two groups between then and now.

Edit: For a concrete example.  Let's say that 15 years ago, half of the workers got the bonus. Say there are 150 workers both then and now.

15 years ago:
75 workers get the bonus, 75 don't.

50 workers get the bonus, 100 don't.

Then the president's argument is wrong - the number of people not getting awards is going up, not down.

ohhh, ok i get it, thanks again!

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