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BPlaura
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Re: Blueprint LSAT Prep's semi-weekly office hours

Postby BPlaura » Wed Feb 19, 2014 1:57 pm

Hi, team. Taking questions til 5!

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Re: Blueprint LSAT Prep's semi-weekly office hours

Postby BPlaura » Fri Feb 21, 2014 2:07 pm

I'll be around til 5 again today!

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Re: Blueprint LSAT Prep's semi-weekly office hours

Postby ScrewMick180 » Fri Feb 21, 2014 2:12 pm

Hi,
Does Blueprint plan on coming out with a LR/RC book in the near future? Thank you!

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BPlaura
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Re: Blueprint LSAT Prep's semi-weekly office hours

Postby BPlaura » Fri Feb 21, 2014 2:28 pm

I haven't heard anything about a LR/RC book from the higher-ups at BP, so while I wouldn't be surprised if they come out with more books eventually, I'd say it's not likely to happen in the near future.

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Sgt Brody.
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Re: Blueprint LSAT Prep's semi-weekly office hours

Postby Sgt Brody. » Sat Feb 22, 2014 11:21 pm

Hello,

I have a question from the June 2007 Lsat that is available form the LSAC web site http://www.lsac.org/docs/default-source ... ptjune.pdf.

In section 3, question 25, as soon as I read it, I realized what the flaw was. I noted that the flaw was the reasoning that just because the human species had evolved the ability to cope with diverse natural environments, it does not mean that every species related to humans had to survive. Based on this, I thought answer choice C made the most sense to me as it had the theme of generalization and it also had the theme of that just because one thing happened for one species, it does not mean it has to happen for all species. But the correct answer is A. I dont get it. Whats scary is that I was super super confident in C and never really even remotely thought that this could be a sufficient/neccessary thing. Can you please help me here? Thank you!

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Re: Blueprint LSAT Prep's semi-weekly office hours

Postby BPlaura » Wed Feb 26, 2014 2:02 pm

Hi all! Checking in til 5 today.

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Re: Blueprint LSAT Prep's semi-weekly office hours

Postby BPlaura » Wed Feb 26, 2014 2:13 pm

Hey there - I saw that you posted the same question in the Manhattan thread and got a response from Christine, but I'll go ahead and write my own response in case it's helpful to see it explained more than one way.

Whenever you see the word "if," you should be thinking about whether that's a conditional statement. Here, there are two distinct parts of the argument:

#1: The anthropologists' claim: if they didn't have the ability to cope, they wouldn't have survived
#2: The argument's (flawed) conclusion, that the above claim is false.

It sounds like your beef with the argument is that the anthropologists' claim is about what the human species needed, while A.A. is just a species related to early humans. I'll buy that argument.

However, look closely at the wording of answer choice (C): it says that it generalizes from the fact that one species survived with a certain quality, all related species must have survived exactly the same conditions. There are two problems with this answer choice:

1) The only thing in the argument that can be interpreted as a generalization is the anthropologists' claim (although even that is arguably not a generalization, since it's specifically about what the human species needed to survive). Remember how the answer choice said it generalizes from the fact that one species SURVIVED? Well, the only specific species we've discussed is A.A., and that species DIDN'T survive.
2) (C) says that all related species must have survived exactly the same conditions. The argument never claims anything about surviving exactly the same conditions; it just talks about the ability to cope under diverse conditions, which is slightly different.

So for those reasons, (C) doesn't actually describe what happens in the argument.

Now let's talk about why (A) is correct.

The contrapositive of the anthropologists' claim is:
survival ---> ability to cope

This means that the ability to cope is necessary for survival.

We know that A.A. had the ability to cope, but we also know that meeting the necessary condition doesn't guarantee anything. The argument is acting like meeting the necessary condition (ability) guarantees the sufficient condition (survival) and using that as evidence that the anthropologists are wrong.

I hope that helps! Let me know if you have any other questions.

Sgt Brody. wrote:Hello,

I have a question from the June 2007 Lsat that is available form the LSAC web site http://www.lsac.org/docs/default-source ... ptjune.pdf.

In section 3, question 25, as soon as I read it, I realized what the flaw was. I noted that the flaw was the reasoning that just because the human species had evolved the ability to cope with diverse natural environments, it does not mean that every species related to humans had to survive. Based on this, I thought answer choice C made the most sense to me as it had the theme of generalization and it also had the theme of that just because one thing happened for one species, it does not mean it has to happen for all species. But the correct answer is A. I dont get it. Whats scary is that I was super super confident in C and never really even remotely thought that this could be a sufficient/neccessary thing. Can you please help me here? Thank you!

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Re: Blueprint LSAT Prep's semi-weekly office hours

Postby Sgt Brody. » Fri Feb 28, 2014 3:58 am

BPlaura wrote:Hey there - I saw that you posted the same question in the Manhattan thread and got a response from Christine, but I'll go ahead and write my own response in case it's helpful to see it explained more than one way.

Whenever you see the word "if," you should be thinking about whether that's a conditional statement. Here, there are two distinct parts of the argument:

#1: The anthropologists' claim: if they didn't have the ability to cope, they wouldn't have survived
#2: The argument's (flawed) conclusion, that the above claim is false.

It sounds like your beef with the argument is that the anthropologists' claim is about what the human species needed, while A.A. is just a species related to early humans. I'll buy that argument.

However, look closely at the wording of answer choice (C): it says that it generalizes from the fact that one species survived with a certain quality, all related species must have survived exactly the same conditions. There are two problems with this answer choice:

1) The only thing in the argument that can be interpreted as a generalization is the anthropologists' claim (although even that is arguably not a generalization, since it's specifically about what the human species needed to survive). Remember how the answer choice said it generalizes from the fact that one species SURVIVED? Well, the only specific species we've discussed is A.A., and that species DIDN'T survive.
2) (C) says that all related species must have survived exactly the same conditions. The argument never claims anything about surviving exactly the same conditions; it just talks about the ability to cope under diverse conditions, which is slightly different.

So for those reasons, (C) doesn't actually describe what happens in the argument.

Now let's talk about why (A) is correct.

The contrapositive of the anthropologists' claim is:
survival ---> ability to cope

This means that the ability to cope is necessary for survival.

We know that A.A. had the ability to cope, but we also know that meeting the necessary condition doesn't guarantee anything. The argument is acting like meeting the necessary condition (ability) guarantees the sufficient condition (survival) and using that as evidence that the anthropologists are wrong.

I hope that helps! Let me know if you have any other questions.

Sgt Brody. wrote:Hello,

I have a question from the June 2007 Lsat that is available form the LSAC web site http://www.lsac.org/docs/default-source ... ptjune.pdf.

In section 3, question 25, as soon as I read it, I realized what the flaw was. I noted that the flaw was the reasoning that just because the human species had evolved the ability to cope with diverse natural environments, it does not mean that every species related to humans had to survive. Based on this, I thought answer choice C made the most sense to me as it had the theme of generalization and it also had the theme of that just because one thing happened for one species, it does not mean it has to happen for all species. But the correct answer is A. I dont get it. Whats scary is that I was super super confident in C and never really even remotely thought that this could be a sufficient/neccessary thing. Can you please help me here? Thank you!


Thank you so much Laura!, your explanation was really helpful, and it makes so much sense now.

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BPlaura
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Re: Blueprint LSAT Prep's semi-weekly office hours

Postby BPlaura » Fri Feb 28, 2014 1:58 pm

Hey y'all - checking in til 5. Happy friday!

McBrunson
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Re: Blueprint LSAT Prep's semi-weekly office hours

Postby McBrunson » Fri Feb 28, 2014 3:40 pm

Hi,
Got PT38,S1,Q14 correct but I'm having trouble eliminating (A). This is a case where the right answer sticks out easily but I'd like to have a reason for eliminating all the answers and I just can't seem to easily get rid of (A). Thank you !

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Re: Blueprint LSAT Prep's semi-weekly office hours

Postby BPlaura » Fri Feb 28, 2014 4:11 pm

McBrunson wrote:Hi,
Got PT38,S1,Q14 correct but I'm having trouble eliminating (A). This is a case where the right answer sticks out easily but I'd like to have a reason for eliminating all the answers and I just can't seem to easily get rid of (A). Thank you !


This is the question about British people vacationing, correct? My copy of the PT has two question 14s. :P

So we're looking for a necessary assumption, something that must be true in order for the conclusion to follow. The argument says:

- a larger % of British people travel abroad than they did 30 years ago
- foreign travel is and has always been expensive
- therefore, people have more to spend on vacations than they used to

(A) presents us with a hypothetical - what would have had to be true if foreign travel had been less expensive back in the day. But the argument doesn't require us to assume anything about what would have happened, because we already know what DID happen. In a situation where you're being presented with an argument based on facts, there are no required assumptions based on what would happen if one of the facts were changed, because then you'd be looking at an entirely different argument and all bets would be off.

Does that help?

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Re: Blueprint LSAT Prep's semi-weekly office hours

Postby McBrunson » Fri Feb 28, 2014 4:40 pm

BPlaura wrote:
McBrunson wrote:Hi,
Got PT38,S1,Q14 correct but I'm having trouble eliminating (A). This is a case where the right answer sticks out easily but I'd like to have a reason for eliminating all the answers and I just can't seem to easily get rid of (A). Thank you !


This is the question about British people vacationing, correct? My copy of the PT has two question 14s. :P

So we're looking for a necessary assumption, something that must be true in order for the conclusion to follow. The argument says:

- a larger % of British people travel abroad than they did 30 years ago
- foreign travel is and has always been expensive
- therefore, people have more to spend on vacations than they used to

(A) presents us with a hypothetical - what would have had to be true if foreign travel had been less expensive back in the day. But the argument doesn't require us to assume anything about what would have happened, because we already know what DID happen. In a situation where you're being presented with an argument based on facts, there are no required assumptions based on what would happen if one of the facts were changed, because then you'd be looking at an entirely different argument and all bets would be off.

Does that help?


Yes, thank you! This was my EXACT reasoning for eliminating (A) when I first completed the question. However, after reading the Manhattan forum explanations for this specific question, I thought this reasoning was wrong. I found their explanations for eliminating (A) really confusing. Please tell me if you feel the same.

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Re: Blueprint LSAT Prep's semi-weekly office hours

Postby BPlaura » Fri Feb 28, 2014 4:54 pm

Hmm. I'm not super familiar with the Manhattan lingo, so I'm not positive what they mean by "premise booster" - I would assume it's something that makes a premise stronger. Anyway, I think the 2nd poster on the Manhattan forum (the one who actually works for manhattan) is basically saying the same thing, which is that (A) is irrelevant because we already know that foreign travel has always been expensive.

The OP on that thread is definitely a little confusing and I don't agree with everything he says - for instance, he says the argument is assuming that people today aren't going into debt to travel or that their priorities haven't shifted. I would argue that the question doesn't assume either of those things, because even if either is true, people still would have "more money available."

I really like the Manhattan forums and sometimes check them myself to see how others explain things, but I definitely understand wanting a more detailed explanation for (A) here!

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Re: Blueprint LSAT Prep's semi-weekly office hours

Postby Louis1127 » Mon Mar 03, 2014 3:37 pm

Hello Laura (or someone else from Blueprint),

I am trying to understand when I can make jumps on answer choices and when I cannot (I went through this on NA and actually am much better, I am hoping the same can happen with these questions!).

On PT 14, Section 4, Question 6 (hospital users and heroin use), I am having trouble accepting (A) as the right answer. Here's why:

Just because the incidence of physical injury to heroin users was raised doesn't mean that they went to the hospital more often! What if they did get injured more but there was also a "badass strain" that ripped through the population during the 1980s where going to the hospital was frowned upon more so than before the 1980s and so there was more injury but no corresponding increase in hospital visits!

Thus, we are assuming that an increase in injuries necessarily leads to an increase in hospital visits, right?

Thanks in advance for your help. I feel like this is a "big picture" concept that will really help me understand LR better. --Louis

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Re: Blueprint LSAT Prep's semi-weekly office hours

Postby BPlaura » Mon Mar 03, 2014 4:58 pm

Hey Louis!

Louis1127 wrote:What if they did get injured more but there was also a "badass strain" that ripped through the population during the 1980s where going to the hospital was frowned upon more so than before the 1980s...


:lol: I love your "badass strain" theory.

Generally, yes, you'd be right. In fact, there's a similar question that we teach in our course, PT 57 S4 Q9. I want to start by talking about this question, from PT 57, and then we'll compare it to the question you're asking about.

Here's the general gist of the argument from PT 57: The physician says that, although his country and country X face the same causes of stress-related ulcers, his country has much fewer prescriptions for ulcer medicine. Thus, his country has much fewer ulcers per capita.

It's a strengthen question, and the correct answer says that someone from the physician's country who has an ulcer is just as likely to obtain a prescription as someone from Country X with an ulcer. The argument is assuming that we can determine the number of ulcers from the number of prescriptions for ulcer medicine, so the correct answer essentially "fixes" that assumption by saying that, yes, people who have ulcers will get prescriptions.

What's my point? Well, in *this* particular question, we couldn't safely assume that anyone with an ulcer was going to get a prescription. Essentially, the people in this country could've had the same "badass strain," which would render the argument invalid, so the correct answer says that they do NOT have the "badass strain."

So now let's get back to the question you're actually asking about. Why can't we assume someone with an ulcer is going to go to the doctor, but we are apparently assuming that heroin users who get injured go to the hospital?

Outside knowledge is verboten on the LSAT, but you *are* allowed to make very basic assumptions. I've heard someone else (I think it might actually have been Graeme, who posts on these forums) call it the "man on the street" test - if you asked a whole bunch of random people on the street whether the sky is blue, they'd all say yes, so that's a permissible assumption to make on the LSAT.

The question from PT 57 hinges on whether someone with an ulcer is going to get a prescription for it. Now, ulcers are painful, but it's possible that someone with an ulcer would tolerate or ignore the pain rather than seeking treatment. The question from PT 14, however, specifies that these heroin users are being injured with automatic weapons. If a bunch of people get shot by an automatic weapon, it's a safe assumption that ALL of those people are going to need some kind of medical treatment, probably pretty serious treatment - so it's safe to assume that a lot of those people are going to have to hit up the hospital.

So you're absolutely right that this is a "big picture" concept - you have to learn to distinguish between things that CAN and CANNOT be assumed on the LSAT. There's a very, very limited scope of things that can safely be assumed - for instance, in a question about environmental pollution, if it tells you that there's a factory in Town X, you can safely assume that the factory *might* be influencing the air quality in the area. But you can't assume that, for instance, everyone with an ulcer is going to go to the doctor.

HTH - this is a really big thing to understand, so feel free to ask any follow-up questions!

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Re: Blueprint LSAT Prep's semi-weekly office hours

Postby BPlaura » Wed Mar 05, 2014 2:02 pm

Taking questions til 5!

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Re: Blueprint LSAT Prep's semi-weekly office hours

Postby Louis1127 » Wed Mar 05, 2014 5:16 pm

BPlaura wrote:Hey Louis!

Louis1127 wrote:What if they did get injured more but there was also a "badass strain" that ripped through the population during the 1980s where going to the hospital was frowned upon more so than before the 1980s...


:lol: I love your "badass strain" theory.

Generally, yes, you'd be right. In fact, there's a similar question that we teach in our course, PT 57 S4 Q9. I want to start by talking about this question, from PT 57, and then we'll compare it to the question you're asking about.

Here's the general gist of the argument from PT 57: The physician says that, although his country and country X face the same causes of stress-related ulcers, his country has much fewer prescriptions for ulcer medicine. Thus, his country has much fewer ulcers per capita.

It's a strengthen question, and the correct answer says that someone from the physician's country who has an ulcer is just as likely to obtain a prescription as someone from Country X with an ulcer. The argument is assuming that we can determine the number of ulcers from the number of prescriptions for ulcer medicine, so the correct answer essentially "fixes" that assumption by saying that, yes, people who have ulcers will get prescriptions.

What's my point? Well, in *this* particular question, we couldn't safely assume that anyone with an ulcer was going to get a prescription. Essentially, the people in this country could've had the same "badass strain," which would render the argument invalid, so the correct answer says that they do NOT have the "badass strain."

So now let's get back to the question you're actually asking about. Why can't we assume someone with an ulcer is going to go to the doctor, but we are apparently assuming that heroin users who get injured go to the hospital?

Outside knowledge is verboten on the LSAT, but you *are* allowed to make very basic assumptions. I've heard someone else (I think it might actually have been Graeme, who posts on these forums) call it the "man on the street" test - if you asked a whole bunch of random people on the street whether the sky is blue, they'd all say yes, so that's a permissible assumption to make on the LSAT.

The question from PT 57 hinges on whether someone with an ulcer is going to get a prescription for it. Now, ulcers are painful, but it's possible that someone with an ulcer would tolerate or ignore the pain rather than seeking treatment. The question from PT 14, however, specifies that these heroin users are being injured with automatic weapons. If a bunch of people get shot by an automatic weapon, it's a safe assumption that ALL of those people are going to need some kind of medical treatment, probably pretty serious treatment - so it's safe to assume that a lot of those people are going to have to hit up the hospital.

So you're absolutely right that this is a "big picture" concept - you have to learn to distinguish between things that CAN and CANNOT be assumed on the LSAT. There's a very, very limited scope of things that can safely be assumed - for instance, in a question about environmental pollution, if it tells you that there's a factory in Town X, you can safely assume that the factory *might* be influencing the air quality in the area. But you can't assume that, for instance, everyone with an ulcer is going to go to the doctor.

HTH - this is a really big thing to understand, so feel free to ask any follow-up questions!


I appreciate the response, Laura. It was very helpful to see an example of when it is NOT ok to assume something on the LSAT. Thinking about it toady, I realize how absurd it was of me to question the assumption that an increased use of assault weapons in the drug trade would result in more people going to the hospital (which thus provides an alternate cause for the phenomenon that this question is attempting to describe).

I'm sure I'll talk to you soon! --Louis

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Re: Blueprint LSAT Prep's semi-weekly office hours

Postby BPlaura » Wed Mar 05, 2014 5:24 pm

No problem, Louis! I liked your question so much that I'm turning it into a post for our blog. :) I'll post the link here for anyone interested when it's up.

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Re: Blueprint LSAT Prep's semi-weekly office hours

Postby Louis1127 » Thu Mar 06, 2014 10:24 am

BPlaura wrote:No problem, Louis! I liked your question so much that I'm turning it into a post for our blog. :) I'll post the link here for anyone interested when it's up.


Sweet! :D

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Re: Blueprint LSAT Prep's semi-weekly office hours

Postby jmjm » Fri Mar 07, 2014 1:17 pm

Hey
Have a question about PT71 RC Q13 and Q19.

Q13: Why is A not the right answer and the credited answer right? (line 55 says something that allows A). Usually for detail question that reference new terms used in the passage, the answer is where the term is defined.
Q19: in this question, if the common sense assumption that some games other than chess have moves that are not typical of chess is believed then A would also be true. Any explanation for this question?

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BPlaura
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Re: Blueprint LSAT Prep's semi-weekly office hours

Postby BPlaura » Fri Mar 07, 2014 2:00 pm

Howdy y'all! Heat wave here in Boston today - it's a whole 30 degrees. Time to break out the bikini and flip-flops!

Anyway... I'll be answering your questions til 5, in between tanning sessions. ;)

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BPlaura
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Re: Blueprint LSAT Prep's semi-weekly office hours

Postby BPlaura » Fri Mar 07, 2014 3:54 pm

jmjm wrote:Q13: Why is A not the right answer and the credited answer right? (line 55 says something that allows A). Usually for detail question that reference new terms used in the passage, the answer is where the term is defined.


Greetings and salutations, jmjm.

This is a really good question and I'm still ruminating on it. I didn't want to leave you hanging, so I'll answer your second question first.


jmjm wrote:Q19: in this question, if the common sense assumption that some games other than chess have moves that are not typical of chess is believed then A would also be true. Any explanation for this question?


To start, here's the relevant sentence of the passage:
"Similarly, superior chess players have exceptional memory for configurations of chess pieces, but only if those configurations are typical of chess games."

Question 19 asks for something that the passage explicitly says chess players do not remember. We know from the above sentence that they do not remember configurations that are atypical of chess games, but that's the only thing the passage specifically mentions chess players NOT remembering. So, there are a couple problems with (A):

First, it talks about remembering SEQUENCES of moves. The passage only discusses CONFIGURATIONS of chess pieces, so we don't know whether the chess players remember sequences of moves.

Secondly, the only thing we know from that sentence above is that they do not remember configurations of chess pieces that are atypical of chess games. Everything the passage gives us is very specifically about chess, and the passage never says whether chess players remember stuff from other games. Since we're looking for something that was explicitly mentioned in the passage, we can automatically eliminate any answer choice about chess players' abilities in games other than chess.

Let me know if you have any follow-up questions on that, and I'll get back to you soon with an answer for your other question.

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BPlaura
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Re: Blueprint LSAT Prep's semi-weekly office hours

Postby BPlaura » Fri Mar 07, 2014 4:17 pm

jmjm wrote:Q13: Why is A not the right answer and the credited answer right? (line 55 says something that allows A). Usually for detail question that reference new terms used in the passage, the answer is where the term is defined.


Okay, so here's the deal with this question:

The full sentence from the passage is
By contrast, tax doctrine and policy counsel taxation of the sale of virtual items for real currency, and, in games that are intentionally commodified, even of in-world sales for virtual currency, regardless of whether the participant cashes out.


Now, "in-world" by itself seems to be a vague modifier, since it's not clear whether that refers to the real world or the game world (and the passage refers to each of those worlds at different points).

However, if you look at the first part of the sentence it's talking about the sale of "virtual items." So from the context, we can conclude that "in-world" refers to items in the game world (hence why it says "even in-world sales for virtual currency" - it's contrasting such sales for real vs. virtual currency).

So (A) is incorrect because it says "the game allows selling real items for virtual currency," when in fact it says these games should be taxed when they sell virtual items for virtual currency.

Let me know what you think about this - it's a mean question for sure.

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BPlaura
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Re: Blueprint LSAT Prep's semi-weekly office hours

Postby BPlaura » Wed Mar 12, 2014 12:56 pm

Greetings & salutations - I'll be checking back til 5 today.

jmjm
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Re: Blueprint LSAT Prep's semi-weekly office hours

Postby jmjm » Fri Mar 14, 2014 2:17 am

BPlaura wrote:
jmjm wrote:Q13: Why is A not the right answer and the credited answer right? (line 55 says something that allows A). Usually for detail question that reference new terms used in the passage, the answer is where the term is defined.


Okay, so here's the deal with this question:

The full sentence from the passage is
By contrast, tax doctrine and policy counsel taxation of the sale of virtual items for real currency, and, in games that are intentionally commodified, even of in-world sales for virtual currency, regardless of whether the participant cashes out.


Now, "in-world" by itself seems to be a vague modifier, since it's not clear whether that refers to the real world or the game world (and the passage refers to each of those worlds at different points).

However, if you look at the first part of the sentence it's talking about the sale of "virtual items." So from the context, we can conclude that "in-world" refers to items in the game world (hence why it says "even in-world sales for virtual currency" - it's contrasting such sales for real vs. virtual currency).

So (A) is incorrect because it says "the game allows selling real items for virtual currency," when in fact it says these games should be taxed when they sell virtual items for virtual currency.

Let me know what you think about this - it's a mean question for sure.


Nice explanation bp. That 'in-world' phrase threw me for a loop. A is then incorrect. For D to be correct there has to be evidence of how only the games that grant intellectual property rights described in first para are the ones that are being specifically called 'intentionally commodified' by the author. Is this apparent or any specific evidence of this in the passage?

The complete paper is actually from nyu LR, and interestingly, mostly edited out of its abstract. It's at
http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm? ... _id=969984


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