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bp shinners
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Re: blueprint shinners’ semi-weekly office hours

Postby bp shinners » Tue Mar 19, 2013 11:28 am

austinyo wrote: Or that just because the members didnt agree with parliament doesn't mean they agreed with the pres- yet since the plan is only two options: reject or not reject, it seems they would then agree with what the pres did.

Thanks!


I'm not understanding where the confusion comes in.

It seems like Parliament proposed a plan, then the president rejected it. Even if some of the members of his party strongly opposed the plan, it could still be a courageous action to reject it because of the opposition at home (from other members of his party and the other parties) and widespread disapproval abroad.

We're just looking for a flaw here, and some people agreeing with the president does nothing to hurt this argument.

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Re: blueprint shinners’ semi-weekly office hours

Postby Captain Rodeo » Tue Mar 19, 2013 12:58 pm

Hey BP! So, my confusion came from something I read on the MLSAT forums. A poster stated this:

"Also, why is answer choice (D) incorrect? It is still possible that the president made the decision not out of courage but the pressure of the president's own party, isn't it?"

And there was a response that stated this:

"As far as (D), I think it says the opposite of what you are saying. (D) says the argument overlooks the possibility that the president's own party opposed his measure. If (D) said the opposite of that - that the president's own party was pressuring him or at least strongly supportive of the measure - there would then be a basis to undermine this argument by saying that this was a partisan rather than a wise or courageous act, but we don't have that here."


So, I think the response (made by a Geek) actually got it backwards (first bolded part) and that the contention of the original question about (D) had the interpretation correct. My confusion came in (second bolded part of Geek response) because that explanation, then, would afford (D) some credibility.

So, in my mind, I was trying to dismiss (D) because it challenges a premise (the last sentence). However, it seems like the last sentence could be a sub-conclusion. So, out of this confusion, to make sure I had my logic correct, I just decided to ask you. I hope that clears it up.

But, that you stated that agreement among the president's own part does nothing to hurt this argument, I think lets me know that (D) bringing up something that doesn't matter (because it only deals with background info/premise?)

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Re: blueprint shinners’ semi-weekly office hours

Postby Captain Rodeo » Tue Mar 19, 2013 1:17 pm

Also, I have another question for when you have time.

It is PT 5-S1-Q11

I was between (A) and (D) and incorrectly chose (A). I am pretty sure why I see (D) is correct. But, I just thought the logical structure was weird, and was wondering if you could elaborate on it. I try not to diagram things out, but upon analyzing this problem, I did

At first, there was a principle: ~Knowledge of subject ----> ~ Competent (Competent ---> Knowledge of subject)

This doesn't seem to come into play in the argument very much, I think

We then get a statement about what "political know how" is

And finally the conclusion: Competent to judge social policy's fairness ---> Seasoned Politician


So, the argument is trying to do this: Political Know How ( ---> Season Politician)

But we only have Competent to judge---> Season Politician

I see that as the often tested: A--->B therefore C--->B Assumption: C--->A

This confused me because we have that structure pretty much in this Q, but it looks like this: A (political know how) therefore C--->B (Competent to judge---> Seasoned politician) So, it seems like an extra step is needed (adding the ---> B to the first part)

Am I missing something here? This just seemed really weird to me. I don't want to get too nit picky- I notice the assumption is pretty much a restatement of the principle- but in narrower terms

Or- you could just explain how this problem should be looked at and ignore the riff-raff I just posted, if it is irrelevant

Thanks again

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Re: blueprint shinners’ semi-weekly office hours

Postby lsatkid007 » Tue Mar 19, 2013 2:25 pm

Hey BP
On pt32 game 2 is better to do hypo or just run with rules?

Thanks

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objection_your_honor
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Re: blueprint shinners’ semi-weekly office hours

Postby objection_your_honor » Tue Mar 19, 2013 3:15 pm

Hi shinners. Question about PT52, S1, Q16. I understand the stimulus like this:

bET --> bUFO
eUFO
bET


Reasoning that because the existence of UFOs has been refuted, the belief in ETs is false.

I understand the credited answer like this:

bUnicorns --> bCentaurs
eCentaurs
eUnicorns


Whereas the stimulus reasons from negated existence to negated belief, this answer choice reasons from negated existence to negated existence. In this light, the answer is just dropping the qualifiers of "belief" and "existence" and turning it into a simple contrapositive (U --> C, C --> U).

But the truth or falsity of a thing's existence is not synonomous with the truth or falsity of belief in a thing. The qualifiers clearly matter.

Stimulus: eUFO, therefore bET

A: eCentaur, therefore eUnicorn
B: bCentaur, therefore bUnicorn
C: bUnicorns, therefore bCentaurs
D: (weak) bCentaur, therefore bUnicorn
E: eUnicorn, therefore bCentaurs

None of these are satisfying. Shouldn't the right answer be:

bUnicorns --> bCentaurs
eCentaurs
bUnicorns

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bp shinners
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Re: blueprint shinners’ semi-weekly office hours

Postby bp shinners » Tue Mar 19, 2013 4:38 pm

austinyo wrote:Also, I have another question for when you have time.

It is PT 5-S1-Q11

I was between (A) and (D) and incorrectly chose (A). I am pretty sure why I see (D) is correct. But, I just thought the logical structure was weird, and was wondering if you could elaborate on it. I try not to diagram things out, but upon analyzing this problem, I did

At first, there was a principle: ~Knowledge of subject ----> ~ Competent (Competent ---> Knowledge of subject)

This doesn't seem to come into play in the argument very much, I think

We then get a statement about what "political know how" is

And finally the conclusion: Competent to judge social policy's fairness ---> Seasoned Politician


So, the argument is trying to do this: Political Know How ( ---> Season Politician)

But we only have Competent to judge---> Season Politician

I see that as the often tested: A--->B therefore C--->B Assumption: C--->A

This confused me because we have that structure pretty much in this Q, but it looks like this: A (political know how) therefore C--->B (Competent to judge---> Seasoned politician) So, it seems like an extra step is needed (adding the ---> B to the first part)

Am I missing something here? This just seemed really weird to me. I don't want to get too nit picky- I notice the assumption is pretty much a restatement of the principle- but in narrower terms

Or- you could just explain how this problem should be looked at and ignore the riff-raff I just posted, if it is irrelevant

Thanks again


You've got a talent for making things way more complicated than they need to be :)

So I have a flaw question. First up, the conclusion:
Only seasoned politicians are competent to judge whether a particular policy is fair to all
-or-
If you are competent to judge whether a particular policy is fair to all, then you must be a seasoned politician.

Premises?
If you lack knowledge of a subject, then you are not competent to pass judgment on it.
You learn political know-how through experience.

Quick way to tell this is an equivocation fallacy? There's a new term in the conclusion. Here, I haven't mentioned anything about how to judge the fairness of a particular policy. All I know is that we've got some experienced politicians out there who have learned political know-how through this experience. All I'm looking for in an answer choice is something that says I treated these two ideas as the same thing. That's D.

A has a huge problem - I don't know any characteristic that makes someone competent to pass judgment. I know something that's necessary to being competent (knowledge), but knowledge itself doesn't guarantee competency.

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Re: blueprint shinners’ semi-weekly office hours

Postby bp shinners » Tue Mar 19, 2013 4:41 pm

lsatkid007 wrote:Hey BP
On pt32 game 2 is better to do hypo or just run with rules?

Thanks


I would use the rules to find out all the possible distributions of French/Russian Plays/Novels (a process we call Playing the Numbers), but I wouldn't do hypotheticals/scenarios - I'd head to the questions after reading the rules and Playing the Numbers.

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Re: blueprint shinners’ semi-weekly office hours

Postby bp shinners » Tue Mar 19, 2013 4:53 pm

objection_your_honor wrote:None of these are satisfying. Shouldn't the right answer be:

bUnicorns --> bCentaurs
eCentaurs
bUnicorns


You're a little off because of some linguistic trickery.

The conclusion of the stimulus reads, "Therefore, a belief in extraterrestrials is false..." It doesn't say that no one believes in extraterrestrials. Instead, it says that the belief itself is false. Not that it doesn't exist, but rather that there aren't any ETs. For me to say that a belief is false is to say that the belief is wrong. Not invalid, but wrong. So if A belief in ETs is false, that's equivalent to saying that there are no ETs.

To highlight this, imagine you're watching CourTV and the narrator says, "The police falsely believe Jack to be the killer." That's equivalent to saying their belief is false. They still have that belief, but they're wrong. According to the narration, Jack is not the killer.

Same thing here. those who falsely believe in ETs do, in fact, hold this belief; they're just wrong, and for them to be wrong means that there are no ETs.

Linguistic trickery.

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Re: blueprint shinners’ semi-weekly office hours

Postby bp shinners » Tue Mar 19, 2013 4:53 pm

In case you didn't notice, taking questions until 8!

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Re: blueprint shinners’ semi-weekly office hours

Postby objection_your_honor » Tue Mar 19, 2013 5:02 pm

Thanks, that helps a bit. Can't say I wouldn't get hung up on something like that again, though. Thinking about it, "a belief in God is false" would commonly be understood to mean that God doesn't exist, not that there exists no instances of belief in God. I'm not sure why I lean more towards the latter though — sometimes overthinking things can lead you down the wrong road.

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Re: blueprint shinners’ semi-weekly office hours

Postby bp shinners » Tue Mar 19, 2013 5:08 pm

objection_your_honor wrote:Thanks, that helps a bit. Can't say I wouldn't get hung up on something like that again, though. Thinking about it, "a belief in God is false" would commonly be understood to mean that God doesn't exist, not that there exists no instances of belief in God. I'm not sure why I lean more towards the latter though — sometimes overthinking things can lead you down the wrong road.


It's a tough one. This question is written in a way to make A seem REALLY wrong for the reason you state. It's hard to give advice on how to avoid something like this in the future, other than the reassuring piece of advice that you won't fall for this specific linguistic trick again. Watch out for people calling beliefs false, as it doesn't mean what it seems to.

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Re: blueprint shinners’ semi-weekly office hours

Postby Captain Rodeo » Tue Mar 19, 2013 5:16 pm

Thanks BP! And I guess I do make things over complicated-
Don't want to do that!

Thanks for the quick response

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Re: blueprint shinners’ semi-weekly office hours

Postby bp shinners » Tue Mar 19, 2013 5:24 pm

austinyo wrote:Thanks BP! And I guess I do make things over complicated-
Don't want to do that!

Thanks for the quick response


No problem! And that was tongue-in-cheek - you're asking the questions that demonstrate a refined knowledge of the intricacies of the test. If you take it too far, however, you can easily get bogged down in the unimportant details while taking the actual exam (you wouldn't want to go off on a tangent like that on game day), so it's just something to watch out for!

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Re: blueprint shinners’ semi-weekly office hours

Postby lsatkid007 » Tue Mar 19, 2013 6:27 pm

bp shinners wrote:
lsatkid007 wrote:Hey BP
On pt32 game 2 is better to do hypo or just run with rules?

Thanks


I would use the rules to find out all the possible distributions of French/Russian Plays/Novels (a process we call Playing the Numbers), but I wouldn't do hypotheticals/scenarios - I'd head to the questions after reading the rules and Playing the Numbers.


When should I play the number vs doing hypos?

Thanks BP

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Re: blueprint shinners’ semi-weekly office hours

Postby lsatkid007 » Tue Mar 19, 2013 6:30 pm

One more questions. How would rate the difficulty of the RC passage 3 in pt9? It kicked my ass.

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Re: blueprint shinners’ semi-weekly office hours

Postby bp shinners » Tue Mar 19, 2013 6:45 pm

lsatkid007 wrote:
bp shinners wrote:
lsatkid007 wrote:Hey BP
On pt32 game 2 is better to do hypo or just run with rules?

Thanks


I would use the rules to find out all the possible distributions of French/Russian Plays/Novels (a process we call Playing the Numbers), but I wouldn't do hypotheticals/scenarios - I'd head to the questions after reading the rules and Playing the Numbers.


When should I play the number vs doing hypos?

Thanks BP


You should do hypos when you have a strong rule or combo of rules/deduction that severely limits the options. These usually come in the form of a block for ordering games, or a Must be Together rule for grouping games (though there are other possibilities - options are a big one, and so are those weird rules that crop up every once in a while).

You should play the numbers when you are in a:
1)Over/underbooked ordering game
2) Unstable grouping game (one where you don't know the sizes of the groups)
3) Grouping game where you're pulling the players from sub-groups ("There are three chemists - A, B, and C - two biologists - D, E - etc...")

AND

You have a principle of distribution (i.e. a rule that limits the ways you can split the players up in the above games - something like "at least one, but no more than two, chemists are selected")

If both apply, then you should play the numbers and then do hypos/scenarios. Sometimes, the distributions you'll get when playing the numbers will be limiting enough that you use those to form hypos.

These are VERY advanced strategies, so make sure you get a handle on them if you plan to use them on test day.

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Re: blueprint shinners’ semi-weekly office hours

Postby bp shinners » Tue Mar 19, 2013 6:57 pm

lsatkid007 wrote:One more questions. How would rate the difficulty of the RC passage 3 in pt9? It kicked my ass.


That's a fairly dense passage with some subtleties that are easy to miss. While there are a few softballs in the questions, overall I'd rate it 4/5.

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Re: blueprint shinners’ semi-weekly office hours

Postby Captain Rodeo » Tue Mar 19, 2013 7:08 pm

bp shinners wrote:
austinyo wrote:Thanks BP! And I guess I do make things over complicated-
Don't want to do that!

Thanks for the quick response


No problem! And that was tongue-in-cheek - you're asking the questions that demonstrate a refined knowledge of the intricacies of the test. If you take it too far, however, you can easily get bogged down in the unimportant details while taking the actual exam (you wouldn't want to go off on a tangent like that on game day), so it's just something to watch out for!



Well that comment made my day haha. But I noticed on test day that we don't have time to think like that... at all. I think doing well on this, at least for me, is really a matter of saturation. I just want to get a great score and be done with it.

But thanks again, I know I'll have more questions for you.

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Re: blueprint shinners’ semi-weekly office hours

Postby jared6180 » Tue Mar 19, 2013 7:13 pm

I am on lesson 6 doing the homework and I notice that when doing more than 25 LR questions in a row I get VERY distracted. I felt this way on a previous lesson. Can I ask why it is written this way? Won't most tests offer another section after a 25-26 question LR section? Seems the LG section at the end of the homework would be a better fit in the middle of the LR homework section. Just me voiceing my thoughts and bit of frustration.

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Re: blueprint shinners’ semi-weekly office hours

Postby wanderlust » Tue Mar 19, 2013 9:20 pm

Hi Shinners,

Thank you for the post! I find that I often get Inference in RC wrong. Questions like, the passage answers which one of the following questions? Should I read the passage more slowly? I usually finish reading in 3 minutes or so.

Thank you very much in advance!

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Re: blueprint shinners’ semi-weekly office hours

Postby Fianna13 » Wed Mar 20, 2013 10:48 am

Shinners, can you explain #17 on section 3 on PT 53? I still couldn't figure out why A is right and C is wrong.

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Re: blueprint shinners’ semi-weekly office hours

Postby bp shinners » Wed Mar 20, 2013 11:36 am

austinyo wrote:But I noticed on test day that we don't have time to think like that... at all. I think doing well on this, at least for me, is really a matter of saturation. I just want to get a great score and be done with it.


You don't, which is why I try to point it out when I see someone going down that path. The adrenaline on test day should keep you moving, but if you get used to going off on logical tangents, bad things can happen.

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Re: blueprint shinners’ semi-weekly office hours

Postby bp shinners » Wed Mar 20, 2013 11:38 am

jared6180 wrote:I am on lesson 6 doing the homework and I notice that when doing more than 25 LR questions in a row I get VERY distracted. I felt this way on a previous lesson. Can I ask why it is written this way? Won't most tests offer another section after a 25-26 question LR section? Seems the LG section at the end of the homework would be a better fit in the middle of the LR homework section. Just me voiceing my thoughts and bit of frustration.


It's written that way for two reasons:
1) We want to get your endurance up. If you're training for a 5K, you don't just run 3.2 miles (the imperial equivalent). You run farther than that so on game day the 5K feels like a breeze. Same thing on the LSAT - while practicing with 25-26 questions will get you used to testing conditions, practicing with 35-50 questions will make the actual sections seem trivial.
2) In these lessons, we're building the foundations. There will be plenty of homework later on that mixes things up to simulate testing conditions. But by then, 25-26 LR questions will seem like a breeze because you're used to doing twice that much.

There's a method to our madness. If you don't frustrate your brain, it won't get stronger to deal with what you're putting it through.

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Re: blueprint shinners’ semi-weekly office hours

Postby bp shinners » Wed Mar 20, 2013 11:41 am

wanderlust wrote:Hi Shinners,

Thank you for the post! I find that I often get Inference in RC wrong. Questions like, the passage answers which one of the following questions? Should I read the passage more slowly? I usually finish reading in 3 minutes or so.

Thank you very much in advance!


I would say that's more of a Specific Reference question than an Inference question (unless it says, "The passage provides information that would be most useful in answering which of the following questions?"), although that difference is trivial on the RC section.

3 minutes sounds like a good amount of time - I wouldn't necessarily say you're heading through it too quickly. However, those questions STRONGLY rely on how well you've tagged the role of each section of the passage. Each of the ACs should clearly point you to a specific portion of the passage, and you should be able to quickly find that section using your tags. Check that section of the passage out and see if the question is answered - if it is, pick that AC; if it isn't, move on.

For these, you're looking for a direct answer, with no inferential leaps. If you're making small jumps, that could explain why you're getting them wrong - often, 1 will be explicitly answered, and 2 others will be partially/implicitly answered. Don't fall for the latter two.

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Re: blueprint shinners’ semi-weekly office hours

Postby bp shinners » Wed Mar 20, 2013 11:56 am

Fianna13 wrote:Shinners, can you explain #17 on section 3 on PT 53? I still couldn't figure out why A is right and C is wrong.


Ah, circumstantial evidence. I love the stuff. If only I could finish my Cracked article on why it's so awesome...(this might be the motivation I need).

So this is clearly a flaw question. If I can use a common method of reasoning to describe this argument (in other words, if it was a Describe question), I would call this an argument by analogy. When I have an argument by analogy, and I'm in a flaw question, it's a good bet that my fallacy is a bad comparison/analogy.

So let's look at the analogy here: A body of circumstantial evidence is like a rope. They both have different strands (of evidence, of rope), and you can take some away without affecting the overall strength, according to the lawyer. But is that true of both? For a rope, I know that the strands are fairly equal, but is the same true of evidence?

I would say no. If I have a ton of circumstantial evidence on a defendant, including a piece of circumstantial evidence suggesting he was at the crime scene, then I have a case. But if I take away the circumstantial evidence that he was there (say, I have a video of him somewhere else at the time of the crime), then the whole body of evidence falls apart, no matter how strong the other circumstantial evidence is (unless this is an episode of Monk, in which case the guy probably used some crazy means to kill the person while he was somewhere else; real life doesn't work like that).

So I do, in fact, have a bad analogy here.

A and C are the two answers to be torn between. Let's look at them, and their differences, to see which is correct.

A is exactly what I said before - my body of evidence might be strong, but there might be a critical piece of circumstantial evidence upon which it all rests. Unlike a rope, taking that one strand out might unravel the whole thing.

Now, let's look at C. It says that the argument ignores the possibility that discrediting some items of circumstantial evidence might discredit the entire body of evidence. But does the argument ignore that possibility? No - it takes it into consideration, but decides that it's not the case. It does this by using an analogy. The whole argument seems to be answering the question of whether discrediting a few pieces of evidence destroys the entire body of evidence, and it comes to the conclusion that it doesn't. So it doesn't ignore this possibility; instead, it disagrees with it.

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