SuperPrep Test C, Section 2, LR, #3 and #24

secretad
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SuperPrep Test C, Section 2, LR, #3 and #24

Postby secretad » Fri Apr 15, 2011 6:53 pm

These were the two I got wrong in section 2. #3 and the last one #24.

Of course, I was able to discard several wrong answer choices in each respective question, but I did not get these questions correct.

I would like to go over #3 and then #24.

---Number 3---

#3 is a weaken question discussing something of a prescriptive sense. The conclusion is that a ban on publishing polls should be implemented. The reasoning for this is that polls can influence the decisions of voters and distort the outcome of an election because the results of such polling is not as reliable as the public believes.

Another piece of evidence is that by publishing these polls one week prior to the election, this gives an insufficient amount of time to respond to polling in an attempt to demonstrate the findings of the poll.

The correct answer is (A): Few people are influenced by the results of polls published during the two weeks immediately prior to an election.

I obviously took this answer into account, however, I felt that the "two weeks" idea is going away from the idea of the one week mentioned in the stimulus. It may be true that one week is insufficient to time to respond in disputing the polls' findings, but I think one must bring unwarranted assumptions to suggest that two weeks is an insufficient amount of response time. I mean how much more time do you need?

I selected choice, B, begrudgingly, as I did not like any of the answers. Choice B at least gives as one reason that the polls do not have to be implemented with some elections not being affected by polling results. This does not however, discount the columnist's principle that these polls may distort the outcome of an election.

(C) Strengthens the argument and is discarded.

(D) Really has no effect. It explains why the polls have those consequences. It certainly does not weaken the conclusion.

(E) Informed citizens is not at the heart of the issue. It is about outcomes of elections and how they may be distorted due to the polls.

Important note is that I felt the SuperPrep explanations for both of these questions (#3 and #24) were terrible.



---Number 24---

This is a principle question in which the selected answer choice will essentially guide or justify the conclusion of the agricultural economist.

The diagramming from the stimulus can be done as follows:

Increase Ag Production without reducing biodiversity ---> Abandon Conventional Agriculture

His conclusion is: Sustain Economic Growth ---> Increasing Ag Production, we should radically modify agricultural techniques.


My first problem with this stimulus and the explanation of it in the SuperPrep book is the equivocation of radically modifying agricultural techniques to abandoning conventional agriculture. I think there is an assumption required to make that inference, and nothing in this stimulus gives us authority to do so. Obviously, I feel that radically modifying agriculture techniques does not necessarily mean that conventional agriculture has been abandoned.

However, this is a minute point in solving this problem, as one will eventually realize that the two terms are to be equated if they are to correctly answer the question.

My thought on the conditional statements above is that part of the prescriptive conclusion is a conditional in which increasing ag production is the necessary condition, and this necessary condition differs from the one used in the premises. The part that makes the two difference is the idea of not reducing biodiversity.

The correct answer is (B) Economic growth should not be pursued at the expense of a loss of biodiversity. I cannot understand why this is the correct answer. There is nothing in the diagramming to suggest what one should not do, especially considering that the author concludes something that was once a necessary condition at one point in his argument. While we are searching for a principle that allows the economist to conclude something of a prescriptive nature, I feel that B misses the target.

Thanks for any help on these two questions.

secretad
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Re: SuperPrep Test C, Section 2, LR, #3 and #24

Postby secretad » Sat Apr 16, 2011 11:52 am

Bump for help on these nagging problems.

I have reached a little more clarity on problem #3. I understand that two weeks would provide more response time than would one week. However, even if two weeks out from an election, few people are influenced, that does not weaken his conclusion of the publishing of the polls to be banned. His conclusion was reached because of the possibility of what happens one week out.

If the reason for dismissing answer choice B is because it does not take away from the possibility of polls distorting elections one week out, then you can dismiss answer choice A with the same criteria. I understand that weakening an argument does not necessarily entail destroying it as well.

Number 24 I am still not on. It simply tries to use a principle to conclude something given as a necessary condition.

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suspicious android
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Re: SuperPrep Test C, Section 2, LR, #3 and #24

Postby suspicious android » Sat Apr 16, 2011 1:14 pm

secretad wrote:Bump for help on these nagging problems.

I have reached a little more clarity on problem #3. I understand that two weeks would provide more response time than would one week. However, even if two weeks out from an election, few people are influenced, that does not weaken his conclusion of the publishing of the polls to be banned. His conclusion was reached because of the possibility of what happens one week out.

If the reason for dismissing answer choice B is because it does not take away from the possibility of polls distorting elections one week out, then you can dismiss answer choice A with the same criteria. I understand that weakening an argument does not necessarily entail destroying it as well.

Number 24 I am still not on. It simply tries to use a principle to conclude something given as a necessary condition.


I think you need to break down the argument into simpler terms. I don't quite understand your synopsis of the stimulus. The key issue, when I look over this question is whether or not we should allow possibly misleading polls to be published in the last two weeks before an election. This guy says no, because they're potentially harmful, and acknowledges that it will curtail freedom of expression, but only minimally. This is a very frequent pattern on LSAT arguments, weighing conflicting values. Here we get public good vs. freedom of expression. The argument concludes we should do an action for the public good since the damage to freedom of expression is minimal. Answer (A) does a great job weakening this argument, because if it is true, there is only minimal benefit to be gained from the action. If there is minimal benefit as well as minimal cost, there's no strong reason to support the columnist's conclusion. Basically, (A) says "This is not a problem we need to worry about."

Also worth pointing out, (A) says "during the two weeks" before an election, not just exactly two weeks before an election. So it includes any efforts that might occur during the 14 days before an election.

As for answer choice (B), it just suggests that the damage done by polls is not significant in situations where there is already a clear leader. Just because a strategy is not universally helpful does not weaken the case for implementing the strategy. Fire extinguishers cannot stop fires caused by large explosions, but they are still a worthwhile tool to have around for preventing fires in general.

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suspicious android
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Re: SuperPrep Test C, Section 2, LR, #3 and #24

Postby suspicious android » Sat Apr 16, 2011 1:27 pm

As for 24...

secretad wrote:My first problem with this stimulus and the explanation of it in the SuperPrep book is the equivocation of radically modifying agricultural techniques to abandoning conventional agriculture. I think there is an assumption required to make that inference, and nothing in this stimulus gives us authority to do so. Obviously, I feel that radically modifying agriculture techniques does not necessarily mean that conventional agriculture has been abandoned.


First off, I think you're overthinking this. If you radically modify agriculture, then you're definitely abandoning conventional agriculture. You can't radically modify something and then claim you're sticking to the conventional plan. This is the sort of connection that you would probably be 100% comfortable making in regular conversation, but on the LSAT people get nervous about these kind of commonsense inferences.

As for the rest, again, I think it is helpful to try to break the argument down into a very simplified version. Basically we've got:

We can increase agricultural production without harming biodiversity. But, the only way we can do that is if we modify production. So, if we want economic growth we must modify production, because growth requires more production.

My first thought is.. well, screw the polar bears, can't we just go ahead and increase production using our regular agricultural techniques? This seems plausible given the premises, we're only forced to modify production if we want BOTH increased production AND biodiversity.

(B) addresses this perfectly, it tells us that we can't just go for growth and let biodiversity be lost.

This is a good question to diagram if you were having trouble sorting out the various parts of it, by the way.

secretad
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Re: SuperPrep Test C, Section 2, LR, #3 and #24

Postby secretad » Sat Apr 16, 2011 2:03 pm

suspicious android wrote:
I think you need to break down the argument into simpler terms. I don't quite understand your synopsis of the stimulus. The key issue, when I look over this question is whether or not we should allow possibly misleading polls to be published in the last two weeks before an election. This guy says no, because they're potentially harmful, and acknowledges that it will curtail freedom of expression, but only minimally. This is a very frequent pattern on LSAT arguments, weighing conflicting values. Here we get public good vs. freedom of expression. The argument concludes we should do an action for the public good since the damage to freedom of expression is minimal. Answer (A) does a great job weakening this argument, because if it is true, there is only minimal benefit to be gained from the action. If there is minimal benefit as well as minimal cost, there's no strong reason to support the columnist's conclusion. Basically, (A) says "This is not a problem we need to worry about."

Also worth pointing out, (A) says "during the two weeks" before an election, not just exactly two weeks before an election. So it includes any efforts that might occur during the 14 days before an election.

As for answer choice (B), it just suggests that the damage done by polls is not significant in situations where there is already a clear leader. Just because a strategy is not universally helpful does not weaken the case for implementing the strategy. Fire extinguishers cannot stop fires caused by large explosions, but they are still a worthwhile tool to have around for preventing fires in general.


The conclusion is based on one week not two. Had the conclusion used two, obviously, I would be in 100% agreement. I feel better about the answer choice with the idea of the time span including that within the one week period. I see that the idea of "during the two weeks" does not preclude the day before the election and so forth. Thanks.

As for #24. I think I understand it now. Please tell me if I am understanding it correctly. As you said, after reading the stimulus, why can't we just get down to business and not worry about biodiversity. The principle in B thus explains why conventional agriculture needs to be abandoned. Because we should not go forward without biodiversity essentially.

Thanks for your help suspicious android. You have always been a help.

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Re: SuperPrep Test C, Section 2, LR, #3 and #24

Postby suspicious android » Sat Apr 16, 2011 2:08 pm

secretad wrote:As for #24. I think I understand it now. Please tell me if I am understanding it correctly. As you said, after reading the stimulus, why can't we just get down to business and not worry about biodiversity. The principle in B thus explains why conventional agriculture needs to be abandoned. Because we should not go forward without biodiversity essentially.


Agreed, the correct answer just says biodiversity is important.




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