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#9 - Oscar: Emerging information technologies will soon make

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Complete Question Explanation

Flaw in the Reasoning-CE. The correct answer choice is (C)

Oscar argues that a country’s economic well-being will no longer be a function of its geographical position, but just a function of its relative success in incorporating the emerging information technologies. That is because speed of information processing will be the single most important factor in the creation of wealth.

Answer choice (A): Oscar does not overlook the possibility that the ability of countries to acquire new technologies at some time in the future will depend on factors other than those countries’ present economic status. Countries’ abilities to acquire technologies can depend on a variety of factors, but Oscar argues that the countries’ success in incorporating them will determine their economic well-being.

Answer choice (B): Oscar does not have to establish that the division of the world into rich and poor countries is the single most important problem for the world economy. Whether it is the most important problem or not, Oscar merely argues that a country’s ability to incorporate the emerging information technologies will determine its economic well-being.

Answer choice (C): This is the correct answer choice. Oscar argues that since speed of information processing will be the single most important factor in the creation of wealth, a country’s economic well-being will depend only on its relative success in incorporating the information technologies. He overlooks, however, the possibility that even though speed of information processing might be the single most important factor, it could be outweighed by a combination of other factors in determining a country’s future wealth. Answer choice (C) illustrates this oversight.

Answer choice (D): Oscar does not argue that faster information processing will have only beneficial effects; he merely states that it will make the incorporation of new information technologies the only relevant factor in determining a country’s economic well-being.

Answer choice (E): Oscar’s argument does not depend on a distinction between the wealthiest of the world’s rich countries and those that are less wealthy. He merely states that a country’s ability to incorporate information technologies will determine its economic well-being.
akanshalsat
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LRTT CH 10 #65

I'm not sure why I'm struggling with this question type so much, earlier I was able to understand, but now all of a sudden I'm not able to correctly match the answer choices with the stimulus. I don't understand why C is correct, and despite the explanation given I don't understand how we are to assume what you all assumed to choose C to be the right answer.

Please let me know what you think

Thanks, Akansha
Adam Tyson
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Sure thing, Akansha! The issue here can be viewed as one of numbers and percentages, sort of. Just because one thing is the most important factor doesn't mean it represents a majority of factors. We've seen questions like this involving, for example, surveys - just because a book is chosen more than any other book in a survey about favorite books doesn't prove that most people chose it, only that more people chose it than any other single book. Just because people preferred one city more than any other city doesn't mean that most people prefer that city, only that more people chose that city than any other one single city.

Imagine a recipe in which beans are the most important ingredient. Without beans, the dish simply isn't what it is supposed to be. Does that mean that at least 50% of the dish is beans? Not at all. Maybe beans make up 20% of the dish, while all the other ingredients are each less than 10% of the total but altogether add up to 80%.

Information technologies might be the most important single factor in future economies, but they could still be outweighed by a combination of all the other factors, even though each of those other factors is, by itself, individually less important.

On a broader note, if you are finding that questions that previously seemed clear are starting to get fuzzy, that may be a sign that you need a short break to avoid burnout. Take the weekend, see a movie, relax, don't think about the LSAT, and then come back to it on Monday feeling refreshed. You might see clearly again once you have walked away, released some stress, and given your brain a chance to heal from the damage you have been inflicting upon it!
Adam M. Tyson
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