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 avengingangel
  • Posts: 275
  • Joined: Jun 14, 2016
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#30501
I was deciding between A & B, and ultimately chose B (the correct answer). But I just wanted to check that I chose A/didn't choose B for the right reasons.

After revisiting the 3rd paragraph, I deduced that the author's two main points in their argument were 1)conference's discrimination along educational & economic lines and 2) conference's lack of genuine diversity. So, I looked for answers that would weaken either of those two claims. I was stuck between A & B because they both looked attractive in addressing those claims, but then re-read A, which states "Participants in computer conferences are generally more accepting of diversity than is the population at large." -- To be accepting of diversity doesn't mean your conference is diverse. Thus, I stuck with B. Although I didn't think B was that strong in weakening the argument, it does weaken the first claim, even if just by a little bit (but more importantly, more than all the other answer choices).

Any feedback on my approach / thought process, or noting anything else I missed, would be helpful!
Thanks!
 Adam Tyson
PowerScore Staff
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#30705
I think you approach was perfect, Angel. No further input required, I think. Nice work.
 deck1134
  • Posts: 160
  • Joined: Jun 11, 2018
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#48207
Hi PowerScore Staff,

I am confused about this question. It seems like the author says that the online communities are not communities because they are not diverse and that they limit interactions. I wanted an answer that attacked either of those. I eliminated A, C, and E. Looking at B, I recalled numerous past LSAT questions where the answer "rapidly becoming more affordable" means that it is still not affordable right now, so there for it is still not diverse. Wouldn't that make B incorrect? I chose D because if people are more comfortable interacting online, wouldn't that further the type of interactions that the author uses to define a community in lines59-65?
 Adam Tyson
PowerScore Staff
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#49387
The argument in the last paragraph is that online conferences "fall short of communities." That means they do not classify as communities - they don't meet the standards that make a group a community.

One of his arguments in support of that claim is that conferences discriminate along economic lines. Answer B attacks that reasoning, suggesting that conferences are at least moving away from that sort of discrimination, even if they haven't fully succeeded yet. It's not a great answer, but it has some impact, especially as it indicates that such movement is already underway and moving quickly, suggesting that these conferences are already somewhat less discriminatory than they perhaps used to be.

Answer D actually strengthens the argument, in my view, because anonymity allows for being even further cut off from valuable interactions with their actual neighbors (where one cannot be anonymous). At the very least it tells us that there is a crucial difference between the two types of groups, and we want to weaken the argument and show that the two are actually more similar, not less.
 lanereuden
  • Posts: 147
  • Joined: May 30, 2019
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#65796
Why is c wrong? Perhaps because the “same degree” is not strong enough as weakener?
 Adam Tyson
PowerScore Staff
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#67150
More than that, lanereuden - it's wrong because it doesn't address any of the points raised in the last paragraph. That's what the question asked us to do - weaken the argument in the last paragraph. The author's premises there were 1. not everyone can afford to get online or knows how to use a computer, so conferences are discriminatory and 2. computer conferences are self-selecting based on shared interests rather than being "nonintentional" and therefore diverse like a "real" community, and so they cut themselves off from the benefits that come from that diversity.

Answer C fails to address either of those points. The author did not argue in the last paragraph about different levels of respect and support, so addressing that issue does nothing to undermine her argument there. The stuff about etiquette was put forth by the people that say conferences DO act like communities, and while answer C might support their position, we weren't asked to do that. Read the question closely, and focus on what it asks you to do.
 Coleman
  • Posts: 42
  • Joined: Jul 07, 2020
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#82117
If answer choice A said "Participants in computer conferences are GETTING MORE accepting of diversity than is the population at large", does it make this a correct answer? I chose (B) primarily because I reasoned that the fact there is an educational/economic barrier to access computers and the situation it is getting more affordable/accessible are two distinct things. Any clarification will be greatly appreciated!

Thanks
 Adam Tyson
PowerScore Staff
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#84211
I'd say no, Coleman, because the author never said anything about communities having to be "accepting of diversity." The author argues that they have to BE diverse. A "real" community could be made up of a bunch of different people - different races, religions, sexual orientations, gender identities, national origins, etc. - who all hate each other and have no tolerance for diversity. It's the fact that they ARE diverse that matters, not how accepting they are of that diversity.

To illustrate, imagine an online community of "woke" people who are all white, liberal, cis-normative, hetero, western, agnostic, and vegan, and they all work as software engineers making exactly $85,000 per year. These people might all be very accepting of diversity, but they still would not be a "real" community in the eyes of the author because they themselves are still self-selecting and are not a diverse group. That's why "acceptance" in answer A is irrelevant!

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