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Commissioner - Need Expert advice.

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badpoem Master | Next Rank: 500 Posts Default Avatar
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Commissioner - Need Expert advice.

Post Thu Nov 17, 2011 6:44 am
Elapsed Time: 00:00
  • Lap #[LAPCOUNT] ([LAPTIME])
    Springfield Fire Commissioner: The vast majority of false fire alarms are prank calls made anonymously from fire alarm boxes on street corners. Since virtually everyone has access to a private telephone, these alarm boxes have outlived their usefulness. Therefore, we propose to remove the boxes. Removing the boxes will reduce the number of prank calls without hampering people’s ability to report a fire.

    Which of the following, if true, most strongly supports the claim that the proposal, if carried out, will have the announced effect?

    (A) The fire department traces all alarm calls made from private telephones and records where they
    came from.
    (B) Maintaining the fire alarm boxes costs Springfield approximately $5 million annually.
    (C) A telephone call can provide the fire department with more information about the nature and size of a fire
    than can an alarm placed from an alarm box.
    (D) Responding to false alarms significantly reduces the fire department’s capacity for responding to fires.
    (E) On any given day, a significant percentage of the public telephones in Springfield are out of service.

    OA - A

    My question: How exactly does the OA strengthen the argument?

    If the OA were true, then removing the boxes would not have been needed. Simply doing what the OA talks about could have solved the problem. In that sense, does the OA not weaken the argument? The conclusion is "Therefore, we propose to remove the boxes." Should we not try to strengthen this? Again, IMO, what OA does could have been done irrespective of the proposal in the argument with the same desired effect. The OA can also be treated as an alternative to the proposal in the argument. Where am I going wrong? Please help!

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    Post Thu Nov 17, 2011 8:23 am
    badpoem wrote:
    Springfield Fire Commissioner: The vast majority of false fire alarms are prank calls made anonymously from fire alarm boxes on street corners. Since virtually everyone has access to a private telephone, these alarm boxes have outlived their usefulness. Therefore, we propose to remove the boxes. Removing the boxes will reduce the number of prank calls without hampering people’s ability to report a fire.

    Which of the following, if true, most strongly supports the claim that the proposal, if carried out, will have the announced effect?

    (A) The fire department traces all alarm calls made from private telephones and records where they
    came from.
    (B) Maintaining the fire alarm boxes costs Springfield approximately $5 million annually.
    (C) A telephone call can provide the fire department with more information about the nature and size of a fire
    than can an alarm placed from an alarm box.
    (D) Responding to false alarms significantly reduces the fire department’s capacity for responding to fires.
    (E) On any given day, a significant percentage of the public telephones in Springfield are out of service.

    OA - A

    My question: How exactly does the OA strengthen the argument?

    If the OA were true, then removing the boxes would not have been needed. Simply doing what the OA talks about could have solved the problem. In that sense, does the OA not weaken the argument? The conclusion is "Therefore, we propose to remove the boxes." Should we not try to strengthen this? Again, IMO, what OA does could have been done irrespective of the proposal in the argument with the same desired effect. The OA can also be treated as an alternative to the proposal in the argument. Where am I going wrong? Please help!
    When a CR proposes a PLAN:
    The conclusion is the GOAL of the plan.
    The premise is the PLAN itself.
    The assumption is WHAT MUST BE TRUE for the plan to work.

    Premise: Remove the alarm boxes.
    Goal: To reduce the number of prank calls without hampering people's ability to report a fire.
    Assumption: That, with the boxes removed, people will not use private telephones to anonymously make prank calls.

    Answer choice A: The fire department traces all alarm calls made from private telephones and records where they came from.
    This answer choice supports the conclusion that the number of prank calls will be reduced without hampering people's ability to report fires. The fire department's ability to trace all phone calls made from private telephones will deter people from making prank calls, but people will still be able to report fires easily, since virtually everyone has access to a private telephone.

    The correct answer is A.

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    tuanquang269 Master | Next Rank: 500 Posts
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    Post Fri Nov 18, 2011 3:03 am
    Hi Guru, last time I also chose A, but the OA from other source said the OA is C. That time, I went to home and still thought that my choice was not wrong. Can you reasoning why A is better than C?

    Thanks.

    SwatiAgarwal Junior | Next Rank: 30 Posts Default Avatar
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    Post Fri Nov 18, 2011 6:51 am
    tuanquang269 wrote:
    Hi Guru, last time I also chose A, but the OA from other source said the OA is C. That time, I went to home and still thought that my choice was not wrong. Can you reasoning why A is better than C?

    Thanks.
    C does not suport the goal of "removing boxes to reducing prank calls". Notice that 'C" supports partial plan "removing boxes" and that it why it is confusing.

    Post Fri Nov 18, 2011 6:57 am
    tuanquang269 wrote:
    Hi Guru, last time I also chose A, but the OA from other source said the OA is C. That time, I went to home and still thought that my choice was not wrong. Can you reasoning why A is better than C?

    Thanks.
    At no point does the argument claim that the phone is a BETTER way to report fires. Thus, answer choice C -- which suggests some benefits to reporting a fire by phone -- is outside the scope. The argument accepts AS FACT that both the boxes and private telephones enable people to report fires.

    The conclusion of the argument is that removing the boxes will REDUCE THE NUMBER OF PRANK CALLS. Answer choice does nothing to strengthen this conclusion.

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    nonameee Master | Next Rank: 500 Posts Default Avatar
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    Post Wed Jan 25, 2012 8:12 am
    Mitch, my thought process was pretty much the same as the one had.

    The stated plan should achieve two things:
    - to eliminate prank calls
    - not to limit people in calling a firedep.

    (A) achieves the first goal. (C) achieves the second goal.

    You say that: "The argument accepts AS FACT that both the boxes and private telephones enable people to report fires." Hod did you arrive at at? I think it's more of an assumption rather that a fact.

    To me, an ideal answer would be (A) combined with (C).

    Could you please clarify?

    Thank you.

    Post Wed Jan 25, 2012 9:56 am
    nonameee wrote:
    Mitch, my thought process was pretty much the same as the one had.

    The stated plan should achieve two things:
    - to eliminate prank calls
    - not to limit people in calling a firedep.

    (A) achieves the first goal. (C) achieves the second goal.

    You say that: "The argument accepts AS FACT that both the boxes and private telephones enable people to report fires." Hod did you arrive at at? I think it's more of an assumption rather that a fact.

    To me, an ideal answer would be (A) combined with (C).

    Could you please clarify?

    Thank you.
    C discusses the ability to give specific information about a fire. The ability to provide SPECIFICS is not the same as the ability to REPORT a fire -- the only issue at hand here. The ability to REPORT a fire could still be hampered if private phones are not able to reach the fire department as readily as alarm boxes.
    Even more troubling, C says only that a telephone call CAN provide more information; it does not say that telephone calls actually DO provide more information.

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    nonameee Master | Next Rank: 500 Posts Default Avatar
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    Post Wed Jan 25, 2012 10:04 am
    Quote:
    The ability to REPORT a fire could still be hampered if private phones are not able to reach the fire department as readily as alarm boxes.
    OK, so back to my original question: How does (A) prove that private phone lines can reach an FD?

    Post Wed Jan 25, 2012 10:30 am
    nonameee wrote:
    Quote:
    The ability to REPORT a fire could still be hampered if private phones are not able to reach the fire department as readily as alarm boxes.
    OK, so back to my original question: How does (A) prove that private phone lines can reach an FD?
    The correct answer to a strengthen question does not have to PROVE the validity of the conclusion; it only has to SUPPORT the conclusion.

    For example, many arguments are causal in nature: the conclusion is that X caused Y.
    One way to strengthen a causal argument is to rule out another possible cause.
    Ruling out another possible cause doesn't PROVE the causal relationship between X and Y, but it does SUPPORT the causal relationship.

    In the CR above:
    Whereas C discusses something beyond the scope of the argument -- the ability to provide specific information about a fire -- A clearly supports the conclusion that the number of prank calls will be reduced.

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    nonameee Master | Next Rank: 500 Posts Default Avatar
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    Post Wed Jan 25, 2012 10:41 am
    If I understood you correctly: Are you saying that (A) supports one part of the conclusion (reducing a number of prank calls) and in fact doesn't support the second part (that phone lines can be used to reach and FD)?

    I still have some reservations about your explanation about (C).

    (C) says: "A telephone call can provide the fire department with more information about the nature and size of a fire"
    IMO, from this it can be clearly inferred that calls from a phone line can reach the FD. Because if it can't, how in the world can it be able to provide the FD the info that (C) mentions? Don't you think so?

    Post Wed Jan 25, 2012 11:12 am
    nonameee wrote:
    If I understood you correctly: Are you saying that (A) supports one part of the conclusion (reducing a number of prank calls) and in fact doesn't support the second part (that phone lines can be used to reach and FD)?

    I still have some reservations about your explanation about (C).

    (C) says: "A telephone call can provide the fire department with more information about the nature and size of a fire"
    IMO, from this it can be clearly inferred that calls from a phone line can reach the FD. Because if it can't, how in the world can it be able to provide the FD the info that (C) mentions? Don't you think so?
    Words matter: can means only that something is POSSIBLE. Just because a phone call CAN provide details does not mean that a majority of phone calls WILL provide details.
    A winter storm in New York CAN bring 4 feet of snow, but it is unlikely that a storm this year WILL bring 4 feet of snow (at least I hope not).

    More importantly, the following question needs to be answered: What is the GOAL of the plan?
    To reduce the number of prank calls.
    Yes, the city doesn't want to make it harder for people to report fires, but the purpose of the plan is not to make it EASIER for people to report fires.
    Thus, whether people can provide details about a fire is beyond the scope.

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    nonameee Master | Next Rank: 500 Posts Default Avatar
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    Post Wed Jan 25, 2012 11:23 am
    You said several posts above that:

    Quote:
    Goal: To reduce the number of prank calls without hampering people's ability to report a fire.
    So this obviously means that this goal has to components:
    1) reduce the number of prank calls
    2) not to reduce the people's ability to report fire

    Can we agree on that?

    I just want to clarify this final point.

    Otherwise I think, I have to let (C) go. Your comments make sense, but I'm not 100% percent convinced. Because using the same logic, I could argue pretty much the same about the validity of (A). In (A) I could say that should people be crazy/delinquent in that particular city, tracking phone lines won't stop them from making prank calls. In such case, the plan will fail.

    Post Wed Jan 25, 2012 12:10 pm
    nonameee wrote:
    You said several posts above that:

    Quote:
    Goal: To reduce the number of prank calls without hampering people's ability to report a fire.
    So this obviously means that this goal has to components:
    1) reduce the number of prank calls
    2) not to reduce the people's ability to report fire

    Can we agree on that?

    I just want to clarify this final point.

    Otherwise I think, I have to let (C) go. Your comments make sense, but I'm not 100% percent convinced. Because using the same logic, I could argue pretty much the same about the validity of (A). In (A) I could say that should people be crazy/delinquent in that particular city, tracking phone lines won't stop them from making prank calls. In such case, the plan will fail.
    The passage states that virtually everyone has access to a private telephone.

    It is reasonable to assume that a private phone can be used to report a fire; the correct answer does not need to show that a phone can be used for this purpose. (This seems to be what answer choice C is trying to accomplish.)

    Thus, it is GIVEN that removing the alarm boxes will not hamper people's ability to report a fire: since virtually everyone has access to a phone, and a phone can be used to report a fire, virtually everyone can use a phone to report a fire.
    This was the reasoning behind my earlier statement: that the argument accepts AS FACT that private telephones will enable people to report fires.

    The issue at hand is whether the number of prank calls will be reduced. It is this conclusion that needs to be supported by the correct answer.

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    nonameee Master | Next Rank: 500 Posts Default Avatar
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    Post Wed Jan 25, 2012 12:16 pm
    Mitch, thanks a lot for your help.

    ranjeet75 Master | Next Rank: 500 Posts Default Avatar
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    Post Wed Jan 25, 2012 10:38 pm
    why D is wrong?

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