PT89.S3.Q16 (P3) - Main Point Question, I am unsatisfied with the 7sage explanation

Ashley2018Ashley2018 Monthly Member
edited October 2021 in Reading Comprehension 2053 karma

I got down to B and C and do agree with JY that, content wise, both are correct. I see people in the comments and in multiple forums nitpicking at details to try to see why B is incorrect, but I'm just not convinced. What is it about B that makes it an inferior choice to C? I thought both were correct.

If any admin see this, you don't need to post the link to the explanation video. I already know where it is!

Admin Note: Edited title. Please use the format: "PT#.S#.Q# - brief description of the question"

Explanation Video: https://7sage.com/lsat_explanations/lsat-89-section-3-passage-3-questions/

Comments

  • tahurrrrrtahurrrrr Alum Member
    1092 karma

    I think the focus is just off-center enough to make B wrong. To me, the focus of the article is more about computer chip size, and B is centered on speed and efficiency.

  • Ashley2018Ashley2018 Monthly Member
    edited October 2021 2053 karma

    @tahurrrrr said:
    I think the focus is just off-center enough to make B wrong. To me, the focus of the article is more about computer chip size, and B is centered on speed and efficiency.

    But the size of the chip has an impact on the speed and efficiency. In the first sentence it says that making the chips smaller will make them faster and more efficient.

  • mattscrappymattscrappy Alum Member
    edited October 2021 138 karma

    Answer choice B pins advancements in speed and efficiency on the outcome of current research projects (one of which may be the peptide project). This doesn't work for two reasons:
    (1) It assumes that transistor size is the only way to increase speed and efficiency. If this had specified "advancements in transistor size may depend..", it might be correct, but, what if transistor size isn't the only way to increase speed and efficiency? We know that it could be one way, but it's not said that it's the only way. Classic confusion of a necessary and sufficient assumption.
    (2) Even if it is necessary to decrease transistor size to increase speed and efficiency, the research project that finally cracks the code might not even exist yet. The passage says there has been progress in the peptide project, but it doesn't say that it's complete and will definitely work. What if it has reached its maximum potential right now, and the project that solves it won't be started until 2011 (1 year after the deadline in AC B )? It's just not proven by the passage.
    AC C just says that one way future transistors might be made smaller is via the peptide research - an answer that is very provable by context of the article.
    Hope this helped at all. I definitely had B down first as well, until I noticed the above.

  • Ashley2018Ashley2018 Monthly Member
    2053 karma

    @mattscrappy said:
    Answer choice B pins advancements in speed and efficiency on the outcome of current research projects (one of which may be the peptide project). This doesn't work for two reasons:
    (1) It assumes that transistor size is the only way to increase speed and efficiency. If this had specified "advancements in transistor size may depend..", it might be correct, but, what if transistor size isn't the only way to increase speed and efficiency? We know that it could be one way, but it's not said that it's the only way. Classic confusion of a necessary and sufficient assumption.
    (2) Even if it is necessary to decrease transistor size to increase speed and efficiency, the research project that finally cracks the code might not even exist yet. The passage says there has been progress in the peptide project, but it doesn't say that it's complete and will definitely work. What if it has reached its maximum potential right now, and the project that solves it won't be started until 2011 (1 year after the deadline in AC B )? It's just not proven by the passage.
    AC C just says that one way future transistors might be made smaller is via the peptide research - an answer that is very provable by context of the article.
    Hope this helped at all. I definitely had B down first as well, until I noticed the above.

    But "may depend" isn't a logical indicator. It's nice and soft, no conditionality at all.

  • elevator_musicelevator_music Monthly Member
    151 karma

    To me the difference between B and C came down to the emphasis in the answer choices:

    B states that future innovation would depend on "the outcome of various current research projects, including that conducted by B and H". And that is not the focus of the passage---the author goes at length about B and H's research and only tangentially mentions DNA stuff, so the answer choice should reflect that emphasis and C does that. There's also something about B's phrasing that is...inchoate? Honestly, can't pin point exactly what it is (I'm not a STEM person) but there's something rudimentary and sketchy about it. I realize that is not helpful.

  • LawyeringForLifeLawyeringForLife Alum Member
    edited October 2021 278 karma

    I agree this is a tough one to deal with, but I actually think JY nailed it - it's the emphasis.
    What you want in a main point Q is for the correct answer to be all-encompassing (as much as possible) of everything that the passage contains - both in focus and content.

    The discussion of the physical limitations of chip production in the 1st half of the 1st paragraph sets the stage to draw a parallel with the chemical processes used to build structures inside a cell, in order to show us that a process that overcomes the problem exists already. Author also tells us that DNA is a major focus of research, but there might be an overlooked alternative - peptides. This takes about 20 lines, but now we spend about 40 lines discussing a specific example of a scientific study on peptides and their interaction with semiconductors.
    Notice that we don't mention speed and efficiency of chips or their size after that first paragraph, so I would say those are practically irrelevant to the majority of the passage.
    We are focused on a very narrow group of interrelated concepts - does this peptide bind to this semiconductor, how to find/grow more, and how to gain control over the building process.
    Now, the implication of this is, obviously, that this can help overcome the issue with making smaller chips to get more speed an efficiency, but still we don't really go back to that specific application for the majority of the text.

    So with C - we are hitting exactly that point - the specific peptide research that might help and we acknowledge the computer chip issue that spawned the discussion in the first place.

    With B we are:
    1. taking about the chips themselves - something that was only addressed in the first few lines, so it was definitely not the main focus of the passage.
    2. saying "depend on various research projects, including" the peptide one - for this to satisfy the needs of a correct main point answer choice, the whole passage would have to present multiple research projects and frame the peptide one as at least one of the promising ones. The only other projects are addressed in a few words that mention that DNA seems to be the major focus of researchers. Totally not the main focus.

    B is a very crafty answer choice. I think it baits in 2 ways:
    1. If you realize that there is such a solid separation between the topic of chips and the topic of peptides and semiconductors, it will bait you to pick it because it addresses both topics in the order that they appeared in the text. You see chips and the light bulb goes off: "this is what they were talking about in the beginning before all this peptide mess."

    1. I actually think it's meant to bait anyone with a computer/tech background to make a jump. If you are familiar with Moore's law (the idea that every 2 years the number of transistors on a chip doubles, which requires smaller and smaller transistors) and if you know that the tech has been down to 7 nanometers for a few years and Intel had major struggles with production at that size, while trying to go down to 5, it is extremely easy to apply your background knowledge and assume that the most important part is the advance in speed and efficiency, because you know we have been way past 25nm for a long time. This one is easy for anyone who hasn't mastered turning off the internal monologue while reading yet.

    Hope this helps.

  • Ashley2018Ashley2018 Monthly Member
    2053 karma

    @elevator_music said:
    To me the difference between B and C came down to the emphasis in the answer choices:

    B states that future innovation would depend on "the outcome of various current research projects, including that conducted by B and H". And that is not the focus of the passage---the author goes at length about B and H's research and only tangentially mentions DNA stuff, so the answer choice should reflect that emphasis and C does that. There's also something about B's phrasing that is...inchoate? Honestly, can't pin point exactly what it is (I'm not a STEM person) but there's something rudimentary and sketchy about it. I realize that is not helpful.

    JY

    Ok so the whole bit about the computer chips was just context or setup to talk about how important B and H’s research was.

    So does that mean the more space the passage devotes to talking about something, that means it’s the main point?

  • cwlawlawcwlawlaw Alum Member
    29 karma

    Not currently a subscriber, so I haven't watched JY's video.

    I chose C over B because this passage is primarily concerned with addressing Belcher and Hu's research. If you did #20 of this passage, you can see how the first half of the paragraph serves to introduce the purpose and context for why Belcher and Hu's research is being done. The second and third paragraphs further detail their research and don't address the first half of the first paragraph at all. This confirms for me that the emphasis of the passage is on Belcher and Hu's research. 7sage likes to emphasize understanding the relationships between all paragraphs and also the broader point being demonstrated. You need to ask yourself what the relationship between the paragraphs are here.

    Answer choice B places Belcher and Hu's research on the periphery, which is not what I'm looking for. Additionally, I would agree with @mattscrappy here. We don't have any evidence to suggest that decreasing transistor size is necessary for increasing efficiency and speed. Since the passage doesn't go so far to make such a strong claim, I definitely know this isn't the answer.

  • luckysat1luckysat1 Alum Member
    167 karma

    AC B says the research focuses on using peptides to bind crystals together.

    But, well, does it?

    Does the passage actually say that the focus of the research is using peptides to bind crystals together?

    Maybe it does, maybe I'm just too tired to see it right now. But I skimmed through and I actually think that's an assumption.

    The passage states that one of the researchers was initially discovering abalone and then this whole thing was kind of discovered that way, and they have continued the research into peptide-binding and expanded, etc.

    Okay, but wait...does that automatically mean that this is the focus of their research? We don't actually know that. We presume it is the focus because, well, why wouldn't it be? We know this is something they are investigating, the passage does state that. They clearly have some intent toward progressing it. They are clearly engaged. So yeah, there's no doubt it is an area of interest, but does that necessarily make it an item of focus?

    I don't think so. Strictly speaking, it's entirely possible (not likely, but possible) this is still a side-gig as part of research into abalone or whatever else. Abalone was initially the focus, could it not still be? Or perhaps consider, it's possible that the research into peptides and microchips is part of some bigger project into, I don't know, cyborg ninjas. That would make sense, I think. So then the cyborgs would be their focus and this would be in line with that, perhaps just one of multiple technologies that are part of the 'focus' on cyborg ninjas, and therefore B could now be totally wrong. Focus implies a rather singular lane of interest -- you can't really focus on multiple things, right?

    The use of that one little word and the emphasis it adds to the AC generally, I think pushes it, however marginally, into the bounds of inaccuracy (at least relative to C) because it is adding one, small assumption where it is not needed and establishing a sense of motive which simply is not supported. How do we know this isn't something they are doing on Friday nights while drunk at the bar? We don't.

    Answer choice C avoids this semantic trap by staying very close to what is directly stated in the text and going absolutely nowhere beyond it & that is why it is right.

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