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An archaeological dig sponsored by five universities

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Updated on: 01 Sep 2017, 01:24
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An archaeological dig sponsored by five universities unearthed five stone tablets incised with an undeciphered ancient script. The universities agreed that each would take one tablet to decipher. Because of the prestige involved for the university that cracks the script, critics of current academic practices fear that the universities will jealously guard their scholars' work until decipherment is complete, and this prevention of scholars building on each others' work will result in the script never being deciphered.

Which of the following, if true, would tend to weaken most seriously the critics' argument?

A. Without healthy competition, the intellectual life of the university stagnates and research loses forward momentum.

B. The decipherment of other ancient scripts has generally been the work of a single person working alone.

C. Universities will give substantial funding to projects they consider prestigious.

D. A university atmosphere generally provides an open forum for the exchange of ideas, which enhances the growth of intellectual projects.

E. When deciphering a code, the military always works in secrecy to prevent any leaks to the enemy that will warn them to change their code.

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Originally posted by hemanthp on 02 Oct 2010, 08:21.
Last edited by broall on 01 Sep 2017, 01:24, edited 1 time in total.
Reformatted question
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02 Oct 2010, 09:35
hemanthp wrote:
An archaeological dig sponsored by five universities unearthed five stone tablets incised with an undeciphered ancient script. The universities agreed that each would take one tablet to decipher. Because of the prestige involved for the university that cracks the script, critics of current academic practices fear that the universities will jealously guard their scholars' work until decipherment is complete, and this prevention of scholars building on each others' work will result in the script never being deciphered.

Which of the following, if true, would tend to weaken most seriously the critics' argument?

-Without healthy competition, the intellectual life of the university stagnates and research loses forward momentum.
Not relevant.
-The decipherment of other ancient scripts has generally been the work of a single person working alone.
Seriously weakens. If the job can be done by a single person alone then there would be no need to work/share the knowledge.
-Universities will give substantial funding to projects they consider prestigious.
Not relevant.
-A university atmosphere generally provides an open forum for the exchange of ideas, which enhances the growth of intellectual projects.
Real world plausible option. However not relevant in the current context.
-When deciphering a code, the military always works in secrecy to prevent any leaks to the enemy that will warn them to change their code.
Seriously irrelevant.
Don't forget KUDOS if you like the question. This is from KAPLAN CAT.

I have a question here. Can we say that option D resembles a shell game?
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02 Oct 2010, 16:23
What is a Shell Game? Looks like the answer but isn't? I picked that.
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02 Oct 2010, 18:01
yeah what's a shell game. I picked D too. B seems out of the scope.
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02 Oct 2010, 18:24
1

I got the info about the shell game from suyashjhawar.

Quote:
The shell game is basically an idea or concept is raised in the stimulus, and then a very similar idea appears in the answer choice, but the idea is changed just enough to be incorrect but still attractive.

Shell game -- a coin is placed in one of the three shell and the shells are quickly shuffled and the participants are asked to bet on the shell wherein they think the coin is present.

See below.

Attachment:

shell_game.jpg [ 5.77 KiB | Viewed 6542 times ]

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02 Oct 2010, 20:21
its B.
The stimulus says :
The script will never be deciphered because the universities wont share each others work.

To weaken this we can prove that to decipher the script they wont need any help.

Option B states that The decipherment of other ancient scripts has generally been the work of a single person working alone.

So this weakens the argument.
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01 Apr 2011, 21:14
I am confused among A, B, and D.

According to me, the argument says that if the universities stop the collaborative work of the scholars on the script, the script wont decipher.

(A) Without healthy competition, the intellectual life of the university stagnates and research loses forward momentum. ( I thought this to be correct. if there is no competition among the universities than intellectual life and research are affected. so to gain an competitive edge universities are shielding their scholar)

(B) The decipherment of other ancient scripts has generally been the work of a single person working alone. (I thought this was incorrect. What may be true for other ancient scripts, may not be true of the current scripts)

(D) A university atmosphere generally provides an open forum for the exchange of ideas, which enhances the growth of intellectual projects. (I thought this was incorrect. "Generally" what may be true, may not true every time. Similar to B)
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31 Jul 2011, 13:31
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An archaeological dig sponsored by five universities unearthed five stone tablets incised with an undeciphered ancient script. The universities agreed that each would take one tablet to decipher. Because of the prestige involved for the university that cracks the script, critics of current academic practices fear that the universities will jealously guard their scholars' work until decipherment is complete, and this prevention of scholars building on each others' work will result in the script never being deciphered.

Which of the following, if true, would tend to weaken most seriously the critics' argument?

Without healthy competition, the intellectual life of the university stagnates and research loses forward momentum.
The decipherment of other ancient scripts has generally been the work of a single person working alone.
Universities will give substantial funding to projects they consider prestigious.
A university atmosphere generally provides an open forum for the exchange of ideas, which enhances the growth of intellectual projects.
When deciphering a code, the military always works in secrecy to prevent any leaks to the enemy that will warn them to change their code.
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31 Jul 2011, 15:26
IMO B

Conclusion is - if scholars work in isolation then the code might not get cracked.

Without healthy competition, the intellectual life of the university stagnates and research loses forward momentum.
while healthy competition might be good it doesnot say whether healthy competition involves working in groups or in isolation
The decipherment of other ancient scripts has generally been the work of a single person working alone.if other scripts could be cracked by one person working in isolation then there should not be much concern about working in isolation this time. So this weakens the argument
Universities will give substantial funding to projects they consider prestigious. -- irrelevant
A university atmosphere generally provides an open forum for the exchange of ideas, which enhances the growth of intellectual projects.this just says that working in isolation within the university is hard. irrelevant
When deciphering a code, the military always works in secrecy to prevent any leaks to the enemy that will warn them to change their code. military works in isolation but the statement does not say whether that helps them to crack codes or if codes are often never cracked
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01 Aug 2011, 09:15
this question is kinda odd. i cant find the answer althought i understand what the text writes
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01 Aug 2011, 17:25
+1 for B.

The argument was clear, however I too found the choices a little abstract. What is the OA and OE?

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01 Aug 2011, 22:56
i'll try A

The conclusion is that the tablets will never be deciphered

Premise: each university will guard its researcher's work until the other universities reveal their work. thereby causing a stalemate.

This would be weakened if we assume there is competition among them to show the others and the world the decoding the researchers have done so -far
That is if they try to show what they have done so -far other universities will be compelled to portray their own efforts to show they are good if not better from the previous university. thereby helping break the code.

B im skeptical because it says generally the researchers work alone. and we cannot conclude how the work will proceed when 5 different teams from 5 different universities are working seperately.

its possible that when one person had the entire tablet, he could understand the whole script and break the code.

What if the codes were inter-dependent. if ?University a guards its info, and the tablet univ B has is dependent on info of A,
It will never be able to decode its tablet and the chain goes on.... and the tablets will NEVER be decoded.

WEll atleast thats my understanding.. would love to know the OA - OE to analyze my understanding and assumptions
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01 Aug 2011, 23:14
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Without healthy competition, the intellectual life of the university stagnates and research loses forward momentum.: Irrlevant, no one is talking about intellectual environment of the univeristy
The decipherment of other ancient scripts has generally been the work of a single person working alone. : The conclusion fears that the scholars alone and not building on each others' work will never be able to decipher. But this example directly contradicts by saying generally in past single scholars have been able to decipher to code.
Universities will give substantial funding to projects they consider prestigious.: Question of funding is not important here. Noone are we presented with any correlateion of successful decoding with the finding available
A university atmosphere generally provides an open forum for the exchange of ideas, which enhances the growth of intellectual projects. Here it is clearly stated in teh argument that university will jealously guard the work done on code - so it is unlikely that it will be dicussed in the 'open forum' university has! also, the exchange of ideas in such open forum might or might not be with other scholars who can provide any helpful insights!
When deciphering a code, the military always works in secrecy to prevent any leaks to the enemy that will warn them to change their code. This is irrelavant - military decosing a code is not similar to archaeologist scholars in purpose or in consequence. and the script cant be changed, while military code can be! no analogy.
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02 Aug 2011, 02:56
B clearly weakens the argument because if one person alone can do it in the past then it is possible now also.
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02 Aug 2011, 11:54
B?? they found 5 tablets..how can 1 person decipher the code if he/she doen't have the rest of the code?
Author also fears the same- will result in the script never being deciphered.- as people will not reveal what they decoded from the tablet they worked on..

OA pls.
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04 Aug 2011, 11:25
If only one person does the work, then there is no question of collaboration and jealosy
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07 Aug 2011, 02:26
What is the OA , I get B as wrong in my workbook
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22 Oct 2011, 00:28
I thought B strengthens rather than weakens the critics' argument!

If a single person has been able to decipher in the past, that means he was working without any dependancies. Now the critics point out that because there will be dependancies in case of deciphering 5 tablets, if any one/two/three/four/all university(ies) guard(s) part of deciphered result then other universities are bound to be affected because of the "missing link" in the code.

Please let me know what am I missing here?
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22 Oct 2011, 06:05
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hemanthp wrote:
An archaeological dig sponsored by five universities unearthed five stone tablets incised with an undeciphered ancient script. The universities agreed that each would take one tablet to decipher. Because of the prestige involved for the university that cracks the script, critics of current academic practices fear that the universities will jealously guard their scholars' work until decipherment is complete, and this prevention of scholars building on each others' work will result in the script never being deciphered.

Which of the following, if true, would tend to weaken most seriously the critics' argument?

-Without healthy competition, the intellectual life of the university stagnates and research loses forward momentum.
-The decipherment of other ancient scripts has generally been the work of a single person working alone.
-Universities will give substantial funding to projects they consider prestigious.
-A university atmosphere generally provides an open forum for the exchange of ideas, which enhances the growth of intellectual projects.
-When deciphering a code, the military always works in secrecy to prevent any leaks to the enemy that will warn them to change their code.

Don't forget KUDOS if you like the question. This is from KAPLAN CAT.

Nice question.
Question type - weaken the argument.
Conclusion - "this prevention of scholars building on each others' work will result in the script never being deciphered"
(A) - "healthy competition" is not discussed in argument. Its about "jealousy"
(B) - Weakens.
(C) - Funding has already been provided. Out of scope.
(D) - Even in open forum because of "jealousy" students may not share knowledge. Does not weaken.
(E) - military is not one person, but is group of soldiers, commanders etc. Irrelevant.

(B) wins.
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22 Oct 2011, 06:09
prakhag wrote:
I thought B strengthens rather than weakens the critics' argument!

If a single person has been able to decipher in the past, that means he was working without any dependancies. Now the critics point out that because there will be dependancies in case of deciphering 5 tablets, if any one/two/three/four/all university(ies) guard(s) part of deciphered result then other universities are bound to be affected because of the "missing link" in the code.

Please let me know what am I missing here?

What we need to weaken - "this prevention of scholars building on each others' work will result in the script never being deciphered."
B weakens because it tells previous success stories of working alone and yet deciphering the script.
Hence, even if students work individually, chance are that one of them will decipher the script.
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Re: An archaeological dig sponsored by five universities &nbs [#permalink] 22 Oct 2011, 06:09

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