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During the earliest period of industrialization in Britain, steam engi

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During the earliest period of industrialization in Britain, steam engines were more expensive to build and operate than either windmills or water mills, the other practicable sources of power for factories. Yet despite their significant cost disadvantages, steam-powered factories were built in large numbers well before technical improvements brought their cost down. Furthermore, they were built even in regions where geographical conditions permitted the construction of wind- and water-powered factories close to major markets.

Which of the following, if true, most helps to explain the proliferation of steam-powered factories during the earliest period of industrialization in Britain?

A) In many areas of Britain, there were fewer steam-powered factories than wind- or water-powered factories in the earliest period of industrialization.
B) Unlike wind- or water-powered factories, steam-powered factories were fueled with coal, which sometimes had to be transported significant distances from the mine to the site of the factory.
C) It was both difficult and expensive to convert a factory from wind power or water power to steam power.
D) In the early period of industrialization, many goods sold in towns and cities could not be mass-produced in factories.
E) In Britain, the number of sites where a wind or water-powered factory could be built was insufficient to provide for all of the demand for factory-produced goods at the time.

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Last edited by Skywalker18 on 18 Jun 2016, 01:07, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: During the earliest period of industrialization in Britain, steam engi [#permalink]

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New post 18 Jun 2016, 01:04
Steam engines were expensive to build and operate .
Despite the significant cost disadvantages, steam-powered factories were built in large numbers .Also in regions where geographical conditions permitted the construction of wind- and water-powered factories close to major markets.

Paradox -
A) In many areas of Britain, there were fewer steam-powered factories than wind- or water-powered factories in the earliest period of industrialization.
Does not explain the reason
B) Unlike wind- or water-powered factories, steam-powered factories were fueled with coal, which sometimes had to be transported significant distances from the mine to the site of the factory. deepens the paradox
C) It was both difficult and expensive to convert a factory from wind power or water power to steam power. Irrelevant
D) In the early period of industrialization, many goods sold in towns and cities could not be mass-produced in factories. Irrelevant
E) In Britain, the number of sites where a wind- or water-powered factory could be built was insufficient to provide for all of the demand for factory-produced goods at the time. Resolves the paradox and explains the reason for the proliferation of steam-powered factories during the earliest period of industrialization in Britain

Correct answer E
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Now almost always on any CR question try and pre-think before moving on to answer choices.
This will help you choose the correct answer choice over an incorrect one or atleast give you an edge.

In this question the conclusion is - despite their significant cost disadvantages, steam-powered factories were built in large numbers well before technical improvements brought their cost down. This is based on the premise that steam engines were more expensive to build and operate than either windmills or water mills - the other practicable sources of power for factories.

CR questions are all about logic. Why the Steam engines would be constructed even though they did not have a cost advantage. It is possible that they offered some advantage other than the cost advantage , because of which they were manufactured.
With this in mind let’s see the answer choices

A) In many areas of Britain, there were fewer steam-powered factories than wind- or water-powered factories in the earliest period of industrialization – This option choice does not help us understand why steam engines were being manufactured in spite of cost disadvantage.
B) Unlike wind- or water-powered factories, steam-powered factories were fueled with coal, which sometimes had to be transported significant distances from the mine to the site of the factory – This gives us an opposite reason as to why Steam powered engines should not have been used.
C) It was both difficult and expensive to convert a factory from wind power or water power to steam power – This option is irrelevant in regard to the argument.
D) In the early period of industrialization, many goods sold in towns and cities could not be mass-produced in factories – Again irrelevant with respect to the argument.
E) In Britain, the number of sites where a wind or water-powered factory could be built was insufficient to provide for all of the demand for factory-produced goods at the time- Bulls Eye – Since wind and water powered factory could not satisfy all the demand hence the need for Steam engines.

Hope this helps !!

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Re: During the earliest period of industrialization in Britain, steam engi [#permalink]

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AbdurRakib wrote:
During the earliest period of industrialization in Britain, steam engines were more expensive to build and operate than either windmills or water mills, the other practicable sources of power for factories. Yet despite their significant cost disadvantages, steam-powered factories were built in large numbers well before technical improvements brought their cost down. Furthermore, they were built even in regions where geographical conditions permitted the construction of wind- and water-powered factories close to major markets.

Which of the following, if true, most helps to explain the proliferation of steam-powered factories during the earliest period of industrialization in Britain?

A) In many areas of Britain, there were fewer steam-powered factories than wind- or water-powered factories in the earliest period of industrialization.
B) Unlike wind- or water-powered factories, steam-powered factories were fueled with coal, which sometimes had to be transported significant distances from the mine to the site of the factory.
C) It was both difficult and expensive to convert a factory from wind power or water power to steam power.
D) In the early period of industrialization, many goods sold in towns and cities could not be mass-produced in factories.
E) In Britain, the number of sites where a wind or water-powered factory could be built was insufficient to provide for all of the demand for factory-produced goods at the time.

OG 2017 New Question

How does the line highlighted above bodes with the OA??

People were building the Steam Factories even though they could build successfully a wind/water factory at that spot..
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Re: During the earliest period of industrialization in Britain, steam engi [#permalink]

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umg wrote:
AbdurRakib wrote:
During the earliest period of industrialization in Britain, steam engines were more expensive to build and operate than either windmills or water mills, the other practicable sources of power for factories. Yet despite their significant cost disadvantages, steam-powered factories were built in large numbers well before technical improvements brought their cost down. Furthermore, they were built even in regions where geographical conditions permitted the construction of wind- and water-powered factories close to major markets.

Which of the following, if true, most helps to explain the proliferation of steam-powered factories during the earliest period of industrialization in Britain?

A) In many areas of Britain, there were fewer steam-powered factories than wind- or water-powered factories in the earliest period of industrialization.
B) Unlike wind- or water-powered factories, steam-powered factories were fueled with coal, which sometimes had to be transported significant distances from the mine to the site of the factory.
C) It was both difficult and expensive to convert a factory from wind power or water power to steam power.
D) In the early period of industrialization, many goods sold in towns and cities could not be mass-produced in factories.
E) In Britain, the number of sites where a wind or water-powered factory could be built was insufficient to provide for all of the demand for factory-produced goods at the time.



OG 2017 New Question

How does the line highlighted above bodes with the OA??

People were building the Steam Factories even though they could build successfully a wind/water factory at that spot..


Hi,
The connection between the OA and your highlight is the excess demand for the factory-made good. So even at sites conducive for wind/water powered factory, steam factories still needed to be erected to service the excess demand, especially in the major markets.

Hope this is clear.

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During the earliest period of industrialization in Britain, steam engi [#permalink]

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New post 17 Jun 2017, 01:42
rulingbear wrote:
umg wrote:
AbdurRakib wrote:
During the earliest period of industrialization in Britain, steam engines were more expensive to build and operate than either windmills or water mills, the other practicable sources of power for factories. Yet despite their significant cost disadvantages, steam-powered factories were built in large numbers well before technical improvements brought their cost down. Furthermore, they were built even in regions where geographical conditions permitted the construction of wind- and water-powered factories close to major markets.

Which of the following, if true, most helps to explain the proliferation of steam-powered factories during the earliest period of industrialization in Britain?

A) In many areas of Britain, there were fewer steam-powered factories than wind- or water-powered factories in the earliest period of industrialization.
B) Unlike wind- or water-powered factories, steam-powered factories were fueled with coal, which sometimes had to be transported significant distances from the mine to the site of the factory.
C) It was both difficult and expensive to convert a factory from wind power or water power to steam power.
D) In the early period of industrialization, many goods sold in towns and cities could not be mass-produced in factories.
E) In Britain, the number of sites where a wind or water-powered factory could be built was insufficient to provide for all of the demand for factory-produced goods at the time.



OG 2017 New Question

How does the line highlighted above bodes with the OA??

People were building the Steam Factories even though they could build successfully a wind/water factory at that spot..


Hi,
The connection between the OA and your highlight is the excess demand for the factory-made good. So even at sites conducive for wind/water powered factory, steam factories still needed to be erected to service the excess demand, especially in the major markets.

Hope this is clear.

Best,

I think I should elaborate my question..

Universal Fact: On one piece of land, we can construct only one kind of factory - Wind/Water power or Steam Powered.
Premise 1: Steam Powered Factories were built in large numbers even though they were more expensive to construct and operate.
Premise 2: Steam Powered Factories were built Even on the land on which Wind/Water Powered factories could be constructed.

Now, nowhere in these premises is it given that steam powered factories could produce more goods than the other types. The only benefit that steam powered ones had was that those factories could be manufactured anywhere irrespective of their closeness to the source of power. However, this does not explains why steam factories were constructed even on the land where a cheaper Wind/Water factory could be constructed. Repeating Again - OA does not Clarify why Steam powered factories Replaced Wind/Water Powered factories..
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Re: During the earliest period of industrialization in Britain, steam engi [#permalink]

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New post 17 Jun 2017, 01:46
I am facing difficulty understanding how OA resolves the paradox and following are my issues in it..

Universal Fact:On one piece of land, we can construct only one kind of factory - Wind/Water power or Steam Powered.
Premise 1: Steam Powered Factories were built in large numbers even though they were more expensive to construct and operate.
Premise 2: Steam Powered Factories were built Even on the land on which Wind/Water Powered factories could be constructed.

Now, nowhere in these premises is it given that steam powered factories could produce more goods than the other types. The only benefit that steam powered ones had was that those factories could be manufactured anywhere irrespective of their closeness to the source of power. However, this does not explains why steam factories were constructed even on the land where a cheaper Wind/Water factory could be constructed. Repeating Again - OA does not Clarify why Steam powered factories Replaced Wind/Water Powered factories..
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umg wrote:
I am facing difficulty understanding how OA resolves the paradox and following are my issues in it..

Universal Fact:On one piece of land, we can construct only one kind of factory - Wind/Water power or Steam Powered.
Premise 1: Steam Powered Factories were built in large numbers even though they were more expensive to construct and operate.
Premise 2: Steam Powered Factories were built Even on the land on which Wind/Water Powered factories could be constructed.

Now, nowhere in these premises is it given that steam powered factories could produce more goods than the other types. The only benefit that steam powered ones had was that those factories could be manufactured anywhere irrespective of their closeness to the source of power. However, this does not explains why steam factories were constructed even on the land where a cheaper Wind/Water factory could be constructed. Repeating Again - OA does not Clarify why Steam powered factories Replaced Wind/Water Powered factories..


Hi,

This is the prompt:

Which of the following, if true, most helps to explain the proliferation of steam-powered factories during the earliest period of industrialization in Britain?

The main paradox is that steam-powered factories proliferated in spite of being relatively expensive and the minor one is that they did so even where there are better alternatives.

This is what the OA says:
E) In Britain, the number of sites where the wind or water-powered factory could be built was insufficient to provide for all of the demand for factory-produced goods at the time.

Now you are right, nowhere in these premises is it given that steam powered factories could produce more goods than the other types. However, excess demand would encourage the building of steam powered factories in addition to wind/water factories in areas where wind/water are optimum.

You are also right to point the major advantage of steam powered factories - anywhere irrespective of their closeness to the source of power. This benefit primarily resolved your number 1 premise stated above i.e they were built in spite of being expensive.

In fact, one could equally say building steam factories in optimum locations for the alternative is just a subset of them being expensive, however, a combination of being able to build them without geographical constraint and the need for more goods anyway should be enough to resolve that conundrum.

Finally, remember that CR questions, while convoluted sometimes, are crafted to be solved under 2 minutes. Therefore I will suggest you shouldn't over think OAs as they aren't necessarily comprehensive, they are sometimes just the best among the 5 options. This is reflected in the prompt which asked for the statement that, If true, most helps to explain the proliferation of steam-powered factories[/b] during the earliest period of industrialization in Britain? And option E is just better, overall, than the others. If you think otherwise, I am curious to know your answer.

Also, keep in mind that one can come up with a myriad of other reasons why steam power proliferated after all that was a historical truth. However, only one of limited scope would be in a GMAT CR option. Think about a CR question as an abbreviated RC.

I commend your efforts to get to the root of the problem and I hope I am a clearer in my explanation.

Best,
Rulingbear

Last edited by rulingbear on 23 Jun 2017, 20:07, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: During the earliest period of industrialization in Britain, steam engi [#permalink]

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New post 19 Jun 2017, 04:20
rulingbear wrote:
umg wrote:
I am facing difficulty understanding how OA resolves the paradox and following are my issues in it..

Universal Fact:On one piece of land, we can construct only one kind of factory - Wind/Water power or Steam Powered.
Premise 1: Steam Powered Factories were built in large numbers even though they were more expensive to construct and operate.
Premise 2: Steam Powered Factories were built Even on the land on which Wind/Water Powered factories could be constructed.

Now, nowhere in these premises is it given that steam powered factories could produce more goods than the other types. The only benefit that steam powered ones had was that those factories could be manufactured anywhere irrespective of their closeness to the source of power. However, this does not explains why steam factories were constructed even on the land where a cheaper Wind/Water factory could be constructed. Repeating Again - OA does not Clarify why Steam powered factories Replaced Wind/Water Powered factories..


Hi,

This is the prompt:

Which of the following, if true, most helps to explain the proliferation of steam-powered factories during the earliest period of industrialization in Britain?

The main paradox is that steam-powered factories proliferated in spite of being relatively expensive and the minor one is that they did so even where there are better alternatives.

This is what the OA says:
E) In Britain, the number of sites where the wind or water-powered factory could be built was insufficient to provide for all of the demand for factory-produced goods at the time.

Now you are right, nowhere in these premises is it given that steam powered factories could produce more goods than the other types. However, excess demand would encourage the building of steam powered factories in addition to wind/water factories in areas where wind/water are optimum.

You are also right to point the major advantage of steam powered factories - anywhere irrespective of their closeness to the source of power. This benefit primarily resolved your number 1 premise stated above i.e they were built in spite of being expensive.

In fact, one could equally say building steam factories in optimum locations for the alternative is just a subset of them being expensive, however, a combination of the being able to build them without geographical constraint and the need for more goods anyway should be enough to resolve them.

Finally, remember that CR questions, while convoluted sometimes, are crafted to be solved under 2 minutes. Therefore I will suggest you shouldn't over think OAs as they aren't necessarily comprehensive, they are sometimes just the best among the 5 options. This is reflected in the prompt which asked for the statement that, I[b]f true, most helps to explain the proliferation of steam-powered factories[/b] during the earliest period of industrialization in Britain? And option E is just better, overall, than the others. If you think otherwise, I am curious to know your answer.

Also, keep in mind that one can come of myriads of other reasons why steam power proliferated after all that was a historical truth. However, only one of limited scope would be in a GMAT CR option. Think about a CR question as an abbreviated RC.

I commend your efforts to get to the root of the problem and I hope I am a clearer in my explanation.

Best,
Rulingbear

Thanks for a patient and detailed reply. As it turns out, I did notice this flaw/weakness in my thought and did note it down in my notes but because it has been a few weeks since I revised those notes, I forgot it.

Here is the exact text as I noted - Though Partial Explanation is not the Best Answer in Easy Questions, it may be the answer IF every other option is Out of Scope - and it fits here perfectly.
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Re: During the earliest period of industrialization in Britain, steam engi [#permalink]

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New post 22 Jun 2017, 17:48
Awesome explanations, rulingbear! :thumbup:
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Re: During the earliest period of industrialization in Britain, steam engi [#permalink]

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New post 23 Jun 2017, 08:43
Imo E
E gives us a reason why there was a need for the steam powered factories .
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Re: During the earliest period of industrialization in Britain, steam engi [#permalink]

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New post 13 Sep 2017, 01:15
Clearly E.
Since the demand cannot be supplied with Water and Wind mill, then Steam mills introduced to meet the Demand
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Re: During the earliest period of industrialization in Britain, steam engi [#permalink]

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New post 23 Sep 2017, 11:58
Situation: Even though steam engines were more expensive than windmills and water mills in early industrial Britain, many steam-powered factories were built even in regions where the construction of wind- and water-powered factories were geographically feasible.

Prethinking: Why will someone prefer to open steam engines powered factories, when economical alternatives such as windmills and water-mills were available? Look for information that proves to stay with steam powered factories irrespective of their costs.

Thus, "E" is the correct choice.
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Re: During the earliest period of industrialization in Britain, steam engi   [#permalink] 23 Sep 2017, 11:58
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