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# From time to time, the press indulges in outbursts of

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VP
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From time to time, the press indulges in outbursts of [#permalink]

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01 Mar 2009, 01:34
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From time to time, the press indulges in outbursts of indignation over the use of false or misleading information by the U.S. government in support of its policies and programs. No one endorses needless deception. But consider this historical analogy. It is known that Christopher Columbus, on his first voyage to the New World, deliberately falsified the log to show a shorter sailing distance for each day out than the ships had actually traveled. In this way, Columbus was able to convince his skeptical sailors that they had not sailed past the point at which they expected to find the shores of India. Without this deception, Columbus’s sailors might well have mutinied, and the New World might never have been discovered.

Which of the following is the main weakness of the historical analogy drawn in the passage above?
(A) The sailors in Columbus’s crew never knew that they had been deceived, while government deception is generally uncovered by the press.
(B) A ship’s log is a record intended mainly for use by the captain, while press reports are generally disseminated for use by the public at large.
(C) The members of a ship’s crew are selected by the captain of the ship, while those who work in the press are self-selected.
(D) The crew of a ship is responsible for the success of a voyage, while the press is not responsible for the use others make of the factual information it publishes.
(E) In a democracy, the people are expected to participate in the nation’s political decision making, while the members of a ship’s crew are expected simply to obey the orders of the captain.
Director
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01 Mar 2009, 03:12
To me, A and E come closest.
I go for E.

ritula wrote:
From time to time, the press indulges in outbursts of indignation over the use of false or misleading information by the U.S. government in support of its policies and programs. No one endorses needless deception. But consider this historical analogy. It is known that Christopher Columbus, on his first voyage to the New World, deliberately falsified the log to show a shorter sailing distance for each day out than the ships had actually traveled. In this way, Columbus was able to convince his skeptical sailors that they had not sailed past the point at which they expected to find the shores of India. Without this deception, Columbus’s sailors might well have mutinied, and the New World might never have been discovered.

Which of the following is the main weakness of the historical analogy drawn in the passage above?
(A) The sailors in Columbus’s crew never knew that they had been deceived, while government deception is generally uncovered by the press.
(B) A ship’s log is a record intended mainly for use by the captain, while press reports are generally disseminated for use by the public at large.
(C) The members of a ship’s crew are selected by the captain of the ship, while those who work in the press are self-selected.
(D) The crew of a ship is responsible for the success of a voyage, while the press is not responsible for the use others make of the factual information it publishes.
(E) In a democracy, the people are expected to participate in the nation’s political decision making, while the members of a ship’s crew are expected simply to obey the orders of the captain.
Manager
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01 Mar 2009, 10:35
I will go for 'D'.
Senior Manager
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01 Mar 2009, 11:16
ritula wrote:
From time to time, the press indulges in outbursts of indignation over the use of false or misleading information by the U.S. government in support of its policies and programs. No one endorses needless deception. But consider this historical analogy. It is known that Christopher Columbus, on his first voyage to the New World, deliberately falsified the log to show a shorter sailing distance for each day out than the ships had actually traveled. In this way, Columbus was able to convince his skeptical sailors that they had not sailed past the point at which they expected to find the shores of India. Without this deception, Columbus’s sailors might well have mutinied, and the New World might never have been discovered.

Which of the following is the main weakness of the historical analogy drawn in the passage above?
(A) The sailors in Columbus’s crew never knew that they had been deceived, while government deception is generally uncovered by the press.
(B) A ship’s log is a record intended mainly for use by the captain, while press reports are generally disseminated for use by the public at large.
(C) The members of a ship’s crew are selected by the captain of the ship, while those who work in the press are self-selected.
(D) The crew of a ship is responsible for the success of a voyage, while the press is not responsible for the use others make of the factual information it publishes.
(E) In a democracy, the people are expected to participate in the nation’s political decision making, while the members of a ship’s crew are expected simply to obey the orders of the captain.

The author argues that both deceptions are similar. E weakens this conclusion.

E states that even though columbus deceived his crew, the crew was still supposed to follow his orders. So technically this deception doesn't mean anything. But, in a democracy, people take indirect part in the political decision making and hence must not be deceived.

It would be good if we all write our reasoning with the answer choice. Just stating that you agree with a particular answer choice is not going to help us on the forum. Thanks very much.
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02 Mar 2009, 20:52
I am confused between A and E. Sanjay u r explanation holds true for A too "The sailors in Columbus’s crew never knew that they had been deceived, while government deception is generally uncovered by the press"
VP
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02 Mar 2009, 22:17
kaushik04 wrote:
I am confused between A and E. Sanjay u r explanation holds true for A too "The sailors in Columbus’s crew never knew that they had been deceived, while government deception is generally uncovered by the press"

Exactly. Thats where I stopped for few moments.

E is just better than A because it exposes the expectations of the underlying system and how deception can be accepted in one and cannot be in one. Also, if the crew is expected to obey captain, then it is not a deception in the first place and the whole comparison does not hold good.

In A, it does not mention why one should be accepted and one should not be. It is sort of implied.

So E is better.
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04 Mar 2009, 09:06
3
KUDOS
The argument is an analogy, and the way to weaken an analogy is always the same: We must show that the two situations which the argument assumes to be the same are different in some way that is relevant to the conclusion.

In order to do this reliably, we have to understand exactly what the analogy is. Usually that is fairly obvious, but this one is less clear. The exact analogy here is: Because it was OK for Columbus to deceive his sailors when he had a good reason, it is OK for our government to deceive the public when they have a good reason. The statement "No one endorses needless deception" is merely reinforcing the idea that Columbus' deception (and by extension, the government's) was made acceptable by the fact that he had a reason.

So in order to weaken the analogy, we need to find a difference which specifically makes lying LESS wrong in Columbus' situation than in the government's situation. A difference which makes lying MORE wrong in Columbus' situation would actually strengthen the argument.

(A) describes a difference between the two situations, but whether a deception is discovered clearly has nothing to do with whether it is morally right. Therefore, this difference is not relevant to the conclusion.

(B) does not address the analogy at all, because it compares a ship's log to press reports, not to government statements

(C) compares the ship's crew to the press, not to the public at large. In order to address the analogy, it needs to compare the recipients of Columbus's lie to the recipients of the government lie. In any case, it is not clear why being selected by the captain would justify being lied to. If anything, it might seem that the captain makes himself more accountable for being truthful by selecting the people on the ship.

(D) again compares to the press, not the public at large. Not only that, but the fact that they are responsible for the success of the trip would make it MORE wrong to give the crew false information, not less.

(E) clearly provides a reason why lying to the public would be wrong even if lying to the ship's crew would not be: The public is supposed to participate in decision making, but the crew is not. Withholding relevant information from someone who needs to make a decision about it is not a good thing.
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05 Mar 2009, 00:08
OA is E
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05 Mar 2009, 02:09
grumpyoldman wrote:
The argument is an analogy, and the way to weaken an analogy is always the same: We must show that the two situations which the argument assumes to be the same are different in some way that is relevant to the conclusion.

In order to do this reliably, we have to understand exactly what the analogy is. Usually that is fairly obvious, but this one is less clear. The exact analogy here is: Because it was OK for Columbus to deceive his sailors when he had a good reason, it is OK for our government to deceive the public when they have a good reason. The statement "No one endorses needless deception" is merely reinforcing the idea that Columbus' deception (and by extension, the government's) was made acceptable by the fact that he had a reason.

So in order to weaken the analogy, we need to find a difference which specifically makes lying LESS wrong in Columbus' situation than in the government's situation. A difference which makes lying MORE wrong in Columbus' situation would actually strengthen the argument.

(A) describes a difference between the two situations, but whether a deception is discovered clearly has nothing to do with whether it is morally right. Therefore, this difference is not relevant to the conclusion.

(B) does not address the analogy at all, because it compares a ship's log to press reports, not to government statements

(C) compares the ship's crew to the press, not to the public at large. In order to address the analogy, it needs to compare the recipients of Columbus's lie to the recipients of the government lie. In any case, it is not clear why being selected by the captain would justify being lied to. If anything, it might seem that the captain makes himself more accountable for being truthful by selecting the people on the ship.

(D) again compares to the press, not the public at large. Not only that, but the fact that they are responsible for the success of the trip would make it MORE wrong to give the crew false information, not less.

(E) clearly provides a reason why lying to the public would be wrong even if lying to the ship's crew would not be: The public is supposed to participate in decision making, but the crew is not. Withholding relevant information from someone who needs to make a decision about it is not a good thing.

I found this CR tough to crack.

Excellent explanation (for all the options) sir!

+2 from me.

Regards,
Technext
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+++ Please tell me why other options are wrong. +++

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VP
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05 Mar 2009, 17:11
Thanks a lot for the wonderful explanation. This gives us an insight to how 2 attck these types of questions. +1 frm me
grumpyoldman wrote:
The argument is an analogy, and the way to weaken an analogy is always the same: We must show that the two situations which the argument assumes to be the same are different in some way that is relevant to the conclusion.

In order to do this reliably, we have to understand exactly what the analogy is. Usually that is fairly obvious, but this one is less clear. The exact analogy here is: Because it was OK for Columbus to deceive his sailors when he had a good reason, it is OK for our government to deceive the public when they have a good reason. The statement "No one endorses needless deception" is merely reinforcing the idea that Columbus' deception (and by extension, the government's) was made acceptable by the fact that he had a reason.

So in order to weaken the analogy, we need to find a difference which specifically makes lying LESS wrong in Columbus' situation than in the government's situation. A difference which makes lying MORE wrong in Columbus' situation would actually strengthen the argument.

(A) describes a difference between the two situations, but whether a deception is discovered clearly has nothing to do with whether it is morally right. Therefore, this difference is not relevant to the conclusion.

(B) does not address the analogy at all, because it compares a ship's log to press reports, not to government statements

(C) compares the ship's crew to the press, not to the public at large. In order to address the analogy, it needs to compare the recipients of Columbus's lie to the recipients of the government lie. In any case, it is not clear why being selected by the captain would justify being lied to. If anything, it might seem that the captain makes himself more accountable for being truthful by selecting the people on the ship.

(D) again compares to the press, not the public at large. Not only that, but the fact that they are responsible for the success of the trip would make it MORE wrong to give the crew false information, not less.

(E) clearly provides a reason why lying to the public would be wrong even if lying to the ship's crew would not be: The public is supposed to participate in decision making, but the crew is not. Withholding relevant information from someone who needs to make a decision about it is not a good thing.
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26 Oct 2009, 20:00
I chose E
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27 Oct 2009, 14:21
agree with E
Re: CR: press   [#permalink] 27 Oct 2009, 14:21
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