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# In virtually any industry, technological improvements

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In virtually any industry, technological improvements [#permalink]

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07 Aug 2012, 14:53
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In virtually any industry, technological improvements increase labor productivity, which is the output of goods and services per person-hour worked. In Parland's industries, labor productivity is significantly higher than it is in Vergia's industries. Clearly, therefore, Parland's industries must, on the whole, be further advanced technologically than Vergia's are.

The argument is most vulnerable to which of the following criticisms?

(A) It offers a conclusion that is no more than a paraphrase of one of the pieces of information provided in its support.
(B) It presents as evidence in support of a claim information that is inconsistent with other evidence presented in support of the same claim.
(C) It takes one possible cause of a condition to be the actual cause of that condition without considering any other possible causes.
(D) It takes a condition to be the effect of something that happened only after the condition already existed.
(E) It makes a distinction that presupposes the truth of the conclusion that is to be established.

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Re: In virtually any industry, technological improvements [#permalink]

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08 Aug 2012, 14:06
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betterscore wrote:
In virtually any industry, technological improvements increase labor productivity, which is the output of goods and services per person-hour worked. In Parland's industries, labor productivity is significantly higher than it is in Vergia's industries. Clearly, therefore, Parland's industries must, on the whole, be further advanced technologically than Vergia's are.

The argument is most vulnerable to which of the following criticisms?
(A) It offers a conclusion that is no more than a paraphrase of one of the pieces of information provided in its support.
(B) It presents as evidence in support of a claim information that is inconsistent with other evidence presented in support of the same claim.
(C) It takes one possible cause of a condition to be the actual cause of that condition without considering any other possible causes.
(D) It takes a condition to be the effect of something that happened only after the condition already existed.
(E) It makes a distinction that presupposes the truth of the conclusion that is to be established.

Hi, there. I'm happy to help with this.

Of course, this is OG13, CR #8, a new question that did not appear in the OG12. Let's look at this prompt.

GENERAL RULE: In virtually any industry, technological improvements increase labor productivity, which is the output of goods and services per person-hour worked.
FACT/EVIDENCE: In Parland's industries, labor productivity is significantly higher than it is in Vergia's industries.
CONCLUSION: Clearly, therefore, Parland's industries must, on the whole, be further advanced technologically than Vergia's are.

We are told that technological improvements cause increases in labor productivity --- to use the language of formal logic, we know that technological improvements are sufficient for an increase in labor productivity. This is quite different from saying that: technological improvements are necessary for an increase in labor productivity. In other words, the argument is implicitly assuming that absolutely nothing else ---- labor conditions, local economic conditions, difference in shipping cost for materials or sale, etc. etc. --- would affect labor productivity. That's crazy. All kinds of other things also could affect labor productivity. Technological improvements are sufficient but not necessary for an increase in labor productivity.
Parland has higher labor productivity than does Vergia. One possible explanation could be a technological superiority, but again, there are a dozen other things that might differ between the two regions and might account for the difference in labor productivity.
The answer that best summarizes this flaw is (C) --- assuming that one particular cause is the only possible cause, or in other words, assuming that a sufficient cause is thereby also a necessary cause.

Does all this make sense? Please let me know if you have any further questions.

Mike
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Re: In virtually any industry, technological improvements [#permalink]

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06 Sep 2012, 12:40
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getgyan wrote:
Thanks Mike, But can you explain why is e) wrong?

In virtually any industry, technological improvements increase labor productivity, which is the output of goods and services per person-hour worked. In Parland's industries, labor productivity is significantly higher than it is in Vergia's industries. Clearly, therefore, Parland's industries must, on the whole, be further advanced technologically than Vergia's are.

The argument is most vulnerable to which of the following criticisms?
(A) It offers a conclusion that is no more than a paraphrase of one of the pieces of information provided in its support.
(B) It presents as evidence in support of a claim information that is inconsistent with other evidence presented in support of the same claim.
(C) It takes one possible cause of a condition to be the actual cause of that condition without considering any other possible causes.
(D) It takes a condition to be the effect of something that happened only after the condition already existed.
(E) It makes a distinction that presupposes the truth of the conclusion that is to be established.

To "presuppose the truth of the conclusion" means --- the conclusion is a necessary assumption for some piece of the evidence.

Here, conclusion is highly specific --- it concerns only Parland's industries, compared to Vergia's. Anything going on in those two podunk places doesn't necessarily have implications for events anywhere else.

In order for earlier statements to "presuppose the truth of the conclusion", the conclusion has to be a general statement, applicable to large number of situations. That is not at all the case here.

Does all that make sense?

Mike
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Re: In virtually any industry, technological improvements [#permalink]

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08 Aug 2012, 15:21
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Flaw in logic Question. Pre-thinking: No other alternate reason exists for the high productivity.
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Re: In virtually any industry, technological improvements [#permalink]

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05 Nov 2012, 10:40
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monsoon1 wrote:
(D) It takes a condition to be the effect of something that happened only after the condition already existed.

Mike,
I am not sure what is wrong with answer choice D.

Does it say that the effect (Technological advancement) causes the cause (Labor Productivity) ?

The argument is saying that:
CAUSE = technological improvements
EFFECT = increased labor productivity

Choice (D) does not reverse or change the order of fundamental causal relation. What choice (D) does is to introduce time. Choice (D) says:
It takes a condition (= increased labor productivity) to be the effect of something (= technological improvements) that happened only after the condition already existed

First of all, the argument gives absolute no information about time relationships, about what is before what. Furthermore, if technological improvements really are causing increased labor productivity. it simply makes no sense that labor productivity would have increased before any technological improvements. For these reasons, (D) is an unacceptable answer.

Does this make sense?

Mike
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Re: In virtually any industry, technological improvements [#permalink]

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07 Sep 2012, 16:15
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getgyan wrote:
mikemcgarry wrote:
In virtually any industry, technological improvements increase labor productivity, which is the output of goods and services per person-hour worked. In Parland's industries, labor productivity is significantly higher than it is in Vergia's industries. Clearly, therefore, Parland's industries must, on the whole, be further advanced technologically than Vergia's are.

The argument is most vulnerable to which of the following criticisms?
(A) It offers a conclusion that is no more than a paraphrase of one of the pieces of information provided in its support.
(B) It presents as evidence in support of a claim information that is inconsistent with other evidence presented in support of the same claim.
(C) It takes one possible cause of a condition to be the actual cause of that condition without considering any other possible causes.
(D) It takes a condition to be the effect of something that happened only after the condition already existed.
(E) It makes a distinction that presupposes the truth of the conclusion that is to be established.

Thanks Mike

But I am still not very clear. Last option has two parts
It makes a distinction
1) that presupposes the truth of the conclusion (conclusion i.e. Parland is technologically more advanced than Vergia) - I find this true
2) that (conclusion) is to be established (Is it not?)
I am new at CR

Dear getgyan,

First of all, if you are new to CR, I highly recommend these blogs:
http://magoosh.com/gmat/2012/introducti ... reasoning/
http://magoosh.com/gmat/2012/arguments- ... -the-gmat/
http://magoosh.com/gmat/2012/formal-log ... reasoning/
http://magoosh.com/gmat/2012/save-time- ... questions/

Also, your reading of that particular answer choice, (E), is off, and it's a grammar problem, not a logic problem. In the final part of that sentence...
the conclusion that is to be established
...the phrase "that is to be established" is simply a relative clause that modifies the word "conclusion" --- it is in there to make sure everything is hyper-clear, almost to the points of redundancy. There is no extra logic happening in that part of the sentence ---- the entire phrase "the conclusion that is to be established" is just a fancy way of saying "the main conclusion of the argument."
You are reading those two "that"-clauses as if there were in parallel, and they are NOT --- if they were, the would be joined by the word "and" --- instead, the first "that"-clause modifies "distinction" and explains what kind of distinction --- that's where the meat of the logic is ---- and nested within this first "that"-clause is a second, near-redundant, clause simply modifying the word "conclusion."

Grammar supports logic -- that's important to remember both on GMAT CR and on GMAT SC.

Does all this make sense?

Mike
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Re: In virtually any industry, technological improvements [#permalink]

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14 Nov 2015, 14:26
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andy2whang wrote:
Dear,
Can anyone please explain what "D)" means?
"(D) It takes a condition to be the effect of something that happened only after the condition already existed."

In my translation,
condition: technology improvement
effect: icrease in labor productivity
so, does it mean that there is ome some other condtion played in the role of increase in labor productivity?

And OE for D is "The argument does not mention how long Parland has had more productive labor, or when
technological improvements would have occurred"

I am not sure why OE mentions "how long..." and "when...." to justify that d) is incorrect.

question choice and OE both are just confusing.

thanks
Andy

Dear Andy,
I'm happy to help. Yes, this is a tricky official question.

Here's the text of the question again.
In virtually any industry, technological improvements increase labor productivity, which is the output of goods and services per person-hour worked. In Parland's industries, labor productivity is significantly higher than it is in Vergia's industries. Clearly, therefore, Parland's industries must, on the whole, be further advanced technologically than Vergia's are.

The argument is most vulnerable to which of the following criticisms?
(A) It offers a conclusion that is no more than a paraphrase of one of the pieces of information provided in its support.
(B) It presents as evidence in support of a claim information that is inconsistent with other evidence presented in support of the same claim.
(C) It takes one possible cause of a condition to be the actual cause of that condition without considering any other possible causes.
(D) It takes a condition to be the effect of something that happened only after the condition already existed.
(E) It makes a distinction that presupposes the truth of the conclusion that is to be established.

First, let's think about the nature of the objection that (D) holds. Here are a series of extremely bad arguments.
Faulty argument #1: The Dred Scott decision (1857) was a direct response to the election of Abraham Lincoln (1860).
Faulty argument #2: The election of Ronald Reagan (1980) was a direct result of the fall of the Berlin Wall (1989)
All three of these are disastrous bad arguments, and all three make the same mistake. All three of these would be vulnerable to the objection that (D) makes. In order for X to cause Y, X must come earlier in time than Y. A cause may come immediately before an effect, or there may be a gap of minutes, hours, days, or even millions of years.
Striking a match immediately causes the match to burst into flame.
Not remembering to put gas in one's car will cause the car, a few hours or few days later, to run out of gas.
A habit of cigarette smoking, started in one's teen years, cause either cancer or heart disease over the course of decades.
The Second Amendment of the US Constitution (1789) causes American citizens today to have the gun rights they have.
The separation of N & S America from Europe & Africa, 175 million years ago, cause Columbus & the 16th century explorers to find very different animals & plants in the New World and the Old World.

The cause could happen any time before the effect, but it absolutely can't happen after the effect.

That's what (D) says.
It takes a condition to be the effect of something that happened only after the condition already existed.
In other words, the argument is interpreting a certain condition to be the effect of a particular cause, but this reputed cause took place after the condition, the supposed effect, was already happening. It's a very powerful objection to a cause-effect argument if we can demonstrate that the reputed cause took place after the effect.

Why is (D) not the OA? Well, we get no information about when any of these things happened. Time isn't discussed at all. We know Parland's industries have higher labor productivity ---that's the effect the argument is trying to explain. We have no evidence about when in time Parland started using advanced technology, or whether they use it at all. (D) would be a very power objection if a time sequence were explicitly present in the argument, but it is not.

OK, let's go back to the argument.
Parland has a higher level of labor productivity than does Vergia. This difference is what we want to explain. Why does Parland have higher labor productivity?

The argument tells us that one way to increase labor productivity is to use advanced technology. Is this the absolutely only way on earth to increase labor productivity? Absolutely not! In some cases better educated or better trained workers might be more productive, or better equipment or better supplies or better materials might help. There are many things that can contribute to labor productivity, and advanced technology is one of them.

We want to explain why Parland has higher labor productivity. It could be because Parland has more advanced technology. That could be the cause, but it doesn't have to be. The argument fallaciously assumes that advanced technology must be the cause, the only cause, of Parland's higher labor productivity.

This is another very powerful objection. If I say, "Here's a case of B. Since A causes B, A must have caused this instance of B," then a very powerful objection would be simply to point out that B has other causes besides A. Yes, we all see an instance of B, but was it caused by A or C or D? We don't know, and we can't automatically assume the one cause was responsible and not the others.

This is exactly what (C) says:
It takes one possible cause of a condition to be the actual cause of that condition without considering any other possible causes.

Part of what is hard about this is the abstract wording. Part of what is challenging, though, is that you have to have a good intuitive sense about how the business world works. Presumably you are taking the GMAT so that you can get into business school. Well, if a candidate applies to business school and then, on the interview, doesn't give any evidence of understanding how the business world works, that's not going to look good. It's very important to build your understanding of how the business world works---what factors might influence labor productivity, for example. See this blog article:
http://magoosh.com/gmat/2014/gmat-criti ... knowledge/

Does all this make sense?
Mike
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Re: In virtually any industry, technological improvements [#permalink]

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10 Oct 2016, 16:20
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betterscore wrote:
In virtually any industry, technological improvements increase labor productivity, which is the output of goods and services per person-hour worked. In Parland's industries, labor productivity is significantly higher than it is in Vergia's industries. Clearly, therefore, Parland's industries must, on the whole, be further advanced technologically than Vergia's are.

The argument is most vulnerable to which of the following criticisms?

(A) It offers a conclusion that is no more than a paraphrase of one of the pieces of information provided in its support.

(B) It presents as evidence in support of a claim information that is inconsistent with other evidence presented in support of the same claim.

(C) It takes one possible cause of a condition to be the actual cause of that condition without considering any other possible causes.

(D) It takes a condition to be the effect of something that happened only after the condition already existed.

(E) It makes a distinction that presupposes the truth of the conclusion that is to be established.

This is CR #8 in the OG13.

[
Dear Nevernevergiveup,

My friend, part of what is going on is that you have to learn the vocabulary of logic. For example, the word "presuppose" has a very precise and sophisticated meaning. You will not understand that word by substituting one or two other words. You have to have the full and precise meaning of that word. You have to learn it and own it, so that when you see in a sentence such as this, it already makes sense.

What I have said of this one word is true of many of the logical terms in the answer choices. There is absolutely no substitute for knowing exactly what each word means. This problem provides a great start: you should make it your goal to learn the precise definition of each word that appears in these answer choices.

Knowing the vocab is step one. Once you know exactly what each word means, we can begin to put together the whole sentence.

For example, in (E), probably the hardest word is "presuppose." Here's the simple definition from Merriam-Webster:
to be based on the idea that something is true or will happen

Part of what might be confusing is the grammar also. The structure "the conclusion to be established" exhibits a particular idiomatic structure. The idiom "the [noun] to be [verb + ed]" is a structure that implies intention or necessary action. Describing a job as "the task to be done," implies that someone, probably someone in authority, wants this task done. In a math problem, we might talk about "the value to be found," that is, the value for which the question is asking. In this CR problem, there's a conclusion that someone is trying to establish, so this is "the conclusion to be established."

Choice (E) objects that the argument "makes a distinction," specifies a difference between two things at the beginning of the argument, and this distinction or difference "presupposes" or is logically dependent on "the truth of the conclusion that is to be established."

You see, the way an argument words, the premises are supposed to prove or provide support to the conclusion. If the premises presuppose the conclusion, that is a HUGE problem for the argument! If the premises need support from the conclusion, and the conclusion needs support from the premise, it sounds as if there's nothing reliable at all!

My friend, you need to read. You need to take up a practice of reading, reading hard logical analyses in English. See:
How to Improve Your GMAT Verbal Score
You need to keep up a habit of reading until choices such as this seem easy.

Does all this make sense?
Mike
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Re: In virtually any industry, technological improvements [#permalink]

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13 Aug 2012, 10:19
Clear C , argument states Tech Adv ---> High Labor Productivity , doesnt consider any other ways in which Labor productivity can be high.
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Re: In virtually any industry, technological improvements [#permalink]

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27 Aug 2012, 06:23
Thanks! It is really understood from your account!

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Re: In virtually any industry, technological improvements [#permalink]

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27 Aug 2012, 09:08
Hey Mike, even i got C as an answer, but can we do this using the method of validation? I mean sometimes, in questions like this, i m not able to understand half the options. So , how do i go abt it?

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Re: In virtually any industry, technological improvements [#permalink]

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27 Aug 2012, 19:21
In virtually any industry, technological improvements increase labor productivity, which is the output of goods and services per person-hour worked. In Parland's industries, labor productivity is significantly higher than it is in Vergia's industries. Clearly, therefore, Parland's industries must, on the whole, be further advanced technologically than Vergia's are.

The argument is most vulnerable to which of the following criticisms?

(C) It takes one possible cause of a condition to be the actual cause of that condition without considering any other possible causes. - Correct because it assumes that a higher labor productivity leads to advanced technology.

I don't think i have come across this Q in OG 13, 12 & 11? Was this from OG 10?

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Re: In virtually any industry, technological improvements [#permalink]

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27 Aug 2012, 21:50
mehulsayani wrote:
Hey Mike, even i got C as an answer, but can we do this using the method of validation? I mean sometimes, in questions like this, i m not able to understand half the options. So , how do i go abt it?

Forgive me, but I am not familiar with that terminology "method of validation" --- what does that mean, and whose term is that?

Mike
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Re: In virtually any industry, technological improvements [#permalink]

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03 Sep 2012, 00:54
The opposite cannot be assumed to be true.

Thank you Mike for an in-depth explanation.

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Re: In virtually any industry, technological improvements [#permalink]

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05 Sep 2012, 22:49
mikemcgarry wrote:
betterscore wrote:
In virtually any industry, technological improvements increase labor productivity, which is the output of goods and services per person-hour worked. In Parland's industries, labor productivity is significantly higher than it is in Vergia's industries. Clearly, therefore, Parland's industries must, on the whole, be further advanced technologically than Vergia's are.

The argument is most vulnerable to which of the following criticisms?
(A) It offers a conclusion that is no more than a paraphrase of one of the pieces of information provided in its support.
(B) It presents as evidence in support of a claim information that is inconsistent with other evidence presented in support of the same claim.
(C) It takes one possible cause of a condition to be the actual cause of that condition without considering any other possible causes.
(D) It takes a condition to be the effect of something that happened only after the condition already existed.
(E) It makes a distinction that presupposes the truth of the conclusion that is to be established.

Hi, there. I'm happy to help with this.

Of course, this is OG13, CR #8, a new question that did not appear in the OG12. Let's look at this prompt.

GENERAL RULE: In virtually any industry, technological improvements increase labor productivity, which is the output of goods and services per person-hour worked.
FACT/EVIDENCE: In Parland's industries, labor productivity is significantly higher than it is in Vergia's industries.
CONCLUSION: Clearly, therefore, Parland's industries must, on the whole, be further advanced technologically than Vergia's are.

We are told that technological improvements cause increases in labor productivity --- to use the language of formal logic, we know that technological improvements are sufficient for an increase in labor productivity. This is quite different from saying that: technological improvements are necessary for an increase in labor productivity. In other words, the argument is implicitly assuming that absolutely nothing else ---- labor conditions, local economic conditions, difference in shipping cost for materials or sale, etc. etc. --- would affect labor productivity. That's crazy. All kinds of other things also could affect labor productivity. Technological improvements are sufficient but not necessary for an increase in labor productivity.
Parland has higher labor productivity than does Vergia. One possible explanation could be a technological superiority, but again, there are a dozen other things that might differ between the two regions and might account for the difference in labor productivity.
The answer that best summarizes this flaw is (C) --- assuming that one particular cause is the only possible cause, or in other words, assuming that a sufficient cause is thereby also a necessary cause.

Does all this make sense? Please let me know if you have any further questions.

Mike

Thanks Mike

But can you explain why is e) wrong?
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Re: In virtually any industry, technological improvements [#permalink]

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06 Sep 2012, 18:00
+1 C

The author assumes that there is only one cause for more productivity.
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Re: In virtually any industry, technological improvements [#permalink]

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06 Sep 2012, 20:58
mikemcgarry wrote:
getgyan wrote:
Thanks Mike, But can you explain why is e) wrong?

In virtually any industry, technological improvements increase labor productivity, which is the output of goods and services per person-hour worked. In Parland's industries, labor productivity is significantly higher than it is in Vergia's industries. Clearly, therefore, Parland's industries must, on the whole, be further advanced technologically than Vergia's are.

The argument is most vulnerable to which of the following criticisms?
(A) It offers a conclusion that is no more than a paraphrase of one of the pieces of information provided in its support.
(B) It presents as evidence in support of a claim information that is inconsistent with other evidence presented in support of the same claim.
(C) It takes one possible cause of a condition to be the actual cause of that condition without considering any other possible causes.
(D) It takes a condition to be the effect of something that happened only after the condition already existed.
(E) It makes a distinction that presupposes the truth of the conclusion that is to be established.

To "presuppose the truth of the conclusion" means --- the conclusion is a necessary assumption for some piece of the evidence.

Here, conclusion is highly specific --- it concerns only Parland's industries, compared to Vergia's. Anything going on in those two podunk places doesn't necessarily have implications for events anywhere else.

In order for earlier statements to "presuppose the truth of the conclusion", the conclusion has to be a general statement, applicable to large number of situations. That is not at all the case here.

Does all that make sense?

Mike

Thanks Mike

But I am still not very clear. Last option has two parts
It makes a distinction
1) that presupposes the truth of the conclusion (conclusion i.e. Parland is technologically more advanced than Vergia) - I find this true
2) that (conclusion) is to be established (Is it not?)

I am new at CR
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Re: In virtually any industry, technological improvements [#permalink]

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07 Sep 2012, 17:04
Generally speaking, I think that infer too much on GMAT is wrong.

E) It makes a distinction that presupposes the truth of the conclusion that is to be established.

Suddenly jump in my head that here nothing leads us to a distinction. Straight.

Please Mike correct me if I'm wrong
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Re: In virtually any industry, technological improvements [#permalink]

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07 Sep 2012, 20:51
carcass wrote:
Generally speaking, I think that infer too much on GMAT is wrong.

I agree --- when the GMAT says "infer", it is looking for something that is little more than a hair's breadth away from what is clearly stated in black and white.

carcass wrote:
E) It makes a distinction that presupposes the truth of the conclusion that is to be established.
Suddenly jump in my head that here nothing leads us to a distinction. Straight.
Please Mike correct me if I'm wrong

True, that's an even more basic problem with (E) --- there's really no distinction being made at all, so there certainly can't be a distinction that presupposes the conclusion.
Mike
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Re: In virtually any industry, technological improvements [#permalink]

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08 Sep 2012, 06:37
mikemcgarry wrote:
mehulsayani wrote:
Hey Mike, even i got C as an answer, but can we do this using the method of validation? I mean sometimes, in questions like this, i m not able to understand half the options. So , how do i go abt it?

Forgive me, but I am not familiar with that terminology "method of validation" --- what does that mean, and whose term is that?

Mike

I mean in questions like this, sometimes, the terminology used is unfamiliar. So, how should I go about such questions using the method of elimination.
(by method of validation, i meant how to check whether the given option is valid here or not)

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Re: In virtually any industry, technological improvements   [#permalink] 08 Sep 2012, 06:37

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