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While recent decades have seen more information recorded than any

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While recent decades have seen more information recorded than any  [#permalink]

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New Project RC Butler 2019 - Practice 2 RC Passages Everyday
Passage # 202, Date : 12-Jul-2019
This post is a part of New Project RC Butler 2019. Click here for Details


While recent decades have seen more information recorded than any other era, the potential for losing this information is now greater than ever. This prospect is of great concern to archivists, who are charged with preserving vital records and documents indefinitely. One archivist notes that while the quantity of material being saved has increased exponentially, the durability of recording media has decreased almost as rapidly. The clay tablets that contain the laws of ancient Mesopotamia, for example, are still displayed in museums around the world, and many medieval manuscripts written on animal parchment still look as though they were copied yesterday, whereas books printed on acidic paper as recently as the 1980s are already unreadable. Black-and-white photographs will last for a couple of centuries, but most color photographs become unstable within 40 years, and videotapes last only about 20 years.

Computer technology would seem to offer archivists an answer, as maps, photographs, films, videotapes, and all forms of printed material may now be transferred to and stored electronically on computer disks or tape, occupying very little space. But as the pace of technological change increases, so too does the speed with which each new generation of technology supplants the last. For example, many documents and images transferred in the 1980s to optical computer disks—then the cutting edge of technology—may not now be retrievable because they depend on computer software and hardware that are no longer available. And recent generations of digital storage tape are considered safe from deterioration for only ten years. Yet, even as some archivists are reluctant to become dependent on ever‑changing computer technology, they are also quickly running out of time.

Even if viable storage systems are developed— new computer technologies are emerging that may soon provide archivists with the information storage durability they require—decisions about what to keep and what to discard will have to be made quickly, as materials recorded on conventional media continue to deteriorate. Ideally, these decisions should be informed by an assessment of the value of each document. Printed versions of ancient works by Homer and Virgil, for example, survived intact because their enduring popularity resulted in multiple copies of the works being made at different historical moments. But many great works, including those of Plato, were lost for several centuries and are known today only because random copies turned up in the archives of medieval monasteries or in other scholarly collections. Undoubtedly, many important works have not survived at all. The danger now is not so much that some recent masterpiece will be lost for an extended period of time, but rather that the sheer volume of accumulated records stored on nondurable media will make it virtually impossible for archivists to sort the essential from the dispensable in time to save it.
1. Which one of the following most accurately expresses the main point of the passage?

(A) The increasing volume of information being stored and the decreasing durability of modern storage media are making it more and more difficult for archivists to carry out their charge.
(B) Modern data storage-and-retrieval techniques have enabled archivists to distinguish essential from dispensable information with greater efficiency than ever before.
(C) Many archivists have come to believe that documents and images preserved on conventional storage media are likely to endure longer than those recorded on electronic storage media.
(D) Given the limitations on the capacity of modern storage media, it is increasingly important for archivists to save only those documents that they believe to have genuine value.
(E) Modern electronic media enable us to record and store information so easily that much of what is stored is not considered by archivists to be essential or valuable.


2. The passage provides information sufficient to answer which one of the following questions?

(A) Are there any copies of the works of Homer and Virgil stored on parchment?
(B) Why is information stored on acidic paper more unstable than information stored on digital storage tape?
(C) When were optical storage disks a state-of-the- art storage medium?
(D) Approximately how many of the original clay tablets recording Mesopotamian law are still in existence?
(E) How were the works of Plato originally recorded?


3. The passage most strongly suggests that the author holds which one of the following views?

(A) Archivists have little choice but to become dependent on computer technology to store information.
(B) Archivists should wait for truly durable data storage systems to be developed before electronically storing any more vital information.
(C) The problems concerning media durability facing most archivists would diminish greatly if their information were not stored electronically at all.
(D) Storing paintings, photographs, and other images presents greater overall problems for archivists than storing text does.
(E) Generally, the more information one attempts to store in a given amount of space, the less durable the storage of that information will be.


4. Which one of the following describes the author’s primary purpose in mentioning the fact that a wide variety of images and documents can now be stored electronically (Highlighted)?

(A) to provide evidence to justify the assertion made in the first sentence of the passage
(B) to identify an ostensible solution to the problem raised in the first paragraph
(C) to argue a point that is rejected in the last sentence of the passage
(D) to offer an additional example of the problem stated at the end of the first paragraph
(E) to suggest that the danger described in the last paragraph has been exaggerated


5. The passage provides the most support for inferring which one of the following statements?

(A) Information stored electronically is more vulnerable than information stored on paper to unauthorized use or theft.
(B) Much of the information stored on optical computer disks in the 1980s was subsequently transferred to digital storage tape.
(C) The high cost of new electronic data storage systems is prohibiting many archivists from transferring their archives to computer disks and tape.
(D) Media used recently to store information electronically may ultimately be less durable than older, conventional media such as photographs and videotapes.
(E) The percentage of information considered essential by archivists has increased proportionally as the amount of information stored has increased.


6. The passage most strongly suggests that the author holds which one of the following views?

(A) Future electronic information storage systems will not provide archivists with capabilities any more viable in the long term than those available today.
(B) As much information should be stored by archivists as possible, as there is no way to predict which piece of information will someday be considered a great work.
(C) The general public has been misled by manufacturers as to the long-term storage capabilities of electronic information storage systems.
(D) Distinguishing what is dispensable from what is essential has only recently become a concern for archivists.
(E) Value judgments made by today’s archivists will influence how future generations view and understand the past.



  • Source: LSAT Official PrepTest 65 (December 2011)
  • Difficulty Level: 650

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Originally posted by patto on 07 Feb 2019, 07:32.
Last edited by SajjadAhmad on 12 Jul 2019, 09:39, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: While recent decades have seen more information recorded than any  [#permalink]

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New post 07 Feb 2019, 07:43
Would you please explain the correct answer in 5? Thank you
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Re: While recent decades have seen more information recorded than any  [#permalink]

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New post 21 Feb 2019, 10:21
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patto wrote:
Would you please explain the correct answer in 5? Thank you

Question 5 asks us which statement can be inferred, so let's go through the answer choices and refer back to the passage as needed:

Quote:
(A) Information stored electronically is more vulnerable than information stored on paper to unauthorized use or theft.

The passage does not mention "unauthorized use or theft" of information, regardless of how it is stored. (A) is out.

Quote:
(B) Much of the information stored on optical computer disks in the 1980s was subsequently transferred to digital storage tape.

The passage states that "many documents and images transferred in the 1980s to optical computer disks—then the cutting edge of technology—may not now be retrievable because they depend on computer software and hardware that are no longer available." It goes on to say that "recent generations of digital storage tape are considered safe from deterioration for only ten years." The passage does not imply that the information stored on the optical computer disks was transferred to digital storage tapes -- it merely lists the two types of storage as examples of ever-changing computer technology. Eliminate (B).

Quote:
(C) The high cost of new electronic data storage systems is prohibiting many archivists from transferring their archives to computer disks and tape.

The passage does not discuss the cost of new electronic data storage systems at all, so this statement cannot be inferred. (C) is out.

Quote:
(D) Media used recently to store information electronically may ultimately be less durable than older, conventional media such as photographs and videotapes.

About "older, conventional media," the passage says that "books printed on acidic paper as recently as the 1980s are already unreadable. Black-and-white photographs will last for a couple of centuries, but most color photographs become unstable within 40 years, and videotapes last only about 20 years."

This is compared to "media used recently to store information electronically": "recent generations of digital storage tape are considered safe from deterioration for only ten years." Thus, electronic media used recently to store data will likely be less durable than older, more conventional media. Answer choice (D) is looking good.

Quote:
(E) The percentage of information considered essential by archivists has increased proportionally as the amount of information stored has increased.

The last sentence of the passage is the most relevant to this answer choice: "The danger now is not so much that some recent masterpiece will be lost for an extended period of time, but rather that the sheer volume of accumulated records stored on nondurable media will make it virtually impossible for archivists to sort the essential from the dispensable in time to save it." This shows that the "amount of information stored has increased," but it does not support the idea that "the percentage of information considered essential... has increased proportionally" with the increase in overall information. If anything, the passage implies that archivists will be challenged to sift through a massive amount of non-essential information to find a small amount of essential information.

Because the passage does not imply that the percentage of essential information has increased, we cannot infer this answer choice. (E) is out, and (D) is the answer to question 5.

I hope that helps!
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Re: While recent decades have seen more information recorded than any  [#permalink]

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New post 22 Mar 2019, 10:10
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can someone please explain last question?
How do we infer about future generations?
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Re: While recent decades have seen more information recorded than any  [#permalink]

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New post 09 Apr 2019, 08:35
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Raj30 wrote:
can someone please explain last question?
How do we infer about future generations?

Here is question #6: "The passage most strongly suggests that the author holds which one of the following views?"

As always, it is better to come to four incorrect answers than one correct answer. So, let's go through the answer choices:

Quote:
(A) Future electronic information storage systems will not provide archivists with capabilities any more viable in the long term than those available today.

This author states that "new computer technologies are emerging that may soon provide archivists with the information storage durability they require," which contradicts the information in this answer choice. (A) is out.

Quote:
(B) As much information should be stored by archivists as possible, as there is no way to predict which piece of information will someday be considered a great work.

In the last paragraph, the author states that "decisions about what to keep and what to discard... should be informed by an assessment of the value of each document." Clearly, the author does not believe that "as much information... as possible" should be stored, but rather each document should be assessed and only stored if it has value. Eliminate (B).

Quote:
(C) The general public has been misled by manufacturers as to the long-term storage capabilities of electronic information storage systems.

The passage does not mention what the general public believes about the capabilities of electronic information storage system, nor does it say what manufacturers have told the public. (C) is out.

Quote:
(D) Distinguishing what is dispensable from what is essential has only recently become a concern for archivists.

The author focuses on the difficulties of distinguishing what is essential, but does he/she claim that this only recently became a concern for archivists?

Not at all -- while the "sheer volume" of works on nondurable media may be greater today than in previous eras, the problem of what to store and what to let go has existed for a long time. The author makes this clear in his/her example of Plato's works, which "are known today only because random copies turned up in the archives of medieval monasteries or in other scholarly collections." (D) is out.

Quote:
(E) Value judgments made by today’s archivists will influence how future generations view and understand the past.

We have four incorrect answers, so let's hope that (E) is the correct one.

We know from the passage that decisions about what to keep and what to discard "should be informed by an assessment of the value of each document." So, the value judgments of today's archivists will determine which works are available to future generations. From there, it is easy to infer that the value judgments of today's archivists will influence how future generations view and understand the past. (E) is our answer.

I hope that helps!
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Re: While recent decades have seen more information recorded than any  [#permalink]

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Re: While recent decades have seen more information recorded than any   [#permalink] 12 Jul 2019, 09:40
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