6.29.2017

Dude I went -4 on games (65.2). Missed the last 4 questions. I had ample time left going into the last game, but still managed to only answer 21/23 questions. ???

It threw me a curveball and I balked. Is that a cogent baseball analogy? I was trying to hit a homerun with 2 minutes left in the 3rd period but then I threw an interception. To my self. I intercepted myself. Swring and a mriss.

GOALLLLLLL.

On difficult games: slow down.

Take a breath. Don’t rush to diagram. Look at the questions. What are the testmakers asking you for, really? JY on 7sage: “eventually, the testmakers will have to reveal their hand.”

Don’t confuse yourself with a diagram if you suspect that diagram is faulty.

 

6.27.2017

64 was not my PT.

-5 on 64.3, LR, for an overall score of -15. Scaled, that’s a 168. Feels meh. Brought me back to reality. Meh feels.

Looking forward to getting better at this test.

Good day at the gym though. Good day reading De Beauvoir. And enjoyed helping Keeg w/ her AP Lang & Comp summer work. Couldn’t ask for a better sister.

more reading before bed.

 

i feel dreamy and light

like wind

going.

i want to live like Rilke

6.26.2017

Rough day for the kid.

-6 on 64.4, RC. BR’d em w/ Kurt. -2 on each of the first 3 passages. I wonder if the low (though not abominable) score has anything to do with me playing Has Been Heroes for a couple hours before taking the section…

After BR, I reviewed the questions I missed on LSAT Hacks. Yeah. Not much to say–just didn’t understand the passages as well as I thought I did, I guess. I think I’ve gotten a little too comfortable since the 176 on PT74 on Saturday. These past two days, I’ve definitely been slacking off w/r/t LSAT devotion. Didn’t I say I was going to give myself over to this thing completely? Surrender?

Yo how about this: No video games before LSAT prep and gym are finished and I’ve read for at least thirty minutes.

With only two days’ worth of data to draw from, I can’t say playing Nintendo Switch is negatively impacting my LSAT performance, but I can say with some degree of confidence that doing so isn’t positively impacting it.

More importantly, though, I don’t like what playing games does to my brain.

I’ve felt true clarity. Something like autonomy. Something pure. Video games don’t take me towards that end. At least, not right now–not as they function in my current relationship with them.

I’m not saying that video games are bad. Or a waste of time. I’m just saying that for me, right now, playing video games (and watching people play video games–Twitch, why do you tempt me so?) isn’t what I want to be doing. Like, on a day-to-day basis. A microlevel. I want to spend my hours doing other things.

You might be thinking oh well duh just, like, do different things. Just be the person you want to be. But that seems naive to me. It’s important to take a couple minutes and really analyze my relationship to games, because I’m no fool when it comes to wanting to make concrete lifestyle changes. Shit is not easy. I mean, on one hand it is–‘the best way to stop drinking is to not drink’–but it also requires, in my experience, tremendous acceptance of a uncomfortable thought: tomorrow is going to feel different.

Bad habits don’t simply go away; if they do go away, they’re replaced by other (hopefully less bad) habits. And it feels different to do different things and to make the choice to do different things–the choice itself feels different–and when the moment comes to sit down and you’ve had a long day and all you want to do is just lay down in your bed and flip on the Switch and maybe play for just a little while maybe, maybe just until dinner or something–when this moment comes you’re going to have to do something else. And it’s not going to feel like you want it to feel. And there will be anxiety. And you will be conflicted.

And I think that if you’re trying to implement change and you don’t first consider what the experience of that change is going to be like phenomenologically–like on a micro, second-to-second level–well, I think you’re screwed. You’re going to fail to implement that change. Sure, you might white-knuckle it for a couple days, but in the long run it’s just not going to stick. I think you have to accept that things are going to feel different. And acceptance of that can be really, really, difficult.

Of course, I could be wrong.

In any case, I’m gonna go read a fucking book. For at least thirty minutes.

Today my reading comprehension was found wanting.

6.25.2017

New LDBR up!

The only practice I did today was 64.2, LG, on which I went -4 LOL. I don’t want to talk about it. I rushed into it at 8pm after playing 4hrs of Has Been Heroes…

My brainwasmashedpatatoes.

Fuck a duck dick.

That section wasn’t hard. But I’m really not mad about going -4. Sometimes shit just looks like Chinese, and that’s okay. IT’S NOT A TRUE MEASURE OF MY ABILITY, GOSH.

lol

fuck

bai heauxz

Let’s Do Blind Review (PT 64.1.23)

The Question

23. Ethicist: Marital vows often contain the promise to love “until death do us part.” If love here refers to a feeling, then this promise makes no sense, for feelings are not within one’s control, and a promise to do something not within one’s control makes no sense. Thus no one–including those making marital vows–should take “love” in this context to be referring to feelings.

Question stem: The ethicist’s conclusion follows logically if which one of the following is assumed?

(A) None of our feelings are within our control.

(B) People should not make promises to do something that is not within their control.

(C) “Love” can legitimately be taken to refer to something other than feelings.

(D) Promises should not be interpreted in such a way that they make no sense.

(E) Promises that cannot be kept do not make any sense.

The Argument

Ok. So. Let’s take a minute to break down the ethicist’s argument:

  1. Marital vows contain the promise to love “until death do us part.”
  2. Feelings are not within one’s control.
  3. A promise to do something not within one’s control makes no sense.

  4. (therefore) If “love” in marital vows refers to a feeling, then the promise to love “until death do us part” makes no sense.


  5. (therefore) No one–including those making wedding vows– should take “love in this context to be referring to feelings.

What’s Going on Here?

The question stem asks which of the answer choices, if assumed, completes the argument. This means that there’s a gap in the argument–the argument needs another premise to be valid. Moreover, if that premise is assumed, the argument ‘works.’ This is known as a sufficient assumption question. What answer choice is is sufficient to complete the argument and make it work? But before we get to that, can you spot the argument’s gap?

The order in which the premises are presented in the stimulus makes this question appear more difficult than it actually is. Basically, we’re going from three premises to a deductively valid subconclusion (which also happens to be a conditional) and from that subconclusion to another conclusion. Fine. Easy. It’s just kind of hard to see that that’s what’s happening if we only read the stimulus once over and we only have five minutes left for the rest of the section and we don’t break the argument down and organize it formally. But that’s why we’re doing BR.

Important to note is that the main conclusion is a strong universal claim about morality–about what no person should do. The use of ‘no one’ indicates that the claim is a universal, and the use of ‘should’ indicates it’s a moral claim. And, I mean, if anyone is making a claim universal about morality, I guess it ought to be an ethicist?

Also important is that the argument’s subargument is valid; the first three premises deductively entail [4], the subconclusion. So we need to find a way to get from the subconclusion to the main conclusion. Our answer should bridge the gap from “if love refers to feeling, then promise of love makes no sense” to “no one should take love in this context to be referring to feelings.”

The Answer Choices

With all of that in mind, let’s examine the answer choices.

(A) None of our feelings are within our control.

Why incorrect: Simply put, this doesn’t get the job done. It may be a necessary assumption, although it’s not obvious to me that it is. In any case, it doesn’t bridge the gap between [4] and [5]

(B) People should not make promises to do something that is not within their control.

Why incorrect: Tempting (at least more so than answer choice A) because of the inclusion of the words “should not.” But the main conclusion doesn’t say that people should not make these kinds of promises; rather, it says that when these kinds of promises are made, people should not take a particular word in these promises in a particular context. Tempting, but can be confidently eliminated.

(C) Love can legitimately be taken to refer to something other than feelings.

Why incorrect: When I first read this AC I immediately crossed it off, and I’m comfortable doing the same now. It’s definitely not sufficient–it doesn’t bridge the gap to ‘should’– and it’s not clear to me that it’s even necessary. Who cares if love can legitimately be taken to refer to something other than feelings? What does that have to do with the ethicist’s argument?

(D) Promises should not be interpreted in such a way that they make no sense.

Why correct: Ah. This does the trick. If this statement is true, and if premise [4] is true, then it follows that no one should take “love” in marital vows to be referring to feelings.

We’ve already said that marital vows contain the promise to love “until death do us part.” And we’ve concluded from the other premises that the statement “If love in marital vows refers to a feeling, then the promise to love ‘until death do us part’ makes no sense” is true. So if it’s true that promises should not be interpreted in such a way that they make no sense, it’s also true that no one should take ‘love’ in the context of marital vows to be referring to feelings.

(E) Promises that cannot be kept do not make any sense.

Why incorrect: This was the other answer choice I was considering when first taking this section. For some reason it sounded good to me. Now, I’m not really sure why I was drawn to it–how the hell does it help us get to the main conclusion? In fact, I’m not sure it’s even a necessary assumption. A promise to do something not within control makes no sense, but is a promise to do something not within one’s control the same thing as a promise that cannot be kept? Maybe. I’m not sure. (E) is 100% not sufficient for our purposes.

Sweet, Sweet Victory

I originally chose (D) on this section, and it turns out (D) is the correct answer. But I had this question circled because I wasn’t 100% confident in my answer choice. By outlining the argument’s structure and analyzing the question thoroughly, I see that this question was not terribly difficult and I feel more confident about my reasoning. Hopefully you do, too.

Thanks for reading!

6.24.2017

Ethan is fostering pups.

Took PT 74 today, beginning at 11am. Threw in PT64.1, LR, as an experimental test section, partly to simulate real testing conditions and partly as a warm-up.

Waited until around 6:30pm to BR w/ Kurt before I graded.

Dudes.

176.

My highest score (considerably higher than the 170 I got a few weeks back) on a full-length PT.

Dudes. So much progress in just a couple of weeks holy shit.

I hit 175+.

Now to just do that consistently LOL.

I think I got an especially high score on this test because RC was kind of catered to my background (as much as I could ever really expect it to be). Legal theory, philosophy of science/free will, Arts, Mexican American civil rights. No hard sciences.

This studying is paying off. I know I’ll probably not score this high on the next PT. But holy shit. This studying is paying off. This is a good place to be roughly 80 days out from test day.

Will write up an overview of the test tomorrow. And I’ve got a Let’s Do BR in the works. 176. It happened. (Would’ve been a 177 if I included the one question from RC for which I ran out of time and took about a minute overtime answering). :/. Still made a couple of silly mistakes. There is a shitload of work to do, boys and girls.

lf;jifdieioobeoieoigoihgoijegohiefiohfeohi;aew, you know? I’m good.