## Q6 - Astronomer: This country's space agency

mshinners
Atticus Finch

Posts: 367
Joined: March 17th, 2014
Location: New York City

### Q6 - Astronomer: This country's space agency

Question Type:
Principle Strengthen

Stimulus Breakdown:
NASA has spent a lot on a telescope, and it's more than halfway done. Thus, they should keep going.

While this argument is falling into the sunk cost fallacy, we're trying to justify it. Thus, we want an answer that says falling for the sunk cost fallacy is good - if you've spent a lot on something and made a lot of progress, even if it's over budget, you should keep building. Note that saying, "A plan to stop Project X is mistaken" commits you to believing that Project X should continue.

(B)

(A) Out of scope. We don't get information about the agency's budget, just the budget of this project.

(B) Bingo. We can infer that the project is over halfway done because the money already spent is more than the remaining cost, and this justifies the conclusion to keep building.

(C) Out of scope/opposite. The astronomer only states the project is over budget, but that's not enough to infer that the final cost will be double the budget. This answer would also only justify an argument in favor of cancelling the project; we need an answer that justifies continuing it.

(D) Opposite. This answer is stating that you shouldn't fall for the sunk cost fallacy; the astronomer shares no such concern.

(E) Out of scope. The likelihood of the telescope leading to discovering is never discussed, nor are other projects. Nor is it established that the government needs to decide between projects.

Takeaway/Pattern:
Make sure to translate the conclusion into easier language. Here, it's important to change "Doing X is mistaken" to "We shouldn't do X".

#officialexplanation

YuriJ257
Vinny Gambini

Posts: 7
Joined: July 21st, 2018

### Re: Q6 - Astronomer: This country's space agency

ohthatpatrick
Atticus Finch

Posts: 4259
Joined: April 01st, 2011

This post thanked 1 time.

### Re: Q6 - Astronomer: This country's space agency

I think Matt was just being loose / informal with language.

The stimulus doesn't tell us that the project is more than halfway done, from a construction/time standpoint.

But it tells us that the project is more than halfway done, from an expenditure standpoint.

If we've already spent \$1 million, then the remaining cost has to be less than \$1 million.

Let's say it's \$900,000 remaining.

The total cost would end up being \$1,900,000.

At this point, has "more than half of the total cost already been spent"? Yes.

And any mathematical example we come up with will fit the same mold.
If we've already spent \$10, then the remaining cost has to be less than \$10, so the maximum total cost would be \$19.99

If the total cost ended up being \$19.99, and we've already spent \$10, then has "more than half of the total cost already been spent"? Yes.

Hope this helps.