Film preservation requires transferring old movies from their original material—unstable, deteriorating nitrate film—...

Rachel on April 13, 2018


Could you please explain why the other choices aren't correct? Thanks!


Anita on April 14, 2018

The correct answer is D. Let's go through the answers one by one:

A: This assumes that no new technology will be developed. The argument doesn't assume what will or will not happen with technology in the future, just that there won't be enough of an improvement by the time the old film deteriorates.

B: While the prompt mentions the cost of the process, it is noted as the only process for this, so it is irrelevant whether it is more or less expensive than anything else.

C: We don't know from the prompt how many films have already been transferred, only that some will inevitably disintegrate. Try negating it, and you'll see that it would be "many films have been transferred," which doesn't hurt the argument.

D: This is the correct answer! The prompt is that there is a tedious, expensive way to transfer old materials to new ones, so some will not be transferred. If we were to negate this - if it were the case that no films from the early years of Hollywood are solely in their original state, then it would destroy the argument - there would be no preservation problem.

E: The prompt doesn't address whether any of these films were popular. They could have all been awful or all be wonderful, but they still may disintegrate if not transferred from their original material.

Let me know if this helps!

John on October 24, 2019


(A) was my my first choice when I did this question. When I negated it, I got "A new technology for transferring old movies from nitrate to acetate film will eventually be developed." I thought "Okay, so that could help counter conclusion that some films from early years of Hollywood won't be preserved."

But upon reviewing, is that logic wrong because it goes against the truth of the premises? That we need to accept 100% of the premises as true even if outlandish for arguments? That means the part "and there is no way to transfer all currently deteriorating nitrate films to acetate before they disintegrate" must be taken at face value so it does not matter whether a new technology for transferring old films will be developed because the premises clearly states that, at the moment, there is NO WAY to transfer ALL CURRENTLY deteriorating nitrate films to acetate before they disintegrate.

Instead, the author seems to have made an implicit assumption that the some of the old films are made of the nitrate material and would get lost eventually, which I now see why (D) is correct.

Just wanted to see if my reasoning and logic for why (A) is wrong. Please let me know!!

Alex on September 25, 2021

That's also what I gathered. I chose A for the same reason because of the negation but I believe that the premise has to be taken at face value and nothing more. Currently no tech so no reason to assume unless specifically stated that there will be tech. Additionally - will the tech be in time? Not enough info so out of scope.

Ravi on February 5 at 12:28PM

@sciencemathtutor, that's exactly right. You can only take the premise at face value. Make sure you don't add things to the argument that aren't there.