The ends of modern centuries have been greeted with both apocalyptic anxieties and utopian fantasies. It is not surpr...

DavidClimber on March 3, 2020

Why choose C?

I know this is a strange question. However, can anyone explain to me why C is the correct answer? Moreover, I really have a hard time understanding the wording of this question. Can someone explain to me what does the question really means? Thank you!

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Ravi on March 3, 2020

@DavidClimber,

Happy to help. Let's take a look.

This question is from an old test and is a pretty weird prompt, but
it's essentially a strengthen question. What we're looking to do is
find something else that supports the conclusion that people should
not be worried about dates. The stimulus discusses the gregorian
calendar, so we should probably be looking for another piece of
evidence that shows us that dates are not special.

The conclusion of the argument is that "it is not surprising that both
reactions have consistently proven to be misplaced," and the support
for this conclusion is the next sentence: "After all, the precise time
when a century happens to end cannot have any special significance,
since the Gregorian calendar, though widely used, is only one among
many that people have devised."

(C) says, "The number system based on the number ten, in the absence
of which one hundred years would not have the appearance of being a
significant period of time, is by no means the only one that people
have created."

(C) is very tough for us to anticipate, but it does really help with
the argument's conclusion. The ends of centuries appear scary because
we have a base ten numeral system; however, if we counted to a
different number (say, 8 or 9 instead) before we reset our numbers,
then all of the dates would be different. If we counted to 8 and reset
after 8 and decided that 8 sets of 8 years constituted a century, then
we'd have centuries ending every 64 years. The point is, (C) helps
show that dates are not special in and of themselves and are totally
arbitrary, so it strengthens the argument and is the correct answer
choice.

Does this make sense? Let us know if you have any other questions!