Tuesday, August 31, 2010

GRE Argument Task 3

“There are several unique pieces of sculpture in the Old Quad. Because they stand out-of-doors, it is not possible to secure them at night, and they could be targets for thieves or vandals. A comprehensive security system in the area, including motion detectors and surveillance cameras, would guarantee that these works of art will come to no harm.”

In order to ensure the safety of several unique out-of-doors sculpture in the Old Quad, the speaker proposes that a comprehensive security would work best. However, the argument has flaws in some of its components.

First of all, is it true that the reason they could be targeted for thieves or vandals is merely their being located out-of doors? The sculptures themselves might bear something valuable: gems or antiquities. Thus, the security efforts should be focused on them, not the sculptures. If these precious items are removable, we just have to keep them somewhere safe at night. Without them, the sculptures are less attractive, and hence would attract fewer crimes.

However, if that is not the case and the sculptures are vulnerable to larceny as said in the second sentence of the argument, it is reasonable to infer that the pieces themselves are portable. Therefore, a practical way to keep them save is simply to store them in a warehouse at night.

Now, if the sculptures are big and some irresponsible fellows are prone to vandal it, a security system is needed. Even so, the speaker does not explain how comprehensive his system will be. If it only includes a guard, motion detectors and surveillance cameras, it does not help much. The guard would be incompetent against vandals who act in a group and those with cars or motorcycle ready to take them away—fast. I suggest that a high fence surrounding the pieces would support the security system proposed. The fence could be opened during the day to allow people looking at the unique pieces conveniently.

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