Question: The Dissertation

Comment on The Dissertation

Hi Brent, could you help with below question please? Thanks Brent

The geographer held a (i)________ view of the succession of theoretical trends( environmental determinism, spatial determinism, and various types of critical theory) in her field, maintaining that theory can (ii)________ what is transpiring in a complex environment by focusing excessively on the favored schemes and variables of the moment.


greenlight-admin's picture

One of the key words here is EXCESSIVELY (as in " focusing excessively on the favored schemes and variables (i.e., theoretical trends) of the moment."
If the geographer had a positive feeling about theoretical trends, then it would be difficult/impossible to focus excessively on this positive aspect.
So, the geographer must have a negative feeling about theoretical trends.
So DEPRACATORY fits nicely here.

So if somebody focuses excessively on theoretical trends and then that will have a negative effect when it comes to observing complex environments.
Here OBFUSCATE fits nicely.

Thanks Brent.
For Blank ii, why is exacerbate not possible here? As it's a negative word too?
So how to differentiate between exacerbate & OBFUSCATE please?
greenlight-admin's picture

To EXAXERBATE is to make a bad problem worse.

So we get: "...maintaining that theory can EXAXERBATE what is transpiring in a complex environment by focusing excessively on the favored schemes and variables of the moment.

In other words, what is already happening in the complex environment is a BAD PROBLEM (which doesn't make sense) and that, when geographers maintain a certain theory, they somehow make matters worse in that complex environment.

Get it thanks Brent.

Hi Brent, could you help with this question please? Thanks

Substantial atmosphere around planetary bodies acts as (i)_____ incoming objects. Smaller objects, particularly those that are lower in density and more fragile, (ii)_____ in the upper reaches of the atmosphere, whereas more intact, larger bodies may survive to impact the surface. Thus, relative to large craters, small craters are much less (iii)_____ on bodies with dense atmosphere, such as Earth, Venus, and Titan, than they are on Mercury and Moon.

effective obscurers of
significant filters to
impenetrable barriers against


greenlight-admin's picture

Blank #1: It makes no sense to say that the atmosphere acts as an effective OBSCURER. Eliminate OBSCURER.
The passage tells us that "...larger bodies may survive to impact the surface." So we can eliminate IMPENEATRABLE BARRIER.
By the process of elimination the correct answer is SIGNIFICANT FILTERS TO.

Blank #2: Smaller objects do one thing, while larger objects SURVIVE to impact the surface.
This suggests that smaller objects do not SURVIVE to impact the surface.
So, VAPORIZE is a great fit here.

Blank #3: The idea here is that small objects create small craters, and large objects create large craters.
If a planet has a dense atmosphere, and then small objects will vaporize before hitting, which means only large objects will the last long enough to impact the surface.
So a planet with a dense atmosphere will have FEWER small craters than large craters.
In other words, small craters are much less COMMON on bodies with a dense atmosphere.

Crystal clear and great explanation always thanks Brent!

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