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Everything You’ll Ever Need to Know is on the LSAT Vol. 2

  • by Colin Elzie
  • Oct 26, 2010
  • Advice on Logical Reasoning, LSAT

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Everything You’ll Ever Need to Know is on the LSAT Vol. 2

As I discussed a few weeks ago, the LSAT likes to throw a bunch of seemingly useless information at you. You then must sift through all this crap, finding the logical nuggets of corn. But often this crap is actually real stuff, which makes the process just a little more meaningful. You can console yourself knowing that you’re learning something that’s at least slightly informative.

The Once and Future Portuguese King – February 1996

According to this rather long LR question, in 1578 the Portuguese and the Moroccans got into a bit of a scuffle, and King Sebastian of Portugal met his end. The Portuguese at the time wrote of the battle, but didn’t bother to mention the fact that the king had died. Even the officers who were directly aware of the king’s demise didn’t write about it, as they were apparently too humiliated by the defeat of their leader.

This, again, is totally true.

King Sebastian had a bit of a rough beginning. His dad died and his mom left when he was still an infant. It always sucks being an orphan, although this might be somewhat mitigated by the fact that he was a goddamn monarch and probably bathed in money. But by all accounts, he ended up being a pretty awesome king, giving aid to widows, building hospitals, and helping to fight the French.

But he, his army, and everything else went south when he decided it was time for a sweet crusade, picking Morocco as his target. This turned out to not be the best of ideas. First of all, he was outnumbered by more than 2-1. Secondly, he decided to go ahead and charge into battle himself. Most importantly, Sebastian never got married and never had an heir. Going into battle without an heir is the early modern era-equivalent of driving without insurance, drunk, into a police station. Long story short, dude died, as did his lineage.

But this wasn’t the end of it. As the LSAT told us, his officers weren’t willing to bring up the whole “the-king-is-dead” thing. This made Sebastian’s successor look a whole lot less legitimate. Thanks to these tight-lipped officers, people thought that Sebastian could be coming back at any moment. A number of imposters even came forward claiming to be the king (surprise! they were killed). Sebastian, unsurprisingly, never came back (the whole being dead thing made this harder), but this didn’t stop people from believing. Brazilians were still waiting for the guy in the early 20th century.

Also, this whole waiting for the zombie king gave us the word “Sebastianism.” This describes the way some people ignore problems with a “screw it, Sebastian will come and save us eventually.” Perhaps he’ll even take the LSAT for you.

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