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In Forces of Production, David Noble examines the

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In Forces of Production, David Noble examines the [#permalink] New post 09 Feb 2008, 14:41
In Forces of Production, David Noble examines the
transformation of the machine-tool industry as the industry
moved from reliance on skilled artisans to automation.
Noble writes from a Marxist perspective, and his central
(5) argument is that management, in its decisions to automate,
conspired against labor: the power that the skilled machin-
ists wielded in the industry was intolerable to management.

Noble fails to substantiate this claim, although his argu-
ment is impressive when he applies the Marxist concept of
(10) "de-skilling"-the use of technology to replace skilled
labor-to the automation of the machine-tool industry. In
automating, the industry moved to computer-based, digi-
talized "numerical-control" (N/C) technology, rather than to
artisan-generated "record-playback" (R/P) technology.
(15) Although both systems reduced reliance on skilled labor,
Noble clearly prefers R/P, with its inherent acknowledg-
ment of workers' skills: unlike N/C, its programs were
produced not by engineers at their computers, but by
skilled machinists, who recorded their own movements to
(20) "teach" machines to duplicate those movements. However,
Noble's only evidence of conspiracy is that, although the
two approaches were roughly equal in technical merit,
management chose N/C. From this he concludes that auto-
mation is undertaken not because efficiency demands it or
(25) scientific advances allow it, but because it is a tool in
the ceaseless war of capitalists against labor.


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1. The author of the passage is primarily concerned with

A reexamining a political position and defending its validity
B examining a management decision and defending its necessity
C analyzing a scholarly study and pointing out a central weakness
D explaining a trend in automation and warning about its dangers
E chronicling the history of an industry and criticizing its development


2. According to information in the passage, the term "de-skilling" refers to the

A loss of skills to industry when skilled workers are replaced by unskilled laborers
B substitution of mechanized processes for labor formerly performed by skilled workers
C labor theory that automation is technologically comparable to skilled labor
D process by which skilled machinists "teach" machines to perform certain tasks
E exclusion of skilled workers from participation in the development of automated technology

3. Which of the following best characterizes the function of the second paragraph of the passage?

A It develops a topic introduced in the first paragraph.
B It provides evidence to refute a claim presented in the first paragraph.
C It gives examples of a phenomenon mentioned in the first paragraph.
D It presents a generalization about examples given in the first paragraph.
E It suggests two possible solutions to a problem presented in the first paragraph.


4. The passage suggests which of the following about N automation in the machine-tool industry?

A It displaced fewer skilled workers than R/P automation did.
B It could have been implemented either by experienced machinists or by computer engineers.
C It was designed without the active involvement skilled machinists.
D It was more difficult to design than R/P automation was.
E It was technically superior to R/P automation.



5. Which of the following phrases most clearly reveals the attitude of the author of the passage toward Noble's central argument?

A "conspired against" (line 6)
B "intolerable to management" (line 7)
C "impressive when he applies the Marxist concept" (line 9)
D "clearly prefers" (line 16)
E "only evidence of conspiracy" (line 21)

6. The author of the passage commends Noble's book for which of the following?

A Concentrating on skilled as opposed to unskilled workers in its discussion of the machine-tool industry
B Offering a generalization about the motives behind the machine-tool industry's decision to automate
C Making an essential distinction between two kinds of technology employed in the machine-tool industry
D Calling into question the notion that managers conspired against labor in the automation of the machine-tool industry
E Applying the concept of de-skilling to the machine-tool industry
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Last edited by vscid on 09 Feb 2008, 16:02, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: RC-AUTOMATION [#permalink] New post 09 Feb 2008, 15:52
i have:

1 - C
2 - C
3 - didnt answer because i didnt know when 2nd para started
4 - C
5 - E
6 - E
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Re: RC-AUTOMATION [#permalink] New post 09 Feb 2008, 16:37
pmenon wrote:
i have:

1 - C
2 - C
3 - didnt answer because i didnt know when 2nd para started
4 - C
5 - E
6 - E



How did you end up with C for [2].
I thoght B was the obvious answer, (or was it)?

C is the OA ,by the way.
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Re: RC-AUTOMATION [#permalink] New post 09 Feb 2008, 16:47
that was a bit of a tough one, i changed my answer three times, haha.

The way i settled on C was to read a couple of sentences before, and noticed that the paragraph called de-skilling a Marxist concept. I knew the answer was not D or E, and on my second pass eliminated A as well. Out of B and C, C fit in nicer.
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Re: RC-AUTOMATION [#permalink] New post 09 Feb 2008, 21:39
C
B
B
C
E
E

I have two doubts for question 2 when thinking about C, question is "according to the passage" and not inference or suggest one.
1: labor theory - passage never mentions about any labor theory, it only mentions about Marxist concept. Can we take a leap to assume that to be labor theory

2:In automating, the industry moved to computer-based, digitalized "numerical-control" (N/C) technology, rather than to artisan-generated "record-playback" (R/P) technology. Although both systems reduced reliance on skilled labor

How can we say that automation is technologically comparable to skilled labor?
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Re: RC-AUTOMATION [#permalink] New post 10 Feb 2008, 01:42
1. The author of the passage is primarily concerned with

A reexamining a political position and defending its validity [Not really]
B examining a management decision and defending its necessity [Definately not]
C analyzing a scholarly study and pointing out a central weakness ["Noble fails to substantiate this claim" - hold it
D explaining a trend in automation and warning about its dangers [no dangers were mentioned - only conspiracy - Eliminte it
E chronicling the history of an industry and criticizing its development[No Dates and chronicling the history - Eliminte it

Answer: C

2. According to information in the passage, the term "de-skilling" refers to the

A loss of skills to industry when skilled workers are replaced by unskilled laborers[Not reference to unskilled labor - eliminte it]
B substitution of mechanized processes for labor formerly performed by skilled workers
[Automation - Hold it]
C labor theory that automation is technologically comparable to skilled labor
[Not at all a labor theory - Eliminte it]
D process by which skilled machinists "teach" machines to perform certain tasks
[Not at all - Eliminte it]
E exclusion of skilled workers from participation in the development of automated technology
[Not at all - Eliminte it]

Answer: B

3. Which of the following best characterizes the function of the second paragraph of the passage?

A It develops a topic introduced in the first paragraph.
[Described two automation technologies - Hold it]
B It provides evidence to refute a claim presented in the first paragraph.
[Definately not - Eliminate it]
C It gives examples of a phenomenon mentioned in the first paragraph.
[No phenomenon mentioned - Eliminate it]
D It presents a generalization about examples given in the first paragraph.
[No generalization mentioned - Eliminate it]
E It suggests two possible solutions to a problem presented in the first paragraph.
[No two possible solutions mentioned - Eliminate it]

Answer: A

4. The passage suggests which of the following about N automation in the machine-tool industry?

A It displaced fewer skilled workers than R/P automation did.
[As per argument, no figures were mentioned - Eliminate it]
B It could have been implemented either by experienced machinists or by computer engineers.
[As per argument, not computer enginers - Eliminate it]
C It was designed without the active involvement skilled machinists.
[Yes, Hold it]
D It was more difficult to design than R/P automation was.
[As per argument, not mentioned at all- Eliminate it]
E It was technically superior to R/P automation.
[As per argument, not mentioned at all- Eliminate it]

Answer: C

5. Which of the following phrases most clearly reveals the attitude of the author of the passage toward Noble's central argument?

A "conspired against" (line 6)
[not really - Eliminate it]
B "intolerable to management" (line 7)
[not really - Eliminate it]
C "impressive when he applies the Marxist concept" (line 9)
[not really - Eliminate it]
D "clearly prefers" (line 16)
[not really - Eliminate it]
E "only evidence of conspiracy" (line 21)
[Hold it]

Answer: E

6. The author of the passage commends Noble's book for which of the following?

A Concentrating on skilled as opposed to unskilled workers in its discussion of the machine-tool industry
Skilled and unskilled - eliminate it]
B Offering a generalization about the motives behind the machine-tool industry's decision to automate
not really- eliminate it]
C Making an essential distinction between two kinds of technology employed in the machine-tool industry
not really- eliminate it]
D Calling into question the notion that managers conspired against labor in the automation of the machine-tool industry
not really- eliminate it]
E Applying the concept of de-skilling to the machine-tool industry
Hold it]

Answer: E
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Re: RC-AUTOMATION [#permalink] New post 10 Feb 2008, 19:20
1.C
2.B
3.A
4.C
5.E
6.E

OAs?
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Re: RC-AUTOMATION [#permalink] New post 10 Feb 2008, 19:45
IMO:
1: C
2: B
3: A
4: C
5: A
6: E

hanumayamma: can you explain why you chose E for q5?
Re: RC-AUTOMATION   [#permalink] 10 Feb 2008, 19:45
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