CAT 2021 Slot 1 - VARC

Instructions

The passage below is accompanied by a set of questions. Choose the best answer to each question.

We cannot travel outside our neighbourhood without passports. We must wear the same plain clothes. We must exchange our houses every ten years. We cannot avoid labour. We all go to bed at the same time . . . We have religious freedom, but we cannot deny that the soul dies with the body, since ‘but for the fear of punishment, they would have nothing but contempt for the laws and customs of society'. . . . In More’s time, for much of the population, given the plenty and security on offer, such restraints would not have seemed overly unreasonable. For modern readers, however, Utopia appears to rely upon relentless transparency, the repression of variety, and the curtailment of privacy. Utopia provides security: but at what price? In both its external and internal relations, indeed, it seems perilously dystopian.

Such a conclusion might be fortified by examining selectively the tradition which follows More on these points. This often portrays societies where . . . 'it would be almost impossible for man to be depraved, or wicked'. . . . This is achieved both through institutions and mores, which underpin the common life. . . . The passions are regulated and inequalities of wealth and distinction are minimized. Needs, vanity, and emulation are restrained, often by prizing equality and holding riches in contempt. The desire for public power is curbed. Marriage and sexual intercourse are often controlled: in Tommaso Campanella’s The City of the Sun (1623), the first great literary utopia after More’s, relations are forbidden to men before the age of twenty-one and women before nineteen. Communal child-rearing is normal; for Campanella, this commences at age two. Greater simplicity of life, ‘living according to nature’, is often a result: the desire for simplicity and purity are closely related. People become more alike in appearance, opinion, and outlook than they often have been. Unity, order, and homogeneity thus prevail at the cost of individuality and diversity. This model, as J. C. Davis demonstrates, dominated early modern utopianism. . . . And utopian homogeneity remains a familiar theme well into the twentieth century.

Given these considerations, it is not unreasonable to take as our starting point here the hypothesis that utopia and dystopia evidently share more in common than is often supposed. Indeed, they might be twins, the progeny of the same parents. Insofar as this proves to be the case, my linkage of both here will be uncomfortably close for some readers. Yet we should not mistake this argument for the assertion that all utopias are, or tend to produce, dystopias. Those who defend this proposition will find that their association here is not nearly close enough. For we have only to acknowledge the existence of thousands of successful intentional communities in which a cooperative ethos predominates and where harmony without coercion is the rule to set aside such an assertion. Here the individual’s submersion in the group is consensual (though this concept is not unproblematic). It results not in enslavement but voluntary submission to group norms. Harmony is achieved without . . . harming others.

Question 1

Following from the passage, which one of the following may be seen as a characteristic of a utopian society?

Video Solution
Question 2

All of the following arguments are made in the passage EXCEPT that:

Video Solution
Question 3

Which sequence of words below best captures the narrative of the passage?

Video Solution
Question 4

All of the following statements can be inferred from the passage EXCEPT that:

Video Solution
Instructions

The passage below is accompanied by a set of questions. Choose the best answer to each question.

For the Maya of the Classic period, who lived in Southern Mexico and Central America between 250 and 900 CE, the category of ‘persons’ was not coincident with human beings, as it is for us. That is, human beings were persons - but other, nonhuman entities could be persons, too. . . . In order to explore the slippage of categories between ‘humans’ and ‘persons’, I examined a very specific category of ancient Maya images, found painted in scenes on ceramic vessels. I sought out instances in which faces (some combination of eyes, nose, and mouth) are shown on inanimate objects. . . . Consider my iPhone, which needs to be fed with electricity every night, swaddled in a protective bumper, and enjoys communicating with other fellow-phone-beings. Does it have personhood (if at all) because it is connected to me, drawing this resource from me as an owner or source? For the Maya (who did have plenty of other communicating objects, if not smartphones), the answer was no. Nonhuman persons were not tethered to specific humans, and they did not derive their personhood from a connection with a human. . . . It’s a profoundly democratising way of understanding the world. Humans are not more important persons - we are just one of many kinds of persons who inhabit this world. . . .

The Maya saw personhood as ‘activated’ by experiencing certain bodily needs and through participation in certain social activities. For example, among the faced objects that I examined, persons are marked by personal requirements (such as hunger, tiredness, physical closeness), and by community obligations (communication, interaction, ritual observance). In the images I examined, we see, for instance, faced objects being cradled in humans’ arms; we also see them speaking to humans. These core elements of personhood are both turned inward, what the body or self of a person requires, and outward, what a community expects of the persons who are a part of it, underlining the reciprocal nature of community membership. .

Personhood was a nonbinary proposition for the Maya. Entities were able to be persons while also being something else. The faced objects I looked at indicate that they continue to be functional, doing what objects do (a stone implement continues to chop, an incense burner continues to do its smoky work). Furthermore, the Maya visually depicted many objects in ways that indicated the material category to which they belonged - drawings of the stone implement show that a person-tool is still made of stone. One additional complexity: the incense burner (which would have been made of clay, and decorated with spiky appliques representing the sacred ceiba tree found in this region) is categorised as a person - but also as a tree. With these Maya examples, we are challenged to discard the person/nonperson binary that constitutes our basic ontological outlook. . . . The porousness of boundaries that we have seen in the Maya world points towards the possibility of living with a certain uncategorisability of the world.

Question 5

Which one of the following, if true about the Classic Maya, would invalidate the purpose of the iPhone example in the passage?

Video Solution
Question 6

Which one of the following best explains the “additional complexity” that the example of the incense burner illustrates regarding personhood for the Classic Maya?

Video Solution
Question 7

On the basis of the passage, which one of the following worldviews can be inferred to be closest to that of the Classic Maya?

Video Solution
Question 8

Which one of the following, if true, would not undermine the democratising potential of the Classic Maya worldview?

Video Solution
Instructions

The passage below is accompanied by a set of questions. Choose the best answer to each question.

The sleights of hand that conflate consumption with virtue are a central theme in A Thirst for Empire, a sweeping and richly detailed history of tea by the historian Erika Rappaport. How did tea evolve from an obscure “China drink” to a universal beverage imbued with civilising properties? The answer, in brief, revolves around this conflation, not only by profit-motivated marketers but by a wide variety of interest groups. While abundant historical records have allowed the study of how tea itself moved from east to west, Rappaport is focused on the movement of the idea of tea to suit particular purposes.

Beginning in the 1700s, the temperance movement advocated for tea as a pleasure that cheered but did not inebriate, and industrialists soon borrowed this moral argument in advancing their case for free trade in tea (and hence more open markets for their textiles). Factory owners joined in, compelled by the cause of a sober workforce, while Christian missionaries discovered that tea “would soothe any colonial encounter”. During the Second World War, tea service was presented as a social and patriotic activity that uplifted soldiers and calmed refugees.

But it was tea’s consumer-directed marketing by importers and retailers - and later by brands - that most closely portends current trade debates. An early version of the “farm to table” movement was sparked by anti-Chinese sentiment and concerns over trade deficits, as well as by the reality and threat of adulterated tea containing dirt and hedge clippings. Lipton was soon advertising “from the Garden to Tea Cup” supply chains originating in British India and supervised by “educated Englishmen”. While tea marketing always presented direct consumer benefits (health, energy, relaxation), tea drinkers were also assured that they were participating in a larger noble project that advanced the causes of family, nation and civilization. . . .

Rappaport’s treatment of her subject is refreshingly apolitical. Indeed, it is a virtue that readers will be unable to guess her political orientation: both the miracle of markets and capitalism’s dark underbelly are evident in tea’s complex story, as are the complicated effects of British colonialism. . . . Commodity histories are now themselves commodities: recent works investigate cotton, salt, cod, sugar, chocolate, paper and milk. And morality marketing is now a commodity as well, applied to food, “fair trade” apparel and eco-tourism. Yet tea is, Rappaport makes clear, a world apart - an astonishing success story in which tea marketers not only succeeded in conveying a sense of moral elevation to the consumer but also arguably did advance the cause of civilisation and community.

I have been offered tea at a British garden party, a Bedouin campfire, a Turkish carpet shop and a Japanese chashitsu, to name a few settings. In each case the offering was more an idea - friendship, community, respect - than a drink, and in each case the idea then created a reality. It is not a stretch to say that tea marketers have advanced the particularly noble cause of human dialogue and friendship.

Question 9

Today, “conflat[ing] consumption with virtue” can be seen in the marketing of:

Video Solution
Question 10

The author of this book review is LEAST likely to support the view that:

Video Solution
Question 11

According to this book review, A Thirst for Empire says that, in addition to “profitmotivated marketers”, tea drinking was promoted in Britain by all of the following EXCEPT:

Video Solution
Question 12

This book review argues that, according to Rappaport, tea is unlike other “morality” products because it:

Video Solution
Instructions

The passage below is accompanied by a set of questions. Choose the best answer to each question.

Cuttlefish are full of personality, as behavioral ecologist Alexandra Schnell found out while researching the cephalopod's potential to display self-control. . . . “Self-control is thought to be the cornerstone of intelligence, as it is an important prerequisite for complex decision-making and planning for the future,” says Schnell . . .

[Schnell's] study used a modified version of the “marshmallow test” . . . During the original marshmallow test, psychologist Walter Mischel presented children between age four and six with one marshmallow. He told them that if they waited 15 minutes and didn’t eat it, he would give them a second marshmallow. A long-term follow-up study showed that the children who waited for the second marshmallow had more success later in life. . . . The cuttlefish version of the experiment looked a lot different. The researchers worked with six cuttlefish under nine months old and presented them with seafood instead of sweets. (Preliminary experiments showed that cuttlefishes’ favorite food is live grass shrimp, while raw prawns are so-so and Asian shore crab is nearly unacceptable.) Since the researchers couldn’t explain to the cuttlefish that they would need to wait for their shrimp, they trained them to recognize certain shapes that indicated when a food item would become available. The symbols were pasted on transparent drawers so that the cuttlefish could see the food that was stored inside. One drawer, labeled with a circle to mean “immediate,” held raw king prawn. Another drawer, labeled with a triangle to mean “delayed,” held live grass shrimp. During a control experiment, square labels meant “never.”

“If their self-control is flexible and I hadn’t just trained them to wait in any context, you would expect the cuttlefish to take the immediate reward [in the control], even if it’s their second preference,” says Schnell . . . and that’s what they did. That showed the researchers that cuttlefish wouldn’t reject the prawns if it was the only food available. In the experimental trials, the cuttlefish didn’t jump on the prawns if the live grass shrimp were labeled with a triangle— many waited for the shrimp drawer to open up. Each time the cuttlefish showed it could wait, the researchers tacked another ten seconds on to the next round of waiting before releasing the shrimp. The longest that a cuttlefish waited was 130 seconds.

Schnell [says] that the cuttlefish usually sat at the bottom of the tank and looked at the two food items while they waited, but sometimes, they would turn away from the king prawn “as if to distract themselves from the temptation of the immediate reward.” In past studies, humans, chimpanzees, parrots and dogs also tried to distract themselves while waiting for a reward.

Not every species can use self-control, but most of the animals that can share another trait in common: long, social lives. Cuttlefish, on the other hand, are solitary creatures that don’t form relationships even with mates or young. . . . “We don’t know if living in a social group is important for complex cognition unless we also show those abilities are lacking in less social species,” says . . . comparative psychologist Jennifer Vonk.

Question 13

All of the following constitute a point of difference between the “original” and “modified” versions of the marshmallow test EXCEPT that:

Video Solution
Question 14

Which one of the following, if true, would best complement the passage’s findings?

Video Solution
Question 15

Which one of the following cannot be inferred from Alexandra Schnell’s experiment?

Video Solution
Question 16

In which one of the following scenarios would the cuttlefish’s behaviour demonstrate self-control?

Video Solution
Instructions

For the following questions answer them individually

Question 17

The passage given below is followed by four alternate summaries. Choose the option that best captures the essence of the passage.

McGurk and MacDonald (1976) reported a powerful multisensory illusion occurring with audio-visual speech. They recorded a voice articulating a consonant ‘ba-ba-ba’ and dubbed it with a face articulating another consonant ‘ga-ga-ga’. Even though the acoustic speech signal was well recognized alone, it was heard as another consonant after dubbing with incongruent visual speech i.e., ‘da-da-da’. The illusion, termed as the McGurk effect, has been replicated many times, and it has sparked an abundance of research. The reason for the great impact is that this is a striking demonstration of multisensory integration, where that auditory and visual information is merged into a unified, integrated percept.

Video Solution
Question 18

Five jumbled up sentences, related to a topic, are given below. Four of them can be put together to form a coherent paragraph. Identify the odd one out and key in the number of the sentence as your answer:

1. There is a dark side to academic research, especially in India, and at its centre is the phenomenon of predatory journals.
2. But in truth, as long as you pay, you can get anything published.
3. In look and feel thus, they are exactly like any reputed journal.
4. They claim to be indexed in the most influential databases, say they possess editorial boards that comprise top scientists and researchers, and claim to have a rigorous peer-review structure.
5. But a large section of researchers and scientists across the world are at the receiving end of nothing short of an academic publishing scam.

Backspace
789
456
123
0.-
Clear All
Video Solution
Question 19

The four sentences (labelled 1, 2, 3, 4) below, when properly sequenced would yield a coherent paragraph. Decide on the proper sequencing of the order of the sentences and key in the sequence of the four numbers as your answer:

1. The work is more than the text, for the text only takes on life, when it is realized and furthermore the realization is by no means independent of the individual disposition of the reader.
2. The convergence of text and reader brings the literary work into existence and this convergence is not to be identified either with the reality of the text or with the individual disposition of the reader.
3. From this polarity it follows that the literary work cannot be completely identical with the text, or with the realization of the text, but in fact must lie halfway between the two.
4. The literary work has two poles, which we might call the artistic and the aesthetic; the artistic refers to the text created by the author, and the aesthetic to the realization accomplished by the reader.

Backspace
789
456
123
0.-
Clear All
Video Solution
Question 20

The passage given below is followed by four alternate summaries. Choose the option that best captures the essence of the passage.
Foreign peacekeepers often exist in a bubble in the poor countries in which they are deployed; they live in posh compounds, drive fancy vehicles, and distance themselves from locals. This may be partially justified as they are outsiders, living in constant fear, performing a job that is emotionally draining. But they are often despised by the locals, and many would like them to leave. A better solution would be bottom-up peacebuilding, which would involve their spending more time working with communities, understanding their grievances and earning their trust, rather than only meeting government officials.

Video Solution
Question 21

Five jumbled up sentences, related to a topic, are given below. Four of them can be put together to form a coherent paragraph. Identify the odd one out and key in the number of the sentence as your answer:
1. The legal status of resources mined in space remains ambiguous; and while the market for asteroid minerals is currently nonexistent, this is likely to change as technical hurdles diminish.
2. Outer space is a commons, and all of it is open for exploration, however, space law developed in the 1950s and 60s is state-centric and arguably ill-suited to a commercial future.
3. Laws adopted by the US and Luxembourg are first steps, but they only protect firms from competing claims by their compatriots; a Chinese company will not be bound by US law.
4. Critics say the US is conferring rights that it has no authority to confer; Russia in particular has condemned this, citing the US’ disrespect for international law.
5. At issue now is commercial activity, as private firms—rather than nation states — look to space for profit.

Backspace
789
456
123
0.-
Clear All
Video Solution
Question 22

The four sentences (labelled 1, 2, 3, 4) below, when properly sequenced would yield a coherent paragraph. Decide on the proper sequencing of the order of the sentences and key in the sequence of the four numbers as your answer:

1. In the central nervous systems of other animal species, such a comprehensive regeneration of neurons has not yet been proven beyond doubt.
2. Biologists from the University of Bayreuth have discovered a uniquely rapid form of regeneration in injured neurons and their function in the central nervous system of zebrafish.
3. They studied the Mauthner cells, which are solely responsible for the escape behaviour of the fish, and previously regarded as incapable of regeneration.
4. However, their ability to regenerate crucially depends on the location of the injury.

Backspace
789
456
123
0.-
Clear All
Video Solution
Question 23

The passage given below is followed by four alternate summaries. Choose the option that best captures the essence of the passage.
Developing countries are becoming hotbeds of business innovation in much the same way as Japan did from the 1950s onwards. They are reinventing systems of production and distribution, and experimenting with entirely new business models. Why are countries that were until recently associated with cheap hands now becoming leaders in innovation? Driven by a mixture of ambition and fear they are relentlessly climbing up the value chain. Emerging-market champions have not only proved highly competitive in their own backyards, they are also going global themselves.

Video Solution
Question 24

The four sentences (labelled 1, 2, 3, 4) below, when properly sequenced would yield a coherent paragraph. Decide on the proper sequencing of the order of the sentences and key in the sequence of the four numbers as your answer:
1. A popular response is the exhortation to plant more trees.
2. It seems all but certain that global warming will go well above two degrees—quite how high no one knows yet.
3. Burning them releases it, which is why the scale of forest fires in the Amazon basin last year garnered headlines.
4. This is because trees sequester carbon by absorbing carbon dioxide.

Backspace
789
456
123
0.-
Clear All
Video Solution

Register with

OR

Boost your Prep!

Download App