CAT 2022 Slot 2


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

[Octopuses are] misfits in their own extended families . . . They belong to the Mollusca class Cephalopoda. But they don’t look like their cousins at all. Other molluscs include sea snails, sea slugs, bivalves - most are shelled invertebrates with a dorsal foot. Cephalopods are all arms, and can be as tiny as 1 centimetre and as large at 30 feet. Some of them have brains the size of a walnut, which is large for an invertebrate. . . .

It makes sense for these molluscs to have added protection in the form of a higher cognition; they don’t have a shell covering them, and pretty much everything feeds on cephalopods, including humans. But how did cephalopods manage to secure their own invisibility cloak? Cephalopods fire from multiple cylinders to achieve this in varying degrees from species to species. There are four main catalysts - chromatophores, iridophores, papillae and leucophores. . . .

[Chromatophores] are organs on their bodies that contain pigment sacs, which have red, yellow and brown pigment granules. These sacs have a network of radial muscles, meaning muscles arranged in a circle radiating outwards. These are connected to the brain by a nerve. When the cephalopod wants to change colour, the brain carries an electrical impulse through the nerve to the muscles that expand outwards, pulling open the sacs to display the colours on the skin. Why these three colours? Because these are the colours the light reflects at the depths they live in (the rest is absorbed before it reaches those depths). . . .

Well, what about other colours? Cue the iridophores. Think of a second level of skin that has thin stacks of cells. These can reflect light back at different wavelengths. . . . It’s using the same properties that we’ve seen in hologram stickers, or rainbows on puddles of oil. You move your head and you see a different colour. The sticker isn’t doing anything but reflecting light - it’s your movement that’s changing the appearance of the colour. This property of holograms, oil and other such surfaces is called “iridescence”. . . .

Papillae are sections of the skin that can be deformed to make a texture bumpy. Even humans possess them (goosebumps) but cannot use them in the manner that cephalopods can. For instance, the use of these cells is how an octopus can wrap itself over a rock and appear jagged or how a squid or cuttlefish can imitate the look of a coral reef by growing miniature towers on its skin. It actually matches the texture of the substrate it chooses.

Finally, the leucophores: According to a paper, published in Nature, cuttlefish and octopuses possess an additional type of reflector cell called a leucophore. They are cells that scatter full spectrum light so that they appear white in a similar way that a polar bear’s fur appears white. Leucophores will also reflect any filtered light shown on them . . . If the water appears blue at a certain depth, the octopuses and cuttlefish can appear blue; if the water appears green, they appear green, and so on and so forth.

Question 1

Based on the passage, it can be inferred that camouflaging techniques in an octopus are most dissimilar to those in:

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Question 2

All of the following are reasons for octopuses being “misfits” EXCEPT that they:

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Question 3

Which one of the following statements is not true about the camouflaging ability of Cephalopods?

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Question 4

Based on the passage, we can infer that all of the following statements, if true, would weaken the camouflaging adeptness of Cephalopods EXCEPT:

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

When we teach engineering problems now, we ask students to come to a single “best” solution defined by technical ideals like low cost, speed to build, and ability to scale. This way of teaching primes students to believe that their decision-making is purely objective, as it is grounded in math and science. This is known as technical-social dualism, the idea that the technical and social dimensions of engineering problems are readily separable and remain distinct throughout the problem-definition and solution process.

Nontechnical parameters such as access to a technology, cultural relevancy or potential harms are deemed political and invalid in this way of learning. But those technical ideals are at their core social and political choices determined by a dominant culture focused on economic growth for the most privileged segments of society. By choosing to downplay public welfare as a critical parameter for engineering design, we risk creating a culture of disengagement from societal concerns amongst engineers that is antithetical to the ethical code of engineering.

In my field of medical devices, ignoring social dimensions has real consequences. . . . Most FDA-approved drugs are incorrectly dosed for people assigned female at birth, leading to unexpected adverse reactions. This is because they have been inadequately represented in clinical trials.

Beyond physical failings, subjective beliefs treated as facts by those in decision-making roles can encode social inequities. For example, spirometers, routinely used devices that measure lung capacity, still have correction factors that automatically assume smaller lung capacity in Black and Asian individuals. These racially based adjustments are derived from research done by eugenicists who thought these racial differences were biologically determined and who considered nonwhite people as inferior. These machines ignore the influence of social and environmental factors on lung capacity.

Many technologies for systemically marginalized people have not been built because they were not deemed important such as better early diagnostics and treatment for diseases like endometriosis, a disease that afflicts 10 percent of people with uteruses. And we hardly question whether devices are built sustainably, which has led to a crisis of medical waste and health care accounting for 10 percent of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions.

Social justice must be made core to the way engineers are trained. Some universities are working on this. . . . Engineers taught this way will be prepared to think critically about what problems we choose to solve, how we do so responsibly and how we build teams that challenge our ways of thinking.

Individual engineering professors are also working to embed societal needs in their pedagogy. Darshan Karwat at the University of Arizona developed activist engineering to challenge engineers to acknowledge their full moral and social responsibility through practical self-reflection. Khalid Kadir at the University of California, Berkeley, created the popular course Engineering, Environment, and Society that teaches engineers how to engage in place-based knowledge, an understanding of the people, context and history, to design better technical approaches in collaboration with communities. When we design and build with equity and justice in mind, we craft better solutions that respond to the complexities of entrenched systemic problems.

Question 5

We can infer that the author would approve of a more evolved engineering pedagogy that includes all of the following EXCEPT:

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Question 6

All of the following are examples of the negative outcomes of focusing on technical ideals in the medical sphere EXCEPT the:

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Question 7

In this passage, the author is making the claim that:

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Question 8

The author gives all of the following reasons for why marginalised people are systematically discriminated against in technology-related interventions EXCEPT:

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

We begin with the emergence of the philosophy of the social sciences as an arena of thought and as a set of social institutions. The two characterisations overlap but are not congruent. Academic disciplines are social institutions. . . . My view is that institutions are all those social entities that organise action: they link acting individuals into social structures. There are various kinds of institutions. Hegelians and Marxists emphasise universal institutions such as the family, rituals, governance, economy and the military. These are mostly institutions that just grew. Perhaps in some imaginary beginning of time they spontaneously appeared. In their present incarnations, however, they are very much the product of conscious attempts to mould and plan them. We have family law, established and disestablished churches, constitutions and laws, including those governing the economy and the military. Institutions deriving from statute, like joint-stock companies are formal by contrast with informal ones such as friendships. There are some institutions that come in both informal and formal variants, as well as in mixed ones. Consider the fact that the stock exchange and the black market are both market institutions, one formal one not. Consider further that there are many features of the work of the stock exchange that rely on informal, noncodifiable agreements, not least the language used for communication. To be precise, mixtures are the norm . . . From constitutions at the top to by-laws near the bottom we are always adding to, or tinkering with, earlier institutions, the grown and the designed are intertwined.

It is usual in social thought to treat culture and tradition as different from, although alongside, institutions. The view taken here is different. Culture and tradition are sub-sets of institutions analytically isolated for explanatory or expository purposes. Some social scientists have taken all institutions, even purely local ones, to be entities that satisfy basic human needs - under local conditions . . . Others differed and declared any structure of reciprocal roles and norms an institution. Most of these differences are differences of emphasis rather than disagreements. Let us straddle all these versions and present institutions very generally . . . as structures that serve to coordinate the actions of individuals. . . . Institutions themselves then have no aims or purpose other than those given to them by actors or used by actors to explain them . . .

Language is the formative institution for social life and for science . . . Both formal and informal language is involved, naturally grown or designed. (Language is all of these to varying degrees.) Languages are paradigms of institutions or, from another perspective, nested sets of institutions. Syntax, semantics, lexicon and alphabet/character-set are all institutions within the larger institutional framework of a written language. Natural languages are typical examples of what Ferguson called ‘the result of human action, but not the execution of any human design’[;] reformed natural languages and artificial languages introduce design into their modifications or refinements of natural language. Above all, languages are paradigms of institutional tools that function to coordinate.

Question 9

“Consider the fact that the stock exchange and the black market are both market institutions, one formal one not.” Which one of the following statements best explains this quote, in the context of the passage?

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Question 10

All of the following inferences from the passage are false, EXCEPT:

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