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CAT Mock Test- 8 - CAT MCQ


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66 Questions MCQ Test CAT Mock Test Series - CAT Mock Test- 8

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CAT Mock Test- 8 - Question 1

Read the passage carefully and answer the questions that follow:

The word “bias” commonly appears in conversations about mistaken judgments and unfortunate decisions. We use it when there is discrimination, for instance against women or in favor of Ivy League graduates. But the meaning of the word is broader: A bias is any predictable error that inclines your judgment in a particular direction. For instance, we speak of bias when forecasts of sales are consistently optimistic or investment decisions overly cautious.

Society has devoted a lot of attention to the problem of bias — and rightly so. But when it comes to mistaken judgments and unfortunate decisions, there is another type of error that attracts far less attention: noise. To see the difference between bias and noise, consider your bathroom scale. If on average the readings it gives are too high (or too low), the scale is biased. If it shows different readings when you step on it several times in quick succession, the scale is noisy. While bias is the average of errors, noise is their variability.

Although it is often ignored, noise is a large source of malfunction in society. In a 1981 study, for example, 208 federal judges were asked to determine the appropriate sentences for the same 16 cases. The cases were described by the characteristics of the offense (robbery or fraud, violent or not) and of the defendant (young or old, repeat or first-time offender, accomplice or principal). The average difference between the sentences that two randomly chosen judges gave for the same crime was more than 3.5 years. Considering that the mean sentence was seven years, that was a disconcerting amount of noise. Noise in real courtrooms is surely only worse, as actual cases are more complex and difficult to judge than stylized vignettes. It is hard to escape the conclusion that sentencing is in part a lottery, because the punishment can vary by many years depending on which judge is assigned to the case and on the judge’s state of mind on that day. The judicial system is unacceptably noisy.

Noise causes error, as does bias, but the two kinds of error are separate and independent. A company’s hiring decisions could be unbiased overall if some of its recruiters favor men and others favor women. However, its hiring decisions would be noisy, and the company would make many bad choices. Where does noise come from? There is much evidence that irrelevant circumstances can affect judgments. In the case of criminal sentencing, for instance, a judge’s mood, fatigue and even the weather can all have modest but detectable effects on judicial decisions. Another source of noise is that people can have different general tendencies. Judges often vary in the severity of the sentences they mete out: There are “hanging” judges and lenient ones.

A third source of noise is less intuitive, although it is usually the largest: People can have not only different general tendencies (say, whether they are harsh or lenient) but also different patterns of assessment (say, which types of cases they believe merit being harsh or lenient about). Underwriters differ in their views of what is risky, and doctors in their views of which ailments require treatment. We celebrate the uniqueness of individuals, but we tend to forget that, when we expect consistency, uniqueness becomes a liability.

Q. Which of the following statements is the author most likely to agree with?

Detailed Solution for CAT Mock Test- 8 - Question 1

In the second paragraph, the author points out that noise gets far less attention than bias. However, the author does not assert that noise is a more serious error compared to bias. Option A can be eliminated.

{We celebrate the uniqueness of individuals, but we tend to forget that, when we expect consistency, uniqueness becomes a liability.} The author posits that when expecting consistency, the distinctness of each individual might be undesirable/burdensome. Option B echoes this view. 

{In the case of criminal sentencing, for instance, a judge’s mood, fatigue and even the weather can all have modest but detectable effects on judicial decisions} The author mentions that even small factors can have a "modest, but a detectable influence" on decisions. The author would have agreed if the option read that small factors influence decision making. But he does not say that the influence is huge/substantial, as mentioned in Option C. Hence, it is a distortion and can be eliminated.

{ Noise in real courtrooms is surely only worse, as actual cases are more complex and difficult to judge than stylized vignettes. It is hard to escape the conclusion that sentencing is in part a lottery, because the punishment can vary by many years depending on which judge is assigned to the case and on the judge’s state of mind on that day. The judicial system is unacceptably noisy.} While the author does discuss the complexity of courtroom cases causing noise in judgments (or punishments meted out), there is no mention of bias. Hence, Option D is a distortion.

Therefore, of the given choices, Option B is the correct answer.

CAT Mock Test- 8 - Question 2

Read the passage carefully and answer the questions that follow:

The word “bias” commonly appears in conversations about mistaken judgments and unfortunate decisions. We use it when there is discrimination, for instance against women or in favor of Ivy League graduates. But the meaning of the word is broader: A bias is any predictable error that inclines your judgment in a particular direction. For instance, we speak of bias when forecasts of sales are consistently optimistic or investment decisions overly cautious.

Society has devoted a lot of attention to the problem of bias — and rightly so. But when it comes to mistaken judgments and unfortunate decisions, there is another type of error that attracts far less attention: noise. To see the difference between bias and noise, consider your bathroom scale. If on average the readings it gives are too high (or too low), the scale is biased. If it shows different readings when you step on it several times in quick succession, the scale is noisy. While bias is the average of errors, noise is their variability.

Although it is often ignored, noise is a large source of malfunction in society. In a 1981 study, for example, 208 federal judges were asked to determine the appropriate sentences for the same 16 cases. The cases were described by the characteristics of the offense (robbery or fraud, violent or not) and of the defendant (young or old, repeat or first-time offender, accomplice or principal). The average difference between the sentences that two randomly chosen judges gave for the same crime was more than 3.5 years. Considering that the mean sentence was seven years, that was a disconcerting amount of noise. Noise in real courtrooms is surely only worse, as actual cases are more complex and difficult to judge than stylized vignettes. It is hard to escape the conclusion that sentencing is in part a lottery, because the punishment can vary by many years depending on which judge is assigned to the case and on the judge’s state of mind on that day. The judicial system is unacceptably noisy.

Noise causes error, as does bias, but the two kinds of error are separate and independent. A company’s hiring decisions could be unbiased overall if some of its recruiters favor men and others favor women. However, its hiring decisions would be noisy, and the company would make many bad choices. Where does noise come from? There is much evidence that irrelevant circumstances can affect judgments. In the case of criminal sentencing, for instance, a judge’s mood, fatigue and even the weather can all have modest but detectable effects on judicial decisions. Another source of noise is that people can have different general tendencies. Judges often vary in the severity of the sentences they mete out: There are “hanging” judges and lenient ones.

A third source of noise is less intuitive, although it is usually the largest: People can have not only different general tendencies (say, whether they are harsh or lenient) but also different patterns of assessment (say, which types of cases they believe merit being harsh or lenient about). Underwriters differ in their views of what is risky, and doctors in their views of which ailments require treatment. We celebrate the uniqueness of individuals, but we tend to forget that, when we expect consistency, uniqueness becomes a liability.

Q. Which of the following can serve as an example of 'noise' as per the the passage?

Detailed Solution for CAT Mock Test- 8 - Question 2

{While bias is the average of errors, noise is their variability.} Noise, hence, refers to variability in the outcomes predicted for the same event/case. The judicial system example exemplifies this.
Option A is a valid example, as it highlights the variance in judgements of people analysing the same risk. Hence it is our answer
The surgical decisions may have been taken in completely different circumstances, and the patients may have presented with distinct issues. Hence, it is not the same event/situation. Option B can be eliminated.
Option C is an incorrect example. The revisions may have been forced due to changing economic conditions. Hence there is a change in the situation.
Option D talks about the discrimination against a particular group of people, and it is not varied from person to person. This would be better classified as bias, as a mean error of judgement is being talked about. Hence D can be eliminated too.

CAT Mock Test- 8 - Question 3

Read the passage carefully and answer the questions that follow:

The word “bias” commonly appears in conversations about mistaken judgments and unfortunate decisions. We use it when there is discrimination, for instance against women or in favor of Ivy League graduates. But the meaning of the word is broader: A bias is any predictable error that inclines your judgment in a particular direction. For instance, we speak of bias when forecasts of sales are consistently optimistic or investment decisions overly cautious.

Society has devoted a lot of attention to the problem of bias — and rightly so. But when it comes to mistaken judgments and unfortunate decisions, there is another type of error that attracts far less attention: noise. To see the difference between bias and noise, consider your bathroom scale. If on average the readings it gives are too high (or too low), the scale is biased. If it shows different readings when you step on it several times in quick succession, the scale is noisy. While bias is the average of errors, noise is their variability.

Although it is often ignored, noise is a large source of malfunction in society. In a 1981 study, for example, 208 federal judges were asked to determine the appropriate sentences for the same 16 cases. The cases were described by the characteristics of the offense (robbery or fraud, violent or not) and of the defendant (young or old, repeat or first-time offender, accomplice or principal). The average difference between the sentences that two randomly chosen judges gave for the same crime was more than 3.5 years. Considering that the mean sentence was seven years, that was a disconcerting amount of noise. Noise in real courtrooms is surely only worse, as actual cases are more complex and difficult to judge than stylized vignettes. It is hard to escape the conclusion that sentencing is in part a lottery, because the punishment can vary by many years depending on which judge is assigned to the case and on the judge’s state of mind on that day. The judicial system is unacceptably noisy.

Noise causes error, as does bias, but the two kinds of error are separate and independent. A company’s hiring decisions could be unbiased overall if some of its recruiters favor men and others favor women. However, its hiring decisions would be noisy, and the company would make many bad choices. Where does noise come from? There is much evidence that irrelevant circumstances can affect judgments. In the case of criminal sentencing, for instance, a judge’s mood, fatigue and even the weather can all have modest but detectable effects on judicial decisions. Another source of noise is that people can have different general tendencies. Judges often vary in the severity of the sentences they mete out: There are “hanging” judges and lenient ones.

A third source of noise is less intuitive, although it is usually the largest: People can have not only different general tendencies (say, whether they are harsh or lenient) but also different patterns of assessment (say, which types of cases they believe merit being harsh or lenient about). Underwriters differ in their views of what is risky, and doctors in their views of which ailments require treatment. We celebrate the uniqueness of individuals, but we tend to forget that, when we expect consistency, uniqueness becomes a liability.

Q. According to the passage, noise in a judicial system could lead to which of the following consequences?

Detailed Solution for CAT Mock Test- 8 - Question 3

In the third paragraph, the author discusses the pervasiveness of noise in the judicial system and how it may cause the judges the dish out different sentences for a similar crime. ("...because the punishment can vary by many years depending on which judge is assigned to the case and on the judge’s state of mind on that day")
Option A can be safely eliminated. The author discusses the difference in sentences of convicted persons, not wrongful convictions.
Option B is out of scope. The length of judicial proceedings has not been expanded upon in the passage.
Option C is in line with the idea elucidated above. When different sentences are meted out for the same offence, we can discern that the judgments are noisy.  

Option D is too extreme. The author gives an example where noise error leads to a difference of a few years of his sentence. This does not mean that an irrelevant factor like mood will lead to the complete overturn of a verdict. It can only increase/decrease the sentence to an extent. Hence Option D can be eliminated too.

CAT Mock Test- 8 - Question 4

Read the passage carefully and answer the questions that follow:

The word “bias” commonly appears in conversations about mistaken judgments and unfortunate decisions. We use it when there is discrimination, for instance against women or in favor of Ivy League graduates. But the meaning of the word is broader: A bias is any predictable error that inclines your judgment in a particular direction. For instance, we speak of bias when forecasts of sales are consistently optimistic or investment decisions overly cautious.

Society has devoted a lot of attention to the problem of bias — and rightly so. But when it comes to mistaken judgments and unfortunate decisions, there is another type of error that attracts far less attention: noise. To see the difference between bias and noise, consider your bathroom scale. If on average the readings it gives are too high (or too low), the scale is biased. If it shows different readings when you step on it several times in quick succession, the scale is noisy. While bias is the average of errors, noise is their variability.

Although it is often ignored, noise is a large source of malfunction in society. In a 1981 study, for example, 208 federal judges were asked to determine the appropriate sentences for the same 16 cases. The cases were described by the characteristics of the offense (robbery or fraud, violent or not) and of the defendant (young or old, repeat or first-time offender, accomplice or principal). The average difference between the sentences that two randomly chosen judges gave for the same crime was more than 3.5 years. Considering that the mean sentence was seven years, that was a disconcerting amount of noise. Noise in real courtrooms is surely only worse, as actual cases are more complex and difficult to judge than stylized vignettes. It is hard to escape the conclusion that sentencing is in part a lottery, because the punishment can vary by many years depending on which judge is assigned to the case and on the judge’s state of mind on that day. The judicial system is unacceptably noisy.

Noise causes error, as does bias, but the two kinds of error are separate and independent. A company’s hiring decisions could be unbiased overall if some of its recruiters favor men and others favor women. However, its hiring decisions would be noisy, and the company would make many bad choices. Where does noise come from? There is much evidence that irrelevant circumstances can affect judgments. In the case of criminal sentencing, for instance, a judge’s mood, fatigue and even the weather can all have modest but detectable effects on judicial decisions. Another source of noise is that people can have different general tendencies. Judges often vary in the severity of the sentences they mete out: There are “hanging” judges and lenient ones.

A third source of noise is less intuitive, although it is usually the largest: People can have not only different general tendencies (say, whether they are harsh or lenient) but also different patterns of assessment (say, which types of cases they believe merit being harsh or lenient about). Underwriters differ in their views of what is risky, and doctors in their views of which ailments require treatment. We celebrate the uniqueness of individuals, but we tend to forget that, when we expect consistency, uniqueness becomes a liability.

Q. According to the passage, noise and bias differ in which of the following ways?

Detailed Solution for CAT Mock Test- 8 - Question 4

In the first paragraph, the author states the following-{ A bias is any predictable error that inclines your judgment in a particular direction. For instance, we speak of bias when forecasts of sales are consistently optimistic or investment decisions overly cautious.}  Hence, although it is an error, bias reflects an element of consistency, that most of the values are consistently above or below the correct value. The 'bathroom scale' example discussed in the second paragraph strengthens this idea. The values displayed by the scale are too low or too high consistently.
On the other hand, noise, which reflects variability and where individual values are consistently different from one another, lacks an element of consistency.
Option A captures the above idea correctly. Option A is the answer.
Option B cannot be validated. Bias is any predictable error that inclines your judgment in a particular direction. This inclination could be of an individual or of a group of individuals. 
Option C can be eliminated. The author does not assert that noise is an unpredictable error. 
Option D has not been implied in the passage and can be eliminated. 

CAT Mock Test- 8 - Question 5

Read the passage carefully and answer the questions that follow:

Information has never been more accessible or less reliable. So we are advised to check our sources carefully. There is so much talk of “fake news” that the term has entirely lost meaning. At school, we are taught to avoid Wikipedia, or at the very least never admit to using it in our citations. And most sources on the world wide web have been built without the standardized attributions that scaffold other forms of knowledge dissemination; they are therefore seen as degraded, even as they illuminate.

But it was only relatively recently that academic disciplines designed rigid systems for categorizing and organizing source material at all. Historian Anthony Grafton traces the genealogy of the footnote in an excellent book, which reveals many origin stories. It turns out that footnotes are related to early systems of marginalia, glosses, and annotation that existed in theology, early histories, and Medieval law. The footnote in something like its modern form seems to have been devised in the seventeenth century, and has proliferated since, with increasing standardization and rigor. And yet, Grafton writes, “appearances of uniformity are deceptive. To the inexpert, footnotes look like deep root systems, solid and fixed; to the connoisseur, however, they reveal themselves as anthills, swarming with constructive and combative activity.”

The purpose of citation, broadly speaking, is to give others credit, but it does much more than that. Famously, citations can be the sources of great enmity — a quick dismissal of a rival argument with a “cf.” They can serve a social purpose, as sly thank-yous to friends and mentors. They can perform a kind of box-checking of requisite major works. (As Grafton points out, the omission of these works can itself be a statement.) Attribution, significantly, allows others to check your work, or at least gives the illusion that they could, following a web of sources back to the origins. But perhaps above all else, citations serve a dual purpose that seems at once complementary and conflicting; they acknowledge a debt to a larger body of work while also conferring on oneself a certain kind of erudition and expertise.

Like many systems that appear meticulous, the writing of citations is a subjective art. Never more so than in fiction, where citation is an entirely other kind of animal, not required or even expected, except in the “acknowledgments” page, which is often a who’s who of the publishing world. But in the last two decades, bibliographies and sources cited pages have increasingly cropped up in the backs of novels. “It’s terribly off-putting,” James Wood said of this fad in 2006. “It would be very odd if Thomas Hardy had put at the end of all his books, ‘I’m thankful to the Dorset County Chronicle for dialect books from the 18th century.’ We expect authors to do that work, and I don’t see why we should praise them for that work.” Wood has a point, or had one — at their worst, citations in fiction are annoying, driven by an author’s anxiety to show off what he has read, to check the right boxes.

Q. Which of the following is a reason why citation is done?

Detailed Solution for CAT Mock Test- 8 - Question 5

The author does not mention the improvement in the credibility of the author's work. Citations merely allow others to check the work and decide for themselves whether the work has any weight. Hence, Option A is beyond the scope of the passage and can be eliminated.
"They can perform a kind of box-checking of requisite major works." 
Option B can be inferred from this line. By citing major works, the author alludes to his erudition and familiarity on the topic, which means that he has referred to the mandatory amount of previous works in the field.
Famously, citations can be the sources of great enmity — a quick dismissal of a rival argument with a “cf.” 
Here, the author talks about negating an argument that is contrary to the author's. But the option reads 'rival's argument' which means argument put forward by his rival, which may not be contrary to the author's. Hence, Option C is a distortion and can be eliminated.
Attribution, significantly, allows others to check your work or at least gives the illusion that they could, following a web of sources back to the origins.
Option D talks about a significant increase in the visibility of the author's work. Whereas, in the passage, the adverb significantly talks about a significant role of attribution being allowing others to check the author's work. This means that the people who are viewing the author's work can check the credibility (or have an illusion of the same) through the attributions. This is different from more people checking out the work, as suggested in the option. Hence Option D can be eliminated.

CAT Mock Test- 8 - Question 6

Read the passage carefully and answer the questions that follow:

Information has never been more accessible or less reliable. So we are advised to check our sources carefully. There is so much talk of “fake news” that the term has entirely lost meaning. At school, we are taught to avoid Wikipedia, or at the very least never admit to using it in our citations. And most sources on the world wide web have been built without the standardized attributions that scaffold other forms of knowledge dissemination; they are therefore seen as degraded, even as they illuminate.

But it was only relatively recently that academic disciplines designed rigid systems for categorizing and organizing source material at all. Historian Anthony Grafton traces the genealogy of the footnote in an excellent book, which reveals many origin stories. It turns out that footnotes are related to early systems of marginalia, glosses, and annotation that existed in theology, early histories, and Medieval law. The footnote in something like its modern form seems to have been devised in the seventeenth century, and has proliferated since, with increasing standardization and rigor. And yet, Grafton writes, “appearances of uniformity are deceptive. To the inexpert, footnotes look like deep root systems, solid and fixed; to the connoisseur, however, they reveal themselves as anthills, swarming with constructive and combative activity.”

The purpose of citation, broadly speaking, is to give others credit, but it does much more than that. Famously, citations can be the sources of great enmity — a quick dismissal of a rival argument with a “cf.” They can serve a social purpose, as sly thank-yous to friends and mentors. They can perform a kind of box-checking of requisite major works. (As Grafton points out, the omission of these works can itself be a statement.) Attribution, significantly, allows others to check your work, or at least gives the illusion that they could, following a web of sources back to the origins. But perhaps above all else, citations serve a dual purpose that seems at once complementary and conflicting; they acknowledge a debt to a larger body of work while also conferring on oneself a certain kind of erudition and expertise.

Like many systems that appear meticulous, the writing of citations is a subjective art. Never more so than in fiction, where citation is an entirely other kind of animal, not required or even expected, except in the “acknowledgments” page, which is often a who’s who of the publishing world. But in the last two decades, bibliographies and sources cited pages have increasingly cropped up in the backs of novels. “It’s terribly off-putting,” James Wood said of this fad in 2006. “It would be very odd if Thomas Hardy had put at the end of all his books, ‘I’m thankful to the Dorset County Chronicle for dialect books from the 18th century.’ We expect authors to do that work, and I don’t see why we should praise them for that work.” Wood has a point, or had one — at their worst, citations in fiction are annoying, driven by an author’s anxiety to show off what he has read, to check the right boxes.

Q. What can be inferred about the author's stance on including citations in works of fiction from the passage?

Detailed Solution for CAT Mock Test- 8 - Question 6

The author mentions in the last paragraph that citations are not required or expected outside of the acknowledgements page. Overall, their purpose seems to be self-aggrandisement and showing that they have done some research, which is already expected of them.
Option A does not reflect the author's view, because the author has taken a complaining tone while mentioning the checking of boxes, which means that he does not approve of the same. Hence, A cannot be the answer.
Option B is covered above and can be the answer.
The term 'off-putting' has been introduced by James Wood and not necessarily defines the author's stance. Hence, Option C can be eliminated too.
The author mentions that citations are subjective to allow himself to criticize their usage in some areas. Though he calls it a 'different kind of animal', he clarifies his stance in the subsequent line indicating that this metaphor has a negative connotation, and he does not approve of the use. Option D defines the use as uniquely appealing, which is contrary in spirit to what the author is arguing. Hence it can be eliminated.

CAT Mock Test- 8 - Question 7

Read the passage carefully and answer the questions that follow:

Information has never been more accessible or less reliable. So we are advised to check our sources carefully. There is so much talk of “fake news” that the term has entirely lost meaning. At school, we are taught to avoid Wikipedia, or at the very least never admit to using it in our citations. And most sources on the world wide web have been built without the standardized attributions that scaffold other forms of knowledge dissemination; they are therefore seen as degraded, even as they illuminate.

But it was only relatively recently that academic disciplines designed rigid systems for categorizing and organizing source material at all. Historian Anthony Grafton traces the genealogy of the footnote in an excellent book, which reveals many origin stories. It turns out that footnotes are related to early systems of marginalia, glosses, and annotation that existed in theology, early histories, and Medieval law. The footnote in something like its modern form seems to have been devised in the seventeenth century, and has proliferated since, with increasing standardization and rigor. And yet, Grafton writes, “appearances of uniformity are deceptive. To the inexpert, footnotes look like deep root systems, solid and fixed; to the connoisseur, however, they reveal themselves as anthills, swarming with constructive and combative activity.”

The purpose of citation, broadly speaking, is to give others credit, but it does much more than that. Famously, citations can be the sources of great enmity — a quick dismissal of a rival argument with a “cf.” They can serve a social purpose, as sly thank-yous to friends and mentors. They can perform a kind of box-checking of requisite major works. (As Grafton points out, the omission of these works can itself be a statement.) Attribution, significantly, allows others to check your work, or at least gives the illusion that they could, following a web of sources back to the origins. But perhaps above all else, citations serve a dual purpose that seems at once complementary and conflicting; they acknowledge a debt to a larger body of work while also conferring on oneself a certain kind of erudition and expertise.

Like many systems that appear meticulous, the writing of citations is a subjective art. Never more so than in fiction, where citation is an entirely other kind of animal, not required or even expected, except in the “acknowledgments” page, which is often a who’s who of the publishing world. But in the last two decades, bibliographies and sources cited pages have increasingly cropped up in the backs of novels. “It’s terribly off-putting,” James Wood said of this fad in 2006. “It would be very odd if Thomas Hardy had put at the end of all his books, ‘I’m thankful to the Dorset County Chronicle for dialect books from the 18th century.’ We expect authors to do that work, and I don’t see why we should praise them for that work.” Wood has a point, or had one — at their worst, citations in fiction are annoying, driven by an author’s anxiety to show off what he has read, to check the right boxes.

Q. "Citations serve a dual purpose that seems at once complementary and conflicting." Which of the following best captures the reason why the author makes this statement?

Detailed Solution for CAT Mock Test- 8 - Question 7

"But perhaps above all else, citations serve a dual purpose that seems at once complementary and conflicting; they acknowledge a debt to a larger body of work while also conferring on oneself a certain kind of erudition and expertise."
Citations are complementary and conflicting because they acknowledge all the work that has been done by others, and at the same time. they indirectly imply that the author has knowledge that is additional to the existing work. So, citations, help acknowledge a debt to a larger body of work and the influence it has had on the author. But these citations also, in a way, convey the fact that the author has improved upon the credited body of work through his effort. 
Option A captures this viewpoint of the author correctly. Option A is the answer.
Option B, about promoting a superior image vis-a-vis peers is out of the scope of the passage.
Option D completely misses the point being made in the passage through those lines. Hence, it can be eliminated.
Option C has not been implied in the passage and can be safely eliminated.

CAT Mock Test- 8 - Question 8

Read the passage carefully and answer the questions that follow:

Information has never been more accessible or less reliable. So we are advised to check our sources carefully. There is so much talk of “fake news” that the term has entirely lost meaning. At school, we are taught to avoid Wikipedia, or at the very least never admit to using it in our citations. And most sources on the world wide web have been built without the standardized attributions that scaffold other forms of knowledge dissemination; they are therefore seen as degraded, even as they illuminate.

But it was only relatively recently that academic disciplines designed rigid systems for categorizing and organizing source material at all. Historian Anthony Grafton traces the genealogy of the footnote in an excellent book, which reveals many origin stories. It turns out that footnotes are related to early systems of marginalia, glosses, and annotation that existed in theology, early histories, and Medieval law. The footnote in something like its modern form seems to have been devised in the seventeenth century, and has proliferated since, with increasing standardization and rigor. And yet, Grafton writes, “appearances of uniformity are deceptive. To the inexpert, footnotes look like deep root systems, solid and fixed; to the connoisseur, however, they reveal themselves as anthills, swarming with constructive and combative activity.”

The purpose of citation, broadly speaking, is to give others credit, but it does much more than that. Famously, citations can be the sources of great enmity — a quick dismissal of a rival argument with a “cf.” They can serve a social purpose, as sly thank-yous to friends and mentors. They can perform a kind of box-checking of requisite major works. (As Grafton points out, the omission of these works can itself be a statement.) Attribution, significantly, allows others to check your work, or at least gives the illusion that they could, following a web of sources back to the origins. But perhaps above all else, citations serve a dual purpose that seems at once complementary and conflicting; they acknowledge a debt to a larger body of work while also conferring on oneself a certain kind of erudition and expertise.

Like many systems that appear meticulous, the writing of citations is a subjective art. Never more so than in fiction, where citation is an entirely other kind of animal, not required or even expected, except in the “acknowledgments” page, which is often a who’s who of the publishing world. But in the last two decades, bibliographies and sources cited pages have increasingly cropped up in the backs of novels. “It’s terribly off-putting,” James Wood said of this fad in 2006. “It would be very odd if Thomas Hardy had put at the end of all his books, ‘I’m thankful to the Dorset County Chronicle for dialect books from the 18th century.’ We expect authors to do that work, and I don’t see why we should praise them for that work.” Wood has a point, or had one — at their worst, citations in fiction are annoying, driven by an author’s anxiety to show off what he has read, to check the right boxes.

Q. Which of the following statements about footnotes can be inferred from the second paragraph?
I. According to Grafton, inexperts view footnotes as an immutable system with a singular purpose.
II. Footnotes, in their modern form, have attained a higher degree of standardization and rigour.
III. According to Grafton, experts view footnotes as a system that brews both beneficial and confrontational activities.
IV. Footnotes were an integral feature of Medieval literature, albeit in a form different from modern forms.

Detailed Solution for CAT Mock Test- 8 - Question 8

Statement I is only partially true. While inexperts view it as a fixed and solid system, their view on the purpose it serves has not been discussed in the second paragraph. Hence, statement I cannot be inferred.
{The footnote in something like its modern form seems to have been devised in the seventeenth century and has proliferated since, with increasing standardization and rigor.} Statement II is a direct inference from this line.
{...to the connoisseur, however, they reveal themselves as anthills, swarming with constructive and combative activity.} Statement III can be inferred as well. Here, the phrase 'constructive and combative activity' is the key, so footnotes can sometimes be beneficial, whereas, on other occasions, it can be an avenue for academic confrontation. The author further expounds on these aspects of citations in the penultimate paragraph, where he says that they can brew enmity as well as prove to be very effective.
Statement IV is an incorrect generalization. In the passage, the author only talks about Medieval Law and not Medieval literature in general. Hence, statement IV cannot be inferred.
Hence, only statements II and III can be inferred; Option A is the answer.

CAT Mock Test- 8 - Question 9

Read the passage carefully and answer the questions that follow:

Humiliation is more than an individual and subjective feeling. It is an instrument of political power, wielded with intent. In the late 1930s, Soviet show trials used every means to degrade anyone whom Stalin considered a potentially dangerous opponent. National Socialism copied this practice whenever it put ‘enemies of the people’ on trial. On the streets of Vienna in 1938, officials forced Jews to kneel on the pavement and scrub off anti-Nazi graffiti to the laughter of non-Jewish men, women and children. During the Cultural Revolution in China, young activists went out of their way to relentlessly humiliate senior functionaries - a common practice that, to this day, hasn’t been officially reprimanded or rectified.

Liberal democracies, especially after the Second World War, have taken issue with these practices. We like to believe that we have largely eradicated such politics from our societies. Compared with totalitarian regimes of the 20th century, this belief might seem justified. Yet we’re still a far cry from being ‘decent societies’ whose members and institutions, in the philosopher Avishai Margalit’s terms, ‘do not humiliate people’, but respect their dignity. Although construction of the road to decency began as early as around 1800, it was - and remains - paved with obstacles and exceptions.

Mass opposition to the politics of humiliation began from the early 19th century in Europe, as lower-class people increasingly objected to disrespectful treatment. Servants, journeymen and factory workers alike used the language of honour and concepts of personal and social self-worth - previously monopolised by the nobility and upper-middle classes - to demand that they not be verbally and physically insulted by employers and overseers.

This social change was enabled and supported by a new type of honour that followed the invention of ‘citizens’ (rather than subjects) in democratising societies. Citizens who carried political rights and duties were also seen as possessing civic honour. Traditionally, social honour had been stratified according to status and rank, but now civic honour pertained to each and every citizen, and this helped to raise their self-esteem and self-consciousness. Consequently, humiliation, and other demonstrations of the alleged inferiority of others, was no longer considered a legitimate means by which to exert power over one’s fellow citizens.

Historically then, humiliation could be felt - and objected to - only once the notion of equal citizenship and human dignity entered political discourse and practice. As long as society subscribed to the notion that some individuals are fundamentally superior to others, people had a hard time feeling humiliated. They might feel treated unfairly, and rebel. But they wouldn’t perceive such treatment as humiliating, per se. Humiliation can be experienced only when the victims consider themselves on a par with the perpetrator - not in terms of actual power, but in terms of rights and dignity. This explains the surge of libel suits in Europe during the 19th century: they reflected the democratised sense of honour in societies that had granted and institutionalised equal rights after the French Revolution (even in countries that didn’t have a revolution).

The evolution of the legal system in Western nations serves as both a gauge of, and an active participant in, these developments. From the Middle Ages to the early 19th century, public shaming was used widely as a supplementary punishment for men and women sentenced for unlawful acts.

Q. Which of the following is true based on the passage?

Detailed Solution for CAT Mock Test- 8 - Question 9

Option A: "...Liberal democracies, especially after the Second World War, have taken issue with these practices. We like to believe that we have largely eradicated such politics from our societies. Compared with totalitarian regimes of the 20th century, this belief might seem justified. Yet we’re still a far cry from being ‘decent societies’ whose members and institutions, in the philosopher Avishai Margalit’s terms, ‘do not humiliate people’, but respect their dignity...". The use of the term 'completely' in the option appears to be extreme; additionally, the author adds that we are a 'far cry' from transforming into a society devoid of any mechanisms involving humiliation. Hence, Option A can be eliminated. 

Option B: "...Mass opposition to the politics of humiliation began from the early 19th century in Europe, as lower-class people increasingly objected to disrespectful treatment. Servants, journeymen and factory workers alike used the language of honour and concepts of personal and social self-worth - previously monopolised by the nobility and upper-middle classes - to demand that they not be verbally and physically insulted by employers and overseers...". The statement here is distorted since the author evidently specifies that the antagonism against the politics of humiliation began from the bottom up - servants, journeymen and factory workers. Thus, Option B can be discarded.

Option C: "...Traditionally, social honour had been stratified according to status and rank, but now civic honour pertained to each and every citizen, and this helped to raise their self-esteem and self-consciousness...". We notice that the statement in C aligns with the information presented in this excerpt and is, therefore, true.

Option D: There is no evidence to substantiate this claim, since the term 'totalitarian' has not been ascribed to the entities mentioned in the passage.

Hence, the correct answer is Option C.

CAT Mock Test- 8 - Question 10

Read the passage carefully and answer the questions that follow:

Humiliation is more than an individual and subjective feeling. It is an instrument of political power, wielded with intent. In the late 1930s, Soviet show trials used every means to degrade anyone whom Stalin considered a potentially dangerous opponent. National Socialism copied this practice whenever it put ‘enemies of the people’ on trial. On the streets of Vienna in 1938, officials forced Jews to kneel on the pavement and scrub off anti-Nazi graffiti to the laughter of non-Jewish men, women and children. During the Cultural Revolution in China, young activists went out of their way to relentlessly humiliate senior functionaries - a common practice that, to this day, hasn’t been officially reprimanded or rectified.

Liberal democracies, especially after the Second World War, have taken issue with these practices. We like to believe that we have largely eradicated such politics from our societies. Compared with totalitarian regimes of the 20th century, this belief might seem justified. Yet we’re still a far cry from being ‘decent societies’ whose members and institutions, in the philosopher Avishai Margalit’s terms, ‘do not humiliate people’, but respect their dignity. Although construction of the road to decency began as early as around 1800, it was - and remains - paved with obstacles and exceptions.

Mass opposition to the politics of humiliation began from the early 19th century in Europe, as lower-class people increasingly objected to disrespectful treatment. Servants, journeymen and factory workers alike used the language of honour and concepts of personal and social self-worth - previously monopolised by the nobility and upper-middle classes - to demand that they not be verbally and physically insulted by employers and overseers.

This social change was enabled and supported by a new type of honour that followed the invention of ‘citizens’ (rather than subjects) in democratising societies. Citizens who carried political rights and duties were also seen as possessing civic honour. Traditionally, social honour had been stratified according to status and rank, but now civic honour pertained to each and every citizen, and this helped to raise their self-esteem and self-consciousness. Consequently, humiliation, and other demonstrations of the alleged inferiority of others, was no longer considered a legitimate means by which to exert power over one’s fellow citizens.

Historically then, humiliation could be felt - and objected to - only once the notion of equal citizenship and human dignity entered political discourse and practice. As long as society subscribed to the notion that some individuals are fundamentally superior to others, people had a hard time feeling humiliated. They might feel treated unfairly, and rebel. But they wouldn’t perceive such treatment as humiliating, per se. Humiliation can be experienced only when the victims consider themselves on a par with the perpetrator - not in terms of actual power, but in terms of rights and dignity. This explains the surge of libel suits in Europe during the 19th century: they reflected the democratised sense of honour in societies that had granted and institutionalised equal rights after the French Revolution (even in countries that didn’t have a revolution).

The evolution of the legal system in Western nations serves as both a gauge of, and an active participant in, these developments. From the Middle Ages to the early 19th century, public shaming was used widely as a supplementary punishment for men and women sentenced for unlawful acts.

Q. Why does the author feel that humiliation could be felt only after the entrance of the notion of equal citizenship and human dignity in political discourse?

Detailed Solution for CAT Mock Test- 8 - Question 10

Let us pay heed to the following excerpt from the penultimate paragraph: "...As long as society subscribed to the notion that some individuals are fundamentally superior to others, people had a hard time feeling humiliated. They might feel treated unfairly, and rebel. But they wouldn’t perceive such treatment as humiliating, per se. Humiliation can be experienced only when the victims consider themselves on a par with the perpetrator - not in terms of actual power, but in terms of rights and dignity..." The author believes that the introduction of rights in the sociopolitical domain evinced the perception of humiliation and the wrongdoing associated with it. If people inherently believe that social stratification exists, wherein some individuals qualify as being inferior to others, this might not elicit a feeling of humiliation. Individuals might find this system/treatment unjust, but that feeling can not necessarily be tagged as humiliation. However, the presence of civic rights induces the feeling of individual dignity. It fosters the idea that every person within the civic society is equal, and therefore, at par with the group/subset that humiliates another. The author adds that this distinction that every individual is equal in terms of rights and dignity (perhaps not in terms of social status) is what allows the presence of the feeling of humiliation. Option B correctly captures this reason.

Option A: The focus here is neither on the presence of social stratification nor on the increase in self-esteem. Instead, the realization concerning equality in rights and dignity is presented as the reason why humiliation could be experienced only post the entrance of these two notions. Therefore, Option A fails to answer the question. 

Option C: The presence of legal systems is not the primary focal point here. The following is stated in this regard: "...The evolution of the legal system in Western nations serves as both a gauge of, and an active participant in, these developments..." Although the author does call it an "active participant" in changing the status quo, he does not attach it to the "entrance of the notion of equal citizenship and human dignity in political discourse" directly (as demanded by the question). hence, Option C can be eliminated.

Option D: The author says that the perception of superiority might have made people feel mistreated but not humiliated. The issue was not with 'objecting' to humiliation (as presented in Option D) but with feeling humiliated in the first place. This difference in interpretation helps us eliminate Option D.

Hence, Option B is the correct answer.

CAT Mock Test- 8 - Question 11

Read the passage carefully and answer the questions that follow:

Humiliation is more than an individual and subjective feeling. It is an instrument of political power, wielded with intent. In the late 1930s, Soviet show trials used every means to degrade anyone whom Stalin considered a potentially dangerous opponent. National Socialism copied this practice whenever it put ‘enemies of the people’ on trial. On the streets of Vienna in 1938, officials forced Jews to kneel on the pavement and scrub off anti-Nazi graffiti to the laughter of non-Jewish men, women and children. During the Cultural Revolution in China, young activists went out of their way to relentlessly humiliate senior functionaries - a common practice that, to this day, hasn’t been officially reprimanded or rectified.

Liberal democracies, especially after the Second World War, have taken issue with these practices. We like to believe that we have largely eradicated such politics from our societies. Compared with totalitarian regimes of the 20th century, this belief might seem justified. Yet we’re still a far cry from being ‘decent societies’ whose members and institutions, in the philosopher Avishai Margalit’s terms, ‘do not humiliate people’, but respect their dignity. Although construction of the road to decency began as early as around 1800, it was - and remains - paved with obstacles and exceptions.

Mass opposition to the politics of humiliation began from the early 19th century in Europe, as lower-class people increasingly objected to disrespectful treatment. Servants, journeymen and factory workers alike used the language of honour and concepts of personal and social self-worth - previously monopolised by the nobility and upper-middle classes - to demand that they not be verbally and physically insulted by employers and overseers.

This social change was enabled and supported by a new type of honour that followed the invention of ‘citizens’ (rather than subjects) in democratising societies. Citizens who carried political rights and duties were also seen as possessing civic honour. Traditionally, social honour had been stratified according to status and rank, but now civic honour pertained to each and every citizen, and this helped to raise their self-esteem and self-consciousness. Consequently, humiliation, and other demonstrations of the alleged inferiority of others, was no longer considered a legitimate means by which to exert power over one’s fellow citizens.

Historically then, humiliation could be felt - and objected to - only once the notion of equal citizenship and human dignity entered political discourse and practice. As long as society subscribed to the notion that some individuals are fundamentally superior to others, people had a hard time feeling humiliated. They might feel treated unfairly, and rebel. But they wouldn’t perceive such treatment as humiliating, per se. Humiliation can be experienced only when the victims consider themselves on a par with the perpetrator - not in terms of actual power, but in terms of rights and dignity. This explains the surge of libel suits in Europe during the 19th century: they reflected the democratised sense of honour in societies that had granted and institutionalised equal rights after the French Revolution (even in countries that didn’t have a revolution).

The evolution of the legal system in Western nations serves as both a gauge of, and an active participant in, these developments. From the Middle Ages to the early 19th century, public shaming was used widely as a supplementary punishment for men and women sentenced for unlawful acts.

Q. Which of the following topics would be a likely continuation of the given discussion?

Detailed Solution for CAT Mock Test- 8 - Question 11

Towards the end of the passage, the author delves into how public shaming was used as a 'supplementary punishment'. The next course of discussion should be in line with this and further elucidate what the author intends to convey via this claim. Option D serves as an apt continuation in this regard.
Option A: We notice multiple information skips here - both with regard to time as well as the subject under discussion. The author has not supplemented the claim made towards the end and is yet to steer the discourse towards present-day affairs. Hence, Option A is an unlikely continuation.  
Option B: The information would not continue the chain of thought. Statistics to supplement a tangential claim is of little importance and hence, can be discarded.
Option C: The main themes of the concluding paragraph and the stated option do not coincide. The author has not focused on the social transformation or the removal of societal hierarchies; instead, the perception associated with humiliation is discussed. In this regard, Option C is irrelevant. 
Hence, of the given choices, Option D is the correct answer.

CAT Mock Test- 8 - Question 12

Read the passage carefully and answer the questions that follow:

Humiliation is more than an individual and subjective feeling. It is an instrument of political power, wielded with intent. In the late 1930s, Soviet show trials used every means to degrade anyone whom Stalin considered a potentially dangerous opponent. National Socialism copied this practice whenever it put ‘enemies of the people’ on trial. On the streets of Vienna in 1938, officials forced Jews to kneel on the pavement and scrub off anti-Nazi graffiti to the laughter of non-Jewish men, women and children. During the Cultural Revolution in China, young activists went out of their way to relentlessly humiliate senior functionaries - a common practice that, to this day, hasn’t been officially reprimanded or rectified.

Liberal democracies, especially after the Second World War, have taken issue with these practices. We like to believe that we have largely eradicated such politics from our societies. Compared with totalitarian regimes of the 20th century, this belief might seem justified. Yet we’re still a far cry from being ‘decent societies’ whose members and institutions, in the philosopher Avishai Margalit’s terms, ‘do not humiliate people’, but respect their dignity. Although construction of the road to decency began as early as around 1800, it was - and remains - paved with obstacles and exceptions.

Mass opposition to the politics of humiliation began from the early 19th century in Europe, as lower-class people increasingly objected to disrespectful treatment. Servants, journeymen and factory workers alike used the language of honour and concepts of personal and social self-worth - previously monopolised by the nobility and upper-middle classes - to demand that they not be verbally and physically insulted by employers and overseers.

This social change was enabled and supported by a new type of honour that followed the invention of ‘citizens’ (rather than subjects) in democratising societies. Citizens who carried political rights and duties were also seen as possessing civic honour. Traditionally, social honour had been stratified according to status and rank, but now civic honour pertained to each and every citizen, and this helped to raise their self-esteem and self-consciousness. Consequently, humiliation, and other demonstrations of the alleged inferiority of others, was no longer considered a legitimate means by which to exert power over one’s fellow citizens.

Historically then, humiliation could be felt - and objected to - only once the notion of equal citizenship and human dignity entered political discourse and practice. As long as society subscribed to the notion that some individuals are fundamentally superior to others, people had a hard time feeling humiliated. They might feel treated unfairly, and rebel. But they wouldn’t perceive such treatment as humiliating, per se. Humiliation can be experienced only when the victims consider themselves on a par with the perpetrator - not in terms of actual power, but in terms of rights and dignity. This explains the surge of libel suits in Europe during the 19th century: they reflected the democratised sense of honour in societies that had granted and institutionalised equal rights after the French Revolution (even in countries that didn’t have a revolution).

The evolution of the legal system in Western nations serves as both a gauge of, and an active participant in, these developments. From the Middle Ages to the early 19th century, public shaming was used widely as a supplementary punishment for men and women sentenced for unlawful acts.

Q. Why does the author cite the example of the Soviet, National Socialism and the Cultural Revolution in China?

Detailed Solution for CAT Mock Test- 8 - Question 12

The author makes the following comment: "...Humiliation is more than an individual and subjective feeling. It is an instrument of political power, wielded with intent..." After this, he proceeds to cite examples/historical occurrences that reinforce his claim - humiliation has been used as an instrument to meet political ends. Option A correctly captures this intention.
Option B: The topic does not include an emphasis on totalitarian regimes. The author lists out instances wherein humiliation was used as a mechanism for political ends. The statement here is far off the target and hence, can be eliminated.
Option C: The passage focuses on humiliation and its history. The focus is not on how far we have come but on tracing the history of humiliation. Hence, option C is not in line with the objective of the passage.
Option D: The passage does not highlight the use of humiliation for maintaining "social order". This is a misinterpretation and, therefore, can be discarded as incorrect choice.
Hence, Option A is the correct answer.

CAT Mock Test- 8 - Question 13

Read the passage carefully and answer the questions that follow:

Humans are strange. For a global species, we’re not particularly genetically diverse, thanks in part to how our ancient roaming explorations caused “founder effects” and “bottleneck events” that restricted our ancestral gene pool. We also have a truly outsize impact on the planetary environment without much in the way of natural attrition to trim our influence.

But the strangest thing of all is how we generate, exploit, and propagate information that is not encoded in our heritable genetic material, yet travels with us through time and space. Not only is much of that information represented in purely symbolic forms—alphabets, languages, binary codes—it is also represented in each brick, alloy, machine, and structure we build from the materials around us. Even the symbolic stuff is instantiated in some material form or the other, whether as ink on pages or electrical charges in nanoscale pieces of silicon. Altogether, this “dataome” has become an integral part of our existence. In fact, it may have always been an integral, and essential, part of our existence since our species of hominins became more and more distinct some 200,000 years ago.

For example, let’s consider our planetary impact. Today we can look at our species’ energy use and see that of the roughly six to seven terawatts of average global electricity production, about 3 percent to 4 percent is gobbled up by our digital electronics, in computing, storing and moving information. That might not sound too bad—except the growth trend of our digitized informational world is such that it requires approximately 40 percent more power every year. Even allowing for improvements in computational efficiency and power generation, this points to a world in some 20 years where all of the energy we currently generate in electricity will be consumed by digital electronics alone.

And that’s just one facet of the energy demands of the human dataome. We still print onto paper, and the energy cost of a single page is the equivalent of burning five grams of high-quality coal. Digital devices, from microprocessors to hard drives, are also extraordinarily demanding in terms of their production, owing to the deep repurposing of matter that is required. We literally fight against the second law of thermodynamics to forge these exquisitely ordered, restricted, low-entropy structures out of raw materials that are decidedly high-entropy in their messy natural states. It is hard to see where this informational tsunami slows or ends.

Our dataome looks like a distinct, although entirely symbiotic phenomenon. Homo sapiens arguably only exists as a truly unique species because of our coevolution with a wealth of externalized information; starting from languages held only in neuronal structures through many generations, to our tools and abstractions on pottery and cave walls, all the way to today’s online world.

But symbiosis implies that all parties have their own interests to consider as well. Seeing ourselves this way opens the door to asking whether we’re calling all the shots. After all, in a gene-centered view of biology, all living things are simply temporary vehicles for the propagation and survival of information. In that sense the dataome is no different, and exactly how information survives is less important than the fact that it can do so. Once that information and its algorithmic underpinnings are in place in the world, it will keep going forever if it can.

Q. The author calls humans 'strange' for all of the following reasons, EXCEPT

Detailed Solution for CAT Mock Test- 8 - Question 13

The author highlights the reasons in the first and second paragraph-
-"For a global species, we’re not particularly genetically diverse"
-"We also have a truly outsize impact on the planetary environment without much in the way of natural attrition to trim our influence."
-"But the strangest thing of all is how we generate, exploit, and propagate information that is not encoded in our heritable genetic material, yet travels with us through time and space."
Options B, C, and D can be inferred from the above lines. 
Option A cannot be concluded. Though "founder effects" and "bottleneck events" have reduced the genetic diversity, the author does not assert that these events were manageable/controllable. Option A is the answer.

CAT Mock Test- 8 - Question 14

Read the passage carefully and answer the questions that follow:

Humans are strange. For a global species, we’re not particularly genetically diverse, thanks in part to how our ancient roaming explorations caused “founder effects” and “bottleneck events” that restricted our ancestral gene pool. We also have a truly outsize impact on the planetary environment without much in the way of natural attrition to trim our influence.

But the strangest thing of all is how we generate, exploit, and propagate information that is not encoded in our heritable genetic material, yet travels with us through time and space. Not only is much of that information represented in purely symbolic forms—alphabets, languages, binary codes—it is also represented in each brick, alloy, machine, and structure we build from the materials around us. Even the symbolic stuff is instantiated in some material form or the other, whether as ink on pages or electrical charges in nanoscale pieces of silicon. Altogether, this “dataome” has become an integral part of our existence. In fact, it may have always been an integral, and essential, part of our existence since our species of hominins became more and more distinct some 200,000 years ago.

For example, let’s consider our planetary impact. Today we can look at our species’ energy use and see that of the roughly six to seven terawatts of average global electricity production, about 3 percent to 4 percent is gobbled up by our digital electronics, in computing, storing and moving information. That might not sound too bad—except the growth trend of our digitized informational world is such that it requires approximately 40 percent more power every year. Even allowing for improvements in computational efficiency and power generation, this points to a world in some 20 years where all of the energy we currently generate in electricity will be consumed by digital electronics alone.

And that’s just one facet of the energy demands of the human dataome. We still print onto paper, and the energy cost of a single page is the equivalent of burning five grams of high-quality coal. Digital devices, from microprocessors to hard drives, are also extraordinarily demanding in terms of their production, owing to the deep repurposing of matter that is required. We literally fight against the second law of thermodynamics to forge these exquisitely ordered, restricted, low-entropy structures out of raw materials that are decidedly high-entropy in their messy natural states. It is hard to see where this informational tsunami slows or ends.

Our dataome looks like a distinct, although entirely symbiotic phenomenon. Homo sapiens arguably only exists as a truly unique species because of our coevolution with a wealth of externalized information; starting from languages held only in neuronal structures through many generations, to our tools and abstractions on pottery and cave walls, all the way to today’s online world.

But symbiosis implies that all parties have their own interests to consider as well. Seeing ourselves this way opens the door to asking whether we’re calling all the shots. After all, in a gene-centered view of biology, all living things are simply temporary vehicles for the propagation and survival of information. In that sense the dataome is no different, and exactly how information survives is less important than the fact that it can do so. Once that information and its algorithmic underpinnings are in place in the world, it will keep going forever if it can.

Q. According to the author, which of the following reason makes humans a truly unique species?

Detailed Solution for CAT Mock Test- 8 - Question 14

" Altogether, this “dataome” has become an integral part of our existence. In fact, it may have always been an integral, and essential, part of our existence since our species of hominins became more and more distinct some 200,000 years ago."
" Homo sapiens arguably only exists as a truly unique species because of our coevolution with a wealth of externalized information;."
From the above lines, it is clear that humans coevolved with a growing wealth of information and this symbiotic relationship is the reason for the uniqueness of our species.
Option B conveys this idea precisely and is the answer.
Option A is wrong. A symbiotic relationship need not necessarily be synergistic. Where symbiosis refers to a relationship where both the parties are there to fulfill their individual interests, synergy is combination of the parties to yield a greater total sum. Hence both are different and the option can be eliminated.
Options C and D may be true but do not reflect the reason cited by the author. They are merely excerpts taken from the passage which are tangent to the current discussion, hence can be eliminated.

CAT Mock Test- 8 - Question 15

Read the passage carefully and answer the questions that follow:

Humans are strange. For a global species, we’re not particularly genetically diverse, thanks in part to how our ancient roaming explorations caused “founder effects” and “bottleneck events” that restricted our ancestral gene pool. We also have a truly outsize impact on the planetary environment without much in the way of natural attrition to trim our influence.

But the strangest thing of all is how we generate, exploit, and propagate information that is not encoded in our heritable genetic material, yet travels with us through time and space. Not only is much of that information represented in purely symbolic forms—alphabets, languages, binary codes—it is also represented in each brick, alloy, machine, and structure we build from the materials around us. Even the symbolic stuff is instantiated in some material form or the other, whether as ink on pages or electrical charges in nanoscale pieces of silicon. Altogether, this “dataome” has become an integral part of our existence. In fact, it may have always been an integral, and essential, part of our existence since our species of hominins became more and more distinct some 200,000 years ago.

For example, let’s consider our planetary impact. Today we can look at our species’ energy use and see that of the roughly six to seven terawatts of average global electricity production, about 3 percent to 4 percent is gobbled up by our digital electronics, in computing, storing and moving information. That might not sound too bad—except the growth trend of our digitized informational world is such that it requires approximately 40 percent more power every year. Even allowing for improvements in computational efficiency and power generation, this points to a world in some 20 years where all of the energy we currently generate in electricity will be consumed by digital electronics alone.

And that’s just one facet of the energy demands of the human dataome. We still print onto paper, and the energy cost of a single page is the equivalent of burning five grams of high-quality coal. Digital devices, from microprocessors to hard drives, are also extraordinarily demanding in terms of their production, owing to the deep repurposing of matter that is required. We literally fight against the second law of thermodynamics to forge these exquisitely ordered, restricted, low-entropy structures out of raw materials that are decidedly high-entropy in their messy natural states. It is hard to see where this informational tsunami slows or ends.

Our dataome looks like a distinct, although entirely symbiotic phenomenon. Homo sapiens arguably only exists as a truly unique species because of our coevolution with a wealth of externalized information; starting from languages held only in neuronal structures through many generations, to our tools and abstractions on pottery and cave walls, all the way to today’s online world.

But symbiosis implies that all parties have their own interests to consider as well. Seeing ourselves this way opens the door to asking whether we’re calling all the shots. After all, in a gene-centered view of biology, all living things are simply temporary vehicles for the propagation and survival of information. In that sense the dataome is no different, and exactly how information survives is less important than the fact that it can do so. Once that information and its algorithmic underpinnings are in place in the world, it will keep going forever if it can.

Q. Which of the following best captures the central idea discussed in the last paragraph?

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