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[GMAT阅读题讨论] PREP2012阅读第14篇第1题

icetong123 发表于 2015-1-9 15:57:48 | 显示全部楼层 |阅读模式
In Forces of Production, David Noble examines the transformation of the machine-tool
industry as the industry moved from reliance on skilled artisans to automation. Noble writes
from a Marxist perspective, and his central argument is that management, in its decisions to
automate, conspired against labor: the power that the skilled machinists wielded in the
industry was intolerable to management. Noble fails to substantiate this claim, although his
argument is impressive when he applies the Marxist concept of “de-skilling”—the use of
technology to replace skilled the automation of the machine-tool industry. In automating, the
industry moved to computer-based, digitalized “numerical control" (N/C) technology, rather
than to artisan generated “record-playback" (R/P) technology.
Although both systems reduced reliance on skilled labor, Noble clearly prefers R/P, with its
inherent acknowledgment of workers’ skills: unlike N/C, its programs were produced not by
engineers at their computers, but by skilled machinists, who recorded their own movements
to “teach" machines to duplicate those movements. However, Noble's only evidence of
conspiracy is that, although the two approaches were roughly equal in technical merit,
management chose N/C. From this he concludes that automation is undertaken not because
efficiency demands it or scientific advances allow it. but because it is a tool in the ceaseless
war of capitalists against labor.

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




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