|QA->Parliament of which Asian country on December 20, 2012, passed a controversial legislative bill which if signed into law, will authorize the state to intercept private communications in order to catch terrorists.....|
|QA->The director of Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) who has been removed by the Supreme Court from the 2G spectrum case, saying he had attempted to help the accused in the spectrum scam and derail the investigation?....|
|QA->Name the new email service launched by Google Inc (GOOGL.O) on October 22, 2014 that will better organize emails and display information such as appointments, flight bookings and package deliveries in a more user-friendly way?....|
|QA->In a club 70% members read English news papers and 75% members read Malayalam news papers, while 20% do not read both papers. If 325 members read both the news papers, then the total numbers in the club is .........?....|
|QA->A cyclist goes 40 km towards East and then turning to right he goes 40 km. Again he turn to his left and goes 20 km. After this he turns to his left and goes 40 km, then again turns right and goes 10km. How far is he from his starting point?....|
|MCQ-> Read the following passage carefully and answer the questions given below it. Certain words are given in bold to help you answer some of the questions.At the heart of what makes India a better regime than China is a healthy respect for the civil rights and liberties of its citizens. There are checks and balances in our government. But India’s new surveillance programme, the Central Monitoring system (CMS), resembles a dystopian society akin to George Orwell’s 1984.According to several news reports, the CMS gives the government, Indian security agencies and income tax (IT) officials the authority to listen to, and tape phone conversions, read emails and text messages, monitor Posts on Facebook, Twitter or Linkedin and track searches on Google of selected targets, without oversight by the courts or parliament. To call it sweeping is an understatement.Typically, Indian Security agencies need a court order for surveillance, or depend on Internet/telephone service providers for data, provided they supply a warrant. CMS allows the government to bypass the court. Milind Deora, India’s Minister of State for Information Technology says the new system will actually improve citizens’ privacy because telecommunication agencies would no longer be directly involved in the surveillance; only government officials would have these details – missing the point that in a democracy, there has to be freedom from government surveillance. This is hardly comforting in a nation riddled with governmental corruption.India does not have a privacy law. CMS will operate under the Indian Telegraph Act (ITA). The ITA is a relic of the British Raj from 1885, and gives the government the freedom to monitor private conversations. News reports quote anonymous telecommunications ministry officials as saying that CMS has been introduced for security purposes, and “this is to protect you and your country”.That is irrational. For one, there are no ‘security purposes’ that prevent the government from having a rational debate on this programme and getting approval from our elected representatives before authorizing such wide-reaching surveillance. If the government is worried that a public debate in a paralysed parliament would half the programme’s progress, then it can convene a committee of individuals or an individual body such as CAG to oversee the programme. It can seek judicial approval from the Supreme Court, and have a judge sign off on surveillance requests without making these requests public.As of now, the top bureaucrat in the interior ministry and his/her state level deputies will have the power to approve surveillance requests. Even the recently revealed US surveillance Programme, had ‘behind the doors’ bipartisan surveillance approval. Furthermore, US investigation agencies such as the CIA and NSA are not the ruling party’s marionettes; in India, that the CBI is an arm of the government is a fait accompli. Even the Supreme Court recently lambasted the CBI and asked it to guarantee its independence from government influences after it was proved that it shared unreleased investigation reports with the government.There is no guarantee that this top bureaucrat will be judicious or not use this as a tool to pursue political and personal vendettas against opposition parties or open critics of the government. Security purposes hardly justify monitoring an individual’s social media usage. No terrorist announces plans to bomb a building on Facebook. Neither do Maoists espouse Twitter as their preferred form of communication.Presumably, security purposes could be defined as the government’s need to intercept terrorist plans. How does giving the IT department the same sweeping surveillance powers justify security purposes? The IT office already has expansive powers to conduct investigations, summon individuals or company executives, and raid premises to catch tax evaders. In a world where most financial details are discussed and transferred online, allowing the IT departments to snoop on these without any reasonable cause is akin to airport authorities strip searching everyone who boards a flight.What happened on 26/11 or what happens regularly in Naxal – affected areas is extremely sad and should ideally, never take place again. But targeting terrorists means targeting people who show such inclinations, or those who arouse suspicions, either by their travels or heir associations with militant or extremist groups. And in a country where a teenager has been arrested for posting an innocent comment questioning the need for a bandh on the death of a political leader, gives us reason to believe that this law is most likely to be misused, if not abused. Select the word which is MOST OPPOSITE in meaning to the word printed in bold, as used in the passage. AKIN....|
|MCQ-> Read carefully the four passages that follow and answer the questions given at the end of each passage:PASSAGE I The most important task is revitalizing the institution of independent directors. The independent directors of a company should be faithful fiduciaries protecting, the long-term interests of shareholders while ensuring fairness to employees, investor, customer, regulators, the government of the land and society. Unfortunately, very often, directors are chosen based of friendship and, sadly, pliability. Today, unfortunately, in the majority of cases, independence is only true on paper.The need of the hour is to strengthen the independence of the board. We have to put in place stringent standards for the independence of directors. The board should adopt global standards for director-independence, and should disclose how each independent director meets these standards. It is desirable to have a comprehensive report showing the names of the company employees of fellow board members who are related to each director on the board. This report should accompany the annual report of all listed companies. Another important step is to regularly assess the board members for performance. The assessment should focus on issues like competence, preparation, participation and contribution. Ideally, this evaluation should be performed by a third party. Underperforming directors should be allowed to leave at the end of their term in a gentle manner so that they do not lose face. Rather than being the rubber stamp of a company’s management policies, the board should become a true active partner of the management. For this, independent directors should be trained in their in their in roles and responsibilities. Independent directors should be trained on the business model and risk model of the company, on the governance practices, and the responsibilities of various committees of the board of the company. The board members should interact frequently with executives to understand operational issues. As part of the board meeting agenda, the independent directors should have a meeting among themselves without the management being present. The independent board members should periodically review the performance of the company’s CEO, the internal directors and the senior management. This has to be based on clearly defined objective criteria, and these criteria should be known to the CEO and other executive directors well before the start of the evolution period. Moreover, there should be a clearly laid down procedure for communicating the board’s review to the CEO and his/her team of executive directors. Managerial remuneration should be based on such reviews. Additionally, senior management compensation should be determined by the board in a manner that is fair to all stakeholders. We have to look at three important criteria in deciding managerial remuneration-fairness accountability and transparency. Fairness of compensation is determined by how employees and investors react to the compensation of the CEO. Accountability is enhanced by splitting the total compensation into a small fixed component and a large variable component. In other words, the CEO, other executive directors and the senior management should rise or fall with the fortunes of the company. The variable component should be linked to achieving the long-term objectives of the firm. Senior management compensation should be reviewed by the compensation committee of the board consisting of only the independent directors. This should be approved by the shareholders. It is important that no member of the internal management has a say in the compensation of the CEO, the internal board members or the senior management. The SEBI regulations and the CII code of conduct have been very helpful in enhancing the level of accountability of independent directors. The independent directors should decide voluntarily how they want to contribute to the company. Their performance should decide voluntarily how they want to contribute to the company. Their performance should be appraised through a peer evaluation process. Ideally, the compensation committee should decide on the compensation of each independent director based on such a performance appraisal. Auditing is another major area that needs reforms for effective corporate governance. An audit is the Independent examination of financial transactions of any entity to provide assurance to shareholder and other stakeholders that the financial statements are free of material misstatement. Auditors are qualified professionals appointed by the shareholders to report on the reliability of financial statements prepared by the management. Financial markets look to the auditor’s report for an independent opinion on the financial and risk situation of a company. We have to separate such auditing form other services. For a truly independent opinion, the auditing firm should not provide services that are perceived to be materially in conflict with the role of the auditor. These include investigations, consulting advice, sub contraction of operational activities normally undertaken by the management, due diligence on potential acquisitions or investments, advice on deal structuring, designing/implementing IT systems, bookkeeping, valuations and executive recruitment. Any departure from this practice should be approved by the audit committee in advance. Further, information on any such exceptions must be disclosed in the company’s quarterly and annual reports. To ensure the integrity of the audit team, it is desirable to rotate auditor partners. The lead audit partner and the audit partner responsible for reviewing a company’s audit must be rotated at least once every three to five years. This eliminates the possibility of the lead auditor and the company management getting into the kind of close, cozy relationship that results in lower objectivity in audit opinions. Further, a registered auditor should not audit a chief accounting office was associated with the auditing firm. It is best that members of the audit teams are prohibited from taking up employment in the audited corporations for at least a year after they have stopped being members of the audit team.A competent audit committee is essential to effectively oversee the financial accounting and reporting process. Hence, each member of the audit committee must be ‘financially literate’, further, at least one member of the audit committee, preferably the chairman, should be a financial expert-a person who has an understanding of financial statements and accounting rules, and has experience in auditing. The audit committee should establish procedures for the treatment of complaints received through anonymous submission by employees and whistleblowers. These complaints may be regarding questionable accounting or auditing issues, any harassment to an employee or any unethical practice in the company. The whistleblowers must be protected. Any related-party transaction should require prior approval by the audit committee, the full board and the shareholders if it is material. Related parties are those that are able to control or exercise significant influence. These include; parent- subsidiary relationships; entities under common control; individuals who, through ownership, have significant influence over the enterprise and close members of their families; and dey management personnel.Accounting standards provide a framework for preparation and presentation of financial statements and assist auditors in forming an opinion on the financial statements. However, today, accounting standards are issued by bodies comprising primarily of accountants. Therefore, accounting standards do not always keep pace with changes in the business environment. Hence, the accounting standards-setting body should include members drawn from the industry, the profession and regulatory bodies. This body should be independently funded. Currently, an independent oversight of the accounting profession does not exist. Hence, an independent body should be constituted to oversee the functioning of auditors for Independence, the quality of audit and professional competence. This body should comprise a "majority of non- practicing accountants to ensure independent oversight. To avoid any bias, the chairman of this body should not have practiced as an accountant during the preceding five years. Auditors of all public companies must register with this body. It should enforce compliance with the laws by auditors and should mandate that auditors must maintain audit working papers for at least seven years.To ensure the materiality of information, the CEO and CFO of the company should certify annual and quarterly reports. They should certify that the information in the reports fairly presents the financial condition and results of operations of the company, and that all material facts have been disclosed. Further, CEOs and CFOs should certify that they have established internal controls to ensure that all information relating to the operations of the company is freely available to the auditors and the audit committee. They should also certify that they have evaluated the effectiveness of these controls within ninety days prior to the report. False certifications by the CEO and CFO should be subject to significant criminal penalties (fines and imprisonment, if willful and knowing). If a company is required to restate its reports due to material non-compliance with the laws, the CEO and CFO must face severe punishment including loss of job and forfeiting bonuses or equity-based compensation received during the twelve months following the filing.The problem with the independent directors has been that: I. Their selection has been based upon their compatibility with the company management II. There has been lack of proper training and development to improve their skill set III. Their independent views have often come in conflict with the views of company management. This has hindered the company’s decision-making process IV. Stringent standards for independent directors have been lacking....|
The current debate on intellectual property rights (IPRs) raises a number of important issues concerning the strategy and policies for building a more dynamic national agricultural research system, the relative roles of public and private sectors, and the role of agribusiness multinational corporations (MNCs). This debate has been stimulated by the international agreement on Trade Related Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPs), negotiated as part of the Uruguay Round. TRIPs, for the first time, seeks to bring innovations in agricultural technology under a new worldwide IPR regime. The agribusiness MNCs (along with pharmaceutical companies) played a leading part in lobbying for such a regime during the Uruguay Round negotiations. The argument was that incentives are necessary to stimulate innovations, and that this calls for a system of patents which gives innovators the sole right to use (or sell/lease the right to use) their innovations for a specified period and protects them against unauthorised copying or use. With strong support of their national governments, they were influential in shaping the agreement on TRIPs, which eventually emerged from the Uruguay Round.
The current debate on TRIPs in India - as indeed elsewhere - echoes wider concerns about ‘privatisation’ of research and allowing a free field for MNCs in the sphere of biotechnology and agriculture. The agribusiness corporations, and those with unbounded faith in the power of science to overcome all likely problems, point to the vast potential that new technology holds for solving the problems of hunger, malnutrition and poverty in the world. The exploitation of this potential should be encouraged and this is best done by the private sector for which patents are essential. Some, who do not necessarily accept this optimism, argue that fears of MNC domination are exaggerated and that farmers will accept their products only if they decisively outperform the available alternatives. Those who argue against agreeing to introduce an IPR regime in agriculture and encouraging private sector research are apprehensive that this will work to the disadvantage of farmers by making them more and more dependent on monopolistic MNCs. A different, though related apprehension is that extensive use of hybrids and genetically engineered new varieties might increase the vulnerability of agriculture to outbreaks of pests and diseases. The larger, longer-term consequences of reduced biodiversity that may follow from the use of specially bred varieties are also another cause for concern. Moreover, corporations, driven by the profit motive, will necessarily tend to underplay, if not ignore, potential adverse consequences, especially those which are unknown and which may manifest themselves only over a relatively long period. On the other hand, high-pressure advertising and aggressive sales campaigns by private companies can seduce farmers into accepting varieties without being aware of potential adverse effects and the possibility of disastrous consequences for their livelihood if these varieties happen to fail. There is no provision under the laws, as they now exist, for compensating users against such eventualities.
Excessive preoccupation with seeds and seed material has obscured other important issues involved in reviewing the research policy. We need to remind ourselves that improved varieties by themselves are not sufficient for sustained growth of yields. in our own experience, some of the early high yielding varieties (HYVs) of rice and wheat were found susceptible to widespread pest attacks; and some had problems of grain quality. Further research was necessary to solve these problems. This largely successful research was almost entirely done in public research institutions. Of course, it could in principle have been done by private companies, but whether they choose to do so depends crucially on the extent of the loss in market for their original introductions on account of the above factors and whether the companies are financially strong enough to absorb the ‘losses’, invest in research to correct the deficiencies and recover the lost market. Public research, which is not driven by profit, is better placed to take corrective action. Research for improving common pool resource management, maintaining ecological health and ensuring sustainability is both critical and also demanding in terms of technological challenge and resource requirements. As such research is crucial to the impact of new varieties, chemicals and equipment in the farmer’s field, private companies should be interested in such research. But their primary interest is in the sale of seed materials, chemicals, equipment and other inputs produced by them. Knowledge and techniques for resource management are not ‘marketable’ in the same way as those inputs. Their application to land, water and forests has a long gestation and their efficacy depends on resolving difficult problems such as designing institutions for proper and equitable management of common pool resources. Public or quasi-public research institutions informed by broader, long-term concerns can only do such work.
The public sector must therefore continue to play a major role in the national research system. It is both wrong and misleading to pose the problem in terms of public sector versus private sector or of privatisation of research. We need to address problems likely to arise on account of the public-private sector complementarity, and ensure that the public research system performs efficiently. Complementarity between various elements of research raises several issues in implementing an IPR regime. Private companies do not produce new varieties and inputs entirely as a result of their own research. Almost all technological improvement is based on knowledge and experience accumulated from the past, and the results of basic and applied research in public and quasi-public institutions (universities, research organisations). Moreover, as is increasingly recognised, accumulated stock of knowledge does not reside only in the scientific community and its academic publications, but is also widely diffused in traditions and folk knowledge of local communities all over.
The deciphering of the structure and functioning of DNA forms the basis of much of modern biotechnology. But this fundamental breakthrough is a ‘public good’ freely accessible in the public domain and usable free of any charge. Various techniques developed using that knowledge can however be, and are, patented for private profit. Similarly, private corporations draw extensively, and without any charge, on germplasm available in varieties of plants species (neem and turmeric are by now famous examples). Publicly funded gene banks as well as new varieties bred by public sector research stations can also be used freely by private enterprises for developing their own varieties and seek patent protection for them. Should private breeders be allowed free use of basic scientific discoveries? Should the repositories of traditional knowledge and germplasm be collected which are maintained and improved by publicly funded organisations? Or should users be made to pay for such use? If they are to pay, what should be the basis of compensation? Should the compensation be for individuals or (or communities/institutions to which they belong? Should individual institutions be given the right of patenting their innovations? These are some of the important issues that deserve more attention than they now get and need serious detailed study to evolve reasonably satisfactory, fair and workable solutions. Finally, the tendency to equate the public sector with the government is wrong. The public space is much wider than government departments and includes co- operatives, universities, public trusts and a variety of non-governmental organisations (NGOs). Giving greater autonomy to research organisations from government control and giving non- government public institutions the space and resources to play a larger, more effective role in research, is therefore an issue of direct relevance in restructuring the public research system.Which one of the following statements describes an important issue, or important issues, not being raised in the context of the current debate on IPRs?|
Read the following passage carefully and answer the questions given below it. Certain words/phrases have been printed in bold to help you locate them while answering some of the questions.
Once upon a time there was a King of Benaras who was very rich. He had many servants and a beautiful palace with wonderful gardens; he had chariots and a stable full of horses. But his most prized possession was a magnificent elephant called Mahaghiri. She was as tall as two men, and her skin was of the colour of thunder clouds. She had large flapping ears and small, bright eyes and she was very clever.
Mahaghiri lived in her own special elephant house and had her own keeper, Rajinder. The King would often visit Mahaghiri to take her some special tit-bit to eat and check that Rajinder was looking after her properly. But Rajinder needed no reminding, for he also loved the elephant dearly, and trusted her completely. Every morning, he would take her down to the river for her bath. Then he would bring her freshly cut grass, leaves and the finest fruits he could find in the market for her breakfast. During the day, he would talk to her and, in the evening, he would play his flute to send her to sleep.
One morning, Rajinder arrived as usual with fruit for Mahaghiri’s breakfast. Suddenly, before he knew what was happening, she picked him up with her trunk and threw him out of the stall, breaking his arm. She began to stamp on the ground and trumpet so loudly that it took several strong men all morning to bind her with ropes and chains, When the king heard about what had happened, he was very upset and sent for the doctor to help Rajinder. Then he called for his chief minister. “You must go and see Mahaghiri at once,” he said. “She used to be so kind and gentle, but this morning she threw her keeper out of her stall. I can’t understand it. She must be ill or in pain. Spare no expense in finding a cure.” So the chief minister went to see Mahaghiri. who was still bound firmly with ropes. First he looked at her eyes – they were as clear and bright as usual. Then he felt behind her ears – her temperature was normal. Next he listened to her heart that was fine too – and checked all over for cuts or sores. He could find nothing wrong with her.
“Strange,” he thought. “I can find no explanation for her bad behaviour.”But then his eye was caught by something gleaming in the straw. It was a sharp, curved knife, like the ones used by robbers. Could there be a connection? That night, when everyone else had gone to bed, the chief minister returned to the elephant house. There, in the stall next to Mahaghiri’s, sat a band of robbers. “Tonight we’ll burgle the palace,” said the chief. “First, we’ll make a hole in the wall, then we’ll steal the treasure.
“But what about the guards?” someone asked. “Don’t tell me you’re still afraid to kill! When will you learn to be a real robber?” From the shadows, the minister could see the elephant, her ears pinned back, listening to every hateful and violent word.”Just as I suspected,” thought the minister.
Then he slipped out, bolted the door on the outside so the robbers could not escape, and went immediately to the king.”Your majesty,” he said, “I think I have found the cause of your elephant’s bad behaviour.” As soon as the king heard what the minister had to say, he sent for his guards and had the robbers arrested. “But what about the elephant? How can she be cured?’ he asked. “Well, your majesty, if Mahaghiri became dangerous through being.in the company of those wicked robbers, perhaps she could be cured by being in the company of good people.” “What a brilliant idea!” exclaimed the king. “Let us invite the friendliest, happiest and kindest people in the city to meet in the stall next to the elephant.” “Mahaghiri, the king’s most prized elephant, has been in bad company and has become violent and dangerous,” the minister told his friends. “Will you help her to become her old self again?””Of course,” they replied. “What do you want us to do?” “Just meet in the elephant house every day for the next week. Let her hear how kindly and thoughtfully you speak to each other, and how helpful you are.” So the minister’s friends met in the elephant house as planned. They talked together and enjoyed each other’s company. Sometimes they brought cakes and sweets to share; sometimes their children came and played happily in the straw. All the while, Mahaghiri watched and listened. Gradually, she became calmer. “I think it’s working,” said the minister. “Soon we’ll be able to remove the ropes.” Everyone felt a bit nervous when the day came for Mahaghiri to be untied. The king ordered everyone to wait outside as, very carefully, brave Rajinder began to undo the ropes around her ears and trunk. Next he removed the ropes holding her head. Finally, he loosened the thick chains holding her great feet. Everyone held their breath. What if she was still wild?Mahaghiri looked round shuffling her feet to stretch them. Then she slowly curled her trunk around her keeper’s waist and lifted him high into the air before placing him gently on her back. A great cheer went up. The king was delighted. “Let’s have a picnic to celebrate,” he announced. “Mahaghiri can come too.” What a great afternoon they all had! Mahaghiri bathed in the lake and gave the children rides. It seemed as though she had now become kinder, gentler and even more trustworthy than ever. But Rajinder never forgot what had happened and was always careful to set Mahaghiri a good example by being kind and friendly himself.As per the context of passage, what was the most prized possession of the king of Benaras ?|
I want to stress this personal helplessness we are all stricken with in the face of a system that has passed beyond our knowledge and control. To bring it nearer home, I propose that we switch off from the big things like empires and their wars to more familiar little things. Take pins for example! I do not know why it is that I so seldom use a pin when my wife cannot get on without boxes of them at hand; but it is so; and I will therefore take pins as being for some reason specially important to women.There was a time when pinmakers would buy the material; shape it; make the head and the point; ornament it; and take it to the market, and sell it and the making required skill in several operations. They not only knew how the thing was done from beginning to end, but could do it all by themselves. But they could not afford to sell you a paper of pins for the farthing. Pins cost so much that a woman's dress allowance was calling pin money.By the end of the 18th century Adam Smith boasted that it took 18 men to make a pin, each man doing a little bit of the job and passing the pin on to the next, and none of them being able to make a whole pin or to buy the materials or to sell it when it was made. The most you could say for them was that at least they had some idea of how it was made, though they could not make it. Now as this meant that they were clearly less capable and knowledgeable men than the old pin-makers, you may ask why Adam Smith boasted of it as a triumph of civilisation when its effect had so clearly a degrading effect. The reason was that by setting each man to do just one little bit of the work and nothing but that, over and over again, he became very quick at it. The men, it is said, could turn out nearly 5000 pins a day each; and thus pins became plentiful and cheap. The country was supposed to be richer because it had more pins, though it had turned capable men into mere machines doing their work without intelligence and being fed by the spare food of the capitalist just as an engine is fed with coals and oil. That was why the poet Goldsmith, who was a farsighted economist as well as a poet, complained that 'wealth accumulates, and men decay'.Nowadays Adam Smith's 18 men are as extinct as the diplodocus. The 18 flesh-and-blood men have been replaced by machines of steel which spout out pins by the hundred million. Even sticking them into pink papers is done by machinery. The result is that with the exception of a few people who design the machines, nobody knows how to make a pin or how a pin is made: that is to say, the modern worker in pin manufacture need not be one-tenth so intelligent, skilful and accomplished as the old pinmaker; and the only compensation we have for this deterioration is that pins are so cheap that a single pin has no expressible value at all. Even with a big profit stuck on to the cost-price you can buy dozens for a farthing; and pins are so recklessly thrown away and wasted that verses have to be written to persuade children (without success) that it is a sin to steal, if even it’s a pin.Many serious thinkers, like John Ruskin and William Morris, have been greatly troubled by this, just as Goldsmith was, and have asked whether we really believe that it is an advance in wealth to lose our skill and degrade our workers for the sake of being able to waste pins by the ton. We shall see later on, when we come to consider the Distribution of Leisure, that the cure for this is not to go back to the old free for higher work than pin-making or the like. But in the meantime the fact remains that the workers are now not able to make anything themselves even in little bits. They are ignorant and helpless, and cannot lift their finger to begin their day's work until it has all been arranged for them by their employer's who themselves do not understand the machines they buy, and simply pay other people to set them going by carrying out the machine maker's directions.The same is true for clothes. Earlier the whole work of making clothes, from the shearing of the sheep to the turning out of the finished and washed garment ready to put on, had to be done in the country by the men and women of the household, especially the women; so that to this day an unmarried woman is called a spinster. Nowadays nothing is left of all this but the sheep shearing; and even that, like the milking of cows, is being done by machinery, as the sewing is. Give a woman a sheep today and ask her to produce a woollen dress for you; and not only will she be quite unable to do it, but you are likely to find that she is not even aware of any connection between sheep and clothes. When she gets her clothes, which she does by buying them at the shop, she knows that there is a difference between wool and cotton and silk, between flannel and merino, perhaps even between stockinet and other wefts; but as to how they are made, or what they are made of, or how they came to be in the shop ready for her to buy, she knows hardly anything. And the shop assistant from whom she buys is no wiser. The people engaged in the making of them know even less; for many of them are too poor to have much choice of materials when they buy their own clothes.Thus the capitalist system has produced an almost universal ignorance of how things are made and done, whilst at the same time it has caused them to be made and done on a gigantic scale. We have to buy books and encyclopaedias to find out what it is we are doing all day; and as the books are written by people who are not doing it, and who get their information from other books, what they tell us is twenty to fifty years out of date knowledge and almost impractical today. And of course most of us are too tired of our work when we come home to want to read about it; what we need is cinema to take our minds off it and feel our imagination.It is a funny place, this word of capitalism, with its astonishing spread of education and enlightenment. There stand the thousands of property owners and the millions of wage workers, none of them able to make anything, none of them knowing what to do until somebody tells them, none of them having the least notion of how it is made that they find people paying them money, and things in the shops to buy with it. And when they travel they are surprised to find that savages and Esquimaux and villagers who have to make everything for themselves are more intelligent and resourceful! The wonder would be if they were anything else. We should die of idiocy through disuse of our mental faculties if we did not fill our heads with romantic nonsense out of illustrated newspapers and novels and plays and films. Such stuff keeps us alive, but it falsifies everything for us so absurdly that it leaves us more or less dangerous lunatics in the real world.Excuse my going on like this; but as I am a writer of books and plays myself, I know the folly and peril of it better than you do. And when I see that this moment of our utmost ignorance and helplessness, delusion and folly, has been stumbled on by the blind forces of capitalism as the moment for giving votes to everybody, so that the few wise women are hopelessly overruled by the thousands whose political minds, as far as they can be said to have any political minds at all, have been formed in the cinema, I realise that I had better stop writing plays for a while to discuss political and social realities in this book with those who are intelligent enough to listen to me.A suitable title to the passage would be|