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  #1  
Old Sunday, January 01, 2023
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1971 Precis Passage
The essence of poetry is that it deals with events which concern a large number of people and can be grasped not as immediate personal experience but as matter known largely from heresy and presented in simplified and often abstract forms. it is thus the antithesis of all poetry which deals with the special, individual activity of the self and tries to present this as specially and as individually as it can. The poet who deals with public themes may himself be affected, even deeply, by contemporary events at some point in his own being, but to see them in their breadth and depth he must rely largely on what he hears from other men and from mass instruments of communication. From the start his impulse to write about them is different from any impulse to write about his own affairs. It may be just as strong and just as compelling, but it is not of the same kind. He has to give his own version of something which millions of others may share with him, and however individual he may wish to be, he cannot avoid relying to a large extent on much that he knows only from second hand.
Fundamentally this may not matter, for after all what else did Shakespeare do: but the political poet does not construct an imaginary past, he attempts to grasp and interpret a vast present. Between him and his subject there is a gap which he can never completely cross, and all his attempts to make events part of himself must be to some extent hampered by recalcitrant elements in them, which he does not understand or cannot assimilate or find irrelevant to his creative task. in such poetry selection which is indispensable to all art, has to be made from an unusually large field of possibilities and guided by an exacting sense of what really matters and what does not. On one side he may try to include too much and lose himself in issues where he is not imaginatively at home, on the other side he may see some huge event merely from a private angle which need not mean much to others. Political poetry oscillates between these extremes, and its history in our time has been largely attempts to make the best of one or the other of them or to see what compromises can be made between them.
Total Words 400

My Precis
The crux of poetry is that it connects with the majority of people and can be comprehended through collective experience presented in esoteric forms. The poetry that focuses on events completely contrasts with the poetry that examines the intrinsic state of an individual. The poet himself gets influenced by public opinion. The poet tries to approach contemporary poetry subjectively; however, no matter how hard he may try, his way of approaching a topic objectively gets influenced by the versions of millions of people. The challenge for any poet in choosing the version to include in his diction is whether to choose the private experience of an individual or include his own perspective on events and lose himself. Thus, while choosing any political topic, its utilitarianism and balance between objectivity and subjectivity should be maintained.
Title: Maintaining Perspective Balance in Poetry
Words in Precis: 134
Required Words: 134
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  #2  
Old Sunday, January 01, 2023
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1972 Precis Passage
Up to a point the Second German War resembled the first. Each began with a German bid for power which almost succeeded in spite of the opposition of France and Great Britain. In each the United States came to the rescue after year of neutrality. Each ended with a German defeat. But the differences were easier to see than the resemblances. The powers were differently grouped: Italy and Japan were on the German side, Russia was neutral until the Germans attacked across what had been, to begin with, Poland and Baltic States. The second war lasted even longer than the other. It pressed harder on the civilian population. After a period of restraint, perhaps, intended to conciliate American opinion, both sides dropped bombs from the air, without respect for the nature of the targets, wherever the officers concerned expected to cause the greatest effect. In Great Britain 60,000 civilians were killed. Though the Island was not invaded, the population was more directly involved than it was in any former war. Children and others were evacuated from towns into the country. Food supplies ran so short that, at the worst, even potatoes were rationed. Of all the states opposed to Germany, Great Britain was the only one which fought throughout the war. The resources of the nation were concentrated in the war effort more completely than those of any other nation on either side. Labour for women as well as men, became compulsory. Nevertheless, once the war reached its full severity in the west, eight months after it was declared, there was less disunion between classes and interests than in any other five years within living memory. Fighting spread all over the world. The Pacific was as vital a theatre as Europe. Scientists, especially Physicists, made revolutionary discoveries during the war, not only in the fields of weapons and defence against them, but in supply, transport, and control in action. Strange to say the fight services suffered fewer casualties than in 1914-18: 300,000 of the armed forces and 35,000 of the navy were killed. There was nothing like the trench warfare of former war, though there was almost every other sort of warfare, from mechanized war of movement in the North African desert to hand to hand jungle fighting in Burma. Both sides experimented and built up stocks for gas warfare and biological warfare, but neither side used them. (George Clark: English History: a survey)
Total Words 398

My Precis
Both world wars were similar up to a certain extent: Germany was eyeing global supremacy, and the war concluded with Germany’s defeat. There were, however, some stark differences. The powers allied differently; Russia was hesitant to join until her surrounding region came under attack; the second war was prolonged much longer. Non-combatants, on both sides, suffered many casualties from air bombings. The paucity of food was widely observed. England, unlike all the other states, was involved throughout the war. Everyone, regardless of gender or social status, was united and involved in war efforts in some way. Weapons and defence systems were upgraded through scientific advancement. Owing to these developments, the combatants’ casualties were considerably lower than in the first war. Both sides tested and prepared a variety of biochemical weapons, but none were ever used.
Title: The Two World Wars: Similarities and Differences
Words in Precis: 135
Required Words: 133
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  #3  
Old Monday, January 02, 2023
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Post 1973 Precis

Make a Précis of the following passage:
As a kind of footnote, I should comment that there are those who doubt whether it is within the power of science to ensure over a prolonged period freedom from destitution and famine for mankind. The argument is the old one of Malthus, that in the race between increasing population and increasing production, population must eventually win. Those of us who decline to accept this pessimistic view recognize the difficulty of the practical problem of meeting the needs of an ever-expanding population. We have, however, greater faith in human resourcefulness. We note that it is not only in the technology of production and medicine that the present generation differs so greatly from the one before. A similar rapid change is likewise occurring the thinking of masses of people. This change is brought about partly by experience with technology by more widespread education. Here lies a new realm in which dramatic advance is being made. The hope for the longer future lies in a growing understanding of the conditions for the good life of man in a world of science and technology, and the acceptance of a morality that is consistent with these conditions. With the widespread thought now being given to such problems by persons whose thinking is schooled to rely on reason and tested fact. It is evident that advance from this angle will also appear. Youth may, for example, consider the sere marks as an effort to see in inure perspective the type of ideals that are appropriate to the age of science. Many are those who are now sharing to this exploration of human values. The great question is whether such understanding of human goals and the corresponding development of morals can be achieved before the forces seen by Malthus, and emphasized so forcefully by recent writers, overwhelm the efforts of the pioneers in this new and critical field. I do not believe that this is inevitable. Jam confident of man’s ability to meet and solve this ethical problem that is so vital to the success of his effort to achieve physical and spiritual freedom. It is relevant that as I analyze the reasons for my faith in man’s eventual ability to meet this critical problem. I find that prominent in my mind is the confidence that God who made us holds for us an increasing density, to be achieved through our own efforts in the world setting that he supplies. This observation is significant in the present setting because it is my strong impression that most of those who have the firm faith in man’s advancement likewise have a religious basis for their faith. If this impression is valid its consequence is clear. It means that it is men and women of religious faith on whom we must primarily rely to work strongly toward achieving a favourable world society. It means also that those of religious faith because of their faith have a better chance of survival, a fact that has a bearing on the attitude that may be expected in the society of the future.
Total Words: 510

Precis:
Some people claim that science alone cannot solve the problems of poverty and hunger. The population will eventually outnumber the available resources. Even those who dispute this notion recognise the problem of population explosion. They, however, have faith in human ingenuity. The present generation thinks differently from the previous generations and acknowledges the severity of these prevalent problems. The hope for the future lies in the integration of morality and science. The critical problem is whether this issue of moral development and comprehension of human aims can be solved before the presaged dangers engulf mankind and their struggles. Those who have faith in God’s design are optimistic because He has already provided mankind with these solutions and enabled them to elevate their status by utilising the resources already present in nature. This insight is important because the majority of people who staunchly believe in mankind’s advancement are God-fearing. Devout people have the highest probability of survival because of their religious convictions. This same certainty is expected from the future society.

Title: Solution of Pressing Problems: Religious Convictions
Words in Precis: 170
Required Words: 170
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  #4  
Old Monday, January 02, 2023
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Post 1974 Precis

Make a Précis of the following passage:
Man is pie-eminently an animal good as gadgets. However, there is reason for doubting his good judgment in their utilization. Perhaps the first chemical process which man employed for his own service was combustion. First utilized to warm naked and chilled bodies, it was then discovered to be effective for scaring off nocturnal beasts of prey and an admirable agent for the preparation and preservation of food. Much later came the discovery that fire could be used in extracting and working metals and last of all that it could be employed to generate power. In ancient times man began to use fire as a weapon, beginning with incendiary torches and arrow and proceeding to explosives, which have been developed principally for the destruction of human beings and their works. In the control and utilization of gases, the achievements of our species have not been commendable. One might begin with air, which man breathes in common with other terrestrial vertebrates. He differs from other animals in that he seems incapable of selecting the right kind of air for breathing. Man is forever doing things which foul the air and poisoning himself by his own stupidity. He pens himself up in a limited air space and suffocates, he manufactures noxious gases which accidentally or intentionally displace the air and remove him from the ranks of the living, he has been completely unable to filter the air of the disease germs, which he breathes to his detriment, he and all his works are powerless to prevent a hurricane or to withstand its force. Man has indeed been able to utilize the power of moving air currents to a limited extent and to imitate the flight of birds, with the certainty of eventually breaking his neck if he tries it. Man uses water much in the same way as other animals, who has to drink it constantly, washes in it frequently, and drowns it occasionally — probably oftener than other terrestrial vertebrates. Without water, he dies as miserably as any other beast and with too much of it, as in floods, he is equally unable to cope. However, he excels other animals in that he has learned to utilize waterpower.
But it is rather man’s lack of judgment in the exercise of control of natural resources which would disgust critics of higher intelligence, although it would not surprise the apes. Man observes that the wood of trees is serviceable for constructing habitation and other buildings. He straightaway and recklessly denudes the earth of forests in so far as he is able. He finds that the meat and skins of the bison are valuable and immediately goes to work to exterminate the bison. He allows his grazing animals to strip the turf from the soil so that it is blown away and fertile places become deserts. He clears for cultivation and exhausts the rich land by stupid planting. He goes into wholesale production of food, cereals, fruits and livestock and allows the fruits of his labour to rot or to starve because he has not provided any adequate method of distributing them or because no one can pay for them. He invents machines which do the work of many men and is perplexed by the many men who are out of work. It would be hard to convince judges of human conduct that man is not an economic fool.
Total Words: 563

Precis:
Man is a superior animal in terms of proper tool utilization. He, however, may not use them wisely. When he first used fire for his own benefit, he used it for warming purposes, cooking, warding off beasts, power generation, and metal working. Eventually, he started using fire for the destruction of mankind by making weapons and explosives. The accomplishments of mankind are not praiseworthy either when it comes to the exploitation of gases. He is continuously polluting the air that he is breathing with poison. He has failed to stop the hurricanes. However, he was successful in navigating the air, to a limited extent, for his flight and power generation. In the case of water, perhaps he uses it more than any other species. The survival of his species depends on water. Too little of it will cause mankind to die of thirst, and too much of it will delude them with floods. This lack of control over natural resources raised questions about his intelligence. Men end up destroying everything they find useful. He is responsible for deforestation, desertification, and extinction. His action proves that he is anything but an intelligent being.

Title: The Illusion of Human Intelligence
Words in Precis: 192
Required Words: 188
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  #5  
Old Tuesday, January 03, 2023
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Post 1975 Precis

Make a Précis of the following passage:
What virtues must we require of a man to whom we entrust directing of our affairs? Above all, a sense of what is possible. In politics it is useless to formulate great and noble projects if, due to the existing state of the country, they cannot be accomplished. The impulses of a free people are at all times a parallelogram of forces. The great statesman realizes precisely what these forces are and says to himself without ever being seriously mistaken: "I can go just so far and no farther.” He does not allow himself to favour one class, foreseeing the inevitable reactions of the neglected groups. A prudent doctor does not cure his patient of a passing complaint with a remedy that produces a permanent disease of the liver, and a judicious statesman neither appeases the working class at the risk of angering the bourgeoisie, nor does he indulge the bourgeoisie at the expense of the working class. He endeavours to regard the nation as a great living body whose organs are interdependent. He takes the temperature of public opinion every day, and if the fever increases, he sees to it that the country rests. Though he may fully appreciate the power of public opinion, a forceful and clever statesman realizes that he can influence it fairly easily. He has calculated the people’s power to remain indifferent to his efforts, they have their moment of violence, and their angry protests are legitimate if the Government brings poverty on them, takes away their traditional liberty, or seriously interferes with their home life. But they will allow themselves to be led by a man who knows where he is going and who shows them clearly that he has the nation’s interest at heart and that they may have confidence in him. The sense of what is possible is not only the ability to recognize that certain things are impossible — a negative virtue — but also to know that a courageous man, things which appear to be very difficult are in fact possible. A great statesman does not say to himself: “This nation is weak”, but “This nation is asleep: I shall wake it up. Laws and institutions are of the people’s making, if necessary, I shall -change them.” But above all, the determination to do something must be followed by acts, not merely words. Mediocre politicians spend most of their time devising schemes and preaching doctrines. They talk of structural reforms; they invent faultless social systems and formulate plans for perpetual peace. In his public speeches the true statesman knows how, if necessary, to make polite bows to new theories and to pronounce ritualistic phrases for the benefit of those who guard temple gates, but he actually occupies himself by taking care of the real needs of the nation. He endeavours to accomplish definite and precise objectives in ways that seem best to him. If he finds obstacles in his path, he makes detours. Vanity, intellectual pride, and a feeling for system are serious handicaps to the politician. Some party leaders are ready to sacrifice the country for a theory or a set of principles. The true leader says: “Let the principles go but I must save the nation.”
Total Words: 536

Precis:
A statesman ought to have attributes that are tenable. He initiates those projects that can be accomplished and possesses the quality of feeling the pulse of the people. He does not appease one social class at the expense of another. He regards nations as akin to an organism whose organs are interdependent. He regularly gauges public opinion and tends to resolve the issues before they get worse. An astute politician can easily influence public opinion. The protest by the people is justified if the government impoverishes them, restricts their customary freedoms, or disrupts their personal lives. The masses, however, will follow a man who has some direction and vision for the future. Meanwhile, a shrewd man possesses keen judgement about practicable and impracticable tasks. An eminent statesman takes it upon himself to arouse the nation from a deep slumber. Unlike common politicians, his words must be followed by pragmatic and prudent actions. Ordinary politicians have good intentions, but they often wind up causing more issues than there already are. The rightful ruler prioritises his nation over every other principle.

Title: Attributes of a Shrewd Statesman
Words in Precis: 179
Required Words: 179
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  #6  
Old Tuesday, January 03, 2023
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Post 1976 Precis

Make a Précis of the following passage:
The present-day industrial establishment is a great distance removed from that of the - last century or even of twenty-five years ago. This improvement has been the result of a variety of forces-government standards and factory inspection: general technological and architectural advance by substituting machine power for heavy or repetitive manual, labour, the need to compete for a labour force: and union intervention to improve working conditions in addition to wages and hours. However, except where the improvement contributed to increased productivity, the effort to make work more pleasant has had to support a large burden of proof. It was permissible to seek the elimination of hazardous, unsanitary, unhealthful, or otherwise objectionable conditions of work. The speedup might be resisted-to a point. But the test was not what was agreeable but what was unhealthful or, at a minimum, excessively fatiguing. The trend toward increased leisure is not reprehensible, but we resist vigorously the notion that a man should work less hard on the job. Here older attitudes are involved. We are gravely suspicious of any tendency to expand less than the maximum effort, for this has long been a prime economic virtue. In strict logic there is as much to be said for making work pleasant agreeable as for shortening hours. On the whole it is probably as important for a wage-earner to have pleasant working conditions as a pleasant home. To a degree, he can escape the latter but not the former — though no doubt the line between an agreeable tempo and what is flagrant feather-bedding is difficult to draw. Moreover it is a commonplace of the industrial scene that the dreariest and most burdensome tasks, requiring as they do a minimum of thought and skill frequently have the largest number of takers. The solution to this problem lies, as we shall see presently, in driving up the supply of crude manpower at the bottom of the ladder. Nonetheless the basic point remains, the case for more leisure is not stronger on purely prima facie grounds than the case for making labour-time itself more agreeable. The test, it is worth repeating, is not the effect on productivity. It is not seriously argued that the shorter work week increases productivity that men produce more in fewer hours than they would in more. Rather it is whether fewer hours are always to be preferred to more but pleasant ones.
Total Words: 398

Precis:
The current industrial setup is greatly improved from that of the previous century. This advancement owes its gratitude to scientific development and union interventions. Though this upgrade was done to increase productivity, it also improved labour conditions. Improved workable hours do not necessarily mean that workers should work without due diligence. The issue lies in providing amenities to labours so that they can work in favorable conditions. The pool of menial labour is quite high and readily available to work in the industrial sector. This massive pool can be efficiently served by creating vacancies for them. The problem at hand is to create work-hour flexibility without affecting productivity levels. The question is not whether fewer hours increase productivity or not, but rather the flexible hours are preferable to good working conditions.

Title: Pleasant working conditions versus flexible hours
Words in Precis: 131
Required Words: 133
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  #7  
Old Sunday, January 15, 2023
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Post 1977 Precis

Write a Précis of the following passage:
Those who regard the decay of civilization as something quite normal and natural console themselves with the thought that it is not civilization, but a civilization, which is falling a prey to dissolution, that there will be a new age and a new race in which there will blossom a new civilization. But that is a mistake. The earth no longer has in reverse, as it had once, gifted peoples as yet unused, who can relieve us and take our place in some distant future as the leaders of our spiritual life. We already know all those that the earth has to dispose of. There is not one among them which is not already taking such a part in our civilization that its spiritual fate is determined by our own. All of them, the gifted and the un-gifted, the distant and the near, have felt the influence of those forces of barbarism which are yet working among us. All of them are, like ourselves, diseased, and only as we--recover can they recover. It is not the civilization of a race, but that of mankind, present and future alike, that we must give up as lost, if belief in the rebirth of our civilization is a vain thing. But it need not be so given up. If the ethical is the essential element in civilization, decadence changes into renaissance as on as ethical activities are set to work again in our convictions and in the ideas which we undertake to stamp upon reality. The attempt to bring this about is well worth making, and it should be worldwide. It is true that the difficulties that have to be reckoned with in this undertaking are so great that only the strongest faith in the power of the ethical spirit will let us venture on it. Again, the renewal of civilization is hindered by the fact that it is so exclusively the individual personality which must be looked to as the agent in the new movement. The renewal of civilization has nothing to do with movements which bear the character of the experiences of the crowd, these are never anything but reactions to external happenings. But civilization can only revive when there shall come into being in a number of individuals a new tone of mind independent of the one prevalent among the crowd and in opposition to it, a tone of mind which gradually win influence over the collective one, and in the end determine its character. It is only an ethical movement which can rescue us from the slough of barbarism, and the ethical comes into existence only in individuals. The final decision as to what the future of a society shall be depends not only how near its organization is to perfection, but on the degrees of worthiness in its individual members. The most important, and yet the least easily determinable, element in history is the series of unobtrusive general changes which take place in the individual dispositions, and that is why it is so difficult to understand thoroughly the men and events of past times. The character and worth of individuals among the mass and the way they work themselves into membership of the whole body, receiving influences from its and giving others back, we can even today only partially and uncertainly understand. One thing, however, is clear. Were the collective body works more strongly on the individual than the latter does upon it, the result is deterioration because the noble element on which everything depends, namely the spiritual and moral worthiness of the individual is thereby necessarily constricted and hampered. Decay of the spiritual and moral life then sets in which renders society incapable of understanding and solving the problems which it has to face. Therefore, sooner or later, it is involved in catastrophe, and that is why it is the duty of individuals to a higher conception of their capabilities and undertake the function which only the individual can perform, that of producing new spiritual-ethical ideas. If this does not come about many times over nothing can save us.
Total Words: 683

Precis:
Collapse of civilization refers to the eradication of whole of mankind and not just the end of any ethnic civilization. Meanwhile, believing in the fact that a new civilization will mark the beginning of a new era is a fallacious notion. The gifted people who guided mankind spiritually are no longer present. Existing batches of people, whether exceptional or ordinary, are afflicted with corruption and immorality and are not fit to lead a new civilization. It is the revival of mankind that civilizations want, not the vice versa. The reactivation of ethical values will enable the revival of mankind. Focus on individual personalities and on the experiences of the crowd will obstruct civilization’s ability to reinvent itself. The civilization will be able to flourish only when a handful of people, with fresh and distinct mentality, get a sway over the masses. Only an ethical movement can save mankind from prevalent barbarism’s muck. The ethic originates in individuals. The excellence of civilization is gauged by the respect it receives from its denizens. The subtle changes in people’s attitudes are the most important yet least discernable aspect of mankind. Degradation happens when the ethics and spirituality of man are constricted by mass influence. Calamity will happen sooner or later unless men can have a deeper understanding of their potential and take on themselves the task of creating new spiritual, moral, and ethical ideals.
Title: Ethical Ideals: A Quintessential Element for the Revival of Civilization
Words in Precis: 231
Required Words: 228
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  #8  
Old Sunday, January 15, 2023
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Post 1978 Precis

Write a Précis of the following passage:
"I was a firm believer in democracy, whereas he (D. H. Lawrence) had developed the whole philosophy of Fascism before the politicians had thought of it. “I don’t believe,” he wrote, “in democratic control. I think the working man is fit to elect governors or overseers for his immediate circumstances, but for no more. You must utterly revise the electorate: The working man shall elect superiors for the things that concern him immediately, no more. From the other classes, as they rise, shall be elected the higher governors. The thing must culminate in one real head, as every organic thing must-no foolish republics with no foolish presidents, but an elected king, something like Julius Caesar,” He, of a course, in his imagination, supposed that when a dictatorship was established, he would be the Julius Caesar. This was the part of the dream-like quality of all his thinking. He never let himself bump into reality. He would go into long tirades about how one must proclaim “the truth” to the multitude, and he seemed to have no doubt that multitude would listen. Would he put his political philosophy into a book? No in our corrupt society the written word is always a lie. Would he go in Hyde Park-and proclaim “the Truth” from a soap box? No: That would be far too dangerous (odd streaks of prudence emerged in him from time to time). Well, I said, what would you do? At this point he would change the subject Gradually I discovered that he had no real wish to make the world better, but only to indulge in eloquent Soliloquy about how hard it was. If anybody heard the soliloquies so much the better, but they were designed at most to produce a little faithful band of disciples who could sit in the deserts of New Mexico and feel holy. All this was conveyed to me in the language of a Fascist dictator as what I must preach, the “must” having thirteen underlining.” (Lord Russell)
Total Words: 332

Precis:
Lawrence founded the principles of fascism before anyone thought of them. He averred that he was against democratic control and that instead men should elect their rulers for their immediate problems, and higher-level governors should be chosen as they advance their careers through their performance and merit. He preferred authoritarianism over any other form of state. He believed that the established dictator would be of impeccable character. Mentally, he was living in an Elysium of his own making, far from the complex reality. He was neither interested in writing a book nor preaching his philosophy to the masses himself due to its risky nature. He was not a revolutionary but was only a fickle sniveller.
Title: Philosophy and Personal Outlook of Lawrence
Words in Precis: 115
Required Words: 111
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  #9  
Old Sunday, January 15, 2023
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Post 1979 Precis

Write a Précis of the following passage:
Probably the only protection for contemporary man is to discover how to use his intelligence in the service of love and kindness. The training of human intelligence must include the simultaneous development of the empathic capacity. Only in this way can intelligence be made an instrument of social morality and responsibility — and thereby increase the chances of survival.
The need to produce human beings with trained morally sensitive intelligence is essentially a challenge to educators and educational institutions. Traditionally, the realm of social morality was left to religion and the churches as guardians or custodians. But their failure to fulfill this responsibility and their yielding to the seductive lures of the men of wealth and pomp and power and documented by the history of the last two thousand years and have now resulted in the irrelevant “God Is Dead” theological rhetoric The more pragmatic men of power have had no time or inclination to deal with the fundamental problems of social morality. For them simplistic Machiavellianism must remain the guiding principle of their decisions-power is morality, morality is power. This oversimplification increases the chances of nuclear devastation. We must therefore hope that educators and educational institutions have the capacity, the commitment and the time to instill moral sensitivity as an integral part of the complex pattern of function human intelligence. Some way must be found in the training of human beings to give them the assurance to love, the security to be kind and the integrity required for a functional empathy.
Total Words: 251

Precis:
For the survival of mankind, it is necessary to instil empathy, morality, and love in human intelligence so that it can be used for the service of mankind. Conventionally, the domain of virtue solely belonged to religion, but their failure to fulfill their duty and their consequent yielding before the powerful men resulted in disbelief in the existence of God, and devoid men from moral and virtuous path. Thus, it will be challenging for the educators to instil the morals back in mankind by training their minds accordingly.
Title: Moral Intelligence for Survival
Words in Precis: 88
Required Words: 84
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  #10  
Old Sunday, January 15, 2023
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Post 1980 Precis

Write a Précis of the following passage:
The attention we give to terrorism often seems disproportionate to its real importance. Terrorism incidents make superb copy for journalists but kill and main fewer people than road accidents. Nor is terrorism politically effective. Empires rise and fall according to the real determinants of politics — namely overwhelming force or strong popular support-not according to a bit of mayhem caused by isolated fanatics whom one would take seriously enough to vote for it. Indeed, the very variety of incidents that might be described as “terrorism” has been such as to lead critics to suggest that no single subject for investigation exists at all. Might we not regard terrorism as a kind of minor blotch on the skin of an industrial civilization whose very heart is filled with violent dreams and aspirations. Who would call in the dermatologist when the heart itself is sick?
But popular opinion takes terrorism very serious indeed and popular opinion is probably right. For the significance of terrorism lies not only in the grotesque nastiness of terrorist outrages but also in the moral claims they imply. Terrorism is the most dramatic exemplification of the moral fault of blind willfulness. Terrorism is a solipsistic denial of the obligation of self-control we all must recognize when we live in civilized communities. Certainly the sovereign high road to misunderstanding terrorism is the pseudo scientific project of attempting to discover its causes. Terrorists themselves talk of the frustrations which have supposedly necessitated their actions but to transform these facile justifications into scientific hypotheses is to succumb to the terrorists own fantasies. To kill and main people is a choice people make, and glib invocations of necessity are baseless. Other people living in the same situation see no such necessity at all. Hence their are no “causes” of terrorism, only decision to terrorize. It is a moral phenomenon and only a moral discussion can be adequate to it.
Total Words: 316

Precis:
Terrorism usually gets more attention than it deserves. The major incidents that were characterized as acts of terrorism have now been refuted by critics due to a lack of evidence. Most people do not discredit terrorism and give it some significance because of its moral justifications. Translating the justifications of terrorists’ actions to scientific claims is tantamount to yielding to terrorists’ own imagination. Understanding terrorism from a self-righteous high ground is a phony-scientific endeavour. Terrorism simply results from the denial of self-restraint, the prerequisite of any civilized society. Resorting to terrorism is a choice some people make, and some do not. It has no causes; it is just a moral predicament.
Title: Terrorism: A Denial of Self-Control
Words in Precis: 111
Required Words: 106
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