Resources For Practice Reading Like A Robo-Grader: Tools and Tasks

Essay: Tools and Tasks

Tools and Tasks

  • Reprint of paragraphs 1-5 (word count is 407)
  • Paragraphs 1-5 reprinted sentence by sentence without punctuation

My town is losing a car repair shop. The gas station at the end of Main Street will continue to sell gas, but the garage attached to it is going to close. The mechanic, who has been there for twenty-five years, will have to find work elsewhere. He had a loyal following; a friend told me he once opened early on a Sunday to fix her tire.

The garage isn’t closing for lack of customers. Nor is it closing because of taxes, that ritual demon of the political Right. A major reason, the owner said, is technology, and the way manufacturers are making cars so complex. To fix them requires sophisticated computers that a small shop can’t afford. “There isn’t a car from the ’70s or ’80s that we can’t work on,” the owner told our local weekly. “But we’re not in the position to make the investment in all the electronics and computers. To make that transition would be cost prohibitive.”

He’s not the only one. Independent repair shops are going out of business all over the country. In California, more than half the gas stations had repair shops as recently as ten years ago. Now about 15% of them do. Part of that is because oil companies are forcing out independent owners and taking over the retail end themselves. (Have you noticed that prices are rising?) But partly too it’s because the local shops can’t repair the new computerized cars.

This is a trend that bears more scrutiny than it has received. It goes to two of the central narratives of our economy — the conventional version at least. One is that virtue and hard work prevail, which in this case is not the case. Hard work and virtue have succumbed to corporate contrivance. You are shocked?

The other narrative is the one that casts technology as Savior. The word itself has become practically a synonym for “future.” Computers are portrayed as the ultimate instruments of democracy. They will put knowledge — and therefore power — on every desktop. They will cause hierarchies and bureaucracies to crumble. Every man and woman will be a king. “While the Industrial Revolution herded people into gigantic social institutions — big corporations, big unions, big governments,” wrote Newt Gingrich in his book To Renew America, “the Information Revolution is breaking up these giants and leading us back to something that is — strangely enough — much more like de Tocqueville’s 1830s America.”

 

Tools and Tasks Sentence by Sentence Without Punctuation

My town is losing a car repair shop

The gas station at the end of Main Street will continue to sell gas but the garage attached to it is going to close

The mechanic, who has been there for twenty five years, will have to find work elsewhere

He had a loyal following a friend told me he once opened early on a Sunday to fix her tire

The garage isnt closing for lack of customers

Nor is it closing because of taxes that ritual demon of the political Right

A major reason the owner said is technology and the way manufacturers are making cars so complex

To fix them requires sophisticated computers that a small shop cant afford

There isnt a car from the 70s or 80s that we cant work on the owner told our local weekly

But were not in the position to make the investment in all the electronics and computers

To make that transition would be cost prohibitive

Hes not the only one

Independent repair shops are going out of business all over the country

In California more than half the gas stations had repair shops as recently as ten years ago

Now about 15% of them do

Part of that is because oil companies are forcing out independent owners and taking over the retail end themselves

Have you noticed that prices are rising

But partly too its because the local shops cant repair the new computerized cars

This is a trend that bears more scrutiny than it has received

It goes to two of the central narratives of our economy the conventional version at least

One is that virtue and hard work prevail which in this case is not the case

Hard work and virtue have succumbed to corporate contrivance

You are shocked

The other narrative is the one that casts technology as Savior

The word itself has become practically a synonym for future

Computers are portrayed as the ultimate instruments of democracy

They will put knowledge and therefore power on every desktop

They will cause hierarchies and bureaucracies to crumble

Every man and woman will be a king

While the Industrial Revolution herded people into gigantic social institutions big corporations, big unions, big governments wrote Newt Gingrich in his book To Renew America the Information Revolution is breaking up these giants and leading us back to something that is strangely enough much more like de Tocquevilles 1830s America