[OPE-L:5333] Re: Re: Re: is technical change continuous or discontinuous?

From: Rakesh Narpat Bhandari (rakeshb@Stanford.EDU)
Date: Wed Apr 04 2001 - 22:55:54 EDT

re 5332

>I.e. the conventional measure of labor productivity isn't limited
>to measuring the
>effects of  technological change.

Jerry, we can then distinguish between the continuous depreciation of 
unit values and continuous technical change. The TSS argument only 
needs the former for its critique of comparative statics, in 
particular the assumption of input prices=output prices.

>That's true. It's  a reason for looking at the
>diffusion of new technologies as a process that
>takes place over a period of years.

And in this process, there would be a continuous depreciation of unit 
values (though the rate of depreciation need not be constant, as 
Steve noted)>

>  >  At
>>  any rate, we need a distinction between
>>  incremental and radical
>>  innovation.
>I think we are better able to comprehend the
>importance of the timing of changes in the
>age stratification of constant fixed capital
>and moral depreciation on the business cycle
>-- and  "long waves" -- if we look at this as a
>discontinuous process.

I'll have to reread Geert's piece.

>There are other reasons for this as well. E.g.
>to link-up Marx's "period analysis" with a
>longer-term analysis.  If we look at change as
>continuous,  we have to reject "period analysis"
>and with it the separation in time of each of the
>following moments: M - C - M'.  That is, such
>short-term discontinuities wouldn't be observable
>if we look at this as a continuous process.

But Marx says that he abstracts from continuous revolutions in value 
so he can lay out the moments in the circuit undisturbed. That is, I 
think you have reified an assumption made for cognitive tractability.

>To those on _other_ lists who profess to be his
>advocates and who exhibit the vice that he
>detested most (Servility), he would not be so
>kind. Indeed, I think that he would have been
>_appalled_  by any display of servility towards
>his own writings.

Yes, Gil also seems to think that I advocate servility to the word of 
Marx, rather than exasperation with trivial and sterile criticisms.

I would not express such exasperation with Weberian, Bohm Bawerkian 
or Schumpeterian criticism of Marx.

>PPS: Many of those on this list also share his
>favorite occupation: "Bookworming"!

Have you ever read Max Webber's The Vocation of Bookworming?

Yours, Rakesh

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