Re: [OPE-L] is algebra dialectical and vice versa?

From: Gerald_A_Levy@MSN.COM
Date: Thu Sep 15 2005 - 10:04:53 EDT

Ian and Paul C:

The analogies that both of you are making suggest that you believe that
the if computer simulations can be used to model physical/natural
processes then they can also be used to model capitalism.   This
presumes that the 'mechanics' of capitalism are analogous to 
classical and statistical mechanics and extensions thereof.  

Are you thereby making some claim about the "dialectics of nature"
and the (natural?) "nature" of capitalism?

In solidarity, Jerry
  (Ian wrote) Replace "social processes" with "physical processes" and "intelligent behaviour of the actors involved" with "quantum mechanics", and re-read the paragraph. It would then be an argument for denying classical mechanics. 
  Yet we know that classical mechanics is a very successful predictive theory (upto very small and very large scales) and talks about real entities, such as forces, momentum etc. Computer simulations of physical processes (e.g., for industrial design, computer games etc.) employ classical mechanics. There's no need to simulate the quantum level upon which the classical ontology is ultimately implemented because this is an unnecessary level of detail for most purposes.
  (Paul C wrote) I think one can also attack his thesis from the other side - that of statistical mechanics. One does

  not need to simulate gases down to the particle level to make useful bulk predictions in the way

  that thermodynamics does. That obtains the Gibb's Boltzman energy distribution without one

  having to simulate every particular configuration of a gas. Similarly you obtain the same sort

  of distributions for cash holdings making some very simple assumptions about the social structure

  of capitalist relations.


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