Re: [OPE] intermission: value of knowledge

From: Paula <>
Date: Tue Nov 24 2009 - 17:38:44 EST

Thanks to Paul C and Dave for the links regarding 'quantity of information'.
I will hopefully have something to say on this once I've read and thought
through it all.

In the meantime here's my reply to this comment by Paul:
> I disagree. The production of knowledge is highly industrialised today
> and management work out how many 'man months' a given task in
> this area is likely to take.

This would not apply to the examples discussed here (the writing of Ulysses
or the creation of an Abba song), but I accept that it would apply to some
aspects of the 'production of knowledge' in today's society. The
explanation, however, could be as follows. Any kind of human labor employed
by capital (productive or unproductive) might be 'rationalized' according to
the needs of capital. Management will work out how many 'man hours' it
should take a mortgage adviser to advise a client, or how many 'man minutes'
the supermarket cashier needs per hundred groceries; but it does not follow
that this kind of labor has an abstract (or value-producing) content.

We should therefore be careful not to stretch the notion of
'industrialization' too far - even the conveyor belts at the supermarket
checkout don't turn the place into a factory.


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Received on Tue Nov 24 17:40:43 2009

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