[OPE-L:1350] Re: Better Machines

glevy@acnet.pratt.edu (glevy@acnet.pratt.edu)
Thu, 7 Mar 1996 02:49:16 -0800

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Paul C wrote:

> Mathematically this is very hard to model, since
> one is dealing with a system of equations for
> which the number of variables is constantly
> altering. The number of commodities whose value
> you have to track is constantly altering. I know
> how to program things like this, but I have only
> the slightest indications of how one might model
> it analytically/axiomatically.

First one has to sort out the analytical issues before one develops the
mathematical model. The model itself merely expresses in other terms an
understanding which has already been reached. Additionally, there may be
certain types of processes which are not well-suited for mathematical
modeling. Researchers have to accept this possibility.

It also seems to me that analytically one should first answer the
question of why firms purchase "better machinery" and the meaning of
moral depreciation independently of analyzing competition and
technological rent. Isn't that part of what Marx tries to do in V1 when
discussing "machinery and modern industry" and relative surplus value?

BTW: note that moral depreciation is addressed in all 3 volumes of
_Capital_. I think the more interesting, and perhaps unresolved,
questions, come up in the context of a discussion of the release and
tying-up of of capital in V3, Ch. 6, Part 2.

In OPE-L Solidarity,