[OPE-L:1909] Re: [Massimo] Re: Definitions of value

Paul Cockshott (wpc@cs.strath.ac.uk)
Tue, 23 Apr 1996 09:50:08 -0700

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>> Massimo, are you wanting me to define the difference
>> between work and rest?
>No Paul, I want you simply to tell me what is labour , that is, what
>is that we are measuring? Put in another way. It is the same
>difference between the distance between A and B and the way we
>measure it
Value or labour is the allocation of people to tasks over time, and a flow
of value or labour is thus simply an allocation of people.

What differentiates value from an allocation is the time dimension,
so in essence are you concerned with the difference between time
and the measurement of time?

If so, you may be expecting something like:
''Absolute, true and mathematical time, of itself, and from its
own nature, flows equably without relation to anything external,
and by another name is called duration: relative, apparent,
and common time, is some sensible and external measure of duration
by means of motion, which is commonly used instead of true time;
such as an hour a day a month a year.'' ( Newton 1686)

This brings out a difference of the sort that you infer between
distance and its measure. However, this separation of time from
its measure is now generally rejected by physics. A good review of
the current thinking in time theory is given in W. Unruh, 'Time
Gravity and Quantum Mechanics', in Times Arrow Today, CUP 1995.

The consensus seems to be that the sort of Newtonian distinction
between distance or duration and its measured is no longer regarded
as tenable. Thus one can not define time independently of oscillators,
whether clocks or those corresponding to particular spectral transitions
of reference atoms.

One could not define labour independently of some oscillator to measure
time, and a procedure for counting heads.
Paul Cockshott