From: Paul Cockshott (wpc@DCS.GLA.AC.UK)
Date: Tue Jun 22 2004 - 17:51:01 EDT
Fred: We measure the weight of objects by quantities of iron THAT HAVE THE SAME WEIGHT. Similarly, in Marx's theory, with commodity money and at the high level of abstraction of Part 1 of Volume 1, the labor-time contained in commodities is measured by quantities of the money commodity THAT CONTAIN THE SAME QUANTITY OF LABOR-TIME. The "measure" of the labor-times contained in commodities discussed in Chapter 3 is indeed reduced to a "simple comparison" of the labor-times contained in commodities and money (not a conscious comparison, of course). --------------- Paul Cockshott This is a live issue in contemporary metrology. Currently the kilogram is defined in terms of the standard kilogram in a vault in Paris. It is held to be a poor basis since one does not know that the kilogram is an invariable standard of mass since it may be accreting mass from the atmosphere. Serious attempts are being made to replace the kilogram with other standards of mass based on electro magnetic effects. There was a review of the problem in Science in may http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/reprint/304/5672/812.pdf Metrologists want a standard of weight that does not itself 'contain' weight.
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