[OPE-L:7456] [OPE-L:989] David Yaffe and the "velocitometer"

Gerald Levy (glevy@pratt.edu)
Sat, 15 May 1999 07:57:59 -0400 (EDT)

Amidst a rather lengthy article by Andy Beckett called "Learning to
rile" from today's issue of _The Guardian_ (and posted on
marxism-thaxis), there is a claim about David Yaffe that I find hard to
believe. Perhaps the reason is that it was intended to be satirical -- I
don't know, that's why I am asking. The article concerns the magazine
_LM_ (_Living Marxism_). Here's the section that caught my attention:

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> By 1973, the other members of IS had tired of this posing. Furedi and his
> allies were condemned as "the Right opposition" and expelled. They decided
> to call themselves the Revolutionary Communist Group (RCG). At first, the
> RCG sought success through
> theorising: in particular, about the precise rate by which profits would
> fall as capitalism inevitably - they assumed - exhausted itself. David
> Yaffe, an academic at Sussex University, unveiled a calculating machine,
> called the velocitometer, which he had invented to measure this decay.
> Claiming his device was accurate to five decimal points, <snip>
> Copyright Guardian Media Group plc. 1999
>
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Did Yaffe invent the "velocitometer" or was this the result of an
over-satiric _Guardian_ writer's imagination?

Does anyone know?

In solidarity, Jerry