A Medida Incorrecta da Tecnologia

CAMBRIDGE – Não há nada melhor que a linguagem vaga para causar confusão – ou para facilitar o consenso. Ludwig Wittgenstein argumentou que na verdade os paradoxos filosóficos são apenas uma consequência do uso inapropriado da linguagem. Por outro lado, a arte da diplomacia consiste em encontrar linguagem que possa esconder o desacordo.

Uma ideia com a qual os economistas concordam quase unanimemente é a de que, para além da riqueza mineral, a maior parte da grande diferença de rendimento entre os países ricos e pobres não é imputável ao capital ou à educação, mas antes à “tecnologia”. Então o que é a tecnologia?

A resposta explica o consenso invulgar entre os economistas, porque a “tecnologia” é medida como uma espécie de categoria “nenhuma das anteriores”, uma categoria residual – o laureado com o Nobel Robert Solow apelidou-a de “produtividade total de factores” – que se mantém inexplicável, após se contabilizarem outros meios de produção, tais como o capital físico e humano. Como foi adequadamente notado em 1956 por Moses Abramovitz, este residual não é mais do que “uma medida da nossa ignorância.”

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