04.08 · gifts of time and things
1. Read the essays.
2. If you have not done the fashion assignment, please do that. We will be continuing our discussion of that topic in class this week.
3. Both Spence and Camerer discuss ways of signaling the importance of a relationship, Spence in terms of time and Camerer in terms of gifts.
- Why, according to Camerer, are inefficient gifts better signals? According to Spence, does time spent need to be inefficient in order to function as a signal? Aside from inefficiency, how does time function as a signal in a relationship? What aspects of the participant's identities (both the sender and receiver) need to be known in order to interpret gift and time signals?
- Many "social computing" systems, such as the network and dating sites, as well as ecommerce systems, such as ebay or Amazon, are designed to be highly efficient. Yet by saving time, money, and energy, they lose important relationship signaling and building functions. Can these be (re)introduced? Can you think of examples of gifts of time, energy, or things that occur in any online context? What are they? How do they work? How would you design a social netowrk site to include the exchange of gifts of time and (virtual) things?
Please submit the URL of your essay by Tuesday evening.