You are dead to me.

In my opinion, one of the most hurtful things you can say to another person.

That phrase has got me thinking about social networks. One of the most interesting study of relationships versus markets is a study by a sociologist who looked at Hassidic diamond merchants in NY. The economic problem to solve is that you need time to study the diamond to see its value. But then, you will be worried that the examiner would steal the diamond. One way to make sure that the examiner returns it is some sort of collateral system: you put a big deposit down to examine the jewel. But that is not always feasible. So instead, the diamond mechants substitute social capital for financial capital. They are a small tightknit community. If you steal the jewel, you are out, and your children are out, etc, etc. As a consequence, no need for elaborate financial requirements. Of course if the community gets to too big, the social capital will fail.

I wonder if the internet changes the community size.

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