In markets, you can control quality in two ways. First, you can use online reputation systems (., those used by eBay, Elance, and Asynchrony) to help people pick high-quality providers in the first place. 8 When online reputation systems become widely used, the traditional signifiers of quality, like brand names, are likely to become less important. Actual user ratings give buyers a much more accurate and efficient way of judging quality than relying on their general knowledge of a brand. Which would you rather buy: (a) a television with a well-known brand (., Sony), even though previous buyers and objective raters like Consumer Reports rate the set poorly, or (b) an unknown-brand television (., from Joe's No-Name Appliances) that gets wildly enthusiastic ratings from most previous buyers and objective raters?
This is the first of two volumes giving a selection of Greek papyri relating to private and public business. They cover a period from before 300 BCE to the eighth century CE. Most were found in rubbish heaps or remains of ancient houses or in tombs in Egypt. From such papyri we get much information about administration and social and economic conditions in Egypt, and about native Egyptian, Greek, Roman and Byzantine law, as well as glimpses of ordinary life. This volume contains: Agreements (71 examples); these concern marriage, divorce, adoption, apprenticeship, sales, leases, employment of labourers. Receipts (10). Wills (6). Deed of disownment. Personal letters from men and women, young and old (82). Memoranda (2). Invitations (5). Orders for payment (2). Agenda (2). Accounts and inventories (12). Questions of oracles (3). Christian prayers (2). A Gnostic charm. Horoscopes (2).
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