Wednesday, September 10, 2014

On Fairness

"Fairness does not always appear to be in your favor."
-hanging on the wall of the undergraduate advisor in the physics department at UCSD.

"The World isn't always fair Calvin."
"But why isn't it ever unfair in my favor?"
-Calvin and Hobbes

"it’s essential to get past the belief that history is under any obligation to hand out rewards for good behavior and punishments for the opposite, or for that matter the other way around."
-Archdruid Report


PioneerPreppy said...

Ont he contrary I think the world naturally balances out quite fairly when it is allowed to do so.

Trouble is so many try and stop it and just make it worse.

russell1200 said...

Pioneer: Natural balance is probably not how most people think of fairness I suspect: Certainly not fairness at the individual level.

Harry Flashman said...

"To the strong, the prize."

People make their own destiny. The cosmos doesn't care.

PioneerPreppy said...

Russ - I wonder why? I mean the reality seems to me that each natural advantage almost always has a disadvantage that goes along with it. While some natural advantages may not be the most appealing at the individual level depending on the circumstances I guess.

More than likely the crux of the problem in humans is that what they call fair is in reality just them trying to gain and edge.

russell1200 said...

Pioneer: Your last point is often true.

Granted the use of solar energy has meant that the earth has never been a true zero sum game, but it was pretty close. The heavy usage of fossil fuel started an historical period where we no longer lived in a zero sum economic world. Thus the cost of "fairness" could easily be paid for within the system. What happens when you go back to something closer to a zero sum...well that is open for discussion. Note, although not exactly stated that way, it was one of the major themes of Lucifer's Hammer.