blueollie

What does “fair” mean?

I’ve frequently heard “that is not fair”. So, what does “fair” mean, aside from a technical definition (e. g. “fair ball” in baseball). This is one of those concepts that I might THINK that I “know it when I see it”, but when I try to think about it carefully, I drive myself batty.

I think that “unfairness” can be easy to spot, at times. Example: I grade calculus exams and two students say $\int x dx = \frac{1}{2}x^2$ and I deliberately do not count off for the missing “+ C” on one student’s paper and take off a point on the other paper. But other judgements of “fairness” are trickier …far trickier. Example: is it fair that, at times, I get a medal at a running race whereas someone who ran faster than I did did not get a medal (think: “age groups”). Before you answer: remember that not all humans age at the same rate, running ability is largely determined by genetic factors (though, of course, training counts too), etc.

Anyhow, that is my “useless thing to ponder” for the day.

Workout notes: treadmill: 20 minutes of 5.2-5.6 (every 4 minutes) then I did 2.5 minutes on, 2.5 minutes off, jogging all of the off periods, except for the final 2, at 5.3-5.5 mpm. On: 6.7-6.7-6.8-6.8-6.9-6.8-6.9-6.8. I did about 1-1:30 of walking during the final 2 “off” periods. Then jog to get to 6 miles in 1:02:10, 10K in 1:04:30. Then 16 laps on the Riverplex track in 27:40 (just over 2 miles) walking; cute incentives to lap other walkers. 🙂