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"That's not cricket!"


According to the print edition of the Wall Street Journal (November 10, 2006), the concept of fairness "lies deep in the human psyche." Journal writer Sharon Begley reports that "Animals other than humans are not only sensitive to unfairness, but are driven to rectify it." There is a practical aspect to the capuchin monkey's sense of fairness – "By being magnanimous, the monkey who shares his reward with a hard-working but unrewarded partner makes it more likely that when the tables are turned, she will be treated with equal generosity."

The idea of fairness infuses the Brits' struggle to be free, as the Liberty Timeline makes vividly evident. Also clear: Fairness is a combination of practicality and idealism. Practicality doesn't detract from the idealism. It makes idealism real. After all, what is the point of an ideal that has no practical applicability.

I think the same thing is true of sports. Fair rules fairly played make for a great game.

"It isn't hard to see the survival value of being able to detect inequity," says the Journal. "Cooperation requires a grasp of fairness."

The experience of freedom and prosperity is based on a firm grasp of cooperation and fairness. Fairness may be innate, but it isn't always easy to achieve. It lives by teamwork, self-sacrifice, practice.

But how beautiful and exciting it can be.