Fair Quotes (16 quotes)

[I]magine you want to know the sex of your unborn child. There are several approaches. You could, for example, do what the late film star ... Cary Grant did before he was an actor: In a carnival or fair or consulting room, you suspend a watch or a plumb bob above the abdomen of the expectant mother; if it swings left-right it's a boy, and if it swings forward-back it's a girl. The method works one time in two. Of course he was out of there before the baby was born, so he never heard from customers who complained he got it wrong. ... But if you really want to know, then you go to amniocentesis, or to sonograms; and there your chance of being right is 99 out of 100. ... If you really want to know, you go to science.

A man who keeps company with glaciers comes to feel tolerably insignificiant by and by. The Alps and the glaciers together are able to take every bit of conceit out of a man and reduce his self-importance to zero if he will only remain within the influence of their sublime presence long enough to give it a fair and reasonable chance to do its work.

How can Life grant us boon of living, compensate

For dull grey ugliness and pregnant hate

Unless we dare

The soul’s dominion? Each time we make a choice, we pay

With courage to behold the restless day,

And count it fair.

For dull grey ugliness and pregnant hate

Unless we dare

The soul’s dominion? Each time we make a choice, we pay

With courage to behold the restless day,

And count it fair.

I wrote a fair amount of poetry in college. It was really, really bad. I mean, bad. And that’s how I found out—by doing it.

Mountains are not fair or unfair, they are just dangerous.

Neither in the subjective nor in the objective world can we find a criterion for the reality of the number concept, because the first contains no such concept, and the second contains nothing that is free from the concept. How then can we arrive at a criterion? Not by evidence, for the dice of evidence are loaded. Not by logic, for logic has no existence independent of mathematics: it is only one phase of this multiplied necessity that we call mathematics.

How then shall mathematical concepts be judged? They shall not be judged. Mathematics is the supreme arbiter. From its decisions there is no appeal. We cannot change the rules of the game, we cannot ascertain whether the game is fair. We can only study the player at his game; not, however, with the detached attitude of a bystander, for we are watching our own minds at play.

How then shall mathematical concepts be judged? They shall not be judged. Mathematics is the supreme arbiter. From its decisions there is no appeal. We cannot change the rules of the game, we cannot ascertain whether the game is fair. We can only study the player at his game; not, however, with the detached attitude of a bystander, for we are watching our own minds at play.

Taking … the mathematical faculty, probably fewer than one in a hundred really possess it, the great bulk of the population having no natural ability for the study, or feeling the slightest interest in it*. And if we attempt to measure the amount of variation in the faculty itself between a first-class mathematician and the ordinary run of people who find any kind of calculation confusing and altogether devoid of interest, it is probable that the former could not be estimated at less than a hundred times the latter, and perhaps a thousand times would more nearly measure the difference between them.

[* This is the estimate furnished me by two mathematical masters in one of our great public schools of the proportion of boys who have any special taste or capacity for mathematical studies. Many more, of course, can be drilled into a fair knowledge of elementary mathematics, but only this small proportion possess the natural faculty which renders it possible for them ever to rank high as mathematicians, to take any pleasure in it, or to do any original mathematical work.]

[* This is the estimate furnished me by two mathematical masters in one of our great public schools of the proportion of boys who have any special taste or capacity for mathematical studies. Many more, of course, can be drilled into a fair knowledge of elementary mathematics, but only this small proportion possess the natural faculty which renders it possible for them ever to rank high as mathematicians, to take any pleasure in it, or to do any original mathematical work.]

The chess-board is the world; the pieces are the phenomena of the universe; the rules of the game are what we call the laws of Nature. The player on the other side is hidden from us. We know that his play is always fair, just and patient. But we know, to our cost, that he never overlooks a mistake, or makes the slightest allowance for ignorance.

The fairest thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the fundamental emotion which stands at the cradle of true science. He who knows it not, and can no longer wonder, no longer feel amazement, is as good as dead. We all had this priceless talent when we were young. But as time goes by, many of us lose it. The true scientist never loses the faculty of amazement. It is the essence of his being.

The spirit of science is not to prejudge, but to give any honest query a fair shake.

Their theories should be carefully examined and their arguments fairly weighed, but the scientist cannot compel acceptance of any argument he advances, except as, judged upon its merits, it is convincing.

Those who assert that the mathematical sciences make no affirmation about what is fair or good make a false assertion; for they do speak of these and frame demonstrations of them in the most eminent sense of the word. For if they do not actually employ these names, they do not exhibit even the results and the reasons of these, and therefore can be hardly said to make any assertion about them. Of what is fair, however, the most important species are order and symmetry, and that which is definite, which the mathematical sciences make manifest in a most eminent degree. And since, at least, these appear to be the causes of many things—now, I mean, for example, order, and that which is a definite thing, it is evident that they would assert, also, the existence of a cause of this description, and its subsistence after the same manner as that which is fair subsists in.

To God all things are fair and good and right, but men hold some things wrong and some right.

We have taken to the Moon the wealth of this nation,

the vision of its political leaders,

the intelligence of its scientists,

the dedication of its engineers,

the careful craftsmanship of its workers,

and the enthusiastic support of its people.

We have brought back rocks, and I think it is a fair trade . . .

Man has always gone where he has been able to go. It’s that simple.

He will continue pushing back his frontier,

no matter how far it may carry him from his homeland.

the vision of its political leaders,

the intelligence of its scientists,

the dedication of its engineers,

the careful craftsmanship of its workers,

and the enthusiastic support of its people.

We have brought back rocks, and I think it is a fair trade . . .

Man has always gone where he has been able to go. It’s that simple.

He will continue pushing back his frontier,

no matter how far it may carry him from his homeland.

Woe to the specialist who is not a pretty fair generalist and woe to the generalist who is not also a bit of a specialist.

World-wide practice of Conservation and the fair and continued access by all nations to the resources they need are the two indispensable foundations of continuous plenty and of permanent peace.