In the past, I've advocated against the word "fair" - I thought it was subjective, emotional-driven, largely arbitrary, and led to muddy unclear thinking.
I've changed my position on it. I now think the word "fair" is okay for external evaluation and communication usage.
See, "fairness" still can screw up your life, if you let it. Lots of people do petty things or self-destruct because of fairness. Or they don't ask for a promotion where they'd do well in that capacity, or they turn a deal that's great for them where they get slightly less than "fair" but still massively more than they would otherwise.
Evaluate your own life and actions based on what's best for you, not fairness. Sometimes that does mean turning things down out of principle, heuristics, or for reputation reasons. But "fairness" shouldn't be a big component of your evaluation for your best action.
It can, however, be a big part of your external evaluation and communication.
The word "fair" is a short word that contains a lot of thought and emotion. It could take a long time to try to explain your entire position, morale, momentum, standards, etc in long form.
So you say you're looking to set up a fair deal. And you evaluate whether other people are going to perceive the deal as fair, since that's important for esprit de corps.
You've still got to be careful about it. It can muddy up your thinking in a hurry. But my old 100%-cut-fairness-from-the-vocabulary position went too far - there' some potentially good usage of the word.
Paolo Maffei sent me a link to this intelligent site - edkless.com. I found this video on there:
It's a good video, I recommend it.
I'd go a step further than the economist there - I recommend you completely ditch the word "fair" from your vocabulary. As in, remove "I only do fair deals" or "This is unfair" or "I try to be fair."
The problem with the word fair is it's completely subjective and almost never adds valuable information to conversation. It's a hazy word that gets in the way of constructive discussion.
I just watched a Soviet Union rendition of Sherlock Holmes. Shockingly good. You simultaneously get the feeling that you're experiencing genuine Russian culture and Victorian Britain at the same time.
Like many kids, Sherlock Holmes always grabbed me and captivated me. The winding-area on this watch is scuffed up; the previous owner was probably regularly drinking too much and winding it when hungover. Amazing.
And profitable, too, if you can apply it in business.
The easiest Holmesian deduction is looking for the origination of a thought.
So let's you meet someone at a party and they say, "You know, I believe in doing business fair and square... never cheating anyone."